News

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Penguins turned around a once-disappointing season and fired a coach before winning a fourth Stanley Cup, adversity that seemed to make Wednesday's city-wide celebration that much sweeter.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In an open layout room filled with natural light, Carnegie Mellon University Human-Computer Interaction Institute PhD students Yang Zhang and Gierad Laput fiddle with wires and switch on levers. The tables in front of them are covered in interfaces, sensors and tools, and several nearby glass walls display multi-colored formulas and troubleshooting lists. This, Laput says, is the Future Interfaces Group research lab.

Akira Ohgaki / flickr

When it comes to treating a stroke, experts say time loss equals brain loss. Matthew Kesinger, founder and CEO of Forest Devices Inc., developed a device entering clinical trials that aims to decrease time loss by diagnosing strokes faster and more accurately.

Emily Stock / 90.5 WESA

During Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Pine-Richland graduate Mike Van Sickle received a call telling him he had qualified for his first U.S. Open. The Kennedy resident described the feeling as relief.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Advocacy groups representing Pittsburgh Public Schools are calling for a new superintendent search following weeks of controversy surrounding the Board of Education's first choice, Anthony Hamlet. 

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, the Hill District Education Council, the Black Political Empowerment Project and A+ Schools issued a joint statement on Tuesday:

Luyen Chou / Flickr

  

Jeff Blood has been fishing for more than 50 years. He’s cast his line for steelhead in Lake Erie, trout in State College and mined waters as far away as Alaska, Europe, South America and Central America.

“I have lots and lots of memories,” Blood said.

He's one of more than 800,000 licensed fishermen and women in Pennsylvania, according to Angler Labs founder Nic Wilson. It’s a growing sport, Wilson said -- one he loves. And it's that passion that inspired Wilson to create a soon-to-launch data tracking app for fishing enthusiasts.

Michael Righl / Flickr

The Stanley Cup might pass right under their windows, but for most big Downtown businesses it will be business as usual, with a chance to catch the Penguins championship parade.

'Pirates By The Numbers' Looks At History Through Uniform Number

Jun 14, 2016
David Brossard / flickr

Monroeville author David Finoli has been writing about Pittsburgh sports for about 15 years, but he says that his latest book, “Pirates By the Numbers: A Complete Team History of the Bucs by Uniform Number,” is one of the most interesting he’s worked on. The book chronicles Pirates players and the numbers they wore throughout the franchise history.

PghJared / flickr

Through the years, Pittsburgh-area sports have seen their fair share of team mascots. Some have been embraced by the city and others haven’t quite cut it. We’re joined now in studio by stand-up comedian and City Paper columnist Mike Wysocki. He’s written a column for the City Paper on the “best, worst and handsiest sports mascots” in Pittsburgh sports history.

Peter Rieke / flickr

If you’re a big league baseball fan, you have surely heard of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but what about the Chicago pirates or the Pittsburgh Burgers or the Cleveland Infants? They were members of the Players National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, popularly known as the Players League. The League emerged in 1890 from the Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players and while it lasted only one season, it made a significant impact on the game. We’ll hear from associate professor of Global Cultural Studies at Point Park University Robert Ross, who’s written about the event in his book, “The Great Baseball Revolt: The Rise and Fall of the 1890 Players League.

Ray Bodden / Flickr

Hundreds of environmental advocates are slated to gather in Harrisburg on Tuesday to lobby state lawmakers to reject bills they say would undermine the commonwealth’s clean energy and conservation programs.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s faith community held a candlelight vigil outside of the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday night, to remember the victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando over the weekend.

Pennsylvania Cities Respond To Orlando Shooting

Jun 14, 2016
Branden Eastwood / NewsWorks

 

Early Sunday morning, a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fl. Omar Mateen killed 49 clubgoers and injured at least as many in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Mateen was killed at the scene after a prolonged hostage situation.

There were tributes offered across the country, from the White House to the Tony Awards. Over 1,000 miles north of Orlando, Pennsylvania residents reacted to the news with vigils, fundraisers and security concerns.

The parade must go on

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh public pools open Tuesday to kick off the unofficial start of summer.

Seventeen of the city's 18 pools are open weekdays from 1 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. on weekends. Moore Park pool in Brookline will remain closed for repairs, but Citiparks Director Jim Griffin said it's expected to reopen in mid-July. 

Daily pool passes for adults cost $5 and $3 for children. A season-long family pass that covers up to four people can be purchased for $60.

Nicole Fallert / 90.5 WESA

A federal gun control measure introduced Monday with the intention of preventing hate crimes became unexpectedly timely in the aftermath of a deadly mass shooting Sunday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said he’d been working on the legislation for months and had planned to introduce it later this week, but decided to submit it Monday after the attack by an ISIS-pledged man in Florida claimed at least 49 lives at the Pulse nightclub.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Noah Bendix-Balgley was the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Concertmaster from 2011 through 2015. Now the Concertmaster for the Berlin Philharmonic, Bendix-Balgley continues to showcase his artistic talent through the PSO. This weekend he will perform his own Klezmer arrangement with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools board members said they met with new superintendent Anthony Hamlet, a former Florida educator, on Monday to discuss inconsistencies in his resume and accusations of plagiarism.

90.5 WESA

Linda Lane has been a force in Pittsburgh Public Schools since she became superintendent in 2010. At the end of June, she’ll be stepping down and stopped by Essential Pittsburgh to talk about her experience in the role and what she's learned.

Courtesy Maker Faire Pittsburgh

Maker Faire Pittsburgh is now accepting applications from artists, scientists, inventors and tinkerers who want to showcase their work at this year’s event.

“Maker Faire is the greatest show-and-tell on earth,” said lead organizer Kayce Dewey. “It’s a combination between craft fair meets science fair meets Burning Man.”

U.S. Food and Drug Administration / Flickr

Advances in 3-D printing are making prosthetic limbs more affordable and easier to acquire.

A global community called e-Nabling the Future is making low-cost prosthetic hands across the world. A traditional prosthetic limb can cost a person thousands of dollars, but the hands produced by e-Nabling, are free.

Antonio Licon / 91.3 WYEP

The shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning didn’t deter the celebrations in Pittsburgh. The city’s annual Pride parade stepped off at noon followed by Pride Fest downtown.

Crowds started gathering more than an hour before start time, and many people said while they were sad and nervous, they did not want to stay home.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Gardeners swarmed the Allegheny County Courthouse garden on Wednesday where Pennsylvania State University master gardeners handed out free plants and answered questions during Bee Wise, an annual informational event.

"We are trying to make the community more aware of native plants and pollinators," said Penn State master gardener Susan Mortensen. 

Muhammad Ali Remembered As Gracious, Intelligent And Humble

Jun 10, 2016
Bob Dvorchak / Facebook

The funeral for boxing legend Muhammed Ali is being held today in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to talk about his memories of  Ali whom he met and interviewed in 1970. He'll also address what the Penguins need to do to clinch the cup this weekend.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 

Pittsburgh public safety and emergency response departments are working together to create a new strategy for dealing with large events and natural disasters.

The changes were proposed after presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s April rally at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, during which three people were arrested and four police officers treated for minor injuries.

Caitlin Regan / Flickr

For 13 years, Edith Davidson and Diana Cooper have met with women to talk about all aspects of their roles as new mothers.  

For the last several years, the gatherings, known as “Stork Bites,” have been held at the Sharon Community Presbyterian church in Moon Township. Davidson and Cooper divide the Stork Bites meetings into six-week classes, with many of the mothers attending multiple sessions. 

Shell / flickr

After waiting five years, Beaver County has received the news from Shell Chemical Appalachia that a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker will be built on the site of the former Horsehead zinc smelter. The plant is expected to provide 600 permanent jobs when it opens. But what concerns has this development raised for environmentalists? We'll ask Allegheny Front reporter Reid Frazier.    

Mark / flickr

Since Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in April, many have wanted to tap into the industry. United States Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research and Development CEO Michael Patterson says while officials develop policies over the next couple years, interested businesses and individuals should begin to familiarize themselves with the Commonwealth’s cannabis laws so they can cash in when the time comes.

   It is a busy weekend here in Pittsburgh. Luckily, WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to fill you in on your weekend plans.

Alexander Nordby / Flickr

As sexual assaults in the military increase, supporters of a bill aiming to protect victims are working to drum up support. 

Between 2014 and 2013, the number of reported sexual assault cases in the military jumped 11 percent, and 2013 numbers were 53 percent higher than in 2012, according to the latest numbers from the Department of Defense.

Rev. Xanatos / Flickr

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh said they have made a major discovery that could lead to new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

Scientists have long known that people whose brains make too much of a protein called alpha-synuclein end up getting Parkinson’s, but they didn’t know why that particular protein was toxic to brain tissue.

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