News

Ben Allen / WITF

Authorities say a 20-year-old man was holding a knife to his mother's throat before a police officer shot him once and killed him inside the bedroom of the family's Harrisburg home.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said at a news conference Monday that police responding to a child's 911 call found Earl Pinckney holding a knife with a 4-inch blade against the throat of his mother, Kim Thomas.

Thomas is disputing that account, insisting her son didn't have a knife. She said Pinckney, the father of a newborn, was not dangerous.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The needle is in and out in a second. I let my breath return to its normal pace, and I’m given a Tweety Bird bandage as a reward for my maturity.

Lee Jin-man / AP

Leah Smith was not necessarily looking to set any records in the Olympic 4x200m freestyle relay in Rio. As she swam the second leg last night at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Smith realized her job was to keep the United States within striking distance of Australia and China, close enough to give the world’s best female swimmer, Katie Ledecky, a chance to pull ahead of the competition in the anchor leg. And that’s exactly what happened.

The Americans finished the race in 7:43.03, good for the gold medal, Smith’s first of the Olympics.

Sue Seecof / Flickr

Pennsylvania's alcohol regulators are taking applications for permits under the expanded sales of booze approved by the Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this summer.

The Liquor Control Board said the law that went into effect Monday lets about 11,000 businesses that currently have what's called restaurant or hotel licenses, which let them sell beer to go, apply for permission to also sell takeout wine.

Eating place licenses that sell beer to go, typically pizza shops or similar establishments, can apply to upgrade to a restaurant license.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Pittsburgh Public school administrators began training for the district’s new transgender nondiscrimination policy which goes into effect this school year.

Vanessa Davis, executive director of THRIVE, said the policy, which will allow transgender and gender expansive students, those who identify outside of gender categories, to use pronouns, names and bathrooms they identify with, is a large undertaking. Any change stemming from the policy won’t come overnight, she said.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

 

The Andy Warhol Bridge is about to undergo its most extensive rehabilitation since the early 1990s.

commons.wikimedia.org

Last year, when the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania held its annual conference, the focus was on the budget stalemate that, at the time, was less than two months into what turned into a nine-month deadlock.

“Who would have ever thought it would go that long,” said Somerset County Commissioner John Vatavuk. “The angst there this year will be nowhere near what it was last year.”

Matt Rourke / AP

 

 

Former Gov. Ed Rendell and the artists who created 57 painted donkeys installed before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia are at odds over donkey dollars.

Caryn Kunkle, an advocate for the artists, is upset because only four of the donkeys will be auctioned off to pay the artists. Kunkle contends the agreement with the convention's host committee, 
which Rendell headed, called for all of the donkeys to be auctioned off to help pay the artists, who already received $1,000 per sculpture.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

When Nancy Lee opened women’s resale store WearWoof in 2013, she contemplated getting a store cat. She fell in love with Dolly at a local PetSmart, but noticed a lump on the 10-year-old tabby when she picked her up.

Dolly had a hernia.

“I just felt like she was a part of my story, and I was a part of her story now,” Lee said.

Dolly, now healthy, was a natural fit for the North Hills shop, but Lee thought she would wield even more influence in another position: Cat President of the United States.

Pennsylvania Department of Health

 

Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program has a new director.

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration introduced John Collins on Thursday as head of the state Office of Medical Marijuana.

Collins, who joined the state's health department in April as assistant administrator in the Division of HIV Disease, will oversee the state's newly minted program, including cultivation and distribution regulations. He starts on Monday.

  Health Secretary Karen Murphy has said the regulations should be fully in place by early 2018, but that's subject to change.

Robert Anthony Provost / Flickr

 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made headlines this week after a public war of words with the parents of a Muslim-American Army Captain killed while serving in Iraq in 2004. It wasn’t the first time Trump stirred controversy with comments that seemed to dismiss the sacrifice of U.S. military service members. 

Body Exhumed From Pauper's Grave Is Girl Missing Since 1967

Aug 5, 2016
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

 

 

DNA tests show that a body exhumed from a pauper's grave last fall is almost certainly that of a 13-year-old Pittsburgh girl last seen in 1967, state police said Thursday.

The badly decomposed body was found in a landfill in Salem Township, Westmoreland County in September 1967, not long after Teala Patricia Thompson was last seen.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's highest court has declined to intervene in the criminal case against the state's top prosecutor. Jury selection is set to begin outside Philadelphia on Monday.

The Supreme Court on Friday turned down Attorney General Kathleen Kane's request that it take up her claim that the grand jury that investigated her was unlawful and unconstitutional.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

 

Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Regatta returns to the city Friday through Sunday after river debris caused by heavy rains prompted its cancelation last July.

    

    Nothing divides us more than the debate over if cargo shorts are acceptable apparel or not. We here at Social Club are ready to put a stop to that debate and say once and for all that, fine, you can wear cargo shorts. No more judgment. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to let you know all the places you can wear your cargo shorts this weekend.

Scott Roller / Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

August Wilson Park opens in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood Saturday after years of planning and construction. 

Justin Wier / 90.5 WESA

McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania is just 15 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. It has a rich history. The first American Eagle Outfitters opened there in 1912. A native American burial mound in the borough is the earliest place of human habitation in the region. But while Pittsburgh is experiencing a renaissance, the blue-collar borough is still struggling to get back on track. 

Rachellynn Schoen / Heinz History Center

Ever wonder how much Grandma’s pearl necklace is worth? What about that antique Westinghouse sewing machine from your distant cousin? Maybe you've got an old menu from the William Penn.

This weekend, you've got a chance to find out.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Along South Aiken Avenue in Friendship, a sign reading, “Caution … Tomatoes” sits proudly on a utility pole.

It’s referencing the nearby community garden.

“I really wanted to create something where people understand how important it is to connect with nature and also understand how easy it is to grow your own food,” said Octopus Garden founder Kristin Hughes.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

Ride-hailing service Uber is expanding its reach in Pennsylvania.

The San-Francisco-based company says it will begin operating in the seven-county region surrounding Pittsburgh, including Washington, Greene, Westmoreland, Indiana, Armstrong and Butler counties Thursday evening.

The expansion also includes DuBois, Gettysburg, greater Williamsport, Johnstown and Altoona.

Company officials said the service will now cover 90 percent of residents in the state.

Uber allows people to use a smartphone app to book and pay for a car service.

Marisa Acevedo / 90.5 WESA

Twenty Centers of Excellence, which will treat Pennsylvanians struggling with addiction, will open by Oct. 1.

This would help the roughly 4,500 people across Pennsylvania suffering from opioid use disorders who do not have access to treatment.

Monobloco

Street band Monobloco will bring the samba-rock funk rhythms of their native Brazil to the Kelly Strayhorn Theater at 8 p.m. Friday. The 24-person crew takes the stage the same night Olympic opening ceremonies kick off in Rio de Janeiro.

Founding member Celso Alvim said their adaptations of classic songs make them famous in their home country, and when they tour, audiences vibe the energy of their set.

Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force

The Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force has hired a director to lead its new medical clinic in East Liberty.

According to task force officials, Dr. Sarah McBeth is an internal medicine specialist who received some of her clinical training in the midst of the HIV epidemic in Africa.

In a statement, McBeth said seeing the AIDS epidemic firsthand in Beira, Mozambique convinced her that HIV is one of the world’s most pressing health issues.

New Environmental Secretary Hopes To Resurrect Drilling Rules

Aug 4, 2016
WITF

The new head of the Department of Environmental Protection says he hopes his staff can work quickly to resurrect regulations for the conventional oil and gas industry that got tossed out during the annual state budget negotiations in Harrisburg.

Aftershocks Of The Gas Boom Ripple Through New York's Wine Country

Aug 4, 2016
Julie Grant / Allegheny Front

 

  Driving around Seneca Lake, evidence of industry is everywhere.

The wine industry, that is.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Preschooler Marleny Roasario sat cross-legged on a multi-colored carpet Wednesday, scrunching her face at a blue and purple snaggle-toothed troll. 

Performing artist Amber Ramsey Fantini laughed, bobbing her puppets at the class. "Turn around," she told the girl. "Show your teacher and all the other kids."

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to save $150 million in state money by this fiscal year has exceeded its goal, netting a total of $156 million in efficiencies.

Now the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency has a new, more ambitious plan for the next three years. GO-TIME is aiming to increase those efficiencies to $500 million by fiscal year 2020.

GO-TIME Director Sharon Ward said much of the money saved will come from 154 programs that were already part of the initial initiative.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County needs more resources to battle the opioid epidemic gripping southwestern Pennsylvania, Human Services and Health department representatives said at a state legislative hearing Tuesday.

Abby Warhola
The Andy Warhol Museum

Photos and paintings at The Andy Warhol Museum are set up chronologically by decade, starting at the top.

From the seventh floor, School Programs Coordinator Leah Morelli explains, “This is the floor in which his early life starts and the story begins.”

But even without a human guide, all visitors -- including those with visual impairments -- will soon have a tool to let them know where they are and what’s around them in the space thanks to the organization’s first audio guide.

Glenn Koehler / NMIH

 

Visitors to the new National Museum of Industrial History, open today in Bethlehem, will be engaging with history before they even set foot inside the museum. It's built on the nation's largest privately-owned brownfield site, in what was Bethlehem Steel's electric repair shop.

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