Jeffery Smith / Flickr

The volume and complexity of health research can make it difficult for legislators to keep up.

Larry Stern, a retired health care executive, says with the growing number of interest and advocacy groups, it’s difficult to determine positions of those groups based on evidence from those based on belief.

Rock Musician Peter Frampton Goes Acoustic

Sep 25, 2015
Jeff Daly / Invision/AP Images

Rock and roll legend Peter Frampton will be coming to the Carnegie Music Hall on October 16th as part of his tour “Peter Frampton Raw.” Frampton joined Essential Pittsburgh to discuss the tour, as well as sharing some of his history as a musician.

The tour features Frampton performing many of his without his signature electric guitar sound. He’ll play all his pieces on acoustic guitar with “not an electric instrument on stage.”

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Michael Joyce started working at Homewood Cemetery in 1978, cutting grass.

“I live real close to here so it was just a summer job,” said Joyce, now the tie-wearing superintendent of the more than 200-acre spread. He’s responsible for everything that happens outside.

PA House Sends Short-Term Spending Plan To Governor

Sep 24, 2015

The Pennsylvania state House of Representatives has passed a short-term spending bill that Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to veto without an agreement on a plan to end a nearly three-month budget stalemate.

    This weekend is going to be amazing.

Josh has been so busy with Thrival and the launch of his new podcast, Nanograms. It launches today and you can find out more about it here.

Irina Zhorov / 90.5 WESA

On Oct. 3, Pittsburghers will walk up and down the formidable stairways of the hilly South Side Slopes neighborhood with maps in hand. The StepTrek, which started more than a decade ago, raises awareness and funds for the Slopes’ aging stairs.

The Politics Of Pope Francis

Sep 24, 2015
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Images

Wading into bitter disputes, Pope Francis urged a divided Congress and America on Thursday to welcome immigrants, abolish the death penalty, share the nation's immense wealth and fight global warming. Lawmakers gave rousing ovations to the leader of the world's Catholics despite obvious disagreements over some of his pleas. It was the first time a pope has directly addressed Congress.

Tracksploitation / Instagram

An event Thursday at Boom Concepts on Penn Avenue in Garfield combines a contemporary approach to music with a style that has been performed, pretty much unchanged, for centuries.

Karissa / Flickr

Pittsburgh will witness a rare lunar eclipse Sunday.

The "superblood" moon will feature a rare marriage of several lunar phenomena: a harvest moon, which occurs in the late summer or fall; a supermoon, much closer to the Earth at about 225,000 miles away; and a blood moon, noted by its red-copper coloring during the eclipse.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes within the Earth’s shadow. It's regarded as safer to view than a solar eclipse, which requires indirect viewing to prevent damage to the observer’s eyes.

Supporters of medical marijuana are keeping the pressure on state House lawmakers who have remained cool to efforts to legalize the substance.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

Pope Francis will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Thursday morning, a first for a sitting pontiff.

And there’s no way he’s not going to talk about climate change, according to Gerard Magill, Gallagher Chair for the Integration of Science, Theology, Philosophy and Law at Duquesne University.

Point Park University

Point Park University and the United Steelworkers union announced Wednesday they have reached a tentative agreement on a contract representing more than 300 part-time instructors.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

High school senior Logan Tewell said he needs to start working out.

The Bedford County 17 year old said he's interested in a career with the Pennsylvania State Police, so Trooper Brian Arrington told him the usual stuff. Keep your grades up, stay out of trouble and keep on the right path. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to the U.S. However, not many people know about the pawpaw or have even tasted the fruit. Author Andrew Moore chronicles the story of this singular plant in his book, “Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit.”

Is Pittsburgh Becoming A 'Foodie' Destination?

Sep 23, 2015
Nick Amoscato / flickr

Pittsburgh's evolving food scene has been gaining national attention. Is it enough to make the city the country's next great food destination? This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of food in Pittsburgh.

Research by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has shown Emergency Medical Service personnel who work 12- to 24-hour shifts are more than twice as likely to be injured on the job than those who work 8-hour shifts.

For a fourth straight month, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate remained at 5.4 percent in August, the same as one year ago. During that same 12-month period, the U.S. rate dropped a full percentage point to the current 5.1 percent.

Simon Dyjas / Karma Agency

The symptoms are subtle and common -- abdominal bloating, a feeling of fullness and the urge to urinate more frequently than normal.

City of Pittsburgh

The Great Race will sprint through lower Pittsburgh for its 38th year on Sunday, drawing thousands of runners and walkers from western Pennsylvania and abroad.  

Advocates are pushing a state proposal to make caregivers a more central part of a patient’s care.

UPMC Stops Transplants Following Mold Outbreak

Sep 23, 2015
Dr. Amesh Adalja /

Following a mold outbreak last week that infected four transplant patients at UPMC Presbyterian and Montefiore, the hospital system has temporarily halted their transplant program. Three of the four patients have since died, although it’s not been confirmed whether the infections were the culprit.  Pittsburgh-based infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh Adalja explained to Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer that mold is particularly difficult to contain because it’s so easy to spread.

A spokesman for state Attorney General Kathleen Kane says he doesn’t know when she will follow through on her latest promise to release all uncovered pornographic e-mails exchanged with current and former employees of the Office of Attorney General.

Catholic Church of England and Wales

More than 1,000 pilgrims from the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will be in Philadelphia to attend the World Meeting of Families Congress. But the bigger draw is the pontiff's first visit to the United States.

Official White House photo / Pete Souza

How Pittsburgh and Allegheny County can increase opportunities for boys and young men of color is the focus of two local forums this week.

screenshot from CPRB hearing video

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Pittsburgh and an officer with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police alleging intimidation and harassment of three black residents in September 2013.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto submitted Tuesday a $517.5 million operating budget for 2016 to the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority. The spending plan, which comes with no tax increases, is nearly $10 million, or 1.9 percent, more than this year’s budget. 

'Emerge Pennsylvania' Encourages Women To Run For Office

Sep 22, 2015
Rep. Pam Snyder / Facebook

Pennsylvania does not get high marks when it comes to women in political office. There are no women in the entire Congressional delegation, and the commonwealth has never elected a female governor or U.S. Senator. 

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

From vegetable garden bounties to sliced and diced ingredients to plated meals, pictures of food are ubiquitous on social media. Anyone with a smartphone can make beautiful photographs of food.

Workplace Diversity Low In Pittsburgh Region

Sep 22, 2015
Perry Quan / flickr

Flashback to Pittsburgh in the 1950s and 60s: steel mills thrived, the economy boomed and the region was a destination for minorities looking to secure a job and start a life.  This reputation, however, began a decline throughout the next couple decades.  In a study released this year by Pittsburgh Today and Vibrant Pittsburgh, the area’s workforce ranked lowest among 15 comparable regions. Pittsburgh Today director Doug Heuck says the problem started more than 30 years ago. 

Dan Moyle / Flickr

  Southwestern Pennsylvania experienced a summer surge in home listings this year, according to a report by West Penn Multi-List, Inc.