News

Kathleen J. Davis

A $600,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will be used to help clean up some of Pittsburgh’s forgotten former industrial sites.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle accepted the grant Friday the Foundry in Lawrenceville, a luxury apartment complex built on the site of a former brownfield site.

The money will help officials clean up the old sites, which can sometimes contain hazardous material and prevent future development. The Foundry’s site was cleaned up with the help of a previous EPA grant.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

The Democratic Republic of Congo is experiencing one of the highest rates of internal displacement in the world because of conflict. More than a half-million people have fled the violence. Some of those refugees, including children, have resettled in Pittsburgh. 

Senate Jams Shale Tax, Industry Permits Into Unhappy Package

Aug 7, 2017
Keith Srakocic / AP

For years, environmental advocates have sought a tax on Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale natural gas production while business associations have sought speedier state approval of permits for the activities of polluting industries.

Now, legislation approved by the Republican-controlled state Senate gave both provisions an unexpected and unwelcome passenger: each other.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

When Kelly Day moved to Brighton Heights about 10 years ago, she began to notice something -- a large income disparity between neighborhood residents. 

Kevin McCorry / WHYY

State Treasurer Joe Torsella has extended a temporary, $750 million line of credit to keep Pennsylvania’s general fund balance from running dry this month.

He’s calling the situation “extraordinary and without precedent.”

That doesn’t quite square with the way Governor Tom Wolf has appeared to downplay the impact of the state budget still being unbalanced, over a month into the fiscal year.

Cannon Designs / YMCA Facebook

A lot of kids have big dreams of stardom, but not everybody can be a singer, rapper or performer. Still, there are aspects of the music and entertainment industry outside of those specialties.

The Community College of Allegheny County’s new partnership with the Homewood-Brushton YMCA aims to inspire young creators with a free, one-semester introductory course on music technology for students ages 16 to 24.

StoryCorps Pittsburgh: Kelly Organ

Aug 6, 2017
StoryCorps

Kelly Organ talks with StoryCorps facilitator Vera Carothers about what it was like as a northerner attending a historically black college in the South.

PA Internet News Service

Pennsylvania officials are urging state residents to do all they can to prevent tick bites, especially in light of Pennsylvania’s history with Lyme disease.

In fact, the disease is so prevalent in Pennsylvania that the state dedicated a task force to combat tick-borne illnesses in 2014.

Mel Evans / AP

Pennsylvania's state treasurer has authorized a short-term $750 million line of credit to keep the state's general fund from dipping into negative territory.

Treasurer Joe Torsella says the state hasn't had to borrow that much so early in the fiscal year in 25 years.

Torsella, a Democrat who took office in January, is urging legislators to "pass a responsible revenue package."

Matt Rourke / AP, file

A gas driller says the water in a northeastern Pennsylvania village does not pose a threat to "human health and the environment."

Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. released a statement Thursday after learning that government scientists are collecting water samples from about 25 homes in Dimock, where some residents continue to blame the driller for contaminating their drinking water.

Government scientists collected water samples this week from about 25 homes in Dimock, a tiny crossroads about 150 miles north of Philadelphia.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Darrell Pullie is standing on a film set between the camera and actors holding a clapperboard, the black and white object you see in film outtakes that mark the start of a new scene or take.

Tom Downing / WITF

A month past the due date, negotiations on how to fund Pennsylvania's $32 billion spending plan are effectively stalled.

With the state House in indefinite recess as lawmakers consider how to respond to a revenue proposal from the Senate, Governor Tom Wolf is seeking to allay fears about what an unbalanced budget means for the commonwealth.

90.5 WESA
Kathleen J. Davis

VisitPITTSBURGH predicts the Steel City's upcoming event and conference schedule should pump millions of dollars into the local economy in the coming year. 

The tourism nonprofit announced their fall lineup Thursday at the Marriott City Center.

The lineup has a variety of events, including the Pittsburgh Irish Festival Sept. 8-10, Doors Open Pittsburgh Oct. 7-8 and the PNC Broadway series, which opens October 17. There are also holiday-themed events planned like ScareHouse and A Very Pittsburgh Christmas. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The day after Pennsylvania, 14 other states and the District of Columbia sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its plan to delay implementation of new clean air standards, the EPA reversed course and says it will implement it on time.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania could see more resources to combat the opioid crisis if President Donald Trump heeds a federal commission, which advised him earlier this week to declare a national emergency.

Gerry Broome / AP

A report released Thursday by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network finds Pennsylvania isn’t doing enough to produce statewide policies that help prevent and fight cancer.

Sylvia Frances Films / Via ReelQ

An East L.A. bicycle brigade mixing feminist ideals with a self-described “urban/hood mentality” will be the subject of the first film in this weekend’s Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival, or PUFF.

The festival, in its first year, is organized by the Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society. Kevin Lovelace, the society’s executive director, said the festival stemmed from a need to serve a younger, politically-conscious audience.

Courtesy of Polly Shaw / Arcadia Publishing

The Lake Arthur Regatta is this weekend.

Summer School With No Walls Keeps Kids Engaged, Active

Aug 3, 2017
Emily Cohen / NewsWorks

The mention of summer school might conjure images of students stuck inside on beautiful days and kids upset at their parents for forcing them to attend.

But there's a summer program that's the opposite of that — and it's outdoors.

Families are already at the community pool, splashing and squealing in the water before 9 a.m.

Outside the fence, 6- and 7-year-olds stand in a circle, playing a rhyming game outside a picnic pavilion at the Boyertown Community Park in Berks County.

Patrick Semansky / AP, file

About 1,000 residents of a small Pennsylvania town spent the night in area hotels following a freight train derailment and fire that forced their evacuation.

Bedford County public safety crews and workers from CSX, the train's owner, helped residents in Hyndman retrieve pets and prescription medicines after they were ordered out of their homes Wednesday. Hyndman is about 100 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

At least 32 rail cars derailed, some containing hazardous materials.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The revenue component of the state budget still isn’t done, more than a month past its due date.

But that doesn’t mean Pennsylvania has stopped doing business. It’s still spending and taking in money, and it’s still releasing monthly reports on how state collections are stacking up against projections.

The only problem? Because there’s no revenue plan, analysts can’t estimate exactly how much the state should be taking in.

Kathleen J. Davis / WESA

A Lawrenceville-based robotics company is collaborating with UCLA’s Biomechatronics Laboratory to make robots for the U.S. Navy. The goal is to create robots that can disarm underwater explosives, keeping military personnel away from dangerous environments.

Katie Meyer / WITF

Protesters around Pennsylvania spent Wednesday urging the commonwealth’s Republican US senators and congressional representatives not to support a budget bill that routes significant dollars toward enforcing immigration laws—including $1.6 billion to build a wall on the Mexican border.

One group braved torrential rain to bring the message to Congressman Lou Barletta’s office in Harrisburg—and they even brought props.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

At this time last year, artist Baron Batch was facing backlash and $30,000 in fines and legal fees for illegal graffiti he left on several public areas.

PA Internet News Service

A drug ring that sold nearly $10 million worth of heroin and cocaine in Altoona and Johnstown is no longer operating following a bust on Monday.

Police arrested 16 people as part the “Dragon Heroin Pipeline,” which officials say were running drugs from Philadelphia to Blair and Cambria counties.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Nearly five weeks after adopting a $32 billion budget for this fiscal year, state lawmakers are still arguing over how to fund it—precisely, how to fill a $2 billion shortfall in revenues.

Matt Slocum / AP

Time is running out for motorists who have outstanding toll violations with the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

A partial toll amnesty program ends at 7 p.m. Friday.

Toll bills and violations newer than 60 days can be settled by paying the outstanding toll amount in full and other fees will be forgiven. Violations older than 60 days may be paid in full with a portion of the outstanding fees forgiven.

Pennsylvania Among States Suing EPA

Aug 2, 2017
Emma Lee / WHYY

At a news conference on the banks of the Schuylkill River, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday they're joining 14 other states — including Delaware — in suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its decision to delay the implementation of new, tougher standards for ozone in the air.

Matt Rourke / AP

A fund transfer lawmakers are proposing to help balance the state budget is causing some legal headaches.

The Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association—a group created in 1976 to insure healthcare providers—is saying the state is not authorized to take $200 million from its account.

It’s a conflict that first cropped up last year, when the cash-strapped legislature decided to move $200 million dollars from the JUA's surplus to the general fund.

The group said it was inappropriate, and filed suit.

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