News

Andrew Harnik / AP

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton drew thousands outside the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning on Monday.

“I’m here to ask you to vote for yourselves, vote for your families, vote for your futures, vote for the issues that matter to you because they are on the ballot, not just my name and my opponent’s name,” she said.

Clinton asked supporters to consider volunteering in the next 24 hours to get as many people to the polls as possible.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Among the gauntlet of campaign workers looking to sway voters before casting their ballots at Northmont United Presbyterian Church in McCandless Tuesday will be Mary Lou English and her glass jars of soup.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Tim Stevens waited inside the Meineke auto repair shop in Larimer for his car’s tune up, just in time for Election Day. He sorted through bags of flyers that he had taken out of the backseat of his car.

“Get Out and Vote!” and “Roll to the Polls” were printed on the neon orange papers.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County is on track to see a record number of fatal drug overdoses involving fentanyl in 2016. According to the Medical Examiner’s office, 114 overdose victims have been found to have the highly potent opioid in their systems, just eight shy of last year’s all-time record.

The prevalence of fentanyl among overdose victims has skyrocketed over the last three years. In all of 2013, just eight fatal overdoses involved fentanyl.

AP

 

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump will spend the last day of the campaign in Pennsylvania.

Trump will hold a rally at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Lackawanna College Student Union in Scranton. Clinton will stop at the University of Pittsburgh for a noon rally before traveling to a rally in Philadelphia Monday night.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

From Philadelphia to Erie, Pittsburgh to Scranton, ride-sharing services can now operate legally, and permanently, in Pennsylvania. But when Governor Wolf signed the regulation into law, something was missing—a proposal that would have allowed municipalities across the state to collect 1 percent of gross receipts from ride-sharing companies Uber, Lyft, and in Pittsburgh, zTrip.

90.5 WESA

It’s a season of change. Soon, we’ll know who our next president is and which party will control the Senate. Change is also coming to 90.5 WESA. Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson is leaving for a new job in nonprofit communications.

His last day is Tuesday.

“It’s been my honor, it’s been my pleasure to be with you in the morning,” he said.

Dividing Lines: How PA's Elections Really Are Rigged

Nov 6, 2016
Lindsay Lazarski / Keystone Crossroads

In the months leading up to the 2016 election, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly made claims that the election is rigged. In a way, he’s right. Only the rigging happens long before anyone casts a ballot on Election Day and in most places it’s completely legal.

Gerrymandering is the age-old practice that’s made many teenagers’ eyes glaze over in high school civics class. In case you need a refresher, it’s the process of drawing election districts to give one political party — Republican or Democrat — an advantage over the other. 

How To Know If You're Being Intimidated At The Polls

Nov 5, 2016
Tony Gutierrez / AP

 

Lots of people will be heading to the polls Tuesday, especially this year. But if someone tries to block a voter from entering a polling place or aggressively tries to persuade them to vote for a particular candidate, Pennsylvania law says that’s not OK.

“It’s all based on the important safeguard that voters should be able to exercise their vote, vote their conscience, without unwanted, unmerited distraction including intimidation or any form of persuasion one way or the other,” said Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Steelers legends, city and union leaders and working man rock icon Donnie Iris flanked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as she addressed scores of supporters in the Great Hall at Heinz Field on Friday.

"I have a lot of ideas; I could keep you hear until the game starts on Sunday," Clinton said.

Dad Who Got Video Of Lifeless Son Charged With Endangerment

Nov 4, 2016
Allegheny County Police

A Pennsylvania man was arrested on child endangerment charges because he didn't call 911 after the mother of his two children threatened to kill them and sent him videos of his son's lifeless body during two hours' worth of angry text messages, police said.

Andre Price Jr., 23, of McKeesport, was jailed without bond early Friday on two counts — one each for 17-month-old Andre III, and a 2-year-old daughter, Angel.

Full Interview With U.S. Senate Candidate Katie McGinty

Nov 4, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP

With the exception of the presidential campaigns, the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Pat Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty is the most expensive in the country. The matchup is being closely watched because it’s one that could tip the balance of power in the senate in favor of the Democrats. 90.5 WESA’s Paul Guggenheimer talked with Katie McGinty about where she stands on issues including the economy, gun control, foreign policy, energy and the environment.

Full Interview With U.S. Senate Candidate Pat Toomey

Nov 4, 2016
Jared Wikerham / AP

With the exception of the presidential campaigns, the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Pat Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty is the most expensive in the country. The matchup is being closely watched because it’s one that could tip the balance of power in the Senate in favor of the Democrats. 90.5 WESA’s Paul Guggenheimer talked with Toomey about where he stands on some of the issues including the economy, gun control, foreign policy, energy and the environment.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Black Pittsburgh Public students are far behind their white counterparts regardless of economic status, according to a report from Greenways Strategy Management.

Lead consultant Martha Greenway told school board members this week that the disparity was the most critical issue the district faces.

Nationally, there isn’t often a gap in achievement between black and white students who are economically disadvantaged, she said.

Candy time may be over but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are battling their post-Halloween sugar highs and are here to let you know about all the fun events going on this weekend, with a side of magic.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program.

Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

The Confluence broadcasts live from Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation. As the 2016 election season winds down a panel of journalists join us to discuss the presidential and senate races. We’ll also examine how the media has covered the elections.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Every Friday during the school year, Moira Kaleida gathers a group of volunteers at Pittsburgh Montessori School in Bloomfield to fill backpacks with food for students to take home over the weekend.

“We know that 62 percent of kids in Pittsburgh Public Schools are economically disadvantaged, so this came out of the need to make sure kids have food on the weekends,” Kaleida said.

The kids usually get two lunches, two breakfasts and some snacks tucked inside their backpacks.

Why Reimagining The Ohio River Could Be Critical To The Region's Future

Nov 4, 2016
Jeremy stump / Flickr

Standing in downtown Pittsburgh, you can see where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet to form the headwaters of the Ohio River. 

Rick Bowmer / AP

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8 and there’s no need to head to the polls clueless. WESA has a handy guide the help you through it.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

This week, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a series of bills aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic in the state but the legislature let several bills expire without a vote.

Allegheny County Department of Health Director Karen Hacker said she supports the actions of the state in general, but she would like to see more done to combat the opioid epidemic.

Among the laws passed, Hacker said she is most interested in a bill calling for more education for medical professionals on safe opioid prescribing.

Richard Pedroncelli / ap

The Allegheny County Board of Health has placed e-cigarettes under nearly all of the same regulations as traditional cigarettes when it comes to use indoors. The vote Wednesday came after a series of speakers asked for the policy to be rejected.

Former smoker Dale Ray spoke in opposition to the regulations. He said he had diminished lung function due to his smoking habit. He said tried to quit smoking several times but it never stuck until he tried e-cigarettes.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

A few weeks ago in Ambridge, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wrapped up his speech with a request for Pennsylvanians to not just vote, but to monitor others.

“[It’s] so important that you watch other communities,” Trump said. “Because we don’t want this election stolen from us.”

Ohio River Communities Are Still Coping With Teflon's Toxic Legacy

Nov 3, 2016
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Fore more than half a century, the chemical company DuPont provided jobs for thousands of people along the Ohio River. One chemical they produced is PFOA, commonly known as C8. It was a remarkably useful compound—used in “Teflon” non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics and even some food wrappers.

McGinty And Toomey Agree On Fracking, But Not Regulations

Nov 3, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP

Among several key issues that U.S. Senate candidates Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Katie McGinty sharply disagree on is how to produce energy, while protecting the environment. For example, McGinty supports fracking in Pennsylvania, but with increased regulations and a severance tax. Toomey is also pro-fracking, but wants to limit its regulation.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

The candidates looking to become the state’s next attorney general met for their third and final debate in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has assessed a contractor more than $3 million in damages because a major Pittsburgh bridge was wholly or partially shut down for 24 days after a construction fire.

PennDOT says a spark from a blowtorch ignited plastic piping and a construction tarp on the Liberty Bridge on Sept. 2.

Contractor Joseph B. Fay Co. says it hopes to negotiate a lower amount of "liquidated damages" that accounts for the "hard work" the company did to limit the bridge closure and put the project back on schedule.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Five new Pennsylvania laws are now in place to address the state's opioid addiction and abuse problem, including limits on how much can be prescribed in an emergency room or issued to children .

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Sage Arnold, 13, is not a big fan of this year’s election.

“When I was little I watched one of the debates between Obama and Mitt Romney,” he said. “I couldn’t really understand a lot of it, but it sounded really civilized and mature.”

Iran Nuclear Deal Divides Toomey And McGinty

Nov 2, 2016
Jared Wickerham / AP

It’s been just more than a year since the Iran Nuclear Deal was signed. The controversial agreement between Iran, the United States and five other world powers puts limits on many of Iran’s nuclear programs in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. It’s one of the foreign policy issues on which U.S. Senate candidates Pat Toomey and Katie McGinty strongly disagree.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

When Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 and 2012, some credited his success, at least in part, to his use of Twitter.

This election, the short-length video platform Snapchat, first released in 2011, could help tip the scales for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. 

Pages