News

Colton Point State Park / dcnr.state.pa.us

Bicyclists exploring northern Pennsylvania’s scenery along Route 6, the state’s longest highway segment, can soon expect changes.

This month, PennDOT will collaborate with the departments of Conservation and Natural Resources and of Community and Economic Development to find ways to make the route safer and more accessible for bike riders. 

Bill Rand / Flickr

City officials are slated to receive $1.2 million in reimbursement funds six months after the federal government first pledged to support redevelopment along the corridor of Forbes and Fifth avenues in Uptown.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 FM WESA

Students at Avonworth School District’s Primary Center had a chance every week to gather in an empty classroom to create anything from battery-powered cars to catapults. Then, one day, a few students came to kindergarten teacher Maureen Frew with a teeny request. 

We Want To Hear About Your Favorite Teacher

May 2, 2016
Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr

Who was the best teacher you ever had? And what made him or her so great?

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An interim leader started work Monday at Pittsburgh’s state financial oversight board, taking over for an outgoing director who’s currently under investigation for the loss or destruction of fiscal records.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh remains on a fairly solid financial footing, according to a new report from the city controller's office, adding about $16 million to its coffers in 2015.

But Controller Michael Lamb said obligatory spending -- such as pensions, employee benefits and long-term debt -- still accounts for almost half of the city's yearly budget.

“It’s hard to make ends meet and do the things you need to do as a city when 46 percent of your budget is taken right out on those three items,” Lamb said.

daveynin / Flickr

Federal programs are capitalizing on training and development for veterans re-entering an already booming workforce.

But despite the options, Eric Eversole, president and senior advisor of the national Hiring Our Heroes initiative, said it can still be tough for former service men and women to find a meaningful career

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

 An advocacy group focused on bankrolling conservative candidates for the state Legislature is flexing its muscles after the Pennsylvania primary.

The Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania, commonly referred to as CAP, has run afoul of top Republican lawmakers for its “purist” views opposing organized labor and eschewing lawmaker perks, like pensions. But being likened to dictators hasn’t slowed CAP down.  

rumpleteaser / Flickr

Jenny Stalnaker, her husband, and their 3-year-old son Townes spend a good two hours cleaning their house every night before bed. 

nps.gov

The National Park Service celebrates its centennial Aug. 25 and more people are making a point to visit. 

A new report shows that 9.9 million people who stopped at Pennsylvania’s 19 national parks and historic sites spent $453 million dollars last year. That’s an increase of 14.7 percent from a year earlier, but still five percent lower than 2013.

Keith Newlin, deputy superintendent for the National Park Service in Western Pennsylvania, said 31 percent of the revenues came from lodging.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Many of the men who met in an empty storefront between Guntown Vape and Nice Ink Tattoo on Canonsburg's West Pike Street last week had visible tattoos and closely shaved heads.

They were armed with a rainbow of rubber bands and brightly-hued hair brushes, while Joe Cafeo taught them how to fashion the perfect ponytail and braid.

After 36 Years, KDKA Newsman Harold Hayes Signs Off

May 2, 2016
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Following a 36 year long career serving the Pittsburgh community as a reporter for KDKA-TV, Harold Hayes signed off for the last time this past Friday.  During his career, Hayes covered a wide-range of stories including Pope John Paul II’s funeral, Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia and a visit from the Grand Dragon of the KKK to Pittsburgh. 

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Volunteers from Tree Pittsburgh handed out 1,000 saplings to Pittsburgh-area residents for Arbor Day on Friday afternoon.

Patty Proneker, a secretary from Kennedy Township, said she and her friend picked up a pair of pawpaw trees to plant in her side yard.

“I’ve never heard about it, so I’m really interested in this," Proneker said. "(The volunteer) said that it’s like a tropical fruit, so it’s like an avocado – and I just heard that they’re very good for you – and a mango. And my mom loves mangoes, so it’s going to work perfect.”

John Marino / Flickr

Most of the people running the Pittsburgh Marathon this weekend don’t know who Jimi Miller is. But for some, he provides a much-needed boost of energy along the route.

Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon / Facebook

Running shorts will replace lab coats this weekend as 10 UPMC doctors take to the course at the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon this Sunday as part of an initiative to ensure runner safety.  Dr. Ron Roth, the Pittsburgh Marathon’s medical director and Dr. Aaron Mares, assistant medical director for the marathon, joined Essential Pittsburgh to discuss this innovative approach.

Pittsburgh Sewer and Water Authority

In 2014, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority changed the treatment chemical used to prevent the corrosion of lead pipes, which keeps the toxic metal from leaching into drinking water.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said the switch—from soda ash to caustic soda—posed no threat to public health, but the DEP has cited PWSA for not clearing the change with the agency first, as is required by the state's safe drinking water regulations.

Virginia Alvino / 90.5 WESA

At a hearing Thursday, the Affordable Housing Task Force presented its recommendations to protect low-income housing options in Pittsburgh to City Council members.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Members of the Port Authority of Allegheny County board unanimously approved a measure to adopt a flat fare system by doing away with the three-zone system Friday. 

Scott Deutsch / Twitter

 

The state Department of Environmental Protection says a man who was burned after a natural gas explosion at a Pennsylvania pipeline complex was in a home that caught fire nearby.

Flames shot into the sky Friday morning when officials say an explosion traced to a 36-inch natural gas pipeline occurred at a facility owned by Texas Eastern Transmission.

Company officials shut off the pipeline, but not before the fire burned an area nearby in Salem Township.

    It’s "Take Your Child To Work Day" and Josh Raulerson’s adorable kids have stopped by to help WESA’s Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel bring you Social Club. 

These kids. We can’t. They are too cute. We’re dying.

Okay, let’s compose ourselves and deliver you some events.

Matt Rourke / AP File Photo

The state’s top fiscal watchdog says another budget impasse would lead to a “backdoor tax increase” in Pennsylvania.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Thursday that if lawmakers and the governor allow another lengthy budget stalemate to take place without “dealing” with the state’s projected structural deficit, the commonwealth will receive another credit downgrade, hiking the cost of borrowing.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Building owners in downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland are ahead of sustainability goals set as part of the Pittsburgh 2030 District initiative.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

The days of an individual doctor hanging out a shingle and offering a general family practice are all but gone. The new norm is that your primary care physician is part of a multi-doctor practice. It’s also more likely than not that those doctors have either already hired a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant, commonly referred to as physician extenders, or they are considering making such a move.

“I find that the PA (physician assistant) generally gives you a lot of time,” said Jeff Phillips of McCandless.  Phillips said until recently he never saw a PA, but now almost exclusively sees a PA when he visits his doctor’s office. “So far so good.”

Keith Srakocic / AP Images

During a presentation at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Environmental Law Forum in Harrisburg earlier this month, Range Resources Vice President of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Terry Bossert said that the company tries to position gas wells away from larger, nice looking homes.

While Bossert later claimed that the statement was an example of “dry sarcasm,” Patrick Grenter, executive director of the Center for Coalfield Justice, and Joanne Kilgour, director of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club, say that it is all too true. Bossert later issued an apology for his comments.

Alastair Muir

Igor Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress premiered in 1951, one of the last major works of his neoclassical period. The renowned Russian composer had long since left behind the avant-garde style of his earlier works, like Firebird and The Rite of Spring, and moved toward a more conservative sound.

Pittsburgh Opera Music Director Antony Walker said during this middle period of his career, Stravinsky looked to the past for inspiration.

Port Authority of Allegheny County

After thousands of public transit riders clamored for an easier-to-use system, the Port Authority of Allegheny County is now poised to get rid of its multi-zone fare structure.

A Friday morning board vote will decide whether the authority will adopt a flat fare system for 2017.

For now, riders pay $2.50 for each bus trip, and they have to pay an extra $1.25 if their routes cross the boundaries of PAT’s inner and outer zones.

If the changes go through, zones would be a thing of the past.

Kristi Jan Hoover / City Theatre

We'll go between the lines of City Theatre's four person on court drama that unfolds during the course of a tennis match between an aging American champion who is a cross between Pete Sampras and Tim Mayotte and a fiery young Russian. We'll talk with actors Danny Binstock and JD Taylor who portray the two players at the center of the story.

Erica Dilcer / heatherkropf.com

When talking about working on the album “Chrysalis,” producer Jeff Berman sounds like he’s describing a painting.

“Sculpting out the motion of the piece,” Berman said. “The overtones of that piano. The way that interacted with the rhythm section and helped us sculpt the landscape, we created a musical environment for that tune. The guitars add another part that would add a certain internal motion.”

Mayor Peduto Discusses ICA, PWSA And Twitter BFF 'Guster'

Apr 28, 2016
Keith Srakocic / AP Images

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto makes his monthly visit to the program. We'll ask him about the state Department of Environmental Protection's decision to cite the PWSA for making an unapproved modification to its drinking water treatment process. We'll also discuss the recent comings and goings at the ICA, and his possible duet with Guster.

Charlie Neibergall / AP

Well, of course. But it's been a long time.

Pennsylvania has become a fairly solid blue state since then-candidate George H. W. Bush won the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, but that didn’t stop GOP hopeful Donald Trump from winning a substantial number of votes on Tuesday.

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