News

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. 

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

State legislators approved multiple bills targeting opioid restrictions among the flurry of final pre-election activity. While Governor Tom Wolf said the four bills restricting opioid analgesic prescribing and improving doctor education shows that progress is being made, he said that “by no means are we across the finish line.”

Andrew Harnik / AP

Hillary Clinton will make another pre-election campaign stop in Pittsburgh this Friday. 

A press release from her campaign did not specify a time or location.

"At a public event, Clinton will lay out the high stakes of this election for Pennsylvanians as well as her vision for an America that is stronger together, with an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top," it read.

Matt Rourke / AP

Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Mike Pence focused on three key issues at a rally in Westmoreland County on Tuesday: security at home and abroad, growing the economy and U.S. Supreme Court nominations.

The Indiana governor graced the Westmoreland Community College mid-afternoon amid crowds of more than 800 people chanting “lock her up” and “drain the swamp.”

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

With one week until Election Day, Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey made an appearance at an empty Downtown Pittsburgh apartment to drum up support among millennials.

The apartment, located above Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room on 7th Street, attracted a few dozen supporters – about half appeared to be millennial aged.

Among Toomey’s young potential supporters was University of Pittsburgh student Joey Pickens. Though originally from Maryland, Pickens is registered to vote in Pennsylvania.

Priory Fine Pastries / Facebook

People express their political support in many ways, be it yard signs, T-shirts or even by painting their homes.

One local bakery has provided another option: cookies.

Priory Fine Pastries unveiled sugar cookies Tuesday bearing printed images of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump priced at $1.25 each.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Three years ago, Joel Johnson was thinking about getting out of contracting for a “more rewarding career,” but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. After a discussion with his brother Justin, they decided to focus on 3-D production.

They noticed that when it came to 3-D production tools, there was a gap between the stuff a weekend crafter would use and the machines a manufacturer would use.

Google Maps/ 90.5 WESA

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in an appeal that could decide whether Pittsburgh police officers have to live in the city.

In 2012, the state legislature passed Act 195, which said a municipality may require officers to live in city limits. The previous statute said cities shall have a residency requirement.

A year later, Pittsburgh voters passed a referendum requiring residency.

The Fraternal Order of Police argued residency falls under the category of “working conditions” and is subject to collective bargaining.

Bon Secours

UPMC is continuing its overseas growth with an announcement this month that it's opening a second cancer center in Ireland. The health care provider opened the Whitfield Cancer Center in Waterford, Ireland 10 years ago. The second effort will be a joint venture with Bon Secours in Cork, Ireland.

McGinty, Toomey Spar Over How To Deal With Gun Violence

Nov 1, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP

Following the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey won praise from Democrats by putting his name on a bill, the Toomey-Manchin amendment, which would have required a background check on all gun sales.

“I worked with my colleagues. I actually wrote my own bill,” Toomey said. “I worked with (Maine Senator) Susan Collins who had a bi-partisan bill. There were only a handful of Republican votes for it, but I was one of them.”

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Dana Ash, 59, of Morningside has voted in every presidential election of the last 40 years. She said she considers herself an Independent and has voted for Republicans in congressional, state and local races, but never in presidential races. This year is no different.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is home to many sports firsts: the Pittsburgh Pirates participated in the first Major League World Series, the city was the first to have a retractable dome stadium and the Steelers were the first to win six Super Bowls.

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