News

Pages

Health
3:09 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Allegheny Health Network Now Offers Drug to Prevent Re-Clogging of Arteries

The Allegheny Health Network is the first health system in the Pittsburgh region to offer a new medication called Lutonix to help those suffering from peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Between 8 and 12 million people in the U.S. are affected by PAD - the hardening of the arteries from cholesterol and plaque buildup. It can obstruct blood flow, which could result in amputation or death if untreated.

Read more
Arts & Culture
6:30 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

Social Club for the Weekend of Nov. 28

What to do with yourself after a full day of binge eating and all-around excess? We suggest three more days of exactly the same thing. Let the Hunger Games begin!

Meanwhile, we begin a three-week-long harangue urging you to shop local this holiday season. A few options to get you started this weekend:

I Made It! Holiday Market

Sample the Market

Read more
Government & Politics
2:40 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

Between Corbett and Wolf, Medicaid Gets Caught in the Middle

Gov. Tom Corbett and Gov.-elect Tom Wolf are doing a bit of interregnum sparring over how to add hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians to the state's Medicaid rolls.

There's a simple question at the center of their disagreement: should the guy in charge push his policies, or defer to the new guy's preferences?

Wolf favors full Medicaid expansion, authorized by the federal health care overhaul and designed to open up federally-covered health care benefits to Pennsylvanians whose income is 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Read more
Science & Technology
2:29 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

CMU Celebrates 30 Years of the Self-Driving Car

The technology might be 30-years-old, but self-driving cars are still in their infancy, according to Carnegie Mellon University Professor Raj Rajkumar.

CMU’s College of Engineering last week threw a birthday bash for the self-driving car, which was “born” on campus in 1984.

“It was a moment to enjoy,” Rajkumar said.

Read more
Hunting
2:28 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

Threat of Chronic Wasting Disease Plagues Deer Hunting Season

As deer season approaches, hunters in Blair and Bedford counties will have to follow Pennsylvania Game Commission regulations intended to halt the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.

There are currently three Disease Management Areas (DMAs) in Pennsylvania, two of which are on deer farms in Adams and Jefferson counties. The other, in Blair and Bedford counties, is the biggest concern for the commission because it is in the free-ranging population, said Jeannine Fleegle, wildlife biologist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Read more
Government & Politics
3:30 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Advocates Eye Bank Settlement Money to Fight Blight

A housing advocate says Pennsylvania is falling behind neighboring states in its efforts to combat blight.

Nearly two years ago, the state passed legislation for what's called land banking — a set of new tools for cities and counties to grab up derelict properties and speed their return to productive use. Sometimes that means flipping houses, sometimes it means demolishing a structure to turn the plot into green space or storm water management.

Seven land banks have been established in the commonwealth, but a lack of funding has made the process slow-going.

Read more
Business
3:30 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Duquesne Prof: Black Friday Sales Not Quite What They Used To Be

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has long been perceived as the highest grossing shopping day of the year, when customers flock to shopping malls and department stores across the nation in search of deals and when shops' finances go from the red to the black.

But Audrey Guskey, associate professor of marketing at the Palumbo Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University, said times have changed.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
12:00 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Holiday Programming for Noon and 8pm

While the Essential Pittsburgh staff is busy spooning out the cranberry sauce, check out our holiday programming for November 27th and 28th
Credit Satya Murthy / Flickr

Essential Pittsburgh will be off the air November 27th and 28th. 90.5WESA will air the following special programming in its place:

From 11am to 1pm Thanksgiving Day:

"The Splendid Table’s Turkey Confidential," their annual live call-in show helping you get ready for the big meal. They'll even be playing bingo in the control room, play along!

From 8pm to 10pm: 

Third Coast International Audio Festival, Best of the Best 2014. It is a Thanksgiving tradition here at 90.5 WESA to play the year's most amazing stories from around the world. Best of the Best presents the winners of their 14th annual TC / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Innovative and insightful, the stories will engage, provoke, entertain, and transport listeners, proving that all you need to discover new worlds is... a little box and an antenna. 

For Friday at noon & 8pm:

We bring you Innovation Hub “Unwrapping the Future." Innovation Hub looks at how innovations are reshaping our holidays — altering approaches to travel, family gatherings, food, and more.

Read more
New to the Burgh
3:59 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Local Holiday Markets for Black Friday and Beyond

Santa's House in Market Square Downtown, part of the People's Gas Holiday Market
Brook Ward flickr

The holidays are rapidly approaching, so of course you’ve definitely started your gift shopping, right?

Never you fear, as the shopping season kicks off on Black Friday we’ve put together a list of the best local pop-up markets as part of our New to the ‘Burgh series. From the artisanal to the seasonal, to the brand-spanking-new, here’s a rundown of the most interesting markets gracing the Steel City with their presence over the next few months.

I Made It! Market

Read more
Government & Politics
3:04 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Airport Audit Recommends Increased Access to Retailers at Pittsburgh International

An audit of the retail operations at the Pittsburgh International Airport found that, overall, the prices are similar to what you’d find in non-airport retailers. Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner said the airport must adhere to a “street pricing” policy that dates back to when the facility opened and offered some of the only shopping in the area.

“Each year it’s typical that we find a number of items that are overpriced at the airport,” said Wagner, “this year’s included a Harley Davidson jacket, a pair of headphones and a few other items.”

Read more
Health
2:05 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Doctors Say Awareness Can Lower Infant Mortality Rate

Medical professionals and public officials are making their annual effort to raise awareness of the best ways to ensure infants' safety while they sleep.

Improper sleeping conditions put babies at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Doctors advise parents and other caregivers to place infants alone, on their backs, in an unadorned crib to avoid suffocation.

Read more
Community
2:03 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Hunters Encouraged to Donate Venison

As hunters prepare for the start of deer season on Monday, one group is making its annual pitch to remember Pennsylvania's hungry and donate part of their haul.

Hunters Sharing the Harvest collected nearly 100,000 pounds of donated venison last year for food pantries across the commonwealth.

Advocates say the need for venison is greater this year because of the rising cost of high-protein meats.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
1:50 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

What is the Future of the Shopping Mall?

Beyond internet shopping, there are many reasons why American shopping malls have a growing number of empty storefronts. Our economics contributor talks about the future of the mall.
Credit John Good / Flickr

We’re entering the holiday shopping season which is make or break time for many retailers. 

It wasn’t too long ago shopping malls were the center of shopping activity.

However, in recent years malls have been in decline. Here to look at the change in our shopping habits and address the future of malls is Brian O’Roark, a professor of economics at Robert Morris University.

Essential Pittsburgh
1:31 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Career Advice for Older Workers

Credit Dennis Matheson / Flickr

According to Gallup, workers aged 65 and older have seen a 3 point increase in their participation in the job market.

Fueled by a desire to keep working and the necessity to buttress their nest eggs, Boomers and Silent Generation workers are reframing our thoughts about work in retirement. Here to discuss how older workers can thrive on the job is independent career consultant, Sasha King.

Essential Pittsburgh
1:16 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

What to do About the Winter Workout Rut

Fitness contributor, Joe Vennare identifies some interesting ways to stay fit in the winter. For Joe, the key is "moving more and eating well."
Credit yuki55 / flickr

We all know exercise is good for us.

Trouble is, most of the time, fitness isn’t fun.

Some actually call it work; and boring work at that. Same gym. Same exercise machines. Same workout routine.

There has to be a better way and we’ve asked contributor Joe Vennare, co-founder of the fitness site Fittsburgh to help us out of the exercise rut.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:58 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: The Downfall and the Future of the Mall

Century III Mall on a Saturday. Malls all over the country are seeing a big decline in visitors. So what's the future of the American mall?
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5WESA

These topics air Wednesday November 26, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Shopping Malls in Decline

We’re entering the holiday shopping season which is make or break time for many retailers. It wasn’t too long ago shopping malls were the center of shopping activity. However, in recent years malls have been in decline. Here to look at the change in our shopping habits and address the future of malls is Brian O’Roark, a professor of economics at Robert Morris University.

Career Advice for Older Workers

According to Gallup, workers aged 65 and older have seen a 3 point increase in their participation in the job market. Fueled by a desire to keep working and the necessity to buttress their nest eggs, Boomers and Silent Generation workers are reframing our thoughts about work in retirement. Here to discuss how older workers can thrive on the job is independent career consultant, Sasha King.

Winter Workouts

We all know exercise is good for us. Trouble is, most of the time, fitness isn’t fun. Some actually call it work; and boring work at that. Same gym. Same exercise machines. Same workout routine. There has to be a better way and we’ve asked contributor Joe Vennare, co-founder of the fitness site Fittsburgh to help us out of the exercise rut. 

Read more
Remake Learning
4:30 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Art and Science Intersect at the Environmental Charter School's Thinking Lab

Tori Hogue (left) and Riley Wolynn, eighth graders at the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park, learn HTML in the school's Thinking Lab.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

On a recent Thursday morning at the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park, eighth graders Tori Hogue and Riley Wolynn are hacking web pages.

It's not "hacking" in the sense that often dominates headlines. The students are using a web program to inspect and manipulate websites, and in the process, learn HTML. 

Read more
Holiday Travel
4:04 am
Wed November 26, 2014

500K Vehicles Expected on PA Turnpike Today

If you will be traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike during this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, you’ll have company….lots of company.

The Turnpike Commission expects 2.7 million vehicles using the toll road from Tuesday until Monday December 1.

“The day before Thanksgiving is our single busiest travel holiday of the year,” says Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo. “We’re expecting more than a half million vehicles (Wednesday) across the turnpike system. “

Read more
Government & Politics
4:03 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Allegheny County 'Bans the Box'

Allegheny County has followed in the City of Pittsburgh’s footsteps and will no longer include a question about prior criminal convictions on its job applications starting in January.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said the policy increases the number of available applicants to fill county positions and gives those with prior convictions a fair shot at an interview.

Read more
Community
3:30 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Local Businesses Set for Small Business Saturday

Local business owners have high hopes heading into Small Business Saturday.

Across Pittsburgh, hundreds of locally owned restaurants and retailers are offering specials, events and giveaways the day after Black Friday to drive up sales as part of a movement launched by American Express in 2010 to get holiday shoppers out of the malls and into the mom and pop shops.

Audrey Guskey, an associate professor of marketing at Duquesne University, said the movement has gotten a lot of attention so far this year.

Read more
Community
7:52 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Protesters Gather In Downtown Pittsburgh To Voice Anger Over Ferguson Jury Decision

Protesters began the rally wth 4 1/2 minutes of silence, to represent the 4 1/2 hours Michael Brown's body laid on the street before being removed.
Liz Reid 90.5 WESA

“No justice, no peace, no racist police!” was the chant from more than 200 protesters outside the William S. Moorhead federal building in downtown Pittsburgh Tuesday afternoon.

Julia Johnson, with Pittsburgh for Justice, led the rally in which nearly a dozen speakers channeled their anger at a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Read more
Government & Politics
3:54 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Casey Calls for Passage of Bill Aimed at Increasing Food Bank Donations

As many families gear up for their Thanksgiving feasts, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is calling attention to those who are struggling to put food on their dinner tables.

Casey is pushing for passage of a bill that would expand and make permanent tax incentives for businesses that donate to food banks. Nearly 2 million Pennsylvania residents are food insecure.

Read more
Government & Politics
3:49 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Peduto's Proposed Budget Includes Storefront Renovation Spending Increase

To spur small business growth, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced Tuesday that his proposed 2015 budget will include a sharp increase in spending for storefront and streetface renovation, as well as business district support grants.

Renovation funds are proposed to jump from $75,000 to $360,000. Storefront renovation funds are matching grants of up to $5,000 used by businesses to improve aesthetics, while the streetface program provides businesses with $35,000 in forgivable loans in an attempt to revitalize struggling business districts.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
3:01 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

The Ferguson Decision: A Look at Relations Between Police and the Pittsburgh Community

As a community member and organizer, Tim Stevens, President of the Black Political Empowerment Project, gives his reaction to the grand jury's decision in Ferguson, MO. He also presents us with some historical perspective on community and police demonstrations in Pittsburgh.

Julia Johnson, a 22 year old social justice activist, says last night's announcement "reflects a larger problem with systemic racism and sets an ugly precedent.” She talks about the peaceful demonstrations being planned in Pittsburgh and the local issues that connect to this case.

President Obama's Monday night speech following the Ferguson decision touches emphasizes the need for a larger conversation about police and community interaction. 

Essential Pittsburgh
2:45 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

The Media’s Role in Ferguson

Credit Peter Kirkeskov Rasmussen / Flickr

We close our discussion of the Ferguson decision with Jeff Ritter, Department Chair of Communications at La Roche College. He explains how social media has been an amplifier of positive and negative information throughout the proceedings.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:29 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

The Ferguson Decision: An Update and Legal Analysis

Credit Light Brigading / Flickr

Demonstrations have been happening all over the country following a Missouri grand jury's announcement that it will not seek an indictment of police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Rachel Lippmann covered last night's announcement for St. Louis Public Radio and joins us for an update. David Harris, University of Pittsburgh School of Law Professor, explains why a grand jury was used and offers his thoughts on the prosecutor's approach.

Lippman says that Ferguson has been comparatively calm today after hours of demonstrations. She says that St. Louis police reported that demonstrations last night were the worst seen since the shooting occurred in August, with many shots fired and more than a dozen buildings burned to the ground.

Meanwhile, Harris explains that there were several different options for moving forward in the Ferguson case, but the prosecutor used the grand jury option in order to involve members of the community while simultaneously absolving himself of responsibility for making the decision.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:47 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Sharing Reactions to the Jury's Decision in the Michael Brown Case

Smoke fills the streets as some buildings are on fire after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests.
Credit AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

These topics air Tuesday November 25, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Demonstrations have been happening all over the country following the a Missouri grand jury's announcement that they will not seek an indictment of police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

We're devoting today's show to this topic and your reactions to the decision, with guest host Kevin Gavin. 

Rachel Lippmann covered last night's announcement for St. Louis Public Radio and joins us for an update.

Then we'll talk with David Harris, University of Pittsburgh School of Law Professor about why a grand jury was used, and his thoughts on the prosecutor's approach.

Tim Stevens, President of the Black Political Empowerment Project gives us his reaction as a community organizer, and some historical perspective on community and police demonstrations in Pittsburgh.

Julia Johnson, lead organizer and local social justice activist says last night's announcement "reflects a larger problem with systemic racism and sets an ugly precedent." She'll talk about the peaceful demonstration being planned for 2pm today at the federal building on Liberty Ave. and the local issues that connect to this case. 

We'll close with Jeff Ritter, Department Chair of Communications at La Roche College about how social media has been an amplifier of positive and negative information throughout the proceedings. 

Read more
Government & Politics
4:42 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Pittsburgh City Council Introduces Property Tax Hike Bill

Pittsburgh City Council on Monday introduced four bills related to 2015 property taxes, one of which would raise the tax rate by 0.5 mills to 8.06 mills.

That means the city will collect an additional 50 cents for every $1,000 a piece of real estate is worth.

“For a home worth $100,000, it’s about $40/year,” said Kevin Acklin, chief of staff to Mayor Bill Peduto.

Read more
Science & Technology
3:43 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

CMU Robot to Visit the Moon

"Andy" the moon rover, named after Andrew Carnegie, will go to the moon next year.
Jessica Nath 90.5

John Mann’s class project this semester will be sent to the moon next year.

The Carnegie Mellon University computer science student, along with about 30 other students, is taking part in a class called Mobile Robot Design that centers on constructing a moon rover named “Andy.”

Mann said the students are split into groups, each with a particular job.

“I primarily do software, particularly software related to driving Andy and getting and displaying information from Andy,” Mann said.

Read more
Health
3:24 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Medicare Changes Coming in 2015

Changes are coming to Medicare, the insurance plan for seniors and disabled, in 2015. This will affect the way physicians deliver care and the way patients receive care. 

Officials from the Pennsylvania Medical Society discussed some of the changes in a conference call on Monday. Providers will have to provide quality measure data or be penalized in 2015.

Mary Ellen Corum, the group’s director of practice support, said that this is an arduous process.

Read more

Pages