News

GOP Accuses Justice Of Bias In Bid To Save Election Map

Feb 2, 2018
WHYY

Pennsylvania legislative Republican leaders say a Democratic justice's comments about gerrymandering should require him to remove himself from a case challenging the state's congressional district map.

Keith Srakocic / AP

There are sports rivalries, and then there are teams that Pittsburgh fans love to hate.

Black Tech Nation

Kelauni Cook wants to address every inch of the pipeline for black technology professionals.

Democratic Party Chair Resigns Under Pressure From Wolf

Feb 2, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's Democratic Party chairman says he's acceding to Gov. Tom Wolf's request that he resign in the wake of his comments to a columnist about the party's responses to sexual misconduct allegations against politicians.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A 1.2-mile stretch in the heart of Beechview is slated for an overhaul. The hope is that the Broadway Avenue Public Realm project will make the neighborhood safer, more beautiful and reinvigorate the business district.

Matt Rourke / AP

*Updated at 5:26 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2.

With at least 18 state House republicans and four GOP senators likely leaving their seats this year, Pennsylvania's legislative races could be a goldmine for democrats.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog foresees no early end to winter.

Punxsutawney Phil's handlers announced Friday the weather prognosticator saw his shadow.

Legend has it if the furry rodent casts a shadow on Feb. 2, Groundhog Day, expect six more weeks of winter-like weather.

Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill just outside of Punxsutawney. That's about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Spectators bundled up and bopped to music amid the camp and kitsch with the temperature around 11 degrees.

Sex Misconduct Suit Against State Reveal Litany Of Abuse

Feb 2, 2018
Emily Previti / Keystone Crossroads

Sexual misconduct lawsuits filed against Pennsylvania state government over the last decade document a litany of lurid and abusive behavior.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

The first medical marijuana dispensary in southwest Pennsylvania opened its doors Thursday.

Governor Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf visited Point Park University Thursday afternoon to seek public input on creating a less partisan congressional map. 

Matt Rourke / AP

The University of Pennsylvania has announced plans to distance itself from casino mogul Steve Wynn and comedian Bill Cosby in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against both men.

Keith Srakocic / AP

 Injured Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is going home.

Shazier was released from the hospital on Thursday, nearly two months after suffering a spinal injury in a victory over Cincinnati. The Pro Bowler underwent spine stabilization on Dec. 6 and while he was able to travel a bit, including visiting team practices and making appearances at Heinz Field for games, he returned to the hospital each evening.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says Shazier will transition to an outpatient therapy program.

Cliff Owen / AP

Vice President Mike Pence is coming to help raise money in a congressional election in southwestern Pennsylvania widely viewed as a test of whether Republicans can stave off Democratic gains this year.

Pence is scheduled to appear Friday at a rally and fundraiser for Rick Saccone. He's a 59-year-old Republican state representative and retired Air Force intelligence officer running in the March 13 special election to replace Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned last year in a scandal.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Rebounding prices for natural gas and a growth in new wells exploring Pennsylvania's vast Marcellus Shale reservoir are fueling a recovery in fee revenue for state programs and county and municipal governments.

The Independent Fiscal Office projected Wednesday that impact fee collections for 2017 will be just above $219 million, $46 million more than 2016's low point of $173 million.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order for the state legislature to draw a new congressional map has raised conflict of interest questions for at least six state lawmakers running for U.S. Congress.

The State Senate decided Wednesday that members of the chamber who are candidates are allowed to vote on legislation related to the first step of the map-making process.

So far, State Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair) is the only member of the Senate committed to running.

Matt Slocum / AP

A Roman Catholic bishop has issued some guidelines on how his 78 parishes in four southwestern Pennsylvania counties should deal with flu and the Mass.

Greensburg Bishop Edward Malesic on Wednesday encouraged parish leaders to promote prudent and beneficial practices.

Priests should eliminate the practice of exchanging the sign of peace, or tell parishioners to do so without making physical contact. Communion should not be distributed from the chalice and if using a chalice, parishioners who are ill or fear they are becoming ill should not receive it.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A solar panel that arrives in the United States from overseas now comes with a higher price tag.

President Donald Trump last week imposed a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels. The move comes at the request of U.S. solar manufacturers, who seek a level playing field amid competition from places like China, where the government subsidizes solar manufacturing.

Great Lakes Islanders Band Together To Get Through The Winter

Feb 1, 2018
Lisa Brohl

There are about 32,000 islands in the Great Lakes. Most are uninhabited. But for those who live year-round on about 30 of them, it can be an isolating experience. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Top Senate republicans are refusing to hand over congressional district data to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Google

A small explosion in a lab at science complex at the University of Pittsburgh prompted a brief evacuation, officials said Wednesday.

University spokesman Joe Miksch said the blast happened at about 2:45 p.m. in the Life Sciences Annex in the Clapp, Langley and Crawford Hall complex, which houses the biological sciences and neuroscience department. 

Andrew McAfee / Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Mansourasaurus shahinae was a long-necked, plant eating dinosaur that lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 80 million years ago, and its discovery is disrupting a major theory in the field of paleontology.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has sent letters to 2,500 residential customers warning of an impending shut-off.

Women Show Operating Snowplow Isn't Just A Man's Job

Jan 31, 2018
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Two former bus drivers have shifted gears to drive and operate snowplow trucks for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Krisa Walls of Georges Township was looking for a job to bring in a second income into her home when she decided to apply. The stay-at-home mom raised three children over 20 years, and her last job was driving a school bus.

"I wanted something with steady pay and benefits, and I couldn't really find anything around here," Walls said.

Browsing online, she saw the state Department of Transportation was looking for snow plow operators.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Pennsylvania State Police are asking for donated horses to join a Hershey-based mounted patrol unit.

The agency on Wednesday issued a call for geldings between 5 and 15 years old. Officials say draft horses or draft-crosses are preferable.

The 26-horse unit performs searches, crowd control, security and patrols, as well as participates in parades and similar events.

Horses have to be at least 16 hands tall, which is 5 feet 4 inches at the shoulder, and can't be 18 hands or larger.

They must be able to be safely housed with others horses in a stable.

Philly Congressman Brady Won't Seek Another Term

Jan 31, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady of Philadelphia will not seek another term in Congress, giving up the seat he's held for two decades, his office said Wednesday.

Brady revealed the news to reporters and Democratic Party ward leaders in Philadelphia, his hometown and the city where he has been the longtime Democratic Party leader.

Mango, Wagner Put Millions In Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Run

Jan 31, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Republican gubernatorial candidates Paul Mango and Scott Wagner are donating heavily to their campaigns, putting up millions of dollars for the right to challenge Pennsylvania's Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in the November election.

Wednesday is the deadline for campaigns to report how they raised and spent money last year.

Mango, a former health care systems consultant, reports $5.5 million in the bank as of Dec. 31 after spending $2.9 million. Mango gave himself $6.7 million and reported a $1 million loan from a private equity executive.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh residents filled City Council chambers Tuesday night to hear recommendations on how to restructure the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and provide feedback. The meeting was convened by the mayoral panel tasked with directing the authority’s reorganization.

Matt Rourke / AP

A week into the three-week period the state Supreme Court allotted lawmakers to redraw Pennsylvania’s congressional maps, not much concrete progress has been made.

Jessica Hill / AP

Two dental clinics in northern Pennsylvania have reduced hours due to the instability of federal funding.

Keystone Rural Health Consortia operates the clinics in Elk and Cameron counties. The Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers said KRHC is one of 50 community health centers in the state.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III, seen as a rising political star with a famous last name, will deliver the Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union. In announcing their decision, Democratic leaders in Congress called Kennedy a "relentless fighter for working Americans." Kennedy is the grandson of the late Robert Kennedy, the former U.S. attorney general and New York senator who was assassinated in 1968. He is also the great nephew of both the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy and the late president John F. Kennedy.

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