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Mayoral Forum, May 9 at 7PM

Apr 24, 2017

 

90.5 WESA and The Incline will present a Mayoral forum at 7pm on May 9, 2017, featuring Mayor Bill Peduto and primary challengers, Rev. John Welch and City Council member Darlene Harris. It will be moderated by WESA's Mark Nootbaar and The Incline's Sarah Anne Hughes, and will be broadcast live on 90.5 WESA and wesa.fm.

Real Estate Investor To Challenge Casey In Pennsylvania's US Senate Race

Apr 24, 2017
Matt Slocum / AP

There's a new face in the crowd that's vying to challenge the re-election bid by Pennsylvania's Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.

Real estate investor Jeffrey Bartos announced Monday that he'll seek the Republican Party nomination to challenge Casey in 2018.

The 44-year-old Bartos lives in Montgomery County and has never run for office before.

Those already announcing their candidacy or filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission include Republican state Reps. Rick Saccone and Jim Christiana, Republican Andrew Shecktor and Libertarian Dale Kerns.

Chelsea Beck / NPR

Before his election, back in October, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out a 100 Day Action Plan. He called it his Contract With The American Voter. Among other things, it called for the full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, suspension of immigration from certain "terror-prone regions," and the lifting of "roadblocks" to let "infrastructure projects like the Keystone Pipeline move forward."

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Next to steel and Super Bowl championships, Pittsburgh is synonymous with three rivers. In the summer, the Three Rivers Arts Festival dominates downtown and the moniker is part of a number of companies in the region -- not to mention there used to be a stadium that bore the name.

But does the city technically have three distinct rivers?

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 fm WESA

Nearly 10 years ago, the manager of the Borough of Monaca started making the municipality a little more environmentally friendly. 

90.5 WESA's Mark Nootbaar spoke to Borough Manager Mario Leone how he started by getting a grant to convert all of the traffic signals to LED lights. 

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity. 

Mel Evans / 90.5 WESA

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller wants more control over how patients are billed for air ambulance services and is calling on the U.S. Senate to take action.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers rallied in Oakland Saturday, in a satellite to the larger March for Science taking place in Washington, D.C. The city hasn’t released official crowd estimates, but organizers said thousands attended the march.

 

The local march itself was short, just seven-tenths of a mile around the block that houses the Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus. Speeches, however, lasted more than an hour, as around a dozen scientists, academics and activists explained their work and its importance for people and the earth.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Penn State University has suspended the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity for two years for violating new, tighter alcohol rules during Parents' Weekend.

The new rules were imposed after the February death of a student at a pledge acceptance party hosted by another fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, which is permanently banned from campus.

University President Eric Barron says nine of the university's 82 fraternities and sororities violated at least one of the new rules, and Sigma Alpha Mu violated nearly all of them.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Just ahead of Earth Day, two dozen Pittsburgh nonprofit CEOs are calling on residents to lobby against a rollback of environmental laws at the federal level.

President Donald Trump has proposed cutting the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31 percent, as well as eliminating the clean power plan.

Susan Walsh / AP

Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets in Pittsburgh and cities around the world Saturday, as part of the March for Science.

The main march takes place in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall and coincides with Earth Day celebrations.

The organizers behind the national march say they are trying to bring attention to government “policies that ignore scientific evidence and endanger both human life and the future of our world.”

They’re also speaking out against proposed budget cuts for research.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburghers have long been fascinated with the mysterious, underground “fourth river.” As much as they gush about the three visible rivers, they’re often eager to tell you about the secret waterway beneath the Golden Triangle.

Sarah Kovash / 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 to take an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

Matt Rourke / AP

The demand for new apartments in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh has grown swiftly over the last few years. Developers have met that demand with a tremendous amount of construction, said Barbara Byrne Denham, senior economist at Reis, a real estate data and analytics company based in New York. 

Survivalist Who Ambushed Police Seeks To Avoid Death Penalty

Apr 20, 2017
Rich Schultz / AP

A survivalist who shot and killed a Pennsylvania State Police trooper and injured another in an ambush at their barracks will now fight for his own life following his conviction on capital murder charges.

Eric Frein, 33, was convicted Wednesday of all 12 charges he faced more than two years after targeting the state police in a late-night sniper attack.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

After long months of partisan debate over funding for Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation program, the legislature has passed a fix—of sorts.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Alcoa Corp. is moving its global headquarters back to Pittsburgh, where the 129-year-old company had been based until moving to New York City in 2006.

Alcoa has maintained offices in Pittsburgh and 10 employees will relocate from its New York headquarters when the move is made Sept. 1. Alcoa already has 205 employees in Pittsburgh who share a building with Arconic, a spinoff company created when Alcoa split off its mining, refining and aluminum businesses in November from businesses that make aluminum parts for aerospace, automotive and other industries.

Rogelio Solis / AP

The Senate Education Committee has advanced a bill that would give schools in Pennsylvania the option of allowing teachers and other staff to carry concealed guns.

Supporters say it’s a matter of letting schools make the safety decisions that fit them best, while opponents call it irresponsible and unnecessary.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

State House Republicans are attempting to chart a new course for liquor sales in Pennsylvania, pushing a traditionally state-run system further and further toward privatization.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

When the first Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week kicked off in 2012, there were about five craft breweries in Pittsburgh, including Penn Brewery, which planned the inaugural celebration.

Now, as the 2017 celebration prepares to kick off, there are closer to 35 breweries in the region. Eighteen of them are participating in the week-long celebration this year – the largest number so far. Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week Board President Brian Meyer said that’s fitting.

Kassia Janesch / National Aviary

Ever wonder what it’s like to experience flying the way a bird does?

It’s possible – sort of – with the National Aviary’s new virtual reality exhibit. It lets visitors get a feel for what it would be like to flap their wings through the sky.

While lying on a moveable platform, the user stretches out their arms across a mechanical wingspan, which they can flap during virtual flight. After an Aviary employee secures the headset and headphones, you’re off and soaring over New York City. 

Nam Y. Huh / AP

The NCAA will host more prestigious college tournaments in the Pittsburgh region over the next four years than any other, Visit Pittsburgh officials announced Wednesday.

The Steel City will welcome 22 events, from Division III men’s and women cross country regionals in 2020 to the 2021 Division I men’s hockey championship, dubbed the Frozen Four.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Like being the first person to leave tracks after a snowfall, a stretch of brand new pavement can incite glee, regardless of age.

Submitted / Victor Stanley

City-owned trash cans in Pittsburgh could soon tell public works when they need to be emptied.

The Peduto administration is asking city council to approve a $275,000 three-and-a-half year contract to add the technology to trash cans in parks and on sidewalks. The data would be sent to iPads issued to public works managers.

“The technology is going to tells us exactly what cans need to be emptied and instead of the truck running around eight hours a day, they’ll be able to do maybe just do two hours emptying litter receptacles,” Pittsburgh Public Works Director Jim Gable said.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, China is the fourth largest international trading partner for the Pittsburgh region, behind Canada, Mexico and Japan.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Several House committees held the latest in a string of hearings Monday about Governor Tom Wolf’s plan to consolidate four state agencies.

Many lawmakers expressed the same concerns they’ve been voicing for weeks—they want more details before they make any decisions.

The combination of the departments of Drugs and Alcohol, Aging, Human Services, and Health is considered the biggest agency merger the commonwealth has ever done.

Indiana County Republican Cris Dush voiced a common complaint—that it’s all moving way too fast.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Flowers from Easter services still adorned the altar at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oakland Tuesday, as nearly 2,000 mourners gathered to remember late Steelers chairman Dan Rooney.

University of Pittsburgh

Researchers and laboratory scientists are increasingly trying to move cells and nano-particles through smaller and smaller channels.

“You want to get fluid pumped through something that’s the width of your hair,” said Anna Balazs, University of Pittsburgh chemical and petroleum engineering professor. “So one of the challenges is first just how to pump fluid through and then how to direct particles … to a specific location.”

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Former President Barack Obama will be among the mourners attending the funeral of Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney.

Tuesday's Mass will be celebrated at St. Paul Cathedral in the city's Oakland section.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Over the last several years, three separate scandals involving three separate judges have hit the commonwealth’s Supreme Court.

These and other issues have prompted nonpartisan group Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts to release a report detailing the judicial discipline system’s shortfalls—and what the state can do to fix it.

The high-profile problems came one after another.

In 2013, Justice Joan Orie Melvin was found guilty of multiple felonies related to her use of state employees for campaign work.  

Keith Srakocic / AP

Americans who live in high-crime neighborhoods often get portrayed as anti-police, but an Urban Institute study released in February shows something different: strong respect for the law and a willingness to help with public safety.

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