12:11 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Walmart Approval Upsets Some McCandless Residents

After a town meeting had to be moved to accommodate the 300 strong crowd, after five hours of debate and testimony, after a 90 day delay proposal, McCandless Town Council has approved an application by Walmart to build a superstore.

But many of the residents in McCandless are still fighting the approval of the 150,000-square-foot Walmart which will be built on Blazier Drive, just off of McKnight Road.

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Government & Politics
7:58 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Property Reassessments for Tax Bills Inspire Big Drama in Pennsylvania

Braddock Borough Council President Tina Doose.
Credit Irina Zhorov / 90.5 WESA

Property taxes are considered a relatively stable, easy-to-collect tax. In many states government officials conduct regular property reassessments, which help calculate accurate tax bills, without much to do. Not so in Pennsylvania, where reassessments can cause upheaval and dramatic political wrestling matches.

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Government & Politics
7:51 am
Tue July 29, 2014

'In Sync' with Wolf, Stack Absolves Himself of Opinions

For candidates vying to be the governor’s number two, denying one’s own policy platform is part of the process.

Mike Stack, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, said Monday he’ll march in lockstep with his de facto running mate, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful and York County businessman Tom Wolf.

There isn’t much daylight between the priorities of Mike Stack and Tom Wolf. Even so, Stack is distancing himself from prior votes and campaign stances during his four terms as a state senator representing Philadelphia.

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Public Safety
3:30 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Pittsburgh Firefighters Receive Grant to Improve Safety Training

Firefighters are responsible for keeping the public safe from a variety of hazards, but how do these emergency responders keep themselves safe?

The city of Pittsburgh's Bureau of Fire was recently awarded a $571,500 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Authority to further train the city’s firefighters.

The money will be used to bring every firefighter in the bureau up to the same level of safety training, said Public Safety Department spokeswoman Sonya Toler.

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Liquor Permits
3:29 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Some Lawmakers Say 'Pop-Up Gardens' Take Advantage of Liquor Laws

“Pop-up gardens” are stretching the intent of laws that regulate liquor catering permits, say some PA lawmakers.

Liquor license holders that cater to weddings, company celebrations, non-profit fundraisers, and other events rely on off-premise permits to serve alcohol at various locations. However, some Philadelphia liquor-license holders are taking advantage of these permits to set up semi-permanent bars dubbed “pop-up gardens” that sell liquor ten hours a day, seven days a week.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:20 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Pennsylvania Roads Take Slow Steps to Prep for Faster Driving

A speed limit 70 miles sign along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in 1942. The limit has since decreased to 65 mph, and 55 mph in some areas, but that can soon change.
Credit Ann Rosener / Library of Congress/Wikipedia

These topics air Tuesday July 29, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Speed Limit Increase

The Pennsylvania Turnpike recently debuted a 70 mph speed limit from Blue Mountain exit 201, to Morgantown exit 298. While the area stretches from the center of the state to the east, after a trial period, the speed limit increase will soon be coming to Western PA's interstate roads. With a speed limit of 70 mph already in Ohio and West Virginia, is it about time for PA to match up with neighboring states? Renee Vid Colborn, Manager of Media and Public Relations at the PA Turnpike Commission and State Senator Jay Costa address the pros and cons of an increased speed limit for area highways.

A Church Divided

This week marks the 100th anniversary of Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia, setting off a chain reaction that resulted in the outbreak of World War I. While America remained neutral, Germany came to Austria's defense, which put Germans in Pittsburgh in a difficult position, and directly affected a downtown church on Smithfield Street. Historian Donn Neal joins us to talk about how life forever changed for the German Evangelical Protestant Church now known as the Smithfield United Church of Christ, Downtown.

WESA Celebrates- Dr. Bill Neches' Heart Camp for Kids

For one special week, Camp Kon-o-Kwee is taken over by a group of very excited campers. All these campers have at least one thing in common: They’re growing up with congenital heart disease. Founded 24 years ago by Dr. Bill Neches, Heart Camp for Kids is a summer camp specifically for children and teenagers living with heart disease. Dr. Neches and the Heart Camp for Kids are profiled this week as part of 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference. 

The Business of Millennials

In the next decade the economy will experience one of the largest demographic workplace changes in modern history. By the year 2025 Millennials will make up approximately 75% of the U.S. workforce, and worldwide this generation will account for 50% of those employed. This week contributor, Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, looks at the The Business of Millennials.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:24 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Poor Health: As the Region's Healthcare Industry Grows, Charitable Care is Hard to Find

With eleven Pittsburgh hospitals closing in the first decade of the 21st century, it's becoming even more difficult for people to get all healthcare aspects in one place.
Credit Connor Tarter / Flickr

One quarter of Pittsburgh area hospitals closed in the first decade of the 21st Century, drastically reducing the amount of charitable care available to the poor. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Sean Hamill looks at the implications in his two-part series "Poor Health."

Hamill spent a good deal of time speaking to people in clinic waiting rooms, he says while these people know where they can possibly see a doctor, they are only seen for five minutes. Hamill says hospitals were not like this years ago.

“The big advantage to the hospitals that existed before they were torn down…was, once you came in for something more severe than a cold, it might require some specialty care, some diagnostics care, you could get that all within the same hospital. They would keep you there, they would do the triage you required through an emergency room, but they would also make sure you got that next level of care.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:13 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

College Students Still Struggling with Math and Writing

Studies show freshmen are still struggling with math and writing skills upon entering college.
Credit Scott Akerman / Flickr

A great deal of concern is given to young children being ready to learn once they begin attending elementary school. But what happens when those children grow up and are ready to attend college?

A study by the U.S. Department of Education finds one in four college freshmen lack reading and math skills for entry level-college work. This results in students needing to take at least one noncredit remedial class.

California University of Pennsylvania is working to reduce the amount of remedial help needed by students. Daniel Engstrom, associate provost in the Office of Academic Success at California University of Pennsylvania explains why more and more students are coming into college unprepared.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:06 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Bad Behavior in Sports: What Can Be Done?

Ray Rice is facing a two game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
Credit Keith Allison / Flickr

Bad behavior in sports might seem to be running rampant these days. With the two-game suspension given to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for domestic violence, many believe the sentence should have been stiffer.

Also, considering some of the bad behavior carried out by Russia, are they fit to host the 2018 World Cup? John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism at Penn State discussed recent bad behavior in sports.

In regards to backlash over only a two game suspension for Ray Rice’s domestic violence case, Affleck says it’s all about how the NFL approaches punishment.

“Roger Goodell has sort of divided things into sort of two frames of references. One is punishments for things that hurt the game, hurt competitiveness. The NFL is fairly consistent when it comes to things like that. It’s things like drug use,” Affleck explains.

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Public Safety
2:59 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Overall Crime Dropped in Pittsburgh in 2013, But Homicides and Rapes Increased

The overall crime rate in Pittsburgh for 2013 was reduced by 6.6 percent over 2012, according to the city’s Department of Public Safety. The drop is credited, primarily, to a decrease in property crimes.

Violent crime is down by 2.6 percent, but when broken down into categories, all violent crime categories, except for robbery, increased. Robbery dropped 15.8 percent over 2012.

The number of rapes is up, but a news release from the Department of Public Safety attributed the rise to the inclusion of male victims in the Uniform Crime Reporting definition of rape.  

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