Public Safety
12:12 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Fight a Fire, Get a Tax Break

To attract more volunteer firefighters and emergency response volunteers across Pennsylvania, two state senators have introduced a bill that would offer a new incentive.

The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Sean Wiley (D-Erie) and Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), would give municipalities the power to give volunteer first responders a credit on their local earned income tax.

Each municipality would be allowed to determine the amount of the tax credit and guidelines of the program, including the number of calls a volunteer must answer and the level of training they must have.

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Arts & Culture
7:06 am
Fri April 18, 2014

A 17th Century Emoticon? CMU Professor Who Originated The 'Smiley' Responds

Credit Edward Everett Hale, 1904 (via Wikimedia Commons)

An online debate broke out earlier this week over two otherwise unremarkable lines in a 1648 poem by the English poet Robert Herrick:

Tumble me down, and I will sit / Upon my ruins, (smiling yet :)

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Life of Learning
3:30 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Pittsburgh-Area Students Tackle World Water Crisis

According to the United Nations, nearly 800 million people around the world don’t have access to clean water — a daunting challenge for political leaders, humanitarians and scientists, but it hasn’t stopped a group of Pittsburgh area students from working on a solution. 

”We actually didn’t realize how extensive it was until we did all of our research,” said Kambree Love, a junior at South Fayette High School.  

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90.5 WESA Celebrates
10:25 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Megs Yunn, Spreading Birthday Cheer All Year

Megs Yunn
Credit Debbi Casini Klein / 90.5 WESA

Read and listen to a story about Megs Yunn as part of a series honoring the individuals who make a difference in people’s lives: 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference.

Megs is spreading birthday cheer 365 days a year to homeless kids who have never had a party.

It began in March  of 2011, when Megs was volunteering at a local after-school program, and she met a young girl named Beverly.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:03 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Friday Rundown: Pittsburghers Helping Others Around the World

Doctors Without Borders' logistics staff removing the ruins of a collapsed hospital in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan .
Credit Julie Remy / MSF

  These topics air Friday April 18, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.  

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:42 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Like Black Friday For Vinyl, Local Shops Gear Up For Record Store Day

Flipping through the stacks at Jerry's Records.
Heather McClain 90.5 WESA

What started eight years ago as a gathering of store owners and employees celebrating the culture of independent record stores has evolved to include major music industry events, limited edition album releases and people camped out in front of record stores.

Saturday is National Record Store Day, and it’s one of the biggest days of the year for record stores and collectors alike.

“I like that it was started to bring back the whole record store experience,” said James “Selecta” Scoglietti, part owner of 720 Records in Lawrenceville. “People used to go every weekend to their local record store, and it was a social event. It was like a barbershop, where guys and gals would come in and discuss the latest hot tracks of the week. So I love that it’s bringing that back to the mainstream.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:15 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

The History of Minors Being Tried As Adults

David Harris says that there has been a shift from rehabilitating kids in juvenile courts to automatically trying them as adults.
Credit University of Pittsburgh Law School

Alex Hribal, the 16 year-old student apprehended during a stabbing rampage at his high school last week, was charged as an adult. What is the history behind this decision? How did the idea manifest itself in practical terms? We posed these questions and more to our legal expert, Pitt Law Professor David Harris.

Prior to the late 1980’s, children were only tried as adults after they went through the juvenile court system. If a judge decided that they were unable to be rehabilitated, the case was passed along to adult court.

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Gas Drilling
4:06 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Report Details Effects of Gas Drilling

The effects of natural gas drilling under state forests aren’t being ignored, according to a report from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

The department’s first Shale Gas Monitoring Report, released Wednesday, outlines its efforts through 2012 to monitor the impacts of gas development on water, air, energy, forest health, soils and wildlife.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:55 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

President Obama Wants to Model CCAC's Job-Driven Approach to Education

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden visited the Community College of Allegheny County's West Hills Center campus in Oakdale Wednesday to announce system-wide reforms of federal job training programs.

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Governor Elections
3:24 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Coalition of African American Groups Hold Forum for Democratic Gubornatorial Candidates

The coalition wants the Democratic gubernatorial candidates to address issues in the African American community.
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

How are the candidates for governor planning to take on the issues in the commonwealth’s African American community?

That’s what a coalition of African American organizations want to find out during its forum April 22nd.

The coalition invited the four Democratic gubernatorial candidates - Robert McCord and Kathleen McGinty accepted, but Thomas Wolf and Allyson Schwartz were unable to clear their schedules.

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