Government & Politics
9:55 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Another Investigation Into Lawmakers Implicated In Corruption Sting

Yet another governmental body appears to be investigating four Philadelphia Democrats for allegedly accepting cash or gifts from an undercover informant.

A letter from the State Ethics Commission indicates an investigation into the four state lawmakers implicated in a corruption sting.

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Economy & Business
3:30 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Panel to Discuss Employment Opportunities in Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania lawmakers are planning a hearing they hope will foster discussion on growing Pittsburgh’s employment opportunities.

The House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a July 23 public hearing at the Community College of Allegheny County to discuss jobs and workforce development in the Pittsburgh area.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:53 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Would We Be Better Off Without Minimum Wage?

What happens if we do away with the minimum wage altogether?
Credit Vincenzo Iaconianni / Wikipedia

These topics air Tuesday July 22, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Changing Views on Zero Tolerance in Public Schools

Pittsburgh Public Schools may be modifying its Code of Student Conduct to reflect changing attitudes on zero tolerance. With input from parents, educators and students, the school board will vote on whether or not to decrease the use of exclusionary discipline, such as suspension. Cheryl Kleiman is a staff attorney with the Education Law Center and was one of the collaborators in the new proposal.

Minimum Wage

While some believe increasing the minimum wage will help people out of poverty, critics feel it should be eliminated altogether. We’ve invited Brian O’Roark, a professor of economics at Robert Morris University in to give us a primer on the minimum wage.

Business of Weddings

From bridal shops to reception venues and more, weddings are big business. Whether you’re part of the wedding party or simply attending the event you can expect to shell out some serious coin. This week contributor Rebecca Harris delves into the business of weddings. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:13 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

How Soon Are 3D Printers Likely to Become a Household Product?

Piece Maker Technologies shows the result of 3D Printing the Essential Pittsburgh Logo.
Credit Piece Maker Technologies

    

Unless you are a researcher or technology professional, 3D printers are probably an unknown technology for you. But now Home Depot will carry and sell desktop 3D printers.

Locally, the Carnegie Library has offered sessions on the basics of how 3D printing works. It’s the latest innovation in high-tech manufacturing for the masses.

Senior Librarian Wes Roberts runs the Job and Career Education Center at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and said that the 3D printing workshops show computing education workshop participants a new world.

"Providing access to education in this new realm of digital manufacturing. So that was the whole crux. To get people connected we do a lot of classes on general computing, Microsoft Office, but to bring them to this higher tier of creative design, the idea was to kind of welcome people to the new world of technology."

Despite the already big benefits of the workshop Roberts said that the programs will continue to grow and develop.

"Moving forward, it's at a pretty beginning stage with this technology, but I think we've got a really good ground work for what we're doing with our children's and our teen programs. So that we'll keep building on it for the adult level and really kind of merge them all together."

With patents expiring and more companies getting on board with the product, Roberts predicts that the price of 3D printers will drop from thousands of dollars into the hundreds of dollars range.

But until that time, Arden Rosenblatt, co-founder and CEO of Pittsburgh-based Piece Maker Technologies said you can create and design items for 3D printing at Piece Maker Technologies.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:00 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Jonathan Auxier’s Summer Reading Picks for the Kids

Children's author Jonathon Auxier knows the importance of reading even when school isn't in session.
Credit Jonathon Auxier / Twitter

According to the National Summer Learning Association, summer learning loss amounts to two month’s worth of reading for lower income students. Jonathan Auxier’s lifelong love of children’s books has turned into a career as an author, writing for readers ages 8-14. He’s recommended some books young readers will enjoy spending time with this summer.

Auxier, who has children himself, knows the most important aspect of children’s books.

“Most of the things that I’m telling my two year old right now, who’s acting out a lot, I’m basically constantly informing her about what it means to be good, and what it means to be bad. I think kids are really sensitive to that profound moral question about what goodness and badness truly is, and children’s books, unlike adult books, which I think can be a little coy about those.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:16 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Peace Corps to Revamp Application Process

Karen Corey is the Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania Recruiter for the Peace Corps.
Credit Marcus Charleston / WESA

Since its creation over 50 years ago, the Peace Corps has been sending Americans overseas. Volunteers are sent to countries where their work can make a difference in the lives of others. However, applications for the Peace Corps are at an all time low.

Karen Corey, a recruiter for Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, talks about changes the Peace Corps is making to the application process, in order to attract more volunteers. Corey says there are three main changes to the application process to make it easier to enroll. The first step was making the initial online application easier.

“The actual application used to take about eight hours to fill out. What we’ve done is we’ve looked at the application again, we’ve thought about ‘what do we really know from our applicants right up front?’ We’re only asking for that most essential information, so now the application really only takes about an hour. We’re trying to eliminate the application itself as a barrier to Peace Corps service.”

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Transportation
5:06 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

As Ridesharing Debate Continues, Some Look Into Whether Services Reduce DUIs

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission continues to try stopping ridesharing services Uber and Lyft from operating in the Pittsburgh area, often citing that the drivers are not regulated by the state, which is a safety concern.

This prompted one Pittsburgh man to look into a major safety issue – driving under the influence.

“Under that safety argument I decided to look into DUIs, arguably one of biggest dangers on the road, this could have been having a profound change in that area,” said Nate Good.

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Community
3:50 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Salvation Army Fundraises During Christmas in July

The iconic Salvation Army red kettles are a familiar sight every Christmas season. But what are they doing out in July?

The Western PA Division of the Salvation Army is celebrating “Christmas in July” in Allegheny County by fundraising at various locations throughout the month.

Divisional Director of Development Fran Brace says the Salvation Army is filling a $64,000 funding gap created by last year’s shortened collection season.

“Thanksgiving was later, and so that definitely had an effect on us raising dollars to help people in need,” Brace said.

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Environment & Energy
2:37 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

US Energy Secretary Hears from Pittsburgh on Natural Gas Future

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Congressman Tim Murphy addressed the importance of infrastructure for the future of natural gas development at a public meeting at CMU.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Energy is holding meetings across the country on infrastructure needs for the natural gas industry.

On Monday the, the seventh such meeting, the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) Public Meeting, was held in Pittsburgh. The day-long meeting focused on key infrastructure needed for transmission, storage and distribution of energy – especially natural gas, which continues boom, especially in this region.

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Health
9:22 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Pitt Trial Aims to Control Blood-Loss in Traumatic Injury Victims

Controlling blood-loss is key when emergency responders on helicopters rush patients with traumatic injuries to the hospital.

That’s why University of Pittsburgh trauma experts are launching a trial to see if the blood-clotting drug,  tranexamic acid (TXA) could save lives by helping medics gain control of internal bleeding.

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