Essential Pittsburgh
1:09 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Friday Rundown: Roger Humphries and Hits of the Fab Five

Pittsburgh jazz legend Roger Humphries
Credit Billy Jackson / NOMMO Productions

These topics air Friday April 11, 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 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here

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Public Safety
5:51 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Obama Offers Franklin Regional Principal Sympathy After Stabbings

President Barack Obama has offered his sympathy and gratitude to the principal of a Pennsylvania school where a teenager stabbed 22 people.

The White House says Obama called Principal Ron Suvak of Franklin Regional High School on Thursday as the president flew home from a two-day trip to Texas.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says Obama offered his deepest sympathies to those affected. He says Obama talked about the heroism of students, teachers and staff whose actions saved lives.

Public Safety
5:46 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Center of Victims Asks Men to Pledge to Stop Violence

Center for Victims asked men to pledge to stop violence in honor of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Wednesday’s stabbings at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville has left many asking what steps can be taken to prevent these acts of violence.

The Center for Victims thinks an important part of the equation to stop violence is men. 

That’s why the center kicked off its “Men Ending violeNce” (MEN) challenge, which encourages men to pledge to become proactive and speak out if they see violence.

Molly Allwein, Community Relations Coordinator, said men have a voice that women don’t.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:01 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Ways to Help Young People Cope with Traumatic Events

Credit Victoria Pickering / Flickr

In the wake of the violent attacks at Franklin Regional High School, students and staff at the school have begun the process of coping with the traumatic event.

For young people this can be a particularly difficult journey. The Center for Victims is a victim advocacy group which offers support for those affected by violence.

Diane Dahm is director of prevention education and outreach and Toya Jones is a trauma therapist with the center. They explained how important it is to maintain a child's sense of normalcy while still keeping alert to any possible signs of trauma

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:39 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Balancing Business and Fun with Pop-Up Canada

Canadian Consul General John Prato plans to meet with political, community and business leaders during his time in Pittsburgh.
Credit Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

For one week, Pittsburghers can experience the culture of Canada in a temporary installment downtown called Pop-Up Canada.

The concept, according to Canadian Consul General John Prato, is to encourage a conversation between Pittsburgh and Canada about different urban issues including energy, innovation and civic life.

Prato says the week is designed so that Canadian representatives can meet and learn from local political, business and community leaders. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:32 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

What Does It Take To Be A Canadian Mountie?

This RCMP uniform is often referred to as The Red Serge, it's only worn for special occasions and services.
Credit Marcus Charleston / 90.5WESA

What would a visit from a Canadian delegation be without the presence of one of the country's most recognizable symbols - a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman?

We spoke with Constable Eric Hymander, a former banker, about what it takes to become a Mountie.  

Every year there are anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 applicants that want to join the RCMP and only the top 1 percent of applicants are accepted.

Hymander said it takes about a year to review applicants’ abilities, and once accepted they spend six months undergoing vigorous training in Saskatchewan.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:28 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

After Checking out Pop Up Canada, Pop on Up to Niagara Falls

The Maid of the Mist tours leave every 15 minutes for tours of Niagara Falls. Make sure to wear clothes that can get wet!
Credit Helen Zhang / flickr

With the celebration of Canada taking place this week in the Steel City, Niagara Falls offers something for visitors on both the American and Canadian sides. 

Long regarded as a honeymoon destination, Niagara Falls is close enough for a long weekend getaway. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme offered suggestions for a trip to the falls.

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County Alerts
1:08 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

County Executive Fitzgerald Unveils New Alerts System

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald demonstrates the newly unveiled Allegheny Alerts system.
Credit Julian Routh

Reporters and county officials watched in anticipation as Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald slowly typed his name and phone number onto a giant computer screen in his office Thursday morning.

After creating an account, a phone rang in the middle of the table, and a look of relief permeated Fitzgerald’s face.

That was the first notification from the newly unveiled Allegheny Alerts system.

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1:06 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

State Legislation Could Cause $2.6 Billion in Cuts to Education Funding Over the Next 5 Years

Opponents of a state bill that would replace school property taxes with a sales tax have voiced their concerns for small businesses and the poor should the bill be passed. According to an analysis by the PA Independent Fiscal Office, this bill would cause $2.6 billion in cuts to funding for school districts in the next five years.

According to PA Education Law Center Executive Director Rhonda Brownstein, the possible effects of this bill would be devastating to school districts across the state.

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Ongoing Coverage
7:28 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Mass Stabbing At Franklin Regional HS: Thursday's Developments

Sixteen-year-old Brett Hurt, alongside his mother Amanda Hurt, appeared at a hospital news conference Thursday. Brett Hurt was one of 22 people injured in a knife attack at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville Wednesday morning.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

UPDATE: (4:02 p.m.) Doctor: Wounds Not Trivial 

Many of the victims of Wednesday’s stabbing spree at Franklin Regional High School are doing well, according to doctors, though three remain in critical condition.
One stabbing victim remains in “very critical” condition at UPMC Presbyterian. Three others remain in the intensive care unit at Forbes Regional Hospital.

A 'Blank Expression,' Then Bloodshed At Franklin Regional High School

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