Deanna Garcia

General Assignment Reporter

Deanna fell in love with public radio in 2001, when she landed her first job at an NPR station: KRWG-FM in Las Cruces, NM, where she also attended college. After graduating with a degree in journalism and mass communications, she spent a summer in Washington, D.C. as an intern at NPR's Morning Edition. Following that, she was a reporter/All Things Considered Host at WXXI in Rochester, NY. Before coming to Pittsburgh, Deanna was the local All Things Considered host for KUNC in northern Colorado. In her spare time, Deanna enjoys watching movies and TV shows on DVD (the Golden Girls and Little House on the Prairie are among her favorites), bicycling, yard work, and reading.

 

Pages

Environment & Energy
10:19 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Final Phase of Deer Creek Mine Drainage Project Slated to Start

The last phase of an effort to treat water discharge from the Indianola mine pool is slated to start March 17.

The project is expected to improve the water quality of Little Deer Creek. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation and the Clean Streams Foundation is designing a settling pond to handle the discharge that currently flows into Little Deer Creek.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:00 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Wagner: Campaign Finance Reform, Education Funding Top Priorities

Gubernatorial candidate Jack Wagner
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

After an unsuccessful run for mayor of Pittsburgh, former Pennsylvania auditor general Jack Wagner has thrown his hat into the gubernatorial ring.

Currently, he is the only candidate from Western Pennsylvania seeking the Democratic nomination, but he said he plans to focus his campaign on the entire state.

He’s late to the race and behind in fundraising. He acknowledged he’s up against candidates with much more personal wealth than he has, but said he intends to work hard on fundraising. He went on to say that if elected, one of his priorities would be campaign finance reform.

Read more
Government & Politics
4:38 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

New Restaurant Grading System Moves Forward in Allegheny County

The Allegheny County Board of Health voted to move forward on crafting a new restaurant grading system that would give eating establishments a letter grade from "A" to "C."

Read more
Economy & Business
7:45 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Study Shows Pittsburgh Region Strong on Arts and Culture Spending

Allegheny County was one of 182 regions examined in the Americans for the Arts’ Arts and Economic Prosperity IV project.

When looking at cities of comparable size that were also in the study including Columbus, Ohio, San Diego  and Indianapolis, Pittsburgh came out on top with expenditures topping $686 million in 2010. But, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council said the impact is even greater and stretches beyond just arts and culture.

Read more
Transportation
4:21 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Port Authority Connect Card Fraud Being Investigated, No Personal Data Stolen

Riders are asked to purchase ConnectCards only from official retail kiosks and other official locations, such as Giant Eagle.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The Port Authority of Allegheny County says several arrests are pending tied to the fraudulent reproduction of ConnectCards. ConnectCard is a smart card fare system now used by the Port Authority in an effort to phase out older paper and cardboard passes.  Multiple copies were made of four legitimate ConnectCards  and then sold outside of Port Authority approved channels; investigators did not say how many reproductions were made.

Read more
Economy & Business
3:42 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Pitt Entrepreneur Institute Celebrates 2013 Successes, Looks to Future

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence unveiled its 2013 report at Turner Dairy Farms, President Chuck Turner said the institute has helped his family's business transition and continue to grow.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh has been working with businesses in the region for 20 years. Its annual report was released Wednesday at Turner Dairy Farms, one of the members of the institute.

Founder and Executive Director Ann Dugan said in 2013 the institute helped about 900 entrepreneurs.

“We had 47 startup businesses,” Dugan said. “That was where they came through the door with an idea, today their door is open, the lights are on, music is on, they have sales.”

Read more
Courts
10:25 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Ex-Pittsburgh Police Chief Harper Sentenced To 18 Months

Nate Harper, seen here at a November 2012 news conference, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Tuesday for conspiracy to steal police funds deposited into unauthorized credit union accounts and for failing to file income tax returns for several years.
Credit File Photo / 90.5 WESA

Former Pittsburgh police chief Nathan Harper has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiring to create an unauthorized slush fund, diverting public money and failing to pay income taxes.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon also ordered 61-year-old Harper on Tuesday to repay $31,986 from the fund that he spent on himself.

An emotional Nate Harper addressed the court before hearing his sentence.

“I’m a broken man,” he said, adding that he’ll carry with him to his grave the embarrassment he said he caused his family and friends.

Read more
Public Safety
3:16 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Bond Hearing Delayed for Man Being Re-Tried in Firefighter Deaths

Attorneys for Greg Brown have one week to put together their argument for why their client is eligible for bail.

Prosecutors have one week to prove why he is, as they contend, not eligible. Brown was scheduled for a bond hearing in a re-trial for a 1997 conviction. Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph K. Williams gave both sides until March 3 to file their briefs, and himself another week to decide whether he can set bail.

Read more
Government & Politics
7:47 am
Mon February 24, 2014

New Website Design Aims to Make Campaign Finance Reports Easier to Find

The Pennsylvania Department of State has redesigned the portion of its website that contains campaign finance reports. Spokesman Ron Ruman said the old site design was confusing.

“It was set up in a way that perhaps made sense to candidates or people that file campaign finance reports and that sort of thing,” said Ruman, “but to the average citizen that doesn’t deal with those things a lot it was kind of confusing, it wasn’t necessarily intuitive in the way it did the searches.”

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:23 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Opera Based on Willa Cather Story Highlights Struggle of Early 1900s Pittsburgh 'Dandy'

Teachers assess Paul, portrayed by Daniel Curran, in the Pittsburgh Opera production of Paul's Case.
Credit David Bachman / Pittsburgh Opera

The Pittsburgh Opera this weekend will travel back in time starting this weekend to bring you the story of Paul in the English-language opera “Paul’s Case.”

It’s based on the story of the same name by Willa Cather, who wrote it while living in Pittsburgh. The story starts out in Pittsburgh where young Paul, described as a “dandy,” yearns for a more exciting life away from dark and industrial Pittsburgh.  

“It really gets at how difficult it is to be a teenager whether it’s 1905 or today,” said composer Gregory Spears. “It’s a difficult time for all of us whether we’re teachers or teenagers ourselves or parents.”

Read more
Education
12:48 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

New Education Task Force Adds City Voices to School System

Mayor Bill Peduto has appointed a 21-member task force which will take a look at public education in Pittsburgh.

The group includes elected officials, education leaders and others.

“We’re bringing together everybody,” said Peduto spokesman Tim McNulty, “unions, foundations, city council people, school board members and probably the coolest thing, three high school students who are going to be full voting members in this task force’s recommendations.”

Read more
Pennsylvania
2:31 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

PA Court Reporters Partner with Flight 93 Memorial on Oral Histories Project

The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association has agreed to help transcribe interviews of family, friends, first responders and investigators as part of an oral history project at the Flight 93 National Memorial.

More than 800 oral histories have been collected so far in an effort to cover every aspect of the Flight 93 story.

Read more
Transportation
4:19 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Second Pothole Blitz Underway in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Public Works crews will be out for the next few days patching potholes. To report a problem area call 311.
Credit Flickr user Brandy/dieselbug2007

Thanks to the break in wintry weather this week, Pittsburgh Public Works crews will conduct another pothole blitz.

Thirty crews will be out each day filling some of the city’s worst craters.

“Negley Run will be closed on Monday,” said Mayor Bill Peduto. “It’s past the point of being able to be patched. It’s going to be milled down to the concrete and will remain that way throughout the rest of the winter. We’re also looking at a couple of other areas that have been hit hard like Brookline Boulevard and Second Avenue.”

Read more
Government & Politics
5:33 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Peduto Seeks PUC Rule Change to Make Room for Lyft, Uber

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, City Councilman Dan Gilman and Policy Manager Matt Barron discuss a request to the PUC that they change their rules to make room for ride-share services such as Lyft and Uber.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

In recent weeks, two ride-sharing services have launched in Pittsburgh – Lyft and Uber.

Both offer paid rides available through a smart phone app. Shortly after their launch, the Pittsburgh Transportation Group, which owns Yellow Cab, asked Mayor Bill Peduto to pass an ordinance cracking down on such services. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission made a similar request of Peduto.

Read more
Education
3:20 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Victim Advocate Group Calls on New Penn State President to Take Strong Stand on Sandusky Scandal

A day after Penn State announced the selection of Eric Barron as its new president, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, are responding to his statement that patience is needed.

At an event announcing his appointment, Barron was asked what the proper role he sees for the legacy of former Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno.

Read more
Health
3:30 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Allegheny County Youth Survey Aims to Improve Services for Adolescents

For the next year, Allegheny County will be surveying 14- to 19-year-olds in an effort to improve services offered for youth. The phone survey is based on the national “Youth Risk Behavior” survey.

“Which focuses on a whole variety of areas that include everything from drug abuse to physical activity and nutrition to sexual activity to mental health issues,” said Allegheny County Health Department Director Karen Hacker. “Many of the questions on the survey were drawn from the national survey.”

Read more
Community
1:25 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Same Sex Couples Apply for, are Denied Marriage Licenses on Valentine’s Day

Diane (Left) and Heidi Anderson were legally married in New York in 2012. The couple applied for and was denied a marriage license in Pennsylvania.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

As delivery men carried large bouquets of roses to various offices at the City County Building  in downtown Pittsburgh on Valentine’s Day, supporters of same-sex marriage and several couples gathered to apply for marriage licenses.

“We know that they will be denied,” said Melissa Watson with the Allegheny County chapter of Marriage Equality for PA, “They will not be allowed to get them, but we hope to show Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh and Allegheny County that we’re ready.”

At 10:00 AM two couples arrived ready to apply for their marriage licenses. One of those couples was

Read more
Economy & Business
5:41 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Buyers Outnumber Amount of Homes for Sale in Pittsburgh Region

The number of homes for sale in the 13-county southwestern Pennsylvania region is not keeping pace with the number of people looking to buy homes.

That’s according to a January 2014 report from real estate group West Penn Multi List Inc., which showed new listings in 12 of the 13 counties it covers decreased in the first month of the year.

President George Hacket said overall, the housing market in the region is strong.

Read more
Government & Politics
5:09 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

ICA Approves City Budget Proposal Changes, Doles Out Gaming Funds to Pensions

The state board that oversees the city of Pittsburgh’s finances has given its approval to changes made to the proposed city budget by Mayor Bill Peduto.

The Peduto administration had until the end of March to present final changes to the budget but has done so early.

Read more
Environment & Energy
1:30 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Cold Weather, Natural Gas Development Make It Harder to Get Propane to Market

The brutally cold winter experienced by much of the Midwest and Northeast this year is partly to blame for higher propane prices and for making the fuel harder to come by in parts of the country.

The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association, or PAPGA, said other factors include a decreased capacity to get the fuel from one place to another.

“There actually is a pretty strong supply of propane in the country," said PAPGA spokesman Michael Meath. "It’s not that there’s a shortage, that’s not the case at all. It’s really been a matter of moving the product.”

Read more
Government & Politics
3:30 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Bipartisan Casey, Collins Bill Aims to Spur Small Business Growth in US

U.S. Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are pushing for passage of a bill they said would boost the economy and create jobs.

The Small Business Tax Certainty and Growth Act aims to make it easier for small businesses to start, invest in capital and hire workers, but most importantly, Casey said it would mean more stability.

Read more
Health
3:05 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Campaign Aims to Dramatically Increase HPV Vaccination Rates for Pre-Teens

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation, in partnership with the Eye and Ear Foundation, have kicked off a national public awareness campaign aimed at medical providers and parents, urging them to have their pre-teen boys and girls vaccinated against the human papillomavirus.

Read more
Health
3:58 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Town Hall Discusses Heroin, Drug Use in Wake of Overdose Deaths

Following the recent rash of deaths linked to heroin laced with fentanyl, the Pennsylvania Alliance for Safe and Drug-Free Children is holding a town hall Thursday night geared toward parents.

There have been 14 deaths in Allegheny County linked to the drug, with more in surrounding counties. This, along with the high-profile death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from a suspected heroin overdose, is prompting the organization to reach out to those close to people who may be vulnerable to drug addiction, particularly youth.

Read more
Health
1:41 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Allegheny Health Network Joins US Olympic Committee National Medical Network

Allegheny Health Network has been designated by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as an official Olympic Regional Medical Center.

“As a participating center, one of just six in the country, we will have the great privilege of playing a prominent role in the health and well-being of our nation’s elite Team USA athletes,” said Dr. Patrick DeMeo, chair of the AHN Orthopedic Institute.

Read more
State Government
11:56 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Corbett Looks to Spend More, Relying on Unresolved Items

Gov. Tom Corbett makes his budget proposal to state lawmakers Tuesday.
Credit pa.gov

Gov. Tom Corbett delivered his fourth budget address midday Tuesday, calling for more than $900 million in additional state spending over the current fiscal year.

A good chunk of Corbett’s proposed roughly 3 percent increase in state spending would go to education. About $300 million more would go toward a new block grant for schools, special education and early learning programs, and higher education scholarships.

The proposal also calls for continuing the phase out of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax on business holdings, erasing the levy by 2016.

Read more

Pages