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.

 

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Education
4:52 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Student-Designed Exhibit Explores Journey of Immigrants in US

Participants pick a "dream card" then go through a simulation of experiences an undocumented immigrant may have.
Credit La Roche College

Graphic design students at La Roche College have taken the immigrant experience and turned it into a hands-on exhibition.

“Their intent was that their colleagues, students, peers would experience this simulation and have an experience similar to what someone would have who was coming from the southern border country,” said Sister Michele Bisbey, professor of religious studies at La Roche.

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Behavioral Health
6:27 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Community Forums Examine Mental Health, Early Intervention in PA and Beyond

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the focus has turned, in part, to the mental health system throughout the country.

The conversation brought Congressman Tim Murphy to southwestern Pennsylvania for a pair of community forums on the topic. Dr. Abigail Schlesinger is the Medical Director of Developmental and Behavioral Services for Children’s Hospital and was a panel member.

Schlesinger said such forums are essential in keeping the dialogue on mental health going.

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Economy
4:02 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Report: Pittsburgh Region Sustained Five Consecutive Years of Economic Growth

Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, outlines the region's economic successes of 2012.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh region was one of three U.S. metro areas to be deemed fully recovered from the 2008 recession by the Brookings Institution in late 2012.

A report released Tuesday shows the region has sustained five years of economic growth, including 2012, which was a benchmark year for employment.  

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Medicine
3:29 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Pitt Research Finds New Protein, Could Lead to New Drug to Fight Inflammation

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have discovered a new biological pathway, or protein, that ramps up inflammation. They also have identified agents that can block it.

This could be effective in fighting the damaging inflammation that results from conditions such and pneumonia.

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Heart Disease
3:30 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Take a Walk to Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke

Wednesday is National Walking Day, and organizers in Pittsburgh are hoping to get people in the good habit of taking a daily constitutional as warmer spring weather begins in the region.

Sandy McCurdy, board member of the American Heart Association, said walking is the easiest way to reduce one's risk for heart disease and stroke — two diseases that account for a combined 870,000 deaths in the United States each year.

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Pittsburgh
1:45 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Firm Hired to Examine How Pittsburgh Handles Cash

Following the indictment of former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper on theft of public funds, a public accounting firm will examine the city’s internal control structure when it comes to cash.

The Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA), a financial oversight board, approved $90,000 for an analysis by Gleason and Associates.

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State Budget
9:58 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Panel Says PA Budget Has Strong, Largely Negative Impact on Women

Panelists Jessie Ramey (standing), Chris Sandvig, LaTasha Mayes and Lisa Frank discuss the impacts of the proposed state budget on women.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, the impact the state budget has on women was examined at a Women and Girls Foundation forum.

Slightly more than 51 percent of Pennsylvania’s population is made up of women, according to U.S. Census data. The state budget affects every resident of the state, but some argue that budget cuts to certain areas disproportionately affect women, especially women of color.

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Veterans Affairs
4:32 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

VA Systems Would be Required to Report Instances of Legionella under New Casey Bill

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey will introduce a bill that would require VA facilities to report incidents of Legionnaires' disease.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is introducing a bill that would require any Veterans Affairs health system to report an incident of Legionnaires ’ disease and detection of the Legionella bacteria within 24 hours.

“To be blunt about this, we shouldn’t have to legislate this,” Casey said. “This should be standard practice at the VA, but it isn’t. Therefore we have to legislate and provide a measure of accountability.”

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Education
2:26 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Bill Would Create Community College Affordability Task Force

As community college officials continue their fight for more state funding, the Pennsylvania Senate is considering a bill that would convene a task force on community college affordability.

“I don’t think there has been any organized effort to really review how community colleges are funded, particularly at the state level and the local level,” said Alex Johnson, president of the Community College of Allegheny County. “Over time the funding from various sources, particularly government sources, has eroded to the extent that students have the burden.”

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Property Assessments
4:11 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Effort to Modernize Property Reassessment Process Waiting for Corbett’s Signature

A bill that would be the first step in standardizing property reassessments in Pennsylvania passed with unanimous support in both chambers and now awaits Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature.

“This is a step that really modernizes the way data is collected — the way contracts are given out, the way the state interacts with counties when the county decides that it is time to reassess,” said Rep. Brandon Neuman (D-North Strabane)

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Pittsburgh Police
12:47 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Ex-Pittsburgh Police Chief Harper Faces Conspiracy, Tax Evasion Charges

U.S. Attorney David Hickton outlines how authorities believe former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper diverted funds. Attorneys for Harper say he plans to plead guilty to the tax and conspiracy crimes he's been charged with.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Attorney David Hickton announced a five-count indictment Friday against former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper. The charges range from conspiracy and theft of public funds to willful failure to file income tax returns.

It’s the result of a joint investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the IRS. Hickton said the first count is conspiracy to engage in the theft of public money through the diversion of funds to the Pittsburgh Federal Credit Union.

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Environment & Energy
11:29 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Krancer Steps Down as Pennsylvania DEP Director

Gov. Tom Corbett has announced Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Krancer is stepping down April 15. He plans to return home to Montgomery County to practice law.

Corbett appointed Krancer in 2011, and since then the DEP has had to oversee the booming Marcellus Shale industry.  

“Serving Governor Corbett and DEP has been the greatest honor of my career,” Krancer said. “I am grateful to the governor for giving me this role is assuring that natural gas and energy development happen in an environmentally sound and responsible manner.”

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North Side
1:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

New Partnership Aims to Get More North Siders to Work

Northside Works! combines two workforce development entities. The NSLC facility, equipped with computer stations, will go from part-time to full-time.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The North Side Leadership Conference (NSLC) and North Shore Community Alliance (NCA) are combining to improve services for North Side residents seeking employment.

The two entities both previously offered workforce development services. NSLC has a location convenient to all bus lines on the North Side and existing computer stations.

“NCA has a more robust workforce program with many more services than what the Conference offers,” said NSLC Board Member Gloria Rayman. “So by combining our resources, we can offer so much more to all of our neighbors.”

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Military
4:05 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

PA Reps. Murphy, Doyle Optimistic about Future of 911th Airlift Wing

Representatives Tim Murphy (front) and Mike Doyle said they are optimistic the 911th Airlift Wing will remain open beyond 2014.
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA News

Less than one week after the Air Force announced it would not be closing the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township, elected officials met to look toward the future.

Pennsylvania Representatives Tim Murphy (R-PA-18) and Mike Doyle (D-PA-14) were active in the fight to keep the base open because of its cost saving for the military, among other things.

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ALCOSAN
1:29 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

ALCOSAN, Communities Urged to Work Together on Regional Approach

Panel Chair Jared Cohon (speaking) flanked by ALCOSAN Executive Director Arletta Scott Williams (L) and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA News

A more regional approach to stormwater and wastewater management would mean better water quality, better service and a more efficient system overall. That’s according to a report from an independent review panel convened by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development at the request of ALCOSAN.

The Authority serves 83 communities, each of them is responsible for collection and then conveyance to ALCOSAN pipes, then the Authority is responsible for treatment.

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Robotics
4:33 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Frisbee-Throwing, Climbing Robots Take Over Pitt’s Peterson Events Center

Students carry a robot as they prepare for a practice run Thursday as part of the FIRST Robotics Pittsburgh Regional Competition.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

Frisbee-throwing robots are the main event in a competition at Pitt’s Peterson Events Center Friday and Saturday.

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Religion
5:36 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Bishop Zubik Welcomes New Pope

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Bishop David Zubik welcomed the selection of a new pope.
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers are quickly reacting to the word that a new pope has been chosen including Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Bishop David Zubik who said he "prayerfully and joyfully" welcomes Pope Francis I.

“Our new Holy Father brings with him the experience of a dedicated pastor who has served the Church so well in his many years of ordained ministry,” said Zubik.  “That experience – and the rock-steady faith that has guided him – will be his comfort and strength in the challenging days ahead.”

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Women's Rights
2:06 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

The Women's Rights Movement in Pittsburgh: 1967 to Today

The Women's Rights Movement is a feature of the 1968: The Year that Rocked America exhibit. Freedom Trash Cans were used during the 1968 Miss America Pageant protest as a way to discard things such as bras, Playboy magazines, girdles and other items in symbolic gesture.
Credit Heinz History Center

1968 was a notable year in American history, the Vietnam War was raging, Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated, and the Women’s movement was gaining national attention.

Pittsburgh was among the hotbeds of change with civil unrest in the hill district, war protests on campuses and through all of that, the women’s rights movement was charging forward.

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Government
12:55 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

911th Airlift Wing Will Not Be Closed, Will Remain at Full Strength

The United States Air Force announced today the 911th Airlift Wing will remain open through 2014, a decision based on funding years.
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA

The United States Air Force has announced it will not close the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township. The base had been slated for closure as cost saving measure, but federal, state, and local officials have been involved in a year-long fight to keep it open.

“All eight planes will remain, the 911th will remain at full strength, and also the 171st Air Refueling Wing will also remain at full strength with 16 planes. All in all, it’s great news for the region,” said Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18).

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Government & Politics
4:20 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Future of 911th Airlift Wing to be Announced Wednesday, Murphy Hopeful

The future of the 911th Airlif Wing will be announced Wednsday, Congressman Tim Murphy is hopeful it will remain open.
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA News

According to Congressman Tim Murphy (R-18) the Air Force will announce Wednesday whether or not the 911th Airlift Wing will be closed. The 911th in Moon Township was slated for closure by September 2013. The Air Force said the move would save $354 million over five years but supporters have said from the beginning that the numbers used to determine the savings were faulty.

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Community
3:54 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Downtown Pittsburgh Shifting to Full-Fledged Neighborhood

Downtown Pittsburgh is becoming more of a neighborhood, as more people move there to live, not just work.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA News

It’s often said Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods. There are the bustling neighborhoods of Oakland and Squirrel Hill, the struggling neighborhood of Homewood, and the transitioning neighborhoods in between. Then there’s a shadow neighborhood. Some people call it the Golden Triangle, some call it the business district, and others call it home.

“It’s not just a thoroughfare for the buses, or somewhere where you go to your office from 9 to five, but I actually live here and love it a lot,” said Gina Mucciolo.

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Women, Labor
2:21 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

DNC Chair to USW Women’s Conference: “We Have Some Catching Up To Do”

US Represntative and Head of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, addresses the United Steelworkers International Women's Conference in Pittsburgh. USW International President Leo Gerard (right).
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA News

In the midst of Women’s History Month, about a thousand women, and many men, gathered in Pittsburgh for the United Steelworkers International “Women of Steel” conference. The keynote was delivered by US Representative and head of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

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Government & Politics
10:17 am
Mon March 11, 2013

PA Lawmaker Wants to Draw Game Developers to the State, Proposes Video Game Tax Credit

The video gaming industry is huge and growing, moving beyond what people think of as traditional video games. PA lawmaker wants to encourage growth in that sector in the commonwealth.
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s film tax credit program is lauded by state and local officials as a success, and one state lawmaker wants to implement a similar tax credit program for another entertainment industry – video games.

State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) has introduced the Video Game Tax Production Credit bill aimed at attracting game developers to the state. He said the video gaming industry is huge and growing.  

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Bullying
2:45 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Senator Casey Takes on Bullying, Applauds Efforts of Pittsburgh Mifflin K-8 School

Senator Bob Casey talks to a sixth grade class at Pittsburgh Mifflin preK-8 School about efforts to stop and prevent bullying in schools across the country.
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA News

US Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) used a sixth grade classroom as a backdrop to talk about bullying. Students, teachers and parents at Pittsburgh Mifflin preK-8 School have implemented an aggressive anti-bullying campaign, and Casey said he’s like to see such efforts at all schools. To that end, he has introduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act. A bill that will tackle bullying.

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Pittsburgh Politics
4:33 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Michael Lamb will get Allegheny County Democratic Committee Endorsement – by Default

The Allegheny County Democratic Committee meets this weekend for its endorsement meeting. Before Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced he was leavening the race for reelection, he was on the endorsement ballot along with City Controller Michael Lamb. Lamb now remains the only name on the ballot.

“I understand that there are several other people running in the primary, but for the actual endorsement of the party, there will only be one,” said Committee Chair Nancy Patton Mills.

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