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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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Application Process Underway for Small Games in Bars

Applications are now being accepted for new the new Tavern Gaming License, made possible by Act 90. The law allows certain liquor licensees, such as bars and taverns, to operate small games of chance

“The new law is very specific,” said PLCB spokeswoman Stacy Kriedman. “It allows pull-tab games, daily drawing and tavern raffles, games that must be, in part, for a charitable or public purpose.”

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Government & Politics
2:46 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

PA Democrats Outline Priorities Ahead of Governor’s Budget Address

From left to right: Senators Matt Smith, Jay Costa and Wayne Fontana outline 2014-15 Democratic budget priorities.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Less than one week before Gov. Tom Corbett delivers his annual budget address, Pennsylvania Democrats fanned out across the commonwealth announcing their spending priorities.

They are calling on Corbett to focus on five main areas: education, Medicaid expansion, human service programs, jobs and development, and increasing the minimum wage.

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Government & Politics
6:07 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Obama Talks Income Inequality, Retirement Savings In West Mifflin

President Barack Obama speaks before a few hundred people at U.S. Steel’s Irvin Plant in West Mifflin Wednesday.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Reiterating themes from Tuesday night’s State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama addressed a cold crowd of about 500 at U.S. Steel’s Irvin Plant in West Mifflin Wednesday.

Obama once again called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage and said “too many Americans are working harder than ever just to get by, let alone get ahead.”

He then went on to talk about his four-point "Opportunity Agenda."

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Government & Politics
5:50 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Sen. Casey Hopes to Hear About Income Inequality, Jobs and Early Learning from Obama

Tianna Gaines-Turner, a Philadelphia woman, will be Senator Bob Casey's guest at Tuesday's State of the Union address.
Credit senate.casey.gov

President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union Tuesday night and is expected to address, among other things, income inequality and his push to raise the federal minimum wage.

Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey said that is something he hopes to hear more about.

“The minimum wage increase, which you all know I support, if we get in enacted it would be the right thing to do for workers,” Casey said, “tens of thousands in our state and millions across the country.”

He said benefits of raising the minimum wage would extend beyond individual workers.

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Religion & Faith
2:50 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

As World Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day, Pittsburgh Launches 6 Million Pennies Campaign

Monday marks UN Holocaust Remembrance Day, and events are taking place across the globe. Jan. 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

In Pittsburgh, community leaders, scholars and representatives with the Holocaust Center of Greater Pittsburgh used the day to launch the six million pennies campaign.

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Transportation
3:58 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

American Airlines Relocating Moon Operations Center to Texas

Though it has been speculated it would happen since the merger between American Airlines and US Airways, it was made official Friday.

American Airlines announced it is moving its operation center in Moon Township to Dallas. That means 600 jobs will leave the area.

“I guess the good news is, those 600 will be hired, they have the option of working, obviously they’ll have to relocate, and they’ll have to move to Dallas,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

For this region, he said the announcement is not good news, thought it wasn’t unexpected.

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Transportation
1:16 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Port Authority of Allegheny County Picks New CEO

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has hired Ellen McLean as its next CEO. McLean has been serving as the interim CEO for nearly a year and was previously the chief financial officer for the Port Authority.

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Life of Learning
4:26 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Pittsburgh Joins Statewide Effort to Make Quality Pre-K Available to All Families

The Jewish Community Center offer pre-K programs. While these kids had reading time, an effort was launched a few doors down to ensure all PA kids have access to quality pre-K programs.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Quality pre-K programs can help kids later in school, both academically and socially. But many families can’t afford to send their children to pre-school, and government funding for early childhood programs has decreased in recent years.

A statewide effort was launched Thursday to ensure all three- and four-year-olds have access to quality pre-K programs. Michelle Figlar is executive director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, or PAEYC. She said research has shown children who have access to strong pre-K programs do better overall in school.

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Health
2:28 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Allegheny Health Network, Johns Hopkins to Collaborate on Cancer Care, Research

Dr. Tony Farah and Dr. David Parda announce that Allegheny Health Network has signed a memorandum of understanding with Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny Health Network and Johns Hopkins Medicine have announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding between their two cancer centers.

When finalized, Allegheny Health Network and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center will collaborate on several initiatives, share research and participate in joint projects, among other things.

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Health
7:38 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Study: Uninsured Patients and Women Less Likely to be Transferred Between Hospitals

A recent study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that uninsured patients with a variety of common medical diagnoses were less likely to be transferred between hospitals for treatment.

The study came about because an “urban myth” that uninsured patients were more likely to be transferred persisted, yet there was no hard data to back it up.

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Health
3:35 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

New Wellness Campaign Aimed at Making Allegheny County Healthiest in Nation

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and County Health Department Director Karen Hacker launched the Live Well Allegheny Campaign at PNC YMCA in downtown Pittsburgh.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Live Well Allegheny is a new initiative aimed at promoting health and wellness throughout Allegheny County.

The effort was launched Tuesday by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, members of the county Board of Health and Health Department Director Karen Hacker.

Fitzgerald said while the Pittsburgh region ranks high on national lists for things such as livability and academia, it could also be a leader in healthy living.

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Health
9:20 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Study to Determine Extent of Childhood Asthma in Pittsburgh Region

It's estimated that about 13 percent of children in Allegheny County suffer from asthma.
Credit Flickr / National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

It’s hard to know exactly how many kids have asthma in the Pittsburgh region but a study is underway aimed at determining just how prevalent it is and what some of the triggers may be. Nearly 25 million Americans and more than 9 percent of children suffer from Asthma. National and state studies show the rate of childhood asthma in Allegheny County to be around 13 percent.

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Environment & Energy
1:21 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Water Protection, Notification Guidelines Among Proposed Oil and Gas Regulations

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is collecting public comments on a set of proposals meant to give further consideration to parks and wildlife, prevent spills and manage waste in oil and gas drilling operations.

These would be implemented under Act 13, the law that governs the oil and gas development in the state. Provisions of the act are being challenged in court, but others are going forward.

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Environment & Energy
3:30 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Report: Green Infrastructure Could Net Millions for Businesses, Property Owners and Cities

As Pittsburgh and other cities continue to look for ways to reduce pollution in streams and rivers, more and more are looking toward green solutions rather than big gray infrastructure projects.

These are things such as rain gardens, green roofs and permeable pavement. A recent report from the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) finds these sorts of improvements not only benefit the public sector, but also the private sector.

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Government & Politics
1:29 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

With Tax Season Upon Us, Federal Government Urges E-File and Free-File

The IRS and Pennsylvania Department of Revenue will get a bit of a late start this tax season, thanks to the 2013 federal government shutdown.

Both federal and state tax returns will begin processing refunds on Jan. 31. Still, people can get a jump on filling out the forms. As of Jan. 17 both the IRS and Pennsylvania will allow online free-file options.

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Economy & Business
11:52 am
Fri January 17, 2014

PA Casinos Suffer Revenue Hit Despite Table Games

Revenue from Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos dipped 1.4 percent in 2013 to $3.1 billion. That’s the first time the industry has experienced an overall decline in revenue since casino play began in 2006.

“We saw a little up, we saw a little down,” said Doug Harbach, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. “Table games continue to be a growing segment. We saw their revenue go up around 6 percent. A slight decrease in slot machines, but that’s not unexpected.”

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Community
3:49 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Cyclists Map Pittsburgh’s Air Quality

The Bicycle Air Monitoring website is a new effort that will show air quality in areas throughout the city. Volunteers on bicycles were equipped with a laser particle counter and GPS system to collect the data.

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Government & Politics
3:15 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Pittsburgh Firefighter Union Asks Governor to Let City Leave Act 47 State Oversight

A week after Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto sent a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett asking that the city stay under Act 47 state oversight, the city’s firefighter’s union is asking the opposite.

“The Act 47 team wrote a letter to the governor saying, ‘We’ve exceeded all of our financial expectations by the plan.’ And as such they recommended that we go out of 47,” said union president Joe King.

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Government & Politics
1:59 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Drop in Taxable Property Values Not Expected to Impact County Millage Rates

As counties, municipalities and school districts prepare to send tax bills, Allegheny County is reporting a drop in taxable real estate values. Due to assessment appeals, the overall value of land and buildings in the county dropped by 4.8 percent.

There is now a total of a little more than $75 billion in taxable property in the county, versus more than $79 billion last year. But, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said that’s not unusual following a reassessment.

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Health
11:19 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Pennsylvania Ranks 6th Nationally for Emergency Care

Credit Flickr user Chealion

The state of emergency medicine in Pennsylvania is improving, but a national report card from the American College of Emergency Physicians, or ACEP, shows the commonwealth lagging behind the rest of the US in some categories.

Overall, the state received a grade of "C+," which was compiled by looking at several areas.

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Behavioral Health
5:20 am
Tue January 14, 2014

UPMC Study to Determine Best Course of Action for Mental Health Treatments

Over the next three years, researchers across Pennsylvania will be examining two different methods of mental health treatment, to determine which has the better outcomes. One of those is the Person-Centered approach.

“That’s focusing on the person who has a behavioral health condition getting support and information from a peer, someone who also has the experience, to prepare for the meetings with their doctors,” said

Kim MacDonald-Wilson is with the UPMC Center for High-Value Health Care.

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Public Safety
12:58 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Mayor Peduto Adding Ranks to City’s Public Safety Agencies

Pretty soon there will be more police officers, firefighters, paramedics and building inspectors on the ground in Pittsburgh.

Mayor Bill Peduto announced this week he has authorized one class of police officers to begin training in March followed by another class in the fall, with the possibility of a third, one class of firefighters to begin as soon as possible and the hiring of more paramedics.

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Public Safety
4:27 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Pittsburgh Emergency Rooms Get More Visits Thanks to Polar Vortex

Even though Pittsburgh didn’t have the most extreme temperatures in the polar vortex, the mercury did go below zero. And as a result, hospital emergency departments saw an uptick in visits, including UPMC, which saw 12 cases following the worst of the cold.

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Government & Politics
12:06 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Peduto to Gov. Corbett: Pittsburgh Should Remain Under Act 47 Oversight

Updated 3:53pm 1/8/2014

The City of Pittsburgh has been under Act 47 state oversight since 2003. Back then, Pittsburgh was operating with a debt burden of more than 20% of its operating budget, pools and recreation centers had to close and hundreds of city employees, including police officers, were laid off. In late 2007, former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl along with Act 47 coordinators said the city was ready to be released. Even at that time, then Councilman Bill Peduto said the city wasn’t ready.

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Animals
2:55 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Not Just Cute: How the Pittsburgh Zoo's New Cheetahs Play an Important Role

A male cheetah is sedated and about to undergo a series of X-rays.
Deanna Garcia 90.5 WESA

From South Africa to Pittsburgh — four cheetahs are now living at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

The animals are considered “genetically valuable” according to Dr. Ginger Sturgeon, the zoo's director of animal health. The goal of acquiring such animals is to ensure that future populations of the endangered cats can continue to be diverse.

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