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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Health
2:50 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

New Technology for Managing Concussions Being Used in Southwestern PA

Allegheny Health Network's Craig Castor demonstrates the C3 Logix system on an athlete. The program tests for concussion symptoms.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

New mobile technology being used by the Allegheny Health Network will allow physicians to better diagnose and treat concussions.

C3 Logix uses a computerized neurocognitive exam through a unique iPad app. The iPad is strapped to a patient’s back and can detect even minute movement.

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Health
4:56 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Corbett Wraps Up 'Healthy Pennsylvania' Tour in Pittsburgh, Touts CHIP

Gov. Tom Corbett has been traveling the state, raising awareness of Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

As part of the push to get all Pennsylvania children enrolled in CHIP, the governor is convening a Healthy Pennsylvania Summit in the spring and continues his effort to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. Included in the 2013-14 budget is $8.5 million for enrollment and outreach efforts for CHIP.

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History
7:45 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Meet Julia Parsons, Pittsburgh Native and WWII Code Breaker

During World War II, Julia Parsons was a member of an all-women’s German code-breaking team. It would be years before the Pittsburgh native would share the details of her experience with her family.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

Imagine your mom, or your grandmother, maybe even your great-grandmother, with a secret past. Perhaps you know that she’s lived through some major historical events like World War II.

Now imagine finding out she not only lived through it – but was an integral part of secret military operations during the war.

That is part of Pittsburgh native Julia Parsons’ story. She was part of an all-women’s German code-breaking team.

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Economy & Business
4:36 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Pennsylvania Casinos Continue to Build Diverse Workforce

The sixth annual Gaming Diversity Report from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board shows the number of minorities working in casinos continues to grow.

Statewide, 31 percent of the 16,644 casino employees are minorities. That’s up slightly from last year’s 30 percent. Diversity also continues to grow among management, executive and professional positions.

“This year we have 2,733 individuals; 63 percent are males, 37 percent are females and 21 percent are minorities, which is a good number,” said Mozelle Daniels, director of diversity for the Gaming Control Board.

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Environment & Energy
4:32 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Pittsburgh Ranks Low Among Other Cities on Energy Efficiency Scorecard

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has issued the first-ever scorecard that ranks cities exclusively on their energy efficiency efforts. Pittsburgh came in at number 25 on a list of 34 cities with a score of 34.25 out of a possible 100.

Boston was number one with a score of 76.75.

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Environment & Energy
4:10 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Energy Companies First to Utilize Field Gas for Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

Diesel is generally the fuel used to power everything from vehicles going to and from natural gas well sites to equipment used at the sites.

EQT Corporation and Green Field Energy have announced the completion of multiple fracturing stages using pumps powered by natural gas supplied from a Marcellus Shale gas well.

“Most of the engines used for hydraulic fracturing are diesel, so if you have turbine pumps that can use the natural gas on-site as the fuel source, it’s cleaner burning and reduces up to 85 percent of fuel costs,” said EQT spokeswoman Linda Robertson.

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Education
4:00 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

PA Auditor General: State Has Funding Crisis When It Comes to Education

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recently audited two struggling Allegheny County school districts and said the findings point to a larger problem in the commonwealth: a lack of funding and ineffective charter school laws.

DePasquale said Duquesne City School District is over the cliff financially and the Sto-Rox School District is teetering on the edge.

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Religion
4:33 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Group Wants Further Disclosure of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

Frances Samber of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests talks with Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese spokesman the Rev. Ron Lengwin about adding names of priests accused of sexual misconduct on the diocesan website.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Members of the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is taking news about two abuse case settlements to call on the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh to better notify the public when a priest has been accused of sexual misconduct.

The priests in question had both worked in Pittsburgh, though the abuse allegations come from other places they worked.

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Education
3:36 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Shaler Area Teachers to End Strike

The Shaler Area School District has reached a tentative agreement with its striking teachers.

According to the district's web site, the teachers' union ratified the deal Wednesday morning and the school board was expected to approve it at a meeting that night.

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Public Safety
3:19 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Pennsylvania State Troopers Target HOV Lane Violators

The Pennsylvania State Police issued 60 citations and 14 warnings Wednesday morning to drivers on the Parkway North HOV lanes for not meeting the requirements to be driving them.

“The HOV lanes are for high-occupancy vehicles, meaning you need to have multiple people in the vehicle, more than one person,” said Trooper Robin Mungo. “The HOV lanes are designed to alleviate congestions going into the city during rush hour traffic and leaving the city during rush hour traffic.”

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Community
3:33 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

After the Yarn Bomb: Knit the Bridge Panels Donated to Area Shelters

Knitted and crocheted panels from the Pittsburgh Knit the Bridge project add a splash of color and comfort to shelter beds at the Light of Life Rescue Mission on the North Side.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The 588 knitted and crocheted panels that adorned Pittsburgh's Andy Warhol Bridge for the Knit the Bridge project have come down, been professionally laundered and are now being distributed to various agencies in the region.

“Homeless shelters and different womens’ shelters, there’s a juvenile shelter in Westmoreland County that some are going to and then also animal shelters, Humane Society and some nursing homes,” said Amanda Gross, lead artist for the Knit the Bridge Project.

On Tuesday, Gross delivered 60 blankets to the Light of Life Rescue Mission on the North Side.

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Public Safety
7:53 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Domestic Violence Prevention the Focus of New Website, National Campaign

There were 141 domestic violence-related murders in Pennsylvania last year, 10 of which occurred in Allegheny County.

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Community
3:15 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

DA Credits Increased Security, Education for Less Crime at Troubled Housing Complex

Children at a Head Start program at the Duquesne Place housing complex have tested at or above the anticipated growth range for their age group. Educational and security efforts are credited with a drop in violent crime at the complex.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Duquesne Place, a subsidized housing complex in Duquesne, has had some rough years.

In January 2012 a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed, and a 14-year-old was injured. The previous year, a 17-year-old boy was shot there. Overall, there was a high level of crime.

Over the past year the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office has been working with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) and the Duquesne City School District to boost education opportunities and build a stronger community at the complex.

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Science & Technology
7:35 am
Thu September 5, 2013

As People Put More Personal Info Online, Privacy Concerns Persist

A majority of Internet users admit they have taken steps to avoid surveillance by other people or organizations (including the government), and many believe current privacy laws do not go far enough in protecting online privacy.

The Pew Research Center and Carnegie Mellon University conducted a national survey to determine the level of desire among Internet users to be anonymous online, why and what problems they have encountered.

One of the findings is that 86 percent of Internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints.

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Community
3:40 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Bow Hunting To Be Allowed On Airport Land

Get your inner Katniss Everdeen ready.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority is opening up land for archery-only hunting in the coming months.  The pilot program will allow bow hunting in designated zones, but it will be limited to a certain number of hunters.

“There will be an online lottery in mid-to-late September,” said state Sen. Matt Smith. “People can go to the airport authority website right now, put their name in for the lottery and there will be 157 individuals selected.”

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Community
4:38 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Its Work Complete, Flight 93 Group Holding Final Meeting Sept. 10

The Flight 93 Advisory Committee helped plan and design the memorial site. Its work is complete and its final meeting will be held Sept. 10.
Credit Flickr user LugerLA

Nearly 11 years after it was created, the Flight 93 Advisory Commission is disbanding. 

The commission formed to help develop a national memorial at the site of where a hijacked plane crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania during the 9/11 attacks.

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Transportation
3:30 am
Fri August 30, 2013

State Lawmaker Suggests Using Shale Funds for Bridges

On the heels of PennDOT’s announcement that it is weight restricting 1,000 bridges statewide, one state lawmaker is proposing to take revenue from natural gas development and use it for bridge repairs.

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Transportation
5:55 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Business and Union Officials Call on Lawmakers to Pass Transportation Bill

Labor and business leaders were joined by workers calling on the state House to pass a transportation funding plan in the fall.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Labor leaders and organizations that represent businesses gathered Thursday under Pittsburgh’s Liberty Bridge, which has been weight restricted. The group is calling on the state House to pass a transportation funding plan already passed in the Senate. The consequences of doing nothing, said the group, would be disastrous for the city and the region.

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Transportation
3:45 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Several Allegheny County Bridges to be Weight Restricted in Coming Weeks

In all, 46 state-owned bridges in PennDOT District 11 (Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence Counties) will be posted with new or lowered weight restricted in the coming weeks. The move is meant to slow deterioration on the bridges as funding for major repairs remains uncertain. About 1,000 bridges statewide are considered structurally deficient, according to PennDOT.

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Government & Politics
2:38 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

D.A. Zappala: No Criminal Charges in Shaler Area Elementary School Ductwork Collapse

Part of the ductwork that fell on cafeteria tables at Shaler Area Elementary School in April 2012. No criminal negligence found in DA investigation.
Credit Allegheny County District Attorney's Office

As children all over the region head back to school, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala announced his office will not pursue criminal charges in last year's ductwork collapse at Shaler Area Elementary School. Last spring, more than one ton of HVAC ductwork came crashing down on cafeteria tables injuring 13 people. Seven kids and two adults were taken to the hospital with injuries. Zappala said the situation must be set apart from other incidents, such as the Center City building collapse in Philadelphia.

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Learning and Play
7:36 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Turning the Waiting Game into an Educational Game at Pittsburgh Bus Shelters

Teacher Miguel Sague plays Word Play with a group of preschoolers on the South Side.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

It’s a reality for many parents and caregivers in Pittsburgh — you’re stuck waiting for a bus in the city and your kid starts getting bored and antsy.

A new effort is hoping to turn these times into teachable moments.

Instead of advertisements for law firms or universities, 23 bus shelters around Pittsburgh now have a poster adorned with colorful pictures of things such as ice cream, picnics and kiddie pools. The “Word Play” posters are part of an effort from the Fred Rogers Company to get adults talking to and interacting with kids.

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Transportation
1:39 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

New Tracking System Allows P1 East Busway Riders to See Actual Arrival Times, Waits

Riders along the P1 East Busway - All Stops route will be able to see real-time arrivals and wait times for buses.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Starting now, riders along the P1 East Busway will be able to track the vehicles in real time through the Port Authority's website, either on a computer, tablet or smartphone. The new program allows commuters to see either arrival times at specific stops or a map which shows where buses are.

“What it means on a cold, inclement day … whether you’re at home or at work you can look to see where your bus is to know when to go to your bus stop,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

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Alternative Education
3:50 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Alternative School Offers Deeper Connection with Teachers and Mentors for At-Risk Kids

Phase 4 Learning has been referred to by some of its students as the "last chance high school,” but the head of the 6-12 school prefers to think of it as a “best chance school” for success of their students.

Terri Suica Reed created the school to help reach students who may be having trouble in traditional schools.

“The formula is pretty simple, but yet it’s complex as well," Reed said. "It’s all about relationships. Everything about life is about relationships. You build relationships with people and we do that with our students.”

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Environment & Energy
4:52 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Group to Urge County Council to Reject Fracking Proposals for Allegheny County Parks

Nothing has been decided yet, but Allegheny County Council is considering an offer to develop natural gas found under Deer Lakes Park.

A new group made up of several grass roots organizations is planning to urge the group to say “no.” Members of Protect Our Parks will deliver their message at Tuesday’s County Council meeting.

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Liquor Privatization
3:30 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Despite Increased Income from Liquor Sales in Pennsylvania, Privatization Still a Priority

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board reported revenue near $2.2 billion for fiscal year 2012-2013, a 4.5 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, contributions to various state agencies and the general fund exceeded a record-setting $660 million dollars.

Still, this news doesn’t sway Gov. Tom Corbett, who remains a proponent of privatizing the state’s liquor system.

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