Heather McClain

Assistant Producer, Essential Pittsburgh

Heather McClain is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, originally from the Main Line Philadelphia area. Her interests in the environment and sustainability have been reflected throughout her career, most recently as a news anchor and features reporter/producer at WBZH Community Radio in Pottstown, PA. At WBZH, Heather was host and producer of the weekly program Our Environment, and worked part-time as production assistant for the PBS TV program Growing a Greener World. Heather started her career at the CBS Early Show and the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. She developed her public radio skills at WRTI public radio at Temple University.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Cyber Crime on the Rise

How vulnerable are you to ID theft?
Credit IntelFree Press / Flickr

According to a survey released last week 12.6 million Americans were victimized by identity theft in 2012. We'll learn how this happens, why this crime is on the rise and what you can do to protect yourself with Mike Prusisnki, Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist of the cyber intelligence company Tiversa.

Selected Key Findings from the survey

Identity fraud incidents and amount stolen increased—The number of identity fraud incidents increased by one million more consumers over the past year, and the dollar amount stolen increased to $21 billion, a three-year high but still significantly lower than the all-time high of $47 billion in 2004. This equates to 1 incident of identity fraud every 3 seconds.

1 in 4 data breach notification recipients became a victim of identity fraud—This year, almost 1 in 4 consumers that received a data breach letter became a victim of identity fraud, which is the highest rate since 2010. This underscores the need for consumers to take all notifications seriously. Not all breaches are created equal. The study found consumers who had their Social Security number compromised in a data breach were 5 times more likely to be a fraud victim than an average consumer.

Fraudsters misuse information fewer days than before—Consumer information was misused for an average of 48 days in 2012, down from 55 days in 2011 and 95 days in 2010. Misuse time was down for all types of fraud including fraud on cards, loans, bank accounts, mobile phone bills and other types of fraud due to consumer and industry action.  More than 50 percent of victims were actively detecting fraud using financial alerts, credit monitoring or identity protection services and by monitoring their accounts.

Small retailers are losing out—Fraud victims are more selective where they shop after an incident, and small businesses were the most dramatically impacted. The study found that 15 percent of all fraud victims decided to change behaviors and avoid smaller online merchants. This is a much greater percentage than those that avoid gaming sites or larger retailers.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

The Business of Event Planning with Rebecca Harris

Essential Pittsburgh business contributor Rebecca Harris lets you know what it takes to start an event planning business.
Credit Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Are you the one who always organizes get togethers for family and friends? Are you a social butterfly? From marathons to corporate gatherings, event planning is a highly profitable business, with a surprisingly low startup cost. And the industry has grown tremendously in the past decade. This week our business contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of event planning.

Essential Pittsburgh
3:40 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Selecting a New Chief of Police

With Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper out, what should be considered when selecting a new chief?
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

When the police chief of a major U.S. city steps down, what challenges are involved in the selection of a new leader? We'll discuss this issue with Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement service that provides education and technical assistance to police departments throughout the country.

Essential Pittsburgh
3:13 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

City Council News with Noah Brode

90.5 WESA reporter Noah Brode covers Pittsburgh City Council and Allegheny County Council.
Credit 90.5 WESA / 90.5 WESA

90.5 WESA reporter Noah Brode gives us a look at how Pittsburgh city council is reacting to the resignation of police chief Nate Harper and attempting to push for police department transparency.

Last week, members of Pittsburgh city council proposed a bill that would allow the city to hire a consultant to advise on "examination and selection" policies for police officers.  Another bill would provide money to the Community College of Allegheny County for applicants to prepare for the examinations. Councilman Ricky Burgess has also introduced a measure that would require the bureau of police to publicize its operating procedures annually, to increase transparency.

Essential Pittsburgh
12:01 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

The Terrible Towel Comes Home to Pittsburgh

An original commercially marketed Terrible Towel, sold exclusively by Gimbel's Department Store, circa 1978. The Terrible Towel is a fan symbol associated with the Pittsburgh Steelers, soon the towels will be printed right here in Pittsburgh.
Credit Wikipedia

The iconic terrible towel has come home to Pittsburgh. We'll talk wth Rob Brandegee, co-owner of Little Earth Productions about the manufacturing of Steelers good luck charm is returning to the Steel City.

Essential Pittsburgh
11:53 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Sports N' @ with Bob Dvorchak

Each Monday our sports contributor Bob Dvorchak weighs in on Pittsburgh sports news highlights.
Credit Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

Pittsburgh Post Gazette sports writer emeritus a.k.a. our Sports Guy, Bob Dvorchak comments on the 2024 Olympics coming to Pittsburgh, the Steelers' locker room blow up and how about an NBA team for Pittsburgh?

Essential Pittsburgh
10:31 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Mike Doyle on the Sequestration Deadline

U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle talks about how the looming sequestration deadline could impact the country.
Credit US House of Representatives

Listen to the interview with Congressman Mike Doyle

Congress must enact legislation every year to provide funding for the operations of the federal government. Unfortunately, Congress is deeply divided over different philosophies about the role of the federal government. The infamous across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration are set to take effect March 1st. Could legislators be forced to finally come up with a compromise? U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle weighs in.

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