Jessica Nath

News Fellow

Jess is from Elizabeth Borough, PA and is a junior at Duquesne University with a double major in journalism and public relations.  She was named as a fellow in the WESA newsroom in May 2013.

Her career goal is to work as a foreign news correspondent "hopefully in radio."

Fun fact:  "Would love to travel internationally...starting in South Africa."

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Family Leave
4:12 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Advocates Rally for Paid Family Leave for City Employees

The United States is one of two countries worldwide that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave to new mothers according to Vicki Shabo, Vice President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. This statistic is from the International Labor Organization who surveyed 185 countries.

That’s why Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak has introduced legislation calling for at least six weeks of full-paid family leave for City of Pittsburgh employees.

The legislation applies to parents of any gender as well as those who choose to adopt or foster children.

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Sewer Overflow
12:53 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

ALCOSAN Hosts Sewer Overflow Community Discussions

Faced with implementing a $2 billion sewer overflow project, ALCOSAN is turning to the community for help.  It is hosting a series of community discussions focusing on the issue that affects all 83 municipalities under ALCOSAN.

In 2008 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a consent decree which requires the agency to create a plan to fix sewer overflow in the region.

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Environment
3:30 am
Sun January 25, 2015

Department of Environmental Protection Awards More than $22 Million in Grants

Conservationists hope to keep a well-used section of Stonycreek alive thanks to a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

In all, the DEP is awarding more than $23.2 million for various watershed projects.

The DEP awarded the grants to a total of 109 projects in the commonwealth through the Growing Greener Program, Acid Mine Drainage Set Aside Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program.

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Community
4:46 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Councilwoman: When It Comes to Sidewalks, Is Concrete Always Best?

Pittsburgh’s city code requires that sidewalks are made out of concrete, but Councilwoman Deborah Gross is questioning whether that’s the best option.

During a post-agenda meeting Thursday, Gross heard from various organizations saying there are better alternatives to concrete, which often times is lifted or cracked from trees and their roots.

Gross said solving this problem could help with Pittsburgh’s issues managing water, which includes flooding and water pollution.

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Community
3:36 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Boyce Park To Host Inaugural 'Snowfest' This Weekend

Allegheny County might not have seen a lot of snow so far this winter, but that’s not stopping Boyce Park from planning to host its inaugural “Snowfest” this weekend.

“It is the first-ever Snowfest in Boyce Park,” Kevin Evanto, chief marketing officer for Allegheny County, said of the January 23rd through 25th event. “The idea that we came up with last year was to put together three days of winter fun for the whole family, and that includes both skiers and non-skiers.”

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Environment & Energy
7:54 am
Tue January 20, 2015

State Senator Calls on Pipeline Companies to Pay Impact Fee

Impact fees have been in place for counties with Marcellus Shale drilling sites, but if State Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) gets his way, pipelines could be the key to spreading the wealth.

Dinniman plans to introduce legislation Monday that would establish a pipeline impact fee in Pennsylvania.

He said the burden needs to be taken off those who are directly affected by the pipelines carrying shale gas to the ports of Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore.

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Jazz
3:30 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Small Jazz ‘Club’ to Open in Pittsburgh Bus Shelter

“I have this image in my mind of people walking in, and the music starts playing and people looking around at each other confused,” said Amy Kline, describing the bus shelter located near Chatham Square downtown.

As the Patron Services and Marketing Manager as Manchester Craftmen’s Guild Jazz, it was her idea to create “Pittsburgh’s Smallest Jazz Club” in the bus shelter – and Awesome Pittsburgh, which awards $1,000 grants for projects in the city, is helping that image move from her mind to reality.

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Community
3:30 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Acceptance into PA’s Main Street Program Expected to Aid in Wilkinsburg's Revitalization

Wilkinsburg is a community in transition, and now it’s getting help to implement change.

The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation (WCDC) has announced that the borough has been accepted into the Main Street program.

The state operated Main Street program helps communities revitalize their central business districts and residential neighborhoods.

“It will give us more access to funding from the state for projects, such as façade grants or other planning grants that we need to continue working on,” said Tracey Evans, WCDC executive director.

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Animals
4:57 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Pittsburgh Airport Transfers Endangered Owls to Natural Habitat

The endangered short-eared owl is about the size of a crow.
Credit Pittsburgh International Airport flickr

Pittsburgh International Airport has booked three short-eared owls a one-way ticket to their natural habitat.

The medium-sized owls, which measure 13 to 17 inches tall, were spotted on the edges of the airport’s property at the beginning of this month, and the airport’s wildlife management team, along with environmental regulatory agencies, have relocated them to a safer habitat — safer for them and potentially safer for the aircrafts.

While the short-eared owl is not considered endangered or threatened at the federal level, it is in Pennsylvania. 

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Transportation
3:30 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Building Bridges in Bulk Expected to Save Pennsylvania Money

Within the next three years, 558 bridges throughout Pennsylvania will be replaced.

PennDOT announced Monday that it had finalized the terms for its Rapid Bridge Replacement Project.

“The construction and some of the maintenance will cost roughly $899 million,” said PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt. “But we’re expecting to save a good bit for each bridge compared to if we were going through our typical process, and it’s happening much faster than it normally would.”

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Weather
2:50 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

With Cold Temperatures, Warming Stations Open in Pittsburgh

Several warming centers are opening to give Pittsburghers refuge from the bitter cold temperatures this week.

The City of Pittsburgh has opened the Greenfield, Homewood, Sheraden and South Side Market House Senior Centers to help Pittsburghers get out of the cold.  They will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice.

The Light of Life Rescue Mission is also opening its front doors – and offering snacks and hot chocolate – during the day.

Kate Wadsworth, public relations manager, said the shelter is open Thursday for anyone looking to escape the cold.

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Media
5:02 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Local Editorial Cartoonists React to Attacks in France

Editorial cartoonists around the world, including Pittsburgh, are creating cartoons in response to the attacks against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Masked gunmen stormed into the French magazine’s office Wednesday morning, killed 12 people, including the magazine’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, and wounded 11 others. The attackers have yet to be captured.

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Clean Energy
3:30 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Report Recognizes Pennsylvania as Clean Energy Leader

Pennsylvania is becoming a nationwide leader in the clean energy industry.

That’s according to a new report released by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which highlights eight states that have demonstrated leadership in clean energy policies, installation and economies. The goal was to analyze states outside of those usually credited with clean energy advances such as California.

Jessica Lubetsky, Clean Energy Initiative officer, said the commonwealth has positioned itself to take advantage of what it already has – especially its manufacturing industry.

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Community
3:30 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Where to Start if Your New Year’s Resolution is Volunteering

With a new year comes a new set of resolutions. 

If volunteering is one of yours, Riley Baker, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program at Pittsburgh Cares, suggests you ask for help.

“I think that a lot of times it can be really hard to navigate the world of volunteerism, especially if you don’t really know a ton about the nonprofits that are out there,” he said.

Organizations such as Pittsburgh Cares try to play matchmaker between potential volunteers and nonprofits that need help.

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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Could the Next State Budget Include a New Funding Formula for PA Schools?

For as long as property taxes have been used to locally funded schools, there has been a debate over fairness and it might come to head this year in Pennsylvania.

State Senator Matt Smith (D – Allegheny) is hopeful the 2015-16 budget will incorporate a funding formula for Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts.

He is a member of the Basic Education Funding Commission, which is tasked with crafting the formula.  Created in June, the 15-member commission has about six months to go until it must submit a proposal to the legislature.

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Community
3:05 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Salvation Army Scrambles to Reach Its Red Kettle Campaign Goal

With Christmas only two days away, the Salvation Army is calling on shoppers to help it reach its annual Red Kettle Campaign goal.

The Salvation Army needs an additional $394,000 to reach its goal of $2.49 million – it’s short $73,000 at its Allegheny County locations.

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August Wilson Home
1:54 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Three Workers Restore August Wilson’s Childhood Home and their Lives

Scaffolding covers much of the three-story brick house on Bedford Avenue in the Hill District.  Three men – an apprentice carpenter and two bricklayer apprentices – work on restoring the crumbling front façade, the roofing and the brickwork. 

But this isn’t your average restoration – the navy blue sign standing in front of the house reveals that it is the childhood home of famous Pittsburgh-born playwright August Wilson – and all three of the men working on it have either spent time on the streets or in jail.

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Allegheny County
3:43 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Wagner Releases 'Damning' Audit of Corizon Health

The Allegheny County jail houses about 2,700 inmates, many of whom by one person's estimation are not being provided with efficient health care.

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner Monday released the audit of Corizon Prison Health Management Inc., which she claims yielded some “damning” findings.

She said this not only impacts the health of the inmates and prison employees but also the larger community.

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Youth Summit
1:44 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Students to Discuss Violence, Bullying in Summit Friday

Niya Ingram, a tenth grader at Brashear High School, listed “killing, bullying and…gangs” among the issues she and her peers are facing.

That’s why she is helping facilitate the Coalition Against Violence’s (CAV) “Strategies for Change” Youth Summit Friday in coordination with the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP).

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Government & Politics
5:06 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Senate Bill Enables Disabled to Set Up Tax-Free Savings for Education, Long-Term Care

It’s being called the biggest piece of legislation to affect disabled Americans since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was passed by the Senate Tuesday by a vote of 404-17.  It allows Americans with disabilities or their families to set up a tax-free savings account in order to prepare for long-term care.

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Marcellus Shale
4:44 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Report Claims Negative Impacts of Marcellus Shale Drilling

While the population in Marcellus Shale drilling towns has not increased, crime, housing costs and other negative impacts have.

That’s according to the left-leaning Keystone Research Center and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s report "The Shale Tipping Point: The Relationship of Drilling to Crime, Truck Fatalities, STDs and Rents in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio."

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Dynamic Parking
11:52 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Legislation Calls for Dynamic Parking in Pittsburgh

If legislation up for debate Wednesday goes through, you could see parking meter prices in Pittsburgh fluctuate depending on the time of day.

Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak has introduced a bill that would allow for dynamic prices for parking meters in certain neighborhoods starting in 2015.

“It adjusts the price of parking meters based on parking supply and demand,” Rudiak said. “So it will actually change the price based on how close one is parked say to the main street business district or how far.”

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Community
4:36 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Chanting 'Shut It Down,' Protesters Block Downtown Pittsburgh Streets

Dozens of protesters participated in a rally in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday.
Jessica Nath 90.5 WESA

“Hands up – don’t shoot!”

That was the cry of dozens of Pittsburghers who gathered downtown Thursday to protest the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers.

“The average person, the average citizen has to get involved in this. This involves all of us,” said organizer Julia Johnson. “Police brutality, systemic racism, the list goes on and on of the issues that our country is suffering from right now. Everyone must be a part of this movement. We must liberate ourselves from this oppressive system.”

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Pets
5:20 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Legislation Aims to Protect Pets from Extreme Cold, Heat

If it’s too cold for you outside, then it’s too cold for your pet.

That’s the message Councilwoman Darlene Harris is sending Pittsburghers with the two pieces of legislation she introduced Tuesday.

The first piece of legislation would fine cat and dog owners a maximum of $500 dollars for leaving their pets outside for a long period of time when temperatures are below 32 degrees or higher than 90 degrees.

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Health
3:09 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Allegheny Health Network Now Offers Drug to Prevent Re-Clogging of Arteries

The Allegheny Health Network is the first health system in the Pittsburgh region to offer a new medication called Lutonix to help those suffering from peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Between 8 and 12 million people in the U.S. are affected by PAD - the hardening of the arteries from cholesterol and plaque buildup. It can obstruct blood flow, which could result in amputation or death if untreated.

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Science & Technology
3:43 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

CMU Robot to Visit the Moon

"Andy" the moon rover, named after Andrew Carnegie, will go to the moon next year.
Jessica Nath 90.5

John Mann’s class project this semester will be sent to the moon next year.

The Carnegie Mellon University computer science student, along with about 30 other students, is taking part in a class called Mobile Robot Design that centers on constructing a moon rover named “Andy.”

Mann said the students are split into groups, each with a particular job.

“I primarily do software, particularly software related to driving Andy and getting and displaying information from Andy,” Mann said.

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Holiday Parking
4:25 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

T'is the Season for Free Parking in Pittsburgh

With the holiday season approaching, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority has voted to give the gift of free parking again.

During a board meeting Thursday, the Parking Authority board voted unanimously in favor to expand free parking to their surface lots on Saturday, November 29th. 

“We…are joining the city and their efforts to promote Small Business Saturday with free parking at all the meter(s) on both the street – the city has done – and the Parking Authority is going to do free parking at surface lots,” David Onorato, Executive Director, said.

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Homeless Veterans
4:18 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Pittsburgh Initiative Houses 125 Homeless Veterans

Bill Peduto joined First Lady Michelle Obama's Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness by December 2015. Now 125 homeless vets have received permanent housing in Pittsburgh.
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

  Bill Ward served in the army from 1974-76 and went into construction afterwards, but recent health issues forced him out of his job and into the path of potential homelessness.

But Ward is not homeless thanks to the “Pittsburgh Rapid Results Veterans’ Homeless Boot Camp.”

The Boot Camp “is effectively like a spark to really galvanize the community to end veterans’ homelessness by 2015 and really kind of bring everyone together for a common goal and a common cause,” Jesse Rodriguez, operations director of the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, said.

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Blood Donations
4:17 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Blood Donations Decrease as Holidays Approach

  Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion, and that need doesn’t diminish over the holiday season.

But the number of blood donations does decrease this time of year, according to Marianne Spampinato, Red Cross spokeswoman.

“People get busy with holiday activities, and travel and we also have longer periods when schools are out of session,” Spampinato said. “Businesses may be shorter staffed, and unable to support local blood drives as much as they do other times of the year.”

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Student Loans
3:30 am
Mon November 17, 2014

PHEAA Tells Recent Grads to Prepare to Repay their Student Loans

College has come and gone for Pennsylvania spring graduates — and now it’s time to pay up. 

The six-month “grace period” is almost over, and the bills are going to start arriving.

Keith New, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency communications director, said the average Pennsylvania borrower graduates with $25,000 debt, and the six months are meant to help them get financially comfortable before beginning to repay it.

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