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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CO2 Emissions
3:56 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Report: PA Ranks 3rd Worst in Country for CO2 Emission

A new report finds that Pennsylvania emits the third most carbon dioxide in the country.

PennEnvironment released the report, “America’s Dirtiest Power Plants,” Thursday – which found that Pennsylvania tails only Texas and California.

The report took 2012 data – the most recent available - from the Environmental Protection Agency and ranked power plants in the United States according to their CO2 emissions.  It then compared each state to total carbon emissions of entire countries.

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State Government
6:07 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Pennsylvania Borrows Money From Itself in Wake of Empty General Fund

Pennsylvania’s general fund is empty – so it’s borrowing money from itself.

With operating funds at a 10-year low, Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration has asked Treasurer Rob McCord to loan money to the commonwealth’s main bank account.

“The good news is that we have a credit line, the credit line is working, the credit line is allowing people to get paid, schools to get their revenue, etc., and government is functioning, and we have an elegant financial solution and financial instrument,” McCord said.

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State Government
3:30 am
Sun September 14, 2014

With Recess Over, Frankel Foresees Minimal Progression of Controversial Legislation

Monday marks the end of summer’s legislative recess – but with elections in less than two months, can much be accomplished?

State Representative Dan Frankel (D – Allegheny) is not optimistic, saying he finds it “doubtful” they will be successful with getting any significant bill passed.

“I don’t think you’ll see any legislation that is ‘big idea’ legislation,” he said. “I think you’ll see mostly legislation that is not controversial – I’m hoping most of it won’t be controversial.”

The legislative calendar only shows 12 voting days remaining this session.

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Bike Share
4:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Pro Bike Convention Pedals into Pittsburgh

Thousands of bike enthusiasts from around the country have pedaled their way into Pittsburgh – or most likely travelled by other means – for the 18th annual Pro Bike Pro Walk Pro Place Conference.

Tuesday’s discussion focused on Bike Share programs, which provide public bicycles for people to rent and have been implemented in cities all over the world.

Jacob Mason, the transport research and evaluation manager from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, presented data he gathered while researching what he considers “successful” systems.

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History
3:30 am
Sun September 7, 2014

Gathering Discusses Whether Nixon’s Pardon Was The Right Decision 40 Years Ago

Forty years ago tomorrow, President Gerald Ford appeared on national television declaring he had granted former President Richard Nixon a full pardon for his involvement in the Watergate scandal.

While the infamous investigation has been extensively publicized and analyzed, Ford’s reasoning behind the pardon mostly remains an untold story.

That’s according to Ken Gormley, Duquesne University’s Dean of Law, who is coordinating Monday’s event along with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, at which major players in Ford’s decision recount their involvement.

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Arts & Culture
7:59 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks Takes the Stage for 10th Anniversary

Ten years ago, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks staged its first production honoring the famous bard.

The premiere show, “As You Like It,” spanned two weekends in November at Frick Park, and Jennifer Tober served as director, choreographer and even costume designer.

“It was a kind of simple production, I pulled costumes from my own closet, or people wore really kind of utilitarian things that they had, and it was kind of a low-fi, low budget production,” Tober said. “And now the company has grown so much, now we have not-for-profit status and our cast has grown.”

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Homeless Veterans
4:30 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Bill Would Give Public Housing Preference to Homeless Veterans

There are 1,500 homeless veterans in Pennsylvania at any given time, according to Senator Vince Hughes (D – Philadelphia).

That’s why he and other Democratic members of the Pennsylvania  Senate Appropriations Committee and representatives of various veterans groups are planning to meet Friday in Pittsburgh to discuss a bill that could help.

The legislation calls for a preference for homeless veterans, then to disabled veterans and then to families of deceased veterans for public housing.

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Child Predators
1:54 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

New Truck Helps Charge Child Predators Faster

Attorney General Kathleen Kane introduced the new truck that aims to arrest child predators faster.
Jessica Nath 90.5 WESA

The process of arresting a child predator could take up to eight months with investigators taking computers from the suspect's home or business and transporting them to a crime lab for further study.

But the Attorney General’s office is trying to streamline that by rolling out two new trucks that act as computer forensic laboratories on wheels. 

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Higher Education
12:26 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

'Vibrant' City Attracts More University Students

As a new academic year begins today for many universities, a lot of students are attending their first ever college classes.

Various Pittsburgh universities reported either an increase in the number of freshmen this year or the number of applications they received - a continuation of a trend that began years ago.

Marc Harding, chief enrollment officer, said the University of Pittsburgh has about 3,900 freshmen starting this fall - about the same as last year - but that’s not because the same amount of people applied.

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Higher Education
3:30 am
Mon August 25, 2014

New Commission Works to Create New Public Education Funding Formula

When it comes to public education funding in Pennsylvania, one size does not fit all, especially when it’s $5.5 billion this fiscal year being divided among 500 school districts.

That’s according to state Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester), who is part of a 15-member commission that was created in June with the goal of finding a formula for distributing state funding to schools in a fair and efficient manner.

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PedalPGH
2:16 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

3,000 Cyclists Expected To Hit The Streets Sunday For PedalPGH

BikeFest is approaching the finish line this Sunday with thousands of riders pedaling their way through the city with one last bicycle-themed event.

“PedalPGH is BikePGH’s biggest fundraiser of the year as well as Western Pennsylvania’s largest bike ride,” said event coordinator Mike Carroll. “It’s in its 21st year, and we expect record attendance of around 3,000 riders.”

He said cyclists can choose among three trails that BikePGH tries to scale for different skill levels.

The Breathe Project Family Ride is 12-miles long on car-free trails on the Southside.

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Business
2:14 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

As PA’s Largest State Liquor Store Opens, Turzai Pushes for Privatization

The largest retail state liquor store in Pennsylvania opened Thursday – but not everyone is excited.

The expanded store, located on Penn Circle South in East Liberty, is a remodeled and refurbished version of the previous Fine Wines & Good Spirits Store.

At 17,674 square feet, it’s 35 percent larger than its predecessor.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) aimed to make the store environmentally responsible by using LED lighting and offering to sell reusable shopping bags made from 60 percent recycled materials.

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Storm Water Overflow
4:56 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

From Flooding to Meadows, Pitt Officials Begin Solving Storm Water Overflow Issues

Representatives from Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, ALCOSAN and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, announced the construction of two green rain water management projects.
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Instead of overflowing sewer systems and creating flooding, a new project will take rain water and use it to maintain a newly planted meadow in Schenley Park.

Officials from the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, ALCOSAN and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) announced Thursday the construction of two green rain water management projects in the park in Oakland.

In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a consent decree to the Pittsburgh region to eliminate sewage contamination entering local rivers and streams.

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Higher Education
3:30 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Pitt Grad Students to ‘Plunge’ into Community Service

Incoming students to the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health can ‘plunge’ into their areas of study by participating in various forms of community service.

Cindy Bryce, associate dean for student affairs, said about 140 of the 220 incoming students to the program have signed up to take part in “Plunge into Public Health and Pittsburgh” Thursday.

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Public Safety
3:30 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Bill Would Allow Local Police to Use Radar to Monitor Speed

Forty-nine states in the nation permit their local police departments to use radar to monitor traffic speed, but Pennsylvania is not one of them.

State police are allowed to use the devices in the commonwealth, and a new bill could enable local departments to do so, too.

Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) said local police departments are stretched in terms of their resources and manpower and this could help.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:35 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Peduto Says He's Willing to Negotiate Police Residency

Credit Matt Niemi / Flickr

Pittsburgh Police negotiations are underway, and Mayor Bill Peduto said he’s willing to bargain as long as he sees reform.

In March, a labor arbitrator ruled that Pittsburgh Police are not required to live within the city. Instead, they are permitted to live within a 25 mile radius of the City County Building. But soon after, Peduto appealed the decision.

Peduto said Wednesday he would be willing to bargain if he could see three improvements to the police system in Pittsburgh.

He said he wants to reform how officers are recruited and wants a police force that reflects the city, with more diversity. He also wants to see a change in how police are promoted, saying that it should be based on merit instead of a test.

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Arts & Culture
7:46 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to Host First 'Rooftop Shindig'

The city skyline will be the backdrop for an ‘80s cult film favorite, when the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Pittsburgh Filmmakers host the first “Rooftop Shindig” Wednesday.

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Public Safety
5:55 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Police: Storm Drain Caused Car-Swallowing Sinkhole

Crews work Wednesday on large sinkhole that opened up in the parking lot of a McKnight Road business.
Credit Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

UPDATE (4:26 p.m. Wednesday): PennDOT Says McKnight Road Not at Risk

Work to repair a sinkhole nearly 40 feet long and 10 feet wide is underway in Ross Township.

The sinkhole opened in front of Hollywood Tans salon right off of McKnight Road Tuesday, swallowing a car – and almost its passenger, Natalie Huddleston of Shaler Township. She was not injured.

According to Steve Cowan, PennDOT district press officer, the sinkhole does not pose any danger to the state-maintained McKnight Road, which is about 15 feet from the edge of the sinkhole.

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Economy & Business
3:29 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

As Pittsburgh Gains National Attention, Its Economy Receives a Boost from Tourism

PNC Park is one of Pittsburgh's attractions gaining national attention.
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh has been described as “hip,” “organic” and “authentic” by a slew of travel publications over the past few years, but what does all this recognition mean for the city and its residents?

It means money and a boost in the economy, according to Craig Davis, CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH, Susan Corbett, the First Lady of Pennsylvania, and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

They gathered Tuesday at PNC Park, voted one of the best views in the country, in recognition of Pittsburgh being named as a “Top 10 All-American Travel Destinations” by the Travel Channel.

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Water Quality
4:13 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

What is the Quality of Pennsylvania’s Water? It’s Getting Better

Before the implementation of the Clean Water Act, Pittsburgh’s rivers were so polluted, they barely even had fish, according to Brady Porter, Duquesne University associate professor of biology.

“Not any for commercial fishing or recreational fishing,” Porter said. “They were dead, they [the rivers] were basically sewers where our abandoned mine water would flow orange.”

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Business
3:30 am
Mon August 11, 2014

PA Women Pitch Business Plans in Competition

Pennsylvania women have the opportunity to take part in the commonwealth’s first Business Plan Competition for women, where they will make pitches in front of a panel of judges for a cash prize.

Women own about 7.8 million businesses in the United States, according to the National Women’s Business council.

“They play a really integral role in our economy at the local, state and national level,” Ashley Mostek, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, said. “They’re job creators; they’re an important part of our economy on all levels.”

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Mental Health
1:49 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Grant Helps More Pennsylvanians Receive Mental Health Services

One in four people live with some form of mental illness in the United States, according to the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania.

But Health and Human Services announced recently that seven health centers in the commonwealth will receive a total of $1,750,000 in Affordable Care Act funding.

This will be used to establish or expand behavioral health services for more than 20,900 people in the commonwealth.

The Squirrel Hill Health Center was one of the seven clinics that received $250,000.

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Arts & Culture
4:10 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Scores of Stories on Tap for Three Rivers Storytelling Festival

From tales about an elderly woman who decides to go to medical school, to fairy tales and historical accounts told by local students, the 14th annual Three Rivers Storytelling Festival held this Friday and Saturday at Winchester Thurston’s North Campus will be chock full of interesting yarns.

15-year old Shaler Area High School student Sara Walker says her favorite part of storytelling is connecting with listeners and seeing them captivated by her tales.

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Hepatitis C
5:01 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Hepatitis C Could Be a ‘Rare’ Disease by 2036

  About 15,100 people die each year from hepatitis C, making it the leading cause of chronic liver disease and liver transplantation.

The disease can be contracted through injection drug use, unprotected sex or through contact with the blood of someone who is infected. It can be minor, lasting only a few weeks, or a lifelong battle.

But a study from the University of Pittsburgh shows that hepatitis C could become a “rare” disease by 2036.

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Gas Prices
2:17 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

This August’s Gas Price is Lower Nationally, But Not in Pennsylvania

Nationally, AAA forecasts this August’s gas prices to be lower than in previous years – but in Pennsylvania, not so much.

The average price for regular unleaded gasoline in western Pennsylvania is $3.72 per gallon - compared to $3.52 nationally.

Teresa Thomas, AAA East Central director of public affairs, said there are two reasons for higher gas prices in the commonwealth.

“One is the gas tax, and we also use a special summer blend of fuel in seven counties in western Pennsylvania, and that makes the price a little higher than the national average,” Thomas said.

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YMCA
12:31 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Thelma Lovette Honored with YMCA Memorial

Aaron Gibson said one of his favorite memories of Thelma Lovette was when she decided to test out the workout equipment the day before the grand opening of the YMCA that bares her name.

“She actually walked up to the machine and said, ‘Hey, watch this, watch my smoke,’ and she started doing the arm machine, you know, going back and forth, and just with a smile on her face,” Gibson described. “That’s the type of lady she was, she was about 96 years old at that time.”

Gibson is the executive director of the Thelma Lovette and Centre Avenue YMCAs.

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Environment & Energy
10:31 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Peduto Hosts Roundtable on Clean Technology

Shawn Garvin said there’s a misconception that people must be either pro-environment or pro-economical development. 

He is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator for the Mid-Atlantic region and believes that they are not mutually exclusive and can, in fact, go hand-in-hand.

That’s why Mayor Bill Peduto hosted a roundtable discussion Thursday centered around how the city can support the growing “clean technology” movement.

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Community
3:30 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Regatta at Lake Arthur Races Into Moraine State Park This Weekend

With races, fireworks and live performances “powered” by the audience, the 16th Annual Regatta at Lake Arthur is being held at Moraine State Park Saturday and Sunday.

Holly Muchnok, the event director, described the regatta as a “celebration of playtime.”

She said the events will be held at the park’s South Shore, which isn’t as windy, so visitors have the opportunity to paddle board, dragon boat, kayak or canoe.

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Environment & Energy
5:57 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Doctors Gather in Support of EPA’s Carbon Rule

Dr. Alan Lockwood said he has seen way too many children in emergency rooms struggling to breathe while their parents look on confused and helpless.

That is why he and other health professionals from Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, which aims to limit carbon emissions from power plants and the effects of climate change.

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Immigrant Children in Emsworth
2:26 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Physician: Disease in Immigrant Children Not a Concern in Emsworth

Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been taken into custody by U.S. border agents according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Holy Family Institute’s announcement that it will take in about three dozen of these children has been met mostly with backlash from the Pittsburgh region.

According to Holy Family, the children are under the age of 12, which the institute stated makes up about 20 percent of the migrating children.

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