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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Student Loans
3:42 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Stafford Loan Increase Deadline Looms Over Pennsylvania Students

While college students are taking the summer off from schoolwork and exams, politicians in Congress are frantically doing some writing of their own — legislation — on how to prevent loan interest rate costs from increasing.

The interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford loans is currently at 3.4 percent, but it is set to revert back to 6.8 percent July 1, the rate it was before the 2007 College Affordability Plan gradually lowered it.

According to consumer group PennPIRG, each Pennsylvania student with a Stafford loan would have a $956 hike in debt if the rate doubles.

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Education
3:42 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

New Bill Replicates Pittsburgh's Manchester-Bidwell Program

Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and if it’s up to two Pennsylvania politicians, the rest of the nation will flatter Pittsburgh’s Manchester-Bidwell Corporation.

Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA-14) have introduced legislation modeled after the local program.

The National Program for Arts and Technology Act would help communities create centers to teach unemployed and underemployed adults and at-risk-youth the skills needed to be competitive in the marketplace.

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Arts
3:12 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Four-Story Duck Headed to Pittsburgh

Artist Florentijn Hofman's giant floating rubber duck will make its way to the Steel City in late September as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s International Festival of Firsts.
Photo courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman

The task of making Pittsburgh stand out as an international city has fallen on the shoulders of a floating rubber duck.

The four-story duck is part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s International Festival of Firsts.

Cultural Trust CEO and President Kevin McMahon said the purpose of this festival is not solely to bring money to Pittsburgh.

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Education
6:29 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Wilkinsburg School District Conducts Survey in Hopes of Change

The Wilkinsburg Public School District has a storied past, but in recent decades, it has been struggling.  District and borough officials want to change that, and they are asking residents for their input.

Elected officials are conducting a survey asking what the community wants to see its school district and borough provide in the future.

The school district and Community Leadership Team are asking residents, workers and business owners in the borough to take the 17-question survey.

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Veterans
3:30 am
Mon June 3, 2013

PA Senator Sponsoring Tax Credit for Veteran Jobs

State Sen. Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) is sponsoring a bill that would provide a $4,000 tax credit to small businesses that hire veterans.

“It’s a win/win because the employer will get a great employee in a veteran and be doing the right thing to hire one of our heroes and also get a tax credit,” Stack said. “So I think it’s job creation and it’s rewarding the folks that have fought for us.”

Stack notes the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania for veterans is 9.9 percent compared to the statewide unemployment rate of 7.8 percent.

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Transportation
3:30 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Pittsburghers for Public Transit to Rally in Capitol

The advocacy group Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT) plans to hold a rally on June 4 in the Capitol Rotunda to call for funding and better conditions for public transit in Pennsylvania.

PPT Community Organizer Helen Gerhardt said they plan on visiting the office of every state legislator to tell them why public transit is crucial.

“Many people don’t realize just how important public transit is to the urban tax base, which then supports the entire state budget including funds for roads and bridges,” Gerhardt said.

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Outdoors
2:06 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Green Tree Man to Embark on 1,000-Mile Canoe Trip

Green Tree resident Ian Davis will soon embark on a 1,000-mile adventure in remembrance of the canoe's former owner, David Burt.
Credit Photo courtesy of Ian Davis

When David Burt bought his canoe in 1964, he thought that he would be the one paddling it on long-distance journeys.

But his life was cut short in 1966, and now the current owner of the canoe is embarking on a 1,000-mile adventure in remembrance of David.

Ian Davis, 52, of Green Tree will begin his journey in Point State Park with the hope of finishing this August in Cairo, Illinois with his 51-year-old canoe intact.

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Electric Cars
3:30 am
Tue May 28, 2013

AAA Tries to Spark Interest in Electric Cars

When choosing a way to get around for the next few years, eight out of 10 adults would rather drive out of the dealership with a gas vehicle than an electric one.

According to a survey by AAA, 30 percent of adults said they would not buy an electric car because of limits with mileage. Twenty-six percent said it was because of cost.

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Arts
3:30 am
Mon May 27, 2013

With Grant, City of Asylum Hopes to Create Public Works of Art, Literature

A local arts group hopes to use a grant to turn Pittsburgh into a canvas promoting freedom of expression.

ArtPlace America awarded a grant to the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh to launch its newest project, the “Garden to Garden” Artway.

City of Asylum/Pittsburgh spokeswoman Elizabeth Baisley said the artway will create spaces where literature and art are visible to the public as they walk along the streets of Pittsburgh.

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Hiking Week
3:30 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Pennsylvania Hikers Trek the Trails for Hiking Week

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources wants you to slip on your hiking boots and trek the trails of Pennsylvania.

The department hopes Hiking Week 2013 will showcase Pennsylvania’s many trails and walkways.

Through June 2, DCNR and the Keystone Trails Association will offer outdoors adventurers more than 70 organized hikes, and they hope to make that number grow to 100 organized hikes by the end of the week.

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Marijuana
4:21 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Local Advocates of Legalized Marijuana to Hold Moment of Silence

A local activist group will gather at Point State Park Saturday in an effort to “smoke out prohibition” of marijuana.

At 4:20 p.m. Saturday, the Pittsburgh regional chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws will hold a moment of silence to protest what it calls the war on cannabis. NORML promotes repealing the prohibition of marijuana.

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Weather
2:24 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Local Farmers Protect Their Plants from Late Spring Frost

April showers may bring May flowers, but what are we going to do with this frost?

With temperatures forecast to dip below the record low of 35 degrees, a frost advisory has been issued for Southwestern Pennsylvania starting at 3 a.m.

Local farmers are trying to protect their plants, strawberries in particular, from the chilling temperatures.

Ross Trax from Trax Farm in Bethel Park said it’s still early for strawberries, but the farm is trying to protect the blossoms.

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Business
1:18 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Marcellus Shale Attracts Swift Worldwide Resources to Pittsburgh

The Marcellus Shale boom in western Pennsylvania has gained the attention of oil and gas companies, and they are seeing new opportunities in Pittsburgh.

One of the businesses making a move to Pittsburgh is Swift Worldwide Resources.

The outplacement company opened an office in Robinson. The new office will focus on hiring people for management and supporting roles in the oil and gas industry.

These roles include positions in technical shale drilling along with safety and environmental consulting.

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Municipal Investments
3:44 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

$350M Incinerator Inspires Bill to Oversee Municipal Deals

A trash incinerator that helped bankrupt Harrisburg has prompted two Pennsylvania senators to roll out a package of bills that would better evaluate municipal investments.

Pennsylvania Sens. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin County) and John Blake (D-Lackawanna County) drafted the package to give the state more oversight over municipal financing deals.

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