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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National Arts Advocacy Day
10:10 am
Tue March 25, 2014

The Arts Turn Political on National Arts Advocacy Day

Art is more than decoration; it is an industry that supports the economy and education system in the United States.

That is the message arts leaders from Pittsburgh and across the nation are delivering to Capitol Hill today for the 27th National Arts Advocacy Day.

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Health
3:30 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Pitt Researchers Working to Build Better Regrowing Arteries

University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering researchers are developing a way to help arteries regrow with less risk of an aneurysm after a coronary bypass surgery.

Arturo Valentin and his team are attempting to use new polymers in artery replacements as a way to prevent aneurysm formation.

He said they are working to create an “in host remodeled graft.”

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Education
9:35 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Two Legislators Create Bills to Stop Schools from Hiring Abusers and Sexual Offenders

Two state legislators want to stop “passing of the trash” in Pennsylvania’s education system, but whose bill will “pass” first?

The “Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation” (SESAME) bill was on track toward the governor’s desk.

Sen. Anthony Williams’s (D-Philadelphia) bill was approved unanimously by the Senate and the House Education Committee.

However, a seemingly identical package of bills introduced by State Rep. David Maloney (R-Berks) was introduced early this year.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:55 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Dem. Candidate Schwartz: Corbett's Affordable Care Act Response a Failure

Credit 13th Congressional District, Pennsylvania / flickr

Allyson Schwartz, a Democratic candidate for governor, said Pennsylvania is looking for someone with a proven track record to replace Gov. Tom Corbett and his “failed leadership.”

On Tuesday, she said one of his “failures” was his response to the Affordable Care Act, which she wrote provisions to as a U.S. Representative.

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Casinos
1:38 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

PA Casinos See Drop in February Revenue

While the overall casino revenue for February decreased 5 percent, the Pennsylvania table games had a bit more luck.

Table games at the commonwealth’s 12 casinos grossed $57.1 million this year — a 3.25 percent increase over February 2013.

However, Richard McGarvey, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman, said this increase is not that impressive at second glance.

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Children's Festival
1:44 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Pittsburgh’s Children’s Festival Returns for 28th Year

Children from Brightside Academy pose with Mr. McFeely.
Jessica Nath 90.5 WESA

The Cultural Trust’s Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival is making a “leap” from Oakland to Downtown May 14-18.

The 28th annual frog-themed festival is moving to help fulfill the Trust’s mission to make Downtown a “vibrant and inviting place.”

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Afterschool Programs
5:43 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Pennsylvanians Advocate for Afterschool Programs

Wilkinsburg High School students want an afterschool program -- but they can’t afford one.

About two years ago, the students created the Gym after Dark program but lost funding and had to cancel it after only a year.

That is why they joined a group of 58 children and adults in Harrisburg Tuesday as part of the United Way’s Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) for the first Afterschool Advocacy Day.

The event aimed to raise awareness of the importance of academic afterschool programs for students of all ages in the commonwealth.

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Infrastructure
4:28 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

After a History of Cuts, Army Corps Funding Up

After a sharp cut this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District has received $176.3 million in new federal funding for the 2015 fiscal year.

“It’s more than we received last year, it’s pretty much standard for what we received in the past few years,” spokesman Dan Jones said. “But last year was just an anomaly.” The Corps received approximately $110 million for fiscal year 2013-14.

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UPMC
3:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Faith Leaders Arrested Again At UPMC Protest

Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network faith leaders stand in handcuffs.
Jessica Nath 90.5 WESA

An officer warned the Rev. Rodney Adam Lyde that he would be arrested again if he took part in the rally at the U.S. Steel Building Thursday.

Lyde – who had already been arrested last week – politely thanked him for his concern, but he had every intention of staying.

By the end of the protest, he had been arrested with several other faith leaders for trying to enter the building to speak with UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff.

The rally was part of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network’s new campaign called Love Thy Neighbor.

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Charter Schools
7:43 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Auditor General Holds Meeting on Charter Schools

How can charter schools better help Pennsylvania students succeed? That is the question Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is asking.

At an information gathering session in Ross Township, DePasquale said they want to strengthen the accountability and transparency of the charter school system.

“Our goal in the hearings over the next three weeks is to provide really the best practices and also good points to the Pennsylvania General Assembly so they can take that, incorporate that, in updating and improving the Pennsylvania Charter School Law,” DePasquale said.

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Pittsburgh Public Art
7:37 am
Fri February 21, 2014

New Art Installation Aims to Gather 'Congregation'

People passing through Market Square have the opportunity to become part of an art installation starting February 21st.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) is launching the North American Premiere of Congregation, an interactive kinetic light installation.

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Winter Weather
12:34 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

With High Temps Expected This Week, Melting Snow Could Bring Flooding

The National Weather Service is calling for temperatures to reach the low 50s this week, meaning the possibility of a lot of melted snow and ice — and floods.

Werner Loehlein, the chief of the water management for the Pittsburgh Army Corps of Engineers, said the Corps always worries about substantial snow and river ice when the temperature rises.

However, he said the latest forecast from the National Weather Service appears to show that Pittsburgh is safe from flooding.

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Community
1:38 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

PA 2-1-1 to Give Pennsylvanians 'Holistic' Help

The United Way announced a more “holistic” way to assist PA 2-1-1 Southwest callers Tuesday.

PA 2-1-1 is a free human service helpline that connects Pennsylvanians with basic needs such as utilities, housing, employment and food.  It also helps connect people to agencies that can answer questions about the Affordable Care Act or help with free tax preparation.

Bob Nelkin, United Way of Allegheny County president, said people who call 2-1-1 need help navigating what he called a “confusing maze.”

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Public Safety
3:30 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Senator to Introduce 'Rocco's Law' After Fallen K-9 Officer

Legislation that would strengthen the penalties against killing or torturing a law enforcement animal might not have saved K-9 Officer Rocco’s life, but one lawmaker hopes it could save other K-9 officers such as Mt. Lebanon Police Department’s “Snieper.”

That is the goal of state Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny) who said he saw how valuable the canines are when he visited Officer Snieper and his handler, Officer Ben Himan Monday.

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Weather
4:55 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Public Works Director: Pittsburgh is Prepared for Snow Storm

Western Pennsylvania is under a winter storm warning until 1 p.m. Wednesday, but new Pittsburgh Public Works Director Mike Gables isn’t worried.

He said he doesn’t believe the storm is going to be as bad as everyone thinks, but the city is ready either way.

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Open Data
8:26 am
Fri January 31, 2014

City Council Hears Open Data Ordinance Testimony

Pittsburghers might get the opportunity to know a lot more about city government.

City Council heard testimony Thursday on Natalia Rudiak’s legislation to establish an open data ordinance for the city of Pittsburgh.

The ordinance would make information available online to the public -- ranging from city services to infrastructure.

Matt Barron, Mayor Bill Peduto’s Policy Manager, said staff members in city government don’t currently have access to a lot of data, and it makes their jobs difficult.

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Parkway East
4:17 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

How Should Parkway East Change? PennDOT Wants You to Decide

Given the chance, what would you change about your morning drive on the Parkway East? 

Victor DeFazio, PennDOT Project Manager, said that’s the question the department is asking commuters in a survey released this week.

“What we’re trying to do is understand what is going on out there and what are some of the ideas that we can do to improve travel in the entire corridor,” DeFazio said. “Not just on Interstate 376, but even on the parallel and access routes as well.”

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Casey Award
4:08 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

A Lifetime of Helping Children, and Now a Lifetime Award

Allegheny County’s child welfare system was considered a “national disgrace” in the early ‘90s, but now it is being held up as a national model.

That’s according to Marc Cherna, director of Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS), who is the first person ever awarded the Casey Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Child Welfare Leadership.

The award presented by the Casey Family Programs recognizes someone who has contributed substantially to the field of child welfare.

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Arts & Culture
10:48 am
Wed January 22, 2014

'Party' to Make Johnstown a Vibrant Community

“Lift Johnstown” is throwing a community-wide party Thursday -- a “Project Party.”

The goal of the “party” is to connect Johnstown residents with a local non-profit to help improve the community.

“Lift Johnstown is a collaborative effort to reinvent our community as a vibrant, small city,” Brad Clemenson, coordinator, said. “And one of the many ways we do that is we try to engage people in coming out, making a difference, getting involved, getting their hands dirty, working with people, whatever they like to do, you can help, you can make a difference.”

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Poverty
3:27 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Sen. Casey Releases Report on Income Inequality in PA

More than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians, or about 1 in 8 state residents, live in poverty.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) believes he knows how to lower that number.

He released a report Tuesday that showed the income inequality among Pennsylvania counties in 2012.

It revealed that the commonwealth has a poverty level of 13.3 percent, which is below the national rate of 15 percent.

Philadelphia County had the highest rate of poverty at 26.2 percent while Bucks County had the lowest at 5.8 percent.

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Health
3:30 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Want a Second Opinion While in Florida? New Partnership to Connect Patients to Pittsburgh

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is about to see a lot of new patients — but not in person.

As of March 1, 2014 the hospital will become the exclusive pediatric provider for tele-health company MDLIVE.

MDLIVE provides online and on-demand health care services and software for more than 3 million users throughout the U.S.

Harun Rashid, Children’s Hospital chief information officer, said the partnership will allow people throughout the country to connect with the hospital’s specialized doctors.

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Community
3:30 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr. Event Takes Root in East Liberty

“In the end we remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”

According to Joseph Hall, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater (KST) Producing Director, that quote by Martin Luther King Jr. is the inspiration behind this year’s “East Liberty Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” event Monday.

Each year, the theater chooses a theme for the event, and this year’s is “Every Voice Counts, Every Story Matters.”

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Community
5:09 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Two Pittsburghers Receive Martin Luther King Jr. Award

Paul Ellis, August Wilson's nephew
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

What does Martin Luther King Jr. have in common with a playwright and a minister that couldn’t swim?

Their commitment to social justice.

The Rev. LeRoy Patrick and August Wilson were honored posthumously by the Kingsley Association, the Port Authority of Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh Pirates with the Spirit of King Award Thursday.

The award celebrates local citizens who pursued human rights and equality like Martin Luther King, Jr., Thursday.

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Power Plant
4:03 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Lawmakers Concerned About Power Plant Warning

When the Hatfield’s Ferry and Mitchell power plants were closed last fall, PJM officials assured customers and legislators that the power grid’s reliability would not be affected.

However, many southwestern Pennsylvania customers were asked to limit power consumption when temperatures reached a record low last week.

Now state Sen. Tim Solobay (D-Washington) and state Rep. Pam Snyder (D - Fayette) have written a letter to PJM officials and the Public Utility Commission expressing concern — and frustration — about the warnings.

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SchoolWATCH
12:43 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

How Is Your School Spending Its Money? The Answer Could Soon Be Online

How are Pennsylvania school districts spending your tax money?

SchoolWATCH, a bill aimed at answering that question, was approved by the House of Representatives Monday.

It would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to create a website displaying the revenues and expenditures of traditional public, charter and cyber school districts in the commonwealth.

The legislation’s author, Representative Jim Christiana (R-Beaver), said they want to create an “easy-to-use” database.

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