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."

Ways To Connect

The Community College of Allegheny County has been awarded a grant for helping reluctant readers delve into topics such as censorship and intolerance with their Big Reads program.

The program, run by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), aims to get people who normally wouldn’t pick up a book — to read.

Barbara Evans, CCAC Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, said the grant enables them to do “authentic community outreach.”

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Media Services / 90.5 WESA

Construction for the first power plant deliberately located on the Marcellus Shale formation began Thursday.

“Panda Power Funds Liberty Energy Center is the first power plant in Pennsylvania specifically developed to harness potential Marcellus Shale gas formation,” Gov. Tom Corbett said at the groundbreaking.

The 829-megawatt natural gas-fueled power plant will be located in Asylum Township in Bradford County.

Corbett said the facility is creating approximately 560 jobs: 500 to construct it, about 27 to operate it and 45 indirect jobs to support it.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s West End branch might be a historic landmark, but its story is still being written.

The library will reopen to the public Saturday after a seven-month, $1.7 million renovation.

The library is inviting the community to the grand re-opening celebration, which will, among other things, include self-guided tours and 3D printing demonstrations.

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Being in an emergency situation is scary enough -- but what if you can’t even call 9-1-1?

Allegheny County Emergency Services is now taking that into account and is giving people the option to text.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said Allegheny is one of the first counties in Pennsylvania to provide this option.

Unless you're attending a university, most Pittsburghers do not have access to microscopes, pipettes, and other high-end scientific equipment — but a new lab opening this fall aims to change that.

Duquesne University and entrepreneurial group Urban Innovation 21 are constructing Pittsburgh’s first community biotechnology laboratory.

The rats have to go – but leave the eagles alone.

That’s the problem the Allegheny County Health Department is facing while taking measures to terminate the rat infestation at the abandoned Pittsburgh Recycling Plant in Hazelwood.

GGMJS Property LLC, a holding company, bought the site and now has the responsibility to get rid of the rats.

However, Pittsburgh’s newest eagle family in more than 150 years is located less than a mile away, and they could die if they consume one of the poisoned rodents.

A Philadelphia  state senator is proposing laws so people don’t get “slapped” with unfair legal fees while utilizing their Freedom of Speech.

Senator Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) proposed legislation to combat what he calls "frivolous" litigation known as  Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP).

According to Cornell University Law School, SLAPPs are lawsuits often filed by corporations against an activist or group of activists that disagree with the corporation’s actions.

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Stanley Benovitch said his dog Trixie has been killing rats since February.

He said that stems from an infestation in Hazelwood resulting from the sudden closure of the Pittsburgh Recycling Plant.

The plant went bankrupt in January, and the owners left the building – and all of its trash – behind.

Now the residents of Hazelwood are calling for someone to come clean it up.

A new report shows that Pittsburgh’s air quality has improved – but it still received failing grades.

That’s according to the American Lung Association’s 15th annual “State of the Air” report measuring the amount of pollution throughout the nation.  The study found that 147.6 million Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution.

Pennsylvania’s economic outlook is looking brighter - but only slightly.

That’s according to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which ranked Pennsylvania 33rd in its 2014 competitiveness report.

The report looks at state economic policies and draws conclusions from research about which states will achieve greater prosperity and which will have a mediocre economy.

Jonathan Williams, Director of Tax and Fiscal Policy at ALEC, said they try to highlight states that have policies enacted that really make a difference.

The ever greening landscape might make it seem like summer, but there are still 30 days until Pittsburgh Public Schools finishes its year, and the United Way of Allegheny County wants to make sure the students attend each one of them.

That’s why it is kicking off the “Finish the Year Strong: 30 Day Attendance Challenge” Friday.

One Etna resident thinks Allegheny County Councilman Nicholas Futules (D-Oakmont) should not be a part of the discussion about fracking under Deer Lakes Park.

Tim Ludwig, a Protect Our Parks member, has filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission.

He wants the Commission to force Futules to recuse himself from discussing or voting on the proposed extraction of natural gas underneath the 1,180-acre park.

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

This Earth Day, volunteers are taking Point State Park back in time to the French & Indian War — or at least they’re taking the shrubbery back.

About 25 volunteers from the Student Conservation Association (SCA), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) Association and the Penn State Master Gardeners planted native shrubs and flowers at Point State Park Tuesday.

The planting is part of the ongoing renovations at the park and AEO and SCA’s alternative spring break program, which centers around service projects.

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

How are the candidates for governor planning to take on the issues in the commonwealth’s African American community?

That’s what a coalition of African American organizations want to find out during its forum April 22nd.

The coalition invited the four Democratic gubernatorial candidates - Robert McCord and Kathleen McGinty accepted, but Thomas Wolf and Allyson Schwartz were unable to clear their schedules.

Allegheny County employees no longer have to wonder about their health care options for 2015.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced Tuesday that the county will exclusively retain Highmark for health care coverage through December 31st, 2015 - even if Highmark and UPMC are unable to reach an agreement.

Can depression lead to asthma? How about over-medicating?

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and UPMC are trying to answer these questions with a new computer program that has the ability to track 112 clinical variables for 398 people who do and do not have asthma.

This program can identify various subtypes of the disease such as asthma related to allergies, sinuses or environmental factors.

Wei Wu, an associate professor at CMU’s Lane Center for Computational Biology, said they want to help clinicians better define “asthma.”

Chatham University graduate students, Ann Payne and Kristen Reynolds, and their professor have created an entire exhibit about water -- and they hope it has a rippling effect.

“The Drop Project” is an interactive exhibit that shows the relationship among Pittsburgh, its residents and water.

Molly Mehling, sustainability professor and ecologist, said they want to create a networking event.

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Wednesday’s stabbings at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville has left many asking what steps can be taken to prevent these acts of violence.

The Center for Victims thinks an important part of the equation to stop violence is men. 

That’s why the center kicked off its “Men Ending violeNce” (MEN) challenge, which encourages men to pledge to become proactive and speak out if they see violence.

Molly Allwein, Community Relations Coordinator, said men have a voice that women don’t.

More people in Pennsylvania are being diagnosed with cancer, but less are dying.

That’s according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which released the State of Cancer Care in America: 2014 — the first-ever report of its kind.

According to ASCO, the report provides a “comprehensive look” at demographic, economic and oncology practice trends and how they will affect the United States in the future.

Woodstoves and boilers might have helped keep homes warm over the winter, but they also could have harmed the environment.

That’s why for the second year, the Allegheny County Health Department is collecting old woodstoves and outdoor wood-fired boilers that do not meet the current national emission standards.

More than 120,000 people across the United States are waiting for an organ transplant — 8,300 in Pennsylvania alone.

April is National Donate Life Month, recognizing those who need transplants, those who have donated and encouraging more people to do so.

More than 200 students and faculty lobbied Tuesday for an increase in community college funding in the 2014-15 state budget.

The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges wants a $12 million increase for the 14 community colleges throughout the commonwealth.  

Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D - Allegheny), who is also a member of the Community College of Allegheny County’s Board of Trustees, joined them at the State Capitol rally.

Not only does Mount Washington have a famous view -- it now has an app.

“The app is designed so that anyone coming up to Mount Washington can download it for free and very quickly find any businesses nearby, whether they’re hungry, they need an ATM, they need a gas station,” Christina Howell, the Manager of Outreach and Events at the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC), said.

Howell said users of “The Mt. Washington Guide” app can either type in a business’s name or search by category.

"Tikkun Olam" is a Hebrew phrase meaning “repairing the world,” and that’s what 300 teenagers from Allegheny, Beaver and Butler County plan to do during the ninth annual J-Serve Pittsburgh Sunday.

The teens will participate in 25 different community service projects in Squirrel Hill.

Lisa Sobel-Berlow, J-Serve Coordinator, said they want to encourage community building and connections across religious and societal lines.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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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