Julian Routh

News Fellow

Julian was accepted as a news department fellow with WESA in January.  

The Whitehall Borough native is majoring in multi-platform journalism (with a minor in political science) at Duquesne University with an anticipated graduation date of May 2016.

Julian hopes to be a news writer with the Associated Press in a market like New York City,  "although working at the NY Times would be pretty cool too." He also has aspirations to write sports. 

Fun fact:  "I write and record my own music and love going to shows. My favorite band is Blue October...I've seen them seven times."

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Transportation
2:54 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

New Airport Authority CEO Wants to Add More Nonstop Flights

A woman with more than two decades of air service experience was introduced Tuesday as the new CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

Christina Cassotis, 50, of Boston, will take over in January as CEO of the authority, which manages the Pittsburgh International Airport in Findlay and Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.

Although she doesn’t see Pittsburgh becoming a hub for air traffic again, Cassotis said she wants to attract airlines to the city and add more nonstop flights.

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Community
4:38 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Latest Round of Housing Vouchers Given to Homeless Veterans

More than 100 homeless veterans in Pennsylvania will receive rental vouchers totaling nearly $560,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The newest batch of vouchers, 103 in total, is part of the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, which has handed out more than $2 million in rental assistance in the state since October.

The vouchers will be given to housing authorities and veteran medical centers, which will help find veterans who need housing.  

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Business scams
3:30 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Better Business Bureau Urges Holiday Shoppers to Look Out for Scams

It wouldn’t be an American holiday without con artists trying to scam innocent online shoppers.

This holiday season, keep on the lookout for warning signs that might indicate you’re being targeted by a scammer.   

The most prominent scam this year is the fake package delivery email, according to Caitlin Driscoll, public relations director for the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania. These emails claim they contain links to package tracking information, but are really out to break into your computer.

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Health
3:30 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Long-Term Care Report Expected in Waning Days of Corbett Administration

A commission tasked with examining the long-term care system in Pennsylvania is prepared to submit its recommendations to Gov. Tom Corbett but not before it has one more meeting.

The Long-Term Care Commission was formed in January of this year and has until Dec. 31 to report to the governor on issues including illness prevention and caregiver support, accessibility, provision of services and quality outcomes and management.

Bonnie Rose, deputy secretary for the Office of Long-Term Living, said the commission will have the report on Corbett’s desk ahead of the deadline.

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Community
5:05 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Fast Food Workers March in North Side for Minimum Wage Hike

Fast food workers march through the drive-through at the Wendy's on Allegheny Avenue in North Side. Protesters were calling for a hike to the federal minimum wage.
Credit Julian Routh / WESA

More than 100 fast food workers and supporters marched along Allegheny Avenue in the North Side Thursday morning to fight for a minimum wage hike.

The protest started at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church and ended at the Wendy’s restaurant two blocks away, where the workers marched through the drive-through. The supporters also entered the doors of the McDonald’s next door to yell chants including, “We can’t survive on $7.25.”

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Arts & Culture
5:24 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

ARAD Approves Largest Budget in 20-Year History

The Allegheny Regional Asset District will allocate more than it ever has in its 20-year history to organizations and projects in 2015.

The Board of Directors of the ARAD approved a $93.7 million budget Monday that details the distribution of $89.3 million in operating grants and $4.4 million in capital grants to a total of 90 nonprofit or government agencies.

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Community
3:30 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Plans Move Forward to Restore Allegheny County Courthouse

One of the most iconic symbols in downtown Pittsburgh is set to undergo a series of renovations that will preserve its history and bring it up to date.

Allegheny County has selected the firm of Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel to develop a Master Facilities Plan to restore the 126-year-old Allegheny County Courthouse.

The firm will assess the building’s heating, lighting, electric and security systems to determine what construction needs completed, according to Principal Sheldon Goettel.

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Environment
3:30 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Bad Bug: Berks County Areas Quarantined to Fight Lanternfly

Five townships and two boroughs in Berks County have been placed under quarantine by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in the fight against the Spotted Lanternfly, which was found for the first time in North America in the county earlier this fall.

The quarantine prohibits residents from moving any material or object that could help the spread of the insect, which attacks grapes, apples, stone fruits as well as pines.

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Hunting
2:28 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

Threat of Chronic Wasting Disease Plagues Deer Hunting Season

As deer season approaches, hunters in Blair and Bedford counties will have to follow Pennsylvania Game Commission regulations intended to halt the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.

There are currently three Disease Management Areas (DMAs) in Pennsylvania, two of which are on deer farms in Adams and Jefferson counties. The other, in Blair and Bedford counties, is the biggest concern for the commission because it is in the free-ranging population, said Jeannine Fleegle, wildlife biologist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

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Early Childhood Education
1:07 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Councilwomen Call for Study of Childcare Centers

The first initiative of the newly-formed Women’s Caucus of Pittsburgh City Council is a broad examination of childcare centers in the city.

Councilwomen Deb Gross, Darlene Harris, Theresa Kail-Smith and Natalia Rudiak will introduce legislation that they say will improve childcare facilities and the quality of care in Pittsburgh.

The legislation calls for a comprehensive study of childcare providers, which will be used by city government to enhance the care and make necessary changes.

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Tax Rebates
12:36 pm
Sun November 16, 2014

Cost-of-Living Adjustments Won't Ruin Chance at Rebate

Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) will no longer disqualify Pennsylvanians from receiving a tax rebate if their annual earnings were pushed over the income ceiling as a result.

The Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program, which gives money to many older and disabled Pennsylvanians on a fixed income, had to adjust to COLAs or else individuals would be unfairly disqualified, according to Pennsylvania Department of Revenue spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell.

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gay rights
1:29 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Pittsburgh's LGBT Equality Rating Well Above National Average

Pittsburgh received the second highest grade in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality among seven cities in Pennsylvania, according to a report released Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign.

Pittsburgh scored a 90 out of a possible 100, which is based on the city’s non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, employment policies, law enforcement and municipal leadership on matters of equality.

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Autism
11:46 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Local Organizations Land Grants from Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks, a national advocacy organization, has awarded nearly $930,000 in grants to community groups nationwide, including some in Western Pennsylvania.  

Grants totaling $5,000 each will go to UPMC’s Theiss Early Autism Program, a development center for children diagnosed with autism, and Intermediate Unit 1, an educational support agency.

The Theiss Early Autism Program will use the grant to enhance its Community and Family Involvement initiative.

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Health
3:30 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Pennsylvania Gets 'B' for Preterm Birth Rate

The dropping premature birth rate in Pennsylvania has earned the state a "B" on the March of Dimes’ annual report card, one letter grade ahead of the national average.

The grade recognizes Pennsylvania’s 10.7 percent preterm birth rate in 2013, the seventh straight year it has decreased or stayed the same. The state is on pace to surpass the March of Dimes’ goal to lower the national preterm birth rate to 9.6 percent by 2020.

More than 450,000 babies each year nationwide, one in every nine, are born prematurely before the standard 37 weeks of gestation.

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Health
3:30 am
Sun November 9, 2014

Pitt Study Reveals Stem Cells In Esophagus

A new discovery by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine could impact the treatment of esophageal cancer and a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus.

In a study released in the current issue of Cell Reports, researchers found a pool of stem cells in the esophagus, something that was never considered before.

The study, which was done in mice, could unveil major implications if similar results are found in humans.

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Government & Politics
1:13 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

PA Constitution Could Prevent Stack from Holding Two Jobs

When incoming Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack takes office in January, he says he might try to hold onto his seat in the state Senate, according to a report in PoliticsPA.   

But a local political science professor said Stack wouldn’t be permitted to keep both jobs under the Pennsylvania Constitution.

“According to the constitution, if you’re a senator or a representative, you can’t have any other office that draws a salary,” said Kristin Kanthak, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Environment & Energy
7:40 am
Sun November 2, 2014

Online Tool Pinpoints Wood Burning Areas

A Pennsylvania-based clean air activist group has launched a new on-line tool it says will encourage discussion about open wood burning and wood smoke pollution.

The online application launched by The Clean Air Council, called I See Smoke, allows users to pinpoint the area where they are noticing wood smoke pollution on a map. This information is given to the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), which can use the data to resolve the issue.

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Economy & Business
1:21 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Energy, Gas Industries Focus of CCAC Partnership

In an effort to attract more people to jobs in the oil and gas industries, the Community College of Allegheny County has partnered with the Energy Innovation Center (EIC) to provide hands-on training and workforce development programs.   

Educational programs will be offered at the new EIC Institute in the Hill District, CCAC president Quintin Bullock said. The Center will open in January.  The collaboration between CCAC and the center officially began this week with the signing of a memorandum.

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Health
2:03 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

33 Genes Linked to Autism by CMU, Pitt Study

An international research team led by professors from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University has identified 33 genes that contribute to the risk of autism.

The team also uncovered 70 genes that are “likely” linked to autism risk, and have estimated that more than 1,000 have yet to be identified. According to the researchers, the discovery, which is the largest to date, enhances the scientific community’s understanding of how a brain with autism spectrum disorder works.

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Arts & Culture
3:30 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Pittsburgh To Paris Program Grows Downtown

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Paris to Pittsburgh program has been given life for at least another year with the Colcom Foundation coming on board with a $350,000 grant. 

Downtown business and building owners can apply for 50 percent matching grants of up to $30,000 to renovate the street-level façade of their establishments. Since its inception in 2007, the program has given more than $1.7 million to 73 projects.

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Employment
1:19 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Job Market in Pittsburgh Slowly Improves While State Falters

While the rate of job growth in Pennsylvania sits dead last among states in the U.S., the numbers in Pittsburgh are a bit more optimistic, according to recent studies by the Keystone Research Center and PittsburghTODAY.

The Greater Pittsburgh area added 7,500 jobs from September 2013 to September 2014, a 0.6 percent increase. Pennsylvania, ranked 50th for job growth since January 2011, lost 9,600 jobs in September alone.

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Health
3:30 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Campaign Aims To Get Tobacco Products Off Retailers' Shelves

Eight months after retail chain CVS vowed to stop selling tobacco products, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) is encouraging other retailers to follow suit.

In a national initiative launched today, the CTFK is asking an estimated 375,000 retailers in the United States to halt their sales of tobacco, which is the leading cause of preventable death in the country.

The campaign also wants shoppers to give their business to stores like CVS that don’t sell tobacco products.

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Science & Technology
11:12 am
Tue October 14, 2014

CMU Researcher Combines Science, Online Gaming

You don’t need a PhD, lab coat or test tubes to do science anymore. In fact, those might just get in the way. 

An online video game developed by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Stanford University allows users to design molecules out of RNA, which are then synthesized in a laboratory for analysis.

RNA, more properly known as ribonucleic acid, is key in decoding and expressing genes and is considered one of the building blocks of life.

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Health
3:30 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Forbes Hospital Using New Software to Bridge Language Barriers

The cost of hiring an interpreter or sign language specialist to communicate with hospital patients can reach up to $70 per hour, but suburban Pittsburgh hospital might have found a cheaper and more effective alternative.

Forbes Hospital in Monroeville recently starting utilizing iPad-based software called “Language You See,” which provides interpretational and sign language services at the touch of a button.

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Arts & Culture
12:02 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Pittsburgh Brewers Host Beer Sampling for Charity

Knocking back a couple of brews has never been more charitable.

The eighth annual Brewing Up A Cure craft beer festival, this Saturday at PPG’s Wintergarden in Downtown Pittsburgh, will feature more than 75 beers from microbreweries in Pittsburgh, with all proceeds benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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Transportation
4:34 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

State Grants Carry Goal of Less Wasted Time at Red Lights

The state is hoping to partner with municipalities across the state to improve traffic signals that will lead not only to better traffic flow but also to added energy savings.

PennDOT will use Act 89 funds to support its “Green Light-Go” program.  The act sets aside $10 million for signal improvements in the current budget.

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Real Estate
1:23 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Real Estate Market Continues Rebound In Southwestern Pennsylvania

After a particularly rough winter, the real estate market in southwestern Pennsylvania began to heat up this summer, and according to a September report from the West Penn Multi-List, Inc., the numbers are continuing to strengthen.

The number of new home listings in September (3,327) increased 8.83 percent in comparison to the number from September 2013. Residential homes placed under agreement and average home sale price also increased, a sign that houses are moving and the market is healthy.

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Big Read
12:05 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Reading Day In Pittsburgh

Reading will be celebrated at the Carnegie Library in Oakland Tuesday October 7th as the Community College of Allegheny County joins forces with local libraries, high schools and correctional institutions to promote literacy in our county through its program The Big Read in Pittsburgh.

“Literature is transformative by its very nature, but to have different people and races connect with a novel, it allows them to ignite a love of reading through engaging activities,” said Barbara Evans, Big Read Project Director at CCAC. 

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Education
1:07 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Group Marches for More Transparency in Charter School System

Members of Action United protest fraudulent spending in the Pennsylvania charter school system at Piatt Place on Fifth Avenue Thursday.
Credit Julian Routh / WESA

In wake of a report detailing alleged charter school fraud, members of the group Action United and other concerned parents took to the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh Thursday morning to demand more oversight from their local government.

Since 1997, there has been more than $30 million in proven or charged fraud, waste or abuse in Pennsylvania’s charter school system, according to the report released Wednesday.

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Manufacturing
4:39 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Battling Labor Shortage, Companies Use 'Manufacturing Day' as Recruitment Tool

For an industry that is struggling to find workers, this Friday is especially important.  

On National Manufacturing Day, plants in Pennsylvania will host open houses, career workshops and public tours in an effort to recruit future employees.

Manufacturers are facing a skilled labor shortage. Employers are struggling to keep up with retirement rates and increased needs for production, said Tom Reed, managing director of marketing and communications for Catalyst Connection.  

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