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."


7:54 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Regulated Ink: State Rep. Aims To Clean Up Tattoo Shops

A needle digs painfully deep into your skin for what seems like an eternity, and in its place, an image or phrase resides forever. But who’s to say a deadly blood-born disease like HIV doesn’t inhabit, too?

No one, and that’s a major problem as tattoos and body piercings become more popular, according to a Pennsylvania lawmaker.

“Because there’s needles used, there should be some sort of, at the least, sanitation or sterilization requirements for an establishment and some training that’s involved with the tattoo artists as well,” Rep. Rosemary Brown said.

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Science & Technology
7:54 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Annual DATA Event Expands to Bring More Innovative Works

A golf ball-shaped dome that uses the light from its windows to project a reflection is only one of the many works of creative technology on display at a two-day event starting Wednesday at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education Center.

DATA 2014, featuring an interactive exhibition, innovation conference and awards ceremony, will bring together artists, investors and innovation leaders to network and share their work.

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4:40 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

State Rep ‘Outraged’ at FDA, Drafts Bill to Restrict Zohydro

A painkiller that has five to ten times more opioid than any other drug on the market was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year, and a Pennsylvania lawmaker isn’t happy.

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks County) is sponsoring a bill that would regulate the use of Zohydro, a pure formulation of hydrocodone, in Pennsylvania. The drug was approved by the FDA, even though its medical board voted 11 to 2 against it.

“The FDA went over the heads of their own medical board and approved this,” DiGirolamo said.

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3:30 am
Mon May 5, 2014

CMU Method Could Help People Take Medication On Time

Ever ask a family member, “Did you take your medicine today?”

There might be a more effective way to prompt people to take their meds on time, a recent Carnegie Mellon University study found.

The 10-month study, conducted in the homes of older adults with chronic health problems, revealed that giving people feedback after they take medication, rather than reminding them on time, has its benefits.

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3D Printing
4:57 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Fluffy Innovation: New CMU Printer Makes Teddy Bears

Most 3D printing technology deals only in plastic or metal, but a Carnegie Mellon University professor’s latest invention produces much softer results.

Scott Hudson, a professor in CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, collaborated with Disney Research Pittsburgh to develop a 3D printer that prints in needle felt and yarn.

“This creates things that have a very different aesthetic,” Hudson said. “A really soft aesthetic.”

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Reed Poverty Report
4:35 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

State House Committee Issues Newest Report On Poverty in Pennsylvania

In July 2013 State Representative Dave Reed (R-Indiana) set out to travel the state and learn more about poverty as a part of what he’s called “Empowering Opportunities: Gateways Out of Poverty.” Ten months later, Reed has issued his preliminary report on poverty in the commonwealth.

Reed, who chairs the House Majority Policy Committee, conducted his evaluation through hearings, roundtable discussions, and tours in rural, suburban, and urban parts of the state.

Reed says that there is one common factor.

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Religion & Faith
2:31 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Bishop Leads Pittsburgh Pilgrimage to Rome

Eighty-eight pilgrims from the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh were in the crowd for the historic canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II Sunday in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

The pilgrims, led by Bishop David Zubik, joined the more than 800,000 on hand to watch current Pope Francis present issue the formal proclamation of sainthood. 

“For [our pilgrims] it was a matter to be there for the history of it,” Zubik said. “I think that’s probably true for all the people who were in the square.”

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Drug Abuse
3:30 am
Mon April 28, 2014

US Attorney Assembles Group To Address Growing Problem Of Opiate Overdoses

It's a problem that is lurking just below the surface in Pennsylvania, and it is getting worse every year.  

A group assembled by United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David Hickton will look for solutions to the growing problem of prescription drug abuse in the Pittsburgh area.

The U.S. Attorney’s Working Group on Addiction: Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery will work to identify the problems behind the alarming number of opiate overdoses in Western Pennsylvania and how to solve them.

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2:45 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Undercover Officer Tickets Uber, Lyft Drivers

The state Public Utility Commission (PUC) is cracking down on ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber for operating without licenses in Pittsburgh.

From the end of March through April 21, the PUC issued 23 tickets to Lyft and Uber drivers ranging in amount from $25 to $300 plus court costs.

An undercover PUC enforcement officer was sent to retrieve rides using the services’ smartphone applications, and once the rides were over, the officer submitted the tickets to the local District Justice’s office.

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Arts & Culture
2:41 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

From Robots to Hands: Five Exhibits to See at Tonight’s Gallery Crawl

Four evenings a year, Pittsburghers can stroll through the Cultural District and pop into any art gallery for free to see a showcase of exhibits.

Each gallery crawl is different, and tonight’s features a North American premiere, a 3-D printing exhibit from a group of Penn State students and one last chance to see a robotic exhibition.

At Wood Street Galleries, "crawlers" can view North American premiere installations, Edwin van der Heide’s “Evolving Spark Network” and Alexandre Burton’s “Impacts,” in an exhibition called “Electrified.”

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Arts & Culture
3:47 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Melodies in Memorial: Heinz Hall To Host Holocaust Remembrance Event

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) will join Holocaust survivors at Heinz Hall Sunday evening to commemorate Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“Remembering Through Music,” presented by the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, features four musical interludes by a quartet of PSO musicians and a candlelight ceremony with six Holocaust survivors.

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Arts & Culture
3:37 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Presidential Treatment: How This Pittsburgh Band Met Obama

In a matter of minutes, a Pittsburgh rock ‘n’ roll band went from jamming in a driveway to meeting the leader of the free world.

The four members of Comfort Tech will remember those few moments for the rest of their lives.

“It was completely unexpected,” guitarist and vocalist Eric DiFiore said.

It started with a simple idea Wednesday afternoon to set up and play outside while the motorcade carrying President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made its way to the Community College of Allegheny County’s West Hills Center, where the two would be speaking.

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Public Safety
12:12 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Fight a Fire, Get a Tax Break

To attract more volunteer firefighters and emergency response volunteers across Pennsylvania, two state senators have introduced a bill that would offer a new incentive.

The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Sean Wiley (D-Erie) and Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), would give municipalities the power to give volunteer first responders a credit on their local earned income tax.

Each municipality would be allowed to determine the amount of the tax credit and guidelines of the program, including the number of calls a volunteer must answer and the level of training they must have.

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Gas Drilling
4:06 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Report Details Effects of Gas Drilling

The effects of natural gas drilling under state forests aren’t being ignored, according to a report from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

The department’s first Shale Gas Monitoring Report, released Wednesday, outlines its efforts through 2012 to monitor the impacts of gas development on water, air, energy, forest health, soils and wildlife.

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Arts & Culture
2:11 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

PDP Hopes Springtime in Paris Has Nothing on Pittsburgh

There comes a time in Pittsburgh each year when storefronts look more vibrant, the Pirates open their ballpark and the city breathes a collective sigh of relief.

It’s spring, and the Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership wants Pittsburghers to celebrate by dusting off their cameras for a contest.

The PDP’s “Share Your Spring” contest, which opened Wednesday, encourages people to submit photos that capture their excitement for spring in downtown Pittsburgh.

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County Alerts
1:08 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

County Executive Fitzgerald Unveils New Alerts System

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald demonstrates the newly unveiled Allegheny Alerts system.
Credit Julian Routh

Reporters and county officials watched in anticipation as Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald slowly typed his name and phone number onto a giant computer screen in his office Thursday morning.

After creating an account, a phone rang in the middle of the table, and a look of relief permeated Fitzgerald’s face.

That was the first notification from the newly unveiled Allegheny Alerts system.

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Arts & Culture
3:20 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Forum Aims to Re-Energize Darfur Movement

When South Sudan separated from the North to form an independent country in 2011, the fight didn’t end.

In fact, it may be stronger than ever.

In an effort to promote advocacy, the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition (PDEC) is hosting a forum on South Sudan and Sudan on Sunday.

The event will bring together members of the Sudanese diaspora in Pittsburgh and speakers, including Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Forest Hills) and Jacqueline Burns of the U.S. State Department, to discuss developments in Sudan and how to reenergize the Save Darfur movement.

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3:27 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

E-Bike Legislation Could Put Cyclists On The Road

A new bill that passed unanimously in the state Senate this week would allow riders of pedal-assist electric bicycles to drive their vehicles in the streets.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny/Washington), would legalize e-bikes under the state vehicle code.  

“We’ve seen in Western Pennsylvania a lot of e-bike users being pulled over by their local police departments because there is a misconception that it might be a moped or some other mechanized form of travel when in fact these are really essentially bicycles,” Smith said.

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3:11 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Crowdfunding Site for Small Businesses Launches in Pittsburgh

Jesus Martinez took out a Kiva loan for his restuarant La Palapa.
Julian Routh 90.5 WESA

When Tracy Carter was a member of corporate America, she daydreamed in her office about opening up her own hair salon.

She knew she was serious about her aspirations, but didn’t have the finances to jump start them.  

Rather than going to a bank for a loan, Carter found help from 95 donors on Kiva.org, a crowdfunding initiative that enables anyone in the world to lend money to small businesses.

Now, $5,000 later, Carter owns Shear Talent in Bethel Park.

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8:44 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

HUD Funding Assists Public Housing Maintenance

As part of a $1.8 billion assistance package from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Allegheny County Housing Authority and Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh will receive nearly $20 million to improve public housing units.

The awards, $4.1 million to the ACHA and $13.2 million to the HACP, are to be used to modernize, build, repair and renovate public housing developments.

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9:58 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Hepatitis Bill Promotes Quicker Testing

Nearly 200,000 Pennsylvanians have hepatitis C and don’t know it, and new legislation could help them find out.

The bill would require health care providers to offer hepatitis C testing to baby boomers, people born between 1945 and 1965.

Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford), the bill sponsor, said a greater emphasis on testing would save lives.

“By increasing testing opportunities, this legislation will insure that more individuals living with hepatitis C can become aware of their infection status, get available treatment and take steps to prevent transmission,” Baker said.

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Public Safety
3:30 am
Mon March 17, 2014

'Rocco’s Law' Moves Forward in Harrisburg

Six weeks after the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police said goodbye to K-9 officer Rocco, legislation is advancing through the Pennsylvania House that would strengthen the punishment for those who harm a police dog.

Rocco’s Law, sponsored by Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny/Washington), would make injuring or killing a police dog a felony of the second degree carrying a maximum fine of $25,000 and 10 years in prison. This includes mutilating, disabling or poisoning a K-9 officer.

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3:30 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Kids Encouraged to Stand Up to Tobacco Industry

On March 19, kids across the country will show that the battle against the tobacco industry isn’t only fought in the courtroom, but on the playground.

The 19th annual Kick Butts Day, organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, is a celebration of youth leadership and activism in the battle against smoking and tobacco marketing.

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County Government
12:36 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Paperless Office in Sight for Allegheny County Controller

To cut costs and encourage more effective communication between businesses and county government, Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner is taking the next step in having her office go paperless.

Vendors are now being urged to send invoices to the county electronically, which will save the office between $15,000 and $20,000 per year in postage, paper and ink. 

Businesses still have the option to submit paper invoices, but Wagner said she expects using the electronic system to be a requirement soon.

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National Guard
3:30 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Corbett Joins Opposition Against National Guard Cuts

Potential budget cuts to the Army National Guard have received opposition from 50 governors across the country, including Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.

A letter signed by the governors asking President Obama to reconsider the cuts was delivered to the White House on Feb. 28. In the letter, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin wrote that the cuts “suggest a pre-2001 strategic reserve construct,” which would take funding back to levels it was it before the September 11 attacks. 

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