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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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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Homeless Veterans
4:47 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Volunteers Paint for Homeless Veterans

Volunteers from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades gave the Veterans Place on Washington Boulevard a fresh coat of paint Friday.

As part of the United Way Days of Caring and Project S.E.R.V.E., nine painters from IUPAT (District Council 57) painted the recreation room and common areas in the facility, which houses supportive services for homeless veterans in Pittsburgh.  

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Arts & Culture
2:14 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Exhibition Hails Heinz’s Storied History

A new exhibit that opened this weekend at the Senator John Heinz History Center celebrates the 145-year history of the H.J. Heinz Company.

Pittsburgh-based Heinz has evolved into one of the world’s largest food processing companies since its founding in 1869.

“The Heinz Company has been important to Pittsburgh for 145 years and we think the History Center is the right place to tell that story,” said Andy Masich, president and CEO of the History Center.

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Arts & Culture
3:27 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Zine Fair Showcases Independent Art

Finding a piece of original artwork for under $100 is not an easy task, but how about for $0.50?

That's how cheap some independent artwork will go for at this Sunday's Pittsburgh Zine Fair, which features more than 50 vendors showcasing their work. 

Zine, short for "fanzine," is a do-it-yourself (DIY) collection of self-produced stories, sketches, anthologies or photographs. Zines are purposefully made cheaply so artists and writers can get their messages out easily.

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Transportation
11:09 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Union Blames I-279 Bus Crash on Mechanical Failure

The Port Authority of Allegheny County thinks the driver is at fault, but the union thinks the Sept. 22 bus crash on Interstate 279 that injured a driver may have been a result of mechanical failure.

Steve Palonis, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85, said that after reviewing video footage and talking to drivers Juliann Maier and Thomas Frauens, there is no indication of reckless driving.

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Health
3:17 am
Thu September 25, 2014

UPMC Wants Your Unused Medications

As part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, UPMC is hosting multiple drop-off zones Sept. 26 where people can safely dispose of their unused medications.

There are 11 locations participating across the city, including Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside, UPMC Mercy South Side and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  

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Health
10:34 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Highmark Unveils Healthcare Center in Wexford

Officials from Highmark Health, the Mario Lemieux Foundation and the Allegheny Health Network cut the ribbon Tuesday afternoon for the new Health Wellness Pavilion in Wexford.
Credit Julian Routh / 90.5 WESA

Rather than having to go from doctor to doctor for health care, Highmark patients will soon be able to get the care they need all under one roof.

Officials from Highmark Health and the Allegheny Health Network unveiled the new Health + Wellness Pavilion in Wexford Tuesday afternoon, less than two weeks before its opening to the public.

The 175,000 square foot facility, deemed a "medical mall," will house an array of retail, diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic healthcare services.

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Pennsylvania Casinos
3:58 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Casino Report Details Minority, Female Hiring

Of the nearly 20,000 employees at the ten casinos and two resort casinos in Pennsylvania, 44 percent are female and 31 percent are racial minorities, according to a report released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

The percentage of women employees is approximately 2 percent greater than the previous year, while the percentage of minority workers is about the same.  At the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh 40 percent of its 1,774 workers are women, 26 percent are minorities.   

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Environment & Energy
6:11 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Follow Your Flush: ALCOSAN to Open Plant for Annual Event

Where does the sewage go when you flush your toilet?

The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority will show you that and more Saturday at its annual open house, featuring more than 40 exhibits about how to protect the region’s rivers and streams.

The event includes a Q&A session with a plumber, Environmental Jeopardy, a performance of "Little Mermaid’s Pollution Solution" by Gemini Theatre, a walk-through simulated sewer pipe and a tour of ALCOSAN’s facilities.

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Pittsburgh Police Chief
4:38 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

New Police Chief McLay Outlines Job Goals

Incoming Police Chief Cameron McLay vowed to restore trust and rebuild morale in the police bureau during his first public appearance in Pittsburgh Friday.

McLay, who was nominated for the position by Mayor Bill Peduto Sept. 2, will begin work Monday, replacing acting Chief Regina McDonald. McDonald had been serving in that post since February 2013, when former chief Nate Harper resigned. Harper is serving 18 months in federal prison for using approximately $32,000 in city funds on personal expenditures.

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Transportation
2:52 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

New Routes Go Live In County's Real Time Bus System

Allegheny County’s Real Time Bus Arrival System is operational for a quarter of county bus routes. More routes will go online in coming weeks.
Credit Flickr user tadekk

Seventeen more bus routes went live Thursday in Allegheny County’s Real Time Bus Arrival System, which gives riders instant information about where their Port Authority buses are.

The system is now up and running for a quarter of the 102 bus routes in the county, and another 15 routes will go online in the next two weeks. County executive Rich Fitzgerald said all routes will be available on the system by the end of the year.

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Transportation
5:57 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Pittsburgh International Airport Installs Bike Assembly Area

With thousands of cyclists gathering in Pittsburgh for this week’s Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place Conference, the Pittsburgh International Airport has installed an area where riders can disassemble and reassemble their bikes before and after their flights.

The assembly station has tools, wrenches and an air pump for cyclists who come and go from the airport on two wheels. State Sen. Matt Smith, who serves on the board of the Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA), said the station shows “an innovative approach to multimodal transportation.”

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Arts & Culture
7:00 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Cult Favorite 'The Big Lebowski' To Be Shown On Downtown Rooftop

A Pittsburgh organization is asking you to put on your robe and head to the roof.

The Coen brothers’ cult hit “The Big Lebowski” will be shown Sept. 10 on the rooftop of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Theater Square Garage.

The second Rooftop Shindig, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP), will feature live music, food, cocktails and games, all leading up to the feature presentation at 8:30 p.m. of the classic crime comedy flick.

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Community
6:58 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Flight 93 Memorial to Show Congressional Gold Medal on Anniversary

One of three Congressional Gold Medals struck in honor of Americans killed on 9/11 will be on public display at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville on Sept. 11.

In observance of the 13th anniversary of the attacks, the memorial will hold its annual ceremony, where visitors can get a rare glimpse of the highest honor that Congress can bestow.

The other medals will be displayed at memorials in New York City and Washington, D.C.

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Transportation
4:05 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

City to Install Penn Avenue Bike Lane

Cyclists in Pittsburgh can worry about one less street when it comes to rider safety.

The city is set to install a protected bike lane Wednesday on Penn Avenue between 6th Street and 16th Street. The lane will feature a two-way cycle track with bollards separating riders from automobiles.

“We expect it to really improve the safety for those riders,” said Ngani Ndimbie, communications manager for cycling advocacy group BikePGH. “To really change the way that they experience the street and allowing them to be able to feel really comfortable on their bikes.”

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Health
5:03 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Coalition Assembled to Prevent Misuse of ADHD Meds

Classes are in session at college campuses across the country and that means late-night study sessions in the library, no sleep and in some cases, the abuse of ADHD medications.

But the misuse of such medications is not only dangerous, it is also illegal.

The newly-formed Pennsylvania-based Coalition to Prevent ADHD Medication Misuse (CPAMM) is trying to spread the word on campuses across the nation.

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Education
11:11 am
Thu August 28, 2014

School Leaders ‘Ride’ Through State To Fix Funding System

Eleven school directors and former superintendents set off across Pennsylvania Wednesday to educate school administrators about the broken education funding system.

The group, deemed “regional circuit riders,” will spend the next year advocating for better distributed basic education funding. They completed a two-day training Tuesday.

The state will distribute more than $5.5 billion among 500 school districts this fiscal year. Each district will receive the same amount it was awarded last year.  

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Education
3:57 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Seeking Funding, Peduto Forms Early Childhood Education Panel

In an effort to receive federal funding that passes through Harrisburg, Mayor Bill Peduto named a Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Early Childhood Education on Monday.

The panel will focus on making Pittsburgh “more attractive” to those judging applications for the Preschool Development Grants Competition, according to the city’s Educational Policy and Workforce Development Manager Cosette Grant-Overton.

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Transportation
12:41 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Pittsburgh Among Worst Driving Cities in US, Allstate Report Says

Drivers in the city of Pittsburgh are 51.3 percent more likely to be involved in a car accident than the average American, according to an Allstate Insurance Company report released today.

Pittsburgh is 14th worst overall among 200 cities in the report, and is last among cities with 250,000 to 499,000 residents.

In other words, “if you live in Pittsburgh, you’re going to get in a car accident,” Allstate spokesperson Julia Reusch said.

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Health
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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Painkillers
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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