Kathleen J. Davis

General Assignment Reporter

Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Kathleen J. Davis was born and raised in the great state of Michigan in a city just north of Detroit. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 with a degree in political science.

As General Assignment Reporter, Kathleen covers a little bit of everything. In her first few weeks at WESA, she reported on robots, startups and bike lanes – a true taste of the new Pittsburgh.

In her free time, Kathleen likes running the Three Rivers Heritage Trail along the Monongahela and making a never-ending list of Pittsburgh’s hidden gems.

Ryan Kang / AP

Under Pennsylvania law, a person operating a car, truck, boat or airplane can be arrested if they're under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana is federally considered a Schedule 1 drug, lumping it with heroin, LSD and esctacy.

State Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) says this creates confusion for law enforcement if they pull over a medical marijuana patient. Delozier will soon introduce legislation to allow medical marijuana patients to operate a vehicle while under the influence, as long as their driving is not impaired.

Catherine Policicchio / FBI

A nine month-long FBI wiretap investigation resulted in the indictments of 28 Western Pennsylvania residents Wednesday morning. According to officials, they were members or associates of the West End gang "GBK" -- the Greenway Block Killers.

NASA.gov

Astronauts often use zip-ties for quick fixes on payloads and hardware outside the International Space Station, but cutting them can be tricky and create debris.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's civic, corporate and community leaders spoke out against domestic violence Thursday at the fourth annual Father's Day pledge. The event was an initiative of Southwest PA Says No More, a coalition of organizations that fight against harassment and assault.

Kristy Trautmann, executive director of the FISA Foundation, says this year has been unprecedented for women coming forward and sharing experiences of assault. The local organization advocates for the rights of women, girls and people with disabilities.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Baptist Homes is a sprawling senior care campus, located on a lush, quiet hillside in Mt. Lebanon. About 50 people live in the personal care part of the facility, where they can get help with everyday tasks. 

Googlemaps

The development company expected to demolish a historic Lawrenceville church has canceled its plans, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. The paper reported on Friday afternoon that E Properties and Development will remove the demolition notice from Holy Family Church on 43rd Street.

*This post was updated on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 6:36 p.m.

 

Office of the Governor

Pennsylvania's minimum wage has been stagnant at the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour for the last 10 years, which is at least $1 less than every neighboring state.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

A networking program to connect immigrants and refugees to established Pittsburgh professionals is underway in the city.

The Pittsburgh Connector Program will set up one half-hour-long meeting between a recent arrival with professional experience and a Pittsburgher in the same career field. The local shares three professional contacts with the immigrant, and then those contacts each share three more.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is known for its rivers. But many residents, like 90.5 WESA listener Judith Hoover, aren't sure where the bottom of each of the three lie. 

Carnegie Mellon University

Robots are able to perform a wide variety of tasks, from providing companionship to senior citizens to searching for survivors in the rubble of an earthquake, but they can't always reflect on how well they performed. 

Matt Rourke / AP

State Representative Mark Mustio (R-44) of Allegheny County is fronting a charge to repeal Philadelphia's soda tax, and prevent similar actions from taking place elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

If you're headed to the South Side from Downtown on the 10th Street Bridge, it's easy to spy four black geese painted onto the arch of one of the tall towers. The artwork, created by Tim Kaulen more than 20 years ago, is at risk as the bridge goes through a major rehabilitation.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

The nonprofit Trust for Public Land recently released its annual ranking of 100 city park systems in the country. This year, Pittsburgh's ranks 23rd -- a 16 place jump from last year.

The rankings are based on four primary factors: park access, meaning the amount of residents living within a ten-minute walk of a park; park acreage, the median size of city parks and total city area designated to parks; park amenities, such as restrooms, water features and dog parks; and park investment, meaning the amount of spending per resident on parks.

Allyson Ruggieri / WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto signed a pair of executive orders Tuesday meant to increase local minority hires in municipal construction.

Tony Dejak / AP

The suicide rate among young black children is double that of their white peers, according to a new study co-authored by a Carnegie Mellon University statistician. 

Andrew Rush / AP

A grand jury report on child sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses is expected to be released in the coming weeks, after two years of investigation.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A Commonwealth Court judge has ordered a preliminary injunction on Pennsylvania's plan for medical marijuana research, siding with dispensaries and growers who challenged the state Health Department’s approach.

Wikipedia Commons

Allegheny Health Network has announced it will raise its minimum wage for full-time employees to $15 an hour by 2021. The move comes two years after UPMC said it would do the same.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Steamfitters Local 449 is revving up recruitment for its apprenticeship program this summer, citing an upcoming need for construction workers. 

Summer Lee for PA

Summer Lee of Swissvale has won the Democratic primary as a newcomer to the 34th State House District in a wide victory against incumbent Paul Costa.

 

It’s a win for local progressives who have set their sights on unseating Democrats they say have become listless from multiple terms in office.

 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Two major proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, could cause 70,000 Pennsylvania households to lose eligibility.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Veterans serving time in the Allegheny County Jail will now have their own specialized resources and residential section. The pod opened last month, and currently houses 34 inmates.

Several community partners are partnering with the jail to provide services such as support for post-traumatic stress disorder, resume building workshops and helping inmates enroll in the Veterans Affairs health care system.

"We're going to provide them with everything that we think they need to be successful once they leave here," Warden Orlando Harper said. 

missjanetb / Flickr

The rate of maternal deaths has risen in the U.S. since 2000. Between 2014 and 2016, 51 Pennsylvania women died from complications due to pregnancy, and according to Gov. Tom Wolf, the current rate in Pennsylvania has doubled since 1994. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

According to a 2016 report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, low-income Pittsburghers spend 9.5 percent of their paychecks on energy costs. The national average is 3.5 percent.

The Grassroots Green Homes program, which helps people make their houses more energy efficient, is launching in Homewood this weekend. It is grant-funded and free for participants, eliminating financial barriers to decreasing one's carbon footprint.

Allison Turrell / Flickr

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh said it will close its Downtown location next month after filing for bankruptcy this week.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Greater Pittsburgh was host to nearly 12 million overnight trips in 2016, according to new data from the Pennsylvania State Tourism Office

Megan Farmer / KUOW

Officials from Amazon visited Pittsburgh for a one-day trip about a month ago, Mayor Bill Peduto has confirmed. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is replacing 2,100 lead lines in the city by the end of the year, and using a less invasive process to switch them out called “pulling.”

Richard Drew / AP

Nearly one-quarter of Pennsylvanians had their personal data compromised on Facebook by Cambridge Analytica and other third parties. The determination of 2,960,311 residents was shared by the social media site to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. 

"Social media users don't expect to have their information given to third party developers without their knowledge," Shapiro said in a press release. "Businesses like Facebook must take significant steps to better protect their users' privacy and personal data."

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Allegheny Cemetery stretches 300-acres in Lawrenceville, bordered by Butler Street, Stanton Avenue and Mossfield Street. Between the rows of headstones and mausoleums that line the burial ground, many people run into some four-legged visitors.

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