Kathleen J. Davis

General Assignment Reporter

Credit Sarah Kovash

Kathleen J. Davis came to Pittsburgh in 2017 after living in Metro Detroit for 22 years. After some time working at Michigan Radio, she joined the 90.5 WESA. As a General Assignment Reporter she covers a variety of topics. When she’s not at the office, Kathleen likes spending time exploring Pittsburgh and all it’s hidden gems.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A new measure from state Rep. Dom Costa of Pittsburgh would add extra state control over the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

The struggling PWSA has dealt with many financial challenges over the years, and Costa says there should be an oversight committee in place to approve budgets. He's proposing a system similar to Act 47, which has overseen the city's finances for 14 years.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The 29-year-old accused of killing a New Kensington police officer last Friday has been charged with first degree murder of a law enforcement officer.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's Zone 2 police officers have a new way station in the Cultural District where eight officers will be available during the day to assist residents, businesses and visitors.

Zone 2 Commander Cristyn Zett said she hopes the substation at Liberty Avenue and Market Street will help officers and the Downtown community develop a closer relationship. The main Zone 2 office is on Centre Avenue in the Hill District; Zett's officers rove a wide swath along the Allegheny River from Downtown to Upper Lawrenceville.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh has a relatively concentrated downtown -- the distance between Firstside Park on the southern border and the David Lawrence Convention Center that hugs the Allegheny River is less than 1 mile.

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

Twelve Pennsylvania medical marijuana growers and processors were licensed by the state in June. Since then, two have been approved to start production -- Cresco Yeltrah in Jefferson County and Standard Farms in Luzerne County.

 

The three other growers and processors, all in western Pennsylvania, still have work to do before the state’s December 20 approval deadline.

 

AGRiMED Industries in Greene County is still setting up its facility and hiring staff, said COO Matt Levine.

 

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

The Urban Redevelopment Authority board has voted to move forward with an amended development deal between the city and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. The proposal narrowly passed three to two, with Councilman Daniel Lavelle and former state Senator Jim Ferlo voting against the deal. Lavelle represents the Hill District.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Two months after announcing more than $1 billion in renovations to Pittsburgh International Airport, the Allegheny County Airport Authority is still seeking feedback from the public.

90.5 WESA

During his yearly budget address Monday, Mayor Bill Peduto said the city has been diligent about fiscal responsibility and is ready to retake control of its finances. 

Jessica Kourkounis / AP

New research from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC credits a computer program with detecting sudden kidney failure in hospitalized patients.

 

Acute kidney injury affects one in eight hospitalized patients in the U.S., according to UPMC. About 2 million people in the world die of the condition each year, and because it’s often asymptomatic, it can be undetected until problems arise.

Martin Meissner / AP Photo

In 2014, a state task force was assembled to find out how many Pennsylvania schools teach its students about the Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations. Act 70 encouraged schools to teach about these subjects by providing free resources and training for teachers.

Three years later, the Pennsylvania Board of Education has found that 93 percent of public, charter and technical schools in the commonwealth reported some level of instruction on the topics. 

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

On Saturday, 215 Republican delegates will vote for their nominee to serve the remaining months of former Congressman Tim Murphy's term.

Murphy, who championed anti-abortion legislation, resigned last month following reports he asked a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair to get an abortion.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

The Urban Redevelopment Authority voted Thursday to give the city 555 acres of Hays Woods land so it can become a park.

Kathleen J. Davis / WESA

After a seven month long search, the Port Authority of Allegheny County has hired Katharine Eagan Kelleman as its new CEO.

Kelleman is filling the shoes of David Donohoe, who was hired as interim CEO in April after Ellen McLean left the position. 

For the past three years, Kelleman served as CEO of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, based in Tampa, Fla. While there, she said she helped bring the authority from a $5 million deficit to a $3 million surplus.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

A sweeping school code bill will become a state law without Gov. Tom Wolf's signature. 

In addition to providing funding for public schools, the GOP-penned legislation suspends the traditional seniority rules that dictate furloughing teachers, opting instead to eliminate teachers based on who scores the worst on the state's teacher effectiveness rating.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

In 2015, $15.8 million was spent in Pennsylvania's judicial elections, breaking the record for the costliest supreme court race in U.S. history.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

About a hundred members of the public attended the final opportunity to weigh in on what might be included in a consultant’s recommendations for restructuring the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

The city hired Infrastructure Management Group in April to decide how to best address widespread problems at the struggling authority.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

An audit of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority shows an urgent need for immediate action on several fronts, including addressing the organization's more than $750 million in debt, crumbling infrastructure and lack of leadership. 

The report, which covers Jan. 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017, was conducted by State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. 

"I don't believe that this is rising to some level of corruption," he said. "I think this was a bad setup from the beginning that led to a path of bad results."

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA


In October 2013, the Hill District held a triumphant groundbreaking: the opening of Shop n’ Save, the neighborhood’s first grocery store in 30 years.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Legislation is being introduced to end driver's license suspensions for people convicted of a non-vehicle related crimes.

Currently, charges including theft, purchase of alcohol and tobacco as a minor, carrying a false identification card and drug possession can result in a license suspension that can last several years after a prison sentence is carried out.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has approved a moratorium on water shutoffs to help low-income residents who rely on radiators in the winter months. Shutoffs for customers 250 percent below the federal poverty level will be barred from Dec. 1 to March 30.

PWSA interim executive director Bob Weimar said this is the first step in creating fair-payment policies within the authority.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The fuel efficiency of new cars has improved by 10 percent in the last five years, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, but advocates at PennEnvironment fear the federal standard that required car manufacturers to make those changes could be in danger.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

An innovative new treatment for an aggressive form of blood cancer has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The strain of lymphoma, targeted by the cell-based therapy, has a patient survival rate of about 40 percent, according to UPMC physician Mounzer Agha, director of the Mario Lemiuex Center for Blood Cancers at Hillman Cancer Center. He was involved in the new drug's clinical trails.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

For pediatric cancer patients, their chances of having children in the future can be diminished by treatment. But an experimental treatment available at UPMC could preserve fertility for young boys going through radiation.

Spermatogonial stem-cell transplantation involves taking a sample of testicular tissue and turning pre-sperm cells into viable samples. When re-inserted into testes, even if they're damaged by radiation and chemotherapy, the sperm stem cells function as they would naturally and become sperm.

Francisco Seco / AP Photo

A bipartisan team of three state senators has introduced legislation that would make relocation easier for victims of domestic assault within public housing.

Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia and Montgomery County), Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Beaver, Greene and Washington Counties) and Sen. Judith Schwank (D-Berks County) are sponsoring the bill.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

In the next two decades, there will be a 40 percent growth in the population of residents 65 and older in Allegheny County, according to research from the University of Pittsburgh.

Tuesday morning, Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh unveiled a plan of 30 action items to make Pittsburgh more inclusive for older residents by 2020.

The initiative's project manager, Laura Poskin, said the plan addresses issues of access, social connection and innovation.

Kim Dinh / The Merton Center

On Thursday, more than 50 public transit riders sent hundreds of postcards to state representative and Port Authority board member Dom Costa, urging him to oppose plans to possibly allow police enforcement of ticketing systems on public transit.

Skitterphoto / Pixabay

A new policy to help low-income residents pay their water bills during the winter months is in the works, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority board members said Thursday. 

The PWSA's recently formed affordability committee will help develop the fair payment policy.

The board considered a complete moratorium last month on water shutoffs between December and March for low-income residents who can't pay their bills but also rely on radiators heat their homes.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto says the relationship between cities across the country and the presidential office has changed drastically since Donald Trump was inaugurated, citing infrequent check-ins compared to the Obama administration.

"The Obama administration, all the way down to each of the departments in the White House, reached out on a weekly basis and we worked with them very closely," Peduto said. "With this administration, they obviously have chosen to go a different route."

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald presented his 2018 budget proposal to County Council on Tuesday, totaling $905.7 million, a 2.8 percent growth from the year before.

Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

Gov. Tom Wolf is urging the Pennsylvania legislature to make birth control coverage a mandate in the state after the Trump administration pledged to roll back Obama-era requirements that most employers cover birth control for employees through their health insurance.

Pages