Kathleen J. Davis

General Assignment Reporter

Credit Sarah Kovash

Kathleen J. Davis is a Michigan native, but has adopted Pittsburgh as her home after moving here in the summer of 2017. When she’s not at the office, Kathleen likes spending time exploring Pittsburgh and all its hidden gems.

Kelly Colgan Azar / Flickr

Every winter, a group of avian enthusiasts collect data on local bird populations for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. The Christmas Bird Count is the oldest citizen science project in the world, and it is returning to Pittsburgh on Dec. 30.

The information gives experts some insight into how climate change and habitat loss affect some bird species.

"We can go back from a year-to-year basis and make some observations on what's happening with various bird populations," said Chris Kubiak, education director or the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

A few major construction projects will take place on Pittsburgh's roads next year, according to PennDOT.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

The head of Pittsburgh's Department of Mobility and Infrastructure has ambitious goals for 2018.

Karina Ricks wants to improve the city's street design and increase overall liveability next year to make Pittsburgh a safe place to live, work and walk. 

"The priorities are really to work toward what we call a 'vision zero plan,'" Ricks said. "We want to achieve zero traffic-related injuries or fatalities on our public streets, and that begins with making our streets much safer for all users."

90.5 WESA

A pilot program to provide skill-building career services to immigrants is launching at seven Pittsburgh organizations. These include resettlement agencies, the Allegheny County Library Association and the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

A 40-foot tall wind turbine has been unveiled in the Lower Hill District to help power the former Connelley Trade School. The building now houses a collection of sustainability-focused organizations, including the Energy Innovation Center and the Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is urging Congress to shift its focus to funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, instead of pursuing the federal tax overhaul bill. 

The insurance plan covers nearly 9 million children nationwide whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private insurance. About 180,000 Pennsylvania children are covered by CHIP.

daveynin / flickr

The Urban Redevelopment Authority has entered into exclusive negotiations to sell the Hunt Armory in Shadyside to three local developers.

Kathleen J. Davis

A woman who worked at a Penn State satellite campus apparently was shot dead by her estranged husband in a university parking lot on Wednesday, and the man then killed himself, police said.

Matthew Hatfield / AP Photo

Two months ago, the parents of University of Pittsburgh student Alina Sheykhet found her dead inside her Oakland apartment. The 20 year old had been raped and murdered, allegedly by her former boyfriend, against whom she'd filed a protection from abuse order weeks earlier.

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

The Allegheny County Lead Task Force has released a series of recommendations with the goal of minimizing childhood lead exposure. 

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

In an effort to combat the opioid crisis, the state has distributed more than 27,000 doses of naloxone to 59 counties across the commonwealth. The Allegheny County Health Department received 2,100 doses that will be delivered to local police, EMTs and other first responders.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

A new long-term care facility for older adults in Allegheny County could be the first of its kind, according to local mental health professionals. It will serve aging patients living with neurological and psychiatric conditions.

The 45-bed unit at Kane-Glen Hazel Regional Care Center in Hazelwood provides a nursing home environment while also treating the special emotional and physical needs of patients, including those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

In a pilot program launching next spring, Uber is offering 100 Pittsburgh-area drivers a $500 incentive to go toward classes, fees and textbooks for the Community College of Allegheny County.

The initiative will take place in next year's spring and summer semesters.

In a press release, CCAC said the greatest barrier for many potential students is the price of textbooks and required fees, and the new program would address those needs.

Nati Harnik / AP Photo

Of the roughly 2,000 native plant species in Pennsylvania, 347 are currently considered rare, threatened or endangered. After two decades of research, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources wants to change the statuses of 51 plants.

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

In the 1970s, Pennsylvania had 300,000 volunteer firefighters, according to the State Fire Commissioner. That number has dropped to about 50,000, leaving some volunteer stations stretched thin and communities underserved.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a measure that would require a $15 an hour minimum wage for employees of some contractors.

Courtesy of UPMC

Ann Kozak, 15, peered at a three-dimensional printed model of the female reproductive system. Learning about career options in women's health was a great experience, she said.

90.5 WESA

The group hired by the city to make recommendations on how to restructure the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has released its final report.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

A set of ambitious goals to reduce Pittsburgh's environmental impact goes before the public this Wednesday.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Two green-winged macaws fly over the audience in the National Aviary's free-flight theater, then land on separate agility courses. A race ensues between the feathered siblings, Ben and Betsy, to see who can complete the system of ropes and pulleys first. Betsy wins this time, and the crowd goes wild.

This is one of a number of bird intelligence tests featured in "Bird Brains," the current interactive show at the Aviary.

HIPPONOTIZED / Flickr

For people with anxiety or depression, an online therapy can be similarly effective to seeing a mental health professional, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. The cognitive behavioral therapy program (CBT), called "Beating the Blues," consists of eight one-hour video sessions that teach patients to overcome negative thoughts.

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.

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