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.

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.

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."

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