Katie Blackley

PRODUCER

Katie Blackley is a producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for Essential Pittsburgh segments and daily broadcast. After graduating in 2014, Katie was an editor for KQV 1410 AM in downtown Pittsburgh and did freelance video work for the Civic Light Opera.

She’s passionate about all things Pittsburgh and believes someday she’ll solve the Pittsburgh Protractor Mystery. 

City of Pittsburgh

This is the first in a three-part web series looking ahead to 2017 with members of Pittsburgh City Council.

Pittsburgh's nine Democratic City Council members will soon find themselves governing in an era where Republicans control not only the state legislature, but both houses of Congress and the presidency. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Lawyers for a Pittsburgh man accused of entering the United States multiple times without permission are asking for prosecutors to lessen the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Martin Esquivel-Hernandez lived with his wife and three children in Pittsburgh’s Beechview neighborhood, where he was an activist for immigration rights. He was arrested in May and has been in a private prison in Youngstown, Ohio.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Nied’s Hotel in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood is one of a handful of bars where workers who clock out while most hit the alarm clock can still meet for coffee or a beer. Taverns that cater to third-shift workers aren’t a new concept to Pittsburgh, but over the years, their clientele has evolved.

Charlotte Cooper / flickr

Reproductive health advocates around the region are reacting to last week’s legislative action in Ohio that would ban abortion at six weeks gestation, well before many women know they are pregnant. Gov. John Kasich now has 10 days to act on the “heartbeat law.”

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A Pittsburgh man who was arrested in May for being in the United States illegally declined to take a plea deal negotiated in federal court Thursday as expected. Lawyers for Martin Esquivel-Hernandez said they'd hoped their client’s felony re-entry charges would be reduced to misdemeanors, which would have decreased the possibility of his deportation.

Eugene Tanner / AP

Nathan Rosswog showed his eighth grade students a photo of his grandfather, a World War II veteran. The Urban Pathways Charter School teacher told them his grandfather wasn’t at Pearl Harbor, but shared stories of friends he knew who were at the naval base during the attack.

Rodrigo Olivera / flickr

Posing with a new gun, from the top of a tall building or on a seaside cliff are just some of the ways more than 127 people died taking selfies between 2014 and 2016.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi, India found that number in a study of selfie-related deaths. The team is now using the data to help prevent future casualties-by-selfie.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Duquesne Elementary School kindergarten teacher Breanne Dolby thought she was bringing her students to the library for a “surprise guest reader” last Tuesday. Instead, she was awarded $1,500, a customized Steelers jersey and tickets to the New Year’s Day game.

Leslie Chatfield / flickr

Pittsburgh could become the first municipality in the state to ban conversion therapy for minors who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. City Council introduced legislation Tuesday that would prevent parents and guardians from forcing youth to undergo the practice.   

Neovain / flickr

Older adults living alone are more likely to be emotionally well if they feel close to their neighbors and connected to their community, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The region’s first pay-what-you-can restaurant is expected to open in January in New Kensington. Knead Community Café is modeled after similar facilities around the country that offer meals in exchange for donations or volunteer time.

Mary and Kevin Bode, cofounders of the café, said they wanted to renovate the $64,000 building with the hopes that it would spur revitalization in the city’s downtown.

Brett VA / Flickr

Hundreds of independent Pittsburgh businesses will participate in this year’s Small Business Saturday initiative. Created by American Express in 2010, the day seeks to draw attention to the importance of shopping at locally-owned stores during the holiday season and all year long.

Bridget Coila / flickr

Though multiple agencies provide help for new mothers battling opioid addiction, and their babies, having to travel between providers and locations can make it difficult for them to access care.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In the lobby of the Federal Building on Grant Street Downtown, Nic Woods emptied his pockets into a white plastic basket. It took him a while, as he was covered with clips and locks and wearing a large messenger bag.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In the short period of time that the city’s Big Burgh mobile app, aimed at helping the homeless find resources, has been available, it has far exceeded usage expectations.

Launched at the end of August, the app has seen 11,000 site visits, said Bob Firth, founder of Informing Design, which created the app.

"To put that in perspective, the app of the entire region of Australian, with 23 million people in the same time period, got 20 percent fewer site visits,” Firth said. “The app for San Francisco, which has 850,000 people, got 35 percent fewer site visits."

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Despite the projected temperatures in the 70s Friday evening, city officials say Pittsburgh’s 56th annual Light Up Night will still feel like a “winter wonderland.”

Niven Sabherwal / 90.5 WESA

Nearly one-quarter of Pittsburghers live without internet access in their home. Without the web, many families are cut off from job opportunities or educational advancement. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Steelers legends, city and union leaders and working man rock icon Donnie Iris flanked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as she addressed scores of supporters in the Great Hall at Heinz Field on Friday.

"I have a lot of ideas; I could keep you hear until the game starts on Sunday," Clinton said.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

When Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 and 2012, some credited his success, at least in part, to his use of Twitter.

This election, the short-length video platform Snapchat, first released in 2011, could help tip the scales for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is home to many sports firsts: the Pittsburgh Pirates participated in the first Major League World Series, the city was the first to have a retractable dome stadium and the Steelers were the first to win six Super Bowls.

Matt Rourke / AP

Former President Bill Clinton spoke to a group of about 200 supporters in Aliquippa, Pa. Friday morning, promising that his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, would create tangible changes for communities he called “left out and left behind.”

“We can’t grow enough manufacturing jobs for everybody,” Clinton said. “We have to have the small business economy coming back and she’s the only person to do it.”

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Social justice advocates worry misinformation is preventing formerly incarcerated men and women from casting their ballot.

Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania / Facebook

When the groundwork was laid for Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania in 1916, it was illegal to obtain or distribute any kind of contraceptive. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was starting her clinic in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a few dozen Pittsburgh residents were also looking for ways to improve health care for women. A century later, PPWP still faces the near-constant threat of de-funding, but boasts the second-highest volunteer base in the country.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools students are graduating from high school at lower rates than the national average, according to state and national reports.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Along the Allegheny River in an unassuming former car garage sits the 112-year-old Natrona Bottling Company. Established in 1904, the business has distributed thousands of glass bottles with their signature Red Ribbon Cherry Supreme, spicy ginger beer and mint julep.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Chelsea Clinton campaigned for her mother, Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, in downtown Pittsburgh this morning. Clinton highlighted her mother’s devotion to women’s rights and family issues, saying she was someone who had been working for women and minorities for her entire career.

Gwen's Girls / Facebook

In Pittsburgh, African American girls are three times more likely to be suspended than white girls and 11 times more likely to be referred the juvenile justice system.  The statistics come from a new "State of the Girls" report by the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work in partnership with Gwen's Girls, a nonprofit that helps young disadvantaged girls throughout the city. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Downtown Pittsburgh’s newest structure is perhaps one of its most unique. The Aquaponics Project unveiled its portable unit Wednesday next to the Gateway T station.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Most Pittsburghers are familiar with the narrative of mid 20th century urban renewal in neighborhoods like East Liberty and the Hill District: displacement of longtime residents to make room for large publicly funded projects or revitalization efforts. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Residents, developers and businesses curious about building permits they’ve submitted or the status of construction in their neighborhood can now access information directly from their phones or computers.

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