Kevin Gavin

Director of Internships & Training; Executive Producer for Special News Projects

Kevin Gavin is a native Pittsburgher and has worked in public broadcasting since his college years. Gavin served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years, and following the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc., he was appointed Director of Internships and Training.

Pages

special prosecutor
3:33 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Bill Would Require Special Prosecutor in Police Deadly Force Cases

An incoming Pennsylvania state senator wants to make sure there are no incidents in the commonwealth similar to those in Ferguson, Missouri and New York where local prosecutors investigated the deaths of citizens at the hands of police officers, and no charges were filed.

State Senator-elect Arthur Haywood (D-Montgomery) said Friday he will introduce legislation January 6, the day he’s sworn in to office, that would require the state Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor whenever there’s a deadly force incident and a police officer is involved.

Read more
Transportation
3:00 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

PUC OKs Conditional License for Lyft

The Public Utility Commission has approved with conditions the application by Lyft to offer ridesharing services statewide for two years.

“Those conditions mainly address the concerns the commission has been expressing all along that these companies are proving that they are using safe drivers and they are doing background checks on drivers, that the vehicles they are operating are safe, and that they have the proper insurance,” said PUC spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher.

Read more
Federal Budget
3:00 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Casey: 'Bipartisan Frustration Over Budget'

"It's hard to make predictions around here and be accurate," says U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) about the fate of the $1.1 trillion budget.

It's now up to the Senate to pass the huge  spending bill to keep the government running through the end of the current fiscal year — Sept. 30.  

Read more
Ride-Sharing
3:30 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Insurance for Ride-Sharing Drivers Might Be Hard to Find

Earlier this month the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission gave conditional approval to the ride-sharing service Uber to offer “experimental” service across most of Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, for two years.

One of those conditions is that Uber drivers must be insured for all three stages of the ride-sharing process: turning the app on and making yourself available for hire; transporting the passenger; and, dropping off that customer. 

So Erie Insurance is trying to fill the gap in coverage. 

Read more
Allegheny County
5:33 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Wagner Criticizes Health Services at County Jail

“This is the most damning audit in terms of the findings in my tenure,” says Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner.

The controller is referring to an audit of Corizon, the Tennessee-based firm contracted to manage the infirmary and health care for inmates at the County Jail. Corizon provides health services at other jails and prisons across the country, including Rikers in New York

Wagner said Corizon, which is paid $11 million a year, is failing to provide clinical care to inmates. 

Read more
STEM Education
12:58 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Central Catholic to Add STEM Academic Building

Ground was broken Wednesday on a four-story academic building at Central Catholic High School in Oakland that will be devoted exclusively to STEM—science, technology, engineering and math.

According to Brother Bob Schaefer, Central’s principal, the facility will include state of the art labs for traditional sciences with a focus on the “T” and “E” in STEM.  “We’re going to have an entire area of the building that’s dedicated to those kind of pre-engineering and computer science and particularly opportunities for the students to develop some courses with the robotics technology.”

Read more
Health
3:30 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Task Force, Health Department Seek to Raise AIDS Awareness

According to the Allegheny County Health Department, one in six HIV-positive individuals are unaware they have the virus.

On this World AIDS Day, the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force and the health department are looking to reduce that number through outreach.

“You can make a big impact by raising awareness [because] it’s a preventable infection,” says Areej Ali, AmeriCorps member and volunteer coordinator with the AIDS task force. “Conversations matter, getting people to know about it, to protect themselves. Those things really make a difference.

Read more
Holiday Travel
4:04 am
Wed November 26, 2014

500K Vehicles Expected on PA Turnpike Today

If you will be traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike during this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, you’ll have company….lots of company.

The Turnpike Commission expects 2.7 million vehicles using the toll road from Tuesday until Monday December 1.

“The day before Thanksgiving is our single busiest travel holiday of the year,” says Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo. “We’re expecting more than a half million vehicles (Wednesday) across the turnpike system. “

Read more
Connected learning
3:22 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Pittsburgh Teachers, Museums, Libraries Connect In-School and Out-of-School Learning

More than 400 teachers, administrators, librarians, artists, out-of-school educators, mentors, parents and students crowded a ballroom at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Friday to discuss how to create a more integrated learning environment in Pittsburgh.

Read more
Veterans' Stories: Project 412
11:47 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Ryan Ahl: 'You're in a War Zone ... Anything Could Happen, and It Normally Did'

Ryan Ahl during one of his two deployments to Iraq.
Credit Courtesy photo

Ryan Ahl enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 2002 and was eventually commissioned as a second lieutenant.

Ahl said his fondest memories from two deployments to Iraq were the days spent occupying observational posts and knowing he had the support of his fellow soldiers.

“You’re in a war zone and you’re with three of your closest buddies and anything could happen," he said. "And it normally did.”

Ahl said he feels part of something bigger than himself. He has gained a respect for freedom and understanding of other cultures through his service.

Read more
Health
4:38 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Health Department 'Very Concerned' About Syphilis Increase

Syphilis cases in Allegheny County have risen about 75 percent this year compared to 2013, the Allegheny County Health Department said Wednesday.

As of Nov. 10, 98 syphilis cases have been reported in the county, compared to 56 this time last year. After a drop in cases in the late 1990s and early 2000s, syphilis has been on the rise since 2005, locally and nationally.  

Read more
Public Safety
10:49 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Experts Offer Tips On Keeping Halloween Safe For Trick-Or-Treaters

Safe and spooky: Health and safety advocates offer tips for keeping trick-or-treaters safe as they don their costumes and seek out Halloween candy.
Credit AP Photo/Vincent Yu

Halloween is supposed to be full of treats and colorful costumes and a few harmless scares, but health and safety advocates are warning about potential dangers for trick-or-treaters.

More than twice as many children are killed in pedestrian/vehicle accidents on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Dave Phillips, spokesman for State Farm Insurance, said government data shows that 115 children nationwide have died from being struck by a vehicle on Halloween from 1990-2010.

Read more
Multimodal transportation
4:18 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Seven Local Multimodal Projects Get Millions in Transportation Funds

Multimodal projects ranging from improving barge docks to extending walking and biking trails are receiving a combined $84 million in grants from  Pennsylvania’s Act 89. In announcing the awards Tuesday for 86 projects in 35 counties, PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said the grants address a variety of transportation needs.

“People walk, they ride bicycles, they take public transportation, they ride passenger rail.   For the first time ever, we’re investing in every mode,” Schoch said.

Seven of the grant recipients are in Allegheny County including:

Read more
Veterans Affairs
3:48 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

VA Takes Step To Dismiss Head of Pittsburgh Office Over Legionella Outbreak

The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to fire the Director of the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System. 

A statement from the VA says the department proposed the removal of the director  “following an investigation by the Office of Accountability Review (OAR) in which allegations of conduct unbecoming a Senior Executive were substantiated.”

Terry Gerigk Wolf had been placed on paid administrative leave June 13 pending a review of the Legionella outbreak at which caused the deaths of at least six veterans sickened more than 20 others at the Pittsburgh VA Hospital.

Read more
Fracking Health Impact
2:18 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Proposed Registry to Track, Respond to Fracking-Related Health Complaints

In 2011 the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission recommended a registry to collect health data from people living nearing fracking operations. Three years later that registry has yet to be created, and a state Senate panel says such a database is an important step toward tracking and responding to public health complaints related to gas drilling.

State Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) says individual health studies are fine, but the state needs to develop data that covers all parts of the commonwealth.

Read more
Tax Revenues
2:12 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

PA Tax Revenues Barely Above Projections

State tax revenues for the first quarter of the fiscal year are up…slightly.

The Revenue Department reports that for the first three months of FY 2014-15, the state pulled in $6.6 billion— just $500,000 above expectations, or 0.007 percent. General fund collections in September totaled $2.6 billion, $11 million more than projected.  

Read more
Health
3:30 am
Mon September 22, 2014

What Are Your Community Health Issues? Allegheny County Wants to Know

“I think we are not as unhealthy as we could be, but I think there’s lots of room for improvement,” says Dr. Karen Hacker, Allegheny County Health Department Director. 

On Monday the department begins a series of 13 public meetings over the next seven weeks to discuss health concerns throughout the county.

Read more
STEM Education
3:40 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

STEM Competition for PA Students Unveiled

The Corbett administration is hoping that a statewide competition to allow students to showcase their skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) will further spark interest in STEM learning and related jobs.

“STEM jobs are the jobs of the future, and that will be what our economy will be based on, so it’s important that we train the workforce to be ready for the new jobs,” said Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq, who unveiled the competition Friday.

Read more
Pittsburgh Police
1:48 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Peduto Goes Outside Pittsburgh For New Police Chief

Cameron McLay
Credit Courtesy image

Eight months after taking office, Mayor Bill Peduto has announced the hiring of Cameron McLay as the next chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

It's a job, Peduto said, that comes with a lot of ground to cover.

“He most certainly must restore the trust with the community," Peduto said. “He must rebuild the morale with the rank and file and he must make the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police a national model of professionalism.”

Read more
Higher Education
3:30 am
Mon September 1, 2014

With Launch of New Institute, Pitt Hopes to Give Business Students a Global Perspective

Studying abroad will have a whole new focus on studying with the launch of the Global Business Institute (GBI) next spring.

“One of the things that’s critical for business students today is that they have a global perspective," said Audrey Murrell, associate dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration. "It’s also important for them to build some competence around being able to interact with people from different perspectives and cultures.”  

Read more
Election 2014
3:53 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Wolf Talks Taxes, Job Training and Medicaid Expansion in Pittsburgh Stop

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Wolf made a campaign trip to Pittsburgh Friday, and the topics of discussion were as diverse as the site of his stop.

Wolf toured the Bidwell Training Center in Manchester which offers students career-learning opportunities in fields ranging from chemical laboratory technician to the culinary arts, from horticultural to jazz.

Read more
Environment & Energy
2:20 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Lawmakers Work On PA's Plan to Cut Carbon Emissions

While officials at the Environmental Protection Agency review and digest testimony from hundreds of witnesses in Pittsburgh and three other cities on that agency’s Clean Power Plan, Pennsylvania lawmakers are working on the state’s plan.

President Obama has called for a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and the commonwealth must submit its plan to the federal government by 2016.

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee heard Thursday from stakeholders in the environmental and energy sectors.

Read more
Sophie Masloff, 1917-2014
7:06 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Remembering Sophie Masloff, Pittsburgh's First Female Mayor

Sophie Masloff knew from an early age she wanted to work in those government buildings, but never though she would hold office, let alone become mayor of Pittsburgh.  

“I used to walk to town from the time I was a little girl to the City-County Building and the court house, and I used to pay the bills," Masloff said in a 2008 interview, "and while I was there, I wandered around the buildings, and early on I thought this was something I’d like to do to be a part of this."

Masloff, who rose from a tax clerk to Pittsburgh's first female mayor, died Sunday. She was 96.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
3:58 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Pitt's New Chancellor Says High Cost of Education Must Be Addressed

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick D. Gallagher
Credit Office of Media Relations / University of Pittsburgh

“There is probably no bigger issue right now in the higher education arena than the affordability [of a college education],” says the University of Pittsburgh’s new chancellor Patrick Gallagher, “and the reason it’s such an important issue is not just the cost, it’s all of the consequences that cost has.”

Gallagher, who this month took over for Mark Nordenberg, who served 19 years in the post, said those consequences include debt accrued by students and their families.  

“If you’re leaving school with a high debt and entering a field where it takes awhile to get started, this could become a real barrier," Gallagher said. "It’s changing the way prospective students are thinking about what they will do coming in. There’s a lot of pressure to know what you want to get out of college before you’ve even started and experienced it.”

Read more
Transportation
3:30 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Get Ready for Another Liberty Tunnel Shutdown

A view from inside the inbound Liberty Tunnel during construction last summer.
Credit File photo / Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Ten days after the outbound Liberty Tunnel opened after a 16-day round-the-clock closure, PennDOT will close the inbound tunnel 24/7 for 17 days starting Tuesday at 8 pm.

PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said that like the recent work done on the outbound tunnel, the inbound tunnel will be painted.

"This allows a surface that allows crews to clean the inside of the tunnel,” he said.

Read more
State Government
3:30 am
Sun August 3, 2014

Corbett Says Former Ed Secretary Is 'Not a Ghost Employee'

Gov. Tom Corbett is defending his former Secretary of Education. Ron Tomalis left the cabinet post in May 2013 and was immediately appointed as special adviser to the Secretary of Education at the same annual salary of nearly $140,000.

But there have been calls for everything from a legislative inquiry to a formal ethics investigation into whether Tomalis is actually working to earn his pay.

Read more
State Police Discrimination Suit
4:39 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Justice Department Claims PA State Police Discriminates Against Women

The Pennsylvania State Police plan to fight a federal lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice claiming that the physical fitness test discriminates against women seeking to become troopers.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, alleges that the physical fitness tests used by the state police from 2003 to the present excluded qualified women from consideration for hire as entry-level state troopers by testing for physical skills that are not required to perform the job.

Read more
Government & Politics
3:36 am
Mon July 28, 2014

State Lawmaker: Pay Up Or Lose Your Driver's License

Pennsylvanians owe $1 billion in unpaid fines and court costs, and a state lawmaker wants the scofflaws to pay up or lose their driver’s license and have any wages and lottery winnings attached.

State Senator Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) has introduced two bills to pressure individuals to pay the fines, fees and delinquent costs they owe.  Under SB 918 PennDOT would “suspend your driver’s license.  If your driver’s license was about to expire, they wouldn’t renew it,” said Stack.

Read more
Courts
3:31 am
Mon July 28, 2014

PA Court Records to Enter 21st Century

Currently most Pennsylvanians who want to see court records and documents have to look at them on microfilm or microfiche.

“We’ve always got to look at ways we can modernize government,” says State Senator Matt Smith (D-Allegheny) as he noted Governor Corbett’s signing into law his court modernizing proposal that he says will save tax dollars and give the public easier access to court records.

Read more
STEAM Innovation
3:30 am
Fri July 25, 2014

From Building Solar-Powered Mini-Cars to Creating Apps in the Classroom

Teachers at the STEAM Innovation Summer Institute at South Fayette School District work with littleBits to bring engineering into their K-4 classrooms
Credit Photo by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0

Summer camp — it’s not just for kids anymore. 

Teachers from around the Pittsburgh area and from as far away as Alabama this week attended the STEAM Innovation Summer Institute at South Fayette Intermediate School to learn how to embed robotics, computational thinking and game design into their curricula.  

Amidst lights flashing  and lots of beeps, elementary school teachers are playing with, or rather experimenting with, littleBits — tiny circuit boards engineered to snap together with magnets.

Read more

Pages