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.

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Environment
5:31 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

New Law Encourages Property Owners to Curb Storm Water Flow

Local governments across Pennsylvania have some new options to address the widespread problem of storm water runoff. 

“It’s another tool,” said Jennifer Quinn of the environmental group PennFuture.   

She said SB 1255, signed by Gov. Corbett Thursday, builds upon Act 68 of last year that allows municipalities to establish storm water authorities to address the widespread problem of runoff. 

Under this new law, the storm water authorities can offer credits to homeowners and businesses to reduce their fees by implementing storm water management best practices.

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Prescription Drug Addiction
12:18 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Task Force Tackles Prescription Drug Addiction in PA

Health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every adult in the U.S. to have a bottle of pills, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gary Tennis, secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), said that since 2000, prescription drug and heroin overdoses have quadrupled. 

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Transportation
11:53 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Outbound Liberty Tunnel To Close Starting Friday Evening

On a daily basis, 18,500 vehicles travel through the outbound Liberty Tunnel. Effective at 8 p.m. Friday, motorists will need to find a new way to the South Hills.

PennDOT is closing the outbound tunnel around-the-clock through 6 a.m. Monday July 28.

Crews will prepare the tunnel walls so they can be painted and complete work that was halted in December.

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Transportation
2:34 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Parkway West Construction Gets Underway

As PennDOT nears completion on the two-year long, $49 million rehabilitation of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels next month, it’s beginning work Wednesday evening on the first of three Parkway West (I-376) projects.

One outbound lane will be closed as workers install traffic control signs Wednesday and Thursday from midnight until 5 a.m.

This first project involves construction of a fourth outbound lane, about a mile long, from Rosslyn Farms to I-79. PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said he expects this part of the $3.72 million project to be completed by the spring.

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Higher Education
4:36 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

3 Percent Tuition Hike Approved for Students at PA-Owned Universities

Tuition is going up at the 14 state-owned universities. The Board of Governors of the PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) voted to increase tuition by three percent or $68 in the coming school year.  That means students will be paying $6,820 per year.

“That’s far and away the lowest cost among all four-year colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. It’s the eighth time in the last 10 years that our increase has been essentially the rate of inflation,” said PASSHE spokesman Kenn Marshall. 

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Abortion clinic protests
3:34 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Pittsburgh's Buffer Zone Still Being Enforced; Abortion Opponents Expect a Court Challenge

“We’re hoping that it will also obliterate the yellow arch that’s out in front of the building that houses Planned Parenthood.”

Helen Cindrich, executive director of People Concerned for the Unborn Child, is referring to the US Supreme Court’s decision Thursday declaring a Massachusetts law that establishes a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics violates protesters’ free speech rights.

The yellow semicircle outside the Planned Parenthood facility in downtown Pittsburgh marks the 15-foot buffer zone established by a 2006 city ordinance.

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Law
3:28 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

An Uncertain Future For Pittsburgh's Abortion Protest Buffer Zone

It’s uncertain what will happen to that the yellow semi-circle marking a 15-foot buffer zone outside Planned Parenthood’s downtown Pittsburgh location.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Thursday striking down the 35-foot protest-free zones outside abortion clinics in Massachusetts, saying that law violates the First Amendment Rights of protesters.

But the question remains if the high court’s decision will have on Pittsburgh’s eight-year-old law.

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Flight 93 Memorial
5:03 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Construction Moving Along On Flight 93 Memorial Bridge

Work is “progressing well” on a pedestrian bridge at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Somerset County.

Park Director Jeff Reinbold says the 800-foot bridge will span some wetlands and be a key section of the 1.7-mile pathway to connect the under-construction visitor center with the crash site.

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job growth
8:52 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Study: PA Job Growth Still 'Sluggish'

Pennsylvania ranks 42nd among all states in job growth over the last 12 months according to the left-leaning Keystone Research Center.  However, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate for May was 5.6 percent,which was below the national rate of 6.3 percent, and better than 30 other states.

Stephen Herzenberg, the center’s executive director, said job growth in the commonwealth has been poor the last few years, but he acknowledged that the private sector created 15,600 jobs in the first four months of this year.

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Health
3:30 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Legislation Would Require PA Newborns Be Tested For Heart Defects

Every year 40,000 babies are born in the U.S. with congenital heart defects, and parents might not be aware of their infant’s condition. 

Pennsylvania law requires hospitals and birthing centers to test newborns for six genetic disorders, including maple syrup urine disease and Sickle Cell Disease, as well as 23 other disorders.

The state Legislature is getting ready to add one more to the list — congenital heart defect — which according to the March of Dimes, claims thousands of lives annually before the child is a year old.

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D-Day Veterans
8:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Pittsburgh Area Vets Honored for Their D-Day Service

“All I know is we wanted to get off that beach which we did because there was a lot of casualties,” recalls Ralph Russo of New Castle about the D-Day landing at Normandy 70 years ago today.

There where thousands of casualties—9,000 Allied troops were killed or wounded including 6,600 Americans.

96-year old Mike Vernillo of Pittsburgh served with the US 227th Field Artillery Battalion on June 6, 1944.

“It was very difficult; you can’t stop to help nobody, you have to just keep running.”

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Business
3:17 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Small Rural Businesses In Western PA Urged to Export

As a junior business major at Elizabethtown College, Sarah Lanphier and her mother founded “Nuts About Granola,” a wholesome snack company in York, Pa. that buys local ingredients. 

Six years later, after impressive growth, “Nuts About Granola” is a perfect example of a small rural business poised to go global, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The Obama administration picked the Pittsburgh region Wednesday to launch an effort to boost exports and grow rural economies. 

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Steel Industry
3:18 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

US Steel McKeesport Tubular Plant To Close Indefinitely

U.S. Steel announced Monday it is idling its tubular manufacturing plant in McKeesport in early August, affecting 157 union employees.

The Pittsburgh-based company says it is also halting operations at a similar facility in Bellville, Texas, impacting 45 management and 215 rank-and-file workers combined at the two plants.

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Housing
7:48 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Pittsburgh Housing Survey Details Ownership Rates, Neighborhood Diversity

“Obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” concludes Jeff Fraser, senior editor for the benchmarking agency PittsburghTODAY, which asked Pittsburghers to assess the condition of their homes.

“When people rate their own homes, they tend to rate them much higher than the city does,” Fraser said. But when we also asked people to rate the conditions of the houses and buildings in their neighborhood other than their own, they tend to be a much harsher critic of their neighbors’ homes and buildings.”

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Airport Check-ins
1:34 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Expedited Security Screening At Pittsburgh International Aims For 5-Minute Wait Time

You make your airline reservations and you’re often instructed to arrive 90 minutes to two hours before your flight time for security purposes. Now Pittsburgh International is the first airport to have a co-located application site to get domestic and international travelers through security more quickly.

Ross Feinstein, press secretary for Transportation Security Administration (TSA), said TSA Pre-check is an expedited pre-screening program available at 118 airports, including Pittsburgh International, with designated express lanes.

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Domestic violence
12:29 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Ceramic Tile Quilt To Raise Awareness Of Violence Against Women

The 7-by-4 foot ceramic tile quilt calls attention to violence against women.
Credit The Dignity and Respect Campaign

Last year, 65 women in the state were killed as a result of domestic violence.

According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 49 of those victims were killed by their intimate partners or former partners.

To increase awareness of violence against women the Dignity and Respect Campaign in March hosted more than 90 volunteers to design and decorate 6-inch by 6-inch ceramic tiles.

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Sustainable Development
1:56 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Peduto Talks Sustainable Development in Germany

“It’s not a sales pitch ‘Come to Pittsburgh, we’ve got a place for you,’” said Mayor Bill Peduto about his four-day trip to Germany.

Peduto is meeting with his counterpart from Ludwigsburg as well as other government officials and business executives from across that country.

He said it’s more about finding commonalities on major issues around sustainability and technology. 

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Education
3:30 am
Fri May 2, 2014

New Center Aims To 'Transform' Public Education

“What does learning truly need to look like to achieve equity and excellence for everyone," asks Olga Welch, dean of Duquesne University’s School of Education.

She believes that question will be answered at least in part by today’s launch of  the Canevin Center for Educational Transformation and Social Justice.

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Education
3:30 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Pittsburgh Students Urge School Board To Remove 'Obstacles to Success'

Pittsburgh Public Schools students are calling on the Board of Education to adopt a Student Bill of Rights to remedy what they say are inequities across the district. 

The effort is spearheaded by TeenBloc, a coalition of student leaders and organizers in Pittsburgh’s high schools that aims to affect positive change, and A+ Schools, a community alliance for public education.  Surveys were completed by more than 400 high school juniors and 26 principals, counselors and teacher leaders in nine PPS secondary schools.

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August Wilson Center
8:26 am
Tue April 29, 2014

NY Developer is Top Bidder for August Wilson Center

A New York developer has emerged as the top bidder for Pittsburgh's bankrupt August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

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August Wilson Center
2:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Peduto, Fitzgerald Request Removal Of August Wilson Center Receiver

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald have asked for the removal of Judith Fitzgerald (no relation) as receiver of the bankrupt August Wilson Center for African American Culture.  

The mayor and county executive sent a letter Tuesday to Lawrence O’Toole, the administrative judge of Orphans’ Court to remove Fitzgerald.

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Same-Sex Marriage
5:40 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Plaintiffs Want Judge To Strike Down PA Marriage Law Without A Trial

Plaintiffs challenging the Pennsylvania law that bans same-sex marriage say there’s no need for a June trial and want a federal court judge to issue an immediate decision.

Vic Walczak, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, said the plaintiffs in January filed a list of experts with the court but the commonwealth indicated it would not provide witnesses to refute the plaintiffs’ witnesses.

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Life of Learning
3:30 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Pittsburgh-Area Students Tackle World Water Crisis

According to the United Nations, nearly 800 million people around the world don’t have access to clean water — a daunting challenge for political leaders, humanitarians and scientists, but it hasn’t stopped a group of Pittsburgh area students from working on a solution. 

”We actually didn’t realize how extensive it was until we did all of our research,” said Kambree Love, a junior at South Fayette High School.  

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Community Schools
3:30 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Could 'Community Schools' Work in Pittsburgh?

Educators, administrators and parents from across the country are gathering in Cincinnati for the next three days to discover how to best coordinate support services for students and parents beyond the classroom.

About 30 Pittsburghers, including Board of Education members Carolyn Klug and Sylvia Wilson, the city’s chief education officer Curtiss Porter, teachers and representatives of Great Public Schools Pittsburgh are attending the Coalition for Community Schools' annual forum to “learn how they help the children succeed” according to Klug.

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Arts & Culture
10:52 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Foundations Offer To 'Save August Wilson Center'

The debt-ridden August Wilson Center might have a buyer.

A group of local foundations, including the Pittsburgh Foundation, submitted a bid last week to acquire the downtown Pittsburgh African American cultural center which is delinquent on its $7 million mortgage.

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Social Justice
3:30 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Community Leaders Try to 'Transform Learning' in Pittsburgh

“We should be outraged that not all of our young people are succeeding and learning to their potential,” says Olga Welch, dean of Duquesne University’s School of Education.

Welch and the university are leading a collaboration of community leaders to transform learning in the Pittsburgh region by pushing for public education as a social justice right “impacting all children, particularly those in under-represented populations.”

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Environment
12:08 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

PA Rep: Environmental Permitting 'Not RAPID Enough'

Is it “a common sense solution” to problems resulting from an “outdated, burdensome and convoluted federal permitting system” or an attempt to “undercut responsible decision making?”

By a vote of 229-179, the House Thursday approved RAPID, the Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development Act, and sent it to the Senate.

Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA-10) said the review and permitting process for energy, infrastructure and other construction projects which can now take as long as 10 to 15 years.

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Education
4:58 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

A+ Schools Chief: Major Changes to the SAT Are Necessary

Essay optional. No penalties for wrong answers. The SAT college entrance exam is undergoing sweeping revisions.

Changes in the annual test that millions of students take will also do away with some vocabulary words such as "prevaricator" and "sagacious" in favor of words more commonly used in school and on the job.

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Taxes
1:49 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

PA Tax Collections Down for 3rd Straight Month

Pennsylvania’s coffers continue to be not as full as state officials anticipated. For a third straight month, revenue collections were lower than expected. 

According to the Department of Revenue, Pennsylvania pulled in $1.6 billion in funds in February which was 2.1 percent below projections. For the first eight months of the fiscal year, total revenues are 0.5 percent less than estimates.

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Education
2:28 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Department of Education Awards $2.6 Million in 'Safe Schools' Grants

“The safety of students is always our number 1 priority,” says Larry Celmer, assistant principal of Cambria County’s Forest Hills Elementary School, one of 110 public schools across the state to receive a “Safe Schools” grant.

The Department of Education awarded a total of $2.6 million to implement programs to prevent and reduce incidents of violence in schools.

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