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.

Ways To Connect

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. 

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.

“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.”

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.

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.

“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. 

“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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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.

“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.”

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.

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.

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.

“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.

Home sales in the Pittsburgh region jumped 7.2 percent last year compared to 2012. 

Barbara Kohl, chief operating officer of the West Penn Multi-List, said the numbers are “surprising” because the previous year also had “strong growth.”

“Everything clicked, consumer confidence came back, interest rates stayed low; the only problem is we don’t have enough inventory,” Kohl said.

While he awaits a decision whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will reconsider its decision to strike down part of Act 13, Gov. Tom Corbett is asking oil and gas drillers to continue to follow the environmental requirements established in that statewide drilling law.

“I am calling upon Pennsylvania’s oil and gas operators to honor both the spirit and intent of these setback provisions to continue helping us protect Pennsylvania’s water and natural resources,” Corbett said.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Bill Peduto takes the oath of office Monday afternoon in Heinz Hall as Pittsburgh's 60th mayor. The ceremony had been planned for outside City Hall but was moved because of concern over frigid temperatures. 

The inauguration is a ticketed event and only a very limited number of seats will be available to the general public. 

The commonwealth's number one industry is being saluted this week during the 98th Pennsylvania Farm Show, which opened Saturday and continues through Jan. 11 in Harrisburg. 

Agricultural income totals about $6.6 billion with dairy production as the leading component. Pennsylvania is home to more than 62,000 farms averaging 124 acres.

State Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks), the minority chair of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, said the eight-day show is themed, “Pennsylvania Farms: Growing for You,” and is the largest indoor agricultural event in the country.

Thirty-two states, including Pennsylvania, have the death penalty. Since 1976 when the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment,  Rhode Island (1984),  New York (2007), New Jersey (2007),  New Mexico (2009) Connecticut (2012), and Maryland (2013)  have abolished it. But the repeal in the last three states was not retroactive so they still have prisoners on death row.  Massachusetts' death penalty statute was nullified in 1984 by court rulings.

Could Pennsylvania become the next state to abolish capital punishment?

The Pittsburgh region will continue as a “Hive Network.”

The MacArthur Foundation, which selected Pittsburgh in February as just the third “hive” in the nation, following New York and Chicago, has re-authorized and funded the project for another two years.

The goal of the Hive Network is to expand learning for young people beyond schools to museums, libraries, afterschool programs and community centers. Participating organizations offer programs to engage youth in learning based on their interests.

A week before the Pennsylvania House Health Committee holds a hearing on legislation to force all not-for-profit health care insurers and care providers to open their services to all insurance holders, not just their own, UPMC launched a campaign to defeat the measures.

Mailers were sent to at least three legislative districts in western Pennsylvania and robocalls were received across the state asking recipients to urge their lawmakers to reject the legislation.

The University of Pittsburgh is combining resources to spark innovation and increase support for entrepreneurial initiatives on and off campus.

Pitt Thursday launched the Innovation Institute, which consolidates the existing offices of Technology Management and Enterprise Development as well as the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Update: 7:39 a.m. Thursday

Pittsburgh police have charged a 16-year-old student with shooting three others outside a high school, allegedly in retaliation for a drug-related robbery inside the school last month.

None of the students wounded minutes after Brashear High School dismissed classes Wednesday has life-threatening injuries. Police say two were grazed by bullets, while one was shot in the arm and foot. Police say a fourth was targeted but not hurt.

The Justice Department says it has reached an agreement permitting the $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways, creating the world's biggest airline.

In August, the federal government, along with Pennsylvania and five other states, sued to block the merger, claiming it would restrict competition and drive up prices for consumers on hundreds of routes around the country.

The airlines have said their deal would increase competition by creating another big competitor to United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which grew through recent mergers.

More of Pennsylvania’s fourth and eighth graders are proficient in math and reading than the national average, but the achievement gap between white and minority students in the commonwealth is only shrinking slightly.

"I'm glad to see achievement in Pennsylvania is generally higher than the national average, but it's not where we want it to be and we're still concerned about the racial achievement gaps not closing," said Carey Harris, executive director of A+ Schools in Pittsburgh.

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