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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Housing Market
3:30 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Pittsburgh Area Sees Strong Home Sales For 2nd Straight Year

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.

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Marcellus Shale
1:49 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Drillers Will Adhere to Minimum Distances From Water Despite Court Ruling

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.

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City in Transition
3:30 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Peduto to be Inaugurated as Mayor of Pittsburgh

Bill Peduto is congratulated by supporters during his election night victory. He's holding a broom because he wants to make a "clean sweep" of city government.
Credit 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. 

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Agriculture
11:03 am
Sun January 5, 2014

98th PA Farm Show Is Underway

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.

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Capital Punishment
3:30 am
Thu January 2, 2014

PA Task Force Delays Deadline For Possible Death Penalty Reforms

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?

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Learning
3:30 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Pittsburgh: A Hive of Learning Innovation

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.

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Healthcare
10:23 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

2 PA Lawmakers Criticize UPMC for Opposition Campaign

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.

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Business
10:24 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Innovation Institute Intends to Spur Startups in Pittsburgh

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.

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Public Safety
3:56 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

16-Year-Old Charged in Shooting of 3 Students Outside Brashear High School

A police officer is stationed on Crane Avenue following a shooting outside Brashear High School Wednesday that left three students injured.
Credit 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.

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Transportation
5:18 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Proposed Settlement Would Allow US Airways-American Merger

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.

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Achievement Gap
5:04 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

PA Students Show Slight Progress in New Report Card

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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Health
11:58 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Mortality Rate Down for Open Heart Surgery Patients in PA

The mortality and re-admission rates for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery and valve replacement continue to decline in Pennsylvania.

The new report by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) studied 20,164 patients who underwent bypass and/or valve replacement surgery in 50 Pennsylvania acute care hospitals between July 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2012.

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Achievement Gap
3:37 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Parents, Teachers, Administrators Address Achievement Gap in Pittsburgh

Audience member asks question of the panel at the community forum on the achievement gap
Tammy Terwelp 90.5 WESA

“Where’s the moral outrage over the lack of equity in education,” asked Duquesne University Dean of Education Olga Welch who attended a recent community forum on the achievement gap held by 90.5 WESA.

“Where is it,” replied forum panel member Jeremy Resnick, a founder of Propel Charter Schools, “it’s missing.”

Dozens of parents, teachers and administrators crowded the Community Broadcast Center recently for a public forum as part of WESA’s Life of Learning initiative.

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Pennsylvania Lottery
3:30 am
Mon October 7, 2013

2 State Senators Want Corbett to End Lottery Privatization Bid

Two Democratic state senators want Gov. Tom Corbett to pull the plug on his efforts to privatize Pennsylvania's Lottery and turn his attention to what they say are more pressing issues including transportation funding, Medicaid expansion and education funding.  

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Community
2:35 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Nationwide, An Effort to Make Playgrounds More Accessible

Playground equipment at Armstrong Field in Pittsburgh's South Side. There is a growing movement across the country to build playgrounds that are designed to include children with disabilities.
Credit Michael Lynch / 90.5 WESA

There is a growing national movement, spurred at least in part by a federal mandate, to build playgrounds that are designed to include children with disabilities.

In 2011, the Department of Justice adopted revisions to the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design. One of the changes by the Justice Department to the ADA involves playgrounds that are used by children ages 2 and older in a variety of public settings, including school yards.

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Courts
3:13 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Teacher Sues AIU After Being Denied Benefits for Same-Sex Partner

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Women’s Law Project have filed a lawsuit against the Allegheny Intermediate Unit on behalf of Bradley Ankney, a math teacher for the AIU.

The suit was filed after the AIU rejected Ankney’s attempt to add his partner to his health insurance policy.

Sarah Rose, staff attorney for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said the AIU does provide benefits to the spouses of employees.

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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Fontana: Reforming Child Abuse Laws 'Taking a Long Time'

A Pittsburgh-area state lawmaker believes last week’s conviction of a former Pittsburgh Public Schools police officer demonstrates the need for immediate reporting of suspected child abuse.

Robert Lellock, 44, of Pittsburgh was convicted of sexually assaulting four boys at the Rooney Middle School on the North Side during the 1998-99 academic year.

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Sewer Overflows
4:50 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Sewer Overflow Plan Would Cost Pittsburgh Customers an Extra $100 a Year

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority on Wednesday submitted a $165 million plan to meet a 2002 federal mandate to reduce sewage overflows into Pittsburgh waterways.

“We’ve been working on the plan for a little over 10 years,” said Jim Good, PWSA’s interim executive director. “If you printed it out on paper the plan weighs 29 pounds.”

Good said the plan is “compliant gray,” but the authority went a step further. 

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Business
3:38 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Mt. Washington Businesses: The View is Free, But Stay and Buy Something

Pink Grandview Bakery and yellow Micro Diner signs on Shiloh Street in Mount Washington.
Credit Mount Washington Community Development Corporation

Mention “Mount Washington” to longtime Pittsburgh residents, newcomers and visitors and the comment you’re likely to get is “the view.” Not the view of Mount Washington, but rather the view from Mount Washington.

Business owners there would like you to turn your back on the view of downtown and the Point … after you’re done gazing of course … and take a look at what that community has to offer.

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Transportation
7:20 am
Wed July 31, 2013

With PA Leading Nation in Deficient Bridges, Senate Mulls Bill to Make Repairs

Allegheny County has 296 structurally deficient and 333 functionally obsolete spans.
Credit Flickr user a440

The Senate is expected to vote this week on a budget bill that could rehabilitate aging bridges across Pennsylvania and around the country.

Pennsylvania leads the nation with 5,543 structurally deficient bridges, 86 percent of which are state-owned.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) says the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill contains several provisions to directly address bridge repairs and broader transportation priorities that are vital to the commonwealth.

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Health
5:03 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

West Penn Allegheny Lays Off 262 Workers

West Penn Allegheny hospitals laid off 262 employees Friday, and another 200 vacant positions are being eliminated.

“This action is extremely difficult but is an essential step in our efforts to right-size the organization for the patient volume that we currently have and to strongly position it for future growth and success as a leading healthcare provider in this region,” said Dan Laurent, a spokesman for Highmark’s Allegheny Health Network.

West Penn Allegheny will now have 10,300 employees and the Allegheny Health Network as a whole, 17,000.

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Business
10:24 am
Thu July 18, 2013

French Leaders Connect with PA Counterparts This Week in Pittsburgh

More than 40 business, university and economic development leaders from France are in Pittsburgh this week to rendezvous with their Pennsylvania counterparts.

The high-level delegation is led by Jean-Jack Queyranne, the president of the Rhone-Alpes region in France. That’s equivalent to an American governor. The trip is a follow up to Gov. Tom Corbett’s business development mission to France in March 2012.

Queyranne said his region and Pennsylvania have a special relationship.

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Public Safety
2:42 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Should Pittsburgh Police Officers Have to Live in the City?

As of now, Pittsburgh police officers are required to live in the city. While locally appointed arbitrators will make their final decision in September as to whether the requirement for Pittsburgh police to live in the city should be lifted, City Councilman Ricky Burgess is sponsoring legislation to put the issue on the November ballot.
Credit Kaffeeeinstein / Flickr

The question of whether Pittsburgh police officers should be required to live in the city goes before arbitrators in September. 

But City Councilman Ricky Burgess believes that all voters in the city should have a say in the matter, not just the three members of the arbitration panel.

“I think that the arbitration, whatever the results are, will probably be appealed and come before a judge,” said Burgess, who is sponsoring legislation to put the issue on the November ballot.

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Same Sex Marriage
2:30 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

AG Kane Will Not Defend Against Suit Challenging PA's Marriage Law

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Thursday that she will not defend the state law effectively banning same-sex marriage from a legal challenge in federal court, meaning the task will be left up to Gov. Tom Corbett.

"I cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's (law), where I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional," Kathleen Kane announced Thursday at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

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Public Safety
10:18 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Pittsburgh Region Copes With Flash Flooding, Road Closures

A police officer directs traffic at the intersection of Route 88 and McNeilly Road in Pittsburgh. A portion of Route 88 had been closed due to flooding.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

UPDATE: 9:47 a.m. Thursday

After heavy rain from storms Wednesday brought flash flooding across the Pittsburgh region, officials are advising that some roadways remain closed Thursday. More details here.

All weather warnings and watches for Allegheny County have expired, and the National Weather Service is forecasting a slight chance of showers for the Pittsburgh region before 11 a.m. Otherwise, Thursday is expected to be mostly cloudy with a high near 77.

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STEM Education
3:30 am
Fri June 7, 2013

$500K in Grants to Pittsburgh Area Schools to Engage Students in STEAM

Twenty-five school districts in southwestern Pennsylvania are receiving grants of $20,000 apiece to create digital learning spaces for students of all ages. 

“My heart was filled with joy,” said Rosanne Javorsky, assistant executive director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, reacting to the 80 proposals for grants to create innovative spaces to engage students in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).

The AIU’s Center for Creativity is distributing the grants, which are funded by the Benedum and Grable Foundations.

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Bill of Rights
1:33 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Original Copy of Bill of Rights Coming to Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Corbett signs the visitors book at at the National Constitution Center, where the Bill of Rights will be on public display.
Credit PA Commonwealth Media Services

For the first time in several decades Pennsylvanians will be able to view an original copy of the Bill of  Rights.

It’s 1789 — Congress approves the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The states ratify the amendments December 15, 1791 and President George Washington sends a handwritten copy of the Bill of Rights to each of the 13 states. Pennsylvania’s copy goes missing in the late 1800s and New York’s copy might have been destroyed in a fire at New York’s archives.

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Pennsylvania
8:59 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Clarion County Man Indicted in Teen Girl Kidnap Case

A federal grand jury has indicted a Clarion County man on charges of interstate transportation of a minor for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual activity.

U.S. Attorney for Western PA David Hickton said 31-year-old Joshua D. Baker of Leeper is also charged with travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a 13-year-old female. The indictment followed an investigation by the FBI and Clarion County authorities.

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River Health
4:03 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

EPA: Two-Thirds Of PA River Miles in Poor Health for Aquatic Life

More than half of the nation’s river and stream miles are in poor condition for aquatic life. That’s according to the first comprehensive survey of river health by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Data was collected from about 2,000 sites across the country from 2008-09, and then federal, state and university scientists analyzed the information to determine how well the waterways support aquatic life and how major stressors might be affecting them.

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US Airways Merger
5:18 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

US Airways' Moon Township Op Center Could Close Due To Merger

When US Airways and American Airlines announced their $11 billion merger on February 14, the new company was expected to retain fleet and ground service in Pittsburgh, with flight operations located in Moon Township.

But now that might not be the case after US Airways Chairman Doug Parker, who will be CEO of the new American Airlines, told employees last week that the Pittsburgh-area Operations and Control Center (OOC) could be shut down in a few years.

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