Larkin Page-Jacobs

Reporter/Host, All Things Considered

Larkin got her start in radio as a newsroom volunteer in 2006. She went on to work for 90.5 as a reporter, Weekend Edition host, and Morning Edition producer, before taking on her current role as the All Things Considered host in 2009. Larkin also curates a public radio news blog www.pfeffernews.org, which highlights great reporting from local stations around the country. She has won regional and statewide awards for her reporting, including stories on art, criminal justice, domestic violence, and breaking news. Her work has been featured across Pennsylvania and nationally on NPR.

Twitter: @wesaLarkin

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Community
6:44 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Toys for Troops Helps Service Members and Vets Make Ends Meet

A toy giveaway focused on veterans, active duty personnel and members of the National Guard makes its debut in Pennsylvania Tuesday.

The Toys for Troops event will pass out two gifts per child for every military family in the Pittsburgh area. Operation Once in a Lifetime runs the event, and East Coast Regional Operations manager Marc Morris said these kind of initiatives are important because often times vets won't speak up when they need something.

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Early Childhood Education
8:47 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

From Homewood to Harrisburg, Childcare Providers Seek Resources

Two-year-old Khalil Kyte romps around a play area at the Homewood Early Learning Hub on a recent Tuesday. In addition to activities for kids, the Hub offers resources and training opportunities for childcare providers.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

Three-year-old Aubreaune stands behind an easel showing off her painting of a T-Rex.

“It’s green and purple," she says. "It eats people. Roar!”

She’s among a group of preschool-aged kids and childcare providers who gathered at the Homewood Early Learning Hub for play time on a recent Tuesday. Besides activities for the kids, providers and families use the center to find resources, and share best practices.

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How We Grieve
3:30 am
Tue December 10, 2013

For Victims of Violence, Memorials Built to Last

After his 26-year-old brother Anthony was killed in a robbery in 2008, Jason Rivers (pictured) and his family decided to dedicate an East Liberty basketball court in his memory.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

How We Grieve: This the first in an occasional series exploring the ways people express their feelings in the aftermath of a death.

Some memorials to homicide victims are made of flowers, candles and photographs. Others are built to last.

Memorials to victims in the Pittsburgh region often hide in plain sight, but their message is far from veiled. Those behind the memorials say they're an attempt to turn despair into something positive.

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Community
4:28 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Google Teaches Internet Safety to Pittsburgh Students

Google's traveling "Good to Know Roadshow" program presented at an assembly Monday at Pittsburgh Obama Academy to teach middle school students about the importance of using the Internet safely.

Google spokeswoman Jamie Hill said it was their first time making the presentation in Pennsylvania. Google has an office at Bakery Square in the Larimer section of Pittsburgh. Hill said research shows 93 percent of teenagers are using the Internet.

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Government & Politics
12:20 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Speaking in Pittsburgh, Corbett Makes His Bid For Re-Election Official

A day after the general election and in his first stop on a tour announcing his bid for re-election, Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday he intended to be governor again.

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Learning and Play
7:50 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Connecting the Dots Between Play and Learning in the Classroom

At the Children’s School, Carnegie Mellon University student Jean Kwon observes a group of children playing with blocks as part of a child development course.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

It's a typical day at the Children’s School at Carnegie Mellon University, and as director Sharon Carver walks from room to room, children ages 3 to 5 are bursting with activity.

In one space a little boy digs in a sandbox, in another corner children try to match recycling materials to the correct bins, and at another table children are navigating the serious task of sharing and shaping Play-Doh.

After taking stock of the activities Carver asks a reporter, “Which things were play and which things are not play?”

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Government & Politics
4:40 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

US Senator Casey Weighs In on Syria Debate

As President Obama seeks congressional authorization for a limited military strike in Syria, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) lauded the administration's move to debate the issue with other lawmakers.

But Casey also said that he believed the president has the legal authority to conduct a strike without getting the go-ahead from Congress. He also said he thinks Obama should take action, regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C.

"I think he should act," Casey said.

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Health
1:40 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

UPMC to Spend $30 million on New Institute

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine plan to expand their Vascular Medicine Institute over the next five years, by creating the Heart, Lung Blood and Vascular Medicine Institute, or VMI.

Dr. Mark Gladwin, co-director of VMI, said it will be a hub for research.

"This will be the research home for scientists and physicians and physician scientists that have primary appointments within cardiology, pulmonary and hematology," he said.

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Sports
7:50 am
Wed August 28, 2013

After 20 Years of Waiting, a Winning Season is Within Reach for Pirates Fans

The Pittsburgh Pirates hold the record for most consecutive losing seasons in all professional sports in U.S. history. Now, after 20 years, the team is on the verge of a winning season.
Credit Flickr user jwalter522

The year 1992 was an exceptional time to be a sports fan in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers finished first in their division, the Penguins won the Stanley Cup and the Pirates made it to the playoffs. Little did baseball fans know then that it would be two decades before the Pirates would have another winning season.

Now the Pirates are a handful of games away from ending the skid.

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Public Safety
4:11 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Rally Calls for Background Checks for Gun Purchasers

The "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence"  bus tour stopped in Pittsburgh Friday.

The event was meant to highlight the need for laws that mandate background checks for gun purchasers. The effort comes in the wake of legislation that failed to pass in Congress.

In the aftermath of the shooting rampage at Sandyhook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in December, U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R) and Bob Casey (D) pushed for a bipartisan proposal that would have extended background checks to cover private gun sales.

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Environment
4:54 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Bald Eagles Could Be Removed from PA Threatened Species List

Pennsylvania's bald eagle population could be taken of the state's threatened species list.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will consider a proposal to de-list the species at a meeting in September and make an official ruling at a later date.

Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau said the recommendation to move the eagle from the threatened to the protected list comes after the species met a list of criteria for five consecutive years. The criteria include:

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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Sun August 11, 2013

Allegheny County Lawmakers Get Funds to Keep Base Open

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development has granted $200,000 dollars toward the effort to keep state military bases open.

In Western Pennsylvania, those funds will help 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township make its case to the federal government. In recent years, the base has been on the list of the Pentagon's Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Democratic Congressional Delegation: Don't Mess With PA's Electoral College

Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle wants it on record that he and the rest of his fellow Democrats in the Pennsylvania delegation are opposed to changing the Electoral College.

They have sent a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett warning him that passage of PA Senate Bill 538 would have consequences. The bill was introduced in February by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) and hasn't shown much movement since. But Doyle said that does not mean the bill is dead.

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Books News & Features
7:54 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Professor Helps Reveal J.K. Rowling

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:48 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Earlier this week, it was revealed that crime novelist Robert Galbraith is in fact British author J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter books. But how was Rowling's secret uncovered? WESA's Larkin Page-Jacobs reports, British journalists turned to an obscure source to confirm Rowling's authorship.

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City Government
8:41 am
Wed July 3, 2013

How Visible Does Pittsburgh's Mayor Need to Be?

Since announcing he would not be running for re-election, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has been operating largely outside the eye of the media.
Credit Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

On March 1, Luke Ravenstahl made the surprise announcement that he would not run for re-election as mayor of Pittsburgh.

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Economy & Business
2:38 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

U.S. Senator Casey Urges Passage of River Act

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) speaks on the deck of a Gateway Clipper ship in Station Square.
Credit Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

Western Pennsylvania's canal system of locks and dams is an economic generator in the region and beyond, and on Friday, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) emphasized that it is a resource worth funding.

On the deck of a Gateway Clipper ship at Pittsburgh's Station Square, Casey congratulated river transportation officials for helping push for the River Act, which passed the Senate as part of the Water Resources Development Act. But he also reminded the crowd that there is still a ways to go.

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Summer Learning
3:30 am
Thu June 13, 2013

In the Pittsburgh Region, Summer Learning Opportunities Abound

Grow Pittsburgh spearheads the Urban Farmers in Training program, where students from the Mon Valley help operate a 1.5 acre farm.
Courtesy Grow Pittsburgh

For many, summer as a kid conjures images of long rides in the back of the family sedan, co-ed sports at the local YMCA camp or hours spent on the couch watching TV. These kind of summer experiences still exist, but an array of programs around Pittsburgh are opening the eyes and minds of youth of all ages.

Some of those students will be attending Summer Dreamers Academy. The camp, put on by Pittsburgh Public Schools, packs its itinerary with academics and activities. Summer Dreamers has replaced summer school.

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Election 2013
9:59 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

It's Peduto: City Councilman Clinches Mayoral Primary Win

Pittsburgh City Council Bill Peduto speaks to supporters Tuesday night after winning the Democratic mayoral primary.
Deanna Garcia 90.5 WESA

City Councilman Bill Peduto beat out three other Democratic contenders Tuesday for a win in Pittsburgh's hotly contested mayoral primary.

Peduto is hoping to win the seat currently held by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who announced in March he was not seeking re-election. While this was a primary race, Peduto’s victory all but guarantees him the seat. Democrats outnumber Republicans in Pittsburgh by a wide margin, and the city hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1934.

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Health
3:30 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Bill Calls for Insurance Reimbursements for Diabetes Pain Treatment

State Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny/Washington) is introducing legislation that would mandate insurance companies reimburse people with diabetes for pain management. 

Smith noted that while patients are reimbursed for other diabetes-related costs, treatment for neuropathy is not one of them.

"Patients who have it experience intense aching, tingling, burning and numbness," he said. "What's really problematic about it is if it's left unmanaged, the condition can worsen to the point where the individual will need hospitalization or further treatment by way of an operation."

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Arts
3:15 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Gallery Crawl to Preview Theater and Visual Art CSAs

The "Community Supported Agriculture" or CSA model is taking on more and more iterations.

Traditionally, a CSA offers subscriptions to locally grown produce, but it was recently announced that a visual art CSA would be available April 30. Now a theater CSA is in the offing as well.

The New Hazlett Theater on the north side is selling CSA shares that include six performances every other month, from August to June.

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Community Art
3:30 am
Thu April 18, 2013

New Pittsburgh CSA Replaces 'Agriculture' with 'Art'

An example of Ed Panar's photography. Photographer Ed Panar will also have work in the Community Supported Art package. His images depict Pittsburgh streetscapes, rivers and houses tucked into hillsides.
Credit Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, has become common in many cities.

CSA typically refers to a subscription service for fresh produce from local farmers, but a new initiative in Pittsburgh is putting a twist on the concept and replacing “agriculture” with “art.”

A Community Supported Agriculture package might include lettuce, apples, and peppers. But with Community Supported Art, subscribers will unpack a box of sculptures, photographs, drawings or paintings.

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Veterans Affairs
6:45 am
Thu April 4, 2013

At a House Inside the VA, Injured Vets Prepare to Return Home

Ron Dambrosia, 68, of East McKeesport, was in the Army for 11 years. Dambrosia developed a subdural hematoma, or a brain lesion, a few months ago and underwent surgery twice. While at MyHome, he worked with therapists to practice daily living tasks like making coffee.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

There is a house inside a building at the Pittsburgh Veterans Affair’s Aspinwall campus.

The house has everything one would expect – a doorbell, cable, flatware, a bedroom. There’s even a garage (but with half of a car).

The 1,100 square foot house, called MyHome, is a part of the VA’s Community Living Center, and it's designed to help patients recovering from physical or mental injuries transition safely back to their homes.

But that transition takes practice, according to VA Pittsburgh Rehab Site Supervisor Jason Fay.

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West Nile Virus
6:48 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

State Spends $2 Million to Control Spread of West Nile Virus

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is awarding $2.2 million in grants to help counties combat the spread of West Nile Virus this year.

Department spokeswoman Amanda Witman said most people infected with the mosquito born disease will never experience symptoms because their immune systems shut the virus down. But for others, she warned, it can be dangerous.

"This virus can develop into West Nile Fever or West Nile Encephalitis - both of which are infections that cause brain inflammation and in the most severe cases, death," Witman said.

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Water Main Breaks
10:47 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Anatomy of a Water Main Break

A water main break rages under the South Millvale Bridge in Bloomfield in January.
Credit Photo courtesy of PWSA

You know it's winter in Pittsburgh when your car is getting beat up by pot-holes, the streets are chalky with salt, and water main breaks proliferate. But what exactly is going on below the pavement?

Clogged pipes, flooded basements and sheets of ice on roadways are some of the visible signs of water main breaks. But many leaks and breaks go undetected - including sewer line breaks which filter through the soil and along side the pipes for months or years.

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Health
3:52 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

For Veterans with PTSD, Building Relationships is No Easy Task

Monday, April 16, 2012

As men and women return from military tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, they go through a significant adjustment as they rejoin civilian life. Part of that adjustment is figuring how to communicate their experience at war. This can be especially challenging for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who are trying to build new, romantic relationships.

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