An-Li Herring

Government & Law Reporter

An-Li became a reporter while completing her law degree at Stanford. In law school, she wrote about housing affordability, criminal justice and economic development, among other topics. She also served as the intern to NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg in Washington, DC, helping Ms. Totenberg to cover the U.S. Supreme Court and other legal matters. Originally from Pittsburgh, An-Li interned with the investigations team at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette before joining WESA in August 2017.

Sheila May-Stein / Twitter

Brandon Sears, 15, started playing soccer for Pittsburgh’s Obama Academy this fall. It didn’t take long for an opposing player to call him the n-word.

An-Li Herring / WESA

Democrats have chosen former federal prosecutor Conor Lamb (D-Mt. Lebanon) to run in the March 13 special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.

An-Li Herring / WESA

Pittsburgh City Council is still searching for a way to pay for a fund it established last December to expand the supply of affordable housing for low and moderate-income residents.

An-Li Herring / WESA

State Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth), 59, will be the GOP’s nominee in the special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. He won the nomination at a convention the Republican Party of Pennsylvania held in Canonsburg Saturday.

 

Pennsylvania Courts

Across Pennsylvania Tuesday, voters will choose judges and justices in a total of 370 races at all levels of the state court system.

 

Many voters find it challenging to choose which judicial candidates to support, according to Maureen Lally-Green, a former judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the dean of Duquesne School of Law.

 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED  Nov. 3, 2017 at 12:32 p.m.

Pittsburgh's only contested city council race this year pits Democrat Anthony Coghill against Republican Cletus Cibrone-Abate for the District 4 seat.

Friends of Mik Pappas

For the first time in 24 years, Ron Costa, Sr., will face an opponent in the Nov. 7 election for magisterial district judge. Attorney Mik Pappas is running to unseat him in Pennsylvania’s 31st Magisterial District, which includes eight East End neighborhoods.

Running as an Independent, Pappas calls himself progressive.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA


Black girls in the Pittsburgh region are 11 times more likely than white girls to have contact with the juvenile justice system, according to a 2016 study, Inequities Affecting Black Girls in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Marc Levy / AP

Issues such as police use of force and mass incarceration have long fueled calls for criminal justice reform. But some have proposed going a step further by abolishing prisons altogether.

 

In his book published last year, Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform, Harvard philosophy professor Tommie Shelby addresses poverty and racial marginalization. He argues they will persist unless society tackles the underlying inequities that sustain them.

 

Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Nearly half of children in Pennsylvania had at least one adverse childhood experience, or ACE, according to a a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

 

More than one in five had at least two adverse experiences.

 

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

This week is Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy’s last in Congress. The embattled politician is resigning with one year left in his term, meaning Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District must hold a special election to fill the vacancy.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

UPDATED: 5:31 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017

A jury Tuesday cleared one Pittsburgh police officer and deadlocked on charges against a second in a civil rights lawsuit filed by a man who was paralyzed when he was shot during a traffic stop.

Marc Levy / AP

It’s been less than a week since U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Upper St. Clair) announced he’s resigning from Congress, and already three Republican state lawmakers have declared they will run for his seat.

State Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth) declared Sunday that he’s suspending his U.S. Senate campaign to jump into the race. He joined state Sens. Kim Ward (R-Hempfield) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Jefferson Hills), who announced last week that they will run to replace Murphy.

Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons

A jury did not reach a verdict in Leon Ford’s federal case against two Pittsburgh police officers Wednesday and will return for more deliberations Thursday.

Ford is suing officers David Derbish and Andrew Miller in federal civil court for a 2012 shooting that left him paralyzed. Derbish faces an allegation of excessive force, and Miller is accused of assault and battery.

An-Li Herring

A jury began deliberations in Leon Ford’s federal civil trial against two Pittsburgh police officers following closing arguments Tuesday. The jury could deliver its verdict any day.

Kaffeeeinstein / flickr

Advocates spoke out Friday against a proposed policy that would authorize Port Authority police officers to issue criminal citations to light rail riders who can't prove they’ve paid a fare.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is considering a temporary moratorium to prohibit all water shutoffs this winter for residential customers who don’t pay their water bills.

 

The moratorium, which would last from December through March, is meant to help customers who rely on radiators to heat their homes, but cannot afford the cost of water.

Michael Conroy / AP

Child advocates warn that Senate Republicans’ latest proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act could threaten child welfare funding. Cuts to Medicaid, advocates said, could force states and counties to divert limited child welfare dollars to cover the cost of health care to children in out-of-home placement.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED: Sept. 22, 2017 at 2:54 p.m.

 

The lawyer for the Ohio man who was beaten by a Pittsburgh police officer outside PPG Paints Arena late Tuesday night declined to say whether his client, Daniel Adelman will sue for excessive use of force. A bystander caught the confrontation in a video that has been widely shared on social media.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

The Pennsylvania Senate could vote Monday or Tuesday on whether to put the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority under state oversight.

A bill that would empower the Public Utility Commission to oversee the embattled agency has been pending before the full Senate since June 30. When the chamber returns from summer recess Monday, it will have two days to act on the measure. Without action by Tuesday, the bill will be removed from the Senate calendar with the possibility of later consideration.

hhm8 / Flickr

City leaders in McKeesport traced $1.4 million in unpaid taxes to a company that did business there over multiple years.

A tax collection audit firm discovered the loss, but declined to name the company responsible. In a statement Wednesday, Philadelphia-based eCollect Plus said the company is publicly traded and not local.

A partner at eCollect Plus, Michael Hill, said “a multitude” of other companies also owe unpaid taxes to McKeesport. It’s common for municipal tax revenues to go missing, usually due to inadvertent errors in tax reporting, according to Hill.

Always Shooting / Flickr

University of Pittsburgh graduate students who want to form their own union say they’ll have enough signatures by the end of the semester to ask the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board to put the issue to a vote. For the union to become reality, a majority of the more than 2,000 graduate students employed by Pitt would have to approve the measure formally.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Among Pittsburgh DREAMers who benefited from the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals program – also called DACA – the Trump administration's decision to end the program elicited reactions ranging from distress to resignation on Wednesday.

Some were at a loss, saying they have no way to ensure they can stay in the U.S. if DACA expires in six months without a replacement from Congress.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday that the Trump Administration will rescind the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals program – also called DACA – and allow legal protections for the roughly 800,000 “DREAMers,” who arrived in the country illegally as children, to expire in six months.

Unless Congress acts, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said on Tuesday, ending DACA will hurt the city’s universities and hospitals as well as tech and other corporate employers.