Liz Reid

Weekend Host and General Assignment Reporter

Liz Reid's initials spell EAR, and she’s just enough of a mystic to believe that working with sound is her destiny. Liz came to 90.5 WESA from KRPS public radio in Southeast Kansas, where she was a Feature Producer and the local host of All Things Considered. Previously, Liz interned and freelanced at KQED public radio in San Francisco. She has an MA in Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University, where she also taught audio production classes. She’s done stints working in academia and the music industry, but she’s happiest in a public radio setting. When Liz is not reporting and hosting at 90.5 WESA, she likes to sing and play guitar, ride her bike, camp with her partner and puppy, and watch science and nature documentaries.

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City Government
12:31 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Heinz Endowments to Fund Pilot Project Aimed at Increasing Efficiency in City Departments

Since he launched his mayoral campaign in 2013, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has been promising residents a more efficient and cost-effective style of governance.

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Economy & Business
3:30 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Report: Pittsburgh's GDP Growth Is Slowing, But It's Still Ahead of the Nation

In 2014, Pittsburgh saw a 0.4 percent increase in the employment rate and no growth in terms of gross domestic product per capita.
Credit The Associated Press

While Pittsburgh’s economy has recovered from the recession that began in 2008, growth is slowing, and policy makers need to address that reality.

That’s according to a new report from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. The fourth edition of the Global MetroMonitor examined economic performance in the 300 largest metropolitan economies in the world. Pittsburgh ranked at #253 in 2014. That’s down from a ranking of #192 between 2009 and 2014.

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Public Safety
4:14 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

ShotSpotter System Goes Live in Homewood

It took less than one minute for officers from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to arrive on the scene after shots reportedly were fired off the porch of 7502 Hamilton Ave. in Homewood Saturday night.

“(ShotSpotter) was so accurate and so quick that the officers were able to engage the suspects and see them as they were firing the weapons and observe the muzzle flash that was a result of them firing the weapons,” said Major Crimes Cmdr. RaShall Brackney.

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Environment & Energy
3:31 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Gas-Fired Power Plant Proposal Spurs Controversy in Westmoreland County

The natural gas-fired Tenaska Gateway Generating Station in Mt. Enterprise, Texas has been in operation since 2001.
Credit Flickr user Linday Attaway

A new gas-fired power plant has been proposed for Westmoreland County, and environmental groups have been scrutinizing the permit applications submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Omaha-based energy company Tenaska has been working on the proposal since 2009, and anticipates approval of the DEP permits in the next couple of months, according to project manager Monte Ten Kley.

“They’ve issued the draft permit and we feel we have answered and addressed all of their questions and provided them all the information that was required,” Ten Kley said.

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Community
4:09 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Report Shows Racial Disparities Persisting in Pittsburgh Region

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald (foreground) listen as University of Pittsburgh Social Work Dean Larry Davis discusses racial disparities in the city and county. Davis is flanked by Center for Race and Social Problems coordinator Sara Berg (left) and associate director Ralph Bangs.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

“We try to be useful.”

That’s what University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work Dean Larry Davis told a group assembled to hear details of a new report on racial disparity from the Center on Race and Social Problems. Davis said he hopes the data coming out of the report will be used to craft policies and programs to reduce racial disparities in education, economics, health care and other areas.

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Environment & Energy
6:51 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

County To Pursue Increased Air Quality Monitoring, Federal Compliance In 2015

Michael Bett is a Ben Avon Borough Councilman, and he wants to see the Shenango coke plant on Neville Island shut down, for good.

Bett, who is a co-founder of Allegheny Clean Air Now, made his case for shuttering the plant to the Allegheny County Board of Health meeting Wednesday, ahead of a presentation from the county’s air program manager about plans to improve air quality in 2015.

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Community
7:06 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Transgender Man Who Committed Suicide Remembered At Vigil

Mourners left flowers and candles on the 10th Street Bridge, from which Andi Woodhouse jumped to his death on December 13th.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Saturday brought to Pittsburgh some of the most unpleasant weather yet this season, but a few dozen people braved the cold and rain to hold vigil for someone they had never met.

Andi Woodhouse, 24, jumped from the 10th Street Bridge to his death on December 13th. Organizers of Saturday’s vigil say he was mis-gendered in reports from the medical examiner’s office and various media outlets, which had referred to Woodhouse as a woman named Amber.

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City Government
3:30 am
Fri December 26, 2014

2015 City Council Preview: Lavelle, Rudiak, Gross

This is the third in a three-part series looking ahead to the 2015 priorities with members of Pittsburgh City Council. Find part one here and part two here.

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City Government
3:30 am
Thu December 25, 2014

2015 City Council Preview: Gilman, Kraus, Harris

This is the second in a three-part series looking ahead to the 2015 priorities with members of Pittsburgh City Council. Find part one here.

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City Government
3:30 am
Wed December 24, 2014

2015 City Council Preview: Burgess, O'Connor, Kail-Smith

This is the first in a three-part series looking ahead to the 2015 priorities with members of Pittsburgh City Council.

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City Government
11:21 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Under Threat of Litigation, City Council Pushes Through Telecom Agreements

A potential revenue stream for the city of Pittsburgh could become tied up in litigation if City Council does not act quickly.

Council on Monday discussed a bill to approve the installation of distributed antenna systems, or DAS, in 19 light poles across the city.

According to Mike Salem, an engineering technician in the Department of Public Works, the antennae are meant to improve cell service in “dead spots,” areas where reception is bad or calls are dropped regularly.

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City of Pittsburgh
7:27 am
Tue December 23, 2014

City Makes Move Toward Online Permitting, Credit Card Payments

Technology upgrades in the new Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections – formerly the Bureau of Building Inspection – are set to continue, as Pittsburgh City Council on Monday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would set the stage for putting permitting online.

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Community
11:50 am
Mon December 22, 2014

New Report Probes State of Aging in Allegheny County

While Allegheny County remains one of the oldest counties in the nation, the national senior population is actually growing more quickly than the senior population in the county.

That’s according to a new report from Pittsburgh Today and the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research, or UCSUR.

In 2000, 17.8 percent of people in Allegheny County were 65 or older, compared to 12.4 percent nationwide. In 2010, the gap began closing, with 16.8 percent seniors in the county and 13 percent nationwide.

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Community
3:30 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Feliz Navidad! The Mall at Robinson Welcomes Multilingual Santa

Santa and Mrs. Claus from the Mall at Robinson.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Christopher Nicholas Claus — his legal name — has been coming to the Mall at Robinson every Christmas since it opened fourteen years ago.

He’s not so different from the thousands of other Santas who flock to malls across America this time of year: He’s got a naturally white beard, a jolly laugh and loves kids. There’s one thing that makes this Santa unique, however.

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City Government
3:30 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Affordable Housing Measure Approved by Planning Commission

Pittsburgh City Councilman Daniel Lavelle is one step closer to delivering on a promise to constituents that affordable housing would be a key part of the revitalization of the Hill District.

The Planning Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of a proposed change to city code governing specially planned districts, or SP districts.

“Specially Planned Districts are those districts like Southside Works, Station Square … the Pittsburgh Technology Center, and Washington’s Landing,” said zoning administrator Corey Layman.

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City Government
7:52 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Facing Tough Budget Obligations, Pittsburgh Sees Opportunities in Grant Funding

As Pittsburgh struggles with financial obligations such as increased health care and pension costs, it still wants to pursue initiatives that improve quality of life. That's where grant funding comes in.
Credit AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Leigh Halverson is the deputy chief of staff for economic development in the Peduto administration, and on one wall of her office is a row of pink post it notes, with different dollar amounts written on them.

“$440,000 from the foundations this year to support our Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment,” she says. “$200,000 from the National League of Cities for our Healthy Together campaign … $75,000 for our green and healthy homes initiative.”

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Public Safety
5:19 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Police to Test Electronic Gunshot-Detection System in Homewood

Pittsburgh police plan to test an electronic gunshot-detection system later this month in a three square mile area stretching from the East Hills to East Liberty.

Councilman Ricky Burgess, who represents the neighborhoods, said there are three reasons for installing the ShotSpotter system, which can pinpoint the location and direction of shots fired.

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2015 Budget
1:00 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

City Council Approves 2015 Budget

After approving a few last minute amendments, Pittsburgh City Council on Monday approved a $507.8 million operating budget, up from $487.1 million in 2014, as well as a $76.6 million capital budget and a five-year capital plan.

“This is a banner day for Pittsburgh,” Mayor Bill Peduto said. “With the help of City Council and our financial overseers — and especially our residents and employees — this budget clears a path to fix our financial problems for good over the next five years.”

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City Government
10:24 am
Sun December 14, 2014

CMU Students Present Privacy and Surveillance Report to Police Chief, Councilman

After voting in favor of a 2015 budget amendment that would speed up the timeline for deployment of body-worn cameras for police officers, Councilman Dan Gilman on Wednesday held a post-agenda meeting on surveillance and privacy.

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City Government
7:51 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Personnel Additions in Building Inspection, Solicitor’s Office Pass City Council

With three weeks left before Pittsburgh City Council must approve the 2015 operating and capital budgets, the nine-member body considered four additional budget amendments Wednesday.

One amendment would create the position of government and community affairs coordinator in the new Department of Permits, Licenses, & Inspections.

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City Government
3:13 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Property Tax Hike Receives Preliminary Approval in City Council

Pittsburgh Finance Director Paul Leger (center) made his case for a millage increase before City Council Wednesday. He was joined by treasurer Margaret Lanier (left) and assistant treasurer Ruth Pompey.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would raise property taxes by one-half mill, which works out to about $40 a year for a home worth $100,000.

City Finance Director Paul Leger says the city is currently operating at “bare bones” and that failure to pass the millage increase would put the city in violation of Act 47.

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Economy & Business
5:45 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

300 Luxury Apartments, New Office Buildings Coming to Strip District

"The Yards" is the residential component of a $130 million multi-use development project in the Strip District.
Credit Courtesy Oxford Development Company

More luxury apartments are coming to Pittsburgh, this time in the Strip District.

Oxford Development Company on Tuesday held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the residential and mixed-use development dubbed Three Crossings.

Vice President of Business Development Shawn Fox said the name is a nod to the Strip District’s industrial past and its residential future.

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City Government
9:56 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Body Cameras for Police, Loans for Childcare Facilities Among Budget Amendments

The city of Pittsburgh wants all police officers to be wearing body cameras within two years instead of six.

In the wake of civil unrest after grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the killings of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York, the Peduto administration will shorten the timeline for implementation of such technology.

Amendments to Mayor Bill Peduto’s 2015 budget proposal that would free up money for the purchases came before City Council on Monday.

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Public Safety
7:45 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Community-Oriented Policing Dominates Discussion at McLay Confirmation Hearing

Acting Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay addresses a news conference after being introduced by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Sept. 12, 2014. McLay is the first Pittsburgh chief not to rise from the city’s bureau of police. He was most recently a police captain in Madison, Wis.
Credit AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Update: 12/09/14 11:40am

Pittsburgh City Council confirmed McLay's appointment at its regular meeting Tuesday morning.  McLay will be sworn at by Mayor Bill Peduto at 4:00 this afternoon.

Original Post:

Nearly three months after Cameron McLay became acting chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, City Council on Monday held his confirmation hearing.

The two-hour meeting focused less on McLay’s qualifications for the job and more on his ideas about how to improve the bureau and address the concerns of individual members of City Council.

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Community
3:31 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

PTI Students Learn While Spreading Holiday Cheer

Students at Pittsburgh Technical Institute have once again volunteered to create an hour-long music and light show this holiday season.

It’s the fourth year in a row that the college’s School of Energy and Electronics Technology has produced the show.

Dave Becker, academic chair for the Smart Building Technology and Electronics Engineering Technology, said students are excited to see people enjoy the fruits of their labor.

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Environment
1:28 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Sick Sea Turtles Recovering at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Fourteen Kemp's ridley sea turtles will spend six to nine months at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium before being released back into the wild.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Fourteen very sick sea turtles are recovering at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium after being stranded on the beaches of New England in what is being described as a “mass cold stunning event.”

The endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are just a few of the more than 900 that washed up on northeastern shores after becoming hypothermic as ocean waters cooled. They arrived in Pittsburgh last Sunday, from the New England Aquarium in Boston.

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Community
7:52 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Protesters Gather In Downtown Pittsburgh To Voice Anger Over Ferguson Jury Decision

Protesters began the rally wth 4 1/2 minutes of silence, to represent the 4 1/2 hours Michael Brown's body laid on the street before being removed.
Liz Reid 90.5 WESA

“No justice, no peace, no racist police!” was the chant from more than 200 protesters outside the William S. Moorhead federal building in downtown Pittsburgh Tuesday afternoon.

Julia Johnson, with Pittsburgh for Justice, led the rally in which nearly a dozen speakers channeled their anger at a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

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Government & Politics
4:42 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Pittsburgh City Council Introduces Property Tax Hike Bill

Pittsburgh City Council on Monday introduced four bills related to 2015 property taxes, one of which would raise the tax rate by 0.5 mills to 8.06 mills.

That means the city will collect an additional 50 cents for every $1,000 a piece of real estate is worth.

“For a home worth $100,000, it’s about $40/year,” said Kevin Acklin, chief of staff to Mayor Bill Peduto.

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Business
10:14 am
Mon November 24, 2014

US Steel to Build New Headquarters on Former Civic Arena Site

A piece of the roof on the old Civic Arena in downtown Pittsburgh comes down in 2012. United States Steel Corp. announced Monday it will build its new world headquarters in Pittsburgh as part of the NHL's Penguins' redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site.
Credit AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

United States Steel Corp. CEO Mario Longhi said he took Monday’s sunshine as a good omen for his company’s new headquarters on the site of the old Civic Arena.

Longhi joined Penguins CEO David Morehouse, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to make the announcement at Consol Energy Center on Monday.

Longhi said the five-story, 268,000 square foot building will serve as the cornerstone of revitalization of both US Steel and the surrounding Hill District community.

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Public Safety
6:45 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

Police to Ramp Up Seat Belt and DUI Enforcement for Holidays

Saturday’s icy road conditions, which may have contributed to car accidents on I-79, Bigelow Boulevard, Route 28 and other area roadways, were an unnerving reminder that more auto crashes occur during the holidays than any other time of year.

During last year’s Thanksgiving travel period, from the weekend before Thanksgiving to the weekend after, a total of 4,683 crashes and 48 fatalities occurred statewide.

“Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death, with most fatalities being attributed to unbelted motorists,” said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. 

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