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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Government & Politics
11:31 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Obama: When It Comes To Job Training, 'Roboburgh' Is A Model For The Nation

President Obama praised CCAC's job-driven approach to education during a speech at the West Hills Center campus on Wednesday.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The Community College of Allegheny County’s mechatronics program trains students to work in high-tech manufacturing jobs, and President Barack Obama said Wednesday it’s the kind of program that should be available nationwide.

“What we want to do is we want to replicate your model across the country,” Obama said. “You’re doing something right that is making a difference in people’s lives, and we want to spread the word.”

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were at CCAC’s West Hills Center campus in Oakdale to announce system-wide reforms of federal job training programs.

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Government & Politics
5:03 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Obama Praises CCAC's Job-Driven Training Programs

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center campus in Oakdale Wednesday to unveil the administration’s new job training initiatives.

Obama called CCAC’s mechatronics program an outstanding model of job-driven training that he wants to see replicated across the country.

The program trains workers for high-tech manufacturing jobs in as little as six months.

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City Government
7:27 am
Wed April 16, 2014

For Peduto, Better Government Means Open Government

As a candidate, Bill Peduto promised Pittsburghers a more efficient city government through transparency, talent-based hiring and data-driven decision-making. Now, after 100 days in office, is that becoming a reality?
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Peduto's 100 Days: Wednesday marks Mayor Bill Peduto’s 100th day in office, so we’re introducing an occasional series looking at the new administration’s progress toward promises made by candidate Peduto.

* * *

When Mayor Bill Peduto was a City Councilman representing District 8, he went back to school to get a master’s degree in public policy and management.

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City Government
7:50 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Land Bank Legislation Passes in Pittsburgh City Council

Nearly 8,000 parcels of land are estimated to be abandoned in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Land Bank is meant to streamline the process of selling such properties and putting them back to productive use.
Credit Flickr user MichaelGoodin

After three months of community meetings, disagreements, and compromises, Pittsburgh City Council passed Councilwoman Deb Gross’s land bank legislation Monday morning.

Councilmen Ricky Burgess and Daniel Lavelle have had the greatest concerns about the land bank proposal, but both voted in favor of the legislation.

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Health
2:51 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Pittsburgh City Council Says Ban On Blood Donations From Gay Men Is Discriminatory

Dan Burda (center) smiles after receiving the Will of Council resolution. Also pictured are Councilman Dan Gilman (left) and Dan Burda's mother, Lorraine Burda (right).
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgher Dan Burda’s partner of eight years, Rohn, passed away from a heart attack this year. Like many families of the recently deceased, Burda and his loved ones wanted to donate Rohn’s skin, tissue and organs to someone who needed them.

But they were not allowed to do that because of a long-standing FDA ban on such donations from any man who has had sex with a man.

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Ongoing Coverage
7:15 am
Thu April 10, 2014

A 'Blank Expression,' Then Bloodshed At Franklin Regional High School

A 16-year-old armed with two knives went on a stabbing and slashing spree at Franklin Regional High School Wednesday, leaving 22 people injured.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Flailing away with two kitchen knives, a 16-year-old boy with a "blank expression" stabbed and slashed 21 students and a security guard in the crowded halls of his suburban Pittsburgh high school Wednesday before an assistant principal tackled him. 

The suspect, Alex Hribal, was taken into custody and treated for a minor hand wound, then was brought into court Wednesday in shackles and a hospital gown and charged with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault. He was jailed without bail, and authorities said he would be prosecuted as an adult.

Thursday's Developments: Victim Undergoes Another Surgery; School May Reopen Monday

School Stabbing Suspect Was 'Nice Young Boy,' Attorney Says

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Public Safety
11:15 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Following Franklin Regional Stabbing Incident, Nearby Schools Put On Alert

After 20 people were injured in a stabbing incident at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville Wednesday morning, neighboring school districts are on high alert.
 
Cara Zanella, director of communications for Gateway School District in Monroeville, said the district immediately offered school buses and other assistance to their neighbors and informed parents of the situation at Franklin Regional.
 

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Community
1:47 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Peduto Honors Volunteers on National Day of Recognition

Helen Crowley of Crafton sorts books in the library at East End Cooperative Ministry.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

More than 1,700 mayors across the country paid homage to volunteers in their cities on Tuesday as part of the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, and Pittsburgh’s Mayor Bill Peduto was no exception.

Peduto spoke to hundreds of volunteers at the East End Cooperative Ministry Tuesday morning, just before the volunteers embarked on a day of community service.

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Behavioral Health
11:18 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Rep. Murphy Introduces Bill to Overhaul Federal Mental Health System

The federal government spends around $125 billion on mental health annually, but the ways in which that money is spent are ineffective and antiquated, according to U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny).

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Economy & Business
2:37 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Report: Pittsburgh Region's Economic Growth is Steady, But Under the Radar

The stabilization of the natural gas boom may lead to opportunities for downstream industries, bringing petrochemical processing and related manufacturing stateside. Seen here, an ethalyne "cracker" in Singapore.
Credit Flickr user pennstatenews

Advanced manufacturing is picking up in the Pittsburgh region, more jobs are requiring technology skills and the financial and businesses services sector is greatest contributor to the gross regional product.

Those are just some of the takeaways from the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance’s seventh annual economic development performance scorecard and “Wins Day” Wednesday.

The alliance is the marketing affiliate of the Allegheny Conference for Economic Development and is charged with the task of marketing the Pittsburgh region to businesses and workers alike.

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City Government
3:30 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Rudiak Introduces Bill to Put City Budget Data Online

Less than a week after Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s Open Data initiative officially become law, Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak has introduced legislation to work with a California-based company to put all of the city’s budget data online.

A bill introduced Tuesday in City Council would allow the Director of Finance and the Director of the Department of Innovation and Performance to contract with Silicon Valley software company OpenGov.

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Government & Politics
9:02 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

PA House Bills Would Allow Municipalities to Repair Private Sewer Lines

Around 40 percent of all the water treated by ALCOSAN is already clean, according to Jim Good, Interim Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

Clean rainwater and groundwater often make their way into the sewer system through leaks in lateral sewer lines, which run from the main line to individual buildings and homes.

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Allegheny County
7:48 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Fitzgerald Faces Council, Activists Over Deer Lakes Gas Drilling Deal

Around two dozen anti-fracking activists attended Tuesday's County Council meeting.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald delivered his quarterly state of the county address Tuesday night and had plenty of praise for county departments.

Fitzgerald acknowledged public works for its handling of the roughest winter weather in recent memory, the health department for its successful efforts to improve air quality in the county and the medical examiner’s Office for a recent national award it received for ballistics work.

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Economy
11:30 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Pittsburgh Region Saw Flat Job Growth in 2013

Natural resources/mining/construction was one of the few sectors to add jobs in the Pittsburgh region between January 2013 and January 2014.
Credit Flickr user wcn247

Preliminary jobs numbers released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show virtually flat job growth for the Pittsburgh region in 2013, adding just 400 jobs for the year.

Pittsburgh TODAY, a nonprofit research organization housed at the University of Pittsburgh, compared the seven-county Pittsburgh region to other similar metropolitan areas across the Midwest and East Coast, and found that the Steel City fared worst in terms of job growth.

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Health
7:51 am
Tue March 18, 2014

As Deadline Nears, Allegheny County Makes 'One Last Push' For Health Care Enrollment

Ronald Pederson (left) of North Versailles gets help signing up for health insurance from Christian Fattore, a certified application counselor with the Consumer Health Coalition.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

With just two weeks left to sign up for health insurance through state and federal online exchanges, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has declared March 17-23, 2014 to be Affordable Care Act Week in Allegheny County.

Fitzgerald said county officials are working with nearly three dozen partner organizations on “one last push to encourage residents to get all the information and be able to enroll in the marketplace.”

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Government & Politics
12:37 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

State Sen. LeAnna Washington Charged With Felony Theft of Services

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane Wednesday announced criminal charges against state Sen. LeAnna Washington (D-Philadelphia).

Washington is charged with one count of theft of services and one count of violation of the conflict of interest statute. The two felonies together carry a maximum sentence of 12 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

“The evidence will show that Senator Washington pressured her staff into performing political activities using taxpayer dollars for her own personal benefit,” Kane said in a press release.

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Transportation
1:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

State to Beef Up Monitoring of Hazardous Materials Shipped by Rail

Recent train derailments have raised concerns about the safety of shipping hazardous materials by rail, and now the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is stepping up efforts to improve response times when emergencies do occur.

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Marcellus Shale
4:25 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Policy Researchers Urge PA, OH and WV Governors to Adopt Common Tax for Oil and Natural Gas

Policy and research groups from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio have joined forces to urge their states’ governors to adopt a common severance tax rate for companies drilling for gas and oil in the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations.

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Labor
10:13 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Local Activists Celebrate International Women's Day with Signature-Gathering Campaign

Cheria Cash, left, solicits a signature in support of a fired Chicago Whole Foods worker.
Credit Kyndall Mason / One Pittsburgh

Saturday was International Women’s Day, and local activists celebrated with a signature-gathering campaign.

About a dozen people gathered outside Whole Foods in East Liberty Saturday morning, asking shoppers and passers-by to sign a petition in support of a Chicago Whole Foods worker who was fired after missing work to stay home and care for her special needs son when his school was closed during the polar vortex this winter.

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Military
5:03 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Two Former Guardsman Charged With Stealing Nearly $300,000 From Military

The United States Department of Justice Wednesday announced charges against two former enlisted Guardsman at the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said Col. Gerard J. Mangis, 59, of Shaler Township is charged with 110 counts of conspiracy, honest service wire fraud, false claims and theft of government property. Mangis was formerly a Vice-Wing Commander at the refueling wing; he was relieved of his duties in 2011.

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Affordable Care Act
12:13 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

PA Voters Less Likely to Vote for Candidates Who Supported Affordable Care Act, Poll Says

A new poll out from the Robert Morris University Polling Institute shows that Pennsylvania voters are more likely than average Americans to oppose the Affordable Care Act in the context of mid-term elections.

RMU asked 1,006 American adults and an additional 501 Pennsylvanians if they knew that a member of Congress had voted for the Affordable Care Act, would it make them more or less likely to vote for that person.

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Community
7:56 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Mount Washington Developer Aims to Preserve a Slice of Civil War History

An illustration depicting the effort to build defenseworks in Pittsburgh during the Civil War..
Artist unknown Published in "A Century of Saving Dollars" in 1955.

On Mount Washington, in the woods between Fingal and Greenleaf streets, there’s a mound of dirt that’s been getting a lot of attention lately.

It’s about a hundred feet across and was created during the summer of 1863, as Confederate troops were heading to Gettysburg.

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Labor
5:32 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Peduto to Begin Mediating Talks Between UPMC and SEIU

Mayor Bill Peduto said in a press conference Tuesday that he is beginning talks with UPMC and SEIU, in attempt to resolve the ongoing labor dispute at the non-profit healthcare organization.  

Peduto said he will begin by meeting with both sides individually to see where they are at, before bringing all parties to the table.

“Right now, this is the most pressing issue that I have, because it affects not only our economy, but our peace,” Peduto said. “It hits on all the different things we talk about when we build a next Pittsburgh.”

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Labor
5:07 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

UPMC Workers Ramp Up Union Organizing Campaign With Day of Action

Hundreds of protesters gathered downtown on Monday.
Liz Reid 90.5 WESA

Hundreds of UPMC workers, community organizers, faith leaders, elected officials and concerned citizens descended on downtown Pittsburgh for a day of action Monday.

Protesters dealt with frigid temperatures and slushy streets to demand that UPMC recognize a workers union, pay higher wages, decrease healthcare premiums and pay taxes on the land that they own in the city of Pittsburgh.

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City Government
4:59 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Local Real Estate Investor Proposes Solution to Urban Blight

Around 200 people spoke at last week’s public hearing on Councilwoman Deb Gross’s land bank legislation, according to Gross’s chief of staff Nathaniel Hansen.

At least one of those people, Josh Caldwell of the Pittsburgh Real Estate Investors Association, has gone public with his proposal for fighting urban blight.

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