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
1:20 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Peduto: City's Financial Situation Is 'Grim But Solvable'

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto addressed City Council Tuesday morning while his policy manager Matt Barron looks on.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

“It’s not going to be easy.”

That was Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s primary message to City Council and the public Tuesday morning, as he shared details of the Steel City’s dire financial situation and challenged his colleagues in city government to help find solutions.

The address coincides with Tuesday night’s public hearing on the city’s financially distressed status, an event organized by Act 47 coordinators.

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Marcellus Shale
4:05 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Fracking Under Deer Lakes Park Is A Go, So What Happens Next?

Range Resources already operates around twenty production wells near Deer Lakes Park, with more under construction. This production pad is located in Washington County.
Credit Courtesy of Range Resources

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has signed an ordinance allowing hydraulic fracturing to occur underneath Deer Lakes Park.

Matt Pitzarella, spokesman for Range Resources, the company tasked with the drilling, said lawyers from the county and Range are still working out some technical details of the lease, but that it will be finalized soon.

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Transportation
11:54 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Port Authority Looks To Panel Of Transit Experts For Recommendations

Consultants from the Urban Land Institute will perform a comprehensive review of the Port Authority's transit system.
Credit Flickr user HerrVebah

Transit and city planning experts from all over the country are converging on Pittsburgh this week to help the Port Authority of Allegheny County create a plan for the future.

Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie said the nine consultants are part of the nonprofit Urban Land Institute and will come up with recommendations about how to improve the county’s transit system.

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Marcellus Shale
6:49 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Allegheny County Council Votes To Allow Fracking Under Deer Lakes Park

At Tuesday's County Council meeting, environmental activists from Protect Our Parks unrolled a petition that they said contains the signatures of 7,500 people who oppose drilling under Deer Lakes Park.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

In a heated meeting that lasted more than seven hours and included more than four hours of public comment, members of Allegheny County Council early Wednesday morning approved a lease agreement to drill for natural gas underneath Deer Lakes Park.

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Marcellus Shale
7:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Allegheny County Council To Vote On Deer Lakes Fracking Tuesday

Allegheny County Council is set to vote Tuesday on whether to drill for natural gas underneath Deer Lakes Park.

The controversial resolution would allow Range Resources, in cooperation with Huntley & Huntley, to perform hydraulic fracturing under the park, provided that no drilling activities actually occur within the park.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said if the resolution passes, the county will receive around $7.7 million up front and an ongoing 18 percent royalty on the value of gas extracted.

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Life of Learning
3:30 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Why This Struggling School District Is Reviving Creative Electives

Sto-Rox High School students such as senior Damon Baylor use power tools during their construction technology class.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

Daniel Funk’s construction technology classroom at Sto-Rox High School is literally buzzing with activity.

Students are confidently working with heavy duty power tools as they finish building small hanging display cases.

“Right now we’re working on the drawers,” said senior Asa Powell. “The drawer fronts are probably the hardest, because they have the knobs and whatnot."

Powell said he regularly looks forward to Funk’s class.

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Pittsburgh City Council
4:59 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Pittsburgh City Council Honors WYEP For Its 40th Anniversary

Pittsburgh City Council proclaimed Tuesday, April 29, 2014 to be "WYEP 40th Anniversary Day."
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council has proclaimed Tuesday, April 29, 2014 to be “WYEP 40th Anniversary Day” in the city of Pittsburgh.

Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak and Council President Bruce Kraus jointly sponsored the resolution.

“Growing up here and growing up in a working class neighborhood … before the days of the Internet … part of the way I would find out about innovative music and bands and different cultural experiences was through WYEP,” Rudiak said.

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City Government
2:34 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

What Can You Do With $1.8 Million? Repave 11 Miles of Pittsburgh Streets

Public Works Director Mike Gable says 550 of the city's 1042 miles of roadway need attention. This spring and summer, they'll tackle 40 miles.
Credit Flickr user artnoose

With $1.8 million, you could buy half a million Big Macs, 3,500 iPad Airs or four Lamborghinis.

Or you could use it to repave an additional 11 miles of city streets in Pittsburgh.

Mayor Bill Peduto’s Chief Operations Officer, Guy Costa, said the city scrutinized the 2014 capital budget to find an additional $1,781,298.58 that can be used for street resurfacing.

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Life of Learning
7:49 am
Tue April 29, 2014

From Biology To Music, Bringing Science And Technology To Every Classroom

Connor Cain, a sixth grader at Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, uses the Mac-based GarageBand app to make a melody in a music class.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

Dream. Discover. Design.

That’s the motto of Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy in Oakland, a public magnet school focused on the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Essentially, the entire middle and high school shines a spotlight on innovation.

“The whole idea is tinkering, so we play, we tinker, we fail, we figure out what we did wrong, and we work again,” said Ann Gollapudi, who teaches physics and computer science at SciTech.

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Behavioral Health
5:13 am
Tue April 22, 2014

How This Little Robot Could Make A Big Difference For Kids On The Autism Spectrum

Tess Lojacono holds Romibo, a social therapy robot designed to aid therapists and teachers working with children with special needs.
Credit 90.5 WESA

Ethan Welker is a 15-year-old freshman at the University School, a private college prep school in Shadyside. His mom Michele Welker says he’s a smart and curious boy.

“Around the age of 7, he was diagnosed on the autism spectrum with Asperger’s,” Michele said. “(Asperger’s is) one of the higher functioning levels of the spectrum.”

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Education
6:18 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Corbett Touts STEM Funding in 2015-16 Budget Proposal

Gov. Tom Corbett toured Carnegie Science Center to promote STEM education investments in his proposed 2015-16 budget.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Gov. Tom Corbett was in Pittsburgh Monday, touring the Carnegie Science Center and touting his 2015-16 budget proposal, which he says includes funds mean to boost student achievement in STEM fields.

“It’s vital to make sure that every child today … has a full productive life for tomorrow, and (is) being exposed to science, technology, engineering, and math,” Corbett said.

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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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