Liz Reid

Health & Science 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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Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command Director Admiral Michael Rogers spent the day in Pittsburgh on Monday, making stops at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh as well as the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance.

At CMU, Rogers fielded questions from students and faculty on topics ranging from the impact of the Edward Snowden leaks to U.S.-China relations to how foreign nationals can contribute to U.S. cybersecurity.

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

  From July through September, more than 40,000 trips were made on Healthy Ride bicycles through Pittsburgh’s bike sharing program, an average of about 440 trips per day.

Healthy Ride Executive Director David White said that’s a slight uptick from the June numbers, when 300-400 trips were taken each day. The program launched on May 31 and stations were still being installed through mid-July.

Flickr user William Real

The City of Pittsburgh wants to make it easier for residents to start gardens in the 9,500 vacant lots it owns.

City Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would create the Adopt-a-Lot program within the Department of City Planning.

Assistant director of City Planning Andrew Dash said there is currently no formal mechanism for people who want to maintain, beautify or grow food in vacant lots.

City of Pittsburgh

 

Councilman Dan Gilman’s campaign finance and ethics reform bills received final approval from City Council Tuesday morning.

He said the bills are part of a “new era of transparency” in city government.

One of the bills revives the city’s defunct Ethics Hearing Board, which Gilman said hasn’t met in at least five years. It also puts whistleblower protections in place for those who report misconduct.

Flickr user Jordon Cooper

Conventional wisdom has prescribed prolonged rest for concussions and traumatic brain injuries, but researchers now say such an approach might do more harm than good.

More than three dozen clinicians from multiple disciplines met in Pittsburgh last week to develop best practices and protocols for concussion treatment.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a package of bills that primary sponsor Councilman Dan Gilman said will improve ethics and transparency in city government and municipal elections.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Local, state and federal leaders gathered Wednesday afternoon to celebrate East Liberty’s revitalization as a transit hub with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new East Liberty Transit Center.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto remembered the parking lots, indoor tennis facility, car wash and defunct taxi stand that once existed where 360 units of market-rate housing now stand and ground-floor retail space soon will open.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

If you want to take one last drive across the 93-year-old Greenfield Bridge, you had better do it before Friday at 10 p.m.

That’s when the bridge will close to automobile traffic; it will remain closed until the new bridge opens in May 2017.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Two parts of Councilman Ricky Burgess’s “City for All Agenda” received unanimous preliminary approval in Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday.

If the bills are formally approved next week, the city will establish a Wage Review Commission and the HELP Initiative, which would create a strategy for preserving and increasing affordable housing in the East End.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

When U.S. Air Force veteran Nadine Nowlin got into a major car accident in 2012, her entire life changed.

“I lost my job, my apartment, my car and more importantly my health and my self-esteem, my dignity and my pride, because here I am homeless,” she said.

Nowlin is one of the thirty female veterans to receive emergency housing through the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania’s Project Journey for Women over the last two years.

Flickr user camera_obscura [busy]

Following in the footsteps of New Haven, Conn., San Francisco, and New York City, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration is floating a proposal to issue municipal identification cards to city residents.

Flickr user Peter Radunzel

Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess on Tuesday introduced four pieces of legislation to support affordable housing in the city.

The announcement comes a day after the city of Pittsburgh announced it had reached an agreement for the relocation of Penn Plaza tenants, who faced eviction after the owners of the East Liberty apartment buildings decided to redevelop the site.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania voters have one week left to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election, and for the first time, they’ll be able to register online

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Brandon and Vanessa Marlin’s daughter Braylee was born 2 ½ weeks early, but the couple from Upper St. Clair is OK with that.

“I was trying to coerce her out,” the proud papa said. “I said ‘Braylee, you’ve got to come because the Pirates are going to be playing here in Buctober, so hurry up.’ That same night she came.”

The Marlins were among the new parents to snap family photos with the Pirate Parrot when he visited West Penn Hospital in Bloomfield Monday morning. Every baby born since Saturday will take home a bib identifying them as the “Littlest Pittsburgh Pirates fan.”

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

Pope Francis will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Thursday morning, a first for a sitting pontiff.

And there’s no way he’s not going to talk about climate change, according to Gerard Magill, Gallagher Chair for the Integration of Science, Theology, Philosophy and Law at Duquesne University.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

High school senior Logan Tewell said he needs to start working out.

The Bedford County 17 year old said he's interested in a career with the Pennsylvania State Police, so Trooper Brian Arrington told him the usual stuff. Keep your grades up, stay out of trouble and keep on the right path. 

screenshot from CPRB hearing video

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Pittsburgh and an officer with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police alleging intimidation and harassment of three black residents in September 2013.

joseph a / Flickr

City Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a proposal to nominate the Lawrenceville neighborhood for the National Register of Historic Places.

Councilwoman Deborah Gross said a national register status is different than historic designation through the city’s Historic Review Commission, because the former doesn’t restrict how property owners can maintain, update or renovate buildings within the district.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Black community leaders pleaded with Pittsburgh residents on Tuesday to end the gun violence that resulted in a string of deaths and injuries to local children this month.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Twenty bushels of apples get dumped onto a conveyor belt at Soergel’s Orchards in Wexford. After a quick wash, they’re ground into a pulp and squeezed under 55 tons of pressure to make 110 gallons of cider.

Larry Voll, one of the owners of Soergel’s Orchards, said the cider is going to Arsenal Cider House in Lawrenceville. The juice that he sells to Arsenal to make into hard cider will one day end up back at the Wexford farm, at the Arsenal tap room, which just opened this summer.

Flickr user the yellowrider

For many, pigeons are pests. Woody Allen called them “rats with wings” in the 1980 film Stardust Memories.

And according to Rebecca Reid with the animal advocacy group Humane Options Pittsburgh, that’s how the state and federal governments see them as well. Pigeons, or rock doves, are one of just three species not protected under the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

It’s no secret that Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is big on innovation. He transformed the city’s Computer Information Systems department into the Department of Innovation and Performance and hired the city’s first Chief Innovation Officer, Debra Lam.

But Lam said that when the mayor’s team started looking around at the most innovative cities in the world, they found that they were also some of the most exclusive.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Activists with the Allegheny County Jail Health Justice Project on Tuesday delivered a petition with more than 1,700 signatures to County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s office, asking him to fire County Jail Warden Orlando Harper.

Activists maintain that Harper — and Fitzgerald — are ultimately responsible for the death rate at the jail, which in 2014 was more than twice the national average at seven deaths. Four inmates have died at the jail so far this year, including Frank Smart, whose mother, Tomi Lynn Harris, spoke at a rally outside the county courthouse.

Polish Hill Civic Association

Residents of Pittsburgh’s Polish Hill neighborhood have long fought for traffic-calming measures on Melwood Avenue, which many drivers regard as a convenient shortcut from Shadyside and East Liberty to either the Strip District or Bigelow Boulevard.

But speed bumps and signs directing motorists to slow down are doing little to prevent thousands of cars from detouring through the residential area at rush hour due to construction on Baum and Craig.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Produce and fresh cuts of meat are no longer sold at the South Side Market House, but you can still stop by to get something to eat most days, if you’re over 60.

Once an actual market, the historic building now houses a senior center with art and fitness classes, internet access and a free lunch five days a week.

Matt Dayak

Kelly Beall and Matthew Buccholz love a good dance party, but they’re not interested in staying up late just to shake a tail feather.

The solution: the monthly In Bed By Ten dance party at Spirit Lodge in Lawrenceville.

“We have a lot of friends who don’t want to wait until 11 p.m. to start the evening, so we came up with this idea that guarantees you’ll be home and most likely in bed by 10,” Beall said. “We even give you a Netflix recommendation for when you get there.”

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Two men rob a convenience store in Beaver County, killing the clerk in the process. They steal a car and head to Raccoon Creek State Park, where they open fire on beach-goers with automatic rifles.

This was the imaginary scenario that criminal justice and nursing students from Pittsburgh Technical Institute encountered Wednesday morning at a live disaster response exercise staged on park shores.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Republican Allegheny County Councilwoman Heather Heidelbaugh has not been shy about her dissatisfaction with the way the county’s legislative body operates.

In July, she suggested to the state Government Review Commission that the council be disbanded, decrying it as “superfluous” and a rubber stamp for County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s initiatives.

Last September, she unsuccessfully attempted to pull multiple pieces of legislation she had introduced out of committee for a full vote before council, citing a rule in the county’s administrative code that said bills must be voted upon within 90 days of their introduction.

Five of the nine Pennsylvania schools that will receive federal School Improvement Grants are in the Pittsburgh Public Schools system, the state Department of Education announced Tuesday.

On one hand, it’s great news, because it means $7.3 million in additional funding is coming to PPS over the next five years. On the other hand, it means five of the lowest-achieving schools in the state that have not made substantial progress on state assessments are located in Pittsburgh.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

It’s no secret that Pittsburgh’s industrial past has resulted in environmental contamination along its waterfronts, in areas which have been dubbed “brownfield” sites.

But Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said there are brownfields embedded in neighborhoods too.

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