Megan Harris

Digital Editor / Producer

Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station; producer for the Criminal Injustice podcast; fill-in local Morning Edition producer; and producer/director for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live weekly news roundup.

Previously, Megan covered K-12 education and bicycle and pedestrian planning for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, education at The Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro, Ky., and crime and breaking news for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn. She worked for a film production crew near Nashville, Tenn., and covered Division I sports at the University of Memphis.

In her off hours, she camps, climbs and Crossfits.

Ways to Connect

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Organizers estimate up to 250,000 people flocked Downtown for Pittsburgh's 2016 St. Patrick's Day parade.

Now in it's 146th year, the event featured more than 23,000 participants from nearly 200 marching units, including Pittsburgh-area floats, politicians, school bands, first responders, local Irish-heritage groups and others.

Guy Wathen / Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Reporters rushed to the scene of the shooting in Wilkinsburg in the early hours Thursday to document the shooting deaths and injuries of nine people. Among them, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review multimedia journalist Guy Wathen worked with fellow still photographers to give the paper's online readers a sense of the borough gripped by tragedy.

Wathen spoke with 90.5 WESA’s Larkin Page-Jacobs about his experience.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Borough Councilman Michael Rose posted a snapshot of crime statistics in his community on Facebook just one day before at least two shooters killed six and injured three in an ambush-style shooting in Wilkinsburg.

Aggravated assaults and motor vehicle thefts are up about 40 percent over the past five years, but arson, robbery, burglary and larceny are all down, according to a recent police report, he said.

"You know people say, 'Oh, Wilkinsburg. That stuff happens all the time.' No, it doesn't happen all the time. It's not really who we are, but it's who people think that we are," Rose said.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Updated 4:35 p.m. March 14, 2016.

Robert Morris, 15, glanced across the street and back down.

“I think everybody’s just a little tense right now,” the Propel Braddock Hills High School freshman said. 

Morris heard the gun shots before 11 p.m. Wednesday while watching television with his dad. He rolled off the couch into a ball, "to make myself as small as possible," he said.

Describing the scene, Morris looked again across the street where police say six people died from gunshot wounds sustained in an ambush-style attack.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Updated 3:37 p.m.  

When Carl Morris orders pizza, delivery drivers ask which side of Ardmore Boulevard he lives on. He tells them it's the east side of Franklin Avenue -- the "good half of Wilkinsburg."

Morris and family huddled in their home late Wednesday night when at least two shooters opened fire on a backyard party across the street at 1304 Franklin Ave. The pair killed six people and injured three in the borough just east of Pittsburgh.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A small herd of voracious baby goats may be the savior for city parks long-plagued by nettlesome weeds and unsightly flora.

Pittsburgh City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to advance legislation that would invite an all-goat landscaping crew and their guardian donkey, Hobo, to graze sections of Emerald View, Highland and West Penn parks this summer.

Linkedin

Executive Director Jim Good tendered his resignation to the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority board on Thursday following an investigation showing $32.3 million in unpaid accounts.

Board officials said in a release the separation is effective immediately, as is a nationwide search for his permanent replacement. Former Allegheny Regional Asset District Director David Donahoe will serve in an interim role, according to Mayor's Bill Peduto's office.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Ellen Gozion of Pittsburgh folk band The Early Mays saw her first crankie at a music festival in West Virginia.

“As soon as I saw them, I fell in love with them and I decided I would make one,” she said. “I knew that there had been scattered crankie (festivals) throughout the country, so I immediately thought we’re going to do that in Pittsburgh.”

It took several years, but the first ever Pittsburgh Crankie Fest is this weekend at the Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

A Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium leopard gave birth to a new Amur cub last week, zoo officials announced Tuesday.

Port Authority of Allegheny County

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Manning broke a legal norm on Tuesday.

Manning accepted a lenient plea deal offering probation to three of the five white men accused of beating a black man and throwing him onto a Wood Street subway track in Downtown Pittsburgh after a Kenny Chesney concert last May.

But as he accepted those terms, Manning said he was unhappy with the deals reached between the defendants’ attorneys and District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Harrisburg's happy ornithological two-some are back in the nest this week, just in time for Valentine's Day. 

State Department of Environmental Protection officials announced the return of a pair of peregrine falcons to their nest on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building with redesigned falcon website on Friday.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Fish fry season has begun, so here's where to get your fish sandwiches, dinners and other Friday staples. 

There are several guides online if you're looking for a fish fry near you or looking to try a new one. 

KDKA has its annual fish fry guide posted. You can also find a county-by-county list on WPXI's website

NFL/YouTube

What better way to celebrate the big game?

"In the end / when our team won / mom and dad looked at each other / one thing led to another that night."

NFL advertisers teamed with Seal to recreate "one of the greatest love songs of all time to celebrate the greatest game of all time," according to the caption posted on the NFL's YouTube channel on Monday.

Data suggests nine months after a Super Bowl victory, winning cities see a rise in births, according to the ad.

Ryan Loew / PublicSource

    

The street where Carol Speaks grew up is only blocks from where her grandson Antwann died.

At 19 years old, he was shot 17 times, according to Carol, in front of witnesses just down the street from Homewood’s Westinghouse Academy.

Ryan Loew / PublicSource

  Monica Hawkins can still laugh at her son Donté’s sense of humor as she replays it nearly four years later on YouTube. And she can smile at the uncanny resemblance her grandson Jaiden has to his dad. The same smile. The same mischievous energy.

But fresh tears come when she recounts the night Donté died at age 20, the helplessness she felt at the scene, and the hole his loss leaves in their family.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

  Police are puzzled why the city's aggravated assaults, shootings and calls for shots fired all rose in 2015 as the number of homicides fell to levels more on par with previous years, Police Chief Cameron McLay said Friday.

Traditionally, shootings are a good measure for a city's homicide rate, McLay said. That didn't hold true for Pittsburgh in 2015.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Some people dream of buying an island, finally paying off their student loans or getting a fancy car. If James Helterbran of Sheraden wins the Powerball, he's taking care of mom.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

The last time Pittsburgh had this little snow this far into the season were the winters of 1890 and 2007, according to meteorologists with the National Weather Service.

City of Pittsburgh

Mayor Bill Peduto tapped Forest Hills native Wendell Hissrich to oversee Pittsburgh's public safety bureaus, officials announced Wednesday.

"It's a dream come true," Hissrich said.  "It brings together the police, fire and EMS that I've done for the last 30-some years, and it brings me back home."

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Newspapers The Daily News of McKeesport and The Valley Independent in Monessen will close at the end of the month, Trib Total Media officials announced Wednesday.

President and CEO Jennifer Bertetto said in November the company would likely close both papers if they had not been purchased by the end of the year.

In total, 87 employees will be laid off from both newspapers.

Trib Total Media said in a statement that the closures are part of the company’s overall “strategic review of operations.”

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Living Treasures Wild Animal Park Zookeeper Amanda Salle on everyone's new favorite reindeer, Sven.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Cameron Avrigean on the Pittsburgh Popcorn Company's most memorable holiday shopper.

Tony Webster / Flickr

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay stressed restraint to fellow officers in an internal memo distributed Wednesday that outlined a bureau review of firearms policies related to moving vehicles.

Illustration by Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

 

How To Pilfer A Semi-Abandoned, Iowa Tree Farm

Josh Raulerson,* 90.5 WESA Morning Edition Host

Allegheny County Airport Authority

Traversing taxiways, crossing hangars and sprinting alongside landing aircraft could all be in store for runners and walkers attending the Allegheny County Airport Authority's first Airway 5K on Saturday.

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

The Monongahela Incline is scheduled to reopen Wednesday ahead of its long-stated Light Up Night goal.

The 635-foot incline closed for renovations Sept. 8.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Trib Total Media announced Tuesday that it will lay off more than 150 employees as it consolidates the Valley News Dispatch, (Greensburg) Tribune-Review and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

President and CEO of Trib Total Media Jennifer Bertetto said 153 full- and part-time employees from among the company's 1,100-person staff will be laid off, with another 91 layoffs possible if the newspapers The Valley Independent in Monessen and The Daily News in McKeesport aren’t sold in 60 days.

KOMUnews / Flickr

  City officials aren’t collecting fines for false burglar and fire alarms despite state laws and city codes that require penalties after at least the fourth and second respective false alarm is received from the same building.

The Caring Place

Their grief sways between heartbreak and humor.

“Children want healing,” said Krista Ball, child grief specialist with the Highmark Caring Place. “They share their stories with us. They open up and talk to us about what’s going on, and other times we’re just laughing and playing and having fun together. It could be something as simple as a finger painting, but for them, there’s so much meaning.”

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

  On second pass, 4-year-old Neyra Mesic was ready.

“I want a worm,” Mesic said, pulling her thumb from her mouth. She tugged on teacher Wendy Brenneman’s red canvas blouse. “I can do it now.”

Brenneman set a wriggly, brown garden worm on a damp paper towel next to Mesic. Like all the preschoolers attending summer camp Wednesday at the Carnegie Science Center, Brenneman warned her, “We like worms; be gentle.”

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