Michael Lynch

News Fellow

The Erie, PA native has been a fellow in the WESA news department since May 2013. Having earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Duquesne University, he is now pursuing an M.A. in multi-media management. Michael describes his career aspiration as "I want to do it all in journalism."

Personal fun facts:  "a typical Penguins' and Pirates' fan;" inaugural recipient of the Roy McHugh Prize for Writing Excellence, and vinyl record collector.

Ways To Connect

90.5 WESA's Michael Lynch

Pittsburgh is the 35th most bike-friendly city in the U.S., according to Bicycling Magazine.

Now, Bike Pittsburgh is introducing cycling classes in an effort to make the city be even more bike-able.

The “Fundamentals of City Cycling” class is taught indoors at The Wheel Mill in Homewood. Participants will learn about the basics of bicycling including techniques to maneuver obstacles such as curbs and potholes; using hand signals; how to start and stop in traffic; and, how to perform a pre-ride safety check.

Flickr user josepha

Pittsburgh has one of the most stable housing markets in the country, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by Zillow Real Estate on behalf of Bloomberg.com, listed Pittsburgh as having the second most stable housing market behind Buffalo. Louisville, Nashville and Raleigh rounded out the top five.

Analyzing housing prices from 1979 to the present, Zillow and Bloomberg used a five year rolling average to calculate changes in home prices to establish a risk of loss percentage.

U.S. Representative Keith Rothfus (R-PA- 12) took to the House floor last week to do something that hasn’t been done in more than 40 years.

In celebration of the upcoming holiday, Rothfus recited the entire Declaration of Independence.

Joined by fellow freshmen Representatives Scott Perry (R-PA-04) and Andy Barr (R-KY-06), Rothfus said he was inspired by the 112th Congress.

State legislators are preparing a measure that would allow ride-sharing services such as Lyft and Uber to operate in Pennsylvania, days after administrative judges with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) ordered the companies to cease operations.

Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) has already drafted a bill that would lessen the PUC's regulations on background checks, insurance, vehicle inspections, and most importantly, licensing.

A Norfolk Southern train carrying empty ethanol tank cars rear-ended a westbound intermodal train Wednesday afternoon in Sewickley, causing a fire and prompting the precautionary evacuation of nearby residents.

Two crew members were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, according to Alvin Henderson, Allegheny County chief of emergency services. Two firefighters were also treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.

90.5 WESA's Michael Lynch

When you think of Pittsburgh’s Market Square, yoga probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

But hundreds of people gathered at the downtown hotspot today to talk about health and fitness, as well as try their hand at a little downward-facing dog.

More than 30 local exhibitors set up shop in downtown Pittsburgh for the Pop Up Outdoor Wellness Fair, sharing information on farming, fitness and food.

American media outlets are losing audiences because of bias, according to a survey released by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute.

Of the 1,004 people sampled in the survey, more than 77 percent believe the news media has a political agenda and are attempting to influence public opinion. Similarly, 72 percent agree the news media are trying to change public policy.

Anthony Moretti, an associate professor of communication at Robert Morris University, said the majority of Americans see bias in all forms of media.

Injured workers in Pennsylvania receive stronger painkillers per claim than the average state. That's according to a report released this month by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

According to the study, the average injured Pennsylvania worker gets about 2,745 milligrams of a morphine equivalent narcotic per claim. That’s 32 to 48 percent more than workers in the average state.

More than one-third of all U.S. children grow up without their fathers, according to the U.S. Department of Census.

That’s a statistic that Urban Impact, a faith-based community organization in Pittsburgh, wants to change.

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is asking for public feedback on its 2014 Air Monitoring Network Review, an annual report listing where and how air pollution is being measured.

The 78-page document, required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, includes the location of monitoring stations, the process used to monitor the air and the pollutants detected at each location.

When the first graduates from the Duquesne University School of Law received their diplomas, Woodrow Wilson was president and baseball legend Babe Ruth was just making his major league debut.

That was 1914. Now, the 100th graduating class is preparing to take the stage.

Ken Gormley, dean of the Duquesne University School of Law, said there are a lot of similarities between the two graduating classes.

The U.S. Navy is coming to the Steel City, but don’t expect to see any aircraft carriers floating in the Mon.

During Navy Week (June 2 – June 8) sailors will be stationed throughout the city hosting events, providing musical entertainment and answering any questions about Navy life.

Navy spokesman Gary Ross said Navy Week is not a recruitment effort, but an educational event.

“We are not there to recruit,” he said. “We are there to create awareness and understanding about what our Navy does for our nation.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced Wednesday the creation of Welcoming Pittsburgh, an initiative aimed at attracting and retaining immigrants in order to advance the city.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, people flocked to the city from all over the world to work in the steel mills and factories. The Pittsburgh of today was built by the immigrants of the past. One century later, Pittsburgh has lost much of its population and the city is feeling the effects.

The answer to rebuilding Pittsburgh, according to Peduto, is to kickstart immigration—again.

Some of the brightest minds in software development and information technology (IT) will gather in Pittsburgh this week for DevOpsDays.

The international conference, started in Belgium in 2009, looks to bring tech developers (Dev) and operators (Ops) together to raise the bar on how technological advances can improve people’s lives, such as the development of cloud computing.

Event organizer Andrew Clay Shafer said the conference brings more well-deserved attention to Pittsburgh’s blossoming high-tech industry.

At Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum, Memorial Day is more than just hotdogs and hamburgers.

“Over the years, as we had more and more conflicts, the building became a symbol representative of a memorial for all veterans of all branches of service. The only one like it of its kind in the nation,” said Soldiers and Sailors President and CEO John McCabe.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 995,000 veterans living in Pennsylvania.

Put on a long sleeve shirt and load up on some pest repellent, because tick season in Pennsylvania is expected to get progressively worse year after year.

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of Lyme disease cases, and Penn State Urban Entomologist Steve Jacobs said that’s because of an increasing tick population.

“The only thing I can say for certain is that, across Pennsylvania for the last 25 years, we’ve been trending having more ticks in more places,” he said. “That will continue.”

The races for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives have come to a close. Some were neck-and-neck, and others — not so much.

In District 20, incumbent Adam Ravenstahl of Pittsburgh’s North Side held off challenger and Avalon public school teacher Tom Michalow with just 52.26 percent of the vote. Ravenstahl, the brother of former Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, will take on Republican Tom Fodi in the fall.

For the last two months, more than 20 students at Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside have been building drones.

Part of a cross-curricular project led by science department chair Graig Marx and computer science department chair David Nassar, students were divided into seven teams and tasked with building a “quadcopter” with the ability to measure, report and analyze natural gas levels.

Business is booming in the Golden Triangle, according to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s (PDP) third annual State of Downtown Report.

The report notes a decrease in available office space, an increase in rents and a steady climb in residential population.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Thursday unveiled the city’s new volunteer litter cleanup program “Beautify Our ‘Burgh.”

According to Peduto, the program is completely volunteer run and allows residents and local government to work together to clean up the streets.

“It’s about doing the small things neighborhood-by-neighborhood, block-by-block, street-by-street and then working from that as a building block to make this city beautiful,” he said.

The city of Pittsburgh entered into a partnership Thursday with the social networking site Nextdoor, which allows users to connect with others in their city or neighborhood through private websites.

The site has been in the Pittsburgh area for more than two years and is represented in 67 neighborhoods, according to Sarah Leary, co-founder of the San Francisco-based company.

With the partnership, city officials will now have the ability to use the site to relay information to the entire city or specific neighborhoods, Leary said.

Healthcare advocates, along with State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny), unveiled an online ticker today, which tracks the amount of money they claim Pennsylvania is losing by rejecting Medicaid expansion.

As of today, the state has missed out on more than $640 million since the start of 2014, according to the ticker.

“It’s hard to turn your back against this when it addresses so many important issues facing the state at this time,” Frankel said.

Another Marcellus Shale drilling policy, which includes a 5 percent severance tax, is being proposed by a Philadelphia lawmaker.

State Sen. Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) announced last week that his legislation would impose an extraction tax which would overlap the existing impact fee, a policy that mirrors West Virginia law. The Corbett administration and Republican-controlled Legislature have resisted a severance tax.

Citing a report by Reuters, Stack said Pennsylvania stands to lose more than $20 billion over the next 20 years if a severance tax is not adopted.

90.5 WESA's Michael Lynch

When Erick Rivas arrived in Pittsburgh last week, he had one thing on his mind: “la comida.”

“I really enjoyed trying different types of food,” he said through a translator. “Being friends with the teens here was a great experience.”

The 15-year-old is one of six students visiting the U.S. from Quito, Ecuador as part of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s Scaling the Walls/Escalanda Paredas cultural exchange program.

Some Pittsburgh City Council members are shelling out funds on advertisements and “self-promotion” instead of community needs, according to an audit released today by Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb.

The audit, which covers 2011 through 2013, recommends that council members develop policies regulating the use of discretionary funds, or “walking around money.” As part of the city’s 2014 budget ($480.9 million), each council member gets $8,000 in annual unrestricted funds.

A weak weld discovered last week in a Beaver County nuclear reactor must be repaired before operations can resume.

The “microscopic” weakness in the reactor vessel head of FirstEnergy’s Beaver Valley Unit 2 in Shippingport was found during an ultrasonic exam of 66 welds around the reactor, according to Jennifer Young, a FirstEnergy spokeswoman.

It’s safe the say that most, if not all Americans, know about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but what about their historical context? And what’s the difference between civil and criminal court cases?

The American Civil Liberties Union in Pennsylvania is hoping to address questions like these in its continuing series “Civics for Grown Ups.”

The month-long, four-part series will take place at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill and classes will be taught by experienced attorneys and educators.

Michael Lynch / 90.5 WESA

Blame it on the roads, the drivers or the cars. Any way you spin it, Pittsburgh and traffic seem to go hand-in-hand.

But nearly two years after “smart traffic signals” were introduced in East Liberty, Mayor Bill Peduto said the project is ready for expansion.

“It’s not something for George Jetson,” he said. “It’s something that’s happening right here in Pittsburgh today and the beautiful thing about it is there’s no other urban environment in the world that has this level of technology to help to move traffic in the most efficient and effective method.”

Community members, farmers, government officials and school administrators will gather in Pittsburgh Friday for the second Farm to Community Conference.

Hosted by Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE), the conference will focus on ways to make farm fresh food available in local schools and underserved communities, or food deserts.

Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis, executive director for WHE, said eight workshops are scheduled throughout the day, each focused on a different fresh food challenge.

Senator John Heinz History Center

Ships sink.

They crash or capsize, and are usually never seen again, but that’s not the case with the Arabia, which sank in the Missouri River in the latter half of the 19th century—found 130 years later in a corn field.

Starting Saturday, visitors to the Senator John Heinz History Center will be able to see nearly 2,000 artifacts recovered from the once lost steamboat that was built in Pittsburgh in 1853.

History center President Andy Masich said the boat gives visitors a glimpse of what life was like in the 1800’s.

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