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.

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Environment & Energy
1:56 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Pennsylvania DEP Launches Online Map Atlas of Underground Mines

Of the 1 million homes in Pennsylvania that sit above underground mines, one in 2,000 insured buildings are damaged by mine subsidence, costing an average of $50,000 per structure.

That’s according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which has launched an underground Mine Map Atlas, an online mapping system that allows the public to view underground mines across the state.

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Public Safety
3:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Scam Targets Elderly With Health Concerns

Senior citizens are being targeted in the latest over-the-phone scam.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has issued a warning to seniors after a recent spike in “robocalls.”

These robocalls are designed to obtain credit card and other personal information from unknowing victims by claiming to sell medical equipment like life monitors for $35 a month. In recent calls, companies identified themselves as “Senior Medical Alert” or “Senior Medical Advisors.”

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Health
3:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Allegheny Co. Health Department to Add Pesticide to Water Basins to Combat Mosquitoes

The Allegheny County Health Department will start treating storm water catch basins in Pittsburgh Monday with pesticide to combat mosquito breeding.

The pesticide, which is nontoxic to humans, pets and aquatic life, does not kill mosquitoes directly, but stops their maturation process. The mosquito eggs become stuck in a larvae stage and are eaten by other organisms.

Dr. Ronald Voorhees, acting director of the health department, said treating the water catch basins makes a serious impact on the mosquito population.

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3 Rivers Arts Festival
4:07 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Three Rivers Arts Festival Begins

The reopening of the iconic fountain, the refurbished Point State Park and the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival are converging in Pittsburgh today.

The ten day arts festival usually attracts about 200,000 people each year and has featured more than 12,000 artists through the years.

Veronica Corpuz, director of Festival Management and Special Projects for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, said the festival is for everyone.

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Google expansion
3:48 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Google Growing in Pittsburgh

Google Pittsburgh will be hiring several dozen employees to tackle their latest project: shopping.

The search engine giant announced an expansion today that will add anywhere between 100 and 200 jobs to fill the 50,000 square feet of office space leased in the Bakery Square plaza in East Liberty.

Andrew Moore, vice president of engineering and head of Google’s Pittsburgh office, says the company will hire a minimum of 75 people to work in the shopping and e-commerce division.

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Arts & Culture
3:11 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Frick Art and Historical Center to Get $15 Million Facelift

Ground was broken Thursday at the Frick Art and Historical Center in Point Breeze as part of a $15 million renovation and expansion project.

Phase one includes a 3,000-square-foot Orientation Center meant to enhance the visitor experience. The center will provide a more welcoming environment and will teach visitors about the Frick family, what life was like in Pittsburgh at the end of the 19th century and will show everything the museum has to offer.

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Poverty & Learning
3:30 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Pitt to Host Summit on Race, Ethnicity, Poverty

Researchers and scholars from across the U.S. are gathering in Pittsburgh to create a network devoted to studying the issues of race and poverty.

About 30 directors of academic centers and institutions on race, ethnicity and poverty throughout the country will be attending the summit hosted by the University of Pittsburgh to begin Thursday and Friday in an effort to start dialogue and create possible collaborations between institutions aimed at battling social issues.

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Community
11:33 am
Wed June 5, 2013

What to Know for Friday's Point State Park Fountain Unveiling

This 2009 photo shows the Point State Park fountain prior to its renovation but after the completion of renovations to the city side lawn and Great Lawn, woodland areas and riverfront promenades.
Image by Pressley Associates, courtesy Riverlife

After four years, the Point State Park fountain is ready to flow again, but some Pittsburghers won’t be getting as close as they had hoped.

The Great Lawn, located on the fountain side of the Portal Bridge, will be fenced off and closed to the public Friday night during the celebration at the opening of the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

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Arts & Culture
3:30 am
Mon June 3, 2013

2-Minute Film Fest Returns to the Carnegie Museum of Art

The 2-Minute Film Festival returns to the Carnegie Museum of Art this summer with a child-like image.

This year’s theme, “At Play,” encourages applicants to test boundaries, take risks and bring out their childhood creativity.

The 2-Minute Film Festival showcases more than 30 of the best two-minute movies submitted by people from around the country. Judges are looking for the briefest films that best capture the idea of play. Each movie shown at the festival is eligible for the People’s Choice and Juror’s Choice awards.

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Health
3:30 am
Mon June 3, 2013

West Nile Virus Found in 2 Pennsylvania Counties

The infected blood suckers are back.

The first two West Nile virus-carrying mosquitos of the season were detected last week in Erie and Adams counties, signaling the start of what could be a long summer.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are advising people to take steps toward mosquito prevention.

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Community
3:30 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Pens Fans Flock to Pep Rally

Penguins fans gather for a pep rally in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse Friday.
Michael Lynch 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County held a pep rally in the courtyard of the County Courthouse Friday in anticipation of the Penguins facing off against the Boston Bruins Saturday in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The rally had a carnival-like atmosphere with games, prizes, face paintings, Penguins-themed sugar cookies and performances from Pittsburgh musicians Freddie Nelson and the Kardasz Brothers. WDVE’s Val Porter hosted the event and pulled people on stage to participate in contests for best-dressed Penguins fan, best Penguins cheer, best Penguins sign and best player look-alike.

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Community
3:00 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Tour to Offer a Look at Pittsburgh's Urban Chicken Farmers

Pets are usually thought of in terms of cats or dogs, but one woman is hoping to bring chickens into the mix here in Pittsburgh.

Jody Noble feeds six chickens in her Highland Park backyard — Gregory Peck, Buffy the Worm-Slayer, Attila the Hen, Mother Clucker, Hillary Rodham Chicken and Margaret Hatcher. Noble is hoping to spread the joy of chicken ownership by organizing the 3rd Annual Chicks-in-the-Hood: Pittsburgh Urban Chicken Coop Tour.

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Community
11:48 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Free Outdoor Music and Movies Return to Pittsburgh

Grab the blankets, picnic baskets and lawn chairs because the free outdoor music and movie season is back in Pittsburgh.

This weekend marks the beginning of both the 2013 Allegheny County and Pittsburgh Citiparks summer music and movies series.

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Health
11:40 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Pittsburgh Under Code Orange Air Quality Alert

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is warning children, the elderly and those with respiratory issues to limit outdoor activities in the Pittsburgh area Thursday.

The DEP issued a code orange air pollution alert for five Pennsylvania regions.

The pollution comes from an overabundance of ground-level ozone, a fundamental element of smog. The ozone forms during hot, sunny days when pollution from cars, factories, homes and power plants mix with nitrogen oxides in the air, causing people to breathe in the volatile organic compounds.

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Community
3:01 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Two Pittsburgh Institutions Join Forces to Host Butterfly Celebration

Two very different Pittsburgh icons are finding common ground in an insect.

The Carnegie Science Center and Phipps Conservatory are teaming up to host Butterfly Weekend, a two-day event that will give the public a chance to learn about the butterfly’s life cycle and natural habitat.

Susan Zimecki, director of marketing and community affairs at the Carnegie Science Center, points to a film as the inspiration behind the event.

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State Government
12:03 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

PA Senator Introduces EpiPen Bill

A Pennsylvania senator is trying to make schools a little safer for children with life threatening allergies.

Pennsylvania Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny County) introduced legislation earlier this month that would require all Pennsylvania schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly known as EpiPens.

Senate Bill 898 is designed to help students going into anaphylactic shock after experiencing a potentially fatal allergic reaction.

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Health
3:30 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Hospitals and Health Care Providers Switch to Electronic Records

Doctors, hospitals and patients are now more connected than ever as the majority of health care providers in the United States are making the switch to electronic health records.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced recently that it already exceeded its goal for 50 percent of doctor’s offices and 80 percent of eligible hospitals to use EHRs by the end of 2013.

According to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, 17 percent of physicians and 9 percent of hospitals were using EHRs in 2008.

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Environment
1:22 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Allegheny County Health Department Issues Combined Sewer Overflow Alert

The Allegheny County Health Department issued its second combined sewer overflow (CSO) alert of the season Thursday.

The advisories notify swimmers, boaters and other river-goers if the water has been contaminated by raw sewage after heavy rainfall clogs waste treatment facilities. The length of the advisories depends on the time it takes for the sewer systems to return to normal levels.

The CSO alerts do not prohibit recreational river activity, but advise the public to reduce water contact, especially those with weak immune systems or open cuts and sores.

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Arts & Culture
12:59 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Lancaster Man Adds Disney Magic to Fireworks Festival

It’s not likely that you’ll ever get to swim under the sea with Ariel and Sebastian or fight dastardly ghosts and ghouls with Captain Jack Sparrow alongside the other Pirates of the Caribbean, but with his explosive sights and sounds, Jon Loreto is trying to get you one step closer.

The Lancaster County resident is the inaugural winner of the “Fantasy in the Sky” Fireworks Challenge, a contest with more than 50 pyro-enthused applicants.

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State Government
3:30 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Pennsylvania to Sell Two State Prisons

Pennsylvania could save a projected $5.2 million a year in maintenance costs with the proposed sale of 13 surplus properties. The Department of General Services will present its plan in the next few weeks to Gov. Tom Corbett to sell off surplus land and buildings.

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Community
3:42 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Clairton Community to Build Playground in a Day

An empty lot in the Wilson neighborhood of Clairton will be transformed into a playground this weekend.

More than 200 volunteers will gather in Clairton Saturday to build a playground designed entirely by local children.

Volunteers from the Clairton Fire Department, the Unity Group of Clairton, local residents and organizers from KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit, are getting together to build the playground in just one day.

Wayde Killmeyer, superintendent of the Clairton City School District, said the new playground is long overdue.

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Community
3:14 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Western PA Humane Society Snags Grant for 'Cat Crisis Center'

The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society has landed a $30,000 grant to save more cats'  lives.

The WPHS is the second shelter in the nation to be a part of the Purina Cat Chow “50 Years. 50 Shelters.” program. The shelter will use the grant from the pet food company to improve its cat adoption room and establish a “Cat Crisis Center” to treat mild to moderately ill animals.

Gretchen Fieser, director of public relations for the WPHS, said the creation of the Cat Crisis Center will not only save animals lives, but also will help increase the number of adoptions.

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