Nick Frost

Essential Pittsburgh Fellow

Nick joined WESA's Essential Pittsburgh as a fellow in September 2013.  The McDonald, PA native is majoring in journalism and political science at Duquesne University from which he's scheduled to earn his bachelor's degree in May 2015.  Following graduation, Nick plans to attend law school with a focus on criminal law.

Fun fact:  "I collect Superman comic books...the oldest is from 1941."

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Essential Pittsburgh
12:13 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

What Does Dan Rather Think Of Journalism Today? Three Takeaways

Broadcast Journalist, Dan Rather, worked for CBS for 44 years, 24 of those years as the anchor for CBS Evening News.
Credit US Air Force / Wikipedia

Legendary broadcast journalist Dan Rather worked for CBS News for 44 years and anchored the CBS Evening News for 24 of those years.

He is now the managing editor and anchor of the cable television news magazine Dan Rather Reports. In 2012, he released a best-selling book on his life and the state of journalism today, Rather Outspoken.

Rather was particularly outspoken about the 3 ways he's seen standards drop in the craft of journalism:

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:48 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Why the Wacky Weather? The Polar Vortex Explained

Tuesday caused Pittsburgh to hit a record low of -9 degrees, but science expert, John Radzilowicz, may have the answer to why it happened.
Credit artnoose / Flickr

From mild, rainy, and in the 40's Sunday, to an all-time record low of -9 Tuesday to 50 degree temperatures by end of the week. Pittsburgh is experiencing unprecedented temperature fluctuations and weather patterns. The question is what’s going on with this wacky weather. John Radzilowicz, science expert and director of professional development at ASSET-STEM, believes he has the answer.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:47 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Social Entrepreneurs: Merging Profit Endeavors with a Non-Profit Mission

Tim Zak (left), Director of the Institute of Social Innovations at CMU, studies social changes which includes Ian Rosenberger (right), founder of Thread International, is just one example of a new type of entrepreneur called social entrepreneurs.
Credit Nick Frost / 90.5 WESA

There are many emerging companies that blur the lines of for profit endeavor with a non-profit mission, these social entrepreneurs, as they are called, are concerned with both financial sustainability and social impact.

Ian Rosenberger, founder of Thread International, an East Liberty based company recycling plastic bottles in Haiti for use in the manufacturing of apparel is one of these social entrepreneurs. Tim Zak, Director of the Institute for Social Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University studies innovators such as Ian.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:46 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

The Top Stories of 2013 for Pittsburgh Magazine

The city of Braddock was just one of the most popular stories of 2013.
Credit Joseph A. / Flickr

Billed as everything that makes Pittsburgh awesome, Pittsburgh Magazine’s 412 Blog is a combined effort by the publication’s staffers covering up to the minute trends and stories. While it’s a new year, we’ve invited Sean Conboy, online editor to tell us about three of the most popular stories on that appeared on the 412 blog in 2013.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:00 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

10 Things Pittsburgh Can be Thankful For

Credit Kelsey Diercks / Flickr

The holiday season is often a time to reflect on why and for what we should be grateful. Pittsburgh Today has published its list of 10 Pittsburgh Reasons to be Thankful.

Doug Heuck is the editor of Pittsburgh Today and talks about some of the positive things Pittsburghers can be thankful for.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:30 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

When it Comes to Food Banks, Pittsburgh is a Tale of Two Cities

In response to greater demand on local food banks, Pittsburgh Foundation launched a community-wide appeal for food pantries in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties.
Credit DrivingtheNortheast / Flickr

The holiday season is always a busy time for food banks and food pantries as they try to provide the basics-and a few extras-for those in need.

With the recent reduction in the allocation of federal food stamps, many low-income people have fewer resources to put food on the table this holiday season.

As a consequence, there has been a surge in demand at local food banks and food pantries.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:48 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Behind the Stage Door with Rich Engler

Rich Engler and the band Kiss
Credit Rich Engler / RichEngler.com

Rich Engler is a nationally recognized concert promoter from Pittsburgh. The former co-owner of  DiCesare-Engler Productions has written a new book called Behind the Stage Door, a retrospective of his 40 years as one of the top concert promoters in the region.

Engler shares some entertaining, personal stories of what went on backstage at many of the largest concerts to come through Pittsburgh, and how he went from rock musician to rock promoter.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:18 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Lincoln Highway: The Nation's First Coast to Coast Highway Turns 100

One of the original concrete bridges on the "Lincoln Highway" in Tama, IA
Credit Carl Wycoff / Flickr

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States is recognized in currency with statues, a monument in DC and many other areas along the way.

One commemoration includes the Lincoln Highway. Brian Butko is director of publications for the Heinz History Center and an expert on the highway's history, which celebrates its centennial this year.

Butko's knowledge of the Lincoln Highway begins even before the highway was started.

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:49 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

George Washington's Near Death Experiences in Western PA

Historic markers along Washington's route through the Western Pennsylvania countryside. They mark a driving route that follows young George Washington's first military and diplomatic venture in the Fall and Winter 1753 - 1754.
Heather McClain 90.5 WESA

260 years ago this month, a 21-year old major in the Virginia militia named George Washington had two brushes with death in the Pittsburgh area, which could have dramatically altered the course of American history. Decades before he became the father of our county, Washington was on a dangerous diplomatic mission in the Western Pennsylvania wilderness.

We explored this little known chapter of Washington's life with historical re-enactor Daniel Nehrer, and retired Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Martin J. O'Brien at the Harmony Museum, not far from where Washington was on December 27, 1753, at the boundary of French and English territory.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:24 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Proximity to Downtown & Oakland Makes Hazelwood Prime for Revitalization

Architectural assets such as the LTV steel mill, and its proximity to Downtown and Oakland, make Hazelwood a prime area for redevelopment.
Credit Joseph A / Flickr

The history of the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hazelwood predates the Revolutionary War. White settlers arrived in the 1750’s, tore down towering Native American burial mounds and used the stones to pave a trail that became Second Avenue.

By the middle of the 20th century it was home to more 30 thousand people and several thriving businesses. Today its population has dwindled to 5,000 residents and roughly a quarter of them live in poverty. With Mayor-elect Bill Peduto focused on Hazelwood because of its proximity to downtown and Oakland, it looks to be prime for development.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:44 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Rebecca Harris Travels to Washington With a Focus on Small Business

The White House Business Council hosts roundtables throughout the year to get input from the business community at-large.
Credit Chris Wieland / Flickr

The bad weather currently blanketing the northeast did not keep our intrepid business contributor, Rebecca Harris from making it to the nation's capital Monday.  She sat on a business roundtable at the White House which focused on the government's interest in local businesses. 

Harris received the invitation from Sam Brown, Director of the White House Business Council, a part of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:57 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

In 2013, Words Matter in Sports, But Profanity is Unavoidable

After a long tenure at the Associated Press John Affleck is now Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Penn State.
Credit Penn State University / College of Communications

In a recent op-ed for the Associated Press, sports journalist  John Affleck, examines modern sports culture and language. As evident from the title of the article, in 2013 Words Matter, Even in Sports.

“Really, I think it was the Incognito/Martin mess down in Miami that really drove it home for me that what we were really seeing this year was a set of stories where the behavior of sports figures was just completely beyond the bounds of anything you would think of as acceptable in a professional environment.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:37 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Black and White Festival Focuses on Holiday Diversity

Mark Clayton Southers is the founder of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company and the Black and White Festival. The festival is playing until December 17 in the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre.
Credit Mark Clayton Southers

A decade ago, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre embarked on a yearly event called the Theater Festival in Black and White, which pairs black directors with white playwrights and vice versa.

These one-act holiday plays offer an opportunity for local theater artists from different backgrounds to work together in a professional environment. Pittsburgh Playwrights founder Mark Clayton Southers and Managing Director Eric Smith have been working very closely with the Black and White Festival.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:28 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Pittsburghers Pay Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Art Baldwin holding memorabilia from the 1993 South African election and 1994 Inauguration of Nelson Mandela
Art Baldwin

As the world pays tribute to former South Afican President Nelson Mandela, two Pittsburghers share their personal remembrances with us. Brenda Berrian from the University of Pittsburgh Africana studies department met Mandela on December 6, 1991 when he visited Pittsburgh. She called him "South Africa’s greatest son."

“He was always a family oriented man. A plain man, wanting to be with his children, his grandchildren, all of his friends. He said, ‘I did what I did on behalf of myself and the future of my family and other generations.’ But he basically just wanted to be in his house surrounded by his loved ones. So he would not want to be on a pedestal.”

Pittsburgh area resident, Arthur Baldwin, was a senior level official for the National Energy and Technology Laboratory and the chair of the continent of Africa for fossil energy for the US Department of Energy. He worked with Mandela in South Africa on reconstruction and development of the nation's energy plan.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:50 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Ending Street Harassment in Pittsburgh

The four founders of the Pittsburgh chapter of Hollaback! are (Left to Right) Alison Winters, Akirah Robinson, Heather Dougherty, and Maggie Graham.
Credit Hollaback! Pittsburgh / http://pittsburgh.ihollaback.org/

Street harassment is a public form of sexual harassment that many people have witnessed, experienced, or engaged in.

For the most part, women are told to ignore cat calls and lewd behavior when walking down the street, but what if it happens on a daily basis?

Hollaback is an online initiative that was created in New York City to give people a place to vent or talk about their experiences with public harassment.

Now four Pittsburgh women have formed a local chapter of Hollaback.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:37 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Ambassador Peter Tomsen on a Regional Way Forward for Afghanistan

Peter Tomsen will be speaking at a conference titled, “Afghanistan: A Regional Way Forward” at the University of Pittsburgh this Thursday and Friday.
Credit World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

As the year draws to a close, many Americans are looking forward to 2014, the year we're scheduled to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan, ending the longest war in US history.

But many questions remain about the roles the global community and Afghanistan’s neighboring nations will play in the years to come.

US Ambassador Peter Tomsen, a University of Pittsburgh alumni, returns to Pittsburgh this week to try to address those questions.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:56 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Rounding Out High School & College Football Season with Bob Dvorchak

Bob Dvorchak talks about why so many universities now go to bowl games.
Credit Pallyboy33 / Flickr

December marks the convergence of three major events in the sports world, the start of bowl games for College Football, PA State playoffs for High School football championships, and the deer-hunting season.

Bob Dvorchak , Pittsburgh Post Gazette Sportswriter emeritus and host of the blog, Sports ‘n ‘at, shows his viewpoint on the bowls and says the motivation for having so many of them is simple.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:44 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Racial Inequality in America’s Neighborhoods

Professor Patrick Sharkey talks about his new book on neighborhoods and racial inequality
Credit NYU School of Social Work

In the new book, Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress Toward Racial Equality, Dr. Patrick Sharkey, an associate professor of sociology at New York University, explores what he calls some of the most persistent forms of racial inequality.

From gaps in income to academic test scores, he looks at race and neighborhoods over multiple generations.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:09 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

For Celeste Headlee, the Middle Ground is Not Flyover Country

Middle Ground, hosted by Celeste Headlee, covers the news, politics and culture in the states between California and the eastern seaboard.
Credit Celeste Headlee / Middle Ground Kickstarter

Celeste Headlee is a public radio veteran. She co-hosted the daily news show The Takeaway, has guest-hosted Weekend All Things Considered & Tell Me More and covered the Midwest for NPR. Her experience reporting on the Midwest is an important part of her latest project,  Middle Ground.

She says the goal of the show is to bring “voices, stories, songs, and news from Middle America” to listeners of public radio.

Coverage will include news, politics and culture in the states between California and the eastern seaboard, including Pittsburgh.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:23 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Robert Reich Discusses Wealth Gap & the Film Inequality for All

Robert Reich discusses the problems and possible changes that can be made to create widespread prosperity in America.
Credit Inequality for All Film / Facebook

The number of Pittsburgh residents living at or below the poverty level has increased nearly 9% since the fall of 2007, according to the Urban Institute

The documentary, Inequality for All, focuses on the fact that one half of all Americans have zero wealth, no savings, no assets that outweigh their debts, no retirement savings or investments.

The film grew out of the economic lectures of former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich at the University of California at Berkeley.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:04 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Working Like a Dog

Cindy Otto at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center trains dogs and aims to use them to detect diseases in humans.
Credit John Donges/Penn Vet / wdc

Dogs are called man’s best friend for good reason. They have served with distinction in the military, sniffed out bombs and been caring companions to people with disabilities.

New research now pinpoints advances in the use of dogs to diagnose human diseases and help solve environmental problems.

Dr. Cindy Otto, of the University of Pennsylvania’s Working Dog Center, notes that some diseases and bacteria have a special odor, which dogs can smell. Medical studies in Europe have shown that some dogs can even pinpoint people with cancer.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:29 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Blood Brother Comes Back to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh native Rocky Braat is known as Rocky Anna by the orphans he lives with in India, Anna is a term of endearment meaning big brother.
Credit Blood Brother Film

This week, the award-winning documentary, Blood Brother comes to Pittsburgh's  Three Rivers film festival. It's about a remarkable Pittsburgh man named Rocky Braat, who has made a drastic change in his life in order to help others.

Rocky made the decision to change his career path and gave up his life in the Steel City to go to India and live with children at an HIV/AIDS orphanage.  His best friend from school, director Steve Hoover decided to follow Rocky and chronicle his journey.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:10 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

What Makes a Child a Gold Star Child?

Gold Star Children, was founded in 2008 to raise awareness about American child survivors whose mothers or fathers were killed or died while serving in the US military.
Credit Gold Star Children

An estimated five-thousand American children have lost a parent to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.

Children who have lost a parent to war are the subject of the documentary Gold Star Children: Two Generations Sharing Loss and Healing, premiering today on the Pentagon channel.

The film’s writer, producer and director Mitty Griffis Mirrer, is a gold star child. Mirrer says the documentary is about helping the current group of gold star children.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:24 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Post-Election Day Wrap Up

Former Pittsburgh city councilman Bill Peduto wins the mayoral election.
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

It may be no surprise that Bill Peduto is now Pittsburgh mayor-elect. But some may be surprised that Peduto celebrated in Homewood last night as the results were tallied.

According to 90.5 WESA's Mark Nootbaar and Kevin Gavin, the Homewood location could be an attempt to show a focus on neighborhoods that Peduto feels have been ignored by previous administrations.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:18 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

A Review of the Pennsylvania Governor Race

Governor Tom Corbett officially announces that he is running for a second term as Pennsylvania's governor.
Credit 90.5 WESA

Governor Tom Corbett officially announced Wednesday that he will be running for a second term.

“Why?" he says "Because we’re not done yet.”

According to John Baer of the Philadelphia Daily News, many Democrats may argue that Corbett is done. Corbett is taking a multi-city tour throughout Pennsylvania, which Baer says will make him more visible to the public.

No matter what happens, Baer says Corbett will make history with his re-election campaign.

“He is either going to be the first ever incumbent governor to lose in Pennsylvania or he is going to be the Lazarus of Pennsylvania politics.”

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