Sarah Kovash

Digital Engagement Editor

Sarah Kovash connects 90.5 WESA listeners with the station's online content and social media platforms, in addition to reporting and editing. 

She previously worked as a web producer for KDKA-TV, as a freelance journalist for the Valley News Dispatch covering local government throughout the Alle-Kiski Valley and at NPR station KPBS in San Diego. 

Ways to Connect

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

A UPMC employee who has tuberculosis is currently on leave and the hospital is reaching out to patients.

Officials confirmed in a statement that the employee contracted TB. That person works in the UPMC Presbyterian Emergency Department and was also seen at a Presby ophthalmology clinic, as well as at a doctor’s office at Magee-Women’s Hospital, they said.

courtesy of Vivien Li

Riverlife president and CEO Vivien Li will leave the organization after two-and-a-half years at its helm.

The organization said in a release Friday morning that Li is leaving to spend more time with her family. She tendered her resignation this week, with Friday being her last day.

Pete Mendez, owner of Mendez Consulting, will take over as interim director in Li’s absence.

In a statement, Li said she enjoyed her time with the organization, but needed to prioritize family members in ill health.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Uber's self-driving car operations in multiple cities, including Pittsburgh, have been suspended after a woman was killed in Arizona. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Erika Strassburger made history Tuesday night as the first woman elected to represent Pittsburghers living in Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Point Breeze on Pittsburgh’s City Council with 64 percent of the vote.

Keith Srakocic / AP

It's not actually spring, but Pittsburgh's warm and rainy winter has made it hard to tell. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Winter is far from over, but a warm front through the Pittsburgh region is just enough to give Yinzers a taste of spring. With the high projected to be in the 70s Tuesday, we've put together a list of (totally silly) ways to take advantage of some unexpectedly warm weather in the heart of February. 

1. Go on a quick kayak trip ... on a major Downtown street.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

While the upswing in temperatures might have some Pittsburghers excited to ditch their coats, it’s helped create a nightmarish pothole season for city roads.

Graphic via Sarah Kovash | Photos via AP and NCTC Archives Museum

In honor of Valentine's Day (or Galentine's Day, if you prefer), we've put together a list of inspiring quotes about love -- and life -- from some famous Pittsburghers. 

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Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Friday marks two big events: National Pizza Day and the deadline for the state legislature to create a new congressional map and submit it to the governor. (However, lawmakers said Thursday they would not be able to meet the Friday deadline.) 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh is expected to get as much as 5 inches of snow overnight and into Wednesday morning's commute – and the city says it's prepared.

Carlos Osorio / AP

Got a nasty tire eater in your neighborhood? The city of Pittsburgh wants to hear from you.

City officials announced Wednesday that public works crews will conduct a pothole “blitz” starting at 6 a.m. Thursday. They plan to work 12-hour shifts repairing potholes through Saturday.

In a press release, the Department of Public works said it already has a list of 300 reported potholes. Residents are encouraged to report additional potholes via the city’s 311 line.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The New York Times reported Monday that Naomi Parker Fraley, believed to be the inspiration for Rosie the Riveter, died at age 96.

But experts say she likely wasn’t the “Rosie” most of America knows and loves.

Margaret J. Krauss

Update 1/21/18 3:06 p.m.: PWSA has lifted the flush and boil advisory.

Roughly 900 Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority customers in Lawrenceville and Bloomfield are under a flush and boil advisory.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

For the last two minutes of 2017, thousands of Pittsburghers will watch the glowing New Year’s Eve countdown ball at the top of Penn Avenue Place downtown.

The ball’s symbolic rise only lasts from 11:58 p.m. to midnight, but it takes about six weeks to prepare for the show.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh is feeling some of the coldest temperatures of the year and it's not expected to let up anytime soon.

City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Gilman will take over as Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff in January.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is many kinds of city: it’s a sports city, it’s a robotics city, it’s a ketchup city. But at its most essential, Pittsburgh is a city of steep hills. In the early 1900s, public staircases were built all around the city to help people navigate challenging terrain. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

After more than 1,000 hours of mediated sessions and discussions, the city of Pittsburgh and community groups have reached an agreement with the developers of the former Penn Plaza site, to ensure affordable housing and green spaces remain in East Liberty.

Courtesy of Ted Zellers

Basement toilets are a pervasive feature of Pittsburgh homes -- so much so that one local photographer set out to document them.

And although local lore suggests they were first installed so that mill workers and miners could clean up before entering the main part of the house, multiple local experts said they couldn't verify that, and most declined to weigh in on how these mysterious home features came to be.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Cathy Schlott’s fingers are covered in blood, but she doesn’t seem concerned or put off by it. She’s feeding Anne, a 4-pound adult barred owl, which are common in Pennsylvania.

“She gets lots of treats for this,” said Schlott, curator of animal behavioral management at the aviary, while holding Anne, who’s perched on her arm.

She’s feeding her “meeces pieces,” or chunks of raw meat.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

In seven locations throughout the city, fire hydrants are continually spewing water --- more than 15 million gallons of water.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Residents of Millvale are no longer under a flush and boil water advisory. Officials with Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) announced Sunday night that the Department of Environmental Protection had approved lifting the advisory.

Courtesy of Ted Zellers

Ted Zellers has knocked on doors from the West End to the North Side to Polish Hill and beyond, all to ask people if he can have a look in their basements.

“I’ve been surprised about how positive the reactions of people have been,” he said. “I was really worried when I started this that a lot of people would think I was a weirdo for wanting to do this.”

The Lawrenceville resident and amateur photographer is compiling photographs of those lone basement toilets. He said he’s hoping to one day share them in some kind of coffee table book, or eventually a gallery show.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Despite reports of improvement in recent days, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium officials said Wednesday morning that the facility’s baby elephant has been euthanized.

“Our hearts are broken, it’s just devastating,” said Pittsburgh Zoo president and CEO Barbara Baker in a press release. “She touched so many people in such a short time. We did everything we possibly could to care for her, but unfortunately in the end, it just wasn’t enough.”

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Pittsburgh isn’t the worst place for bed bugs in the U.S., but it did make a list of the country’s top offenders, according to Terminix.

The extermination company released a list of the top cities for bed bugs based on the volume of service requests for the first half of the year.

Pittsburgh ranked No. 12, just below Philadelphia, which ranked No. 10 on the list. However, you don't have to travel far to find the worst city for bed bugs: Cleveland, Ohio.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

UPDATE: Pittsburgh Zoo officials said Friday that the elephant calf is doing well after surgery and was moving around. She is currently using a feeding tube to get one pint of formula and officials said her GI tract was functioning normally. She is also taking a bottle of milk from Nan, a lactating elephant also at the zoo.

Earlier Version:  

Pittsburgh Zoo officials announced Wednesday that the facility’s baby elephant's health is flagging, and that the next 24 to 48 hours will be critical.

screengrab via nasa.gov

There’s no shortage of excitement surrounding Monday’s solar eclipse.

Though Pittsburghers won’t be able to view a total eclipse (states south of Pittsburgh will get the full experience), we’ll still get about 80 percent coverage, according to NASA.

If you’re in the city or outside, you can check out what your view will look like on this Jet Propulsion Laboratory app:

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

At this time last year, artist Baron Batch was facing backlash and $30,000 in fines and legal fees for illegal graffiti he left on several public areas.

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