Sarah Schneider

Reporter

Sarah Schneider covers education for 90.5 WESA. That means looking at how people learn in Western Pennsylvania. Her reporting examines how local and national decisions impact access to education and policy. She loves being in classrooms talking to students and teachers.

She is also a local fill-in host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Previously, Sarah was a reporting fellow at WESA for two years by way of an Americorps affiliated program, Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE). She has interned with newspapers in Illinois, Idaho and Pennsylvania. 

Story ideas are always welcome at sschneider@wesa.fm.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A committee tasked by city council to look at wages of Pittsburgh's hospital service workers recommended they get a $15 minimum wage during a post-agenda meeting on Tuesday.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

Kids across the nation will be able to continue visiting Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood thanks to funding from Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid Foundation.

Daniel Tiger is the son of Daniel Striped Tiger, a puppet in the original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which aired on PBS. The younger Daniel wears a red cardigan and his friends are related to the original characters.

swong95765 / flickr

The Pittsburgh International Airport is adding nonstop flights to Hilton Head International Airport in Savannah, Ga. and expanding nonstop service to Paris. The airport also announced Frontier Airlines will return in June, with nonstop flights to five cities.

Frontier will fly to Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas and Orlando Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The airline will fly to Chicago on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.   

The destinations are already serviced nonstop by other carriers, but Spokesman Bob Kerlik said the added airline gives travelers more options.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The 100 school crossing guards in Pittsburgh are training this month to learn how to effectively mentor the students who cross their paths.

The Buhl Foundation offered a $25,000 grant to Allies for Children, which is training the crossing guards as part of the Everyday Mentors program.

daveynin / flickr

Nearly six years after CONSOL Energy Center's completion, officials say it still doesn't have the public art that was promised along with the building. 

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Gov. Tom Wolf reiterated his desire for business-friendly legislation at a walkthrough of AlphaLab Gear in East Liberty on Thursday as part of his "Jobs that Pay" tour.

Njaimeh Njie / Cafe Con Leche

A new residency program is aiming to bring more Latino artists to Pittsburgh and diversify the city's art scene. 

Latinos make up about 17 percent of the country’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but in 2010, only accounted for 2 percent of Pittsburgh’s population.

Tara Sherry-Torres, founder of Cafe Con Leche, which works to bring together the city's Latino community, said Pittsburgh's not on par with the growing Latino populations seen in other major metropolitan cities.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Many of the region's officials kicked off a new administration with their new year Monday.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald took his second oath of office alongside several Allegheny County Council members, Pittsburgh City Council members and Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb.

Jason Rosenberg / Flickr

A new nonprofit based on a successful Mt. Washington venture is slated for expansion in 2016, pledging to hire and train people who have had past trouble finding or keeping work for jobs improving public land.

Headed by Ilyssa Manspeizer, former director of the Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation, the Pittsburgh Conservation Corps will partner case managers and employment contracts to folks hoping to make a change.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

Pittsburgh Police Officers from all six zones donated more than 1,000 diapers to the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank Tuesday.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County is looking for development options for more than 150 acres of brownfield space surrounding a former steel yard in Rankin.

Jonathan / Flickr

Following the Thursday arrest of a 19-year-old Harrisburg man accused of aiding the terrorist group ISIS, U.S. Senator Bob Casey said Congress has a lot of work to do in combating what is referred to as homegrown extremism.

Casey was briefed Thursday on the months of work that went into the arrest of Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz. Casey said knowing the methods terrorists or potential terrorists use is imperative in preventing future violence.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

A group of neighbors in the Mexican War Streets knew the local food pantry was short on food and turned to Facebook.

They said the pantry was well stocked Monday night but more than 100 families shopped Tuesday. They asked for walk-in donations.  

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

One Pittsburgh Public School is using a grant from the American Federation of Teachers to train students for careers as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians. The district showcased existing Career and Education Courses to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Monday at Westinghouse Academy in Homewood.

The grades 6-12 school is one of five Pittsburgh secondary schools with CTE programs, boasting disciplines like cosmetology, culinary arts, carpentry, automotive body repair and multimedia production, among others. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

 

North Allegheny High School sophomore Mason Blackburn wanted Alex the Lion to escape the zoo, but it wasn't that simple.

The team hit a few roadblocks along the way, he said. Levers overcomplicated the motions, so they tried a simpler pulley system. It took a lot of trial and error, Blackburn said.

"We certainly learned a lot," he said. "We had several of these swinging hooks and each hook would transfer energy to the next hook. Eventually that was too complicated."

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh voted Thursday to take the next step in converting the Hunt Armory in Shadyside into an indoor ice rink.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools is turning to more progressive methods of discipline, after finding that cut and dry methods, like Zero Tolerance, led to too many suspensions.

Back in the ‘90s, many schools started using those methods as a way to motivate kids to behave.

They put police officers in schools, along with metal detectors. They issued harsh punishments to prevent bigger offenses. 

It became a way of doing things, but opponents say rather than getting students to behave, it was just pushing them out of school. Now administrators shy away from those methods.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Alfred E. Hunt Armory takes up an entire city block of Shadyside. Its original purpose was to house military weapons. It was later a training facility and a community center. It was the venue for Led Zeppelin’s first Pittsburgh show and touted presidential candidates and evangelist Billy Graham.

The more than a century old historic landmark was last used by the 28th infantry of the National Guard until 2013.  

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

The United Way of Allegheny County wants to ensure local children grow up to be successful in adulthood. That’s why they’ve created a new action plan.

The plan, called "United for Children," aims to support the social and emotional needs of the region’s children with a five-step plan, which includes:

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

  Nearly 40 people told the Port Authority Board of Trustees Friday that cuts in service over the years has cut them off from getting where they want to be.

In the past few years the port authority has had to decrease service which it blames on inadequate state funding. Residents in Penn Hills want an extension of the 79 route, Garfield residents want weekend service through the neighborhood and students and staff at the Community College of Allegheny County want a route taking them closer to the north campus.

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

  The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council is launching a website they hope will be the go-to source to find all arts and cultural events in the city.

Arts organizations can post gallery openings, theater and dance performances and other cultural events to the new site – Artsburgh. Users can scroll through the calendar or create a profile to distinguish what types of events are most important to them.

Jacob Bøtter / Flickr

There are more job openings in Pittsburgh than there are people with the matching skill sets, according to the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

Three technologists worked with city departments for almost a year to reform the way the city buys goods and services like fire trucks and office supplies – a process known as procurement.

Laura Meixell, analytics and strategy manager for the city's open data program, said there used to be a page buried in the city’s website where businesses could find contract openings.

The requests weren't categorized, and vendors would have to check back if there was a new post, she said.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Drivers can now reach for their smartphones to pay for city parking rather than coins or credit cards.

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority launched a mobile payment option Thursday. Users download the Go Mobile PGH app on their smartphone and register their license plate and credit card numbers. Drivers enter the zone number found on a sign located at the nearest kiosk and how long they want to park there. Then the countdown on their phone begins.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The National Aviary on the North Side has received another five years of accreditation from the National Association of Zoos & Aquariums for its high standards of care and conservation of wildlife.

The aviary has been accredited from the organization for the last 30 years. The process took about a year and included a review of fiscal management, animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education and safety.

Asylum Projects

Defendants ordered to receive treatment before they can stand trial are waiting up to a year to be admitted at one of the two state hospitals. 

A class-action lawsuit against the commonwealth from the American Civil Liberties Union's Pennsylvania office alleges that wait time is unconstitutional.

Torrance State Hospital near Pittsburgh and Norristown State Hospital near Philadelphia are perpetually full, often requiring defendants deemed unfit to stand trial sit in jail until vacancies arise.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

  Dozens of health care workers and advocates testified Thursday before the city’s Wage Committee urging it to increase pay for service workers at area hospitals.

The committee was formed by City Council as part of the A City For All initiative to, “protect, preserve and expand affordability and livability for low and moderate income residents in the city of Pittsburgh, to establish a Wage Committee that investigates the wages paid to service workers.”

Pat Pilon / Flickr

  Public utility companies cannot charge customers a fee to receive a paper utility bill in the mail, the Public Utility Commission decided Thursday.

The five-member commission unanimously approved a motion concluding the expense of providing a paper bill to customers is included in operating expenses of the utility and charging a fee is not consistent with commission regulations, long-standing precedent or established practices of Pennsylvania Public Utilities.

Lennart Tange / Flickr

A 20-member task force of health and research professionals released a report last week on Lyme and related tick-borne diseases to help guide the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the General Assembly's strategy in addressing the growing issue. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

The city’s financial oversight board has authorized the release of the remaining $5.8 million in 2014 gaming funds it has been withholding – with a few stipulations.

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