As Steelers Training Camp Begins, Researchers Issue Reminder Of Football's Danger

Jul 28, 2017

Players arrived at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe this week for the start of Steelers training camp, but running back Le'Veon Bell did not. He's in the middle of negotiating a franchise contract with the team, but is feeling pressure from his teammates.

The NFL is feeling pressure as well. The Journal of the American Medical Association released an updated study on Tuesday that reported 110 out of 111 brains of former NFL players had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, CTE. The study is a continuation of one from 2015 in which 87 of 91 NFL brains tested positive for CTE. Researchers hope these repeated results force the NFL to take a deeper look at its players' safety.

As football season begins, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Liz Bloom, PennLive's Lauren Kirschman and The Pittsburgh Tribune Review's Ben Schmitt discuss the effects of uncertain contracts, Dan Rooney's passing and knowing more about the dangers to players' brains.

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For Savannah Zayas, the way out of poverty was supposed to be graduating high school. She's a teen mother living in a Philadelphia neighborhood often called "the badlands" by residents where hope is sometimes in short supply. Navigating Philadelphia's public school system with a daughter hasn't been easy.

"Schooled," a new podcast from Keystone Crossroads reporter Kevin McCorry, takes aim at Pennsylvania public education. McCorry starts with Savannah's story.

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First responders in rural areas are trying to figure out how to handle opioids in their communities. The stations often are understaffed and tired and, in some areas, people struggling with addiction have taken over the bulk of emergency calls. 

Images of the opioid epidemic give those without a direct connection the opportunity to visualize their grim effects. Photojournalists Maranie Rae Staab with PublicSource and Andrew Russell of the Pittsburgh Trib capture what its like for addicts and first responders on the front lines.

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The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. This week, WESA reporter Virginia Alvino Young takes the mic in Gavin's stead.

Find more episodes of The Confluence here.