Arts, Sports & Culture

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The Charges Against Bill Cosby And The Sentences They Carry

Jun 13, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

The fate of entertainer Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges is in the hands of a jury near Philadelphia, which began deliberations Monday.

A look at the charges, and the punishment he could face if convicted:

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WHAT IS COSBY ACCUSED OF?

Cosby Lawyer Tells Jury Comedian And Accuser Were Lovers

Jun 12, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Bill Cosby's trial raced toward a close Monday, with his lawyer telling the jury that the comedian and the woman who accuses him of drugging and molesting her were lovers who had enjoyed secret "romantic interludes."

Declining to take the stand in his own defense, the 79-year-old TV star left it to his attorney to argue that Cosby's 2004 sexual encounter with Andrea Constand was consensual. Lawyer Brian McMonagle said in his closing argument that while Cosby had been unfaithful to his wife, he didn't commit a crime.

Mark Humphrey / AP

It'll be tough to top this.

Sidney Crosby was awarded his second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and goalie Matt Murray made 27 saves for his second straight shutout as the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team to repeat as champion in nearly two decades with a 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 6 on Sunday.

Matt Rourke / AP

Prosecutors' case against Bill Cosby drew toward a close Friday with the jury hearing the comedian's damaging, decade-old testimony about giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with.

Testifying under oath in 2005, the TV star said he had obtained several prescriptions for the now-banned sedative in the 1970s but didn't take them himself, according to the deposition read to the jury.

"When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?" Cosby was asked.

"Yes," he said.

Dana Difilippo / NewsWorks

For three days, the sound outside of the Montgomery County Courthouse, where Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial is unfolding, has been the steady rumble of TV news trucks, punctuated by bursts of reporters shouting questions at the elderly entertainer, his attorneys, the celebrities du jour who accompany him, and anyone else who looks remotely important.

Thursday, Helen Reddy belted out her female-empowerment anthem “I Am Woman.”

Jury May Soon Hear From Cosby, Even If He Doesn't Take Stand

Jun 8, 2017
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AP, Pool

A jury that heard seven hours of testimony from a woman who says Bill Cosby drugged and assaulted her may soon hear from Cosby himself — even if he doesn't take the stand.

Prosecutors are expected to show jurors an earlier deposition in which Cosby said that he routinely gave women pills and alcohol before sexual encounters and gave at least one of them quaaludes, a now-banned sedative.

The suburban Philadelphia jury on Wednesday heard trial accuser Andrea Constand offer her most direct denial yet that any of their earlier meetings were romantic.

Maranie Staab / Facebook

Pictures of young refugees from the war-torn countries of Syria and Iraq have been defaced with spray paint at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Journalist Maranie Staab, of Pittsburgh, is currently in Iraq photographing the ongoing crisis there in Mosul. She posted a photo of the defaced images and a message for the vandal or vandals on Facebook: "If the person that did this happens to see this, I would welcome the opportunity to speak to you about these kids."

The two defaced pictures showed refugee children. The vandals X-ed out their faces with spray paint.

Cosby's Accuser Stands By Her Story Under Cross-Examination

Jun 7, 2017
Mark Makela / AP, pool

The woman who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and violating her more than a decade ago stood by her story at his sex-crimes trial Wednesday, withstanding hours of often tedious cross-examination that didn't produce the stumbles the TV star might have hoped for.

Calm and composed, Andrea Constand brushed off suggestions she and Cosby had a romantic relationship before the 2004 encounter at his suburban Philadelphia home.

Cosby's Accuser Says She Was Drugged, Groped; 'I Was Frozen'

Jun 6, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP, Pool

Bill Cosby's chief accuser took the stand at his sexual assault trial Tuesday to tell her story publicly for the first time, saying the comedian groped her after giving her three blue pills that left her paralyzed and helpless.

"In my head, I was trying to get my hands to move or my legs to move, but I was frozen," Andrea Constand, a 44-year-old former employee of the basketball program at Temple University, Cosby's alma mater, said in their long-awaited courtroom confrontation. "I wasn't able to fight in any way."

She added: "I wanted it to stop."

Cosby's Lawyer Attacks 1 Accuser As Sex Assault Trial Opens

Jun 6, 2017
Matt Slocum / AP

Bill Cosby's lawyer asked jurors not to view him as a fallen celebrity on trial in a sexual assault case, but as a flawed man "whose infidelities have made him vulnerable" to these types of accusations.

Cosby, 79, the champion of fatherhood and family values, walked into court on the first day of the trial Monday without his wife of more than 50 years, Camille, or any of their four daughters. He was instead joined by a TV daughter, Keshia Knight Pulliam, who was 5 when he made her a child star on the "The Cosby Show."

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is underway all this week in Pittsburgh.

The event runs until June 11 and features exhibits throughout Point State Park, the Cultural District and the Gateway Center.

Bill Cosby Goes On Trial, His Freedom And Legacy At Stake

Jun 5, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP, file

Bill Cosby went on trial Monday on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman more than a decade ago, with a prosecutor warning the jury not to fall into the trap of confusing the 79-year-old comedian with the beloved family man he played on TV.

Brad Bower/Matt Rourke / AP

Penn State's former president and two other ex-administrators were sentenced Friday to at least two months in jail for failing to report a child sexual abuse allegation against Jerry Sandusky a decade before his arrest engulfed the university in scandal and brought down football coach Joe Paterno.

Douglas Bovitt / AP

Granite from a Philadelphia park that was a skateboarding mecca, though for a long stretch an illegal one, is being put to new use at a skate park being built nearly 4,000 miles away.

Slabs from the city's famed LOVE Park, named for Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture, are being shipped to the city of Malmo, Sweden.

Malmo's skateboarding coordinator told KYW-TV that the granite will be used for a project he says will "rock the skateboarding world."

Derek Zanetti believes in the power of punk so much that he's re-created the "Ironic" video shot-for-shot. Okay, maybe the logic doesn't make much sense, but neither does Alanis Morissette's use of irony.

Philadelphia's Music Legacy Is Vast But Hard To Find

May 30, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Detroit has the Motown Museum. Mississippi has a blues trail. Memphis has Graceland, Sun Studio and the Stax Museum of American Soul.

But in Philadelphia — birthplace of the lush acoustic style known as The Sound of Philadelphia and the hometown of "American Bandstand" and Chubby Checker's "Twist" — there's no major place of pilgrimage for music fans.

"Tourists come here expecting and hoping to experience our music legacy, and we leave them wanting," said Patty Wilson Aden, president of The African American Museum.

A diverse musical legacy

Modern-Day Revolution Celebrated In Philadelphia Street Art

May 30, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Seeking to appeal to visitors more familiar with the words of "Game of Thrones" heroine Daenarys Targaryen than the writings of James Wilson, Philadelphia museums and historic sites are thinking differently, using creative art exhibitions and adding online components to their offerings.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Walking down Fourth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh, it might feel like you’re being watched. And you are.

There are about a dozen pairs of eyes glaring down at the street. They’re made of gray and brown stone, some with intricate carved manes. Lions are a common sight on this stretch of downtown, and they have a very important job: to guard.

YouTube

A Pennsylvania man is in the money after setting a record on "The Price is Right."

Ryan Belz, of Millerton, was wildly enthusiastic just to get called on stage in the episode that aired Thursday. His unbridled excitement only grew from there.

In the end, the Penn State graduate set a record by winning $31,500 in one of the TV show's most popular games, Plinko.

Paul A. Selvaggio / Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Pygmy hippopotamuses, giant anteaters and a zipline are all part of the newest attraction at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Jungle Odyssey.

The exhibit is the second of the zoo’s four-phase “Top of the World” project, with The Islands opening in 2016. Dr. Barbara Baker, President and CEO of the zoo, said the latest area will educate visitors about some of the world’s most vulnerable animals.

Craig Sjodin / ABC

Three years ago, Samm Hodges would've laughed if you'd suggested he take up voice acting.

"I had a stutter in high school that was really extreme," he said.

Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr

Mother's Day may seem like a fairly innocuous holiday for most people, but not for its creator, Anna Jarvis. Although the holiday was meant as a tribute to the women who commonly lost children and persevered through the difficult days of the Civil War, it became a woeful reminder of commercialism—and ultimately led her to become institutionalized

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

For the first time, shoppers at farmers markets around the region can grab some whiskey with their watermelon. Due to a 2016 change in state laws, distilleries, breweries and meaderies are able to sell their products in Pennsylvania farmers markets and food expos.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

On a Friday afternoon in April, David Lyttle pieced together his drum kit on a patch of grass in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

90.5 WESA’s sister station WYEP held a competition for the worst song ever this week.

Listeners submitted their least favorite tunes, which the station pared down to 20 finalist.  90.5 WESA’s Sarah Kovash talked to WYEP’s Director of Content and Programming, Mike Sauter, about what makes a bad song and the five most hated tunes.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity. 

SARAH KOVASH: Now, were you surprised by some of these submissions?

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Finish line logistics captain Brian Schmidt is in the thick of it now.

All last month he categorized and readied a behemoth assortment of race-day paraphernalia across two floors of a Strip District U-Haul facility. Today, he’s a walking ledger for pallets of road cones, fruit cups, Vaseline and mylar spread over 14 neighborhoods in dozens of tarp-covered, plywood boxes.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Caretakers at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium’s International Conservation Center in Somerset County are preparing for a new calf. 

A 23-year-old African elephant named Seeni is getting close to her due date, estimated for this summer. Seeni is somewhat new to the area though, so caregivers are trying to ensure they bond with her so she can bond with the calf.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Members of Pittsburgh’s art world want to connect with community and encourage them participate in causes they care about.

That idea of community engagement was a main focus for local artists, advocates, attorneys and funders taking part in the Future Tense conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Tuesday. The conference was organized by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

What Happens When You Mix An NFL Draft With Watercolors?

Apr 28, 2017
Emma Lee / WHYY

Art is having a hard time competing with football.

The NFL draft has taken over most of the Parkway, as well as the famous Rocky steps that lead to Philadelphia Museum of Art, completely blocking its front entrance.

The museum will remain open during its regular hours throughout the draft, via it West side entrance, at the rear of the building near the Schuylkill River.

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