Bill Peduto

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

  Police are puzzled why the city's aggravated assaults, shootings and calls for shots fired all rose in 2015 as the number of homicides fell to levels more on par with previous years, Police Chief Cameron McLay said Friday.

Traditionally, shootings are a good measure for a city's homicide rate, McLay said. That didn't hold true for Pittsburgh in 2015.

Keith Srakocic / AP Images

During his first regular visit to Essential Pittsburgh of 2016, Mayor Bill Peduto previewed what is projected to be a great year in the Steel City.

Tuesday morning marked Mayor Peduto’s official announcement of Wendell Hissrich as the city’s new acting Public Safety Director.  A Forest Hills native, volunteer firefighter, and Duquesne University graduate, Hissrich’s extensive resume includes work with Pittsburgh EMS, as well as 25 years with the FBI.  Mayor Peduto says that with Hissrich’s diverse background, the public safety department is adopting a new focus centralized in community outreach.

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.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

It’s not just Friday, it’s Steelers Friday.

The Courthouse Courtyard was a sea of black and gold Friday as enthusiastic Steelers fan gathered for a playoff rally. The team will take on the Cincinnati Bengals in a last-chance wild card bid at 8:15 p.m. Saturday.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said he sensed the energy all over town.

“It’s not exactly Steeler weather, but tomorrow it’s going to be, when we come back with a victory,” he said. 

Freedom House / Flickr

A religious group representing Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches in southwestern Pennsylvania urged lawmakers to accept Syrian refugees on Monday, offering their own congregations as way points for resettlement.

The Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania echoed recent sentiments by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto in their support of foreign aid.

“It’s our responsibility as people of faith to respond,” CASP Executive Minister Liddy Barlow said.

Lionel Cironneau / AP

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks and several American states saying they will not accept Syrian refugees, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto remained steadfast in keeping the city open to those fleeing their homeland. 

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

If you're headed out for a night on the South Side, you could find yourself having to pay for parking past 6 p.m.

City officials are planning on eventually enforcing parking meters through midnight.

They haven't said when the change would take effect, but hope to start enforcing it in the coming months. 

This comes as part of the new initiative developed by Mayor Bill Peduto, City Council President Bruce Kraus and Nighttime Economy Coordinator Allison Harden to ensure a safer business district on East Carson Street in the South Side.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Westinghouse High School officials announced Thursday a new Emergency Response Technology program promising career training for students interested in public safety. 

Liz Reid

 

  Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto signed an executive order Tuesday that will mandate an eventual minimum wage of $15 for employees of the city of Pittsburgh beginning in January 2017.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pittsburgh City Council will get to take its shot at the 2016 operating and capital budgets as proposed by Mayor Bill Peduto on Monday.

“I think there are some things that council is going to move around,” said council Finance and Law Committee Chair Natalia Rudiak. “Of course it’s a matter of where are we going to add, and… where are we going to take away.”

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 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.

Anna Gutermuth / Flickr

A new law allowing employees of Pittsburgh businesses the right to earn paid sick time goes into effect Jan. 11.

Under the ordinance signed by Mayor Bill Peduto on Aug. 3, workers will get one hour for every 35 hours worked; up to three unpaid days in the first year for business 14 years or less; and up to five paid days for businesses 15 years or older.

When Pittsburgh's Bill Peduto joined the mayors of 17 other cities in signing a letter to President Barack Obama last month that offers to harbor more Syrian refugees in the United States, he defended that welcome as "just the right thing to do."

The century-old Kaufmann’s building closed at the end of this summer, but fortunately, many of its most iconic artifacts will be preserved. Those who remember the Kaufmann building will be able to enjoy its most famous features at a different location.

daveynin / flickr

While he was in Bellagio, Italy last week, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signed on to a pledge to commit at least 10 percent of the city’s operating and capital budgets to making Pittsburgh a more resilient city, a move that Pittsburgh Chief Resilience officer Grant Ervin said is extremely timely.

“Look, for example, at some of the challenges that are being faced right now in South Carolina,” said Ervin, referring to the massive flooding that has displaced hundreds of residents.  “How do you clean up quickly and then how do you become a stronger city following the event?”

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto submitted Tuesday a $517.5 million operating budget for 2016 to the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority. The spending plan, which comes with no tax increases, is nearly $10 million, or 1.9 percent, more than this year’s budget. 

International Peace Day

  The United Nations established the International Day of Peace in 1981 to raise awareness about how violent behavior affects nations, schools and families alike, encouraging cease fires in war-torn nations and local reflection on how individual action affects others.

For the 15th year, Pittsburgh is participating with a rally, non-denominational prayer service and a festival. Sister Barbara Finch, the co-founder and co-organizer of the local observance of the International Day of Peace, said locals can take this as an opportunity to assess.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Public Safety Director, Stephen Bucar, will leave his post next month, Mayor Bill Peduto’s office announced Thursday. 

Bucar accepted a position as Deputy Commissioner of Staff with the Pennsylvania State Police in Harrisburg. He was hired by Peduto in May 2014 following a national search.

Casey Chafin / 90.5 WESA

  A day after community leaders called for an end to the violence in the city, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Police Chief Cameron McLay said Wednesday there are fewer homicides this year despite an uptick in area shootings.

“It’s not an epidemic of violence outside the norm of this city,” McLay said.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

It’s no secret that Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is big on innovation. He transformed the city’s Computer Information Systems department into the Department of Innovation and Performance and hired the city’s first Chief Innovation Officer, Debra Lam.

But Lam said that when the mayor’s team started looking around at the most innovative cities in the world, they found that they were also some of the most exclusive.

90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane has announced she will let her contract expire in June 2016 and will not seek an extension. Lane first served as deputy superintendent and spent the last five years in her current role.

United Steelworkers March Through Downtown

Sep 1, 2015
Erika Beras / 90.5 WESA

An estimated 1,500 people marched through the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday from United Steelworkers headquarters to the offices of Allegheny Technology and U.S. Steel headquarters.

Union workers are demanding contract settlements with U.S. Steel, Allegheny Technologies and ArcelorMittal. Negotiations started in June.

Brian Donovan / Flickr

Pittsburgh has been selected as one of 10 cities to pilot the country’s first Resilience AmeriCorps initiative.

The Obama administration announced the action on July 9. Each Resilience AmeriCorps city will receive $25,000 to help build neighborhood resilience plans and initiatives at the community level in the form of a micro grant program. Each city will also receive dedicated AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America members.

22 Pirates Baseball Hats Sent To Cuba From Pittsburgh

Aug 17, 2015
Mayor Bill Peduto

Cubans love baseball. They especially love former Pittsburgh Pirate and Puerto Rican native Roberto Clemente so when Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto led a delegation of business leaders to the island nation in May, it was no surprise that the Pirates and Clemente often came up in conversation. 

What was a surprise was the email Bill Peduto received after returning home.

More Housing Coming Soon To Pittsburgh's Strip

Aug 6, 2015

In the 1800’s, the building in the 2400 block of Smallman Street was the Duquesne Cigar Factory. As recently as this week, it was an industrial vacuum cleaner company. And soon, it will be home to 38 more condominiums.

Its neighbors? Other condominium buildings, a whiskey distillery and soon, according to published reports, an Apple Inc. office.

Real estate agent Kathy Wallace lauded Pittsburgh's rich, architectural history. As the Steel City's identity evolved, many buildings were left underutilized and sometimes abandoned as their uses changed over time, she said.

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

Children and families fell in line Thursday tooting kazoos and banging makeshift instruments through Northview Heights beside the players of Pittsburgh's River City Brass Band.

Dubbed March Pittsburgh, the movement kicked off an effort to enroll youth in health care programs with help from from a $40,000 UPMC Health Plan sponsorship, Mayor Bill Peduto's office, the Consumer Health Coalition and other partners.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said Tuesday that he gets “a little emotional” when he talks about the city’s summer employment program for teenagers and young adults.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said the long-overdue system to merge the payroll operations of the city and Allegheny County will be in place by the end of the year.

The lack of an operational system prompted the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, which has financial oversight of the city, to withhold millions of dollars in slot machine revenues.

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