Local Headlines

Important stories from the Pittsburgh region.

90.5 WESA

Visitors at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium got a surprise when they witnessed a gorilla giving birth in the exhibit area yesterday.

Moka, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium's 22-year-old Western lowland gorilla, gave birth to her third baby Friday morning.

The zoo says Moka is very attentive and has been encouraging her baby to nurse.

Brennan Linsley / AP

The Pennsylvania Treasury Department hopes rightful owners will come forward to claim more than 500 military medals that have ended up its possession.

Jason Pratt / Flickr

At least two coal-filled barges have sunk and about a dozen others have been corralled after they broke loose on a river in western Pennsylvania, colliding with bridges as they floated freely downstream.

*UPDATED Friday, May 25, 2018 at 1:15 p.m.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The lush greenery and humid mystique of Phipps Conservatory’s Palm Court has served as the facility’s front door since it opened in 1893, when hundreds of panes of delicate annealed glass were installed beneath an ornamental ogee crest. 

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Bethany Ruhe was born and raised in the hilly south Pittsburgh neighborhood of Beechview. 

Matt Slocum / AP

A judge is publicly identifying members of the jury that convicted Bill Cosby of sexual assault following a 21-day "cooling-off period."

Judge Stops State Plan To Take $200 Million Out Of Malpractice Fund

May 17, 2018
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A federal judge is blowing a $200 million hole in Pennsylvania's $32 billion state budget by throwing out a law that appropriated the surplus from a state-created medical malpractice insurer of last resort.

House GOP Moves To Strip Accused Lawmaker Of Committee Seats

May 17, 2018
Pennsylvania House of Representatives / legis.state.pa.gov

Pennsylvania House Republicans are moving to take away committee assignments from a member accused of abusing two women who dated him, one of whom is a fellow lawmaker.

Tony Talbot / AP

The city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are suing eight pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, alleging the companies trivialized the risk of opioid addiction while overstating the benefits of the drugs.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The local alternative weekly newspaper, the Pittsburgh City Paper, fired its editor-in-chief Charlie Deitch Tuesday.

Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA

Last year, local journalist Ervin Dyer created American Heroes: The Homewood Project, in an effort to bring positive attention to African-American men doing good work in their neighborhood.

Dyer spoke with 90.5 WESA contributor Elaine Effort about the project and how he hopes to move it forward.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

ELAINE EFFORT: What is the Homewood Heroes project?

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

It’s a sunny Monday morning in Washington, Pa., and about 20 people are chatting over donuts and coffee in the cafeteria of Washington Christian Outreach. After breakfast, they’ll stay for the morning sermon, and later they’ll be joined by as many as 200 more for the daily free lunch.

Jeanne Allender is sitting in a small office just nextdoor. At 83 years old, she doesn’t come in to volunteer every day anymore, but she still puts in three days a week at the organization she founded 40 years ago this month.

Dan Hallman/Invision / AP

Philadelphia-born rapper Meek Mill is calling on Pennsylvania lawmakers to reform the state's parole and probation systems.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Starting this month, state dog wardens will begin canvassing across 36 Pennsylvania counties, to check with dog owners on the status of their pet’s license and vaccination history.

Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA

The Roman Catholic diocese of Pittsburgh has announced plans to reduce the current 188 parishes over six counties to just 57 over the next few years.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Paint maker PPG says it will lay off about 1,100 people and take a pretax restructuring charge of between $80 million and $85 million in the second quarter.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

It's been nearly three weeks since a devastating landslide collapsed part of Route 30 and displaced apartment tenants in East Pittsburgh. 

Allegheny County Police Department / Facebook

Authorities say a dog in a yard near a police mounted unit event in Wilmerding escaped and bit one of the participating horses.

Allegheny County police say its mounted unit and one from Pittsburgh were in the area last Wednesday talking to a citizens police group about the duties and responsibilities of the units.

Montoursville Police Department via Facebook

An elderly Pennsylvania man had no way of visiting his ill wife in the hospital, so he called police to help.

Montoursville Police Chief Jeff Gyurina says the 84-year-old man's same-aged wife had a medical emergency last Thursday and was taken from their home in an ambulance.

The frail man told Gyurina, who was at the scene, he had no family in the area to take him to the hospital, and he can't drive anymore.

Gyurina gave him the patrol car's cell number and told him to call whenever he was ready to go.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Jennifer Cario is unloading big bins of food in a small storage room adjoining the gym of Bentworth Elementary School in Bentleyville, Washington County, about an hour south of Pittsburgh.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's payrolls crept to a record high in March as the unemployment rate remained flat for a 10th straight month.

ATF via Facebook

Federal authorities have doubled the reward to $20,000 for information on the theft of hundreds of explosives from a worksite in Pennsylvania.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says approximately 700 pounds of dynamite and 400 blasting caps were stolen over the weekend from a Gregory General Contracting Company site in the southeastern part of the state.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

Dick's Sporting Goods is destroying all the guns and accessories that it stopped selling earlier this year after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Convicted Ex-High School Athlete Wants Off Sex Offender List

Apr 16, 2018
Dake Kang / AP

A judge will decide whether a man convicted as a juvenile of raping a 16-year-old girl during an alcohol-fueled party should be removed from Ohio's sex offender listings, as allowed by law.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania traffic deaths are at their lowest number since such records began to be kept in 1928.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Nick Ross stood at the corner of Ridge Avenue and West Commons, an intersection on the loop surrounding Allegheny Center. 

Pickett Firmly In Control At Quarterback For Pitt

Apr 15, 2018
pittsburghpanthers.com / Pittsburgh Panthers

A year ago, Kenny Pickett found himself buried at third on the Pittsburgh depth chart during spring drills, as tends to happen to freshmen who've been on campus all of a few weeks.

Not that Pickett ever thought of himself as a third-stringer. That's simply not his way.

"I acted like I was No.1 when I got here," Pickett said with a laugh on Saturday after the Panthers completed spring practice with their annual Blue/Gold scrimmage. "No one else thought it, but I thought I was No. 1 so when it happens it's just another day for me."

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

When James Simon moved into a three-story warehouse in the Uptown section of Pittsburgh in 2000, the area was much different than it is now. Simon said his street, Gist Street, was a hangout for sex workers, and the neighborhood had a dangerous reputation.

At that point, Simon was in the midst of a successful career as a sculptor and a creator of public art. He’d been living in Brazil, but was drawn back to Pittsburgh to help support his family.

It turns out that he had roots in Uptown all along.

Bill Cosby's Sex-Assault Retrial Won't Be Like The First One

Apr 9, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

With opening statements in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial set for Monday, prosecutors have lined up a parade of accusers to make the case that the man revered as "America's Dad" lived a double life as one of Hollywood's biggest predators.

Roman Catholic Diocese Of Erie IDs Priests And Lay People Accused Of Abuse

Apr 6, 2018
Julio Cortez / AP

*This post was updated on April 6, 2018 at 4:55 p.m.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania, on Friday made public the names of 34 priests or other members of the clergy who faced credible allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct over the years, including their bishop in the 1970s, who they say failed to stop abuse that was reported to him.

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