Local Headlines

Important stories from the Pittsburgh region.

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture / AP

The Pennsylvania Farm Show opens this weekend and after months of planning, its centerpiece has been revealed — a sculpture made from 1,200 pounds of butter.

Matt Slocum / AP

Snow and bitter cold are sweeping across parts of Pennsylvania, making travel difficult.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike has lowered speed limits in the southeast to 45 mph from the Morgantown Exit 298 east to the New Jersey line and on the Northeast Extension up to the Lansdale exit.

A winter storm warning rremains until 7 p.m. Thursday for Delaware, Philadelphia, eastern Montgomery and lower Bucks counties.

Snatched By Hungry Eagle, Little Dog Lives To Bark The Tale

Jan 4, 2018
Jessica Hartman / via AP

Felipe Rodriguez says he thought he was hallucinating when an eagle snatched his sister's little white dog from her yard, flapped its massive wings and disappeared over the trees.

Did he really just see that?

He had. Zoey the 8-pound bichon frise was gone, taken by a hungry raptor Tuesday afternoon not 50 feet from his sister's house on the banks of the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania, Rodriguez said.

"It seemed like something from the 'Wizard of Oz,'" he told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I'm a city boy. This doesn't happen in my world."

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Glade Run Lake is frozen over right now, its 50-plus acres of water transformed into a broad, snowy plain set amid the rolling hills of Butler County.

Oddly, though, tree branches are reaching up through the frigid water and breaking the icy surface like gnarled, blackened fingers.

The trees are holdouts from when the man-made fishing lake was completely drained. In 2011, the state’s Fish and Boat Commission decided Glade Run Lake’s 56-year-old spillway was too badly deteriorated to be reliable. Fearing a flood downstream, the agency drained the lake that summer.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Loretta Kinger started going to the Jewish Community Center, or JCC, in Squirrel Hill 17 years ago. Her sister had recently died, after battling cancer for just two months, and Kinger, 85, said she didn’t know where to go.


That all changed at the JCC, where Kinger now has lunch nearly every day.


“It gives you a chance to be social with other people. You make a lot of friends. And it makes you feel like you belong someplace,” Kinger said.

Prosecutor Says Terror Links Not Found In Immigrant Shooting

Dec 28, 2017
Paul Vathis / AP

An Egyptian immigrant who wounded a Pennsylvania state trooper and fired at other police officers before being killed has not been connected with any organized terror group or terrorist activity, a prosecutor said Thursday.

December 27, 2017 newscast

- A Marcellus Shale gas well could be coming to Southwestern Pennsylvania's oldest steel mill.

- Pittsburgh residents pay their 2018 real estate taxes early.

- Western Pennsylvania home prices increase.

- Pittsburgh temperatures have been well below average.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh is feeling some of the coldest temperatures of the year and it's not expected to let up anytime soon.

Tim Lambert / WTIF

A prosecutor says authorities are still investigating the motives of an Egyptian man who shot at police in several locations in Pennsylvania's state capital, wounding one of them, before dying in a shootout.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico gave no new information Tuesday about Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty's motives. The 51-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen fired at a police officer Friday afternoon in front of the state Capitol and later at a state trooper, wounding her.

National Weather Service Cleveland / via Twitter

Snow continues to fall in Erie, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas that already have seen a record amount of snow over the past few days.

The National Weather Service office in Cleveland says at least an additional 5 to 10 inches are expected through Wednesday.

The storm brought 34 inches of snow on Christmas Day, an all-time daily snowfall record for Erie.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

As Gary Cirrincione walks along the Penn Avenue business corridor on the border Garfield and Bloomfield, he gestures towards the buildings on either side of the street. 

"You've got a mix of commercial and residential spaces, all jumbled together here," said Cirrincione. "Urban areas need that sort of mix and dynamic. There's a diversity here."

When Cirrincione first moved to Hays Street in the East End, his home was in Garfield. Now, the same house is part of East Liberty due to a boundary change, but he doesn’t pay much attention to those technicalities anyway.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Department of Homeland Security says a man who fired at officers in Pennsylvania's state capital before he was shot and killed Friday was a naturalized U.S. citizen who was admitted to the country from Egypt on a family-based immigrant visa.

Acting DHS Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton says Saturday that "the long chain of migration" that led to Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty's admission to the U.S. was initiated years ago by a distant relative.

Screen grab / Triad Strategies/Vimeo

The longtime chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Education is facing accusations that he pursued sexual relationships with teenage girls more than 35 years ago, when he was in his late 20s and early 30s.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Census estimates released Wednesday showed Pennsylvania rose a notch to become the fifth-most populous state, passing a shrinking Illinois by about 3,500 people.

Buster's Plight Helps Put Spotlight On Special Needs Animals

Dec 19, 2017
Humane Society of Cambria County via Facebook

The staff and volunteers at the Cambria County Humane Society know 2-year-old pit bull mix Buster's story - ears that were cropped incorrectly, heartworm disease and a spine injury that healed improperly, causing his back legs to collapse at times as he plays.

Buster was adopted out of the shelter previously, but became notorious for running loose in his neighborhood. He was eventually hit by a car while running after another dog, but was never taken to a veterinarian for those injuries.

On Nov. 5, he was returned to the humane society as a stray.

About 16 miles downstream from the headwaters of the Ohio River lies the borough of Ambridge. It was founded in 1905, when the religious group the "Harmony Society" sold about 2 square miles of land to the American Bridge Company -- that’s where the name Ambridge comes from.

The borough’s population boomed in the early 20th Century along with the rise of the steel industry, but declined steadily as mills began to close. More than 20,000 people lived in Ambridge in 1930, but now, the Census Bureau estimates the population to be fewer than 7,000.

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority

A major water main break at Centre and South Negley avenues Sunday prompted the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to issue a flush and boil water advisory for eight East End neighborhoods. 

52 Things You May Have Learned From WESA In 2017

Dec 15, 2017
Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

We reported hundreds of stories over the past year—here are the most surprising, world-changing, bizarre, interesting, tragic and important pieces from our reporters.

Philadelphia Zoo / AP

The Philadelphia Zoo has thrown a birthday party for 37-year-old Coldilocks, the oldest polar bear in the United States.

Ryan Penn / AP

A cow in Philadelphia apparently wanted to be away from the manger, as it escaped twice Thursday morning from a church's live nativity scene.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A man accused of killing a Pennsylvania police officer then leading law enforcement on a four-day manhunt with the help of his mother will stand trial.

Centre County Correctional Facility / AP

A son of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, serving decades for child molestation, was himself sentenced to prison Friday on child sexual abuse charges.

Judge Ponders Reinstated Charges In Penn State Frat Death Case

Dec 8, 2017
Gene J. Puskar / AP

A prosecutor Thursday used a press release to sharply criticize a judge hearing the case against former Penn State fraternity members charged in a pledge's drinking death. Defense attorneys accused her of violating rules of professional conduct.

"While this case may be unusual and novel in complexity and number of defendants, the court has an obligation to handle it properly and be fair to both sides," Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller wrote in a statement. "To date, it has failed miserably."

Keith Srakocic / AP

University of Pittsburgh police have issued a warning about a stalking suspect.

In a campus alert, police say they have received several complaints about Daniel Dintino approaching females on or near the campus and making them feel uncomfortable.

Dintino was released on bail after he was arrested on Monday on an outstanding theft warrant.

Police fear he may have returned to campus after he was warned not to.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Amy Kline moved to Carrick eight years ago, and soon after, she became acquainted with Phillips Park. Kline sent her daughter to the park’s after-school recreation center, where kids play games, work on arts and crafts and play basketball.

But Kline noticed that some parts of the park were habitually underused. She said the long, sloping green space and the 18-hole disc golf course usually sits empty, and the park’s in need of new lighting and paving.

Pittsburgh Doctor Charged In 2 Fatal Opioid Overdoses

Dec 1, 2017
Brandon Giesbrecht / flickr

A Pittsburgh area doctor was charged Friday with causing the deaths of two patients by overprescribing opioids, state prosecutors announced.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Police say two Good Samaritans used their cars to stop a suspected drunken driver swerving all over a Pennsylvania highway.

Penn State Still Fighting 2 Sandusky Abuse Claim Lawsuits

Dec 1, 2017
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Penn State has already paid over $100 million to settle sex abuse claims against Jerry Sandusky, but it's still fighting two lawsuits with similar allegations.

A judge recently scheduled one case for trial in Philadelphia in February.

In both cases, men allege that as teens they were fondled by the ex-assistant football coach during the mid-2000s.

They accuse Penn State of negligence in its handling of complaints about Sandusky years before they say they were groped.

Matt Rourke / AP

*UPDATED: Dec. 1, 2017 at 10:05 a.m.

A Pennsylvania man whose nightly broadcast of taps through loudspeakers led to lawsuit threats and complaints from his neighbors played the recording for the last time Thursday night.

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Corney and about two dozen supporters stood for the final playing of the taps outside Corney's Glen Rock home. He had invited the public over to listen to the recording and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate.

Corney had been playing the recording for about two years. He added the loudspeakers last spring.