Local Stories

Keith Srakocic / AP

Former professional wrestling champion Bruno Sammartino has been laid to rest in Pennsylvania, where he was remembered as one of the sport's good guys.

Sammartino fled the Nazis from Italy as a child and built a career beating a string of bad guys in the 1960s and 1970s. He was the World Wide Wrestling Federation champion for more than 11 years over two title runs. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh International Airport is planning to add a calming room for people with autism in the Airside Terminal. 

Tony Gutierrez / AP

A golf club in Pennsylvania has apologized for calling police on a group of black women after the co-owner and his father said they were playing too slowly and refused requests to leave the course.

"I felt we were discriminated against," one of the women, Myneca Ojo, told the York Daily Record. "It was a horrific experience."

Sandra Thompson and four friends met up Saturday to play a round of golf at the Grandview Golf Club, where they are all members, she told the newspaper.

Matt Rourke / AP

Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial is set to go to the jury on Tuesday, but not before closing arguments pitting the prosecution's portrayal of a serial predator against the defense's contention that he's the victim of a "con artist" who made up drugging and molestation allegations to score a big payday.

The defense rested on Monday after the 80-year-old comedian said he wouldn't testify, echoing his decision at his first trial, which ended in a hung jury last year.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A near-century-old outdoor recreation club will now refrain from going outside because it is too dangerous out in the wilderness, according to officials at Penn State University.

The Penn State Outing Club, originally founded in 1920, announced last week that the university will no longer allow the club to organize outdoor, student-led trips starting next semester. The hiking, camping and other outdoors-focused activities the student-led club has long engaged in are too risky, the university's offices of Student Affairs and Risk Management determined.

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.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf recently renewed the state’s disaster declaration for the opioid crisis, in part to remove barriers to addiction treatment. 

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.

Wolf Pushes To End Gun Show Exception To Background Checks

21 hours ago
Lisa Marie Pane / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf wants the legislature to pass a measure expanding background checks on firearms in Pennsylvania and end an exception for shotguns, sporting rifles and semi-automatic rifles that are sold at gun shows.

The Democratic governor's Monday news conference comes as lawmakers consider firearms-related measures in the wake of February's Florida high school shooting that killed 17 people.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

For a while it seemed as though every day brought some fresh disaster for the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority: billing errors, elevated lead levels, boil water advisories

Crosby, Penguins Keep 3rd Straight Championship In Sight

23 hours ago

Sidney Crosby tormented the Flyers just as he has from the start of his NHL career. Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin were clutch when needed in pivotal games. And Matt Murray? Oh, just two shutouts and the type of outings that show more zeros on the board are possible in the second round — and maybe, beyond.

But with the game on the line and facing a Game 7 on home ice where they already lost twice, the Pittsburgh Penguins turned to a blossoming postseason star to lead the way.

Jake Guentzel was just the player to bail out the Pens.

Jean-Pierre Houël / Wikipedia Commons

The French Revolution, which began in 1789, was the bloody scene setter for a myriad of European political upheavals. Now, machine learning is shedding light into how linguistics played a role in the discussion of democratic ideals and formation of the new government.

A team of researchers, including Carnegie Mellon University assistant professor Simon DeDeo, used machine learning to analyze more than 40,000 digitized transcripts from the first two years of debates of the first makeshift French parliament, during the beginning of the revolution.

Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and Sony Corporation are collaborating to create robots that can prepare and deliver food.

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.

AP

A new poll from Muhlenberg College is giving Democrats reason to feel hopeful about their midterm chances in November.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority voted Friday to increase the 2018 budget by about $12 million. They approved money to cover the costs of complying with brand new regulations—and some old ones—as well as to fund urgent repair work.

A big chunk of the increase, about $7 million, comes from the costs of organizing PWSA to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), according to chief of administration Debbie Lestitian. PUC began its oversight of PWSA on April 1.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

More than 100 Pittsburgh students marched out of their school Friday and stood in Market Square for 13 minutes in memory of the people who died 19 years ago in Colorado's Columbine High School Shooting.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

A UPMC employee who has tuberculosis is currently on leave and the hospital is reaching out to patients.

Officials confirmed in a statement that the employee contracted TB. That person works in the UPMC Presbyterian Emergency Department and was also seen at a Presby ophthalmology clinic, as well as at a doctor’s office at Magee-Women’s Hospital, they said.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Dry leaf marijuana will soon be available for a growing list of Pennsylvania patients, including those addicted to opioids. State Health Secretary Dr.

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.

Ryan Devlin / Submitted Photo

For a month last summer, U.S. teachers worked alongside their Ethiopian counterparts to create lesson plans, PowerPoints and videos to give students in the U.S. a more nuanced understanding of the people and customs of Ethiopia.

That curriculum, called Teach Africa, is now being piloted in classrooms across the region.

How A High School Concussion Inspired A Tech Startup

Apr 20, 2018
Rachel McDevitt / 90.5 WESA

Matt Roda of Lancaster County was a junior in high school when a single hockey game changed his entire life, putting him on a path to try and better identify and treat concussions. 

He was skating down the ice on a breakaway when he was checked from behind and flew head first into the boards.

Roda doesn't really remember the rest of that game. 

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The commonwealth’s Independent Fiscal Office has released its yearly assessment of Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal.

It reports that most of the revenue estimates check out. That is, if Wolf can figure out how to get his ideas past the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

The Democratic governor’s fourth budget proposal—and the final one of his first term—brings back a lot of the ideas he’s been trying unsuccessfully to pass for his entire tenure.

Key components are a natural gas severance tax, a minimum wage increase to $12 an hour, and a corporate tax overhaul.

Garret Jones

As far as comics artists go, Ed Piskor might not seem like a superhero kind of guy.

Barry Sweet / AP

The opioid crisis has prompted a reckoning with the devastating effects of joblessness and isolation throughout rural and post-industrial America.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Legislation introduced by State Senators Randy Vulakovich (R- Allegheny County) and Judy Schwank (D- Berks County) would criminalize "sextortion" in Pennsylvania. 

*Warning: This story contains graphic information that some readers may find offensive. 

Courtesy of Angela Carducci

Craig Toocheck has a vision for Pittsburgh's future events and meetings. 

The Lure Of The Saw-Whet Owl

Apr 19, 2018

The Northern saw-whet owl is the symbolic face of conservation in Pennsylvania. The Wild Resource Conservation Program uses a saw-whet owl as its emblem, and the Commonwealth featured a saw-whet owl on its first specialty state license plate in 1993.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

State House lawmakers have completed their final session in a two-week series of Judiciary Committee hearings on gun violence.

They were inspired by the call for tougher gun laws in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. that killed 17 people.

Despite some agreement on the importance of the issue, lawmakers are struggling mightily with solutions.

They tangled over one proposal after another, from expanding background checks, to arming teachers, to mandating schools install metal detectors, to banning AR-15 style weapons

Jon Hurdle / StateImpact Pennsylvania

More than a month after the Mariner East 1 pipeline was shut down over safety concerns, representatives for Sunoco say they’ve found no problems, and that they’re looking forward to getting the natural gas liquids pipeline running again.

But state officials say they’re not making any decisions to put the Mariner East 1 back in service yet.

Problems with the pipeline began late last year when a rash of sinkholes began opening up nearby. In early March, the state Public Utility Commission ordered that it be shut down.

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