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Decision Days Away In Lancaster Refugee Case

12 hours ago
Emily Previti / WITF

 

Five full days of testimony wrapped up Monday in the lawsuit against the School District of Lancaster.

The case claims six student refugees were denied enrollment altogether or placed at Phoenix Academy, a magnet school with an accelerated credit program where they allegedly didn't get adequate support learning English.

They’re seeking admission to Lancaster’s mainstream McCaskey High School.

eddie~S / Flickr

The City of Pittsburgh will hire EMTs for the first time since 2004 and raise the starting pay for paramedics.  

The city and paramedics union announced sidebar agreements to the existing union contract Monday. Pittsburgh hasn’t had dedicated EMTs since 2004, when they were laid off due to budget constraints, said Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich. Instead, they city has relied on paramedics, who undergo more training, but cost the city more per hour.

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission

Two deteriorating dams at man-made fishing lakes in southwestern Pennsylvania will be repaired beginning next year as part of a $25 million statewide investment announced by Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has dubbed 10 dams, including those at Lake Somerset and Donegal Lake, “high-hazard” and “unsafe.” The designations mean that if the dams were to fail during heavy rain, property would be damaged and people could potentially die in the ensuing flood.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

A federal jury will be allowed to decide whether a white Pittsburgh police officer violated the rights of a black man left paralyzed after he was shot during a traffic stop almost four years ago.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Maureen Kelly on Monday rejected a motion for summary judgment on the portion of the civil rights lawsuit involving the officer who shot Leon Ford in November 2012.

Kelly also allowed the suit to continue against another officer who Ford said tried to drag him out of his car, but threw out claims against a third officer and the city of Pittsburgh.

Trial Starts Over Refugee Student Enrollment In Lancaster

Aug 18, 2016
Ed Zurga / AP

 

As many as 700 refugees are resettled each year in Lancaster, a high number for the city's population.

Four of them are spending today in court, where they'll testify in a lawsuit against the School District of Lancaster.

PA High Court Says SRC Can't Cancel Philly Teachers Contract

Aug 16, 2016
NewsWorks

 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Philadelphia School Reform Commission broke state law when it canceled its contract with the city’s teacher’s union.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

The Allegheny County Health Department heard public testimony Monday on proposed e-cigarette regulations.

The ban would apply to places where smoking is also currently prohibited under the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act.

This includes schools, hospitals, restaurants, public transportation, sports facilities and theaters.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay said there’s a crisis of confidence in American policing.

“We’re trying to become a benchmark that others will compare themselves to, that’s our goal,” McLay said at a press conference held to release the police department’s 2015 annual report Friday.

Prosecutor: Attorney General Kathleen Kane Acted Over Revenge

Aug 9, 2016
Dan Gleiter / PennLive.com via AP, Pool

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane's criminal trial is underway in Montgomery County.

So far today, jurors heard two conflicting versions of how the state's chief law enforcement officer came to be a defendant.

Prosecutors described Kathleen Kane's actions as "lies, leaks and lawlessness," while her defense team told jurors she did nothing wrong, except make a few, "honest mistakes."

Ben Allen / WITF

Authorities say a 20-year-old man was holding a knife to his mother's throat before a police officer shot him once and killed him inside the bedroom of the family's Harrisburg home.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said at a news conference Monday that police responding to a child's 911 call found Earl Pinckney holding a knife with a 4-inch blade against the throat of his mother, Kim Thomas.

Thomas is disputing that account, insisting her son didn't have a knife. She said Pinckney, the father of a newborn, was not dangerous.

Scott Roller / Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

August Wilson Park opens in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood Saturday after years of planning and construction. 

Democratic National Convention / Screengrab

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay on Monday requested a review of his appearance at the Democratic National Convention. Two entities will investigate to determine if McLay’s appearance violated any city code.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

At a 37 percent grade, Canton Avenue in Beechview is the steepest street in the U.S.

And on Oct. 15, runners will attempt to climb all 630 feet of it as part of the “Hell on Hills” 5K.  Runners will also scale three other Beechview hills. It will set the record as the world’s steepest 5K.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay said he broke no rules by speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Tuesday night, despite backlash from the police union.

Mark Goebel / 90.5 WESA

The state Attorney General’s office has reached a preliminary settlement with powerful multi-billion dollar foundation, the Hershey Trust.

The office said an official announcement on the settlement could possibly come this week.

The trust is the largest shareholder in the Hershey Company.

It owns the Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company and manages more than $12 billion in funds for the Milton Hershey School, which serves underprivileged children.

The investigation stemmed from alleged conflicts of interests for board members and overcompensation.

John Antczak / AP

Technically we’re not in a heat wave, yet.  

National Weather Service officials in Pittsburgh said that’s because, in Moon Township where their office is located, the temperature has not hit 90 degrees for at least three days in a row.

Allegheny County Parks Department

Allegheny County parks officials are looking for a rogue red-bellied piranha found in North Park Lake on Wednesday.

A woman and her son caught the piranha that officials said likely came from someone’s private aquarium. After removing the fish from its hook, it “flipped back into the water,” county spokeswoman Amie Downs said.

Elianna Paljug

Georgia Institute of Technology sophomore Elianna Paljug had just watched fireworks on the oceanside Promenade des Anglais when a Tunisian man driving a truck plowed through a crowd of Bastille Day revelers. The attack last week in Nice, France killed 84 people.

Allegheny County Health Department

The Allegheny County Health Department will use new placards designed to make it easier to check restaurant and food facilities' inspection histories. 

A green, yellow or red sticker will adorn food establishments throughout the county, after undergoing an inspection. Each one will have a QR code, which patrons can scan with their smartphones to access a facility’s inspection report.

Food Safety Program Director Donna Scharding said the signs allow consumers to make educated decisions conveniently.

What's Up Pittsburgh / Facebook

A group of mostly first-timers showed up for one of What’s Up Pittsburgh’s open meetings last Monday night.

Facilitator Lizzie Anderson asked participants sitting on the floor to squish together to make room for latecomers in the room, which was packed well beyond capacity.

Keith Srakocic / AP

 

 

Democrats have won every presidential election in Pennsylvania since 1992, but this year could be different.

Pennsylvania seems to be getting redder, while a potential Donald Trump ticket is pushing other states towards a democratic vote.

Virginia Alvino / 90.5 WESA

About 100 teens, many of them covered in splattered paint, gathered at the corner of North Homewood Avenue and Idlewild Street in Homewood on Tuesday.

Center for Popular Democracy / Facebook

Hundreds of activists, community organizers and progressive elected officials from around the country are meeting in Pittsburgh this weekend. 

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

It’s been 200 years since Pittsburgh’s first mayor, Ebenezer Denny, was sworn into office on July 9, 1816, and on Saturday, his great-great-great-great-great-grandson Harmar Denny IV will join hundreds of other descendants of 50 former mayors to celebrate Pittsburgh’s bicentennial.

In total, 470 people related to former mayors will be in attendance.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Norfolk Southern blasted loose boulders Wednesday from a Mt. Washington hillside that were threatening to tumble onto its railroad tracks and a busy city road below. 

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Attendance is up at Anthrocon, a conference boasting the world's largest convergence of human-like animal characters, now celebrating its 20th year.

Gov. Tom Wolf Administration

  Local historians are creating an online database chronicling Pittsburgh’s disability history.

The Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium was created to centralize legislation, photos, videos and equipment belonging to state agencies. It’ll also provide information and a tool for advocacy groups, organizers said.  

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Memories Sportsman Shop & Taxidermy Studio has occupied the same small storefront in Sharpsburg since 1990. Owner Sam Stelitano said since the mass shooting at an Orlando night club, he's seen more customers walk through his door.

Tony Urbanek, 46, is a regular at the store. He said he bought his first gun for self-protection when he was young.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Two men ambushed a backyard cookout near Pittsburgh, killing a pregnant woman, her 8-month-old fetus and four other adults, because they wanted retribution for the 2013 slaying of a friend, authorities said Thursday.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Performing arts organizations in Pittsburgh can now access updated assistance technology to offer to patrons who have hearing or visual disabilities.

The devices are available to any of the organizations that are a part of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and were purchased with a $14,000 grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

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