News

News

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Government representatives from Pittsburgh and nearby municipalities will meet Thursday for the Congress of Neighborhood Communities' annual legislative session, during which leaders will discuss ongoing regional problems.

Kristen Michaels, the executive director of the group, said the event is unique because, unlike many inter-governmental sessions, this one involves the City of Pittsburgh.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Sunday to legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, ending a nearly two-year effort to approve use of the drug. 

Pennsylvania is now the 24th state to make it legal.

Dr. Loren Robinson, Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, said it will take up to 24 months to implement the program.

“This includes the process of finding and setting up the growers and distributors, setting up dispensaries and identifying and certifying patients and providers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Robinson said.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Local officials joined U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) on Friday in calling on Congress to approve funding for grants that would help municipal police departments fight terrorism locally.

While the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee did approve a bill in February to formally authorize the eight-month-old Office of Community Partnerships in the Department of Homeland Security, the committee declined to pass the accompanying language that would allow the office to give grants to municipalities, nonprofits and universities.

xMizLitx / Flickr

For attorney Aimee Zundel, Pittsburgh Public Schools' student policies need to serve the needs of all students.

"Particularly our at-risk populations and students that are more susceptible to not feeling safe within the school for example,” Zundel said. 

Zundel is working with the district, and its policy committee, to craft a plan to outline specific rights for transgender students. 

Virginia Alvino / 90.5 WESA

Dozens of service workers, students and families protested outside a McDonald's restaurant on Pittsburgh’s North Side Thursday.

William Boas led the crowd in chants by megaphone. 

He said fast food jobs aren't just for teenagers. 

“This McDonald's right here is open 24 hours a day," Boas said. "We don’t have to be the smartest people in the world to know that it takes adults to run that store. Right now, it’s a Thursday morning. Kids are in school.” 

Flickr user jrgcastro

Josh Malloy, 25, lives in East Liberty with his little brother and said his $12.50 per hour salary makes it difficult to keep up with the cost of living. 

Allegheny County Treasurer's Office

Summer U.S. Open accommodations in Oakmont will include at least a 7 percent hotel occupancy tax, thanks to an ordinance passed by Allegheny County Council last month that allows online booking agents like Airbnb and Homeaway to collect and transfer the long-sought after fees.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

While the South Side maybe known for its bar crawls, this Sunday it will also be the site of the second annual church crawl. Nine churches from South Side’s faith community will offer free, guided tours of their buildings to anyone interested in learning about each church's history, artwork and faith.

Sharon Sobol, the event organizer, said South Side residents have a strong connection with their churches.

Mike Groll / AP

Hillary Clinton is making her first Pennsylvania stop of the election cycle. The presidential hopeful will visit Carnegie Melon University on Wednesday. 

Keith Srakocic / AP Images

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is calling for an audit of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, which oversees the city’s finances, after an investigation by The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review found that nearly all of the authority’s records have been destroyed.

The YMCA will close its Hazelwood center at the end of the 2016 school year, but the organization still plans on increasing its role in the community.

Beginning this summer, the YMCA will use a decentralized delivery model, where it will work with partners in Hazelwood to offer activities for kids at more accessible locations. 

Kevin Bolding, chief operating officer for the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, said the closure is important because the Hazelwood center's programs will not be limited to a specific facility anymore.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is the first candidate of either party to visit Pittsburgh this election cycle. About 8,500 people filled the Downtown convention center to hear the Vermont senator give his usual stump addressing affordable education and accountability on Wall Street.

But Sanders visit to the Steel City appeared to have one strong focus: “Together we are going to rebuild the trade union movement in this country.”

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

It's a great day, better than a Steelers game.

That's the message Braddock Mayor and U.S. senatorial candidate John Fetterman shared with scores of fans and supporters flocking to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center early Thursday for Bernie Sanders' first Pittsburgh campaign stop.

Wikimedia Commons

Drug-related deaths are usually ruled accidental.

But one Pennsylvania coroner said he's ruling some overdoses homicides. Lycoming County Coroner Charles Kiessling said he’s not the first in Pennsylvania to interpret toxicology reports in that way and that it's legal. 

Drug-related deaths are on the rise in Pennsylvania - the state saw more than 2,700 in 2014. That's an increase of 13 percent from the year before. Among all overdoses, heroin is the most frequently identified drug. 

University of Wisconsin

Premature deaths and infant mortality rates are dropping as Allegheny County continues to improve in health rankings statewide.

That’s according to an annual study conducted by the University of Wisconsin looking at the overall health of all U.S. counties.

Allegheny County ranked 26th among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and has climbed steadily for the last five years. Philadelphia County ranked last, though nearby Chester County came in as the healthiest in the state.

birmingham.otmapgh.org

The second phase of the Birmingham Bridge Complex Preservation Project started this morning, with work conducted on the southbound side. 

The northbound side underwent construction in the project’s first phase in 2015. The adjustments include repainting, light pole replacements and concrete and deck resurfacing.

Steve Cowan, PennDOT spokesman, said the $28.5 million preservation project will bring the bridge to where it needs to be.

Virginia Alvino / 90.5 WESA

Hundreds of residents filled South Avenue United Methodist Church in Wilkinsburg on Saturday to talk about crime and community development following Thursday's shooting that killed five people, including a pregnant woman.

Among community members and leaders was Michael Walker, whose son, Jerry Shelton, died in the mass shooting.

“My son was my oldest," Walker told the crowd. "He was a good man. A good, caring and loving man.”