WESA Local News

Marc Levy / AP

Republican Gov. Phil Scott's administration said it's taking steps to remove Vermont inmates from a public prison in Pennsylvania where two inmates have died since October.

HBO / AP

An HBO biopic starring Al Pacino as late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will premiere April 7.

Federal Judges To Hear Pennsylvania District Map Challenge

21 hours ago
(Left) PA Supreme Court, (Right) Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

*Updated
A request by eight GOP congressmen in Pennsylvania to halt the use of a new congressional district map in this year's elections was placed in the hands of three Republican-appointed federal judges Friday.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The boundaries of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts are still in contention this week as GOP leaders file suit to block a map enforced by the state Supreme Court. Three Republican-appointed federal judges on Friday agreed to hear the case.

Environmental Group: Methane Pollution Higher Than PA Thinks

Feb 23, 2018
Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

An environmental group says that Pennsylvania’s gas drilling industry is releasing much more methane into the atmosphere than the state is reporting.

Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump is speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. His comments come amid a debate about gun laws after a shooting a high school in Parkland, Fla. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre spoke at CPAC on Thursday, warning conservatives of a "socialist agenda" to take firearms from law-abiding citizens. Trump called the NRA and LaPierre "Great American Patriots" in a tweet Thursday morning and later said the organization "is ready to do things" to address the problem of gun violence.

Heather Ainsworth / AP

The commonwealth’s gambling industry is midway through a significant shift, with bidding currently underway for existing casinos to acquire newly-legal satellite locations.

 

The process is already raking in more money than lawmakers anticipated; but not everything is going off without a hitch.

 

The most recent bidding process had to be completely restarted after a casino misjudged the state’s placement requirements.

 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A decision on the future of Pittsburgh’s riverfronts has been delayed. The Pittsburgh Planning Commission will wait two weeks to vote on proposed zoning changes due to concerns raised by developers and others.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Members of Pittsburgh's immigrant community and Mayor Bill Peduto are urging residents to ask their Senators to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. 

Eight Pennsylvania GOP Congressmen File Challenge To District Map

Feb 22, 2018
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

*UPDATED

Pennsylvania's highest court overstepped its authority in drawing new congressional district lines and did not give state lawmakers enough time to produce a map of their own, eight Republican congressmen said in a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Matt Rourke / AP

 A new court-ordered map of congressional districts in Pennsylvania is spurring more would-be candidates to consider whether — and where — to run.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Republican running in March 13's special election for a vacant U.S. House seat in southwestern Pennsylvania says he might seek a full term in a similar district under a new court-ordered congressional map, even though he doesn't live in it.

Do Regulations Kill Jobs? Or Save Lives?

Feb 22, 2018
David Goldman / AP

 

Rolling back regulations is fundamental to the philosophy of the Trump administration. Last year the president signed an executive order that for every new regulation, two had to go. 

A Surge Of Black Lung Disease In Appalachia

Feb 22, 2018
Timothy D. Easly / AP

An ugly legacy of the coal mining industry is making a comeback in Appalachia. Despite regulations meant to protect workers from toxic coal dust, a whole new generation of miners is being diagnosed with the most severe form of black lung disease. 

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republicans are attempting to circumvent the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the state’s congressional maps as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander in favor of Republicans.

Edwards4Pgh

Republican Shannon Edwards, 33, announced Wednesday that she’s seeking her party's nomination to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle in a district that includes the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding neighborhoods.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment believes Pittsburgh should be doing more to encourage greater use of electric vehicles. A newly released policy guide calls on the city to introduce additional charging stations on streets and in parking structures.

The group predicts that 9,000 electric vehicles will be on Pittsburgh's roads by 2030, kickstarting the need for EV-friendly policies.

Chris Pizello / Invision via AP

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek is set to moderate a debate in this year's Pennsylvania governor's race.

Trebek will keynote Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry's annual dinner in October, which is scheduled to include the 45-minute debate.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf will face off in November against the winner of May's Republican primary.

The 34th chamber dinner will be held Oct. 1 in Hershey. Trebek will talk about his more than three decades as a quizmaster.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

In a rare visit to Harrisburg, Republican US Senator Pat Toomey made clear his strong opposition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to redraw the state’s congressional maps.

The Department of City Planning is reviewing a development plan for the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty. It's the third version of the Pennley Park South plan to be submitted by owner LG Realty Advisors, Inc.

GOP Leaders To Seek Halt To Pennsylvania Congressional Map

Feb 21, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislature said Wednesday they will soon ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the imposition of new congressional district maps, two days after they were announced by the state's highest court.

House Speaker Mike Turzai said that later Wednesday he and his Senate counterpart will request an emergency stay of what he called a "completely partisan, ultimate gerrymander."

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Friday is the deadline for city leaders to either comply with or appeal to the Court of Common Pleas an order from the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records to reveal details of its application to have Amazon establish its second headquarters in Pittsburgh. 

Pennsylvania Church To Bless Couples Toting AR-15 Rifles

Feb 21, 2018
Lisa Marie Pane / AP

A Pennsylvania-based offshoot of the Unification Church is encouraging couples to bring their AR-15 rifles with them to a commitment ceremony in the Pocono Mountains, a half-mile from an elementary school.

World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland said it planned the Feb. 28 ceremony months ago, well before last week's massacre at a Florida high school. Authorities say the alleged gunman used an AR-15 in the attack that killed 17.

Toomey Visits Pennsylvania Factory To Tout GOP Tax Overhaul

Feb 21, 2018
Laura Benshoff / WHYY

New Hudson Facades in Linwood, Pennsylvania, makes the glass and aluminum skins that cover skyscrapers. On Tuesday, it was also the most recent stop in a string of appearances by Republicans to highlight the GOP-championed tax law, which passed in December.

The events are part victory lap — and part pep rally — and they coincide with rising approval ratings for the law.

After a tour of New Hudson Facades’ high-tech manufacturing facility, Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey credited the tax bill, which he helped author, with strengthening the company.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A shuttle service between Oakland, Four Mile Run, Greenfield and Hazelwood could be built by the City of Pittsburgh by 2020. The Mon-Oakland Mobility Plan was called a “proof of concept” for how transportation could work in Pittsburgh.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Political groups around Pennsylvania are working to figure out what the state Supreme Court’s new congressional map will mean for their agendas.

Several organizations that have backed efforts to redraw the districts say they are concerned that the new plan may dilute votes from black communities.

When drawing congressional maps, one key standard authors have to meet comes from the Voting Rights Act.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

There aren’t many museums of cartoon art in the U.S. The handful of examples include Pittsburgh’s ToonSeum, which was launched in a hallway in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in 2007, and two years later expanded into a storefront on Liberty Avenue downtown.

Its smartly curated exhibits have explored everything from daily newspaper strips and superhero comics to the work of local comics star Ed Piskor, of Hip Hop Family Tree fame.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The new congressional map issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Monday shifts Democrat Conor Lamb — who lives in Mt. Lebanon and is running in the special election to fill the vacant seat in the current 18th District — into a new district and potentially a competitive primary.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

There are few options available to adults with autism spectrum disorder who want to improve their social or communication skills, but a study from the University of Pittsburgh that looks at two types of interventions has produced some promising results.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A survey of greater Pittsburgh's Jewish population done by Brandeis University shows the community is highly educated and made up of nearly 50,000 people, one quarter of which live in Squirrel Hill.

Researchers said the population has grown since their last study in 2002. They said the recent abundance of young couples and children suggest the community's growth is likely to continue.

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