WESA Local News

Congressional Map Raises Democrats’ Hopes, Legal Test Ahead

Feb 20, 2018
(Left) PA Supreme Court, (Right) Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

The map of congressional districts imposed by Pennsylvania's high court for the state's 2018 elections will set off a new legal battle, reconfigure perhaps dozens of campaigns and give Democrats a boost in their mission to wrest control of the U.S. House.

The map of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts is to be in effect for the May 15 primary and substantially overhauls a Republican-drawn congressional map widely viewed as among the nation's most gerrymandered.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Attorneys General from 11 states, including Pennsylvania, have won a federal court case against the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The water main on Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville broke late on a Thursday evening in January. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Winter is far from over, but a warm front through the Pittsburgh region is just enough to give Yinzers a taste of spring. With the high projected to be in the 70s Tuesday, we've put together a list of (totally silly) ways to take advantage of some unexpectedly warm weather in the heart of February. 

1. Go on a quick kayak trip ... on a major Downtown street.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Attorney Conor Lamb (D-Mt. Lebanon) and state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth) largely stuck to their respective messages at Monday's first televised debate in the race to fill the vacant seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District south of Pittsburgh.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

An Australian investment firm has acquired The Mall at Robinson, one of the larger retail venues in the Pittsburgh area.

Cleveland-based Forest City Realty Trust said Monday that it had completed the previously announced sale of its interest in the mall to QIC.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. QIC already had an ownership stake in the mall, which Allegheny County recently reassessed at $89 million.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Republicans say they'll go to federal court this week to try to block new court-ordered boundaries of Pennsylvania's congressional districts from remaining in effect for 2018's elections.

Pennsylvania's New Court-Ordered Congressional Map Could Boost Democrats

Feb 19, 2018
Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's high court issued a new congressional district map for the state's 2018 elections on its self-imposed deadline on Monday, potentially giving Democrats a boost in their quest to capture control of the U.S. House unless Republicans are able to stop it in federal court.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

When Philadelphian Cyndie Carioli was a new mother in the 1970s, she was like most first time parents: nervous. 

NorthWest EMS

It’s about a quarter to midnight on a Sunday at the NorthWest EMS Helen Street station in McKees Rocks. EMT Edd Keisling just clocked out after working a 40-hour shift.

Bill Haberthur / Bethel Park Historical Society

On a Thursday night, volunteers were gathered at the old Bethel Grade School building getting their hands dirty. Some sawed wood to use for new baseboards on the first floor; others, on the second floor, pulled down old ceilings. 

A similar scene has played out three nights a week since 2016, when the Bethel Park Historical Society decided to renovate and re-purpose the building.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

Negotiators for Pittsburgh's teachers union and school district wrapped up a marathon bargaining session late Friday night without a deal in place, but with no imminent plans for a strike.

Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, said the two sides made progress Friday. They will meet again this week for another negotiating session.

Pittsburgh, And Other Cities, Pitching Diversity In Efforts To Lure Businesses

Feb 19, 2018
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Some cities and regions are highlighting racial diversity along with positive business climates, competitive tax rates and available land in pitches to lure tech companies and high-paying jobs to town.

Places such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Detroit are touting their populations of people of color to chief executives and other corporate officials as part of being open for business.

Pennsylvania Awaits First Look At Court's Congressional Map

Feb 19, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's high court is on the cusp Monday of imposing a new congressional district map to take effect for the state's 2018 elections, all but ensuring that Democratic prospects will improve in several seats and boosting the party's quest to capture control of the U.S. House.

Monday is the state Supreme Court's self-imposed deadline to unveil new district boundaries, replacing the 6-year-old boundaries the court struck down in a gerrymandering lawsuit last month.

diane cordell / Flickr

Preliminary results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show what everyone had suspected, this year’s flu vaccine isn’t very effective.

Final numbers might change slightly, but the vaccine’s effectiveness rate is only 36 percent.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Under President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan, the federal government would supply 20 percent of funding to chosen projects across the country, with states, cities and private investors providing the remaining 80 percent.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers have gotten used to the sight of self-driving cars from various companies cruising the streets: there’s Argo AI, Delphi, Aurora, and of course, Uber. But there’s something different about Uber these days.

It wasn't anything spectacular at the time. When the show first aired on Feb. 19, 1968, it seemed to be a typical children's educational program. On a black-and-white screen, a tall, dark-haired man nearing 40 years of age wandered into a staged living room, softly singing a song as he changed from a blazer into a much softer, cozy cardigan.

That man, Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, quickly rose into recognition and a half-century later is still an American icon.

DEP Extends Comment Period For Shell's Ethane Pipeline

Feb 16, 2018
Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will extend the public comment period for Shell’s 97-mile Falcon pipeline, which will carry ethane to the company’s $6 billion petrochemical plant in Western Pennsylvania.

The DEP will also hold public hearings in each of the three counties the pipeline route traverses: Washington, Allegheny, and Beaver counties. Instead of the comment period closing on Feb. 20, it will be extended to April 17, the DEP said in a news release.

New Maps Could Improve Democrats' Chances In Pennsylvania

Feb 16, 2018
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 *Updated

 

 

Democrats' chances at picking up congressional seats in Pennsylvania likely would improve under new models of district boundaries drawn to replace the Republican-drawn boundaries thrown out in a high-stakes gerrymandering court case, independent analysts said Friday.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

In the aftermath of this week’s high school shooting in Florida, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is calling for improved federal background checks for firearms sales.

In a Facebook post Thursday, Toomey said he and his staff will “continue to reach out to senators on both sides of the aisle to see where progress can be made” on the issue.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

While the upswing in temperatures might have some Pittsburghers excited to ditch their coats, it’s helped create a nightmarish pothole season for city roads.

Keith Srakocic / AP

It's been nearly two years since Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, and this week, a handful of dispensaries began selling it.

David Bachman Photography

Pittsburgh Opera’s new world-premiere performance, Douglas J. Cuomo’s Ashes & Snow, might be an edgy, contemporary work, but it was inspired by a classic piece of music: Franz Schubert’s Winterreise, meaning "winter journey."

Schubert wrote this song cycle in the 1820s, as a musical setting for a series of 24 poems by German poet Wilhelm Muller. The poems tell the story of a jilted lover wandering a rural landscape in winter.

“I am finished with all my dreams. Why should I linger among the sleepers?” runs one line of the English translation.

Google Maps

Residents of Homewood and North Point Breeze have requested the Urban Redevelopment Authority postpone its search for development proposals for a former industrial site between the two neighborhoods.

Keith Srakocic / AP


In the special election to fill the vacant seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District south of Pittsburgh, 33-year-old Democratic candidate Conor Lamb (Mt. Lebanon) has presented himself as part of a new generation of leaders, and he says voters are excited for the change he represents.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

The 2,400 teachers who work for Pittsburgh Public Schools are one step closer to a strike, but will hold off doing so as the union representing them continues to negotiate with the district. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

At about 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, the door at the Solevo Wellness medical marijuana dispensary in Squirrel Hill opened, allowing in a line of patients that wrapped around the building.

Wikimedia Commons

The deadline has come and gone to submit congressional map proposals that meet the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s new guidelines.

When justices first declared the maps unconstitutional about four weeks ago, they ordered the GOP-controlled legislature and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf to negotiate a compromise on new ones.

That compromise never happened. 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The city of Pittsburgh is continuing its battle at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over two laws that could affect local workers, but that lower courts have so far blocked.

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