WESA Local News

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Downtown Pittsburgh’s holiday traditions have changed over the years. But starting Saturday, a new exhibit at the Heinz History Center takes visitors back in time.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is many kinds of city: it’s a sports city, it’s a robotics city, it’s a ketchup city. But at its most essential, Pittsburgh is a city of steep hills. In the early 1900s, public staircases were built all around the city to help people navigate challenging terrain. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Protection for current homeowners, affordable housing and job creation remain among the Hazelwood community’s primary concerns, especially as residents move forward with the neighborhood planning process that kicked off last month.

About 50 people gathered at the Spartan Center on Tuesday night for discussion of the plan, which is being spearheaded by the Greater Hazelwood Community Collaborative. The GHCC comprises 27 community groups, as well as city and state officials.

An-Li Herring / WESA

Pittsburgh City Council is still searching for a way to pay for a fund it established last December to expand the supply of affordable housing for low and moderate-income residents.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Holiday traditions from around the globe converge at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning inside its Nationality Rooms, a collection of 30 classrooms representing the cultures of various groups that settled in Allegheny County. 

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Steel might soon be paying a fine for several violations of both county and federal environmental protections at its plant in Braddock.

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

Supercomputers are pretty much what they sound like: bigger, faster and more sophisticated than any Mac or PC. 

Reid Frazier / The Allegheny Front

A public health researcher delivered a dire warning on Monday during a panel on the implications of the planned Royal Dutch Shell ethane cracker plant in Beaver County.

"When we allow industry to get way out in front of public health and environmental oversight, we end up counting bodies,” said Dr. Brian Schwartz of the Geisinger Center for Health Research in Montour County.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

In its latest annual report sent to 30,000 homes in the city, A+ Schools is drawing attention to persistent disparities within Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

From a transportation perspective, Pittsburgh has a lot of challenges: narrow streets, steep hills and aging infrastructure that needs maintenance.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Over the next three to five years, more than 200 affordably priced apartments and homes could be built in East Liberty and Garfield as a result of the negotiations surrounding the demolition of Penn Plaza, according to Rick Swartz, executive director of the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation.

An-Li Herring / WESA

State Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth), 59, will be the GOP’s nominee in the special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. He won the nomination at a convention the Republican Party of Pennsylvania held in Canonsburg Saturday.

 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Alongside Route 51 by a Denny’s and a Huntington Bank in West Mifflin, there are two round, rust-colored sculptures. There’s no informational plaque, and there are no signs posted.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

A decision on the Penguins’ amended development plan for the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill has been delayed until next week.

While the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Allegheny County approved the new plan, it still needs approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

URA Chairman Kevin Acklin acknowledged the new plan wasn’t circulated to board members until late Wednesday night for a Thursday vote. At the request of City Councilman Lavelle, who also sits on the URA board, Acklin did not ask for a vote.

Brian Bohannon / AP

The American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday it had reached an agreement with Allegheny County regarding the solitary confinement of pregnant inmates at the county jail.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Since the late 1800s, steamfitters have built, installed and maintained piping systems, everywhere from power plants to residential homes.

M. Spencer Green / AP

Pennsylvania was one of only four states that saw a decrease in premature birth rates last year compared to 2015, according the March of Dimes’ annual Premature Birth Report Card.

Last year 9.3 percent of babies in Pennsylvania were born before 37 weeks gestation. In 2015 the rate was 9.4 percent. Nationally the rate increased from 9.6 to 9.8 percent.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A committee tasked with finding alternatives to suspending Pittsburgh students below third grade for non-violent offenses says the district needs more counselors, social workers and de-escalation training.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority can fix its delivery systems, manage its debt, and provide clean, safe drinking water while remaining under public control, according to recommendations from consultant Infrastructure Management Group, Inc.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Attorney Mik Pappas, who ran as an Independent, won Pennsylvania’s 31st Magisterial District race, unseating the incumbent who held the position for 24 years.

It was the first time in more than two decades that Ron Costa, Sr. faced an opponent.

Pappas was endorsed by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and said that Donald Trump’s victory in last year’s presidential election energized his supporters.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA News

When visitors enter the second-floor gallery space of the Andy Warhol Museum on Pittsburgh's North Side, they’re met with cartoon cowboys in red bandanas, saloon brawls and underwater painters that shimmer right off the wall. But there's more than meets the eye in Go West, the first solo show in the U.S. for popular Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Residents supported one another’s calls for affordable housing and a community-driven, transparent process in the development of a former industrial site in the Point Breeze North neighborhood at a public meeting in early November.

KitAy / Flickr

The City of Pittsburgh has reached a tentative deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins on redevelopment of the Lower Hill District. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A lawsuit filed Monday against the Allegheny County Jail and its administration claims the jail allowed a transgender inmate to be repeatedly sexually abused while she was incarcerated with male inmates.

The suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and The Law Offices of Timothy O’Brien on behalf of Jules Williams is seeking damages.

Pennsylvania Courts

Across Pennsylvania Tuesday, voters will choose judges and justices in a total of 370 races at all levels of the state court system.

 

Many voters find it challenging to choose which judicial candidates to support, according to Maureen Lally-Green, a former judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the dean of Duquesne School of Law.

 

UPMC

*UPDATED Nov. 3, 2017 at 5:44 p.m.

Pennsylvania’s largest hospital system has announced a $2 billion project to build three “digital hospitals of the future” in Pittsburgh, in partnership with Microsoft. The new UPMC facilities will focus on cancer, vision and rehabilitation, and the heart and transplants.

Louis Stein / Arcade Comedy Theater

A growing non-profit theater in downtown Pittsburgh has a new home.

Arcade Comedy Theater is moving from its original storefront space on Liberty Avenue, where it’s been since 2013, to a fully renovated building right down the street. The new space more than doubles its capacity to nearly 200 seats between two stages.

Arcade offers about 10 weekly shows, including sketch comedy, stand-up and improv. It’s also enrolled hundreds of students in its comedy classes.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On the corner of Penn Avenue and Seventh Street in downtown Pittsburgh, there’s a blue and gold plaque that reads “The Pittsburgh Agreement.”

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED  Nov. 3, 2017 at 12:32 p.m.

Pittsburgh's only contested city council race this year pits Democrat Anthony Coghill against Republican Cletus Cibrone-Abate for the District 4 seat.

Building Infrastructure In The Age Of Climate Change

Nov 2, 2017
Charlie Neilbergall / AP

As Congress pays out more than 36 billion dollars in disaster relief, the General Accounting Office recommends that the federal government find ways to minimize the economic impacts of climate change.

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