Kathleen J. Davis

General Assignment Reporter

Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Kathleen J. Davis was born and raised in the great state of Michigan in a city just north of Detroit. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 with a degree in political science.

As General Assignment Reporter, Kathleen covers a little bit of everything. In her first few weeks at WESA, she reported on robots, startups and bike lanes – a true taste of the new Pittsburgh.

In her free time, Kathleen likes running the Three Rivers Heritage Trail along the Monongahela and making a never-ending list of Pittsburgh’s hidden gems.

Andrew Rush / AP Images

The grand jury report on abuse within six Catholic Dioceses in Pennsylvania contains several dark allegations against the Diocese of Pittsburgh, including cover-ups and a child pornography ring within the jury. Altogether, 99 former clergy members are named as alleged abusers in the report.

Report Detailing Widespread Child Sexual Abuse By PA Catholic Clergy Released

Aug 14, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim, redacted form — detailing decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is dedicating more money to repair roads damaged by the cold season as part of its Resurface PA initiative. The program was started by Gov. Tom Wolf in May to patch damage from the winter season. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Senator Bob Casey was in suburban Pittsburgh Wednesday morning to advocate for protecting health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Casey was joined by health care providers and patients with pre-existing conditions at the Squirrel Hill Health Center in Brentwood, Pa.

Schell Games

High school chemistry lab can be a dangerous place. There’s potential for spilled chemicals, fires and broken glass. A Pittsburgh-developed virtual reality game aims to bring chemistry to life in a safer way.

 

HoloLAB Champions is set up as a vibrant, animated game show. Using two handheld controls, players pour liquid, scoop powder and read measurements – skills useful in a real chemistry lab.

 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Cleanup efforts are underway on Pittsburgh’s South Side to remove seven derailed cars from a Norfolk Southern freight train, which caused extensive damage to the Station Square light rail stop on Sunday. It's unclear how long the process will take, according to the city's Department of Public Safety.

Carnegie Mellon University

A study by Carnegie Mellon University and Yale University has found a gene editing technique administered in fetal mice can cure a genetic blood disease before birth. This is the first time this technique has been successful, and it could be tested in humans within a year.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A federal grand jury has indicted a former Pittsburgh-area physician on 121 counts for illegally distributing opioids, health care fraud and money laundering.

Kathleen Davis / 90.5 WESA

After an emotional day in the City County Building, Pittsburgh City Council voted 7-2 to approve UPMC’s expansion of its Mercy campus in Uptown. The decision came after nearly two hours of public comment from community members opposing the plan.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The name Aliquippa is ubiquitous in western Pennsylvania, if primarily for being the largest city in Beaver County. However, many may not know that the name comes from a powerful Native American woman -- Queen Aliquippa. 

Andrew Harnik / AP

Sixty-nine charges were announced against a Johnstown pediatrician accused of sexually assaulting patients and members of his family starting in the 1980s and through this year. Similar charges were filed against 70-year-old Johnnie Barto in January, March and April.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said many of the assaults took place under the guise of medical treatment at Barto's Cambria County practice. Shapiro said sometimes parents were in the room, but Barto would position his body to block their view of the abuse.

Charlie Neibergall / AP

Pittsburgh's first summer with legal fireworks has been a headache for law enforcement, according to Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri.

Janice Carr / CDC via AP

More vigorous testing and treatment could significantly decrease the likelihood of children getting sepsis, a complication of an infection that can sometimes be life-threatening, according to a University of Pittsburgh study. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he was "stunned" by results of his audit on the Woodland Hills School District. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

About 100 people filled Pittsburgh City Council chambers Tuesday for a hearing on a proposed UPMC vision and rehabilitation hospital in Uptown. Many were opposed to the plan and called on the multi-billion-dollar non-profit to provide more affordable care and offer expanded benefits for employees.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

For the first time, scientists have discovered the source of a vanishingly tiny particle called a neutrino that came from outside the Milky Way, with the help of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

The center's powerful computers helped trace the particle's origin to the collapse of a supermassive black hole nearly 4 billion light years away.

About 100 trillion neutrinos pass through your body every second. They're invisible to the eye, but when they react with water molecules at a high speed, they eminate a bluish light.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

About 30 protestors gathered Friday morning outside Nova Place in the North Side in support of cleaning staff who had been laid off after the building changed contractors. 

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

The state of Pennsylvania is investing an additional $10 million into an apprenticeship and job training program called PAsmart. The initiative is meant to strengthen the commonwealth's middle class and increase the amount of skilled workers in the economy, to ultimately attract more industry.

PAsmart will distribute this money through competitive grants to places such as chambers of commerce, post-secondary institutions and labor organizations.

Gov. Tom Wolf says there are currently 16,000 registered apprentices in the commonwealth.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh is shutting down three branches at the end of August as part of its efforts to get out of debt. The affected locations are in Penn Hills, Wilmerding and Coraopolis.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) says he'll vote against any Supreme Court nominee President Donald Trump chooses to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

He called the system Trump is using to pick the nominee -- mining from a pre-chosen pool of 25 conservative candidates -- "corrupt."

"It's a flawed system," Casey said. "If the President changes the system and opens it up to more people, then it's a different story."

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers have collected and sent millions of pounds of humanitarian supplies to Puerto Rico since the island was struck by hurricanes Irma and Maria last September. Efforts are ongoing, and have been led by Brother's Brother Foundation and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Jim Judkis / Focus Features via AP

Tom Hanks is slated to play Fred Rogers in the film "You Are My Friend," which will begin filming in Pittsburgh this fall. 

NWS Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh region has been hit recently by several storms, causing flooding, power outages and other issues. 

Powerful rain drenched the city Wednesday evening, dropping 2 inches of rain and knocking out power in parts of the city. Rain Monday night broke a record and closed several large roads with flooding.

More rain is expected Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service says to expect heavy rainfall with thunderstorms. A flash flood watch is in effect from noon to midnight.

Carnegie Mellon University

The seed of a tropical plant and run-of-the-mill sand is all researchers needed to create a powerful water filtration system, according to a team from Carnegie Mellon University refining the process.

The Moringa oleifera tree is native to India and found in many developing countries in tropical and subtropical regions. Proteins inside the tree's seed kill bacteria, and the ground up seed is sometimes used as a rudimentary filtration system.

Keith Srakocic / AP

In the wake of the officer-involved death of Antwon Rose last month, state Sen. Jay Costa (D-Forest Hills) said he plans to introduce legislation to improve police training on cultural awareness and use-of-force. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County officials say local TV stations have failed in their reporting on the officer-involved shooting death of Antwon Rose. Rose was shot and killed by East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld last week as he fled a car that had been pulled over.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Hill District is now home to a green stormwater infrastructure project at the intersection of Centre and Herron avenues. The system will collect water runoff from the University of Pittsburgh athletic fields and surrounding hills that are elevated higher than the project.

Ryan Kang / AP

Under Pennsylvania law, a person operating a car, truck, boat or airplane can be arrested if they're under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana is federally considered a Schedule 1 drug, lumping it with heroin, LSD and esctacy.

State Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) says this creates confusion for law enforcement if they pull over a medical marijuana patient. Delozier will soon introduce legislation to allow medical marijuana patients to operate a vehicle while under the influence, as long as their driving is not impaired.

Catherine Policicchio / FBI

A nine month-long FBI wiretap investigation resulted in the indictments of 28 Western Pennsylvania residents Wednesday morning. According to officials, they were members or associates of the West End gang "GBK" -- the Greenway Block Killers.

NASA.gov

Astronauts often use zip-ties for quick fixes on payloads and hardware outside the International Space Station, but cutting them can be tricky and create debris.

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