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.

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.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's civic, corporate and community leaders spoke out against domestic violence Thursday at the fourth annual Father's Day pledge. The event was an initiative of Southwest PA Says No More, a coalition of organizations that fight against harassment and assault.

Kristy Trautmann, executive director of the FISA Foundation, says this year has been unprecedented for women coming forward and sharing experiences of assault. The local organization advocates for the rights of women, girls and people with disabilities.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Baptist Homes is a sprawling senior care campus, located on a lush, quiet hillside in Mt. Lebanon. About 50 people live in the personal care part of the facility, where they can get help with everyday tasks. 

Googlemaps

The development company expected to demolish a historic Lawrenceville church has canceled its plans, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. The paper reported on Friday afternoon that E Properties and Development will remove the demolition notice from Holy Family Church on 43rd Street.

*This post was updated on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 6:36 p.m.

 

Office of the Governor

Pennsylvania's minimum wage has been stagnant at the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour for the last 10 years, which is at least $1 less than every neighboring state.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

A networking program to connect immigrants and refugees to established Pittsburgh professionals is underway in the city.

The Pittsburgh Connector Program will set up one half-hour-long meeting between a recent arrival with professional experience and a Pittsburgher in the same career field. The local shares three professional contacts with the immigrant, and then those contacts each share three more.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is known for its rivers. But many residents, like 90.5 WESA listener Judith Hoover, aren't sure where the bottom of each of the three lie. 

Carnegie Mellon University

Robots are able to perform a wide variety of tasks, from providing companionship to senior citizens to searching for survivors in the rubble of an earthquake, but they can't always reflect on how well they performed. 

Matt Rourke / AP

State Representative Mark Mustio (R-44) of Allegheny County is fronting a charge to repeal Philadelphia's soda tax, and prevent similar actions from taking place elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

If you're headed to the South Side from Downtown on the 10th Street Bridge, it's easy to spy four black geese painted onto the arch of one of the tall towers. The artwork, created by Tim Kaulen more than 20 years ago, is at risk as the bridge goes through a major rehabilitation.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

The nonprofit Trust for Public Land recently released its annual ranking of 100 city park systems in the country. This year, Pittsburgh's ranks 23rd -- a 16 place jump from last year.

The rankings are based on four primary factors: park access, meaning the amount of residents living within a ten-minute walk of a park; park acreage, the median size of city parks and total city area designated to parks; park amenities, such as restrooms, water features and dog parks; and park investment, meaning the amount of spending per resident on parks.

Allyson Ruggieri / WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto signed a pair of executive orders Tuesday meant to increase local minority hires in municipal construction.

Tony Dejak / AP

The suicide rate among young black children is double that of their white peers, according to a new study co-authored by a Carnegie Mellon University statistician. 

Andrew Rush / AP

A grand jury report on child sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses is expected to be released in the coming weeks, after two years of investigation.

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