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. She also contributes to the Pittsburgh Tech Report and Good Question! series.

In her free time, Kathleen likes running and making a never-ending list of Pittsburgh’s hidden gems. She lives in Friendship with her feline companion Miguelito.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's 44th District is made up of neighborhoods north and west of Pittsburgh, including Moon Township and some prosperous Ohio Valley communities. For the last 15 years, it has been led by Republican Mark Mustio, who decided to retire earlier this year.

Two first-time candidates are running to replace him.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Urban Redevelopment Authority Chairman Kevin Acklin resigned from his post Thursday in anticipation of his new role as senior vice president of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Acklin will oversee the Penguins' development of the former Civic Arena site in the Hill District -- a project that has caused strife between the URA and the Penguins in the past.

Farm Jenny

More than one million farms in the United States bring in less than $10,000 per year, meaning most of those farmers need a day job to pay the bills. Farm Jenny, a Pittsburgh startup, wants to give farmers a way to monitor their animals while they're away.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Since medical marijuana passed in Pennsylvania in 2016, only one labor union has come to an agreement with the city to allow employees to obtain medical marijuana cards: Pittsburgh firefighters.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said Tuesday that some of the most urgent terror threats facing the county and region include violent domestic groups, such as white supremacists , and "homegrown violent extremists" – individuals who are radicalized by terrorist groups, often through the internet.

90.5 WESA

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board is slated to hold hearings this week on whether University of Pittsburgh graduate students have the right to hold a vote to form a union. 

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Paid parental leave, medical coverage for gender affirmation surgery and a $15 an hour minimum wage are among the workforce improvements recommended Friday in an executive order by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh City Paper has a new Editor-in-Chief. On Wednesday, it was announced that Managing Editor Lisa Cunningham will be taking over the role.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh wants to allocate nearly $44,000 in its 2019 budget to on-site childcare, which would be provided for those who attend public meetings throughout the year. It will also be available to city employees during 15 days that schools are closed and city offices are open.

In its proposal the city outlines spending $568 million on operating expenses, which include public safety, street paving and personnel costs. 

Bryanna Johnson / Prototype

Five Pittsburgh nonprofits are banding together for a free workshop series on tech and entrepreneurship skills. The program, called the City as our Makerspace, is specifically aimed at women of color and is a collaboration of Prototype PGH, Black Unicorn Library, A Peace of Mind, Ujamaa Collective and Flower House.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

About 100 people gathered in front of the City County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday afternoon in support of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who said Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers. The rally was part of a national walkout organized by women's rights groups including Time's Up and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh says a five-block bike lane is coming to the Strip District, on Smallman Street between 16th and 21st streets. It's part of a larger redesign of the stretch, which will likely reconfigure parking by the Produce Terminal.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The Wolf administration is calling on state lawmakers to pass a number of bills that have gone stagnant in the legislature. They're all related to giving more protections to victims of abuse.

Molly Riley / AP

Children waiting for a liver transplant are at a disadvantage when they're in competition with adults, according to a new study led by the University of Pittsburgh.

National Pipeline Mapping System / U.S. Department of Transportation

Maps of the majority of natural gas pipelines in Pennsylvania are not readily available to the public. That includes the pipeline that exploded last week in Beaver County, demolishing one home and forcing dozens of people to evacuate.

Gerald Herbert / AP

State Rep. Dan Frankel and state Sen. Jay Costa, both Democrats from Allegheny County, are calling on their fellow lawmakers to pass bills that would close exemptions to the state's Clean Indoor Air Act. The law was passed 10 years ago and bans people from smoking tobacco in most esetablishments.

However, the law does not apply to some bars and casinos, and Frankel said it's time that changed.

"We've given the law a decade to work, and we know it does," Frankel said. "Now it deserves to work for absolutely everybody in Pennsylvania."

UPMC

Doctors often ask patients to rank their pain on a scale of one to 10, and responses inform prescriptions, diagnoses and help physicians monitor progress. But University of Pittsburgh assistant professor Charles Jonassaint says this isn't a very effective way for doctors and patients to communicate, because there are different types of pain and not everyone has the same tolerance for pain.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Parts of Allegheny County received more than 7 inches of rain over the past few days, according to the National Weather Service. That helped Pittsburgh surpass its average annual rainfall of 38 inches, with this year's total above 40 inches. 

Alex Brandon / AP

The Department of Environmental Protection has released its 2017 Oil and Gas Annual Report, which revealed 2,231 oil and gas well drilling permits were issued last year; it's the first increase in activity since 2014.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Protesters gathered outside the Department of Environmental Protection's Pittsburgh office Thursday to urge the agency to deny permits to Shell Pipeline Co. to build an ethane pipeline. The 97-mile Falcon Pipeline would bring ethane to a petrochemical plant in Potter Township, Beaver County.

Kelley McCall / AP

Pennsylvania's statewide prison system remains locked down after dozens of employees at different locations became sick over the past month. Department of Corrections officials believes the staff came into contact with a synthetic cannabinoid.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Allegheny County Jail is still determining how 11 employees got sick over the weekend, prompting a facility-wide lockdown.

Carnegie Mellon University

A team of computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University has developed a technology that makes run-of-the-mill paper move on its own.

The paper is cut into a shape, such as a flower, and treated with a thin conductor that's either applied by a 3-D printer or painted on. It adds only a half millimeter of thickness. The paper is then folded or bent into a shape and heated in an oven.

At that point, an electrical current, heat, or touch will cause the paper to uncurl; when the stimulus is removed, the paper goes back to its natural curled state.

Joshua Mayer / Flickr

A citizen science project is collecting data about Allegheny County's native pollinators.

Project Bee Watch's seven volunteers are on the hook to spend 15 minutes a week at the Audobon Greenway in Sewickley. They survey the park's native bees, and pass that data on to Matthew Opdyke, a professor of environmental studies at Point Park University.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny Health Network's parent company Highmark is launching a pilot program to reimburse emergency services companies, even when patients don't end up at the hospital.

Currently, most insurance companies won't cover EMS treatment of a patient unless they're taken to a hospital. This means people sometimes end up in the ER for conditions that could be treated on site.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Sixty surveillance cameras have been installed in Oakland around the University of Pittsburgh campus and residential areas. The cameras are in part a response to the murder last year of Pitt student Alina Sheyket in her Oakland apartment, at the hands of her estranged ex-boyfriend.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Monday is the first day of school for a new Pittsburgh Public Schools early childhood classroom located in the Carnegie Science Center. The classroom will serve 20 children who were chosen through a randomized lottery, according to PPS.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he plans to investigate if the state's child abuse hotline followed through on his office's recommendations to hire more staff. It's part of a plan announced Thursday to revisit nine previously audited state agencies.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Boulevard of the Allies begins at the Golden Triangle in downtown Pittsburgh, crosses Grant Street and lifts off onto a ramp. The intersection is flanked by two stony eagles perched atop pillars. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

About 2,000 postal workers rallied Tuesday outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, protesting a Trump administration proposal to privatize the U.S. Postal Service. The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) is holding their biennial convention in Pittsburgh.

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