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.

Dr. E. Arum, Dr. N. Jacobs / CDC via AP

The national rate of sexually transmitted diseases is at an all-time high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 2016 statistics from Allegheny County reveal a similar trend.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

In an effort to reduce Pittsburgh's environmental impact and improve air quality, the city is launching a set of goals to achieve by 2030.

Outlined in the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan are the following goals:

Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

After a 7.1 magnitude earthquake devastated Mexico City last week, rescue teams from several countries assisted Mexico in search-and-and rescue efforts. They were joined by a 3-foot-long, 2-inch-wide reptilian robot from Carnegie Mellon University.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta was in Pittsburgh Wednesday morning to speak at the Shale Insight Conference and tour the Carpenters' Union Training Center. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's arts and culture community spends nearly double what most other similarly sized cities do to encourage a robust artistic community around the Steel City, according to a report released this week by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

The group's research estimated local organizations and audiences spent more than $1 billion fueling an annual economic impact of almost $2.4 billion, more than 32,000 full-time jobs and as much as $641 million toward those employees' household incomes. 

Carlos Giusti / AP Photo

The son of Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente is teaming up with two local groups to send critical supplies to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Brother's Brother Foundation and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced they'd be gathering monetary donations, medical supplies and non-perishable foods for residents to deliver as soon as airplanes are allowed on the island.

According to the organization, 100 percent of disaster funds go to help people in affected areas.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Eighteen new U.S. citizens were sworn in Friday afternoon as part of Constitution Week, surrounded by family and friends in the City County Chambers downtown.

They immigrated from Australia, Bhutan, India, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Syria and the United Kingdom.

Manoj Kumar Verma, a newly naturalized citizen from India, gave a speech during the ceremony.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

In McKees Rocks Thursday morning, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) spoke out against the Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare with the Graham-Cassidy bill.

He was joined by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Health Department director Karen Hacker and Michelle Schwartzmier, whose 20-year-old daughter died of a heroin overdose earlier this year.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

The 900 block of Liberty Avenue downtown in getting a makeover.

Renovations started Monday to add a temporary curb extension, bus lane and parking lane to the stretch. 

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released its first ever guidelines on minors getting tattoos and piercings, recommending teens and their parents research possible heath effects of body modification before facing the needle.

Associated Press

Pittsburgh's proposal to become the location of Amazon's second headquarters includes a full-time team of up to 20 people, Mayor Bill Peduto said Monday.

Jacob Sippel / U.S. Navy / Creative Commons

A survey of 1,000 Pennsylvania nurses has revealed many feel they're overworked and spend less time doing patient care and more time on paperwork.

The report, released by advocacy group Nurses of Pennsylvania, reveals common complaints within the profession. It found 94 percent of nurses say their place of work does not have enough nursing staff, and 87 percent believe staffing levels affecting patient care are getting worse.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

There are 5.5 million veteran caretakers in the United States, including spouses, parents, family members and friends who find themselves as the primary care provider for a loved one after a military injury.

Miki Yoshihito / Flickr

Advocates for stronger gun laws and domestic violence prevention are pushing for the passage of a bill that would restrict access to firearms for people convicted of domestic abuse. They say the current law has big loopholes.

In any domestic violence case involving a gun in Pennsylvania, law enforcement can demand the abuser turn the firearm over to police or a third party within 60 days. That third party can range from a licensed gun dealer to a friend or family member to safeguard the firearm.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

New challenges have arisen around transportation and infrastructure in the last decade, particularly climate change and innovations in technology, according to Department of Conservation and Natural Resources secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and state Transportation secretary Leslie Richards. 

Courtesy of the Allegheny County Airport Authority

A plan was unveiled Tuesday by the Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA) to modernize the 25-year-old Pittsburgh International Airport. 

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

The House Republican plan to fill a $2.2 billion shortfall in the Pennsylvania budget is looking to take more than $350 million from state-supported transit.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

An estimated 6.2 million Florida residents are without power Monday due to powerful winds and flooding related to Hurricane Irma. In response to the devastation, Pittsburgh-based organizations are sending troops to Florida to help with restoration.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Vice President Mike Pence and Gov. Tom Wolf were among those at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville Monday to the people who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 

Lotzman Katzman / Flickr

High rates of asthma in Allegheny County are keeping kids out of schools and impacting learning, according to research by a local pediatrician. Pittsburgh has one of the highest rates of air pollution in the country, one of the strongest factors for childhood asthma.

The study by Deborah Gentile reveals more than 22 percent of children in some Pittsburgh schools have asthma, much higher than the national average of just more than 10 percent. Gentile says this high rate of childhood asthma is alarming.

Hamza Butt / Flickr

Sepsis is the leading cause of hospital deaths in the country, killing 250,000 Americans each year. The bacterial infection, colloquially known as "blood poisoning," can be caused by contamination in a hospital setting, and in deadly situations results in organ failure.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr

Clean energy jobs continue to grow in Pennsylvania, according to a new report from energy non-profits Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance and Environmental Entrepreneurs. Their 2017 data shows Pennsylvania is home to 70,000 clean energy jobs, a 6 percent rise from last year.

Allegheny County leads the state with more than 8,000 clean energy jobs, in sectors like wind, solar and hydropower. Pittsburgh's metro area has 14,000 clean energy jobs.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

About 100 protesters gathered outside the Mt. Lebanon office of Rep. Tim Murphy Wednesday afternoon to protest President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Children's Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA.

Sara Neff / Flickr

A successful opioid addiction program for pregnant women at UPMC Magee in Pittsburgh is expanding to UPMC Hamot in Erie.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

People living with HIV are living longer lives, thanks to medical advancements and wider availability of antiretroviral drugs. This means age-related diseases are now manifesting in these patients with previously unknown effects.

University of Pittsburgh researcher Ivona Pandrea said people living with HIV are twice as likely to develop heart disease, due to a protein that triggers blood clotting and inflammation even after the HIV is treated.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Airmall at Pittsburgh International Airport opened Tuesday to daily non-passengers for the first time since security was tightened at airports nationwide after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"It's nice, it's for the economy to be able to come here and shop," said Elizabeth Township resident Shelli Ruggier, who came to pick up her grandson from a terminal. "We're just happy we can get to a gate and greet family members, rather than them getting off and not knowing anybody."

Paul Sancya / AP

Pennsylvania's minimum wage hasn't risen from $7.25 per hour since 2013. It's the only state in the region that hasn't seen an increase in three and a half years, and where the minimum wage is still under eight dollars.

Evan Vucci / AP

A focus group of 12 Pittsburgh voters expressed bipartisan disappointment in Donald Trump's leadership skills as president. The group consisted of five Trump voters, six Hillary Clinton voters and one person who voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

An estimated 18,000 homes in Pittsburgh's northern neighborhoods, Millvale and Reserve Township will continue to be under a flush and boil water advisory until at least Thursday, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials said Tuesday.

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