Local Headlines

Important stories from the Pittsburgh region.

Another former Beta Theta Pi fraternity member is going to trial in the case related to the hazing death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza.

Vernard Alexander
Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA

Businessman Vernard Alexander of Homewood is known in his neighborhood as the "Connecting King,” because he uses online platforms to share information about jobs, housing and funding sources to help others in his community.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Emergency services personnel for Allegheny County spent last Saturday morning responding to routine police calls, such as complaints about parking or residents blowing leaves into neighbors’ yards.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers will continue to gather this weekend in the wake of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue which left 11 people dead, looking for ways to heal and move forward.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Four days after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, an anonymous threat prompted a nearby elementary school to go on lockdown and sent Squirrel Hill parents rushing over to check on their children.

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Colfax K-8 school in Squirrel Hill has been cleared after being placed on lockdown for more than two hours Wednesday morning. 

Andrew Harnik / AP

President Donald Trump came to pay tribute Tuesday to those touched by the worst instance of anti-Semitic violence in American history, traveling to a city where he faced an uneasy welcome from those grieving.

LFG Owners
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA

 

 

From "Madden NFL Football" to “Fortnite” and “Forza Motorsport," to “World of Warcraft” and "Call of Duty,” the virtual worlds of online gaming have ballooned in recent years.

 

 

 

As gaming culture has moved online, though, the face-to-face social atmosphere of the arcade heyday has become a thing of the past. John Lange finds that unfortunate. 

 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Thousands of people jammed into the corner of Murray and Forbes in Squirrel Hill amid a light rain for a vigil Saturday evening for the victims of a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue earlier in the day. The gathering included prayers and singing in memory of those killed and wounded.

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The man suspected of killing 11 people at Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Squirrel Hill has been charged with obstructing the exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death.

Federal prosecutors say Robert Bowers was charged Saturday night in a 29-count criminal complaint. It wasn't immediately known if he has an attorney.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Officials say 11 people were killed when a shooter opened fire during a baby naming ceremony at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.

Riverhouse at Odette's / Facebook

Crews have successfully picked up and moved a historic Pennsylvania inn from where it had stood since 1784.

Philadelphia's Holocaust Memorial—1st In The US—Merges Past With New Technology

Oct 22, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

In 1964, the first public memorial to the Holocaust in the United States was unveiled in a solemn ceremony in Philadelphia. 

Minor Spencer
Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA

Sheraden resident Terri Minor Spencer started West End P.O.W.E.R. (Providing Opportunities with Effective Resources) three years ago. The organization aims to redefine and rebuild community in Pittsburgh's West End through the facilitation of multiple neighborhood support initiatives. 

Minor Spencer spoke about P.O.W.E.R.'s origins with 90.5 WESA's Elaine Effort, as well as where she sees the organization moving forward.

German in Rainey's
Ricco JL Martello / Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company

Vanessa German's passion is rooted in her imagination, which has led her to build elaborate sculptures and write and perform stage plays. It has also been the vehicle she has used to help ensure the tools of creativity are accessible to the residents in her community.

After growing up in Los Angeles and Cincinnati, German came to Pittsburgh to live with her parents nearly two decades ago. She says she began creating art by using materials she found during her travels.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A librarian and a bookseller accused of stealing and trafficking rare books from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in a years-long scheme are standing trial.

Pittsburgh police say 61-year-old Gregory Priore stole prints, maps and rare books from the library and handed them off to Caliban Book Shop co-owner John Schulman to resell them. Prosecutors say the pair conspired to steal and sell several hundred rare items worth more than $8 million.

Photo courtesy of Identified Technologies

 Pennsylvania will start imposing criminal penalties on people who use drones to spy on other people.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Authorities say a crew member working on a movie about Mister Rogers has died after he suffered an apparent medical emergency and fell two stories off a balcony in western Pennsylvania.

Allegheny County officials say James Emswiller fell around 7:30 p.m. Thursday during a break in filming. The 61-year-old Pittsburgh man died later at a hospital.

Emswiller was involved in the sound production of "You Are My Friend," which was shooting a scene in Mount Lebanon. The film is based on the life of Fred Rogers, the genial host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

Not Real News: Was Bill Cosby In A Prison Food Fight?

Oct 11, 2018
Natalie Piserchio / WHYY

Comedian Bill Cosby, now inmate No. NN7687 in a Pennsylvania prison, was not slapped with a chicken patty during a food fight, despite stories circulating online.

Treasure Hunters Challenge FBI Over Dig For Legendary Gold

Oct 9, 2018
Michael Rubinkam / AP

Surrounded by dozens of stone-faced FBI agents on a frigid winter's day, Dennis and Kem Parada stared down at the empty hole and knew something wasn't right.

The father-son duo spent years combing this bit of Pennsylvania wilderness with high-end metal detectors, drills and other tools to prospect for a fabled cache of Civil War gold. They felt certain they'd discovered the hiding place of the long-lost booty, leading the FBI to the mountainous, heavily wooded area last March.

Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA

Drafting Dreams is a Homewood-based program that teaches Pittsburgh-area K-12 students the principles of architecture and urban design.

Group Brings Veterans Together For Whitewater Adventure

Oct 8, 2018
John Brighenti / Flickr

Enjoying life: it's just one of the things they went to war to preserve.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Pennsylvania State Police say they regret any damage that occurred last weekend when one of their helicopters flew low over a tailgating crowd before the Penn State-Ohio State game, sending tents and other items flying.

Sports Betting Weeks Away From Opening In Pennsylvania

Oct 3, 2018
Wayne Parry / AP

Pennsylvania, one of the nation's most aggressive gambling states, appears weeks away from becoming the sixth state with sports betting after regulators Wednesday awarded the state's first sports betting licenses to two casinos.

Emergency Alert Test Going Out To Mobile Phones Nationwide

Oct 3, 2018
Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

About 225 million electronic devices across the United States will wail and buzz Wednesday afternoon as the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducts an emergency alert test.

A tone will sound at 2:18 p.m. EDT, similar to that of an Amber Alert or flood watch warning, and the subject of the alert will read: "Presidential Alert" and text will say: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."

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A tornado struck a nursing home in northwestern Pennsylvania, blowing a roof off one building and causing moderate to heavy damage, authorities said. No serious injuries were reported.

Richard Probst / Flickr

Health officials are warning western Pennsylvania residents that two more raccoons in the Pittsburgh area have tested positive for rabies.

The Allegheny County health department says the first raccoon was found this week in the city's Morningside neighborhood. The second was found in the borough of Pleasant Hills near Jefferson Hills.

Rabies is a virus transmitted by an animal bite or scratch; exposures are almost always fatal when left untreated. Residents are being warned to avoid stray animals and wildlife, even if the animals appear healthy.

Morris and Duffey
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA

 


Removed from the bustle of the city’s busier neighborhoods, Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill neighborhood is a bit off the beaten path. Looking out from the hillside is a breathtaking view of the Downtown skyline. Its streets are dotted by family businesses and mid-sized dwellings. 

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's governor has announced an $8 million grant to help reopen the First Bank of the United States as a museum.

Beth J. Harpaz / AP

Actor Denzel Washington has helped mark the start of renovations at playwright August Wilson's childhood home in Pittsburgh.

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