Local Headlines

Important stories from the Pittsburgh region.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Authorities say a Pittsburgh police officer was injured when his cruiser crashed into a barrier.

The single-vehicle accident occurred around 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. The officer was alone in the cruiser at the time, and no other injuries were reported in the crash.

The officer was taken to a local hospital in stable condition. But his name and further details on his injuries have not been disclosed.

It wasn't clear if the officer was responding to a call at the time of the crash.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Matt Rourke / AP

Overnight rains triggered flash flooding in parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania on Monday, closing down a heavily traveled interstate and sending water into homes in the mountainous coal regions.

Charles Bonner
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA

Flanked by children as he walks the perimeter of the Ammons Community Recreation Center in the Hill District, Charles Bonner makes his way to the Olympic-size swimming pool. He unlocks security gates, checks chlorine levels and proceeds to greet enthusiastic attendees of his summer swimming program.

The 28-year-old Bonner serves as head lifeguard at Ammons, a job he said he’s been preparing for since he was a teenager.

“Starting back in 2005, I was a program counselor,” Bonner said. “One of the positions I had to have was lifeguarding. It was actually my first job."

Schizoform / flickr

State wildlife officers have seized three king cobras among the more than 300 reptiles kept in a New York home.

The 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories Podcast introduces you to people in the Pittsburgh area, who are striving to make their community a better place to live.

This episode, we speak with Amy Kline, who helped revamp a park in Carrick; Steve Root of the South Side Community Council, who decided to make use of street art instead of painting over it; and Dave Breingan of the non-profit Lawrenceville United, who is trying to bridge the gap between educators and community.

90.5 WESA Celebrates 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories, is sponsored by UPMC.

flournoy
Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA

Army veteran Michael Flournoy has made helping other veterans his life's mission. Even though Flournoy retired from his job as a therapist for the Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs hospital a few years ago, the 80-year-old resident of Pittsburgh's Chartiers City neighborhood tells 90.5 WESA's Elaine Effort that does not mean his work with veterans has ended. 

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity. 

ELAINE EFFORT: What made working with veterans so meaningful for you?

Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA

The bishop of Pittsburgh's Roman Catholic diocese says he'll release the names of any of his clergy members accused of sexual misconduct with a minor once a state grand jury report on clergy sex abuse is released.

Bishop David Zubik says in a letter issued Saturday he'll wait for the grand jury report to be issued before going public with the information.

The state Supreme Court disclosed recently the grand jury has identified more than 300 "predator priests" in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Pittsburgh. Those dioceses minister to more than 1.7 million Catholics.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a former University of Pittsburgh medical researcher in what prosecutors said was the cyanide poisoning death of his wife more than five years ago.

The 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories Podcast introduces you to people in the Pittsburgh area, who are striving to make their community a better place to live.

This episode, we speak with Aubrey Plesh, who connects displaced people to essential services on the South Side; Sue Otto, who helps provide food and clothing to the needy in Ambridge at the faith-based non-profit Center for Hope; and Kristee Cammack, who helped turn an old school building into a family shelter in Allentown.

90.5 WESA Celebrates 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories, is sponsored by UPMC.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Three men jumped off a truss bridge spanning a river in Pittsburgh over the weekend, killing one.

Police say the men weren't trying to take their own lives, but officials didn't elaborate on why the trio jumped off the Hot Metal Bridge Sunday night.

First responders found the men in the Monongahela River around 8:40 p.m. One of them had injuries and was having difficulty swimming.

Police say that 25-year-old man died later at a hospital.

The other men were uninjured. No charges have been filed.

RIchard Drew / AP

Philadelphia will stop giving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement access to a real-time arrest database, accusing the agency of misusing the information to target people who are in the country illegally but are otherwise not accused of any crimes, the mayor announced Friday.

Charlie Neibergall / AP

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

The Wyse Choice / via AP

State officials say the rain that drenched much of Pennsylvania this week is tapering off.

Jacqueline Larma / AP

Five days of relentless downpours have left central Pennsylvania a soggy mess, closing roads and businesses, sending creeks and streams spilling over their banks and requiring rescues and evacuations.

Firefighters helped people escape their flooded neighborhood near Hershey on Wednesday morning, and search crews have not been able to find a woman swept away Monday night while crossing the rain-swollen Conewago Creek near Elizabethtown.

The 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories Podcast introduces you to people in the Pittsburgh area, who are striving to make their community a better place to live.

This episode, we speak with the Union Project's Jeffrey Dorsey, who is bringing people together through ceramics and other crafts in Highland Park; volunteers with the Pitt Pantry, a group working to make sure that poor nutrition isn’t part of the college experience for any student; and Caitlin McNulty, a co-founder of the Brookline Teen Outreach Center.

Emmai Alaquiva
Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA

Emmai Alaquiva is a Pittsburgh-based Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and youth mentor who was recently appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. 90.5 WESA contributor Elaine Effort recently spoke with Alaquiva about Hip Hop on L.O.C.K, an arts education program he created more than a decade ago.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

ELAINE EFFORT: Why did you find it important to give back and to do Hip Hop on L.O.C.K.?

Matt Rourke / AP

 Videos circulating on social media show Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor Scott Wagner telling an 18-year-old girl that she's young and naive after asking about climate change.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Paulette Buchignani remembers making the trek from Mt. Washington to South Park all the time growing up in the 1950s.

Kennywood via Twitter

Kennywood Park near Pittsburgh has announced a Steelers-themed replacement for its longtime Log Jammer ride.

Park officials announced Thursday they are bringing in a new roller coaster called "The Steel Curtain."

Worker Injured In Blast At Army Depot In Pennsylvania Dies

Jul 20, 2018
John S. Zeedick / AP

The U.S. Army says one of five civilian employees injured in an explosion and fire at a military depot in Pennsylvania has died.

Letterkenny Army Depot commander Col. Stephen Ledbetter announced the death of the unidentified employee Friday. Two others remain hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

A base spokeswoman declined to provide any other information about the worker who died.

This story was updated at 10:59 a.m. Below is an earlier version of the story: 

The 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories Podcast introduces you to people in the Pittsburgh area, who are striving to make their community a better place to live.

This episode, we speak with Brian Oswald, a board member of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association and a resident expert on the community’s many steps; Diana Ames, a Friendship resident who helped develop the neighborhood’s Baum Grove Parklet; and Brittany Reno, who is working to make sure that future changes in Sharpsburg benefit all residents equitably.

Swimmer Beware: Pennsylvania Drownings Highlight River Risks

Jul 16, 2018
Michael Rubinkam / AP

Katelyn Carlisle nervously eyed the murky waters lapping at her feet.

90.5 WESA

A newly released report shows that Pittsburgh Zoo staff raised concerns about a child falling through an opening into an African painted dog exhibit on at least six separate occasions before a fatal mauling in 2012.

'It Keeps Us Safe': An NYC Bathroom Set Up To Stem Overdoses

Jul 13, 2018
Mary Altaffer / AP

At an unassuming storefront on a busy Brooklyn street, people sign up to use a bathroom outfitted to try to curb an overdose crisis.

Marijuana Group Blasts Police For Chasing Suspect With Dozer

Jul 12, 2018
Ted S. Warren / AP

State police went grossly overboard in their pursuit of a marijuana suspect whose body was found under a bulldozer that authorities used to search for him in thick brush, a pot advocacy group said Thursday.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

The ACLU of Pennsylvania and the Alliance for Police Accountability are among 15 civic groups demanding charges be dropped against a Wilkinsburg woman who was arrested during a confrontation with a North Versailles police officer.

Lisa Wardle / WITF

Construction is winding down on the final feature in the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County.

All that's left is installing an unprecedented, enormous and complicated set of wind chimes.

Architect Paul Murdoch first pitched his plan for the memorial more than 13 years ago, and has been incrementally building features since then.

This final stage is dubbed the Tower of Voices--a 93-foot tall concrete structure that'll be adorned with 40 chimes--one for each of the passengers and crew members killed in the crash during the September 11th attacks.

Erie's Reopened Presque Isle Lighthouse Drawing Big Crowds

Jul 10, 2018
Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

A $300,000 investment in 2017 in a 145-year-old Erie asset appears to be paying off.

Attendance is up markedly at Presque Isle Lighthouse, said Michael Sullivan, executive director of the lighthouse located near Beach 9.

The 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories Podcast introduces you to people in the Pittsburgh area, who are striving to make their community a better place to live.

Jared Wickerham / AP

The remaining wreckage of United Flight 93 has been buried near the Pennsylvania memorial marking where it crashed on 9/11.

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