WESA Local News

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.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's governor is establishing a group to "help coordinate and drive statewide equality efforts" regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order Monday creating the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.

Wolf says the 40-person panel will take over efforts that had been done by a work group he set up shortly after taking office in 2015.

Schell Games

High school chemistry lab can be a dangerous place. There’s potential for spilled chemicals, fires and broken glass. A Pittsburgh-developed virtual reality game aims to bring chemistry to life in a safer way.

 

HoloLAB Champions is set up as a vibrant, animated game show. Using two handheld controls, players pour liquid, scoop powder and read measurements – skills useful in a real chemistry lab.

 

Mel Evans / AP

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are launching a $4.3 million fund to support conservation efforts in the Delaware River watershed.

PA Dept. of Agriculture

Pennsylvania agriculture officials are working to control the spread of the spotted lanternfly.

WHTM-TV reports the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Monday explained the containment plan Monday in Harrisburg. According to officials, $3 million in state funds and $17.5 million in federal funding will go towards education and research. The state will conduct a $1.9 million survey to make sure the insect isn't spreading.

Marc Levy / AP

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Lou Barletta is on a bus tour across the commonwealth with his golden retriever, Reilly.

The Luzerne County congressman is hoping it turns the tide of his disappointing fundraising numbers.

As of their most recent campaign filings from late June, Barletta has about $1.5 million on-hand, while opponent Bob Casey has nearly $10 million.

Matt Rourke / AP

The Republican gubernatorial nominee is updating his rhetoric on climate change.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Giddy crowds of kids from a local summer camp recently gathered in the lobby of the Duquesne Incline’s upper station on Mount Washington. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A Republican State Senate Committee met with a group of school officials and school police officers from the western Pennsyvlania on Monday, to talk about what resources and support they need to keep schools safe.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Cleanup efforts are underway on Pittsburgh’s South Side to remove seven derailed cars from a Norfolk Southern freight train, which caused extensive damage to the Station Square light rail stop on Sunday. It's unclear how long the process will take, according to the city's Department of Public Safety.

No Shortage Of Fall Races For Pennsylvania Voters To Ponder

Aug 6, 2018
Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Midterm elections under a revamped congressional district map are certain to help transform Pennsylvania's delegation to Congress this fall. The governor and a U.S. senator, both Democrats, will learn in three months whether voters think they deserve another term. And the status of Republican majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, large margins by historical measures, hangs in the balance.

Jobs Boom Favors Democratic Counties, Not Trump Strongholds

Aug 6, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

The United States is on pace to add about 2.6 million jobs this year under President Donald Trump's watch. Yet the bulk of the hiring has occurred in bastions of Democratic voters rather than in the Republican counties that put Trump in the White House.

On average for the year-ended this May, 58.5 percent of the job gains were in counties that backed Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to an Associated Press analysis of monthly government jobs data by county.

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?

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Pennsylvania is one of six states starting a pilot program providing reemployment services to people with a history of opioid use.

Funding comes from a $22 million grant overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly $5 million of which will go to Pennsylvania. The grant will run through the end of June 2019, and be administration by the state Department of Labor and Industry.

Green Boulevard Strategic Plan

A lot can change in five years.

In March of 2013, the city, working with private partners and the public, completed a $1.5 million, federally-funded plan to rejuvenate the neighborhoods along a 6-mile stretch of the Allegheny River, from Downtown through Highland Park.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

 

 

Rebecca Smith teaches first grade at Whittier Elementary School in Duquesne Heights. She’s taught there for three years, and says there are challenges to being a new teacher, such as knowing what to prioritize.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging is working to better understand the needs of older LGBTQ residents.

Patrick Doyle / 90.5 WESA

Seven cars from a freight train derailed and crashed into the Station Square light rail stop on Sunday afternoon, causing extensive damage, according to Norfolk Southern officials. That number was updated from the original four cars said to have derailed.

Tentrr, The Airbnb Of Camping, Comes To Pennsylvania

Aug 4, 2018
Mary Esch / AP

It's not like Scott and Christina Dietrich have anything against traditional camping.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania officials are warning people to minimize their exposure to mosquitoes as testing is underway to confirm the suspected first case of human West Nile virus infection in the state this year.

There’s This Really Good Hot Dog Stand – In The Middle Of A River

Aug 3, 2018
Emma Lee / WHYY

It started as a way to deal with the riffraff.

Back in the late 1980s, a local businessman came to Greg Crance with a problem. The businessman had been renting tubes to vacationers on a calm stretch of the Delaware River just south of Frenchtown, New Jersey, and just north of New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Business was fine, but the neighbors were irritated.

Asbestos Is Still Killing People. Why Hasn’t The Government Banned It?

Aug 3, 2018
Paul Sancya / AP

Recently, President Trump’s image showed up on the side of a pallet of asbestos. One of the largest producers of asbestos, a Russian company, posted a photo on Facebook, boasting Trump’s claim that asbestos is 100 percent safe. Many environmental and health advocates disagree.

Matt Rourke / AP

With three months until midterm elections, Republican Congressman and U.S. Senate hopeful Lou Barletta has found himself trailing his incumbent opponent—both in polls and in dollars.

Now, the Luzerne County representative is leaning into one resource he can count on: the support of President Donald Trump.

On Thursday night, Trump rolled through northeast Pennsylvania to lend his voice to the cause.

FACT CHECK: Trump Says U.S. Steel Opening Mills; Not So

Aug 3, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

President Donald Trump is crediting his tariffs with persuading U.S. Steel to open a half dozen new plants. That's not so.

Trump at a rally in Wilkes-Barre Thursday night said: "U.S. Steel is opening up seven plants." On Tuesday, he told supporters in Florida: "U.S. Steel just announced that they're building six new steel mills."

Trump Renews Attacks On ‘Fake, Fake, Disgusting News’

Aug 3, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

President Donald Trump is renewing his campaign against the media, claiming at a Pennsylvania rally that the media is the "fake, fake disgusting news" and casting journalists as his true political opponent.

True T PGH

The term "ballroom" might conjure images of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire moving gracefully around a dance floor, but to some it has an additional meaning. 

 

 


Gabrianna Dacko

Zoje Stage isn’t a parent. But the Pittsburgh-based author’s debut novel describes a deeply disturbing mother-daughter relationship rooted largely in the mind of a sociopathic 7-year-old girl.

Daveynin / Flickr

A new health insurance rule from the Trump administration is being criticized by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. The agency said the policy, issued Wednesday, would jeopardize those who buy health insurance on the individual market. 

Ohio State Closes Ranks As Meyer Probe Adds New Scandal

Aug 2, 2018
Annie Rice / AP

Ohio State closed ranks around the rollout of its football season as the university investigates whether coach Urban Meyer failed to report domestic abuse allegations, a scandal hitting a school already accused of not facing up to sexual misconduct allegations against a sports doctor.

Wolf, Wagner Spar Over Funding Formulas As Education Surges To Center Of PA Governor's Race

Aug 2, 2018
Emma Lee / WHYY

Republican gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner released an attack ad Wednesday ripping Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf over education policy.

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