WESA Daily Briefing

Latest: Wolf says mask-wearing 'provides more freedom.' Confrontation between Trump supporters and demonstrators ends without incident. State, county COVID numbers continue their rise.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Department Of Health Says It's Looking Into Fracking Public Health Risks Following Grand Jury Report

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says it is taking steps to learn more about the health risks of fracking following criticism from an investigative grand jury.

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Politics & Government

U.S. Marine Corps photos by Sgt. Justin T. Updegraff, Operation Resolute Support / AP

Amid allegations that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, a midstate congressman is focusing on who leaked the information.

Keith Srakocic / AP

 


On today's program: Mayor Bill Peduto talks about the pandemic’s effects on Pittsburgh; an update on the latest U.S. Supreme Court decisions; and a historical look at Pittsburgh’s connection to healthcare.

Pennsylvania Court Turns Down Lawmakers' Bid To End Shutdown

Jul 1, 2020
Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s high court on Wednesday ruled against an effort by Republican state lawmakers to end Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown orders.

Science, Health & Tech

First Penn State Student Dies From COVID-19

Jul 2, 2020
Min Xian / WPSU

A Penn State student has died from respiratory failure due to COVID-19.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Allegheny County reported 233 additional cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday.

Identity & Justice

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Protesters lined about a half-mile of Fifth Avenue, in Oakland, at noon Wednesday for the Interfaith Vigil for Black Lives. Passing motorists honked their horns in support of the roughly 200 demonstrators, who gathered to hold signs referencing scripture and bearing messages including “We Stand With Our Neighbors” and “We Are All God’s Creation – Put An End To Discrimination.”

Laura Benshoff / WHYY

California’s Central District Court ruled last Friday that ICE should release children from the country’s three family detention centers, two in Texas and one in Berks County.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

The family of Marcus White, a 15-month-old boy who died in a 2013 East Hills shooting, called for the state to step in to prosecute their case Tuesday. They filed a victims’ rights complaint against the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office Monday.

Education

Keith Srakocic / AP

A major plan to reorganize Pennsylvania’s state higher education system — and potentially consolidate parts of it — cleared the state Senate last week.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: Pittsburgh Public Schools look to lower the number of arrests at District schools; and Pittsburgh’s film industry prepares to return to work. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A coalition of advocacy groups is calling on the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Directors to remove police officers from school buildings.

Good Question!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Brunot Island Once Hosted Explorers, Automobile Races And Now, Lots Of Wildlife

Brunot Island sits quietly in the Ohio River. Overgrown grass carpets the banks of the island and driftwood thuds against remnants of old steel slabs and “No Trespassing” signs. Electrical towers loom over the tallest trees, connected by dozens of wires.

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Development & Transportation

Eviction Ban Nears An End With Renter Aid Still In Pipeline

Jul 1, 2020
Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Federal emergency aid for renters in Pennsylvania hit hard financially during the pandemic is still in the pipeline as Gov. Tom Wolf's ban on foreclosures and evictions nears an expiration.

Antunovich Associates

The historic Produce Terminal in Pittsburgh’s Strip District is expected to be ready for new tenants this fall. The first phase of renovations was completed last week.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

About 20 of Pittsburgh’s independent music venues and promoters have joined a national effort to get federal relief for their industry, which has been sidelined during the coronavirus pandemic. Venues and promoters that present music and comedy said the shutdown has hit them especially hard, and there is no end in sight.

Katie Blackley / WESA

Prosecutors asked a judge to stiffen the home confinement and probation sentences imposed on a former librarian and a bookseller who pleaded guilty in the theft of rare books from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in a years-long scheme.

Common Pleas Judge Alexander Bicket sentenced 56-year-old John Schulman earlier this month to four years of home confinement and 64-year-old Gregory Priore to three years of home confinement. Both were ordered to spend a dozen years on probation after completing their sentences.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

It’s been two years since the bronze statue of Pittsburgh-born composer Stephen Foster and a barefoot black man playing a banjo was removed from Schenley Plaza. The statue was denounced for decades, but the criticism gained steam in the aftermath of a deadly protest in Charlottesville, Va. over the removal of Confederate monuments.

Environment & Energy

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says it is taking steps to learn more about the health risks of fracking following criticism from an investigative grand jury.

Republican Lawmakers Defend Shale Gas Industry Following Grand Jury Report

Jun 30, 2020
Keith Srakocic / AP

Republican state lawmakers are defending the natural gas industry following the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that found the Department of Environmental Protection failed to protect the public from the health effects of fracking.

Economy & Business

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania state government finished its fiscal year about 9% short of its initial revenue estimate, a result of the state’s coronavirus-related shutdowns and delayed tax-filing deadlines, the Department of Revenue said Wednesday.

Local Headlines

ERIN KEANE SCOTT / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

1:43 p.m. -- Wolf says mask-wearing 'provides more freedom to to the things we love'

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

12:19 p.m. - 177 new COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County today

Food & Drink

Closing Bars To Stop Coronavirus Spread Is Backed By Science

Jul 2, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Authorities are closing honky tonks, bars and other drinking establishments in some parts of the U.S. to stem the surge of COVID-19 infections — a move backed by sound science about risk factors that go beyond wearing or not wearing masks.

National & International

A third former Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd has been released from jail.

According to Hennepin County jail records, Tou Thao was released from custody with conditions on Saturday morning after posting $750,000 bond.

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