Latest Coronavirus Updates

90.5 WESA is following the latest updates and COVID-19 case numbers in Allegheny County and across Pennsylvania.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Pays $19.2 Million To Abuse Survivors

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh paid out $19,237,000 to victims of sexual abuse by its clergy members through a compensation fund launched after the release of a grand jury report in 2018. That report found widespread child sexual abuse in Catholic churches across Pennsylvania. The settlements were paid out by the Kenneth Feinberg Group, an independent mediator hired by the diocese in 2019, to 244 claims, according to a statement from the diocese Thursday. The Independent Reconciliation...

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Politics & Government

Jared Murphy and Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania certified Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election weeks ago. But President Trump’s campaign and some allies are still fighting the outcome in court. For the final installment of our Split Ticket series, 90.5 WESA asked four Western Pennsylvania voters – who we’ve been following for the last year – how they feel about the outcome.


Pandemic, Partisan Attacks Exposed Gaps In PA's New Mail-In Voting Law

14 hours ago
Matt Smith / Spotlight PA

Before any threat of a deadly, fast-spreading coronavirus disrupted daily life in every way across Pennsylvania, state lawmakers had approved a new way of voting that gave residents an alternative to going in person to the polls.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

The Capitol complex in Harrisburg will close to the public until further notice because of a statewide surge in coronavirus infections, officials said Thursday.

Science, Health & Tech

John Minchillo / AP

Allegheny County passed a depressing milestone on Thursday, reporting more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

A month ago that number seemed distant. 

Matt Rourke / AP

On today's program: After hearing from one nurse executive, we turn to the state nurses association to find out how nurses are coping with burnout; and three years after a devastating spinal cord injury, former Steelers player Ryan Shazier launches a nonprofit to help those with similar injuries.

Education

Philly-Area School District’s Commitment To In-Person Classes Tested By COVID Surge

Dec 2, 2020
Matt Smith for Keystone Crossroads

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Superintendent William Harner roved Quakertown Senior High School looking for trouble.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: Pittsburgh Public School administrators say assessments have to be reconsidered in a pandemic; The POISE Foundation’s latest “Pulse Report” finds a disproportionate amount of high poverty and Black students in fully remote learning; The pandemic is making the digital divide all the more obvious; and two professors take on questions about sleep and computers.

Good Question!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Choose A Color And Buckle Up: Allegheny County's Belt System Is Low Tech, But Navigable

Across the street from the Trolley Stop Inn on Library Road in Bethel Park, there’s a sign. It’s white and rectangular, the lettering is fading a bit, and on the leftmost side is a large orange dot. It’s nearly the size of a basketball and the label boldly proclaims: Orange Belt.

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Identity & Justice

Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Drug companies are on the verge of releasing coronavirus vaccines to the public, but getting Black people and Latinos to trust the vaccine is yet another hurdle in the pandemic that has affected people of color the most.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh paid out $19,237,000 to victims of sexual abuse by its clergy members through a compensation fund launched after the release of a grand jury report in 2018. That report found widespread child sexual abuse in Catholic churches across Pennsylvania.

The settlements were paid out by the Kenneth Feinberg Group, an independent mediator hired by the diocese in 2019, to 244 claims, according to a statement from the diocese Thursday.

Development & Transportation

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's state treasurer said Tuesday that his agency has come up with plans to prevent shutdowns of highway construction and safety work amid tax collections lagging because of economic fallout from the pandemic.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Short-Handed Ravens Put Up Fight, Fall Short In Pittsburgh

23 hours ago
Don Wright / AP

The Baltimore Ravens didn't practice for more than a week while COVID-19 raced through the locker room and forced the NFL to postpone their trip to Pittsburgh three separate times. They ran onto Heinz Field on Wednesday afternoon with 11 practice squad players added to the roster and star quarterback Lamar Jackson and starting running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins back in Baltimore.

A traditional gallery show featuring work by 100 Pittsburgh artists would be noteworthy (not to mention crowded). This week’s online auction showcasing that many locally based artists is likely a first.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

The pandemic-related financial struggles of Allegheny County’s parks, libraries and arts groups aren’t over yet, but at least one major funder seems on the path to recovery.

Environment & Energy

Federal Agency Approves Transfer Of TMI-2 For Decommissioning

15 hours ago
Matt Rourke / AP

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is greenlighting the license transfer of Three Mile Island’s Unit 2 reactor from FirstEnergy to a subsidiary of Utah-based EnergySolutions for decommissioning.

Can Biden's Climate Plan Spark Cooperation In PA?

Dec 1, 2020
Rachel McDevitt / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Climate change is one of the four major crises President-elect Joe Biden hopes to tackle after he’s sworn into office in January.

Economy & Business

AP

Every month, there’s a rough week and a half period for Jennifer Eber and her daughter, when they have exhausted their monthly food stamp benefits.

Local Headlines

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On this week's Explainer:

The coronavirus pandemic has many families who rely on food stamps struggling to put food on the table. Kate Giammarise reports on efforts by the Trump administration to prevent the distribution of additional benefits to certain recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Patrick Doyle / 90.5 WESA

December has brought snow to the Pittsburgh region.

While the city of Pittsburgh might not be blanketed in snow, the National Weather Service office in Moon Township got 1.7 inches of snow by 7 a.m.

The National Weather Service also issued a winter weather advisory for Allegheny County until Wednesday morning. The region is expected to get 3 to 5 inches of snow. 

The NWS warns, "Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning and evening commute."

Food & Drink

When police killed George Floyd outside a Minneapolis corner store, it reminded the world that racism can become lethal. But just a few miles away, on the north side of the city, racial inequality plays out in a more ordinary yet still harmful way: A lack of fresh food.

National & International

South Korea's capital recorded its highest-ever number of new coronavirus cases, 291, on Thursday, while nationwide there were 629 cases — the largest total in nine months. Amid criticism of the government's recent handling of the pandemic, it is considering tightening public health restrictions.

That criticism — that the government has been too timid in tacking the current third-wave of infections — follows international praise for South Korea's aggressive response to the initial outbreak in February.

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