Latest Coronavirus Updates

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

Jose Luis Magana / AP

Governor Doubles Pennsylvania Guard Sent To Help Washington

Pennsylvania will double the number of National Guard members it's sending to help secure Washington after the violent riot last week in which angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

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Politics & Government

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto announced on Thursday afternoon his bid for re-election for his seat as Pittsburgh's chief executive. 

Barriers, Police Added For Pennsylvania Capitol Security

Jan 14, 2021
Matt Rourke / AP

The agency that protects the Pennsylvania Capitol building said Thursday officials are not aware of specific threats to the facility but are bolstering security measures.

Troy Thompson with the Department of General Services, which oversees Capitol Police, said there are additional officers inside and out, and barriers have been erected in recent days.

He noted Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has not issued an order to close the downtown Harrisburg complex next week, but that could change if necessary.

Seth Perlman / AP

On today's program: The Allegheny County Department of Human Services is beefing up existing programs and rolling out new ones thanks to a federal grant that will combat homelessness and housing insecurity among young adults; Despite the halting of film and television work last year due to the pandemic, the Pittsburgh Film Office is expecting production to ramp up in the city; and discovery of a fossilized dinosaur sitting on its nest brings insights into oviraptorid behavior.

Science, Health & Tech

Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP/file

Dr. George Garrow with Primary Health Network says trust will be critical for the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County officials are urging local COVID-19 vaccine providers to inoculate frontline health care workers over those further down the state's prioritization list. County health department director Dr. Debra Bogen said providers should contact the county if they can’t find groups of phase 1A workers.

Education

Commonwealth Media Services

The head of Pennsylvania’s public university system said Wednesday he is committed to combating racism on campus but conceded he has not studied how the system itself has historically perpetuated inequity, and how that could inform possible solutions.

Seth Wenig / AP

A state policy change will leave thousands of children with autism without the regular therapy that helps them learn crucial skills.

Good Question!

How The Pittsburgh Left Became Embedded In City Driving

Pittsburgh developed from a hodgepodge of former boroughs and municipalities, and its hills and river valleys prevented planners from creating a traditional street grid. These factors make the city difficult to navigate in a vehicle. On top of that, local drivers have some idiosyncratic behaviors.

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Identity & Justice

Jose Luis Magana / AP

Pennsylvania will double the number of National Guard members it's sending to help secure Washington after the violent riot last week in which angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

A Delaware County man linked to the white supremacist Proud Boys has been charged with assaulting three Capitol Police officers with a fire extinguisher during last week’s violent riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Development & Transportation

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Travel restrictions are coming to some Pennsylvania highways in the face of an anticipated winter storm New Year’s Day.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Joanne Rogers, Widow Of TV's Famed Mister Rogers, Dies At 92

17 hours ago
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Joanne Rogers, an an accomplished concert pianist who celebrated and protected the legacy of her husband, the beloved children's TV host Mister Rogers, has died in Pittsburgh. She was 92.

Zhao Chuang, PNSO

Many people know that birds descend from dinosaurs.

But a unique new fossil discovery that involved researchers from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History shows that some dinosaurs had a lot more in common with birds than many of us realize.

Courtesy of the Mendelssohn Choir

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, it became clear that indoor choral singing was among the riskiest behaviors one could engage in. So the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, like so many group artistic endeavors, hasn’t had any in-person activities for some 10 months.

Environment & Energy

Emma Lee / WHYY

Sounding optimistic after four years of battling climate change with little help from the federal government under the Trump administration, Mayor Jim Kenney said Friday that Philadelphia will aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.

State Gives $34 Million For Water Cleanup

Jan 11, 2021
Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

The state is giving more than $34 million to scores of water cleanup projects across the commonwealth.

Economy & Business

Matt Smith / Keystone Crossroads

Gov. Tom Wolf is pressuring the GOP-controlled legislature to reroute money from the Pa. Insurance Department to small businesses that need COVID-19 support.

Local Headlines

Emma Lee / WHYY

William McSwain, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, has officially announced his resignation.

Matt Slocum / AP

On this week's Explainer:

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been slow and uneven.

Food & Drink

Matt Rourke / AP

The state Department of Agriculture is inviting viewers down a “rabbit hole of Pennsylvania agriculture” during its first ever virtual Pennsylvania Farm Show.

National & International

The FBI continues to investigate last week's mob attack on the Capitol and make arrests that include current and former military service members. Now NPR has learned the domestic extremism problem within the ranks may be more serious than officials realized.

A senior defense official who was not authorized to speak publicly tells NPR that there were 143 notifications of investigations by the FBI last year of former and current military members.

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