Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

UPMC, Highmark Agree To Extend In-Network Access For 10 More Years

Two western Pennsylvania health care giants have a deal that averts the looming breakup of their business relationship, an agreement that prevents disruption and higher costs for many patients.

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Politics & Government

Library of Congress

On today’s program: the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters mark 100 years since Pennslvania ratified the 19th Amendment; Pennsylvanians spend big on the lottery; SETpoint provides self-defense training for those at-risk of gender-based violence; fracking in Ohio brings money and complications; and Pittsburgh considers microtransit partnerships.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

State lawmakers now have the official report on the money Pennsylvania netted this fiscal year.

As expected, there’s a surplus.

But it won’t go nearly as far as some officials have hoped.

Former Congressman Joe Sestak Announces 2020 Presidential Bid

Jun 23, 2019

Former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak entered the crowded 2020 presidential race on Sunday, making him the 24th Democrat to announce their bid.

 

Science, Health & Tech

Usually a monopoly results in bigger bills for consumers, since a lack of competition allows a business to demand high prices. But a new analysis from the University of Pittsburgh finds that's not always the case for the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Two western Pennsylvania health care giants have a deal that averts the looming breakup of their business relationship, an agreement that prevents disruption and higher costs for many patients.

Identity & Justice

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The man accused of plotting to bomb a North Side church made his first appearance in federal court Friday morning. After hearing testimony from an FBI agent, federal Magistrate Judge Cynthia Eddy found there was probable cause to keep Mustafa Mousab Alowemer behind bars.

AP

One year ago, Michael Rosfeld, a white East Pittsburgh police officer, fatally shot Antwon Rose, a black unarmed teenager. In the immediate aftermath, many blamed local officials for Rosfeld’s actions and called for the small borough to make big changes.

Education

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

An audit of the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ transportation department found that the district was eligible for nearly $2 million in state fuel reimbursements, but that taxpayers were "shortchanged" by the district’s lack of proper record-keeping.

Good Question!

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's Underground Railroad History Sheds Light On City's 'Militant Abolitionist Community'

Atop Mount Washington, in the sprawling Chatham Village community, is a large brick home with large windows and spacious balconies. Chatham Village resident, architect and amateur historian David Vater said it used to be known as the Bigham House, and was the residence of abolishionist lawyer Thomas Bigham. It was also a stop on the Underground Railroad.

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Development & Transportation

Rachel Gobep / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle company Argo AI will invest $15 million to create a new research center at Carnegie Mellon University, officials announced Monday.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Like locusts descending on a field of corn, swarms of tiny scooters struck awe and fear into the hearts of city dwellers across the globe. The small, whirring machines seemed to portend a changing transportation landscape.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Courtesy of Endemol Shine North America

On today's program: The man accused of plotting to attack a church on the North Side is due in court; MasterChef contestant and Pittsburgher Michael Silverstein draws culinary inspiration from the Strip District; East Pittsburgh has undergone a number of changes in the year since the death of Antwon Rose; Why are a number of Pittsburgh's roads referred to as runs?; plus a look inside Pitt’s newest nationality room celebrating Philippine culture.

A Late-Blooming Love For The Game Of Golf

Jun 19, 2019
Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Retired pediatric nephrologist Dr. Demetrius Ellis has played sports his entire life: soccer, racquetball, tennis. But a sudden onset of tennis elbow in his 60s prompted his neighbor to introduce Ellis to golf. “I thought it was an extremely expensive sport for rich people who were very compulsive,” Greece-born Ellis laughs. Ellis plays nearly every day at the public course, the Bob O’Connor Golf Course, in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park.

Photo by Ruth E. Hendricks / Courtesy of University of Pittsburgh Press

Poet Michael Wurster organized his career around his passion.

Wurster grew up mostly in Iowa, loving poetry, and earned an English degree at Dickinson College, in Harrisburg. But when he moved to Pittsburgh, in 1964, Wurster was a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman.

“I was good at it,” he says. But it hindered his pursuit of poetry.

“One thing that I finally realized was that sales and poetry were not compatible,” he says. “Being a salesman is not something you can turn on and off. “

Environment & Energy

Matt Rourke / AP

A fire in a Philadelphia refinery struck by explosions and a pre-dawn blaze last week has now been extinguished as an investigation is launched into what caused it, authorities said.

The blaze at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex, the East Coast's largest oil refinery, was extinguished Saturday afternoon, fire department and city officials said in a statement Sunday. The gas valve that had been fueling the blaze had been shut off and the tank involved in the explosion had been isolated, officials said.

Adam Tunnard / 90.5 WESA

Local environmental organizations held a sidewalk press conference today in front of the U.S. Steel Tower downtown, calling on U.S. Steel to reduce emissions from its Clairton Coke Works plant. The event comes in response to Monday’s fire at the coke facility, the second in sixth months, which briefly knocked out pollution controls.

Trump Ditches Obama’s Signature Climate Policy Aimed At Cutting Coal Emissions

Jun 20, 2019
Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Trump Administration has rolled back one of President Obama’s signature climate policies designed to cut coal plant emissions.

Economy & Business

David King has worked at the main branch of the Carnegie Library system as a part-time librarian for 15 years. While he works with patrons daily, he says leadership typically solicits input from consultants instead of rank-and-file employees.

Local Headlines

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh employees are expected to launch a unionization effort Monday. A committee that formed a year ago will begin collecting union cards in hopes of joining The United Steelworkers.

33K Pounds Of Cocaine Seized At Philly Port In One Of Biggest U.S. Drug Busts

Jun 19, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

U.S. authorities seized 33,000 pounds, or 15,000 kilograms, of cocaine from a ship at Philadelphia's port in what they described as one of the largest drug busts in American history.

They said the haul could have been worth more than $1 billion on the street.

The U.S. attorney's office in Philadelphia announced the massive bust on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, saying that law enforcement agents found the cocaine on a ship at the Packer Marine Terminal. Two members of the crew were arrested and face federal charges.

Food & Drink

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

On today’s program: The number of kids in foster care has increased as the opioid epidemic grows; Pittsburgh has a half-hidden fountain of youth; FBI documents could cast a shadow on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.; peregrine falcons have found a home at the Rachel Carson state office building in Harrisburg; and Pittsburgh is getting more than 90 beers to honor each of its official and unofficial neighborhoods. 

National & International

The popular knitting and crochet website Ravelry says its 8 million members are welcome to garter, seed or purl stitch their way through thousands of online patterns — but if they want to cast on with any pro-Trump views, they need to do it somewhere else.

The website's administrators announced Sunday that Ravelry is "banning support of Donald Trump and his administration" in any form, including "forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles" and anything else.

Where the News Comes Together

Weekdays at 9 a.m., newsmakers and innovators join host Kevin Gavin for one-on-one interviews and in-depth conversations about stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

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90.5 WESA Celebrates 90 Neighborhoods: 90 Good Stories

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