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Inbox Edition: 5/24/21 Morning Headlines

Gainey voting 2021.jpg
Chris Potter
90.5 WESA
State Rep. Ed Gainey voting at his polling place in the 2021 primary election.

Today's top stories on Pittsburgh, the state, and the world, from WESA, NPR, and public radio partners.

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State Rep. Ed Gainey, who won last week's Democratic primary for Pittsburgh mayor, will be on The Confluence today at 9 a.m. Listen at 90.5 FM or wesa.fm.

1. Criminal justice was key rallying point for progressives who triumphed in primary election
Local activists scored wins up and down the ballot in the primary election, thanks in large part to the broader movement to reform the criminal justice system and advance police accountability, An-Li Herring reports.

2. How a small change could help revitalize main streets across Pennsylvania
A bill in the statehouse could help revive our struggling main streets. Margaret J. Krauss reports House Bill 610 would expand the scope of land banks to include a challenging type of property — brownfields.

cicadas app.jpg
Gene Kritsky
Mount St. Joseph University
Dr. Gene Kritsky created the Cicada Safari app to help scientists track the emergence of the Brood X cicadas.

3. This app takes crowdsourcing cicadas to the next level
Scientists have been mapping cicadas for over a century. The Allegheny Front's Andy Kubis reports the public can help track the emergence of Brood X thanks to an app called Cicada Safari.

4. Living in Allegheny County and need help paying rent? Millions in pandemic aid is still available
The county has paid out more than $4.4 million in aid but still has about $67 million in funds remaining, according to officials from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. Kate Gimmarise reportsdistribution of rent aid is now running more smoothly after a rough start.

5. The richest man in Pennsylvania is single handedly keeping school choice PACs flush
Jeff Yass is poised to spend millions of dollars influencing upcoming elections — all while trying to keep his name away from the political spotlight, WHYY's Katie Meyer reports.

6. Citizen group is set to begin reviewing state police use-of-force and racial bias incidents
State police shootings, use-of-force and potential bias will now be investigated by one of three independent committees. Sam Dunklau reports the panels are housed under a Citizen Advisory Commission Gov. Tom Wolf set up in the wake of racial justice protests.

Penguins Islanders Hockey
Frank Franklin II
Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) during the third period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the New York Islanders, Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. The Islanders won 4-1.

7. Penguins, Islanders tied 2-2 heading into game 5 of the playoffs
The top line of Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust served as the lone constant for the Pittsburgh Penguins during an injury-plagued regular season, one that ended with a sprint to the East Division championship. The Associated Press' Will Graves reports that the magic the three players created, however, has vanished for long stretches during Pittsburgh's first-round series against the New York Islanders. Game 5 is tonight at 7 p.m.

8. Former Pennsylvania high court justice Zappala Sr. dies
Stephen Zappala Sr., a former chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court being remembered for his distinguished legal career and public service, has died. He was 88, the Associated Press reports.

On The Confluence

  • State Rep. Ed Gainey, the likely future mayor of Pittsburgh, considers the significance of his election win.
  • A researcher explains why “problem-based” visits to pediatricians remained low during the pandemic, and how that can carry over past the public health emergency.

Tune in at 9 a.m. for The Confluence with Kevin Gavin. Listen here.