News

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

It began as a march, one of dozens across the United States, to protest the death of a black man at the hands of Minneapolis police. Thousands marched through Downtown Pittsburgh and the Lower Hill District, and even as they chanted “no justice, no peace,” the police kept their distance.

That changed after about two hours, as police cars were burned, buildings vandalized, and police used tear gas and horses to disperse crowds. Shortly after 7:30 p.m., public safety officials had declared a curfew to go into effect from 8:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday. 

Ed Mahon / PA Post

Gov. Tom Wolf is confident that Pennsylvania students will return to their schools this fall.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Federal investigators will soon release a report on what led to the novel coronavirus outbreak at the Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

The Port Authority of Allegheny County on Friday confirmed that it will receive nearly $100 million in federal funding for its Bus Rapid Transit project.

Wolf To Lift More Pandemic Restrictions In Pennsylvania

May 29, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf will lift most of his pandemic restrictions in an additional 16 counties home to nearly 3 million people, including much of the Pittsburgh area, his office said Friday as afflicted Philadelphia also began mapping its way out of the crisis.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center got nearly twice the federal stimulus aid of its closest competitors, new numbers show, despite the fact that many of its hospitals are in parts of the state that were not among the hardest hit by the coronavirus.

Legislature Sends $25B Budget, Virus Aid Bill To Wolf

May 29, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

A piecemeal, no-new-taxes $25.8 billion budget headed to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk Thursday, as did legislation to distribute about $2.6 billion in emergency federal coronavirus aid to counties, nursing homes and wide range of other causes.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Claims Backlog Persists

May 29, 2020
Tony Dejak / AP

State officials said Thursday they’re making progress, but acknowledge more needs to be done to whittle down an unemployment compensation claims backlog that has persisted for more than two months.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The coronavirus shutdown began just as winter turned into spring. Since then, people have been learning new skills, taking on home projects and figuring out how to navigate life in these strange times.

A federal judge ruled late Wednesday that the Pennsylvania Department of State must provide a way for visually-impaired voters to fill out an absentee or mail-in ballot online, print it at home and return it to their county elections office. 

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Plow Ahead On Budget, Emergency Aid

May 28, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

A temporary, no-new-taxes $25.8 billion spending package headed to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk on Thursday, passed in speedy fashion barely 48 hours after its details first became public in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Images provided by applicants

At first the videos seem like they could be auditions for a reality television show.

A shaky camera comes to rest on a business owner sitting in their bar, or salon, or living room. They take a deep breath, and then begin to make their case.

Schools Relieved As PA Budget Poised To Avoid Education Cuts, For Now

May 28, 2020
Keith Srakocic / AP

It appears Pennsylvania’s public schools will get at least a one-year reprieve from any large-scale, state budget cuts.

DEP Stood To Gain New Staffers, But Now Faces Flat Funding To Start Next Fiscal Year

May 28, 2020
Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection was hoping to welcome 25 new staff members in the next fiscal year. 

Flood Of Mail-In Ballots Spurs Fight To Change Deadlines

May 28, 2020
Carrie Antlfinger / AP

Some county and state officials are warning that a flood of mailed-in ballots in Pennsylvania -- fueled by fears of in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic -- will create a number of problems in Tuesday’s primary election that must be fixed before they cause a disaster in this battleground state in November’s presidential election.

Matt Rourke / AP

More than 70,000 Pennsylvanians have been infected with the coronavirus, the state Health Department said Thursday, and 108 more state residents have died from it.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: A local author revisits the motivations behind one of history's most influential political wives; some big businesses in Pittsburgh could face grim prospects; and a new private grant program offers small businesses an alternative to federal loans. 

KATIE BLACKLEY / 90.5 WESA

Despite new state guidelines that permit pools to operate under Pennsylvania’s yellow phase of COVID-19 reopening, many aquatic facilities in Allegheny County are likely to remain dry this summer.

Provided by the candidates

The Pennsylvania Auditor General completes well over 3,000 audits of publicly funded agencies each year, reviewing the work of state agencies and prisons, down to school boards and volunteer firefighter relief associations. 

keith srakocic / AP

Wanda Franklin’s child care center has lost $30,000 in tuition payments since the Hill District location closed in March.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Like her students, 32-year-old Carla Anderson is home from college.

90.5 WESA

Allegheny County has settled some key issues in a lawsuit over its handling of the coronavirus at the county jail, with prison-reform advocates winning several concessions.

Will Mail-In Voting Turn Election Day Into Election Week?

May 27, 2020
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A shift to mail voting is increasing the chances that Americans will not know the winner of November’s presidential race on election night, a scenario that is fueling worries about whether President Donald Trump will use the delay to sow doubts about the results.

Screenshot

Joe Biden offered high praise for Pennsylvania’s chief executive on Wednesday, saying Gov. Tom Wolf’s phased plan for easing coronavirus restrictions is “the kind of thing we should be doing nationally.”

Emma Lee / WHYY

Over the last six weeks, Pennsylvania state prisons have temporarily released 153 people under an emergency program designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 behind bars — a total even prison officials say is lower than expected.

Teresa Crawford / AP

 


On today's program: The NHL looks to restart the 2019-20 season with revised playoffs; pregnancy could offer insights into future health outcomes for moms and babies; the race for Pennsylvania’s 19th state House district heats up; and the “gig workers” of academia worry for their jobs. 

Changes Afoot At Hard-Hit Pennsylvania Veterans Home

May 27, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration announced a new leader Wednesday at the Southeastern Veterans’ Center, where nearly three dozen residents have died from the coronavirus and a state senator urged the replacement of its leadership.

Jake Wheatley Facebook Page/"Friends of Aerion Abney" via Facebook

Pennsylvania primary elections were moved to June 2 because of COVID-19. But even amid all the changes, next week voters will have two familiar options when casting ballots in the 19th State House District: incumbent Jake Wheatley and Aerion Abney.

'A Step Toward Normalcy': NHL Shapes A Return To Play

May 27, 2020
Mark Humphrey / AP

Rosy as the news might sound, Gary Bettman made no promises in announcing the NHL has the framework of a plan in place to return to the ice.

“We hope,” the commissioner said, “that this is a step back toward normalcy.”

The league and its players overcame a significant hurdle Tuesday when Bettman formally unveiled a 24-team expanded playoff format in which games could start as early as late July in two yet-to-be-determined cities.

KATIE BLACKLEY / 90.5 WESA

Remember when doctors and public health officials were telling people they didn't need to wear masks? On February 29, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Powell tweeted, "They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus."

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