Top PA Lawmakers Who Rejected Election Results Denounce U.S. Capitol Mob

Jan 6, 2021
Andrew Harnik / AP

State lawmakers in Pennsylvania denounced violence in Washington on Wednesday after a mob of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol to impede the official count of Electoral College votes.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Federal prosecutors in western Pennsylvania say a man is facing federal charges in connection with an incendiary device thrown from a moving vehicle into a parked sport utility vehicle over the weekend in Pittsburgh.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Nearly 20 years after Pittsburgh was told it needed to do something about combined sewer overflows, the city and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority are still working on it. However, officials are getting closer. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Enrollment in public assistance programs in Pennsylvania continues to climb due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, though state human service officials say federal unemployment aid and other programs have kept even more people from falling into poverty.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Members of Congress are formally counting the Electoral College votes. A group of Republicans are planning to object to the results, citing false claims of widespread voter fraud. President Trump continues to baselessly claim that he won the election rather than Joe Biden, who is set to be sworn into office on Jan. 20. Watch the proceedings live.


The fate of a state Senate seat in the Pittsburgh area remains in limbo even after the chamber started a new session Tuesday.

Francisco Seco / AP

On today's program: Pittsburgh Public Schools administrators are assessing when to bring some students back to schools; A local environmental advocacy group weighs in on the Environmental Protection Agency’s updated rules for lead and copper and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority’s work on reducing lead in drinking water; and Erie voters with differing political views discuss the results of the general election.

8 PA House GOP Members To Oppose Biden's Electoral Votes

Jan 5, 2021
Andrew Harnik / AP

Eight Republican members of Congress from Pennsylvania, falling in line with President Donald Trump, said that they will oppose the state's electoral votes being cast Wednesday for President-elect Joe Biden.

As Restrictions Lift, Reopened PA Businesses Cast A Wary Eye Towards The Future

Jan 5, 2021
Emma Lee / WHYY

Three weeks of COVID-19 business closures in Pennsylvania lifted on Monday, restoring indoor activity in restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues. Some businesses welcomed the return, while others have their eyes set on a more distant future — whenever “normal” returns.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet says he wants students back in classrooms, learning in front of teachers. But’s hard to pinpoint when that will happen for most of the district’s 22,000 students who have been learning remotely since March.

Fight Over Senate Elections Mars Start Of Legislative Session

Jan 5, 2021
Carolyn Kaster / AP

A bitter dispute broke out on the floor of the Pennsylvania Senate on Tuesday when majority Republicans blocked a Democratic incumbent from being sworn in because his GOP challenger has disputed the razor-thin election results.


State data show that COVID-19 hospitalizations in Pennsylvania have increased by more than 500 percent since the beginning of November. But administrators of the state’s largest hospital system continue to say that staff are capable of handling this significant influx of patients. 

90.5 WESA

On today's program: A Pittsburgh bartender shares her experience working through the pandemic and two shutdowns; Major League Baseball is officially recognizing Negro League players—including from two Pittsburgh teams—as major leaguers; and a UPMC nurse says the surge in cases is overwhelming the nursing staff.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Allegheny County Health Department announced a second clinic for COVID-19 vaccines Monday. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Monroeville will serve as a point of distribution in addition to the Health Department’s downtown location.


A day before Pennsylvania state lawmakers will be sworn in for a new two-year session, state Senate Democrats said Monday that the Republican majority is trying to “steal an election” by objecting to letting a Democratic member take his seat for a fourth term.

Allegheny Health Network

After weeks of record high coronavirus case numbers, the pandemic in Pennsylvania is finally starting to ebb — but the commonwealth isn’t out of the woods yet.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Most bills proposed in the Pennsylvania legislature never get a vote, but some lawmakers want to change that in the new legislative session, which begins Tuesday.

Laura Tsutsui / 90.5 WESA

  On today's program: Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald spoke about what the pandemic has revealed about the state of the city and county ahead of 2021.

Pittsburgh Police

Pittsburgh police are investigating after someone threw an explosive device out of a car in Lawrenceville Sunday night.

Matt Rourke / AP

Republicans are considering rolling back a major expansion to Pennsylvania’s voting laws — a move motivated at least in part by relentless pressure from President Donald Trump and constituents who support him.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

GNC is allowing people to skip the line for coronavirus testing -- the Pittsburgh-based wellness retailer now sells an over-the-counter test on its website for $120. 

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

A state lawmaker who was elected to serve as the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus chairman in the 2020-21 session has died, the House GOP leader said Saturday.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Explainer is taking a break from the news this week. Instead, we're bringing you four winter scenes from WESA journalists.

First, take a walk with host Liz Reid and her dog, Roscoe; get your yoga mat and work out with The Confluence producer Laura Tsutsui and her partner (and hear why it's okay to sleep in a little); bake pistachio pinwheel cookies with The Confluence editor Marylee Williams; and hear from government and accountability reporter Ariel Worthy about what it's like to be pregnant for the first time during a pandemic.

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.

Dick Thornburgh, Ex-Governor And US Attorney General, Dies

Dec 31, 2020

Dick Thornburgh, who as Pennsylvania governor won plaudits for his cool handling of the 1979 Three Mile Island crisis and as U.S. attorney general restored credibility to a Justice Department hurt by the Iran-Contra scandal, has died. He was 88.

UPMC Livestream

In Allegheny County and elsewhere, the end of 2020 brings worries that COVID-19 cases will rise due to holiday celebrations, but also hope that a new vaccine will finally curb the pandemic.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Land Bank, created in 2014, has yet to buy, clear, and sell a single piece of property. At its January meeting the land bank's board is expected to vote on whether to make it an “affiliate entity” of the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Matt Rourke / AP

As the Pennsylvania legislature begins a new session next month, Allegheny County will find itself unrepresented among top leadership in the state House.

Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Goals Set To Flatline Next Year, Unless Legislature Acts

Dec 30, 2020
Rachel McDevitt / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s goals for utilities to buy increased amounts of power from alternative sources, such as wind and solar, are set to flatline in 2021 unless the General Assembly acts.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The pandemic upended life in countless ways, including the collective realization of just how important home is.