New Stimulus Gives Philly's Struggling Music Scene Its Own Shot In The Arm

Dec 30, 2020
Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

On Sunday night, Sean Salm could see the stage at Voltage Lounge lighting up again, with guitarists, singers and even professional wrestlers performing in front of a live audience after months of silence.

Wolf To Let Some COVID-19 Lockdown Measures Expire On Monday

Dec 30, 2020
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Additional restrictions that were imposed in Pennsylvania almost three weeks ago to combat the COVID-19 pandemic will expire as expected early next week, Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

new report from Research for Action shows that school police presence has increased across Allegheny County over the past five years, despite efforts by some districts to reduce school policing.

Mark Tenally / AP

As Congress wraps up its 116th session, diligent constituents may check in to see how their representatives fared at authoring legislation. In western Pennsylvania, Democrat Conor Lamb was the only Congressman to get anything signed by President Trump. But tallying up how many bills a member of Congress gets signed into law is just one of many ways to gauge efficacy.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Western Pennsylvania Republicans were forced to weigh their loyalty to President Trump on Monday when the U.S. House voted on two major pieces of legislation. One of Trump’s most faithful supporters broke with the President twice, and another found himself voting against defense spending he'd previously supported.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The coronavirus vaccine is coming to the Kane Community Living Centers, which have lost a total of 46 residents to COVID-19 this year.

Jessica Griffin / Philadelphia Inquirer

A week before the Nov. 3 election, state officials urged voters not to risk a late arrival of their ballot through the mail and instead to return it in person.

The head federal prosecutor based in Harrisburg announced Monday he's quitting the job later this week.

U.S. Attorney Dave Freed said he's resigning after serving more than three years in the Trump Administration.

The Republican is a former Cumberland County district attorney who lives in Camp Hill.

Freed, 50, is the U.S. attorney in the 33-county Middle District of Pennsylvania, which has courthouses in Harrisburg, Williamsport and Scranton.


The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania is recruiting volunteer tax preparers for its annual upcoming free tax preparation effort.

Volunteers help low-income families and individuals complete their tax returns, ensuring that everyone receives the full refunds they are entitled to.

No prior tax experience is necessary, and volunteers receive IRS training.


A portable, pod-shaped device is helping nursing homes, dentist offices and others to protect patients and residents from the coronavirus. The Nanowave Air, developed by Cheswick, Pa.-based Dynamics, is reportedly the first device of its kind.

Unemployment Benefits And One-Time Checks: What To Know About The New Stimulus In PA

Dec 29, 2020
Emma Lee / WHYY

Most taxpayers are set to receive a one-time payment of $600 and several unemployment programs will be restarted now that President Donald Trump has signed the second coronavirus stimulus bill.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

One of the first actions by President Donald Trump when he took office was to ban transgender people from serving in the military. Now that President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office on Jan. 20, local LGBTQ advocacy groups are cautiously optimistic about the Democrat’s proposed policies and protections for the community

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council delayed action for months on a parks tax that was approved by voters in 2019. But it took less than five minutes to approve when council held a final vote on the issue at its last meeting of 2020.

Nursing Home Residents, Workers To Get Coronavirus Vaccines

Dec 28, 2020
Stephen Dunn / AP

The federal government is beginning to vaccinate nursing home workers and residents in Pennsylvania against the coronavirus.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Police officials told City Council on last week that the bureau is making progress on a series of reforms — but they warned the force risked becoming less diverse at a time when racial tensions around policing have come to the forefront.

Scott Sonner / AP

On today's program: We catch up with three Pittsburgh-area superintendents we spoke with in August about how their districts have managed the pandemic; The Pittsburgh Promise has given out 10,000 scholarships, and the organization is looking at becoming more equitable during the pandemic; Experts answer how the U.S.’s international image impacts economics and how a fertilized egg becomes a human

Matt Rourke / AP

Domestic violence shelters in western Pennsylvania say they’re seeing an increase in hotline calls, amid worries that a difficult and isolating winter is on the way.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Dannielle Brown spent much of 2020 on a hunger strike to protest her son’s death at Duquesne University. And while the school has taken action in response, it seems likely the dispute will continue in the new year.

Update On WESA Transmitter

Dec 27, 2020

WESA’s main transmitter shut down on Sunday, Dec. 20 due to water damage and must be replaced. Until then, our main signal at 90.5 is operating at lower power.

We are working with the landlord of our transmitter site to make repairs and necessary improvements to the building before we install our new transmitter.  We remain hopeful that will get done by the end of the January.


It's a cold, white Christmas in Pittsburgh. 

Jacqueline Larma / AP

As health care workers and nursing home residents are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, officials are still finalizing the distribution plan for the so-called Phase 1B group. This next phase of vaccine distribution includes first responders, critical workers and those with pre-existing conditions that put them more at risk of severe illness from the coronavirus.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Nine hours, 17 minutes and 35 seconds of sunlight will shine in Pittsburgh's sky on Christmas day. That's 37 seconds more than appeared on Monday, the winter solstice, and the shortest day of the year. 

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

This past spring, the EQT Children’s Theater Festival went virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now the pandemic has birthed a first-ever holiday-season edition of the festival.

Matt Slocum / AP

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has rejected a bid to block one of Gov. Tom Wolf's latest orders to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus, a three-week shutdown of indoor dining at restaurants through Jan. 4, as Wolf went to court to sue restaurants defying the order.

Alexander Richard

Snowy weather and hazardous roads, in addition to the pandemic, are likely to interfere with this week's holiday celebrations.

David Zalubowski / AP

State data shows that 299 Allegheny County residents have died from COVID-19 so far this month.


That means that one-third of the county’s total COVID fatalities since the start of the pandemic have occurred in December.

90.5 WESA

The angst, anger and hostility over Pennsylvania's presidential election result will flow past New Year's Day.

provided / Chatham University

For 20 years Stefani Danes has attempted to start a sustainable cohousing community in Pittsburgh.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The ongoing pandemic coupled with the arrival of winter this week is putting additional strain on people experiencing homelessness and the shelters that serve them.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

For anyone having trouble paying their mortgage due to coronavirus-related circumstances, an important deadline to ask for help has been extended.