News

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On Saturday afternoon hundreds of people gathered in front of Pittsburgh’s City-County Building. They filled Grant Street between Fourth and Forbes avenues in a giant circle to oppose police brutality and call to amend Pennsylvania’s use of force law.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

This Juneteenth marks two years to the day that Antwon Rose Jr. was shot and killed by an East Pittsburgh Police officer.

Lawmakers Urged To Make Police Discipline Records Public

Jun 19, 2020
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

With some states taking a fresh look at strengthening measures to hold police officers accountable, lawmakers in Pennsylvania are being urged to join states that make police department records of officer discipline accessible to the public.

Wolf Loosens Restrictions In Last Of Counties Except Lebanon

Jun 19, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Parts of Pennsylvania that were among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic will move next week into the less restrictive “green” zone for reopening businesses and restarting group activities, the Wolf administration announced Friday.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Friday marks two years since black Rankin teen, Antwon Rose, was shot and killed by a white East Pittsburgh police officer. Rose’s death sparked weeks of demonstrations, and local community organizer Christian Carter said those actions provided a foundation for today’s demonstrations over police brutality and systemic oppression.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

4:25 p.m. - Community remembers Antwon Rose, two years after his death

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA


On this week’s Pittsburgh Explainer, we revisit a story from our series Still Working, produced by Margaret J. Krauss and Kevin C. Brown about how work shapes who we are and how we see the world.

Mineworkers’ Unions Sue Trump Administration Over Lack Of COVID-19 Safety Rules

Jun 19, 2020
Reid F. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Two unions are suing the federal government agency in charge of mine safety, demanding it impose emergency rules to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among coal miners. 

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Demonstrators marched from Freedom Corner in the Hill District to the City County Building downtown Thursday afternoon in a protest organized by the groups Trans YOUniting and 1Hood Media. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

As protests nationwide and across Western Pennsylvania call out police brutality, a collective of activists on Monday presented their list of demands for police reform to city and Allegheny County officials. Among their demands: Reduce a years-long trend of increased police spending.

Impact Fees Collected From Gas Drillers Dropped In 2019

Jun 18, 2020
Rachel McDevitt / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania collected about 20 percent less in impact fees from natural gas drillers last year than in 2018, according to the Public Utility Commission. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced the creation of a police-reform task force Wednesday. The task force will review current police practices and police-community relations, and will have recommendations to the mayor by the fall.

Utility Regulators Keep Moratorium On Service Terminations

Jun 18, 2020
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission on Thursday rejected an attempt by one of its members to end its three-month-old moratorium preventing utilities from terminating service to non-paying customers while the state fights the spread of the coronavirus.

KEITH SRAKOCIC / AP

 

On today's program: Michelle Kenney, Antwon Rose’s mother, pushes for new policing laws; and Friday marks Juneteenth, a celebration that marks the end of slavery on June 19, 1865. 

MARK NOOTBAAR / 90.5 WESA

An Allegheny County Council committee has decided not to back a bill that would mandate universal COVID-19 testing at the county jail and Kane Community Living Centers. Democrat Bethany Hallam introduced the legislation in May, given that people in group-living settings face a heightened risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Authorities have charged a Port Authority bus driver with involuntary manslaughter months after she struck and killed a University of Pittsburgh student.

Police on Wednesday also charged 33-year-old Shavonne James with reckless driving, failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and operating an improperly equipped vehicle. It could not be determined if James has a lawyer.

Scott-twp.com

A Pennsylvania township commissioner has resigned following transphobic comments about state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

Former Scott Township Commissioner Paul Abel said he was tired of “listening to a guy dressed up like a woman” on a Zoom meeting last week, KDKA-TV reported.

Dr. Levine is the first transgender person appointed to a Pennsylvania cabinet position.

Scott Township announced Abel's resignation Wednesday on Facebook.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

5:54 p.m. - PNC commits more than $1 billion to support economic development for African American communities

Courtesy of Stop the Violence Pittsburgh

From its best-known settlers and its industrial tycoons to its Eastern European immigrants, Pittsburgh is often typecast as a white city. But the history of African Americans here runs deep.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t still contracting the coronavirus.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's highest court on Wednesday granted the Democratic governor's request and took over a lawsuit by legislative Republicans that could end his pandemic shutdown order.

Screengrab of House Judiciary Hearing via YouTube

As the House Judiciary Committee considered police reform legislation Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler spoke out against defunding police departments -- and quickly received a correction from a Democratic colleague who wrote the bill being discussed. An amendment he proposed calling for an investigation of the "antifa" movement also went over poorly. 

Auditor's Race Poses Historic First For Candidates Of Color

Jun 17, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's two major political parties have nominated candidates of color for state auditor general, a historic step that means that voters will for the first time elect a racial minority to lead a statewide executive branch office.

Joe Biden Again Hits Pennsylvania As He Sticks Close To Home

Jun 17, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Joe Biden is returning to the battleground state of Pennsylvania on Wednesday as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee intensifies his criticism of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

Jakob Lazzaro / 90.5 WESA

 

On today's program: The Allegheny Conference on Community Development evaluates Pittsburgh’s next steps towards economic recovery; a new textile could help healthcare workers working with COVID-19 patients; and pediatricians weigh in on the safety of in-person playdates. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council voted against a study that could have changed how a new pot of money is spent on affordable housing. Tuesday’s vote is the latest chapter in a years-long fight over the redevelopment of the former Penn Plaza Apartments in East Liberty.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

5:51 p.m. - CDC recommends testing asymptomatic people for COVID-19, including protest attendees

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Katie Clark sits in a lawn chair in the backyard of the Highland Park home of her friend Nia Baton-Soffietti. The women drink coffee while their two-year-old sons, Oscar and Desmond, explore the hatch of the Baton-Soffietti family car.

Matt Rourke / AP

A day after leaving his post as speaker of Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, Mike Turzai has become general counsel for Peoples Gas, the Pittsburgh-based natural gas division of Essential Utilities Inc., the company said Tuesday.

Justices Say Child Welfare Agency Can't Mandate Drug Testing

Jun 16, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Officials may not order drug tests as part of a child-abuse investigation, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, siding with a prosecutor who had come under the scrutiny of a county child welfare agency.

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