News

Heather Khalifa / Philadelphia Inquirer

Pennsylvania Republicans have dropped their plan to create an “election integrity” panel with subpoena power, an effort Democrats feared would represent a “stealth attack” on voting.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

There’s plenty of misinformation and confusion surrounding the 2020 general election. WESA reporters are answering common questions about voter registration, mail-in ballots, and voting in person.

Google Earth

One-hundred-and-five residents at an Allegheny County-run nursing home have been infected with the coronavirus since the beginning of September.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Some anxious Philly voters that requested mail-in ballots now want to vote in person instead — and the trend has some experts worried that these Election Day audibles could do more harm than good.

Pennsylvania Reports Most Daily Virus Infections Since April

Oct 9, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania reported its highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in more than five months on Thursday, with the governor expressing concern but contending the state is in a much better position now to handle the influx than it was at the beginning of the pandemic.

Eric Risberg / AP

The rate of uninsured children jumped last year by the biggest annual increase in more than 10 years, according to a report released Friday.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

On this week's Explainer:

Keystone Crossroads' Avi Wolfman-Arent reports that more than a half a million kids in Pennsylvania are learning to read right now. It's a demanding task in normal times, and considered by many to be the most significant event of a child's academic career. Remote learning could exacerbate existing gaps in literacy skills, which can impact a student's grasp of other subject areas.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

A professional geologist who worked on the Mariner East pipeline project says pipeline builder Sunoco/Energy Transfer prevented him and other geologists from inspecting and reporting on dangerous subsidence, or sinkholes, during construction.

Ben Allen / WITF

State Police troopers have completed a record-number of instant background checks for gun purchases or license to carry permits applications in the third quarter, between July 1 and September 30.

Philadelphia Officials Express Alarm Over 2020 Gun Violence

Oct 8, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

 

Philadelphia officials expressed alarm at surging gun violence this year that has already caused more homicides than were recorded in all of last year — and which continued Tuesday with more killings.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: The Port Authority of Allegheny County is looking for a Director of Equity and Inclusion; and City of Asylum has a new executive director. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Voter registration in Pennsylvania has likely set records, election officials said Wednesday, and requests for mail-in ballots ahead of the general election have already exceeded total mail-in voting in the primary. The state also announced plans to counteract efforts to claim victory on Election Night before the mail-in ballots are counted.

Talks To Update Pennsylvania's Mail-In Voting Law Show Life

Oct 8, 2020
Alan Diaz / AP

Closed-door talks on updating Pennsylvania's fledgling mail-in voting law showed signs of life Wednesday amid warnings that doing nothing will risk a dragged-out vote count in the high-stakes presidential election in the battleground state.

House Republicans held an internal conference call to discuss the idea of giving counties four or five days to process mail-in ballots before Election Day and to set down security requirements for the drop boxes that some counties are using to help collect mail-in ballots.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

People’s Pride returns to Pittsburgh this weekend as a hybrid of virtual and in-person events. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Since the beginning of September there have been 300 cases of the coronavirus among children, ages zero to 18, according to the Allegheny County Health Department.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

 


During this contentious and divisive election season, taking place on top of a global pandemic and a year of nationwide civil protests, it often feels the opposing political sides are so at odds, no middle ground can be found in between. 

Patrick Semansky / AP

Jayashree Bhaskar can pinpoint the exact moment she became truly excited about the Democratic presidential ticket.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Authorities say a man was shot and killed in the parking lot of a western Pennsylvania shopping mall.

Matt Rourke / AP

Allegheny County Council took up a bill Tuesday to regulate the acquisition and use of surveillance technology by county officials, including the district attorney and sheriff. 

Evan Vucci / AP

 


On today's program: State Republicans strategize to hold on to Pennsylvania in the general election; StoryCorps’ One Small Step project aims to bring people with differing views together; and a One Small Step conversation between two Pittsburghers. 

Photo by John Heller

With 19 years under its belt, “Off The Record” is surely Pittsburgh’s longest-running satirical musical revue. But while the coronavirus pandemic won’t stop it, neither will the 20th annual production be quite the same.

Andrew Harnik / AP

In a 20-minute speech in Gettysburg Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden framed the ongoing election as a “battle for the soul of the nation.”

KATIE BLACKLEY / 90.5 WESA

New, more relaxed rules on crowd sizes go into effect on Friday in Pennsylvania, with the caveat that these restrictions might be tightened if case investigation shows that events or gatherings are becoming a source of increased outbreaks.

How Should PA Boost Student Learning During The Pandemic? Some Say Vouchers Are The Answer

Oct 6, 2020
Science Photo Library / Via AP Images

Pennsylvania school-choice advocates are pushing hard for a measure that would send federal coronavirus relief money directly to families to put towards private school tuition, tutoring, or other educational expenses.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

 


On today's program: U.S. Senator Pat Toomey will not seek a third term in 2022 and will not run for governor; state Democrats want to turn Pennsylvania blue in the 2020 election; and Pittsburgh author Lee Gutkind discusses his new memoir.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s chief fiscal watchdog on Tuesday criticized a state program under which businesses could seek permission to operate during Gov. Tom Wolf’s pandemic shutdown, saying waivers were granted inconsistently and with little transparency and comparing the process to a “Keystone Kops routine." 

Courtesy of Shapiro for Pennsylvania and Heidelbaugh for Attorney General

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has attracted national attention as a frequent foe of the Trump Administration and as a champion of consumers. 

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed suit against Philadelphia, arguing that its policy of barring poll watchers from newly opened satellite election offices violates Pennsylvania law.

Photo by Karen Meyers

Lee Gutkind admits it, with a kind of relish: He used to lie about his age.

Christine Armario / AP

The state's largest teachers' union says teachers should be meeting the needs of students, not preparing for standardized tests.

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