Gene J. Puskar / AP

  On today's program: PA has little recourse to help cities devastated by wage taxes out-of-work employees never accrued; Pittsburgh is slow to adopt plans for future climate migrants; and scientists question whether closing schools was the right call.

Dickinson campaign/AP

Democrats Mike Doyle and Jerry Dickinson faced off Wednesday evening in what quickly became a heated debate, as the Congressional candidates sparred over racial inequality in Pittsburgh, and traded barbs over who was more progressive.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Some individuals are forming so-called “pods" with small groups of friends or family as a way to expand social interaction while limiting exposure to the coronavirus. 

Joshua Pickering

On today's program: The new head of FBI Pittsburgh talks cybercrimes and counterterrorism; and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson sheds a little light on the mysteries of the universe ahead of a rescheduled trip to Pittsburgh.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is working on guidelines to allow sporting events, exhibitions and leagues, both professional and amateur, to get back to “some semblance of normalcy” after practically everything shut down to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday.

'Desperate' PA Child Care Industry To Receive $51 Million Lifeline

May 20, 2020
Emma Lee / WHYY

Pennsylvania officials are beginning to distribute $51 million of federal stimulus funding to the state’s child care providers, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday — a lifeline to an industry crucial to reopening the economy that advocates say is on the brink of collapse.

Lawsuit Says PA Is Failing Special Needs Kids During Coronavirus School Closures

May 20, 2020

A pair of Bucks County families have sued Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Education Secretary Pedro Rivera and the Pa. Department of Education in federal court, alleging that online education for children with autism during the coronavirus school shutdown has been insufficient.

Photo by Albert Cesare

You might call it “Are You Smarter Than A Naturalized Citizen?”

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

In its last public meeting before the June 2 primary, the Allegheny County Board of Elections met Tuesday to run through final details and plans for the upcoming election, which could lead to higher-than-normal turnout despite the threat of a global pandemic.


Availability of novel coronavirus testing in Allegheny County has significantly expanded since mid-March. Though some public health experts, activists and elected officials say many residents still lack access.

Heather Kass’ bid for the state legislature continues to roil western Pennsylvania Democratic politics, as Kass herself has now sued the Allegheny County Democratic Committee and the state Democratic Party for allegedly failing to provide her with access to voter information and other benefits that Democrats endorsed by the party enjoy.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Real estate sales and related activity can resume across Pennsylvania if guidelines designed to limit infection are followed, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday.

Pennsylvania Releases Data On Nursing Home Outbreaks

May 19, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Nearly 50 Pennsylvania nursing homes have reported 20 or more deaths related to COVID-19, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the state Department of Health.


In the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s first live-streamed oral argument, the justices raised doubts Tuesday about whether state trial courts can ban people on probation from using medical marijuana.

90.5 WESA

The Allegheny County Elections Division has been sending vote-by-mail applications to every registered voter in the county ahead of the June 2 primary, but those applications may not reach every voting bloc.

1Hood Media / Facebook


On today's program: 1Hood Media is creating COVID-19 content by and for Pittsburgh’s black and brown communities; PennDOT offers guidelines for car inspections and registration renewals during the pandemic; and the economic shutdown is giving scientists a unique opportunity to study air quality. 

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

Elections wouldn’t happen without poll workers, and as Allegheny County prepares to carry out the June 2 primary amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials have been reckoning with whether they’ll have enough people to staff every polling place. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

With the Memorial Day holiday weekend approaching, Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday questioned the wisdom of beach-going, even as governors in other states reopen their beaches despite worries that the coronavirus outbreak could surge again.

Beaches up and down the East Coast will be open this weekend, albeit with social-distance guidance coming from state and local officials. Wolf, however, has taken a dim view of beach-going while the virus is spreading.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

Most Pittsburgh Public School students with district-issued computers cannot video conference with their teachers when they’re asking questions or completing assignments.

Matt Slocum / AP

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday that NASCAR can hold its races at Pocono Raceway in late June if the coronavirus situation improves in the area, though the races might have to go off without fans.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

With the warming weather and the city of Pittsburgh squarely in the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf's reopening plan, more people are leaving their houses. A City of Pittsburgh task force has proposed a number of ways that streets and transit could be modified to balance the demands of physical distancing with an increase in economic activity.

Has The Pandemic Cleaned Up Our Air? Answers Could Lie On Your Doorstep

May 18, 2020
Emma Lee / WHYY

Shari Hersh grew up in Philadelphia, hiking in Fairmount Park, biking along the Schuylkill River. She commutes to her job at Philadelphia Mural Arts by bike, and each day of the coronavirus shutdown she has either walked or biked the city’s streets.



On today's program: The fate of the former Civic Arena site is again in limbo; for many, decision-making has changed due to coronavirus; and lots of conservation efforts have been put on hold during the pandemic.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania's death toll from the COVID-19 outbreak has passed 4,500 and about 63,000 people have been infected, the state Health Department said Monday.

Mail Voting, New Machines Feature In Pennsylvania Primary

May 18, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

The once-delayed Pennsylvania primary won't determine the presidential nominees, by now a foregone conclusion. But the voting in two weeks will feature legislative and congressional races, a first run for some new paper-record voting systems and the inaugural use of newly legalized mail-in ballots.

Voter registration will end Monday for the June 2 primary. The latest figures show many Pennsylvanians have embraced the state’s new vote-by-mail option that was passed last year but has been widely adopted as a way to avoid pandemic exposure.


Public health officials have cited contact tracing as a key part of lifting lockdowns and continuing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus; a new app developed at Carnegie Mellon University could make the effort easier.

keith srakocic / AP

Courtesy Carnegie Museums

Pittsburgh’s museums argue they should be allowed to operate during the “yellow” phase of the state’s coronavirus re-opening plan.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

North Side Christian Health Center has set up a testing site for the coronavirus in the parking lot of its Deutschtown location. It's one of seven federally qualified health centers in Allegheny County that will now provide the service.

Mel Evans / AP

Allegheny County plans to conduct the June 2 primary with just one-eighth of the polling places it usually offers to voters, with just one voting center for each of the 129 municipalities other than Pittsburgh.