Ariel Worthy

Digital Producer

Born and raised in Birmingham, Ala., Ariel finally made a “big move” 45 minutes down the interstate to the University of Alabama where she studied Journalism and International Studies. During her time in college she interned with Tuscaloosa News, a daily newspaper in her college town. After college, she got her first job back in her hometown with Birmingham Times, a weekly where she served as reporter and editor. Ariel made an even bigger move to Pittsburgh and joined the 90.5 WESA family as digital producer. She is adjusting to experiencing actual cold weather. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced the city's proposed budget for 2021 on Monday. The spending plan totals $564 million and includes no tax hikes or layoffs -- for now.  

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

As uncertain as the 2020 election has been, one thing appears clear: A ballot referendum to strengthen Pittsburgh’s Citizen Police Review Board is certain to pass. More than three-quarters of city voters voted in favor. If the reforms go into effect, officers could face stricter discipline, including termination, for not cooperating in investigations.

Valerie Gaydos and Michele Knoll

Pittsburgh’s western suburbs may not have seen as much of the coronavirus as other areas, but the pandemic is still a key concern in the race for state House District 44. First-term Republican House member Valerie Gaydos says she has been encouraged to see that residents of her district — which sprawls from airport-area suburbs like Moon to Ohio River Valley communities like Sewickley — follow COVID guidelines. She says residents will make “smart” decisions on their own, but the state’s guidance has been confusing and should be more transparent. 

From Philly To Erie, 12 PA Voters Talk About Their Crucial Swing State Vote

Oct 27, 2020
Dani Fresh / Keystone Crossroads

With a week to go until Election Day, Pennsylvania has lived up to its hype as a key battleground state that could decide the presidency. 

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and members of the Community Taskforce for Police Reform presented their recommendations for changes in policing on Monday.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Voters in the city of Pittsburgh have a referendum on the ballot this fall. It’s an effort to strengthen the city’s police review board. But there is a chance that even if it passes, the issue may not be settled on Election Night.

Ariel Worthy / WESA

The city of Pittsburgh announced plans to invest new funds in its Black communities through an initiative called “Avenues of Hope.” The plan is to directly invest in small businesses and residents of seven historically Black neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto talked about police reform during an online panel discussion Thursday hosted by the University of Pittsburgh. During the discussion, he explained why firing problematic police officers — who have been a target of protests this summer — can sometimes be difficult. 

Ariel Worthy / WESA

A total of just seven police officers, only three of whom are full-time, currently patrol the streets of four Allegheny County boroughs. But officials in Braddock, East Pittsburgh, North Braddock and Rankin say they want to combine their forces into one regional police department.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council has given preliminary approval to a bill that requires council approval before city police can purchase facial recognition or predictive policing technology.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

In October 2018, Marquis Jaylen “JB” Brown died at Duquesne University just after he turned 21. Pittsburgh Police say he broke a dorm room window with a chair and jumped out.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

As Pittsburgh City Council returned from its August recess on Tuesday, Councilor Corey O’Connor introduced legislation that would regulate the city’s purchase of facial recognition technology. The systems are computer-based, and usually analyze images and characteristics of a person’s face to match them to photographs in a database. 

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto announced changes to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police’s protest policy on Friday afternoon, following a week of confrontations between police and demonstrators.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

A second consecutive night of protesting outside of Mayor Bill Peduto's house ended in chaos as participants were corralled into Mellon Park by police, then shoved and sprayed with what appeared to be pepper spray by officers.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

As Dannielle Brown began day 40 of her hunger strike to get answers on the 2018 death of her son Marquis Jaylen “JB” Brown, Duquesne University held a press conference Wednesday to argue it was doing what it could to respond.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

It has been just over a month since Dannielle Brown started her hunger strike on Freedom Corner to get answers from Duquesne University on her son's death. And while the University said in July that it would provide her the records she seeks, Brown is still waiting. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

With its August recess looming, Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday tackled a handful of bills that would change the police department's budget and some of its policies -- a legislative response to nationwide protests following police killings of unarmed Black people.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Voters in the city of Pittsburgh will get to decide in November whether to give the Citizen Police Review Board more power. After a series of amendments, CPRB Executive Director Beth Pittinger says this referendum, if passed, could give the board more power.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A Ross Township Police officer’s social-media activity is under investigation, and a personal Facebook page has been taken down after 90.5 WESA called township officials about posts that mocked protesters, including one that joked about running over them.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

 


Pittsburgh’s Hill District has a history of displacement, gentrification and racism. It also has a history of rebuilding, community, and fighting back.  

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Demonstrators gathered outside the Target in East Liberty on Friday to protest the treatment of Black people by law enforcement. Such protests have taken place in Pittsburgh since late May, following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. 

Rachel Gobep / 90.5 WESA

Last week, activists presented 12 demands for overhauling law enforcement to city and county officials. On Monday evening, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto responded with a 5,000-word statement that said the city was already adopting some policies but could do little about others.

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.

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.

Ariel Worthy / WESA

Local activists demanded a series of police reforms on Monday morning, calling for changes that include cutting police budgets, increasing oversight, and removing police from schools.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council discussed police reforms on Tuesday as protests about police brutality continue nationwide. Council will weigh several new proposals, including a handful offered by District 9 Councilor Ricky Burgess.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Amid conflicting accounts over what led Pittsburgh police to break up a protest in East Liberty Monday, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto vowed to review transcripts of police communications “line by line” to determine what actually happened. But the mayor said at a news conference late Monday night that he would not make the transcripts public, a move that has prompted criticism from some transparency advocates.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Religious leaders gathered at Freedom Corner in Pittsburgh’s Hill District Monday afternoon to pray for peace in the wake of the death of George Floyd. 

Jake Wheatley Facebook Page/"Friends of Aerion Abney" via Facebook

Pennsylvania primary elections were moved to June 2 because of COVID-19. But even amid all the changes, next week voters will have two familiar options when casting ballots in the 19th State House District: incumbent Jake Wheatley and Aerion Abney.

​On Friday, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto will announce the next steps for the city as the region moves into the yellow phase of the coronavirus pandemic. During an interview with WESA on Wednesday afternoon, he said Pittsburgh is prepared for the region’s slow reopening -- but that the city will be contending with the virus and its impact for years to come.

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