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. 

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.

@CityPGH / Twitter

​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.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh has filed legal briefs with the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, arguing that the courts should reverse previous rulings on the city’s controversial gun laws. The laws were passed in response to the Tree of Life shooting in October 2018.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh will announce new legislation on Tuesday that will expand housing and public accommodation discrimination protections for residents based on citizenship and immigration status, and preferred language.

Ariel Worthy / WESA

In a mid-April address to the city of Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto said the coronavirus pandemic would mean “dark days” for the city’s finances. But even as there are signs that Allegheny County has limited the spread of the virus, and that reopening of some sectors of the economy may happen as early as next month, City Controller Michael Lamb agrees the city will feel the impact for some time to come.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Some Pittsburgh City Council members want to turn city-owned vacant lots into plots for urban farming. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, councilors say there are increased concerns about a lack of access to food.

Google Maps

As small businesses across the country continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, some of Pittsburgh's black business owners fear for their financial futures and ability to access relief. 

Craig Lassig / AP Images for College of American Pathologists

As the coronavirus continues to spread, there's growing concern that African Americans are being hit hardest. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

After Pittsburgh City Council voted to extend the city's Declaration of Disaster Emergency on Tuesday, the city will continue through May 5 its stay-at-home and social distancing orders to combat the coronavirus. But the conduct of the meeting raised questions about whether council was following rules ensuring public access to proceedings.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh's officials warned on Friday that too many residents violated "social distancing" rules meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus last weekend, there was less social distancing last weekend, as milder weather brought more people out to public parks. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

With reports of bigotry against people of Asian descent on the rise, Democratic state lawmakers including state Senators Jay Costa (D-Forest Hills) and Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) are calling to address hate crimes in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Allegheny County first responders are now being given more information about their risk of being exposed to COVID-19 when taking emergency calls.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Firehouses throughout the city have run out commercial hand sanitizer, but they've gotten help from an unusual source: Maggie's Farm Rum Distillery.

The distillery is one of several in the state that have shifted production to sanitizer. Maggie's Farm Rum donated 70 gallons of it this week. 

Ariel Worthy / WESA

Pittsburgh public safety officials said they have taken extra measures to protect emergency responders as the city combats the spread of the coronavirus. Among the tactics: limiting the interaction between police and the public by having officers respond in person only to more serious calls, and handling the rest through a telephone reporting unit.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has declared a state of emergency in the city effective Monday, March 16 at 9 a.m. The declaration prohibits gatherings of more than 250 people.

Ariel Worthy / WESA

​Mayor Bill Peduto said Pittsburgh will continue its normal operations as city workers prepare for the potential spread of the coronavirus in Allegheny County.

Ariel Worthy / WESA

The city of Pittsburgh has cancelled its annual St. Patrick's Day parade and an anticipated G7 Minister's Summit, out of concern for the spread of COVID-19. It has also halted all domestic and international travel for city employees unless essential. 

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilors Daniel Lavelle and Ricky Burgess introduced legislation on Tuesday that asks the city to adopt 10 commitments to racial equity. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

At an often tense meeting of Pittsburgh City Council Wednesday, officials at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium bared their teeth over a proposed city ordinance to limit the possession of alligators and other animals.

Humane Animal Rescue

Pittsburgh City Council returned to a pair of issues that have been looming since late last year on Tuesday, revisiting legislation concerning alligators and other reptiles, and continuing debate on a citywide parks tax that has divided the body since voters approved it last fall.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilors Ricky Burgess and Daniel Lavelle sent a letter to Carnegie Mellon University on Wednesday, urging the school to join their efforts to enhance racial equity in the city. The letter came after CMU came under fire for omitting communities of color from a student orientation map.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilor Ricky Burgess introduced legislation Tuesday that would adopt a nonprofit group's plan for determining how to spend money generated by a new parks tax.  

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Pittsburgh City Councilors Anthony Coghill and Deb Gross backed off from some of the requirements they sought to impose on spending from a parks tax voters approved last year

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto's office introduced legislation that would officially authorize the city to begin levying a half-mill property tax increase that voters approved last fall.  The bill is part of a process that has been simmering in City Council over how best to pay for improvements to the city's long-neglected park system.

Ariel Worthy / WESA

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb told reporters Tuesday that the city should tighten up its handling of a program to hire baseball umpires for city youth baseball games. 

Ariel Worthy / WESA

City councilors decided on Wednesday to hold off on voting for a new bill that would add "hateful activities" to the city's code of conduct, and to see what the city's law department has to say about it. Councilor Ricky Burgess introduced the bill earlier this month, but colleagues on council said they need to know whether the bill, which could arguably limit speech rights, is constitutional.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council resumed discussion of the city's parks tax on Tuesday, with the introduction of legislation to collect and spend the proceeds. And some council members want strict rules about who oversees spending, and guidelines for contractors paid for by it.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

A gun buyback held in Homewood Monday distributed $5,000 in less than one hour, according to organizers.

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