Kiley Koscinski

Morning News Producer
Brian Siewiorek / WYEP

 

It’s been a year full of pivotal and impactful news, from court battles over redrawn Congressional maps and the resulting Democratic gains, to a shocking grand jury report on clergy abuse and demands from survivors for a change to statute of limitation laws, and even in church leadership.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

It’s been a trying year for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, spawning lengthy grand jury reports and charges against one East Pittsburgh Police officer.

Courtesy of Germaine Watkins

A group of local journalists traveled to Haiti this fall to gather stories and images from the small Caribbean island. They brought back bits of life and culture, and what one storyteller called “another side of Haiti.”

Joining the Confluence to talk about the trip are:

Frank Franklin II / AP

 

It takes a delicate touch to step in in the wake of tragedy, and one Washington D.C.-based law firm has a lot more experience than most.

Camille Biros, business manager for Feinberg Law Offices, has helped shepherd clients through mass shootings, terrorist attacks and sexual abuse scandals. Now, they're helping mediate the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Megan Harris / WESA

 

After building a reputation as a well-known activist in Pittsburgh, Leon Ford is ready to take what he considers the next step: running for office.

Nick Childers / Associated Artists of Pittsburgh

 

It's the oldest, continuously exhibiting visual arts membership organization in the country, boasting alumni like Andy Warhol, Mary Cassat, Samuel Rosenberg and Rochelle Blumenfeld, and works of its 600-plus modern members will be available to view and purchase all over Pittsburgh in 2019.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

SNAP benefits, sometimes referred to as food stamps, were in a precarious position until this week when Congress approved a compromise on a 10-year, $867 billion farm bill that no longer requires recipients to meet a work requirement as previously proposed. 

Stephanie Strasburg / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

Edinboro University's in-house, round-the-clock assistance program catering to students with disabilities earned the school a lauded national reputation, but university officials now say it's too expensive to continue, and that choosing their own off-campus attendants will better prepare students for life after graduation. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 

Officials, community leaders and advocates gathered downtown Monday to renew a commitment to protecting human rights on the 70th anniversary of Human Rights Day. But what does that commitment mean in a practical sense?

Andrew Medichini / AP

 

The state Supreme Court ruled to permanently shield the names of 11 unidentified priests listed in a grand jury report detailing decades of child sex abuse, citing Pennsylvania's unique right to reputation.

Knotzland

 

Philadelphia fashion week, demand at Larrimor’s and a spot on Facebook’s small business council might not have been where Nisha Blackwell thought her sewing career would take her. According to the Homewood-based, bowtie business owner, she wasn’t sure how to turn on her machine a little more than four years ago.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

There are thousands of bridges big and small in Pennsylvania, and many are in need of replacement or repairs. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 

Gaps in medical resources across rural Pennsylvania can be challenging, even for nursing school recruiters hoping to ultimately fill the local workforce.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

 

The U.S. Supreme Court could soon make the process by which states confiscate property used in a crime, even if it was used tangentially, much more difficult for states like Pennsylvania. Some state civil asset forfeiture laws allow police to take cash, cars or real estate, even without proof of a crime.

University of Pittsburgh School of Law

 

People in the justice system often rely on law libraries for information, especially if they can’t afford an attorney. Sometimes those situations are complicated by mental health challenges.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

From tree and light displays to baked goods, music and shopping, the holiday season brings with it scores of Yuletide traditions in Pittsburgh.

For 57 years, they've included the Carnegie Trees display in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Architecture. The museum's Women's Committee erects five colossal Colorado spruce trees every winter, curatuting each to a unique theme. This year, members looked to Carnegie International artist Karen Kilimnik to set the tone.

Ron Schwane / AP Photo

The assembly plant recently targeted by General Motors in Ohio's Mahoning Valley served as an economic lifeline for thousands of locals over the years. The announcement Tuesday effectively closes the Lordstown plant and six others next year as part of a larger campaign to restructure operations. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 


The region’s Amazon proposal was a collaborative learning experience for Pittsburgh leaders, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said this week, but according to Amazon, the region's talent pool isn't deep enough and the city lacks appropriate infrastructure.

Kiichiro Sato / AP

Pennsylvania is set to launch its sports betting industry soon -- the first wave of states to do so after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May legalized the industry nationwide. Lawmakers in Harrisburg have already accounted for expected revenue in the state budget, but there's a lot we still don't know.

NASA/JPL-Caltech / NASA.gov

Mars, Pennsylvania wasn't named after the Red Planet, but it's fully embracing those celestial connections. 

Steph Chambers / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 


Hand-pulling noodles is a coveted culinary craft that takes years to learn and even longer to master. The chefs are part athlete, part artist, and restaurants like Everyday Noodles in Squirrel Hill need immigrants to make their business model work. 

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Infrastructure is more than roads, bridges and water lines. 

Courtesy of Hello Neighbor

 

Whether it’s participating in a match program to socialize with immigrant families or lending a helping hand at a soup kitchen, Pittsburghers are volunteering at a nationally recognized rate. Nearly 38 percent of local residents volunteer, placing the city in seventh place nationally for its collective rate of volunteerism.

Richard Drew / AP

 

Amazon officially dumped Pittsburgh as a potential home for its second (and third) headquarters this week, opting instead to split its $5 billion in promised investment between Virginia and New York. 

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

 

Transferring content from one video to the style of another relies on consistencies — a type of artificially intelligent mimickry that creates images after studying similarities and transforming them. 

Mel Evans / AP

 

Many substance use disorder treatment centers expect their patients to immediately stop using when they enter treatment. But this approach, often referred to as quitting “cold turkey,” is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Fostering Youth Transitions / Data Brief via the Annie E. Casey Foundation

As many as 15,000 children are in Pennsylvania's foster care system at any given time, and a disproportionate number are often African-American. How can existing family relationships be better resourced and supported? And how can society better help kids transition from foster care to adulthood? 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 

 Pittsburgh took the national stage after a gunman killed 11 Jews and injured six others in what prosecutors have dubbed a hate crime at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

Matt Rourke / AP

High voter turnout, a record number of female candidates and vastly different messaging between the two major parties loomed large over Tuesday's midterm contests. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 

Ensuring Pittsburgh's African Americans enjoy economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights has been at the forefront of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh for 100 years.

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