90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Friday, Feb. 22, 2019
Benji. holds little, if anything, back on his latest album, "Smile, You’re Alive!" The Pittsburgh native spoke with WYEP’s Joey Spehar for the Live & Direct series about the inspiration behind his music, his career trajectory and how he almost lost his entire album before its release. Benji. was recently named one of NPR's top artists to watch in 2019.
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court made a controversial decision in December, ruling that women who use drugs during pregnancy are not guilty of child abuse. The case involved a woman who gave birth to a child with neo-natal abstinence syndrome, which occurs when a baby is withdrawing from drugs they were exposed to in the womb.
The African American History Commission Act was signed last year to recognize and highlight the resilience and cultural contributions of Africans and African Americans in the 400 years since they first landed in Virginia, by force as slaves.
Samuel Black, director of African American programs at the Heinz History Center and immediate past president of the Association of African American Museums, joins 90.5 WESA's The Confluence to discuss the commission’s goals, Pittsburgh’s African American heritage and the cultural and historical impact on our region.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Friday, Feb. 15, 2019
West Homestead native Jeff Goldblum has a knack for booking roles in lucrative Hollywood franchises like Jurassic Park and the Marvel universe, but he's nurtured another love, albeit quietly, for most of his life: jazz.
Last summer, companies across the country, including Mylan Pharmaceuticals in Pittsburgh, began recalling large quantities of blood pressure drugs after carcinogens were found in the medications. Commonly prescribed medications including valsartan, losartan, irbesartan and Amvalo were affected.
Many overdose fatalities in Pennsylvania are opioid-related, but deaths from methamphetamine and other stimulants are back on the rise. For people who use meth, especially those who also identify as LGBT+, resources can be scarce.
There is a growing need for queer-centered resources in Pittsburgh, says Tommy Brassell, a medical assistant at Central Outreach Wellness Center, a clinic that specializes in LGBT health care.
A long-standing “gay-owned, gay-operated, and gay proud” nightclub in the Strip District is closing its doors this weekend, after one more farewell party. For seven years, Cruze Bar has been a popular gathering spot for the city’s younger set of LGBTQ-identifying adults. Did development push the party spot out of the neighborhood? And what will its departure mean for other queer spaces?
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019
Celebrations with dumplings—symbols of good fortune and connection—and lucky red envelopes begin in earnest today to mark the Lunar New Year, followed by 15 days of banquets, ceremonies and performances in honor of 2019's "Year of the Golden Earth Pig."
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Monday, Feb. 4, 2019
Dr. Leonard Moore, vice president for diversity and community engagement and George Littlefield professor of American history at the University of Texas at Austin, teaches classes about the evolution of black politics and power throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Friday, Feb 1, 2019
Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis says federal TSA workers serving the region's two main airports are glad to be at work—and receiving a paycheck—since the government shutdown halted late last week.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Thursday, Jan 31, 2019
Discrepancies between state and local laws in Pennsylvania have led to a battle of discretion in the way marijuana-related charges are applied. Police officers can still charge people for possession of the drug, but prosecutors are increasingly unwilling to pursue these cases.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019
Since the summer of 2017, Pittsburghers stuck in traffic at the intersection of Bigelow Boulevard and Herron Avenue could be greeted by a billboard with the same smiling face, positive message and personal phone number. Its message belonged to poet Rachel Ann Bovier.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Monday, Jan 28, 2019
Furloughed government workers are heading back to work Monday after President Trump signed a temporary end to the partial federal government shutdown. The repercussions, though, are still being felt throughout the community. With the threat of another potential shutdown looming, local organizations are preparing for the worst.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Friday, Jan 25, 2019
Racism, sexism and immigration can be difficult to talk about, especially when engaging people across the political aisle. Pittsburgh stand-up comedian Krish Mohan says he's up to the task and finds that comedy is an effective vehicle to bring folks together.
Daniel Greenstein, the new chancellor of PASSHE, says those concerns track with schools across the country. As student needs and interests evolve, state-run universities will have to adapt, he says, potentially downsizing, eliminating majors or refocusing efforts in specific programs better able to cater to Pennsylvania's future workforce.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019
Siobhan Vivian and Rachael Lippincott started as teacher and student, one shepherding two courses of "Writing Youth Literature," and the other still on track to one day practice medicine. When they met, Lippincott says her world began to change.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019
How do you create a sustainability plan for a building that wasn't designed with the environment in mind? This challenge isn't unique to the University of Pittsburgh campus, but it's one they hope to tackle with a sustainability plan guided by the former director of the Green Building Alliance, Aurora Sharrard.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Friday, Jan 18, 2019
Proper classroom accommodations for students on the autism spectrum can be hard to come by. One local group hopes to provide better access to environments where students have the best chance at a good education.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019
Kamara Townes, who goes professionally by Wavy Wednesday, is an emerging artist who uses satire in her work to explore pop culture and racism. She uses bright colors and draws on cultural symbols like Barbie to confront social justice through her work.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019
Republican changes to the 2018 tax code moved the target for Americans hoping to itemize charitable donations. The higher threshold—now $12,000 for single filers, up from $6,000 in years prior—could result in larger but less frequent donations for higher-income donors, or fewer donations altogether.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019
Sala Udin has been a political activist for more than 50 years. He marched on Washington, was a freedom rider and eventually took up a career in politics, serving first as a city councilman and today as a Pittsburgh Public Schools board member.
90.5 WESA's "The Confluence" for Friday, Jan. 11, 2019
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh led more than 120 security trainings in the year leading up to the deadly mass shooting at Tree of Life in October, including an active shooter drill at the synagogue just weeks before.