An-Li Herring

Government & Accountability Reporter

An-Li became a reporter while completing her law degree at Stanford. In law school, she wrote about housing affordability, criminal justice and economic development, among other topics. She also served as the intern to NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg in Washington, DC, helping Ms. Totenberg to cover the U.S. Supreme Court and other legal matters. Originally from Pittsburgh, An-Li interned with the investigations team at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette before joining 90.5 WESA in August 2017.

She can be reached at 412-315-6767 or at

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The mother of Trayvon Martin, whose 2012 death was a key moment in the Black Lives Matter movement, said there were unsettling parallels between the killing of her son and that of black Rankin teen Antwon Rose.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

There are now two declared candidates in the race to represent Pittsburgh’s 9th city council district in the East End. Former Pittsburgh Public school board member Randall Taylor announced this week that he’ll run for the Democratic nomination in the May 21 primary. He joins activist and police shooting survivor Leon Ford in seeking the party's nod.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County's top public defender announced Friday he's running for judge. Elliot Howsie said he will compete for a seat on the county’s Court of Common Pleas in this year’s election.

At a campaign kickoff at the Allegheny County Courthouse, the attorney touted his experience both as a prosecutor and in criminal defense. A former assistant district attorney, Howsie became the first African-American to serve as chief public defender in Allegheny County in 2012.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

It remains unclear how long low-income Pennsylvanians will continue to receive food stamps if the federal government's partial shutdown extends into February.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

How big an impact the partial federal shutdown is having depends on where you look. Nearly two weeks after the shutdown began, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale highlighted the costs to the more than 800,000 federal employees that are either furloughed or working without pay.

Courtesy of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts

Allegheny County common pleas judge Kim Berkeley Clark became the first African-American to serve as president judge for the county’s courts during a swearing-in ceremony last week. The landmark shift got no mention at the event, but the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts confirmed Wednesday that the county never before has had a black president judge.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Braddock borough council is expected to appoint a replacement for its well-known mayor, John Fetterman, at its next meeting Jan. 8. The Democrat was elected Pennsylvania lieutenant governor in November and will be sworn in to that post Jan. 15.


While Republicans will continue to control the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2019, the House will also welcome three new members endorsed by the far-left Democratic Socialists of America: Democrats Sara Innamorato (Lawrenceville), Summer Lee (Swissvale), and Elizabeth Fiedler (South Philadelphia).

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Six months after a white East Pittsburgh police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teen, Allegheny County Council has taken up legislation to create an independent board to review allegations of officer misconduct.

Seth Wenig / AP

Foster children who live in residential facilities in Pennsylvania suffered physical and verbal abuse in hundreds of documented cases between 2010 and 2018, according to a new report. The study found that at some facilities, which include group homes and larger institutions, violations continued to occur even after state inspectors recorded earlier instances of abuse.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office didn’t have much to say when it released a scathing grand-jury report on how the city of Pittsburgh investigates police shootings last Friday.

Marc Levy / AP

Nearly a decade after being tasked with the assignment, a state commission is still grappling with a mandate to create a risk assessment algorithm for Pennsylvania judges to use during criminal sentencing procedures.

Courtesy of the Law Offices of Timothy P. O’Brien

A Uniontown man sued four Pennsylvania state troopers in federal court Thursday, alleging they arrested him on false charges in 2016 to cover up a police shooting in which he was the target. Although Daylon McLee, 29, was not injured in the shooting and was acquitted of the crime, the suit says he was wrongly held in jail for nearly a year. 

Kiichiro Sato / AP

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will weigh whether to block the use of the death penalty unless the state overhauls how it is imposed. In an order Monday, the court said it will consider taking the unusual step of hearing the case before lower courts have ruled on it.  

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

In a withering opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Wednesday that Allegheny Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel must be removed from a case involving a convicted sex offender. The 13-page opinion expressed “substantial doubt as to [McDaniel’s] ability to preside impartially and provide a fair tribunal,” after the judge refused to comply with an order to correct her original sentence in the case.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The community of East Pittsburgh will disband its police department, with the Pennsylvania state police providing services instead starting this weekend. The borough's police department has been widely criticized since officer Michael Rosfeld fatally shot unarmed teenager Antwon Rose this summer.

Aimee Obidzinski / University of Pittsburgh

For some, Thanksgiving means it’s time to discuss politics with distant relatives. It can be especially difficult to talk about those topics across generations. But a father-daughter team at the University of Pittsburgh is teaching a class meant to encourage more civil discourse between age groups.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

The Tree of Life shooting, which left 11 Jewish worshippers dead, has been deemed the most fatal anti-Semitic attack in American history. Federal prosecutors were quick to charge the accused gunman, Robert Bowers, with hate crimes for each fatality.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

On the sixth anniversary of the police shooting that left him paralyzed from the chest down, Leon Ford, 25, formally launched his campaign for Pittsburgh City Council.

Don Wright/AP, Conor Lamb for Congress

Democrat Conor Lamb has won the 17th Congressional District, earning his first full term in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Courtesy of Lindsey Williams for PA and Friends of Jeremy Shaffer / 90.5 WESA

In what’s emerged as one of the region’s most dramatic races, state Senate candidates Jeremy Shaffer (R - Ross) and Lindsey Williams (D - West View) met Thursday evening for their lone debate.

Dave Klug / AP

Robert Bowers pleaded “not guilty” Thursday morning to charges stemming from the fatal shooting of 11 Jewish congregants at Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday. The case will now proceed to a jury trial.

Courtesy of Lindsey Williams for PA and Friends of Jeremy Shaffer / 90.5 WESA

For decades, the Republican Party has had a firm grip on the North Hills suburbs that make up much of Pennsylvania’s 38th state Senate district. But Democrat Lindsey Williams, a staffer for the Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers’ unions, hopes to change that.

Between the two of them, state Senate district 38 candidates Jeremy Shaffer and Lindsey Williams raised more than $1.5 million in campaign contributions between June and October. That is a huge sum for a western Pennsylvania state legislative race. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Robert Bowers, the man accused of killing 11 Jewish congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, appeared for the first time in a federal courtroom -- seated in a wheelchair, wearing a blue sweatshirt and handcuffs.

What Is A Hate Crime?

Oct 29, 2018
Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

Prosecutors charged the alleged gunman in the shooting rampage at Squirrel Hill’s Tree of Life synagogue with state and federal hate crimes Saturday. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday over two laws that could affect workers in the city of Pittsburgh. One of the measures requires private employers to offer between three and five paid sick days a year, while the other creates new training rules for security officers in many larger buildings.

Courtesy of the Abolitionist Law Center

A state appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday in the case of an Allegheny County woman serving a life sentence without parole. Avis Lee was convicted of second-degree homicide in 1981, after participating in an attempted robbery that resulted in a shooting death.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Bloomberg Philanthropies named Pittsburgh a winner of its American Cities Climate Challenge Sunday, based on the city's plan to reduce carbon emissions. The foundation will give the city more than $2.5 million over the next two years to speed up the implementation of that plan.