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 aherring@wesa.fm.

Courtesy of Laticia El

A Pittsburgh man whose case garnered national attention in the 1980s and '90s took a significant step toward freedom on Thursday. The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons voted to recommend that Gov. Tom Wolf reduce Robert Wideman’s life sentence.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The state correctional institution in Fayette County is more than an hour’s drive south of Pittsburgh. And nestled among the forests of the Laurel Highlands, it is a world away from Pittsburgh’s urban streets.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala held off challenger Turahn Jenkins in one of the more closely watched races this primary season. The 21-year incumbent scored a resounding victory, with about 59 percent of the vote.

Marc Levy / AP

Pennsylvania corrections secretary John Wetzel remembers that when he toured prisons in Germany and the Netherlands several years ago, it was a “transformative experience.”

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

A former Pittsburgh police officer sued the city and top police brass in federal court Thursday, alleging he was wrongly arrested and then fired from the police bureau in 2017.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

It didn’t take long after a white police officer shot and killed a black unarmed teen last summer for activists to find a second person on whom to lay blame: Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala.

Activists called for the district attorney’s removal, even before he decided a week later that he would charge East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld with homicide for fatally shooting Antwon Rose. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania’s new "clean slate" law will be the subject of a public hearing Thursday in Homewood. The law, which took effect in December, seals lower-level crimes from public view after 10 years. 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The McKeesport Area School District reached a settlement Monday with 11 students who sued the district and its superintendent earlier this month. The students, who were represented by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, accused the district of blocking their effort to create a black student union, though administrators deny that claim.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Foster Tarver was 17 years old in 1968, when he served as an accomplice to a fatal bank robbery. The next year, he was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. At the time, Pennsylvania law mandated that Tarver receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

90.5 WESA

Activists rallied Friday to denounce the incarceration of a woman who gave birth after being arrested. Joss Deuerling, 31, delivered her child in a hospital but then returned to Allegheny County Jail. She was arrested for failing a drug test in violation of her probation.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus on Wednesday reiterated their desire to change Pennsylvania’s police use-of-force law. 

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The McKeesport Area School District punched back Wednesday against a federal lawsuit that accuses the district and its superintendent of blocking the creation of a black student union. 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Eleven McKeesport Area High School students allege their school district has blocked the creation of a black student union. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, they sued the district and its superintendent in federal court last week.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

More than three weeks after former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted in the shooting death of Antwon Rose, local activists are stepping up demands for police reform.

Courtesy of Edgar Snyder & Associates

Personal injury lawyer Edgar Snyder is arguably the most recognizable attorney in western Pennsylvania. For decades, he has been in TV commercials, in radio ads, and on roadside billboards, asking potential clients, “Hurt in an accident?”

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

At a preliminary hearing in Detroit Thursday, Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner was bound over for trial on one felony count of resisting and obstructing the police and disorderly conduct. In state trial court Judge Ronald Giles, however, dismissed a second felony count for resisting and obstructing the police, meaning prosecutors did not have probable cause to file the charge.

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In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, 11 McKeesport Area high school students accused a school official of blocking their effort to create a black student union. The suit comes after the district did not meet a deadline the American Civil Liberties Union set for last Friday to allow the group to form.

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An effort to form a black student union within the McKeesport Area School District has had trouble getting off the ground. District superintendent Mark Holtzman has resisted the idea even though the American Civil Liberties Union has warned it could sue over the matter.

Courtesy of Allegheny County

Governor Tom Wolf has nominated Allegheny County's Chief Public Defender, Elliot Howsie, for an appointment to the Common Pleas Court, according to a statement from Howsie’s judicial campaign.

Matt Rourke / AP

The wife of former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld burst into tears, shaking uncontrollably, when a jury announced Friday it had acquitted her husband of homicide. Meanwhile, the mother of Antwon Rose, who the officer fatally shot last summer, did not cry in the courtroom. Michelle Kenney later said she was disappointed in the verdict but not surprised.

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

From the moment the trial of former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld got underway, it was clear that the case will focus on his state of mind when he shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Antwon Rose, last summer. 

A white suburban police officer goes on trial in Pittsburgh on Tuesday for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager last summer.

Matt Rourke / AP

Former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld goes on trial Tuesday for fatally shooting 17-year-old Antwon Rose last summer.

Megan Harris / WESA

Activist Leon Ford has suspended his campaign for Pittsburgh City Council.

In an email to campaign supporters Tuesday, Ford said, “My other commitments have become too great for me to be able to fulfill the requirements of this position. I feel it is best for me to make room for someone who has the true ability to devote to this honor.”

Allegheny County District Attorney / AP

Jury selection starts Tuesday in the homicide trial of Michael Rosfeld, the white police officer who fatally shot black unarmed teen Antwon Rose last summer in East Pittsburgh.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

A proposal to ban conversion therapy for minors is set to come before Allegheny County Council Tuesday. The therapy, which targets gay and transgender people, is intended to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

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More than four months since four Pittsburgh police officers got into a bar fight with members of the Pagans motorcycle club, federal prosecutors say they will not file charges against the officers.

Courtesy of Allegheny County

The Allegheny County public defender’s office underspent its budget for the sixth consecutive year in 2018.

Courtesy of Judith Ginyard, Kierran Young, and Cherylie Fuller

Three new candidates have entered an already-crowded race to replace Pittsburgh City Councilor Ricky Burgess. If the field holds, Burgess could face five challengers on the Democratic primary ballot in the 9th District this spring.

Dave Klug / AP

The man accused of opening fire at the Tree of Life synagogue pleaded “not guilty” Monday to new allegations stemming from the October attack. Robert Bowers, of Baldwin, was arraigned for a second time after a federal grand jury charged him in January with 19 additional hate crimes and firearms-related offenses.

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