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July 6-10 Explained: Prisoners Sue State, Learning Disparities Persist & County OKs Outside Booze

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Outdoor seating is placed outside of DeLuca's Diner in Pittsburgh's Strip District on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

The number of coronavirus cases continues to surge in the Pittsburgh region, with more than 2,000 new cases reported over the last two weeks.

The people contracting the disease are skewing younger, and out-of-state travel and patronage at bars and restaurants appear to be driving the increased transmission.

County officials said at the end of June that these businesses could no longer serve alcohol, and last week they said they couldn’t open their doors to dine-in customers at all.

Now the county is walking back some of those rules.

Six people serving life sentences in Pennsylvania prisons are suing the stateParole Board. They say the rule that mandates such harsh penalties for their crimes is unconstitutional. 

When Allegheny County public schools shut their doors in March and students transitioned to remote learning, some districts were more prepared than others. A new report finds that, as with many aspects of education, these differences often fell along racial and socioeconomic lines.


Helping explain the headlines this week:


 Pittsburgh Explainer is hosted by Liz Reid and produced by Katie Blackley. New episodes come out every Friday. Subscribe on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher and Spotify.

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.