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August 10-14 Explained: Reporters Vote To Strike, Duquesne Responds To Demands & COVID Cases Flatten

Ariel Worthy
90.5 WESA
Dannielle Brown speaks in front of Brottier Hall on Duquesne University's campus on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020.

This week, Duquesne University held its first press conference in response to the demands of Dannielle Brown, whose son Marquis Jaylen Brown died on campus in 2018.

Brown began a hunger strike on July third seeking answers about the circumstances of her son’s death.  Last Friday, she moved from the Hill District to Duquesne’s campus.

“Join me … let’s let Duquesne know. See it was okay that I was starving on Freedom Corner. Now I’ll be starving right here at Duquesne,” Brown told supporters who accompanied her on her trek to campus. “I love y’all for real.”

Duquesne officials maintain that Marquis, known to friends as JB, broke the window of his 16th floor dorm room with a chair and jumped to his death. Dave Fawcett is one of the university’s attorneys.

“First, what occurred in the loss of JB Brown was terribly tragic,” Fawcett said. “But what JB did that night that caused his death, was also completely shocking to everyone. No one could have foreseen what occurred.”

Reporters, editors and other newsroom employees at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette voted to strike this week. It’s the latest development in a contract negotiation that has gone on for more than three years.

And, Allegheny County officials say mitigation strategies -- like mask wearing and limiting service at bars and restaurants --  are working to prevent community spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We hit a nice milestone this week,” said Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen on Wednesday. “For the first time since coronavirus cases in Allegheny County surged in late June and early July, the daily average of new cases was below one hundred.”

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, 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. kblackley@wesa.fm
Liz Reid began working at WESA in 2013 as a general assignment reporter and weekend host. Since then, she’s worked as the Morning Edition producer, health & science reporter and as an editor.