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March 13-19 Explained: Vaccines For Prisoners, Help For Restaurants & Fetterman On Fracking

Bill O'Driscoll
90.5 WESA
The Roxian Theatre in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

On this week's Explainer:

While correctional facilities aren’t included in the state’s current phase of vaccination eligibility, three Pennsylvania prisons have received vaccines for their incarcerated populations. Spotlight PA’s Joseph Darius Jaafari reported this week on the novel approach they’re using to convince people to get their shots.

Bars, restaurants and entertainment venues have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s not just about the bottom line for the owners of these businesses, as many workers find themselves scraping by with diminished hours and tips. Arts and culture reporter Bill O'Driscoll reports on new local initiative seeks to raise a quarter of a million dollars to help these workers.

Fracking can be a tough issue for Pennsylvania Democrats to navigate. Environmental groups oppose the practice, but union supporters say banning it outright would cost jobs. The issue is likely to play a big role in the race for an open U.S. Senate seat next year. Government and accountability reporter Lucy Perkins looked at Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman's stance on the issue.

Pittsburgh Explainer is hosted by Liz Reid and produced by Katie Blackley. New episodes come out every Friday. Listen on the NPR One app or subscribe on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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.