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June 5-11 Explained: DA Zappala Could Face Ethics Charges, PPS Wants A Relationship With Ed Gainey & New Unemployment System Launches

district attorney stephen zappala.JPG
90.5 WESA

On this week’s Pittsburgh Explainer.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala made headlines last week when an email surfaced showing that he had urged prosecutors in his office to punish the clients of one of his critics. Government and accountability reporter An-Li Herring reports he has now backed down, but could still face ethics charges.

The relationship between the Mayor’s office and the Pittsburgh Public Schools board could change under Ed Gainey’s administration, if he’s elected in November. Education reporter Sarah Schneider reports school board members hope to find an ally in Gainey and divert tax revenue back to the district.

The state’s unemployment system is back online this week after getting a major upgrade, replacing an old system plagued with problems for decades. But, as Spotlight PA investigative reporter Rebecca Moss reports, many Pennsylvanians trying to use the new program are still struggling to get benefits.

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 iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, 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 of Pittsburgh Explainer and our Good Question! series. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community. kblackley@wesa.fm
Liz Reid oversees newsroom operations at WESA. She 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. You can reach her at lreid@wesa.fm.
Scott Peterson is a writer and audio producer with a decade of experience working in the energy and environment field. Before moving to Pittsburgh, she directed sustainability for an affordable housing nonprofit in Austin, Texas, where she led the installation of a megawatt of rooftop solar power. She’s published with New Hampshire Public Radio, The Texas Observer, and The Rumpus.