On today's program: Pittsburgh education takes an international honor; apple growers face an unknown threat that's killing trees; school districts are debating allowing teachers to carry guns in classrooms; and a chance to check-in on your 2020 Democratic hopeful bingo card.
World leaders honor Pittsburgh’s innovative approach to education
(0:00 — 13:05)
World educators, researchers and entrepreneurs were in Pittsburgh Monday to get a glimpse at an American educational ecosystem. With them was Lasse Leponiemi, co-founder and executive director of HundrED, a Finnish nonprofit that works to scale K-12 educational innovations worldwide.
HundrED is in town to honor 12 local schools and educational organizations and invite them to Helsinki to collaborate with counterparts from 40 other countries at their Global Innovation Summit in November. Leponiemi says he hopes his guests can use the HundrED network to find fresh ideas they can use in their home classrooms.
“When you are an education change maker–or you are any kind of change maker–it can be a lonely place to be sometimes,” he says.
Rapid Apple Decline is killing trees, just in time for harvest season
(13:45 — 19:46)
There’s a new threat to the nation's $4 billion annual apple industry. Young apple trees have been suddenly dying across the U.S., affecting as much as 80% of orchards in North Carolina. Pennsylvania’s apple industry, valued at $107 million last year and fourth in the nation, is also at risk. Researchers call the problem Rapid Apple Decline or RAD, and as the Allegheny Front's Julie Grant reports, they’re trying to figure out what’s causing it.
Three days with teachers training to use guns in schools
(19:47 — 23:45)
Arming teachers to prevent or lessen the death toll of mass shootings is a controversial proposition. WHYY's Jen Kinney reports the training teachers receive before being authorized to carry guns in the classroom is one of the biggest sources of debate.
2020 Democratic hopefuls are picking up the pace in visits to W.Pa.
(23:46 — 30:51)
Pittsburgh was the latest stop for another Democratic presidential hopeful Wednesday—former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke spoke at Schenley Plaza in Oakland. He’s not the first, and he definitely won’t be the last.
90.5 WESA's Chris Potter has covered gatherings for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose rally months ago drew a big, excited crowd, as well as Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Vice President Joe Biden. One who hasn't graced Pittsburgh yet? Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Potter says she and others will likely be on their way in the coming months as the Pennsylvania primary nears in April.
90.5 WESA's Kristofer Stubbs contributed to this program.
The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.