July 20-24 Explained: School Reopening Limbo, PWSA’s ‘Unfortunate Chapter’ & A Question For Voters

Jul 24, 2020


The Pittsburgh Public Schools first day of school is scheduled for August 31st, just a little more than five weeks away. But it’ll be at least another week and a half before families know for sure what fall instruction is going to look like. While some districts are offering a hybrid model, with both online and in-person instruction, others haven’t made up their minds yet, including PPS.

This week, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority closed what Executive Director Will Pickering called “an unfortunate chapter” in the agency’s history. Compliance testing showed that lead levels in drinking water were once again below the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. 

PWSA first exceeded this level in 2016, kicking off a wave of changes, including thousands of lead service line replacements, a more efficient testing program and shakeups among leadership. 

Beth Pittinger, executive director of the Citizens Police Review Board, during an interview with WESA in 2018.
Credit Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

When Pittsburgh voters go to the polls in November, they’ll decide whether the city’s Citizen Police Review Board should have the power to compel officers to participate in its investigations of alleged police misconduct. The measure was sponsored by City Councilor Ricky Burgess, and received final approval from Council this week.

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.