On today’s program: The number of kids in foster care has increased as the opioid epidemic grows; Pittsburgh has a half-hidden fountain of youth; FBI documents could cast a shadow on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.; peregrine falcons have found a home at the Rachel Carson state office building in Harrisburg; and Pittsburgh is getting more than 90 beers to honor each of its official and unofficial neighborhoods.
Opioid epidemic has had an impact on the rate of kids in foster care.
(00:00 - 12:20)
About 1,500 kids in Allegheny County were in foster care at the beginning of 2019, continuing an upward trend over the last two years. Jacki Hoover, deputy director of Children Youth and Families for Allegheny County, credits opioids for much of the rise. According to CYF, referrals from allegations of a substance use disorder are up nearly 20%.
Wilson has led the charge to recruit more families to take infants, kids and teens into their homes through partner initiatives, kinship programs and emergency crisis programs. The ultimate goal is to reunite kids with their families or find them permanent homes, she says. Foster parenting can be challenging, she says, but any issues are often outweighed by watching children thrive. CYF offers several year-round programs and resources for kids living in unsafe environments.
The story behind Pittsburgh's half-hidden 'Fountain of Youth'
(13:28 - 17:47)
In the early 20th century, dozens of ornate water fountains and features were planned for Pittsburgh’s parks system as an escape for residents from the city’s smog and smoke. For the latest in 90.5 WESA's Good Question! series, reporter Katie Blackley looks into the origins behind a small stone landmark near a shallow creek in North Park.
Federal documents reveal an MLK most Americans wouldn't recognize.
(17:51 - 26:07)
Newly released documents pertaining to FBI surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., include deeply disturbing and potentially explosive allegations about the slain civil-rights leader’s extramarital sexual activities, including that he was present in a hotel room during an alleged rape. And as 90.5 WESA's Bill O'Driscoll reports, historians see cause to doubt the claims.
Want to get a young peregrine falcon out its nest? Grab a broom.
Across the street from the Amtrak station in the busiest part of downtown Harrisburg, stands the Rachel Carson State Office Building. Named for the famous environmentalist, it’s home to the commonwealth’s Department of Environmental Protection, as well as some pretty famous falcons. WESA’s Katie Meyer reports Carson herself would probably be thrilled to know the birds are still around.
East End Brewing takes on Pittsburgh's 90 neighborhoods with 92 good beers
(32:27 - 39:42)
Larimer-based East End Brewing has challenged itself to create a beer for every Pittsburgh neighborhood — and then some. Owner Scott Smith says the plan was to make 90 beers for each of the city-recognized neighborhoods, but after some strong opinions from unofficial neighborhoods, the total grew to 92. The first brew of the "You Are Here," series goes to Allentown. It's a shandy with hints of lemon and black tea.
Smith says the order of neighborhoods will be chosen at random and each flavor inspiration might not exactly mimic the neighborhood stereotype — a Bloomfield red sauce ale or a Deutschtown sour dunkel, for example. But each community will get its own unique brew and can designed by longtime collaborators Commonwealth Press. Thirsty Pittsburghers can get a taste of the first beer of the series this weekend at the Allentown Night Market.
90.5 WESA's Hannah Gaskill, Julia Zenkevich and Julia Maruca 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.