The Confluence

Weekdays at 9AM

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news show, broadcasting live weekdays from 9 to 10 a.m. The program provides context beyond the region's biggest headlines, blending reporting from the WESA newsroom with in-depth, one-on-one interviews and roundtable conversations with community leaders, academics and experts, activists and interesting personalities about current events, politics, business, economics, science, health, technology, the environment, arts, culture, sports and food. The program debuted as a weekly show Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, and expanded to a daily format Monday, Aug. 27, 2018.

The full-time team includes Kevin Gavin, Megan Harris and Kiley Koscinski. Our Summer 2019 interns are Hannah Gaskill, Julia Maruca and Julia Zenkevich.

Find past episodes of the Confluence via podcast here, or suggest a person or topic by emailing confluence@wesa.fm.

Ways to Connect

Eric Long / National Air and Space Museum / Smithsonian Institution via Heinz History Center

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Apollo 11 team landed the lunar module, Eagle, in 1969. Now Pittsburgh can get close to a defining moment in American history thanks to a new exhibit at the Heinz History Center, Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. Heinz is one of four museums nationwide to host more than 100 mission artifacts, including the original spacecraft transported from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

At age 92, Joe Negri can still glide up and down the fretboard of his guitar as well as someone half his age. Negri has been playing the instrument since he was 8 years old. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Registered voters in Allegheny County can expect a question on the ballot this November about a small raise in property taxes to support after-school, early learning and nutrition programs for county kids.

Lou Corsaro / Point Park University

 

It’s been almost three years since The McKeesport Daily News published its final edition, and a pilot program out of Point Park University aims to fill at least a portion of that media void. 

Kevin Gavin / 90.5 WESA

Shaler Area Elementary School teacher Michael Penn is heading to Antarctica.

Sarah Bader

 

Garfield art space BOOM Concepts has aligned itself with some of the city’s biggest cultural institutions and well-known artists, including Mac Miller and Jimmy Wopo.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 

Hulking German Shepherd Dogs are a ubiquitous part of many police forces -- sniffing for drugs, bombs and all manner of bad guys -- but another breed greets its target with a lick.

  Pittsburgh K-9 trainer Sgt. Sean Duffy says his latest recruit, Cappy, a 17-month-old bloodhound puppy, will be an essential part of the force's search and recovery and missing persons efforts.

Courtesy of Redbull Media

Technical rock climbing jumped on the U.S. scene as early as the late 1800s, but it took nearly a century before advances in ropes and climbing aids helped bring it into the mainstream. In recent years, sport climbing -- and sport climbing gyms -- have exploded in popularity, and starting in 2020, three climbing disciplines will be represented for the first time at the Olympic games.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

 


According to the Department of Defense, total enlistment in the U.S. military is 2,869,822. Recruiters are struggling more every year to enlist young people, and only 29 percent of people aged 17 to 24 would qualify if they tried to enlist.

Courtesy of Beauty Shoppe

 


Entrepreneurs and start-ups need room to grow, but office space can be expensive and leases require commitment would-be business owners aren't always comfortable with.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

For more than 40 years, the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh has stepped in to provide safe harbor and support for survivors of intimate partner violence, and they recently promoted one of their own. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

When the August Wilson Center for African American Culture opened in 2009, there was hope and optimism about a rich community asset in the heart of Downtown, but financial troubles plagued the development from the start, leading to bankruptcy and nearly foreclosure. 

Jim Judkis / Focus Features via AP

The first biography of Pittsburgh icon Fred Rogers was released last week. “The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers” traces Rogers' early days through the all-important launch and subsequent generations of fandom created by “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” broadcast through the Pittsburgh public television station WQED.

Berlyn Brixner / Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Anthropocene isn’t officially recognized as a geological epoch, but some scientists believe it’s necessary to mark the ways that humans have affected Earth’s geology and ecosystems -- starting with the Great Acceleration prompted by a nuclear blast test in New Mexico in 1945.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Immigrants comprise 3.4 percent of the Pittsburgh region’s population but are collectively much more likely to be entrepreneurs than native-born Americans.

U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania is the top law enforcement officer for the region, prosecuting federal crimes ranging from national security to civil rights, from public corruption to narcotics.

The office takes its marching orders from the sitting President, so Trump appointee Scott Brady says he understood that attorneys hired during the Obama administration might feel some trepidation about his arrival.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Planning Commission presented their option for a 178-acre development in Hazelwood last month. At the time, project manager Rebecca Flora called the idea "transformative," but as the neighborhood moves forward, who might be left behind?

Mick Stinelli / 90.5 WESA

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 join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

Courtesy of Danseur

Dance studios across the United States are brimming with bunheads dreaming of crossing the stage at Lincoln Center, but guests would be hard pressed to find any boys among them. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Heather Lyke has been on the job as the director of athletics at the University of Pittsburgh just 17 months, but she's already made an imprint on the program – promoting and hiring coaches, building community beyond the university and encouraging rivalries across conferences.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Theater

When the Pittsburgh Public Theater opens its fall season Sept. 27, it will mark the first assemblage in 19 years under a new artistic director.

Marya Sea Kaminski, who served as associate assistant director at the Seattle Repertory Theater for four years, will direct an adaption of Jane Austen's classic "Pride and Prejudice" as her inagural show. It's the first in a season with women at the forefront, including a reworking of Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

Robert Ray / AP

The Washington Post's John Woodrow Cox joins Bucks County Democrat and state Rep. Helen Tai, who recently proposed a package of bills requiring the safe storage of firearms and the reporting of lost or stolen weapons by their owners, as well as penalties for those who fail to comply with the law.

Courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law started this academic year with a new leader at its helm. Amy Wildermuth took over in July after working as a professor at the University of Utah.

Many law schools have struggled in recent years to maintain enrollment, leading some to change admissions requirements

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

David Zubik was installed as the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 2007 after years serving at the right hand of his predecessor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who now serves as the Archbishop of Washington D.C. And it was at that time that he was privy to years of conversations and internal investigations outlined in the grand jury report released this month that detailed decades of child sex abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy across Pennsylvania.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

The Port Authority of Allegheny County is putting the finishing touches on its second application for $98 million in Federal Transit Administration funds to help build a Bus Rapid Transit project in Pittsburgh.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Less than a year after being drafted by the Steelers in 1968, Rocky Bleier was drafted again, this time into the U.S. Army to fight in Vietnam. During a Viet Cong ambush, he was wounded in both legs.

Seth Wenig / AP

For some, free college is still an outrageous idea, but legislation introduced in June aims to supply just that.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pittsburgh police chief Scott Schubert has presided over a tough summer, fraught with tension between police and protestors. 

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The faithful are still reeling from revelations unearthed a 900-page Grand Jury report implicating 300 "predator priests" across six Pennsylvania dioceses, including 99 in Pittsburgh alone.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Producer's Note: This is the final *weekly* episode of 90.5 WESA's The Confluence. The team is taking a short hiatus and returning as a daily program Monday, August 27, 2018. Look for it live Monday through Friday from 9-10 a.m. Eastern.

In the wake of President Trump's Supreme Court nomination of D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Democratic senators and civil rights advocates have been quick to voice their opposition.

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