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Pittsburgh And Puerto Rico's Bond Is Not Forgotten In The Wake of Hurricane Maria

Gene J. Puskar
Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente's team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, collect donations outside PNC Park in Pittsburgh for hurricane-devestated Puerto Rico Monday, Oct. 2, 2017.

It's been more than two weeks since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico—knocking out the power grid, leaving people homeless and hospitals with dwindling supplies. Despite President Donald Trump's comments contrasting the storm to a "real catastrophe like [Hurricane] Katrina," many in Pittsburgh are eager to respond to the island's needs.

Pittsburgh has had a long-standing relationship with Puerto Rico ever since Pirates fans fell in love with Hall of Famer and Puerto Rico native Roberto Clemente. Forty-five years after Clemente's death, that relationship is as strong as ever. 

Joining us by phone from Puerto Rico, NPR producer Lauren Migaki updates us on conditions on the ground, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Diana Nelson Jones discusses what the relationship between Pittsburgh and Puerto Rico looks like now.

Next on the show:

Congress failed to meet the deadline to pay for the Children's Health Insurance Program, leaving the future uncertain for 9 million children nationwide. In Pennsylvania, CHIP covers 176,000 children whose parents are uninsured and make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. Pennsylvania Acting Secretary for Human Services Teresa Miller says Pennsylvania would be able to sustain CHIP for a few months without federal help, but many legislators have still expressed disappointment that CHIP has been "left on the back burner."

Laura Olson, a Washington-based reporter for The Morning Call, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporters Kate Giammarise and Kris Mamula discuss the future of CHIP and what might come with the new enrollment period set to begin next month.


Last week, The Incline, the mobile first news site, marked its first anniversary. In the last year, the publication has used a mix of original stories and curated news from other sources to "connect readers with relevant news about Pittsburgh." Lexi Belculfine, editor of The Incline, reflects on their first year and discusses what's ahead for the publication now.

And finally:

The future of the Stephen Foster statue in Oakland's Schenley Park is still uncertain. On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Art Commission held a public hearing to discuss the statue, which depicts native Pittsburgh composer Steven Foster writing on a parchment, while a shoeless black man plays banjo at his feet. Many Pittsburghers at the hearing expressed a desire to see the statue moved, but some still want it to stay.

WESA's Virginia Alvino Young catches us up and questions what is at stake in the debate over the statue's future.

Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station. She leads editorial coverage for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live, one-hour, daily morning news show.
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