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U.S. Steel's $1B Investment Cements Pittsburgh's Place In Advanced Manufacturing, Fitzgerald Says

Gene J. Puskar
U.S. Steel president and CEO David Burritt announced Thursday a $1 billion investment in upgrades at Clairton Coke Works and the Edgar Thomson plant near Pittsburgh.

U.S. Steel plans to spend $1 billion to upgrade its Clairton Coke Works and Edgar Thomson facilities near Pittsburgh. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says he's thrilled to see Pittsburgh return to the forefront of steel manufacturing—that the investment could help stabilize steel jobs in the region, but likely won't create any new positions.

The region’s economy has diversified since the decades-long decline of steel jobs, but Fitzgerald says the industry still plays a vital role in the local economy. He lauded U.S. Steel’s claims that the upgrades would increase energy efficiency and "improve the environment."

Credit Katie Blackley / WESA
Anna, a former racing greyhound, at the WESA studios. She's painted ahead of a visit to UPMC Children's Hospital.

U.S. Steel’s announcement comes on the heels of mulitple lawsuits filed against the company since a Christmas Eve at Clairton Coke Works damaged equipment, preventing coke oven gas from going through its normal pollution controls.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette business reporter Daniel Moore explains the three-pronged project and what to look for in the coming months.

Later in the program:

Pennsylvanians living near fracking sites, pipelines and other oil and gas infrastructure have complained about issues like pollution for years. Now prosecutors on both sides of the state have launched criminal probes into the state's fracking boom. For StateImpact Pennsylvania, The Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier looks ahead to where these investigations might go.

An estimated 40,000 people will participate in the 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon this weekend. As part of a series on local participants, hear from a special group of spectators: The Steel City Greyhounds. The group, which works to find homes for retired racing greyhound dogs, has been a fixture at the marathon cheering on runners for seven years. Hear about their past and present from handler David Anderson.

Pennsylvania’s craft brewing industry is growing so fast, it can be hard to track. The state added almost 100 breweries just in the last year, but people who want to break into brewing don’t always know where to turn for help. WITF's Rachel McDevitt reports from Shippensburg University, where the craft beer industry is being supported through education.

And four new measles cases were reported in Allegheny County this week. The newest patients are not related to one other previously reported case, according to the local health department, and all five were the result of international travel. What do parents and caregivers of small children and older adults need to know? And what should you do if you're worried that you might not be immune? 90.5 WESA's Sarah Boden joins Dr. Mark Roberts, chair of health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, to explain. People who believe they are infected should not go to the emergency room or doctor's office, but call their primary care physician. Leaving the home could potentially expose others to the disease. 

90.5 WESA's Meg Fair 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.

Kiley Koscinski is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She previously produced The Confluence and Morning Edition. Before coming to WESA, she worked as an assignment desk editor and producer at 1020 AM KDKA. She can be reached at
Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago.
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