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FBI’s Pittsburgh office seeks to ‘disrupt’ swatting calls, deter juvenile culprits

Pittsburgh Police and paramedics stand on a sidewalk outside of Central Catholic High School.
Gene J. Puskar
Pittsburgh Police and paramedics respond to Central Catholic High School in Oakland for what turned out to be a hoax report of an active shooter, on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

On today’s episode of The Confluence:

  • Schools nationwide, including in Pittsburgh, are experiencing dangerous “swatting” incidences, where a caller falsely claims there’s an active shooter situation, drawing real resources. We talk to FBI Assistant Special Agent In-Charge Scott Argiro about how the agency addresses these events. (0:00 - 7:34) 

  • Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) has formed a nonprofit organization to support programs serving children after school and during the summer months. The inaugural executive director, Karen Dreyer, and Leah O’Reilly, a board member of APOST, join us to talk about the new nonprofit’s work. (7:47 - 16:07) 

  • Residents in East Palestine, Ohio worry about the health impacts of vinyl chloride exposure after February’s train derailment. Seven workers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigating the incident also reported symptoms. About 10 years ago, Paulsboro, New Jersey faced a similar accident when  24,000 gallons of the carcinogenic gas leaked from a derailed train in November of 2012. WHYY’s Zoë Read reports some residents are still feeling the impacts of the accident a decade later. (16:21 - 22:30) 

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Friday 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 for wherever you get your podcasts. 

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