The Confluence

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

As a reverend, teacher, community organizer and poet, Eleanor Williams is a woman of many talents. She joined 90.5 WESA’s The Confluence to talk about her work and her latest endeavor with the North Side Partnership Project, a coalition of seven nonprofits.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Center for Victims is offering survivors of violent crimes a way to stay informed about the legal status of their perpetrators. The center has worked with the Allegheny County Jail to keep survivors informed about release dates for more than 20 years, but according to Center for Victims CEO Laurie MacDonald, the app takes this work a step further.

Courtesy of The Pittsburgh Marathon

From humble beginnings — there wasn't even a marathon in Pittsburgh in 2008 — CEO and race director Patrice Matamoros says she put her whole heart into building the engine behind today's Pittsburgh marathon. Festivities this weekend will be her final lap.  

Andy Kubis / Allegheny Front

Lisa Ceoffe, forester for the City of Pittsburgh, says the health of the city’s tree population has improved since she assumed the position in the Department of Public Works a little more than 10 years ago. 

Michael Sahaida / Wikipedia

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is gearing up for summer programming set to include music from John William’s films, the Rolling Stones and the U.S. premiere of “Thorgy and the Thorchestra” – a collaboration with "RuPaul’s Drag Race" star Thorgy Thor. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Religious, community and political leaders plan to gather this Sunday at Temple Sinai to mark six months since a gunman killed 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

The public can now access hundreds of pages of Pittsburgh police policies in a database on the city website. Chief Scott Schubert says it's an exercise in bureau transparency and hopes it will foster trust with the community. 

Toby Talbot / AP

Opioid overdose deaths in western Pennsylvania dropped 43 percent in 2018 after several years of steady increases. Officials in the FBI-Pittsburgh field office credit the decrease to a coordinated effort that targets legal and illegal sellers of the drug, addiction treatment, and an increased accessibility to the overdose reversal medication naloxone.

Matt Rourke / AP

More mothers are turning to milk banks for pasteurized donor human breast milk to give to needy infants. The organizations collect, test and treat the milk that is later provided to babies who wouldn't otherwise receive its benefits. 

Courtesy of UPMC

Clinics promising stem cell treatment for a growing list of difficult conditions are doing so despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration about the dangers of unproven therapies. These practitioners are preaching hope where there might not be any yet, according to Dr. J. Peter Rubin, chair of the department of plastic surgery at UPMC. 

Tony Talbot / AP

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says Oklahoma got "a bad deal" in its recent $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma. The deal, which didn't directly allot any funding to those affected by Purdue's opioid marketing practices, allows the company's owners to direct future addiction research and treament in the state. 

U.S. Navy

The USS Pittsburgh, a Los Angeles-class, fast-attack submarine, returned to its homeport in Groton, Conn. in February, marking the successful completion of its final deployment—and with a Pittsburgher at the helm. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh has historically been a city concerned about too many people leaving, but these days, concerns have shifted to what types of people are coming into the city. A study out last month by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition called Pittsburgh one of the fastest gentrifying cities in the country. 

Courtesy of The Renfrew Center / Twitter

A national network of clinics specializing in eating disorders is seeing more women struggling with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and related mental health issues in mid-life than ever before, Oakland site director Erin Wentroble says.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Christmas Eve fire at Clairton Coke Works should serve as a wake up call for U.S. Steel to do better by residents, according to PennFuture president and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo.

She says other coke producing facilities across the nation have done a better job of improving air quality in their region than the U.S. Steel facility has for Western Pennsylvania.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A package of bills at the center of a heated debate about gun control in Pittsburgh is expected to become law today. Mayor Bill Peduto tells The Confluence he'll sign the bills at noon today. 

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Franklin Regional School District's Gennaro Piraino says he's using his platform as Pennsylvania's 2019 Superintendent of The Year to elevate discussion about school security in Pennsylvania. Tuesday marks five years since a sophomore student used knives to injure 20 other students and a security guard at Franklin Regional High School. 

Fernando Llano / AP

Since 2009, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation has promoted responsible harvesting practices and worked to reduce illegal fishing. 

Jessica Kourkounis / Keystone Crossroads

Lowered expectations, implicit bias and socioeconomics can all contribute to disparities in academic performance, which the state department of education shows is happening in more than half of all Allegheny County schools. 

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The non-partisan group Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is hosting a series of workshops, town halls and awareness programs to help educate low-income tenants on their legal rights.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh has been lauded as a "most livable city," but a 2018 survey from the University of Pittsburgh found perceptions of quality of life vary based on race. How do we bring diverse communities together to create a city that is better for all? 

Will Wilson / Courtesy of The Westmoreland Museum of Art

A new exhibition at The Westmoreland Museum of Art explores the effects of colonialism in America while highlighting the experiences of Native Americans. The museum is offering performances, discussions and culinary experiences as part of the collection, which is anchored by a photography exhibit called, "Mingled Visions: The Photographs of Edward S. Curtis and Will Wilson."

Keith Srakocic / AP

After former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Antwon Rose, calls for legislative change were swift. Among the laws in question are those that govern of a police officer's use of force. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

A trauma response team is spending the week with former classmates of slain teenager Antwon Rose Jr. at Woodland Hills High School. The counseling group, operated through FOCUS Pittsburgh, provides mental health services to residents of affected communities to facilitate what founder Rev. Paul Abernathy calls “trauma-informed community development.”

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

PennDOT is budgeting $20 million for landslide remediation in the coming year, District 11 executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni told The Confluence Tuesday. The sum is more than three times more than their current line item allocation.

Courtesy of Kristen Wesloh

How artists are integrated into a community can be an indicator of how well a city welcomes outsiders overall, according to City of Asylum's new executive director Kristen Wesloh. The North Side-based nonprofit has worked to create a community for writers, readers and neighbors in Pittsburgh for the last 15 years. 

Google Maps

A proposed rule from the Trump administration would bar federal Title X funding to health care organizations that provide abortions. 

Kevin Gavin / 90.5 WESA

Former school superintendent Joe Lagana was walking out of a homeless shelter 20 years ago when he saw a young man writing on the hood of his car. He thought the vehicle was being vandalized, until he spotted the boy's alarmed expression and scribbled paper—he'd been doing his homework. 

Courtesy of Heather Tomko

Uneven sidewalks, limited navigable pathways and businesses without proper accomodations for wheelchairs are just some of the obstacles facing Heather Tomko every day. 

Courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh has not been named as part of the nation-wide admissions cheating scandal under federal investigation, but that hasn't precluded the school from taking a look at its own admissions policies. Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher called the scandal a teachable moment on Tuesday's episode of The Confluence

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