Fourth of July

Brian Siewiorek / WYEP

Bullets that go up have to come down, warned Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich. He warned that shooting firearms in the air in celebration during the Fourth of July could have deadly consequences. 

FBI: Al-Qaida Supporter Planned Bombings In Cleveland And Philadelphia

Jul 2, 2018
North Olmsted Police Department

An American-born citizen who federal authorities say recently scouted locations in Cleveland to attack people watching Fourth of July fireworks and talked of carrying out additional bombings in Philadelphia has been charged with trying to support terrorism.

Federal authorities said Monday that Demetrius Pitts had expressed his support for al-Qaida for more than a year and talked about setting off bombs at a July 4 parade and later in his hometown, Philadelphia.

Jakob Lazzaro / 90.5 WESA

It’s Pennsylvania’s first Fourth of July with legal commercial grade fireworks, and the City of Pittsburgh is warning consumers of the dangers they bring.  The state eased restrictions on types of fireworks available for purchase last fall when legislators repealed the Fireworks Act.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh officials said Monday that global terror attacks have prompted new safety precautions for local Fourth of July celebrations.

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich promised a noticeably heavier law enforcement presence, including plain clothes police officers and more uniformed patrols near firework viewing areas like Point State Park.

  Happy Fourth of July weekend! Time to celebrate all things red, white and blue. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to fill you in on your holiday weekend plans. Hint, hint, they involve fireworks.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

In a chemical engineering lab at Carnegie Mellon University, Matt Cline and William Alba stand in front of three rectangular packets made of tinfoil. An arm’s length away from the range hood, they use their thumbs to eclipse the flash they know is coming.

Marine Sgt. Doug Vitale was leading his squad through Afghanistan in 2011 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device and lost both his legs above the knee.  Because he lost so much blood, he also suffered strokes on both sides of his brain.

“He’s still in a rehab program, for almost three years now, to continue to get better and improve,” Alexis Vitale, Doug’s wife, said. “And he is, he does continue to get better, but we work for a long time for small things at this point, but he’s determined and he’s hard working and keeps going.”

As people set off fireworks, wave flags and eat their American flag-decorated cake this Fourth of July, a group of American Muslims is doing some of the same things — with an added message — that their religion is a peaceful one and they are also patriotic Americans.

“We want to spread the message of loyalty to the United States of America, and we want to debunk the myth that Muslims do not stand for peace and justice,” said Adnan Ahmed, Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Pittsburgh.

With the Fourth of July this Friday, you might be seeing firework tents scattered throughout the state -- however, much of what is for sale in those large tents cannot be purchased by most Pennsylvania residents.

Pennsylvania state law allows residents to buy and use items defined as “ground and hand-held sparkling devices,” “novelties” and “toy caps” by the American Pyrotechnics Association.

However, according to Adam Reed, Pennsylvania State Police Public Information Officer, the law is strict when it comes to more-explosive items.

Flickr user Dale Beckett

 

Fourth of July weekend travel is expected to reach pre-recession levels for the first time, even though gas prices are the highest they’ve been since 2008.

AAA is predicting that 41 million Americans will travel at least fifty miles this weekend, a 1.9 percent increase over last year, with 80 percent traveling by car.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, the number of people traveling to celebrate the holiday is expected increase by 1.3 percent.

Americans have long celebrated the Fourth of July with fireworks, picnics and community gatherings, but ... pogo sticks?

The annual EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta and Fourth of July festivities will have many returning events and a few new twists this year, including extreme pogo championship Pogopalooza and a visit from several History Channel stars.

The celebration will last July 2-4 and culminate in Friday’s “Flashes of Freedom” Zambelli fireworks display, which will be launched from barges near Point State Park at 9:35pm.