Local Headlines

Important stories from the Pittsburgh region.

Three people missing since last weekend were found alive Wednesday in an underground coal mine in West Virginia, authorities said.

The three were located Wednesday inside Elk Run Coal’s Rock House Powellton mine near Clear Creek, the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training said in a statement. The mine was described as nonoperational.

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Police say a teenager was wounded by a bullet while riding on a school bus in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh police said in a Twitter post that a school bus driver said she was driving students home from New Academy Charter school shortly after 6:30 p.m. Monday when she heard two or three gunshots.

She said a 17-year-old youth on the bus "yelled that he had been shot in the shoulder." Two other students were uninjured.

Katie Meyer

As retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Bill Davey played taps at the state Capitol’s annual Pearl Harbor commemoration, Richard Schimmel, Isaac George, William Bonelli, and Hank Heim rose slowly to their feet and saluted.

University Faculty Background Checks To Be Reviewed By Court

Dec 7, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether the 14 state-owned universities can compel all faculty members to undergo criminal background checks and inform the schools if they are arrested for serious crimes.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

A Pennsylvania man has his wallet back nearly four years after it apparently fell out of his pocket while riding a roller coaster.

It was a running family joke to tell the kids to look for dad's wallet every time they visited Hersheypark. Jon Anson tells WHTM-TV he got a call from the park that maintenance crews had found his wallet.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The state Supreme Court has decided to permanently redact the names of nearly a dozen current and former Roman Catholic clergy who were implicated in a sweeping grand jury report on sexual abuse of children.

U.S. Soldier From Western PA Dies From Wounds In Afghanistan Blast Last Week

Dec 3, 2018
Fort Carson Public Affairs Office / via AP

The Pentagon says that a fourth soldier has died from wounds suffered last week in a roadside bomb blast in eastern Afghanistan.

Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary died Sunday at the military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. He was 24 years old and from Export, Pennsylvania.

Three other service members were killed in the explosion last Tuesday near Ghazni, and two others were wounded.

It was the deadliest attack against U.S. forces in Afghanistan this year. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

Police: Gunman Kills 1 At Municipal Building, Is Arrested

Nov 28, 2018
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A man who may have been having trouble getting permits for work on his property shot and killed a township employee in a government building Tuesday, then paced the hallway with his head in his hands until police arrived to take him into custody, authorities said.

The gunman walked inside the Paradise Township municipal building about 8:20 a.m., asked for the victim by name, then shot him in the mouth in his office, according to court documents. A co-worker administered CPR until paramedics showed up, but Michael Tripus, 65, of Stroudsburg, was declared dead at the scene.

Marien Lien
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA

Marian Lien says Squirrel Hill’s strength is its people.

Carlos Osorio / AP

As others in the state Capitol prepared to bring in the building’s annual Christmas tree, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale held his own version of a holiday celebration.

He hosted several representatives from the Pennsylvania chapter of the Public Interest Research Group, who recently released its 33rd  annual holiday toy advisory, available here.

This one includes warnings about 15 different toys, out of 40 tested.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A Pittsburgh bank employee who said on social media that a man who drove through a crowd of protesters should have used a bus instead of a car is claiming in a federal lawsuit that she was fired because she's white.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones is touting a sprinkler system with helping contain a fire at a senior living high rise and saving lives.

goodwine
Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA

 

 

Nearly 300 boys and girls are enrolled in the Northside Youth Athletic Association's football teams and cheering squads.

Matt Rourke / AP

The first snowstorm of the season caused havoc around Pennsylvania, downing trees and power lines and causing a travel nightmare, including for some drivers who were stuck for 12 hours on a snowy interstate.

Department of Defense / AP

The remains of an Air Force pilot from Pennsylvania whose plane crashed off Croatia during World War II are coming home and will be interred alongside those of his son, a Vietnam War veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery.

Another former Beta Theta Pi fraternity member is going to trial in the case related to the hazing death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza.

Vernard Alexander
Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA

Businessman Vernard Alexander of Homewood is known in his neighborhood as the "Connecting King,” because he uses online platforms to share information about jobs, housing and funding sources to help others in his community.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Emergency services personnel for Allegheny County spent last Saturday morning responding to routine police calls, such as complaints about parking or residents blowing leaves into neighbors’ yards.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers will continue to gather this weekend in the wake of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue which left 11 people dead, looking for ways to heal and move forward.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Four days after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, an anonymous threat prompted a nearby elementary school to go on lockdown and sent Squirrel Hill parents rushing over to check on their children.

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Colfax K-8 school in Squirrel Hill has been cleared after being placed on lockdown for more than two hours Wednesday morning. 

Andrew Harnik / AP

President Donald Trump came to pay tribute Tuesday to those touched by the worst instance of anti-Semitic violence in American history, traveling to a city where he faced an uneasy welcome from those grieving.

LFG Owners
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA

 

 

From "Madden NFL Football" to “Fortnite” and “Forza Motorsport," to “World of Warcraft” and "Call of Duty,” the virtual worlds of online gaming have ballooned in recent years.

 

 

 

As gaming culture has moved online, though, the face-to-face social atmosphere of the arcade heyday has become a thing of the past. John Lange finds that unfortunate. 

 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Thousands of people jammed into the corner of Murray and Forbes in Squirrel Hill amid a light rain for a vigil Saturday evening for the victims of a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue earlier in the day. The gathering included prayers and singing in memory of those killed and wounded.

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The man suspected of killing 11 people at Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Squirrel Hill has been charged with obstructing the exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death.

Federal prosecutors say Robert Bowers was charged Saturday night in a 29-count criminal complaint. It wasn't immediately known if he has an attorney.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Officials say 11 people were killed when a shooter opened fire during a baby naming ceremony at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.

Riverhouse at Odette's / Facebook

Crews have successfully picked up and moved a historic Pennsylvania inn from where it had stood since 1784.

Philadelphia's Holocaust Memorial—1st In The US—Merges Past With New Technology

Oct 22, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

In 1964, the first public memorial to the Holocaust in the United States was unveiled in a solemn ceremony in Philadelphia. 

Minor Spencer
Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA

Sheraden resident Terri Minor Spencer started West End P.O.W.E.R. (Providing Opportunities with Effective Resources) three years ago. The organization aims to redefine and rebuild community in Pittsburgh's West End through the facilitation of multiple neighborhood support initiatives. 

Minor Spencer spoke about P.O.W.E.R.'s origins with 90.5 WESA's Elaine Effort, as well as where she sees the organization moving forward.

German in Rainey's
Ricco JL Martello / Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company

Vanessa German's passion is rooted in her imagination, which has led her to build elaborate sculptures and write and perform stage plays. It has also been the vehicle she has used to help ensure the tools of creativity are accessible to the residents in her community.

After growing up in Los Angeles and Cincinnati, German came to Pittsburgh to live with her parents nearly two decades ago. She says she began creating art by using materials she found during her travels.

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