Local Headlines

Important stories from the Pittsburgh region.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A western Pennsylvania professor working as a ride-hail company driver who was earlier accused of holding two women in his vehicle against their will is now facing charges involving a third woman. 



A storefront on Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood is home to BOOM Concepts, a workspace and art gallery founded by online magazine publisher Thomas Agnew and his co-founder Darrell Kinsel.

Google Earth

Authorities say an experimental plane crashed during takeoff from an airport in western Pennsylvania, but no injuries were reported.

The crash at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe occurred shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday.

It's not yet known what caused the single-seat experimental jet to crash. Information about the person flying the plane was not disclosed.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Sky Williams / Serve the Burgh


Cleaning litter, planting gardens, property landscaping—very little is off limits when it comes to “Serve the Burgh.”

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

A fisherman in Pennsylvania is celebrating the one that didn't get away: a 50-pound flathead catfish that broke state records.

David McCullough's Uncanny Journey Into Ohio's Past

May 9, 2019
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

David McCullough's new book was a journey to a world both distant and uncanny.

Steven Evans
Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA

The Gateway Medical Society is an association of doctors, nurses and non-medical professionals committed to eliminating health disparities among people of color. At an event later this week, the organization will offer free health screenings and counseling.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

With their bulging red eyes and deafening mating song, the 17-year cicadas are about to emerge.

The insects have been waiting underground for nearly two decades, and millions are about to make their debut around western Pennsylvania, parts of eastern Ohio and a small swath of West Virginia.

Former Penn State President Richly Paid As He Fought Charges

May 2, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier's success this week in getting his child-endangerment conviction overturned capped a seven-year fight to save his reputation and stay out of jail, a period during which he has been richly compensated by the university he once ran.

PGH Project Sign
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA



At the end of every school day, students are transported to The Pittsburgh Project in the Perry Hilltop section of the city’s North Side, where they take part in educational programs. Executive Director Wayne Younger says the Project partners with local schools to offer enrichment activities and academic help as well as investing in their social well-being.

Micahel Rubinkam / AP

The State Highway Patrol says a recent distracted driving enforcement project with other members of the 6-State Trooper Project resulted in more than 1,600 citations for distracted driving-related offenses.

Ohio troopers issued 271 citations in the initiative that began April 14 at 12:01 a.m. and continued through 11:59 a.m. on April 20.

The enforcement effort also included the Indiana State Police, Kentucky State Police, Michigan State Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the West Virginia State Police.

Greg Spencer
Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA



Pittsburgh businessman Greg Spencer, of Oakland, says he may be nearing retirement from Randall Industries, the chemical company he owns. But he says he has no plans to stop mentoring the young people who seek out his guidance and advice.

Matt Slocum / AP

The Philadelphia Flyers are covering a statue of singer Kate Smith outside their arena, following the New York Yankees in cutting ties and looking into allegations of racism against the 1930s star with a popular recording of "God Bless America."

Pennsylvania Agency Defends Closure Of Beloved Hiking Trail

Apr 18, 2019
Michael Rubinkam / AP

The Pennsylvania Game Commission said Wednesday that it would cost $1.7 million to make a beloved, well-known hiking trail safe for the public — which is why the agency plans to close it altogether.

The Glen Onoko Falls Trail has proven to be too dangerous, and the game commission has no money to fund safety improvements, said the agency's spokesman, Travis Lau, who confirmed the trail will close indefinitely on May 1.

Google Maps

Pennsylvania officials are closing one of the most scenic and popular hiking trails in the state because of longstanding concerns about its safety, prompting backlash from hikers.

Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA


Ruthie Walker walks the halls of the Student Achievement Center in Homewood, greeting students. She makes sure each has their eye on the ball, the ultimate goal—graduation.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A fraternity at Penn State University has been placed on interim suspension over a student's serious injury and alleged misuse of alcohol.

90.5 WESA

*UPDATE: University of Pittsburgh Police have released an update regarding the Tuesday incident described in this story. 

U.S. Marine Corps / AP

Flags at the Pennsylvania Capitol and other state buildings will fly at half-staff to honor three U.S. Marines who have ties to the state and were killed in the line of duty.

James Rounds
Elaine Effort / 90.5 WESA



People who need fitness training and the most help developing healthy habits are often the ones least likely to seek out assistance.


That's according to Pittsburgh fitness trainer James Rounds. In addition to operating a private gym, Rounds maintains community-based fitness programs for those who need them most.

Century-Old Chimes System In College Chapel Restored

Apr 8, 2019

When the melodies of "Imagine" by John Lennon, "Scarborough Fair" or "Be Thou My Vision" ring out over Allegheny College, it's just another day on campus. Yet, many have no idea they're listening to a 100-year-old instrument.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

On Friday afternoon, survivors and family members of victims from Parkland, Fla., emotionally recounted the devastating Feb. 14, 2018 shooting while calling for gun reform in Pittsburgh.

Matt Rourke / AP

Philadelphia transportation officials are considering charging motorists to pass through busy sections of the city.

Eric A. Smith / Hill Dance Academy Theatre


A number of well-known cultural icons have emerged from the Hill District—August Wilson, George Benson and Mary Lou Williams, to name a few. But when it comes to the art of dance in recent years, one company comes to mind.

Cpl. Harley Robinson / U.S. Marine Corps. via AP

The names of two Marine pilots who died in a helicopter crash during a training mission in southwestern Arizona were released Monday as the crash remained under investigation.

U.S. Marine Corps officials identified the dead pilots as Maj. Matthew M. Wiegand, 34, of Ambler, Pennsylvania, and Capt. Travis W. Brannon, 30, of Nashville, Tennessee.

They said the AH-1Z Viper crashed about 8:45 p.m. Saturday on the vast Marine Corps Air Station Yuma training grounds while the pilots were conducting a training mission as part of a weapons and tactical instructor course.

'Filthadelphia' Tries To Shed Nickname By Cleaning Streets

Mar 29, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

The City of Brotherly Love was once revolutionary when it came to clean streets, gutters and sidewalks. Benjamin Franklin launched one of America's first street sweeping programs here in the late 1750s. In 1952, the city tied with Memphis, Tennessee, as the nation's cleanest.

Rick Bowmer / AP

As a nationwide ban took effect this week, gun owners must immediately destroy or turn over their bump stocks after President Trump pushed the Justice Department to classify the controversial gun add-on as a type of illegal machine gun.

Google Earth

Sunoco has cut ties with a Pennsylvania gas station owner after a digital billboard flashed a racial slur and praised the acquittal of a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen.

The billboard is owned by John Placek and is about a quarter mile from the gas station.

Tim Lambert / WITF

A small group of protesters gathered outside the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Dauphin County -- on the 40th anniversary of the partial meltdown of the facility's Unit 2 reactor.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Temple University student Jewel Myers left Mitten Hall Wednesday morning feeling a little less stressed. A mumps outbreak on campus was making the sophomore leery of going to class. Now, she was vaccinated against the virus, thanks to a free clinic set up by the school.