Local Headlines

Important stories from the Pittsburgh region.

Bill Cosby's Sex-Assault Retrial Won't Be Like The First One

Apr 9, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

With opening statements in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial set for Monday, prosecutors have lined up a parade of accusers to make the case that the man revered as "America's Dad" lived a double life as one of Hollywood's biggest predators.

Roman Catholic Diocese Of Erie IDs Priests And Lay People Accused Of Abuse

Apr 6, 2018
Julio Cortez / AP

*This post was updated on April 6, 2018 at 4:55 p.m.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania, on Friday made public the names of 34 priests or other members of the clergy who faced credible allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct over the years, including their bishop in the 1970s, who they say failed to stop abuse that was reported to him.

Cosby Jury Filled As Defense Alleges Discrimination

Apr 5, 2018
Chris Szagola / AP

A jury of seven men and five women — 10 of them white, two of them black — was seated Wednesday to decide Bill Cosby's fate in the biggest celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, after a day marked by defense accusations of racial discrimination.

Screengrab via video posted on Twitter / Rob Tornoe/Philly.com

Representatives from four Pennsylvania stations owned by media conglomerate Sinclair Broadcast Group are declining to comment on a controversial promo issued by the company's television news stations across the country, including three in the state.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A recent onslaught of rain will continue sporadically this week in the Pittsburgh region.

The city and some surrounding counties are under a flash flood watch until 2 a.m. Wednesday, due to a hazardous combination of melting snow, steady rainfall, rising rivers and possible icy thunderstorms. 

LM Otero / AP

Court officials say distracted driving citations in Pennsylvania jumped by 52 percent last year and have increased 172 percent since 2013.

Nearly seven in 10 citations were issued to men, and more than one-third were to people in their 20s.

State law prohibits texting while driving, subjecting violators to a fine of $50. It's also illegal to drive while wearing headphones.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Pam Feltes-McCurdy made her way through a small room in the basement of the Lutheran Church of our Savior in North Huntingdon, squeezing between the wall of the room and a rack of baby clothes. 

Allentown Gets New Mayor After Corruption Scandal

Mar 30, 2018
Matt Smith / AP

After a rules fight, a deadlock and a dozen rounds of voting, a former president of the City Council has been chosen as the interim mayor to replace a former mayor convicted of trading city contracts for campaign cash.

Niven Sabherwal / 90.5 WESA

Grazing goats are getting the go-ahead to keep munching on Pittsburgh's weeds and brush.

The City Council has given preliminary approval to a five-year deal with a nonprofit group that uses goats to reduce unwanted vegetation in parks and other city properties.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports a final vote on the agreement with Allegheny GoatScape is expected Tuesday.

Cbaile19 / Wikimedia Commons

When Terry Doloughty was growing up in the 1970s, Polish Hill was a much different place than it is today. Sure, there were more traditionally Polish families and more small businesses -- but what he remembers most fondly were the large green spaces surrounding the little hillside neighborhood.

“I had the ability here to have a very urban life, but then to disappear into the greenery and find some peace there,” Doloughty said.

Johnstown Flood: McCullough’s ‘Lucky Break’ Launched Career

Mar 24, 2018
AP

By the 1960s, interest in the 1889 Johnstown Flood was waning.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Punxsutawney Phil is a wanted ... groundhog.

Doctor Says PSU Pledge May Have Lived If Help Was Called Sooner

Mar 23, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

A forensic pathologist testified Friday that injuries that killed a Penn State fraternity pledge last year might not have been fatal if fraternity members had summoned help more quickly.

USPS / via AP

It's a beautiful day to honor Mister Rogers with a postage stamp.

The U.S. Postal Service is releasing a stamp featuring Fred Rogers, the gentle TV host who entertained and educated generations of preschoolers on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

The "forever" stamp goes on sale Friday. It pictures Rogers in his trademark cardigan along with King Friday, a puppet character from the show's Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Southwestern Pennsylvania suffered population decline in the thousands, according to the 2017 list of county and metropolitan area population released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday.

Spring Nor'Easter Dumps Several Inches Of Snow On Pittsburgh

Mar 21, 2018
Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

A spring nor'easter targeted the Northeast on Wednesday with strong winds and a foot or more of snow expected in some parts of the East Coast.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A pair of back-to-back nor'easters is revving up to hit the East Coast on the official start of spring, when they'll merge into the fourth storm to slam the region in a month.

Judge: 5 Other Accusers Can Testify At Bill Cosby's Retrial

Mar 15, 2018
Matt Slocum / AP

A judge agreed Thursday to let five additional Bill Cosby accusers testify at his April 2 sexual assault retrial, giving prosecutors a chance to portray the man once known as "America's Dad" as a serial predator who made a sadistic habit of drugging and molesting women.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

It’s Neighborhood Table night in Sharpsburg, and about 60 people are packed into a former Main Street shop to eat fried chicken, salad and Italian bread. Dozens of Styrofoam dessert plates are waiting on carts in the back room.

Scores of Sharpsburgers, many of them over 50, regularly show up to the free event at the Roots of Faith center for the first three Thursdays of each month. Not only are they given meals, but they’re also offered free services: some nights it’s a medical screening from UPMC St. Margaret; sometimes it’s a legal clinic from local law firms.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Police say a man stole an EMS vehicle parked outside of a Pittsburgh sports arena and crashed into another vehicle.

Records show the paramedic parked outside of PPG Paints Arena around 11:50 p.m. Saturday while responding to an emergency inside the building.

A woman staying at a nearby hotel says she saw a man standing suspiciously near the vehicle and began filming him on her phone. The woman and another person gasp in shock in the video as the man gets into the vehicle and drives away.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

People marched through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon, holding signs and chanting slogans in support of paid sick leave.

Allentown Police Department / via AP

A 45-year-old man managed to sign a 16-year-old girl out of her school 10 times in the last few months, and now the two are missing, police said.

Why I'm Addicted To Bird Nestcams (And You Should Be Too)

Mar 8, 2018
Peter Bell

*This story was originally published April 22, 2016. 

Ah, Spring! The time of year when we’re glued to our computers and cell phones watching live webcams pointed at the nests of celebrity birds of prey. We’re totally absorbed as they hatch eggs and raise their downy babies.

Matt Slocum / AP

Pennsylvania utility companies say more than 110,000 customers are without power following the state's second major snowstorm in less than a week.

More than a foot of snow fell in parts of the state Wednesday, causing treacherous travel in some areas. Many schools and businesses remained closed Thursday or were holding delayed openings.

The most outages are reported by Peco, which said about 55,500 customers were without service Thursday morning. About 47,000 of those customers are in the Philadelphia suburb of Bucks County.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Authorities say a small fire believed to be due to contraband prompted a partial evacuation at the Allegheny County Jail and sent a guard to a hospital.

Allegheny County officials said the blaze at the Downtown jail broke out at about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday within a cell and is "believed to have been started by contraband in that cell."

All 80 inmates of the pod were evacuated to another area of the jail and guards had the fire out before Pittsburgh firefighters arrived.

Robert Spencer / AP

Authorities say a train hit a tractor-trailer in western Pennsylvania, spilling the truck's cargo of hydrochloric acid and injuring one person.

Emergency dispatchers in Washington County say one person was airlifted to a hospital after the crash shortly after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Centerville.

Officials said a hazardous materials team was called to the site and roadways in the area were closed. About 15 residents were being evacuated.

Janet Hellner-Burris / Sanctuary Project

On a stormy Thursday in Wilkinsburg, Janet Hellner-Burris stepped out of the rain on Wallace Avenue and into the doors of the Christian Church of Wilkinsburg, where she's served as a pastor since 1990. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania State Police say they're searching the Aliquippa City Building as part of a grand jury investigation.

US Marshals Service / via AP

Authorities say a deputy U.S. marshal shot and killed while serving a warrant in Pennsylvania was struck by a bullet fired through a wall by a fellow officer and not by a gunman who opened fire on police.

Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo said Thursday that conclusion was made after laboratory tests were performed on material related to the Jan. 18 death of Deputy Marshal Christopher Hill.

Chardo says 31-year-old Kevin Sturgis fired the first shot and that police were justified in shooting him to death outside the home in Harrisburg.

Keith Srakocic / AP

It's not actually spring, but Pittsburgh's warm and rainy winter has made it hard to tell. 

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