Local Headlines

Important stories from the Pittsburgh region.

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. 

Plum Borough School District / Facebook

A Pennsylvania high school teacher acquitted of intimidating a student who accused another teacher of sexual assault is on leave as police investigate a new allegation against him.

Rebecca Weaver / via Pennsylvania Game Commission

Two bald eagles with their talons locked were rescued from a Pennsylvania river.

Pennsylvania Game Commission says in a Wednesday Facebook post a woman and her 11-year-old daughter saw the two mature, male eagles floating along the banks of the Susquehanna River near Bloomsburg and contacted police.

Worshippers Clutching AR-15 Rifles Hold Commitment Ceremony At PA Church

Feb 28, 2018
Jacqueline Larma / AP

Crown-wearing worshipers clutching AR-15 rifles drank holy wine and exchanged or renewed wedding vows in a commitment ceremony at a Pennsylvania church on Wednesday, prompting a nearby school to cancel classes.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A Pennsylvania family has filed a lawsuit against Pittsburgh Steelers football safety Sean Davis, claiming he posted a video on social media mocking their teenage son.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Laura Stuart is standing in the center of a small room practically exploding with color. She’s surrounded by artwork of all shapes and sizes -- from painted windows and furniture to decorated mannequins and vibrant beaded bracelets and necklaces.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh area has broken a monthly rainfall record that dates back to the 19th century.

The National Weather Service said Sunday that the 6.68 inches of rainfall during February at Pittsburgh International Airport breaks the old monthly record of 6.52 inches "set all the way back in 1887."

Allegheny County officials said Sunday that river levels were expected to rise throughout the day, but forecasts for river crests were lowered. Flood watches remained in effect and an approaching cold front is expected to bring high winds.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A landslide in a Pittsburgh neighborhood has destroyed a house, forced the closure of a road and knocked out electricity to adjacent neighborhoods.

The city says the landslide in the Duquesne Heights neighborhood worsened Sunday afternoon, pouring over a retaining wall and closing a section of roadway.

Officials say a house that was evacuated Friday evening "is now destroyed." The city says the owners were able to retrieve some essential belongings on Saturday.

Marc Levy / AP

Republican Gov. Phil Scott's administration said it's taking steps to remove Vermont inmates from a public prison in Pennsylvania where two inmates have died since October.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A flood warning is in place in Pittsburgh through Sunday due to predicted heavy rainfall, and residents can expect the flooding to be similar to what happened last weekend.

Pennsylvania Church To Bless Couples Toting AR-15 Rifles

Feb 21, 2018
Lisa Marie Pane / AP

A Pennsylvania-based offshoot of the Unification Church is encouraging couples to bring their AR-15 rifles with them to a commitment ceremony in the Pocono Mountains, a half-mile from an elementary school.

World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland said it planned the Feb. 28 ceremony months ago, well before last week's massacre at a Florida high school. Authorities say the alleged gunman used an AR-15 in the attack that killed 17.

Jon Dawson / flickr.com

Weather officials say the tornado that touched down in western Pennsylvania on Thursday was an EF-1 packing wind gusts up to 105 mph.

Evan Vucci / AP

President Donald Trump is postponing a campaign rally next week in the Pittsburgh area, the early political hotspot of 2018's congressional elections.

Former CEO Indicted In Mega-Mansion Tax Fraud Scheme

Feb 14, 2018
Keith Srakocic / AP

A former Pennsylvania health services company executive accused of claiming his luxury cars and 39,000-square-foot mansion as business expenses has been charged with tax fraud, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Joseph Nocito Sr. listed the millions of dollars it cost to build a mega-mansion near Pittsburgh he called "Villa Noci," as well as payments for a personal butler and a Jaguar, Maserati and Rolls Royce as corporate business expenses, authorities said.

Allegheny County Jail / AP

Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty if a man is convicted of first-degree murder in a Pittsburgh fire that killed two women and a 4-year-old child last year.

Forty-one-year-old Martell Smith is charged with homicide and arson in the deaths of 58-year-old Sandra Douglas, 21-year-old Shamira Staten and her daughter Chy'enne Manning.

Authorities allege that Smith set the fire Dec. 20 after a bar fight with a relative of theirs. Police allege that he said "Yep, I did it" as he watched the house burn.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Authorities have released the name of a man shot by a Pittsburgh police officer after officials allege he and another officer were fired upon over the weekend.

Allegheny County police said two Pittsburgh officers on foot patrol in the Homewood neighborhood shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday were fired upon by a man who emerged from behind a building. An officer returned fire then and when they found the suspect again.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

With long hair and a big handlebar mustache, Tom Walker is recognizable --and everyone in Millvale seems to know him.

He’s also busy in the community. Walker is a "semi-retired" graphic designer, he’s on the board of directors for the Millvale Community Development Corporation and he’s an avid kayaker and backpacker.

Walker is also known as “The Garlic King of Millvale.”

Local Thrift Shops Deal With Unwanted Junk

Feb 12, 2018
Dan Gill / AP

Old tires. Dirty mattresses. Broken televisions.

Those are some of the unwanted items people have dumped at local nonprofit thrift stores.

The problem: Thrift stores, which raise money to help people in need by selling donated items, end up spending time and money to dispose of the unusable junk.

"It happens all the time," said Janet Ammons, manager of Goodwill in Washington. "We have generous people who donate very nice items with price tags still on, and then there are other people who leave garbage. Literally."

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Many schools have delayed opening after a blast of snow moved through western Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh Public Schools is operating on a 2-hour delay Monday morning. 

Several inches of snow covered roads and slowed motorists in the Pittsburgh area Monday.

Penn State Trainer Who Testified In Frat Death Case Quits

Feb 9, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Penn State said Friday its head football trainer is resigning, a year after he was inside a fraternity house when a pledge suffered fatal injuries during a night of drinking and hazing.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Friday marks two big events: National Pizza Day and the deadline for the state legislature to create a new congressional map and submit it to the governor. (However, lawmakers said Thursday they would not be able to meet the Friday deadline.) 

Matt Rourke / AP

Bill Cosby's lawyers say they'll need to postpone his April 2 sexual assault retrial if some of his other accusers are allowed to testify.

The comedian's lawyers said in a court filing Tuesday that they'll seek a delay to allow them more time to investigate allegations from the 19 women prosecutors are seeking to call as witnesses.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh is expected to get as much as 5 inches of snow overnight and into Wednesday morning's commute – and the city says it's prepared.

Matt Slocum / AP

A Roman Catholic bishop has issued some guidelines on how his 78 parishes in four southwestern Pennsylvania counties should deal with flu and the Mass.

Greensburg Bishop Edward Malesic on Wednesday encouraged parish leaders to promote prudent and beneficial practices.

Priests should eliminate the practice of exchanging the sign of peace, or tell parishioners to do so without making physical contact. Communion should not be distributed from the chalice and if using a chalice, parishioners who are ill or fear they are becoming ill should not receive it.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Pennsylvania State Police are asking for donated horses to join a Hershey-based mounted patrol unit.

The agency on Wednesday issued a call for geldings between 5 and 15 years old. Officials say draft horses or draft-crosses are preferable.

The 26-horse unit performs searches, crowd control, security and patrols, as well as participates in parades and similar events.

Horses have to be at least 16 hands tall, which is 5 feet 4 inches at the shoulder, and can't be 18 hands or larger.

They must be able to be safely housed with others horses in a stable.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Snow is falling across Pennsylvania and that's causing some schools to delay opening or close for the day.

Motorists are asked to urge caution, especially on roads that have not been treated.

Temperatures in the western part of the state remain below freezing. Elsewhere, snow is mostly sticking on the grass and untreated surfaces because temperatures are at or above freezing.

The snow is expected to taper off from west to east on Tuesday.

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