Local Stories

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign's latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.

Matt Slocum / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar say a court order to halt the next steps Pennsylvania’s election certification process could interfere with the state seating its electors – and they’re appealing to the state Supreme Court to intervene.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Explainer is taking a break this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. Instead, we’re bringing you the first episode of 90.5 WESA’s new series, Land & Power.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Construction of Pittsburgh’s bus rapid transit or BRT project is expected to begin in late 2021. Port Authority of Allegheny County is working with a project management oversight consultant from the Federal Transit Administration to ensure the agency meets the remaining requirements, which include finalizing funding and design.

Mark Simpson / Alumni Theater Company

Acclaimed young-adult novelist Sharon G. Flake has adapted her very first novel into her very first play.

Michael Dwyer / AP

Black Friday, the traditional kick off to the holiday shopping season, will feature fewer “doorbuster” early morning sales at big box retailers this year, according to one consumer expert.

Maria Scapellato 90.5 WESA

Soup kitchens are typically busy places on Thanksgiving Day. They have always offered people in need a place to come in from the cold and share a turkey dinner with their neighbors in the community.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

The rate of unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic among Latino and Native American workers in Pennsylvania was twice that of white and Asian workers, as of mid-October. They were even higher for Black workers, according to a new report by economists at Penn State.


Case investigators in Allegheny County are keeping up with new coronavirus cases at a higher rate than in other parts of Pennsylvania, but not everyone who tests positive will be contacted by a public health worker.

Nate Smallwood / Tribune-Review

About two weeks before Election Day, Becca Levine, 27, got a phone call from a county official telling her she would be a judge of elections on Nov. 3.

Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

The Thanksgiving night game between the Ravens and Steelers has been switched to Sunday because of coronavirus issues with Baltimore.

The NFL announced the move Wednesday, but did not specify a time of game nor which network would televise it. Previously, it was scheduled for NBC's prime-time telecast.

Baltimore placed outside linebacker Pernell McPhee on the reserve/COVID-19, joining running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. The Ravens also have been doing team work virtually.

Pittsburgh International Airport

On today's program: Pittsburgh International Airport increased safety protocols for COVID-19, but fewer than half of their usual passengers are flying this holiday; Consumer trends expert Audrey Guskey predicts Black Friday will include more online shopping, social distancing and some crowds; and we hear from some still waiting on pandemic unemployment benefits, eight months in.

EPA Reaches Settlement With Koppers Inc. Over W.Va. And PA Facilities

Nov 25, 2020
Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

A Pittsburgh-based chemical and materials company has agreed to pay nearly $1 million for failing to follow state and federal laws for preventing and responding to oil spills, under a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Bastian Harris is one of many people in Pennsylvania who qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – but they have struggled to get any money.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health is further rationing which coronavirus cases will receive calls from case investigators and contact tracers. 

Evan Vucci / AP

Lawyers representing families detained at the Berks County Residential Center say Immigrations and Customs Enforcement may deport two families as soon as this weekend. They argue those families and 21 other families detained in Dilley, Texas, never received a fair chance to state their case for asylum because their cases were decided under policies that courts later struck down.

Panel Rejects PA House Request To Audit 2020 Election

Nov 24, 2020
Commonwealth Media Services

An attempt by Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature to audit the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election failed Monday when a bipartisan panel rejected it, citing its redundancy.

Pennsylvania State 'Survival Budget' Passed

Nov 24, 2020
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: State government reporter Charles Thompson explains why the approved state budget was passed with few frills or debate; and we hear about the Marshall Plan for Middle America, a roadmap to support an equitable economic transition to renewable energy for Pennsylvania and nearby states.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Officials at the Allegheny County Jail announced Monday that 10 jail employees were diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past weekend, with another 50 quarantined. Since March, some 33 staffers at the jail have tested positive for the virus.

Pennsylvania Certifies Biden As Winner Of Presidential Vote

Nov 24, 2020
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Democrat Joe Biden has been certified as the winner of the presidential election in Pennsylvania, culminating three weeks of vote counting and a string of failed legal challenges by President Donald Trump, state officials said Tuesday.

David Goldman / AP

A coal miner died Monday in a workplace accident in southern West Virginia, the governor's office said.

Taylor Meldin Halstead, 20, of Bob White, was killed in the accident at Panther Mining LLC’s American Eagle Mine in the Kanawha County community of Dawes, the governor’s office said in a statement.

The statement did not give details surrounding the death, which was the sixth coal mining fatality nationwide this year. There have been two deaths apiece in West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

Jamie Martines / Spotlight PA

A significant number of Pennsylvania municipalities are considering applying for a state program for the severely financially distressed, while those already in the program appear to be weathering the coronavirus pandemic better than expected.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Last call for Pennsylvania bars will be at 5 p.m. on Wednesday to cut COVID-19 transmission during what is normally a night of heavy public drinking, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

The 2020 general election results were made official in Allegheny County on Monday morning when the Board of Elections voted to certify the results -- even though a court order hours later will require the board to adjust its total.

Matt Slocum / AP

On today's program: Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald calls on residents to remain vigilant, not gather during COVID-19 surge; and psychologist Dr. Gretchen Chapman explains why, despite promising trials, the public may not immediately embrace a COVID-19 vaccine.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

Although Democrats failed to flip the Pennsylvania legislature this year, divided government could give them more say than Republicans in the upcoming redistricting process. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf will need to sign off on the state’s new congressional map, for example, and the mostly Democratic Pennsylvania Supreme Court could weigh in on the separate process for drawing state legislative lines.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Five years ago, a place called the Penn Plaza Apartments burst into the city of Pittsburgh’s collective awareness, when a letter from the building’s landlord became public.

For artists in theater, music and dance, there are few honors higher than a gig at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C.

Lieutenant Gov's Flags Fly In The Face Of Some PA Lawmakers

Nov 20, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, Democrat John Fetterman, may have gotten under somebody’s skin.

PA Dept. Of Labor Shows Small Employment Gains In October

Nov 20, 2020
Steven Senne / AP

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry reports the state’s unemployment rate fell down 1% in October to 7.3%.