Local Stories

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Three local activists are heading to trial to face charges in connection with a June protest at 941 Saloon downtown. The majority of charges against Dena Stanley, Nique Craft and Christian Carter were held for trial at a preliminary hearing Friday.

Probe Into 'Discarded' Ballots Becomes Campaign Outrage Fuel

19 hours ago
Kevin McCorry / WHYY

The news release from a U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania was provocative: Nine mailed-in military ballots had been “discarded” by the local election office in a swing county of one of the most important presidential battleground states.

Pennsylvania played a key role in the election of President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. This year, both Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have their eye on winning Pennsylvania and securing the state's 20 electoral votes. 

Steve Helber / AP

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday. While many are mourning the late Supreme Court Justice as a feminist champion, Ginsburg also leaves a strong legacy of opinions written to uphold environmental protections.

What Do You Want Elected Officials To Do About Climate Change?

20 hours ago
Rachel McDevitt / WITF

The November election will likely have big consequences for climate policy in the United States.

PA Utility Regulator Says Sunoco Must Do More To Share Safety Information On Pipeline Project

22 hours ago
Jon Hurdle / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s utility regulator is siding with a Cumberland County man in his complaint against Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

5:58 p.m. - Pa. farmers say the pandemic has exacerbated some of the stress they’ve been facing

Matt Rourke / AP

The coronavirus pandemic caused more than one million Pennsylvanians to vote by mail in the June primary, and state officials expect that number to roughly triple in November. With a little over a month until the election, the rules around voting by mail are still in flux, as several lawsuits make their way through the courts.

PA's Failure To Mandate Quicker Death Reporting Before COVID-19 Fueled Data Fluctuations, Mistrust

Sep 24, 2020
Dan Nott / Spotlight PA

For years, Pennsylvania has had a hard time counting its dead.

Matt Smith / PA Post

The most recent Franklin and Marshall College Poll shows fewer than a third of Pennsylvania Republican voters say they will have confidence in the accuracy of mail-in ballot votes cast in the November election.

Seth Perlman / AP

 


On today's program: After a report found that Black students in Pittsburgh are referred to the juvenile justice system at much higher rates than their white peers, the Pittsburgh Board of Education says they will take steps to reimagine school safety; machine learning could help proactively identify children most at-risk for lead poisoning; and how fire hydrants ended up on trails in Frick Park.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

6:00 p.m. - First mail-in ballots sent out to voters in Allegheny County

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Black students, especially Black girls, are disproportionately referred to the juvenile justice system by the Pittsburgh Public School district’s own police officers. Superintendent Anthony Hamlet says he plans to change that.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


Frick Park’s 644 acres include extensive hiking trails, hundreds of species of wildlife and old fire hydrants that seem out of place. As stir-crazy Pittsburghers take advantage of the city’s many green spaces, Good Question! askers took notice of the peculiarly-placed manmade objects.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

On Wednesday, a Kentucky grand jury decided not to charge Louisville police for the killing of Breonna Taylor during a drug raid gone wrong, with prosecutors saying that two officers who fired their weapons at the Black woman were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Art Commission voted unanimously today to remove the statue of Christopher Columbus that has stood in Schenley Park for generations.

More Inmates Accused Of Fradulently Seeking Jobless Checks

Sep 23, 2020
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Eighteen inmates in Pennsylvania state prisons and two girlfriends of inmates on the outside have been charged in what authorities describe as a scheme to fraudulently obtain jobless benefits for ineligible prisoners, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A recent court ruling could make Pennsylvania a significant outlier in how it deals with mail-in ballots in the 2020 election — and could mean thousands of votes aren’t counted.

PA Schools Allowing More Sports Fans After Court Ruling

Sep 23, 2020
Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Some Pennsylvania school districts are permitting more fans in the stands in the wake of a federal judge’s ruling that tossed statewide pandemic limits on crowd size, while legislative Republicans prepared Wednesday to renew their push to enshrine local control of school sports into law.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: The long-lasting impacts of redlining are still felt in some Pittsburgh neighborhoods; the Pittsburgh Art Commission plans to debate the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park; and Puerto Ricans living in Pennsylvania after being displaced by Hurricane Maria look forward to voting in the U.S. presidential election. 

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

A report published Tuesday makes the case for a low-income fare program for public transit in Allegheny County. Pittsburghers for Public Transit, a grassroots organization of transit riders, advocates and operators, called on the Port Authority of Allegheny County to allow the lowest-income riders to use public transit for free. 

In The Ohio River Valley, With The Pandemic's Help, The Petrochemical Boom Is On Hold

Sep 23, 2020
Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

At a marina in Moundsville, West Virginia, Dan Williamson looked out across the Ohio River at a quiet stretch of land on the other side.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

6:06 p.m. - Allegheny County will continue to enforce its size limits on gatherings, despite last week’s ruling in US Federal District Court

Commonwealth Media Services

State Republican lawmakers are trying to fight part of a recent state Supreme Court decision on voting by mail, including by appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Hours before the doors even opened for President Donald Trump's rally at a Pittsburgh International Airport hangar, hundreds of supporters were gathered to welcome their champion on yet another stop in western Pennsylvania.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

One of Pittsburgh's top independent music halls is closing because of the coronavirus pandemic.

New PUA Payments Paused In PA Due To Uptick In Suspicious Claims

Sep 22, 2020
Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania is suspending payments for new claims to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, known by its acronym PUA, while the state deals with a spike in suspected fraudulent claims.

Pennsylvania Launches New Virus Exposure Notification App

Sep 22, 2020
Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania's new coronavirus exposure notification app became available in app stores Tuesday could soon be compatible with those of three neighboring states, including New York.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: The City of Pittsburgh has a budget shortfall of about $100 million due to the pandemic-induced recession, but Allegheny County’s finances are more stable; during the pandemic, the League of Women Voters adapts their voter outreach strategies; and hotel workers face difficult decisions as the industry remains in limbo. 

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Criminal defense lawyer Giuseppe Rosselli was confused when his client, George Allen, didn’t show up for a court date in late July. They had texted about the hearing moments earlier.

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