Local Stories

Michelle R. Smith / AP

State officials warned the public on Friday to be aware of Census-related scams, following a Philadelphia Inquirer report that Republicans had used a Census-like form in a political mailing.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Glass Center

Glassmaking has certainly changed since humans started doing it, about four millennia ago. But while making art from glass is still a fairly artisanal process, that’s changing, too, as seen in a new exhibit at Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Personal training is a popular but expensive option in the $100 billion fitness industry; it can cost an average of $40-70/hour. Local startup Delta Trainer is using artificial intelligence to make personal training more accessible.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Under federal law, Pennsylvanians have until October 1st to get updated IDs, or they’ll no longer be able to use their state identification to board planes or enter federal facilities and nuclear plants.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

On average, Pennsylvania schools assign 400 students to every school counselor. That’s about 150 more students that the American School Counselor Association recommends.

Maggie Young / 90.5 WESA

Lunar New Year celebrations were held in Pittsburgh on Sunday after being pushed back due to concerns over the coronavirus. Organizers of the parade waited until Saturday night for a final go-ahead from the state Department of Health so the parade could proceed. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus in multiple countries, Pittsburgh-area universities and high schools are ramping up preventative measures. There have been no suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

University of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees Friday voted to become a carbon neutral campus by 2037, the school's 250th anniversary. The meeting was disrupted by more than 50 students demanding the university pull fossil fuel stocks from the school's endowment fund.

Alan Diaz / AP

More than 20,000 Pennsylvanians have already applied online to vote by mail in the upcoming presidential primary, the first under a new state law that allows the practice.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to end the practice in Pennsylvania of counting state inmates as residents of the district where they are incarcerated, arguing it violates a constitutional requirement that elections be free and equal.

The case was filed by three former inmates, a woman who lives in Philadelphia, the NAACP and related organizations, and others. It argues that the practice unfairly distorts political power and should be stopped when new districts are drawn after this year's census.

Courtesy of Facebook

Pittsburgh is set to expand as a hub for Facebook’s development of virtual reality. The company formally opened its new Reality Labs office in the Strip District Thursday, with the capacity to house 250 workers.

Heinz Memorial Chapel

Poet Emily Dickinson, American Red Cross founder Clara Barton and warrior Joan of Arc are among the women depicted in colorful stained glass windows at the Heinz Memorial Chapel in Oakland. An upcoming tour highlights the accomplishments of these and 54 other historic women, whose legacies are preserved in the 82-year-old neo-Gothic building.

Courtesy of Bodiography Contemporary Ballet

Bodiography Contemporary Ballet has grown a lot since Maria Caruso founded it two decades ago. In recent years, Caruso has increased focus on her solo work.

90.5 WESA

A pipeline company is under federal investigation over a 2018 natural gas pipeline explosion in Beaver County. Enrollment continues to decline in Allegheny County for a state supplemental nutrition program. And, PennDOT faces a funding cliff and dwindling resources.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto wants to see a larger board at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority – and he’s creating a new nomination committee to help him fill vacancies on it.

Matt Rourke / AP

The Pennsylvania Legislature is concealing with whom lawmakers and staff met, and why, in records on how it spends its roughly $360 million annual budget, two news organizations reported Thursday.


On today's program: Allegheny County makes plans for a potential COVID-19 outbreak; why one climate scientist is breaking up with airplanes to decrease his carbon footprint; hear two sides of the debate about government health care; a barber offers political discourse with your monthly trim; an Erie-to-Pittsburgh bike trail could be coming soon; and competition is heating up ahead of the 2020 fish fry season. 

Office of the District Attorney of Lebanon County via AP

A former high-ranking state senator pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of child pornography possession and one count of criminal use of a communications facility. 

Jared Murphy and Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Polling shows that health care is a top concern for voters across the country, and voters in Western Pennsylvania are no exception. The voters in our Split Ticket series are divided on how to address the issue. Two people want to expand government health care – and while the other two don’t, they have each turned to public services for help.

Federal Prosecutors Investigating Pipeline Company In Connection With Beaver County Blast

Feb 27, 2020
First Energy

The Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation of a pipeline company in connection with a 2018 natural gas explosion in Beaver County.

Courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh

In the West, it’s called “microtonal music.” Elsewhere in the world, it’s just called “music.”

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools board members approved a resolution Wednesday that calls for the state’s General Assembly to significantly reform the way it funds charter schools.

Pennsylvania Is Preparing For Coronavirus

Feb 26, 2020
Andre Penner / AP

Pennsylvania’s health department is preparing for the expected arrival of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA


On today's program: Wilkinsburg gets funding for new strategies to curb gun violence; some PA public schools are struggling to meet the needs of immigrant students; child life specialists in Lawrenceville give sick patients a new creative outlet; and an international boat club wants to get Pittsburghers on the water. 

Pennsylvania officials say the state lags behind its neighbors when it comes to attracting new businesses and creating jobs. In a budget hearing Wednesday, lawmakers sought assurances that investments made by the Department of Community and Economic Development will pay off.

Pittsburgh Black Film Network

Citing a lack of diversity in the local film industry, a new group called the Pittsburgh Black Film Network connects directors, actors and crew to resources throughout the city. On Thursday evening, the organization will host a festival of short films made by African-American directors and producers.

Speaking Mam In MAGA Country: Immigration, Education And The Teenage Boy In The Middle

Feb 26, 2020
Jeffrey Stockbridge / Keystone Crossroads

Pressure is mounting on 15-year-old Fredy Garcia Morales.

In January, he was called into a meeting with a truancy officer for his school in Chambersburg. His jaw dropped when he learned he’d missed 33 days of class.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Federal authorities say a man acquitted less than two weeks ago in the slayings of five people and an unborn baby at a western Pennsylvania cookout four years ago has been indicted on a firearms charge.

Nonprofit Says It Will Open Injection Site In Philadelphia

Feb 26, 2020
Elana Gordon / WHYY

A Philadelphia nonprofit group said it will open the nation's first supervised injection site next week to combat overdose deaths after a federal judge rejected Justice Department efforts to block the plan.

Humane Animal Rescue

Pittsburgh City Council returned to a pair of issues that have been looming since late last year on Tuesday, revisiting legislation concerning alligators and other reptiles, and continuing debate on a citywide parks tax that has divided the body since voters approved it last fall.