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. 

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.

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.


The question over whether to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the upcoming election looms large for both of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators.

Photo by Joshua Franzos / Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has removed the life-sized diorama known to generations of visitors as "Arab Courier Attacked By Lions."

The exhibit dramatically depicted a man mounted on a camel fending off two big cats, presumably somewhere in the North African desert. It's a fictional scene, and not terribly accurate culturally or scientifically. But the exhibit has been on almost continuous display since 1899, and the male lion's gaping jaws, and the rider's terrified expression, imprinted themselves on countless schoolchildren.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Two hundred Pittsburgh households will soon get an extra $500 a month as part of a two-year foray into offering residents a guaranteed income. On a call with leaders from other cities Wednesday, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said the city will start to make the payments later this year as part of a pilot program funded by philanthropic donors.


University of Pittsburgh and UPMC researchers plan to start human trials early next year for an antibody therapy that might both prevent and treat COVID-19.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Black girls in Allegheny County were 10 times more likely than their white counterparts to be involved in the juvenile justice system last year, according to a study released Monday. The county’s Black boys, meanwhile, were seven times more likely than local white boys to end up in the system, the research shows.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Most epidemiologists and other health officials agree it is best not to travel right now. But for those planning to pack up and head out, there are some universal precautions to consider and advice about where to go. 

Pennsylvania Gun Shops Struggle To Keep Firearms, Ammo In Stock

Sep 14, 2020
Kate Landis / WITF

As civil unrest flares up in some cities, the presidential election nears and the coronavirus pandemic enters its sixth month, more Pennsylvanians are arming themselves.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Cheers, chants and tears filled the streets of Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhoods Saturday as the group Black, Young and Educated made their final collective in-person push for changes to Pennsylvania’s police use of force law.

Pittsburgh's Black Farmers Work To Grow A New Future

Sep 10, 2020
Brian Cook / Pittsburgh Media Partnership

In March and April, as the novel coronavirus pandemic took hold of the region, the program Ebony Lunsford-Evans designed to teach gardening to seniors on the North Side of Pittsburgh was shut down. 

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

According to Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry, funds provided by the federal Lost Wages Assistance program, which offers an extra $300 per week to qualified unemployment recipients, have run out. The Federal Emergency Management Agency-run program – which was initially slated to run through December, or until funds were depleted – will now only cover a span of six weeks. 

Qualified claimants have not yet received their first checks.

Google Images

Footage of a weekend protest in Downtown Pittsburgh went viral—and now President Donald Trump has spoken out about the incident, calling protesters “anarchists” and “thugs.”  

Richard Drew / AP

About 18,000 Pittsburgh Public Schools students are enrolled in a visual arts class this fall. The district, though, did not purchase supplies to send to those students while they learn remotely for the first nine weeks of the school year.

Gillian Flaccus / AP

Early 2020 looked to be a turning point for people trying to ban single-use plastics like grocery store bags.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Unemployed barista Sharyn Sefton learned less than two weeks ago she would not get her job back, even though the Crazy Mocha coffee shop she had led until COVID-19 hit had already reopened – and even though the Cranberry-based chain is sitting on federal money meant to encourage the rehiring of workers. 

Courtesy Photo

Three people are facing felony charges in connection with a mural painted in Wilkinsburg in July. The mural depicted the face of Romir Talley, a 24-year-old man who was shot and killed by Wilkinsburg police in December.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A white judge in Pittsburgh accused of violating standards for judges by referring to a Black juror as “Aunt Jemima” and making other demeaning comments has been suspended without pay.

Peaceful Civil Rights Marcher Shot In PA, While On Trek From Milwaukee To D.C.

Aug 25, 2020
Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

A white Bedford County man shot into a crowd of about 50 peaceful civil rights marchers who were crossing through Pennsylvania during a pilgrimage from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C. last night, injuring one in the face.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

A 133,000-square-foot solar array is now functional at Hazelwood Green’s Mill 19. It’s a project that marries the story of Pittsburgh’s past with its future: bridge workers applied 4,784 solar panels to the frame of a former steel mill now home to robotics nonprofits and one of the several autonomous vehicle developers which call the city home.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA


Anti-racist activists faced off with Pittsburgh police in Point Breeze Wednesday night, after talks with Mayor Bill Peduto broke down. Police used chemical agents and other less-lethal crowd control methods, and one person was arrested.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

A second consecutive night of protesting outside of Mayor Bill Peduto's house ended in chaos as participants were corralled into Mellon Park by police, then shoved and sprayed with what appeared to be pepper spray by officers.

Marylee Williams / 90.5 WESA

Activists and elected officials say they want answers about the arrest of a protester Saturday during a peaceful and regularly scheduled Black Lives Matter demonstration. 

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Students are arriving on campus at the University of Pittsburgh this week. But instead of crowded crosswalks and lines for parking, students pushed freshly sanitized moving carts to their dorm rooms with little downtime.  

The university’s arrival staff worked with its health and safety advisory board to draw up a move-in plan that took months to revise and finalize, according to Olivia Phillips, Pitt’s arrival coordinator. 

Joe Biden picked California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his vice presidential running mate.

It's a historic pick. But there's a lot more to it than that.

Here are five takeaways:

1. Biden picking Harris is a statement on what it means to be American.

Biden picking Harris as his running mate is historic. No Black or South Asian American woman has ever been on a major-party ticket in U.S. history. Black voters, especially Black women, are pillars of the Democratic Party and were key to Biden's victory in the contest for the nomination.

University of Pittsburgh

"A man shouldn't have to do household chores."

"Men should use violence to get respect if necessary."

These are two of five beliefs about “harmful masculinity” that University of Pittsburgh researchers identified as correlating with violence, sexual harassment and poor mental health outcomes.

To achieve these findings, researchers survey more than 3,600 men between the ages of 18 and 30 in the U.S., .U.K. and Mexico about their beliefs around masculinity.


A UPMC cardiologist is no longer the program director for one of the medical system’s fellowship programs after he published an article in a prominent journal asserting that affirmative action policies produce less-qualified medical students and residents.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

About 100 current or former employees of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh have signed an open letter charging the 37-year-old institution with racism and poor treatment of workers.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

It has been just over a month since Dannielle Brown started her hunger strike on Freedom Corner to get answers from Duquesne University on her son's death. And while the University said in July that it would provide her the records she seeks, Brown is still waiting.