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Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A challenger in what will likely be among the most closely-watched Democratic primaries in western Pennsylvania has amassed a considerable war chest in his bid to topple state Rep. Summer Lee. And building-trades unions are already playing a notable role in the Monongahela Valley-based terrain of state House District 34.   

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The city of Pittsburgh has released a roadmap to make the city more friendly to bikes and other light modes of transportation. The proposed Pittsburgh Bike (+) Master Plan has been in the works for five years.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto got City Council’s approval to remove City Councilor Deb Gross from the board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, replacing her with fellow Councilor Erika Strassburger.

Caldwell Holden / 90.5 WESA

A group of Pittsburgh-area advocacy groups on Tuesday unveiled recommendations they say will make the Port Authority of Allegheny County more equitable. The #FairFares platform focuses on fare cost, payment process, enforcement and incentive programs.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades launched a national boycott against PPG products with a protest in Market Square Friday afternoon.

Photo by Charles "Teenie" Harris / Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art

Andy Warhol left Pittsburgh for New York City right after college. August Wilson departed shortly after he started writing plays. Rare among renowned artists from Pittsburgh, Charles “Teenie” Harris became famous not in spite of staying here, but because he did.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Moondog’s Pub in Blawnox and the 183-year-old Brown Chapel AME Church on the North Side are among the many locations that Doors Open Pittsburgh – a nonprofit organization that offers tours of Pittsburgh buildings – will include in its 2020 series of 13 themed tours. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb voted with most Republicans, including Western Pennsylvania Congressmen Guy Reschenthaler and Mike Kelly, Thursday against a pair of amendments to limit President Trump's military authority in Iran, following the killing of a top Iranian general earlier this month. One amendment would require President Trump to get Congressional approval before using military force against Iran: The other repealed a 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force to fight terrorism in Iraq.

Courtesy of Nick Pisciottano for State Representative

The phrases “Monongahela Valley” and “new political blood” are not often found in the same sentence. But if Nick Pisciottano has his way, Democrats will see a generational shift in leadership after the surprise retirement announcement of state Rep. Bill Kortz earlier this month.

UPMC Hopes To Found Its Own Pharmaceutical Company

Jan 30, 2020
Keith Srakocic / AP

UPMC’s pledge to spend $1 billion on life science innovations over four years is expected to support early stage development of medical devices, software, drugs and more nationwide. On Wednesday, executive vice president Jeanne Cunicelli said that investment will also be the catalyst for a new venture at UPMC: a for-profit pharmaceutical company.

NASA / AP

Two retired satellites will cross paths this evening above Pittsburgh. At around 6:30 p.m., the IRAS telescope and GGSE-4 payload are expected to come within about 40 feet of each other during their orbits. But scientists say it’s unlikely the two will make contact.

Bill Marx

A Democrat has announced his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, a task many party leaders in the district were unsure who would take on until now. Democrat Bill Marx, of Delmont, announced his campaign in the 14th District Monday.

Courtesy of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

The Downtown branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is among the busiest in the system, averaging more than 1,000 visitors a day. That’s not surprising, considering that the Golden Triangle hosts tens of thousands of workers daily. Now, upward trends in Downtown housing have pushed the branch past the capacity of the space on Smithfield Street it’s occupied since 2004.

Michelle R. Smith / AP

The big push to count everyone in the United States starts on April 1, and in places like Pittsburgh, the U.S. Census Bureau needs to hire more people to do the work.

Ed Build / Submitted

Five of the country’s 50 most economically segregated neighboring school districts are located in Western Pennsylvania.

Rob Mercuri Campaign

Rob Mercuri is a relative newcomer to politics, but he can already claim a leg up on many more seasoned politicos: While insiders and journalists spent much of their week trying to figure out what state House Speaker Mike Turzai was planning to announce this Thursday, Mercuri already knew Turzai would not run for office again.

A day after Turzai said he was stepping down, in fact, Mercuri announced his campaign for Turzai’s House seat – with Turzai’s endorsement.

Closed hospital and empty parking lot.
Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

The door to the emergency room at the Ellwood City Medical Center is locked. 

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Twenty-four hours over three days - that's how long each side gets to make its case in the Senate impeachment trial.

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JAKE SAVITZ / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh-based PPG says it has made good on its 2016 pledge to eliminate lead from all products by 2020.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

The path to presidential victory runs directly through Pennsylvania. The state holds 20 electoral votes and Donald Trump’s 2016 win was decided by less than 50,000 votes, or less than one percentage point. 

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

A gun buyback held in Homewood Monday distributed $5,000 in less than one hour, according to organizers.

Mel Evans / AP

Pennsylvania’s primary doesn’t take place until late April, but the election cycle is officially underway in Allegheny County: Yesterday marked the deadline for announcing an interest in seeking the endorsement of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee. There were few surprises on the list of candidates vying for the approval of party insiders. But there were some notable omissions — and, as always, some criticism that endorsement filing fees themselves are anti-democratic.

PWSA

Update: The flush and boil advisory has been lifted as of Wednesday, January 22. PWSA advises residents who have not run their water in recent days to flush their taps for at least one minute before using water for cooking or drinking.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has issued a flush and boil advisory for the Crafton Heights, Elliott, Esplen, Ridgemont, and Westwood neighborhoods.

Delta Foundation via Facebook

Gary Van Horn stepped down as president of the Delta Foundation Monday, as he faces criminal charges filed last month. But Pittsburgh may not have heard the last of him, thanks to the LGBT advocacy group’s bylaws.

NASA

NASA is working to send astronauts to Mars, and one of them might bring along a Terrible Towel.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

It’s been one year since Body Euphoria Inclusive Massage Therapy opened in upper Lawrenceville. The business is owned and operated by Eli Shumaker, a massage therapist who says he wanted to create a positive experience for his clients, especially those who identify as LGBT.

Uniontown's New Treasurer Says Racist Officials Won't Seat Her

Jan 8, 2020
Google Maps

The newly elected treasurer of a small city in western Pennsylvania asserted in a lawsuit Wednesday that city officials plotted to block her from taking office because she is black.

Uniontown Treasurer-elect Antoinette Hodge alleged that a city councilman, Martin Gatti, took action to prevent her from being sworn in as scheduled this week and called her a “colored girl” in a discussion with officials at a bonding agency.

Maggie Young / WESA

Pittsburgh City Council unanimously voted to make District 2 Councilor Theresa Kail-Smith Council President on Monday. Kail-Smith said her choice to run for the seat was an 11th-hour decision.

KATIE BLACKLEY / 90.5 WESA

People are increasingly turning to technology for ways to improve their lives, from saving money with budgeting apps or counting steps with fitness trackers. For people who need help dozing off, the mindfulness company Headspace offers so-called “sleepcasts,” which aim to help listeners wind down for bed with narrated tours of peaceful landscapes, including Pittsburgh.

5 Dead, Dozens Hospitalized In Pennsylvania Turnpike Crash

Jan 5, 2020
Google Maps

Five people were killed and about 60 were injured on the Pennsylvania Turnpike early Sunday morning, when a loaded bus went out of control on a hill and rolled over, setting off a chain reaction that involved three tractor-trailers and a passenger car.

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