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Pennsylvania's New Court-Ordered Congressional Map Could Boost Democrats

Feb 19, 2018
Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's high court issued a new congressional district map for the state's 2018 elections on its self-imposed deadline on Monday, potentially giving Democrats a boost in their quest to capture control of the U.S. House unless Republicans are able to stop it in federal court.

NorthWest EMS

It’s about a quarter to midnight on a Sunday at the NorthWest EMS Helen Street station in McKees Rocks. EMT Edd Keisling just clocked out after working a 40-hour shift.

diane cordell / Flickr

Preliminary results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show what everyone had suspected, this year’s flu vaccine isn’t very effective.

Final numbers might change slightly, but the vaccine’s effectiveness rate is only 36 percent.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

While the upswing in temperatures might have some Pittsburghers excited to ditch their coats, it’s helped create a nightmarish pothole season for city roads.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The March 13 special election to fill the vacant seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District south of Pittsburgh is widely viewed as a bellwether for the midterm elections later this year, and that’s due in part to candidate Rick Saccone’s (R-Elizabeth) vocal support for President Donald Trump.

Chad Pizzello / Invision via AP

Black Panther opens Friday, and it’s expected to be a blockbuster, but for many people, the film is more than just another superhero flick.

This Marvel Comics character, created in the 1960s, is often credited as the first mainstream black superhero. The new film adaptation takes place in Wakanda, a fictional high-tech nation that's never been colonized and is led by T’Challa, who doubles as the Black Panther. It boasts an African-American director, Ryan Coogler, and a nearly all-black cast, led by Chadwick Boseman. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Two main issues are keeping the Pittsburgh Public Schools district from settling a contract dispute with the union representing its teachers, according to PPS administrators. 

Mic Smith / AP

President Donald Trump's campaign says he'll hold a rally in Ambridge next week.

Pennsylvania Department of General Services

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is promising he'll send a politically impartial congressional district map to the state Supreme Court by its Thursday deadline if the Republican-controlled legislature cannot draw one themselves.

Ronald Woan / Flickr

According to a CNN report from last summer, 44 million Americans make money outside their regular job with a "side hustle." Carnegie Library's new Side Hustle lecture series, which launches this week, will highlight different options for joining the gig economy each week.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

With long hair and a big handlebar mustache, Tom Walker is recognizable --and everyone in Millvale seems to know him.

He’s also busy in the community. Walker is a "semi-retired" graphic designer, he’s on the board of directors for the Millvale Community Development Corporation and he’s an avid kayaker and backpacker.

Walker is also known as “The Garlic King of Millvale.”

Local Thrift Shops Deal With Unwanted Junk

Feb 12, 2018
Dan Gill / AP

Old tires. Dirty mattresses. Broken televisions.

Those are some of the unwanted items people have dumped at local nonprofit thrift stores.

The problem: Thrift stores, which raise money to help people in need by selling donated items, end up spending time and money to dispose of the unusable junk.

"It happens all the time," said Janet Ammons, manager of Goodwill in Washington. "We have generous people who donate very nice items with price tags still on, and then there are other people who leave garbage. Literally."

Matt Rourke / AP

Teachers, paraprofessionals and technical and clerical employees at Pittsburgh Public Schools are deciding whether to strike for the first time in more than 40 years.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Friday marks two big events: National Pizza Day and the deadline for the state legislature to create a new congressional map and submit it to the governor. (However, lawmakers said Thursday they would not be able to meet the Friday deadline.) 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The UrbanKind Institute held a community forum Wednesday at the University of Pittsburgh to discuss how Amazon's second headquarters, or HQ2, could impact Pittsburgh's university communities.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED

Cars rumble overhead as historian John Schalcosky trudges through crunching snow beneath the 40th Street Bridge in Lawrenceville. Gesturing toward the Allegheny River bank, he flicks on his iPhone flashlight.

The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will release a Forever Stamp featuring America's favorite neighbor, television icon Mister Rogers.

The title character of the half-hour children's educational television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Fred Rogers "was known as a beloved television neighbor to generations of children," a statement from USPS said. The stamp is scheduled to be unveiled March 23, 50 years after the original episode of the series aired in the U.S. in 1968.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Attorneys general in over a dozen states oppose a federal Department of Labor proposal to let employers control the tips of some hourly employees.

The attorneys general filed comments in opposition with federal officials on Monday.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called the proposal that rescinds a 2011 rule "outrageous" and likened it to wage theft.

The plan applies to employees paid the federal minimum wage, which is $7.75 an hour. In Illinois, about half a million workers could be affected.

Map from the office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

Pennsylvania Republicans have lost what was likely their best shot at getting out of redrawing congressional maps, after the state Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Before school starts at 7:30 a.m., Daunteeka Smith drops her daughter off at the Early Head Start Center on the first floor of Westinghouse High School.

In Blow To GOP, Supreme Court Won't Block PA Redistricting

Feb 5, 2018
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let a court-ordered redrawing of congressional districts in Pennsylvania proceed, denying a plea from Republicans legislative leaders to block it.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A Pittsburgh education advocacy group is coordinating organizations that could care for children in the event of a teacher strike.

Mark Lennihan / AP

Wherever Amazon chooses to locate its second North American headquarters, or HQ2, the company expects to hire 50,000 people over the next 10 to 15 years.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A 1.2-mile stretch in the heart of Beechview is slated for an overhaul. The hope is that the Broadway Avenue Public Realm project will make the neighborhood safer, more beautiful and reinvigorate the business district.

Matt Rourke / AP

Top Senate republicans are refusing to hand over congressional district data to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has sent letters to 2,500 residential customers warning of an impending shut-off.

Updated 10:25 a.m. ET Wednesday

Early Wednesday morning brought a lunar event that hasn't been seen since 1866.

It was at least partially visible in all 50 U.S. states, though the views were better the farther west you live.

Let's break this down. This event – called a super blue blood moon – was actually three fairly common lunar happenings all happening at the same time.

And scientists say that information gathered during the event could help them figure out where to land a rover on the moon.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Nicole Steele, clad in a face mask and thin plastic protective cover over her shirt, strung a ukulele while 14-year-old Yaheim Young played alongside her. The two had a jam session on the ninth floor of the UPMC Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville. 

Won't You Be His Neighbor? Tom Hanks To Play Mr. Rogers

Jan 30, 2018
Grant Pollard / AP

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood for Tom Hanks, who'll star as Mister Rogers in the upcoming biopic "You Are My Friend."

TriStar Pictures announced Monday it has acquired worldwide rights to the film, to be directed by "The Diary of a Teenage Girl" filmmaker Marielle Heller.

The film will focus on the friendship between the host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and journalist Tom Junod. Junod reluctantly agreed to profile Fred Rogers only to find "his perspective on life transformed."

Production will begin in September, with a 2019 release expected.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers sent ballots to its 3,000 members Monday asking teachers, paraprofessionals and clerical workers for authorization to call a strike.

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