Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Atop Mount Washington, in the sprawling Chatham Village community, is a large brick home with large windows and spacious balconies. Chatham Village resident, architect and amateur historian David Vater said it used to be known as the Bigham House, and was the residence of abolishionist lawyer Thomas Bigham. It was also a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Thirty-nine years ago, John Callahan was looking for a new job, and as a then-22-year-old living in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, he had a decision to make.

Court Doc Reveals Range Resources, Others Agreed To $3M Settlement In Contamination Suit

Jun 4, 2019
Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Range Resources and other defendants agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit last year with three Washington County families who alleged the natural gas drilling company contaminated their properties and made them sick, according to a court document obtained by The Allegheny Front and StateImpact Pennsylvania.

P. Solomon Banda / AP

More than 300 farms across the commonwealth have been approved to grow industrial hemp this year, a ten-fold increase from last year.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto worries Aqua America may still try to purchase the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, a concern he addressed to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, or PUC, last week.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A Washington County judge has issued a court order barring the Allegheny Front, StateImpact Pennsylvania and 90.5 WESA from publishing the content of a publicly available legal document obtained by a reporter for the news organizations, pending a hearing next week.

AP file

Newly released documents pertaining to FBI surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., include deeply disturbing and potentially explosive allegations about the slain civil-rights leader’s extramarital sexual activities, and that he was present in a hotel room during an alleged rape. But some historians caution that there are reasons to doubt the claims.

Lindsay Dill / Allegheny Land Trust

On today’s program: The Allegheny Land Trust is protecting a former mine from developers; water from military bases near Pittsburgh International Airport is being contaminated by toxic chemicals; U.S. Congressman Conor Lamb talks Russia investigation and abortion bans; the kids for cash scandal gets a musical; and a national tournament for blind bowlers comes to Pittsburgh.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Democrats on Capitol Hill are increasingly calling for impeachment inquiries to begin against President Trump, citing the White House's denial of Congressional requests for documents and witness testimony. But Congressman Conor Lamb, who represents suburban Allegheny County and Beaver County, has been more cautious.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

On today’s program: PA's Supreme Court kicks the UPMC/Highmark case back down to a lower court; exposure to high levels of pollution may lead to increased risk of childhood cancer; and the final installment of WESA's series Still Working.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The state correctional institution in Fayette County is more than an hour’s drive south of Pittsburgh. And nestled among the forests of the Laurel Highlands, it is a world away from Pittsburgh’s urban streets.

Matt Rourke / AP

The state Supreme Court Tuesday kept alive hopes that people with Highmark insurance can continue using UPMC doctors, finding that a provision in a five-year consent decree was too ambiguous to make a definitive ruling.


President Donald Trump announced a $16 billion bailout for farmers impacted by the country’s ongoing trade dispute with China this past Thursday. Farmers who grow soybeans, and other farm products China has tariffed, have been negatively affected by the tit-for-tat trade negotiations, after the tariffs led to a drop in market prices.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Immigrant families, including U.S. citizens, are avoiding certain safety net programs because of a “chilling effect” tied to a controversial proposal to tighten the country’s standards for granting green cards and temporary visas, according to a report released Wednesday by the Urban Institute.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Riders on Pittsburgh’s Light Rail T system at Steel Plaza station may have noticed four tracks: one goes inbound, one goes outbound and two veer off to the east. But signs for the two east-bound tracks have been covered or removed and trains don't use them.

Oyster Recovery Partnership

Pittsburgh has become the first city outside the Chesapeake Bay region to recycle used oyster shells through the non-profit Oyster Recovery Partnership. The shells are used to rebuild oyster reefs in the bay.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

In 2017, when Magistrate District Judge Mikhail Pappas and Allegheny County Councilor Anita Prizio beat well-established incumbents in the fall, many observers figured the candidates – who’d each been backed by the Democratic Socialists of America – had merely caught incumbents sleeping in low-interest races. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Conneaut Lake Park, a small amusement park near the shores of Conneaut Lake, just south of Erie, is a little rough around the edges.

Sarah Schneider

Tuesday night’s election results mean that the Pittsburgh Public Schools District will have three new directors on the nine member board who will face some crucial tests in the coming months, including the budget and fate of its senior leadership.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Bobby Wilson toppled Pittsburgh’s District 1 City Councilor Darlene Harris, following a sometimes bitter election fight, likely removing the sharpest critic of Mayor Bill Peduto from the nine-member body. 

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Challenger Bethany Hallam toppled John DeFazio in the race for the Democratic "at-large" seat on Allegheny County Council — the latest case in which an upstart progressive challenger toppled a well-established Democrat. 

Steph Krane / WPSU

A new Penn State study shows that the number of ticks that can carry Lyme disease is increasing in the state. Since 2000, Pennsylvania has had the highest number of Lyme disease cases in the country.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

Kim Gordon started playing music as an indirect result of pursuing art. Now, her music has led – also indirectly – to a milestone in her art career: the Sonic Youth co-founder’s first solo North American museum exhibit.

“Kim Gordon: Lo-Fi Glamour” opens today at The Andy Warhol Museum. The exhibit commands the museum’s second floor with paintings, drawing and sculpture spanning the past decade of Gordon’s 30-year art practice.

U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigations

International law enforcement partners announced Thursday that a large malware conspiracy network has been taken down. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, those behind the GozNym malware attacks attempted to steal an estimated $100 million from victims.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Thursday on whether to extend a consent decree that would force UPMC to continue taking Highmark insurance.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Millions of cicadas will soon crawl out of the soil in southwestern Pennsylvania. This brood -- Brood VIII -- emerges every 17 years for about six weeks.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

In recent years, Pittsburgh City Councilor Darlene Harris has frequently opposed Mayor Bill Peduto's agenda. But if she's sometimes alone around the council table, she is now in a three-way race for reelection in City Council District 1, north of the rivers.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

On paper, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police appears to be effective at investigating rape cases. In 2017, the bureau reported it closed 58 percent of its rape cases, according to the city’s response to a WESA Right To Know request. The 2017 national average was 36.5 percent, according to national crime-reporting statistics kept by the FBI.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Candidates running for a seat on the Pittsburgh Public Schools board have spent the last few months knocking on doors, handing out signs and seeking endorsements. The nine candidates have significant questions to answer about their leadership styles and policies ahead of the May 21 primary.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On a sunny spring day, a helicopter takes off from UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood. The whir of the blades echoes across the nearby Monongahela River as the aircraft makes it way into the sky.