WESA Local News

Rachel Gobep / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle company Argo AI will invest $15 million to create a new research center at Carnegie Mellon University, officials announced Monday.

Usually a monopoly results in bigger bills for consumers, since a lack of competition allows a business to demand high prices. But a new analysis from the University of Pittsburgh finds that's not always the case for the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Two western Pennsylvania health care giants have a deal that averts the looming breakup of their business relationship, an agreement that prevents disruption and higher costs for many patients.

Library of Congress

On today’s program: the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters mark 100 years since Pennslvania ratified the 19th Amendment; Pennsylvanians spend big on the lottery; SETpoint provides self-defense training for those at-risk of gender-based violence; fracking in Ohio brings money and complications; and Pittsburgh considers microtransit partnerships.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

State lawmakers now have the official report on the money Pennsylvania netted this fiscal year.

As expected, there’s a surplus.

But it won’t go nearly as far as some officials have hoped.

Matt Rourke / AP

A fire in a Philadelphia refinery struck by explosions and a pre-dawn blaze last week has now been extinguished as an investigation is launched into what caused it, authorities said.

The blaze at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex, the East Coast's largest oil refinery, was extinguished Saturday afternoon, fire department and city officials said in a statement Sunday. The gas valve that had been fueling the blaze had been shut off and the tank involved in the explosion had been isolated, officials said.

David King has worked at the main branch of the Carnegie Library system as a part-time librarian for 15 years. While he works with patrons daily, he says leadership typically solicits input from consultants instead of rank-and-file employees.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Access to the internet is changing commerce for rural small businesses: 39 percent of them in Pennsylvania say they now sell their goods outside the state, according to a report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Amazon. However, many say there are still roadblocks.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Like locusts descending on a field of corn, swarms of tiny scooters struck awe and fear into the hearts of city dwellers across the globe. The small, whirring machines seemed to portend a changing transportation landscape.

Former Congressman Joe Sestak Announces 2020 Presidential Bid

Jun 23, 2019

Former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak entered the crowded 2020 presidential race on Sunday, making him the 24th Democrat to announce their bid.

 

AP

President Donald Trump raised eybrows, and tensions, this week by ordering a military strike against Iran, and then reversing course. U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, by contrast, remained consistent in his support for the president's toward Iran.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh employees are expected to launch a unionization effort Monday. A committee that formed a year ago will begin collecting union cards in hopes of joining The United Steelworkers.

Matt Rourke / AP

Legislation advancing in Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature would eliminate the ballot option for voters to simply select a straight-party ticket in elections, although House Democrats are objecting to it.

Bills to eliminate it emerged from committee in both chambers this week. The Senate bill is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Lisa Boscola and was approved unanimously Monday in the State Government Committee.

But most Democrats voted against it Wednesday in the House State Government Committee as part of a wider package of changes to election laws.

Courtesy of Endemol Shine North America

On today's program: The man accused of plotting to attack a church on the North Side is due in court; MasterChef contestant and Pittsburgher Michael Silverstein draws culinary inspiration from the Strip District; East Pittsburgh has undergone a number of changes in the year since the death of Antwon Rose; Why are a number of Pittsburgh's roads referred to as runs?; plus a look inside Pitt’s newest nationality room celebrating Philippine culture.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials convened a joint meeting Thursday night to discuss two major projects planned for Schenley Park: stormwater infrastructure and a new transportation route. Both have generated significant aggravation.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The man accused of plotting to bomb a North Side church made his first appearance in federal court Friday morning. After hearing testimony from an FBI agent, federal Magistrate Judge Cynthia Eddy found there was probable cause to keep Mustafa Mousab Alowemer behind bars.

Matt Rourke / AP

A measure moving through Pennsylvania's General Assembly is garnering pushback from immigrant advocacy groups.

google maps

From Saw Mill Run to Nelson Run to Glass Run, there are about 80 roads in Allegheny County that include the word “run” in their names. No one sprints down these streets, but the word is ubiquitous in the region.

Adam Tunnard / 90.5 WESA

Local environmental organizations held a sidewalk press conference today in front of the U.S. Steel Tower downtown, calling on U.S. Steel to reduce emissions from its Clairton Coke Works plant. The event comes in response to Monday’s fire at the coke facility, the second in sixth months, which briefly knocked out pollution controls.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

An audit of the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ transportation department found that the district was eligible for nearly $2 million in state fuel reimbursements, but that taxpayers were "shortchanged" by the district’s lack of proper record-keeping.

AP

One year ago, Michael Rosfeld, a white East Pittsburgh police officer, fatally shot Antwon Rose, a black unarmed teenager. In the immediate aftermath, many blamed local officials for Rosfeld’s actions and called for the small borough to make big changes.

Disagreements Remain As Pennsylvania's Budget Deadline Nears

Jun 20, 2019
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Top Pennsylvania lawmakers are assembling a budget package that's due ahead of the July 1 start of the fiscal year, but behind-the-scenes disagreements remain and rank-and-file lawmakers are awaiting details.

Courtesy of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation

On today’s program: How to keep your house from making you sick; conservationists are working to save bats from wind turbines; AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka talks trade tariffs; and the surprising history of Pittsburgh's Skinny Building.

Min Xian / Keystone Crossroads

A package of agriculture-related legislation is in the hands of the Pennsylvania Senate after recent passage in the state House, proposals that range from grants to help butchers comply with federal inspection requirements to new efforts to combat spotted lanternfly infestation.

Trump Ditches Obama’s Signature Climate Policy Aimed At Cutting Coal Emissions

Jun 20, 2019
Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Trump Administration has rolled back one of President Obama’s signature climate policies designed to cut coal plant emissions.

Woodland Hills
Rachel Gobep / 90.5 WESA

The Woodland Hills School Board passed a plan to furlough up to 70 positions districtwide and approved a 3-percent property tax increase.

 

The board approved the 2019-20 district budget in a 5-3 vote Wednesday night. 

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

A Syrian refugee who came to the U.S. three years ago plotted to bomb a church this spring to inspire followers of the Islamic State of Iraq, federal authorities said in announcing the man's arrest Wednesday. 

JACQUELINE LARMA / AP

Pennsylvania spends over $100 million annually to incarcerate people for technical violations of probation and parole, according to a new report. That’s about one-third of the total amount the state spends to house people who have violated the terms of their release. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

On today’s program: Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Anthony Hamlet talks about district transformation and his take on a contraversial trip to Cuba; DNA testing kits illuminate lost branches of family trees, but may not tell the full story; and one year after his death, Antwon Rose II’s classmates remember him, followed by a conversation about community healing and changes in policy and policing.

Matt Rourke / AP

 For weeks, staffers for Democratic Governor Tom Wolf and the Republicans who control the state House and Senate have been trying to hammer out an agreement on a GOP priority: gutting a program that gives relatively small amounts of cash to poor people who don't qualify for other assistance. 

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