WESA Local News

LM Otero / AP

Barraged with sex-abuse lawsuits, the 110-year-old Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday in an effort to work out a potentially huge victim compensation plan, but local chapters may be insulated from the parent organization's financial troubles.

Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety / AP

One of four defendants has been sentenced to life in prison in the death of a Somali immigrant cab driver three years ago in Pittsburgh.

Daniel Russell, 23, told an Allegheny County judge during Tuesday's sentencing that he needed a new court-appointed attorney so he could file an appeal, accusing his current attorney of being ineffective.

Russell was convicted of second-degree murder in November in the death of Ramadhan Mohamed in February 2017. Three other defendants are scheduled for trial in May.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

 

On today's program: The Port of Pittsburgh needs more funding for repairs on all three city rivers; a cafe in Reading has become home to that community’s Latinx population; Allegheny County Council considers a police review board; and a touring collection of African American art lands at The Westmoreland. 

DOJ Taps US Attorneys In Pittsburgh, NY To Coordinate Ukraine Investigations

8 hours ago
Julio Cortez / AP

The Justice Department has appointed U.S. attorneys in New York and Pennsylvania to coordinate federal investigations into Ukraine-related matters, including new information collected by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Big increases in attendance and full-time jobs marked the past five years on Pittsburgh’s arts scene. But the arts community needs to become more equitable and inclusive.

On a recent soggy Wednesday evening, dozens of West Virginians packed a conference room inside the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center to discuss the need for a “just transition” for coal-impacted communities.

As the nation grapples with climate change, the need for a fair transition for workers and communities that depend upon coal jobs and revenue has also gained traction.

Summer Lee for PA

When Democratic Party leaders endorse a candidate running in the spring primary, they hope doing so will help unify the party. On Sunday, the Allegheny County Democratic Committee may have done so by accident: From the state level on down, just about every Democrat not on the committee is denouncing one of its choices. 

Could Pennsylvania’s 43K New Citizens Make The Difference In 2020 Election?

18 hours ago
Emma Lee / WHYY

At least 43,000 immigrants have become Pennsylvania citizens since the 2016 presidential election. That’s almost as many voters as the margin Trump won by, according to recent analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


Pennsylvania files criminal charges against individuals who sold or shared a drug used during a fatal overdose more than any other state with similar statutes.

Siavash Naghshbandi (Tehran) / Tom Little (Pittsburgh)

A painstaking recreation of an Iranian artist's apartment in Tehran is on display at the Mattress Factory Museum through July. "The Other Apartment" is a joint project of Carnegie Mellon University art professor Jon Rubin and artist Sohrab Kashani, who have been friends for more than a decade.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: community residents have questions about big development in their neighborhoods; a jury has acquitted a man charged in connection with a 2016 mass shooting in Wilkinsburg; poverty has created a new type of swing voter; mild winters are bad news for ice fishers; and a Pittsburgh original makes a comeback to candy aisles. 

Allentown Art Museum / AP

Thanks to modern technology and some expert detective work, a nearly 400-year-old painting that had long been attributed to an unknown artist in Rembrandt’s workshop has now been judged to have been a work of the Dutch master himself.

Library of Congress

Philadelphia got a public memorial statue three years ago outside City Hall for an African American figure few people knew about: Octavius Catto. Now, his story is more widely known.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Tim Pearce knows a lot about mollusks. But, he says, he knows very little about social media.

To his surprise, his pun-filled videos shared on a fairly new social media platform, TikTok, have gone viral in the last month, making him what he calls a “shell-ebrity.”

As cities across China remain on quarantine lockdown to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, the epidemic is testing the country's ability to get food to its citizens.

Restaurants and cafes have been closed since the end of January, leaving grocery stores as one of the few options for buying food. With families encouraged, or sometimes forced, to stay at home, supplies are often hoarded. Shipments of food from other cities across China take time, as many places have closed off roads.

New Fund Helps PA Abuse Survivors Pay For Counseling

Feb 17, 2020
Ted S. Warren / AP

Starting this week, Pennsylvanians who have experienced sexual assault and never reported it to police can apply for a share of $5 million to pay for counseling.

Emily Previti / PA Post

Steve Ulrich stirred controversy when he took over York County’s elections office on Jan. 10 — just days before a special election — for his left-leaning social media posts and having zero experience running elections.

Matt Smith / Keystone Crossroads

Carmelo LaMantia stops by Mi Casa Su Casa, a breakfast and lunch cafe in downtown Reading, quite a bit. Exactly how often is in dispute. 

After Abuse Scandals, Seminarians Pledge To 'Get It Right'

Feb 16, 2020
Wong Maye-E / AP

The seminarians walk along a hallway lined with photos of classes of priests who came before them. Some are pious alumni who have become their teachers and mentors; others climbed the Catholic hierarchy to be revered as bishops and cardinals.

Mel Evans / AP

The Allegheny County Democratic Committee gathered for its annual endorsement meeting on the South Side Sunday – and for a handful of young, progressive, female candidates in closely-watched races, the outcome wasn’t pretty.

Emily Previti / Keystone Crossroads

Pennsylvania’s law governing legal name changes was up for debate before the state’s Commonwealth Court in Pittsburgh Thursday. Three transgender women have challenged a provision of the statute that bars people from changing their names if they have been convicted of serious felonies.

CENTRE AVENUE CORRIDOR PLAN / EVOLVEEA

Small businesses owned by women and minorities are driving the redevelopment of Centre Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. The board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority greenlighted six proposals for the corridor on Thursday.

Catalina Jaramillo / WHYY

The commonwealth plans to step up litter prevention efforts, following a novel study.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The defendant in the trial for a 2016 mass shooting was acquitted of all counts Friday. Attorneys for Cheron Shelton argued he was not responsible for the attack that left five adults, including a pregnant woman, dead.

Patrick Semansk / AP

California billionaire Tom Steyer is the first Democratic presidential candidate to file signatures to get on Pennsylvania's primary ballot. That's according to information from the state election office Friday.

J. David Ake / AP

Governor Tom Wolf’s plan to have Pennsylvania join ten other states in a regional cap-and-trade agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions ​is moving slowly through the vetting process.

Kerie Trimble

Today is Valentine’s Day, which means your social media feeds are likely flushed with saccharine sentiments from couples who are SUPER IN LOVE. Or are they?

Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

“African American Art in the 20th Century,” a traveling exhibit of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, evokes the rich legacy left by black artists.

The show features works by 34 artists including such legends as Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, and the acclaimed artist and Pittsburgh native Renee Stout. It visits the Westmoreland Museum of American Art this Sunday through May 10.

Jakob Lazzaro / 90.5 WESA

The U.S. Department of Justice has tapped federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh to review material from President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. U.S. Steel faces $2.7 million in fines over air pollution violations at Clairton Coke Works and must make $200 million worth of improvements to the facility. And, in an effort to reduce energy consumption, the City of Pittsburgh prepares to retrofit the 140 buildings it owns.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner has reached a plea deal with Michigan prosecutors, resolving a nearly year-long court case stemming from an altercation with police at a Detroit hotel last year. Wagner pleaded no-contest to a misdemeanor offense Thursday morning, while authorities dropped a felony offense of resisting police. But a dispute over the terms of Wagner’s sentence suggests that, despite the settlement, the dust has yet to settle.

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