WESA Local News

Matt Rourke / AP

 The Pittsburgh synagogue that was the site of a shooting massacre that left 11 worshippers dead has started a fundraising campaign through GoFundMe to support New Zealand's Muslim community.

'Hard' And 'Soft' School Safety Solutions On Display At Western PA Conference

Mar 18, 2019
Danny Johnston / AP

Before he began his presentation, Pennsylvania state trooper Clifford Greenfield gave a disclaimer: "Please note that the information contained herein is not designed to scare, produce unforeseen paranoia or cause undue worry." 

PA Rejected Twice As Many Absentee Ballots In 2018

Mar 18, 2019
Alan Diaz / AP

Pennsylvania elections officials rejected more than twice as many absentee ballots during last year's midterm elections than they did in 2010. That year, 1.9 percent of absentee ballots were rejected compared with 4.7 percent in 2018. The rate is rising because the deadline for getting ballots counted is too early, critics said.

Mark Scolforo / AP

Pennsylvania's prison system is banning all tobacco products inside every facility's secure perimeter, starting July 1.

Once Sanctuaries, Houses Of Worship Struggle With Security

Mar 18, 2019
Mark Baker / AP

A rabbi who packs a gun. A church installing security cameras. A police car protecting a mosque.

Houses of worship have traditionally been places of refuge where strangers are welcome. But high-profile attacks in recent years on an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, a synagogue in Pittsburgh and now mosques in New Zealand have made many worshippers and their prayer leaders rethink how protected sanctuaries really are.

Matt Rourke / AP

Former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld goes on trial Tuesday for fatally shooting 17-year-old Antwon Rose last summer.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Farmers markets across Pittsburgh will be back this spring, and the city plans to do more to encourage their growth.

Min Xian / Keystone Crossroads

Kathy Wells started her career early. She didn’t get a chance to go to college after graduating from high school in rural, Northwestern Pennsylvania.

In her words, she grew up in a “large family, small area.”  

“Basically, you work,” Wells laughed. “You don’t go to school.”

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A veteran of social activism since the 1960s is coming to Pittsburgh to help organizers of the future.

'Hyperloop' Cargo From Philly To Pittsburgh? Officials Say It's Not That Far-Fetched

Mar 18, 2019
Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa USA via AP Images

Commercial goods packed in giant capsules and moving in vacuum-sealed steel tubes at nearly supersonic speeds from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh?

Mark Baker / AP

Pittsburgh Police will be increasing patrols at area mosques and the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh this weekend after attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand left 49 worshippers dead. 

Courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank

What began as a small church project in Toledo, Ohio has become a wide-reaching, and widely relied upon, labor of love here in Pittsburgh. 

Google Earth

Pittsburgh’s Housing Opportunity Fund won approval for a new program: emergency rental assistance. The initiative was one of many greenlit by the board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday.

Mark Scolforo / AP

Three weeks ago, the state prison system settled a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and other groups who said the Department of Corrections was violating inmates’ constitutional rights by making copies of legal mail.

Allegheny Conference on Community Development Photographs / Detre Library & Archives at the History Center

A harsh winter with nearly 63 inches of snow, a sudden spring thaw and little to no water regulation combined to cause the worst flooding in Pittsburgh history: the St. Patrick’s Day flood of 1936.

Collin Binkley / AP

A week after the Art Institute of Pittsburgh abruptly closed, students are left with few local options.

As of January, 230 students attended the Strip District location while nearly 2,000 took courses online, according to the for-profit college.

Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art

The 57th Carnegie International ends March 25, so it’s time for a last look at the sprawling exhibit featuring cutting-edge work by 32 artists from around the world.

Three local arts leaders responded to a request to discuss one of their favorite works in the show.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

UPMC broke ground Thursday morning on its new vision and rehabilitation tower.

The nine-story, Uptown facility will be part of UPMC Mercy and is projected to open in late 2022. Hospital officials said it will contain subspecialty clinics and research facilities, which will treat complex medical needs and draw patients from outside the region. 

“Uptown, Pittsburgh, Mercy Hospital will become a destination for [ophthalmology] care,” said Michael Grace, president of UPMC Mercy. “Our hopes are for this building to help cure blindness.”

Alex Brandon / AP

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey joined a 59-41 majority in the Senate to overturn President Trump’s emergency declaration at the southern border on Thursday.

Courtesy of Melissa Block

Journalism has changed dramatically since NPR's Melissa Block started her career, but she says one thing remains the same: people still care about in-depth and long-form reporting. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority wants to replace lead service lines for families with moderate and low incomes.

Joanne Cassaro / WITF

The nuclear watchdog group Three Mile Island Alert is asking federal regulators to analyze what the group calls a “potentially dangerous and risky condition” with new steam generator tubes at Exelon’s Three Mile Island power plant near Harrisburg.

Whitney Garrison

Pittsburgh native Bria Thomas, who goes by the stage name DJ Femi, has been mixing music for the city’s nightlife for nearly a decade. After attending Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School for cello and piano, she started learning about music production and fell in love with entertaining.

Ashton Applewhite wrote what she calls her “first serious book” in 1997. It was titled "Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well," and it was inspired by what she saw as the prevailing perception of divorced women as depressed and pathetic. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Unemployment in the Pittsburgh region is at 3.8 percent, the lowest it's been since 1970 -- before the collapse of the steel industry. The latest numbers are for January, and reflect the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Local community members, journalists and officials will gather at the Ace Hotel Wednesday night for a discussion about gun control legislation that would seek to include the unique experiences of women, minorities and religious groups. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

It’s no surprise that Pittsburgh City Councilor Darlene Harris is ignoring a city ordinance that requires political candidates to disclose their campaign finances each month. After all, she ignored the same requirement back in 2017, when she ran unsuccessfully for mayor.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The partial meltdown of one of Three Mile Island’s nuclear reactors 40 years ago this month left areas of the facility highly radioactive and inaccessible to humans.

Along came a group of young researchers with an idea to send in robots to fix the damage.

Red Whittaker led the team at Carnegie Mellon University, where from time to time he still works on robots for the nuclear industry.

Matt Rourke / AP

A jury of six men and six women is in place for next week's trial of a white former Pennsylvania police officer accused of criminal homicide for the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager last year.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Democrats are claiming victory in special elections to fill two vacant Pennsylvania state House seats.

Movita Johnson-Harrell claimed victory Tuesday night in the election to a west Philadelphia seat, while Bridget Malloy Kosierowski claimed victory in a Scranton-area district.

Both seats were occupied most recently by Democrats, Lackawanna County Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich and Philadelphia Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown.

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