WESA Local News

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

For the first time in more than 160 years, the Big Butler Fair has been canceled. Like county fairs across the country, fairs in Western Pennsylvania have been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But a handful of food vendors are still serving sausage sandwiches, fresh lemonade, funnel cakes and fried Oreos this summer.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

4:25 p.m. - Protesters return to East Liberty, chanting support for Black trans women

Kate Landis / PA Post

Kareem Anthony showed up outside the Lancaster Recreation Center on Thursday with plans to protest former vice president Joe Biden’s failure to meet with local Black Lives Matter protesters during his Thursday trip to Pennsylvania.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Anger over entrenched racism and white supremacy in American culture is boiling over, after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other black people at the hands of police and private citizens. Regular protests continue in Pittsburgh and across the country, but many activists have pivoted from simply expressing rage to making demands.

And, after more than a month of COVID-19 case counts trending downward, Allegheny County saw a spike over the past week. Since last Friday, the county has reported 199 new cases.

PA Lawmakers Hear From Industry, Environmental Advocates On Impact Of Cap-And-Trade Program

Jun 26, 2020
Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

State senators are weighing the risks and benefits of Pennsylvania joining a regional cap-and trade-program targeting greenhouse gases.

Ed Mahon / PA Post

Legislation that would limit the governor’s ability to restrict access to guns during a disaster emergency declaration is moving through the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

A Philadelphia SWAT officer caught on video using pepper spray on a group of protesters at close range during a demonstration on I-676 will be fired, and the police commander who greenlit the use of these less-than-lethal munitions will accept a voluntary demotion, officials announced Thursday.

PA Grand Jury Report On Fracking: DEP Failed To Protect Public Health

Jun 25, 2020
Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania grand jury report wo years in the making slammed the Department of Environmental Protection for failing to protect the public from the health effects of fracking.

Ted S. Warren / AP

 

On today's program: Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor is encouraging people with nonviolent marijuana-related convictions to apply for pardons; a new executive order aims to limit the number of legal immigrants coming to the U.S.; and polls suggest most Americans support police reform, but how might that impact their choices at the ballot box in November? 

Biden, Trump Stage Rare Dueling Events In Pandemic Era

Jun 25, 2020
ALEX BRANDON & Matt Rourke/AP

Both President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are swinging through key battleground states on Thursday, presenting dueling events in a way that hasn't happened much in the age of coronavirus and that will showcase their contrasting styles in response to the pandemic.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Senate Democrats in Washington blocked a Republican attempt at police reform Wednesday, saying it did not mandate actual change.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Critics of a proposal to ban “less-lethal” weapons throughout Allegheny County outlined legal and practical concerns about the measure Wednesday. The bill, pending before the county’s 15-member council, would prohibit munitions such as those police in Pittsburgh used to disperse crowds at recent protests over police brutality and systemic racism.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

6:24 p.m. - Philly police head decries tear gas usage against protesters

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's ability to provide food assistance benefits without in-person interviews is set to expire July 31, and Gov. Tom Wolf is asking the federal government to extend waivers related to the program during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

KEITH SRAKOCIC / AP

Allegheny County continued its upswing of novel coronavirus infections, with another 45 cases reported on Wednesday. This follows Monday's count of 45 cases, which was the highest daily total in more than a month.

But UPMC, the state’s largest medical system, says it’s important to take a broader look at how the pandemic is progressing.

Bills Move On Police Training, Dealing With Diverse People

Jun 24, 2020
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's House and Senate began passing legislation Wednesday spurred by widespread protests over police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, including legislation designed to prevent “bad apples” from continuing to find employment in police departments.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania now exceed 83,000, while there are 54 new reports of coronavirus-related deaths, many if not all of them who were residents of nursing homes or personal care homes, the state Department of Health said Wednesday.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: Pittsburgh Public Schools look to lower the number of arrests at District schools; and Pittsburgh’s film industry prepares to return to work. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Less than a year after producing a harrowing report on the health crisis facing black women in Pittsburgh, the city’s Gender Equity Commission has offered some solutions – with a focus on crises in policing and health care that have dominated headlines.

David Zalubowski / AP

A proposal to test all Allegheny County employees is expected to replace a bill that would have required universal COVID-19 testing only at the county Jail and Kane Community Living Centers.

Rachel Gobep / 90.5 WESA

Last week, activists presented 12 demands for overhauling law enforcement to city and county officials. On Monday evening, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto responded with a 5,000-word statement that said the city was already adopting some policies but could do little about others.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

6:30 p.m. - Local health experts offer differing opinions on increased coronavirus cases

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

It’s been two years since the bronze statue of Pittsburgh-born composer Stephen Foster and a barefoot black man playing a banjo was removed from Schenley Plaza. The statue was denounced for decades, but the criticism gained steam in the aftermath of a deadly protest in Charlottesville, Va. over the removal of Confederate monuments.

Tomlin: Steelers Will Support Players If They Opt To Kneel

Jun 23, 2020
Gail Burton / AP

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wants his players to feel comfortable speaking out about social justice in any way they see fit, provided it's done “thoughtfully and with class.”

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Wrestle Anew With Major Gambling Bill

Jun 23, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Top Republicans in Pennsylvania's state Senate are pressing sweeping gambling legislation that would allow slot machine-like terminals in thousands of bars, restaurants, nonprofit social clubs and other businesses that hold liquor licenses.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Ther were 38 more deaths in Pennsylvania have been attributed to COVID-19, the state Health Department said Tuesday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 6,464 since the pandemic began.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: Mayor Bill Peduto assembles a Community Task Force on Police Reform;  Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center deals with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the state; and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership expands outdoor dining and walking spaces downtown. 

Courtesy of RoadRunner

A Pittsburgh-based startup is using technology to revolutionize the recycling industry. RoadRunner Recycling uses software designed to help businesses recycle more and save money.

Erin Keane Scott / 90.5 WESA

News on the coronavirus pandemic, protests, 2020 election and more from around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Find all of the WESA Daily Briefing posts here

Editor's note: This post will be frequently updated with the latest news.

 

4:12 p.m. - Steelers to back players who kneel during national anthem

 

WAYNE PARRY / AP

COVID-19 infections are again increasing in Allegheny County.

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