WESA Local News

Commonwealth Media Services

Gov. Tom Wolf is renewing his call for state lawmakers to legalize recreational marijuana.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s highest court granted a request Wednesday from the state’s top elections official to take up the question of whether counties should count mail-in ballots when a voter’s signature doesn’t necessarily match the one on their registration.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is “at the start of the fall resurgence” of COVID-19, the health secretary said Wednesday, urging residents once more to take steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Tim Tai / Philadelphia Inquirer

After Pennsylvania lawmakers failed for months to fix a troubled rent relief program, Gov. Tom Wolf intervened Tuesday, giving landlords flexibility to collect outstanding balances in the hope that more would agree to participate.

Pennsylvania Becomes A Battleground Over Election Security

Oct 14, 2020
Matt Slocum / AP

For anxiety over voting and ballot counting in this year’s presidential election, it’s hard to top Pennsylvania.

Michael Rubinkam / AP

School districts across the Pittsburgh region have reported cases of COVID-19 since the academic year began, causing some districts to temporarily close schools. There aren’t, however, any set rules from the state about how a school district informs parents about a positive COVID-19 case. As a result, communication polices vary district to district.

Courtesy PICT Classic Theatre

Most theater companies have adapted to the coronavirus pandemic with live-streaming and other newfangled technologies. PICT Classic Theatre is using them, too, but with a vintage twist.

NAACP Pennsylvania

The NAACP is in the final push of a fall campaign aimed at boosting Black voter turnout in battleground states, including Pennsylvania. The “Black Voices Change Lives” campaign will use volunteers to call or text low frequency Black voters and urge them to cast their ballots on November 3.

PA Loosens Rent Relief Rules

Oct 13, 2020
Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is extending the application deadline and changing the rules of a key rent and mortgage relief program in an effort to boost participation by landlords and keep more people in their homes during the pandemic, the governor announced Tuesday.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Before Jeannine Cook opened Harriett’s Bookshop on Girard Avenue in Fishtown earlier this year, she had been an educator. She still has a few tricks from the classroom up her sleeve.

Climate Change Could Shift Pennsylvania's Wildfire Season

Oct 13, 2020
Brennan Linsley / AP

Wildfires aggravated by the effects of climate change have been raging across the western United States for weeks.

Courtesy of The Voter Project

A postcard from a statewide nonprofit group has confused some Pennsylvanians ahead of the general election. More than a dozen voters reported receiving a malier from The Voter Project to ProPublica’s ElectionLand tipline. 

Courtesy of the Committee to Elect Jim Brewster and Friends of Nicole Ziccarelli

State Senator Jim Brewster, of McKeesport, is one of Allegheny County’s last old-school Democrats — friendly to labor, but socially conservative — to serve in Harrisburg. And now, after his district went narrowly for President Donald Trump in 2016, the lawmaker faces a reelection challenge from first-time Republican candidate Nicole Ziccarelli, of Lower Burrell.

A win for Brewster is considered essential to enabling Democrats to flip control of the Pennsylvania legislature.

Matt Rourke / AP

 Just weeks before the presidential election, Pennsylvania lawmakers still haven’t made a change to state voting laws that county election directors and nonpartisan good government groups say would greatly speed up the vote count – a crucial factor, they say, in combating efforts to undermine results in the swing state.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

President Donald Trump plans to travel to Johnstown, his first visit to Pennsylvania following his positive coronavirus test a few days after he was last in the battleground state.

City crews covered a statue of Christopher Columbus in Pittsburgh in advance of Columbus Day following a recommendation from the mayor that it be removed from a city park and placed in a private location yet to be determined.

Johnson & Johnson / Via AP

A Carnegie Mellon University researcher is part of a national committee that recently produced a report on the equitable distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

Here's How Democrats Could Flip The Pennsylvania Legislature

Oct 12, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

After years of Republican dominance, Democrats and their supporters in Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate see a path to take control of both chambers this year.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The wife of Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor said she was confronted at the grocery store by a woman who used a racial slur against her.

Trump Pounds Fracking As A Wedge Issue In PA. Will It Help?

Oct 12, 2020
Steve Ruark / AP

Pennsylvania has emerged as one of the key swing states in the presidential election. And while natural gas drilling is near the bottom of a list of concerns for the state’s voters, fracking just keeps coming up.

GILEAD SCIENCES / VIA AP

Even before President Donald Trump received the drug remdesivir to help treat his case of COVID-19, Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella was raising alarms about the price of the medication.

Photo by Beth Kukucka / Courtesy of University of Pittsburgh Press

Pittsburgh’s poetry community is large but tight-knit. One big reason is Jan Beatty, the award-winning poet and educator whose sixth collection was just published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

PA House Panel Considers Tenant Right To Attorney

Oct 11, 2020
Matt Smith / Keystone Crossroads

Much of the discussion around evictions in Pennsylvania has focused on eviction bans or financial assistance for tenants and landlords.

Judge Throws Out Trump Campaign's Pennsylvania Lawsuit

Oct 10, 2020
Alex Brandon / AP

A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Saturday threw out a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign, dismissing its challenges to the battleground state’s poll-watching law and its efforts to limit how mail-in ballots can be collected and which of them can be counted.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

The long-running battle over the Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park moved closer to a conclusion Friday when Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced -- on the eve of Columbus Day -- that he agrees with the city's Art Commission, which voted unanimously Sept. 23 to remove the monument.

Heather Khalifa / Philadelphia Inquirer

Pennsylvania Republicans have dropped their plan to create an “election integrity” panel with subpoena power, an effort Democrats feared would represent a “stealth attack” on voting.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

There’s plenty of misinformation and confusion surrounding the 2020 general election. WESA reporters are answering common questions about voter registration, mail-in ballots, and voting in person.

Google Earth

One-hundred-and-five residents at an Allegheny County-run nursing home have been infected with the coronavirus since the beginning of September.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Some anxious Philly voters that requested mail-in ballots now want to vote in person instead — and the trend has some experts worried that these Election Day audibles could do more harm than good.

Pennsylvania Reports Most Daily Virus Infections Since April

Oct 9, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania reported its highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in more than five months on Thursday, with the governor expressing concern but contending the state is in a much better position now to handle the influx than it was at the beginning of the pandemic.

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