Opioid Addiction In Jails: An Anthropologist's Perspective

Dr. Kimberly Sue is the medical director of the Harm Reduction Coalition , a national advocacy group that works to change U.S. policies and attitudes about the treatment of drug users. She's also a Harvard-trained anthropologist and a physician at the Rikers Island jail system in New York. Sue thinks it's a huge mistake to put people with drug use disorder behind bars. "Incarceration is not an effective social policy," she says. "It's not an evidence-based policy. It's not effective in...

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Politics & Government

Alex Brandon / AP

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey believes that presidents should not be allowed to unilaterally ban fracking -- and in the wake of Democratic promises to do just that, recently introduced a Senate resolution emphasizing that point.

Talks On Pennsylvania's Minimum Wage Heat Up Before Deadline

Nov 15, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

Discussions toward raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage for the first time since 2009 are heating up, in part to get Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to abandon an effort to extend overtime pay eligibility to thousands of workers. 

Friends of Devlin

Bridgeville businessman and veteran Devlin Robinson hopes to challenge state Senator Pam Iovino in the 37th state Senate District next year, a match-up that would represent a kind of alternate-universe version of the election fight many Republicans hoped to have this past spring.

Science, Health & Tech

Graphic by Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

For months, PNC Bank customers have complained online that they’re having trouble using third party payment apps like Venmo.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program has passed a half-billion dollars in sales since it began dispensing the drug nearly two years ago.

Carnegie Mellon University

College students have access to an abundance of data to track their progress in classes, from test scores to grades on projects and assignments. Professors, however, often have to rely on subjective evaluations once a year to get a sense of how they are doing. A system developed by a Carnegie Mellon University team aims to give educators more data to work with so they can improve their teaching techniques.

Identity & Justice

Gene J. Puskar / AP

An 88-year-old Roman Catholic priest awaits sentencing after a judge in Pittsburgh convicted him of indecent assault and other charges involving a pre-teen boy. 

Jacqueline Larma / AP

People urging Gov. Tom Wolf's administration not to close Retreat State Prison will get a second chance to be heard after a microphone picked up Corrections Secretary John Wetzel during a public hearing whispering to a deputy that he was only pretending to pay attention.

Nicklas Supply

 

On today's program: A conversation about social responsibility when it comes to hate; Obama-era coal pollution rules could dissolve; U.S. hardwoods profit margins are getting axed by the trade war; and more companies in Pittsburgh are giving their employees a say in major decisions. 

Education

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: How DNA from veterans could help cure societal ills; the FBI is investigating Gov. Wolf’s environmental oversight of a pipeline; redistricting, school closures and tax increases are all possibilities for Pittsburgh Public Schools; PA attorney general Josh Shapiro is talking opioids in D.C. today; and why some customers can’t link their PNC accounts to apps like Venmo.

Good Question!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Large Rings On The Rivers Are A Reminder Of The Once-Bustling Wharfs

Near downtown Pittsburgh, along the 10th Street Bypass and Allegheny riverfront trail, large metal rings that look like giant doorknockers are fixed to retaining walls. They’re rusty and discolored after decades of enduring the city’s weather.

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Development & Transportation

Google Maps

The future of the Shop ’n Save plaza in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood will be decided by the public, the board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority voted on Thursday. The agency will try to buy the mostly vacant Centre Heldman Plaza, which requires paying off the mortgage and back taxes.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Greg Flisram will be the next head of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Courtesy of ZYNKA Gallery

Jeff Jarzynka was in his 40s when his father was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Leaving his job and helping to care for his dad changed Jarzynka’s life in more ways than one. And the experience led him, ultimately, to open Pittsburgh’s newest commercial art gallery, one focused on showcasing local talent.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A youth baseball tournament, historical symposium and statues of Negro League players are among the local events that will commemorate the 2020 centennial anniversary of the Negro National League. The full celebration lineup was announced Tuesday at the Heinz History Center in the Strip District.

Environment & Energy

Gene J. Puskar / AP

U.S. Steel has announced it aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2030. The plan relies in large part on upgrades at two large facilities near Pittsburgh.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s auditor general, Eugene DePasquale, is attempting to quantify what climate change will cost Pennsylvania.

EarthJustice

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed relaxing two Obama-era regulations on waste products from coal-fired power plants, a move environmental groups say would prolong the risk of toxic spills or drinking water contamination.

Economy & Business

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate ticked up in October for the second straight month, even as payrolls and the labor force hit record highs.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The union representing employees in the circulation and delivery division at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette asked a federal judge on Wednesday to issue a temporary restraining order to halt layoffs in the department. In court filings, Teamsters Local Union No. 211 says the publishing company is denying work and health benefits to dozens of laid-off union employees, which is a violation of the union contract.

Local Headlines

Anne Danahy / WPSU

The Pennyslvania Game Commission hopes to get feedback on its proposed plan to respond to chronic wasting disease, a disease that's fatal to deer and other cervids. The commission held a seminar on the disease Wednesday at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology in Centre County. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Cold temperature records have been snapped in two of Pennsylvania’s biggest cities as a bitter cold snap continues to batter the state.

Food & Drink

In France, climate change is already affecting one of the country's most emblematic industries — winemaking. French vintners say heat, drought and erratic weather are altering the landscape and their centuries-old way of working.

Brothers Remi and Gregoire Couppé are fourth-generation winemakers who craft a top vintage, grand cru St. Emilion. In the past few years they've been confronted with some new challenges. Remi Couppé, 44, says there's no denying the weather is getting hotter and drier.

National & International

Impeachment investigators have released the testimony transcript of Tim Morrison, the former top European Affairs official on President Trump's National Security Council.

In his Oct. 31 testimony, Morrison confirmed he was on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine's president. He also said that Trump had indeed sought help from his Ukrainian counterpart, but argued the conduct wasn't unlawful.

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