WESA Daily Briefing

Latest: New two-week order allows outdoor dining, still prohibits indoor.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

New Research Details Racial, Socioeconomic Inequities During School Shutdown Across Allegheny County

Allegheny County school districts that transitioned to remote learning quickly, provided technology for all or some grades and performed real-time instruction, serve fewer historically marginalized students than those who didn't, according to a new report.

Read More

Politics & Government

Patrick Semansky / AP

Former Vice President Joe Biden will campaign in Pennsylvania on Thursday, the same day that his successor, Mike Pence, will make several stops in the premier presidential battleground state.

The men are working the campaign trail in Pennsylvania with fewer than four months until the election, with recent polls showing Biden leading in Pennsylvania.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on Thursday plans to tour a metal works plant in Dunmore in northeastern Pennsylvania and speak about his economic recovery plan, the campaign said in an advisory.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


 On today's program: Black, Young and Educated is organizing some of Pittsburgh’s biggest protests against racism and police brutality; a new proposed ordinance could prohibit tear gas, bean bag rounds, and some other crowd dispersal methods in Allegheny County; and architect David Lewis leaves a lasting legacy in Pittsburgh. 

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Vice President Mike Pence will travel again to Pennsylvania this week, dropping in on an important presidential battleground state on Thursday.

Pence will take a bus tour from Lancaster to Philadelphia, including taking part in a roundtable discussion at Rajant Corp., a suburban Philadelphia maker of wireless communication technology, his office said. Then he will speak to Philadelphia police officers at their union hall, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, in the city before they hold a “Back the Blue” rally.

Science, Health & Tech

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pittsburgh and the rest of Allegheny County reported a near-record number of new coronavirus infections Wednesday as state health officials expressed concern about the situation in southwestern Pennsylvania, but made no move to reimpose pandemic restrictions in border counties that are also seeing increased spread.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is reporting its highest single-day caseload of new coronavirus infections since early May, although the state Department of Health said Tuesday that a significant portion are backlogged or delayed test results.

Identity & Justice

Marc Levy / AP

Marsha Scaggs admits she was part of a drug deal that turned deadly more than 30 years ago in Lawrence County, Pa. 

Some Police Departments Say Publicizing Use-Of-Force Policies Builds Trust. Others Disagree

Jul 7, 2020
Ed Mahon / PA Post

In an attempt to assuage the public’s demands for increased accountability of police officers, a spattering of departments across Pennsylvania post their use-of-force policies to their websites, making public the rules for when officers can use pepper spray, strike someone or fire their gun.

90.5 WESA

Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 have prompted the closure of some judicial facilities in Allegheny County. The county’s court administration said Monday that four probation offices have been closed, along with a magisterial district court in Verona, Pa. But local defense attorneys say they have concerns about a lack of communication from court officials about the threat.

Education

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County school districts that transitioned to remote learning  quickly, provided technology for all or some grades and performed real-time instruction, serve fewer historically marginalized students than those who didn't, according to a new report.

Seth Perlman / AP

 


On today's program: As families get ready for school to begin this fall, A+ Schools is releasing classroom and operations suggestions for Pittsburgh Public Schools during the pandemic; the University of Pittsburgh plans to use more solar power; and the invasive spotted lanternfly descends on southwestern PA. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

A major plan to reorganize Pennsylvania’s state higher education system — and potentially consolidate parts of it — cleared the state Senate last week.

Good Question!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Long Been A City For Medical Innovation

Pittsburgh is home to dozens of hospitals and medical facilities, from Level I trauma centers to neighborhood health clinics. Nearly one out of every five workers in the city is employed in health care.

Read More

Development & Transportation

Eviction Ban Nears An End With Renter Aid Still In Pipeline

Jul 1, 2020
Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Federal emergency aid for renters in Pennsylvania hit hard financially during the pandemic is still in the pipeline as Gov. Tom Wolf's ban on foreclosures and evictions nears an expiration.

Antunovich Associates

The historic Produce Terminal in Pittsburgh’s Strip District is expected to be ready for new tenants this fall. The first phase of renovations was completed last week.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Courtesy of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Some workers at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh are trying to form a union. But the president and CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest and most iconic cultural institution is asking them to reconsider.

Eyeing Social Change, Pirates Star Josh Bell Finds His Voice

Jul 6, 2020
Frank Franklin II / AP

Josh Bell wanted to make a statement with his actions, a way to channel the disgust the Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman felt in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May.

Yet as the crowds surged in downtown Pittsburgh last month during a planned peaceful protest, he fought the urge to join in.

He couldn't help but notice the helicopters buzzing. He checked the Internet and saw what began with a positive vibe had shifted to something darker. Wary of the optics and the fallout, Bell, who is Black, heeded the advice of his girlfriend.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

About 20 of Pittsburgh’s independent music venues and promoters have joined a national effort to get federal relief for their industry, which has been sidelined during the coronavirus pandemic. Venues and promoters that present music and comedy said the shutdown has hit them especially hard, and there is no end in sight.

Environment & Energy

Lawmakers Take Up Fight Against Governor's Climate Strategy

16 hours ago
Melinda Roeder / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled House of Representatives moved Wednesday to ensure that it can block Gov. Tom Wolf's effort to impose a price on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants as part of a consortium of states.

U.S. Department Of Energy Touts Petrochemicals, Puts Money Into Coal 'Innovation' Grants

Jul 6, 2020
Reid F. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

Despite concerns about a global oil and petrochemical glut, the Trump administration released a report this week touting the strong future of coal and natural gas in the Appalachian region, and outlining ways state and local governments can help the energy industry such as investing in workforce development and infrastructure.

Economy & Business

Pennsylvania Tries Luck Again In Mini-Casino License Auction

19 hours ago
Julie Jacobson / AP

Pennsylvania will again seek to auction a mini-casino license on Sept. 2, under orders from state lawmakers in search of cash for a treasury starved of tax collections from shutdowns to contain the coronavirus.

Local Headlines

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.

 

7:35 a.m. - Council debates broadening powers of police review board

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.

 

6:00 p.m. - New two-week order allows outdoor dining, still prohibits indoor

Food & Drink

Closing Bars To Stop Coronavirus Spread Is Backed By Science

Jul 2, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Authorities are closing honky tonks, bars and other drinking establishments in some parts of the U.S. to stem the surge of COVID-19 infections — a move backed by sound science about risk factors that go beyond wearing or not wearing masks.

National & International

Planning For End-Of-Life Care Is More Crucial Than Ever. Here's How

2 hours ago

The coronavirus pandemic has been a stark reminder "that things can change in a minute — and so you've got to be prepared," says Sunita Puri, medical director for palliative care at the Keck Medical Center at USC. One of the ways to do this is to decide what sorts of treatments you would want (or not want) in the case you became critically ill — and then document those wishes and share them with loved ones.

Subscribe to our latest podcast

Every Friday morning, we’ll bring you the biggest news stories of the week in 20 minutes.

Subscribe To Our Newsletters

Where the News Comes Together

Weekdays at 9 a.m., newsmakers and innovators join host Kevin Gavin for one-on-one interviews and in-depth conversations about stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

Like us on Facebook

JazzWorks

Classic and Contemporary Jazz Streaming 24/7