Pennsylvania Voting FAQ

WESA answers your questions about voting in person, secrecy envelopes, incorrectly filled-out envelopes, and more.

COURTESY: DR. SANDHYA RAO

A Rare Full Moon And A NASA Discovery Provide Lunar Delights

Halloween will offer a special treat for stargazers this year. For the first time since 1944, a full moon will be visible on October 31 in Pittsburgh and across all U.S. time zones, according to the Farmer’s Almanac . It will also be a Blue Moon, which happens when there are two full moons in one month. The first was on October 1.

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Politics & Government

Keith Srakocic | AP (left) / Krist Gnibus campaign (right)

One of President Donald Trump's staunchest supporters is U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, who has represented northwest Pennsylvania for the decade. This year, he’s being challenged by first-time candidate Democrat Kristy Gnibus.

Tim Tai / Philadelphia Inquirer

In a precarious position in the polls and with his focus fixed on the swing state of Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump has had no shortage of criticisms — many of them rooted in falsehoods — for Gov. Tom Wolf.

Harassment, Anger, And Misinformation Plague PA County Officials Ahead Of 2020 Election

2 hours ago
Margo Reed / Philadelphia Inquirer

On a recent weekday, Forrest Lehman was struggling to run two elections simultaneously — one in person and one by mail.

Science, Health & Tech

COURTESY: DR. SANDHYA RAO

Halloween will offer a special treat for stargazers this year. For the first time since 1944, a full moon will be visible on October 31 in Pittsburgh and across all U.S. time zones, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. It will also be a Blue Moon, which happens when there are two full moons in one month. The first was on October 1.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

Despite the horrors of COVID-19, trick-or-treating in 2020 probably won’t be too different compared to previous years.

Education

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

After two days of public testimony, multiple amendments and hours of discussion, the Pittsburgh Public Schools board voted Wednesday to delay the return of in-person learning for most students.

Pennsylvania Schools Need An Additional $4.6 Billion To Close Education Gaps, New Analysis Finds

Oct 28, 2020
Heather Khalifa / Philadelphia Inquirer

Pennsylvania’s public school children are being shortchanged by $4.6 billion — and those in the poorest school districts, who have fallen the furthest behind, are owed the most, according to a new analysis commissioned by advocates seeking to overhaul the state’s education funding system.

Good Question!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Brunot Island Once Hosted Explorers, Automobile Races And Now, Lots Of Wildlife

Brunot Island sits quietly in the Ohio River. Overgrown grass carpets the banks of the island and driftwood thuds against remnants of old steel slabs and “No Trespassing” signs. Electrical towers loom over the tallest trees, connected by dozens of wires.

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Identity & Justice

Body Cam, 911 Tapes In Walter Wallace Killing To Be Released

Oct 28, 2020
Matt Slocum / AP

The police commissioner in Philadelphia said Wednesday that her department will release 911 tapes and footage from police body cameras “in the near future” in the shooting death of a Black man following two nights of protests that set off clashes with police and break-ins of stores on the other side of the city.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

 

On today's program: The Tree of Life community continues to live with the aftermath of the 2018 attack; a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp and the Tree of Life worshipper shares his story; and a writer documents the resilience of the Squirrel Hill community in a new book.

Development & Transportation

sam dunklau / witf

Erie County has been described as crucial for either presidential candidate to win Pennsylvania.

 


Arts, Sports, & Culture

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The 2018 shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history. As such, it’s readily contextualized alongside the spikes in nativist rhetoric and white-nationalist violence that have plagued the country in recent years.

Courtesy of the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art

“Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise.”

“Protect Me From What I Want.”

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


On a chilly October evening, Vicki Potter stands in a gravel parking lot in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. The scent of popcorn mixes with the gasoline from nearby idling cars. Patrons are masked and sitting in the beds of trucks and trunks of minivans as an old-timey concession stand advertisement blares over the loudspeakers.

Environment & Energy

Patrick Semansky / AP

President Trump spent four years dismantling nearly 100 federal environmental rules and policies. So, what would a second term for Trump mean for the environment? 

Fracking Project At U.S. Steel Plant Denied Local Permit Extension

Oct 23, 2020
Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

A controversial natural gas well at a US Steel Plant near Pittsburgh suffered a setback Thursday night. The East Pittsburgh Borough zoning hearing board denied an appeal by a fracking company to have a lapsed permit for the well reinstated. 

Economy & Business

Gene J. Puskar / AP

 


On today's program: The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approved a proposal to waive liquor license fees to provide financial relief to restaurants and bars hit hard by the pandemic; researchers try to take down disinformation using science and technology; and how Donald Trump’s and Joe Biden’s differences on environmental and energy policies could affect Pennsylvania.

Local Headlines

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

This week on the Explainer:

COVID-19 cases are rising in Pennsylvania, with more than 40,000 people testing positive this month. Health and science reporter Sarah Boden breaks down the numbers, noting health officials say there isn’t a particular source of new infections.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On this week’s Explainer:

Food & Drink

Wolf Offers $20M Relief Plan For Bars And Restaurants

Oct 23, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pennsylvania plans to offer $20 million in relief to the state’s beleaguered hospitality industry, the governor announced Thursday, an amount trade groups called woefully inadequate for helping bars and restaurants survive the pandemic.

National & International

Cruise lines may begin sailing again from U.S. ports under rules released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal agency is allowing a "No Sail" order to expire at midnight Saturday.

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