Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Wheels, Drones And Rescue Randy: DARPA Robotics Competition Puts Mine Rescue To The Test

On a hot, sunny day in South Park Township, a team of roboticists from Philadelphia anxiously wait outside of the Safety Research Coal Mine at the Bruceton Research Center. Team Pluto has a four-legged robot inside, and it's looking for objects in the simulated mine disaster scenario. No team members are allowed inside, so it's counting on the robot to deliver the news.

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Politics & Government

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb was challenged on the issue of impeachment and gun control at a town hall in Allison Park on Tuesday evening. 

AP

Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania will lose nearly $400,000 of annual funding it received through Title X, a federal program that provides reproductive health care services to low-income Americans.

ROSS MANTLE / BUZZFEED NEWS

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office reportedly pursues more insurance fraud cases than any other agency in the state. An investigation by BuzzFeed News found that the office gets evidence and money from insurance companies to handle claims filed by customers.

Science, Health & Tech

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

On a hot, sunny day in South Park Township, a team of roboticists from Philadelphia anxiously wait outside of the Safety Research Coal Mine at the Bruceton Research Center. Team Pluto has a four-legged robot inside, and it's looking for objects in the simulated mine disaster scenario. No team members are allowed inside, so it's counting on the robot to deliver the news. 

Thrival Festival

Technology, education and music will come together next month for the seventh annual Thrival Festival,  Sept. 18-20 in Oakland. This year's event has a local theme: "By Pittsburgh, For Pittsburgh, For the World."

Identity & Justice

Man's Death While Held In PA County Prison Raises Questions

Aug 20, 2019
Michael Rubinkam / AP

Carmen Riley bent over her unconscious son, looked into his eyes and knew. It didn't take a mother's intuition or a doctor's prognosis to figure out that Ty'rique was gone.

Several days earlier, 21-year-old Ty'rique Riley had been jailed after an altercation with his father. Now he lay in a hospital bed, his body covered in lacerations and deep, dark bruises. He was missing teeth. His kidneys were failing.

How did this happen? And who was responsible?

Seven weeks after his death, Riley's family and supporters are pushing for answers.

Ross Mantle / BuzzFeed News

On today's program: Allegheny County is a hotbed for false insurance fraud claims; Pittsburgher David Greene sheds a tear for another lost Pirates season; the airport solicits local venders to be part of its new terminal build; and WESA's Chris Potter draws a fuzzy line between political rally and campaign stop.

Education

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Nearly 60 percent of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh librarians, library assistants, clerks and IT professionals who cast ballots Wednesday voted in favor of unionizing.

Good Question!

google maps

Why Are There So Many 'Run Roads' In The Pittsburgh Region?

From Saw Mill Run to Nelson Run to Glass Run, there are about 80 roads in Allegheny County that include the word “run” in their names. No one sprints down these streets, but the word is ubiquitous in the region.

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Development & Transportation

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh needs more housing, but housing that reflects what neighborhoods want and need. That was the driving sentiment behind a meeting in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood Tuesday night, where attendees discussed ways to influence the development process.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh officials have announced efforts aimed at shaping the city’s transportation future, from a pilot program aimed at linking modes of transit to long-range plans. City leadership has been intentionally slow to adopt personal modes of transport such as electric scooters, but it welcomed companies interested in testing autonomous vehicles; a self-driving shuttle to connect Oakland and Hazelwood remains a possibility.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Courtesy of the artist

When Contemporary Craft moved to the Strip District in 1986 the neighborhood wasn’t exactly a magnet for arts groups. True, Downtown was within walking distance, and the adjacent Penn Avenue corridor hosted retail produce stores and a few restaurants. But the historic Produce Terminal – at one end of which Contemporary Craft made its new home – marked a stretch of Smallman Street still dominated by wholesalers.

Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds

On today’s program: Soccer attendance is on the rise in Pittsburgh, likely thanks to the U.S. Women's team; PFAS chemicals were discovered near Pittsburgh International; a poet reckons with her multi-racial identity; and Shady Side Academy teens reflect on their student Emmy Award nomination. 

Growing up in Wexford, Sarah Valentine felt secure and loved by her family and friends. Still, there were moments: the basketball coach who assumed teen-aged Valentine was accompanied by the black woman she stood next to in line, rather than by her own father, who was white; the counselor who suggested Valentine look into scholarships for minorities.

Environment & Energy

Greg Sousa / AP

A committee of Pennsylvania Game Commission staff has recommended a statewide ban on feeding white-tailed deer. 

The agency biologists say that banning artificial feeding stations would help slow the spread of wildlife diseases. They're asking residents to voluntarily stop feeding deer.

Pennsylvania Wants To Know What You’re Throwing Away

Aug 20, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania is going dumpster diving as part of two multi-year, statewide studies of the commonwealth's trash and recycling systems.

Research Shows Thousands Could Be Saved With Better Air Quality Standards

Aug 19, 2019
Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

New research from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh shows thousands of lives could be saved each year if air quality standards were tightened.

Economy & Business

Matt Rourke / AP

One state House lawmaker is trying to pitch a new solution to a very old Pennsylvania problem: the reliance on school property taxes.

Lebanon County Republican Representative Frank Ryan acknowledged Tuesday, his still-unintroduced property tax elimination plan would be a big, difficult pill for the commonwealth to swallow. That’s mainly because the plan contains nearly five-percent tax on all retirement income except Social Security.

Local Headlines

Emma Lee / WHYY

Now former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross submitted his resignation letter to the city’s Managing Director Brian Abernathy on Monday night, Mayor Jim Kenney said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Republicans easily won a special election to retain a seat in the state House of Representatives in a GOP-leaning district in central Pennsylvania.

Republican David Rowe won Tuesday's special election in parts of Union and Snyder counties by a nearly two-to-one margin over Democrat Jennifer Rager-Kay.

The former incumbent, Republican Rep. Fred Keller, was elected to Congress. With Rowe's victory, Republicans will have a 110-93 majority over Democrats in the state House.

Food & Drink

Lots To Sample On A Weekend Visit To Pittsburgh's Dining Scene

Aug 19, 2019
Galley Group via AP

When celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich decided to open a restaurant in Pittsburgh's Strip District in 2001, she arrived in a neighborhood filled with warehouses and factories.

This narrow stretch of streets in the shadow of the city's downtown office towers had long been home to food purveyors like Wholey's Fish Market and the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, known to locals simply as Penn Mac.

But a high-end restaurant helmed by a James Beard award-winning chef? That wasn't something anyone expected.

National & International

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing from the race.

"It's become clear that I'm not going be carrying the ball, I'm not going to be the president, so I'm withdrawing tonight from the race," the Washington governor said on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.

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.

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