News

Courtesy of UPMC

Clinics promising stem cell treatment for a growing list of difficult conditions are doing so despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration about the dangers of unproven therapies. These practitioners are preaching hope where there might not be any yet, according to Dr. J. Peter Rubin, chair of the department of plastic surgery at UPMC. 

Katie Meyer / WITF

The state House’s Legislative Black Caucus is looking to change some of the laws governing Pennsylvania’s police officers. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Andrea Slozna is a guidance counselor at the Environmental Charter School in Regent Square, as well as a mom to two tiny people. Both her three-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son required intensive medical attention after their births, but she was able to nurse both of them. It can be a bumpy road, feeding a new person with one’s body, especially when there’s so much pressure in the first few months of a baby’s life to ensure he or she gains weight, Slozna says.

'Razorblades And Feathers In My Throat'

8 hours ago
Reid Frazier / Allegheny Front

​​​The complaint came in on an answering service for the Allegheny County Health Department’s air quality hotline on Dec. 26 at 8:17 p.m.: “SMELL IS VERY BAD CANNOT EVEN LET DOGS OUT” 

Courtesy of Pennsylvania Resources Council

When people envision a sustainable future, they might think of such industrial-scale, tech-heavy approaches as solar arrays and electric vehicles. But creating a greener civilization also includes strategies as simple as finding new homes for stuff you don’t want any more.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Eleven McKeesport Area High School students allege their school district has blocked the creation of a black student union. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, they sued the district and its superintendent in federal court last week.

Americans Against Socialism treasurer Robert Kania filed campaign finance documents on Tuesday, outlining the group’s efforts to oppose state Rep. Sara Innamorato’s campaign in the 21st district five months ago. The move follows a campaign-finance complaint against the political committee.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

People walking along Forbes and Fifth avenues, and Ross and Grant streets will start to have a clearer path with less scaffolding as restoration of the Allegheny County Courthouse roof passes the halfway point. 

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

Jake Williams’ favorite position to play in baseball is shortstop. He can also step in as a right-handed pitcher or play third. His infield throw is 94 miles per hour. He also has a 4.4 GPA and a 1440 on his SAT. All of this information can be found on his sports resume.

Patrick Doyle / 90.5 WESA

As the weather warms, some state lawmakers are attempting their own brand of spring cleaning: wiping a bunch of defunct laws off Pennsylvania’s books, plus getting rid of boards, committees, and other groups that no longer do anything.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council approved granting $77,500 to Gabriel Despres on Tuesday, a payment to settle a federal lawsuit Despres filed after former police Sgt. Stephen Matakovich beat him in 2015. Matakovich is serving a 27-month prison sentence as a result of the incident outside Heinz Field.

City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections opened a digital service counter Tuesday with the launch of online licensing on its site, OneStopPGH. Department director Maura Kennedy described it as a “sea change,” and another step to “completely modernize” development in the city.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Before Pittsburgh became the Steel City, the region was known for glass manufacturing.

Just 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Jeannette was once home to several glass plants and was known as “Glass City.”

Jeannette Specialty Glass has remained in business since 1904.

“This little town used to be a big bustling town. It used to have seven glass factories here,” said CEO Kathleen Sarniak-Tanzola. “I’m the only one left.”

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next month regarding whether to extend the expiration date of a consent decree between Pittsburgh-area health care rivals UPMC and Highmark. 

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Two lawsuits announced this week stem from air pollution problems tied to the steel industry.

In one, PennFuture, the Sierra Club and other groups seek to force the Environmental Protection Agency to update its standards for coke ovens across the country.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny Health Network is implementing and expanding programs to treat substance use disorders. 

Dominque Jouxtel

The very first Three Rivers Arts Festival, as created by the Women’s Committee of the Carnegie Institute, took place in June 1960. It ran four days, and drew 28,000.

Tony Talbot / AP

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says Oklahoma got "a bad deal" in its recent $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma. The deal, which didn't directly allot any funding to those affected by Purdue's opioid marketing practices, allows the company's owners to direct future addiction research and treament in the state. 

Peter Petokas / AP

Pennsylvania is getting an official amphibian, a nocturnal salamander that can grow to be more than two feet long.

The House voted 191-6 on Tuesday to grant the honor to the Eastern hellbender, and Gov. Tom Wolf's office said he plans to sign it.

The path to legislative recognition was not smooth, as the Eastern hellbender faced a stiff challenge from Wehrle's salamander.

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Pennsylvania officials are closing one of the most scenic and popular hiking trails in the state because of longstanding concerns about its safety, prompting backlash from hikers.

Matt Rourke / AP

By the end of the week, the state House is hoping to pass every proposal included in last year's grand jury report on decades of child abuse within the Roman Catholic church.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

At the end of last year, the City of Pittsburgh announced that a hazardous and electronic waste recycling program would start for residents in January. But four months later, the program still hasn't begun.

Morry Gash / AP

Sports betting leaped by almost one-third in Pennsylvania's fourth full month, as more venues opened amid March Madness.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said Tuesday that gamblers bet a record $44.5 million in March at six casinos and two off-track betting parlors where sports betting is approved. That was above $31.5 million bet in February, which had three fewer days.

Matt Rourke / AP

After an 18-month investigation into Medicaid fraud in Pennsylvania, a grand jury panel is suggesting state lawmakers make some changes to disrupt what they describe as “systemic” patterns of malfeasance.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro released the report.

He described one instance in which a woman misled caregivers assigned to help her daughter with autism—having them improperly report their work and inappropriately assigning them household chores.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

A Gibsonia-based manufacturer produces a type of bed that keeps kids from wandering at night.

Surveying Salamanders In Hopes Of Finding An Endangered Mussel

Apr 16, 2019
Julie Grant / Allegheny Front

Freshwater mussels once numbered in the millions in the Ohio River. But the industrialization of Pittsburgh’s rivers — coal mines, steel mills and dams — harmed many species of mussels. Some disappeared, unable to survive in the muddy, polluted waters. 

U.S. Navy

The USS Pittsburgh, a Los Angeles-class, fast-attack submarine, returned to its homeport in Groton, Conn. in February, marking the successful completion of its final deployment—and with a Pittsburgher at the helm. 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

More than three weeks after former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted in the shooting death of Antwon Rose, local activists are stepping up demands for police reform.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

A coalition of UPMC employees and activists hand delivered a letter to the Pittsburgh office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General on Monday morning, Tax Day. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Fences covered with blue tarps still surround the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, where 11 Jewish worshipers were killed last October.

But the three congregations which once worshipped there want to change that aesthetic.

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