News

Pittsburgh International Airport

Pittsburgh International Airport's terminal redesign plan was unveiled Wednesday, and is expected to be approved by the Allegheny County Airport Authority Board of Directors at a special noon meeting. 

Paul Davenport / AP

Amtrak is modifying its Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, because of the impending winter storm.

On Wednesday, Trains 647 and 651 will terminate in Philadelphia. Train 656 will originate in Philadelphia and Train 620 is canceled.

Amtrak says Northeast Corridor service between Boston and Washington and points south will continue to operate as scheduled.

Amtrak passengers are advised to check on their train's status throughout the day.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

School officials in Pittsburgh say a kindergartener was found with a handgun on a school bus.

Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh says the gun was found in the student's backpack Monday after school was dismissed. The student attends the Pittsburgh Faison K-5 school.

Pugh says another student alerted the bus driver to the weapon, and the gun was removed without incident. She says parents were notified via the district's phone system.

Gettysburg College Trustee Quits Over Nazi Uniform Costume Photo

5 hours ago
Spectrum/Gettysburg College via AP

A Pennsylvania college trustee apologized and announced his resignation Tuesday after a student found a 1980 yearbook photo in which the trustee wore a Nazi uniform costume.

Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs said in an email to the college community that Bob Garthwait decided to step down from the board of trustees.

Garthwait is a financial donor to the college and helped found the Garthwait Leadership Center on campus.

A student brought the photo to the attention of a faculty member last week, and the administration was contacted.

Catherine Kelleher, own of Murrysville BeBalanced / Lovely Day Events

At a Murrysville strip mall last month, more than a dozen people, mostly women in their 50s, 60s and 70s, crowded into a storefront. 

Chris Knight / AP

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Democratic state Rep. Mike Schlossberg of Lehigh County are calling for increased resources for mental health services. The two fielded questions at a Facebook town hall Tuesday. 

Kevin C. Brown / 90.5 WESA

Community can exist in any place where two or more humans gather. Port Authority operator Jill Smallwood sees it at rush hour, as she drives the P1 route from downtown Pittsburgh to Swissvale and back again.

As her bus gets crowded, Smallwood can’t see all the way to the back of the bus, so she’ll appeal to her riders, “Do we have any room in the back?” Most of the time, they make space for one more.

Courtesy of Sojourner House

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court made a controversial decision in December, ruling that women who use drugs during pregnancy are not guilty of child abuse. The case involved a woman who gave birth to a child with neo-natal abstinence syndrome, which occurs when a baby is withdrawing from drugs they were exposed to in the womb.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Less than 20 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the last four Pittsburgh school board elections, according to a coalition of 17 groups trying to get out the vote in the second largest school district in Pennsylvania.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

There’s plenty of political division and polarization in Washington, DC., but not when it comes to the opioid crisis, according to Sen. Pat Toomey.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's attorney general says he's concerned about the legality of President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and could sue if Pennsylvania loses federal funds because of it. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Pittsburgh region could get hit with 4 inches of snow, just in time for the Wednesday morning commute.

Marc Levy / AP

Hearings have begun in a federal case over whether Pennsylvania’s prison system is violating inmates’ First Amendment Rights.

Legal mail is at the center of the debate.

The prison system changed its policy concerning privileged communications between inmates and their attorneys in October of 2018.  

It was one of many security-tightening measures the Department of Corrections took in response to what they say is an increasing problem with synthetic drugs getting into prisons.

Chain Store Beer, Wine Sales Press Some Dry PA Towns To Go Wet

Feb 19, 2019
Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

The little town of Cleona is the latest to feel some pressure to allow alcohol sales.

Nearly 700 towns across Pennsylvania are dry or partially dry, restricting the sale of beer, wine and liquor to some extent. In the greater Harrisburg region alone, 165 boroughs and townships restrict alcohol sales.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The second full month of legal sports betting in Pennsylvania saw gamblers double the amount they wagered.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said gamblers bet $32 million in January at five casinos and one off-track betting parlor where it approved sports betting.

SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia led the way with $10.8 million in bets, trailed closely by Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh with $9.5 million in bets. The casinos made $2.6 million, while $940,000 went to taxes.

Advocates Flag Concerns Over PA's New Mental Health Law

Feb 19, 2019
Mel Evans / AP

 

 

A state law that takes effect in April has some mental health advocates concerned, even as others tout it as a way to help people with serious mental illnesses.

90.5 WESA

Stapled to telephone poles and planted along the sides of roads, “We Buy Houses” signs have appeared in some Pittsburgh neighborhoods. The signs are relatively generic prompting some residents to wonder who is behind the advertisements. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

University of Pittsburgh researchers have found that previous exposure to Dengue Fever lowers the risk of infection from the Zika virus, which may have implications for maternal health.

AP

Keith Burris will lead the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as executive editor, “effective immediately,” according to a notice posted in the newsroom on Monday evening.

Courtesy of the Heinz History Center

The African American History Commission Act was signed last year to recognize and highlight the resilience and cultural contributions of Africans and African Americans in the 400 years since they first landed in Virginia, by force as slaves. 

Samuel Black, director of African American programs at the Heinz History Center and immediate past president of the Association of African American Museums, joins 90.5 WESA's The Confluence to discuss the commission’s goals, Pittsburgh’s African American heritage and the cultural and historical impact on our region.

Astrobotic

The people have spoken: a token from Kennywood Park will be sent to the moon's surface as part of Pittsburgh company Astrobotic's first lunar payload, scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2021.

Google Maps

Second Avenue in Pittsburgh is a busy east-west roadway that takes travelers from Downtown through Uptown, past links to the South Side and Greenfield, and on through Hazelwood to the Glennwood Bridge. It’s an important route and fated to become even more critical due to developments planned along its length, such as the 178-acre Hazelwood Green site.

AP

A trial is slated to start Tuesday in a federal court in Harrisburg over the way the state prison system delivers legal mail to prisoners.

The Department of Corrections policy was changed over fears drugs could get in, but the American Civil Liberties Union and three other prisoner-advocacy groups say it's infringing on inmates' rights.

The problem started late last summer.

CleanWays
Brian Cook / 90.5 WESA

 

 

Even on a wet February day, the gray skies and constant rain does not stop Allegheny CleanWays from doing what it does best. Volunteers are removing piles of trash from empty lots, alleyways and residences in Homewood.

Google Earth

Police in western Pennsylvania are investigating the theft of 13 stained glass windows from a shuttered church in suburban Pittsburgh.

The Mon-Valley Initiative says a passer-by noticed the theft Thursday at the 126-year-old former First United Presbyterian Church in Braddock.

The church, built in 1893, shut down in 2017 and was purchased by the nonprofit last year for housing. Spokesman Jason Togyer said officials planned to retain many of the original features.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Of the 8 million vehicles registered in Pennsylvania, just 15,000 of them are electric.

PA Citizens 'Slay The Gerrymander' In Congressional Mapping Competition

Feb 18, 2019
Photo courtesy of Draw the Lines PA

Jacob Kaminski, a 21-year-old senior at Penn State University, knew little about gerrymandering before this fall.

But when he learned about the partisan manipulation that shaped Pennsylvania’s old congressional map — with counties and boroughs split to serve political interests — it made him feel that something had to be done.

Paul Sakuma / AP

A Pennsylvania lawmaker has proposed a tax on violent video games as a way to pay for increased security at public schools throughout the state.

Courtesy of UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster

One department at a time, UPMC Pinnacle is shutting down its Lancaster hospital.

The hospital has stopped accepting new physician referrals, the Pittsburgh-based health system said in a news release. 

As of Feb. 23, ambulance services will stop bringing patients to the hospital. It will instead route them to Lancaster's other hospital -- Penn Health-affiliated Lancaster General -- or to UPMC PInnacle's Litiz location, seven miles away.

School Threat System Fields Thousands Of Tips In First Month

Feb 18, 2019
Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A threat reporting system now required for all Pennsylvania schools fielded more than 4,900 tips in its first month, about a third of them considered serious enough to pass along to local police and school officials.

The goal of the Safe 2 Say Something program, which funnels tips to an around-the-clock call center at the attorney general's headquarters in Harrisburg, is to respond to troubling behavior, unsafe school situations and anything else tipsters deems appropriate to report.

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