Kathleen J. Davis

General Assignment Reporter

Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Kathleen J. Davis was born and raised in the great state of Michigan in a city just north of Detroit. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 with a degree in political science.

As General Assignment Reporter, Kathleen covers a little bit of everything. She also contributes to the Pittsburgh Tech Report and Good Question! series.

In her free time, Kathleen likes running and making a never-ending list of Pittsburgh’s hidden gems. She lives in Friendship with her feline companion Miguelito.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Borough of Charleroi Water Authority is warning residents of parts of Charleroi, Monessen and Speers to boil their water before drinking. 

Allyson Ruggieri / WESA

Pittsburgh is known for its historically ethnic neighborhoods – such as the Italians of Bloomfield, or the Polish of Polish Hill, but one area of downtown has an ethnic history that is less apparent.

MV+A Architects / Used with permission from LG Realty Advisors

Despite a rally and two hours of public comment Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved a development plan for the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty. The rally attendees and majority of public speakers were against the plan by LG Realty, urging the commission to only consider a plan that included affordable housing. 


A Pittsburgh-based tech company is using drones and infrared technology to help diagnose diseases and pests in their crops before it's too late.

Eileen Angulo / gfx

Starting Friday, a library card will give people access to a catalogue of local music from local artists. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is launching STACKS, an online platform developed by tech company Rabble.

Nicholas A. Tonelli / Flickr

As the planet warms, regional wildflowers are in danger of declining.

Mick Stinelli / 90.5 WESA

Century III mall was shut down Wednesday by West Mifflin. The borough deemed it unsafe and uninhabitable because the mall’s sprinkler system is shut down due to a pipe break.

Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Twenty Pennsylvania counties are under a state-imposed Code Orange Air Quality alert, including Allegheny, Beaver, Westmoreland and Washington counties. This is due to higher than normal levels of fine particulate pollution, which are tiny particles that can be inhaled and cause health problems. 

Matt Rourke / AP

A new report suggests policy makers should create regulations around artificial intelligence to protect workers in the future. But researchers say not to worry – artificial intelligence isn't going to cause massive job displacement in the next few decades.

"As somebody who has studied workers and their welfare for many years, this is the last thing I worry about in thinking about what the threats are to American workers," said Ruth Milkman, professor of sociology at the City University of New York, who chaired the report's advisory panel. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Snow blanketed roadways during rush hour Friday morning, making many people’s commutes slow and slippy.

Collin Binkley / AP

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh has undertaken mass layoffs of administrative staff, sources told WESA. Those who lost their jobs include everyone working in admissions and career services. The human relations and information technology departments were also hard hit. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Maintenance projects for Pennsylvania's state parks and forests are underfunded by $1 billion, a report from the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation finds. This has created a massive backlog for fixes that include rehabilitating roads, trails and campgrounds, plugging oil and gas wells, historic preservation and acid mine drainage remediation. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

One of the 12 coal barges that got loose on the Monongahela River last Monday is still partially submerged and resting near the Smithfield St. Bridge. The coal has been removed and the U.S. Coast Guard is figuring out the best way to remove the partially submerged barge.


A research project from students at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Pharmacy is headed to the International Space Station. The team hopes to find out how microgravity impacts antibiotic resistance, which may shed light on the issue on earth.

Carnegie Mellon University

Learning coding in schools has become more commonplace, but as kids get older, teaching more complex topics can pose a challenge. Not all teachers have computer science backgrounds, and there are no statewide requirements for what a programming curriculum should look like. 

Carnegie Science Center

An ocean scene made from nearly 27,000 recycled straws and other plastics debuted at the Carnegie Science Center last week. The large structure, called Straw Forward, depicts swimming sea creatures including a turtle, jellyfish and octopus, and a large white bird swooping over the water.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Are we getting pounded with snow this weekend or not? 

It's still unclear. 

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Some utilities and banks that service western Pennsylvania are offering financial assistance programs to customers impacted by the partial federal government shutdown.

Kathleen J. Davis

The very first video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, is being recreated in an ongoing project that aims to give others the opportunity to play with the system.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

There were 55 homicide deaths in Pittsburgh last year, most due to gun violence. Despite the Tree of Life shooting in October, in which 11 people were killed by one gunman, homicide deaths dropped for the fourth year in a row.

Richard Vogel / AP

Some local feminist activists say a fundraiser to bring a large balloon depicting President Trump as a baby to Pittsburgh's Women's March reveals a larger division between feminists in the city.

Courtesy of Seven Springs Resort

Warm temperatures and little snow this winter is forcing Seven Springs Resort to make sure artificial snow is covering enough of its slopes.

Katie Buchan, a spokesperson for Seven Springs southeast of Pittsburgh, says artificial snow is a big part of the resort's operations. She said Seven Springs is taking every chance it can to make the fake stuff, which requires a sustained temperature of 28 degrees or lower.

Google Maps

Neighbors of Mt. Lebanon's popular Hitchhiker Brewing Co. have filed a lawsuit against the business, alleging the taproom has failed to monitor the noise levels and behavior of patrons, resulting in diminished property value and emotional distress for community members.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A pro-Second Amendment rights rally is planned for Monday, in front of the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh. The city's public safety spokesperson Chris Togneri said planning for this rally is no different than any other.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

As the partial federal government shutdown continues, parks, memorials, trails and recreation areas maintained by the National Park Service aren't staffed as normal. There are 19 such sites across Pennsylvania, including the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville. 

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh's Snow Plow Tracker is going back online this month after being on hiatus since last winter. The biggest change will be that people can see when a truck has its plow up or down and its salt spreader on or off.

John Minchillo / AP

Diagnosing concussions could become easier with technology that tracks minute eye movements, according to a study by Allegheny Health Network.

Laura Codori

As part of Pittsburgh's Climate Action Plan, the city wants to eliminate organic materials, including food waste, from landfills by 2030. To help reach this goal, the city is partnering with a company called Worm Return that uses worms to compost.


Columbus, Ohio-based clothing company Homage has applied for trademark of the word "Yinzer" for apparel. The company has a store in East Liberty, and on their website sells shirts and baby onesies with "Yinzer" printed on front. 

Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

Pittsburgh is moving forward with a contract to offer electronic and hazardous waste disposal for residents.