Katie Blackley

DIGITAL PRODUCER, INTERNSHIP COORDINATOR

Katie Blackley is a digital producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the lead producer for our Good Question! series and can usually be found exploring the city, answering inquiries from curious listeners. 

After graduating from Duquesne University, Katie was an editor for KQV 1410 AM in downtown Pittsburgh and did freelance video work for the Civic Light Opera.

She’s passionate about all things Pittsburgh and believes someday she’ll solve the Pittsburgh Protractor Mystery. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Surrounded by stacks of paper, ink containers, and cardboard boxes, Denise Jones taps the top of a gray metal cutting machine.

Chuck Cooper Foundation

In 1950, Charles “Chuck” Cooper became the first African-American player drafted by an NBA team when he was selected for a spot on the Boston Celtics.

Fernando Llano / AP

Since 2009, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation has promoted responsible harvesting practices and worked to reduce illegal fishing. 

Nam Y. Huh / AP

From e-cigarettes to vape pens, electronic vapor devices are growing in popularity among Pittsburgh-area teenagers. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

After rallying in support of the family of Antwon Rose Jr. in the Hill District on Saturday afternoon, a crowd of hundreds marched downtown, blocking streets and chanting “No justice, no peace!” and “Who did this? The police did this!”

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Industrial hemp is making a comeback in Pennsylvania after nearly a century of being illegal. The crop can be used to manufacture rope and clothing. Back when Pittsburgh was a young city, a woman defied tradition to run the largest rope-making business in the region.

Allegheny Conference on Community Development Photographs / Detre Library & Archives at the History Center

A harsh winter with nearly 63 inches of snow, a sudden spring thaw and little to no water regulation combined to cause the worst flooding in Pittsburgh history: the St. Patrick’s Day flood of 1936.

Whitney Garrison

Pittsburgh native Bria Thomas, who goes by the stage name DJ Femi, has been mixing music for the city’s nightlife for nearly a decade. After attending Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School for cello and piano, she started learning about music production and fell in love with entertaining.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Thousands of films, novels and songs entered the public domain at the start of the new year. It’s the first time in decades that titles like Charlie Chaplin’s silent movie “The Pilgrim” and Virginia Woolf’s “Jacob’s Room,” were made available for anyone to reproduce or use for their own creative purposes.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny River Boulevard hugs the southern bank of its namesake waterway, carrying travelers between Pittsburgh’s Highland Park neighborhood to the borough of Oakmont. But the road includes distinct architectural features that make it different from others.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to secure funds for a wall on the southern border. You can draw a line from that decision straight back to 225 years ago, when President George Washington set a precedent for executive authority by calling up a militia to put down the Whiskey Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania.

Charles "Teenie" Harris / Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles "Teenie" Harris Archive

In 1960, the same year the Pittsburgh Pirates won their third World Series title, another athletic league was making a name for itself in the city. That’s when a Hill District native named Mildred Allen helped create one of the largest community athletic associations in Pittsburgh: the Triboro Softball League.

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. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Iconic religious paintings, early helicopter renderings and a room of mirrors are among the items at the Carnegie Science Center’s new Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania State Police seized 414 illegal gaming machines in southwestern Pennsylvania in 2018.

John Altdorfer / Point Park University

A fresh take on an American classic is premiering at Point Park University’s new Pittsburgh Playhouse.

On a recent morning at the Laurel Highlands Council headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh, 12-year-old Elly Riegner rummaged through containers of small, circular patches. She picked up a red badge and showed it to her mother, Abby. It's for archery, and Elly has said she's eager to earn it herself.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Monongahela and Allegheny rivers are a lot like twins.

Katie Blackley / Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center

In 1893, Bertha Lamme became the country’s first female engineer when she took a job at Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

Eileen Angulo / gfx

The local music collective gfx is hosting a series of workshops for those interested in DJing and mixing music. The free monthly sessions provide audio equipment and industry expert demonstrations through a partnership with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and others.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A crowd of people filled the block in front of the City-County Building, as well as the parking lot across from it on Saturday for the third annual Women's March. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Near downtown Pittsburgh, along the 10th Street Bypass and Allegheny riverfront trail, large metal rings that look like giant doorknockers are fixed to retaining walls. They’re rusty and discolored after decades of enduring the city’s weather.

University of Pittsburgh Archives & Special Collections

In the early 1900s, Jean Hamilton became the first African-American woman to receive her bachelor's and doctorate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She was a leader in a field with few women, and is one of a handful of black women under consideration to replace the controversial Stephen Foster statue that once stood in Oakland.

Hilltop Alliance/Allentown CDC

From tinsel-covered telephone poles to strings of lights, decorations are an essential part of the holidays in many Pittsburgh neighborhoods. But these trees and ornaments don’t just appear; they’re curated and hung by groups of dedicated residents and local business owners.

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

Ohio, Aliquippa, Youghiogheny, are all Native American names. Their use in this region is emblematic of how profoundly the area was shaped by tribal communities.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Everyone’s heard the siren of a fire truck as it zooms down the street. But the sounds associated with fire alerts have changed over time. All around the Pittsburgh region, fire stations alert volunteers and the public in distinct ways.

Twitter

 

A toaster’s Twitter page turns 10 years old this month. The @mytoaster account joined the site in December 2008 and soon after tweeted its first message: “Toasting.”

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh was one of the first cities in the U.S. to experiment with the concept of a dedicated bus rapid transit system. Today, Pittsburgh’s three busways cover nearly 20 miles and help remove thousands of cars from the city’s congested highways.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Six and a half tiny homes with a tie to inventor Thomas Edison are the latest addition to the Carnegie Science Center’s Miniature Railroad and Village exhibit. The model of Cement City, a historic district in Donora, Pa., represents an engineering experiment that challenged conventional homebuilding.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Genealogies, time cards, and newspaper clippings are among the hundreds of artifacts in the Heinz History Center’s Rauh Jewish History Program and Archives

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