An-Li Herring

Government & Accountability Reporter

An-Li became a reporter while completing her law degree at Stanford. In law school, she wrote about housing affordability, criminal justice and economic development, among other topics. She also served as the intern to NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg in Washington, DC, helping Ms. Totenberg to cover the U.S. Supreme Court and other legal matters. Originally from Pittsburgh, An-Li interned with the investigations team at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette before joining 90.5 WESA in August 2017.

She can be reached at 412-315-6767 or at aherring@wesa.fm.

Courtesy of Judith Ginyard, Kierran Young, and Cherylie Fuller

Three new candidates have entered an already-crowded race to replace Pittsburgh City Councilor Ricky Burgess. If the field holds, Burgess could face five challengers on the Democratic primary ballot in the 9th District this spring.

Dave Klug / AP

The man accused of opening fire at the Tree of Life synagogue pleaded “not guilty” Monday to new allegations stemming from the October attack. Robert Bowers, of Baldwin, was arraigned for a second time after a federal grand jury charged him in January with 19 additional hate crimes and firearms-related offenses.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess made it official Thursday, announcing that he is running for a fourth term in office this year.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The homeless population is especially at risk from the polar vortex that has descended on much of the country, including Pittsburgh, and is expected to last through Thursday. While some are reluctant to take shelter, the arctic temperatures are likely to fill the region’s homeless shelters beyond capacity, according to Dan Palka of Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Local Democrats and Republicans and gathered a few hours, and a few miles, apart on Sunday to select champions to replace Guy Reschenthaler in the 37th state Senate District. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

The trial for Michael Rosfeld, who is accused of shooting and killing Antwon Rose in June, has been postponed until March 19. 

Allegheny County District Attorney / AP

The jury for East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld’s trial will come from Dauphin County.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The mother of Trayvon Martin, whose 2012 death was a key moment in the Black Lives Matter movement, said there were unsettling parallels between the killing of her son and that of black Rankin teen Antwon Rose.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

There are now two declared candidates in the race to represent Pittsburgh’s 9th city council district in the East End. Former Pittsburgh Public school board member Randall Taylor announced this week that he’ll run for the Democratic nomination in the May 21 primary. He joins activist and police shooting survivor Leon Ford in seeking the party's nod.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County's top public defender announced Friday he's running for judge. Elliot Howsie said he will compete for a seat on the county’s Court of Common Pleas in this year’s election.

At a campaign kickoff at the Allegheny County Courthouse, the attorney touted his experience both as a prosecutor and in criminal defense. A former assistant district attorney, Howsie became the first African-American to serve as chief public defender in Allegheny County in 2012.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

It remains unclear how long low-income Pennsylvanians will continue to receive food stamps if the federal government's partial shutdown extends into February.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

How big an impact the partial federal shutdown is having depends on where you look. Nearly two weeks after the shutdown began, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale highlighted the costs to the more than 800,000 federal employees that are either furloughed or working without pay.

Courtesy of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts

Allegheny County common pleas judge Kim Berkeley Clark became the first African-American to serve as president judge for the county’s courts during a swearing-in ceremony last week. The landmark shift got no mention at the event, but the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts confirmed Wednesday that the county never before has had a black president judge.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Braddock borough council is expected to appoint a replacement for its well-known mayor, John Fetterman, at its next meeting Jan. 8. The Democrat was elected Pennsylvania lieutenant governor in November and will be sworn in to that post Jan. 15.

SUMMER LEE FOR PA/SARA INNAMORATO FOR PA / FACEBOOK

While Republicans will continue to control the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2019, the House will also welcome three new members endorsed by the far-left Democratic Socialists of America: Democrats Sara Innamorato (Lawrenceville), Summer Lee (Swissvale), and Elizabeth Fiedler (South Philadelphia).

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Six months after a white East Pittsburgh police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teen, Allegheny County Council has taken up legislation to create an independent board to review allegations of officer misconduct.

Seth Wenig / AP

Foster children who live in residential facilities in Pennsylvania suffered physical and verbal abuse in hundreds of documented cases between 2010 and 2018, according to a new report. The study found that at some facilities, which include group homes and larger institutions, violations continued to occur even after state inspectors recorded earlier instances of abuse.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office didn’t have much to say when it released a scathing grand-jury report on how the city of Pittsburgh investigates police shootings last Friday.

Marc Levy / AP

Nearly a decade after being tasked with the assignment, a state commission is still grappling with a mandate to create a risk assessment algorithm for Pennsylvania judges to use during criminal sentencing procedures.

Courtesy of the Law Offices of Timothy P. O’Brien

A Uniontown man sued four Pennsylvania state troopers in federal court Thursday, alleging they arrested him on false charges in 2016 to cover up a police shooting in which he was the target. Although Daylon McLee, 29, was not injured in the shooting and was acquitted of the crime, the suit says he was wrongly held in jail for nearly a year. 

Kiichiro Sato / AP

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will weigh whether to block the use of the death penalty unless the state overhauls how it is imposed. In an order Monday, the court said it will consider taking the unusual step of hearing the case before lower courts have ruled on it.  

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

In a withering opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Wednesday that Allegheny Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel must be removed from a case involving a convicted sex offender. The 13-page opinion expressed “substantial doubt as to [McDaniel’s] ability to preside impartially and provide a fair tribunal,” after the judge refused to comply with an order to correct her original sentence in the case.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The community of East Pittsburgh will disband its police department, with the Pennsylvania state police providing services instead starting this weekend. The borough's police department has been widely criticized since officer Michael Rosfeld fatally shot unarmed teenager Antwon Rose this summer.

Aimee Obidzinski / University of Pittsburgh

For some, Thanksgiving means it’s time to discuss politics with distant relatives. It can be especially difficult to talk about those topics across generations. But a father-daughter team at the University of Pittsburgh is teaching a class meant to encourage more civil discourse between age groups.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

The Tree of Life shooting, which left 11 Jewish worshippers dead, has been deemed the most fatal anti-Semitic attack in American history. Federal prosecutors were quick to charge the accused gunman, Robert Bowers, with hate crimes for each fatality.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

On the sixth anniversary of the police shooting that left him paralyzed from the chest down, Leon Ford, 25, formally launched his campaign for Pittsburgh City Council.

Don Wright/AP, Conor Lamb for Congress

Democrat Conor Lamb has won the 17th Congressional District, earning his first full term in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Courtesy of Lindsey Williams for PA and Friends of Jeremy Shaffer / 90.5 WESA

In what’s emerged as one of the region’s most dramatic races, state Senate candidates Jeremy Shaffer (R - Ross) and Lindsey Williams (D - West View) met Thursday evening for their lone debate.

Dave Klug / AP

Robert Bowers pleaded “not guilty” Thursday morning to charges stemming from the fatal shooting of 11 Jewish congregants at Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday. The case will now proceed to a jury trial.

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