The Confluence

Weekdays at 9AM

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news show, broadcasting live weekdays from 9 to 10 a.m. The program provides context beyond the region's biggest headlines, blending reporting from the WESA newsroom with in-depth, one-on-one interviews and roundtable conversations with community leaders, academics and experts, activists and interesting personalities about current events, politics, business, economics, science, health, technology, the environment, arts, culture, sports and food. The program debuted as a weekly show Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, and expanded to a daily format Monday, Aug. 27, 2018.

The full-time team includes Kevin Gavin, Megan Harris and Kiley Koscinski. Our spring 2019 interns are Alex Lenigan, Mick Stinelli and Julia Zenkevich.

Find past episodes of the Confluence via podcast here, or suggest a person or topic by emailing confluence@wesa.fm.

Ways to Connect

U.S. Navy

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

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh has historically been a city concerned about too many people leaving, but these days, concerns have shifted to what types of people are coming into the city. A study out last month by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition called Pittsburgh one of the fastest gentrifying cities in the country. 

Courtesy of The Renfrew Center / Twitter

A national network of clinics specializing in eating disorders is seeing more women struggling with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and related mental health issues in mid-life than ever before, Oakland site director Erin Wentroble says.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Christmas Eve fire at Clairton Coke Works should serve as a wake up call for U.S. Steel to do better by residents, according to PennFuture president and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo.

She says other coke producing facilities across the nation have done a better job of improving air quality in their region than the U.S. Steel facility has for Western Pennsylvania.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A package of bills at the center of a heated debate about gun control in Pittsburgh is expected to become law today. Mayor Bill Peduto tells The Confluence he'll sign the bills at noon today. 

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Franklin Regional School District's Gennaro Piraino says he's using his platform as Pennsylvania's 2019 Superintendent of The Year to elevate discussion about school security in Pennsylvania. Tuesday marks five years since a sophomore student used knives to injure 20 other students and a security guard at Franklin Regional High School. 

Fernando Llano / AP

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

Jessica Kourkounis / Keystone Crossroads

Lowered expectations, implicit bias and socioeconomics can all contribute to disparities in academic performance, which the state department of education shows is happening in more than half of all Allegheny County schools. 

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The non-partisan group Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is hosting a series of workshops, town halls and awareness programs to help educate low-income tenants on their legal rights.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh has been lauded as a "most livable city," but a 2018 survey from the University of Pittsburgh found perceptions of quality of life vary based on race. How do we bring diverse communities together to create a city that is better for all? 

Will Wilson / Courtesy of The Westmoreland Museum of Art

A new exhibition at The Westmoreland Museum of Art explores the effects of colonialism in America while highlighting the experiences of Native Americans. The museum is offering performances, discussions and culinary experiences as part of the collection, which is anchored by a photography exhibit called, "Mingled Visions: The Photographs of Edward S. Curtis and Will Wilson."

Keith Srakocic / AP

After former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Antwon Rose, calls for legislative change were swift. Among the laws in question are those that govern of a police officer's use of force. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

A trauma response team is spending the week with former classmates of slain teenager Antwon Rose Jr. at Woodland Hills High School. The counseling group, operated through FOCUS Pittsburgh, provides mental health services to residents of affected communities to facilitate what founder Rev. Paul Abernathy calls “trauma-informed community development.”

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

PennDOT is budgeting $20 million for landslide remediation in the coming year, District 11 executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni told The Confluence Tuesday. The sum is more than three times more than their current line item allocation.

Courtesy of Kristen Wesloh

How artists are integrated into a community can be an indicator of how well a city welcomes outsiders overall, according to City of Asylum's new executive director Kristen Wesloh. The North Side-based nonprofit has worked to create a community for writers, readers and neighbors in Pittsburgh for the last 15 years. 

Google Maps

A proposed rule from the Trump administration would bar federal Title X funding to health care organizations that provide abortions. 

Kevin Gavin / 90.5 WESA

Former school superintendent Joe Lagana was walking out of a homeless shelter 20 years ago when he saw a young man writing on the hood of his car. He thought the vehicle was being vandalized, until he spotted the boy's alarmed expression and scribbled paper—he'd been doing his homework. 

Courtesy of Heather Tomko

Uneven sidewalks, limited navigable pathways and businesses without proper accomodations for wheelchairs are just some of the obstacles facing Heather Tomko every day. 

Courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh has not been named as part of the nation-wide admissions cheating scandal under federal investigation, but that hasn't precluded the school from taking a look at its own admissions policies. Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher called the scandal a teachable moment on Tuesday's episode of The Confluence

Courtesy of Jewish Family & Community Services

Jewish Family and Community Services in Squirrel Hill  is working to foster community for immigrants and refugees alike in Pittsburgh, according to its director of Refugee and Immigrant Services Leslie Aizenman. To achieve that, the JFCS is leading a collaboration among Casa San Jose, Literacy Pittsburgh, Latino Family Center of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, and South Hills Interfaith Movement.  

Courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank

What began as a small church project in Toledo, Ohio has become a wide-reaching, and widely relied upon, labor of love here in Pittsburgh. 

Courtesy of Melissa Block

Journalism has changed dramatically since NPR's Melissa Block started her career, but she says one thing remains the same: people still care about in-depth and long-form reporting. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Local community members, journalists and officials will gather at the Ace Hotel Wednesday night for a discussion about gun control legislation that would seek to include the unique experiences of women, minorities and religious groups. 

Leah Jonns / Courtesy of La'Tasha Mayes

Applications opened this month on the Social Justice Rapid Response Fund, a new program providing grants to help support activists in Pittsburgh. 

Courtesy of Chardae Jones

Business analyst and writer Chardae Jones says her first one-year term as Braddock's appointed interim mayor won't be her last. Jones, who took over for newly elected Lt. Gov. John Fetterman this year, says she'll seek the Democrat party nomination for a full term in the May primary. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Norfolk Southern wants to raise several rail bridges so it can run taller, double-stack trains from the North Side through Downtown and eastern suburbs, similar to those already chugging through the South Side. The rail company says that area is too congested and prone to landslides.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Calls for investment in digital infrastructure have increased across the country. More than one-third of people in rural areas lack access to high-speed internet. 

Joshua Franzos / Courtesy of Dr. Arthur Levine

Dr. Arthur Levine is stepping down from his longtime post as dean of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine and as its vice chancellor for health sciences to start a new Alzheimer’s research lab.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

While the nationwide unemployment rate for military veterans hit an 18-year low in January at 3.7 percent, the jobless rate for veterans in Pittsburgh remains at 6.7 percent.

Courtesy of Allies for Children

Researchers focused on the state of school breakfasts in Allegheny County report a combined participation rate of 57 percent for free or reduced cost breakfast, just shy of Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide goal of 60 percent participation by 2020. 

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