WESA Local News

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh politicians and developers gathered Friday for a ceremonial groundbreaking on a cap over I-579. The project, headed by the Sports and Exhibition Authority, will connect the Hill District with the Central Business District downtown after years of discussion.

Scott Finger / U.S. Army War College Photo Lab

The remains of Native American children who died while attending school in the midstate more than a century ago will soon be returned to their surviving family members.

West Virginia University researchers recently completed a year-long project exploring the history of a coal community in Monongalia County, using photos and oral history to create an exhibit.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Democrats on Allegheny County Council are slated to meet Monday with a dozen hopefuls who wish to replace Charles Martoni as the representative for Council District 8. 

Both photos by Gene J. Puskar/AP

Most UPMC patients with Highmark insurance will lose in-network access to the medical system's doctors and facilities at the end of this month, a Commonwealth Court judge ruled on Friday. 

Man Says He Abused 16 to 18 People, Now Wants Identity Shielded

Jun 14, 2019
Carolyn Kaster / AP

A man who told a grand jury investigating child sex abuse that he had victimized 16 to 18 people, but who couldn't be prosecuted because the cases were too old, is now seeking to keep his name and any other identifying information from being made public.

Details of the 2018 investigation and the man's testimony were disclosed this week when the state Supreme Court unsealed documents in the dispute over the grand jury's yet-to-be-released report, with any information that could identify the man blacked out.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Gov. Tom Wolf is telling demonstrators that he'll fight Republican resistance to a Depression-era program in his budget proposal that provides a $200-a-month cash benefit for the poor who are disabled or otherwise unable to work.

Wolf, a Democrat, spoke with demonstrators from the Poor People's Campaign who showed up at his Mount Wolf home Thursday afternoon.

Demonstrators urged him to veto any spending package from the Republican-controlled Legislature that eliminates it.

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Authorities have released the names of two people killed by a lightning strike in a Pennsylvania county park.

Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP

NBC's "Late Night" host and former SNL head writer and cast member Seth Meyers didn't grow up in Pittsburgh, but his dad did. He says his father's pride in the city was something he inherited and one of the reasons he considers Pittsburgh his ancestral home. 

Meyers returns to those roots Friday night to play two back-to-back shows at the Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead. He jokes that this is the one stop of his tour where he can correctly pronounce the neighborhood "S'Liberty" to an audience who will understand. 

Sean Carroll / The Warhol Museum

Teens can explore the art of drag at The Andy Warhol Museum's new School of Drag Workshop Series this summer. 

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

City of Pittsburgh officials are counting on $7 million from the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority for the 2019 budget. But PWSA can’t write any checks until there’s a new cooperation agreement.

Photograph by Stephen Willing

Back when she was a newspaper photographer – before and even after she won a Pulitzer Prize – one of Martha Rial's tasks was shooting for the publications' big community-news sections. Those were the pages that noted and celebrated the contributions of volunteers and others who made their towns better places to live.

Phil Gregory / WHYY

A coalition of environmental groups is calling on the multistate agency that oversees the Delaware River watershed to ban fracking and related activities in the area.

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Addiction treatment needs to be integrated with other aspects of patients’ lives, according to presenters at the Pittsburgh-based Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions. Those aspects include stable housing and employment, adequate social support and other chronic health issues.

Matt Rourke / AP

 Dozens of rare 13-star American flags never before exhibited will be on display at the Museum of the American Revolution.

Antique flag dealer and expert Jeff Bridgman has loaned the historic flags to the Philadelphia museum for display starting Friday, which is Flag Day.

The flags feature 32 arrangements of 13 stars representing the 13 original Colonies. There was no official pattern for the stars until 1912. Flag makers had previously arranged the stars however they wanted.

USGS graphic adapted by Sarah Kovash

A small earthquake has rumbled parts of central Pennsylvania.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

The money Pennsylvania schools receive per pupil varies widely, and on average, students of color get fewer resources. 

The state has a formula designed to address the inequity, but it’s only used for some funding.

On Wednesday, around 1,000 activists took a trip to the Capitol to call for change.

Most ralliers with the faith group POWER came from southeastern Pennsylvania.

A Tick Researcher's Tips For Staying Safe Outdoors

Jun 13, 2019
Kara Holsopple / The Allegheny Front

The rise of Lyme disease cases in Pennsylvania has been alarming. There were 10,000 in 2018, and that’s more than in any other state. The illness can cause flu-like symptoms and a rash in its early stages, and if left untreated, more serious health issues like arthritis and nervous system disorders. 

Milestone Films

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will honor Pittsburgh silent film pioneer Lois Weber with a historical marker Thursday. As one of the first female American directors, Weber was known for her early use of new techniques like double exposures and split screens. 


This fall, Pittsburghers will be able to participate in a Walmart pilot program for InHome Delivery, a grocery delivery service that will drop food off not only at a customer's house, but inside their fridge and pantry.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

Fingertips clack on computer keyboards as Jeremy St. Hailer and Robert Starzynski work on their film project. St. Hilaire is a teaching artist at Steeltown Entertainment Project, and Starzynski is one of a half-dozen students in today’s session of the Reel Teens program, all sitting at a row of computer monitors in a fluorescent-lit room on the South Side.

Julio Cortez / AP

A Pennsylvania court has ruled that an evolving legal landscape means a woman can pursue her lawsuit claiming officials in the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese worked to conceal her alleged molestation by a priest. 

Humane Animal Rescue

The city of Pittsburgh confiscated more than 30 exotic and domestic animals from a home in Beechview Tuesday. 

Port Authority of Allegheny County

Each morning, some 220,000 people across Allegheny County make sure they have their bags, lunch, keys and head for the bus or train. But the Port Authority says it often loses time at each stop as people scramble for their ConnectCards in wallets or purses. Enter the ConnectBand.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

First responders to the Sept. 11 attacks testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday, ahead of a vote to reauthorize a fund to compensate those harmed in the aftermath of the 2001 strike. Among those who addressed a House subcommittee was former late-night talk show host Jon Stewart, who shamed members. Among those absent was western Pennsylvania's Guy Reschenthaler.

Adam Tunnard / 90.5 WESA

A national initiative to improve childhood literacy has now found its way to McKeesport, in Pennsylvania’s first permanent laundromat library. 

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Republican lawmakers aren't committing to the money sought by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to back up his demand that Pennsylvania's counties replace their voting machines by 2020's presidential elections.

Republicans who control Pennsylvania's Legislature say a roughly $34 billion budget counterproposal they are finalizing this week doesn't include the $15 million Wolf requested.

UPMC Hearing Gives Glimpse Into Bitter Highmark Feud

Jun 12, 2019
Marc Levy / AP

Two days, three witnesses and hundreds of pages of exhibits all boil down to one question: Did UPMC agree to a clause that would give the state a chance to extend its 2014 agreement with UPMC and Highmark?

At stake is whether people with Highmark insurance will still be able to access UPMC care after that agreement's June 30 expiration date, or whether they'll face exorbitant out-of-network rates.

Photo by David Bernabo

People have been predicting the death of hand-written letters at least since the birth of the telephone. And over the past couple of decades, the rise of e-mail and social media hasn’t done any favors for the art of the epistle.

But Maree ReMalia – herself a life-long writer of letters – is curious what that latter change has meant. Along with New York-based multimedia artist Gigi Gatewood and Washington, D.C.-based performer Lillian Cho, the Pittsburgh choreographer has created “A Letter Compiled From All Letters,” a multi-disciplinary dance work that explores the issue.

Emily Cohen / for NewsWorks/WHYY

Lawmakers have approved a bill that would nearly double a tax break for people and businesses who contribute to private school scholarships and similar public school alternatives. 

They did so with almost no support from Democrats.