WESA Local News

Jacqueline Larma / AP

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie says that it will soon start accepting claims for compensation by survivors of child sexual abuse by clergy.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Pennsylvania is making it easier for doctors to provide treatment for opioid addiction. 

Nick Childers / Associated Artists of Pittsburgh

 

It's the oldest, continuously exhibiting visual arts membership organization in the country, boasting alumni like Andy Warhol, Mary Cassat, Samuel Rosenberg and Rochelle Blumenfeld, and works of its 600-plus modern members will be available to view and purchase all over Pittsburgh in 2019.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Assault weapons and some types of ammunition and accessories would be banned in Pittsburgh under new legislation to be introduced to City Council Tuesday. A third bill in the package would temporarily prohibit a person from having guns if a family member or law enforcement deems the person to be a risk to themselves or others.

‘I Killed My Best Friend’: Opioids’ Fatal Grip On Young Mayor, Pal

5 hours ago
Michael Bunner / via AP

Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old, just resigned mayor of the tiny Pennsylvania town of Mount Carbon — in what she assumed was a deep sleep. 

Micahel Rubinkam / AP

A Pennsylvania state police trooper who was shot in a 2014 ambush has had his right leg amputated below the knee.

Trooper Alex Douglass underwent the surgery this week at a New York City hospital.

His friend Earl Granville says Douglass had some medical complications with his leg and decided to amputate it to improve his quality of life.

Granvillle, a veteran who lost his leg in Afghanistan, says he and Douglass completed the New York City Marathon handcycle event last month. He says Douglass should be able to run marathons now with a prosthetic.

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

A longtime Allegheny County judge has resigned in the wake of her removal from two sex offender cases due to alleged bias.

Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel submitted her resignation Thursday.

The 72-year-old served on the bench for 33 years and has been praised for her compassion toward victims of sex crimes.

But twice in the last month the state Superior Court removed McDaniel from sex offenders' sentencing proceedings for allegedly showing bias against the defendants and their attorneys.

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The first major allocation of money from the Housing Opportunity Fund was approved Thursday. The loans will go towards more than 200 affordable housing units.

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An explosion and fire at a MarkWest energy facility in Washington County has left several people with injuries.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Over the last few years, Melody Ray has fielded many calls seeking advice on how to talk to kids about addiction and overdose. 

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Port Authority buses and trains arrive on schedule less than 70 percent of the time, according to a new report from state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. While there’s room to improve, DePasquale acknowledged that the agency has come a long way.

In 2014, his office released an audit that covered 2007 to 2012. Port Authority’s fiscal house was really out of whack, he said.

“What gets me rolling is when you’re giving a former executive director free housing, a free car, while cutting routes,” DePasquale said. “That gets my blood boiling.”

Gene J. Puskar / AP

SNAP benefits, sometimes referred to as food stamps, were in a precarious position until this week when Congress approved a compromise on a 10-year, $867 billion farm bill that no longer requires recipients to meet a work requirement as previously proposed. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announced a program Thursday to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Fort Carson Public Affairs Office / AP

The body of a second Pennsylvania serviceman killed in Afghanistan has returned home.

Teenager's Asthma, In Shadow Of Clairton Coke Works, Frames Town's Struggle With Dirty Air

Dec 13, 2018
Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

From her front porch, Collette Williams can see the lights of US Steel’s Clairton Coke Works, the largest coke plant in North America, between the houses across the street.

She can also pick out the different colors of smoke and steam emanating from it.

“That’s like a white smoke,” she said, standing on her porch on an overcast afternoon. “And then over there, like a dark smoke.”

The fumes that day weren’t too bad, owing to rain that had just come through.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Two more casinos in Pennsylvania have started up with sports betting.

Pennsylvania's New List Of Struggling Schools Looks Beyond Usual Suspects

Dec 13, 2018
Alberto G / flickr

Pennsylvania released a list of 289 struggling schools Thursday that will have to develop "improvement plans" with the direction of state advisers.

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.

Pennsylvania, The No. 2 Gas-Producing State, Moves To Curb Air Pollution

Dec 13, 2018
Joe Ulrich / WITF

Pennsylvania is aiming to curb air pollution and greenhouse emissions from its vast natural gas exploration fields, even as the Trump administration moves to relax federal requirements.

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.

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Schools officials in Pittsburgh say a teacher has been hospitalized after a student pushed her and caused her to hit her head.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, break ground on smaller locations in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California, and over the next three years will expand in Pittsburgh, New York and Colorado.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Beginning next year, paramedics and emergency medical technicians for the City of Pittsburgh will work 12-hour shifts, instead of the current eight-hour shifts.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

For the second week in a row, union employees at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette protested their employer’s handling of contract negotiations, focusing their efforts on health care cuts.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

An amendment passed Wednesday by Pittsburgh City Council would partially restore some of the proposed budget for the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Affordable housing activists cried foul when the original draft of the 2019 city budget slashed the URA’s funding by more than $5 million.

Stephanie Strasburg / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

Edinboro University's in-house, round-the-clock assistance program catering to students with disabilities earned the school a lauded national reputation, but university officials now say it's too expensive to continue, and that choosing their own off-campus attendants will better prepare students for life after graduation. 

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

An annual card-making event in Philadelphia was filled with holiday cheer, but some people were crafting greetings they say are meant for “a big, bad Wolf.”

A New Coal Mine Is Opening In Pennsylvania. Is Trump To Thank?

Dec 12, 2018
Matt Smith / Keystone Crossroads

Thom Maziekas' house in Mahanoy City faces a row of empty lots. Rowhomes once stood there, but they suffered the fate of many buildings in this once-booming coal town in northeastern Pennsylvania: a fire, then rubble, now blight.

Three people missing since last weekend were found alive Wednesday in an underground coal mine in West Virginia, authorities said.

The three were located Wednesday inside Elk Run Coal’s Rock House Powellton mine near Clear Creek, the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training said in a statement. The mine was described as nonoperational.

Institute for Justice / WHYY

Courtney Haveman developed a passion for skin care while working at a tanning salon.

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