Keith Srakocic / AP

Head Of Pennsylvania Republican Party Resigns Following Report Of Explicit Messages

Val DiGiorgio, chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party resigned Tuesday, hours after the Philadelphia Inquirer published details of lewd text messages he allegedly exchanged with Irina Goldstein, a Philadelphia City Council candidate.

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Politics & Government

Keith Srakocic / AP

Val DiGiorgio, chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party resigned Tuesday, hours after the Philadelphia Inquirer published details of lewd text messages he allegedly exchanged with Irina Goldstein, a Philadelphia City Council candidate. 

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

House Republicans have begun moving the main spending bill for next year’s state budget, and it seems likely the Senate and governor will support it.

The plan passed the chamber’s appropriations committee with minimal debate Monday, setting the stage for what leaders hope will be a smooth final week of negotiations.

The budget is due before the fiscal year ends July 1.

The $33.99 billion general appropriations bill increases basic K-12 education spending by $160 million. Governor Tom Wolf had initially asked for $200 million.

Courtesy of the Friends of Lisa Middleman

Long-time Allegheny County public defender Lisa Middleman said Monday that she plans to run as an independent for district attorney in November.

Science, Health & Tech

Google Maps

Pittsburgh is a hub for technology research and development, but sometimes innovations bear questionable results.  

Usually a monopoly results in bigger bills for consumers, since a lack of competition allows a business to demand high prices. But a new analysis from the University of Pittsburgh finds that's not always the case for the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Identity & Justice

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

On today’s program: What the new UPMC and Highmark agreement means for patients; a Pittsburgh author releases his debut novel; Aliquippa is using a federal grant to improve access to fresh food downtown; and a terrorism expert explores how counter-terrorism has evolved. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The man accused of plotting to bomb a North Side church made his first appearance in federal court Friday morning. After hearing testimony from an FBI agent, federal Magistrate Judge Cynthia Eddy found there was probable cause to keep Mustafa Mousab Alowemer behind bars.

Education

Richard Vogel / AP

Pennsylvania lawmakers say they'll authorize a second year of school and community security grants, a $60 million program spurred by last year's Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

Republican lawmakers said Monday that a newly unveiled compromise budget package will keep the program intact for the coming school year. Officials did not have immediate details on how the program guidelines will change.

Good Question!

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's Underground Railroad History Sheds Light On City's 'Militant Abolitionist Community'

Atop Mount Washington, in the sprawling Chatham Village community, is a large brick home with large windows and spacious balconies. Chatham Village resident, architect and amateur historian David Vater said it used to be known as the Bigham House, and was the residence of abolishionist lawyer Thomas Bigham. It was also a stop on the Underground Railroad.

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Development & Transportation

Rachel Gobep / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle company Argo AI will invest $15 million to create a new research center at Carnegie Mellon University, officials announced Monday.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Like locusts descending on a field of corn, swarms of tiny scooters struck awe and fear into the hearts of city dwellers across the globe. The small, whirring machines seemed to portend a changing transportation landscape.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Photo by Lulu Liu

Names like Gottfried Leibniz and Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II are not exactly trending at the moment. So what possesses a young writer to build his debut novel around these real-life 17th-century personages, as inserted into a darkly comic, rhetoric-filled narrative about philosophy, astronomy, madness and art?

Courtesy of Endemol Shine North America

On today's program: The man accused of plotting to attack a church on the North Side is due in court; MasterChef contestant and Pittsburgher Michael Silverstein draws culinary inspiration from the Strip District; East Pittsburgh has undergone a number of changes in the year since the death of Antwon Rose; Why are a number of Pittsburgh's roads referred to as runs?; plus a look inside Pitt’s newest nationality room celebrating Philippine culture.

A Late-Blooming Love For The Game Of Golf

Jun 19, 2019
Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Retired pediatric nephrologist Dr. Demetrius Ellis has played sports his entire life: soccer, racquetball, tennis. But a sudden onset of tennis elbow in his 60s prompted his neighbor to introduce Ellis to golf. “I thought it was an extremely expensive sport for rich people who were very compulsive,” Greece-born Ellis laughs. Ellis plays nearly every day at the public course, the Bob O’Connor Golf Course, in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park.

Environment & Energy

Matt Rourke / AP

A fire in a Philadelphia refinery struck by explosions and a pre-dawn blaze last week has now been extinguished as an investigation is launched into what caused it, authorities said.

The blaze at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex, the East Coast's largest oil refinery, was extinguished Saturday afternoon, fire department and city officials said in a statement Sunday. The gas valve that had been fueling the blaze had been shut off and the tank involved in the explosion had been isolated, officials said.

Adam Tunnard / 90.5 WESA

Local environmental organizations held a sidewalk press conference today in front of the U.S. Steel Tower downtown, calling on U.S. Steel to reduce emissions from its Clairton Coke Works plant. The event comes in response to Monday’s fire at the coke facility, the second in sixth months, which briefly knocked out pollution controls.

Trump Ditches Obama’s Signature Climate Policy Aimed At Cutting Coal Emissions

Jun 20, 2019
Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Trump Administration has rolled back one of President Obama’s signature climate policies designed to cut coal plant emissions.

Economy & Business

David King has worked at the main branch of the Carnegie Library system as a part-time librarian for 15 years. While he works with patrons daily, he says leadership typically solicits input from consultants instead of rank-and-file employees.

Local Headlines

Greg Sousa / AP

Chronic wasting disease has been found in two more midstate counties, prompting the state Game Commission to expand a special management area.

Testing found 123 cases of the destructive brain disease during the 2018 hunting season. That's up from the previous year's 79 cases.

Since the first Pennsylvania instances were discovered in 2012, the majority of the 250 chronic wasting disease cases in the state's wild deer population have been found in Bedford, Blair, and Fulton counties.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

A colorful makeshift book drop box sat in front of the podium in the lobby of the United Steelworkers building in downtown Pittsburgh on Monday evening. One by one, employees stated their names and positions with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh system. They then dropped their signed union cards in the drop box. 

Food & Drink

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

On today’s program: The number of kids in foster care has increased as the opioid epidemic grows; Pittsburgh has a half-hidden fountain of youth; FBI documents could cast a shadow on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.; peregrine falcons have found a home at the Rachel Carson state office building in Harrisburg; and Pittsburgh is getting more than 90 beers to honor each of its official and unofficial neighborhoods. 

National & International

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is expected to vote Tuesday to ban the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in the city. The city is the corporate home of Juul Labs, the biggest producer of e-cigarettes in the U.S.

Two San Francisco ordinances would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes in brick-and-mortar stores and also online, if shipping to addresses in the city.

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