90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules That Pittsburgh's Paid Sick Leave Law Can Stand

It took four years, but many more employees in Pittsburgh are now poised to earn paid sick leave. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a city law that requires employers to give time off for illness .

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Politics & Government

90.5 WESA

It took four years, but many more employees in Pittsburgh are now poised to earn paid sick leave. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a city law that requires employers to give time off for illness.

Manel Balce Ceneta / AP

A Berks County commissioner has decided that after partnering with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain families for decades, it’s time for the county to end the relationship.

Kevin Barnhardt, a Democrat, had previously defended the Berks County Residential Center.

But he said Tuesday, he is now concerned about the direction of federal immigration policy.

The Berks center is one of just three ICE facilities in the country that house detained families. The county runs it via a contract with ICE, and gets around a million dollars in reimbursement annually.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Josephine Iovacchini, 76, of Philadelphia, had three of her five grandchildren graduate college in the past two years. She said they gained employment after graduation, respectively in nursing, law and the energy sector.

Iovacchini credits President Donald Trump’s focus on the economy with her grandchildren’s success.

“We couldn’t ask for a better man and I pray to God every night to keep him safe,” she said of Trump.

Science, Health & Tech

Allegheny County Health Department

An asthma registry for children secured $300,000 in funding from the Allegheny County Board of Health on Wednesday. The registry could illuminate why certain areas of the county have higher rates of the chronic respiratory condition. 

Ebrahim Noroozi / AP

On today’s program: How an executive order regarding kidney disease is affecting Pittsburgh transplant programs; the dean of Pitt's School of Law and former SCOTUS clerk reflects on the legacy of Justice John Paul Stevens; what it takes to get formerly incarcerated men back to work in Homewood; Democratic state Sen. Jay Costa explains his next legislative priorities; and WESA remembers Allegheny County elections chief Mark Wolosik.

Identity & Justice

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner says the death penalty violates Pennsylvania’s constitution and he’s calling for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to outlaw it.

Krasner filed a motion arguing the state has used the death penalty arbitrarily — thus violating protections against cruel punishments.

He says ineffective counsel for poor defendants has led to bad decisions that were later overturned, especially in Philadelphia. His office reviewed cases from 1978 through 2017.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh police confirm an off-duty officer critically wounded in a street shooting over the weekend has died of his injuries.


PA Fiscal Watchdog Calls For End Of Keystone Exams

Jul 12, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

What’s better: saving $1.2 million in taxpayer money or maintaining a test personalized to Pennsylvania?

Good Question!

General Postcard Collection / Detre Library and Archives, Heinz History Center

Ride The Dips And Cut A Rug At Danceland: Remembering West View Park

Along Route 19 in Pittsburgh’s West View borough, there’s a sign for a shopping center with a carousel horse fixed to the top. This is one of the only items marking the site of one of the city’s early amusement parks, West View Park.

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Development & Transportation

Ariel Worthy / WESA

Residents from Lawrenceville told Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday that they were happy to see inclusionary zoning coming to their neighborhood. 

Matt Slocum / AP

Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be going up 6 percent next year for both E-ZPass users and cash customers.

Turnpike officials announced Tuesday that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission had approved the increase slated to start Jan. 5 on all sections and extensions except for three "cashless" toll facilities in western Pennsylvania.

Officials said the increase is needed to meet escalating debt service costs and to maintain aging roads.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Courtesy of David Bernabo

A picture postcard from the Grand Canyon. A topographical map of India. A T-shirt airbrushed with a gray wolf howling at the moon.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: Fallingwater joins the ranks of Machu Picchu and Notre Dame; fewer than 5% of this year's Pittsburgh police recruits are black; a reporter studying the Thwaites Glacier tracks how it's melting; and a new book looks to answer questions about the future of Judaism in Pittsburgh after the Tree of Life massacre. 

Courtesy of Derek Reese

The practice known as “rolling coal” suggests a burst of literal toxic masculinity. It involves diesel trucks modified to belch heavy plumes of black soot, whether as a prank or as an internally combusted assertion of machismo (or, in some cases, political protest).

Environment & Energy

Coal-Fired Power Plant Putting Too-Hot Water Into River, Groups Say

14 hours ago
Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Sierra Club is threatening to sue the owners of a coal-fired power plant near Pittsburgh for releasing water that is too hot into the Allegheny River.

The group sent a Clean Water Act 60-day “Notice of Intent” to sue letter to the plant’s owners. It warned of legal action if the plant doesn’t meet requirements under its pollution discharge permits.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy released a multi-year plan Monday to spend more than $50 million on maintaining, rehabilitating and operating Pittsburgh's 165 parks. However, the plan is contingent on the November passage of a ballot initiative to create a Parks Trust Fund.

Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP

A significant algal bloom is expected to develop in western Lake Erie later this month, though it's unlikely to impact the eastern part of the lake, which borders Pennsylvania.

Economy & Business


A northwestern Pennsylvania steel mill laid off between 80 and 100 employees this month, a move the company blames on President Donald Trump’s increased tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Local Headlines

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

Rebeka Jones never knew her ancestor, Henry, an American Indian from Iowa who died at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1880 when he was 16 years old. That doesn't stop her from mourning his death and rejoicing over the return of his remains. 

Google Maps

The Allegheny County Police said Monday that a Penn Hills police officer killed a homicide suspect in an exchange of gunfire Sunday night and a second suspect, 15-year-old Myzle Ford, was arrested. 

Food & Drink

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

An educational event aimed at helping people of color, women and those in the LGBTQ community break into the craft beer industry, takes place Saturday. 

National & International

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

President Trump continued his attacks against four freshman Democratic congresswomen at a campaign rally in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday, with the crowd breaking into a chant of "send her back" against one, echoing the president's racist message from the weekend.

Trump piled on Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who immigrated to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia as a child. Egged on by several false explosive claims against the Muslim congresswoman, Trump's supporters broke into the chant.

Where the News Comes Together

Weekdays at 9 a.m., newsmakers and innovators join host Kevin Gavin for one-on-one interviews and in-depth conversations about stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

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