Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

New Post-Election Campaign Finance Reports Show Conservancy As Major Backer For Parks Tax

The first post-election campaign finance reports show the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy spent more than $800,000 in cash and in-kind contributions in its bid to get voters to support a parks tax. That number includes a last-minute $19,000 mailing sent out by the conservancy in the final days of the election season.

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Politics & Government

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The first post-election campaign finance reports show the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy spent more than $800,000 in cash and in-kind contributions in its bid to get voters to support a parks tax. That number includes a last-minute $19,000 mailing sent out by the conservancy in the final days of the election season. 

Fred Vuich / AP

Vice President Mike Pence is making another trip to the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania this year, this time in a campaign swing.

Matt Rourke / AP

The US House Judiciary Committee had its first impeachment hearing Wednesday, and unlike the Intelligence Committee hearings that preceded it, this one had three Pennsylvania representatives as participants.

Science, Health & Tech

Alfonzo Perez / AP

Biotechnology company BioHybrid Solutions, based in Harmar, Pa., is partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense on a countermeasure for chemical agents, such as sarin gas. The $30 million contract will last for five years.

Allvision

The city of Pittsburgh and East Liberty-based startup Allvision IO are embarking on a mission to track down all the streetlights in the city.

Identity & Justice

Marc Levy / AP

A man whose life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison was just commuted by Gov. Tom Wolf may be facing arrest as soon as he's released Friday.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Governor Tom Wolf is commuting the life sentences of eight more people in prison, bringing the total to 19 since he took office in 2015.

Education

Seth Perlman / AP

 

On today's program: There are some interesting exemptions to PA’s new tobacco law; a look at the state of the Paris climate agreement minus the U.S.; the unintended consequences of lead-based ammunition; and exploring options for parents when schools aren’t supporting their special needs students.  

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Michelle Figlar with the Heinz Endowments says she wants schools to serve multiple purposes. She envisions them as community centers to help families before their kids even enter kindergarten.

Good Question!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Before Pitt, Real Panthers Once Prowled Around Pittsburgh

Four bronze panther monuments keep watch over the Panther Hollow Bridge in Oakland. Weathered over a century, the statutes appear to stalk passersby.

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Development & Transportation

Google Maps

This month the city will seek final designs for a $14 million renovation of Homewood Park, home to Willie Stargell Field and the Homewood Pool. City officials and partners announced the investment last September, when pro football Hall of Famer and Pittsburgh native Curtis Martin helped land funding for a new sports field.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District recently finished a $6.6 million renovation of Allegheny River Lock and Dam No. 2 near the Highland Park Bridge. The agency upgraded the concrete land wall inside the chamber, which required 400 cubic yards of concrete.

Vincent DeCarlo, deputy chief of operations for the Pittsburgh District, said pieces of concrete had been breaking off and falling into the chamber, which posed a hazard for commercial and recreational boats.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Courtesy of The Pittsburgh Foundation

For the first time since their revival, in 2012, the Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards have gone to a pair of artists whose medium is words.

Pirates Manager Shelton Bringing Energy, Optimism To New Job

Dec 5, 2019
Carlos Osorio / AP

Derek Shelton's garage is clean, the byproduct of the Pittsburgh Pirates' drawn out managerial hiring process, one that took extended after the club fired general manager Neal Huntington in late October.

Environment & Energy

Emma Lee / WHYY

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration said Thursday that a first round of testing drinking water samples in Pennsylvania for the toxic chemicals known as PFAS does not indicate widespread contamination.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

This past year has been a big one for climate activism, so much so, that the Collins English Dictionary declared "Climate Strike" the word of the year. Young people have largely led the movement, and 18-year-old Leandra Mira of Upper St. Clair has been the face of climate strikes in Pittsburgh.

Prosecutor: 'Buy-A-Badge' Pipeline Security Plan Was Illegal

Dec 3, 2019
Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A county prosecutor on Tuesday accused the owner of multibillion-dollar pipelines carrying highly volatile natural gas liquids across Pennsylvania of illegally using uniformed state constables as a private security force in what he called a “buy-a-badge” scheme.

Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan’s office also charged a security manager for Texas-based Energy Transfer LP and four men associated with security subcontractors that helped recruit constables to patrol the Mariner East pipelines.

Economy & Business

General Motors and LG Chemical plan to make battery cells for electric-powered vehicles, unveiling a joint venture that they expect to create more than 1,100 jobs in northeast Ohio. The companies say they'll invest up to $2.3 billion in the venture.

The project is centered around Lordstown, Ohio, where GM shuttered a plant last March that had produced the Chevrolet Cruze. The new plant in the Lordstown area will make battery cells for GM's upcoming all-electric vehicles, from a Cadillac sedan to a new electric truck that's slated for release in late 2021.

Local Headlines

Ariel Worthy / WESA

Emotions ran high at times as Pittsburgh City Council on Thursday held a post-agenda meeting on proposed legislation to acknowledge and address racial inequalities in the city.

Food & Drink

Emma Lee / WHYY

Ahead of the start of rifle deer season this Saturday, some hunters are concerned about deer infected with chronic wasting disease.

National & International

As the impeachment inquiry against President Trump continues its march through Congress, questions are churning around his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.

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