Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

Public Safety Officials Advise Commuters To Avoid Downtown During President Trump's Visit

City of Pittsburgh public safety officials had some advice for Downtown commuters hoping to come to work when President Trump visits Wednesday: try to avoid it.

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Politics & Government

Voting Reform Package Emerges In Pennsylvania Capitol

3 hours ago
Matt Rourke / AP

Legislation unveiled Monday would overhaul some aspects of how voters cast ballots in Pennsylvania while delivering much of the money counties need to buy voting machines ahead of next year's presidential election.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

City of Pittsburgh public safety officials had some advice for Downtown commuters hoping to come to work when President Trump visits Wednesday: try to avoid it.

Katie Meyer / WITF

Census officials are working to encourage black Americans to participate in the once-a-decade survey.

Science, Health & Tech

Scott Kelly / NASA via AP

A device created in Pittsburgh will be sent to the International Space Station next month. SoundSee, developed by technology company Bosch, uses artificial intelligence to detect mechanical problems based on sound. The project is in collaboration with Pittsburgh-based space robotics company, Astrobotic.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Premiums for health insurers' individual policies in Pennsylvania for 2020 will reflect an aggregate statewide increase of 4 percent, with an increase of 10 percent in the small group market.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania opened its medical marijuana registry to patients two years ago, and it was only a matter of time before a case like Derek Gsell’s would arise.

Identity & Justice

Report: Synagogue Massacre Led To String Of Attack Plots

13 hours ago
Matt Rourke / AP

At least 12 white supremacists have been arrested on allegations of plotting, threatening or carrying out anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. since the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue nearly one year ago, a Jewish civil rights group reported Sunday.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

More than 4,100 children in Allegheny County were homeless in 2018. Students, youth advocates and city officials gathered in Market Square on Friday afternoon to raise awareness of this population at the Standup For Homeless Children demonstration. 

After Deadly Shooting, Tree Of Life Plans Reopening

Oct 18, 2019
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Leaders of the Pittsburgh synagogue where worshipers were fatally shot last year want to rebuild and renovate the building, turning it into what they hope will be a "center for Jewish life in the United States" and a symbol against hatred.

Education

Keith Srakocic / AP

The system overseeing more than a dozen Pennsylvania universities has unanimously voted to ask the state for up to $100 million over the next five years to further consolidate.

Good Question!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Historic Bellefield Tower Demonstrates Balance Of Preservation And Progress

A weathered stone structure sits quietly on the corner of Fifth and Bellefield avenues in Oakland as students, cars and buses hurry past. Six sandstone steps guide visitors to a big red door framed by black wrought iron fasteners.

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Development & Transportation

Gensler

On Friday the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority cleared the way for the Pittsburgh Penguins to begin development of the former Civic Arena site in spring 2020. The particulars of the deal have been the subject of intense negotiation for years.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

On today's program: Southwestern Pennsylvania is hiring a couple hundred plow truck drivers; the Steelers say Mexico is their biggest international market, but others are growing; Pittsburgh Opera is encouraging patrons to use their cell phone during shows; and Pittsburgh International warns catfishing for airline fees is much more common than you’d think.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Photo by Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA News

The August Wilson House has awarded a federal grant of nearly $500,000 toward restoration of the famed, Pittsburgh-born playwright’s boyhood home in the Hill District.

Officials say the funds will allow construction to begin on the 1840s brick house on Bedford Avenue, where Wilson, his mother and six siblings lived in the 1940s and ’50s. The $499,628 grant, administered by project partner Duquesne University, complements $5 million raised last year by a group of celebrities organized by actor Denzel Washington, among the nation’s most prominent Wilson admirers.

Courtesy of Sheri Fink / Washington and Jefferson College

On today's program: Author Sheri Fink tells Pittsburgh what it means to be prepared; a look at one free, community-based fitness program changing lives; the people and plans behind the URA’s latest deadline for the Civic Arena site; and how Friday’s 3rd Circuit Court ruling will affect protests outside abortion providers in Pittsburgh.

Environment & Energy

Report: ExxonMobil Scouting Property For 2nd Cracker Plant In Beaver County

Oct 17, 2019
Picture of ethane "cracker"
BASF

ExxonMobil is reportedly looking for land to build a large chemical plant in Beaver County. 

Katie Meyer / WITF

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf got some unexpected visitors Wednesday—or at least, the hallway outside his office did.

Emma Lee / WHYY

An outdated piece of pipe that had corroded so much its sides were the width of half a credit card led to the catastrophic explosion and fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in June, according to a new report out Wednesday by the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

Economy & Business

Fred Vuich / AP

Sports betting in Pennsylvania blew through its previous monthly record with the start of the NFL season.

Rick Bowmer / AP

Pennsylvania’s auditor general says when his team set out to determine how much addiction to opioids—and in particular, the powerful synthetic drug fentanyl—costs Pennsylvania, they immediately ran into some problems.

Local Headlines

Toby Talbot / AP

A Pennsylvania doctor who authorities say traded opioid prescriptions for sex and sexually explicit photos and texts has been convicted.

PA Hunters, Anglers Warned Of Scam Licensing Websites

Oct 15, 2019
Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania hunters and anglers should watch out for fraudulent licensing websites, state officials say.

The Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission said those who use third-party sites are wasting their money and risking identity fraud by providing personal information, including social security numbers.

Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau recommended getting a license in person, for those wary of the scam websites.

Food & Drink

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

Some pumpkin farmers in western Pennsylvania have seen lower than normal crop yields this year. The culprit? Heavy summer rains that kept important pollinators away and spread fungal disease.

National & International

As cars become smarter and safer, some members of Congress want to require them to be built to prevent drunk driving.

Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., introduced legislation last week that would make it mandatory for all new cars and trucks to come loaded with passive, virtually unnoticeable, alcohol detection systems by 2024.

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