Amy Sisk

Energy Reporter for StateImpact Pennsylvania

Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Amy Sisk covers energy for WESA and StateImpact Pennsylvania, a public media collaboration focused on energy.

She moved to Pennsylvania in 2017 from another energy-rich state, North Dakota, where she often reported from coal mines, wind farms and the oil patch. While there, she worked for NPR member station Prairie Public Broadcasting and the Inside Energy public media collaboration. She spent eight months following the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy, her work frequently airing on NPR and other outlets. Amy loves traveling to rural communities -- she visited 217 small towns on the Dakota prairie -- and also covers rural issues here in southwestern Pennsylvania.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

From establishing historic districts to offering developers incentives to protect old buildings, Pennsylvania communities have a host of options to preserve their historic structures.

Amy Sisk / WESA

A few years after Polish scientist Marie Curie discovered radium, two Pittsburgh brothers sought to build upon her work by launching a commercial enterprise that began in Colorado with mining radioactive ore and culminated in free health clinics to market the new element.

 

Both photos via Facebook

Murrysville’s former mayor is headed to Harrisburg.

 

Republican Bob Brooks won Tuesday’s election for Pennsylvania’s 54th House district, defeating Democrat Jon McCabe by a roughly 20-point margin. The district includes parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

 

Campaign Websites

The chief of staff to outgoing state Rep. Hal English appears set to fill his seat in Harrisburg after winning Tuesday’s race for the 30th House district.

Republican Lori Mizgorski decided to run in July after her boss of five years, English, opted against seeking re-election despite winning the GOP primary just two months earlier.

She defeated Democratic challenger Betsy Monroe on Tuesday, according to unofficial election returns.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

A seat in the northwest Pittsburgh suburbs long held by a Republican will stay in GOP hands after Valerie Gaydos won Tuesday’s race for Pennsylvania’s 44th House district.

The Aleppo Township resident narrowly defeated Democrat Michele Knoll.

Republican Rep. Mark Mustio has held the seat the past 15 years. Earlier this year, he decided to retire.

SHARON GUIDI/NATALIE MIHALEK

Natalie Mihalek will represent the South Hills in Harrisburg after winning Tuesday’s election for the state’s 40th House district.

 

Her win ensures that the seat stays in Republican hands, as it has since the 1960s. The district spans Bethel Park, as well as Peters and Upper St. Clair townships.

 

Mihalek, of Upper St. Clair Township, defeated Democrat Sharon Guidi.

 

Facebook

Republican Mike Puskaric has apparently won the race for the legislative seat occupied by outgoing state Rep. Rick Saccone.

U.S. House, Campaign websites

Republican Rep. Mike Kelly will serve a fifth term in Congress, fending off a Democratic challenger Tuesday in his bid to retain his seat representing northwestern Pennsylvania.

Both photos via Facebook

Longtime state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe will retain his seat representing Butler County in Pennsylvania’s 12th House district.

SKOPOV CAMPAIGN/PA GOP

Pennsylvania’s speaker of the House won re-election Tuesday against a political newcomer.

 

Republican Rep. Mike Turzai will continue to represent the 28th House district north of Pittsburgh, defeating Democrat Emily Skopov.

Since 2001, Turzai has represented the district, which includes Bradford Woods and Franklin Park, as well as Marshall, McCandless and Pine townships. Both candidates live in Marshall Township.

Summer Lee For PA/Sara Innamorato For PA / Facebook

Sara Innamorato sailed to victory Tuesday in the race for Pennsylvania’s 21th House district, despite a write-in campaign for her primary challenger, longtime Democratic state Rep. Dom Costa.

BOERIO CAMPAIGN/PA SENATE

Republican state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler will now represent the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania in Washington after winning the race for Pennsylvania’s 14th congressional district.

 

Reschenthaler defeated Democrat Bibiana Boerio, a first-time candidate.

 

Under Pennsylvania’s new congressional map, the 14th district spans Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

 

Amy Sisk / WESA

Emergency services personnel for Allegheny County spent last Saturday morning responding to routine police calls, such as complaints about parking or residents blowing leaves into neighbors’ yards.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Four days after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, an anonymous threat prompted a nearby elementary school to go on lockdown and sent Squirrel Hill parents rushing over to check on their children.

Googlemaps

Colfax K-8 school in Squirrel Hill has been cleared after being placed on lockdown for more than two hours Wednesday morning. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pittsburgh's Jewish community began burying its dead Tuesday, holding the first in a weeklong series of funerals for the 11 people gunned down in a synagogue in the bloodiest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

*This post was updated at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

The casket of Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, a family physician known for his caring and kindness, was brought to the Jewish Community Center in the city's Squirrel Hill neighborhood for the first funeral. Two police vehicles were posted at a side door and two at the main entrance.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Western Pennsylvania usually has spectacular fall colors, but this year they’re late and lackluster.

Matt Rourke / AP

Details are still coming out about the path of the gunman who killed 11 at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue Saturday morning.

It’s the busiest time of year at many local farms, with hayrides, animals to pet, and apple cider to sip.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A federal indictment filed this week alleges Russian hackers targeted a nuclear power company near Pittsburgh beginning in 2014, in addition to anti-doping agencies throughout the world.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke stopped in Pittsburgh on Friday to say that natural gas from places like Pennsylvania plays a key role in helping the United States deal with foreign adversaries.

If an energy-rich nation like Russia or Iran were to act aggressively toward the United States, he said having an abundance of natural gas would help counter that move.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

As states grapple with how to respond to protests over pipelines and other infrastructure projects, Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a bill that would establish tougher penalties against people who vandalize “critical infrastructure” facilities like pipelines and power plants.

Sabrina Bodon / WESA

Local officials, environmentalists and health experts sounded off Wednesday in Pittsburgh on the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back a signature Obama-era climate policy, with many testifying that they want the stricter vehicle emission standards to stay in place.

Requirements for automakers to improve gas mileage and reduce tailpipe emissions through 2025 took effect under President Barack Obama.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Every time Bob Rosatti drives the highway near his hometown of Forbes Road, he can't help but think back to the explosion that happened here two years ago.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Pittsburgh’s tallest skyscraper has cut way down on its water and electricity usage over the past decade as it undergoes energy efficiency upgrades.

Courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Hurricane Florence could bring an inch or two of rain to the Pittsburgh area early next week after it pummels the Carolinas.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Every Pittsburgher knows steel mills and coal mines make up the city’s rich industrial past, but this area was once a hub for another industry: salt.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer driving season, and soon, gasoline prices are expected to drop after spending most of the summer above $3 per gallon.

“Across the country, we switch over to winter blend gasoline, demand drops off, and you start seeing some relief at the pump,” said Jim Garrity, a spokesperson for AAA East-Central, which serves Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New York and Kentucky.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

By including more pipelines in Pennsylvania’s one-call law and creating a more robust enforcement system, state officials hope to cut down on incidents where residents or excavators accidentally hit pipelines and cables when digging underground.

Those incidents happen 6,000 times per year in Pennsylvania. Before they dig, residents and contractors are required to dial 8-1-1 and ask for utility companies with lines or cables in their area to come out and mark the locations.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

When the power goes out, calls to local utility companies come flooding in from people like Joan Petrillo, manager of Martindale’s Natural Market in Springfield near Philadelphia.

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