Virginia Alvino Young

Reporter

Virginia reports on identity and justice for 90.5 WESA. That means looking at how people see themselves in the community, and how the community makes them feel. Her reporting examines things like race, policing, and housing to tell the stories of folks we often don't hear from. 

A native of Las Vegas, NV, Virginia has slowly been making her way eastward, reporting for NPR stations across the country. She started her reporting career at the statehouse in Oregon, and has had stints in Indiana and Texas before moving to Pittsburgh in 2016. 

Virginia lives on the North Side with her husband and fat cat Bean. They enjoy exploring Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, and hiking throughout the region, although they usually leave Bean at home. 

Contact Virginia at valvino@wesa.fm.

Teresa Crawford / AP

More obstetricians are being hired by Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, about two hours east of Pittsburgh. 

The increased demand is due to the closure of delivery rooms in nearby rural areas. In the past few years, the closures of three delivery rooms in the Laurel Highlands region have resulted in expectant mothers being referred to Conemaugh from surrounding towns. 

Most recently, obstetrics services in Bedford ended in 2017. Somerset Hospital closed its delivery room in 2016. Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber closed its obstetrics unit in 2014.

Google Earth

Homes in Pittsburgh’s majority black neighborhoods are worth less than comparable homes in white neighborhoods, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A new Pittsburgh police substation opened Tuesday in a North Side public housing complex.

The 9th annual "Latkepalooza" at Congregation Beth Shalom in Pittsburgh is open to families across the Jewish community.

There's plenty of fried food, face painting and carnival-style games.

Seventeen-year-old Ariel Holstein runs the putt-putt game. For him, the past five weeks have been intense. He says there was a lot to take in after police say a shooter killed 11 people at the nearby Tree of Life Synagogue in October.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A series of listening sessions across the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh begins Thursday.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Catholic Diocese announced this month that it placed two more priests on administrative leave, following allegations of sexual abuse.

Nightshade Pittsburgh

Transgender and queer organizers in Pittsburgh are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for those who may be unwelcome at home.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Friday is opening day for the slopes at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in the Laurel Highlands.

Every year, opening day is determined by the weather. A week or two of cold, low humidity days are required to make enough artificial snow to accommodate skiers and snowboarders. This year, snowmaking began on Nov. 10. It’s the third year in a row slopes will open the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Seven Springs communications manager Katie Buchan said the first natural snow of the season was early this year, and brought about 6 inches.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

One week after the last funeral for the 11 people killed at Tree of Life Synagogue last month, the community is still mourning. Hundreds gathered at Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh Friday afternoon to honor lives lost, and celebrate the city’s strength.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Half a dozen seniors gather in the small chapel of Hamilton Hills assisted living facility in Turtle Creek, east of Pittsburgh on a weekday morning.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Amazon will split its second headquarters between two cities, according to reports earlier this week by NPR, The New York Times and others.

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh

Catholic Dioceses across the country have been shrinking for years

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

From the corner of Forbes and Shady avenues in Squirrel Hill, you can spot a Chinese restaurant, a dentist, and a dry cleaner, as well as an all-Kosher Dunkin Donuts. It’s a busy commercial district which is full of foot traffic, even on a weekday morning.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Rabbi Seth Adelson’s cell phone hasn’t stopped ringing since Saturday.

He leads the congregation Beth Shalom in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. With 600 families, it’s one of the largest congregations in the city.

In addition to handling the everyday needs of his congregants, he’s also navigating their reactions to Saturday’s mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue, where 11 worshipers were killed, and some remain in the hospital.

Virgina Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Most of the financials of Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses’ are a mystery to outsiders. As religious institutions, they don’t have to report income or spending. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Some UPMC workers took to Pittsburgh’s downtown streets Thursday to highlight their uphill battle to form a union.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Bishop David Zubik kicked off the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese’s Year of Repentance Sunday.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In the wake of a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing mass child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, state lawmakers are considering changes to the statute of limitation law. 

Andrew Rush / AP

Parents of children in the Roman Catholic Church and survivors of sexual abuse by clergy are suing Pennsylvania's eight dioceses and their bishops to compel them to release information about allegations.

Jamil's Global Village

Pittsburgh’s Muslim community is mourning the loss of one of its leaders. Jamil Brookins died Sunday morning from cancer at age 70.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh’s Housing Opportunity Fund is one step closer to investing in affordable housing. A preliminary plan for 2018 spending was approved Thursday.


Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

An encounter between a Pittsburgh Police officer and activist Leon Ford is under internal investigation. Ford, who was shot and paralyzed by Pittsburgh Police in 2012, described the past weekend's encounter in a Facebook post that's garnered more than 1,000 shares.

Virginia Alvino Young

Right inside the doorway of Courey and Andy Leer’s house in Wilkins Township, visitors are met with a golden cross, some palms, “and then we have a little Mary holy water holder,” said Courey, 31. 

Google

One month after an Avalon man was assaulted in a neighborhood bar, the community is looking for answers about the authority’s handling of the racially-fueled attack.

Virginia Alvino-Young / 90.5 WESA

In the wake of a grand jury report released last week alleging the abuse of more than 1,000 children at the hands of Pennsylvania priests, abuse survivors want justice and reform.

Report Detailing Widespread Child Sexual Abuse By PA Catholic Clergy Released

Aug 14, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim, redacted form — detailing decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

The union representing Giant Eagle workers has ratified a new three-year contract with the regional grocer.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging is working to better understand the needs of older LGBTQ residents.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Munir and Helay Zazai’s second-floor Knoxville apartment has just the essentials: a lone sofa in the corner of the living room and one IKEA cooking pot on the stove.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The Fair Housing Act passed 50 years ago Wednesday as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

Lawmakers enacted the legislation just one week after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as riots flared in Pittsburgh and other cities. It was intended to protect buyers and renters from discrimination based on race, color, disability, religion, sex, familial status or national origin.

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