Pennsylvania environmental officials are bracing for a future filled with lawsuits and angry citizens as the state tries to get a handle on widespread chemical contamination that some other states have already begun to mitigate.
PublicSource filed open record requests with Pittsburgh Public Schools and the 10 Allegheny County school districts to determine which districts are testing for environmental toxins, how often, and what steps they’re taking to correct problems.
As an undergrad at Pitt, Donna Baxter Porcher started a website for fun. At the time, she had no idea her hobby would eventually blossom into a career with a six-figure salary. “I started the site so I could show my friends what was going on on the soul side of Pittsburgh,” she says. “They wanted to know where the barbershops were, where the churches were, where to get their hair done, stuff like that.” She’s quick to add that, “Soul is not just a color. Everybody likes jazz, and soul food, and knowing about different things to do in the community.’
The website, TheSoulPitt.com, has since expanded into a multi-channel media company that distributes a free, quarterly print magazine focused on the arts, events and stories most relevant to Pittsburgh’s minority communities.