Oliver has been recognized with local and national press awards for his coverage of environmental and health challenges in the Pittsburgh region and has co-published work with CityLab, Pittsburgh Magazine, Environmental Health News, The Allegheny Front and WESA. Before PublicSource, Oliver led The Wichita Eagle’s coverage of fracking-related earthquakes, immigration, race and criminal justice reform. One investigation led the state of Kansas to audit its wildfire fighting system. He has freelanced for publications such as The Atlantic, Education Week and City Limits. He is a graduate of Deep Springs College, the University of Oxford and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He worked for seven years as an educator in the Arkansas Delta before embarking on his career in journalism.
The improved air quality in the Mon Valley was so dramatic that the air there wouldn’t even have been the most unhealthy spot in the county if compared to air quality data in 2019. It was still the most unhealthy spot in 2020 because all areas saw some level of improvement.
Artists often create work about nature as a way to draw attention to beauty in the natural world. But can their work also draw attention to pollution and the ways that Pittsburgh’s environment can be dangerous?
Laurie Sloan and her husband have always known they wanted to have a big family. The stay-at-home mom, who is now pregnant with her fourth child, didn’t let the pandemic stop their plans. “We were stuck at home and hanging out together and it was kind of fun watching all the kids be close in age and play together,” she said.
Sloan, who is now expecting a son in June, thought being pregnant during the pandemic would allow her to spend more time preparing for his arrival. “I thought by the time the baby was here, life would be back to normal,” she said. “That’s obviously not going to happen.”
For Sloan, pandemic pregnancy has been bittersweet.
PublicSource is publishing a list of the locations that have either been shut down or have received citations on three or more visits. And we have created a searchable map and database, so residents can look at whether the restaurants in their neighborhoods have been cited or have been abiding by regulations.
Several Pittsburghers living with HIV told PublicSource the COVID pandemic echoed many of the scariest and most dangerous parts of living through the HIV and AIDS epidemic, including confusion about the science, social isolation, a reluctance to adopt public health measures and a lack of leadership from the president of the United States.
We talked to five people in the Pittsburgh area who have had to reckon with addiction during the pandemic, either because they are struggling themselves or because their loved ones have suffered through it. They shared stories of a crisis within a crisis.
Overdoses from opioid addiction are on the rise again in Allegheny County and across the country. Experts say the COVID-19 pandemic has been making the problem worse. PublicSource has reported on how recovery workers are trying to adapt and today we are featuring stories from survivors and the loved ones of victims.
When Rachel Kruze’s boyfriend, Curtis Radke, was leaving her car one day back in August, she stopped him.
“You don’t seem well, and I feel like I’m never going to see you again,” she said. The night before, Radke admitted to her that he had relapsed on heroin after she found a syringe in his backpack and confronted him. He used heroin in front of her that morning for the first time before they left for Radke’s work.
The PPP money went disproportionately to the small businesses with the biggest payrolls. The top 1% of businesses receiving PPP loans yielded more than $400 million, more than the bottom 80% of businesses combined.