Allegheny County again breaks record for single-day increase; Wolf expands mask requirement

For the second day in a row, Allegheny County had more than a 100 new COVID-19 infections, the highest single-day numbers since March 14 when officials announced the first cases in the county. The 110 infections announced Wednesday brings the total case count to 2,870. 

County health officials also reported one new fatality and four hospitalizations. To date, the county has had 187 COVID-related deaths and 397 past and present hospitalizations. The ages for the newest cases range from 4 months to 85 years old, with 29 the median age. 

Pennsylvania reported 636 new cases and 38 additional fatalities Wednesday, bringing the statewide case count to 87,242 and 6,687 deaths. Personal care and nursing homes continue to bear the brunt of the infections, with residents and workers representing roughly one in four of all cases in the state.

Protesters call for investigation of McKees Rocks police

Protesters marched through the streets of McKees Rocks on Sunday to speak out against systemic racism and demand an investigation of the borough’s police department. 

The almost five-hour event began at the intersection of Linden Street and Chartiers Avenue and continued to Sto-Rox Junior-Senior High School before returning to the starting point. “They’re gonna hear us. Not just in the streets, but when we vote. They’re gonna hear us in the White House,” said Dasia Clemons, founder of grassroots organization Pittsburgh, I Can’t Breathe [PICB]. It was organized by McKees Rocks resident Lorenzo Rulli and Nique (who preferred not to include their last name) with support from PICB.

Columbus, Foster, Parran: Pittsburgh’s reckoning with historic symbols intertwined with racism

As Black Lives Matter protests take place from coast to coast, America has been reevaluating its racist legacy — including monuments to members of the Confederacy and other historic figures whose legacies are associated with racism and oppression. These monuments have been coming down either by the orders of the cities they’re located in or by protesters removing them directly. 

Teen-led demonstration outside the City-County Building turns into a march through downtown Pittsburgh

About 200 people took to the street Saturday afternoon in front of the City-County Building Downtown for a protest organized by Black, Young and Educated that turned into a march by the evening. 

The event continued the daily string of protests that has gone on for three weeks in Pittsburgh following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, while in police custody in Minneapolis. 

This demonstration is part of the Civil Saturday series of protests from BYE, an activist group made up of local teenagers. Much of the day’s demonstration focused on Black transgender people and Black intersectionality. 

Nick Anglin, 18, read the names of every Black trans woman killed in 2020, followed by a 16-minute moment of silence — one minute for each name read. 

Local activist and rapper Jasiri X spoke at the event, focusing on reading, explaining and rallying the crowd behind the list of 12 demands The Allegheny County Black Activist/Organizer Collective presented to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald this week; the list includes calls to defund police, disband private police departments and end cash bail. Jasiri X referenced the City-County Building lighting up green, red and yellow in honor of Juneteenth when he explained he wants to see concrete policy change. 

“We’ve had enough symbols,” he said. “We need some substance.”

Much of the event was spent doing organized chants. A few times, those with megaphones would instruct each side of the crowd to chant separate, related phrases.

Pittsburgh motorcycle officers Downtown during a June 4, 2020 rally against racism and police violence. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

Activists call for defunding the police. Here are 6 key stats about the $115 million Pittsburgh police budget.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death by a police officer in Minneapolis and other cases of police brutality, activists and Democratic lawmakers across the country are calling for the “defunding” of police departments. The idea raises many questions. What does “defund the police” mean? Is it viable? And what does Pittsburgh’s police budget currently look like?

Rashod Brown, 29, of East Liberty holds a candle alongside others outside of the McKeesport apartment building where Aaliyah Johnson lived. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

Rally held in McKeesport to demand justice for Aaliyah Johnson and other Black trans people

On Friday, a crowd held candles outside of the apartment building in McKeesport where Aaliyah Johnson lived. They were there to honor her life — and demand a proper investigation of her death. Johnson, a transgender Black woman, died on May 26 after falling from her window in Midtown Plaza Apartments. She was in her early 30s. Her death was ruled a suicide, but friends and family say there wasn’t an adequate investigation and demanded answers.

Our cities are burning, and so is the mental health of this African-American teen

“To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage.” —James Baldwin, author and civil rights activist

This is the perfect quote to describe my reaction to the recent events involving Black men that have taken place during quarantine: a constant state of rage, sadness and hopelessness. Perhaps being able to go out and converse with my friends and peers would help me cope with these events, but unfortunately that wouldn’t help with my healing.