Headshot photos of Mayor Bill Peduto and state Rep. Ed Gainey. Peduto wears glasses and a gray blazer. Gainey wears a black vest and gray shirt.

More than $1 million has gone into Pittsburgh’s mayoral race. Where did it come from?

Tuesday marks the end of Pittsburgh’s contentious mayoral race in which incumbent Bill Peduto and leading challenger state Rep. Ed Gainey raised more than $1.2 million combined in campaign funds since Jan. 1. The financial records of their campaigns show markedly different strategies and donor bases. While Peduto holds a major financial advantage, raising far more money and pulling in tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-state contributions, Gainey leads in small donations and has more evenly dispersed support across the city. PublicSource analyzed each candidate’s donations.

Pittsburgh’s Black Muslim history uncovered.

Meet Ali R. Abdullah as he explains the significance of being an African-American Muslim in the Pittsburgh region and what you should know about Pittsburgh’s role in Islamic history in the United States. For a deeper look into what Ali uncovered about his own family’s connection to religious history in the area, check out the story by PublicSource faith and religion reporter Chris Hedlin: “Pittsburgh was once a Black Muslim refuge.”

TRANSCRIPT
Jourdan: Hello, everyone, welcome back. It's me, your host, Jourdan Hicks, community correspondent for PublicSource. Welcome back to another episode of From the Source. Now, this week, we have yet another interesting Pittsburgher who you should meet and someone who you could learn a little something from to expand your worldview of our area and the people who bring our region to life.

(Photo via iStock)

Pittsburgh police are investigating correspondence between Clearview facial recognition and police staff

The Pittsburgh police bureau is investigating contact between police staff and Clearview AI following inquiries by PublicSource about the bureau’s involvement with the facial recognition company. 

According to a recent story from Buzzfeed News, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police made between 101 and 500 searches on Clearview between 2018 and February 2020. Using data provided by a confidential source, along with public records and interviews, Buzzfeed News compiled a list of over 1,800 publicly funded agencies across the country that used Clearview, including 63 in Pennsylvania. Cara Cruz, a spokesperson for the Pittsburgh police, confirmed to PublicSource that members of the bureau received emails from Clearview and said the bureau is still investigating the extent of correspondence between Clearview and police staff. Any correspondence between Clearview and bureau staff occurred without the approval or knowledge of police command staff, Cruz wrote in an email to PublicSource, adding that the bureau has not and does not approve of the use of private facial recognition technologies. The bureau has a policy prohibiting its use.

Microplastics found in waterways across PA, including 7 in Allegheny County. Why it’s dangerous and what you should know.

Microplastics were found in major waterways across Pennsylvania, according to a study released on March 3 by PennEnvironment. Researchers found microplastics, which are fragments of plastic less than 5 millimeters in length, in all 300 water samples taken from 53 waterways in the state, including seven waterways in Allegheny County. The study found microfibers from clothing and textiles in all of the waterways sampled. Microfilm from flexible plastics like bags or packaging was found in 94% of samples, and 87% of the waterways had microfragments present from harder plastic products. One body of water had microbeads from cosmetic products. 

In Allegheny County, five of the waterways — the Allegheny River, Nine Mile Run, Ohio River, Sewickley Creek and Turtle Creek — had fiber, fragment and film microplastics present.

Dr. Jamie Wright leans over a metal railing inside UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. She is wearing a white coat, black sweater and yellow face mask. The wall behind her is yellow.

Could the pandemic bring a baby boom to the Pittsburgh region? Early data is mixed.

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.