Hundreds of participants help raise $800,000 at Pittsburgh March for Babies Walk

PITTSBURGH — March of Dimes, the leader in the fight for the health of all moms and babies, kicked off its 54th annual March for Babies Walk on Sunday at the North Shore. Hundreds of people came together to support one another on their parenthood journies.

Sunday was John Bricker’s 50th March for Babies walk and his first in Pittsburgh. The Harrisburg native started walking for March for Babies in 1971 before he had children, but when his twin sons were born, the walk became personal.

PHOTOS: Crowds fill Pittsburgh’s North Shore during annual March for Babies charity walk

“One [of the babies] was no problems. One had a lot of physical difficulties. He had many, many surgeries and died out of Birmingham, Alabama, at the age of three,” Bricker said. “My wife said, ‘what are you going to do about the March of Dimes?’ And I said, ‘I’m going to raise more and more money so their parents don’t go through what we went through.’”

In 50 years, Bricker has raised $900,000.

March for Babies is the largest fundraiser for the March of Dimes and the nation’s oldest charitable walk. Participants in Pittsburgh’s event raised more than $800,000 for education, training, and research so moms and babies get the best possible start.

“The United States, unfortunately, is one of the most dangerous developed nations in the world for childbirth,” said Jim Hoga, from March of Dimes. “One in 10 babies is born too soon, and two babies die every hour.”

According to March of Dimes’ annual report, which measures the state of maternal and infant health in the U.S., the nation’s pre-term birth rate is a D+ Grade, with a pre-term birth rate of 10.4%. One in 10 babies in the U.S. will be born premature, and about 700 women die each year from pregnancy-related complications — making the U.S. among the most dangerous developed nations for childbirth. Pennsylvania earned a C+ in March of Dimes’ 2023 Report Card, with a pre-term birth rate of 9.6%. The study found 15.5% of Pennsylvania residents have inadequate prenatal care, and the pre-term birth rate among Black women is 1.5 times higher than the rate among all other women. There has been no improvement in the disparity ratio for pre-term birth.

Source: Hundreds of participants help raise $800,000 at Pittsburgh March for Babies Walk

The origins of Valentine’s Day and the messages behind gifts of bouquets

You can’t go wrong sending roses for Valentine’s Day, but other cut flowers, even plants, score meaningful points, too.

Each February, writers and bloggers delight in offering facts and myths about the day’s origins and traditions. Many stories trace it back to ancient Turkey and Rome, with religious origins and some folk legends tossed in.

  • In the third century AD, a Catholic bishop named Valentine defied a ban on marriage by Roman Emperor Claudius II and continued performing ceremonies in secret. Evidently, the emperor felt that single men made better soldiers. When Claudius found out about Valentine’s defiance, he had the bishop put to death (probably by one of the single guys). Valentine was declared a saint by the church sometime later.
  • The ancient Romans observed Lupercalia, a pagan fertility festival held Feb. 13-15 and dedicated to the Roman god of Agriculture, Faunus. After a full day of animal sacrifices, women placed their names in an urn and had their names drawn by the bachelors. Either the couples ended up in marriage or tried their luck again the following February. In the fifth century, Pope Gelasius I banned Lupercalia for its un-Christian-like practices, and renamed Feb. 14 St. Valentine’s Day.
  • Who can forget the commencement of the bird-mating season in mid-February, first written about by four English authors? The most famous, Geoffrey Chaucer, wrote “Parliament of the Fowls” in honor of the engagement between England’s Richard II and Anne of Bohemia, daughter of the Roman Emperor Charles IV, in 1382. “For this was on Saint Valentine’s day, when every fowl comes there his mate to take … .”
  • Perhaps the oldest known surviving Valentine’s Day poem was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after the battle of Agincourt between the English and the French. (“I’m already wearied by love, my very sweet Valentine.”) You can see and read in person his affectionate poem in the British Library in London. Today, there are over 145 million Valentine’s Day cards exchanged each year worldwide. E-Valentines are gaining in popularity.  (Sorry, they’re just not the same as handwritten cards in my book.)

Source: The origins of Valentine’s Day and the messages behind gifts of bouquets

Mother’s Day 2023 – Date, Founding & Traditions

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. In the United States, Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. In the United States, Mother’s Day 2023 falls on Sunday, May 14. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day traditionally involves presenting moms with flowers, cards and other gifts.

History of Mother’s Day

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”

Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service.

Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.

Source: Mother’s Day 2023 – Date, Founding & Traditions

3 Pittsburgh spans in urgent need of work not addressed for months

Julia Felton

Pittsburgh officials waited months to address structural problems on three bridges that experts said needed to be addressed within a week, according to a spokeswoman for Mayor Ed Gainey. Gainey released a comprehensive report on the condition of 147 city-maintained bridges in December.

‘Priority zero’
A report released in December on the condition of bridges maintained by the city of Pittsburgh revealed 13 were identified as “priority zero” spans in need of immediate repairs.
Despite repeated requests, the city waited until Tuesday to publicly release a list of those bridges. Needed repairs on the spans have either been completed or in the works. The bridges include:

  • Bloomfield Bridge, Bloomfield.
  • Centre Avenue Bridge, over East Busway, Shadyside.
  • West Carson Street, connecting Esplen and McKees Rocks over Chartiers Creek.
  • Elizabeth Street Bridge, Hazelwood.
  • Herron Avenue, connecting Polish Hill and Lawrenceville.
  • Maple Avenue, northeastern pedestrian ramp at North Charles Street, North Side.
  • Parking lot bridge at Woodruff Street and Saw Mill Run Boulevard, Beechview.
  • South Negley Avenue Bridge, Shadyside.
  • Swinburne Bridge, connecting South Oakland and Greenfield.
  • Tripoli Street, connecting Madison Avenue and East Street over I-279, North Side.
  • Ramp Q bridge, connecting Madison Avenue and East Street over I-279, North Side.

Julia Felton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Julia by email at or via Twitter .

Source: 3 Pittsburgh spans in urgent need of work not addressed for months

Bushy Run Battlefield reenactment canceled amid new state guidelines

A new state policy may scuttle reenactments of the Battle of Bushy Run. The battle was part of Pontiac’s War, a pan-Native campaign that opposed British settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. The British routed members of the Seneca, Cayuga and Lenape nations on Aug. 5-6, 1763.

Source: Bushy Run Battlefield reenactment canceled amid new state guidelines

Lisa Marie Presley’s children will inherit Graceland

Lisa Marie will be buried at the Memphis, Tennessee estate next week.

Lisa Marie Presley’s three surviving children will inherit Graceland.

According to People, following Lisa Marie’s death last week, the Memphis, Tennessee estate will be passed down to her three daughters: actress Riley Keough, 33, and twins Harper and Finley Lockwood, 14.

Graceland was originally passed down to Lisa Marie upon her father Elvis Presley’s own death in 1977. It was subsequently turned into a public museum honoring the legendary musician. Upwards of 650,000 people now visit Graceland annually, and the property is estimated to be worth $500 million.

Lisa Marie had been adamant that Graceland remain in her family’s hands, saying in a 2013 interview, “Graceland was given to me and will always be mine. And then passed to my children. It will never be sold.”

Source: Lisa Marie Presley’s children will inherit Graceland

Mike Lee, Title 42 drama holds up omnibus passage

An effort led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to maintain Title 42 is threatening efforts to pass a sweeping government funding bill before a shutdown deadline later this week.

Congressional negotiators on both sides say the biggest holdup is ongoing negotiations to decide what the voting threshold would be to pass the amendment.

Source: Mike Lee, Title 42 drama holds up omnibus passage

Steelers Hall-of-Famer Franco Harris dead at 72

Harris passed away on Tuesday

Harris played for the Steelers from 1972 to 1983 and was famous for that incredible play that won the Steelers their first playoff game 50 years ago.

Several events were planned in Pittsburgh in the days ahead marking the anniversary of The Immaculate Reception.

The cause of Franco Harris’ death was not immediately known.

Source: Steelers Hall-of-Famer Franco Harris dead at 72

On this day in history, Dec. 20, 1957, Elvis drafted by US Army while awaiting Christmas at Graceland

Elvis Presley was drafted by the U.S. Army on Dec. 20, 1957 at age 22. He was getting ready to celebrate Christmas at Graceland when he picked up his draft notice in person.

Source: On this day in history, Dec. 20, 1957, Elvis drafted by US Army while awaiting Christmas at Graceland

Researchers Explain Mysterious Structure Found on Beach After Hurricane

The long wood and metal object offers a glimpse at maritime history from the 1800s.

A piece of the past has returned to haunt a Florida beach after a mysterious object made of wood and metal emerged in the aftermath of Hurricane Nicole in November. Initial speculation suggested it might be part of an old pier or perhaps a shipwreck. Now researchers say it’s likely the remains of a cargo ship from the 1800s.

The debris attracted attention when beachgoers spotted it on Daytona Beach Shores. A team from the St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) investigated the remnants this week. “It would have likely sailed within sight of the coast and used lighthouses for navigation, though it was probably big enough to cross the Atlantic as well,” said LAMP archaeologist Chuck Meide in a Facebook statement on Tuesday.

Source: Researchers Explain Mysterious Structure Found on Beach After Hurricane

2022 midterm elections: Balance of power at stake

The 2022 midterm elections are shaping up to be some of the most consequential in the nation’s history, with control of Congress at stake.

All 435 seats in the House and 35 of 100 seats in the Senate are on the ballot, as well as several influential gubernatorial elections in battleground states like Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Democrats are defending their narrow majorities in both chambers. Republican control of either the House or Senate would be enough to curtail most of President Joe Biden’s agenda, and would likely result in investigations against his administration and even his family.

Source: 2022 midterm elections live updates: Balance of power at stake

Rossen Reports: These groceries could disappear from shelves

Due to supply chain problems, bad weather, etc., grocery shoppers can expect looming shortages and gaps on store shelves.

Here are some tips to beat rising grocery prices and looming shortages:

  • Use your freezer: Buying in bulk doesn’t just have to be for nonperishable items. If you have freezer space; meat, bread and cheese can be bought and stored in the freezer for up to three months.
  • Best products to buy in bulk: Rice, dry beans, cereal, canned goods, household and cleaning supplies, toiletries, diapers and beverages stored at room temperature.
  • Just buy two: If you’re not ready to purchase things in bulk, just try buying two at a time to beat potential shortages.
  • Be organic smart: Not everything needs to be organic, especially because it’s more expensive. The Environmental Working Group has a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Researchers measure the amount of pesticide residue left behind on conventionally grown produce. They say it isn’t necessary to buy the following things organic because they have low levels of pesticide residue; Avocados, sweet corn, onions, eggplant, asparagus, broccoli, pineapple, kiwi, cauliflower, mushrooms, honeydew melon and cantaloupe.

Source: Rossen Reports: These groceries could disappear from shelves

Biden to release 15M barrels from oil reserve, more possible

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will announce the release of 15 million barrels of oil from the U.S. strategic reserve Wednesday as part of a response to recent production cuts announced by OPEC+ nations, and he will say more drawdowns are possible this winter, as his administration rushes to be seen as pulling out all the stops ahead of next month’s midterm elections.

Biden will deliver remarks Wednesday to announce the drawdown from the strategic reserve, senior administration officials said Tuesday on the condition of anonymity to outline Biden’s plans. It completes the release of 180 million barrels authorized by Biden in March that was initially supposed to occur over six months. That has sent the strategic reserve to its lowest level since 1984 in what the administration called a “bridge” until domestic production could be increased. The reserve now contains roughly 400 million barrels of oil.

Source: Biden to release 15M barrels from oil reserve, more possible

Traditions celebrated during Fort Ligonier Days festival

“Honoring Historical Traditions” is the theme of this year’s three-day Fort Ligonier Days festival, which will kick off Friday with more than 300 food and crafter booths, live musical entertainment and tours of Ligonier’s reconstructed 18th-century fort.

Food, crafts and wine-tasting will be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Source: Traditions celebrated during Fort Ligonier Days festival

Asteroid’s path altered in NASA’s first test of planetary defense system

The spacecraft NASA deliberately crashed into an asteroid last month succeeded in nudging the rocky moonlet from its natural path into a faster orbit, marking the first time humanity has altered the motion of a celestial body, the U.S. space agency announced on Tuesday.

Source: Asteroid’s path altered in NASA’s first test of planetary defense system

PA Could Pass Law To Stem Book-Banning Tide

A state legislator wants to make it more difficult for school boards to arbitrarily ban books from school classrooms and libraries.

State Rep. Christopher Rabb’s forthcoming legislation would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education and school board seeking to ban a book to participate in at least two public hearings on the book in question. The hearings would be moderated by professionals with knowledge on the book and its contents, and would be required before a school board vote to ban the book.

“These book bans are an attempt to censor educators and restrict the information and educational materials that students can have access to in school,” Rabb, a Philadelphia Democrat, wrote in a memo to colleagues.

Source: PA Could Pass Law To Stem Book-Banning Tide

Former WYEP host, listeners call for station changes after show cancellation | Pittsburgh City Paper

It didn’t take Mike Canton long to find a new home in Pittsburgh. A month after local listener-supported radio station WYEP canceled his long-running weekly program The Soul Show in August, it was picked up by Pittsburgh jazz channel WZUM. But while Canton says he’s honored to stay on local airwaves, he’s joining others — including listeners, musicians, supporters, and a current on-air personality — in calling for changes at his old station over racial diversity and equity issues he claims go back years.



Source: Former WYEP host, listeners call for station changes after show cancellation | Pittsburgh City Paper

It’s National Coming Out Day. Here’s what that means to LGBTQ+ people

Locals share their coming out stories for National Coming Out Day.

The first National Coming Out Day was in 1988, celebrating the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Advocates Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary first proposed the idea of National Coming Out Day. It was their belief that illustrating to most people that they already knew and respected someone in the LGBTQ+ community helped push the human rights movement forward.

The experience of coming out is personal and unique to each individual. We asked a handful people to share their experiences of coming out — the good and the bad — and why this day is important. Here are their stories.


‘It wasn’t my choice, but I’m glad it happened’


My coming out story happened when I was a teenager. I was scared to come out because I didn’t know how my parents would take it. We can kind of say my coming out wasn’t really planned, it hurt and it wasn’t my choice but I’m glad it happened. I’m 24 years old and ever since the day I came out, I made it my duty to be fully out and proud about it. I am very blessed to have never dealt with any rejection from my loved ones due to the fact that I’m a lesbian, and even though it was hard for my parents to accept, my mom has always defended me and my family has always loved me the way that I am. Coming from a religious household made me have the whole “Catholic guilt” mentality and I tried “praying the gay away” thing, which I find pretty funny, considering the fact that I’m a lesbian atheist that practices witchcraft now. My friends are all gay so everyone was very supportive (yet not surprised, the closet was made out of glass) and I’ve been very blessed! I started college and I became the president of the Gay-Straight Alliance, I started working with my community to build a better future for LGBTQ+ individuals and I’ve met many wonderful people throughout the years. I hope to inspire many young members of the LGBTQ+ community to live life loud and proud, and if you can’t do that just now, know that there is a community out there that will love and accept you for who you are, even in moments where you can only be yourself behind closed doors. Happy coming out day from your local they/them lesbian!

— Claudia, Fort Walton Beach

Source: It’s National Coming Out Day. Here’s what that means to LGBTQ+ people

Ken Starr, Clinton investigator, dead at 76

Ken Starr, a noted attorney who helped impeach one president and defended another from the same fate, died Tuesday at the age of 76.

Starr died in Houston of complications from surgery at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, a statement released by his family said. 

“We are deeply saddened with the loss of our dear and loving Father and Grandfather, whom we admired for his prodigious work ethic, but who always put his family first,” Starr’s son, Randall P. Starr, said in a statement. “The love, energy, endearing sense of humor, and fun-loving interest Dad exhibited to each of us was truly special, and we cherish the many wonderful memories we were able to experience with him. He is now with his Lord and Savior.”

Starr, a venerated lawyer and Republican operative, was best known for his role as the independent counsel in the Whitewater affair. Appointed in 1994 to probe a shadowy land deal involving President Bill Clinton’s tenure as governor of Arkansas, Starr widely expanded the probe.

The investigation snowballed from Clinton’s involvement in the failed real estate venture to misconduct in the White House travel office, the unauthorized obtaining of FBI personnel files by senior administration staffers, and finally the president’s affair with an intern named Monica Lewinsky.


911 Remembered

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans remembered 9/11 on Sunday with tear-choked tributes and pleas to “never forget,” 21 years after the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

Nikita Shah headed to the ceremony at ground in a T-shirt that bore the de facto epigraph of the annual commemoration — “never forget” — and the name of her slain father, Jayesh Shah. The family moved to Houston afterward but has often returned to New York for the anniversary of the attack that killed him and nearly 3,000 other people.

“For us, it was being around people who kind of experienced the same type of grief and the same feelings after 9/11,” said Shah, who was 10 when her father was killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Victims’ relatives and dignitaries also convened at the two other attack sites, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

Other communities around the country are marking the day with candlelight vigils, interfaith services and other commemorations. Some Americans are joining in volunteer projects on a day that is federally recognized as both Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.


Putin, Biden and other leaders react to Mikhail Gorbachev death – The Washington Post

President Biden said the former Soviet leader had the “imagination to see that a different future was possible.”

World leaders reacted to the death of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, in Moscow at the age of 91 on Tuesday, with Western leaders hailing him for opening up the Soviet Union and creating the conditions for the end of the Cold War.

President Biden, in a statement, called Gorbachev “a man of remarkable vision.” He also said that the Soviet leader’s policies of “glasnost” and “perestroika,” or openness and restructuring, were the “acts of a rare leader — one with the imagination to see that a different future was possible and the courage to risk his entire career to achieve it.”

Source: Putin, Biden and other leaders react to Mikhail Gorbachev death – The Washington Post

Artemis I launch: Scheduled moon rocket launch scrubbed – WPXI

The launch window opened at 8:33 a.m. EDT.

During a news conference hours after the space agency scrubbed the launch, officials confirmed that they are targeting Friday at the earliest but also warned that the launch could be delayed until September, The Associated Press reported.

In addition to an issue with the No. 3 engine not bleeding correctly, the weather was also a factor in the decision to postpone the launch, CNN reported.

“There were also a series of weather issues throughout the launch window. We would have been a no-go for weather at the beginning of the window due to precipitation. Later on in the window, we would have been no-go for lightning within the launchpad area,” Mike Sarafin, Artemis I mission manager, said.

Source: Artemis I launch: Scheduled moon rocket launch scrubbed – WPXI

Here’s how and when to watch longest lunar eclipse in 580 years

Mark your calendars, the Beaver Moon eclipse is a must-see — and it’s the longest of the century!

On the morning of Friday, Nov. 19, the full Beaver Moon will take place in a 97%-total lunar eclipse, according to NASA, meaning that nearly all of the moon’s surface will be shrouded in the Earth’s shadow.

November 2021’s eclipse will be about three and a half hours long, stretching from 2:18 to 5:47 a.m. EST. The Beaver Moon eclipse will peak at 4:02 a.m. EST, NASA reports, and will be visible across North America.

This history-making, near-total lunar eclipse coincides with the full Beaver Moon, which will reach peak illumination at nearly the same moment as the eclipse’s height. But don’t worry — the moon will appear full from Thursday evening through Saturday morning, meaning you can catch an unencumbered glimpse of the full moon, too.

The Beaver Moon gets its name from beaver hunting season, which used to peak this time of year. Plus, beavers start retiring to their lodges for the winter around now, too. Other names for November’s full moon include the Digging Moon (from the Tlingit), the Whitefish Moon (from the Algonquin), and the Frost Moon (from the Cree and Assiniboine).

Source: Here’s how and when to watch longest lunar eclipse in 580 years

%d bloggers like this: