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City Cast Pittsburgh

podcast episode

The Best Dog-Friendly Spots in Pittsburgh

There’s a difference between spaces that allow our best pals and the ones that are truly dog friendly. Pet expert Tori Mistick of WearWagRepeat is with us to share her favorite local spots for a paw-fect Pittsburgh day — plus how to pack ahead, what to consider about temperament and environment, and the quick rules for her newly christened four-paw rating system.

**This episode originally published on August 1, 2023.

Learn more about our sponsor, the Pittsburgh Opera, presenting The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson, April 27 through May 5 at the Byham Theater.

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podcast episode

Bowhunting, Bathtub Cleanup & A New PPS Lawsuit

It’s the Friday news roundup! Pittsburgh Public Schools is suing Allegheny County to try and force a countywide property reassessment, and we’re breaking down why. The city’s expanding its deer management program, so look out for a call for more archers. Plus, the team’s talking about all the effort that goes into flood clean-up and sharing a couple ways to celebrate 412 Day.

Have any questions about property reassessments? Let us know, and your question might get answered in an upcoming episode. Call or text us at 412-212-8893.

We always cite our sources:

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

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podcast episode

Where To Get Your Munchies on 420 in Pittsburgh

Recreational cannabis is still illegal in Pennsylvania, but you gotta eat, right? To mark 420, the City Cast Pittsburgh team has recommendations for places someone under the influence might get a tasty sip, snack, or full-blown comfort meal with their good vibes still intact. 

Need even more recommendations for munchies? Check out last year’s 420 episode, and if you need help navigating The Open Road, listen to our interview with owner Mel Babitz.

Catch up on the push for recreational marijuana legalization in this episode with Ed Mahon from SpotlightPA, plus his more recent reporting here.

If we missed your favorite local munchie, let us know what else we should be adding to our list! Call or text us at 412-212-8893.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

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Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Repairing McKnightmare & Other PennDOT Projects

Will construction ruin your commute? PennDOT recently announced new projects in the Pittsburgh area, and the City Cast Pittsburgh team is breaking down what improvements are coming to our roads and bridges. Plus, we’ve got updates on how to get around now that the Mon Incline is closed – again. 

We always cite our sources:

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

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podcast episode

Why Pgh Was Named Roller Coaster Capital of the World

Kennywood opens for the season on April 20th. To celebrate, we’re revisiting highlights from our conversation with local historian Mark Houser ahead of the amusement park’s 125th birthday last year. Hear how Kenny’s Grove became our beloved Kennywood, how its stewards tow the line between preservation and modernization, and which rides helped usher in a new wave in amusement park shenanigans.

Special thanks Pittsburgh Magazine for sharing their work, and to our guest Mark Houser for bringing Pittsburgh’s past back to life. His next antique skyscraper rooftop tour is June 8. Tickets are available here.

And check out the Kennywood episode of Defunctland here. It’s super fun and weird.

**This episode originally published April 19, 2023.

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podcast episode

Why Gray Homes Are Red Flags & More Pgh Homebuying Tips

We’re heading into peak real estate season at a time when interest rates are really high – so what does that mean for homebuyers in Pittsburgh? Local real estate broker Jessica Baker joins us to share tips for buyers and sellers and talk about which pockets of the city are still somewhat affordable. Plus, host Megan Harris puts Jessica to the test and sees how she would describe some zanier home features…as seen on Zillow.

Check out our previous conversation with Jessica to learn whether Pittsburgh potties count as half-baths.

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podcast episode

Out-of-the-Box Burials, AI Home Tours & Pgh’s Lifeguard Search

It’s the Friday news roundup! City Cast contributor Meg St-Esprit joins the team to talk about how AI is changing the local real estate market – and what it was like to take a virtual reality tour of an iconic Pittsburgh mansion. We also discuss shifting norms around funerals and burials as the Pittsburgh region becomes less religious, and the city’s latest push to hire enough lifeguards to open our pools this summer.

We always cite our sources:

Vote for us for best podcast in Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best of the ‘Burgh contest!

Learn more about our sponsor, Hotel Indigo Pittsburgh-Oakland, and their upcoming Comedy Showcase in the Jones & Laughlin Ballroom. Tickets for Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. are on sale now on Facebook at Facebook.com/HotelindigoPTC.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

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podcast episode

How to Get Free Food on Your Birthday in Pittsburgh

It is Producer Sophia Lo’s birthday! To celebrate, we’re rounding up some of the best birthday freebies and discounts in Pittsburgh, from sweet treats to full meals.

Have a favorite local freebie that we didn’t mention? Let us know, and your answer might be featured on the show! Call or text us at 412-212-8893.

Learn more about our sponsor, Hotel Indigo Pittsburgh-Oakland, and their upcoming Comedy Showcase in the Jones & Laughlin Ballroom. Tickets for Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. are on sale now on Facebook at Facebook.com/HotelindigoPTC.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

How Did 19,000 Jagr Bobbleheads Get Stolen?

It’s the case of the missing bobbleheads: thousands of miniature Jaromir Jagrs were stolen last month! How does that even happen? With the help of our friend Rob Rossi, senior writer at The Athletic, we’re breaking down the heist that got the attention of Pittsburgh Penguins fans…and even the FBI! 

Check out Rossi’s play-by-play in the Athletic and find out how you can claim your bobblehead if you received a voucher.

Learn more about our sponsor, Hotel Indigo Pittsburgh-Oakland, and their upcoming Comedy Showcase in the Jones & Laughlin Ballroom. Tickets for Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. are on sale now on Facebook at Facebook.com/HotelindigoPTC.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? 

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Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Pittsburgh Pranks, Plastic Bag Bans & More Doulas

Have businesses actually stopped giving out plastic bags since a citywide ban went into effect? A new report from PennEnvironment provides a first look at compliance rates. Plus, a new documentary looks at the Black birthing experience in Pittsburgh – at the same time the state is expanding access to doulas. And it turns out our city has a high percentage of pranksters (at least according to one study).

We always cite our sources:

Learn more about our sponsor, Hotel Indigo Pittsburgh-Oakland, and their upcoming Comedy Showcase in the Jones & Laughlin Ballroom. Tickets for Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. are on sale now on Facebook at Facebook.com/HotelindigoPTC.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Your Guide to April in Pittsburgh

From eclipse parties to plant sales to a “dessert beer extravaganza,” there’s plenty to keep you busy in Pittsburgh this month. The City Cast team is here to share the festivals, markets, and cookoffs that caught our eyes – and help you plan your perfect April.

Here are a few of the City Casty things we mentioned in today’s show:

For more events, check out Hey Pittsburgh’s guide to April and food festival roundup.

Learn more about our sponsor, Hotel Indigo Pittsburgh-Oakland, and their upcoming Comedy Showcase in the Jones & Laughlin Ballroom. Tickets for Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. are on sale now on Facebook at Facebook.com/HotelindigoPTC.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? 

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Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Medical Dramas, Tax Exemptions & Why Barges Can’t Hurt A Pgh Bridge

It’s the Friday news roundup! A bridge collapsed in Baltimore — could something similar play out here? Mayor Ed Gainey’s trying, once again, to generate taxes from UPMC and other tax-exempt properties. And a new Pittsburgh-based medical drama called “The Pitt” is in the works. Plus, we’ve got some fun Easter news, a comprehensive plan update, and a very happy groundhog arrival. 

What very Pittsburgh storyline would you love to see from Max’s new show? Call or text us at 412-212-8893.

We always cite our sources:

Learn more about our sponsor, the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh and their Racial Justice Challenge, at ywcapgh.org.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

The New Way to Start a Restaurant in Pittsburgh

In 2023, chef Nik Forsberg was a James Beard semi-finalist for his pop-up concept Fet-Fisk, aka greasy fish, which prioritizes sustainably sourced seafood, local meats, and veggies from Nik’s own garden. So what does it take to turn a popular pop-up into a thriving brick-and-mortar business? Hear what he grows, how he approaches his menus, and all the plans behind Bloomfield’s newest restaurant.

**This episode originally aired Thursday, March 30th, 2023.

Learn more about our sponsor, the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh and their Racial Justice Challenge, at ywcapgh.org

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? 


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Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Why Is Your Bus Late? It's Complicated

Have you ever been frustrated by a PRT bus or train showing up late – or not showing up at all? Could new state funding lead to a stronger local transit system? We’re sitting down with Katharine Kellerman, CEO of Pittsburgh Regional Transit, to talk about plans for a bus line redesign, her goal to get more drivers behind the wheel, and what’s really going on that local buses are late one-third of the time.

Learn more about our sponsor, the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh and their Racial Justice Challenge, at ywcapgh.org

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? 

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Remember When the Pirate Parrot Sold Drugs?

The Buccos are almost back! So while you’re settling in for Opening Day this week, we’re looking to yesteryear and our beloved Pirate Parrot. The shaggy, round, lime green goofball feels ubiquitous to us now, but he actually has a birthday and a backstory, plus a bunch of wild stories behind the men who’ve worn the suit. We’re with author and former Mr. Met AJ Mass to talk about the sordid history of our Buccos’ best luck charm and biggest curse.

Check out AJ’s book, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots,” in print or ebook. 

**This episode originally aired Wednesday, April 26th, 2023.

Learn more about our sponsor, the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh and their Racial Justice Challenge, at ywcapgh.org

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? 

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podcast episode

Why the White House Cares About US Steel

Late last year, the Japanese company Nippon Steel announced plans to acquire an iconic Pittsburgh brand, U.S. Steel, for a staggering amount of money: nearly $15 billion. But since then, there’s been a lot of criticism – from the local steelworkers union all the way up to the White House. So what’s behind the pushback, and what’s next for U.S. Steel? 

Thanks to our guest, Chris Briem. Chris is a regional economist with the Urban & Regional Analysis program at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research. Check out some of his recent work:


And read more about the latest on the deal and the federal review process via Bloomberg, plus the position of Pennsvlania’s two U.S. Senators and commonwealth-native President Joe Biden in the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

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podcast episode

A Bridge Glow Up, Mister Rogers Trivia & The Dukes Go Dancing

It’s the Friday news roundup! A familiar Pittsburgh voice — former host of 90.5 WESA’s The Confluence, Kevin Gavin — joins the team to talk about where you can see local cherry blossoms, Duquesne basketball, and new West End Bridge designs that hope to “complete the loop” of Pittsburgh trails. Plus, newsletter editor Francesca Dabecco quizzes Kevin and host Megan Harris on their Mister Rogers knowledge in honor of Fred’s birthday week.

We always cite our sources:


Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Pittsburgh’s Booze History, Favorite Cocktails & A Spicy New Brewery

National Cocktail Day is this Sunday, so we’re pulling up our bar stools to bask in Pittsburgh’s boozy legacy, from the Whiskey Rebellion and Prohibition to modern makers and mixers. City Cast Pittsburgh host Megan Harris and newsletter editor Francesca Dabecco share some reader and listener favorites and introduce you to Jackworth Ginger Beer, a new brewery in Larimer that’s creating cocktails steeped in the spirits of Pennsylvania.

A few previous episodes we mentioned today:

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Meet the Man Trying To Stop Nonexistent Voter Fraud

For a little over a year now, an informal group of Republican activists has been challenging our local voter rolls. They’ve filed thousands of challenges — all alleging that because someone moved, that means that they should be wiped from the Allegheny County voter logs. But the thing is, the county already takes care of that. So today, we’re talking about how all this got started, what officials are saying about it, and what you can do as a voter to protect your vote if one of these letters comes your way.

Thanks to our guests, reporters Julia Zenkevich and Charlie Wolfson. Read their full piece in PublicSource, and listen to the story via WESA.

Check your voter registration status here on the state’s website. 

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

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podcast episode

Rick Sebak on Gumbands, Storytelling & Pgh Rites of Passage

If you polled a bunch of Pittsburghers and asked who’s the most beloved person in our city, it’s safe to say today’s guest would show up on that list. Rick Sebak is known for his TV documentaries on WQED. And now, he’s dipping his toes into audio. Rick joins us to talk about his podcast, Gumbands, the one Pittsburgh story he’s still dying to tell, and the local rites of passage that make someone a true Pittsburgher.

**This conversation originally published October 11, 2023.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

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podcast episode

How to Score Great Deals at Mac.Bid in Pittsburgh

Return or ripoff? Costsaver or scam? Pittsburghers love a deal, so when the discount stores housed under Mac.bid came to town, plenty of yinz spent your money without getting redd up on how it actually works. City Cast’s Elizabeth Kauma and Megan Harris are exploring how it got here, what to do so you don’t buy a dud, and whether these liquidation emporiums are worth the risk at all.

We love to cite our sources:

  • The National Retail Federations 2022 report on returns.
  • Mac.Bid’s Better Business Bureau page
  • Marketplace’s dive into the wild world of liquidation.
  • The Atlantic’s journey into the warehouses that process returns.


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podcast episode

Star Lake Parking, PA Family Leave & the Pandemic Turns 4

It’s the Friday news roundup! Can you believe it’s been four years since the pandemic started? Local journalist and host of KDKA Radio’s Saturday show Natalie Bencivenga joins host Megan Harris and newsletter editor Francesca Dabecco to take stock of our recovery and the state of family leave in Pittsburgh. Plus, are you going to a show at Star Lake this summer? We’re sharing pavilion parking woes and a wacky new way to get to Burgettstown!

Help us with an upcoming show!

What’s your favorite cocktail? Is it on the menu somewhere or do you ask for something special? Or maybe you have a favorite cocktail bar? What do you love about it? Call or text us with your love letters to 412-212-8893. If you include your name and neighborhood, you might just hear it on the show!

We always cite our sources:


Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Pittsburgh Pi Day, Donut Rides & Farm-To-Table Beer

Vote on your favorite strawberry pretzel jello salad at an upcoming festival, get a craft beer in Butler County at a reimagined farm-to-table restaurant, and check out vegan donuts at our favorite bagel place. Plus, we’ve got the tastiest treats to help you celebrate Pi Day in Pittsburgh! City Cast’s Francesca Dabecco and Owen Gabbey are sharing their faves.

Help us with an upcoming show!

What’s your favorite cocktail? Is it on the menu somewhere or do you ask for something special? Or maybe you have a favorite cocktail bar? What do you love about it? Call or text us with your love letters to 412-212-8893. If you include your name and neighborhood, you might just hear it on the show!

We always cite our sources:


Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

6 Free Things To Get With Your Library Card

When Andrew Carnegie started opening libraries in southwest Pennsylvania in the 1890s, he wanted to bring books and knowledge to everyone — not just those who could afford to pay. Now libraries are taking that spirit beyond the printed word, offering everything from power tools to ukuleles to genealogy databases. We’re exploring the unique collections available for you to check out at local libraries. 

**This conversation originally published May 30, 2023.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

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podcast episode

Why Pittsburgh Has a Ghost Bus Problem

If you live in parts of the South Hills or the East End, getting around by bus or on the T might be pretty easy for you. But that’s not true for big portions of our city and county. Today we’re with the grassroots advocacy group Pittsburghers for Public Transit to talk about our regional provider, Pittsburgh Regional Transit, including what PPT loves, what data shows isn’t working, and the group’s vision for what public transit could be here in the Burgh.

Thanks to our guest, PPT’s executive director, Laura Chu Wiens, and check out their upcoming event, Transit Worker Appreciation Day on Monday, March 18.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

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podcast episode

1-Star Reviews of Pittsburgh’s Most Iconic Places

The humble user review — taken alone, is just one person’s opinion. But put a bunch together, and that aggregated star rating can make or break a local business. So today, we’re going inside the minds of the people leaving one-star reviews for some of our favorite Pittsburgh places. Producer and quizmaster Elizabeth Kauma puts host Megan Harris and newsletter editor Francesca Dabecco to the test. Can they guess famous Pittsburgh landmarks based only on one-star reviews? Who knows Pittsburgh’s haters best? 

Check your answers as you play along.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

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podcast episode

City Cats, When To Call 311 & Wins for Monroeville and the South Hills

It’s the Friday news roundup! The Monroeville Convention Center won’t be turned into a Hobby Lobby after all, Pittsburgh is partially resuming its spay and neuter program, and Allegheny County Council voted against a ceasefire resolution this week. Plus, we’re talking about Vision Zero and how you can participate in 311 Day in Pittsburgh.

Thanks to our guest and national 311 Day founder, Armin Samii. Check out his work at dashcam.bike

We always cite our sources:

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Irish Eats, St. Practice Day & How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s in Pittsburgh

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, which means it’s time for St. Practice Day! We’re sharing what that is, how to make the most of both weekends, and where to find some delicious Irish bites here in the Burgh. Plus, we’re mythbusting one long-held legend about Pittsburgh’s biggest parade.

Learn more about volunteering with PAAR here.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

podcast episode

Why Does Pittsburgh Have So Many Sisters?

President Dwight D. Eisenhower launched the sister cities program after World War II, and in the decades since, Pittsburgh has become an especially popular international partner. How do these diplomatic hook-ups happen, who greenlights the matches, and how did Pittsburgh end up with so many? Kathy Risko, former director of the Sister Cities Association of Pittsburgh, says some of it is personality, but a lot goes back to steel.

Michelle King is the new contact for the organization, and if you want to suggest a new sister city, you can email her at michelle.king@pittsburghpa.gov.

*Editor’s note: This episode originally published Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.

Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

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podcast episode

Solar Eclipse Hacks, Police Staffing & Steelers Want a Sauna

The Steelers brought home their report card, and let’s just say their grades would probably get you grounded. The total solar eclipse is just a month away, and we’re sharing tips on how to get the best view of this astronomical phenomenon. Plus, an update on the Monroeville Convention Center and how Pittsburgh's police staffing changes could affect you.

We always cite our sources:


Become a member of City Cast Pittsburgh at membership.citycast.fm.

Want more Pittsburgh news? Sign up for our daily morning Hey Pittsburgh newsletter. We’re also on Instagram @CityCastPgh!

Interested in advertising with City Cast? Find more info here

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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