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Who Will Step Up In D-Line Room Behind Cameron Heyward?

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Who Will Step Up In D-Line Room Behind Cameron Heyward?


Who will step up in the defensive line room behind Cameron Heyward?

And to be very clear, “nobody” is a legitimate answer. I’m not talking about the rest of the starting lineup with Keeanu Benton and Larry Ogunjobi. I’m talking about who else in that defensive line room is going to be an asset behind Cameron Heyward.

We all know that Heyward is potentially in his last season with the Steelers. He wants to play for three more years, but time will tell if he needs to find another team after 2024. But either way, at 35 years old, the Steelers need to start finding somebody who can step up behind Heyward.

And I don’t know that they have anybody. Is DeMarvin Leal the best answer? He has the most talent as a former third-round pick, but he finished the 2023 season on the bench. I don’t see Isaiahh Loudermilk taking his game to another level in Year 4. And Logan Lee will struggle to even make the roster, let alone make his case as a successor to Heyward.

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The most experienced depth players the Steelers have are Montravius Adams and Dean Lowry. And if we’re being blunt, not even Ogunjobi has lived up to expectations. It’s not hard to feel as though they don’t have anybody on the current roster who would succeed Heyward in the starting lineup by 2025.

Will somebody change our minds by this time next year? Or will the Steelers have to draft their next starter? Really, they might need two because Heyward and Ogunjobi could be gone. The Steelers owe Ogunjobi $7 million next season, and that’s pure cap savings minus displacement. We will have to see come March if they feel Ogunjobi is worth that in 2025. The Steelers evidently think Heyward is worth $16 million in 2024, though. What is he worth to them next year, especially if they don’t have anybody else?


The Steelers’ 2023 season has been put out of its misery, ending as so many have before in recent years: a disappointing, blowout playoff loss. The only change-up lately is when they miss the playoffs altogether. But with the Buffalo Bills stamping them out in the Wildcard Round, they have another long offseason ahead.

The biggest question hanging over the team is the quarterback question. Does Russell Wilson make them a Super Bowl-caliber team, or are they wasting a year? Will he play just one season in Pittsburgh before moving on, or the Steelers moving on from him? How will the team address the depth chart?

The Steelers are past free agency and the draft and their roster for the 2024 season is coming into focus. They made numerous moves through signings and trade—and release. More than usual, they seemed comfortable creating holes, confident they can fill them. Now that we have so many pieces of the puzzle, however, we merely have a new set of questions to ask.

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Pittsburg, PA

Dr. Jill Biden makes campaign stop in Pittsburgh to speak about reproductive rights

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Dr. Jill Biden makes campaign stop in Pittsburgh to speak about reproductive rights


Dr. Jill Biden makes campaign stop in Pittsburgh to speak about reproductive rights

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Dr. Jill Biden makes campaign stop in Pittsburgh to speak about reproductive rights

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dr. Jill Biden made a campaign stop in Pittsburgh on Sunday for her husband and Vice President Harris to talk about reproductive freedoms nationwide and in the Commonwealth.

Dr. Biden’s visit comes just a day before what will be two years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned the precedents set by Roe v. Wade.

In her remarks, Dr. Biden expressed that much more than just the Oval Office is at stake at the ballot box this November.

“Radical Republicans are sacrificing the health, the freedom, and the future of women in the name of a political agenda. And that’s why we’re here today. When our bodies are on the line, [and] our daughter’s futures are at stake, we are immovable and unstoppable,” Dr. Biden said.

Dr. Biden’s visit to the region also comes just days before President Biden and former President Trump are set to face off in this year’s first presidential debate on Thursday.

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Pittsburgh's Jewish community begins 'new chapter' with groundbreaking of new Tree of Life building

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Pittsburgh's Jewish community begins 'new chapter' with groundbreaking of new Tree of Life building


Nearly six years after the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, Pittsburgh’s Jewish community was joined by local, state and federal leaders at the site of the Tree of Life synagogue to break ground on a new building and an expanded mission.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro were among the public figures who spoke about how the new facility could serve as an antidote to anti-Semitism and a reminder of the 2018 attack that killed 11 worshippers.

“We are turning what was once a tragic crime scene right here into a place of hope and inspiration and a place that will be full of light,” said Emhoff, who is the first Jewish person to serve as the spouse of a nationally elected U.S. leader.

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Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro.

Plans for the new complex include a cultural center, sanctuary, educational center and museum along with a memorial to the worshipers from three congregations who were murdered on the Sabbath morning of Oct. 27, 2018. The Tree of Life congregation — which previously worshiped at the site as well as the Dor Hadash and New Light congregations — plans to return there after construction.

Renowned architect Daniel Libeskind — whose previous works include Jewish museums, Holocaust memorials and the master plan for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center after 9/11 — designed the building. A dramatic skylight will run the length of the facility to represent the Jewish practice of Tikkun Olam, or “repair the world.”

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The new building will also serve as a memorial to the 11 worshippers killed in the attack: Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil and David Rosenthal, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax and Irving Younger.

Diane Rosenthal said her brothers — who both had a genetic disorder marked by intellectual disabilities — often felt excluded in the world but welcomed at the Tree of Life synagogue. She said the new building will be a welcoming place for everyone.

“The new Tree of Life will be a place where education is given to individuals of all ages who can learn what happened that day … why it happened, and how to counter anti-Semitism and other forms of identity-based hate,” Rosenthal said.

About 500 people sat inside a packed tent to mark the occasion, with what remains of the synagogue in the background. Most of the building has been demolished, but what’s left will become part of the new campus.

In attendance were survivors, their families, faith leaders, politicians and members of the community at large.

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Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

A fence surrounding the property was wrapped in images of art, poetry and inspirational messages. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Northgate High School choir gave musical performances, and a large inter-faith prayer embodied the spirit of unity and hope that permeated the program.

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The ceremony concluded with the breaking of the glass. Survivors, their families, first responders and public figures lined the front of the stage and stomped on cloth-covered glass houses to celebrate a new beginning while also remembering their grief.

“The breaking reminds us of the brokenness in our world and all that we must do to fix it,” Emhoff said. “But it also gives us hope, and we all must do our part.”

The glass pieces will be reused as part of a decorative mezuzah along the doorposts in the building, according to Carole Zawatsky, chief executive officer of the Tree of Life non-profit organization overseeing the project in tandem with the congregation.

“The mezuzah will forever be a reminder of our obligation to try to pick up the shards of our broken world,” she said.

Organizers said they plan to open the new Tree of Life building in 2026.

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Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who led the spiritual portion of the program, said that reaching this new chapter for his congregation serves as proof that hate has no home in Pittsburgh.

“Today we announce, loudly and clearly, to the entire world that evil did not win — that it did not chase us from our home, and it never, ever will,” Myers said.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, who is Jewish, told the audience that when he was sworn in as governor 18 months ago, among the three Bibles used during his oath of office ceremony was one from the Tree of Life congregation. He said the Bible still sits on his desk in Harrisburg.

“I am proof that the people of Pennsylvania can indeed find light in the midst of darkness, that we will not be defined by our darkest hour, but rather how we come together to comfort one another in these moments and to shine light,” he said.

Also in attendance Sunday were Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Lieutenant Gov. Austin Davis, Congresswoman Summer Lee, State Rep. Dan Frankel, Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey and others. County Controller Corey O’Connor — who was a city council member representing Squirrel Hill at the time of the attack, former Mayor Bill Peduto and former Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald were also in the crowd.

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Though much of the ceremony was hopeful, speakers also emphasized the dangers of a growing rate of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States amid the ongoing war in Gaza.

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“It is indeed a crisis of anti-Semitism that we are undergoing right now in America and the world,” Emhoff said. “We see it on our campuses and schools and our markets, our neighborhoods, our synagogues and online.”

Shapiro argued that “some leaders at times offer permission slips to hate,” and challenged politicians to do more to disavow anti-Semitism.

Eric Ward, an activist and member of the Tree of Life academic advisory committee, said similar anti-Semitic rhetoric is what inspired the man responsible for the deadly attack in Pittsburgh.

“When bigotry goes unchecked, when leaders stoke fear and division, when they dehumanize others based [on] race, faith or ethnicity, they perpetuate the very ideologies that led to that fateful day here in Pittsburgh,” he said.

The gunman in the Pittsburgh synagogue attack was sentenced to death in 2023 after he was convicted on 63 counts, including hate crimes.

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In an interview with reporters, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey echoed the call for rooting out intimidation of Jewish people in America on college campuses and elsewhere, as protests against the war in Gaza continue.

“In some places you have legitimate protest and First Amendment rights being exercised,” Casey said. “But in a lot of places, you see blatant anti-Semitism and hate directed at Jewish students [and] at the Jewish state of Israel. We can’t tolerate that.”

Last month, Casey introduced a bill to crack down on anti-Semitism on college campuses. The measure could allow stronger enforcement of anti-discrimination laws on college campuses by expanding investigations into claims of hostile environments. And earlier this year, Casey announced $1 million in federal funding for Tree of Life to develop K-12 educational programming.

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Despite the acknowledgement of a continued rise in hate, Pittsburgh’s Jewish community stood firm Sunday, arguing its character is one of resilience, not torment.

“We know we are stronger together. So let us this day — as we celebrate the start of this new chapter for the Tree of Life — reaffirm our resolve to bring light into our world,” said Zawatsky.

In the meantime, Rosenthal called the start of this new chapter “a testament to our resilience and the strength of our Jewish community here in Pittsburgh and around the world.”

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“Vibrant Jewish life will return to this corner of Shady and Wilkins,” she said. “Where it has been for generations.”





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Literacy Pittsburgh helps those coming to America learn English, culture, and more | KD Sunday Spotlight

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Literacy Pittsburgh helps those coming to America learn English, culture, and more | KD Sunday Spotlight


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Victor Ponce lives in Pittsburgh now, to pursue the American dream.  

“To improve my life, to grow up, to be a better person, professional, to be independent,” said Ponce.

He came here, just three months ago from Cuba. 

“The situation in Cuba is difficult right now,” he said. 

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Making such a big life change comes with challenges. Ponce said, “The new country, sometimes it’s difficult.”

From understanding English to the American culture, it’s a learning curve, but he said it’s getting easier with the help of the non-profit Literacy Pittsburgh. It’s an adult education organization serving people in Beaver County and Allegheny County.

KDKA’s Megan Shinn asked, “(to be) the next civil engineer?” 

Ponce laughed and said, “I hope so.”  This type of ambition drives about thirty-five-hundred adults, who receive Literacy Pittsburgh’s help every year.

About 22 paid teachers instruct free classes for students who were left behind and just arrived. 

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“To be alongside the journey of somebody like Victor and the thousands of students like him, that we serve, it is an honor,” Carey Harris, the non-profit’s CEO, said.

We’re talking about anyone who didn’t graduate from high school and wants to get their GED or brush up on skills for college or job training and those who immigrated here and are determined to learn English.

“There’s something wonderful happening in Pittsburgh right now,” Harris said. “We have so many new people coming and settling here, and so many people looking for that second chance.”

She said their instructors bridge the gap so students can succeed and find careers in Pittsburgh or get post-secondary education. It’s better lives through learning and it’s opening doors to current and new Americans. 

“They’re the most resilient, tenacious people. They’re exactly the kind of people you want to live next door to. They’re the kind of people you want to hire,” said Harris.

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Non-English-speaking students get placed in a class for their level or with a tutor whichever they prefer. Ponce is in at least one class, two times a week and it’s more than just A-B-C’s of English.

It’s opening opportunities and filling in the gap to help everyone in Pittsburgh live the American dream. 

“I would like to say thank you too, I’m really grateful and glad to know this place, to know these people,” Ponce said.

They’ve added new programs recently. One is a digital skills program, to help with computer skills. The other is career-oriented programming. That includes lessons to connect students with their future careers, like a math class, for trade programs.

Literacy Pittsburgh is always looking for volunteer tutors and if you’re interested in getting involved with Literacy Pittsburgh you can find a link to the non-profit right here!

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If you would like to see an organization highlighted in KDKA’s Sunday Spotlight segment, send Megan Shinn an email at mshinn@kdka.com!



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