This Just In: August 29 - Sept. 5 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

This Just In: August 29 - Sept. 5

"School's Not Cool"

Summary: Local pupils suffer through a recent heat wave with all the bells, but none of the whistles of air-conditioning. Station: WPXI Channel 11 Reporter: Lori Houy When it Aired: Aug. 24 Running Time: 58 seconds Visual: Houy, poised outside Arlington Elementray School in front of a chain-link fence. Highlights: * When anchor Bob Bruce states, "As you might imagine, this weather can be brutal for people without air-conditioning, and that is the case for some students in Pittsburgh." * Houy's follow-up: "Well, Bob, the Pittsburgh School District is doing what it can to keep students cool in this sweltering heat. The district's eight Accelerated Learning Academies are in session today, including here at Arlington. Classes started on Monday. As you can see, the shades are down, the windows are cracked open ... because there is no air-conditioning. ... [T]he district brought in water bottles to keep the students hydrated, and while some teachers brought in personal fans, the district is having more fans brought in for the classrooms. Right now, there are no plans to dismiss students early today, and while the district does have an inclement-weather policy, now school leaders are considering a heat policy." What We Learned: Maybe we should postpone the beginning of the school year until after Labor Day. Unanswered Question: Why didn't school officials think of this back when I was in grade school, sweating my ass off in Sister Mary Catherine's class? News Value: 6. Give us a follow-up on this, would ya, Lori?

Is This Your Purse?

Summary: A Verona woman finds the purse of a possible Pittsburgher while vacationing. Station: WTAE Channel 4 Reporter: Shannon Perrine When it Aired: Aug. 22 Running Time: 1 minute, 11 seconds Visuals: * The woman, described with the tag "found purse." * The woman's home phone number in BIG PRINT. Highlights: * When Perrine commands, "Attention, ladies of Pittsburgh: This is the purse in question! And if this is yours, I'm sorry, 'cause I'm gonna go through it." * When Perrine pulls out the contents of the purse, "First of all, there's a little bit of makeup inside, there are sunglasses. One-two-three-four pairs of sunglasses. One disposable razor, no wallet, no ID, but one digital camera. This would be the most important thing." * When Perrine explains, "[This woman] found the purse in the parking lot near her condo in Ocean City, Maryland, earlier this month. When she looked at the pictures on the digital camera inside the purse, she saw people who are like her -- Steelers fans and Penguins fans. So, she brought the purse home, thinking she'd have a better shot at finding the rightful owner." * When Perrine ends, "[S]o if this is your bag, or if you know the woman who owns this bag, call [this woman] ... and she will get it back to you." What We Learned: We are obviously looking for a woman with hairy legs and eight eyes. Unanswered Question: Do so few small good deeds happen that we have to make a big whoop-dee-doo about it? OK. So we do. News Value: 2. I tried to call Sandy to see if the purse was returned, but there was no answer. Next time I lose my purse, I hope someone like her finds it.

Pregnant Pause

Summary: Are you too heavy for your birth-control pills? Station: KDKA Channel 2

Reporter: Kristine Sorensen When it Aired: Aug. 23 Running Time: 1 minute, 52 seconds Visuals: * Birth-control pill "dial packs." * Faceless, overweight (and some

pregnant) women walking around. Highlights: * When Sorensen begins, "Anyone who has kids knows that you give them medicine based on their weight. Well, tonight, there's new evidence that weight can change the effectiveness of adult medications, too -- especially birth-control pills. It's a phenomenon that may be resulting in unintended pregnancies among heavier women." * When she elaborates, "Oral contraceptives come in one-size-fits-all. But several new studies suggest that there are more unplanned pregnancies for heavy women on the pill than there are for thinner women. [This female doctor] studies oral contraceptives and says bigger women have less medicine in the bloodstream." * When Dr. Alison Edelman cautions, "Using contraception is still safer than an unplanned pregnancy, especially in a heavy woman." * When Sorensen continues, "If researchers find that heavier women might benefit from higher doses of estrogen, they'll still have to study whether the risks are worth the benefits." * Her wrap-up: "Edelman believes this is a public-health concern since both obesity rates and unplanned pregnancy rates are climbing in the U.S." What We Learned: Ask your doctor. Unanswered Question: What about other forms of hormone-based birth control, like the patch? News Value: 7. While this was a good story choice -- even if it's prepackaged -- this "news" is far from new. Studies have shown this to be the case for at least several years.