Photo: Ryan Haggerty

A look at the week’s top stories from Pittsburgh, Western PA and beyond.

City takes on tax exemptions: Although he, like his predecessor, hasn’t wholesale challenged the broad, massive tax exemptions enjoyed by Pittsburgh’s mammoth nonprofits, Mayor Ed Gainey on Wednesday announced challenges to property tax exemptions for 104 parcels of land, or roughly four times as many as last year. Over half of the properties are owned by UPMC.  Kiley Koscinski for 90.5 WESA. RELATED: The move comes as the city faces revenue shortfall due to a “monumental decline in assessment values that’s set to siphon millions of dollars out of city, county and school district coffers.” Tim Schooley and Ethan Lott for Pgh. Business Times [paywall].

Fetterman loses top comms staffers. Sen. John Fetterman (D-Braddock) has atrophied his three comms staffers, as he faces a backlash from former supporters over his unwavering support for Israel’s war in Gaza and his general disavowal of the “progressive” label he once embraced. Julia Terruso for Philadelphia Inquirer

Lawsuit prompts ACJ changes: A new consent order means it’s quite likely that Allegheny County Jail, for the first time, will provide “actual therapeutic counseling to people with mental health diagnoses,” among other improvements.  The suit was filed on behalf of inmates with psychiatric issues by Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP, the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project, and the Abolitionist Law Center. James Paul for Pittsburgh City Paper

Nippon Steel’s Pittsburgh pledge : Tokyo-based steelmaker Nippon Steel pledged to move its U.S. headquarters to Pittsburgh if their takeover offer for US Steel goes through.  Reuters via The Japan Times. RELATED: United Steelworkers endorsed President Biden for reelection after he opposed the $14.9 billion takeover bid.  Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy and Joey Garrison for USA TODAY. MORE: The deal may face an antitrust probe from the Justice Department. Josh Sisco for Politico.

Casey, McCormick stand alone: Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Republican David McMormick will be the only names to appear on the primary ballot, after competitors’ nomination petitions were disqualified in both party’s races. John Cole for Penn-Capital Star

East Palestine speaks out: A new coalition, Justice for East Palestine Residents and Workers, will march on Washington “to further their demand that the federal government step in and make sure those affected by the derailment are provided with fully funded health care.” Steve Mellon for Pittsburgh Union Progress. 

Gov. Shapiro's mystery mansion makeover: New York design firm de la Torre Design Studio has taken on a “residence reimagining project” for the state governor’s mansion. According to a report, “little is known about the scale, scope, or even the price tag for the redesign.” And despite the involvement of Governor Shapiro’s aides, “no one will say who is managing [the project], raising money for it, or exactly who is paying for it. Angela Couloumbis for Spotlight PA

The Warhol ‘loses its way’: Two weeks ago, Warhol Museum Director, Patrick Moore announced he was stepping down at the end of May.  (Alex Greenberger and Karen K. Ho for ARTnews.) This prompted Steven Knapp, president and CEO of the Carnegie Museums, to write a letter to the editor saying the decision had nothing to do with the museum’s Pop District development. Now, Pittsburgh based art historian and critic David Carrier writes for HyperAllergic about how the museum has “lost its way.”

Alma Speed Fox commemorated: Kirkpatrick St. in the Hill District was honorarily named Alma Speed Fox Way, after the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement” in Pittsburgh. Fox, who passed in 2022 at the age of 98, led Pittsburgh’s chapter of the NAACP from 1966-1971 and spent 30 years as a member of the city’s Human Rights Commission.  Rob Taylor Jr. for the New Pgh. Courier

Date those mail ballots: A panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Pa. law that requires a voter to date their mail-in ballot does not violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act, meaning that potentially thousands of undated ballots may be rejected in the upcoming election. If the case makes its way to the Supreme Court, it could become precedent nationwide. Carter Walker for Votebeat

Pittsburgh’s lost fourth sport: Duquesne’s NCAA tournament run was a rare moment in the national spotlight for Pittsburgh basketball.  Billy Witz for the New York Times.

“Solidarity is a verb”: An electrical worker describes joining striking Post-Gazette workers on the picket line. Janelle Hartman for IBEW Media Center. RELATED: The Point Park Globe, after publishing a report on their university playing host to a Post-Gazette sponsored spelling bee, issued an editorial calling for students and their university to “stand in solidarity” with workers who have been on strike for more than 17 months.

Grushecky’s “East Carson Street”: Pittsburgh heartland rocker Joe Grushecky’s new musical,  “East Carson Street,” will premiere in New Jersey this May. Grushecky crossed a picket line to tell the Post-Gazette that the project and characters are based on the working-class themes that course through his discography.

The Execution of Lorenzo Savage: One hundred years ago today, a Pittsburgh man was executed. He was likely innocent. Bill Lofquist and Jody DiPerna for PINJ.