Plus, a dino-mite discovery.
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💻 The future of educational crises is now

Plus, a dino-mite discovery.

Hi. Welcome to Tuesday.

Ours is a small news outlet. Very small. So small, in fact, that "ours" is the wrong possessive pronoun because The Incline is, well ... it's just me. 

But that doesn't mean the kind of in-depth journalism being done by much larger outlets is out of reach. It just requires a little creativity.

A few months back we joined the Pittsburgh Media Partnership, a collaborative of smaller newsrooms from the city and surrounding river valley communities. And we began working directly with reporters at two of those outlets — the Gazette 2.0 in McKees Rocks and the Mon Valley Independent in Monessen — on a longform piece about internet inequality in the age of online learning. 

We spent weeks gathering information, talked to dozens of sources, and pulled together a comprehensive and locally focused look at a deepening U.S. fault line.

Keep scrolling for the full report and support the creation of more work like it by becoming an Incline Insider, if you aren't already.  

Here's what else we have for you today: The Capitol fallout continues, four things to make you smile (aka our walk on the mild side), a new round of I Spy, and a paleontology first in Pittsburgh.

What Pittsburgh is talking about

Rainbow Road. | Tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @anyonecantakeapicture)

4-ish things to know today

➡️ House Democrats introduced fresh articles of impeachment yesterday accusing President Donald Trump of inciting last week's mob attack on the U.S Capitol. If they're successful, Trump would become the only U.S. president in history to be impeached twice, and with mere days left in his tenure. Here's where Pa. lawmakers stand.

  • Related: A debate is underway in Pennsylvania about how to treat state lawmakers who advanced false election claims that fueled the violence at the Capitol or who marched with the rioters before the attack. Spotlight PA has more.

⚠️ Pittsburgh is a potential target for unrest as inauguration day approaches, an anti-disinformation group warns. The Alethea Group cites an online post about a possible upcoming event here that included images of ammunition stockpiles. Pittsburgh public safety officials say they're “aware of social-media rumors and media reports of possible actions and/or protests in the city” and acting accordingly. Here's their full statement.

  • Related: Pittsburgh says any city employee that joined the insurrection will face “appropriate disciplinary action." This comes as police departments from Zelienople to Philadelphia are grappling with the attendance of their own members at the "Stop the Steal" rally that fed Wednesday's siege.

🗳 Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman is again eyeing a run for the U.S. Senate. Five years after he ran and lost a primary bid for the federal office, the former mayor of Braddock is taking "definitive steps" toward a 2022 bid for outgoing U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey's seat. If you're unfamiliar with Fetterman, read this profile we did on him a few years back, as published by CNN.

🏛 There is now a clear conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court. But while that hasn't worked out the way President Trump intended, it may for the anti-abortion movement, which sees a national weakening of Roe v. Wade as an opening to ratchet up state-level restrictions in Pennsylvania and beyond. PublicSource reports.

4 things to make you smile

☁️ It's always sunny in Philadelphia — Pittsburgh is nowhere close. Steel City averages just 59 clear days a year, Triblive reports. And, yes, this lack of sunshine is affecting your health. Allow us to explain.

🗝 An 84-year-old wedding dress, a chance meeting, and a family heirloom returned to its rightful owners after decades. Connect the dots in this charming story from Very Local Pittsburgh

🥚 It's a first for the world of paleontology: a fossilized dinosaur sitting atop a nest of its own eggs with fossilized babies inside. And it's a discovery that was made possible by Carnegie Museum of Natural History researchers. Here's more.

📺 You may remember R&B and soul artist INEZ from our Peak Pittsburgh Playlist. Now you can float away with the ethereal video for her single "Clouds." City Paper takes you behind the music.

Internet inequality in the age of online learning

Preston Rathway, 12, of Fayette County, does online schoolwork using a mobile phone hotspot on Jan. 4, 2021. (📸: Nate Smallwood for Pittsburgh Media Partnership)

Public schools across the Pittsburgh region pivoted to online learning over the past year to keep their students safe. But for students without reliable or affordable high-speed internet access, the new normal highlights the disparity in how internet services are provided across the commonwealth — and its cost.

That disparity has students in southwest Pa. going to firehouses, churches, and parking lots in search of better internet connections, while officials scramble to fill gaps and advocates warn that the future of educational crises has already arrived.

Here's our longread on internet inequality in the age of online learning.

🔓 Unlock I Spy

Become an Incline Insider today

Today, our members — a.k.a. Incline Insiders — got the answer to an exclusive round of I Spy in their newsletters. That's it above, the "Solidarity for change" mural in the Strip District.

Here's how it works: Last week we showed a closeup of that photo and asked members to tell us what it is and, more importantly, where it is. Correct guesses earn a shoutout in this newsletter and bragging rights for life.

Sound good? Do you want to play I Spy? Want to support more in-depth reporting on issues like internet access? Do you want life hacks and hand-curated job and apartment listings? What about cool giveaways? Or early access to our voter guides? Unlock those things and more by joining us as an Incline Insider right here.

Things to do 

Submit your events to our calendar.


🎹 Explore the people, places, and stories that make Pittsburgh unique with jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams in this event for early learners (Online

🎤 Drop by the first installment of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh's four-part virtual series on global choral traditions with experts in Appalachian, Gospel, Bulgarian, and South African choral music — multiple dates (Online)


🔮 Take on the new year with a free vision board workshop from the Pittsburgh Professional Women group (Online)

👩‍💻 Join Hazelwood Local and Digital Bridges for a virtual marketing workshop geared toward small business owners to help jumpstart your business goals for 2021 (Online)


📣 Join Pennsylvania's Second Lady, Gisele Fetterman, and The Ellis School for a discussion about activism and high schoolers making authentic social change (Online)


🎵 Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 14th annual Let Freedom Sing Concert live-streamed from the Hill District (Online)


⚾️ Explore "The Story of the Great One" Roberto Clemente in this virtual event from Doors Open Pittsburgh and the Clemente Museum (Online)

One more thing ....

Dance Magazine has a look at Point Park University’s first-of-its-kind dancer mental-health program, a three-year pilot aimed at "normalizing the mental-health needs of dancers and providing students with specialized resources comparable to physical therapy." 

Dance Department Chair Garfield Lemonius hopes it helps to manage the "stress and self-esteem minefields that dancers navigate every day." Read the full story here, and take care of yourselves and each other. We'll see you back here tomorrow.

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