Daily Archive: October 22, 2009


WGBN lands Bev Smith show; Black news/talk back on the air

Somewhat quietly, Pentecostal Temple Pastor Loran Mann, was steadily going about the business of expanding the capabilities of the church’s New Kensington radio station, when WAMO was sold and silenced. Since then, Mann’s pace has steadily increased. He is currently installing a new dish on the roof of the WGBN 1150 studio, which should double the station’s daytime operating power to more than 2,000 watts. MANN AND HIS MUSIC—Rev. Loran Mann holds “The Gospel Music Workshop of America Mass Choir” album, which is a part of his collection. He plans to fill some of the hole in the market left by WAMO’s demise, and as a step in that direction, he will begin broadcasting Bev Smith’s syndicated talk show every weekday.


The Bus keeps rolling: Bettis announces plans for new ‘Asthma Bus’ program

At an annual fund-raiser for Jerome Bettis’ The Bus Stops Here Foundation, the former Steeler running back honored the Rooney family, who he said first sparked his commitment to the community. “The Rooney family has been very influential in everything I have done,” Bettis said. “A lot of people think it’s important to give money but I think it’s important to give time.” A LEGACY OF GIVING—Jerome Bettis presents Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II with the 2009 Jerome Bettis Humanitarian Award. Bettis told the story of how he was first inspired to give back to the community when his team was approached by then owner Dan Rooney, to donate to the United Way campaign. Currently the team is involved in over 30 community outreach programs with local non-profit organizations and foundations.


Lancaster now chief U.S. district judge

As of Sept. 22, the U.S. Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania became distinct among the country’s 94 federal trial courts. Effective that day, Judge Gary L. Lancaster, the only African-American on the federal district bench, was elevated to chief judge for the district. As a result, African-Americans now hold three of the top leadership positions in the district federal criminal justice system. Lancaster joins Chief Federal Defender Lisa Freeland and Chief Probation and Pre-Trial Services Officer Theodore W. Johnson in the district’s top spots. JUDGE GARY L. LANCASTER


From dishwasher to GM: Executive recalls rise from streets to suites

WASHINGTON (NNPA)—When it comes to people of color who run hotels in major urban centers, Thomas Penny is like a raisin in a bowl of milk, if you let him describe it. Except, this raisin has no wrinkles. Thomas Penny, general manager, Courtyard by Marriott Washington Convention Center At 34, Penny has the appearance of a fresh-faced executive who is still waiting on his MBA degree to be mailed to him by his school but the title on his business card says otherwise—“Thomas Penny, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Washington Convention Center.”


STYLE…Jackson: In a fashion state of emergency

(Part two of a four-part series) The Manhattan-based international designer isn’t stressed about what to wear. Nor is he in a quandary about how to attire a particular celebrity, although first lady Michelle Obama recently bought some of his dresses. KAI MILLA —Fashion designer Kai Milla, left, after her September fashion show in New York with Nicole Murphy, former wife of entertainer Eddie Murphy. Henry Jackson, 51, is in a bigger quandary: how to fill an unexpectedly high volume of orders that came in after the debut in September of his spring 2010 womenswear collection.


Fifth Third Bank celebrates Hill office

Although it has been open since July, Fifth Third Bank’s newest banking center at 2125 Centre Ave. in the Hill District just celebrated its grand opening last week. To celebrate the Oct. 15 grand opening, the banking center presented a donation to a local Hill District community organization. Festivities began with an 11 a.m. ribbon- cutting ceremony and continued with an all-day open house that included visits from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, state Rep. Jake Wheatley and Councilwoman Tonya Payne. GRAND OPENING—Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, prepares for the ribbon cutting at the new Fifth third Bank branch in the Hill District. Joining him, from left: James M. Ferguson III, Jada Grandy, Lloyd Wright, Tonya Payne, Jill Sandilla, Mark Jones, Will Moode, Ralph Parks and Norman Marraccini.


Commission to hear discrimination cases

At the beginning of July, Allegheny County Council approved an ordinance banning discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. Part of this ordinance includes the creation of a county Human Relations Commission that will investigate claims of discrimination. AMANDA GREEN “I feel there is important work to do. It’s important that every single level of government be cognizant of what is going on and make sure their level of government promotes rights for everyone,” said commission member Justice Cynthia Baldwin. “I look at it as a positive thing especially since we are trying to promote diversity in our city.”


One Vision, One Life receives $331,025

With the continued acts of violence in Pittsburgh’s Black community, such as the killing of a 5-year-old Northview Heights child asleep in his home or the two homicides in one night that occurred last week, there is a great need for anti-violence programs and more funding is what keeps them going. Last week, One Vision One Life received the Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant for its continued effort in violence prevention and reduction. The grant is for $331,025 over two years.


Baldwin honored by women’s group

Cynthia Baldwin, a partner in the Trial Practice Group of law firm Duane Morris in Pittsburgh, has been named among 20 women lawyers throughout southwest Pennsylvania to be honored by the Women and Girls Foundation as part of its Art of Justice: Women Shaping the Law event. The organization will recognize the achievements of the honorees at its fifth Anniversary Celebration Nov. 7 at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh. CYNTHIA BALDWIN