Firefighters get tested
City of Pittsburgh and union officials have agreed that as a part of a new five-year contract, city firefighters will now be randomly drug tested and if they fail, they could be fired. The contract also gives the more than 600 city firefighters a substantial bonus next year, a 2 percent raise in their salary each year through 2014 and a raise in their pension.
The contract was signed earlier this week by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
Search for formeremployees
The Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area is looking for African-American men and women who were employed at the Carrie Furnace Plant that was located in the Rankin/Swissvale area, for a documentary that they are producing on the plant. “At that time, the Carrie Furnace plant was the most progressive one (in terms of its treatment of African-Americans),”
Ron Baraff, director of Museum Collections and Archives for Rivers of Steel, said. “We want to present a balanced picture of the plant and get everyone’s voice and right now, the African-American voice is underrepresented.” The plant was closed in 1982. For the next month, Rivers of Steel would like to conduct interviews with former African-American employees. Those interested in participating in the project can contact Baraff at 412-464-4020, ext. 21 or e-mail rbaraff@riversofsteelcom.
One Vision One Life, the nonprofit organization that is part of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services’ Violence Prevention, Reduction and Intervention Initiative, will hold a candlelight vigil from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 for the victims of the fire that occurred in Clairton Oct. 23. Early last Friday, three children died when a home in the 2800 block of Soltis Drive in the Century Towne Home Complex caught on fire. The children, Rachel Finn, 9; Deausha Faulk, 6; and Michael Zigler,2, died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning when they were unable to get out of the building. Finn and Faulk were sisters and Zigler was their cousin who had been visiting the home. Officials have not ruled on the cause of the fire and are still investigating the incident. The vigil is part of One Vision One Life’s initiative to bring awareness to violent community incidents.
Donations for the victims are being collected by the Clairton School District and can be sent to the district’s administration office at 502 Mitchell Ave., Clairton, Pa 15025. Indicate on the envelope that it is for fire victims.
Demonstration of unity
In an effort to down play Devil’s Night this Halloween weekend, the Community Empowerment Association Inc. has put together a Demonstration of Unity Walk to be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 30 at The Bidwell Highrise on Sheffield Street in Manchester. With the tragic murder of 5-year-old Jaylon Johnson-Floyd and the rash of violence that has taken place in the community, the organization will walk to support the people and work being done in the North Side area and to take back the streets.
The organization is asking for community, church and group support. For more information or to participate, call Lee Davis at 412-371-3689, ext. 23 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organization gives grant
McAuley Ministries of Pittsburgh Mercy Health Systems has announced a three-year grant that will total $150,000 to the Healthy Home Resources’ Asthma Trigger Home Evaluation that will address the needs of asthmatic children of low-income families in the Hill District, Uptown and West Oakland neighborhoods.
Michele Rone Cooper, executive director of McAuley Ministries said in a release, “According to our analysis of 2008 health care usage, residents with asthma from the Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland generated 684 physician office visits, 99 emergency visits, 26 inpatient discharges, and 156 hospital outpatient visits.”
The staff of Healthy Home Resources will inspect each home, educate the families on reducing and eliminating asthma triggers and provide cleaning supplies, such as HEPA vacuums, purifiers, dehumidifiers and more.
The program will help approximately 75 families.