Daily Archive: December 10, 2009


Alpha Phi Alpha refutes CEA allegations of underhandedness

The Alpha Omicron Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Community Empowerment Association are in the midst of a battle over a building property in the Homewood neighborhood (see “CEA fights battle on two fronts” in the Dec. 2 issue). Both organizations issued proposals to buy the building currently being leased by the CEA, an organization working to reduce crime and violence across the city. However, the Homewood Brushton Revitalization and Development Corp. that owns the property selected Alpha Phi Alpha to buy the building. ALPHA PHI ALPHA— Chase Patterson serves as spokesman for the Alpha Omicron Lambda Chapter’s Housing Committee. Since that time, CEA founder Rashad Byrdsong has released statements questioning the fairness of the bidding process and the intentions of Alphas. Members of the Alphas have taken offense to Byrdsong’s comments which they feel have cast their organization in a negative light.


Parolee charged in killing of Penn Hills cop

by Joe Mandak PENN HILLS, Pa. (AP)— A parolee wearing an electronic ankle bracelet fatally shot a man at his home over a $500 drug debt, then walked outside and opened fire on a patrol car, killing an officer awaiting backup, authorities said. Penn Hills police Officer Michael Crawshaw, 32, was the first to respond to a 911 call made around 8:20 p.m. Sunday. Crawshaw was advised to wait in his patrol car because of past problems reported at the home and because dispatchers heard shots over the phone, Penn Hills Chief Howard Burton said. RONALD ROBINSON and OFFICER MICHAEL CRAWSHAW Ronald Robinson, 32, opened fire with an assault rifle as he approached the car, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said Monday. “He didn’t go rushing in by himself; he wasn’t (trying to be) a hero,” Burton said of Crawshaw.


Urban League Ron Brown Dinner honors local legends

On Dec. 4, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh held its 14th annual Ronald H. Brown Leadership Gala to once again honor those who have made a positive impact on the African-American community. “For the past 13 years, this gala has offered a great opportunity for the Urban League to identify and acknowledge individuals and organizations that help African-Americans achieve economic self-resilience, parity and power and civil rights in our region,” said Murry Gerber, honorary chairman and chairman and CEO of EQT. “And by highlighting these individuals and organizations, the Urban League encourages all of us to step up to the plate and do our part.” LEADERSHIP GALA—From left: James Barnes, Urban League Chairman, board of directors and wife, Elizabeth Barnes; Esther Bush; Carol Byrom Conrad, daughter of Fletcher Byrom; Elsie Hillman and husband, Henry Hillman; Susan Byrom, daughter of Fletcher Byrom; Marcia Sturdivant; and Evan Frazier. More than 400 guests attended the benefit at the Westin Convention Center, raising more than $300,000 for the Urban League.


Bryant Gumbel says he has lung cancer

NEW YORK (AP)—Bryant Gumbel says he’s recovering from lung cancer surgery and treatment. The former “Today” show anchor says a malignant tumor and part of his lung were removed two months ago. He revealed his condition to Kelly Ripa while he was subbing for co-host Regis Philbin on “Live With Regis and Kelly” on Tuesday. BRYANT GUMBEL Gumbel says he had preferred to keep his condition private and only told Ripa backstage to explain why he couldn’t dance with her during a segment on the show.


BNY Mellon chairman says outlook for the economy positive

In welcoming her nearly 500 guests to the African American Chamber of Commerce’s annual business luncheon at the Omni William Penn, President and CEO Doris Carson Williams thanked them for their tenacity in helping each other through a tough economic climate. “We’ve heard the economy is improving, but it is still a challenge,” she said at the Dec. 2 event. “That’s why we as a chamber have gone back to the basics, the ABCs—Arts, Business development and Civic engagement.” GRANDE FINALE—As Board Chairman Sam Stephenson looks on, President and CEO Doris Carson Williams presents a crystal vase to BNY Mellon Chairman and CEO Robert Kelly after his address to the African American Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual business luncheon.



School advisory committee has rocky start

The last time the Pittsburgh Public Schools closed some of its schools, East End community members objected and tried to create their own plan. Now, the district, in anticipation of another round of closings, has formed an East Region Advisory Committee to weigh community concerns. However, after its initial attempt to hold a private meeting Dec. 3, some are saying the community is not being included. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT— Pittsburgh School Director Mark Brentley Sr. says the Pittsburgh Public Schools are excluding the community from its East Region Advisory Committee on school reconfiguration. “I never received an e-mail or a call. I found out about it by reading the newspaper,” said School Director Mark Brentley Sr. “And I was never told who was on it and never asked for nominations. It’s another administration attempt to stack the deck with those who’ll recommend what it wants.”


Popular Homewood bar owner Cookie Miller dead at 52

According to family and friends, Mernice Lee “Cookie” Miller lived life to its fullest until her death at Shadyside Hospital Nov. 30, after she suffered cardiac arrest. She was 52. She was the owner of The New Billy’s Gold Door Lounge on N. Dallas and Kelly in Homewood, formerly Karl’s Cork & Keg. Her viewing and funeral service were held Dec. 2-4 at Coston’s Funeral Home. The funeral was at St. James AME Church on Lincoln Avenue in East Liberty, Dec. 5. COOKIE MILLER “My mouth literally dropped open when my friend, Valerie Dixon, told me yesterday what happened to Cookie only hours after I had left her. Wow! You just never know. She seemed like such a positive and good spirited person. I’m sorry that I did not get the opportunity to know her better. Love the people in your circle. Don’t take them for granted,” Tim Stevens said.


Noted beautician dead at 82

For nearly 25 years, Katherine Dalton was a mentor to many young people in Pittsburgh, paving a way for self-sufficiency and vocational training for a generation of beauticians. As the proprietor of Dalton’s Beauty Salon in Wilkinsburg, she made sure her operators and customers put their best foot forward. After a long illness, God came and took her home Nov. 3. She was 82. She was born in Pittsburgh’s West End to the late Robert H. and Katie Lee Nelson Feb. 21, 1927. She attended public schools and graduated from Westinghouse High School.


Metro Beat

Increased fines and fees The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has announced that beginning Jan. 1, there will be an increase in fines on overdue materials…


Community Calendar

Insurance training DEC. 9—A For the People Insurance Agency Inc. will host the Insurance Training Institute at 2514 Wylie Ave., Hill District. They will offer a four-day intensive training for people interested in selling insurance. The course will run through Dec. 12. Registration is required. For more information, call 412-621-5581 or visit http://www.aforthepeople.com.