Daily Archive: January 13, 2010


Local school named for Barack Obama

Last month the Pittsburgh Board of Education approved the name of the Pittsburgh Public School District’s new International Baccalaureate World School. A committee of community members, parents, staff and students chose the name Barack Obama Academy of International Studies. “It sends a good message to students that they can have a part in the process,” said District 3 Rep. Thomas Sumpter. BARACK OBAMA


Homewood Credit Union closes after fifth robbery

The Homewood Brushton business community has suffered another casualty. Board members of A-K Valley Federal Credit Union voted late Jan. 5 to close the 7249 Frankstown Ave. branch, often referred to as the Homewood Credit Union. The branch was burglarized Jan. 1, the fifth time since the organization has operated in Homewood—four of the times at gunpoint. DARK AND LONELY—A-K Valley Federal Credit Union, located at 7249 Frankstown Ave. in Homewood, has closed its doors. According to president and CEO Janet Horn, the New Year’s Day robber went through filing cabinets but did not access any personal files because those were in a locked cabinet, but a set of keys were stolen. Two employees are affected by the closing.


Job forum calls for Obama to put Blacks first

Community leaders and concerned citizens at a Jan. 2 job forum said President Barack Obama must focus his efforts on creating programs specifically aimed at reducing unemployment in the African-American community. Coinciding with others around the country, Your Sister’s Project hosted a community jobs forum to gather public feedback on what Obama’s administration can do to stimulate job growth and help Blacks get jobs. MORE JOBS—Community leaders from throughout the city came together at a Job Forum to lead a discussion on how to increase employment in the Black community. “Our community, the African-American community, is suffering the most,” said special guest Akbar Muhammad. “Collectively we must say to the Barack Obama administration, we need to look at the special needs of the Black community and there’s nothing wrong with that.”


Board hears testimony from anti-violence activists

At the monthly Pittsburgh Board of Education public hearing Jan. 11, 13 members of the Black Political Empowerment Project and the Coalition Against Violence asked the board to implement CAV’s strategies in the Pittsburgh Public School District. A MOTHER’S LOVE— Valerie Dixon shares the story of her son who died, a victim of street violence. “It is the strongly held opinion of members of B-PEP and the Coalition Against violence ‘Working Group’ that the end of violence in our schools and in our neighborhoods must become a top priority for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, its teachers, administrators, students, parents and guardians,” B-PEP Chairman Tim Stevens said. “Please remember that more peaceful schools and more peaceful communities logically lead to a more positive learning environment for all.”


Black golf pioneer Powell dies

CANTON, Ohio (AP)—Bill Powell, the first African-American to build, own and operate a golf course, died Dec. 30, 2009. He was 93. The PGA of America said Powell died at Aultman Hospital in Canton following complications from a stroke. AN AMERICAN HERO—In this photo taken on June 16, 2008, Bill Powell is shown at his Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio. Bill Powell, the first African-American to build, own and operate a golf course, died Dec. 31, 2009.


Martin Luther King Jr. Calendar of Events

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. Spirit of King JAN. 14—Port Authority of Allegheny County, the Kingsley Association and the Pittsburgh Pirates will host the 2010 Spirit of King Awards ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Kingsley Center, 6435 Frankstown Ave., East Liberty. The special honorees will be Bishop Charles H. Foggie and Jake Milliones, Ph.D. For more information, call Evelyn Newsome at 412-566-5259.


LIHEAP makes program changes

Up until 2004, utilities were forbidden to terminate residential heating in winter months without approval of the Public Utilities Commission. But as it has since its inception in 1982, the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program continued providing more help to vulnerable residents with its cash assistance and crisis grant program. STEADY REMINDER —Former Steeler great Franco Harris continues to remind Pittsburgh area residents to sign up for LIHEAP during winter heating months. In November, LIHEAP began accepting applications from eligible families needing help paying their heating bills. It normally runs through March, but the deadline has been extended until April 2. The crisis grant program, which deals with households losing utility service, opened Jan. 4.


A+ Schools calls for focus on ‘vulnerable’ schools

A+ Schools is asking that the Pittsburgh Public School District’s “Empowering Effective Teachers Plan,” approved last November, include emphasis on vulnerable schools, most of which are in Black communities, where students are most in need of strong teachers. “Most everything we think they need to be doing, they’re doing. But if you have a great plan and it’s system-wide you could end up with something like you have now if you don’t target some vulnerable schools,” said Carey Harris, executive director of A+ Schools. “It’s really important that our most vulnerable schools get some attention.”


Metro Beat

New position Carlow University has announced that it has named Rev. Dr. Jermaine McKinley the new coordinator for the university’s Mercy Center for Service, which gets students active in service and volunteer work. “The opening of the Mercy Center for Service marks the beginning of a new phase in the life of the university as we strive to grow in our response to our Mercy heritage—particularly the tradition of service inherent in any Mercy institution,” Sister Sheila Carney, RSM, special assistant to the president for Mercy Heritage and Service, said in a release. “Dr. McKinley brings to her position as coordinator a wealth of experience and insight that will bring the center and all that it means to its fullest potential. We heartily welcome her to the Carlow family.”


Community Calendar

ACTION QUILT—Robert Hill, ETAH’s chair; Jackie Dixon of Giant Eagle and Dr. Jeannette E. South-Paul, look over the Action Quilt. If you knew anyone who had the virus or anyone who had died as a result, you were to place a ribbon on the quilt at the Educating Teens About HIV/AIDS, Inc. Red Ribbon Gala. A silent auction was held for the quilt. Get more information about the event on Health B5. Community meeting JAN. 14—The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Sports and Exhibition Authority will host a Community Meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. at Epiphany Church, 1018 Centre Ave., Hill District. The meeting will provide an update on key activities associated with the construction of the Consol Energy Center, minority participation, anticipated needs for future vendors and updates on the hotel being built next to the arena. There will be light refreshments and limited parking is available. E-mail Ron Porter at rporter@pittsburghpenguins.com.