Monthly Archive: July 2010


Jenkins family celebrates 80th anniversary

On July 17, I spent a wonderful day with an incredible family of relatives that can trace their roots back six generations. The day began when I met with a member of the Jenkins family, a great guy named James Scott, in East Liberty at 9 a.m., to go to South Park Township where the Jenkins Family 80th Reunion would take place. We were one of the earliest members to arrive at the main cottage lodge and be greeted by “Auntie” Barbara Jean Minor, who also was a very pleasant lady to know and spend the day with. OLDEST FAMILY MEMBER—“Momma” Marian Jenkins-DeVaughn, front left, with Barbara Jean Minor and Dorothy Jones. Back, from left: Celeste Jenkins, Carolyn Davis, Leslie Jenkins, and Juanita Jenkins hold quilt with family history and photos on it. As we waited for the others to arrive, some of the early arrivals played toss with footballs and softballs in the parking area, a warm-up for the annual softball game to be played later. Meanwhile several of the other cousins and aunts started to prepare the food for the day in the lodge’s kitchen. The Jenkins family’s family tree extends as far south as Mississippi, Florida and Virginia, and north, ranging from Ohio to New York, with Pittsburgh right in the middle.


Sanders to donate $100,000 to PIRC to fight gang violence

Former Pittsburgh Steeler Chuck Sanders, president and CEO of Urban Settlement Services, has always strived to give back to the community, and is doing so again by contributing $100,000 to the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime. “I know it is easy to ask these young men and women to put down the guns and stop the crime, however we must show them, as well as offer, alternatives to their current way of living,” he said. “I stand with each PIRC participant who believes sincerely in, and is committed to, a new way of life and I commit that this jobs fund was established for you and will help you in staying on that positive and progressive path.” CHUCK SANDERS The contribution will go to the establishment of the Chuck Sanders Charities-PIRC Job Fund, which will assist PIRC participants in securing employment opportunities with local community organizations and businesses. Their wages will be partially subsidized by the jobs fund, thus offering employers an incentive to participate in the program.


St. Clair Village reunion to continue in spite of demolition

Old friends and families who grew up in the St. Clair Village Community gathered for the 16th annual St. Clair Village reunion July 16-18. The reunion started in 1995 because of the close- knit neighborhood. Lou Shealey, president of the St. Clair Village Committee, will keep the reunion going along with his committee members as long as there is breath in his body. He moved to St. Clair Village in 1954 and moved out in 1967. St. Clair Village was built in October 1953. It was once a thriving neighborhood with families who were very close. It wasn’t until recent years that crime took a toll on the neighborhood and reduced it to a high crime area. With the Pittsburgh Housing Authority demolishing the housing complex, it will be nothing but a memory for the former residents. THE ST. CLAIR VILLAGE REUNION COMMITTEE The St. Clair Village Committee will hold a reunion every year to keep those memories alive and to share with others what a vibrant neighborhood St. Clair Village was once. This year it was held at Schenley Park’s Veteran’s Pavillion as the community came out to celebrate the memories and good times.


Hundreds at Broadway theater to help child actress

by Marc Beja NEW YORK (AP)—The cast and crew of “The Lion King” is trying to save the life of one of its own. Eleven-year-old actress Shannon Tavarez was forced to quit the Broadway show in April after she was diagnosed with leukemia. Her physician, Dr. Larry Wolfe, said Tavarez needs a bone marrow transplant, but has been unable to find the perfect match. A partial match has been found, but a better one is being sought. NEEDS DONOR—Eleven-year-old Shannon Tavarez, who starred in the Broadway musical “The Lion King,” relaxes in her room in the Bellrose section of Queens, N.Y. Tavarez has leukemia. More than 700 people showed up to a bone marrow donor registration on July 23 at the Minskoff Theater, where the show is performed, and hundreds more signed up online. Members of the cast and crew helped the potential donors swab the inside of their cheeks to see if their tissue type matched Tavarez’ or anyone else needing a transplant.


Chicken, Young Meez bring originality to hip-hop

Andre Jones and Jeromy Cherry are brothers from the Hill District, who along with NBA basketball star DeJuan Blair formed “Put On Productions.” Jones aka Chicken is 22 and his brother Cherry aka Young Meez is 20. These young men are making waves on the hip-hop scene in Pittsburgh and across the country. There music is a combination of conscious music with a mainstream appeal. Even though they have the production company together with Blair, they are solo artists. CHICKEN AND YOUNG MEEZ


French hospital: Singer Al Jarreau getting better

MARSEILLE, France (AP)—Hospital authorities say Grammy-winning singer Al Jarreau will stay hospitalized in the French city of Marseille for three or four more days. The Marseille Hospital Authority said July 25 that Jarreau is getting better and in good spirits but will stay in La Timone hospital for monitoring. ON THE MEND—Al Jarreau, seven-time Grammy Award winner, performs during a concert at Festival Jazz des Cinq Continents in Marseille, southern France, July 21. Jarreau’s manager, Joe Gordon, says he will undergo tests in Marseille and “hopes to resume his tour at the end of the coming week.” The 70-year-old Jarreau was hospitalized in the Alps July 23 after suffering breathing problems in the mountains that forced him to cancel several concerts. He was moved to Marseille by helicopter Saturday.


Boroughs work to keep homicide rates down

While the city of Pittsburgh’s homicide rate continue to increase, the county’s rate seems to be decreasing. With the year more than half over, there have been 18 out of 50 homicides in the county that occurred outside Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, this time last year there were 25 out of 52. OPHELIA COLEMAN In 2009, the boroughs in Allegheny County where most of the homicides occurred were McKeesport and Wilkinsburg with eight each and Penn Hills with three. But this year things have changed. With the year more than half over, Penn Hills and McKeesport have the most with four each and Wilkinsburg with two. A few local police chiefs spoke about what is being done in their community to make sure homicide rates do not rise in their areas.


Green Connelley hopefully means green for Hill District

The future redevelopment of the Hill District’s Connelley Technical Institute into a space for Pittsburgh Green Innovators has many environmentalists excited. But what does this new center mean for taxpayers funding the building’s redevelopment and how will it benefit Hill District residents? JAKE WHEATLEY “The one impact I’m hoping will be immediate is that as they start to redevelop, that Hill residents will take part in helping to transform that building,” said State House Rep. Jake Wheatley, who represents the Hill District. “I’m hoping residents of the Hill will have opportunities. I’m hoping that building being in the Hill District will be another beacon to attract people to come into the neighborhood.” The Pittsburgh Green Innovators building will serve as a hub for green projects across the city. This means the site will offer training in green career fields and serve as a center for creating and showcasing new green technologies.