Daily Archive: August 11, 2010


Healthy Black Families program leaving Kingsley

With Stephen Thomas Ph.D, and his top staffers having departed the Center for Minority Health at the University of Pittsburgh for Maryland more than two months ago, one of the center’s key community-based initiatives, the Healthy Black Families project at the Kingsley Association is being discontinued. Not only does its loss leave a $130,000 void in the Kingsley’s budget, it also leaves a health service void in the heart of several Black communities. MALIK BANKSTON


WQED replaces ‘Black Horizons’…Mixed reaction to loss of exclusive Black program

“Black Horizons,” one of the longest national running public affairs television talk shows that addressed issues of interest and relevance to the African-American community, is scheduled to be replaced this fall after more than 40 years. The show that has, like the WQED-Multimedia station’s motto states “changes lives,” may no longer do that after Nov. 1, when it is replaced with new programming that will focus on not just African-Americans but the growing number of ethnicities in the region. The station will have a whole new change in its weekly programming and it’s being viewed as an expansion that was carefully explored. CHRIS MOORE, RALPH PROCTOR, DARRYL FORD WILLIAMS, MINETTE SEATE


YMCA breaks ground on Lovette facility

After more than five years of planning, the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh broke ground on the site for their new location in the Hill District. At the ground-breaking for the $12 million building Aug. 9, approximately 100 Hill District residents, past and present, as well as other community leaders, came out to celebrate the event. “This is truly a historical day as we move on for our community, truly a great day,” said Aaron Gibson, executive director, Centre Avenue YMCA. “For years our community has really struggled. We’ve been promised a new building, we’ve been promised hope, but it’s never happened. But in the past month this community has made it happen.” THE WORK CONTINUES—Hill District community leaders, residents and stakeholders break ground on the new facility.


Rivers Casino gives back to ‘neighbors’…$1 million each to Hill, North Side

The Rivers Casino celebrated its one year anniversary by giving away $2 million. And General Manager Todd Moyer wouldn’t have it any other way. “Yeah, this is fun,” he said at the Aug. 9 presentation. “We’ve given away millions in winnings and prizes, but this is different. It feels good to see a direct benefit of economic development coming to our neighbors.” Moyer noted it was a great first year, giving funds to the Penguins, going from zero to more than 1,400 employees and generating $125 million in tax revenue. But that, he said is the past. PROMISE KEPT— Members of the Hill District and North Side community groups, churches and development entities join state Rep. Jake Wheatley in accepting two $1 million checks from the Rivers Casino during its Aug. 9 anniversary celebration.


La. man saved teen, couldn’t stop 6 from drowning

by Jamie StengleAssociated Press Writer SHREVEPORT, La. (AP)—Christopher Patlan was hanging out with friends on the Red River when he heard the desperate screams coming from seven teenagers. One minute they were wading in shallow water, the next they plunged into a dropoff 25 feet deep. Patlan bolted the 10 yards to the river and jumped in, saving 15-year-old DeKendrix Warner. By the time he had dragged the boy to safety, the six others from two families —all nonswimmers—had drowned. Family members, who also can’t swim, watched helplessly. HELPLESS—The grief of the family is shown as Shreveport Fire Department and Caddo Sheriff’s deputies scour the beach at Charles and Marie Hamel Memorial Park in Shreveport, La. Monday, Aug. 2, in search of teens believed to have drowned while swimming in the Red River.


Penguins pleased with overall Consol employment

As new employees were still learning their way around the now completed Consol Energy Center, Penguins representatives held a final community meeting on the status of minority inclusion, especially inclusion of Hill District residents. Overall, they said the numbers were good. Penguins President David Morehouse said despite some tension early on, there was good collaboration that yielded positive results. “I’m proud to welcome you to the best building in the country and we look forward to being a catalyst for more development,” he said. “I’m proud that we came in ahead of schedule and under budget, but I’m especially proud of the number of jobs we’ve created for Hill residents in this building.” WORKING ON THE HILL—Ken Nesbit of the Hill First Resource Center presents employment data for jobs at the Consol Energy Center as Penguins consultant Ron Porter, Ron Moody and Clarence Curry look on.


Speak Out…Do you think the shootings in McKeesport are related?

There were several shootings in McKeesport last month leaving three dead. We asked residents what they thought and here’s what you said. “I don’t think they’re related in terms of people but the relationship between the shootings is the inadequacy of education and housing for the youth and the community. I pray that there aren’t more shootings but I think that there will be. There are no community centers and few who are interested in their upbringing.”Jan McLeanLegal assistantMcKeesport Jan McLean, Abdul-Rabb, James Poag


Community Calendar

Fundraiser AUG. 12—UPMC St. Margaret Hospital will host the American Heart Association’s “Heart of a Champion” fund-raising event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Freeport Rd., Fox Chapel. There will be opportunities to take pictures with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins championship rings. All proceeds will go toward the association’s 2010 Pittsburgh Start! Heart Walk Oct. 10. For more information, call 412-784-5160.


Wyclef Jean files to run for Haiti’s presidency

by Jonathan M. KatzAssociated Press Writer PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP)—Singer Wyclef Jean submitted the paperwork Aug. 5 to run for president of Haiti, formally thrusting himself into what is expected to be a highly competitive race and ending years of speculation about his political ambitions. Several hundred supporters of the hip-hop artist-turned-politician cheered as he arrived by motorcade in a dark suit and tie at an electoral office in this capital city still largely in ruins from the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. Jean, who was born in Haiti but raised in Brooklyn, stood on top of an SUV and bowed to the crowd. He was accompanied by his wife and daughter. GREETED BY SUPPORTERS—Haitian-born singer Wyclef Jean, center, is greeted by supporters after submitting the paperwork to run for president of Haiti in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Aug. 5.


Saint Paul’s College receives largest gift in school history

(NNPA)—Saint Paul’s College a historically Black college, located in Lawrence­ville, Va., recently received the largest donation in the school’s history from the estate of former Washington, D.C. Councilwoman Hilda Mason, a St. Paul’s alum, and Charles N. Mason Jr. The $1.4 million endowment will be used to create a scholarship fund available to students pursuing a degree in any major area at the college. “My mother was determined, compassionate, and a fighter for all people,” Carolyn Nicholas, Mason’s daughter, said in a statement. HILDA MASON