Daily Archive: August 18, 2010


Chief Harper raises stakes in response to Homewood shooting

As the Midget League football game at Willie Stargell Field drew to a close Aug. 15, 20 gunshots rang out within hearing range. The shots were so close in fact, they injured three bystanders as they made their way around the corner from the game. In response to the shootings, Pittsburgh Police Chief Nathan Harper addressed the nearby residents of Homewood at the very same field the next day. He came with a show of force of close to 30 officers and a threat to shutdown the Allegheny County Midget Football League unless someone in the community came forward with information regarding the perpetrators. SWIFT JUSTICE—Chief Nate Harper addresses the community at Willie Stargell Field, Aug. 16. “As you see with kids playing here, we can’t tolerate this kind of violence,” said Harper, motioning to children swimming in the park’s public swimming pool. “We don’t have the names of the perpetrators. If we don’t have the names by the end of the day we expect to cancel the football league. We plan on making arrests immediately. We’re tired of always reacting to the same kind of events.”


Community holds tight to youth football league

After threats by Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper to shutdown the Allegheny County Midget Football League in response to a Homewood shooting Aug. 15, leaders of the league and team coaches banded together to find a solution. “I understand that justice has to be served, but the kids are not the problem. I understand the chief has to take a stand somewhere. I can see his viewpoint, but a lot of these people in these organizations volunteer 30 hours a week,” said Jose Regus, league president. “It’s not like this was the only incident. It’s just the only incident that was by the youth.” FATHER FIGURES—From left: Coaches Monte Robinson and Ayodeji Young respond to the shooting that occurred during their team’s game. By 8 p.m., following a meeting with the football league and anonymous information from members of the community, Harper decided to stand down.



Scramble over Irvis Center…CCAC cancels bid deadline

Following multiple complaints surrounding its contracting procedures regarding construction of the $22 million K. Leroy Irvis Science Center, including a lawsuit filed by non-union contractors, the Community College of Allegheny County has cancelled its bid deadline. The Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Pa. filed a lawsuit charging the college with entering into a Project Labor Agreement that required 90 percent of the workforce to come from union shops. BILL ROBINSON Eileen Watt, former county councilwoman and president of the Associated Builders and Contractors Western Pennsylvania branch, said some of her members complained they would have to lay off their own employees to hire union members in order to work on the Irvis Center project. Watt said the ABC has scheduled a press conference on the contracting issues and the PLA for Aug. 18 at 4 p.m. in West Park across from the CCAC campus.


Hall of Fame to correct ‘Pete’ Hill’s information

by Allison Brophy Champion CULPEPER, Va. (AP)—When the National Baseball Hall of Fame recasts the plaque of Negro League standout and Culpeper native “Pete” Hill later this year, changing his given name and birthplace, it will officially give Culpeper County its second inductee into the game’s most sacred institution. “PETE” HILL In addition, the Hall of Fame will concurrently update Hill’s library file to fix his birth year. “New information has shown that the genealogical information and history of his birth were not correct,” said Brad Horn, senior director of communications and education at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.


White Chicago couple refuses to sell to popular Black radio personality

(AFRO.com)—A Chicago couple faces discrimination charges after reportedly refusing to sell their home to comedian and radio personality George Willborn because he’s Black. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Aug. 10 that it will charge Daniel and Adrienne Sabbia and real estate agent Jeffrey Lowe with violating federal fair housing laws after they stalled negotiations and eventually took the property off the market rather than sell to Willborn. GEORGE WILLBORN According to the department, Willborn and his wife Peytyn Willborn submitted a $1.7 million offer, the highest offer the sellers had received in the two years the home has been on the market. Lowe told government officials that Daniel Sabbia didn’t want to sell his home to an African-American.


Speak Out…How well do you think the PIRC will work?

Pittsburgh recently unveiled its program to combat violent crime so we asked Pittsburghers what they thought. Here’s what you said. “It sounds great. If you can get folks to support it through education about the benefits, it can have a positive impact on the city. I am looking forward to the effects it has on the community. I am from the south and see similar issues at home.”Jamie GoingsValidation engineerRaleigh, N. C. Jamie Goings, Rashida McElrath, David Burton


Community Calendar

Heritage weekend AUG. 20—The Pittsburgh Pirates will host their Heritage Weekend Celebration. The celebration will feature a tribute to the Negro Leagues and players from the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords. Festivities will run through Aug. 21 and include a sports luncheon and a street celebration. For more information, call Chaz Kellem at 412-325-4761 or e-mail chaz.kellem@pirates.com.


In Pa., Muslims participate in Ramadan

by Ivey DeJesusAssociated Press Writer HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) —Mehdi Noorbaksh, associate professor of international affairs and coordinator of general education at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, fulfills the daily obligations of his faith, including praying several times a day. He keeps a prayer rug in his office and bows to Mecca in prayer. Twice a day, Mehdi Noorbaksh puts aside professional duties and turns to God. In the privacy of his office at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, he unrolls a rug, bows in the direction of Mecca and prays. Like millions of Muslims, he prays five times a day, but more so during Ramadan Islam’s holy month. DEVOTED—Mehdi Noorbaksh fulfills the daily obligations of his faith, including praying several times a day, in Harrisburg, Pa.


Obama supports ‘the right’ for Ground Zero mosque

by Julie Pace PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP)—Weighing his words carefully on a fiery political issue, President Barack Obama said Aug. 14 that Muslims have the right to build a mosque near New York’s Ground Zero, but he did not say whether he believes it is a good idea to do so. HOSTS IFTAR DINNER—President Barack Obama hosts an iftar dinner, the meal that breaks the dawn-to-dusk fast for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, Aug. 13. Obama commented during a trip to Florida, where he expanded on a Friday night White House speech asserting that Muslims have the same right to freedom of religion as everyone else in America. The president’s statements thrust him squarely into a debate he had skirted for weeks and could put Democrats on the spot three months before midterm elections where they already were nervous about holding control of the House and maybe even the Senate. Until Friday, the White House had asserted that it did not want to get involved in local decision-making.


Dr. Laura apologizes for saying N-word on the air

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Talk radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has issued an apology for saying the N-word several times in an on-air conversation with a caller that she said was “hypersensitive” to racism. Schlessinger said on her website Aug. 11 that she was wrong in using the word for what she called an attempt to make a philosophical point. I WAS WRONG—Dr. Laura Schlessinger poses during her morning talk show in her Los Angeles studio.