Monthly Archive: February 2011


Searching for scholarships

by Derrick McCainFormer Courier Intern With graduation quickly approaching the seniors this year, many are moving on to college or other forms of post-secondary education. With this in mind, along with the FAFSA, the first thing soon-to-be college students have on their mind in terms of paying for college is the Pittsburgh Promise. The Promise scholarship ensures Pittsburgh Public Schools students with money to pay for college. However, the full $20,000 (it will be $40,000 as of next year) is only given if you’ve gone to Pittsburgh public schools since kindergarten, and even with the full award given, it won’t fully cover the cost of tuition. While the Promise is an important scholarship, one must remember it is not the only scholarship available.


White House launches 2011 ‘Race to the Top Commencement Challenge’

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The White House opened applications to the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge. Students from public high schools across the country are invited to demonstrate how their school prepares them for college and a career by going to commencement and submitting an application. The winning school will host President Barack Obama as their 2011 commencement speaker. “I’m looking for the school that’s doing the best job of preparing students for college and careers,” said President Obama. “The winning school will understand that their number one priority is making sure that our kids are learning what they need to succeed in this 21st century economy.”


Larimer revitalization plan unveiled

The Larimer Consensus Group presented an updated version on revitalizing Pittsburgh’s Lari­mer neighborhood recently called the Larimer Vision Plan, during a meeting at the Kingsley Center for community stakeholders. The LCG includes Kingsley, ELCC, the Omega Men, East Liberty Development Inc. and members of Larimer’s faith-based community. NEW VISION—Larimer Consensus Group member and Kinsgley Association Executive Director Malik Bankston highlights part of the Green Sustainable development plan for Larimer. (Photo by Erin Perry) Proposals and counter-proposals on revitalizing Pittsburgh’s Larimer neighborhood have been discussed since Ora Lee Carroll’s East Liberty Concerned Citizens Corp. first put out the original Larimer Plan for development in 1998. “It’s a very big deal in that it’s a big step forward in terms of a consensus, community view,” said Kingsley Executive Director Malik Bankston. “This is not being driven from the top down.”


Some think Penn Hills killing was hate crime

The recent murder of 24-year-old William King has left some Penn Hills residents wondering whether the homicide was a hate crime. Police found King’s dismembered body on a wooded hillside in Plum Feb. 17 and have since charged suspect Vito Pelino with homicide, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse. WILLIAM KING “I do have concerns about what has happened. A lot of people are questioning was this a hate crime so there does need to be an evaluation,” Joyce Davis, NAACP president. “All the citizens that are concerned about what’s right and good, we need to watch to see if this was a hate crime and is this being investigated.”


Work starts on new homes in Manchester

Manchester residents anxiously awaiting the construction of the Columbus Square housing development will soon be able to watch progress of the project from their computer screens. After sitting stagnant for nearly a year after the official groundbreaking ceremony in January 2010, work has begun at the former American Electric company site where intra structure work has begun. The Manchester Citizens Corp. is in the process of installing cameras to show progress on the site. URBAN RENEWAL—Ahmed Martin sees promise in the Columbus Square housing development. (Photo by J.L. Martello) The 31-unit development at the intersection of Juniata and Sedgwick Streets will consist of ten townhomes connected in pairs of two and 21 free-standing residences. Each single-family residence will contain a private yard and a two-car garage.


Community Calendar

Black history celebration FEB. 24—Gwen’s Girls will host a Black History Month Celebration at 6 p.m. at Hosanna House, 807 Wallace Ave., Wilkinsburg. This will be an evening of fellowship and fun through dancing, miming, singing, poetry and essay readings. For more information, call 412-731-7670 ext. 34.


Libya: Gadhafi vows to fight on, die a martyr

by Maggie Michael CAIRO (AP)—Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vows to fight on and die a “martyr,” calling on his supporters to take back the streets from protesters demanding his ouster, he said, shouting and pounding his fist, in a furious speech Tuesday on state TV. FACES OF REVOLUTION—An army soldier and anti-regime residents pose for photos in front of a tank in the early hours of Feb. 22, in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/Alaguri) Gadhafi, swathed in brown robes and turban, spoke from a podium set up in the entrance of a bombed out building that appeared to be his Tripoli residence hit by U.S. airstrikes in the 1980s and left unrepaired as a monument of defiance. The speech, which appeared to have been taped earlier, was aired on a screen to hundreds of supporters massed in Tripoli’s central Green Square. Shouting in the rambling speech, he declared himself “a warrior” and proclaimed, “Libya wants glory, Libya wants to be at the pinnacle, at the pinnacle of the world.”


This Week In Black History

Week of February 26-March 4 February 26 CARTER G. WOODSON and GARRETT A. MORGAN 1920—Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) founds the first nationally organized celebration of Black American history (then called Negro History Week), which was first celebrated on this day in 1926. Woodson scheduled the week to coincide with the birthdays of Civil War President Abraham Lincoln and black abolitionist Frederick Douglas. However, in 1976, Negro History Week was expanded into the current day Black History Month. For his efforts in promoting knowledge of black historical achievements Woodson became known as the “Father of Black History.” In explaining the need for the celebration, Woodson once said, “Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.”


PNC celebrates Black History Month locally and nationwide

Through local performances, speaking engagements, literature and film events in nine cities, the PNC Financial Services Group has been celebrating the storied history of African-Americans throughout the month of February. PNC-sponsored programs and activities in recognition of Black History Month were held in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Greater Maryland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. DAUGHTER AND SON—Lynell Nunn and Bill Nunn III accept their father’s award from Chuck Cooper III. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “From programs at neighborhood libraries and museums to partnerships with local sports teams, we’re recognizing Black History Month in ways that best represent the communities in which we live and work” said Marsha Jones, chief diversity officer, PNC. “Our hope is that these events will help bring together individuals, families, business leaders and PNC employees as they celebrate diversity and experience Black History Month locally.”



Must we duplicate yesteryear’s actions?

This column is to test your memory. Do you recall when… Blacks could not swim in the public pools or the pools in amusement parks? There were no Black police officers with rank? We were denied the right to eat at lunch counters and also accommodations at downtown hotels? The neighborhood theaters required Blacks to sit in the balcony? Blacks were not afforded the opportunity to drive buses or streetcars? Only White men could drive highway and sewer trucks and Black men cleaned the sewers? There were no Blacks employed as Allegheny County police, deputy sheriffs, Black assistant district attorneys, no Black judges, and no Blacks elected to a city or countywide position? Do you remember when there were no Black teachers, cafeteria workers, janitors, crossing guards? And do not dare to dream of a Black principal. There were employers in collusion with unions that would deny Blacks jobs as truck drivers, elevator operators, brick layers, carpenters, electricians and untold numbers of jobs in the steel mills.