Daily Archive: August 3, 2011

Metro

Black police decline over decade

In 2008, when the city launched recruitment for a new class of police officers, they had 1357 applicants, of which 18 percent were African-American. By the end of the recruiting process in July 2011, when 36 officers had been selected for the academy, only one Black applicant remained, equaling 3 percent of the total hires. TAMIKO STANLEY “In addition to further enhancing our recruitment efforts to secure an even higher volume of response from diverse applicants, we are focusing on better engaging those demographics so that we retain their interest during the process and to assist applicants to be better equipped to make it to the finish line,” said Tamiko Stanley, equal employment opportunity officer for the city. The city recently announced a series of changes to police officer recruiting aimed at increasing diversity on the Pittsburgh police force. But, how diverse is the current police force and how has it changed over the past ten years?

Metro

Noose at Daily’s gets national probe

In response to reports of a hangman’s noose being hung in the American Beverage plant, in Verona, that employs several African-Americans, The Ordinary People Society has launched its own investigation, bringing national attention to the incident. The Alabama-based organization, known mostly for its voting rights restoration successes in Alabama and Florida, has interviewed several employees and learned that the maintenance crews are the focus of the inquiries because they have access to the rafters from which the noose was discovered hanging on July 11. “Everyone knows what a noose stands for, just like they know what a cross stands for,” said TOPS Founder Kenneth Glasgow, D.D. “We’re reaching out to the union and the company because this is the third racial incident at this plant, and in 2011 someone would so blatantly commit such a public, racist, hateful act.”

Metro

Board approves lowering sports GPA

Last week the Pittsburgh Public School District Board of Directors approved a package of policy changes to the district’s guidelines. Contained in the package was the lowering of the grade point average requirement for students participating in athletics and other extracurricular activities. While the former policy required students to meet a 2.0 GPA, district administrators have not been adhering to the policy and some students with GPAs below the requirement have been allowed to play. The change in the policy now lowers the GPA requirement to 1.5. THOMAS SUMPTER “I describe it as a bridge. It’s to get from where we are to where we want kids to be. It appears that when it was last changed, there was no communication to those who actually do this work about the actual requirement,” Superintendent Linda Lane said. “In any case kids were not being held to the standard. I am totally supportive of holding kids to the standard. But what I wasn’t in favor of is pulling the rug out from other kids because adults weren’t doing what they were supposed to do.”

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Metro

35 of 44 homicides Black lives

The summer season is known for family fun, cookouts, vacations and unfortunately in Allegheny County, the month of July has a trend of having an increased number of homicides. Last year, July had a homicide count of 12, but this year there has been a decrease of more than 50 percent, with only five homicides. While five is still too much, especially when it includes a young girl not out of high school, who is shot because of a careless action like showing off a semiautomatic gun, as if it were a new toy; it does bring hope that the killings (and shootings) will continue to decrease.

National

Obama turns 50 amid debt debate

by Darlene SupervilleAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP)—Turning 50 is hard enough. But it’s got to be even harder when you’re president, because the whole world knows about it, and harder still when one of life’s milestones is nearly overshadowed by a nasty tussle with Congress over money. Well, too bad for President Barack Obama. That’s exactly how the big 5-0 is shaping up for him. THE BIG 5-0—President Barack Obama speaks from the White House briefing room in Washington, July 31, about a deal being reached to raise the debt limit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Metro

Community Calendar

Adoption Webinar AUG. 3—Adoptions From the Heart will host an Online Webinar on Adopting African-American Infants at 7 p.m. The webinar will focus on the urgent need for African-American applicants and their Domestic Adoption Program, which is open to couples and singles living in the United States and places African-American infants with families directly from the hospital. Registration is required. For more information, call Ali Peters at 610-642-7200 or email alexandrap@afth.org.

National

This Week In Black History

For the Week of August 6-12 August 6 1965—President Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act which was designed to guarantee the right of African-Americans to vote. The Act ended a wide range of discriminatory voting practices in the South including literacy tests. The Act was probably the most significant piece of civil rights legislation ever passed. It was renewed for another 25 years in July of 2006. It was weakened a bit by a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision but remains in effect. PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON

National

2 women killed in Newark, NJ had promising lives

Associated Press Writer NEWARK, N.J. (AP)—Their lives never intersected, but they were both daughters of Newark: two successful young women nearly the same age, both with good jobs and dedicated to improving their communities. Now, both are scheduled to be buried this week. One grew up in the city’s vibrant Portuguese immigrant enclave, fulfilling a dream to work in law enforcement. The other, an award-winning young musician, was raised in and around Newark before following her family South to become a grade-school teacher in Charlottesville, Va. DAWN REDDICK and DEBORA FERREIRA

National

Ex-Detroit mayor freed after 14 months in prison

by Jeff KaroubAssociated Press Writer JACKSON, Mich. (AP)—Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick walked out of prison early Tuesday offering big smiles and a bear hug for a relative there to greet him. He’s free on parole but facing a federal corruption trial that could send him back behind bars. Kilpatrick, 41, left the Southern Michigan Prison facility in Jackson after serving more than a year for violating probation in a 2008 criminal case.