Daily Archive: November 30, 2011

Metro

Board closes 7 schools

On Nov. 22, the Pittsburgh Public School District Board of Directors approved a slew of plans aimed at reducing the district’s projected 2012 budget deficit of $21.7 million. Among them were the elimination of single-gendered classes at the Academy at Westinghouse and the sale of two school buildings. SHARENE SHEALEY voted in favor of school changes. Also approved in the package was the district’s realignment plan, which will see the closure of seven more schools and the elimination of 400 positions in the district. This includes the merger of Perry High School and Oliver High School, along with the merger of Brashear High School and Langley High School.

Metro

Urban Youth Action stays alive

As Rev. Cornell Jones and supporters rallied against the scheduled shut down of the Urban Youth Action outside its offices Oct. 31, there was still no indication that the board of directors would meet with him to discuss saving the program his late father founded in 1964. But then, after three months of refusals, the board chair and vice chair met with the Jones family Nov. 17. Rev. Jones was elated. REV. CORNELL JONES “The Board of UYA has agreed to work with us, alumni and friends to bring UYA back better than ever. The meeting was a success,” he said. “Both the Board and the Family agreed that we must do whatever we can to save this powerful program for the youth.”

Metro

Breast cancer strikes Black women earlier and deadlier

At the age of 27, Tanisha Freeman was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two years later, she is cancer free and working to raise awareness for other young African-American women who may be at risk for developing the disease. “Most of the time they tell you do not get your mammograms ‘til 40 and I was diagnosed at 27, so I’m trying to change the face of breast cancer. Every time I tell someone they ask me how old I am; so I’m trying to raise awareness,” Freeman said. “It’s not hereditary in my family. I don’t even carry the gene for cancer.” BREAST CANCER AWARENESS—Talaya Thomas, Tenisha Freeman and mother Gina Saunders. (Photo by Erin Perry) While African-American women are less likely to develop breast cancer than their White counterparts, their cancers are more advanced when discovered and have a poorer prognosis. Black women are also more likely to develop breast cancer earlier in life.

Metro

Johnson Publishing head speaks on future

Recently, Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publications, came to Pittsburgh for the gala celebrating the opening of the Carnegie Museum’s “Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story,” the exhibition presenting the archives of photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, which is still on display at the museum through April 2012; and then will tour several locations throughout the country. LINDA JOHNSON RICE Rice, who serves as the national chair for the exhibit, said she got involved with it when she was approached by Judy Davenport, founder of Pittsburgh’s Sheridan Broadcasting, and the head of the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh. “I thought that what the Carnegie Museum did was first class and very impacting, it was great,” she said. “It is a chronicle of the history of African-Americans.”

Metro

Homewood activist dies

For 30 years, Carrie Washington dedicated herself and her talents to the betterment of the Homewood neighborhood through her work with Operation Better Block Inc., an organization dedicated to overcoming blight in the Homewood community. On Nov. 13 the Homewood activist passed away at the age of 79. Services were handled by White Memorial Chapel. CARRIE WASHINGTON Washington began her career with OBB in 1971 as the assistant director, under the leadership of James Givner, the executive director. After Givner’s passing, Washington took over the position of executive director and continued until her retirement in 2001, which she held for more than 20 years.

Metro

Community Calendar

Holiday Open House DEC. 1—The McKeesport Heritage Center will host its Holiday Open House from 12-8 p.m. at 1832 Arboretum Dr., McKeesport. The museum will be decorated, with Christmas trees on display. . The open house runs through Dec. 5. For more information, call 412-678-1832.

National

Famed FAMU Marching 100 band shuttered, director fired after suspected hazing death

by Freida Frisaro MIAMI (AP)—The family of a Florida A&M University drum major who died in what authorities suspect was a hazing incident will sue the school, an attorney said Nov. 25. The family of Robert Champion, 26, spent the holiday weekend planning Champion’s funeral, attorney Christopher Chestnut said. FINAL PERFORMANCE—Robert Champion, second from right, a drum major in Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 band, and others perform during halftime of a football game Nov. 19 in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/The Tampa Tribune, Joseph Brown III) The Atlanta resident was found on a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel Nov. 19 after the school’s football team lost to rival Bethune-Cookman. Police said Champion, a clarinet player who recently was named drum major, had been vomiting and complained he couldn’t breathe shortly before he collapsed. The cause of Champion’s death hasn’t been determined. Preliminary autopsy results were inconclusive, and a spokeswoman with the Orange County medical examiner’s office said it could take up to three months to learn exactly what killed him.

National

Penn State Counsel emerges in the midst of scandal

by Melissa Jones (NNPA)—Cynthia Baldwin, general counsel at Pennsylvania State University, sits in the middle of a proverbial firestorm. Former defensive coordinator Gerald “Jerry” Sandusky was arrested on Nov. 5 on allegations of child rape that span 15 years. The major players are well known. Sandusky, Penn State icon and longtime coach Joe Paterno, former athletic director Tim Curley, former vice president of finance and management Gary Schultz, former president Graham Spanier and Mike McQueary, the only known witness to the rape allegations. IN MIDDLE OF STORM—Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice and Penn. State General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin is the only high ranking official involved in the scandal who is neither male nor White. (Courier Photo/File) Baldwin is the only high ranking official involved in the scandal who is neither male nor White.

National

This Week In Black History

For the week of Dec. 3-9 December 3 1847—Frederick Douglas and Martin R. Delaney establish “The North Star” and it goes on to become a major anti-slavery newspaper. 1922—Ralph Gardner is born in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a pioneer chemist whose research into plastics led to the development of so-called hard plastics and aided product developments in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries. THOMAS HEARNS 1982—Thomas “The Hit Man” Hearns defeats Wilfredo Benitez for the WBC Junior Middleweight boxing title. Hearns becomes the first person to win boxing titles in five different weight classes.

National

Bullying suspected in 10-year-old North Carolina girl’s suicide

(NNPA)—Police are investigating the role of bullying in what they are calling the suicide of a 10-year-old girl from Chadbourn, N.C., who they say hanged herself. According to North Carolina’s NBC affiliate WECT, Jasmine McClain’s body was discovered by her mother, Samantha West, in the family home Nov. 14. JASMINE McCLAIN West explained that other parents have said that her daughter was ridiculed for not wearing the latest fashion trends. Authorities are investigating the alleged assertions. “She had anything she wanted,” West told WECT. “She may not have [had] the best in the world, but she had what she wanted and what she needed.”