Daily Archive: February 22, 2012


‘No validity to WTAE story’ Judge Woodruff tells Courier

Last week, WTAE aired a story on Allegheny County Judge Dwayne Woodruff and his involvement in a North Carolina Minor League basketball team. Promos prior to the sweeps week story said Judge Woodruff was guilty of owing taxpayers money. However, Woodruff, a former Pittsburgh Steeler, said the story that aired on Feb. 13 couldn’t be farther from the truth. JUDGE DWAYNE WOODRUFF “There is no validity to the WTAE story on me,” Woodruff said. “WTAE has practiced the worst kind of journalism in totally creating a story where there was none, misleading and lying to their viewers and attempting to discredit my good name.”


Pittsburgh celebrates Whitney’s homegoing

While Whitney Houston’s private homegoing service was being held at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., the fans in Pittsburgh had a home going celebration of their own at Coston Funeral Homes Inc. in East Liberty. More than 100 people came to the memorial service of Whitney Houston. The service was the brainchild of Bethany Criswell, who is a longtime fan of the singer. WHITNEY REMEMBERED—Full of Grace—The Institute of Excellence group in front of Whitney Houston portrait. (Photo by Ashley G. Woodson) Along with her husband, Roland Coston-Criswell, they put together a home going service for the many fans in Pittsburgh, who needed to grieve and celebrate the life and legacy of Whitney Houston.


College Fair attracts record attendance

Between 1999 and 2009, enrollment in post-secondary education increased by 38 percent, from 14.8 million to 20.4 million, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Since 1988 the percentage of Black students enrolling in post-secondary institutions rose from 9 percent to 14 percent, but the percentage of White students fell from 83 percent to 62 percent. FAMILY VALUES —The Jones family came to the National College Fair in Pittsburgh from Cranberry. (Photo By J.L. Martello) This year’s annual Pittsburgh National College Fair attracted approximately 10,000 students and parents from the Pittsburgh region and even more from surrounding states Ohio and West Virginia, marking one of the highest attendance records in its history. The fair featured over three hundred national and international colleges, universities, technical schools and representatives from the military.


Roland Martin’s suspension praised by GLAAD

by Damon C. Williams PHILADELPHIA, PA (NNPA)—Tight spirals and touch passes weren’t the only things tossed around on Super Bowl Sunday. CNN’s popular news anchor Roland Martin allegedly threw around a number of homophobic tweets Feb. 5, which led to CNN suspending the charismatic host. SUSPENDED—Roland Martin arrives at the USA Network and The Moth’s “A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power” Characters Unite storytelling event in West Hollywood, Calif., Feb. 15. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles) “Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offense,” read a statement from CNN, in outlining its move to censure Martin. “Language that demeans in inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not to be tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.”


James Street Live: Classic venue reopens

Before it closed in 2000, if you wanted to have a good meal and some drinks while rubbing elbows with everyone from jazz greats like Dwayne Dolphin, Roger Humphries or Jimmy Ponder, to down-home bands like the Blues Orphans, the James Street Tavern on the North Side was the place to be. And now, it is again. JAZZ IS BACK AT JAMES—During the show, from left: on keyboard is Leonard Johnson III; bass Albert “Mouchie” Weir; singing Tim Stevens; drummer Vince Taglieri; and special guest Kenny Blake, popular saxophonist. (Photo by J. L. Martello) Thanks to music fans and entrepreneurs Adam Johnston and Lisa Saftner, the classic music venue reopened in December, and, as of Jan. 8 has become the new home of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society. Jazz Society Founder Tony Mowod said the new venue is great.


Community Calendar

African Headgear FEB. 25—Lillian Peterson will host an African Headgear Wrapping Workshop at 10 a.m. at the Penn Hills Library, Meeting Room 3, 1037 Stotler Rd., Penn Hills. The cost is $5 and a headscarf will be raffled off at the event. For more information, call 412-377-2918.


Matthews leaves Hill House… Will not delay grocery

Jules Matthews, who was brought on to head the Hill House Economic Development Corporation by then President Evan Frazier and who was instrumental in bringing together all the parties needed for the Hill House’s signature Centre Heldman Plaza project, is leaving. Her position as HHEDC executive director will not be immediately filled. “We are negotiating to have a new project manager—just for the plaza, but I’m not releasing any names yet because we’re still working through the scope of the job’s duties,” said Hill House and HHEDC President and CEO Cheryl Hall-Russell. “We should have that person in place by next week. At some point we’ll hire a new director for the ECD, but that’s down the road.”


WPIAL meet, NAACP probes, banana incident

The WPIAL had scheduled a Feb. 21 hearing on charges that Brentwood High School students used racial slurs while running onto the basketball court wearing banana costumes during a Feb. 3 game against Monessen. The Mon Valley NAACP head said she’s conducting her own investigation. Though the results of the hearing were not available by Courier deadline, news of the incident, including video, made headlines around the country and was even reported across the Atlantic by London’s Daily Mail newspaper.



This Week In Black History

Week of February 26-March 4 February 26 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 Douglass. However, in 1976, Negro History Week was expanded into the current day Black History Month. DR. CARTER G. WOODSON 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.”


The incomparable Whitney Houston

(NNPA)—“To me Whitney was THE VOICE. We got to hear a part of God every time she sang.” Oprah Winfrey on the death of Whitney Houston Billie Holiday was 44. Judy Garland was 47. Dinah Washington was 39. Michael Jackson was 51. Jimi Hendrix was 28. Janis Joplin was 27. Amy Winehouse was 28. And Whitney Houston lived only 48 years on this earth. I was one of millions of people around the world who were stunned to learn of the untimely death of pop-music queen, Whitney Houston last Saturday. Like so many other entertainers who died too young, Whitney was blessed with a divine talent but also haunted by a heavy load of troubles.