Daily Archive: May 16, 2012

Metro

Pgh coalition addresses rash of recent shootings

The Coalition Against Violence and the Black Political Empowerment Project held a press conference at the Freedom Unlimited Headquarters, in the Hill District, to address the rash of recent shootings in the Black communities throughout Pittsburgh. B-PEP and CAV, along with other community partners, came together to cry out about the violence African-Americans continue to perpetuate upon each other in the greater Pittsburgh area. KILLINGS MUST STOP—Tim Stevens, center, makes a point at a “Stop the Violence” rally, as other community activists look on. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart) “We, as a people, are killing ourselves. We are killing our families. We are indeed killing our future,” said Tim Stevens, chairman and CEO of B-PEP.

Metro

District battles to save ‘effective teachers’

This summer, the Pittsburgh Public School District will be eliminating nearly one in six teaching positions, an unprecedented number in the district’s history. In order to keep the district from losing some of its most effective teachers, the school board approved a resolution for the district to begin negotiating a furlough system that takes into account both seniority and teacher effectiveness. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING—Superintendent Linda Lane hopes to reach a compromise with the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers. (Photo by J.L. Martello) However, the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers has come out in opposition to any system using any other factor beyond seniority in teacher furloughs. Still, the district is hopeful they will be able to reach a compromise before their August 1 deadline for staffing schools in time for the 2012-13 school year.

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Metro

Activists: End War on Drugs!

According to a study of traffic stops along a portion of I-95 in Maryland, African-Americans made up 70 percent of those who were stopped and searched even though they only made up 17 percent of drivers on the road. A similar study of the New Jersey Turnpike found that although African-Americans accounted for only 15 percent of speeding violations, they made up 46 percent of those pulled over. GEORGE CURRY These were only some of the many startling statistics revealed at the “Declaring War on the War on Drugs” Town Hall Meeting on May 11. The event sponsored by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century examined the disparate role of the criminal justice system in the “War on Drugs.”

Metro

McDonald resigns under pressure

by Malik Vincent In the aftermath of legal troubles, Allderdice head boys basketball coach Andre McDonald has resigned his coaching position and has done the same as a Pittsburgh Public Schools employee. Named the 2012 New Pittsburgh Courier coach of the year, he led the Dragons to three consecutive City League boys basketball titles. ANDRE McDONALD Just weeks after his resignation, Allderdice has already re-hired Buddy Valensky, who is also a physical education teacher at the school. He previously served as their head coach for five seasons (from 2001-06). McDonald took over for him after the 2006 school year, where prior to that he served as an assistant on his staff.

Metro

Hickerson found dead

A Canonsburg woman who was found dead early last Wednesday morning in a parking lot, after being missing for more than a week, will be laid to rest Friday, May 18. Murphy Hickerson, 43, who was missing since April 28 when she was last seen at her Canonsburg home, was found dead, May 9, in a parked vehicle in a Gabriel Brother’s parking lot on Finley Road in Belle Vernon. MURPHY HICKERSON A manager who had noticed the vehicle in the parking lot for an extensive period of time reportedly discovered her body. Foul play had not been suspected, but the coroner’s report has not been released as of yet.

Metro

Community Calendar

Spring Fling MAY 18—The August Wilson Center for African American Culture will host its Spring Fling event from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. This is an event to announce the 2012-2013 season. There will be a blood drive, vendors and various performances. For more information, visit http://www.augustwilsoncenter.org.

Metro

Redwood: Penguins renege on Hill art project

As part of its original master plan for the CONSOL Energy Center, the property was to include a ‘Garden Passage” with a water feature between the center and Epiphany Church. CURTAIN CALL—An art piece comprised of digitized historic Hill District photos on glass tubes is part of a garden the Penguins promised in 2010. Artist Walter Hood’s “Curtain Call” design, which won the competitive bid for the project, was also to include digitized historic Hill District photographs scanned onto glass tubes along the path from Centre Avenue to Fifth Avenue. But when the arena was completed in 2010, the Pittsburgh Penguins said they did not have the $1.5 million required for the project. Yet this year, they erected a statue of Mario Lemieux in the same spot.

Metro

Family offers reward for son’s return

The family of a missing Penn Hills man is now offering a reward for information regarding his whereabouts. Lisa Zellars, the mother of Dominick Brown-Hill, 21, who has been missing since March 22, and her family are now offering $3,000 for information leading to her son’s whereabouts. Zellars, who suspects foul play, said she believes her son was harmed and is now deceased. Dominick Brown-Hill

Metro

Police commander named in PFA

A North Side business owner, who claims he fears for his life, has filed a Protection From Abuse complaint against Pittsburgh Zone 1 Police Cmdr. Rashall Brackney. She has called the filing “an abomination.” COMMANDER RASHALL BRACKNEY