Daily Archive: September 7, 2012


Aliquippa Head Start move thwarted by community action

by Joby Brown (BEAVER COUNTY)—The plan to displace 150 children, ages 3, 4 and 5, and furlough 14 employees from Aliquippa Head Start, located at 1200 Main St. in the Plan 12 neighborhood of the city has been turned back by concerned citizens, headed by protest organizers, George Powell and Sandra Gill with help from Mayor Dwan Walker; the Head Start building owner, Tony Alam; and Attorney John Havie. WALKER TWINS DONALD AND DWAN The Head Start administrator, Community Development Institute, which is a U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services grantee, had planned to move Beaver County’s first Head Start program to a location in remote, rural Raccoon Township, citing issues of toxic mold and electrical hazard as the reason. Aliquippa Fire Chief Dave Foringer said, “two reports from inspections actually proved that the mold spore readings were higher outside the building than inside. The electrical hazard and other issues that led to placards being placed on the building prohibiting its use, were nothing but housekeeping or cosmetic issues caused by the building’s tenants, not the owner. These concerns can be corrected in three days or less.”


Shyne Awards spotlights positive youth achievements

by Ashley RossFor New Pittsburgh Courier Existing all too often in the shadows of headlines depicting youth violence, poor academics and negativity, are the untold stories of area teens providing a light of hope in the Pittsburgh community. It’s a stark disparity in media coverage Orlana Darkins Drewery and her husband, Darnell Drewery, are trying to overcome, through the annual Shyne Awards, which celebrate young adults for their positive achievements. CO-FOUNDERS—Orlana Darkins Drewery and Darnell Drewery pose for a photo on the red carpet. (Photos by J. L. Martello)


Modern-day Cinderella story teaches life lessons

Guinea, West African dancer educator and motivator “Mama” Kadiatou Conte-Forte is on a mission to use her culture and passion for dance to educate today’s younger generation. “I’m teaching people who dance under me that they need to go off and get their own home, own car and own job. It’s not a competition to bring babies into this world. You won’t benefit from that. I educate women around me everyday. They have to have a role model and they have to stop blaming others. Their life is in their hands and we have to do what we have to do to make it a good one,” explained Kadiatou, 58, who resides in Highland Park. BALAFON WEST AFRICAN DANCE COMPANY (Photos by Erin Perry) With the creation of “Kiridi (The Orphan),” Mama Kadiatou weaves a modern Cinderella story that stands the test of time. Set in a traditional African village, “Kiridi” tells the tale of a young woman who is forbidden to dance and be with the man she loves thanks to her evil stepmother and step­sisters.


County, federal officials join local economic development roundtable

Once again Pittsburgh and the surrounding area were in the presence of Washington, D.C. officials as Matt Erskine, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and Willie C. Taylor, U.S. Economic Development Administration Regional Director provided a listening ear to area business, academic and non-profit community movers and shakers. A MIX OF TOP OFFICIALS—Pleased with the results of the roundtable; Willie C. Taylor, U.S. Economic Development Administration Regional Director, Matt Erskine, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development take a moment to ponder the outcomes with Ruth Byrd-Smith, Allegheny County Department of Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Director and Howard B. Slaughter Jr., president and CEO of Christian Management Enterprises, LLC. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)


Steelers to unveil new offense against Broncos…Can they outscore Manning?

by Ulish CarterCourier Staff Writer Last season the Steelers had the best defense in football but one of the least effective offenses with the result being an early exit in the playoffs. Well new offensive coordinator Todd Haley was brought in to change all that, and if he’s successful the Steelers will be in the Super Bowl for the 9th time. READY FOR DENVER—Mike Wallace jokes with Emmanuel Sanders during pre-game warm ups Aug. 30 at Heinz Field before the Steelers took on the Carolina Panthers. (Courier Photo/William McBride)


Team Obama: Black Vote is Key

by Bankole ThompsonCHRONICLE SENIOR EDITORCHARLOTTE, NC–President Barack Obama’s campaign today said they there is asense of urgency for African Americans to come out and vote during aroundtable briefing with black journalists at the Charlotte ConventionCenter ahead of Obama’s nomination speech tonight. VALERIE JARRETT Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett told the roundtable of journalists thatthe assault on voting rights should motivate blacks to get to the polls inNovember.


Actor Michael Clarke Duncan dead at 54

by Christy Lemire LOS ANGELES (AP)—Michael Clarke Duncan was one big, irresistible jumble of contradictions. His presence was formidable, even intimidating: The former bodyguard had a muscular, 6-foot-4 frame, but it was topped by the brightest of megawatt smiles. Michael Clarke Duncan (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri) His gravelly baritone was well-suited to everything from animated films to action spectacles, but no matter the role, a warmth and a sweetness was always evident underneath.


For conventions, TV viewing down, social media up

by Beth Fouhy CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) —When it comes to following political conventions, Twitter may soon trump television. TV viewership for last week’s Republican National Convention dropped sharply from 2008, suggesting interest in this presidential race falls short of some past contests. But the convention was a hit online and on social networks, the latest evidence of the political conversation’s gradual migration from traditional media to the Web.


Who built what?

(NNPA)—The Republican National Convention’s theme was, “We Built This.” One of the speakers was Sher Valenzuela, a Delaware businesswoman who happens to be Latina. She touted the success of her upholstery business and implied it thrived because of her hard work.