Ashley N. Johnson - Courier Staff Writer

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Metro

Ford files civil suits against city police

LEON FORD JR. Leon Ford Jr., the then 19-year-old who was shot by Pittsburgh Police officers November 2012, during what many believe should have been a routine traffic stop in Highland Park, and is now paralyzed, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, three Pittsburgh police officers, and the former and acting police chiefs.

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Health

UPMC’s first Black orthopaedic surgeon welcomed

MACALUS HOGAN, MD (Photo courtesy of UPMC) As the weather remains nice, more and more people are hitting the pavement in the quest for more physical exercise. But as their exercise increases, so does their chance of getting a foot or ankle injury. But UPMC has a new face, with just the experience to get people fixed and back on their run. As of Sept. 1, UPMC Health System welcomed MaCalus Hogan, MD, its newest and first African-American orthopaedic surgeon.

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Metro

42 of 62 homicides Black lives

Time to stand up and speak up With 2013 more than half way over, as of the end of August Allegheny County has had 62 homicides, 42 of them being Black individuals. That is 10 less than last year around this time where there were 72 homicides, 59 of them Black and 55 Black males. There is still the potential of having a less deadly year than the last.

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Metro

United Way expands its mentoring program

A HELPING HAND—Briana Snyder, a student at Pittsburgh Sterrett and participant in the United Way of Allegheny County’s “Be a Middle School Mentor” program, with mentor Mercedes Howze. (Photo courtesy of Blender Inc.) With school in session this week for students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and surrounding districts, students will have to transition from summer break mode to back-to-school mode. While students in all grades will be making some form of transition, it is even harder for those entering middle school. Most middle school students will be coming from a familiar elementary school to a new middle school, or facing tougher educational lessons or even encountering new peer pressures.

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Generation Y

Familylinks combines business, fashion for at risk youth

YOUTH ROLE MODELS—These young adults displayed trendy, yet professional attire for job interviews and answered mock job interview questions at the Familylinks Job Fair and Fashion Show, on Aug. 14 at the Doubletree Hotel in Monroeville. (Photo by Erin Perry) For one afternoon, several agencies and companies came together to give at risk-youth a chance at succeeding. Familylinks Inc. in collaboration with the BNY Mellon Pathways, hosted its first Employment Fair and Fashion for young adults ages 16-21, who are transitioning out of the child welfare system and are looking to be employed. Kids were introduced to the employers, while getting the opportunity to see fresh, yet professional attire for the interview process.

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Metro

Central Baptist parking lot dedication completes first phase of renovations

RIBBON CUTTING—Central Baptist members and friends of the community were welcomed at the ribbon cutting of the new parking lot, the first phase of the Central renovation project. (Photos by J.L. Martello) More than two-years after the unveiling of its renovation rendering, Central Baptist Church, located in the Hill District, has completed the first phase of its four-phase renovation project. On Aug. 2, the Wylie Avenue church held its parking lot dedication. “If you take care of the house of God, the God of the house will take care of yours. We are just getting started with the vision of this church,” said Central Pastor Victor J. Grigsby, who has led the church since 1996. “I am so very proud of the Central family. They embrace the vision and we’re showing that determination, persistence and faith pays off.”

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Metro

E. Pittsburgh violent weekend causes concern

STATE REP. ED GAINEY It was a violent couple of days for East Pittsburgh residents, especially in Homewood, Larimer and Lincoln-Lemington areas, with gun-fire running rampant through the streets resulting in one homicide and four shootings with five people injured.

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Health

‘The Gift of Life': CORE celebrates week of organ donation awareness

ORGAN DONOR ADVOCATE—Donated organ recipient Ron Gooden spends his time passionately speaking about being given a second chance at life through organ donation. (Photo Courtesy of CORE) Hampton High School coach Ron Gooden had always been active. He played football through his college career and even some professional. He knew he had a slightly enlarged heart (dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart with thick walls and a large pumping chamber), which doctors told him was no real concern, and a family history of heart disease, but never did he think there was a chance he would be out of the game of life so soon. But within a few years he went from coaching on the sidelines, to being sidelined and lying on his deathbed waiting for “the gift of life.”