Category: Metro Written by Ashley N. Johnson
With nine homicides in Allegheny County for March, six of them were Blacks. This is the deadliest month thus far in 2013. In January there were five Black homicides and in February there were four. What is even more upsetting is that all six of the Black homicides were Black men and most were under the age of 24. But these numbers only represent the numbers of homicides; it doesn’t even include the numbers of shootings that are occurring throughout the Black communities. Shootings such as the one that took place in broad daylight March 30 in Edgewood Town Centre where three people were injured, or the shootout in Clairton on March 26 that claimed the life of one, and several were injured.
We need to get this issue of Black on Black violence under control. The only word to describe it is sickening. Each month we at the New Pittsburgh Courier present a challenge to the community. Challenges such as for residents to ask for tougher gun legislation or for authorities to step up their presence in our communities. Well this month the challenge is to start at home. We need to look at what our children are being taught and whom they are being taught by. Not necessarily the teachers in our schools, but those “teachers” we surround them with in the community. For instance, the rappers we let them listen to day in and day out who rap about money, drugs and guns, or those people we keep around who we know aren’t doing right, but who we allow around because we need a babysitter or we don’t want to be alone. If we are not giving our children the right foundation, whom will they get it from? How can we ask for others to come in and help, if we, as a community, are not willing to do the work?
As part of an ongoing effort to heighten awareness about the effects of murder in Black communities, the New Pittsburgh Courier will compile a list of homicides in the County each month. It is our hope that as the list of victims grows, so will a true understanding of how these lost lives affect the mental health, economic well-being and self-images of the region’s Black neighborhoods.
Out of the 20 murders, thus far, in 2013—15 were Black and 13 were Black men.
MARCH HOMICIDES (9)
MARCH 3—John Sumpter, a 32-year-old Black male of Wilkinsburg, was fatally shot multiple times while sitting in his vehicle outside of Club Pink, a Munhall Strip Club in the 900 block of East Eighth Avenue, after a fight earlier that evening. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Paul Barrone is charged with homicide and is awaiting trial.
MARCH 6—Maurice Penny, a 24-year-old Black male from McKees Rocks, was found dead with multiple shots when a shootout erupted in the hallway of an apartment building in the 500 block of Penn Avenue in Friendship. Penny was a rapper also known as “Big Penny.” No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
MARCH 11—James Adams, a 29-year-old White male from Imperial, was fatally shot in the head while inside the Fort Pitt Inn bar in North Fayette after a man, who was also inside, reportedly became angry after a text message conversation with his girlfriend, walked out and came back in with three handguns. David Mazzocco is charged with homicide, attempted homicide, two counts of aggravated assault, 11 counts of reckless endangerment and weapons violations. He is awaiting trial.
MARCH 19—Lora Hoffman, a 31-year-old White female from Sheraden, was allegedly stabbed to death by her brother in her Sheraden home in the 3600 block of Allendale Circle when they were allegedly arguing over him lying on the couch while the family was watching television. He reportedly walked into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and returned stabbing her multiple times in the head, face and neck. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Chris Hoffman is charged with homicide and is awaiting trial.
MARCH 26—Terrance Moore, a 34-year-old Black male from Clairton, died hours after being shot in his car during a gunfight outside a home on Halcomb Avenue. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he later died. Others were also injured. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
MARCH 28—Bernadette Scholl, a 74-year-old White female from Munhall, died from injuries she sustained when she was allegedly shot by her son, Anthony Scholl, in her Munhall home on Longfellow Drive. She was found when officers entered her home after a standoff with her son. Anthony Scholl is charged with homicide and weapons violations. He is awaiting trial.
MARCH 29—Kellcy Thomas, an 18-year-old Black male from McKeesport, was found with gunshot wounds to the trunk in the 1400 block of Evans Avenue. He had been taken to UPMC McKeesport, where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
MARCH 30—Steven Lee Jr., a 21-year-old Black male from McKees Rocks, was fatally shot aboard a “party bus” near Chartiers Street in Sheraden after a fight reportedly broke out. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he later died. A warrant has been issued for Michael Lyons on charges of criminal homicide and carrying an unlicensed firearm. He is still at large.
MARCH 30—Mark Rucker, a 21-year-old Black male from Monroeville, was found shot to death in the stairwell of a building in the Cambridge Square housing complex. He was shot in the chest and died at the scene. No one has been charged.
JANUARY HOMICIDES (6)
JAN. 1—Ka’Sandra Wade, a 33-year-old Black female from Larimer, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds in her Lowell Street home when authorities visited her residence after receiving concerns from relatives. Wade was killed by her boyfriend, Anthony Brown, one day after authorities, who had answered a 9-1-1 call she placed, left without investigating the call when Brown came to the window and told them everything was okay. Brown later shot himself after a brief police standoff.
JAN. 10—Deondre Pace, a 16-year-old Black male from Beltzhoover, was found laying on the sidewalk with multiple shots to the torso in front of Sheffield Funeral Home near Beltzhoover Avenue and Climax Street, in Beltzhoover. He had been leaving a convenience store near his home, when two men approached him and opened fire. Pace was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital, where he later died. Ashanti Montgomery has been charged with criminal homicide, firearms not carried without a license and criminal conspiracy.
JAN. 11—Jayemond Bailey, a 34-year-old Black male from McKeesport, was shot to death at Street Stars bar, on Sixth Avenue in McKeesport. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 13—Lou Auer, a 37-year-old White male from East Liberty, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the torso outside of 322 N. Negley Ave., in East Liberty. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 23—Michael Andrews, a 27-year-old Black male from East Hills, was found fatally shot during an alleged home invasion in the 5300 block of Brown Way in Garfield. A masked man knocked on the door of the home that was occupied by two men. When one of the males answered the door, he was shot in the face. After hearing the shot, the other male in the residence got a gun and exchanged shots with the masked man. Andrews was found in front of the home and was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where he later died. The other men were wounded. Authorities did not clarify if Andrews lived at the house or was the intruder. The investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 28—Isaiah Dent, a 61-year-old Black male from McKees Rocks, was found beaten to death in the bathroom of his Hays Manor apartment on Locust Street in McKees Rocks. Sean Overton has been charged with criminal homicide, robbery and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. He is awaiting trial.
FEBRUARY HOMICIDES (5)
FEB. 4—Maurice Bruce, a 32-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, was found shot to death in the bushes near the intersection of Hamilton Avenue and Sterrett Street, in Homewood, by an individual walking by. He was reportedly shot after leaving a local bar earlier in the day and had been in the bushes for hours. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 19—Constance Johnston, a 76-year-old White female from Richland Township, was stabbed to death from behind by her grandson as she sat, eating breakfast, in the kitchen of her Richland Township home in the 3900 block of Gibson Road, with her husband. Her grandson, Levi Daniel Starver, allegedly stabbed her after the archangel Michael told him to kill her while he was on the computer. Starver has been charged with criminal homicide.
FEB. 23—Brian Wright Jr., a 26-year-old Black male from Homewood, was found with a gunshot wound to the chest at the intersection of Tangent Way and Enterprise Street in Larimer. Wright was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 24—Andre Broadie, a 25-year-old Black male from Penn Hills, was shot in the head inside a home in the 5100 block of Columbo Street in Garfield when he and another male entered the home of a person they knew. It has been reported that Broadie was thought to be an intruder. Investigators are calling it a case of mistaken identity. It is unknown if charges will be filed. The investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 28—Tiona Jackson, a 28-year-old Black female from the Hill District, was shot to death while leaving Red’s Ringside Café near the intersection of East Warrington and Vincent Street in Beltzhoover. A male was also injured. Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:25
Category: Metro Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
ED GAINEY and JAKE WHEATLEY
State House Republicans, spurred by Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-McCandless, have long complained that Pennsylvania residents should, like people in Ohio and West Virginia, be able to go to the convenience store to buy beer and wine, and that the state should not own liquor stores.
“We are moving the sale of wine and spirits to a place that is more convenient for the consumers, for the citizens of Pennsylvania, while maintaining responsibility throughout the state,” said Turzai on the house floor prior to the vote.
Except that is not true. Though HB 790’s passage in state house March 20 an historic first; no liquor privatization law has ever passed either house, if passed by the state senate, it would actually make it impossible to sell beer and wine at a convenience store or anywhere else.
Not only that, even though the bill prohibits anyone buying a license to sell liquor or wine, or both, from also selling beer, the only people who would be permitted to buy private liquor or wine licenses during the first 12 months after enactment, are licensed beer distributors.
House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Cheswick, gave perhaps the most succinct evaluation of the bill calling it chaotic.
“People want convenience. This legislation delivers chaos,” he said. “The amended bill is even more convoluted than the scheme that the governor proposed.”
The lack of convenience, however, seemed a lesser concern to house Democrats generally, who largely objected because the bill would cost thousands of union jobs. Though state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill, and currently a candidate for mayor of Pittsburgh, echoed that concern, he was more adamant that enacting such a bill would “flood the city with liquor stores.”
“The liquor control chairman admitted that licenses could double from about 600 to 1200 statewide, and that it contains no provision for local control to protect against an oversaturation of liquor stores,” he said. “That would be devastating to our quality of life.”
The committee referring the bill to the floor estimated privatization would produce more than $170 million in annual tax revenue and more than $1 billion from the sale of both liquor and wine licenses.
In Pittsburgh the price for a wine-only license would be $187,000. A license to sell distilled spirits would cost $262,500. Someone wishing to sell both would pay the combined total fee of $449,500.
And though Gov. Tom Corbett championed the move as a way to augment education funding, the final bill did not earmark any income for education, instead dictating it go to the general fund.
State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-East Liberty, said the governor’s support was misguided.
“To suggest that education funding would be linked to the idea of selling the state’s liquor stores; the proposal on its face is wrong,” he said. “Why would we sell a money-making asset for the state when we’re talking about underfunding education because we don’t have enough money?”
The state senate, Corbett and Turzai acknowledged, is likely to make changes. State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, said no one expects the senate to move the house legislation to the governor as it stands.
Several senate bills aimed at changing the state-controlled system are already being floated. Sate Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, said he would reintroduce his plan that essentially turns all liquor sales over to the beer distributors, and allows them to sell less than a case of beer at a time. It keeps the state as the wholesaler for all alcohol sales.
State Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, said he’d push a plan to “modernize” the current system with better pricing, flexibility in hiring, acquisition of in-demand products, direct shipment of wine, and reform in beer sales system-wide. He said his plan would increase revenue by $100 million annually.
The senate returns to work in Harrisburg on April 8.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:23
Category: Metro Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
MICHAEL LAMB (Courier File Photo)
While most expected late-comers Darlene Harris and Jim Ferlo to drop out of the race to replace Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb’s withdrawal, after being among the first to announce, and winning the Democratic Party Endorsement, was somewhat surprising.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 20:20
Category: Metro Written by Courier Newsroom
Health & Awareness Brunch
APRIL 8—The Hill District Minister’s Alliance will host a Candidate Forum at 7 p.m. at Wesley Center AMEZ Church, 2701 Centre Ave., Hill District. There will be candidates from the mayoral, District 6 City Council and Pittsburgh Public School Board races in attendance. For more information, call 412-621-9612.
Cancer Survivors Conference
APRIL 20—The American Cancer Society of Western Region will host its 25th annual Cancer Survivors Conference from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 101 Mall Blvd., Monroeville. The theme is “Celebrating 25 years through music, laughter and courage. The guest speakers will be Charlie Lustman, a singer, songwriter, producer and cancers survivor, and Ronda Hartzel, U.S. Navy operating room nurse and cancer survivor. For more information, call 412-919-1100 or visit www.cancer.org/wrsurvivorconference.
Beer Tasting Fundraiser
APRIL 25—The National Association of Black Accountants Inc. Pittsburgh Chapter will host the 2nd Annual “Cultivate & Brew” Beer Tasting Fundraiser from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Sharp Edge Bistro, 922 Penn Ave., Strip District. The tasting will feature four exclusive beers and will be paired with hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds will benefit the Chapter of Operations and scholarship funds. For more information, visit www.nabapittsburgh.org.
Youth at Work
APRIL 26—YouthWorks will host “Youth at Work: Building Dreams and Futures” from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Rivers Club, One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant St., Downtown. This is a celebration of the region’s future workforce. Brittny McGraw will be the mistress of ceremonies and producer, mentor and entrepreneur Emmai Aliquiva will be the special guest speaker. He will speak on “The sky is not the limit.” For more information, call 412-281-6629.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 06:14
Category: Metro Written by Dr. Boyce Watkins
FORMER STEUBENVILLE NAACP PRESIDENT ROYAL MAYO
by Dr. Boyce Watkins
(YourBlackWorld.com)--A man who once ran the NAACP in Steubenville, Ohio made some comments that have drawn a sharp reaction from women’s rights advocates across the country.
Last Updated on Sunday, 31 March 2013 22:31
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