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
Category: Metro Written by Ashley N. Johnson
WHERE IS HE?—The family of Dominick Brown-Hill stand together by photos of him at his Remembrance Dinner on March 22. Family, from left: Lisa Zellars, mother; Robert Zellars stepfather; Raymar, best friend; and Michael Brown, brother. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart)
Smart, strong-willed, loving, giving, and a true family oriented person, are just a few of the words Dominick Brown-Hill’s family uses to describe him. But the thoughts of that same person that used to bring them a smile, now brings them tears.
Lisa Zellars, Brown-Hill’s mother, describes the year since the disappearance of her son, as one of pain and as if a piece of her has been missing.
On March 22, one year to the day Brown-Hill was last seen, family, friends and supporters, gathered at the Nuin Center in East Liberty to remember their loved one and bring attention to the case that is still unsolved.
“From a mother, it’s like a piece of me has been ripped away. I just need closure and my body can’t get closure,” said Lisa Zellars. “I live day by day and so does my family. We just want for people to remember he is still missing. They (the media) say it’s not new news, but it is to me, because he is still missing.”
On March 22, 2012 Brown-Hill, who was then 21, was last seen getting into a jitney in Penn Hills. When he did not show up the next day to meet up with his father to take his driver’s test and he did not answer or return his mother’s calls for a couple of days, Lisa Zellars knew something was wrong.
According to Lisa Zellars, who said she and the police believe her son is deceased; detectives were able to track some of Brown-Hill’s last activities through his text messages on his cell phone. She said Brown-Hill took a jitney to meet someone in McKeesport, who that person is, she does not know. When Brown-Hill arrived at his destination, he got out of the jitney, instructed the driver to wait, left his phone in the car and went into a building, but he never came out. After about an hour the driver left and later pawned Brown-Hill’s phone. According to Lisa Zellars, the driver, who took and passed several polygraphs, is not a suspect, and it’s believed that whatever happened in the building is what took her son away from her.
“I feel cheated and I am hurting really bad. I miss my son. I am angry because I cannot fix this. I raised Dominick,” said Robert Zellars, Brown-Hill’s father. “His whole life, as his father, I told him I would be there for him. It kills me on the inside that I wasn’t able to be there for him (that day). But he knows I’m coming.”
It is unknown who Brown-Hill was meeting at that McKeesport building and why he was meeting them there.
Allegheny County Police Detective Lou Ferguson said he could not speak much on the active case, but did said they are treating it as a missing person presumed deceased case and that it will remain an active case until Brown-Hill is discovered.
Since her son’s disappearance, Lisa Zellars said she has lost 40 pounds and she can only work part-time because she finds herself breaking down a lot. And Robert Zellars said he finds himself keeping to himself a lot, but that his faith has gotten stronger.
But while they may not have hope that Brown-Hill is still alive, they do have hope that someone will come forward with information about the case. Family and friends have raised a $5,000 reward for anyone with information that will lead to their loved one’s body.
“Being a mother I know my son is deceased. I just want someone to come forward and give a tip,” said Lisa Zellars. “Think of being in my shoes. Imagine that pain. One day you talk to them and the next they’re gone. I pray everyday that someone will have a conscience and tell me where my son is or that someone will stumble across my son’s body.”
Robert Zellars said he understands the codes of the streets, “he doesn’t want anyone to tell on themselves, but he does want someone to give them information. “We need this (closure), we need someone to step up.”
(Anyone with information about the Dominick Brown-Hill case should call Allegheny County Police at 412-473-1200.)
Last Updated on Friday, 29 March 2013 09:11
Category: Metro Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
BILL PEDUTO AND ED GAINEY
State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-East Liberty, has scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference for March 27 to announce he is relinquishing the Democratic city chairmanship he has held for three years to endorse Bill Peduto for mayor of Pittsburgh.
“I have tremendous respect for committee people and the process, but this year I don’t think it was as accurate as it could have been,” he said. “So I am stepping down as chair, so I can vote for the man I believe is the best candidate in the race, Bill Peduto.”
Party committee members are compelled to support their party’s endorsed candidates in primary and general elections. Failure to do so can result in sanctions, including loss of a committee seat.
Though he extended his best wishes to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and his family, Gainey said the mayor’s late decision to not seek another term, coming after the deadline for candidates to apply for the party endorsement, did not allow the committee members a chance to properly vet the other candidates.
“It’s not the committee people who are at fault, it’s the situation,” he said. “And because I respect the committee and the process, I’m stepping down because it’s the right thing to do.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 10:01
Category: Metro Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
GENERATIONS—Cathy Irvis, center, is joined by, left to right, her son Reggie, Dan Rooney, and granddaughter “number 1” Danae Lee for the ribbon cutting of the K. Leroy Irvis Science Center at CCAC. (Photo by J.L. Martello)
As part of the VIP crowd that took part in the ribbon-cutting for the Community College of Allegheny County’s K. Leroy Irvis Science Center, state Sen. Jay Costa told the audience that as a graduate and now board member of CCAC, he owed a great debt to Irvis, who as speaker of the state house, created the community college system.
And as part of his thanks, Costa read one of Irvis’ poems, “Daisies:”
“Quickly gone, And soon forgotten, So it is with men and daisies.”
As the other dignitaries reminded the audience, there is little chance of that happening with Irvis; the first African-American named Speaker of a state house assembly, civil rights attorney, artist, poet and model airplane enthusiast.
This is truly a great day, “ said state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill. “Because it gives us a chance to lift up a great man.”
Wheatley told the audience how after he’d been elected to represent Irvis’ former district, the retired statesmen asked to see him.
“He told me to never forget the most important thing about being a representative is being a servant,” said Wheatley. “It’s about more than yourself, more than the district. It’s about serving all the people of the commonwealth.”
And while the other dignitaries on stage; Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, CCAC Campus President Donna Imhoff and Board Chair Amy Kuntz, County Councilman Bill Robinson and CCAC President Alex Johnson also expressed thanks for being able to celebrate Irvis, the audience was also filled with those who came to honor the late speaker.
These included CCAC professors Ralph Proctor and Elmer Hamer who first proposed building the center, Highmark VP and former County Executive Dan Onorato, Common Pleas Judge Dwayne Woodruff, Urban Radio Network President Jerry Lopes and former ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney.
The state of the art Irvis Center took just under two years to build, but it got off to a rocky start with independent contractors suing after the university signed an agreement requiring 90 percent union labor. This came after New Pittsburgh Courier columnist Louis “Hop” Kendrick wrote that the construction management team had no Black members.
During the ceremony, though, both Doyle and Costa said that 52 percent of the $21.5 million budget went to Minority- Women- and Disabled-Business Enterprises.
The Irvis Center’s five floors encompass 65,000 square feet of lab, classroom and presentation space, allow for students to use the best equipment and technologies to advance their studies in physics, biology, chemistry and astronomy, and benefit from the region’s technology, medical and energy boom.
Robinson, now a board trustee emeritus, said he promised Irvis’ widow, Cathy Irvis, that he would be brief, so he thanked the alumni and current students for their patience.
“Even with less than the best equipment, CCAC has graduated more nursing students than any college in the country,” he said. “With this wonderful facility now complete, it will be seen as the starting point for greatness at CCAC.”
Cathy Irvis, who was delighted that this day had finally arrived, thanked everyone involved in the project and for the kind words everyone had for her late husband. She also said after watching the parade of blue suits and ties, that she was glad to see two women on the stage.
“But I really want to thank Ralph and Elmer,” she said. “They came to me years ago and said they wanted to erect a building in his name. I told them they were crazy. But they came back. And they came back again. Finally I said if you think you can do it go ahead. So, Ralph, Elmer, sorry I called you crazy.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 09:09
Category: Metro Written by Courier Newsroom
DOUGLAS WILLIAMS AND LEON RAYMOND WALL the alleged stabber.
A 16-year-old teen girl, visiting from Tennessee, is now in critical condition, after she and several others were injured during a stabbing attack early Monday evening at the East Liberty Target store.
Authorities say, 41-year-old Leon Raymond Walls, a homeless man, entered a Target store and proceeded to the restroom. Later two males entered the store searching for Walls, one headed to the bathroom, the other headed into the store. A short time later, the male who went to the bathroom was seen being chased from the bathroom by Walls, who was carrying a knife. Walls then grabbed the teen girl, who was in the checkout line with her family, and stabbed her in the back and arms.
Walls was finally arrested after being tased for resisting.
The two men were reportedly following Walls because of a reported stabbing/knife incident that took place near Highland Avenue and Whitfield Street. Diane Richard, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police public information officer, did not say whether the two incidents were connected or if Walls was responsible, but did confirm that the Highland Avenue incident was reported to authorities.
Douglas Williams, of Baldwin, a witness to the Target store incident and who knew several of the victims, said, “It (the scene) was wild. I prayed when I seen the guy chasing a young kid with a knife. He was swinging the knife, you could see in his eyes that he was angry.”
Six individuals were taken to the hospital with injuries. The 16-year-old, who has not been identified, was treated for a collapsed lung due to her wound; two males were treated for cuts, one to the finger and the other to the face; one male, who was helping victims to subdue the actor, was treated for chest pains; and one officer was treated after he was hit with OC Spray that was splashed off a shelf that was deployed towards the actor.
“Those three men were heroes,” Williams said.
Williams also said, that Monday’s incident will not stop him from visiting the East Liberty store.
Walls is in the Allegheny County Jail and has been charged with criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint, possessing instruments of a crime, simple assault and resisting arrest.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 09:43
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