System Recheck: One final glimpse at the stories that made 2011 | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

System Recheck: One final glimpse at the stories that made 2011

There was a nasty election and a new governor, and Hines Ward became the king of the dance

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AUG. 19: A city police officer who was the subject of a City Paper investigation was indicted on charges he lied about a car accident between himself and a donut-delivery man. Officer Garrett Brown is currently awaiting a preliminary hearing on charges he lied about his claims that Blaine Johnston rear-ended him in Oakland last November. Johnston claims Brown threatened him and his passenger, chased them in his vehicle and rammed their truck after claiming they cut him off at a stoplight. Brown has been placed on administrative leave. 

AUG. 26. At its annual Pittsburgh show, nationally known storytelling series The Moth tells a sold-out New Hazlett Theater audience that Pittsburgh has been selected as only the fifth city to get a Moth Story Slam competition. The slam series was launched in October, at Club Café.


SEPT. 1: After a year of prodding, the Allegheny County Human Relations Commission sends County Executive Dan Onorato a letter asking he act on the recommendation to implement same-sex domestic-partner benefits for non-union employees during the county's open-enrollment period for health insurance. To date, the administration has not moved on the recommendation. 

SEPT. 10: Braddock Mayor John Fetterman's efforts to enliven Braddock with the arts continues as novelist Josh Barkan, the hard-used mill town's first writer-in-residence, moves into a former convent across the street from U.S. Steel's Edgar Thomson Plant. The nine-month residency is called Into the Furnace.

SEPT. 21: A former SCI-Pittsburgh inmate accuses corrections officer Henry Nicoletti of sexual abuse. Nicoletti is one of eight guards suspended without pay, and he and five other guards will later faces charges of inmate abuse. 

click to enlarge Pittsburghers occupying Mellon Green - PHOTO BY LAUREN DALEY
Pittsburghers occupying Mellon Green

OCT. 15: Decrying corporate influence and greed, protesters with the Occupy Pittsburgh movement set up an encampment on Mellon Green, a Downtown parklet owned by finance giant BNY Mellon. The camp grows throughout the fall, featuring a kitchen and library among dozens of tents, and campers join protests of all stripes, from pressing Sen. Pat Toomey on unemployment benefits to demanding single-payer health care. BNY Mellon served the campers an eviction notice and filed trespassing charges against campers in court on Dec. 12, but protesters rallied to clean up the parklet and have vowed to remain. As of press time, campers still occupied the green and the matter was awaiting a court hearing. 

OCT. 20: Culminating talks begun months earlier, The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and Dance Alloy Theater formally announce their merger. Combining the boards of directors and the facilities improves the Kelly-Strayhorn's ability to produce dance. But observers wonder whether it's the end of the Alloy -- the city's oldest modern-dance troupe -- as an artistic entity.

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