The “Creating with Community” initiative will return this year, Mayor Joe Schember announced Thursday. This artist residency program was launched in 2020 between Erie Arts & Culture and the City of Erie to implement art projects within the community. Last year, 14 artists worked together in teams with seven neighborhood organizations. This year, 12 artists will lend their skills in the creation of the city’s Active Transportation Plan, called “ActiveErie.” This plan is designed to position empowered artists to serve as community leaders through the design and implementation of community-engaged and art-centered social projects. ActiveErie envisions a network of streets that are beautiful, comfortable, and safe for Erie residents and visitors alike. The selected artists will work with Erie Artist Tom Ferraro as well as the City of Erie’s Bureau of Engineering and the Planning Department to design and execute projects that will address recommendations and issues identified during the ActiveErie planning process. For more information about the program and details on how to apply, visit the Erie Arts & Culture website.
James Sherrod, executive director of the Bayfront NATO Inc. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center announced Monday that the annual march in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. has been postponed due to surging COVID-19 cases. While the march will be rescheduled, other virtual events within the community have been organized to celebrate the life and legacy of King, including:
• Monday, Jan. 18 Horton Family & Friends MLK Prayer Service
This service will feature Pastor Darrell Cook of Christ Community Church, with presentation of the Wiley-Horton Scholarship in conjunction with Gannon University.
10 a.m. Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82445420379•
Monday, Jan. 18 Penn State Behrend’s “A Conversation with Sybrina Fulton”
Political advocate and mother of Trayvon Martin, shot to death at age 17 in Florida in 2012, will discuss social change and civil rights activism.
12 p.m. Zoom link: https://bit.ly/3qfZnDb
• Monday, Jan. 18 Gannon University will livestream a program including readings, prayer, and reflection on the life and legacy of King. 1:30 p.m. Link: www.facebook.com/gannonu
• Tuesday, Jan. 19 Penn State Behrend’s “Embracing the Dream”
Mayor Joe Schember and his administration share their vision for “building opportunity, restoring hope, and transforming Erie for future generations.”
5:30 p.m. Zoom link: https://bit.ly/3qfZnDb• Friday, Jan. 22 Penn State Behrend to show documentary film “I Am Not Your Negro”
Based on James Baldwin’s unfinished book, this film is a journey into Black history form the civil rights movement to Black Lives Matter. 5 p.m. Zoom link: https://bit.ly/3qfZnDb
Superintendent of Erie’s Public Schools Brian Polito recommended that the hybrid learning plan begin Feb. 1 at a School Board meeting on Wednesday. Polito based this decision on the new state guidelines that encourage hybrid instruction for elementary school students during the pandemic. The Erie School Board consented to the recommendation at the meeting. This plan will bring elementary students back to school for in-person classes one week followed by a week of online classes. This schedule will continue until the state issues new guidelines. Families can opt for online-only classes over hybrid learning at their discretion.
Mayor Joe Schember announced Thursday that the City of Erie received its second Byrne Grant to implement a crime reduction project in Erie’s Eastside Neighborhood. The area parameters for this grant are Holland Street to Wayne, East 6th Street to East 26th Street. Approximately 8,855 residents live in these parameters. The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovations grant is designed to enhance the capacity of local communities to effectively reduce violent crime issues in distressed neighborhoods. The goal is to reduce crime, increase trust, and improve community safety as part of a strategy to rebuild and revitalize neighborhoods. A Neighborhood Concerns Index survey will remain accessible until Feb. 5 to gain feedback from individuals who either live or work in the target area. To take the survey, please click here. If you cannot access the survey electronically, please contact BCJI Project Coordinator Lori Pickens at lpickens.erie.pa.us or in the Booker T. Washington Center located at 1720 Holland Street.
Erie Police took one person into custody on Friday after an hours-long standoff and are still in search of another suspect. A man fleeing from a traffic stop Thursday afternoon led officers to a house in the 400 block of the East 13th Street to execute a search warrant. The Erie Police S.W.A.T. team responded and after a forced entry, took a woman into custody. Erie Police did not find the man who fled the traffic stop and have warrants out for his arrest.
Erie Police arrested 26-year-old Brashanique Cooley after she reportedly shot someone she knew near East 12th and French Streets Friday afternoon. The 21-year-old victim walked into the Erie Police station with a gunshot wound then lead officers to the 4100 block of Maxwell Avenue to find the suspect and recover the handgun. Cooley is facing several charges, including aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.
Erie County will be voluntarily taking part in what’s called a “Risk Limiting Audit” on Saturday to recount votes in an effort to help the community regain trust in our election process. The team, provided by the commonwealth, will examine 1,000 of the 42,000 mail-in ballots cast for the 2020 presidential election.
Weekly Wrap-Up written by Maija Carol
Paraphrased stories come from internal City of Erie Sources, Erie News Now, JET24 Action News, GoErie, KDKA, and NPR/WQLN.