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Family Portrait: Dan Christensen on the South Street PAGE 35 revival

The Attic to benefit from flower fundraiser

Dining Out For Life brings celebrities to the table


This month’s “Day in the Life Of” profile: Aneesah Smith



Apr. 18-24, 2014


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Vol. 38 No. 16

Top national honor for Nizah Morris coverage By Jen Colletta

PLANNING FOR THE 2-0: Philadelphia FIGHT executive director Jane Shull announced details about the upcoming AIDS Education Month at the event’s kickoff celebration April 16 at the Union League. The annual Kiyoshi Kuromiya Award will be presented June 3 to Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, professor at the Institut Pasteur and the 2008 recipient of France’s Research Nobel Prize of Medicine. Barré-Sinoussi is credited with discovering the HIV virus. State Rep. Brian Sims will serve as honorary chair of AEM, now in its 20th year, and will be joined by co-chairs Melissa Weiler Gerber, executive director of Family Planning Council, and Bishop Audrey Bronson of Sanctuary Church of the Open Door. For more information, visit Photo: Scott A. Drake

The 20th-anniversary celebration of the local LGBT film festival will have to wait until the fall, as organizers announced last week that the annual summer event would be postponed. QFest, staged each year in July, faced several roadblocks this year, said founder and artistic director Ray Murray. In January, after 34 years at the helm of

Jersey party moves to A.C. By Angela Thomas

An annual LGBT beach party will celebrate its 12th year with some changes. Sand Blast, the largest mid-Atlantic TLA Entertainment Group, Murray sold the LGBT summer beach party, will move from company to Sterling Genesis International. North Jersey to South this summer — from “We had always used some TLA resources Asbury Park to Atlantic City. The event will to do a lot of the back-end work for the film be held July 18-20. festival,” Murray said. “We did the program guide there, we had the mailing list there, we used the empty offices for volunteers and staff. So that all changed.” Murray noted that the new TLA owners are supportive of an LGBT film festival, but the change, and its timing, made organizing the festival challenging. PAGE 22

QFest 20th anniversary postponed By Jen Colletta

It was announced this week that Philadelphia Gay News writer-at-large Timothy Cwiek is the recipient of a national investigative journalism award for his reporting on the homicide of a local transgender woman. Cwiek will receive a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award in the Investigating Reporting category for his coverage of the Nizah Morris case, the organization announced Wednesday. Cwiek took the top honor in the non-daily category; three other journalists will receive the investigative award for daily-circulation publications.

The contest, established in 1932, was open to all media outlets across the country and recognizes excellence in print, radio, television and other media. “It’s a great honor to be recognized by this distinguished organization,” Cwiek said. “If my coverage of the Morris case plays any role in securing a proper investigation, I’ll be very gratified.” Cwiek, a PGN staffer since the late 1970s, has followed the Morris case since its inception more than 11 years ago. Police say that an inebriated Morris requested a three-block courtesy ride Dec. 22, 2002, and that, shortly after she exited the police vehicle, someone struck her on the head. She died in the hospiPAGE 22

Sand Blast has been held in Asbury since 2002. It was launched by a group of LGBT homeowners in the Asbury Park area, who sought to promote the town’s LGBTfriendly atmosphere. But, because of the event’s growing population — attracting more than 4,000 people — it has outgrown its current location, according to Sandblast producer Brad Hurtado. PAGE 22

Suspect IDed in Grindr case By Angela Thomas Police last week identified a Philadelphia man accused of raping, assaulting and robbing a tourist he met on gay male dating app Grindr. Police announced April 11 that they believe Douglas Spady, 26, is responsible for an incident involving a 34-year-old male who was in town for an educational confer-

ence. The victim reported to police that he had been assaulted and robbed at about 1:30 p.m. April 9 by a man he met on Grindr and subsequently invited to his hotel room. Spady, of the 5200 block of Cottage Street, allegedly pulled a gun on the victim after he entered his hotel room at the Hilton Home 2 Suites at 12th and Arch streets. Spady allegedly sexually assaulted the PAGE 22 victim and then forced

CHAMPION CHEERLEADER: Donna Mae Stemmer received special recognition during the opening-day festivities of the City of Brotherly Love Softball League April 13. Stemmer has supported the league since 1992 and has been involved in community events like Gay Community Night at the Phillies, HIV/AIDS fundraisers and Pride parades. The Army veteran and attorney attained more than 20 medals for service to her country during her more-than 30 years in the military. Stemmer was brought onto the field for a league-wide acknowledgement during the kickoff celebration. Photo: Scott A. Drake

PGN April 18 - 24, 2014  

"The Philadelphia Gay News covers news and entertainment serving the LGBT community in the greater Philadelphia region and beyond"

PGN April 18 - 24, 2014  

"The Philadelphia Gay News covers news and entertainment serving the LGBT community in the greater Philadelphia region and beyond"