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Briefs: 'Elizabeth Black' documentary wins Murrow Award

| Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Comedian Craig Ferguson, the Scottish-born host of 'The Late Late Show' since 2005, told his studio audience during taping on April 28, 2014, that he will step down at the end of the year.

The documentary “Portraits for the Homefront: The Story of Elizabeth Black,” which aired last November on WQED-TV, has been recognized as the 2014 Region II Edward R. Murrow Award recipient in the “News Documentary” category.

The film tells the story of Pittsburgh native Elizabeth Black, who completed more than 1,000 sketches of soldiers during World War II that were then sent home to wives, mothers and other family members throughout the U.S.

The documentary team of WQED executive producer David Solomon, photographer-editor Paul Ruggieri and narrator Michael Bartley will advance to the prestigious national Edward R. Murrow Awards to compete this June.

“This is the kind of project that sets public media apart,” says Deborah L. Acklin, president and chief executive officer of WQED, which helped families who did not receive their portraits in the 1940s locate them.

“Since the television program premiered last November, we have been flooded with e-mails and phone calls from emotional and grateful family members and surviving GI's. After almost 70 years, Elizabeth's portraits are finally finding their way home,” says Acklin.

The documentary will encore at 8 p.m. May 22 and 3 p.m. May 25 on WQED. It is also available to watch online at wqed.org/elizabethblack.

— Rex Rutkoski

Carnegie Mellon singer to compete in Finland

Carnegie Mellon University junior and mezzo-soprano Adele Grabowski, who studies in Mildred Miller's studio at the school of music, has been selected to compete in the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition, Aug. 4 to 13 in Helsinki, Finland.

The competition demands a broad repertoire including baroque music, lieder and opera. Prizes range from 3,000 to 30,000 Euros ($4,000 to $41,000).

Previous winners who've become international stars include mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, bass Rene Pape and baritone Vladimir Chernov.

— Mark Kanny

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