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Greater Metro

Briefs & Things: FFUN rolls out its annual picnic Oct. 27

Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives (FFUN) will host its 4th Annual Multicultural Unity and Peace Family & Community Picnic on Sunday (Oct. 27) in Audubon Park at the corner of Park and Goodlett from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

October is National Crime Prevention Month and National Anti-Bullying Month. The community and family picnic is FFUN's prevention, awareness and education initiative.

"We want to bring the community together in peace and unity; encouraging youth to appreciate and respect cultural, physical and socioeconomic differences," said Stevie Moore, president and founder of FFUN.

The New Tri-State Defender gets new ownership

Bernal Smith II-600For the first time in its storied 62-year history, the Tri-State Defender will be both locally owned and operated.

Following an extended period of discussion and negotiations, Real Times Media, Inc. (RTM) has agreed to sell the assets of Tri-State Defender, Inc. (TSD) to BEST Media Properties, Inc., a Tennessee Corporation established by current TSD President and Publisher, Bernal E. Smith II.

Smith structured the new company – including the establishment of a local investment group that will comprise its board of directors – to accelerate the historic publication's move forward into the digital and multi-media age.

TSD debuts 2013 Men of Excellence honorees

MOE-LOGO-600Strategic procurement director, restaurant owner/operator, business strategist, life coach, consulting firm co-founder, an assistant director of facilities, a foundation founder and executive director ...

And so the list begins. Fifty talented, committed and visionary African-American males designated to be honored at the fifth annual Men of Excellence Awards Reception and Presentation hosted by The New Tri-State Defender.

... Hotel food and beverage director, little league founder and president, a county government administrator, an entertainment promoter, a systems engineer, an attorney, city councilman, civic group co-president ...

Memphis NAACP is fighting mad about Voter ID ruling

naacplogo-300The Tennessee Supreme Court has spoken on the state's Voter ID Act and the Memphis Branch NAACP is – in a word – appalled.

Memphis Branch NAACP Executive Director Madeleine C. Taylor on Wednesday let it be known that she and the entire organization is determined "to get the word out about the unfair and deliberately unequal acceptances of hunting licenses and gun permits without the acceptance of government issued library cards. The library cards played a key role in the case that Supreme Court ruled on last week.

Ruling on constitutional challenges to the state's Voter Identification Act by the City of Memphis and two Shelby County voters, the Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously declined to overturn the Act.

Reconfigured I-40/I-240 Interchange on the way

trafficsignunderconstruction-400Phase II of substantial improvements are about to begin on the I-40/I-240 interchange in east Memphis that will address the expected traffic increase in this area for decades to come.

The average daily traffic (ADT) on I-40 has grown from 49,000 vehicles in 1985 to about 200,000 vehicles a day in 2013. By 2035 projections show the interchange could be handling well over 350,000 vehicles.

The interchange is formed by I-40 on the north and east legs, I-240 on the south, and Sam Cooper Boulevard on the west. The existing interchange is unique in its current configuration as I-40 is reduced to one lane in each direction. Adding to this problem are the low speed exit ramp movements, which are not conducive for good interstate flow. Phase II improvements to the I-40/I-240 interchange will improve the flow of traffic.

Mayor Wharton addresses backlog of sexual assault test kits

Ac-Wharton-500Mayor A C Wharton Jr. issued an executive order Monday (Oct. 21) requiring the Memphis Police Department to develop a plan to deal with the backlog of sexual assault test kits, collaboration with various public and community stakeholders to assure appropriate notification and interaction with victims, and establishing clear policies and procedures for prompt processing of new kits.

Wharton commended Police Director Toney Armstrong, District Attorney General Amy Weirich, Memphis City Council and others involved for their efforts to address the backlog issue. He laid out a plan for dealing with the kits in the future.

Within 90 days of issuance of the order, the Memphis Police Department is expected to begin providing monthly reports to the mayor and the Council's Public Safety Committee. The report is to address the status of the remedial plan and any new developments involving the processing of sexual assault test kits. The executive order calls for the development of "key performance indicators" to measure effectiveness and consistency.

New Methodist North CEO focused on growth

Gysai-Chisley-400tGyasi Chisley was recently named chief executive officer at Methodist North Hospital.

"Gyasi is a great fit for North due to his focus on growth, clinical quality and physician relationships," said Gary Shorb, CEO, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. "His experience in varied healthcare executive positions will make him a valued addition to the MLH leadership team."

Prior to joining Methodist North, Chisley was the president and site administrator at Mercy Health, Anderson Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. In that role he was responsible for all business, financial, HR, nursing and operations transactions. He also was the corporate service line executive for orthopedics, facilities and food & dietary.

ASD to hold 2nd neighbor-hood fair

ASDimage-200Hanley Aspire Elementary School, located at 680 Hanley Street in Orange Mound, will be the venue on Saturday (Oct. 19) for the Achievement School District's second annual Neighborhood Schools Fair.

The event will be from until 3 p.m., with ASD leadership promising an afternoon filled with opportunities to speak directly with charter operators. Also on the menu is "food, fun and activities for everyone, including free massages for teachers and cupcakes for kids."

The Neighborhood Schools Fair will also be another chance for each community being considered in next year's matching process to follow-up and ask questions after the school meetings held last month across the city.