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Greater Metro

Half-cent sales tax proposal gearing up

halfcenttax-600It's a no-brainer that educating Memphis' children should be one of the city's greatest priorities, but some scratch their heads in doubt when talk turns to raising taxes to get that done.

With that sentiment as a backdrop, supporters of a proposed half-cent sales tax increase to fund pre-kindergarten education are getting busy trying to drum up support. On Tuesday, the Rev. Keith Norman, president of the local NAACP, announced that the Memphis Branch backs the proposal.

The announcement via a media release simply spread a position that Norman had made known in late August at the Children's Museum of Memphis during a local group's kickoff of what is being dubbed The Memphis Pre-K Initiative.

Actor Laz Alonso to talk education at SHC College Fair

laz alonsoThe 4th Annual Southern Heritage Classic College Fair – hosted by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and the City of Memphis Office of Youth Services – will be Saturday (Sept. 14th, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Pipkin Building.

"I get as excited about the college fair as I do about the big football game between Tennessee State and Jackson State," Wharton said.

"Exposing our young people to college opportunities is critical because a college degree means opportunities that are not as readily available to those who have no higher education. Also, in today's economy a college degree increases earning potential."

Gift-bearing TSU president right at home in Memphis

Dr GloverAn achievement incentive to the tune of $3 million in scholarships was delivered to Memphis-area high school seniors on Wednesday courtesy of Tennessee State University and its first female president, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover.

A Memphis native, Dr. Glover unveiled the scholarships news during a special Presidential Scholarship reception at the Downtown Sheraton.

"We look forward to providing access to college for prospective students that are committed to achievement in the classroom as evidenced by their academic credentials," said Dr. Glover.

Education commissioner gets ‘We-do-what-we-do’ lesson

Education-1-600The state commissioner of education's visit to Whitney Achievement Elementary School was about over as principal Debra Broughton was asked for her reflection of the fast-moving experience.

"This visit is empowering," Broughton said. "It is energizing and for the next quarter I can persevere knowing that we did the work and that we've laid a great foundation, that we can start to push harder and begin to see the fruits of our labor."

Commissioner Kevin Huffman's visit was one of several stops during a busy Wednesday in Memphis that included a closed-door session with some teachers. At Whitney, the tour group included Broughton, Achievement School District (ASD) Supt. Chris Barbic and State Rep. Barbara Cooper (D-Memphis) dropping in on several classrooms.

No longer interim, Dorsey Hopson is ‘the superintendent’

hopsononpoint-600Recently, while speaking to a group of Memphians committed to raising the number of college graduates in the city, Dorsey Hopson started out by saying, "thanks."

Six months ago, he could not have envisioned standing before the attendees as the interim superintendent of the newly merged Shelby County Schools, he said.

Well, if so, that means that he did not see coming then what happened to him on Tuesday night. The Shelby County Board of Education – a seven-member body operating one short – unanimously turned to Hopson to lead the district on a permanent basis. The move meant the end of a nationwide search to find "the right person" for the job.

Memphis Children’s March steps forward with purpose

childrenmarch-1-600The line of marchers was not that long – about 50-plus. Down Riverside Drive it went, sounding off with lyrics from familiar standards:

"Keep Your Eyes on the Prize,"

"Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around,"

"This Little Light of Mine,"

And, of course, "We Shall Overcome."

The Memphis Children's March was a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Presented by Gilliam Communications, owners of 1340-WLOK, it was a prelude to the radio station's 39th Annual Stone Soul Picnic in Tom Lee Park.

Bartlett youth’s photo to get Broadway view

Matthew M-400For five-year-old Matthew McInnis of Bartlett, the bright lights of Broadway are in his immediate future.

On Sept. 21, Matthew's photo will be part of the National Down Syndrome Society's (NDSS) annual Times Square Video presentation.

The featured photographs highlight children, teens and adults with Down syndrome working, playing and learning alongside friends and family. The collective images promote the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome, which is the NDSS mission.

Wharton visits White House for gun violence talks with Obama

obama-and-wharton-600Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was part of a select group of mayors invited to join President Barack Obama at the White House this week to discuss curbing youth violence.

Wharton's visit coincided with the 50th Anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington, where civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

Speaking about gun violence, Wharton said, "It's really perplexing because Dr. King did not die for that; that was not the dream he had."