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Greater Metro

Supt. Hopson marks historic start of 2013-14

Super Hopson-600At the end of the first day of school Monday (Aug. 5) in the new Shelby County Schools system, new Supt. Dorsey E. Hopson II Esq. reached out to parents and the community with a special letter.

Here's what he conveyed:

"The first day of our school year is undoubtedly a historic day for our 145,000 Shelby County Schools students and for all of Shelby County. Words cannot express how thankful I am for everyone who has worked so hard over the past several years to ensure we were prepared for this moment.

"As you are well aware, the past several months have been particularly demanding as we have transitioned to a unified school district. Though we have all faced a number of challenges, our students continue to impress me. Despite the merger-related distractions that are ever-present across our community, our students have received numerous national awards, made impressive academic gains, received prestigious scholarships and competed at the highest levels in sports and other extra curricular activities. The families of our students deserve much credit for keeping our students focused, as do our teachers and principals for their continued dedication.

Student iTeen Report: Back to school thoughts & advice

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The time has come for waking up early and staying up late with homework. That’s right, school. As of Monday morning, students all over the Mid-South are back in classrooms with their pencils sharpened and binders handy.

Deidra-Shores-160Personally, I’m a bit nervous about my junior year in high school. I haven’t always had the best study habits and this year is when I need them most. This isn’t 10th grade anymore. More is expected of you and you have greater responsibilities. Now that I’ve gotten my permit and started driving, I really am starting to understand the importance of this year as a whole.

I spoke with five Memphis teenagers about what they hope to get out of their junior and senior years of high school. Kayla Little, Eboni Johnson, Angelica Owens, Latifa Alijuma and Fredrick Alexander spoke with me about high-school life, including the things they are excited about and the things they fear.

 


 

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Kayla Little is a junior at Cordova High School, where she is heavily involved in the Cordova High chamber orchestra. She has practice after school throughout the week and is involved in performances at various places around the city. Not only is Kayla a gifted violinist, she’s also involved in the MIFA C.O.O.L program – a college readiness program that provides the basics and more so that students are ready the day they head off for college.

One step closer to graduating, Kayla says she’s ready for all the excitement the 11th grade will bring with all old and new friends. Now, along with excitement, also come fears about the junior-year standardized tests that play a major role in the pursuit of college.

I asked Kayla for her advice to new sophomores. She said, “Take yourself a bit more seriously…grades and classes are more serious now than you think they are.”

 


 

 

 

 


Eboni Johnson, a senior at Middle College High School, has taken an interest in photography and it’s now a big part of her life in and outside of school. She is a part of the modeling society and a dedicated member of her school’s volleyball and basketball teams.

Her upcoming senior trips have her excited, as well as being a part of student council and homecoming.

Eboni’s advice for incoming juniors is that hard work is the key. She says if you do it right, you will really understand the meaning of hard work. She also says that new juniors should try their hardest on the A.C.T and take it as often as possible with the goal of getting better and better.

Eboni says that what scares her most is that she’s finally about to go off to college. There’s only one year left of living at home. She’s really focused on making the best grades she can and meeting every requirement for graduation.

 


 

Angelica-Owens-150Southwind High School senior Angelica Owens is an author, with a new book due for release in September. She loves shopping, sports, writing, and above all, talking.

With the end of high school in sight, Angelica is buckling down and getting prepared for college. Extremely excited about the senior prom, she isn’t afraid of anything about her senior year because she has been preparing for a while.

 Here’s her advise to the juniors: “Study like your life depends on it, because you have an endless number of tests.” Junior year, she says, must be taken very seriously because it’s preparing you for your senior year and eventually college.

 


 

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Latifa Alijuma is a junior at Cordova high school and heavily involved in activities in and out of school, including F.B.L.A., future business leaders of America. She is also in the national Spanish honors society, which prepares students for the future in business. They frequently volunteer in disadvantaged neighborhoods and schools. They also compete in regional and national competitions.

Latifa has set a lot of personal goals for her junior year and she’s ready to accomplish them. She is taking all advanced placement classes and trying her best to pass them so she can get college credits.

 Her words of advice for rising sophomores are that it’s easy to get really lazy. But don’t do it. She says most tenth graders don’t understand the importance of the year until it’s over.

 Fredrick Alexander is a junior at Frasier High School, where he plays basketball. Now that he is a junior, graduation is feeling real, he said. He’s already looking into different colleges and universities, where he wants to major in engineering.

 He says what frightens him is the idea of several tests ahead. He is preparing for the A.C.T and S.A.T. and hopes to do well on both.

 Fredrick says that if he could give a word of advice to a new sophomore it would be to stay active in school and stay on top of your grades. Every little effort counts, he says.

 (Deidra Shores, former NBC “Today Show Kid Reporter” and student at Cordova High School, is the TSD iTeen Reporter.)

  • Written by Deidra Shores, Special to The New Tri-State Defender
  • Hits: 1776

Services set for Corey Maclin

 

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Services for former wrestling promoter and sportscaster Corey Maclin will beging today, Aug. 5, with visitation from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Oak Springs Baptist Church at 10250 Godwin Rd. in Arlington.

Maclin’s funeral service is set for noon Tuesday at First Baptist Church at 5010 West Union Road in Millington.

Maclin died in a car crash in Mississippi late Tuesday, July 30. The former Memphis Wrestling host and sportscaster was apparently traveling on south I-55 near Sardis, Miss. when the one-car accident happened about 10:30 p.m. The Mississippi Highway Patrol confirmed the fatal crash.

A graduate of Millington Central High School, Maclin, 43, and his wife were the center of a family with six children.

“We are grateful and dearly touched for the overwhelming outpouring of support and concern from our community concerning the loss of our beloved Corey,” the family said in an announcement continued.

 “Obviously, this is a time of great grief and sadness for us. We appreciate you keeping us in your prayers while our family embraces each other and tries to find some comfort at this unexpected and devastating loss of such a great man.”

 

Jefferson Mortuary – 901-872-8800 – has charge.

  • Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
  • Hits: 1884

Saving Our Seed – A Gathering of African American Men

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On Saturday (Aug. 3), 200-plus African American men from throughout the Memphis region came together for the second time in as many weeks to address a variety of issues specifically relating to African American men.

 Radio and television talk show host, Thaddeus Matthews, initially called the gathering. The response to that call was substantially larger and more diverse than most would have expected. Initially coined “The Black Men’s Summit,” the crowd included men from all walks of life. Minister Anthony Muhammad and The Nation of Islam’s Mosque #55 facilitated this second gathering. Local pastors, gang members, business owners and community activists all made their presence known and their voices heard.

 Having participated in many political and social gatherings for many years, and having been active in a plethora of community affairs, I listened to these men with an experienced ear toward grassroots organization and a hope that this was not another one-time event that would soon fade into the abyss of egotism and self-promotion. I quickly became aware that this was not the normal fist pumping, over hyped rally that would end with no follow through.

 Minister Muhammad opened the gathering with a well-developed audiovisual presentation on the meaning of “movement” and the need for a common goal and purpose. His presentation was followed by an open and substantive discussion from the attendees. The topics ranged from “reaching out to African American youth” to creating a network of men who would intervene and interact with African-American men recently released from regional penal institutions. The level of intellectual discussion was impressive and the promises of continued participation was overwhelming.

 Recent national reports on the plight of the African American male certainly justify and under gird the need for such gatherings. The United States Justice Department reports that there is a 60 percent chance that an African-American male over the age of 24 will come into contact with the criminal justice system in one form or another. Similar reports indicate that there are 40 percent more African American men in prison than there are in colleges and universities. With such statistics as a backdrop, the presence of such a large group of men gathered together with a common purpose is nothing less than promising.

 Local elected officials and traditional community leaders were noticeably absent from the gathering. One must wonder how such an event could occur in the heart of Memphis’s urban center, with so many men reaching out for answers, yet those persons elected to lead this community either chose not to attend, or were so disconnected from their constituency that they were not aware of the event. In either case, the absence of recognized leadership clearly makes this a grassroots effort.

 Memphis has been saddled with extremely high rates of incidents of violent crimes, a juvenile justice system that is bursting at the seams, and an unemployment rate of over 10 percent. It is my belief that a grassroots movement geared toward community outreach by African American men is one particular remedy for these socioeconomic ills. When the common man decides to take charge of his community in such a positive manner, and begins to serve as the protector of his community and its youth, the mission of “saving our seed” is within reach.

 I applaud the organizers of this event and those who have committed to keeping it going.  There will be another meeting of these men next Saturday at Pursuit of God Christian Church, 3172 Signal Street, in the Frayser community. It is my hope that this third gathering of African American men will be as successful as the prior gatherings, and that the roots of this movement will take hold.

 (Javier Michael Bailey Sr. is a former Memphis attorney and current CEO of Javier Bailey Capital Group, Inc. You can find him on Facebook and at javierbailey.com.)

  • Written by by Javier Bailey
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Crash claims Corey Maclin; former wrestling promoter, sportscaster

Corey Maclin-600A simple statement wedged into a short release from the family of Corey Maclin became a building block that many in the Greater Memphis area used as they worked to process his death in a car crash in Mississippi late Tuesday (July 30) night.

"Corey Maclin loved Memphis and Memphians, and he dedicated his life to bringing joy and happiness to the whole Memphis community through the venues of news, entertainment, and through public service," the statement read.

The former Memphis Wrestling host and sportscaster was apparently traveling on south I-55 near Sardis, Miss. when the one-car accident happened about 10:30 p.m. The Mississippi Highway Patrol confirmed the fatal crash.

Mayor Wharton: Unfiltered

Mayor-AC-Wharton-600The New Tri-State Defender periodically provides newsmakers with an unfiltered forum to address current affairs. Readers can then dissect the offered viewpoints, comparing and contrasting what they read to what they have heard and/or thought. This week, Mayor AC Wharton Jr. is at the plate. With the flak recently directed his way, the TSD was particularly interested in knowing what he thinks is up with that.

Q: You've taken a lot of criticism throughout the budget process from Council members, union leaders and city employees, and citizens slamming you for lack of leadership, not supporting employees, pandering to big business and doing nothing for small businesses. How do you respond to the criticism?

Students pose questions, offer advice to new Supt. Hopson

Dorsey Hopson-600Recent changes to the Memphis and Shelby County school systems may only appear to be affecting students and parents, but Shelby County School District Supt. Dorsey Hopson clearly knows otherwise.

Hopson came to the summer journalism camp at the University of Memphis on Monday (July 29) and had a chance to hear from some of the students who will be a part of the upcoming unified school system.

"Everyday there is something to worry about... like 20 tests in one day," said Hopson, in an attempt to convey to the students the difficulty he faces on the job.

Services Saturday for Rep. Lois M. DeBerry; accolades flow on

Lois DeBerry-plus2-600The family of Tennessee State Rep. Lois M. DeBerry and the public that she served will say goodbye to her during services set for Saturday, Aug. 3.

Rep. DeBerry – the first female Speaker Pro-Tempore and the second African-American to hold that position – died Sunday afternoon at Methodist Hospital South after a bout with pancreatic cancer. She was 68.

The family of Rep. Lois M. DeBerry, known to many as "Lady D," announced the following service arrangements:

Family Graveside Service: