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Greater Metro

Memphis teen ready for ‘Down-Under’ voyage

Daria Letcher-400Daria Letcher, a high school student at Hutchison School, has been chosen as a global ambassador for People to People. On Sunday, June 30th, she will be traveling with a select group of students to Australia, where they will be visiting and getting hands-on experiences at the Zoo and community services.

The daughter of Sherrye Letcher, Daria will be spending a day with a Marine Biologist studying live organism in the ocean. She is 15 and a certified Diver.

Daria will be gone for 15 days. She had to do a lot of fund-raising and studying to prepare for the trip because all site visits are hands-on training. She is the only traveler from Tennessee going to Australia.

Campaign launched to support public school children

OURCHILDREN-160Our Children. Our Success., a new campaign created to bolster community support for public school children, kicked off across Memphis and Shelby County this week.

Led by a coalition of community partners, the campaign was launched to encourage the entire community to participate and invest in the lives, education and general wellbeing of our children.

"RISE, through its programs, has always served as a connector between parents, the community and the schools," says Linda Williams, president/CEO of the RISE Foundation, a campaign community partner. "The Our Children. Our Success. campaign is another way that we can support families with real time-information that's critical to the academic success of children this coming school year."

Collins ready with a budget proposal

Harold Collins-400The Memphis City Council picks up on the challenging task of reaching agreement on an acceptable budget on Tuesday, with Councilman Harold Collins ready to offer an option.

Collins says he will propose in committee a budget measure that "has no layoffs, we invest in libraries, community centers and increase funding to pave streets. We also pay on the debt and add 10 million to the reserves."

How?

Deputy Director Anthony Berryhill

deputydirBerryhill-600GOOD BLUE: Kelvin Cowans takes readers inside the lives of Memphis and Shelby County Law Enforcement officers. Just as a neighborhood should not be judged by the actions of a few bad apples, neither should Law Enforcement agencies. In partnership with the new Community Police Relations Project, the New Tri-State Defender and its "Good Blue" column are here to share in-depth and inspiring commentary on a weekly basis with the community. Our goal is for the community to see that the only difference between them and good police officers is the Law. This week's focus is on Deputy Directory Anthony Berryhill.

Memphis Police Department Deputy Director Anthony Berryhill has 29 years of experience as a police officer. A graduate of Carver High School Class of 1977, this former three sport athlete had a future of college sports on his radar. Yes, long before he thought anything about someone breaking a speed limit, he was traveling at a pretty fast pace himself. "Basketball, football and track," he proudly said while raring back in his chair and piercing his eye's across the City of Memphis skyline. From that point on I forgot that I was in his 12th floor office because his conversation, equivalent to a glass of water, made me feel like we were on a park bench down in Handy Park on Beale Street.

  • Written by Kelvin Cowans
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RISE helps Memphis woman achieve college career dreams

Cap-Gown-Photo-400tMemphian Shaneka "Duke" Graham has overcome the formidable odds stacked against her to graduate from Lane College with her bachelor's degree in business in just three years instead of the standard four. On Sunday, June 23, Graham, who was salutatorian of Northside High School's Class of 2010, will receive her degree in the gymnasium of her college in Jackson, Tennessee.

It has been a long road for the young mother, who was raised in Memphis' Dixie Homes public housing project, where she shared a two-bedroom apartment with her seven siblings and their disabled parents. "Where I come from has always been my stepping stone to do better in life," Graham said. "The circumstances back then have made me value the way I live today."

Graham's roadmap out of poverty included consistent encouragement from her parents, as well as guidance and mentoring from the Memphis-based RISE Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers low-income Memphians to transform their financial wellbeing.

AT&T helps Memphis manage programs to improve zoning enforcement

Mark Norris-200The City of Memphis is launching a mobility solution to help increase the safety of city workers and reduce numerous man-hours of redundant paperwork as it enacts programs to restructure neglected areas of the city and manage code violations more efficiently.

After the death of an employee on the job and reports of citizens violating ordinances, the city sought to improve zoning regulation enforcement, neighborhood clean-ups and visibility into the location of city workers. Xora's StreetSmart application, which operates on the AT&T network, is expected to help the City of Memphis eliminate man-hours lost to redundant, formerly paper-based processes that typically accompany its urban restoration programs while also providing features that allow the city to keep better tabs on worker movement.

Boot Camp for Dads

The 3rd Annual Boot Camp for Dads was a great success. I saw one after the other engaged in a great conversation about fatherhood and what it means to be a father. Both young and old — men talked about their idea of this fatherhood thing. One thing is true —we all know we have to do a better job of saving our children.

During the Locker Room Chat session, Reginald White, Michael Adrian Davis, and Rev. Hermon Jackson all asked the same questions — where do we go from here? How do we make a plan from here? Where do we take this knowledge that has been given to us? We present it here, at the Training Camp for Dads!

The Memphis City Council makes some tough decisions

MemphisSeal-400Tuesday night in a marathon budget session, the Memphis City Council took on some of the tough decisions necessary to right the fiscal ship of the city. Facing scrutiny and not so veiled threats from the State Comptroller's Office along with pressure from employees, (particularly public safety officers) to restore previously reduced pay, this Council finds itself in a bed of thorns with few roses.

Many city employees packed the chambers to watch the proverbial sausage being made. Facing significant debt, declining property values and property ownership (taxpayers), increasing costs, and seemingly higher demands on and for city services, this process can't help but be a nasty one.

  • Written by Bernal E Smith II
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