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Community champion Rep. Lois DeBerry dies at 68

Deberry1-400"Christian, trailblazer, role model, a strong advocate for children, education and promoting women, fighter, leader, mentor, and most importantly a friend who supported and helped many in so many ways. She was strong, stern and no-nonsense, but very kind, compassionate and big- hearted."

That's the reflection of Gales Jones Carson, a member of the Democratic National Committee, upon the passing Sunday of State Rep. Lois DeBerry, the longest serving member in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Carson's reflection has elements echoed by many.

With family and friends nearby, Rep. DeBerry, 68, died about 12:30 p.m. at Methodist Hospital South. The way she handled her extended challenge from pancreatic cancer was emblematic of how she lived her life and served her district in South Memphis.

SCLC to pump up ‘Operation Take Back’ push

sclcDSC-600August has been designated "Operation Take Back" by the Memphis Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), coinciding with a project developed to "minimize crime in the Memphis community."

SCLC President Dwight Montgomery and chapter members pitched the program during a "Crime Solution Luncheon" held Tuesday at Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Fellowship Hall 1098 S. Wellington Street (at McLemore). During the session, Mayor AC Wharton Jr. addressed the group about his vision for continued crime reduction in Memphis.

Through Operation Take Back, SCLC is asking church pastors to:

ASD Supt. Chris Barbic – A man you must know!

Chris Barbic-600With Memphis home to 68 of the 85 schools in the bottom five percent of the lowest performers and many of those students African Americans, Achievement School District Supt. Chris Barbic is a man whose thoughts bear special scrutiny by the African-American community.

The ASD's goal is to move the bottom 5 percent of schools in the state to the top 25 percent in five years. This week, Barbic was making the rounds, spreading the word that 12 months into operating schools, its students are showing signs of progress. That get-out-the message tour coincided with the release of annual TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) Proficiency results measuring students in grades 3-8 in reading, math, social studies, and science.

Barbic's two-minute spiel, which he folded into a 100-minute conservation at The New Tri-State Defender on Tuesday, basically covers this ground:

Kenya-Memphis connection budding

Kenyan-600Four Kenyan governors will be in Memphis Monday through Wednesday (July 29-31), with the goal of cultivating a sharing of ideas to "enrich operations and propel the counties represented by the governors to internationally expected standards."

The Ramogi Economic Forum, whose president is Eng. Charles Kodi, is coordinating the governors' visit. The non-profit organization's goals include providing information on business and investment opportunities in Kenya to stakeholders. It mainly targets U.S. financial institutions, academic institutions, non-profits, aid organizations, hedge funds, state and local governments and faith-based organizations.

The visiting contingent will include: from Nyanza and Western Kenya, Jack Ranguma – Kisumu Governor, Cornel Rasanga – Siaya Governor, Cyprian Awiti – Homa Bay Governor, and Sospeter Ojaamong' – Busia Governor.

A year later, questions remain in death of Chavis Carter

chavis-carter-600Friends and family members of 21-year-old Chavis Carter, whom Jonesboro, Ark. Police say committed suicide while handcuffed, are hosting two 1-year memorial services for Carter on Sunday (July 28).

The first service will be at 2 p.m. at Rivergate Park in downtown Tunica, Miss. The second service will be at 6 p.m. at Allen Park in Jonesboro.

Carter died July 28, 2012 while in the back of a Jonesboro police cruiser. His mother, Teresa Carter, is scheduled to attend the memorial services, along with representing attorney Benjamin Irwin of the Cochran Firm-Memphis. Other who have committed include friends of Carter's, pastors and local leaders and community organizers.

GOOD BLUE: Officer Kharyssa Pye

good blue-600(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 Memphis Police Department Officer Kharyssa Pye of the Ridgeway Precinct.)

If anyone has a reason to fear the site of a Memphis Police Department squad car it's me. Doing this interview was the closest I'd ever been to one without actually being placed into the back seat. I actually earned every trip they ever gave me and that's something you'll hardly ever hear anyone say. I used to call their squad cars "bat mobiles" like Batman's car, because you couldn't out run them. Their motors brimming as loud as the growl of lion, they were indeed power under control.

  • Written by Kelvin Cowans
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Sports Ball party about fun and ‘a purpose’

22sportsballroulette-600The 16th Annual Sports Ball benefiting Big Brothers and Sisters of Greater Memphis added another year of evidence to the idea of partying with a purpose at Minglewood hall on Saturday night.

A near capacity crowd showed up and most partygoers were dressed in suits and dresses adorned with sneakers, which has become a Sports Ball tradition.

Games for grown ups were ample, including casino tables that featured blackjack and roulette. There were video games, complementary beverages and food aplenty.

  • Written by Warren Roseborough
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