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Greater Metro

Showtime at the Hattiloo begins with ‘Once On This Island’

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‘Once On This Island’ is billed as a “highly original and theatrical adaptation of the popular fairy tale ‘The Little Mermaid’ and it’s booked as the grand opening performance for the Hattiloo Theatre at Overton Square.
 
With book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and composed by Stephen Flaherty, “Once On This Island” begins July 18th and runs through Aug. 3rd. 
 
 
“We really want to open our doors wide to all of Memphis and Shelby County,” said Ekundayo Bandele, Hattiloo’s founder and artistic director.

#901Choice2014 – a social media targeted forum

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Following a May primary that saw just 17 percent of registered voters participate, including only 4 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 35, The New Tri-State Defender (TSD) and Social Change with a Twist (SCWT) decided to collaborate to produce a unique platform for voter engagement.
 
Making use of social media reach and engagement, #901Choice2014 (hashtag901Choice2014) is designed to touch younger potential voters and to attract them to at least tune in via social media platforms, if not attend the actual candidates’ forum.

TSD opens nominations for 2014 Best in Black Awards

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Each summer since 2012 Memphians have had a chance to weigh in on naming the “best” across a wide spectrum of business and individual categories. Their choices reflect answers to questions such as these:
 
Who has the best hot wings in Memphis? What about Soul food? What is the Best Barber Shop in Memphis? Who’s the best personal trainer? Best Choir? Best Radio Personality? How about Beauty Salon? What Nail Salon tops all others? 
 
By way of the third annual Best In Black Awards hosted by The New Tri-State Defender, the public again has the opportunity to nominate and subsequently choose their favorites based upon their experiences and opinions. Nominations, which are now open, will close on July 18th. Voting kicks off on July 21st and ends at midnight on August 5th.

THIS WEEKEND IN MEMPHIS!

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Your source of information for where to go and what to do each weekend in the Greater Memphis area.

FRIDAY
 
Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular
9pm | Riverside
 
Southaven’s July 4th Celebration
7:30pm | 6285 Snowden Lane

Obama Administration makes room for a University of Memphis graduate

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Chimene Okere has had an interesting journey. Upon his graduation from Lane Tech College Preparatory in Chicago (2010), he went on to attend Depaul University, completing his freshman year before transferring to the University of Memphis. He never envisioned all of the transfers leading to a position in the Obama Administration.
 
Customarily, each U.S. President appoints students to non-career positions within their administration. The full-time positions are entry level and within the executive branch. As a result of President Obama’s desire to diversify the pool of students selected to the program, The University of Memphis was selected to send students of color for interviews.

What’s John Leake doing in Russia?

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Who would’ve thought that a childhood fascination with Russian culture would eventually morph into an opportunity to study in Russia? Yet, that’s exactly what happened to a recent Memphis high school graduate.
 
John Leake, a graduate of Lausanne Collegiate School, was awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship by the U.S. Department of State. That is why he is in Yaroslavl, Russia right now studying Russian language and culture during a six-week adventure that ends Aug. 4th. 
 
“Ever since I was a child, I have always loved Russia,” Leake told The New Tri-State Defender before leaving for the Russian stay that began June 21st.   

Brown bristles at ‘homophobic’ tag

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The race for Shelby County District Attorney has entered into murky territory with Democratic Party nominee Judge Joe Brown saying that an Internet post of him making reference to incumbent Amy Weirich’s marital status and her sexual preferences reflect an off-the-cuff moment never meant to be aired or used by his campaign or supporters in any form.
 
“This came about due to the fact that my opponent will not debate me,” Brown told The New Tri-State Defender on Wednesday. “It was a private moment just blowing off steam and never meant to be used in any context.”
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Plan in works for coverage options for all retirees

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The City of Memphis plans to launch an aggressive education campaign to apprise retirees of their options in the wake of a scramble to put in a place a multi-year, guaranteed healthcare assurance plan with good coverage options for all City retirees.
 
The office of Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced earlier this week that the City “and its partners” were putting such a healthcare assurance plan in place. The plan was described as being in addition to continued medical insurance coverage for surviving spouses and dependents of employees who died in the line of duty and certain Medicare ineligible retirees.
 
The educational campaign, which was projected to kick off “in the coming weeks,” would include the convening of community meetings that provide retirees and their families with opportunities to ask questions and to be provided with one-on-one counseling regarding recent changes to their benefits. Those moves would be in addition to information they would receive in the mail, individual appointments, phone calls, social media and a website serving as an information repository.