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Greater Metro

Rape kit backlog a ‘systematic failure,’ says Wharton

rapekit 600"Every day that a sexual assault kit goes untested is delayed justice, and justice delayed is justice denied," said Mayor A C Wharton Jr., referencing the over 12,000 untested rape kits in the City of Memphis.

Wednesday morning in the Hall of Mayors at City Hall, Wharton addressed what he referred to as a "systematic failure." He plans to develop a cross-functional team with representatives from law enforcement, and legal and victim advocate groups to address the rape kit-testing debacle.

To jumpstart those efforts, Wharton announced a partnership with the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national organization that has conducted groundbreaking research in identifying the nation's backlog of rape kits and best practices for eliminating rape kit testing delays.

 

Caution: ‘Dems’ changing lanes

demschanging 600The shellacking that local Democrats absorbed from Republicans in the August 2010 general election – a loss of every countywide seat – is still a fresh memory for attorney and former state legislator Carol Chumney.

Now, Chumney has watchful eyes on May's Shelby County primary and the August state and federal primaries and county elections. She contends that Democrats have come up short in recent elections in part because of the troubling practice of elected Democrats who have endorsed Republicans or cozied up to them for photo-ops.

Although the Republican 2010 sweep was marked in controversy over an election-day glitch followed by a Chancery Court lawsuit, it jumpstarted Chumney's quest to end the support of elected Democrats for Republicans.

 

  • Written by Wiley Henry
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Coming soon: ‘The Legacy of Owen College’

LMOLegacy 600The Owen College History Committee, which has been on a two-year mission, met recently at St. John Baptist Church to finalize plans for the product yielded by its efforts.

The product – "The Legacy of Owen College" – is now ready for its premiere. The public is invited to attend the event on Feb. 22 in the Dorothy Harris Lounge of the Alma Hanson Building on the campus of The LeMoyne-Owen College.

"The Legacy of Owen College" records the history of the two-year college, which was founded by the Tennessee Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention and named for the Rev. S. A. Owen, pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church. Located on the corner of Vance and Orleans, the college opened in 1954 and merged with LeMoyne College in 1968.

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH

tompeddler 600LeMoyne-Owen College
(807 Walker Ave.)

Feb. 13: 2-3 p.m., The Hollis F. Price Library presents Birthplace of Hip-Hop Tour, Alumni Room.

Feb. 18: 9:45 a.m.-10:50 a.m., A Discussion of Africans in Israel, featuring LOC faculty, Little Theater.

Feb. 22: 2-4 p.m., Owen College Legacy book signing with Dr. Miriam DeCosta Willis and other Owen College alumni, Dorothy Harris Lounge in the Hanson Student Center.

 

Signing Day


signingday2 600Thirteen Cordova High School football players seeking an opportunity to play the game on the collegiate level all signed National Letters of Intent Wednesday (Feb. 5) morning during National Signing Day, when athletes from various sports make their college of choice official.

"It's a dream come true," said outside linebacker Vassiel Beason, who will attend the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He said he didn't see this day coming two years ago.

"I plan to start classes early in the summer to get a head start," he said. 

  • Written by Wiley Henry
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Memories abound for fire victim

firevictim 600The sentiments were pretty much the same: LeRoy Davis was quick-witted, brazen, a unique character, a good person and loved his church.

"We were tight; we did so much together. You couldn't help but love him," said Dora Chambers, recounting fond memories of her brother at a memorial service for him on Saturday (Feb. 1) at Dave Wells Community Center in North Memphis.

Davis died the afternoon of Jan. 24 in the home at 1051 Morehead St., which he shared with his mother, Katherine Tatum. Dense smoke and flames trapped him inside. Davis was the oldest of Tatum's eight children. He was 62.

  • Written by Wiley Henry
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It’s official: Deidre Malone files for Shelby County Mayor

malone 600The Malone for Shelby County Mayor camp (#maloneformayor2014) escorted its candidate, Deidre Malone, to the Shelby County Election Commission at noon Monday and filed the petition that makes the former Shelby County Commissioner an official candidate for Shelby County Mayor.

"I can't thank all of my supporters enough for their continued outpour of kindness and their commitment to this campaign," said Malone to her supporters in the lobby of the commission offices.

"We are going to win this race one person at a time, and it starts with you and these 65 names on this official document," she said, holding up the petition.

 

“P’s of Progress”

stateofthecity 600Any list drawing upon "P" words to address conditions in Memphis would easily be dismissed as invalid if poverty were not given a prominent place.

Mayor A C Wharton Jr. drew upon what he called the "5 P's" Wednesday morning as he addressed the State of the City to a crowded auditorium at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Amid "Potholes," "Pensions," "Public Safety" and "Planning," Wharton put "Poverty," which was paramount to Shelby County Democratic Party Chair Bryan Carson.

"I listened very closely to Mayor Wharton's State of the City address. Although I was very pleased with his 5 P's plan for Memphis, what caught my attention more was the city's Blue Print for Prosperity initiative to reduce our 27 percent poverty level by 10 percent by 2024," said Carson.