TSD Memphis

Thu04242014

Greater Metro

‘School Success Splash’ to mark first quarter end for SCS

Our-Children-600Community members are gearing up to host pep rallies for students and teachers on Friday, Oct. 4 to mark the completion of the first quarter of the school year for the unified Shelby County Schools district.

The purpose of the School Success Splash, as it's been dubbed, is to bolster community support for public school children and those who teach them.

Groups of volunteer "cheerleaders" carrying pompoms and signs bearing positive messages will gather outside as many schools as possible one hour before the bell rings to show support for students and appreciation for teachers as the academic day begins.

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Mid-South Fair’s new director has growth in mind

M-S Fair guy-400tThe energy that it takes to run a mammoth organization that has a 157-year-old track record could be rather exhausting if leadership is not up to par. But leadership has never been a problem for the staff and volunteers of the annual Mid-South Fair; it just keeps growing and evolving.

In March, Jesse V. Johnson was handed the reins of leadership as the Fair's executive director, moving quickly to the helm after he was hired in August 2012 as director of Marketing and Sponsorship Services. Four months later, he was promoted to director of Administrative and Financial Services and Marketing.

The long-running Fair, founded in 1856 "to create a cultural and entertainment experience" for the entire family, is steep in history. Bearing this in mind, Johnson underscores the importance of history, but also understands that diversity and options can enhance the Fair's appeal during its 10-day run, Sept. 20-29, at the Landers Center in Southaven, Miss.

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Can a college fair change the earth?

collegefair-2-600Alexander Wallace, 15, attends Douglass High School. In 2016, he plans to walk across the stage as a high school graduate.

So why was he walking around the Pipkin Building on Saturday (Sept. 14) afternoon?

"I've always dreamed about and always have been pretty intent about what I'm going to be in the future," said Wallace. "I want to be something in this world. Some people take the African Americans for granted and I just want to change the face of the earth and things like that."

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MATA adjustments include two new routes

MATA-logo-600The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) launches two new routes as a part of its route adjustments on Sept. 22.

The new routes are a part of MATA's focus on budget efficiency, routes to meet service demands, and making more use of route transfers for more direct travel compared to most routes going downtown for transfer.

The 42 Crosstown debuts as the "most direct and convenient link" from Frayser to Whitehaven and many major locations in between. The route features 13 numbered timepoints and transfer points to 21 other MATA routes (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 17, 19, 20, 30, 34, 35, 36, 40, 46, 50, 52, 53, 56, 57 and 69). The Memphis Medical Center area is among the points along 42 Crosstown.

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Frosty reception for ASD at Southside Middle School

ASDphoto-600Tension was thick enough to cut with a knife as highly concerned parents, students, teachers and community supporters gathered in the auditorium of Southside Middle School on Monday (Sept. 16) to discuss the possibility of an association with the Achievement School District.

A quarrelsome atmosphere led to difficult questions and random outbursts towards Elliot Smalley, an ASD representative.

"How y'all going to make our school better if it has already gotten better?" asked a Southside Middle student.

Frequently interrupted, Smalley was unable to answer many questions and convey ASD goals because of brash remarks from audience members.

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Master’s student draws a bead on Tel Aviv

telaviv-600Jocelyn Ramiah left Memphis on Monday determined to make "some type of difference in the world." Her destination was Israel, where she is set to begin her Master's degree program at Tel Aviv University.

A recent graduate of Emory University, with a B.A. in Middle Eastern and South Asian studies, Ramiah's year-long concentration in Israel will include soaking up the cultures.

Her ambition and talent were on display recently at a going away party at the home of her mother, Julia Ramiah, who works as a respiratory specialist at a local hospital. Her father, Shaboy Ramiah, is an upscale custom tailor. Amicably divorced, the two dote on their jewel, as did dozens of family and friends at the party that featured a cake made in the shape of Tel Aviv University.

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Evie R. Horton, widow of late Judge Horton, passes

13horton-600Memphians are mourning the passing of Evie R. Horton, widow of the late Judge Odell Horton, and a renowned community activist and volunteer in her own right.

"She was a great neighbor, parent, and friend," Mayor A C Wharton Jr. said Thursday. "She was also the epitome of a true companion as she was always dutiful and loving to her late husband in every moment of his life. Ruby and I will miss her sorely".

Mrs. Horton, a 2012 Woman of Excellence honored by The New Tri-State Defender, was a retired Memphis City Schools teacher and well-known for her cultural and social contributions. She was the past president and treasurer of the Memphis Chapter of Links, Inc. Developer of the Ladies-in-Waiting for the Links Annual Cotillion, and a member of their Archives and History Committee.

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CEOs for Cities names Wharton one of six ‘Changemakers’

WhartonAC-400Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is among six "City Changemakers" tapped for honors by CEOs for Cities, a national group that will host the 2013 salute in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Oct. 1.

The awards denote innovative leadership in American cities. CEOs for Cities is designed to connect urban leaders with each other and with "the smartest ideas for city success."

In addition to Wharton, this year's winners are: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Mark Rosenberg, president of Florida International University, Olga Stella of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and Jim Walker, founder of Big Car, an arts and culture organization in Indianapolis.

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Half-cent sales tax proposal gearing up

halfcenttax-600It's a no-brainer that educating Memphis' children should be one of the city's greatest priorities, but some scratch their heads in doubt when talk turns to raising taxes to get that done.

With that sentiment as a backdrop, supporters of a proposed half-cent sales tax increase to fund pre-kindergarten education are getting busy trying to drum up support. On Tuesday, the Rev. Keith Norman, president of the local NAACP, announced that the Memphis Branch backs the proposal.

The announcement via a media release simply spread a position that Norman had made known in late August at the Children's Museum of Memphis during a local group's kickoff of what is being dubbed The Memphis Pre-K Initiative.

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Actor Laz Alonso to talk education at SHC College Fair

laz alonsoThe 4th Annual Southern Heritage Classic College Fair – hosted by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and the City of Memphis Office of Youth Services – will be Saturday (Sept. 14th, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Pipkin Building.

"I get as excited about the college fair as I do about the big football game between Tennessee State and Jackson State," Wharton said.

"Exposing our young people to college opportunities is critical because a college degree means opportunities that are not as readily available to those who have no higher education. Also, in today's economy a college degree increases earning potential."

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Gift-bearing TSU president right at home in Memphis

Dr GloverAn achievement incentive to the tune of $3 million in scholarships was delivered to Memphis-area high school seniors on Wednesday courtesy of Tennessee State University and its first female president, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover.

A Memphis native, Dr. Glover unveiled the scholarships news during a special Presidential Scholarship reception at the Downtown Sheraton.

"We look forward to providing access to college for prospective students that are committed to achievement in the classroom as evidenced by their academic credentials," said Dr. Glover.

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NASA, we’ve got ‘ambiguities’

NASA guy-600NASHVILLE – Teamwork does pay, even if you are not part of the team. Just be good at what you do.

Ask Ron Cobbs, a NASA avionics chief engineer assigned to the International Space Station operations. His input has helped investigators trying to unravel the cause of a spacesuit malfunction during a recent spacewalk.

"I personally am not part of the official Extravehicular Mobility Unit (space suit) investigation team that is looking into the suit anomaly," said Cobb, a 1989 TSU graduate with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. "

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Neighbors nervous about KKK recruitment flyers

kkk-350Cookeville – The people living in Cookeville expect to find newspapers at the end of their driveways and mail in their mail boxes, but not this: recruitment flyers from the Ku Klux Klan.

"The KKK Wants You," it says, and on it is a number and website so that those interested can get involved.

"It breaks my heart. It just breaks my heart. I grew up in Cookeville and I was a child when Martin Luther King gave his 'I Have a Dream' speech. We just honored that last week and I thought, 'It is 2013 and we're doing this again?' It's devastating to me," said one recipient who chose to remain anonymous.

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