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Greater Metro

Mayor Wharton: Unfiltered

Mayor Wharton: Unfiltered

The New Tri-State Defender periodically provides newsmakers with an unfiltered forum to address current affairs. Readers can then dissect the offered viewpoints, comparing and contrasting what they read to what they have heard and/or thought. This week, Mayor AC Wharton Jr. is at the plate. With the flak recently directed his way, the TSD was particularly interested in knowing what he thinks is up with that.

Q: You've taken a lot of criticism throughout the budget process from Council members, union leaders and city employees, and citizens slamming you for lack of leadership, not supporting employees, pandering to big business and doing nothing for small businesses. How do you respond to the criticism?

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Students pose questions, offer advice to new Supt. Hopson

Students pose questions, offer advice to new Supt. Hopson

Recent changes to the Memphis and Shelby County school systems may only appear to be affecting students and parents, but Shelby County School District Supt. Dorsey Hopson clearly knows otherwise.

Hopson came to the summer journalism camp at the University of Memphis on Monday (July 29) and had a chance to hear from some of the students who will be a part of the upcoming unified school system.

"Everyday there is something to worry about... like 20 tests in one day," said Hopson, in an attempt to convey to the students the difficulty he faces on the job.

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Services Saturday for Rep. Lois M. DeBerry; accolades flow on

Services Saturday for Rep. Lois M. DeBerry; accolades flow on

The family of Tennessee State Rep. Lois M. DeBerry and the public that she served will say goodbye to her during services set for Saturday, Aug. 3.

Rep. DeBerry – the first female Speaker Pro-Tempore and the second African-American to hold that position – died Sunday afternoon at Methodist Hospital South after a bout with pancreatic cancer. She was 68.

The family of Rep. Lois M. DeBerry, known to many as "Lady D," announced the following service arrangements:

Family Graveside Service:

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MLGW conference set for Aug. 2 to back neighborhood progress

MLGW conference set for Aug. 2 to back neighborhood progress

Memphis Light, Gas & Water will present its annual Neighborhood Leaders Conference at the MLGW Joyce M. Blackmon Training Center at 4949 Raleigh LaGrange from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Aug. 2.

The conference will feature multiple workshop sessions where attendees can learn about Memphis' "most pressing neighborhood issues" while networking with other community leaders.

This year's theme is "Neighborhoods Get Down to Business" and the main focus is addressing the community's environmental and business concerns.

Community leaders and officials will be in attendance on behalf of their own neighborhoods, but will be sharing knowledge that can be applied to every community.

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Aug. 10 forum: Mass Imprisonment and the Black Community

Aug. 10 forum: Mass Imprisonment and the Black Community

Prisons and jails are the 21st century plantations for black people in the United States, say the organizers of Mass Imprisonment and the Black Community; A National Crisis – forum set for Aug. 10.

Sponsored by the Memphis Black Autonomy Federation (MBAF), the forum will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Java Complex, 1423 Elvis Presley Blvd.

Although African Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, they account for nearly half of the total 2.3 million prisoners in America, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice. The disproportion can be directly tied to the high level of black unemployment, says JoNina Ervin, the acting chair of the MBAF.

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Community champion Rep. Lois DeBerry dies at 68

Community champion Rep. Lois DeBerry dies at 68

"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.

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