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Deputy Charllai Wooten

Charllai Wooten_600(Just as a neighborhood should not be judged by the actions of a few bad apples, neither should law enforcement agencies. The New Tri-State Defender' "Good Blue & You" column spotlights law enforcement officers who do it right. This week's focus is on Shelby County Deputy Charllai Wooten.)

No stranger to learning, Charllai Wooten graduated from Central High School (Class of 2000) and earned a criminal justice degree at the University of Memphis in 2008. True to her degree, she quickly found herself working for the Shelby County District Attorney's Office, where she learned even more while applying all that she knew for four-plus years.

The years spent studying and working in the field of criminal justice came in handy when she joined the Shelby County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) in 2013, landing on the Shelby County Schools "Rapid Response Unit." But before we get to that, let's pick up with Wooten the soldier, who was dispatched to Egypt seemingly in the blink of an eye.

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A night out with the Omega men: Sundresses and Linen

ques event_600There's nothing like educated, handsome men with a purpose and the men of Omega Psi Phi are examples of such. On Sunday, May 25th they hosted their annual Sundresses and Linen event at the Pink Palace Museum located at 3050 Central Ave.

The men of the Sigma Lambda Lambda chapter of Omega Psi Phi organized the event to commemorate their 10-year anniversary as an alumni chapter and to raise funds for one of their celebrated service projects and for scholarships – one of the fraternity's cornerstones.

The front lawn was the focal point of the event, with several rooms inside the museum reserved for guests to dine on hors d'oeuvres, look at African art and mingle as music played from both a live band and a DJ. The proceeds went to the Omega Healthy Kids Clinic, a community initiative of the Sigma Lambda Lambda Chapter that targets childhood obesity as an epidemic. The clinic creates awareness and emphasizes education in the areas of nutrition, childhood diabetes and the importance of physical activity and exercise, indeed an awesome cause!

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‘A Little R&R on Sports’: An original

Little R_R_600Most of us are regular recipients of ideas, thoughts and visions from a source and power much higher than ourselves. Whenever it happens, sometimes you may get a few instructions on how to do it but usually there's a "figure it out yourself" aspect. That's where originality comes in to play. What we all tend to discover is that however divine the thought, the "devil is in the details" of planning and execution.

A little over a year ago, Larry Robinson, a Memphis-based marketing exec, was driving to his hometown of Louisville, Ky. and "talking to God" as is his routine on long drives alone. He says that God gave him the idea of doing a sports show to which his initial response was..."you're trippin'." But a year later 'A Little R&R on Sports' is nationally syndicated on 175 radio affiliates of the San Francisco-based Sports Byline Network as well as: American Forces Radio (over 500 outlets), iHeart Radio, ITunes, Tune-In App, CRN (Cable Radio Network) and other media platforms.

So who's trippin' now?

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Gospel recording artist Peggy Garner to highlight Westwood Shores community event

gosple allen_600Gospel recording artist Peggy Garner of Atlanta will be the special guest on Saturday (May 31st) as the Westwood Shores Homeowners Association & Committee hosts a community event from noon to 4 p.m.

Garner was born and raised in Memphis, where she graduated from Overton High School. She earned an Associates of Applied Science Degree from Draughons Jr. College in 1986 and a second Associates of Applied Science Degree in Graphic Arts/Multimedia from Southwest Tennessee Community College in 2007.

Garner, a singer, songwriter/guitarist, is also a stage play/screenplay writer. She has written, produced and directed several stage plays, including:

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Memphis needs defined contribution pension reform

Andre Fowlkes_600Four years ago, when serving on the Memphis & Shelby County Metropolitan Charter Commission to consolidate city and county governments, there were numerous issues that we were facing in terms of the long-term benefit for our city. The divide that existed on these issues stemmed mainly from our resistance to change, and it didn't matter what logic, math, or business sense told us to do differently.

We took solace in holding on to what we've got with the attitude that ignored the trend lines. To have a buy-and-hold mentality when your stock is falling, has been on persistent decline, and is in an industry that is being eliminated, creates financial suicide.

One such issue that we forecasted on the Charter Commission was the City of Memphis pension plan. We made a forecast on the direction of our pension, and unfortunately, four years later this prediction has come true.

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