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To Kenya, with love!

kenya 600The Second Annual Prayer Breakfast for Kenyan Kids was held Saturday morning (April 12) at the Salvation Army Kroc Center to support the orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya, Africa. It was a unique opportunity for those in attendance to make a monetary contribution to send care packages and supplies to the Kenyan children.

Proceeds from the breakfast will be used to support the Maua Methodist Hospital in rural Kenya and its outreach programs to the community, including AIDS orphans. Medications and medical supplies will be delivered to the hospital in July.

The prayer breakfast also was the setting of an art exchange exhibit between the children of Caldwell Guthrie Elementary School in North Memphis and the children at the ECD Clark School in Maua, Kenya. More than 100 supporters attended the breakfast and exhibit.

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Hank Aaron receives hate mail after defending President Obama

aaron 600Forty years after baseball legend Hank Aaron was hit with a barrage of hate mail for breaking Babe Ruth's home run record, he's reportedly getting nasty letters in the mail again — this time for defending President Barack Obama.

In a recent USA Today interview, the 80-year-old Hall of Famer used some incendiary words to describe the partisan opponents of the president.

"This country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he's treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts," he told the newspaper.

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Government as innovator? You bet!

randd 600Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion.

People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reasons to reduce government spending. But in this case they're wrong. We need to boost the government's investment in R&D, not slash it.

Let's begin with the federal government's record, which is nothing short of impressive:

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‘Autism is not a death sentence’

autism 600WASHINGTON – As Camille Proctor watched her one-year-old son, she knew something wasn't right. He played with others and enjoyed affection, but he never spoke. He also walked on his toes. A pediatrician assured Proctor that her son was probably just developmentally delayed.

Proctor's son was 15 months old when she learned that wasn't the case. He was officially diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

"My son didn't have the telltale signs, but I figured it out without the diagnosis. I had to basically force a diagnosis for my son so he could get the services he needed," Proctor says. "But it was hard because now I had a name for what his problem was, but that wasn't helpful for me going through it every day."

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Wharton unveils ‘difficult choices’ budget proposal

wharton 600Saying he took no pleasure in the sacrifices City employees and retirees are being asked to make, Mayor A C Wharton Jr. on Tuesday presented the Memphis City Council with a 2015 fiscal year budget that he said reflects difficult choices.

According to Wharton, the budget proposal represents difficult choices his administration had to make to avoid raising taxes, while making strategic investments in core neighborhoods, securing the City's financial future, and protecting the pension system.

The proposed 2015 fiscal year operating budget is $596 million. That's an $18 million decrease from fiscal year 2014. The proposed CIP Budget for fiscal year 2015 is $83 million.

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