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Tenn. gets high marks in child welfare report

kids count
NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam lauded the state on Tuesday for improvements made in the well-being of children, saying gains particularly in the area of education justify reforms that have been implemented in recent years.
 
The Kids Count Data Book, an annual report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ranked Tennessee among five states that have made the biggest improvement in the last year. The other states are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Utah.

LA Clippers CEO: If Donald Sterling stays, Doc Rivers quits

clippers
Donald Sterling is toxic, or at least that is the sentiment from current Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers and interim CEO of the organization, Richard Parsons, who testified Tuesday that Rivers would quit if Sterling were still the owner of the team.
 
“Doc is troubled by this maybe moreso than anybody else,” Parsons stated during a trial to decide if Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, could sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. “If Mr. Sterling continues as owner, he does not want to continue as coach.”

African-American leaders worry about low turnout in November

Low turnout
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Civil rights leaders at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday worried that dwindling African-American turnout in November could lead to the expansion of voter-identification laws that make it harder for that community to vote in subsequent contests.
 
In 2012, African Americans turned out at a higher rate than whites for what is believed to be the first time in American history and helped re-elect President Obama. But in the prior midterm election, in 2010, African Americans turned out at a much lower rate, and Republicans won control of the House of Representatives and many state and local offices.

‘Nine Lives of a Black Panther: A Story of Survival’

book review
“In the early morning hours of December 8, 1969, 300 officers of the newly-created, elite paramilitary unit known as SWAT initiated a violent battle with a handful of Los Angeles-based members of the Black Panther Party (BPP)… 5 hours and 5,000 rounds of ammunition later, 3 SWAT team members and 3 Panthers lay wounded. 
 
“The LAPD considered the encounter a disaster. For the Panthers and community that supported them, the shootout symbolized a victory. A key contributor to that victory was 19-year-old Wayne Pharr. (This book) tells Wayne’s riveting story of the L.A. branch of the BPP, and gives a blow-by-blow account of how it prepared for and survived the massive, military-style attack.” 
– Excerpted from the dust jacket

Yes, we camp, and if you don’t, here’s what you’re missing

we camp
When I was growing up in New Jersey, my siblings and I typically spent our summers crammed in the back of my grandmother’s station wagon, heading to the Jersey Shore. With blankets and coolers in tow, we would start our days at sunrise and end them at sunset.
 
But one summer, when I was 11 years old, my grandmother wanted to do something different. I’m not sure why she singled me out, but to this day I’m glad she did.