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Early-voting pulse faint but detectable

politics2014 600Early voters in the Whitehaven area outpaced those in the rest of the city's satellite voting locations by a wide margin as May 1st – the final day for early voting – approached.

Casting their ballots at Abundant Grace Fellowship Church at 1574 East Shelby Drive, 1,059 people voted, according to the Shelby County Election Commission. Next was the polling spot at Riverside Baptist Church (3560 S. Third) with 926 voters, and Bethel Church (5586 Stage Rd.) with 762.

The highest total was the downtown Shelby County Office Building with 1437 votes.

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‘No!’ say Senate Republicans to minimum wage

minimumwage 600President Obama on Wednesday sent out a written statement saying it's time for Congressional Republicans to "listen to the majority of Americans who say it's time to give America a raise."

The statement itself speaks to the fact that as a group, the Republicans are either not hearing the same thing as President Obama and his Congressional supporters. Or, they are fundamentally aligned with another thought pattern.

Meanwhile, that thud coming of the Senate chamber is the aftershock from a 54-42 vote on Wednesday that signaled the failure of a proposal linked to bumping the federal minimum wage up from $7.25 to $10.10. Sixty votes were needed to derail a filibuster against a measure pushing the increase. When the votes were counted only one Republican had chosen to let the measure go forward.

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TSD endorsements

endorsement 600County Mayor

Two of the three candidates in the Democratic race for Shelby County Mayor submitted and completed The New Tri-State Defender candidate questionnaire in time for us to evaluate and consider their answers towards our final endorsement. Those candidates were Deidre Malone and the Rev. Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr.

Steve Mulroy did not submit the questionnaire. All three candidates were collectively sent the questionnaire via email on April 10th.

In evaluating the questionnaires that were submitted, both candidates provided candid and thorough answers to questions on all areas of responsibility and issues, including economic development, education, crime, youth and administration. Both candidates are well educated, dedicated, family-oriented, of high character and are passionate individuals committed to serving their community.

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At 89, Omega’s Epsilon Phi Chapter is in full stride

omega 600The eclectic brothers of the Epsilon Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. recently came together to celebrate the chapter's rich and full 89-year history.

The celebration (April 19th) was held at the historic Four Way Grill, which was well suited for the recognition and reverence of an Omega chapter that has meant much to the Mid-South. Filled with fellowship and the sharing of stories (some even true), the outing included special recognition of the Episilon Phi Chapter's Golden Ques (GQ).

The GQ are men of Omega who have attained 65 years of age; have met financial requirements as set forth by the chapter; embrace the cardinal principles of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; and readily fraternize with like-minded brothers of the fraternity.

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R.I.D.D. poised to rid streets of distracted, texting drivers

RIDD 600"I really didn't think it was that big a deal – you know, texting and driving. All my friends text or check their email. We all do it. To me, it seemed like doing them both at the same time wasn't really hard. Actually, it's pretty easy to me. But I don't want to get caught doing it. I know it's against the law. I'm stopping because I'm just scared of getting stopped by the police."
– Jackie, 17
– Southwind High School

"Jackie," who feels that texting and driving is an easy prospect, is not alone. According to textinganddrivingsafety.com, about 55 percent of teens nationwide also feel, "It's easy to text and drive."

Apparently, it is not. The numbers don't lie. Distracted driving, or texting while driving, is the number one killer of teens nationwide, according to the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office, headed up by Director Kendell Poole.

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