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R&B legend Bobby Womack reported dead

bobby-womak-diesYou could hear the life and the living in Bobby Womack’s voice. He was the gospel-trained son of a preacher man, who climbed back from the depths of addiction, had career highs and lows and was a most cherished protege of the great Sam Cooke. The soulful singer was back in the studio this year recording a new album alongside the likes of Snoop Dogg and Ron Isley. It’s apt title, “The Best is Yet To Come.”
According to Rolling Stone magazine, Womack passed away Friday at the age of 70. He had been known to suffer from a variety of ailments, including colon cancer, but the exact cause of his death is still unknown.

Welcome to the new Holiday Inn Memphis Airport

With the official Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony set for August, hotel 600the Holiday Inn Memphis Airport Hotel & Conference Center is now open for business.
The 374-room hotel located at 2240 Democrat Rd., in the heart of the revitalized airport area, has undergone an extensive multi-million dollar renovation and upgrades. The makeover of the hotel includes a new façade and signage, new restaurant, upgraded and refurbished guest rooms, bar, pool, sundeck and fitness center.

Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. named NNPA interim president and CEO

PORTLAND, ORE, – (NNPA) – Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., a global business chavis 600leader, educator and longtime civil rights activist, was elected interim president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association at the group’s annual meeting here Wednesday, NNPA Chairman Cloves Campbell has announced.
Chavis is president of Education Online Services Corporation (EOServe Corp.), the premier provider of online higher education for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He is also president, CEO and co-founder with Russell Simmons of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN), the world’s largest coalition of hip-hop artists and recording industry executives. He serves on numerous boards, including the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO).

Mobilizing key groups can change ‘Deep South’ politics

As voters’ rights advocates and civil rights leaders embrace the 50th anniversary of the 1964 “Freedom Summer” in Mississippi, a new study by deepsouth 600the Center for American Progress finds that shifting demographics in the South can help to accelerate meaningful social and political change.
The report titled, “True South: Unleashing Democracy in the Black Belt 50 Years After Freedom Summer,” defined the Black Belt, a region known for its rich soil and history of plantation slavery, as regions in the following: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
According to the report, between 2000 and 2010, “the non-Hispanic white population in the South grew at a rate of 4 percent, while the so-called ‘minority’ population in the region experienced a 34 percent growth, the greatest out of any region in the country.”

Flagging kids in early grades as ‘at risk’ – Does it help or harm?

Long before students have even entered ninth grade, teachers are looking to detailed data to figure out which kids are most likely to drop out of high school. Though this flagging system can call attention to a need for flagging 600additional help to a potential dropout, there may be concerns, like inaccurate predictions, or worse, lowered expectations.
At Clinton Middle School in East Los Angeles, teachers are using a system called Early Warning Indicators, or EWI, which is part of a school transformation program called Diplomas Now, currently used in 14 cities around the country. The system is based on recent research out of Johns Hopkins University that shows what specific factors best predict the likelihood of dropping out of high school. The warning system uses three data points – suspensions or behavior, attendance, and grades in middle school — to identify kids at risk of not making it to high school graduation. According to an op-ed written by Diplomas Now in the New York Times, in the 2012-13 school year, “the program achieved a 41 percent reduction in chronically absent students, a 70 percent reduction in suspended students, a 69 percent reduction in students failing English and a 52 percent reduction in students failing math.”