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Greater Metro

Memphian is West Tenn. Teacher of the Year

Melissa-Collins-150Melissa Collins, Ph.D., a second grade teacher at John P. Freeman Optional School, was recently named 2014 West Tennessee Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Department of Education.

The state's Teacher of the Year Awards honor teachers for their commitment to students and classroom gains in achievement.

Collins was among the nine finalists recognized by the Tennessee Department of Education during a banquet held earlier this month in Nashville.

New CEO for Chickasaw Council Boy Scouts

Richard-Fisher-scout-600Long-time Boy Scout Executive Richard L. Fisher has joined the Chickasaw Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) as its new chief executive officer in Memphis.

"Our program here in the Mid-South is strong and the commitment from the communities we serve is outstanding," said Fisher. "I'm very excited to be here and for the opportunity to share my heartfelt belief in the life-changing impact of Scouting."

Fisher joined the Memphis-based Chickasaw Council as chief executive officer last month after 24 years of service with Scout councils primarily in the Midwest, and most recently in Detroit. The Chickasaw Council operates on a $3.8 million annual budget and with a staff of 33 who coordinate the activities of nearly 4,000 volunteer Scout leaders across 17 Mid-South counties.

Flu shot time is now!

needleinarm-500Influenza vaccine is now available at all of the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) clinics. It is not too early to receive the vaccination.

Annual vaccination against influenza is recommended for everyone six months and older, including school-aged children, who want to reduce the risk of becoming ill or transmitting it to others. The vaccine is especially recommended for the following persons who are at increased risk for severe complications associated with influenza:

• Pregnant women

• People 50 years of age and older

Memphis Urban League looks within for new president, CEO

UrbanleagueSesley-275The Board of Directors of the Memphis Urban League has appointed Tonja Sesley-Baymon president and chief executive officer of the 70-year-old Memphis Urban League.

Sesley-Baymon, who has worked with MUL for 8 years, took the helm Oct. 2, succeeding Tomeka Hart. She previously served as the Urban League's program director,

"Her proven dedication, leadership and expertise are what's needed to build upon the Memphis Urban League's ultimate mission of assisting African Americans, the underserved and economically disadvantaged to expand economic opportunities, and secure parity, power and civil rights," said Marsh R. Campbell, chair of the Memphis Urban League Board of Directors.

The Board, said Campbell, anticipates "great leadership during her tenure."

SOUTH MEMFix!

sMemphix-1-600Have you ever walked past a building or a street or a neighborhood that has seen better days and imagined what it could be like if someone were to infuse it with some new life?

That is exactly what is going to happen at the iconic intersection of Mississippi Boulevard and Walker Street, home to the famous Fourway Restaurant, on Saturday (Oct. 12th) when SOUTH MEMFix puts a new face on it from noon until 6 p.m.

A project of the Bloomberg Foundation-funded Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team, SOUTH MEMFix is a short-term, community driven effort that will allow residents and visitors to experience how small, well-coordinated investments in the area can lead to big changes for the community. Developed by local businesses, residents, and community stakeholders, the free event will temporarily activate a one-block area around the intersection and showcase opportunities for the historic neighborhood.

Akbari for Dems in District 91

akbari-400The number one choice of almost 28 percent of those who voted, attorney Raumesh A. Akbari emerged the winner Tuesday night of the Democratic Primary for the District 91 House of Representatives seat long synonymous with the late Lois DeBerry.

DeBerry's death from pancreatic cancer earlier this year prompted the special election, which stimulated 1,812 voters to weigh in at the polls to see what Democrat would get the go-ahead to face Independent candidate James L. Tomasik when the general election rolls around on Nov. 21. No Republicans sought the position.

Akbari tallied 502 votes, outpacing runner-up Terrica Lamb (399) and Kemba Ford (355). Others in the race were Doris DeBerry-Bradshaw, Joshua R. Forbes, Clifford Lewis and Kermit Moore.

Health fair a ‘principle’ matter for Memphis Kwanzaa International

memp-kwanzaa-health-400Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia, (Self Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith)
– Seven principles of Kwanzaa (African American holiday, Dec. 26-Jan 1.

For 34 years, Memphis Kwanzaa International has been dedicated to providing health, culture and education to the community using the seven principles of Kwanzaa. The organization, which was founded by the late Adjua Naantaanbuu, is run by her daughter, Dr. Kaia Naantaanbuu, and now is in full-speed execution mode for its Annual Fall Health Fair.

Held in connection with the University of Tennessee, the health fair event will be held Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Memphis Kwanzaa International center located at 1549 Elvis Presley Blvd.

A ‘Whole’ in one

nicole baskin-160Imagine giving of yourself in a faraway land, across time zones, languages and cultures. Upon return from duty you are now cloaked in layers of challenges that include homelessness, disabilities, lack of viable employment and skill sets. This is what countless war veterans face nationwide.

In Memphis alone there are over 2,000 displaced U.S. veterans equaling one third of the homeless population in the metro area.

Now picture an entity, a house of sorts with a welcome mat that lists everything the house encompasses. The components of the list are not all tangible but all are essential ingredients for being a whole, well-rounded member of society. Inside the house are education, stability, caring hearts, a comfortable place to rest and nourishment for your mind as well as your body.