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Wire fraud case dropped against Tri-State Defender President and Publisher Bernal E. Smith II

Bernal e smith II-600It was exactly three months ago on May 21 when a federal grand jury indicted two businessmen for their roles in allegedly conspiring to defraud Swift Capital of Wilmington, DE, through the use of third-party "co-signers."

On Wednesday (Aug. 21), Judge Samuel H. Mays Jr. of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee dismissed the indictment against defendants Demarlon Simmons, 40, of Cordova and Bernal E. Smith II, 41, of Olive Branch, Miss.

"For good cause, the motion is GRANTED," the order of dismissal read.

Talent Dividend panel doles out achievement gap ‘reality’

aa-male-1-600Three "leading local educators"– including Interim Shelby County Schools Supt. Dorsey Hopson – on Tuesday helped participants and supporters of the Memphis Talent Dividend: College Attainment Initiative with a starting point for dealing with the higher education achievement gap among African-American males.

Hopson shared the spotlight with Dr. Lemoyne Robinson, who oversees several area charter schools as chancellor of Influence One Foundation, and Dr. Ernest L. Gibson III, a Rhodes College assistant professor of English.

The session unfolded at the Leadership Memphis Gallery downtown, with the moderating duties in the hands of Tomeka Hart, Teach for America's vice president for African-American Community Partnership, and former president of the now merged Memphis City Schools.

‘Actions speak’ for Tina L. Birchett

Tina-Birchett-400tA memorial service on Saturday (Aug. 24) will celebrate the life of Grace Magazine publisher and Sisterhood Showcase founder Tina Louise Birchett.

Ms. Birchett passed away on Sunday (Aug. 18) after a valiant battle with cancer. She was 53. The memorial service is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 N. Bellevue Blvd., where she was a member.

The numbing news of Ms. Birchett's passing spread quickly through the wide network of people touched by her directly and indirectly. She was the CEO and publisher of Birchett & Associates, comprised of the Sisterhood Outreach Summit & Showcase and GRACE® Magazine.

At Ford Road, ‘No Excuses’ powers academic gains

FordRdelementary-600Afternoon dismissal at Ford Road Elementary School, located in Westwood Westwood, is remarkably quiet and orderly.

"I'm a detail-oriented, step-by-step person, and with that I like to think of all possible scenarios and put systems and operations in place to eliminate any potential problems," said principal Antonio Burt, who's now in his second year leading the school.

Before Burt took the helm in 2012, Ford Road Elementary was plagued by academic issues that had caused the school to fall into the bottom five percent of all elementary schools in the state of Tennessee, becoming one of 69 underperforming schools.

A nutritious breakfast recipe for busy families

Chef Timothy Moore-160CHEF TIMOTHY Amid back-to-school excitement and the day-to-day rush don't overlook the importance of having a nutritious breakfast. A healthy breakfast provides great benefits for children in their early childhood development. This should be their biggest meal of the day, helping to keep their young minds sharp and alert.

The United Negro College Fund slogan – embedded in the national consciousness over four decades ago – declares that, "The mind is a terrible thing to waste." Well, an undernourished mind leads to a hungry and uncontrollable child.

A healthy breakfast recipe to blend into a child's morning features a simple waffle with some fruit on top and a glass of cold almond milk.

Mother files suit; Skeptical about claim that her handcuffed son shot himself

teresa carter-400The mother of a young, black man fatally shot while handcuffed in the back seat of a police cruiser has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against two Jonesboro, Ark. police officers, their chief, and the city.

Attorneys for Teresa Carter filed the action one year after officers Ronald Marsh and Keith Baggett claimed while they were not looking, Chavis Carter shot himself with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Police Chief Michael Yates stands by claims that Carter committed suicide.

  • Written by Charlene Muhammad/NNPA News Service
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New District 4 School Board election ordered

district4-400A new election has been ordered in the School Board District 4 race, upholding a challenge to the Aug. 2, 2012 contest by longtime School board Commissioner Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr.

Kevin Woods was declared the winner in the race by virtue of a 106-vote margin of victory. Whalum challenged the results. Whalum based his challenge on the assertion that the Election Commission erroneously assigned voters who lived in District 4 to other district races and also assigned voters to District 4 who did not live in the district.

Chancellor Kenny Armstrong ruled that no fraud had been committed, but said fraud was not a necessary element to invalidate the election.

‘Rest in love’ Tina Birchett

Tina-Birchett-600Tina L. Birchett – CEO and publisher of Birchett & Associates, comprised of the Sisterhood Outreach Summit & Showcase and GRACE® Magazine – has passed away.

News of Birchett's passing was a stunner. "What...Say it ain't so...," Carla Stotts Hills posted on Facebook soon after getting the word.

Many others shared the sentiment.

"Praying for Tina Birchett's family," Deidre Malone of the Carter-Malone Group, wrote in her post. "We were in Leadership Memphis together. She was an astute businesswoman and she will be missed."