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Greater Metro

Rest in peace Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland

Bland-Funeral-600Bobby "Blue" Bland was laid to rest Thursday afternoon after a 2-plus hour celebration of his life and legacy.

The celebration featured reflections by Memphis elected officials, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, as well as Al Bell, David Porter and B.B. King. Blues Foundation president Jay Sieleman was one of the featured speakers as well.

Musical selections were performed by Otis Clay and Shirley Brown. The Bland family has asked that all memorials be sent to The Blues Foundation's HART Fund.

Voting Rights Act: The new battle begins

votingright-600In Memphis and various cities throughout the nation, the Voting Rights Act battle has begun anew in the wake of an aggressive ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

In a narrow 5-4 decision, the High Court branded Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, scrapping the formula used to determine which states and localities need preclearance before changing their voting laws.

Although Tennessee was not among the states required to seek preclearance, don't expect Memphis-based Voting Rights Act supporters – such as the local branch of the NAACP – to sit out the fight to gain a replacement for what many label as the "most effective tool to prevent voter disenfranchisement."

LeMoyne-Owen College nets accreditation through 2023

27LOC-400The LeMoyne-Owen College has the official word administrators, staff, faculty and students had wanted to hear – reaffirmed.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACS) sent word June 20 that the college's accreditation is reaffirmed for the next 10 years. SACS is the recognized regional accrediting body in 11 Southern states for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees.

Accreditation is the education community's version of the "good housekeeping seal." The stamp of approval also is necessary for the college to compete for federally-funded research grants and for its students to receive federally-subsidized financial aid.

Chief Inspector Larry Hill

Larry Hill-400tGOOD BLUE Chief Larry Hill was well groomed, had a strong hand and the inviting demeanor of a favorite uncle. He was in full Shelby County Sheriff's Department gear – his money-green pants clashing with the blue collar badge shirt. To citizens, these colors have always meant that someone has arrived to handle some business.

I noticed that Chief Hill had enough stars and stripes on his uniform to create a flag. Yes, Larry Hill has been on the job and doing it well. He's not a Dallas Cowboys fan, so how else would he have collected so many stars?

Kelvin Cowans: Chief Hill, I see someone left all of this Pittsburgh Steeler stuff lying around your office, and you don't have to put up with that. People ought to treat you better than that, sir.

  • Written by Kelvin Cowans
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Memphis teen ready for ‘Down-Under’ voyage

Daria Letcher-400Daria Letcher, a high school student at Hutchison School, has been chosen as a global ambassador for People to People. On Sunday, June 30th, she will be traveling with a select group of students to Australia, where they will be visiting and getting hands-on experiences at the Zoo and community services.

The daughter of Sherrye Letcher, Daria will be spending a day with a Marine Biologist studying live organism in the ocean. She is 15 and a certified Diver.

Daria will be gone for 15 days. She had to do a lot of fund-raising and studying to prepare for the trip because all site visits are hands-on training. She is the only traveler from Tennessee going to Australia.

Campaign launched to support public school children

OURCHILDREN-160Our Children. Our Success., a new campaign created to bolster community support for public school children, kicked off across Memphis and Shelby County this week.

Led by a coalition of community partners, the campaign was launched to encourage the entire community to participate and invest in the lives, education and general wellbeing of our children.

"RISE, through its programs, has always served as a connector between parents, the community and the schools," says Linda Williams, president/CEO of the RISE Foundation, a campaign community partner. "The Our Children. Our Success. campaign is another way that we can support families with real time-information that's critical to the academic success of children this coming school year."

Collins ready with a budget proposal

Harold Collins-400The Memphis City Council picks up on the challenging task of reaching agreement on an acceptable budget on Tuesday, with Councilman Harold Collins ready to offer an option.

Collins says he will propose in committee a budget measure that "has no layoffs, we invest in libraries, community centers and increase funding to pave streets. We also pay on the debt and add 10 million to the reserves."

How?

Deputy Director Anthony Berryhill

deputydirBerryhill-600GOOD BLUE: Kelvin Cowans takes readers inside the lives of Memphis and Shelby County Law Enforcement officers. Just as a neighborhood should not be judged by the actions of a few bad apples, neither should Law Enforcement agencies. In partnership with the new Community Police Relations Project, the New Tri-State Defender and its "Good Blue" column are here to share in-depth and inspiring commentary on a weekly basis with the community. Our goal is for the community to see that the only difference between them and good police officers is the Law. This week's focus is on Deputy Directory Anthony Berryhill.

Memphis Police Department Deputy Director Anthony Berryhill has 29 years of experience as a police officer. A graduate of Carver High School Class of 1977, this former three sport athlete had a future of college sports on his radar. Yes, long before he thought anything about someone breaking a speed limit, he was traveling at a pretty fast pace himself. "Basketball, football and track," he proudly said while raring back in his chair and piercing his eye's across the City of Memphis skyline. From that point on I forgot that I was in his 12th floor office because his conversation, equivalent to a glass of water, made me feel like we were on a park bench down in Handy Park on Beale Street.

  • Written by Kelvin Cowans
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