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Sit-in vets plan return visit

Walgreens-600The Walgreens at Madison and Main downtown will have some unusual visitors at noon on Friday (May 17) – 53 years after a sit-in there at the lunch counter.

Five students – Grace Austin, Parolee Holt, John Hooks, Willie Tom Miles and Stewart Truly – were arrested there that day in 1960. Only two – Austin (now Grace Austin Meacham) and John Hooks are still alive.

Meacham and some others involved in the sit-ins that pulsed through Memphis that year – beginning with the first on March 18, 1960 at McLellan's 5 and 10 cents store on Main Street – plan to revisit the Walgreens site.

Landmark court decision gives NAACP Youth reason to run

YouthCouncil5kRun-600Members of the NAACP Youth Council held their 22th 5K Fund Run/Walk May 4 in Audubon Park amid 40-degree temperature. The 5K Fund Run/Walk was open to participants of all ages.

The theme of the 5K Fund Run/Walk was "Run for Freedom," which commemorated the Brown V. Topeka, Kansas Board of Education 1954 Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in public education.

The annual event encourages healthy eating habits and exercising to prevent the onset of major health problems such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Participants tested their skills and endurance to gain a competitive edge.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker issues ‘greatness’ challenge

Cory Booker-1-600Who is Cory Booker?

A graduate of Stanford University, Yale Law School and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Booker – the mayor of Newark, N.J. – is obviously a brilliant guy.

He is also committed and passionate on the issues and to the betterment of people, living on the equivalent of a food stamp budget to raise awareness for the insecurities that low income families face, shoveling snow from the driveways of constituents, and allowing Hurricane Sandy victims into his home following the devasting impact of the floods in New Jersey.

‘Who’s the Best Mom in the World?’

Seble-Ross-400In honor of Mother's Day and in collaboration with "The Loretta McNary Show," The New Tri-State Defender is showcasing the fifth annual Who's the Best Mom in the World? essay contest.

The TSD is featuring the winning essays and the moms they highlight as a reflection of the importance of mothers in our community.

Mother: Seble Ross

(Nominated by the Ross family.)

It is a question that can be best answered by her children...who know their Mom is their greatest protector, the wisest of counselors, and affirmative disciplinarian who will continually love and pray for them, through ALL THINGS and IN EVERY SEASON.

West Nile virus makes early appearance

mosquito3-600The Shelby County Health Department has received confirmation of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus within the areas of Memphis (zip codes 38116, 38122, 38127), Bartlett (zip code 38133), Germantown (zip code 38125), Collierville (zip code 38017), and unincorporated Shelby County (zip code 38141).

This is the earliest occurrence of positive WNV pools on record in addition to the most positive pools present this early in Shelby County.

Since the middle of April, the Health Department's Vector Control Program has applied Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved larvicides to bodies of water known to produce mosquitoes as part of its proactive effort to decrease the number of mosquitoes. Larviciding is the most effective method of reducing mosquito populations and will continue throughout the summer.

Volunteer work nets DC honor for Memphis 8th-grader

VolunteersTennessee-600WASHINGTON, D.C. – M'Lea Scott, a 14-year-old Craigmont student, was one of Tennessee's top two youth volunteers of 2013 honored in the nation's capital Monday night.

Scott, an eighth-grader, and Hannah Bryant, 17, of Columbia were saluted for outstanding volunteer service during the 18th annual presentation of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

M'Lea and Hannah – along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – each received $1,000 awards and personal congratulations from Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey and Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix. The setting was an award ceremony and gala dinner reception held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

TSD annual salute to Women of Excellence also has forward spin

WOE-01Packed house, high energy, smiling faces and poignant reflections – all accurate descriptors of The New Tri-State Defender's 2013 Women of Excellence (WOE) Champagne Brunch and Awards Celebration last Saturday (April 27).

Despite a rainy start to the morning, the Memphis Botanic Gardens still provided a picturesque setting for the sixth edition of the WOE gala.

Another dynamic group of African-American women were saluted for their continued contributions and community efforts. And throughout the tribute there were reflections on the life and legacy of the late Dr. Maxine Smith, who passed on Friday – the day before the event.

Once homeless teen parent named student speaker for Southwest commencement

myckelle p williams-250Once a homeless teen parent with a crisis pregnancy, she is now a wife, mother, business owner, speaker, mentor and motivator with a testimony of overcoming the odds. Southwest's 2013 commencement student speaker, Myckelle P. Williams, is proof that the best diamonds are created through pressure.

She overcame the odds from a background of neglect and abuse and now helps empower women to overcome the traumas of their past.

Williams volunteers in many community programs focused on helping women cut off the dead roots of their past, re-generate new roots and then cultivate a healthy legacy for themselves and the next generation.