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BRIEFS & THINGS: New scholarship to honor Dr. Raines

A new scholarship has been established to honor Dr. Shirley Raines, president of the University of Memphis, by Brad Martin and his wife, Dina Martin. The scholarship, which will be awarded annually to three undergraduates from West Tennessee who intend to pursue a career in teaching, is being underwritten initially by a commitment of $100,000 from the Martins.

The scholarship recognizes Raines for her leadership of the University of Memphis since July 2001.

"The esteem in which President Raines is held by students, faculty, alumni, and our community is a direct reflection of the fact that she is, first, a great teacher," said Brad Martin. "The Raines Scholarships will support individuals from our region who likewise intend to devote themselves to a life of teaching. In Shirley Raines, they will have an extraordinary role model."

Raines said future generations of young teachers will be helped by the Martins' generosity.

"As someone who has spent a lifetime in the field of education, I realize the vital importance of teachers to our society and of the preparation of teachers for their chosen careers. These scholarships will benefit future teachers from West Tennessee, the area of the state where I grew up and where I was taught by extraordinary teachers."

Vandals delay opening Of Boys & Girls Club Oakhaven Branch

An act of vandalism at the proposed site of the new Boys & Girls Club Oakhaven Branch has significantly delayed plans to open Jan. 1, 2013.

Plans to begin renovating the property this week to open and serve hundreds of kids were delayed when vandals broke into the building and removed all the HVAC units, copper wire and fixtures from the inside of the property. Initial renovation expenses were estimated at $20,000; now the cost of repairs and replacing the units to make the Club "kid-ready" is closer to $100,000.

"This vandalism is evidence of just how much the community needs a positive place for their kids," said Vincent Borello, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis. "The Oakhaven community is home to thousands of kids who could benefit from a Boys & Girls Club. We regret that the vandalism will significantly delay our plans on to open till additional funding can be found. We're already searching for a community partner who can help us repair the damages and get back on track to open as soon as possible."

If you would like to help, visit www.bgcm.org or call 901-278-2947.

BRIEFLY: Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz, (District 1, Position1) will host a town hall meeting at 5 p.m. June 7 at Oak Grove Baptist Church, 7289 U. S. Highway 64, Bartlett. The topics: examining the dollars and cents required for the Bartlett Special School District; and how the school merger will affect public education in Bartlett.

BRIEFLY: The Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center, 1555 McAlister Drive (off Mill branch-between Holmes and Stateline roads, will host the unveiling of an oil painting donated to the Hooks Job Corps by local artist and photographer, Larry Walker, from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday (June 8) The public is invited.

BRIEFLY: Common Ground will celebrate four years of working to improve race relations with a party at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 14. Jazz recording artist Kirk Whalum will be the special guest for the night full of food, music, and fun.

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