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Greater Metro

ArtsMemphis presents Stax to the Max

staxtothemax 600For the fourth year in row, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music is taking it to the streets with ArtsMemphis Presents Stax to the Max, the annual all-day, outdoor, free music and arts festival.

This year's event takes place Saturday (April 26th) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The rain date is Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The festival, held behind the Stax Museum, features all-day live music, arts performances, merchandise vendors, nonprofit booths, food trucks, children's activities, health screenings by University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and more. Last year's event drew approximately 8,000 attendees despite have been delayed a day due to inclement weather.

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Putting Braille on the menu

braille 600Fourteen people gathered on a Friday morning in March for breakfast at the nationally acclaimed Brother Juniper's restaurant near the University of Memphis campus. While it is not unusual for a group to spend time together over a meal, it was apparent on this day that some individuals in the group were either totally blind, visually impaired or disabled in other ways.

"This is our Braille User Support Group, one of our outreach initiatives," said Dr. Lavonnie Perry Clayborn, research assistant professor and director of Mid-South Access Center for Technology, a non-profit assistive technology resource center located in Patterson Hall in room 119 on the U of M campus.

Mid-South ACT is a division of the Center for Rehabilitation and Employment Research (CRER), a member of the Alliance for Technology Access (ATA), and a partner with Advanced Multimedia Devices – a Partnership for Excellence Program. It was founded in 1998 and provides resources for teachers, clinicians, parents with children who have disabilities, and individuals with disabilities.

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Southland Mall welcomes Discount Wigs 3

discountwigs 600Perusing the selections on a beauty supply isle, Bianca Ward noted that it was the first time she ever had seen a beauty shop inside of a mall.

"I love the idea because people come to the mall to buy clothes, so you can come and get an outfit and get your hair done," said Ward. "I'm here today looking for some hair, accessories and a stylist."

Dozens were in attendance on Friday (April 18th) for the ribbon cutting ceremony at Discount Wigs 3 in the Southland Mall. The Grand Opening for the combination hair salon and beauty supply store followed on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the 12,000 square foot space that once housed Piccadilly Restaurant is the new home. The "3" in Discount Wigs represents the third location, with two other locations at 4685 American Way and 3249 Austin Peay.

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Links drive home point about bone marrow need

bonemarrow 600The River City (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated recently put the spotlight on transplant donations at The LeMoyne Owen College. Students and the community at large turned out for The River City (TN) Chapter's "Be The Match" Bone Marrow Drive held on the front lawn of Memphis' only HBCU.

More than 100 people attended the community event (April 12th) and 41 signed up to be tested as possible matches for people needing an organ, tissue or blood donor. Radio station KJMS V101.1 provided live remote coverage and encouraged listeners to join in the event.

With African Americans having a greater than average need for transplants, the "Be The Match" Bone Marrow Drive was the perfect opportunity to reach a large segment of the community and student population.

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Open house beckons children and parents to Kamp KSI

kampksi 600Inside Kairos Services, double doors opened, and children ran excitedly to a large table set up with green and gold pawns. Rather than video games and iPads, these children are excited about chess, just one of the disciplines taught during Kamp KSI.

Kairos, a nonprofit that works to help people become self-sufficient through employment, hosted an open house for the camp, which is in its second year. The camp for children ages 6-12 teaches an array of disciplines to foster critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. Herbert Lester, executive director, says the goal is to prepare children to be globally competent, which will help them secure jobs and become model citizens.

"The United States has fallen in academics compared to other countries. Our children must learn skills and competencies to compete with students from across the globe," Lester says. "Kamp KSI equips our campers to think critically, problem solve creatively and work collaboratively through fun activities that children enjoy."

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Where are all the black baseball superstars?

baseball 600Jackie Robinson Day – celebrated this week – is the annual day when Major League Baseball celebrates the incredible change and integration Robinson helped usher into the sport, and society as a whole.

Robinson broke baseball's color barrier so that more African-American players would have the chance to play the "national pastime" at its highest level.
Sadly, 60-plus years later, potential black players aren't taking advantage of that opportunity.

Last month, the league released a report that said just 8.3 percent of players on 2014 opening day rosters identified themselves as black.

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Students get hands-on experience with emergency preparedness kit

midsoutharc 600Students in the Career Development /Job Placement program at The Arc Mid-South recently had the opportunity to get valuable hands-on experience and job training.

Thanks to a collaborative project between Volunteer Mid-South and CN Railroad, the students assembled "build your own emergency preparedness" kits to be given to students in Title 1 programs in area schools.

The bags included a calendar with disaster tips, a card with disaster numbers and information, and an activity book for kids provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) that focuses on responding to disasters in a fun format.

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This Weekend in Memphis!

Your source of information for where to go and what to do each weekend in the Greater Memphis area.

FRIDAY
AFRICA IN APRIL: Children & Senior Citizens Day
International Diversity Parade
10:30 a.m. | Beale Street @ Robert R. Church Park

* Dopeness: The Lyric Lounge
8:00 p.m. | KPreSha Boutique

* "unMosqued" Documentary Showing
7:30 p.m. | Memphis Islamic Center

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Early voting – It’s on!

earlyvoting 600Anna Richardson walked assuredly, a smile on her face, clutching the documentation she received after voting for the first time in her life.

For Richardson, 52, her first voting experience was an early-voting journey. She was among those who cast ballots Wednesday morning at the Shelby County Office Building at 157 Poplar Ave. on the first day for early voting.

Early voting for the May 6th Shelby County Democratic and Republican Primary Elections runs through May 1st. Voting at satellite sites begins on April 25th. Until then, those who choose to weigh in early must take advantage of the Downtown opportunity.

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‘Land of upright people’ highlight Africa In April

africainapril 600One of the city's most anticipated annual festivals marks the richness and diversity of African cultures, and this year's schedule of events will not disappoint, according to founder and executive director, David L. Acey Sr.

"The 2014 Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival, slated for April 16-20, will honor the West African country of Burkina Faso, a beautiful, lush expanse of land sharing its border with six other nations," said Acey.

"Much of the nation's population boasts descent from the Mossi Warriors, who ruled over one of the most powerful empires in West Africa from the 11th century up to the 19th century."
Burkina is largely desert in the north region and rolling grasslands spotted with bushes in the central and southern regions, said Acey.

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Disheartened Southbrook Mall developers mull next move

mall 600The Southbrook Mall's future as part of a viable Whitehaven business community is still uncertain following the City Council's meeting on Tuesday (April 15th).

Cherry Davis, spokesperson for Southbrook Properties, the non-profit pushing the remodeling, termed the latest delay "disheartening" and said the development group would decide later what is the next step.

For more than two years, Southbrook Properties has sought $1.5 million in taxpayer funding to repair the mall's roof and for ventilation and infrastructure needs.

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Scholarship program extends legacy of Fannie Cole Clark

FannieClark 600When the late Fannie Cole Clark was a child, she created her own classroom beneath a backyard tree and taught the neighborhood kids. Even at an early age, she held a deep passion for education.

Years later, she would fulfill her life's dream by becoming a Memphis City Schools educator, as well as an accomplished musician, recording artist, songwriter and founder of the Fannie Clark Singers and Tennessee Mass Choir. As a community activist, for more than 20 years, Clark welcomed candidates of all political affiliations to her home to speak to hundreds of citizens about their plans to improve Memphis and Shelby County.

To honor her work, family members, friends, and the community she loved have established the Fannie Cole Clark Scholarship for high school seniors. The scholarship program will be officially launched on May 16th at 7 p.m. at the inaugural Fannie Cole Clark Scholarship Banquet at Rejoice in the Covenant Church, 2931 Ridgeway Rd.

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To Kenya, with love!

kenya 600The Second Annual Prayer Breakfast for Kenyan Kids was held Saturday morning (April 12) at the Salvation Army Kroc Center to support the orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya, Africa. It was a unique opportunity for those in attendance to make a monetary contribution to send care packages and supplies to the Kenyan children.

Proceeds from the breakfast will be used to support the Maua Methodist Hospital in rural Kenya and its outreach programs to the community, including AIDS orphans. Medications and medical supplies will be delivered to the hospital in July.

The prayer breakfast also was the setting of an art exchange exhibit between the children of Caldwell Guthrie Elementary School in North Memphis and the children at the ECD Clark School in Maua, Kenya. More than 100 supporters attended the breakfast and exhibit.

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