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Greater Metro

Obama Administration makes room for a University of Memphis graduate

Obama Administration makes room for a University of Memphis graduate
Chimene Okere has had an interesting journey. Upon his graduation from Lane Tech College Preparatory in Chicago (2010), he went on to attend Depaul University, completing his freshman year before transferring to the University of Memphis. He never envisioned all of the transfers leading to a position in the Obama Administration.
 
Customarily, each U.S. President appoints students to non-career positions within their administration. The full-time positions are entry level and within the executive branch. As a result of President Obama’s desire to diversify the pool of students selected to the program, The University of Memphis was selected to send students of color for interviews.

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What’s John Leake doing in Russia?

What’s John Leake doing in Russia?
Who would’ve thought that a childhood fascination with Russian culture would eventually morph into an opportunity to study in Russia? Yet, that’s exactly what happened to a recent Memphis high school graduate.
 
John Leake, a graduate of Lausanne Collegiate School, was awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship by the U.S. Department of State. That is why he is in Yaroslavl, Russia right now studying Russian language and culture during a six-week adventure that ends Aug. 4th. 
 
“Ever since I was a child, I have always loved Russia,” Leake told The New Tri-State Defender before leaving for the Russian stay that began June 21st.   

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Brown bristles at ‘homophobic’ tag

Brown bristles at ‘homophobic’ tag
The race for Shelby County District Attorney has entered into murky territory with Democratic Party nominee Judge Joe Brown saying that an Internet post of him making reference to incumbent Amy Weirich’s marital status and her sexual preferences reflect an off-the-cuff moment never meant to be aired or used by his campaign or supporters in any form.
 
“This came about due to the fact that my opponent will not debate me,” Brown told The New Tri-State Defender on Wednesday. “It was a private moment just blowing off steam and never meant to be used in any context.”

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  • Written by Tony Jones
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Plan in works for coverage options for all retirees

Plan in works for coverage options for all retirees
The City of Memphis plans to launch an aggressive education campaign to apprise retirees of their options in the wake of a scramble to put in a place a multi-year, guaranteed healthcare assurance plan with good coverage options for all City retirees.
 
The office of Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced earlier this week that the City “and its partners” were putting such a healthcare assurance plan in place. The plan was described as being in addition to continued medical insurance coverage for surviving spouses and dependents of employees who died in the line of duty and certain Medicare ineligible retirees.
 
The educational campaign, which was projected to kick off “in the coming weeks,” would include the convening of community meetings that provide retirees and their families with opportunities to ask questions and to be provided with one-on-one counseling regarding recent changes to their benefits. Those moves would be in addition to information they would receive in the mail, individual appointments, phone calls, social media and a website serving as an information repository.

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TVA’s move to retire Allen coal plant draws Sierra Club support

TVA’s move to retire Allen coal plant draws Sierra Club support
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on Wednesday announced a proposal to retire its Allen Fossil Plant and replace it with a natural gas facility. TVA will hold a public open house to share details about the proposed retirement, as well as potential alternatives for electricity supply.
 
The announcement of the draft environmental assessment comes as a result of a settlement reached in 2011 between TVA, the EPA, as well as several states and public interest groups, including the Sierra Club, to end the region’s reliance on coal and move the Valley towards cleaner, safer energy sources. The settlement required the retirement of over 2,700 megawatts of coal-fired generation, while also considering the installation of pollution controls or the retirement of other coal units, such as Allen, by 2018.

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‘Are the kids out of the car?’

‘Are the kids out of the car?’
 
On Wednesday, Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich and Memphis Child Advocacy Center Executive Director Virginia Stallworth slated a midday news conference at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center to address the matter.
 
Tennessee law holds adults responsible for leaving a child under age 7 unattended in a vehicle on public property, including at any shopping center, trailer park, apartment complex or at any other premises generally frequented by the public.
 
Meanwhile, the Tennessee Department of Human Services is reminding licensed child care providers across the state that are approved to transport children of the licensing rules and preventative measures to keep children safe when transporting them during summer months. DHS licensing staff will be making extra visits to monitor child care agencies.
 

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Student TCAP scores across Tennessee grew this year but at a slower pace

Student TCAP scores across Tennessee grew this year but at a slower pace
The number of students in Tennessee who are meeting academic standards rose for the third year in a row, although at a slightly slower rate, according to the new state-wide data released by the Tennessee Department of Education today (July 1st). Students who took the state’s Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) tests showed small improvements on most tests, which continued the state’s upward trajectory of the past few years.
 
Some of the biggest gains highlighted were in math, where 19 percent more students scored proficient in Algebra II than in 2011 when the test was first administered. More students in grades 3 to 8 scored proficient than last year, but the pace of that growth has slowed.  Around 100,000 more students across all grade levels are proficient in math in Tennessee than in 2010.

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