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It’s cool to be the ‘Talk of the Town’

Mr George_600Credit Talk of the Town beauty spa and salon owner George Barnes with the understatement of the week.

In final preparation for this weekend's sidewalk picnic celebrating Talk of the Town's 40th year in operation, Barnes was asked about the shop's significance as an industry trendsetter from its inception in 1974.

"Well, we did shake things up a bit, didn't we?" he laughs, knowing full well that a lot of local history is packed behind his statement.
Now a multi-storefront entity at 300-306 South Main, Barnes will be hosting what's being called a Taste of the Town Saturday throughout the day (May 24th). He is hoping to be joined by the cast of regulars and reminescers who know him as "Mr. George" and remember Talk Of The Town as a major cultural marker in the city's history.

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UCAN Memphis’ president earns Surviving in Silence Award

lashundra robinson_600Leshundra Robinson's driving force can be accessed through a question: "If we don't give back to where we came from, then who will?"

The president and co-founder of the non-profit youth mentoring organization UCAN Memphis, Robinson recently netted the S.I.S. (Surviving in Silence) Award from Walking Into a New Life, Inc. during the organization's 4th annual S.I.S. event at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.

"We are a product of our own community. ... Who knows our community better than we do? Giving back to my community is extremely important because I want to help my community grow," Robinson said.

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A timely push to build a Veterans Home in West Tennessee

Allegations about the neglect of veterans at Veterans Administration hospitals are unsettling, says District 86 vets 600State Rep. Barbara Cooper, who hopes the scandal matter will shed light on recent efforts to build a Veterans Home in West Tennessee.

Cooper expressed her concern when notifying The New Tri State Defender of a meeting held Wednesday (May 20) by a committee of concerned citizens. She wants to make sure the public knows the effort is moving forward.

The West Tennessee Tennessee Veterans Home Project is a citizens group comprised of active and retired military personnel, and business and community leaders. It's headed by Holly Swogger, a local realtor. A memo from Swogger to Cooper outlines a dire situation faced by vets in West Tennessee.

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Toni Braxton says God gave her son autism as punishment for past abortion

braxton 600Toni Braxton has dropped several bombshells in her new memoir, appropriately dubbed "Unbreak My Heart," but her thoughts on her son's health condition seem to be receiving the most attention.

The crooner reveals that she believes God gave her 11-year-old son, Diezel, autism as punishment for her having an abortion more than a decade ago.

She addresses her guilt over having the procedure done due to her religious upbringing, saying, "I was suddenly faced with a choice I'd never thought I'd have to make. Amid my major misgivings about abortion, I eventually made the gut-wrenching decision."

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Device can save thousands of children from drowning

drowning 600SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Pastor George A. McKinney and his family were hosting a pool party four years ago. Several children and families were gathered, fellowshipping and having a good time. Nothing out of the ordinary for this annual event, which Pastor McKinney had been hosting for more than a decade without incident.

"Albert was 7; my son was 9 at the time. They were friends. They had gone to Magic Mountain together. There were some other kids there as well and they were having a great time," McKinney remembers He vividly remembers about six or seven children in the pool that time, saying, "Albert was running around the house, having a great time, playing video games with my son. Normal kids' stuff."

But what was a normal, joyous time quickly turned to tragedy.

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