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VOL. 59, No. 48

Move to surrender charter is next domino

by Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell Special to the Tri-State Defender

term elections sent 22 new House of Representatives to Nashville – 22 new Republicans for an overwhelming majority. The last time Shelby County Schools applied for special status, the proposal was defeated by just one vote. That was with 50 Republicans, 49 Democrats, and one Independent. With 22 new Republicans, special sta- tus for Shelby County Schools would pass like greased lightening…” Martavius Jones

Memphis City Schools Board Member

system surrender its charter, paving the way for Memphis voters to decide whether to hand the reigns over to the Shelby County Schools board? Dead ahead is a

board vote on that

thanks in large part

Martavius Jones

resolution. “Today, Shelby County makes up

board member Martavius Jones, who on Monday night put forth a resolution that sets up a board vote. Tomeka Hart voiced the second for Jones’

49 percent of the property values. Outside the city limits, there is a smaller population but more expen- sive residences and businesses. Now, Shelby County Schools wants to apply for special status so that Mem- phis schools can never be a part of that system. What we are after is eq- uity,” said Jones in an interview with the Tri-State Defender. “It was the investment of the citi-

zens of Memphis that Shelby County is what it is today. And now, they want


• Paying tribute to Dr. William Herbert Brewster. See Reli- gion, page 9A

• What should diabetics eat during the holidays? See Chef Timothy, page 6B

• Another year, another tour and still Maze. See Arts & Leisure, page 1B

question, to MCS

Should the Memphis City Schools “Just think about it. These mid-

One Section/Inserts

November 25 - December 1, 2010 75 Cents Lorenzen’s dad says thanks

An open letter from father of slain homegrown hero

live longer than my son, Lorenzen Wright Sr., Iwould have said to them “NoWay”.Aparent should never en- dure the pain of losing their child at such a young age. … I would be spared that level of hurt and pain. The truth of thematter is, the thought

nity, If someone had told me I would

To the Greater Memphis Commu-

words to others who have experi- enced the unexpected loss of a loved one, however, until you are handed the keys to drive through a painful journey of this nature you simply cannot understand.As our family cel- ebrates the ThanksgivingHolidaywe will reflect upon what really matters and lessons of thankfulness. Our family is eternally grateful for the Greater Memphis Community who continually exhibits expressions of sympathy and support.

never crossedmymind and certainly not hisMom’s. Sure we have offered comforting

drawn to memories of our past. We think about how things were and progress to the present.We all have a “this is your life” experience. I am no different. This has been a very difficult year for me and my family. Wow, I actually said a year; it has only been four months. As my mind drifts from thought to thought I al- ways have a vivid picture of gratitude and thankfulness. This picture is symbolic of the caring people of Memphis. I was born and raised here in Memphis and attendedMelroseHigh

This time of year our minds are

School. My son, Lorenzen, attended Booker T. Washington High School where he was afforded the privilege to play basketball. Your support and encouragement cheered himon to the University ofMemphis where he at- tended and played basketball for two years before going on to play profes- sionally in the NBA.We both loved Memphis and poured our lives into the young men and women in our community. My commitment to the citizens of Memphis is now even stronger as I must live and serve the


Statewide tour outlines proposed changes to daycare industry

by Tony Jones Special to the Tri-State Defender

ment of Human Services (DHS) will soon be making changes to the rules governing the daycare indus- try and is conducting an 8-city tour previewing the proposed changes. Open to the public, rule making

hearings begin in Johnson City on Monday (Nov. 29) and will con- clude in Memphis on Thursday, Dec. 9 at Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Macon Campus gym. The meetings will first outline the

The State of Tennessee Depart-

state’s recommendations, and then will be open to public comment for response and suggested revisions. In a prepared statement announcing the tour, DHS commissioner Vir- ginia T. Lodge said that the goal of the new rules structure is “to estab- lish common language for those re- quirements that apply to all classes of care, while preserving what is unique about each.” Currently, the state groups into

Ora Harris, a professor at Southwest Community College, poses with her daughter, Malanie Dakota Cashmere Harris, who is three years old. (Photo by Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell)

A day to be thankful ʻ Foreverʼ families shine on National Day of Adoption

said a seven-year-old girl. “I’ve been with them for a while, but I never have to leave again. This is my forever family. They make me feel safe and happy. We’re having a party today.” Since the year 2000, more than 30,000 children

across the nation watched their dreams come true as they were officially adopted on a National Day of Adoption. “Today means I have a new mama and daddy,”

by Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell Special to the Tri-State Defender On Saturday, thousands of children here and

joined local adoptive parents with their children in Shelby County Chancery Court. Cheers, tears and loads of pictures made the setting less like a court and more like some grand, homecoming celebra- tion. “Before we begin, I just want to say how much

Relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers

have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day. This year on November 20, families, adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and vol- unteers gathered to celebrate adoption in America.

follow your heart. Because you love these chil- dren, your care and nurture for them will help you make the right decisions as you raise them. They will be yours, and no one can ever take them away


we appreciate all of you who make this day possi- ble,” said Chancellor Arnold Goldin. “After today, these children will no longer be your foster chil- dren, but they will be yours forever. “And I say to you as parents, don’t be afraid to

four classifications: Child Care Centers, Drop-In Child Care Cen- ters, Family Child Care Homes and Group Child Care Homes. The goal is to make the ruling sys- tem more uniform. Lodge’s statement said the state

and professional association in Tennessee that is known to DHS has been offered the opportunity to review a draft of these rules and to give feedback and suggest changes, as has each child care services partner group and each child care licensing staff member.” State Sen. Barbara Cooper said

has been meeting with child care provider organizations, standards committees, and local and na- tional professional associations for more than two years to de- velop the new rules. “Every provider organization

she has heard plenty from dissatis- fied daycare recipients and owners in the West Tennessee Region. “There have been numerous con- cerns and complaints voiced to my office and others about the rules making process and the rules that are enforced.” Cooper is a member of the state

committee that will approve any proposed changes. She says there


Innovation marks new crop of DAs

Growing group of African-American district attorneys

H-48o Partly Cloudy - L-28o H-56o


JACKSON, MS Sunny - L-29o

Friday H-53 L-29 H-46 L-27 H-50 L-28


Saturday H-59 L-32 H-55 L-29 H-60 L-32

Sunny - L-42o

Sunday H-57 L-41 H-58 L-37 H-63 L-45

by Marjorie Valbrun America’s Wire

terest many people outside Cali- fornia, clearly the winner matters

midterm elections, the winner of the hard-fought race to become California attorney general has not been determined. Kamala Harris, the San Francisco district attorney, holds a slim lead over Steve Coo- ley, her Los Angeles County coun- terpart. While this election may not in-

Nearly three weeks after the

among a current crop of African- American DAs who are transform- ing the way crime is addressed, people are prosecuted and punish- ment is meted out. Her innovative approaches for being “Smart on Crime,” instead of simply “tough on crime” are popular in many quarters but derided by some con- servatives. Yet they have gained


to people in legal circles nation- wide, especially those concerned about judicial policies and prac- tices that have a harmful affect on communities of color. They sup- port Harris’ efforts to address these issues. As district attorney, Harris is

When men talk…

Entertainer and music legend Bobby Rush (right), Lee Harris (left) and Charles L. Ewing Sr. take full advantage of networking time during the 2nd Annual Tri-State Defender Men of Excellence Reception and Awards at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis last Friday (Nov. 19) night. See special coverage, pages 4-5B. (Photo by Earl Stanback)

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