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Michael McGee

Stories by Michael

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Justice for DJ

Community gathers to support 8-year-old shot in the face

In the Walgreens parking lot at the corner of Royal Lane and Abrams Road, friends and family of 8-year-old Donald Maiden Jr. gathered for a daylong Justice for DJ Block Party on Saturday to raise funds for his medical bills. Maiden, or “DJ” as his friends call him, was shot in the jaw Sept. 3 while playing outside his home in the La Bella Palms Apartments, across from the Walgreens. The shooter, 46-year-old Brian Cloninger, was charged with injury to a child and remains jailed on a $2.2 million bond.

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Tulisoma: A community that reads together

“Reading, somehow, seems like a lost art,” said Daezel Mae, a poet who attended the recent Tulisoma South Dallas Book Fair kickoff reception at the African American Museum in Fair Park on Aug 30. While speaking in support of her book, A Peace of Mind, she said she was thrilled to play a part in such a significant cultural event.

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ManPower, a message to ‘mighty men’ during MegaFest

“Our Father and our God, we are your sons,” Bishop T. D. Jakes prayed, speaking before the thousands of men assembled for the ManPower Opening General Session as part of the three-day long MegaFest event. “We have no agenda but to bask in your presence and your glory.”

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Academic summit unveils innovations for learning

Nakia Douglas, principal of the Barak Obama Male Leadership Academy, had a straightforward talk regarding young students.

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HIV/AIDS: Building Healthy Relationships

In their mind, I would want people to know that HIV and AIDS is a real disease,” Judith Dillard said, discussing the message she wants people of color to carry with them. “And we need to come together; stop discriminating against people who are infected with the disease. Come together in love and understanding and let’s all get on the same page so that we can see an end to this disease.”

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A Traditional Message of Deliverance

Marquinn Middleton and The Miracle Chorale

“Marquinn Middleton and his choir are the next generation Kirk Franklin and the Family but on steroids,” said M. Legend Brown, a Dallas screenwriter and director. “Marquinn is unique, is fresh, and has you holding your breath until the end.”

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to provide funds for education, training

They sent a homeless veteran back to school, then taught a senior citizen how to use a computer for the first time, and showed a high school dropout how to manage her money. They are, the Urban League of Greater Dallas. The organization’s mission is to make reaching such goals realistic possibility.

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A place of renewed hope, exoneration

Inside the Club 300 Private Lanes suite at Bowlmor in Addison, four men bore a distinction that separated them from the rest of the crowd attending a House of Renewed Hope fundraiser. Each of those four men was exonerated of crimes they did not commit. Each one had been behind bars for a decade or two.

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Historic family reunion

Celebrating 296 years

“Hasn’t this park come a very long way?” Gail Terrell, a Dallas Park and Recreation board member for District 8, asked the crowd gathered at the Miller Family Park. The crowd replied with joyous exclamations and applause.

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Williams redefines life as a senior citizen

It’s no secret. Generally, people in the United States are living longer, more active lives. Society’s ideas of what defines a “senior citizen” are slowly changing. But as local resident Edwin “Roscoe” Williams Jr. proved recently, even at the age of 64, the concept of “slowly” is not a term he has much use for.

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City helps community with home repairs

For the last few decades the Housing Community Services Home Repair Program has been steadily repairing homes around Dallas in order to keep residents safe and financially afloat.

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City makes College Park safer for families

Recreational parks have been an essential place for families to get together for fun activities, cookouts, relaxation and exercise. But an outdated park with old equipment can be hazardous and unappealing.

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Motown Motown: The Musical

Broadway performances presented by 500 local youth

There was a little bit of Detroit in Big D inside the Dallas Convention Center Theater Complex, Friday and Saturday. The Summer Youth Arts Institute, in conjunction with The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, brought the TBAAL season finale to a stirring close with Motown Motown: The Musical.

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Growing Hatcher Gardens

New development promises growth in South Dallas

“This is a wonderful day for this district,” said District 7 Councilmember Carolyn R. Davis during the June 21 groundbreaking ceremony for the Hatcher Gardens development. “Especially the South Dallas/Fair Park area.”

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Beyond the Boroughs National Scholarship Fund

An entry from the official blog of The U.S. Department of Education puts things in simple terms. “Recognizing that there is still so much work to do the First Lady acknowledged that today, one in three African American students drop out of high school, and only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 have received a college degree.”

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The test: Knowledge is power

Thursday is National HIV Testing Day. It is a day dedicated to promote testing for the human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

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Tracy Randall, the man behind the Grammy

Tracy Randall has tackled many milestones before the age of 40. He’s been an entertainment attorney, a sports agent, a producer, and is currently a Grammy-nominated songwriter.

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A Talent Show for A Better Life

Students at Amber Terrace host benefit for classmates

While most students were planning end-of-the-year parties, anticipating the first day of summer vacation, and contemplating what they will do during their time off from school, one DeSoto ISD student was planning a better life for students in need in the upcoming school year.

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Personal health matters men keep private

Men are known to be aggressive, but not aggressive enough when it comes to taking care of their health – especially the health of their reproductive organs. That is the position Dr. Dudley Danoff, founder and president of the Cedars-Sinai Tower Urology Medical Group in Los Angeles, takes in his book Penis Power: The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health. In his book, he explains to readers the importance of male genital health when it comes to physical and emotional well-being.

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Finding normal after ‘not guilty’ verdict

Attorney Kevin F. Kurtz likened the situation to lightning striking twice when he discussed the situation of his client, Oak Cliff resident Reggie Ruffin. Ruffin, 45, was charged in 2009 and 2010 with violent felonies in Dallas County. He was found not guilty both times in separate jury trials. Ruffin thought that as a free man he would be officially cleared of the charges brought against him and able to go on about his life as normal.

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SolJazz Festival returns to South Dallas County

Making a return appearance after last year’s success, the SolJazz Festival returns to Southern Dallas County in June. The festival will feature different events almost every day for two weeks straight.

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The Underground Beat

JKruz on music, life and change

“I’d like to request that new song by Webbie,” caller Shakira asked shyly. “This is what I do!” JKruz shouts out on the local KBFB 97.9 radio station. “Oak Cliff, stand up!”

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GrowSouth plan reaches level two

Mayor Mike Rawlings hosted the GrowSouth 2 presentation at the Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park on May 7. It was an informational event that focused on the current state of the GrowSouth Southern Dallas economic development plan, which was launched in February 2012. The event examined the successes of the GrowSouth plan within the past year, areas where efforts fell short, and the continuing steps towards rebuilding and revitalizing South Dallas.

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A Head Start for Special Stars

Head Start of Greater Dallas held its 20th annual Special Stars Camp on April 23 and April 24 at Skyline Ranch. This annual event provided special needs children and their parents a day of fun and learning beyond the daycare walls, in a natural outdoor environment.