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Uprising Music Soul Artist, Philip Michael Thomas Jr., Discusses His Musical Plans with the WSS News Team

From left to right: WSS intern Noelle Lilley; rising musician Philip Michael Jr.; WSS editor Naomi Bonman; WSS intern Mitchell Young; and WSS intern Ernest Carter

From left to right: WSS intern Noelle Lilley; rising musician Philip Michael Jr.; WSS editor Naomi Bonman; WSS intern Mitchell Young; and WSS intern Ernest Carter

SAN BERNARDINO, CA – Philip Michael Thomas Jr., son of popular 80s TV series Miami Vice actor, was coddled at birth by the likes of legends Betty Wright and the Bob Marley Family. Entertainment runs through his veins.

After perfecting his craft and recording over 10 albums worth of material with some of music’s elite Grammy Award winners which include Akon, Tank, and Shakespeare; there is little mystery why this universal artist has such a diverse sound and fan base.

The Westside Story News team had the pleasure of interviewing the rising star where he shared his successful endeavors, what he is currently working on and what he has in store for his fans in the future. To view the interview, please click here.

Honoring AKA as Part of the “Divine Nine (9)”

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Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and Eta Nu Omega Chapter were among the “Divine Nine (9)” being honored on Sunday, July 20 at Immanuel Praise Fellowship Church by Pastor La Quetta Simmons, Pastor Kelvin Simmons and Minister Jenise Bush.

The “Divine Nine (9)” includes Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Founded 1906, Cornell University; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Founded 1908, Howard University; Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Founded 1911, Indiana University; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Founded 1911, Howard University; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Founded 1913, Howard University; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Founded 1914, Howard University; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Founded 1920, Howard University; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Founded 1922, Butler University; and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Founded 1963, Morgan State University. Collectively, these organizations make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

These organizations may be found in many college-educated Black families with a strong spiritual faith with a connection to “Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service.”   The “Divine Nine (9)” history is known for having a long tradition of benevolent, forefront of civic action, community service and philanthropy, including such trail blazers as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Coretta Scott King, Thurgood Marshall, Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby, Toni Morrison, Arthur Ashe, Lena Horne, Rosa Parks, Hattie McDaniel, Johnnie Cochran, Tavis Smiley, Harry Belafonte and George Washington Carver to name a few.

Members of these organizations take great pride in the sacrifices that the great men and women before them made through the grace of God that provided their current prominence as strong African American fraternities and sororities with a solid, achievement-based history and ongoing tradition of excellence in “servicing all mankind.”

A New Service to Assist in Preserving Water in the Inland Empire

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As California faces its most severe drought in recent history, 15 water agencies and city governments from around the Inland Empire will launch iEfficient, a coordinated multimedia public outreach campaign to urge water conservation.

A dynamic advertising campaign including freeway billboards, social media engagement and a kickoff event at the Inland Empire 66ers game on July 22 will support this effort and ask thousands of local residents and businesses to do their part to end water waste in the Inland Empire.

“By collaborating we are able to reach more people with the message that they are a vital part of the solution,” said Bob Tincher, manager of water resources, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District. “We’re partnering with other agencies, but most importantly we’re partnering with the community to conserve. It is time for the IE to show the rest of the state that we take water
conservation seriously.”

iEfficient.com connects customers to existing tools and provides information on how to put those resources to work protecting local water resources. The site, and a mobile app under development, marries the knowledge and experience of 15 water agencies and local governments, making water efficiency convenient for residents and businesses alike.

iEfficient is one way local agencies are meeting the state mandate to cut water use 20 percent by 2020. Due to historic drought conditions, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency and asked all Californians to cut their water use by 20 percent. Real impacts are being felt across the state and the Inland Empire is no exception. These dry conditions mean that regions like ours are at increased risk for wildfires and must learn to live without imported water from Northern California.

“This drought is not going away any time soon,” said Amanda Kasten, water conservation coordinator for West Valley Water District. “By making conservation a way of life we can secure our water resources now and in the future.”

Together with the public’s support, the Inland Empire will serve as a model of regional cooperation and set an example for the rest of the state.

Participating agencies and governments include: City of Redlands, City of Loma Linda, City of Colton, City of Rialto, City of Riverside, City of Corona, Jurupa Community Services District, Yucaipa Valley Water District, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, San Bernardino Municipal Water Department, Riverside Highland Water Company, San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, West Valley Water District, Western Municipal Water District, and East Valley Water District.

To learn more about iEfficient and to do your part to end water waste today, visit iEfficient.com.