04/07/2005: Memphis News: The Week In Review
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April 1: Some members of the Memphis School Board are questioning the wisdom of closing five schools while "11 others are bursting at the seams".
April 2: Memphis area Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. spent about a week of his Easter recess touring the state. While on the road, he's made no secret of his motivation: he's running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Bill Frist.
April 3: It's good to be geek as Memphis plays host to MidSouthCon 23, the area's 23rd annual sci-fi/fantasy convention.
Next: Voting "super-centers"? Local elected officials and citizens examine the future of the exercise of the franchise in an election reform conference.
April 4: This day was the 37th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. A number of events around town mark the occasion.
Corie Duckett, an exotic dancer at The Pony ("The Ultimate Strip Joint" if their ads are to be believed) who went by the stage name of "Ivy", has been missing since St. Patrick's Day night, when she made the rounds of several "gentlemen's clubs" (including her employers) on her night off. Ms. Duckett, an epileptic since early childhood, had taken to dancing to pay her $300/month prescription drug bills and to attempt to earn enough to repay over $130,000 in health care debts. Police are asking that anyone who has any information about Corie Duckett's disappearance to call Sgt. J. R. Coatney, with MPD's Missing Person Bureau, at 373-3883 or Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.
April 5: The family's offer is pretty clear: the theives can keep the dinner plates, the computer, the X-Box, and the rest of the swag. Please return Roni, a 3 year old Maltese who was their cancer-stricken daughter's constant companion. Police say that it's unusual for theives to steal a family pet, but the fact that the Maltese (a currently fashionable breed seen tucked under the arms of stars like Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears) can command top dollar may be a factor. Police are soliciting assistance; call 682-3637 or 378-1807 or call Crime Stoppers, 528-CASH if you have any information. The family is offering a reward, no questions asked.
For the collector of the unusual in videos: Jerry Ray, brother of James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King, intends to auction a videotape of his brother's autopsy. His motivation: to raise money to support his attempt to clear his brother's name (Ray believes his brother was the "fall guy" in a wider plot to murder King).
Shelby County Mayor A.C. Wharton is projecting that the county budget will see a $7.6 million budget deficit next fiscal year. He does not think property tax increases will be necessary to make up the shortfall, however. (Note for non-locals: Yes, the chief executive of the City of Memphis and the chief executive of Shelby County are both styled "mayor". Don't ask me why; I'm not a native.)
April 6: Dr. Brenda Schulman, of the St. Jude Childrens' Research Hospital in Memphis, has achieved a high honor in her profession: she has been named a Howard Hughes Investigator by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The award includes a grant sufficient to pay her salary and lab's expenses for the next five years, while allowing her the right to reapply for renewal of the appointment when the grant expires. Interestingly, there are only 43 scientists who have been named Howard Hughes Investigators in the United States; Dr. Schulman is the third to be associated with St. Jude.
Among its other distinctions, apparently Memphis is a hotbed of sham marriages and illegal immigration. A federal indictment which was recently unsealed charges a number of Memphis residents with either arranging or contracting sham marriages in order to facilitate attempts by Moroccan men to receive visas to enter and live in the U.S.
Len on 04.07.05 @ 09:08 PM CST