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Editorial Results (free)

1. Rape Kit Backlog Prompts Court Fight on Two Fronts -

The court fight over the city’s backlog of untested rape kits has two legal fronts with the filing this week of a Circuit Court lawsuit by Meaghan Ybos, Madison Graves and Rachel Johnson, the three rape survivors who filed suit earlier this year in U.S. District Court against Memphis and Shelby County over the backlog.

2. Rape Kit Controversy Continues After Report -

This week’s report by former U.S. Attorney Veronica Coleman-Davis on the city’s backlog of more than 12,000 untested rape kits is unlikely to be the last word on the controversy.

Coleman-Davis concluded that no one involved in the 30-year backlog “willfully or maliciously conspired to deny due process.”

3. Entrepreneur Day Spotlights Power of Innovation -

Already in recent weeks, Moziah “Mo” Bridges, the 12-year-old founder of the Memphis-based Mo’s Bows bow tie business, has appeared on the hit ABC show “Shark Tank.”

If the exposure alone wasn’t enough, Bridges also impressed fashion mogul and “Shark Tank” panelist Daymond John into offering to mentor him.

4. Campbell, Weiss Open Judicial Campaigns -

John Campbell and Robert Weiss are judges on different sides of the civil-criminal divide in Shelby County jurisprudence.

5. Events -

The Memphis Lawyers’ chapter of the Federalist Society will meet Friday, Oct. 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Madison Hotel, 79 Madison Ave. U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. will moderate a debate about the constitutional amendment to change Tennessee’s judicial selection method. Cost is $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers. RSVP to gregory.grisham@jacksonlewis.com or 462-2616.

6. Events -

National Hispanic Professional Organization-Memphis will meet Thursday, Oct. 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Barbara Prescott, executive director of PeopleFirst, will speak. Cost is $20 for nonmembers. RSVP to info@nhpomemphis.us or 466-6476.

7. Missouri Financial Adviser Gets Probation in Memphis -

MEMPHIS (AP) – A Missouri financial adviser and campaign fundraiser for President Barack Obama was sentenced to six months of house arrest and five years' probation Monday for conducting a bizarre plot to stalk her daughter's ex-boyfriend.

8. Events -

Talk Shoppe will meet Wednesday, June 19, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at DeVry University, 6401 Poplar Ave., sixth floor. Cost is free. Visit talkshoppe.biz.

9. Events -

The city of Germantown will host The Millionaires as part of its Groovin’ and Chillin’ Concert Series Tuesday, June 18, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Kiwanis pavilion at Municipal Park on Exeter Road. The free concert starts at 7 p.m.; hot dog and hamburger combos will be available for purchase beforehand. Visit germantown-tn.gov.

10. Events -

Kiwanis Club of Memphis will meet Wednesday, June 12, from noon to 1 p.m. at The University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. U.S. District Judge John Fowlkes will speak. Cost is $18 for nonmembers.

11. Events -

The National Association of Women Business Owners, Memphis chapter will meet Tuesday, June 11, at 11:15 a.m. at Chickasaw Country Club, 3395 Galloway Ave. Shelley Baur, owner of One Source Associates, will speak, and the 2013-2014 officers and board will be installed. Tickets in advance are $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers; tickets at the door are $35. Visit nawbomemphis.org.

12. Events -

The University of Memphis Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will host a business boot camp information meeting for active and retired military personnel Monday, June 10, at 5 p.m. at the Family & Support Service Center on the Naval Support Activity Mid-South base, 5722 Integrity Drive. The boot camp kicks off with skills-building classes Saturday, June 22, at The University of Memphis. For details, email kcnklnpn@memphis.edu or call 678-5266.

13. Mumford Sentenced in Teacher Exam Fraud -

Clarence Mumford Sr., a one-time assistant principal in Memphis City Schools, was sentenced Monday, May 13, to seven years in prison for organizing and running a cheating ring on teacher tests.

Mumford was sentenced by Memphis federal Judge John Fowlkes following his guilty plea to 21 counts in the cheating scandal including conspiracy.

14. Cavner Pleads to Federal Stalking Charge -

Nadia Cavner, head of a Springfield, Mo.-based financial consulting firm, pleaded guilty Friday, April 12, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to a charge she used her company to intimidate the former boyfriend of her daughter as well as his new girlfriend here in Memphis.

15. Cavner Pleads to Federal Stalking Charge -

Nadia Cavner, head of a Springfield, Mo.-based financial consulting firm, pleaded guilty Friday, April 12, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to a charge she used her company to intimidate the former boyfriend of her daughter as well as his new girlfriend here in Memphis.

16. Mumford Jr. Pleads in Teacher Cheating Scandal -

The son of the former Memphis City Schools assistant principal at the center of a teacher testing cheating scandal became the 12th person in the federal case to plead guilty last week in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

17. Fowlkes Talks Adjustments to Federal Court -

After seven months as a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, John Fowlkes said he is adjusting to the difference between being a federal judge and a state criminal court judge.

18. Events -

The Orpheum Theatre will present “Anything Goes” Tuesday, Feb. 26, through March 3 at the theater, 203 S. Main St. Visit orpheum-memphis.com or call 525-3000 for showtimes and tickets.

19. Events -

Rhodes College will host Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, presenting “A New Vision of Islam in America,” as part of its free Communities in Conversation Series Monday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. in the McCallum Ballroom of the Bryan Campus Life Center on campus, 2000 North Parkway. Visit rhodes.edu.

20. Events -

Make-A-Wish Mid-South will host Wine for Wishes Thursday, Feb. 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at The Cadre, 149 Monroe Ave. The fundraiser will include food and wine pairings, a silent auction and live music by The Will Tucker Band. Visit midsouth.wish.org.

21. Former Memphis Police Officer Draws 7-Year Prison Term -

Former Memphis Police officer Melvin Victor Robinson was sentenced Friday, Feb. 1, to seven years in prison on federal civil rights and drug charges by Memphis Federal Court Judge John Fowlkes.

22. Plea Change Set in Teacher Test Fraud -

A lawyer for a former Memphis public school assistant principal said Friday he’s seeking a plea change to federal charges that he helped current or aspiring teachers cheat on tests they must pass to prove they are qualified to lead their classrooms.

23. Plea Change Set in Teacher Test Fraud -

A lawyer for a former Memphis public school assistant principal said Friday he’s seeking a plea change to federal charges that he helped current or aspiring teachers cheat on tests they must pass to prove they are qualified to lead their classrooms.

24. Ben F. Jones Law Chapter Chooses Officers -

The Ben F. Jones chapter of the National Bar Association has tapped new officers and board members for 2013. And the group’s president-elect talks about the group’s work in a way that heralds a continuing service to the Memphis community.

25. Campbell Named Criminal Court Judge -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Deputy Shelby County District Attorney General John Campbell as Division 6 Shelby County Criminal Court judge.

26. Events -

Cannon Wright Blount will present “Getting Started With QuickBooks: Learn From the Experts” Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at its office 756 Ridge Lake Blvd., suite 100. Cost is $75. Visit cannonwrightblount.com or email quickbooks@cannonwrightblount.com.

27. Two More Plead Guilty in Teacher Cheating Scandal -

When Shantell Shaw showed up for her first day as a Memphis City Schools teacher in 2008 at Trezevant High School, she was assigned a mentor.

Her mentor was Clarence Mumford Sr., a guidance counselor at the Frayser school. And Mumford later asked Shaw to take a PRAXIS teachers examination in biology for a teacher who had already failed the test 11 times, according to Shaw.

28. Guilty Plea Raises Questions in Test Cheating Scandal -

A multi-state teacher test cheating scandal had been a federal court case with a lot of criminal counts and a lot of initials of paid test-takers for teachers until last week.

That’s when one of those referred to by his initials in the 49-count fraud and identity theft case pleaded guilty in Memphis federal court. The plea is connected to the fraud case that emerged in July with the indictment of former Memphis City Schools assistant principal Clarence Mumford. It offers more detail about an alleged scheme that U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton has said involved “more than 50” teachers in the three-state Memphis area.

29. Election Winners Take Oaths of Office -

The Labor Day weekend served as a political marker for past and future events in Memphis politics.

The four Shelby County general election winners from the Aug. 2 vote are officially in office as the weekend ends and the workweek begins.

30. Campbell, DeCandia and Laurenzi: Finalists For Criminal Court Judge -

Three prosecutors are the finalists for the Criminal Court Judge vacancy.

The Judicial Nominating Commission selected Deputy District Attorney General John Campbell, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean DeCandia and Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Laurenzi as the finalists for the vacancy created when John Fowlkes won U.S. Senate confirmation as a federal judge.

31. Judge Fowlkes Begins Federal Tenure -

U.S. District Court Judge John Fowlkes has been on the bench since taking the oath Aug. 2 from fellow Memphis federal Judge Hardy Mays and began hearing matters on Aug. 6.

32. Seven Apply to be Criminal Court Judge -

Seven Memphis attorneys — four prosecutors from the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office, two federal prosecutors and a corporate general counsel – have applied to be the new judge of Shelby County Criminal Court Division 6.

33. Cohen Talks About Opponents, Schools, Race and His Political Past -

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen is running for a fourth term in Congress starting with the Aug. 2 primary, in which he is being challenged by countywide school board member Tomeka Hart.

34. US Senate Confirms Fowlkes Appointment -

The U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of John Fowlkes Jr. as the newest U.S. District Court Judge for Western Tennessee.

The 94-2 Senate floor vote Tuesday, July 10, included aye votes from Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, Mississippi Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker and Arkansas Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman.

35. US Senate Confirms Fowlkes Appointment -

The U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of John Fowlkes Jr. as the newest U.S. District Court Judge for Western Tennessee.

The 94-2 Senate floor vote Tuesday, July 10, included aye votes from Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, Mississippi Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker and Arkansas Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman.

36. Jason Baldwin Part of U of M Law Event -

Jason Baldwin has been a free man for about seven months. To understand how dramatically the life of Baldwin, of the West Memphis Three, has changed since then, he’s currently planning to go to law school.

37. City Closes Books on Dynamic Year -

If there’s one thing 2011 proved about the legal profession in Memphis, it’s how intrinsic it is to the daily ebb and flow of life in the city and how deeply enmeshed it is in the big news stories of the day, from politics to business.

38. Obama Nominates Fowlkes for Vacancy -

The White House nomination of Criminal Court Judge John Fowlkes to be a U.S. District Court judge would return Fowlkes to the building where he once worked as a federal prosecutor.

39. Huntzicker Retires from County Finance -

Shelby County Finance and Administration Director Jim Huntzicker is retiring effective April 22.

Huntzicker submitted his retirement notice earlier this month with little fanfare.

Word of the retirement came Monday as Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell nominated Mike Swift, currently the finance administrator under Huntzicker, to be the new finance and administration director.

40. Luttrell’s Staff Filled With Familiar Faces -

Shelby County Mayor-elect Mark Luttrell is taking some of his team from the sheriff’s department with him when he switches offices Sept. 1

41. Luttrell Assembles Team - As interim Shelby County mayor Joe Ford attended his last County Commission meeting, county mayor elect Mark Luttrell began naming the team he will go into office with on Sept. 1.

42. Springdale Fights Back -

In the mile of Springdale Street between Chelsea and Jackson avenues there are five churches. That’s not counting the churches on side streets.

On Eldridge Avenue, one of those side streets, between two tiny churches is a pair of identical small houses – both boarded up.

The one closest to the corner has faded blue spray paint stenciled across the plywood.

In inner-city Memphis, the stenciling is as familiar as gang graffiti. It’s the mark of the Memphis Police Department’s Blue CRUSH campaign.

Five years into the crackdown guided by a devotion to crime statistics, crime is down in Memphis.

But the statistical drop in crime has come with lingering questions and concerns in Springdale and other neighborhoods with Blue CRUSH houses.

“Once we board them up, we really have to depend on the community to let us know if drug dealers have broken back into them,” Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons said. “If we don’t know about it, sometimes drug dealers can get right back in there.”

In the neighborhoods, homeowners lament that street level dealers are easily replaced and soon released from jail to resume their place in the neighborhoods – now with a criminal record that makes a move away from drug dealing even more unlikely.

Last year, a team from Memphis that included a police officer, a state prosecutor, a federal prosecutor, a University of Memphis researcher, the head of the Memphis Leadership Foundation and the pastor of one of those five churches along Springdale went to several cities to get training in a new anti-drug strategy.

“We were really interested in changing people’s lives, not locking them up,” Springdale Baptist Pastor Derrick Hughes told The Memphis News. Hughes wasn’t sure at first if he would be part of the Drug Market Intervention (DMI) program.

“It sounded as if possibly it was just another program that was going to possibly just put criminals in jail without rehabilitation,” he said. “And I wanted to make sure that if we were going to be a part of something that it was going to look at rehabilitating the person, changing lives, changing them from a holistic point of view as well as a spiritual point of view.”

Gibbons said some of his prosecutors and some police brass also had their doubts as they looked for an area to test out DMI Memphis style.

“It was based primarily on looking at crime patterns and in particular drug activity in that area,” he told The Memphis News. There was plenty of open drug dealing in the Springdale area.

Drug Market Intervention is picking several street level drug dealers in a community, confronting them with the evidence against them and telling them they have one more chance to get out of the business. The police are involved in making a decision not to prosecute a few as they target dozens of others in an area.

Others on the team are community leaders from the neighborhood. And some are with proven programs to provide job training and other help in getting a legitimate job.

High Point, N.C., was the first stop for the Memphis group because it is the birthplace of DMI. It seems an unlikely example for Memphis with a population of fewer than 100,000. But in 2003, High Point had several open air drug markets. The city’s new police chief, James Fealy, attacked them using what became the DMI strategy.

David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Control and Prevention at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, replicated DMI in other cities with money from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance. The BJA funded the training of the Memphis team and came here.

Kennedy’s philosophy is specific to open air drug markets. It doesn’t pretend to eliminate all drug dealing.

“Open air drug markets are found primarily in our cities and in African-American neighborhoods,” Kennedy wrote in a 2008 article for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Journal. “Although we are loathe to admit it, this issue is soaked in race.”

Kennedy said police complained to him that the families of the drug dealers and others in the surrounding communities knew they were selling drugs, did nothing to stop it and profited from it.

But Kennedy said those living in the communities countered that police were only interested in locking up as many people as they could as part of a conspiracy to destroy the community.

Kennedy said each side had a point and each side was wrong.

“The crime is real and overwhelmingly the arrests are legitimate. But we are destroying the village in order to save it,” he wrote. “And none of this gets rid of the crime. The drug markets and violence continue to exist.”

Kennedy didn’t try to tackle the long-standing racial issues and their lengthy back story. The conversations that formed the basis for the DMI strategy were about drug markets.

It was hard for some on the Memphis team to believe that hardened drug dealers would respond when the threat of arrest, prison time, drive-by shootings and gang turf tripwires hadn’t discouraged them from the life.

Nevertheless, when they returned to Memphis, the planning began for several months of undercover drug buys in the Springdale area by the police Organized Crime Unit. For months, the officers bought repeatedly from dozens of street dealers in a two-mile radius of Springdale. And they recorded the drug buys on video – not just one buy but multiple buys.

Prosecutors reviewed the cases against more than 60 men and women and prosecuted 51 of them. Five were indicted on federal drug charges. Six others – five men and a woman – were the first candidates for the Memphis DMI program.

“It was taking a look at individuals who obviously were involved in drug trafficking, but a little more on the periphery – not an extensive drug record,” Gibbons said.

A few days after New Year’s Day, police descended on the Springdale area serving the arrest warrants and putting up a fresh crop of plywood with blue stenciling on the drug houses in the area. The neighborhood grapevine buzzed anew about the heavy police presence.

It was still buzzing when on the coldest day of the year – Jan. 8 – the Memphis group knocked on six doors in the Springdale area. The temperature never got near freezing and was in single digits part of the day.

No one inside the six houses knew they were coming. No one approaching the doorsteps knew what the reaction inside would be.

It was the first indication the six people involved and inside those homes had that they had sold drugs to undercover Memphis police officers and had been recorded on video making multiple drug sales to the officers.

The father of one of the six was among those who had been arrested.

When the DMI team knocked on his door, his grandmother answered.

“He did not want his grandmother to know why we were standing at the door,” Peggie Russell, the DMI coordinator and a University of Memphis researcher and community resource specialist, said. “He said, ‘It’s OK grandmother.’”

Howard Eddings, president of the Memphis Leadership Foundation, said the young man didn’t deny he was a drug dealer.

“He wanted to basically shut the door,” Eddings told The Memphis News. “She might not have known exactly what he was doing. She was an older lady. He didn’t like the fact that we were knocking on her door.”

He and the other five got a letter asking them to come to Springdale Baptist Church a few days later. If they came, the letter from Police Director Larry Godwin said they would not be prosecuted this time.

For Hughes the pledge was crucial. He wanted to be able to say, “I give you my word, you will not be arrested,” with certainty and conviction.

Five of the six showed up at Hughes’ church where the congregation and other community leaders were waiting in the sanctuary. On the walls were posters of the 51 defendants who weren’t getting the chance they were about to get. The posters included the possible prison sentences those defendants faced.

The five “guests” sat in a reserved front row with a friend or family member.

Their faces blurred in a video of the event, they listened as Assistant District Attorney Amy Weirich told them, “We’ve had it,” and called their names individually. “The Memphis Police Department is tired of picking up dead bodies in the street.”

Russell remembers some denying they had done anything wrong. Then police showed the video.

They watched video of themselves selling drugs numerous times to undercover police officers.

The woman’s denials stopped.

“She got caught during the first time. I don’t necessarily know that we believed it was the first time,” Eddings remembered. “But she was so embarrassed as a mom who had small kids who was put in the spotlight. … All of her junk is coming to the forefront.”

Russell said some of the others were telling those who came with them that they had no idea why they were summoned to the church.

“You’re sitting there and you’re telling your family member, ‘No, I didn’t do it,’” Russell said. “Then the tape started rolling … and you see yourself. It’s reality. You can’t hide it. I think that was a turning point for most of them.”

Hughes told the group of five that the church cared about them and was willing to help.

Some of his congregants spoke up too.

“Our congregants said, ‘Listen, we’re tired of watching you sell drugs. We’re tired of being afraid of coming in and out of our communities. We want our community back,’” Hughes recalled. “During the call in, some of our residents had an opportunity to look in their faces and say, ‘We are tired of the way you’ve been running down our communities. This used to be a wonderful community where people had pride, where people had hope. … Now a lot of us are afraid.’”

After the tough talk and the confrontation came a commitment to work with the five DMI candidates. Eddings emphasized there are no guarantees.

“We were careful not to promise them that we were going to get them jobs or that even if we could get them a job that it was going to pay them something comparable to what they were making on the street,” he said. ”We said the opposite. We can’t do that at all. But one thing we do know for sure. If you stop doing what you’re doing, you don’t go to jail.”

Russell, who gets much of the credit for pushing to give DMI a try and has become the program’s de facto coordinator, described the response as “something totally new.”

“It’s not about those five,” she said. “They are supposed to stay out of trouble for two years to make the necessary transition in their lives. But it’s really about the Hollywood Springdale community, changing the response of the community to open air drug sales.”

Eddings was surprised by the response.

“Most of these guys’ mamas know what they’re doing. But to know now that other mamas and other grandparents and other church leaders and the community have their eye on you, it has a different motivation,” he said. “Some of these guys are hardened. They’ve been doing it for a while and they’ve been out there on the streets. So, not much embarrasses them. But I could tell by looking at them and even some of the denials.”

The Memphis Leadership Foundation already works with convicted felons trying to make the difficult transition after prison. There are even fewer guarantees for those with a substantial prison record.

Marcus, who didn’t want his last name used, vented about how hard it’s been to find a legitimate job since he did prison time in 2006 for felony drug dealing.

“It’s not like people want to sell drugs,” he began. “On a lot of applications they are saying they don’t discriminate. They’re lying. … They’re ready to end the session right then. They might tear up the application in your face.”

If drug dealers like him bring blight to areas like Springdale and violence and a hard life for law-abiding citizens, Marcus said society has responded with its own brand of hardness.

“They ain’t reaching out anymore,” he said. “They expect for the world to be better because we’re building more jails. We’re putting more cops out. If somebody killed me today – the person who killed me, they want to put him in jail. But why put him in jail when y’all treating this man he killed like he’s a nobody anyway.”

Eddings said with criminal records or without, street level drug dealers have problems as they get older because they have no legitimate work history. He started to say there aren’t transferable skills before thinking about it.

“Actually, some of the skills do transfer. They’ve just got to get access,” he said. “It’s really a reshaping, a little bit more recognition that they need to deal with in terms of how they see themselves and how they can use those skills that they utilize on the streets to do something positive and pursue a legitimate way of life.”

The young man Eddings is working with seems not to have hit the wall that Marcus is at yet.

“He is simply trying to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other. They go from having some source of income to having no source of income,” Eddings told The Memphis News. “We’re convincing him now that getting his GED ought to be a decision that he ought to make. He’s been a little slow in that.”

Hughes said he would get the occasional dope boy showing up at his church before DMI.

“Very rarely. I did hear one or two stragglers you come across who say, ‘Yes, I do want to change.’ Often times, it’s usually because of a pending trial or they are in trouble,” he said. “Since that time, we’ve had a lot of people coming, wanting to change their lives.”

Gibbons is reviewing some neighborhoods where DMI might go next but he’s not saying where because of the undercover police work involved. He wants to see it replicated based on lessons learned in Memphis and he hopes to get a federal grant to hire a full-time coordinator.

The sixth man given a chance in the DMI program didn’t come to the church and was prosecuted. He pleaded guilty to five counts of selling drugs and was sentenced to four years in prison and fined $10,000. But the sentence was suspended and he was put on a diversion program.

Weirich recalled Criminal Court Judge John Fowlkes asking the man why he didn’t respond. He told Fowlkes, “It sounded too good to be true.”

...

43. Charter Commission to Examine Metro Mayoral Powers -

The Metro Charter Commission will take a second look at a civil service system for a proposed consolidated government Thursday.

The group drafting a proposed consolidation charter for the November ballot will also discuss what powers a metro mayor should have.

44. Commission to Revisit Charter Appointments Today -

Approving mayoral appointments to boards and commissions is usually the quickest part of the Shelby County Commission’s agenda. It’s normally a routine vote.

That won’t be the case today.

The commission will meet this afternoon starting at 1:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building Downtown. A full agenda for the meeting is available at The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

45. Metro Charter Appointments Win Recommendation -

Shelby County Commissioners Wednesday recommended all 10 of County Mayor A C Wharton’s appointees to a metro charter commission.

The commission, which will include five people appointed by the Memphis mayor and confirmed by the City Council, will draft a charter proposal to consolidate Memphis and Shelby County governments.

46. Fowlkes Takes Helm At Small Business Chamber -

Becoming the executive director of the Memphis Small Business Chamber is another facet of coming home for Andre K. Fowlkes.

Although he’s a native Memphian, he brings a big-city perspective and financial expertise to the job. He’s lived in New York and San Francisco where he worked for high-profile firms Fisher Investments and Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, respectively.

47. Fowlkes Seeks Better Way To Treat Criminals in System -

When he was an assistant public defender and an assistant district attorney in the 1980s, John Fowlkes used to measure whether it was a busy day by if he could carry all of his case files under one arm. One arm was busy. Two arms meant he was slammed.

48. Events -

Talk Shoppe will present “How to Buy and Sell 108 Investment Properties in 180 Days” today from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, 3693 Tyndale Drive. For more information, call Jo Garner at 759-7808.

49. Cohen, Blackburn Lead Local Election Winners -

More than half and possibly as much as 75 percent of Shelby County’s nearly 626,000 voters are expected to turn out for the Nov. 4 election that will be highlighted by the John McCain-Barack Obama battle for the White House.

50. Cohen Crushes Tinker - Jackson Upsets Turner - Charter Changes Pass-Fail - Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen was the big winner in Thursday’s primary elections. Cohen, with 80 percent of the vote, crushed challenger Nikki Tinker in the hard fought 9th District Democratic primary.

The upset of the evening was the general election contest for General Sessions Court Clerk where Democratic challenger Otis Jackson beat Republican incumbent Chris Turner.

And only one of two sets of Shelby County charter amendments on the ballot were approved by voters.

Voter turnout was just under 16 percent in Shelby County. Voter turnout was clearly driven by the 9th District Democratic primary. More people voted in that primary which covers most but not all of Shelby County than voted countywide in the state Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Turnout in the Democratic primaries was twice that of the Republican primaries in Shelby County.

All results are unofficial pending audit and certification by the Shelby County Election Commission and Tennessee election officials

9th Congressional District
Democratic Primary
Steve Cohen 50,284 79%
Nikki Tinker 11,814 19%
Joe Towns Jr. 914 1%

Not even close. Cohen won the primary for the open all Shelby County seat two years ago by 4,400 votes over Tinker and 13 other candidates. This time around he was the incumbent and Tinker’s challenge was more strident with a pair of controversial attack ads in the gap between the end of early voting and election day. Both were probably factors in the vote totals along with a smaller field of five candidates.

Cohen faces independent candidate Jake Ford in the Nov. 4 general election.

7th Congressional District
Republican Primary
248 of 265 precincts reporting
Marsha Blackburn 29,158 65%
Tom Leatherwood 15,636 35%

These are the results district wide which includes not only the eastern part of Shelby County but a strip of Middle Tennessee up to the Kentucky state line. In Shelby County’s part of the 7th district, Leatherwood beat Blackburn with 62 percent of the vote. But it was 62 percent of just over 19,000 votes. Outside Shelby County it was always going to be difficult for Leatherwood.. The low voter turnout in Collierville and other eastern parts of the county made Leatherwood’s task impossible.

Blackburn faces Democrat Randy G. Morris on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Shelby County Charter Amendment #360
Yes  49,506   49.73%

No   50,043   50,27%

Closest contest of the night in Shelby County with a 537 vote margin and the highest turnout with 99,549 votes total.

This set of charter changes was to fix a legal problem noted in a recent Tennessee Supreme Court ruling. Another part of the package deal was increasing term limits for the county mayor and the county commission from two consecutive four year terms approved by voters in 1994 to three consecutive four year terms. The County Commission meets Monday to ponder whether it should offer another charter amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot that would fix the legal problem.

Shelby County Charter Amendment #361
Yes 65,548 68%
No 30,188 32%

This set of charter amendment includes provisions for recalling elected officials. It also establishes a new method for filling a vacancy in the office of County Mayor.

General Sessions Court Clerk
Otis Jackson 51,438 52%
Chris Turner 43,971 45%

The upset of the evening. Turner, the Republican nominee and the incumbent was seeking a fourth term. Jackson, the Democratic nominee, was making his fourth bid for county-wide office after coming close in a 2006 bid for County Clerk.

Trustee
Paul Mattila 54,734 57%
Ray Butler 29,977 31%

Mattila beats Butler in a race featuring an energetic and misleading campaign by M. LaTroy Williams in which Williams billed himself as the “real Democrat.” He was, in fact, an independent candidate garnering 8 percent of the vote. Mattila fills the remaining two years left in the term of office of the late Bob Patterson, a Republican. Mattila, a Democrat, worked with Patterson. Butler, the Republican, was also a friend of Patterson’s and the race amounted to who would best continue to operate the office as Patterson did.

Criminal Court Judge Div. 6
John Fowlkes 44,581 52%
Latonya Burrow 21,874 26%
Michael G. Floyd 12,071 14%
Claiborne H. Ferguson 6,240 7%

Fowlkes serves out the remaining six years left of the eight year term of office of Fred Axley who resigned from the bench shortly after winning re-election in 2006. Burrow finished a close second to Axley two years ago and again ran an energetic campaign this time around. But Fowlkes status in the legal community and his appointment to the bench by Gov. Phil Bredesen proved to be the advantage.

Assessor of Property
Cheyenne Johnson 59,637 60%
Bill Giannini 39,057 40%

Johnson, the Democratic nominee, easily beat Giannini, who is also doubling as local GOP chairman. Local Democrats keep the county-wide position in their column as voters go for the candidate endorsed by outgoing Democratic incumbent Rita Clark.

U.S. Senate
Democratic Primary
2,192 of 2,290 precincts reporting
Bob Tuke 54,613 32%
Gary G. Davis 37,193 22%
Mike Padgett 32,190 19%
Mark Clayton 30,359 18%
Kenneth Eaton 13,718 8%
Leonard Ladner 4,431 3%

These are the statewide results. Tuke got 42 percent of the Shelby County vote with Clayton finishing second. Tuke, the former state Democratic Party chairman, faces Republican incumbent Lamar Alexander, one of the most successful politicians in the history of the state, in the Nov. 4 general election.

Judicial Retention Races

All seven state appellate court judges, including two Tennessee Supreme Court justices, won their yes/no contests on the ballot across the state. That includes Tennessee Criminal Appeals Court Judge Camille McMullen of Millington who was just appointed to the bench in June by Gov. Phil Bredesen.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

...

51. Bar Internship Introduces Law To Students -

The courtroom where the Tennessee Supreme Court convenes when it is in Memphis was packed earlier this month. And to some on that warm late spring morning, the crowd seemed a bit young.

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. even mistook a few practicing attorneys as part of the group of 100 teenagers who are part of the Memphis Bar Association’s 2008 Summer Law Intern Program. The MBA’s Diversity Committee started the initiative a year ago to interest minority students in exploring careers in the law.

52. Middle Eastern Visitors Get Look At Memphis Law System -

Saud y Al Sanea has seen temptation in the form of an iPod. It's not the iPod itself. The temptation is the card needed to upload music from iTunes to fill the iPod.

It can take two weeks to get one of the cards in Kuwait City where he is a public prosecutor at Kuwait's Ministry of Justice. But you can buy a knock-off version on the streets and some stores of Kuwait City much sooner.

53. Few Surprises At Filing Deadline -

About half of Shelby County's delegation to the Tennessee Legislature won re-election at Thursday's filing deadline for candidates on the Aug. 7 ballot.

Eight of the 16 state House seats had only one candidate - the incumbent. And all three of the state Senate seats on the ballot were incumbent-only affairs.

54. Primaries Heat Up as Filing Deadline Passes - The race for the Memphis 9th Congressional District seat will have no Republican contenders.

At Thursday’s deadline for candidates to file in the Aug. 7 state and Congressional primaries, no Republicans had filed for the GOP primary.

55. Primaries Heat Up as Filing Deadline Passes - The race for the Memphis 9th Congressional District seat will have no Republican contenders.

At today’s deadline for candidates to file in the Aug. 7 state and Congressional primaries, no Republicans had filed for the GOP primary.

56. Filing Deadline For Elections Is Thursday -

A healthy voter turnout doesn't necessarily mean every race on the ballot gets the benefit. Politicos call it "ballot falloff." It means races such as those for president or mayor get voters to the polls. But those same voters might decide not to vote in the other races.

57. Fowlkes to Take Oath Friday -

For most of his career in Memphis, John T. Fowlkes Jr. has worked Downtown, within a five-block area that is the seat of government for Memphis and Shelby County. It's also ground zero for the local criminal justice system.

58. New Forensics Center Slated For Madison and Manassas -

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton envisions more than just a newer, state-of-the-art facility to replace the dilapidated quarters that currently house the county's regional forensics center.

He and other county officials also say the county needs a forensics lab that's a research center of sorts, one concerned with more than the type of forensics work depicted on hit TV shows such as "C.S.I." When he interviewed current Shelby County Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Chancellor, he stressed that point.

59. Bredesen Appoints FowlkesTo Criminal Court Vacancy -      Shelby County Chief Administrative Officer John T. Fowlkes Jr. has been appointed as Criminal Court Judge for the 30th Judicial District Division VI by Gov. Phil Bredesen.
     Fowlkes fills

60. Three ConsideredFor Judge Axley's Spot -      Assistant District Attorney General John Campbell, Assistant Public Defender Garland Erguden and Shelby County Chief Administrative Officer John Fowlkes Jr. are being considered as possible appointees to fill the vacancy

61. Reynolds Named Head Baseball Coach at STCC -

Alan "Bo" Reynolds has been named the new head baseball coach at Southwest Tennessee Community College. He previously worked at Olive Branch High School, where he was head baseball coach in 2005-2006 after serving as assistant coach from 2003 to 2005. He also coached at Rhodes College from 1990 to 2003, where he was both an assistant coach and head coach and the University of Memphis from 1987 to 1990. There, he was an assistant under head coach Bobby Kilpatrick.

62. Judicial Selection CommitteeSays Reconsider Rejected Candidates -      Two rejected Tennessee Supreme Court candidates will have another go at the positions. The decision comes as the result of an 8-7 vote Tuesday by the Tennessee Judicial Selection Committee.
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63. Archived Article: Gov - By Andy Meek

Consultants Respond to Pyramid Recommendations

ANDY MEEK

The Daily News

The real estate consultants at Bartram & Cochran have taken on some tricky projects over the years. The national firm has saved historic hospital bu...

64. Archived Article: Law Focus - Law

County Seeks Major Government Conference

LANCE ALLAN

The Daily News

In the end, John Fowlkes Jr. believes all it will take is one visit, maybe aided by a slab or two of ribs and a filet of catfish.

Fowlkes, chief administrative of...

65. Archived Article: Benchmark - United State of America vs United State of America vs. Corey Harrison, Jerry Wade McCollough, Russell Boxley, Dionne Stoneham, Wade T. Pertuit a/k/a Blue, William Glenn Engram, Dorothea Spates and Oliver Mayberry Jr. The U.S. attorney for the Wester...

66. Archived Article: Memos - Joseph Kyles, an assistant professor of education at Shelby State Community College, has been elected to serve as president of the Tennessee Young Democrats Joseph Kyles, an assistant professor of education at Shelby State Community College, has bee...

67. Archived Article: Law Briefs - The Memphis/Mid-South chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the U The Memphis/Mid-South chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee are sponsoring a continuing education seminar on Fr...

68. Archived Article: Law Briefs - Jay H Jay H. Lindy and Jennifer W. Sammons were named owners in the Waring Cox law firm. Lindy practices in securities, corporate and health care law. Sammons specializes in employment, business and general civil litigation. Lindy has a bachelors de...