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Editorial Results (free)

1. Mays Denies Status Conference in Schools Case -

U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays has rejected a call by some of the parties in the school reformation case to hold a status conference.

Mays ruled Tuesday, March 4, that he found the request “without merit” and denied it in a written order that did not elaborate.

2. Election Commission Hears Ballot Challenges -

Shelby County Election Commissioners could complete the ballot for the May Shelby County primary elections Wednesday, March 5, by deciding on challenges to the residency of three candidates in the Democratic primaries.

3. Election Commission Urges School Board Ruling -

The Shelby County Election Commission isn’t taking a stand on the Shelby County Commission’s plan to convert the Shelby County Schools board to a nine-member body.

But the commission will file a brief urging U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays to rule soon on the plan.

4. Dismissal Request Filed in Schools Lawsuit -

All sides in the federal lawsuit over the reformation of public education in Shelby County have filed a motion in the Western District of Tennessee to dismiss the lawsuit.

The Jan. 14 filing is the next to last step in ending the lawsuit that began in February 2011 as a lawsuit by the Shelby County Board of Education over the plan to merge the county’s two public school districts.

5. Hats in the Ring -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will be seeking a second term as governor, and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander will be running for re-election – both starting with the Aug. 7 statewide primaries that open for filing Friday, Jan. 3.

6. Meadows Appointed to State Dentistry Board -

Dr. Dan T. Meadows has been appointed to the Tennessee Board of Dentistry by Gov. Bill Haslam. Meadows, who has a private practice on Walnut Grove Road, will serve as the Rotating Dentist member through June 2016.

7. Petties Appeals Prison Sentence -

After being moved from the Memphis Federal Correctional Institution to a high-security prison in Allenwood, Pa., this week, Memphis drug kingpin Craig Petties has appealed his nine life prison sentences.

8. Moore Rejoins Girls Inc. as President/CEO -

Lisa Moore recently joined Girls Inc. of Memphis as president/CEO, returning to the organization where she began her career in the late 1980s. In her new role, Moore said, she will provide leadership and support to equip Girls Inc. of Memphis to effectively and efficiently fulfill its mission of equipping all girls to live strong, smart and bold.

9. Private Legal Talks Underway on Schools -

As Bartlett citizens got an update this week on the move by it and the five other suburban towns and cities in Shelby County to form their own school systems, Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald fielded a pointed question with an interesting answer.

10. Commission, Attorney Meet in Closed Session -

Shelby County Commissioners met Monday, Aug. 19, in a closed-door executive session with attorney Lori Patterson, who, along with attorney Leo Bearman, represents the commission in the federal court lawsuit over the schools merger and the formation of suburban school districts.

11. Ruling Could Add to Busy Special Election Calendar -

If the Shelby County Election Commission sets a new election date for the District 4 countywide school board seat sometime this year, it will be the 10th special election in Shelby County in what was supposed to be an off-election year for much of the county.

12. Commission Drops Fire/Ambulance Utility District For Now -

The idea of a utility district for fire and ambulance services in unincorporated Shelby County and several of the smaller suburban towns and cities was voted down Monday, Aug. 19, by the Shelby County Commission.

13. Sentencing Set for Drug Gang Leader -

A sealed sentencing hearing Thursday, July 25, for Memphis drug kingpin Craig Petties was postponed to Aug. 22.

14. Drug Kingpin Petties Returns to Memphis -

Memphis drug kingpin Craig Petties has returned to the city after a brief stay in a federal prison transfer center in Oklahoma City.

15. Suburbs Ready for Start of Early Voting -

Early voting will be a bit earlier than usual for the municipal school district referendums in Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities.

Election Day is July 16 in each of the suburban communities holding the set of special elections with the ballot question as the only item on the ballot.

16. Lewis Gets Life Sentence in Petties Drug Case -

Martin Lewis, convicted last year of killing a man in 2007 for the Craig Petties drug organization in a busy restaurant, was sentenced Friday, June 14, to life in prison.

17. Lewis Gets Life in Petties Case -

Clinton Lewis was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday, May 14, for his role in the multi-state drug organization headed by Craig Petties.

18. Hamlet Pleads in Petties Drug Case -

After five years in a Mexican prison, Chris Hamlet pleaded guilty in Memphis federal court Tuesday, May 7, to U.S. drug conspiracy charges that could earn him an even longer stint in a U.S. prison.

19. Hamlet to Plead in Petties Drug Case -

The last defendant in the Craig Petties federal drug case is scheduled to plead guilty in May to drug conspiracy charges.

20. Special Elections Take Shape in Suburbs -

It looks like 2013 will be an election year in the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County.

But Memphis may not join the forming set of special elections until very late in the year if at all, according to one estimate by the Shelby County Election Commission.

21. Suburban Mayors Preach Patience to Parents -

Suburban leaders are counseling patience among parents of children in their communities who will be part of the coming merger of the county’s two public school systems.

And they will start moving in May on the process of forming municipal school districts for the 2014-2015 school year.

22. Municipal Schools Bill Sails Through House, Senate -

After much speculation about resistance from other parts of the state to lifting the statewide ban on special school districts statewide, the bill to do that sailed through the Tennessee House and Senate Monday, April 15.

23. Legislature Sends Municipal Schools Bill To Haslam -

The Tennessee House and Senate sent a bill permitting municipal school districts in 29 cities including the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County to Gov. Bill Haslam Monday, April 15, for his signature.

24. Mays Sets Hearing in Schools Case -

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays has set a Tuesday, April 16, hearing on the move by the Shelby County Commission to make the countywide school board a 13-member body effective Sept. 1.

25. Single-Handed Success Story -

SINGULAR PERFORMANCE. The White Station Class of 1966, the year ahead of mine, had two Academy Award winners – one you’ve heard of and one you haven’t.

That was some class. Physicist, gray matter repository and best-selling author Alan Lightman was in it. Federal judge and arbiter of public education’s future in Shelby County Hardy Mays was in it. John Vergos, former courageous city council maverick and scion to Rendezvous rib royalty, was in it. Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates was in it.

26. Special Master Has Tight Five-Month Window -

The special master appointed by U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays to oversee the schools merger knows the political and fiscal dealings of large local government entities.

27. Commission Mixes Residency With Schools Issues -

It isn’t hard to get a debate going on the Shelby County Commission about the coming Shelby County schools merger and separate suburban school districts.

A majority of the 13-member body voted to file the second part of the Memphis federal court lawsuit over the connected issues. But there remains a vocal minority of four to five commissioners on both issues as well.

28. Merger Again Intersects With Nashville -

For a third consecutive year in Nashville, the Shelby County schools merger and the suburban reaction to it are on the calendar of the Tennessee legislature.

As the General Assembly finished its legislative week Thursday, Feb. 14, state Senate Republican leader Mark Norris of Collierville introduced several bills, some of them captions to be added to as needed that would make suburban municipal school districts possible.

29. Huffman Brings Leverage to Possible Mediation -

Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman would bring lots of political leverage with him should he mediate the coming merger of schools in Shelby County.

30. School Changes Continue on Many Fronts -

There won’t be much waiting around for a federal court ruling with this week’s set of suburban school board elections now decided.

The six boards are the latest move toward the formation of municipal school districts in each of the suburban cities.

31. Child Sex Trafficker Draws 14-Year Prison Sentence -

A Bartlett woman who pleaded guilty to federal child sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion was sentenced Thursday, Oct. 11, to 14 years in prison.

The sentencing of Kala Bray, 19, by U.S. District Court Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays drew reaction from U.S. Justice Department officials in Washington who have made such cases a priority and have highlighted investigations of the trafficking by Memphis federal prosecutors and FBI agents.

32. RedRover Names Thomson Account Manager -

Melissa Thomson has been promoted to account manager from account executive at RedRover Sales & Marketing. In her expanded role, Thomson serves as a fractional chief marketing officer for growing Mid-South companies by conducting critical market research then creating and executing marketing strategies.

33. 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.

34. Polls Set to Open for Early Voting -

Shelby County voters start deciding Friday, July 13, general election countywide races for assessor of property, General Sessions Court clerk, district attorney general and a race for a Shelby County Commission seat. The ballot also includes seven races for district seats on the countywide school board.

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. 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.

37. Former Pinnacle IT Chief Sentenced for Fraud -

Former Pinnacle Airlines Corp. information technology director Frank Richard Raasch was sentenced Thursday, June 28, to three years and five months in prison on a wire fraud charge.

38. Commission Approves County Building Renovation -

Shelby County Commissioners approved $20 million in renovation work to come on the Vasco Smith County Administration Building. The vote Monday, May 25, came after a delay two weeks ago.

County engineers have said the nearly 50-year-old structure where the commission meets and it, along with the Shelby County mayor, have offices is badly in need of renovations to fix leaking pipes and outdated HVAC systems that cost the county twice as much as utilities do in more modern government buildings.

39. Petties Sentencing Delayed to June -

The sentencing hearing for Memphis drug kingpin Craig Petties has been delayed again – this time to June 13.

40. Petties Org Trial Defense Opens Case Monday -

Defense attorneys in the Petties drug organization trial begin presenting their case Monday, March 12, in Memphis federal court.

Clinton Lewis and Martin Lewis are charged with drug conspiracy, racketeering and murder for hire.

41. That's a Wrap -

If the grand sweep of 2011 could be captured on celluloid and presented to an audience on the big screen, all the components of a great film would be readily apparent.

There was drama, in the form of a deluge and historic flooding that led the Mississippi River to crest at nearly 48 feet early in the year. One of the year’s big surprises saw President Barack Obama give the commencement address for the Booker T. Washington High School class of 2011 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

42. Petties Drug Case Moves Toward Jan. Trial -

The three remaining defendants in the largest drug case ever brought in Memphis federal court are scheduled to go to trial Jan. 17 before U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays.

The trial of Martin Lewis, Clinton Lewis and Clarence Broady is expected to take four to five weeks.

43. Jackson Joins Devcon Security as GM -

Eric Jackson has joined Devcon Security as general manager of the company’s Memphis branch. Jackson’s primary focus will be hiring and training sales people and technicians, as well as building daily branch operations and acting as the brand ambassador to building partnerships in the community.

44. Mays Issues Consent Decree in Schools Consolidation -

Memphis Federal Court Judge Hardy Mays issued a 14-page consent decree last week that makes formal the settlement of the schools consolidation case agreed to in August by all sides in the case.

The decree is a basic affirmation of the terms of the agreement with little elaboration beyond the memorandum of understanding and its nine points. Some of the attorneys representing the different sides had anticipated Mays would offer some more specifics on those points.

45. Schools Planning Commission Begins Work -

The 21-member schools consolidation planning commission goes to work Thursday, Sept. 29, in a conference room at the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement in Shelby Farms.

46. First Schools Meeting Addresses Blueprint -

The two groups that will do much of the political and organizational heavy lifting in the consolidation of Shelby County’s two public school systems first will do a lot of listening in the weeks to come.

47. Schools Consolidation: Mays Issues Ruling -

The Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools systems will be consolidated starting with the 2013-2014 school year.

“Here the controversy between the parties is a legal dispute, not a factual dispute,” Federal Judge Hardy Mays wrote in the detailed and lengthy ruling released Aug. 8.

48. Deadline Looms for School Board Plans -

Attorneys on several sides of the schools consolidation lawsuit have until the end of Friday, Aug. 12, to submit their plans to Federal Judge Hardy Mays for a redrawn countywide school board that includes proportional representation for Memphians.

49. Schools Consolidation Case Far From Over -

U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays met with all sides in the Memphis City Schools/Shelby County Schools consolidation case the day after he ruled in the case that will change the face of local public education.

50. Shelby County School Board Meets Wed. On Schools Case -

Shelby County school board members meet Wed., Aug. 10 at 3 p.m. in special session to weigh their next move now that a federal judge has ruled in the schools consolidation lawsuit.

The meeting comes two days before all sides in the lawsuit are to submit their proposals for a new countywide school board that would play a pivotal role in a transition to consolidating Shelby County's two public school systems by Aug. 2013.

51. 4 Council Members - All 3 City Court Judges To Run Unopposed In Oct. Elections -

Four incumbent Memphis City Council members and all three incumbent City Court Judges were effectively re-elected at the Thursday, July 21, noon deadline for candidates to file their qualifying petitions for the Oct. 6 Memphis ballot.

52. Mays Is Assigned Union Lawsuit -

U.S. District Judge Hardy Mays has another high-profile case on his schedule. Mays has been assigned the lawsuit filed Monday, July 11, by the municipal unions representing city employees.

The unions are seeking class-action status for the lawsuit that contests the city’s decision to cut the pay of city employees by 4.6 percent in the fiscal year that began July 1. It also calls into question the $13 million voluntary buyout plan for city sanitation workers that is part of the new city budget.

53. Consolidation Case Deadline Arrives -

It’s been briefed several times over, unsuccessfully mediated three times and adorned with a fresh supply of depositions.

And Thursday, June 30, is the deadline for all of the material all of the sides in the schools consolidation case want U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays to consider in making a decision.

54. Feds Dismissed From Schools Consolidation Suit -

Federal Judge Hardy Mays has dismissed the federal government from the schools consolidation lawsuit.

Mays’ court order follows a motion for dismissal by the Shelby County Schools system, which had included the U.S. departments of education and justice as well as Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in its Feb. 11 lawsuit.

55. Mays to Begin Schools Suit Decision in July -

Federal Judge Hardy Mays will begin deciding the schools consolidation lawsuit in July. And he will do it without further oral arguments or a trial.

The case had originally been scheduled for trial in September.

56. Schools Consolidation Case Hearing Goes Into Second Day -

With a day of coutroom give and take with attorneys representing six sides in the schools consolidation case, U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays has begun laying the groundwork for a decision on the federal lawsuit that will determine what a consolidated Shelby County school system looks like.

57. Motion Granted For MEA to Intervene In Schools -

U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays has granted a motion by the Memphis Education Association to intervene in the schools consolidation lawsuit.

Mays granted the motion Friday, the same week he began judicial mediation efforts in an attempt to settle the multi-sided legal dispute out of court.

58. Mediation Continues in Schools Case -

The different sides in the schools consolidation case have already had at least one session with a mediator appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays. And they have another session scheduled for Thursday at an undisclosed location.

59. Mediation Considered For Schools Consolidation -

They don’t appear to have a plan of any kind that they agree on at this point.

But none of the sides in the schools consolidation lawsuit appears anxious to run up what could be some sizeable legal bills in a case they all agree could take time to get a full ruling on. And then there would be an inevitable appeal by the losing parties.

60. Schools High on Haslam’s ‘To-Do’ List -

The legal documents in the schools consolidation lawsuit include the name of Patrick Smith, the acting state commissioner of education when the lawsuit was filed Feb. 11 by the county school system.

61. Mum’s the Word on Wharton’s Involvement in Schools -

If there will be talks to settle the schools consolidation lawsuit out of court, they will probably be conducted out of the public spotlight as much as possible and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. probably will be the circumspect moderator.

62. School Board Hearing Now Set for April 4 -

There was no court hearing Monday in Memphis federal court in the schools consolidation case.

After a scheduling conference with all sides in the case last week, U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays had left two possible dates for a hearing on the future of an appointed countywide school board.

63. Mays Sets Monday Hearing in Schools Suit -

U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays has set a tentative Monday hearing in the schools consolidation lawsuit, hours before the Shelby County Commission was scheduled to appoint citizens to a 25-member countywide school board.

64. Mays Sets Monday Hearing in Schools Suit -

U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays has set a tentative Monday hearing in the schools consolidation lawsuit, hours before the Shelby County Commission is scheduled to appoint citizens to a 25-member countywide school board.

65. Schools Saga Arrives in Federal Court -

What has 20 attorneys, one plaintiff, nine defendants, one counter defendant, five proposed interveners, four cross-counter claimants and five cross defendants?

It is the federal lawsuit over schools consolidation due Thursday before U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays for its first hearing since being filed Feb. 11 by Shelby County Schools.

66. County School Board Members Seek Court Halt to Countywide School Board -

U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays has set a Thursday status conference on the schools consolidation lawsuit and legal motions pending in his court.

And five of the seven Shelby County school board members want him to stop the Shelby County Commission from appointing a new countywide school board on March 28.

67. City, Council Join in Schools Legal Wrangling -

There may be a few more legal moves to come.

But by the end of last week, all of the critical moves had been made to get the schools consolidation issue in front of a federal judge.

The city of Memphis and Memphis City Council filed in U.S. District Court Thursday to join the legal battle over schools consolidation.

68. City and Council Challenge Norris-Todd Schools Law In Court -

The city of Memphis and Memphis City Council have now acted in court to join the legal battle over schools consolidation.

Late Thursday, Assistant City Attorney Philip Oliphant filed the city’s response to the Feb. 11 lawsuit filed against the city and others in Memphis federal court by the Shelby County school system.

69. GSO Turns 35 by Bringing Home Cellist -

The Germantown Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 35th year of providing area musicians with an artistic outlet by bringing home an old friend who struck musical gold.

On Saturday, March 5, at 8 p.m., GSO will perform at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre with The Inventions Trio featuring cellist Alisa Horn, and music commissioned especially for the orchestra, some of which will cross stylistic lines between classical music and jazz.

70. Schools Suit Could Find Judge Soon -

If attorneys for Shelby County Schools can find a federal judge this week, they may be in court after early voting begins Wednesday in the schools consolidation referendum.

In a wide-ranging lawsuit filed Friday, the school system went after more than just the Memphis City Council, which voted last week to ratify the Memphis City Schools board charter surrender vote of Dec. 20.

71. County Schools Lawsuit Seeks To Void MCS Charter Surrender -

The Shelby County school board has filed a federal lawsuit against the Memphis City Schools board, the Memphis City Council, Memphis city government and parts of the state and federal governments.

The lawsuit filed late Friday in Memphis federal court seeks a declaratory judgment and is aimed at the council’s Thursday vote to ratify the surrender of the MCS charter as well as the MCS board’s original Dec. 20 decision on the matter.

72. Anthony Siracusa Joins Rhodes College -

Anthony C. Siracusa has been hired as Community Service Coordinator in the Bonner Center for Faith and Service at Rhodes College.

Hometown: Memphis
Education:
Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in history, Rhodes College, 2009.
What was attractive about working at Rhodes?
I was compelled by the Rhodes Vision of graduating students with the ability to translate academic study and personal concern into effective leadership and action in their communities and the world. In the words of former Bonner Foundation President Wayne Meisel, I’m passionate about Rhodes’ interest in moving from a world where we work to feed the poor to a world where soup kitchens are not necessary because we’ve defeated hunger.
What do you hope to accomplish as community service coordinator?
Through the Kinney Program (the college’s campus-wide service-based learning umbrella), I hope to unite students working on a similar issue (e.g., hunger and homelessness or hospitals and health care) for regular meetings and the development of an issue-based action plan to guide current and future community engagement efforts. My hope is that Rhodes students graduate with a deep connection to the Memphis community.
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishments?
When I founded Revolutions Community Bicycle Shop in June of 2002, I never thought there would be a day when I worked in the shop and people would introduce themselves and say, “Hi, I’m so and so. Who are you?” To me, Revolutions now stands as a Memphis institution outside of any direct connection to me.
What do you most enjoy about your work?
I enjoy wrangling with the issues. I enjoy debating the merits of particular courses of action or root causes for the problems that surround us, and I feel fortunate to have the chance to listen to brilliant insight from the people I meet every day. I love building community with people through meaningful work, and I enjoy being with people who hope to move our city and this world from potential to reality.

73. Petties Pleads Guilty to Contraband Charge -

The weapon alleged drug kingpin Craig Petties had in his cell at the Memphis Federal Correctional Institution last year was a shank – or homemade knife – fashioned from a plastic shard from a tray.

74. Drug Kingpin Petties Back in Federal Court -

Craig Petties, the alleged head of the largest and most violent drug organization ever tried in Memphis federal court, returns to court this week for the first status conference since the U.S. Justice Department decided not to seek the death penalty against four of his co-defendants. Attorneys for those four codefendants will also be in court to map out where the case goes from here.

75. Petties To Plead to Prison Contraband Charges -

Craig Petties, the alleged head of the city’s largest drug organization ever tried in Memphis federal court, is scheduled to plead guilty to charges he had some kind of weapon while in the Memphis Federal Correctional Institution.

76. Petties Drug Case Begins Moving to Next Phase -

After several years of report dates that take less than five minutes, the largest drug case ever prosecuted in Memphis federal court is beginning to move into questions about what comes next.

Sometime this month, U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays will meet with defense and prosecution attorneys for a status conference. It will be the first conference of its kind since the U.S. Justice Department decided not to seek the death penalty against four of the defendants: Demetrius Fields, Clinton Lewis, Martin Lewis and Clarence Broady.

77. Petties Appears in Court on Weapons Charges -

Craig Petties, made his first court appearance this week on charges he had a weapon twice this past October while in the Memphis Federal Correctional Institution. (FCI)

78. 2010 -

Is it over yet? That may be the most frequently asked question in the New Year. “It” is the worst national economic recession since the Great Depression.

Accurately reading the indicators will not be easy. Some will predict the recession is about to end, just as new indicators point to continuing economic agony for thousands of Memphians.

79. AutoZone Wins Discrimination Suit -

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has lost a job discrimination lawsuit against AutoZone Inc. and must pay the company’s legal costs.

80. Ruling Expected In Police Association Injunction Request -

The Herenton administration and the Memphis Police Association already are in court and contract negotiations between the two are just getting started.

U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays soon could issue a ruling on a request by the union for an injunction permitting its president, Lt. Gene Hulley, to take part in the bargaining. Mays heard Thursday from both sides in the federal lawsuit.

81. Platinum Plus Owner Sentenced -

It might have been one of the more unique statements ever made during a sentencing hearing in Memphis federal court.

"I didn't realize the girl shows were prostitution. But I should have," strip club owner Ralph Lunati told U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays last week in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

82. Lunati Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison -

The owner of the city’s best known strip club owners was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison on a federal conspiracy charge.

Ralph Lunati pleaded guilty in November to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering. Under terms of the plea deal, Lunati could have withdrawn his guilty plea had U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays sentenced him to more than 18 months.

83. Lunati Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison -

The owner of the city’s best known strip club was sentenced today to 18 months in prison on a federal conspiracy charge.

Ralph Lunati pleaded guilty in November to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering. Under terms of the plea deal, Lunati could have withdrawn his guilty plea had U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays sentenced him to more than 18 months.

84. Lee Case Twists and Turns -

Within the past few days, each side in the pending federal corruption case against former Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division president Joseph Lee has considerably upped the ante.

First, prosecutors altered their trial strategy in a major way, returning to the grand jury to procure separate indictments Jan. 7 against Lee and his original co-defendant, former Memphis City Councilmember Edmund Ford. They did so to satisfy a federal judge's ruling last month asserting that bribery and corruption charges against both men had been improperly combined into one 11-count indictment.

85. Still in the Game: While He Heads Into Semi-Retirement, Gibson Remains Active -

Walking into Gene Gibson's office is kind of like entering an exhibit in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Visitors are greeted by a Tom Pagnozzi jersey with a personalized message and signature by the former St. Louis Cardinals catcher, who happens to be one of Gibson's best friends.

86. Local Attorneys Get Turn as Judge, Jury -

Starting over is the theme that fills every corner of David S. Kennedy's courtroom.

He is chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee, which each year hears more than 20,000 pleas from debtors looking for a financial fresh start.

87. Archived Article: Law Focus (haltom) - Association takes time to honor heroic lawyers Association takes time to honor heroic lawyers By Bill Haltom Special to The Daily News On June 20, the largest crowd ever for a Memphis Bar Association event assembled in the Continental Ballroom of th...

88. Archived Article: Hops (bott) - By LAURIE JOHNSON Florida-based restaurant and microbrewery to open By LAURIE JOHNSON The Daily News Construction is underway on a Hops Restaurant Bar & Brewery at 7065 Winchester Road in southeast Shelby County. The restaurant, which is expecte...