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Editorial Results (free)

1. Supreme Court Halts Use of Key Part of Voting Law -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A deeply divided Supreme Court threw out the most powerful part of the landmark Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, a decision deplored by the White House but cheered by mostly Southern states now free from nearly 50 years of intense federal oversight of their elections.

2. Sammons Elected Airport Board Chair -

Jack Sammons was elected Thursday, Jan. 17, as the new chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board of commissioners.

3. Events -

Chandler Reports will hold hands-on training seminars on its Shelby County Residential Service Wednesday, Aug. 8, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Memphis Area Association of Realtors computer lab, 6393 Poplar Ave. Cost is free. Contact Wendy Greenlaw at wendy@chandlerreports.com or 528-5273.

4. Events -

The Church Health Center/MIFA Farmers Market will be open Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Church Health Center Wellness, 1115 Union Ave. Visit churchhealthcenter.org.

5. Postal Closures Concern Election Officials, Voters -

Elections officials in several states are concerned that the closing of mail-processing centers and post offices could disrupt vote-by-mail balloting this year, a potential problem that has led some members of Congress to call for a delay until after the November elections.

6. Perl Re-Elected As MSCAA Chair -

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority re-elected its chairman and awarded two contracts Thursday, Nov. 17, at its monthly board of commissioners meeting.

Arnold Perl was unanimously voted by his peers for a five-year term as head of the MSCAA board, effective Jan. 1. The nominating committee included board vice chairman Jim Keras and commissioners Herb Hilliard, John Stokes, Jack Sammons, Ruby Wharton and Jon Thompson.

7. Perl Re-Elected as MSCAA Chair -

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority re-elected its chairman and awarded two contracts Thursday, Nov. 17, at its monthly board of commissioners meeting.

Arnold Perl was unanimously voted by his peers for a five-year term as head of the MSCAA board, effective Jan. 1. The nominating committee included board vice chairman Jim Keras and commissioners Herb Hilliard, John Stokes, Jack Sammons, Ruby Wharton and Jon Thompson.

8. Events -

The National Association of Women Business Owners will meet Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Crescent Club, 6075 Poplar Ave. A networking session will be held from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Local businessman Jon Thompson will speak on “Passion, Persistence and Patience.” Registration cost is $28. To register, visit nawbomemphis0809.eventbrite.com.

9. Events -

Methodist South Hospital Stroke Support Group will meet Monday, Aug. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the hospital, 1251 Wesley Drive, suite 141. Light refreshments will be served. For more information or to register, call Patricia Morgan at 516-3726 or visit www.methodisthealth.org.

10. Crafton Joins Memphis Goodwill As Director of Marketing, PR -

Kimberly Crafton has joined Memphis Goodwill Industries as director of marketing and public relations.

11. Bank of America to Pay Borrowers $108 Million -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bank of America will pay $108 million to settle federal charges that Countrywide Financial Corp., which it acquired nearly two years ago, collected outsized fees from borrowers facing foreclosure.

12. Social Media Icons -

It’s been 46 years since Marshall McLuhan declared, “The medium is the message.”

In that time, the visionary media critic’s five-word analysis has been debated and interpreted in ways even he likely couldn’t imagine.

13. Thompson Case Points To Shady Culture -

Former Shelby County Board of Commissioners member Bruce Thompson told a federal judge this week his behavior was “anomaly.”

14. Thompson Draws Six Month Prison Sentence - $10,000 Fine - Former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson was sentenced Wednesday to six months in prison and fined $10,000 for telling executive of a Jackson, Tn. construction company that he could influence votes on the Memphis school board.

Thompson was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jon P. McCalla on one count of mail fraud.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, he could have been sentenced to 21-27 months in prison.

But the plea deal from Thompson's February guilty plea would have allowed Thompson to withdraw his guilty plea if he was sentenced to more than a year and a day in jail. McCalla could have rejected it and the case would have moved toward trial. But McCalla accepted the recommendation of the prosecution and defense to depart from the guidelines.

"I'm here to accept responsibilities for my actions," Thompson told McCalla before the sentence was imposed. "I never expected to be here. ... My reputation has certainly taken a beating. I've spent 25 years building a reputation that's certainly been trashed."

Thompson termed his criminal behavior an "anomaly." His attorney, Leslie Ballin, argued for probation.

McCalla agreed Thompson's behavior in the case was "aberrant." But he also said a prison sentence was called for as a deterrent.

"This is a difficult concept. It only works if people know what happens," McCalla said, referring to the certainty of jail time.

Ballin argued in his position paper that Thompson’s sentence should be determined based on the $7,000 instead of the more than $200,000 Thompson was to be paid by the two construction firms. He also contended Thompson wasn’t using his office as a county commissioner to influence the school board.

“H&M suffered no loss and Thompson only received the fair market value of services rendered by way of his arms-length consulting contract,” Ballin wrote.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim DiScenza disagreed on the harm done even if Thompson didn’t influence the outcome.

“Whether or not campaign contributions were required to be given in order for H&M Construction Company to win contract approval is irrelevant, as it is uncontested that the defendant conveyed to H&M .... managers that said contributions would in fact be needed to influence the awarding of the contract,” DiScenza wrote in the government’s position paper submitted last week.

McCalla sided with DiScenza in his ruling and the higher amount was a factor in the prison sentence.

Thompson had no comment as he left the Federal Building Wednesday. The federal Bureau of Prisons will determine where and when he reports to prison.

Several dozen family members and friends were in the courtroom to show support. Rev. Craig Strickland, pastor of Hope Presbyterian Church, testified as a character witness for Thompson. He asked McCalla for leniency.

...

15. Thompson Gets Six Month Jail Sentence -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson was sentenced this evening to six months in prison and fined $10,000 for telling executive of a Jackson, Tn. construction company that he could influence votes on the Memphis school board.

Thompson was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jon P. McCalla on one count of mail fraud.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, he could have been sentenced to 21-27 months in prison.

But the plea deal from Thompson's February guilty plea would have allowed Thompson to withdraw his guilty plea if he was sentenced to more than a year and a day in jail. McCalla could have rejected it and the case would have moved toward trial. But McCalla accepted the recommendation of the prosecution and defense to depart from the guidelines.

"I'm here to accept responsibilities for my actions," Thompson told McCalla before the sentence was imposed. "I never expected to be here. ... My reputation has certainly taken a beating. I've spent 25 years building a reputation that's certainly been trashed."

Thompson termed his criminal behavior an "anomaly." His attorney, Leslie Ballin, argued for probation.

McCalla agreed Thompson's behavior in the case was "aberrant." But he also said a prison sentence was called for as a deterrent.

"This is a difficult concept. It only works if people know what happens," McCalla said, referring to the certainty of jail time.

Leaders of H&M Construction Company, who hired Thompson in 2004 to win a contract to build three Memphis city schools had some vocal misgivings about what Thompson was doing.

The reservations are detailed in an excerpt from an FBI report in what became a federal corruption case.

The FBI report excerpt, also known as a “302,” was filed as part of Ballin’s argument that Thompson should avoid prison time and instead be sentenced to probation.

Back and forth

Thompson admitted taking $7,000 in 2004 from two construction firms, H&M Construction and Salton-Fox Construction of Memphis. The payment was made to Thompson after he told the companies’ executives he could control votes on the Memphis City Schools board because of his position as a county commissioner. The companies, working in partnership, were seeking the construction contract.

Thompson quibbled about his precise role, according to the FBI report on its interview with James E. Campbell of H&M.

“I’m not lobbying, I’m consulting,” Campbell quoted Thompson as saying.

Campbell drew up a consulting contract, but Thompson never signed it.

Campbell had five meetings with Thompson when he spotted Thompson on H&M’s parking lot in Jackson talking with another company official, Dewitt Day. Thompson asked Campbell what he thought about making campaign contributions to four school board members.

“It looks like this for that,” Campbell remembered replying.

He said Thompson’s response was, “It’s legal to do.”

Campbell planned to write the campaign contribution checks and “it was agreed Thompson would deliver the checks to the recipients.”

“While writing the first check, Campbell decided it didn’t look good for H&M to give campaign contributions to these individuals,” the FBI report reads. “Campbell then thought about using H&M subcontractors to give the contributions but ultimately decided Day could give the $7,000 to his relatives in Memphis and have them deliver the contributions in their name.”

Day “grabbed” $7,000 and drove to Memphis, according to the FBI. His brother-in-law also didn’t like the looks of the money exchange and consulted attorney and former Memphis City Council member John Bobango.

“Bobango advised Day not to give these campaign contributions because H&M already had the (school board) votes to win approval,” the FBI 302 reads. Campbell told Thompson and others, including construction executive Kirby Salton, that the deal was off.

“Thompson and Salton went on to say that the four individuals would be disappointed and Campbell got the impression the ‘votes could go the other way,’” according to the report. It was Thompson’s conduct during the conference call that broke the law, Ballin conceded.

Campbell then wrote Salton a check for $7,000 and “never questioned Salton on whether he delivered the campaign contribution to the four individuals.”

Money differences

Ballin argued in his position paper that Thompson’s sentence should be determined based on the $7,000 instead of the more than $250,000 Thompson was paid by the two construction firms. He also contended Thompson wasn’t using his office as a county commissioner to influence the school board.

“H&M suffered no loss and Thompson only received the fair market value of services rendered by way of his arms-length consulting contract,” Ballin wrote.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim DiScenza disagreed on the harm done even if Thompson didn’t influence the outcome.

“Whether or not campaign contributions were required to be given in order for H&M Construction Company to win contract approval is irrelevant, as it is uncontested that the defendant conveyed to H&M .... managers that said contributions would in fact be needed to influence the awarding of the contract,” DiScenza wrote in the government’s position paper submitted last week.

McCalla sided with DiScenza in his ruling and the higher dollar amount was a factor in the prison sentence.

Salton and school board members Wanda Halbert, Sara Lewis, Willie Brooks and Hubon Sandridge all testified before the federal grand jury that indicted Thompson. Salton said publicly that he paid several thousand dollars to a campaign worker for Halbert, who has since been elected to the Memphis City Council. Halbert denied any knowledge of getting the cash but listed on an amended campaign finance report $2,000 that was lost.

DiScenza said in February that the four school board members mentioned by Thompson but never identified in court were not aware of the deal, and none has ever been charged with taking the money.

Thompson had no comment as he left the Federal Building this evening. The federal Bureau of Prisons will determine where and when he reports to prison.

...

16. Kiesewetter Wise’s Thompson Named Among Top 100 Labor Attorneys -

Tanja L. Thompson has been named among the nation’s Top 100 Labor Attorneys by the Labor Relations Institute for the second consecutive year.

Thompson is a member of Kiesewetter Wise Kaplan Prather PLC and is the only labor attorney in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi to receive this professional honor, which puts her in the top 1 percent of labor attorneys throughout the U.S.

17. Events -

The Engineers’ Club of Memphis Inc. will hold its weekly lunch meeting today at noon at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave. Jon Thompson, former director of “The Wonders Series,” will present “The Search for Amelia Earhart.” The cost is $12 and no reservations are required.

18. Events -

The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence will host “Telling Your Story: Communications for Nonprofits” today from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at The Assisi Foundation of Memphis Inc., 515 Erin Drive. For registration and cost information, visit www.npexcellence.org, call 684-6605 or e-mail adeberry@npexcellence.org.

19. Events -

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC will host a roundtable discussion titled “Trademark Law vs. the Internet” today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Baker Donelson’s office, 165 Madison Ave, 20th floor. The event is free and lunch will be provided. For more information or to register, contact Nicolette Bethel at 577-2328 or nbethel@bakerdonelson.com.

20. Thompson Pleads Guilty to Fraud -

Former Shelby County Board of Commissioners member Bruce Thompson pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal fraud charge in a corruption case involving a 2004 construction contract to build three Memphis city schools.

21. Thompson Pleads Guilty To Fraud -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson pleaded guilty today to a federal fraud charge in a corruption case involving the construction contract to build three Memphis city schools.

The plea came on Thompson’s first appearance before U.S. District Judge Jon P. McCalla on the corruption charges he was indicted on in November.

22. Thompson Trial Set for March 31 -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson's pending corruption trial appears to be on a fast track. U.S. District Jon P. McCalla this week set a March 31 trial date on the charges of extortion and mail fraud.

23. Thompson Proclaims Innocence While Prosecution Proceeds -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson's defense against public corruption charges could touch on some fundamental questions about the private business dealings of public officials.

Thompson turned himself in to the U.S. Marshals Service Wednesday, the day after a federal grand jury indicted him on one count of extortion and three counts of mail fraud.

24. Halle Investments Plans Upscale Germantown Subdivision -

14.33 acres near
Dogwood Road
Sale Amount: $3.2 million

Sale Date: June 27, 2006

Buyer: Halle Investment Co.

25. Halle Investment Co. BuysGermantown Property - Halle Investment Co. has purchased 14.33 acres in Germantown from Jon K. Thompson and Susan Taylor Thompson for $3.2 million. The parcel is part of four parcels totaling 26.82 acres owned by the Thompsons. Houses are on two of those parcels: a 5,935-

26. Smith Promoted to Thompson & Co.'s VP for Information Services -

Julian Smith has been named senior vice president of information services for Thompson & Co. Marketing Communications. He has been chief technology officer there for more than 10 years. Smith, who is a partner in the firm, joined the company in July 1995.

27. Archived Article: Newsmakers - Armstrong Allen Names New Recruitment Chair

Le Bonheur Names New HR Director

Karen Burks was named director of human resources for Le Bonheur Childrens Medical Center. Burks previously worked as director of clinical support for Healthsouth Reh...

28. Archived Article: Comm Briefs - Jon Thompson, head of an effort to recover Amelia Earharts plane, will speak at the May 28 Downtown Rotary Club meeting The Mid South Chapter of the American Red Cross will host a free Elementary Youth Leadership Conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jun...

29. Archived Article: Calendar - Calendar of events Nov

Calendar of events Nov. 19-Nov. 25

Nov. 19

Memphis Investors Group hosts Jeffrey Taylor of www.MrLandlord.com at the monthly meeting from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Holiday Inn Select-Mount Moriah, 2490 Mount Moriah Road. Me...

30. Archived Article: Comm Briefs - Two historic Memphis homes, the Mallory-Neely House at 652 Adams Ave

Downtown Memphis Rotary Club speakers for November include Jon Thompson, addressing the recovery of Amelia Earharts plane, Tuesday. Shelby County Mayor Jim Rout will issue his S...

31. Archived Article: Memos - Michele B Rhea and Ivy PLC announced the following addition and promotions: Buddy Dearman joined the firm; Emily Medlin and Andy Groscost, audit senior; Dave Erwin and Diane Thomasson, tax level II; and Erich Simpkins, audit level II. Stephanie Morg...

32. Archived Article: Tech Focus (emall) - By SUZANNE THOMPSON Attorney/affiliate realizing benefits from hyperlinks By SUZANNE THOMPSON The Daily News While brainstorming a method to make the Web site for his law office profitable, attorney David Sweeney ran across the term "affiliate....

33. Archived Article: Marketplace St - By SUZANNE THOMPSON Marketing in Spanish The growing local Hispanic population has paved the way for publications printed in Spanish By SUZANNE THOMPSON The Daily News Just a few years ago, Memphians might have thought the idea of there being a mark...

34. Archived Article: Weather Lead - By SUZANNE THOMPSON County adds to weather warning siren system By SUZANNE THOMPSON The Daily News Citizens in Shelby County who have lacked coverage by the countys severe weather warning system soon will be protected by a new electronic system. She...

35. Archived Article: Memos - Fred's Inc names Reier president John Reier has been named president of Freds Inc., effective May 1. He formerly was president and chief operating officer at Family Dollar Stores Inc. Reier also previously served as senior vice president of merchand...

36. Archived Article: Memos - Ralph B Ralph B. Lake, former executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Promus Hotel Corp., has become a member of Burch, Porter & Johnson. Other new members include William A. Carson II, Scott J. Crosby, Susan M. Clark and Todd...

37. Archived Article: Tech Focus1 - Pick a topic, any subject, and it can be found on the Internet Hes a soul man The Rev. Al Green takes his religious message global through Internet site By KATHLEEN BURT The Daily News Pick a topic, any subject, and it can be found on the Internet. ...

38. Archived Article: Memos - Thompson & Co Thompson & Co. has added three employees: Suzanne Gibson has joined the company as a senior account executive. She formerly was a marketing consultant. Gibson is a graduate of Robert Morris College. Janice Chu Kelly has joined ...

39. Archived Article: Titanic - By SUZANNE THOMPSON Titanic relic exhibit harbored in Pyramid By SUZANNE THOMPSON The Daily News The Titanic exhibition opens today at the Pyramid, and the exhibit could bring an estimated $50 million to the Memphis economy by the time it closes Sep...

40. Archived Article: Calendar - March 3 March 3 Educational Seminars Inc. will sponsor a notary public training seminar from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the East Memphis Hilton, 5069 Sanderlin Ave. The registration fee is $128. For more information, call (800) 303-5123. March 4 AAA ...

41. Archived Article: Milestones - The Society of Professional Journalists will hold its professional journalism awards luncheon Saturday at 11:30 a The Society of Professional Journalists will hold its professional journalism awards luncheon Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn...

42. Archived Article: Memos - 12/19 memos Alisa M. Goehring recently was installed as president of the Greater Memphis Legal Assistants Inc. Other officers include Faye Patterson, first vice president, education; Stacey Stephens, second vice president, membership; Debbie Burk, s...

43. Archived Article: Cultural Tourism - 12/4 jts cultural tourism Art, culture venues outdraw sports in Memphis Wonders series attracts the most; follows trend nationwide By JAMES SNYDER Culture lovers, take note. Sports fans, take heed. Artistic and cultural exhibits outdraw home games f...