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VOL. 131 | NO. 82 | Monday, April 25, 2016

Daily Digest

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Two Measles Cases Reported in County

Shelby County Health Department officials announced two confirmed and unrelated cases of measles in the county.

The health department is urging residents to make sure their vaccinations are up to date and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of measles.

Because measles is highly contagious, the two cases have prompted the health department to continue working with area clinics and doctors’ offices to trace who may have had contact with the two people to minimize exposure by others.

They are advising those who had contact and have not been vaccinated to call a health care provider by phone to set up an appointment. The health department urges phone contact to avoid exposing other patients.

Adults who are unsure of their vaccination history can be vaccinated.

– Bill Dries

Judges Ban Two Bonding Companies

Seven of the 10 Shelby County Criminal Court judges have banned two Memphis bonding companies from writing bonds in their courts.

The action by the judges follows the April 15 indictments of executives with Memphis Bonding Co. and 24 Hour Bonding Company on theft and sales tax fraud charges.

In separate cases, the Shelby County grand jury indicted George Austin Hitt, president of Memphis Bonding Co., and Angela Bryant, manager of 24 Hour Bonding Co.

They are specifically accused of failing to report thousands of bonds to the state and not paying the $12 state tax levied on each of the bonds.

The charges against Hitt cover a 5 ½-year period and more than $250,000. The charges against Bryant span 2 1/2 years and involve more than $10,000.

The judges who suspended the ability of the two companies to write bonds in their courts are James Beasley Jr., Robert Carter, Chris Craft, John Campbell, Paula Skahan, Glenn Wright and James Lammey.

Criminal Court Judges Lee Coffee, Carolyn Blackett and Mark Ward were recused in the matter.

– Bill Dries

U of M to Award Teaching, Research

The University of Memphis Faculty Convocation luncheon will be held Friday, April 29, at noon in the University Center Fountain View Suite. The 2016 awards and honorees are:

• Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award – Dr. Roy Van Arsdale, Department of Earth Sciences. The Eminent Faculty Award is presented by the Board of Visitors to an individual who has made exceptional and sustained contributions to scholarly achievement, teaching and service, bringing honor and recognition to the university. This is the highest distinction given to a faculty member by the university.

• Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Awards – Dr. Reginald Martin, Department of English; Dr. Charles Crawford, Department of History; Dr. Sharon Stanley, Department of Political Science; and Dr. David Freeman, Department of Biological Sciences.

• Alumni Association Distinguished Research Awards:

Distinguished Research in Science, Engineering and Mathematics – Dr. Mohamed Laradji, Department of Physics and Materials Science

Distinguished Research in Social Sciences, Business and Law – Dr. James Murphy, Department of Psychology

Distinguished Research in the Humanities – Dr. Stephen Tabachnick, Department of English

Distinguished Achievement in the Creative Arts – Sarah Brown, Department of Theatre and Dance

Excellence in Engaged Scholarship – Dr. Charles Santo, Department of City and Regional Planning

• Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Award – Dr. Denis Grele, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; and Joanne Rhodes, Department of Physics and Materials Science. The Briggs Award recognizes teaching excellence at the undergraduate level and overall commitment to undergraduate education. Established in 1996, it is named for the founder of Welcome Wagon International.

– Don Wade

Vacation Express' Cancun Flight Resumes

Vacation Express will resume its nonstop weekly service between Memphis International Airport and Cancun International Airport starting May 23.

The Memphis-Cancun flight runs between May 23 and Aug. 1 with flights departing from MEM on Monday and returning Sunday as part of Vacation Express’ six-night package.

The weekly flight is operated by AeroMexico on 159-seat, Boeing 737-800 planes.

“The addition of a larger plane shows that Vacation Express is committed to our market, and increases the number of passengers who can take advantage of this exciting destination,” said Pace Cooper, chairman of the board for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

– Madeline Faber

UTHSC Professor Wins Award for Novel

Memphis writer Jim Bailey was recently named among the winners of the Benjamin Franklin Awards for his debut novel, “The End of Healing.”

The novel won a Silver Medal in the Popular Fiction category of the Benjamin Franklin Awards, presented during a gala awards ceremony held earlier this month in Salt Lake City.

An annual awards competition named in honor of one of the country’s most cherished publisher-printers, the Benjamin Franklin Awards recognizes excellence in independent publishing.

“The End of Healing” tells the story of a young doctor’s journey through the underworld of the health care industry in search of true healing. Bailey is a fellow in the American College of Physicians and professor of medicine and preventive medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

– Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 50 389 12,758
MORTGAGES 21 248 8,003
BUILDING PERMITS 295 813 29,934
BANKRUPTCIES 35 164 6,064