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VOL. 131 | NO. 96 | Friday, May 13, 2016

Daily Digest

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Gibbons Leaving Haslam Administration Cabinet

Tennessee Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons of Memphis is leaving the post at the end of the summer, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced on May 11.

When Gibbons took the post in 2011 as Haslam took office, he retained his position as a leader of Operation: Safe Community, the anti-crime strategy adopted by local law enforcement leaders in 2006 that relies on massing police in statistical crime hot spots.

Gibbons is a former Shelby County District Attorney General, Memphis City Council member and Shelby County commissioner. His resignation is effective Aug. 31.

– Bill Dries

Rhodes College Graduates Largest Class in History

Rhodes College will graduate its largest class with a Friday, May 13 baccalaureate program on campus followed by a commencement on Saturday.

The Rhodes Class of 2016 is 515 students from 46 states and 10 countries.

The Rhodes tradition is to have a baccalaureate speaker instead of a commencement speaker. The speaker for the baccalaureate service is Diana Chapman Walsh, president emerita of Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

Both programs will be streamed live from the Rhodes website, www.rhodes.edu.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Women’s Basketball Staff Holding Summer Camps

University of Memphis women’s basketball coach Melissa McFerrin will be offering her Hoops School at Memphis in June.

McFerrin, who will be entering her ninth season in 2016-17, and her staff are offering three basketball instruction sessions: Team Camp on June 10, Elite Camp on June 11 and Day Camp from June 20-23.

Registration is available online at www.coachmcferrin.com. For questions on registration and further camp details, email mmhoopsschool@hotmail.com or call 901-678-4120.

Also, McFerrin has hired Danielle O’Banion as associate head coach. O’Banion was on McFerrin’s Memphis staff from 2008-12 before becoming the women’s head coach at Kent State.

– Don Wade

Memphis Planned Parenthood Launches Speaker Series

Planned Parenthood of Greater Memphis Region will kick off a new series of events next week. Each event in the Beers with Pioneers series will feature an icon of the reproductive justice and women rights movement in conversation with one of her current contemporaries.

The first event on May 17 will feature Jocie Wurzburg and Cara McLane and will be moderated by Planned Parenthood board member Tami Sawyer.

Wurzberg founded the Memphis Chapter of the Panel of American Women, an organization that worked to improve race relations in Memphis. Her efforts with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission helped pass the Tennessee Human Rights Act, the state’s first anti-discriminiation law covering employment, housing and public accomodations.

In 1984, she opened Memphis’ first mediation firm and names Shelby County Government and the U.S. Postal Service among her current clients.

McLane is co-founder of Lady Parts Justice, an organization that uses humor to educate people about the political process and threats to women’s rights. She is active within PPGMR and leads a community action team. Last year, McLane was named one of PPGMR’s volunteers of the year.

The free event kicks off at 6 p.m. at Amurica, 410 N. Cleveland. The remaining Beer with Pioneers presentations will be held on June 24, July 24 and August 23.

- Madeline Faber

Baptist Taps CEO For Crittenden County Hospital

Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. has named Brian Welton as CEO and administrator of the hospital the system is building in Crittenden County.

Welton came to Baptist as a Frank S. Groner Administrative Fellow. After completing his fellowship, he served as an assistant administrator at Baptist Golden Triangle for a year and a half. From there, he became an operations director for Baptist Medical Group, where he spent a year and a half managing physician offices in Columbus, Miss., and Memphis.

He will continue in his current role with Baptist Medical Group as he transitions to administrator closer to the completion of the new Crittenden County hospital.

Construction crews will break ground on the $25 million Crittenden County hospital later this year that Baptist will build and operate. The hospital is expected to open in early 2018.

– Andy Meek

US Postal Carrier Sentenced On Drug Conspiracy Charges

A U.S. Postal Service mail carrier has been sentenced for conspiring to distribute oxycodone and marijuana through the mail, according to Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

Frederick Burton, 52, of Memphis, had been employed as a mail carrier since 2001.

According to prosecutors, between late 2013 and the spring of 2014 Burton arranged with the leaders of a drug trafficking organization to have express mail packages containing controlled substances mailed to addresses on his mail route. In exchange for cash, Burton would divert those packages to members of the drug trafficking organization.

Law enforcement investigators captured surveillance more than two dozen times which showed Burton diverting packages to people off of his assigned postal route. A conservative estimate revealed that Burton distributed more than 800 kilograms of marijuana and oxycodone, Stanton’s office said.

In February, Burton pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute oxycodone, and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute marijuana.

Burton was sentenced to five years in prison.

– Daily News staff

Shelby Farms Park Kids Camps Start in June

Shelby Farms Park will off its nature camp (grades K-2) and adventure camp (grades 3-6) to connect kids to the park through high-adventure fun and hands-on learning. Activities include canoeing, archery lessons, environmental education and more.

The first nature camp runs June 13-17 and the second from June 27-July 1. The first adventure camp is June 6-10 and the second June 20-24.

Equestrian camps (grades 1-7) are from June 6-10, June 13-17, June 20-24 and June 27-July 1.

Park members get a discount on all camps.

Go to http://www.shelbyfarmspark.org/camps for more information about times and pricing or to register.

– Don Wade

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