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VOL. 132 | NO. 219 | Friday, November 3, 2017

Daily Digest

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Tigers’ Ferguson Finalist For Johnny Unitas Award

University of Memphis senior quarterback Riley Ferguson has been named one of the 10 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm.

Ferguson is one of two quarterbacks from the American Athletic Conference as a finalist, joining USF’s Quinton Flowers.

Other finalists include: J.T. Barrett, Ohio State; Ryan Finley, North Carolina State; Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State; Kenny Hill, TCU; Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma; Trace McSorley, Penn State; Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State; and Logan Woodside, Toledo.

Ferguson has completed 191-of-320 passes for 2,583 yards and 23 touchdowns this season. His 322.9 passing yards per game is seventh in the nation and the 23 TDs tie him for the fifth-most in the FBS.

The Matthews, North Carolina, native set the Tigers’ single-game record with 471 passing yards (33-of-53 passing) in a win over Houston. The 400-yard passing performance was the third of his career, a program record. It was also the 11th 300-yard passing game of his career, which is second only to Paxton Lynch’s 12. Ferguson moved into the No. 3 spot on the Tigers all-time passing yardage chart, with 6,281 yards.

Ferguson also tied the program’s single-game record with seven passing TDs in the win over UConn. He sits in third with 55 career passing TDs. Ferguson set the single-season passing TD record with 32 last season.

Candidates for the Golden Arm Award – which has been presented at the end of each college football season since 1987 – must be college seniors or fourth-year juniors on schedule to graduate with their class. In addition to the accomplishments on the field, candidates are judged on their character, citizenship, scholastic achievement and leadership qualities.

The 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, Dec. 8, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Past winners include Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997); Carson Palmer (USC, 2002); Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003); Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006); Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007); Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009); Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2011); Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014); Connor Cook (Michigan State, 2015); and last year’s winner, Deshaun Watson, Clemson.

– Don Wade

West Cancer Center Adds Integrative Oncology Division

West Cancer Center has added an integrative oncology division headed by Dr. Sylvia Richey, who has been a dedicated medical oncologist with the center for more than 12 years.

West Cancer Center CEO Erich Mounce said the launch is one more step toward West becoming a fully comprehensive cancer center.

While continuing to see breast cancer patients at West Cancer Center’s Memphis location, Richey will be building a program that complements the center’s mission to provide “comprehensive, compassionate care” for cancer patients.

The concept of integrative oncology involves combining conventional treatments with supportive therapies. West will supplement current survivorship and palliative care services with new programs like art therapy, music therapy and acupuncture.

– Andy Meek

Writers’ Block Planning ‘Literary Pop-Up’ Dec. 2

The Writers’ Block is launching its first Literary Pop-Up Shop on Dec. 2 at the Singleton Community Center auditorium, 7266 Third Road in Bartlett.

The book fair will bring together established and new authors from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Dallas, Texas.

The Writers’ Block is the brainchild of Yvonne James, who published her first book in June 2016. Frustrated with the lack of opportunities to promote and sell her book on a consistent basis, and with paying vendor fees, she started Writers’ Block to help local authors better connect with audiences.

More than two dozen authors/exhibitors will be part of the Dec. 2 event, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. Many genres will be represented, and autographed copies of books will be available.

Visit thewritersblock-tn.com for more information.

– Don Wade

Murders Down, Violent Crime Up in Memphis, Shelby County

A rise in aggravated assaults have the violent crime rates in both Memphis and Shelby County up more than 8 percent through the first three quarters of 2017, but the murder rate is down compared to a year ago.

From January through September 2017, the murder rate in Memphis is 9.7 percent lower compared to the same nine months of 2016 and is down 17.6 percent across Shelby County, according to preliminary figures from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) released by the University of Memphis Public Safety Institute and the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.

Among all major violent crimes (murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults), the biggest jump was in the aggravated assault category during the first three quarters, with an 11.2 percent increase countywide and an 11.9 percent rise within Memphis. The higher volume of aggravated assaults kicked up the overall violent crime rate by 8.5 percent in Shelby County and 9.4 percent in Memphis, the statistics show.

“After a tough 2016, we’ve seen a significant drop in deadly violence, which is encouraging,” Bill Gibbons, president of the crime commission and executive director of the Public Safety Institute, said in a release. “Obviously, the increase in aggravated assaults is of concern. An aggravated assault can often easily turn into a death or serious injury.”

Among all major property crimes (burglaries, auto thefts and other felony thefts), the largest increase was in the auto theft category, with a 21 percent increase in all of Shelby County and an even higher 24.8 percent increase in Memphis compared to last year.

Reported burglaries remained fairly steady, up less than 1 percent, crime commission statistics show.

The rate of reported domestic violence incidents also was higher in the first three quarters – by 6.3 percent in the entire county and 8.1 percent in Memphis.

Factoring in 54 different categories of crime tracked by the TBI, the overall crime rate was up 6.6 percent countywide and 7.7 percent in Memphis.

– Daily News staff

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