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VOL. 133 | NO. 112 | Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Daily Digest

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US Attorney’s Office to Get 2 New Federal Prosecutors

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee will be getting two new prosecutors as part of a national increase of 311 new assistant U.S. attorneys announced Monday, June 4, by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Michael Dunavant, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, said one of the new positions will work on violent crime cases and the other on civil enforcement cases. The office got two new prosecutors late last year to work on violent crime cases in the Memphis office and the Jackson office.

“Now, with this additional violent crime prosecutor position, we can continue to increase our caseloads in the area of firearms, gangs and violent crimes in Memphis and across West Tennessee,” Dunavant said in a written statement. “ Likewise, with the allocation of the new Civil ACE position, our office will be better positioned to affirmatively litigate cases in the growing areas of health care fraud, elder abuse, nursing home complaints and prescription opioid diversion.”

– Bill Dries

Former US Atty. Laurenzi Joins Baker Donelson

Former U.S. Attorney Lawrence Laurenzi has joined Baker Donelson law firm as of counsel.

Laurenzi, a career federal prosecutor with more than 35 years of experience in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Tennessee, is joining the firm’s government enforcement and investigations group.

The group defends businesses and executives in investigations and prosecutions. The Baker Donelson group is led by Joe Whitley, former U.S. attorney in Georgia as well as former general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Laurenzi served as U.S. attorney from 2008 to 2010. He was also acting U.S. attorney three times. When he retired earlier this year, Laurenzi was serving as first assistant U.S. attorney. Before that, he had been the office’s criminal chief.

– Bill Dries

U of M Board of Trustees, Committees to Meet June 6

The University of Memphis board of trustees and its committees are set to meet Wednesday, June 6, in the University Center on the main campus.

Committee meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the members scheduled to discuss programming proposals, review reports from various divisions, and approve recommendations to be taken to the board for action. Members also will meet in executive session to discuss audit and litigation issues.

Committee and board meeting agenda items include: new academic program proposals, tenure and promotions, the university’s operating budget and selection of the student trustee.

The schedule for the day is as follows: Academic, Research and Student Success Committee, 8:30 a.m.; Governance and Finance Committee, 9:45 a.m.; Audit Committee, 11 a.m.; and the full board of trustees meeting at 1:30 p.m. The full board meeting will be held in the ballroom on the third floor of the University Center.

For more information, contact board secretary Melanie Murry at mmurry@memphis.edu or 901-678-2155.

– Don Wade

Moody’s Reaffirms MSCAA Bond Rating, Ups Outlook

Credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority’s ratings outlook from “stable” to “positive” while affirming the airport’s general revenue bonds at A3.

This marks the second recent upgrade from one of the “Big Three” rating agencies after S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term and underlying rating for the MSCAA from “A-” to “A” last month.

“The ‘positive’ rating outlook from Moody’s mirrors our own optimism for the future of Memphis International Airport,” MSCAA president and CEO Scott Brockman said in a statement. “By maintaining a strong financial foundation, MEM is well-positioned to continue its recent strong growth trends.”

Memphis International Airport’s sustained positive trajectory of enplanements since fiscal year 2016 was cited by Moody’s as one of its primary factors in the upgrade, in addition to long-term growth prospects and cargo operations led by FedEx.

– Patrick Lantrip

Louisville Transfer Coming To Tigers Basketball Team

The University of Memphis men’s basketball team is adding a transfer from the University of Louisville: forward Lance Thomas.

Thomas will have to sit out next season per NCAA transfer guidelines, but will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Thomas, a 6-foot-8 forward from Norcross, Georgia, averaged 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in the 12 games he played for the Cardinals last season as a freshman. He did not appear in the U of M’s game against Louisville Dec. 16 at Madison Square Garden, which was part of the Gotham Classic.

Thomas played a season-high 10 minutes in games against Pittsburgh and Bryant. In the victory over Bryant, he posted career-highs in points (10) and rebounds (7).

In high school, he helped Norcross High to a 26-6 record his senior season and a berth in the Georgia Class 7A state championship game.

– Don Wade

Southwest Still Losing Business After Fatal Accident

The fatal accident on a Southwest Airlines flight this spring appears to be hurting the carrier’s business more than expected.

Southwest said Monday, June 4, that based on booking trends it expects a key revenue measure to fall 3 percent for the second quarter compared with last spring.

That’s at the outer limit of Southwest’s previous prediction of a 1 percent to 3 percent decline in revenue for every seat flown one mile.

Southwest says ticket sales are down because it reduced advertising after the April 17 accident. A woman was killed when an engine blew apart high over Pennsylvania and debris shattered the window next to her seat, pushing her partly through the opening. A federal investigation is underway.

It was the first accident-related death of a passenger in Southwest’s history.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 64 87 1,429
MORTGAGES 39 60 1,107