Wednesday, October 17, 2001



Posted By on Wed, Oct 17, 2001 at 4:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Bill Frist, who as the Senate's only physician has taken the lead in communicating information about the anthrax menace through the media, be came a victim of the hazardous bacterium himself on Wednesday -- at least in the sense than his Memphis office was evidently targeted by a letter said to contain the Anthrax spore.

Also reporting the receipt of suspicious packages Wednesday were Shelby County Mayor Jim Rout and U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. in his Washington office. Both officials said they would have their mail specially bagged for inspection by the FBI or other law enforcement authorities.

Nick Smith, a spokesperson for Frist, said that the Senator's office in Memphis received in Wednesday afternoon's mail what appeared, when opened by a staff member, to be a dosed envelope.

Further details were not immediately available and will be reported as soon as they are.

The Senator, who was in Washington, where offices began closing Wednesday in response to the Anthrax scare, has by now appeared on virtually every political news or talk show, regular or cable, discussing the disease and the various means for responding to it.

Frist later issued a statement on the receipt in Memphis of what he called "a suspicious package." He called the circumstances "a deplorable act, which I'm hopeful turns out to only be a hoax." After noting that the FBI was now in charge of investigating the package, Frist said that he would remain "in touch with authorities to ensure that the appropriate actions are taken to ensure the safety of those individuals affected."

Tuesday, October 16, 2001



Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2001 at 4:00 AM

After weeks of intense speculation, it’s about to become official. Shelby County Pubic Defender A C Wharton will formally announce his candidacy for county mayor at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning at The Peabody. News of Wharton’s taking the plunge comes only days after he gave serious second thoughts to holding back from running, according to sources connected with at least the periphery of the campaign. Further into the hard core of Wharton’s support, however, were the likes of Bobby Lanier, the longtime administrative aide to both former county mayor Bill Morris and incumbent mayor Jim Rout and an early enthusiast for a Wharton candidacy after Rout declared some weeks back he would vacate the seat. Lanier served ultimately as a decisive source of support and encouragement for the well-liked and highly regarded (but traditionally cautious) man known almost universally in political, legal, and governmental circles as A C. Wharton’s entry would seem to virtually complete a Democratic field that already includes Bartlett banker Harold Byrd, State Senator Jim Kyle, and State Representative Carol Chumney. None of these have so far given any indication that they’re thinking of withdrawing. The main remaining mystery is the identity of the mainstream Republican contender. At least two public figures are still strongly considering making the race-- District Attorney General Bill Gibbons and lawyer and former Memphis city councilman John Bobango. J.B.; J.B.

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