The paper details the planned New Year's Day activities of Russian leaders, including Boris Yeltsin, Mikhail Ghorbachev, and Vladimier Putin. Then it gets weird: "Russian oligarchs plan to repeat last years festivities. In the very beginning of 2006 they joined an Arab sheikh on board his luxurious plane. They traveled to the Antarctic in a company of US singer Tina Turner. For 2007 they are to board the Flying Titanic too to enjoy a pool, a game of bowling and super first-class dinner in a plane restaurant. Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Justin Timberlake will be entertaining the VIPs during the flight. The powers-that-be will land in Iceland where they will be comfortably accommodated in a castle of ice surrounded by the scenery from The Lord of the Rings movie. The luxury plane will be carrying 160 passengers in total. The cheapest ticket for only three days costs 125,000 euros. The most expensive one is evaluated at 700,000 euros."
So if we are to believe Pravda, our own JT is going be flying to Iceland on a Russian plane in the company of crackhead Whitney Houston and nutso Mariah Carey, and while on the plane, they'll be entertaining Russian gangsters?
We're not making this up, but maybe Pravda is.
The event will take place outside the Federal Plaza, 167 N Main St.
How many more soldiers do we have to lose from Tennessee before we have an exit strategy with a timeline that starts now? said Jacob Flowers, director of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. "People will gather at the vigil holding signs that say 'How Many More?' and 'Support Our Troops. Bring Them Home.'
For more information, contact Flowers at email@example.com.
Well, screw those people. I say New Year's resolutions are for suckers who don't have the intestinal fortitude to self-edit on any day of the year that isn't January 1st. And let's not kid ourselves: January Firsters never keep their resolutions anyway. Just like Bono said: "Nothing changes on New Year's day."
But New Year's Eve embraces our human failings and rewards those who don't kid themselves. It's the Dionysian celebration of all that is good and sincere about not making resolutions. It's a parade of vices; even if your only vice is not getting to bed at a reasonable hour, you're already guilty. It's the indulging in behaviors that polite society says should be given up or performed in moderation the next day.
So this New Year's Eve, resolve to give up resolutions. Luckily, there's plenty of folks in the Mid-South prepared to help you do so. ...
Looking for something to do for New Year's? Read the rest of Greg Akers' cover story, "Breaking With Tradition."
At any rate, the Iraq War came in at number one. No surprise there. But at number 14? Memphis' own Isaac Hayes, who Mad thinks was dumb for quitting South Park.
Right. Because before South Park, Isaac Hayes was, like, nothing. Except for those gold records, that Oscar, all those songs he wrote, his humanitarian efforts, etc.
Read Mad's entire list here.
Oh, and Happy Holidays!
Autophile Web site Jalopnik has a screen shot of the pairing here, and expressed surprise that the prestige automaker would choose this, uh, product to attach its name to:
Thats right, theyre going for life, liberty, and the pursuit of kids looking to catch a glimpse of JTs banana in a box and with a very peculiar vehicle. As you can see from the picture above, its the DTS the biggest of the big sedans Caddy sells. Maybe the text under the video about giving the biggest gift of all doesnt mean anything in a box, but rather giving someone a Cadillac style gift?
Either that, or it has something to do with Joe Cooper. (One commenter notes that Hummer is also a sponsor of the clip. Write your own joke here.)
The article then goes on to point out some of the highlights of "Memphis," including the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Cooter's Place, a "Dukes of Hazzard" museum.
Dont wait until Christmas Day to find out! Take the Naughty or Nice? quiz designed by local PR firm Carpeter|Sullivan|Sossaman to find out just how darling or devilish youve been this year.
Using the time-tested Memphis practices of cronyism, strong-arming the state Senate, turning low-income Ford voters into revenue-generating customers, and -- according to a new federal indictment -- corruption, Ford helped turn UAHC around.
By 2002, UAHC was enrolling thousands of new members, most of them coming from Tennessee's TennCare plan. Its headquarters was still in Detroit, but its business was in Memphis and West Tennessee. Operating as OmniCare, the CEO was Ford's friend Osbie Howard, who was city of Memphis treasurer from 1992 to 1995 under Mayor Willie Herenton and Herenton's campaign treasurer in 1999. Another key executive was Stephanie Mebane Dowell, formerly Herenton's administrative assistant and later legislative director for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare until 2001. ...
No such luck for our local NBA team.
Memphis Grizzlies Ask for Two Weeks Off To Practice reads a recent headline in The Onions online edition. The story begins, In order to improve their 3-10 record, the last-place Memphis Grizzlies requested permission from NBA officials yesterday to take two weeks off so that they may practice their ball-handling skills, lay-ups, and passing.
Actually, the Grizzlies record right now is 6-20, so weve actually done TWICE as well (or twice as bad, depending on how you look at it) as The Onion reports. If you want to read the whole story which might have more truth to it than Grizzlies fans want to admit go here:
The crown and model will be put up for auction on eBay on January 8, 2007, to coincide with Elvis' birthday.
For those who don't want this particular crown, there are other dental options, such as having Elvis' image tattooed onto your own crown.
It seems possible, based on the indictments of Edmund Ford and Rickey Peete released late Tuesday afternoon as they sat in the Memphis City Council chambers voting on measures and doing business as usual.
The indictments include new information not included in the federal criminal complaint that was made public on November 30th. That was the same day, according to the indictments, that Cooper wired up as usual met separately with Ford and Peete.
"Rickey Peete met Cooper at Peete's office," the indictment says. "Peete told Cooper that he had been warned that Cooper was cooperating with the authorities and that he did not believe this."
Cooper left $2,500 in the bathroom for Peete anyway, but the FBI pulled the plug later that day. A criminal complaint, according to former United States attorney Hickman Ewing Jr., is used when the government fears that evidence will be destroyed or someone will flee. Given Peete's suspicions, that seems likely in this case. For at least four months, Peete and Cooper had been dealing carefully with each, passing notes and making veiled references to "tips" and "pictures" when discussing payoffs. On top of that, Cooper's reputation for sleazy behavior was well established from his 30-year career in politics, mostly on the fringe. He is cooperating with the FBI in hopes of getting lenience after being arrested for money laundering for drug dealers in his job as a salesman at Bud Davis Cadillac.
The new information involves payments to get Peete and Ford to use their influence to remove John Shepherd as chairman of the board of adjustment, an important zoning board followed closely by developers.
Shepherd, a real estate appraiser who lives in Collierville, said he learned of the scheme to try to replace him this week. The board of adjustment was scheduled to meet Wednesday. John Branston
Memphis magazine is looking for images to use in an upcoming issue, and is asking local shutterbugs to submit their wok for consideration. Photographers whose images are chosen will be paid and their work will appear in the February issue of the magazine.
Here are the requirements: All images must be high resolution (minimum of 300 dpi) and must be owned by the person submitting them, or with written consent by the photographer. Film photos will be returned after scanning. To submit images, send a lo-res version here. If your photos are selected, you will be notified by e-mail. No calls please, and good luck!
City Council members Rickey Peete and Edmund Ford were indicted on federal bribery charges Tuesday.
The indictments were released as Peete and Ford attended a council meeting across the plaza from the federal building. They had previously been named in a criminal complaint on November 30th. The indictment says Joe Cooper paid $8,900 to Ford and $14,500 to Peete. Cooper is cooperating with the government in hopes of getting leniency on a drug case.
Peete and Ford allegedly sold their influence to help a developer win approval for a planned development and a billboard near Interstate 240. The federal grand jury meets again Wednesday.
The complete press release from the U.S. Attorneys office follows:
United States AttorneyWestern District of Tennessee
800 Federal Office Building Memphis, Tennessee 38103 Ph: (901) 544-4231 Fax: (901) 544-4230 TTY: (901) 544-3054
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2006 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: CONTACT: Leigh Anne Jordon (901) 544-4231
Memphis, TN - David Kustoff, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, My Harrison, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Memphis Division, and Andrew Dimond, Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA's Memphis Resident Office, announced the indictments of Memphis City Councilmen Rickey Peete and Edmund Ford, who are charged with bribery offenses. These defendants were previously charged in complaints unsealed on November 30, 2006.1 The cases were developed as part of Operation Mainstreet Sweeper.
As alleged in the indictments, Rickey Peete and Edmund Ford are members of the Memphis City Council. The indictments allege that, in exchange for their assistance in influencing City Council votes on certain matters, Peete and Ford received cash payments from Joseph Cooper ("Cooper"). According to the indictments, Cooper assisted individuals who had interests in matters pending before the Memphis City Council. The indictments allege that, in August 2006, Cooper agreed to assist federal agents in investigations with the
See prior press release: Complaints Unsealed Against Memphis City Councilmen Rickey Peete and Edmund Ford and Former Shelby County Commission Candidate Joe Cooper (Nov. 30, 2006).
hope that this cooperation will be taken into account in the disposition of a pending federal criminal case against Cooper. As part of this cooperation and under the supervision of federal agents, Cooper made the payments to Peete and Ford from August 30, 2006, through November 30, 2006, that are alleged in the indictments.
The indictment against Peete alleges that Cooper had an ongoing relationship with Peete whereby Cooper periodically made cash payments for Peete's influence. The indictment against Ford alleges that Cooper had an ongoing relationship with City Council member Ford whereby Ford regularly supported proposals backed by Cooper. According to the indictment, Cooper performed favors for Ford, including assisting in Ford's acquisition of a Cadillac with financing in the name of a third person, although Ford was responsible for making the payments. In addition, according to the indictment, Cooper assisted Ford in obtaining a loan to remodel his mortuary.
According to the indictments, Cooper made the following cash payments to Peete and Ford to help secure City Council approval for a real estate development and a billboard alongside Interstate 240:
On or about August 30, 2006, paid $3,000 to Ford.
On or about October 2, 2006, paid $1,900 to Ford.
On or about September 12, 2006, paid $3,000 to Peete.
On or about September 20, 2006, paid $4,000 to Peete.
On or about October 4, 2006, paid $5,000 to Peete.
In addition, according to the indictment against Ford, on or about October 27, 2006, Cooper paid $2,000 to Ford in exchange for his vote and his support in overturning a portion of the sign ordinance.
In addition according to the indictments against Peete and Ford, on or about November 30, 2006, Cooper paid $2,500 to Peete and $2,000 to Ford in exchange for their support in placing on the City Council meeting agenda an item concerning the reappointment of the chairman of the Board of Adjustments.
The total of the payments allegedly received by Ford total $8,900. The total of the payments allegedly received by Peete total $14,500.
The indictments against Peete and Ford charge violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) based on the receipt of cash bribes. Section 1951 provides in relevant part that:
(a) Whoever in any way or degree obstructs, delays, or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce, by robbery or extortion or attempts or conspires so to do, or commits or threatens physical violence to any person or property in furtherance of a plan or purpose to do anything in violation of this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both. ....(b)(2) The term "extortion" means the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.
The penalties for a violation of section 1951 are a maximum prison term of 20 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000 and a term of supervised release of not more than 3 years.
The indictments also charge that Peete and Ford violated 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B). Under this statute, it is a crime for an agent of a local governmental agency that receives more than $10,000 in Federal assistance in a year to solicit or accept a bribe in connection with a transaction or series of transactions of that agency involving any thing of value of $5,000 or more. The penalties for a violation of section 666(a)(1)(B) are a maximum prison term of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000 and a term of supervised release of not more than 3 years.
These indictments result from multi-agency cooperation in a series of investigations. The affidavit supporting the complaint against Cooper alleges that the case against him arose from a long-running narcotics investigation that has already resulted in indictments charging 26 defendants. Those charged in the other cases include a Shelby County Deputy Sheriff and a Shelby County Deputy Jailer.2
The investigation of Cooper and the related investigations of drug dealers were conducted by the Memphis Resident Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. The investigations of Peete and Ford -- which as alleged in the indictments utilized Cooper's assistance -- were conducted by the FBI's Memphis Division, with assistance from the DEA and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tom Colthurst, Vivian Donelson and Larry Laurenzi, with the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
Operation Mainstreet Sweeper is a continuing investigation.
# # # # Note: Charges brought against a person through an indictment are accusations only. That person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. In addition, the fact
See prior press releases: Complaint Unsealed in Drug Conspiracy Case Charging Eight Defendants, Including a Shelby County Deputy (October 25, 2005); Complaint Filed Against Deputy Jailer Charging That She Stored Cocaine at Her Residence (December 6, 2005); Superseding Indictment Unsealed after Arrests in Cocaine and Marijuana Conspiracy Case (August 4, 2006).
that a matter is under investigation is not a reflection on the guilt or innocence of any person.