Thursday, May 24, 2007

City Offers Money for Homicide Tips

Posted on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The city of Memphis has established a $100,000 reward fund to encourage individuals to come clean with information about certain homicide cases. If tips enable the Memphis Police Department to solve the murder mysteries, the person who provided the info will receive a portion of that fund.

The murders of Deryck DeShaun Davenport (23), Jack Lassiter (78), Marco Antonio Calero (35), Napoleon Yates (42), Calvin Riley (53), Cora Gatewood, (83), and Joey Lacey (age unknown) were chosen by police director Larry Godwin as crimes eligible for tip reward money.

Braunstein Convicted

Posted on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 4:00 AM

After a mere four hours of deliberation, a jury found Peter Braunstein guilty of the attack on a young ex-colleague in his former fashion-writing world. Braunstein's lawyers hoped that during the four-week trial Braunstein would be found not guilty by reason of insanity, but no such luck for the 43-year-old writer.

Posing as a firefighter on Halloween, 2005, Braunstein conned his way into a young woman's Manhattan apartment, where he proceeded to strip and torture the young woman for hours. Afterwards, Braunstein made a run from the law, and was eventually captured and arrested near the University of Memphis campus.

Read about the Braunstein trial here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

CODEPINK Exhibit Coming to Civil Rights Museum

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2007 at 4:00 AM

A traveling exhibit honoring U.S. soldiers, Iraqi civilians, and international journalists who have died in the Iraq War is coming to the National Civil Rights Museum’s courtyard on Saturday, May 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Titled “The CODEPINK Peace Ribbon,” the exhibit features more than 130 fabric panels hand-made by volunteers. The Memphis CODEPINK chapter will add a memorial panel for each of the seven local soldiers who have died in Iraq as of May 1, 2007, and a panel listing the names of all 72 Tennessee soldiers who have died since the war’s inception.

Since March 2005, the Peace Ribbon has been displayed in various cities from New York to Honolulu.

CODEPINK is a grassroots organization working to end war and promote social justice. For more information call 359-2652 or email

"Big Love" Gets Weird(er); Ginnifer Gets Swung

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2007 at 4:00 AM

If you’ve been watching the final season of The Sopranos, chances are you’ve seen the creepy, new Big Love teasers, with Memphis native Ginnifer Goodwin being pushed on a swing by one of her sister-wives’ teenaged sons.

The show has alluded to the fact that Margene, Goodwin’s character, was the Henricksons’ babysitter before she became a sister-wife, and if you’re interested in seeing how it happened, HBO has produced three pre-series vignettes.

The show itself returns June 11th, but the beginning mini-episodes will premiere May 28th on HBO On Demand. Shortly after, they’ll be available on

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to see how to make the babysitter your wife? That’s right up there with the roommate switch.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lance Bass on Panties, Justin, and Britney

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2007 at 4:00 AM

"You are here to express love for those you have lost and those who are battling HIV and not to throw your panties at Justin Timberlake and I'm honored to be here with you."

So said former JT bandmate Lance Bass as he prepared to lead an AIDS walk in New York City on Sunday. In an interview with Star Magazine, Bass shared more wit and wisdom about JT and Britney.

Memphis Children’s Theatre Festival Coming to McCoy

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Aspiring actors have long taken center stage at Rhodes College’s McCoy Theatre, but at 7:00 p.m. on May 25th and 27th, the thespians will be pint-sized. The second annual Memphis Children’s Theatre Festival is coming to McCoy. Children’s imaginations will be stimulated by theater performances, crafts, storytelling, readings by children’s author Erik Slangerup, and a puppet-making workshop by the Woods and Strings Theatre. For a complete schedule and ticket prices, visit the Voices of the South website.

Exxon-Mobil Rebrands Its Memphis Stores

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The things you learn on the Internets ... One thing we learned was that there is a website called

Another thing we learned was that all those "Tigermarts" (or whatever they're called now) around town (40 at last count) are going to be rebranded as "On the Run" stores.

Here's some more stuff we learned: As part of the conversion, On the Run is conducting the "Extreme Convenience Road Trip Giveaway." One winner will receive a road trip valued at $10,000 to any destination in the U.S. The prize includes trip planning, hotel accommodations, and ExxonMobil cash cards to cover any expenses along the way.

To further promote the Memphis-area On the Run conversion, the brand will be visible at several of Memphis' favorite events including Memphis Redbird games, Memphis in May International Festival, the National Civil Rights Museum's Freedom Awards and Grace Magazine's 10th Anniversary Gala and Sisterhood Showcase.

Gas up, people. Exxon needs the cheese.

Are You Crafty?

Posted on Tue, May 22, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Via HGTV is looking for Memphis-area crafters and 3D artists to appear in upcoming episodes of its series That's Clever!. ...

Producers from That's Clever will be in town next month to profile 18 craftspeople and artists. According to producer Erinn Eichinger, they're looking for artists working in all mediums, from glass and metal to paper, fiber and clay.

Priority will be given to artists who turn in their applications by June 8th. For more information, go to the That's Clever myspace page.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Memphis Zoo to Offer “Butterflies: In Living Color”

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 4:00 AM

People tend to abhor insects, but a rare exception to that rule will soon be fluttering around one area in Memphis. The Memphis Zoo is set to offer an exhibit, titled “Butterflies: In Living Color,” that will present a multitude of the dainty, colorful creatures.

According to, up to 1,000 butterflies comprised of 35 species will be shown in the exhibit. Viewers can also see 56 varieties of plants that the butterflies eat to preserve their energy in the Memphis heat.

The Special Members’ Preview is May 19-25, and the exhibit opens to the public May 26.

“Rosa Parks” Bill Passes in Tennessee

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The state legislature passed the so-called Rosa Parks Act last week. The new law removes criminal records for offenses committed during civil rights movement activities, including marches, sit-ins, and the disorderly conduct charges that stemmed from desegregating buses, lunch counters, and the like. The law would provide posthumous pardons as well.

Governor Phil Bredesen hasn’t signed the bill yet. Similar legislation passed in Alabama, where Parks still has a record for her 1955 arrest following her legendary refusal to move to the black seating section of a public bus.

Buzz Builds for Memphis' 50 Years of Stax Celebration

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 4:00 AM

As Memphis celebrates the founding of Stax Records in 1957, it’s getting some good press in prime national publications.

On Sunday, May 20th, in an article headlined “Celebrating a City’s 50-Year Groove,” The Washington Post outlined the various events scheduled for “Seven Days of Soul” running June 16 through the 22nd.

The story offers info about The Peabody, Beale Street, and downtown transportation, and drops in details about Soulsville exhibitions, including Isaac Hayes’ “peacock-blue” 1972 Superfly Cadillac Eldorado.

That's right, they're talkin' 'bout Shaft. (Shut yo' mouth.)

Eight Women Said "I Do" To Serial Bigamist From Memphis; Blame The Lord.

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 4:00 AM

(AP) - A traveling minister who served two years in prison on bigamy charges has been jailed again after at least four women said he proposed to them.

Officials also say there is no evidence that Memphis-born Bishop Anthony Owens, 35, divorced the eight wives he had married before going to prison.

A judge will decide whether Owens should go back to prison. Owens, who turned himself into the Gwinnett County jail April 30, declined to be interviewed. But his new fiancees aren't keeping quiet. Betty Dixon, 38, met him last March in a casino near Memphis. "He was a slick talker," the nurse said. "He told me God had sent him to me and I needed help."

Nurse Cheryl Selmon, 48, says Owens proposed to her last October. A month later, he proposed to Darlene Keeler, 42, a manager of a gospel group. Then he met 43-year-old Karen Ward, a mother of two young children, and proposed to her.

"He said God gave him a message that he was going to move my family to California for a better life," Ward said.

SNARK ALERT: Okay, we'd run more of this story but it's just too damn depressing. Ladies, ladies ... When a man comes up to you in a casino(!) and tells you he's on a mission from God, for craps' sakes, RUN. Do not give him money. Do not sell your property. Do not abandon your children. And for heavens sakes, do NOT marry the guy.

Sheesh. And if you really must read more, go here.

Shelby County Commission Passes Living Wage

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Employees of the county or those who contract with the county will soon see a raise. Today, the Shelby County Commission approved adoption of a living wage ordinance for the county.

The ordinance will mandate a $10 per hour wage for those working for the county or with companies that do contract work with the county so long as health insurance is provided. If health insurance is not provided, the ordinance requires the employer to pay $12 per hour. A similar ordinance was passed by the Memphis City Council last year.

Several commissioners expressed concerns over the ordinance’s effect on small business. Commissioner Mike Ritz called the ordinance a “nightmare for small business” because he fears employers who contract with the county will have to keep two sets of records — one for pay on county jobs and another for pay on other jobs. Ritz also expressed concern that some small businesses may fire employees to cut costs.

“Mr. Ritz, if you think the least-skilled workers are least deserving of a living wage, maybe you’ve never done the jobs I have as a janitor,” said Living Wage supporter Andrew Cohen during discussion of the ordinance. “I’ve spent my time picking up after people like you.”

Commissioner Steve Mulroy argued that active living wage ordinances in other cities have demonstrated few negative effects on small business.

In the end, when votes were cast, some commissioners showed support or opposition in creative ways. Deidre Malone gave a “resounding aye” while Henri Brooks opted for a “humanitarian aye.” Wyatt Bunker cast a “welfare state no” and Joyce Avery voiced a “conservative Republican no.” When Commission Chairman Joe Ford announced that the ayes have it, Living Wage campaign supporters clapped and shouted.

Said living wage supporter Joe Porter: “Passing this goes a long way in helping so many problems in this area that stem from poverty.”

—Bianca Phillips

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Buy Red West's House

Posted on Sun, May 20, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Before the Triple 6, there was the Memphis Mafia, Elvis Presley’s rotation of chauffeurs, bodyguards, sycophants, and friends.

One member of that storied group, Red West is auctioning off his 12-acre estate in Bartlett at 6676 Memphis-Arlington Road.

West was a longtime Presley associate, dating back to his standing up for the pink-clad, pimply pre-King at Humes High in the early 1950s. West co-authored Elvis: What Happened?, and has since worked as an actor.

Visit Roebuck Auctions for details and photos.

Friday, May 18, 2007

14 Rules for Memphis In May BBQ Fest

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Cash, cabs, and pacing -- that's what it comes down to when you're talking about Barbecue Fest.

If you’re heading down to Tom Lee Park this weekend, you should take a few minutes to read Life In & Around Memphis’s [] 14 rules on “Doing BBQ Fest Right.”

LI&AM has some choice suggestions about joining a team (or not), pacing yourself, holding it, and taking a camera.

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