GOP fundraiser Welch dies at 80
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Ted Welch, a prolific fundraiser in Tennessee Republican politics for four decades, has died. He was 80.
Welch’s wife, Colleen Conway-Welch, told The Tennessean he died due to complications from a fall. Vanderbilt Medical Center Hospital in Nashville confirmed Welch died at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday.
Welch started raising money for candidates in 1970 for Winfield Dunn’s winning run for governor. His efforts covered the modern campaigns of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam. He also worked with senators Howard Baker, Bill Brock, Bill Frist and Fred Thompson, Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Republicans at the state level.
His friend, U.S. Lamar Alexander, said in a written statement that Welch raised millions for candidates, symphonies and charitable causes without seeking anything in return.
“He was tireless,” Alexander said. “The most feared seven words among those who knew him were, ‘Ted Welch is holding on line one.’”
Welch started out as a door-to-door Bible salesman and longtime Nashville real estate investor. He grew into the political money man of the South, helping the likes of Ronald Reagan, both Bushes, Gov. Mitt Romney and others.
University of Memphis picks finalists for top job
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Four finalists have been named in the University of Memphis’ search for a new president.
The Commercial Appeal reported (https:// bit.ly/1lfNEgp) that the Tennessee Board of Regents selected M. David Rudd, provost at the University of Memphis; George Hynd, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the College of Charleston; Sharon Gaber, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas; and Guy Bailey, former president and a current professor at the University of Alabama.
The candidate who’s chosen will replace interim president R. Brad Martin, who has been serving since the June 30 retirement of Shirley Raines. The search process at the U of M began in November when the Regents announced the 24-member presidential search advisory committee.
The finalists will visit the university campus March 16 to 25 for interviews with the search advisory committee and for campus forums among students.
“I believe everyone on the committee will agree that we had an impressive and well qualified pool of candidates from which to select these finalists,” said Greg Duckett, chairman of the search committee and senior vice president and corporate counsel with Baptist Memorial Health Care System.
Rudd, 53, was named provost at the university in December 2012, replacing longtime provost Ralph Faudree.
Police: Man drowns at Nashville marina
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Nashville police say a they’ve recovered the body of a man who drowned at Elm Hill Marina.
WSMV-TV in Nashville reported (https://bit.ly/1n6mjlBhttps://bit.ly/1n6mjlB ) that 56-year-old Mark Sherill was last seen alive Friday night. A friend found his remains Saturday morning.
Police say the Smyrna resident had a houseboat on the marina. He reportedly left his boat late last night to go hear live music.
Police say Sherrill apparently fell down a 20-foot embankment into the water and died.
Investigators do not believe foul play was involved.
The Medical Examiner will determine the exact cause of death.
Contagious canine virus found at animal shelter
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) - A contagious and deadly canine virus has surfaced at a Tennessee animal shelter.
Oak Ridge Police told WVLT-TV in Knoxville (https://bit.ly/1fQVsAhhttps://bit.ly/1fQVsAh ) that distemper has shown up in two dogs and a third animal adopted from the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter in January may be infected.
The shelter has been shut down since Thursday afternoon. Workers are sanitizing the facility and testing dogs showing symptoms.
Oak Ridge Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Rick Hinson says infected dogs show symptoms ranging from flu-like to Parkinson’s disease.
The shelter staff are vaccinating all new dogs that are brought in and separating dogs who show symptoms. They plan to reopen next week.
The city does not have any reported cases of feline distemper. The disease cannot be spread from dogs to cats.
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