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SunTrust Senior VP/Sports & Entertainment Banking BRIAN WILLIAMS died Saturday after a diving accident at a lake near Nashville. A funeral service will be held today at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Williams’ memory to “Sound and Speed,” which benefits the Country Music HOF & Museum, and the Victory Junction Gang. Donations can be sent to the Music Row office of SunTrust at 1026 17th Avenue South, Nashville, TN, 37212. Williams was with the bank for 23 years and was behind the NASCAR “Sound and Speed” program, which combined drivers including KYLE and RICHARD PETTY, TONY STEWART, MICHAEL WALTRIP and STERLING MARLIN with musical artists such as VINCE GILL, TRISHA YEARWOOD, TRACE ADKINS, KENNY ROGERS and others, to raise funds for the aforementioned charities. SunTrust Group VP/Sports & Entertainment Banking KAREN CLARK will serve as the interim head of Sports & Entertainment (THE DAILY).
PRESIDENT BUSH has appointed U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Communications & Outreach KEVIN SULLIVAN as Assistant to the President for Communications. Sullivan previously served as NBC Universal Senior VP/Corporate Communications & Media Relations (Office of the White House Press Secretary)....Michigan Int’l Speedway Dir of PR BILL JANITZ in September will join True Speed Communication, part of Tony Stewart Motorsports (TSM). Janitz will be involved in growing the PR side of Stewart’s company, while servicing current clients Hall of Fame Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, TSM-owned Eldora Speedway and TSM’s Grand-Am sports car program (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/11)....USA Swimming named JAMIE FABOS Communications Dir. Fabos was previously the primary media contact at USA Hockey (USA Swimming)....The Marine Corps Marathon named ELVIN NAZARIO Events Coordinator, KIPP HANLEY Marketing Coordinator, CARRIE DURBIN Graphics Coordinator, KEN DELAHOUSSAYE Logistics Manager, SANDRA OSBORN Administrative Assistant and NATALIA CHECKNITA Accountant (USMC).
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ANDREW MORBITZER, who caught Giants LF BARRY BONDS’ 715th home run, will sell the ball on eBay starting July 24. Experts have said that the ball is “expected to fetch around $100,000 at auction, far less than the $500,000 some experts say it could have commanded absent the controversy surrounding Bonds” (AP, 7/12).
THREE UP: The BASEBALL WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA announced the finalists for its annual J.G. TAYLOR SPINK AWARD, presented at July’s Baseball HOF induction ceremony in Cooperstown. The finalists are the late MORRIS SIEGEL, who worked for several DC-area newspapers; RICK HUMMEL of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; and NICK PETERS of the Sacramento Bee (Baltimore SUN, 7/12).
SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT: ANDREW FIRESTONE, great-grandson of Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. Founder HARVEY FIRESTONE, will serve as grand marshal of Saturday’s IRL Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 7/12)....Actor CUBA GOODING JR. has optioned a script “billed as ‘Slap Shot’ meets ‘Bull Durham.’” The project is being directed by DAVID ANSPAUGH. Meanwhile, PLAYERS INC is tabbing NFLers for an “acting competition TV show with the winner appearing in a yet-to-be-named soap opera” (ESPN THE MAGAZINE, 7/17 issue).
BEST WISHES: An infection in Kentucky Derby winner BARBARO’s left hind leg “may be more serious than first thought.” Barbaro co-Owner GRETCHEN JACKSON said that tests had identified a bacterial infection that surgeon Dr. DEAN RICHARDSON “hoped he had cleaned out during a three-hour operation late Saturday.” The leg is not the one injured during this year’s Preakness Stakes (N.Y. TIMES, 7/12).