SBD/April 20, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Leonard Wood among five new nominees for '12 NASCAR HOF class
In Charlotte, Jim Utter reports H. CLAY EARLES, BOBBY ISAAC, COTTON OWENS, LES RICHTER and LEONARD WOOD "join a group of 20 previous nominees who will be considered" for the '12 NASCAR HOF class. Earles was Founder of Martinsville Speedway; Isaac won the '70 title in what is now the Sprint Cup Series; Owens was a driver-owner who won the '66 owner championship; Richter served as NASCAR Senior VP/Operations, as well as President of Riverside Int'l Raceway; and Wood is a co-Owner of Wood Brothers Racing (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/20).

HOSTILE TERRITORY: In Vancouver, Tony Gallagher reports a "change to the seating arrangements" at United Center" for the Stanley Cup Playoffs led to Canucks officials "being seated right above some of the more rabid fans in the cheap seats" for last night's Canucks-Blackhawks Western Conference Quarterfinals Game Four. Four rows of fans "became quite bellicose" and were "hurling abuse." The abuse was "largely directed at" Canucks President & GM MIKE GILLIS and VP/Hockey Operations & Assistant GM LAURENCE GILMAN, but also at "everyone else seated in the box." Canucks Owner FRANCESCO AQUILINI after the game said that he "might have to get a security guard given the location of his contingent's seats, although where that might be is not known" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 4/20).

NAMES: Former Southern Univ. AD GREG LAFLEUR, "fired three days after his April 3 arrest on a misdemeanor prostitution count in Houston, is suing the school for breach of contract." LaFleur is "seeking damages, including his base salary for the remainder of his contract, which he says was to expire June 30, 2013." LaFleur claims that he "received a termination letter April 8, two days after Southern announced in a news release" that he had been fired (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 4/19)....MULTICHANNEL NEWS has named MSG Varsity GM THERESA CHILLIANIS, ESPN VP/Programming & Acquisitions LEAH LAPLACA and NBA Digital VP/Content ALBERT VERTINO to its annual 40 Under Forty class (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 4/18 issue)....Mavericks Owner MARK CUBAN yesterday confirmed that he has put Landmark Theatres and Magnolia Pictures "up for sale" (, 4/19)....Former NFL coach JEFF FISHER, ESPN's TEDY BRUSCHI, former NFLer CHAD LEWIS and "four Wounded Warriors" next month "will gather on the east coast of Africa to climb 19,336-foot Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa." They will be "doing so to raise awareness and money for those men and women wounded in action in Iraq and Afghanistan" (, 4/18)....Suns Senior VP & General Counsel JASON ROWLEY has been named a recipient of the '11 Phoenix Father of the Year award and will be recognized at an awards dinner on June 16 (Suns).
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