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Volume 24 No. 116

People and Pop Culture

In Louisiana, Sheldon Mickles reports Southern Univ. AD GREG LAFLEUR was "fired Wednesday following his arrest Sunday night on a misdemeanor prostitution count in downtown Houston." SU Chancellor KOFI LOMOTEY in an e-mail said that he "will recommend to the university's Board of Supervisors that Southern women's basketball coach SANDY PUGH become" interim AD (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 4/7)....UFC Dir of PR JENNIFER WENK "has left to open her own public relations company and join a prominent sports management company." Wenk's firm, StarPR Las Vegas, "has signed an agreement with Authentic Sports Management to represent ASM and its elite fighters" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/7)....The Reds have hired Jaguars Senior Producer ADAM LANE as Dir of Entertainment & Productions....The WNBA Sparks have hired UFL Dir of Business Management LOUIS ROSENBERG as Dir of Corporate Partnerships....U.S. Lacrosse has hired Oregon Exposition Center & State Fair Dir BRIAN SILCOTT as Men's Division Dir (THE DAILY)....PrestoSports has hired BRITNEY WRIGHT as Site Development Specialist (PrestoSports).

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In Phoenix, Russ Wiles profiles Suns Managing Partner ROBERT SARVER, who serves as Chair & CEO of Western Alliance Bancorporation. Sarver said the "majority" of his time is spent running that company, which "has been unprofitable for the past three years." But he "senses the worst is over in several respects." He said that the banking industry "has stabilized, and he thinks the Arizona real-estate market has hit bottom." Sarver: "We're definitely seeing more buyers than a year ago." Sarver "senses the Arizona economy has started to heal" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/7).

LEGAL MATTERS: Nevada Secretary of State ROSS MILLER's office "has issued a cease and desist order" against Caric Sports Management Owner STEVE CARIC "because he had not registered in Nevada." Miller yesterday said that Caric "must stop representing players pending the outcome of an investigation." Caric is certified by the NFLPA to "negotiate contracts" with the NFL (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/7)....U.S. District Judge JAMES REDDEN Tuesday sentenced former Nike Dir of Global Footwear Operations RONALD HARTFEIL and his wife, DEBRA, to "probation, home detention and a fine for filing a false tax return and failing to report income from a Korean footwear manufacturer." Redden sentenced the Hartfeils "to three years' probation." A federal investigation concluded that the couple "received a total of $330,000 from representatives of the Samho Co., a South Korean company contracted to manufacture Nike footwear" (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/7)....Arizona House Speaker KIRK ADAMS yesterday said that he "would reimburse" the Fiesta Bowl "more than $1,000 for a 2007 bowl-sponsored trip he took with other lawmakers to Pasadena, Calif." Adams added that he "has amended his financial-disclosure statements for 2007 and 2008 to show he took the Fiesta Bowl trip and others that were not related to the college football game." Adams is the "seventh state lawmaker to reimburse the bowl after the bowl's release last week of a 276-page report" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/7).

NAMES: "THE LEBRONS," an animated feature aimed at kids, has debuted on YouTube. Four LeBrons are featured in the "cute, well intended cartoon, each representing a facet" of Heat F LEBRON JAMES: Kid LeBron, Athlete LeBron, Business LeBron and Wise LeBron. James himself "provides some of the voices," and rapper DRAKE is "scheduled to do the same as himself during the first season." The first of 10 episodes "runs just under seven minutes and carries a 'two wrongs don't make a right' message" (, 4/6)....T'Wolves C DARKO MILICIC is "offering his 2004 NBA championship ring and an all-expenses-paid trip to a 2011 NBA Finals game in a raffle to raise money for children with life-threatening diseases in his native Serbia" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/7). Milicic also is "auctioning off the championship belt that was given to him by" former NBAer RASHEED WALLACE (AP, 4/6)....Red Sox P DAISUKE MATSUZAKA will "donate $500 to the Red Sox Foundation for every strikeout he records during the regular season, extending the 'Dice-K's Strikeout for Kids' initiative he launched last year" (BOSTON HERLAD, 4/7)....The Greater Southington (Conn.) Chamber of Commerce on April 16 will present ESPN VP/Communications MIKE SOLTYS with the Gail DePaolo Community Spirit Award for his "belief in giving back and helping others" (, 4/5)....The Golf Writers Association of America last night awarded former LPGAer LORENA OCHOA the Charlie Bartlett Award for her "unselfish contribution to the betterment of society" (AUGUSTA CHRONICLE, 4/7)....TD Garden VP/Client Relations & The Premium Club MARY CLIVIO yesterday was honored "by 200 of her nearest and dearest and a slew of Garden VIPs." Delaware North Chair & CEO JEREMY JACOBS "sent his taped congrats as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to Pebble Beach" for Clivio, who "catered to arena VIPs for 32 years" before retiring in October (BOSTON HERALD, 4/7)....Chef and TV personality GORDON RAMSAY has been named grand marshal of the April 17 Izod IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (THE DAILY).