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Volume 24 No. 155
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Names In The News

In Baltimore, Kevin Rector reports a federal judge on Thursday ruled that employees at the former ESPN Zone restaurant in the city who were laid off without notice when the Inner Harbor attraction closed in '10 "were not compensated correctly under federal law and are due additional payments." The restaurant closed June 15, 2010, and in October '10, a class-action lawsuit was brought against Zone Enterprises of Maryland, "alleging that the company failed to give the employees 60 days' notice, as is generally required of companies with more than 40 employees" (Baltimore SUN, 1/4).

THAT'S MRS. ZEN, TO YOU: Former Lakers coach PHIL JACKSON "popped the question" to his longtime girlfriend, Lakers Exec VP/Business Operations JEANIE BUSS, "over the Christmas holiday, and she accepted." Buss on Thursday "tweeted a picture of a diamond ring." Buss said that there "is no date set for a wedding yet." The couple has been dating since '99 (, 1/3).

TWEET AWAY: Baseball America released its list of the 50 best Twitter accounts for baseball fans, and coming in at No. 1 was Mets GM SANDY ALDERSON, who "doesn't tweet often, but when he does, it's usually funny." Coming in at No. 16 was former MLB GM and agent DAN EVANS, who "offers a unique perspective." MLB Network's PETER GAMMONS was listed at No. 17. It is "easy enough to laugh off Gammons' accidental jibberish tweets because he's one of the all time greats." The No. 23 spot went to Rays manager JOE MADDON, who has "great tweets from one of the most intelligent, funny and media-savvy managers" (, 12/27).

CHARITY STRIPE: The inaugural Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam hosted by the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation raised $135,000. The event, which was hosted by NASCAR driver DENNY HAMLIN and Hootie & the Blowfish founding member MARK BRYAN Oct. 29-30 in Charleston, S.C., contributed $45,000 to STAEF. The same amount also was donated to Carolina Studios. $30,000 was donated to MUSC Children's Hospital for Cystic Fibrosis research on behalf of The Denny Hamlin Foundation, and another $15,000 was donated to fund other projects and donation requests from The Denny Hamlin Foundation (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal)....The MLS Dynamo on Friday announced that the Houston office of PwC US will donate $27,750 to the Ronald McDonald House Houston through Dynamo charities. PwC throughout the ’12 season contributed $750 for each Dynamo home game goal -- 37 in total -- and the donations will be used to make improvements to the school (Dynamo).

Season-ticket holder Lenny Steinbaum (c) receives
visit from Dolphins players, cheerleaders
NAMES: Salt River Project officials on Thursday "gave preliminary approval" for a $1M donation to help produce the '15 Super Bowl in Glendale. However, they "want more details on the financial workings of the sponsorship, including costs and benefits to the nonprofit, municipal utility from the deal (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/4)....Dolphins DB RICHARD MARSHALL, P BRANDON FIELDS, OL JOSH SAMUDA and team cheerleaders Thursday surprised season-ticket holders at their homes and place of business as part of the organization’s fan appreciation activities. The ticket holders received gift baskets, Dolphins memorabilia and autographed footballs (Dolphins)....Former Notre Dame walk-on QB PATRICK DILLINGHAM "plans to join the growing legal Tennessee moonshine industry by launching the American Born Moonshine brand later this year through his Nashville-based Windy Hill Spirits (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 1/3)....Former MLBer JEFF BAGWELL has listed his 16,414-square foot stone home in Houston for $15M (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/4).