1 students from the Stax Music Academy will journey to Italy this summer to carry Memphis' soul-music legacy to Europeans. As proof that Italians are already big fans of Stax, the kids will play in one town -- Poretta -- which has a Rufus Thomas Park and a Via Otis Redding, named in tribute to two of our city's most well-known performers. Maybe we should return the favor and rename Poplar "Pavarotti Parkway."
2 Award-winning Memphis rappers Three 6 Mafia are in a Los Angeles recording studio with Paris Hilton, helping the hotel heiress work on her debut album. Yes, you read that right: Paris Hilton and Three 6 Mafia. We know the guys like to sing about life in the 'hood, but we didn't think they meant Hollywood.
3 The Shelby County Sheriff's Department is rounding up more than 4,500 "deadbeat" dads -- and even some "deadbeat" moms -- who are delinquent on their child-support payments. Their names were published last week in The Commercial Appeal, which seems strange to us since it just gave them fair warning to sneak away.
4 An online casino called Golden Palace was the winner in the eBay auction for the boarding-house bathtub where James Earl Ray stood when he shot Dr. Martin Luther King. In 2004, Judge D'Army Bailey put the tub on eBay, where bids reached $152,000 before eBay stopped the auction, fretting that the tub was "offensive." This time, after eBay changed its mind, the top bid was only $7,600. Bailey told reporters he hoped the new owners would treat their purchase with the respect it deserved, but considering the Golden Palace recently purchased four toilets used by the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, we're not so sure. Maybe they're just trying to assemble a complete bathroom.