Off Limits 

Welcome, E.J. Publisher Leslie Giallombardo has finally settled on a new editor for The Tennessean to replace the retiring Frank Sutherland. (Hey Frank, will you please call 844-9406 when you get a chance, as we'd like to invite you to write a guest Desperately Seeking the News—and buy you a drink.) Sutherland's replacement, E.J. Mitchell, comes from The Detroit News, where he's managing editor and has presided over noteworthy investigative and public service journalism. (E.J., we'd like to buy you a drink too.) Of course, this choice passed over former Scene editor Bruce Dobie, whom Giallombardo considered for the post, but, given his alt-weekly pedigree, was considered a dark horse. While Mitchell is clearly talented and the safe inside-Gannett choice for Giallombardo, Dobie would have had the connections and relationships in Nashville to avoid the learning curve that Mitchell now faces. Still—and we've said this to his face—we're relieved we won't have to compete with the able Dobie. (Meantime, Bruce, did you lose your razor?)

Frist Gives, Er, Rubber Stamp. Kudos to U.S. Sen Bill Frist, who this week said federally funded programs to teach sexual abstinence (only!) should be reviewed. Frist seems to back a more practical approach to prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including urging monogamy and condom use. It's a refreshing departure from the morality-driven rhetoric of much of the GOP. (Note to Frist's staff: please save this fawning acknowledgement of your boss's rare stand for common sense so that, the next time you call to complain, we can remind you about it.)

Trading Stereotypes. Big noisy black lady from the South, meet barefoot bearded yoga hippie from California. That was the premise of this week's Trading Spouses, the Fox "reality" show that sent Nashvillian Vickie Lowe to live with the Abbot family of Santa Cruz for a week or two. The Abbots have no furniture, wear no shoes and father Carl thinks the Chinese will someday take over the world (and he's teaching his sons the language so they'll be ready). Meanwhile Leslie Abbot came to Antioch to live in the well-appointed home Vickie vacated; there she found sleep-'n'-eat kids who didn't want to practice yoga or sing folks songs with her. Tune into FOX next Monday to see the episode's conclusion; support your Nashville neighbors but don't buy into the stale stereotypes peddled by reality TV producers.

Undressing the Parties. The Scene's own John Williams—he's the guy who keeps us from getting sued—was the unnamed star of the successful Nashville Kats cheerleader settlement talks. Williams presided over last weekend's marathon mediation sessions during which the arena's management company, Powers, reached a private settlement with the 14 women who were secretly videotaped in their dressing room by two (former) employees of the company three years ago. Now if we can just get someone to convince Powers that the terms of the settlement should be public, given that the city pays Powers to run the publicly financed GEC....

Death in Custody. A knowledgeable source tells the Scene that there are no signs of foul play in the death of 51-year-old Andre Lee, who died in police custody Saturday after violently resisting arrest. Autopsy results revealed two small plastic bags—one open, one punctured—of what police believe is cocaine in Lee's stomach; his urine tested positive for cocaine and he died of apparent cardiac arrest after banging his head on the wall of the Metro Justice Center booking room and then being restrained by police and sheriff's deputies.


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