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Editorial Results (free)

1. Fight to Save Printers Alley a Family Affair -

“How does it feel to be on your own?” Fritz Hester turns Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” into a surging blues tune that spills out of the Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar into the thick, cigarette and beer-flavored humidity stifling Printers Alley

2. Redmont Joins HORNE as Tax Consulting Manager -

Richard Redmont has joined HORNE LLP as a tax consulting manager. Redmont, a certified public accountant, has more than 25 years of tax and consulting experience with international firms in the accounting and insurance industries, and has served clients in the manufacturing, retail, distribution, health care and financial services industries. He also served on a national Sarbanes-Oxley team for an international firm.

3. Past, Present, Future -

The weekend before the formal reopening of the National Civil Rights Museum, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice could be heard in the museum plaza.

4. East Buntyn Gearing Up For Artwalk Festival -

Memphis’ East Buntyn neighborhood is gearing up for the fifth annual East Buntyn Artwalk, a celebration of art and community that happens April 27.

St. James Church at 461 S. Prescott St. will serve as the event’s hub, hosting live music, a silent auction, food trucks and more. For the event, homeowners will host regional artists in their front yards to create an open-air bazaar of galleries around the neighborhood. The galleries will display and sell work and will represent an expected pool of more than 60 artists.

5. East Buntyn Gearing Up for Artwalk Festival -

Memphis’ East Buntyn neighborhood is gearing up for the fifth annual East Buntyn Artwalk, a celebration of art and community that happens April 27.

St. James Church at 461 S. Prescott St. will serve as the event’s hub, hosting live music, a silent auction, food trucks and more. For the event, homeowners will host regional artists in their front yards to create an open-air bazaar of galleries around the neighborhood. The galleries will display and sell work and will represent an expected pool of more than 60 artists.

6. ‘Bigger and Better’ -

At a benefit concert earlier this month at Evergreen Presbyterian Church for the financially struggling Memphis Symphony Orchestra, one audience member was noticeably moved during a performance of “Capriccio Espagnol,” a piece based on Spanish folk melodies from the late 1800s by Nikolai Rismky-Korsakov.

7. McCusker Aims for Criminal Court Clerk -

Michael McCusker is used to the assumptions when the assistant district attorney general tells voters he is running for office this year.

“A lot of people keep saying to me, ‘Wouldn’t judge be a natural progression for you?’ In some respects it would be,” admitted McCusker, who is instead running in the May Democratic primary for Criminal Court clerk.

8. Eddleman Joins Family Safety Center -

Vernetta Eddleman has joined the Family Safety Center, Memphis and Shelby County’s center for victims of domestic violence, as director of client services.

In her new role, Eddleman will be responsible for the planning, design, development and management of client services, and will also supervise and train staff and partner agency providers in delivering quality care to victims and their families.

9. New Life -

When Rob Clark and his wife moved into their home in the historic Evergreen neighborhood in 1993, catalog and distribution operations were still active at the Sears Crosstown building.

That soon changed, and for roughly two decades the hulking property stood as a towering, painful reminder of the area’s faded glory.

10. New Life -

When Rob Clark and his wife moved into their home in the historic Evergreen neighborhood in 1993, catalog and distribution operations were still active at the Sears Crosstown building.

That soon changed, and for roughly two decades the hulking property stood as a towering, painful reminder of the area’s faded glory.

11. Be the Dream Weekend to Help Youth Honor King -

From a youth symposium at the Memphis Cook Convention Center to street sweeps near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is hoping the Be the Dream Weekend helps young people to link past, present and future.

12. Builders Showcase -

The Vesta Home Show kicked off over the weekend, with large crowds turning out to explore six new homes in a gated Germantown community.

Don Glays, executive director of the West Tennessee Home Builders Association, said attendance during the opening weekend of the show was strong.

13. Events -

The West Tennessee Home Builders Association will hold the 2013 Fall Vesta Home Show Saturday, Nov. 9, to Dec. 1 at the St. James Place development in Germantown. General admission is $12. Visit vestahomeshow.com for hours and parking information.

14. Healthy Memphis Common Table Marks 10 Years of Promoting Health -

With a motto of “eat healthy, eat less and move more,” Healthy Memphis Common Table (HMCT) has made its mark in the local community during the past decade, encouraging the public to lead healthier lifestyles and to “get activated” with their health and health care options.

15. Blume Named to Tennessee Real Estate Commission -

Gary Blume, a veteran agent with RE/MAX Real Estate Experts, has been appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to a five-year term on the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. Blume is a past president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors and has served twice as president of the Tennessee Real Estate Educational Foundation.

16. Events -

Business Over Coffee International will continue its Weave Your Own Web social media training series on Thursday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the group’s headquarters, 5865 Ridgeway Road, suite 300. Cost is free for members and first-time guests, and $10 for returning guests. Visit businessovercoffee.biz or call 820-4469.

17. Akbari Takes District 91 Democratic Primary -

As fewer than 2,000 voters participated in the latest of 11 elections in Shelby County in a three-month span, the independent candidate in the Nov. 21 special general election for state House District 91 filed suit against state election officials in U.S. Federal Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

18. Early Voting Expands in District 91 Primary -

Early voting in the Democratic primary special election for State House District 91 expands Friday, Sept. 27, from the Shelby County Election Commission’s Downtown offices, 157 Poplar Ave., to three satellite locations.

19. State Board to Review Historic Register Nominations -

The State Review Board will meet Wednesday in Nashville to examine nominations for the National Register of Historic Places, including Memphis’ Sears Crosstown building, formally known as the Sears Roebuck and Company Catalog Distribution Center and Retail Store.

20. Events -

Kiwanis Club of Memphis will meet Wednesday, Sept. 18, from noon to 1 p.m. at The University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. William Rodney of Medicos will speak. Cost is $18 for nonmembers.

21. Kirby Finds Home With Harris Shelton -

When he was in the second grade, Matthew Kirby’s mother was told he needed to either be a lawyer or a preacher.

22. Bigger Joins TriMetis as Business Development Specialist -

Lauren Bigger has joined preclinical services company TriMetis, a subsidiary of Memphis Bioworks Foundation, as a business development specialist. In her new role, Bigger will work with the operations and scientific teams to drive new projects for the TriMetis specialized laboratory and manage the sales and protocol review processes.

23. Commission Appoints Avant To School Board, Keeps Shafer As Budget Chair -

Shelby County Commissioners appointed Shante Avant, a mother who has worked for the Women’s Foundation and other local nonprofits for 17 years, as the newest members of the countywide school board.

24. Commission Appoints Avant To School Board, Keeps Shafer As Budget Chair -

Shelby County Commissioners appointed Shante Avant, a mother who has worked for the Women’s Foundation and other local nonprofits for 17 years, as the newest members of the countywide school board.

25. County Commission to Fill School Board Vacancy -

Shelby County Commissioners bring the countywide school board up to its full strength of seven members Monday, Sept. 9, by appointing someone to the open District 6 seat.

The commission meets at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

26. Memphis Suit Project Aims to Dress the Needy -

Three Memphis businessmen have started a nonprofit venture to help young men literally suit up for opportunities they encounter – the kind of opportunities that make it possible to advance in life and that require the participant to dress for the occasion.

27. Walgreen Co. Closes Ike’s Gas Station -

Walgreen Co. has closed the gas station at its Ike’s store on Union Avenue, but the company isn’t saying anything else about the property’s future.

28. Change of Scenery -

After spending years or decades in their current form, longtime staples of the local real estate scene are about to disappear or undergo major changes that will forever alter the city’s built landscape.

29. LeSaint Logistics Leases Space Near Airport -

LeSaint Logistics LLC is entering the Memphis market, having recently leased 57,285 square feet at 3300 Jet Cove.

30. Events -

The Cooper-Young Business Association will feature Standby for Mars as part of the Red Hot Summer concert series Wednesday, July 3, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the gazebo at Cooper Street and Young Avenue. Cost is free. Visit cooperyoung.biz.

31. Events -

The South Main Art Trolley Tour will be held Friday, June 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the South Main Historic Arts District. Email info@southmainmemphis.net.

32. Events -

Girls Inc. of Memphis will hold its annual Celebration Luncheon Thursday, June 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at FedExForum, 191 Beale St. The luncheon will highlight Girls Inc.’s Eureka program, which promotes career paths and post-secondary education in science, technology, engineering and math. Visit girlsinc.org.

33. Blank Joins WKNO-FM As News Director -

Christopher Blank has joined WKNO-FM, the Mid-South affiliate of National Public Radio, as news director. Blank, who has produced feature stories for the station since 2011, will oversee local news production for “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”

34. Stories of the Street -

On a frosty Monday afternoon in late March, Cynthia “Cee Cee” Crawford stood at the intersection of Park Avenue and Getwell Road waving copies of Memphis’ new street newspaper, The Bridge.

35. Events -

Nike Inc. will host construction symposiums for locally owned small, women-owned and minority businesses Thursday, Feb. 7, and Friday, Feb. 8, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the U of M Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, 1 N. Front St. Attendees will learn about construction opportunities at Nike’s Memphis expansion. R.S.V.P. to Brenda Montgomery at bmontgomery@memphischamber.com or 543-3500.

36. Filling the Voids -

Last year was a banner year for adaptive reuse projects in Midtown and Downtown.

Developers announced plans for the Sears Crosstown building, Overton Square, Hotel Chisca, James Lee House and old United Warehouse in the South Main Historic Arts District. Construction began on The Pyramid, turning it into a 220,000-square-foot mega-Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World, and Memphis in May moved into its new headquarters at 56 S. Front St., a 14,600-square-foot building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

37. Leading in New Times -

Keith Norman has heard the discussions about the generation gap and the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, the NAACP.

38. Events -

The Daily News and Chandler Reports will be closed Monday, Jan. 21, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Offices will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 8:30 a.m.

39. New Heroes -

SCHOOL LESSONS IN HEROISM. On Friday morning, Dec. 21 – one week after semi-automatic gunfire swept through elementary school classrooms and the nation, murdering innocence – one week after a Memphis police officer stood between a bullet and you and me, giving us all she had – a single two-ton bell in the tower of Idlewild Presbyterian Church rang 29 times. Once for officer Martoiya Lang, 20 times for the children of Newtown, six times for their teachers and, unlike anywhere else I’m aware of, once for the shooter’s mother and once for him. Each is the toll of madness, of misplaced priorities and violence, of the belief that more armed violence is not only a righteous solution but a constitutional right. And of a country where it’s easier to buy an assault rifle than vote, easier to buy ammunition than Sudafed.

40. Highpoint Church Buys Briarcrest’s East Memphis Campus -

After seven years of leasing space for its worship services, Highpoint Church has acquired Briarcrest Christian School Systems Inc.’s property at 6000 Briarcrest Ave. for $7.25 million.

41. Lee House Development Could Propel District -

In the 19th century, Victorian Village was home to Memphis’ elite.

Nowadays, the 10-square-block area in Downtown Memphis has one of the highest concentrations of historic structures in the city, with 24 properties on the National Register of Historic Places within four blocks.

42. Events -

The Memphis Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, June 26, at noon at the University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. James Rogers, director of Memphis Animal Services, will speak. Cost is $18 per person. Email Taylor Hughes at taylor@memphisrotary.org for reservations.

43. Events -

The Tennessee Beta Unit of Parliamentarians will hold its monthly meeting and education program Monday, June 25, at 5:45 p.m. at the Poplar-White Station branch library, 5094 Poplar Ave. Call Jennifer Thompson at 324-5184.

44. Executive Coach Burtch Earns Int’l Designation -

Bill Burtch, founder and president of full-service management consultancy firm Harmony Coaching & Consulting, has received the Professional Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation, becoming the second PCC in Memphis. Burtch, who also holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources designation, focuses his consulting work in executive/team coaching, professional development training and human resources consulting.

45. McFarland Named VP At Visible Music College -

Christy McFarland has been named the vice president of business at Visible Music College. Previously the director of marketing, McFarland will now oversee VMC’s marketing/public relations, business and operational functions.

46. Civil Rights Icon Smith Donates Papers to Library -

Maxine Smith pointed out that the wheelchair she used to enter the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library was borrowed – and she also made a point of walking from the doorway of the Memphis and Shelby County Room at the library to her seat in the room.

47. GOP Politics Resemble 2008 In Tennessee -

This time around, leaders of the Tennessee Republican Party were convinced their choice in the Republican presidential contest would be a match with voters in the state’s presidential primary.

Four years ago, when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee carried Shelby County and took the state, the party argued convincingly that the state’s second choice for the nomination – former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – was a victim of the move of the Super Tuesday primaries to February.

48. Irving Leads Research Co. Animal Cell Therapies -

Adam M. Irving is chief executive officer of San Diego-based Animal Cell Therapies Inc., a company that develops stem cell treatments to treat a variety of ailments for animals. Irving is based in Memphis.

49. Public Servants -

The two winners of the 2012 Bobby Dunavant Public Service Awards thanked their coworkers Wednesday, Feb. 22, as they were honored by the family of the late Probate Court clerk and the Rotary Club of Memphis East.

50. Law Institute Will Examine Scandals Involving Children -

The 25th annual Rhodes Institute on the Profession of Law this year will discuss “Beyond the Church and Penn State Scandals: Protecting our clients while protecting our children.”

The program will provide an overview of the civil liability faced by organizations when child sexual abuse accusations surface. It will examine recent cases involving religious groups, educational institutions and businesses. The program will also look at when allegations rise to the level requiring attention from law enforcement, among other issues.

51. Woodward Joins Crowded Primary -

A public meeting is about to begin, and within one minute of attendees’ arrival, they are handed campaign literature for rival candidates running in the same local primary.

It’s obviously the thick of political season.

52. Nichols Joins Spirco As Engineering Mgr. -

Matthew Nichols has joined Spirco Manufacturing as engineering manager.

Hometown: I currently live in Olive Branch. My hometown is Thaxton, Miss.

53. MULYP Awards Honor ‘Agents of Change’ -

Memphis Urban League Young Professionals celebrates its second annual Agents of Change Awards Saturday, Dec. 3, honoring individuals and organizations that have made contributions to the community.

54. Peppers Joins Lifeblood To Grow Donor Base -

Jeanie Peppers has joined Lifeblood as senior donor relations account manager.

Hometown: Drummonds, Tenn.

55. City’s Story Recounted in ‘Memphis 101’ -

A cross-section of native Memphians and Memphians by choice spent the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 9, exploring the stories that shaped the city during “Memphis 101,” a free, public event held biannually at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.

56. Events -

Talk Shoppe will present “Revocable Living Trust – Death to Probate” Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Better Business Bureau, 3693 Tyndale Drive. For more information, call Jo Garner at 482-0354.

57. Girls Inc. Expands With 2 Centers in Frayser -

Girls Inc. of Memphis, a nonprofit that this year celebrated 65 years of bettering the lives of Memphis girls, recently announced the opening of two new after-school centers for girls in the Frayser area.

58. Ford, Harris Vie for Council District 7 Seat -

Early voting opens Friday, Oct. 21, for the last election of 2011 in Shelby County. The race is the runoff for the District 7 Memphis City Council seat between Kemba Ford and Lee Harris. Election Day is Nov. 10.

59. Social Media, Mobile Tech on the Rise for Weddings -

NEW YORK (AP) – As her grandfather sat pleasantly perplexed at her wedding, Lauren Barnes reached into the recesses of her strapless white gown, whipped out her iPhone and accepted her groom's Facebook relationship change to "married."

60. Early Voting Count Suggests High Election Day Turnout -

Early voting in advance of the Oct. 6 Election Day in Memphis cracked 30,000 of the city’s 426,583 voters.

Because early voting in Memphis elections usually doesn’t account for even half of the overall voter turnout, the early voter turnout suggests the total voter turnout may be in double-digit percentages. That is low, but not as low as some politicos had predicted for the ballot topped by a mayor’s race and contests for all 13 seats on the Memphis City Council.

61. Campaigns Heat Up as Election Nears -

Those running in the Oct. 6 city elections were getting signs up the weekend before the Labor Day weekend and preparing for the sprint to early voting, which begins Sept. 16, and Election Day.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. campaigned in Orange Mound on a Saturday afternoon not quite as hot as previous Saturdays. Wharton and his campaign have aimed their Saturday door-to-door campaigning at 10 specific precincts. The goal is to create a spike in voter turnout as well as votes for Wharton who is seeking election to a full four-year term after taking office following the October 2009 special mayoral election.

62. Coverage Expansion Critical To TDN Legacy -

Since its founding in 1886, The Daily News has been identified as the city’s paper of record, featuring legal notices and business listings that many companies, professionals and citizens have long relied on.

63. Rock for Love: A Benefit With Edge -

Five years ago, Marvin Stockwell and Jeff Hulett, the Church Health Center’s guitar-swinging public relations duo, decided to throw a benefit concert featuring local and regional bands.

64. Arlington Gears Up for Mayor’s Race -

Before Memphis voters go to the polls this October to decide a mayor’s race, voters in Arlington will decide a four-way race for mayor in the Sept. 15 elections there.

The Memphis field of 10 includes candidates like incumbent Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and challenger James Harvey, who are relying on sophisticated computer software and lots of volunteers to turn out tens of thousands of people in early voting and on Election Day.

65. Health Care Seminar Tackles Tough Issues -

The topic was contentious, but the discourse remained civil Thursday, July 14, during The Daily News’ Healthcare Reform Seminar, the third in a series of six seminars hosted by the newspaper this year.

66. Seminar To Detail Reform’s Effect on Biz -

Philip Johnson is partner with Argyle Benefits Consultants LLC, a chartered life underwriter and certified employee benefits specialist, so he more than understands the ins and outs of federal health care reform, including how the legislation will impact large and small businesses, as well as individuals.

67. Seminar to Examine Health Care Reform -

One of the most contentious and complex issues facing the nation today will be the focus of the latest seminar hosted by The Daily News.

Health care reform will be the topic at hand on Thursday, July 14, at 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Ave.

68. A Bridge to Cross -

Martyrs Park sits atop the Chickasaw Bluff and overlooks the Mississippi River, its lone modern sculpture a memorial to victims of the 19th century Yellow Fever epidemics that devastated Memphis from the 1850s through the 1870s.

69. More Than 180 Apply For Countywide School Board -

Shelby County Commissioners have a busy day Wednesday as they interview 182 candidates for appointment to a 25 member countywide school board.

The deadline for the applications to the school board being contested in Memphis federal court was the end of the business day Tuesday. And there was a deadline rush with 32 applications on Tuesday alone.

70. Metamorphoses Targets Memphis’ At-Risk Boys -

When the national news media early this year zeroed in on reports of high rates of pregnancy among Memphis’ adolescent girls and the programs being implemented to address the issue, many Memphians asked, “So, what about the boys?”

71. Election Time -

A quiet week in the schools consolidation issue is being matched by some modest numbers for early voting turnout.

Through Monday, early voting in advance of the March 8 referendum Election Day had topped 3,500. The early voting period runs through March 3.

72. Events -

Café Bonne Terre will offer a special Valentine’s Day menu Monday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Bonne Terre Country Inn and Café, 4715 Church Road W., Nesbit, Miss. For more information or reservations, call 662-781-5100 or visit www.bonneterreinn.com.

73. Local Group, UP to Discuss Harahan Bridge -

A delegation from Memphis led by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. will be in Omaha, Neb., next week to talk with Union Pacific railroad executives about a bicycle and pedestrian path across the Mississippi River.

74. Thornton Finds Balance Between Practice, Pro Bono Work -

Laurie Thornton says it was her own experience with paralyzing fear and a sense of helplessness that led her into the pro bono work she does with her law firm, Glankler Brown PLLC, and with Memphis Area Legal Services.

75. Memorial Service Tuesday for Justice Fones -

A memorial service for retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William H.D. Fones Sr. of Memphis is Tuesday at Christ United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. in Wilson Chapel.

Fones died Thursday at the age of 93 after a long illness.

76. Council Marks Year’s End With Full Agenda -

Memphis City Council members end their year Tuesday with an agenda that includes final approval of the Power Center planned development in Hickory Hill.

The council meeting begins at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St.

77. EMHC Moving to Appling Farms, Doubling in Size -

Emergency Mobile Health Care is more than doubling the size of its Memphis corporate headquarters.

EMHC has signed a 14,200-square-foot lease at 6972 Appling Farms Parkway. EMHC currently occupies 6,900 square feet at 5071 Wilfong Road, and also has an office in Jackson, Tenn.

78. Mayoral Bid Awakens Ford Political Machine -

Since the late 1970s, the Ford family, as a political organization, has had an interest in either the Memphis or Shelby County mayor’s office. In 1978, John Ford declared he was running for county mayor but then withdrew from the race. Five years later, he ran for city mayor.

79. Boyle Investment Files Loan on Ridgeway Center Office Building -

889 Ridge Lake Boulevard
Memphis, TN 38120
Loan Amount: $6.9 Million

Loan Date: July 19, 2010
Maturity Date: Jan. 1, 2020
Borrower: Boyle-889 RLB Partnership
Lender: Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society

80. Springdale Fights Back -

In the mile of Springdale Street between Chelsea and Jackson avenues there are five churches. That’s not counting the churches on side streets.

On Eldridge Avenue, one of those side streets, between two tiny churches is a pair of identical small houses – both boarded up.

The one closest to the corner has faded blue spray paint stenciled across the plywood.

In inner-city Memphis, the stenciling is as familiar as gang graffiti. It’s the mark of the Memphis Police Department’s Blue CRUSH campaign.

Five years into the crackdown guided by a devotion to crime statistics, crime is down in Memphis.

But the statistical drop in crime has come with lingering questions and concerns in Springdale and other neighborhoods with Blue CRUSH houses.

“Once we board them up, we really have to depend on the community to let us know if drug dealers have broken back into them,” Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons said. “If we don’t know about it, sometimes drug dealers can get right back in there.”

In the neighborhoods, homeowners lament that street level dealers are easily replaced and soon released from jail to resume their place in the neighborhoods – now with a criminal record that makes a move away from drug dealing even more unlikely.

Last year, a team from Memphis that included a police officer, a state prosecutor, a federal prosecutor, a University of Memphis researcher, the head of the Memphis Leadership Foundation and the pastor of one of those five churches along Springdale went to several cities to get training in a new anti-drug strategy.

“We were really interested in changing people’s lives, not locking them up,” Springdale Baptist Pastor Derrick Hughes told The Memphis News. Hughes wasn’t sure at first if he would be part of the Drug Market Intervention (DMI) program.

“It sounded as if possibly it was just another program that was going to possibly just put criminals in jail without rehabilitation,” he said. “And I wanted to make sure that if we were going to be a part of something that it was going to look at rehabilitating the person, changing lives, changing them from a holistic point of view as well as a spiritual point of view.”

Gibbons said some of his prosecutors and some police brass also had their doubts as they looked for an area to test out DMI Memphis style.

“It was based primarily on looking at crime patterns and in particular drug activity in that area,” he told The Memphis News. There was plenty of open drug dealing in the Springdale area.

Drug Market Intervention is picking several street level drug dealers in a community, confronting them with the evidence against them and telling them they have one more chance to get out of the business. The police are involved in making a decision not to prosecute a few as they target dozens of others in an area.

Others on the team are community leaders from the neighborhood. And some are with proven programs to provide job training and other help in getting a legitimate job.

High Point, N.C., was the first stop for the Memphis group because it is the birthplace of DMI. It seems an unlikely example for Memphis with a population of fewer than 100,000. But in 2003, High Point had several open air drug markets. The city’s new police chief, James Fealy, attacked them using what became the DMI strategy.

David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Control and Prevention at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, replicated DMI in other cities with money from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance. The BJA funded the training of the Memphis team and came here.

Kennedy’s philosophy is specific to open air drug markets. It doesn’t pretend to eliminate all drug dealing.

“Open air drug markets are found primarily in our cities and in African-American neighborhoods,” Kennedy wrote in a 2008 article for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Journal. “Although we are loathe to admit it, this issue is soaked in race.”

Kennedy said police complained to him that the families of the drug dealers and others in the surrounding communities knew they were selling drugs, did nothing to stop it and profited from it.

But Kennedy said those living in the communities countered that police were only interested in locking up as many people as they could as part of a conspiracy to destroy the community.

Kennedy said each side had a point and each side was wrong.

“The crime is real and overwhelmingly the arrests are legitimate. But we are destroying the village in order to save it,” he wrote. “And none of this gets rid of the crime. The drug markets and violence continue to exist.”

Kennedy didn’t try to tackle the long-standing racial issues and their lengthy back story. The conversations that formed the basis for the DMI strategy were about drug markets.

It was hard for some on the Memphis team to believe that hardened drug dealers would respond when the threat of arrest, prison time, drive-by shootings and gang turf tripwires hadn’t discouraged them from the life.

Nevertheless, when they returned to Memphis, the planning began for several months of undercover drug buys in the Springdale area by the police Organized Crime Unit. For months, the officers bought repeatedly from dozens of street dealers in a two-mile radius of Springdale. And they recorded the drug buys on video – not just one buy but multiple buys.

Prosecutors reviewed the cases against more than 60 men and women and prosecuted 51 of them. Five were indicted on federal drug charges. Six others – five men and a woman – were the first candidates for the Memphis DMI program.

“It was taking a look at individuals who obviously were involved in drug trafficking, but a little more on the periphery – not an extensive drug record,” Gibbons said.

A few days after New Year’s Day, police descended on the Springdale area serving the arrest warrants and putting up a fresh crop of plywood with blue stenciling on the drug houses in the area. The neighborhood grapevine buzzed anew about the heavy police presence.

It was still buzzing when on the coldest day of the year – Jan. 8 – the Memphis group knocked on six doors in the Springdale area. The temperature never got near freezing and was in single digits part of the day.

No one inside the six houses knew they were coming. No one approaching the doorsteps knew what the reaction inside would be.

It was the first indication the six people involved and inside those homes had that they had sold drugs to undercover Memphis police officers and had been recorded on video making multiple drug sales to the officers.

The father of one of the six was among those who had been arrested.

When the DMI team knocked on his door, his grandmother answered.

“He did not want his grandmother to know why we were standing at the door,” Peggie Russell, the DMI coordinator and a University of Memphis researcher and community resource specialist, said. “He said, ‘It’s OK grandmother.’”

Howard Eddings, president of the Memphis Leadership Foundation, said the young man didn’t deny he was a drug dealer.

“He wanted to basically shut the door,” Eddings told The Memphis News. “She might not have known exactly what he was doing. She was an older lady. He didn’t like the fact that we were knocking on her door.”

He and the other five got a letter asking them to come to Springdale Baptist Church a few days later. If they came, the letter from Police Director Larry Godwin said they would not be prosecuted this time.

For Hughes the pledge was crucial. He wanted to be able to say, “I give you my word, you will not be arrested,” with certainty and conviction.

Five of the six showed up at Hughes’ church where the congregation and other community leaders were waiting in the sanctuary. On the walls were posters of the 51 defendants who weren’t getting the chance they were about to get. The posters included the possible prison sentences those defendants faced.

The five “guests” sat in a reserved front row with a friend or family member.

Their faces blurred in a video of the event, they listened as Assistant District Attorney Amy Weirich told them, “We’ve had it,” and called their names individually. “The Memphis Police Department is tired of picking up dead bodies in the street.”

Russell remembers some denying they had done anything wrong. Then police showed the video.

They watched video of themselves selling drugs numerous times to undercover police officers.

The woman’s denials stopped.

“She got caught during the first time. I don’t necessarily know that we believed it was the first time,” Eddings remembered. “But she was so embarrassed as a mom who had small kids who was put in the spotlight. … All of her junk is coming to the forefront.”

Russell said some of the others were telling those who came with them that they had no idea why they were summoned to the church.

“You’re sitting there and you’re telling your family member, ‘No, I didn’t do it,’” Russell said. “Then the tape started rolling … and you see yourself. It’s reality. You can’t hide it. I think that was a turning point for most of them.”

Hughes told the group of five that the church cared about them and was willing to help.

Some of his congregants spoke up too.

“Our congregants said, ‘Listen, we’re tired of watching you sell drugs. We’re tired of being afraid of coming in and out of our communities. We want our community back,’” Hughes recalled. “During the call in, some of our residents had an opportunity to look in their faces and say, ‘We are tired of the way you’ve been running down our communities. This used to be a wonderful community where people had pride, where people had hope. … Now a lot of us are afraid.’”

After the tough talk and the confrontation came a commitment to work with the five DMI candidates. Eddings emphasized there are no guarantees.

“We were careful not to promise them that we were going to get them jobs or that even if we could get them a job that it was going to pay them something comparable to what they were making on the street,” he said. ”We said the opposite. We can’t do that at all. But one thing we do know for sure. If you stop doing what you’re doing, you don’t go to jail.”

Russell, who gets much of the credit for pushing to give DMI a try and has become the program’s de facto coordinator, described the response as “something totally new.”

“It’s not about those five,” she said. “They are supposed to stay out of trouble for two years to make the necessary transition in their lives. But it’s really about the Hollywood Springdale community, changing the response of the community to open air drug sales.”

Eddings was surprised by the response.

“Most of these guys’ mamas know what they’re doing. But to know now that other mamas and other grandparents and other church leaders and the community have their eye on you, it has a different motivation,” he said. “Some of these guys are hardened. They’ve been doing it for a while and they’ve been out there on the streets. So, not much embarrasses them. But I could tell by looking at them and even some of the denials.”

The Memphis Leadership Foundation already works with convicted felons trying to make the difficult transition after prison. There are even fewer guarantees for those with a substantial prison record.

Marcus, who didn’t want his last name used, vented about how hard it’s been to find a legitimate job since he did prison time in 2006 for felony drug dealing.

“It’s not like people want to sell drugs,” he began. “On a lot of applications they are saying they don’t discriminate. They’re lying. … They’re ready to end the session right then. They might tear up the application in your face.”

If drug dealers like him bring blight to areas like Springdale and violence and a hard life for law-abiding citizens, Marcus said society has responded with its own brand of hardness.

“They ain’t reaching out anymore,” he said. “They expect for the world to be better because we’re building more jails. We’re putting more cops out. If somebody killed me today – the person who killed me, they want to put him in jail. But why put him in jail when y’all treating this man he killed like he’s a nobody anyway.”

Eddings said with criminal records or without, street level drug dealers have problems as they get older because they have no legitimate work history. He started to say there aren’t transferable skills before thinking about it.

“Actually, some of the skills do transfer. They’ve just got to get access,” he said. “It’s really a reshaping, a little bit more recognition that they need to deal with in terms of how they see themselves and how they can use those skills that they utilize on the streets to do something positive and pursue a legitimate way of life.”

The young man Eddings is working with seems not to have hit the wall that Marcus is at yet.

“He is simply trying to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other. They go from having some source of income to having no source of income,” Eddings told The Memphis News. “We’re convincing him now that getting his GED ought to be a decision that he ought to make. He’s been a little slow in that.”

Hughes said he would get the occasional dope boy showing up at his church before DMI.

“Very rarely. I did hear one or two stragglers you come across who say, ‘Yes, I do want to change.’ Often times, it’s usually because of a pending trial or they are in trouble,” he said. “Since that time, we’ve had a lot of people coming, wanting to change their lives.”

Gibbons is reviewing some neighborhoods where DMI might go next but he’s not saying where because of the undercover police work involved. He wants to see it replicated based on lessons learned in Memphis and he hopes to get a federal grant to hire a full-time coordinator.

The sixth man given a chance in the DMI program didn’t come to the church and was prosecuted. He pleaded guilty to five counts of selling drugs and was sentenced to four years in prison and fined $10,000. But the sentence was suspended and he was put on a diversion program.

Weirich recalled Criminal Court Judge John Fowlkes asking the man why he didn’t respond. He told Fowlkes, “It sounded too good to be true.”

...

81. Sheriff's Race Attracts Hard-Boiled Veterans -

Most of the Democratic and Republican candidates for Shelby County sheriff gathered last month in the office of outgoing Sheriff Mark Luttrell.

82. Inside The Priest Files: Documents reveal 50 years of abuse, cover-ups in Memphis diocese -

John Doe and his family watched 1999 change to the year 2000 in Memphis.

They were visitors to the city, here for a family medical emergency.

Looking back on it seven years later, Doe would remember “mentally trying to see if the world was going to end because everybody was scared something was going to happen.”

83. 50 Years of Secrets -

Catholic priests accused of child sexual abuse in Memphis moved to different parishes and cities without parishioners or authorities being alerted, according to recently opened Circuit Court records.

84. Starts With Food -

The arrival of Winchester Farmer’s Market at 6616 Winchester Road a number of years ago all but removed the memory of Seessel’s, the grocery stalwart that once occupied the space.

85. Colvett Named Greenscape President -

Frank Colvett Jr. has been promoted to president of GreenScape Inc.

Colvett previously was executive vice president and corporate treasurer. He has been at GreenScape since 1992 and has served in various capacities including project manager, estimator and vice president of marketing.

86. FBI Wants Public’s Help in Civil Rights Killings -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Over the past three years, the FBI scoured faded documents, interviewed aging lawmen and tracked down witnesses from killings that occurred decades ago, many of them involving white police officers who shot black men or teenagers.

87. Events -

The International Business Council will hold its 2009 fall meeting today at 8 a.m. at The Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. The theme of the event is “Memphis: The Crossroads of NAFTA.” Cost is $45 for Greater Memphis Chamber members and $60 for nonmembers. For tickets, call Brenda Montgomery at 543-3541.

88. Events -

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC will present “Show Me the Money (and the Strings): Things the Construction Industry Needs to Know about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” today from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Ron Terry Center of First Tennessee Bank, 4385 Poplar Ave. The event is free. To register, contact Nicolette Thomas at 577-2328 or nthomas@bakerdonelson.com.

89. Events -

Vaco Mid-South will host a continuing education seminar today at 8 a.m. at the Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road. Topics of the event are “Fair Value Measurements,” “Goodwill and Intangible Asset Impairment” and “Extensible Business Reporting Language.” Cost is $75. To register, call Joe Fracchia or Justin Farmer at 333-2250.

90. Dollar General Coming To James Road in Raleigh -

3609 James Road
Memphis, TN 38128
Permit Amount: $497,000

Project Cost: $497,000
Permit Date: Applied September 2009
Completion: TBA
Owner: SW Properties LLC
Tenant: Dollar General Corp.
Contractor: SW Properties LLC
Architect: N/A

91. After the Fall: The messy cleanup of Stanford Financial -

R. Allen Stanford, the Texas billionaire now passing time in a Texas jail for his role in what U.S. regulators have called a “massive Ponzi scheme,” once told a roomful of his employees they ought to have three priorities in life.

92. Dollar General Coming to Raleigh -

SW Properties LLC of Coldwater, Miss., has filed a $497,000 permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to build a Dollar General store at 3609 James Road in Raleigh. The store will be built on 1.43 acres on the south side of James Road, east of the intersection with North Highland Road.

93. A River Runs Through Us: Memphis’ once and future connection with the Wolf -

A cottonmouth slithers through the marsh. A wolf spider clings to a cypress tree. A white heron soars above the bottomland forest.

Paddle a canoe down the Ghost River section of the Wolf River in Fayette County and you’ll travel through multiple, distinct ecosystems teeming with wildlife. But while animal sightings convey the true spirit of the Wolf, only one creature – the elusive “river rat” – can verbalize why this river and its wetland corridor are so important.

94. Field of 28 For Mayor Meets Filing Deadline With Enough Signatures -  

A field of 28 candidates had filed petitions with enough valid signatures to run in the Oct. 15 special election for Memphis mayor by today’s noon deadline.

Shelby County Election Commission administrator Richard Holden told The Daily News several contenders had their petitions rejected once election commission staff checked the signatures.

Each person signing must be a registered voter in the city of Memphis and list the address that is on their voter registration record.

A total of 33 petitions were filed by the noon deadline. But several candidates were disqualified for not having enough signatures. And then three were returned to the list of candidates after a second check of their petitions. Those who returned to candidate status included Memphis school board member Sharon Webb.

Those who made today's cut have until noon Sept. 10 to withdraw from the race. The field will then become final.

The candidates include: 

  • Leo Awghowhat
  • Kenneth Baroff
  • Joe Brown, Memphis City Council member
  • Randy L. Cagle
  • Charles Carpenter, attorney
  • Carol Chumney, former City Council member
  • Dewey Clark, former aide to and witness against jailed Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell
  • James M. Clingan
  • Menelik Fombi, a candidate for Memphis City Schools Board in past elections
  • Wanda Halbert, chairwoman, City Council budget committee
  • Johnny Hatcher
  • Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges  
  • Constance Houston
  • Dewayne Jones
  • E.C. Jones, former City Council member
  • Jerry Lawler, entertainer and former professional wrestler
  • Myron Lowery, Memphis mayor pro tem
  • Ernie Lunati
  • Harrel C. Moore  
  • Mary T. Shelby-Wright, perennial candidate for numerous offices
  • Detric W. Stigall
  • Silky Sullivan, restaurant owner and entrepreneur
  • David Vinciarelli
  • Vuong Vaughn Vo
  • Sharon Webb, Memphis school board member
  • Kenneth T. Whalum Jr., pastor of New Olivet Baptist Church and Memphis school board member
  • A C Wharton Jr., Shelby County mayor
  • John Willingham, former Shelby County commissioner

Sullivan showed up at the Election Commission in a white Rolls Royce wearing a white suit.

“When you see this white suit, you know I’m coming at you,” he told reporters as he outlined a plan to turn The Pyramid over to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital instead of the proposed lease to Bass Pro Shops.

“It’s going to be a dogfight,” Sullivan said of the mayor’s race.

When someone asked if he would still be in the race after next week’s withdrawal deadline, Sullivan said he was in “to the violent end.”

“You know you can’t win,” political blogger and radio talk show host Thaddeus Matthews said to Sullivan.

“Why not?” Sullivan replied.

Anthony Willoughby, the last candidate to file before noon, told reporters he was a Realtor-broker who played a role in the development of Banneker Estates in southwest Memphis, the subdivision developed by former Mayor Willie Herenton.

“I’m not a politician,” Willoughby said. “I’m going to run on that statement.”

Willoughby didn't have enough qualified signatures, though. So he won't be running.

Daniko Flowers, a construction worker still wearing his safety vest, showed up at five minutes before noon and checked out a petition. He returned at three minutes past noon and was not allowed to file. Flowers only had 18 signatures on the petition anyway.

...

95. Events -

Dr. Buzz Aldrin will discuss and sign his book “Magnificent Desolation” today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Davis-Kidd Booksellers, 387 Perkins Road Extended. For more information, call 683-9801.

96. Rock for Love 3 Ready To Showcase Memphis Music -

The beat goes on as the Church Health Center sets the stage for Rock for Love 3, the third annual bonanza of garage rock bands and local celebs sharing their sounds to support the working poor.

Jeff Hulett, public relations and communications coordinator for CHC, said the two-night event, Friday and Aug. 22 at the Hi-Tone and Shangri-La Records in Midtown, has been declared a recession-free event.

97. Baldwin Joins Visible School As Department Chair, Professor -

George Baldwin has been hired by Visible School as department chair and assistant professor of music business ministry and audio production.

98. City of Memphis Files Permit For Liberty Bowl Renovation -

335 S. Hollywood St.
Memphis, TN 38104
Permit Amount: $1.2 Million

Project Cost: $1.2 million
Permit Date: Applied June 2009
Owner: City of Memphis
Tenant: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Architect: Bounds & Gillespie Architects PLLC

99. Not So Fast -

A proposed ordinance to prohibit employment-related discrimination in Shelby County government based on sexual orientation failed in a County Commission committee Wednesday morning on a 5-5 vote.

The measure, sponsored by Commissioner Steve Mulroy, will head to the full commission Monday for a vote on first reading but without the support of committee approval behind it. If Monday’s vote results in another tie or clear defeat, the measure at that point will have died.

100. Events -

The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence will present a workshop titled “Coaching 101” today from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Alliance office, 5100 Poplar Ave., Suite 502. Donna Pope will lead the workshop. Cost is $65 for members, $125 for nonmembers and $55 for those in the Program for Nonprofit Excellence. For more information, call 684-6605 or visit www.npexcellence.org.