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VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 8 | Saturday, March 8, 2014
Weekly Issue

Making a Difference

Taylor Berger’s latest venture aims to ‘Make Memphis’ a better place

It’s a strange thing, acknowledges Memphis businessman Taylor Berger, to form an organization that you don’t necessarily want to be that organized.

Editorial: Let City’s Innovative Ideas Flow Outward

So many Memphians are working on so many parts of the same general movement that it’s only natural there would be a tendency to question whether all of those efforts toward a more innovative Memphis could be folded into each other or consolidated in some way.

EMPHASIS Construction

Cost Crunch

Fluctuating material prices pose challenge to contractors, homebuilders

The aftermath of the housing crash and economic recession produced a roller coaster of changes in construction costs, one with more peaks than valleys.

Lot Dearth Problematic for Builders

A dwindling supply of developed lots could threaten the nascent local homebuilding rebound, according to homebuilders.

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Grinder Looks to Bring Energy to Associated Builders Role

Justin Grinder knew at an early age that he wanted to be involved in the construction industry.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

This week in Memphis history: March 7-13

1982: U2 opened for J. Geils Band at the Auditorium. It was the second Memphis show by U2 who had played the previous year at The Music Hall, a nightspot on Madison Avenue, west of McLean Boulevard. After the Auditorium date, the band dropped in at Miller’s Cave, a Frayser bar, and played two songs with the Miller Brothers Band.

Hopson Talks New School Construction

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson said he will seek funding before the new fiscal year that begins July 1 for a new Westhaven Elementary School and possibly two other new schools in southeast and northwest Shelby County.

New Frontiers

Airlines adding flights to evolving Memphis International Airport

When the first Frontier Airlines jet kicking off regular service at Memphis International Airport arrives Friday, March 7, from Denver at gate C7, it will symbolize just how much the airport has changed. It is also an indication of how the airport continues to evolve.

University of Memphis Names Four Finalists for President

The current provost at the University of Memphis, a former president of the University of Alabama, a vice chancellor at the University of Arkansas and the provost of the College of Charleston are the four finalists to become the next president of the University of Memphis.

Lakecrest II Sells for $4.6 Million

The Lakecrest II office building in East Memphis has changed hands again.

Memphis Repertory Orchestra Plans More Growth

Coming off a year in which it found a home at the Buckman Performing Arts Center and released a CD of its music, the Memphis Repertory Orchestra – a small, all-volunteer chamber group – is looking to do even bigger things in 2014.

Council Looks to Pinpoint Pension Numbers

The Tuesday, March 4, discussion Memphis City Council members had with Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson, Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard and consultants from four actuarial firms centered on the city’s pension liability.

City Sprouts

Urban agriculture movement grows in Memphis

The vacant homes and lots on Jennette Place near Walker Avenue and Mississippi Boulevard in South Memphis began germinating like an urban form of kudzu. They appeared like an invasive species in this proud neighborhood, spreading quickly, choking the life from viable properties and growing into a scourge that at one point seemed impossible to eradicate.

Lemmonds Forges New Venture on Broad

Elizabeth Lemmonds’ idea for a combination art space and fabrication shop, which she began pursuing after striking out on her own from the Start Co. organization last year, is coming together.

Collierville Schools Prepares for Parent ‘Angst’

UPDATE: In a special meeting Friday, March 7, the Germantown Municipal Schools board voted 3-0 to rescind its tuition requirement for open enrollment of students living outside Germantown.

AutoZone Grows Sales, Net Income in 2nd Quarter

Whenever AutoZone Inc. chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes presents the company’s quarterly earnings to analysts, it’s never long before he starts talking about the weather.

Election Commission Hears Ballot Challenges

Shelby County Election Commissioners could complete the ballot for the May Shelby County primary elections Wednesday, March 5, by deciding on challenges to the residency of three candidates in the Democratic primaries.

Sales Pitch

Local teams get creative to maintain, attract season-ticket holders

For every professional sports team, there are at least two running narratives: the one on the court or field of play and the one at the box office.

Fincher Outlines ‘Complicated’ Farm Bill Details

The only active row-crop farmer in Congress has been on the road the last month talking particulars of a very complex farm bill with farmers not only in his West Tennessee district, which includes part of Memphis, but in five other states and other parts of Tennessee.

Germantown Schools Tuition Debate Lingers

UPDATE: In a special meeting Friday, March 7, the Germantown Municipal Schools board voted 3-0 to rescind its tuition requirement for open enrollment of students living outside Germantown.

Norris Finds Legislative Leadership Has its Price

Many people who like problem solving usually tackle a tough crossword, or maybe Sudoku.

Potter Upholds Ashlar Hall Transfer

Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter, reversing a previous decision, upheld a 2013 transfer of Ashlar Hall from Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges to an acquaintance who wants to turn the stately but decaying property into a home for military veterans.

Wharton: City Must Target ‘Black Boy Crime’

As President Barack Obama talked from the East Room of the White House last week about violence and young African-American men and boys, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was among a group of mayors meeting in New Orleans who say they are ready to back a new approach to the problem.

Police Union Dispute Subsides, Leaves Questions

A turbulent week at the Criminal Justice Center for the Memphis Police Department is the lead-in for a critical week at City Hall in the unfunded pension liability discussion.

Startup Space

Cowork Memphis developing entrepreneurial resource, educational hub

The new Cowork Memphis venture in Cooper-Young has quickly developed into a resource and educational hub for freelancers and other busy professionals, helped in part by participation from entrepreneurs like Michael Nunn.

Women Progress, But Still Seek Change

Amy Howell understands the assumptions. Co-author a book with the title “Women in High Gear” and it is easy, she says, to imagine a book that is “anti-male.”

Fed: Memphis Banks Improved in 2013

Memphis banks ended 2013 in somewhat better shape collectively than they stood at the end of 2012, based on new numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Medicaid Expansion Terms Possible

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen says federal health officials are probably willing to talk terms on an expansion of Medicaid in Tennessee with the state’s current governor, Bill Haslam.

I Choose Memphis: Surayyah T. Hasan

“I Choose Memphis” spotlights Memphians who are passionate about calling this community home. New Memphis Institute provides the profiles.

SPORTS

City, Arena Prepare for Tourney Spotlights

It’s an audition. That’s the simplest way to explain Memphis serving as host for the inaugural American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament March 12-15 at FedExForum.

Tigers Seniors Hope to Script Memorable Last Chapter

The five Memphis seniors talked about their college basketball careers and they sounded older, wiser. And although nobody used this word, maybe a little scared about what might, or might not, come next.

SMALL BUSINESS

Exlines’ Best Pizza Marks 40 Years

It was about 40 years ago that Walt and Violet Exline were looking for a home in Raleigh and stopped with their Realtor to eat lunch at a pizza parlor at the corner of Austin Peay Highway and Stage Road.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

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.

REAL ESTATE RECAP

Midtown Apartment Building Sells for $840,000

199 S. McLean Blvd., Memphis, TN 38104, Sale Amount: $840,000 -

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Sunny Side Up

WHAT’S FOR BREAKFAST? I’m skeptical of city pep rallies because they tend to be more about the pep than any solutions worth rallying around, the cheerleading more cheering than leading. I’m also skeptical of anyone who’s particularly peppy first thing in the morning.

Making the Most of Career Fairs

As college graduates prepare to enter the working world in May, corporations begin to ramp up their hiring. More jobs are posted, and recruiters increase their search efforts. Even if you graduated from college years or decades ago, this can be a perfect time to look for a new opportunity.

Do You Feel Lucky?

Ray’s Take: When thinking about your future, do you believe that you will be taken “feet first in a pine box” out of the home you worked so hard for during your younger years? Or do you sometimes get that uncomfortable feeling that you need to “knock on wood” as you look around at friends or acquaintances who have experienced a sudden change in health forcing a change in venue?

Oxymoronic and Iconic

The phrase “civil war” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. And, of course, it’s generally used to refer to open hostilities between factions that occupy a common geographical sphere.

Looking Backward and Forward

The Look Back This time last year we predicted that 2013 would revive investor animal spirits. In fact, investors were downright euphoric last year, absolutely gorging themselves on stocks, buying at a record pace.

Marketing Strategies On Vine

Given the increasingly shorter attention span of today’s Web user, it’s no wonder Twitter’s looping video app – Vine – is crawling its way into brand marketing strategies across the globe. At more than 40 million users in just over a year, it’s making a run at Instagram, now over three years old with more than 150 million users.

Four Ways to Grow Your Alumni Association

Part two of a two-part series on alumni fundraising. Alumni associations offer memberships and raise funds for the colleges and universities they are associated with. Many are independent nonprofit organizations; others operate as part of the institution’s alumni relations department.

The High Cost of Chrome, Glass and Surfaces

I resisted the computer age. I really did. Then one of my generation’s early adopters encouraged me to buy a Leading Edge computer. My life was forever changed. No more Wite-Out correction fluid or carbon paper. I was free.

Next Step: Innovate Open Young Minds

Our last Let’s Grow column focused on an outgrowth of our efforts with some sharp peers, the Memphis Innovation Bootcamp.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 83 415 10,637
MORTGAGES 87 499 13,826
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 19 99 2,743
BUILDING PERMITS 0 915 25,222
BANKRUPTCIES 79 343 10,235
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 97 3,833
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 143 573 15,130
MARRIAGE LICENSES 23 106 3,273

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The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.