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VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 5 | Saturday, January 28, 2017
Weekly Issue

Turning the Page

Independent bookstores face changing landscape as e-commerce grows and reading habits shift

When a bookstore decides to close its doors for good, the moment isn't always so immediate or possessive of the clean finality that comes with shutting a book at the end of the story.

EDITORIAL

Editorial: The Page Turns On Our Book Places

The decline of locally owned bookstores in Memphis and beyond hasn’t happened in a vacuum. So while we lament their precarious existence, it’s important to keep a few other points in mind.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Former MATA CEO Garrison Charged in Human Trafficking Sting

UPDATE: MATA released this second statement Friday afternoon:

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ECONOMY

Economic Growth Across Sectors Spurs Optimism in Memphis

Memphis-area business leaders are feeling a bit of measured optimism about the economy and the state of their own enterprises. That’s according to the results of the latest edition of The Memphis News Economic Overview, a package of data and anecdotal insights that captures a snapshot across the Memphis economy.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

Jan 27-Feb 2, 2017: This week in Memphis history

1985: The Memphis Showboats of the United States Football league play the New Jersey Generals in Charlotte, N.C., in the preseason opener for the USFL’s second and final season. The Showboats cut Ole Miss star John Fourcade before the exhibition, but Mossy Cade and Leonard Coleman, from the University of Texas and Vanderbilt respectively, have joined the defense. Returning are Reggie White and Walter Lewis.

EMPHASIS Distribution & Logistics

E-Commerce Return Shipments Spur Growth in Reverse Logistics Sector

After the dust settled from the busiest time of the year for return shipments, commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group Inc. released a report that outlined the methods retailers use to handle returned merchandise from e-commerce sales.

Consolidation of Cargo Carriers Puts Ocean Freight Industry at ‘Crossroads’

Memphis-based Dunavant Global Logistics Group and Mallory Alexander International Logistics are prime players in the ocean freight business as non-vessel operating common carriers, otherwise known as NVOCCs. And each, according to a consultant who used to work as an executive for one of larger ocean freight lines in the industry, has a strong reputation.

Proposal to Limit Trucks’ Speed On US Roadways Closer to Becoming Law

A proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that would require speed limiters on all heavy-duty trucks traveling on U.S. roadways might finally become law this year after more than a decade in the works.

TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS

Garrison Resigns As Head of MATA

Memphis Area Transit Authority president and general manager Ron Garrison has resigned the leadership of the city’s public transportation system, citing health reasons.

Report: Memphis Trails Peer Cities in Transit Funding

When it comes to public transit funding, Memphis is seriously lagging behind its peer cities, according to a recent report conducted by Innovate Memphis, Livable Memphis and the Greater Memphis Chamber.

SUSTAINABILITY

State Sens. Harris, Kelsey Critical of TVA Water Wells

When Odell Johnson goes on business trips he looks forward to seeing water pumping plants in other cities that use surface water for drinking water.

TVA Chair OK With Memphis Aquifer Decision

The chairwoman of the Tennessee Valley Authority board says a plan to tap the Memphis aquifer for water to cool the inner workings of the natural gas plant being built in southwest Memphis will not harm the aquifer.

DOWNTOWN

RDC’s Role Changes With New Riverfront Task Force

The role of the Riverfront Development Corp., a nonprofit group raising private money and receiving a static amount of city funding that was a precursor to the county park conservancies of the last decade, changed this week.

REAL ESTATE RECAP

Downtown Church Ready to Rise From the Ashes

204 N. Second St., Memphis, TN 38105 , Permit Amount: $2.6 million, -
More than 10 years after a fire ravaged First United Methodist Church, church officials are ready to move forward with the next phase of the rebuilding process.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

A Better Fit: Demand Takes Dry Cleaner Down Another Aisle

In the age of recycling, a local dry cleaner and seamstress is restoring the lost art of dress designing for a generation of women who want to bring new life to vintage wedding gowns and formal wear.

HEALTH CARE

Lifeblood Puts Out Call for Blood Donations

Lifeblood calls it a perfect storm of obstacles. Blood donations are down at the moment, according to the organization, and it’s the result of a combination of catalysts – everything from this being flu season, leaving potential donors sick, to the rush to recover from the holidays that leads some people to overlook giving blood.

FOOD INDUSTRY

Brewers Applaud Tennessee Law Change on High-Gravity Beer

In the wake of a Tennessee law that went into effect Jan. 1 that opens up several new styles of beer for local breweries to take advantage of, Memphis Made Brewing Co. put together a slumber party.

Partners Open The Bluff Sports Bar on Highland Strip

The first time Nickle Smith took business partner Hudson Chadwick inside the space at 535 S. Highland, they were excited about the possibility of transforming it into something new.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Germantown Board Approves Change for Trader Joe’s

The much-anticipated Trader Joe’s in Germantown took another step forward Tuesday night.

Expanded Uptown TIF May Offer Needed Relief for Blighted Areas

The announcement of last week’s blockbuster proposal to expand the Uptown Tax Increment Financing area and extend the applications of Downtown’s Tourism Development Zone may have been headlined by the reimagined convention center and multibillion-dollar improvements to the area’s medical facilities, but some of the most significant changes may end up occurring at the neighborhood level.

Deannexation Group Gets Dollar Figures on Leaving Memphis

If South Cordova, Windyke and Southwind leave Memphis, the city should get to keep sales tax and property tax revenue generated by commercial properties in those three recently annexed areas.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Ernest Strickland Takes On Workforce Role at Chamber

The Greater Memphis Chamber has promoted Ernest Strickland to senior vice president of workforce development, a newly created role. Strickland, who has worked at the chamber since 2006, previously served as vice president of international and business partnerships.

HIGHER EDUCATION

CBU Opens New School for the Arts

Rosa Deal was the first woman on the faculty of Christian Brothers University, from 1961 to her retirement in 1994. And when she died five years ago, those who thought they knew Deal, who by then was professor emerita of the CBU School of the Arts, got a surprise.

COMMUNITY

Malone Takes Reins, Plans Changes At Memphis Branch NAACP

The Memphis branch of the NAACP has one full-time employee and is looking for a new executive director in what amounts to a major overhaul of the chapter as it marks its centennial year.

REAL ESTATE

Memphis Residential Market Growing, But Slower Than Most Metros, Study Finds

Memphis ranks last among the nation’s 50 largest markets in a new report assessing current and forecasted housing fundamentals.

THE TIPPING POINT

Through Banking and More, Williams Invests in Memphis

Duncan Williams runs his investment bank the way others might run a family. “We do things differently around here,” he concedes. “When I walk out on the floor, nobody calls me ‘Mr. Williams.’ Mostly it’s, ‘What’s up, D.?’”

AUTO INDUSTRY

Report: Amazon Wants to Take On AutoZone, Other Parts Retailers

AutoZone earlier this week got a taste of what just a hint – however thinly sourced – of fresh competition from the retail behemoth Amazon can do to investor nerves.

SPORTS

The Press Box: For Redbirds and Grizzlies, It’s Not Just Wins and Losses

Hang onto the past, the good parts – whatever stirs happy echoes for your fan base – but simultaneously press onward into the future. That’s what professional sports teams always need to do.

Imperfect Grizzlies? Yes, And They Have Much Company

T he Grizzlies have two wins over both the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. That’s, you know, not supposed to happen. And this week, LeBron James sounded off on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ desperate need for a backup point guard. So the world champions have issues.

Grizzlies Discuss Advantages of D-League Team, Name to Come This Spring

The team name and logo won’t be announced until this spring, but the impact of the Memphis Grizzlies getting an NBA Development League expansion franchise will be felt in many areas of the organization for years to come.

NBA Writer Sees Gasol, Conley as All-Stars

At espn.com, senior writer Zach Lowe has made his All-Star reserve picks and he has deemed both point guard Mike Conley and center Marc Gasol worthy of representing the Grizzlies on the Western Conference team.

Slow Pace of AD Hire Typical of How UT Works

About the University of Tennessee’s athletics director search: What’s your hurry? It only took a little over five months after Dave Hart’s retirement announcement to start the process of hiring a search firm and finalizing a committee that will oversee the selection process. The last thing you want to do is rush things, right?

What are the Odds? Blackburn is Still the Favorite

Tennessee has its search firm and its search committee is in place to find the replacement for Dave Hart as the university’s athletic director.

Fans Finally Get to Enjoy Watching Titans’ Players in Pro Bowl Again

For those needing a Titans fix this week, there are a couple of things to occupy your mind and perhaps pique your curiosity.

TENNESSEE LEGISLATURE

Governor Proposes Rural Broadband Expansion for Tennessee

NASHVILLE – State government will provide private companies with millions of dollars in grants and tax credits to extend broadband internet access while allowing electric co-ops to enter the retail broadband business under legislation Sen. Mark Norris is set to sponsor.

View From the Hill: Haslam Facing Tough Sell on Tax Hikes, Cuts

An interesting thing happened just a couple of hours before Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled his fuel-tax increase plan amid great fanfare at the State Capitol. 

State Prosecutors Fighting for Funds Threatened by Haslam’s IMPROVE Act

Tennessee’s district attorney generals are negotiating with the governor’s office to keep $5.6 million for DUI enforcement and prosecution, federal funds they could lose in an unintended consequence of his proposed IMPROVE Act.

House Leader Says Haslam’s IMPROVE Act Will Need More Votes for Passage

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam made his pitch on a multi-faceted fuel-tax increase, softened by an array of tax breaks this week. Now, he has to seal the deal.

Harris Visits With Park Employees on State Outsourcing Plan

NASHVILLE – State Sen. Lee Harris, D-Memphis, and Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, met with Fall Creek Falls State Park employees Friday, Jan. 20, for a town hall discussion on the governor’s proposal to outsource state assets to private companies and potentially eliminate state jobs.

SNAPSHOT

Snapshot: Breaking the Seal on Hotel Napoleon

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland cuts the ribbon at the formal opening of Hotel Napoleon at 179 Madison Ave. on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The boutique hotel, which officially opened last fall, has 58 rooms and a variety of upscale amenities.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

New Year, New Game

INSPIRING WORDS FOR OUR NEW TEAM. “Sometimes they write what I say, not what I mean.” – former Cardinal, Dodger and major league MVP Pedro Guerrero, who obviously could have been president.

Incorporate Life Planning in Your Financial Plan

Ray’s Take You may already devote considerable attention to the financial side of retirement planning: how much to save, how to invest, different ways of turning your nest egg into a reliable retirement income, etc. But have you given thought to retirement lifestyle planning?

Excellent Work Uplifts Humanity

Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person, whomever we are, whatever we do. There is an inherent need to contribute to our community and to see the work that we do as making a difference.

Super Bowl Ad Sales Going Slow

Super Bowl advertising sales have been slow-going this season, with only 90 percent sold by December of last year. While that may sound like solid performance given the big game isn’t until February, consider that Super Bowl ads usually sell out in September or October given how long it takes advertisers to produce their big-game spots.

Overcoming Legal Issues In Your Past

Questions around past legal trouble has come up multiple times recently, so it’s worth addressing. A reader writes, “I’m a job seeker with a felony record and a college degree. I can’t expunge the record, and I’m not sure what to do. Where should I begin?”

Defining Your Legacy

When an organization captures your heart you think about how you can contribute to their work. You give of your time, resources and talents. You can also plan to continue your giving in the future, even when you’re gone. You can start at 20 years old or 70. Age is not a barrier.

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Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 82 82 19,655
MORTGAGES 75 75 22,989
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 8,305
BUILDING PERMITS 138 138 40,167
BANKRUPTCIES 72 72 13,176
BUSINESS LICENSES 9 9 6,146
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 52 52 13,048
MARRIAGE LICENSES 30 30 4,872

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