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VOL. TMN-11 | NO. 1 | Saturday, January 6, 2018
Weekly Issue

White Nationalist Confederate Monuments Protest Draws Larger Police Presence

A dozen white nationalists with Confederate flags were the only protest Saturday, Jan. 6, that got anywhere near Health Sciences Park and what’s left of the park’s monument to Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Parks Closed By Police On Eve of Saturday Protest Plans

Memphis Police shut down two Memphis parks Friday, Jan. 5, in advance of planned protests Saturday by groups opposed to the Dec. 20 removal of Confederate monuments from both parks.

Memphis Experts See Economic Growth Building Off 2017 Into 2018

With resolutions made and the new year now, another annual exercise rises to the forefront – predictions on what Memphis and its economy can expect in 2018.

EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL: Take Current Council Members Out of Three-Term-Limit Question

For all of the names currently circulating for this or that office on one of the three election days we’ll have in Shelby County this year, it might help somewhere near the outset to remember who and what this is about.

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Memphis Hilton Sells for $31 Million

The Memphis Hilton, the iconic cylindrical hotel located 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. in East Memphis, has sold for $31 million.

New Owners of Downtown Hotel Seeking PILOT Transfer, Bakery Development Project Progressing

Richmond, Virginia-based Apple Hospitality REIT is seeking an assignment from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. in order to complete the purchase of the Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis – Beale Street located at 175 Peabody Place in Downtown Memphis.

Attorney, Former Political Activist Lewis Donelson Dies at 100

In a century of life that began in Memphis, Lewis Donelson was many things including an attorney, politician and strategist. In all of those pursuits and others, he was one of the city’s most influential citizens and a force in some of the most historic moments in the city’s history as well as the state’s history.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

This week in Memphis history: Jan. 5-11

2008: First Memphis City Council meeting of the four-year term for the council members elected the previous October. During the oath of office ceremony New Year’s Day at the Cannon Center, council chairman Scott McCormick promises a new era at City Hall. While Mayor Willie Herenton is starting his fifth term in office, the council elections the previous year saw a turnover in nine of the 13 council members – the largest turnover in the history of the mayor-council form of government.

SNAPSHOT

Art Breeds Discussion

“Art/Race/Violence: A Collaborative Response” is the first exhibition on display in Crosstown Arts’ new location in Crosstown Concourse. Using art as a “social instrument,” artists collaborated directly with one another and challenged themselves to examine the “history of racially motivated violence” in America. Crosstown Arts has scheduled a panel discussion on the exhibition for Thursday, Jan. 11, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Moore Named Executive Director of Explore Bike Share

Trey Moore has been named executive director of Explore Bike Share, the Memphis nonprofit that is preparing to launch a local bike-share system with 600 bicycles and 60 stations. Moore, who is returning to Memphis from Atlanta, Georgia, will lead Explore Bike Share’s staff in operations, fund development and community engagement activities in partnership with the organization’s board of directors.

GOVERNMENT

Battling Opioids

Shelby County to launch public health campaign this month

Later this month, Shelby County government will roll out a public health effort led by the Shelby County Health Department to battle opioid addiction. “We’re taking a very long view of this. It’s not going to be a quick fix,” Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell told Shelby County Commission members Wednesday, Jan. 3, during committee sessions.

Memphis Leaders: Avoid Parks During Protests

City leaders are urging Memphians to avoid two city parks and a third area Saturday, Jan. 6, after several groups indicated they plan to protest last month’s removal of Confederate monuments. However, city chief legal officer Bruce McMullen said at a Thursday morning taping of the WKNO-TV program “Behind the Headlines” that no group had applied for a city permit to hold a march or demonstration.

Mayor Says Memphis 'Will Be Prepared' for Statue Protests

If opponents of the removal of the city’s two most visible Civil War monuments follow through on plans for a Memphis protest Jan. 6, Mayor Jim Strickland said city government will be ready.

2017: YEAR IN REVIEW

Off to a Great Start

Memphis' startup community hit new strides in 2017

When Megan Smith, the former U.S. chief technology officer under the Obama administration, praised Memphis’ startup community during an interview last summer on Bloomberg TV, it was a high-profile example of the ongoing coming-of-age of the ecosystem here.

Startups and Artisans: EPIcenter caps a Busy 2017 Supporting Entrepreneurs

Memphis’ startup ecosystem and its small-scale makers and artisans community took another leap forward in 2017, with new programming, resources and support to help all of those entrepreneurs continue to thrive.

We’re No. 1!

Memphis most charitable metro in 2017, but changes may be in the air

While tax law changes have some worried about the impact on charitable giving in 2018, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis president Robert Fockler points to Memphis’s historical standing as a generous city and his foundation’s own growth as reasons he is not worried as the calendar flips to a new year.

REAL ESTATE

Texas Investor Buys $14.6M Industrial Portfolio

Sealy & Co., a Texas-based real estate investment firm, has purchased a 584,000-square-foot industrial portfolio in the Southeast Memphis submarket for $14.6 million.

Gibson Guitar Factory Property Fetches $14.4M, New Midtown Tiki Bar Opening Soon

145 Lt. George W Lee Ave. -
A warranty deed filed Dec. 27 with the Shelby County Register of Deeds shows that buyers paid $14.4 million for the Gibson Guitar Factory property in Downtown Memphis.

Florida Developers Planning $23M Retirement Facility in E. Memphis

Vero Beach, Florida-based Harbor Retirement Associates has filed a $23.2 million building permit application with the Office of Construction Code Enforcement to build a new senior living facility in East Memphis.

Industrial Market Closes 2017 With Strong Q4

The Memphis industrial market finished the year strong by adding almost 1 million square feet of net absorption in the fourth quarter, bringing the 2017 total to more than 4.3 million square feet.

Developers Seek OK For Collierville Subdivision

Developer Husni Dweik of Aspen LLC has submitted plans for an 18-lot residential subdivision to the Collierville Planning Commission.

228-Acre Development Planned For Southaven

The Southaven Board of Aldermen has approved developer Brian Hill’s ambitious plan for a 228-acre mixed-use development called Silo Square in the heart of DeSoto County.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Brand That Fits

Entrepreneurs look to expand staffing concept across Southeast

In 2017, two local entrepreneurs teamed up to bring a new staffing concept to the Bluff City and with the new year now here, they have their eyes set on expanding throughout the Southeast.

RESTAURANT NEWS

New Memphis Arrival Opens Coffee Shop at Brooks

Four months ago, David Pender had never visited Memphis before. That’s how he starts a recap of what for him has been a serendipity-fueled introduction to the Bluff City, an arrival that’s included landing behind the counter at his newly opened coffee shop, Low Fi Coffee, inside the museum store at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Outlook Bright for Memphis' Gig Economy in ’18

Whether by choice or necessity, the number of people working freelance and contract jobs in Memphis and nationwide is increasing as the “gig economy” booms. Employers are saving money by not keeping as many employees on full-time or with benefits, while gig workers have added freedom and flexibility.

Heritage Trail Historic Effort Get $45K Federal Grant

The National Park Service has approved a $45,000 federal grant to the city of Memphis for the continued development of the Memphis Heritage Trail area.

ELECTIONS

Candidates in August State and Federal Primaries Start Pulling Petitions Friday

Contenders for the May Shelby County primaries are still coming out of the political woodwork. And starting Friday, Jan. 5, candidates in the August state and federal primaries can begin pulling qualifying petitions for the second of three elections in 2018.

COMMUNITY

The Nerdy Side Of Memphis Gets Social

Dr. Stephanie Madden, an assistant professor in the journalism department at the University of Memphis, has seen the creative and offbeat sides of Memphis since moving here with her husband in May 2016.

LAW & THE COURTS

AWA to Honor Haltom at Annual Event

After 30 years working with Shelby County government as a practicing attorney and a Juvenile Court judge, the Honorable Claudia Haltom retired and turned her focus to creating something that would make a difference.

SPORTS

Former Tiger Clinton McDonald Nominee for NFL Man of the Year

Clinton McDonald, a former University of Memphis football player, is up for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award after already having been selected as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Man of the Year.

College Football Playoff Imperfect, But Entertains

Go ahead, make the case. Central Florida went undefeated, was clearly the class of the Group of 5.

Why Aren’t Starved Fans All In for the Titans?

There is some irony in the Tennessee Titans’ going to the “Show-Me State” for a first-round playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Pruitt Makes Most of Early Signing Date

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt could have done a lot worse during the Dec. 20-22 early signing period, the first-ever for high school recruits in college football.

Could Liberty Bowl Become Regular Destination for Memphis Tigers?

The record books will forever note that on Dec. 30, 2017, in the 59th AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Iowa State defeated the University of Memphis 21-20 in the Tigers’ first appearance in the game.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Save More This Year

Ray’s Take: January is the time of year when many people make decisions about how they want to improve their lives in the coming year. Part of your plans for improvement should be to figure out if there are any places in your life where you can save more than you did last year (and the year before). 

Memphis is Changing

SOMETHING’S GOING ON HERE. President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis was invited back to Memphis in 1964 when black folks were getting all uppity during the civil rights movement. He has finally left the podium.

Celebrating 2018 Around the World

Best-destination travel lists often are random with no real rhyme or reason other than a particular destination doing a fantastic job marketing itself to travel writers. And yes, I’ve written a few of these lists through the years.

Creating A New You In 2018

If 2017 left you feeling disappointed at work, today is the perfect day to start turning things around in 2018.

Trim the Fat from Communications

While we all try to start the year healthier by substituting celery for cookies, it’s also time to make your internal communications a little leaner with a New Year’s reboot.

Assess 2017: Pass Or Fail?

Happy New Year! We hope you will find within you a way to embrace the new year with thoughtfulness, optimism and calm. 

Start With Feeling

People ask me often about innovation. No one has a clear definition. Innovation is one of those words that mean something different to anyone who hears it. Similar to other words that are filled with misunderstanding, such as creativity or strategy, innovation requires a refining conversation to demystify and better understand. 

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 98 238 15,862
MORTGAGES 122 284 18,332
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 13 34 2,439
BUILDING PERMITS 137 452 32,966
BANKRUPTCIES 62 178 10,191
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 73 5,251
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 28 92 6,240
MARRIAGE LICENSES 13 63 3,476

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