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VOL. TMN-7 | NO. 41 | Saturday, October 4, 2014
Weekly Issue

Room for Growth

Memphis hotel industry booming but not impacting convention business

Sardor and Gulam Umarov are used to fighting battles with seemingly long odds.

Editorial: Hotel Growth Part of City’s Story

We seem to have settled the chicken-and-egg argument about more hotel rooms in Memphis.

EMPHASIS Attorneys

Parting Thoughts

Estate planning changing as wills, estates become more contentious

Wade Bolton had a lot on his mind when he drafted his will in 1868.

Probate Court Trio Returns for New Terms

The two judges and clerk whose court is at the center of the practice of estate law in Shelby County were returned to their offices by Shelby County voters in the August county general elections.

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The Memphis Railroad & Trolley Museum will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the grand opening of Memphis Central Station on Saturday, Oct. 4, with an 11 a.m. ceremony and free events from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Attendees can tour the Amtrak Exhibit Train, a Norfolk Southern Railroad exhibit car and a Canadian National freight locomotive cab. Visit mrtm.org.

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Judicial Retention Travels Complex Path

The 2014 election year is proving to be a long one for those interested in the judicial races on the ballot.


This week in Memphis history: October 3-9

2013: Wyatt Bunker took office as the new mayor of Lakeland. Bunker, a Shelby County Commissioner and former county school board member, upset incumbent Scott Carmichael in the September Lakeland city elections.

Wharton Makes More Health Care Changes

The working wives and husbands of city of Memphis employees will remain on the city’s health insurance plan through 2015 as long as they pay an increased monthly surcharge of $100, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced Friday, Oct. 3, in the latest changes to the city’s health insurance plan.

Orgel Hints at Tennessee Brewery Plans

The owner of the Tennessee Brewery said the historic property could be transformed into a mixed-use project featuring apartments and some ground-floor commercial space, according to a news report.

Collins Forms Mayoral Exploratory Committee

Memphis City Council member Harold Collins has formed an exploratory committee as he considers a run for Memphis mayor in 2015.

Keystone Educator Named Teacher of the Year

A fourth-grade teacher at Keystone Elementary School was recognized Thursday, Oct. 2, as Tennessee’s Teacher of the Year.

Building a Reputation

Young real estate investor making his mark

This week, Lafayette’s Music Room reopened in its old location at Overton Square, bringing live music back to the rejuvenated district.

Paragon Bank Reports Profitable Quarter

Paragon Bank’s most recent quarterly results show the bank sticking to the game plan for the rest of 2014 that Paragon executives outlined earlier this year at the company’s annual meeting.

Olive Branch Business Park Closer to Development

A Texas-based development firm could start turning dirt soon on a massive new business park in Olive Branch.

Ballot Questions Highlight November Election

When Shelby County voters begin making their choices in a week and a half in the last election of 2014, a good number of the choices won’t be among candidates but rather a choice between yes or no.

FedEx Delivers Service to Memphis Causes

Robin Hicks, communications adviser for FedEx Trade Networks, arrived at the Lucius Burch Natural Area at Shelby Farms Park last week and made her way through the vegetation to the Wolf River.

Classroom Shift

Blended learning program brings technology to schools

Once students in 18 Shelby County schools return from their fall break Oct. 13 they should start taking home the Lenovo Yoga laptop-tablets that are at the heart of the system’s three-year blended-learning pilot program.

Startup Looks to Help Cab Companies Evolve

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft seem to have been eating the traditional cab industry’s lunch.

Hopson Dispels Charter Takeover Talk

The Innovation Zone schools in the Shelby County Schools system won’t be turned over to charter school organizations, superintendent Dorsey Hopson said Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Cops Talk Changes in Youth Crime Strategy

Memphis Police brass plan to put uniform police officers on some Memphis Area Transit Authority buses.

Baptist Memorial Health Care Cutting 112 Jobs

Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. is eliminating 112 jobs across its three-state service area as a cost-cutting measure.

Appeals Court Denies Whalum Election Challenge

More than two years after all of the votes were counted and a year after the election results were formally disputed in court, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, Sept. 30, that Shelby County Schools board member Kevin Woods beat the Rev. Kenneth Whalum for the District 4 Shelby County Schools board seat.

African-American Icons Highlight Freedom Awards

The National Civil Rights Museum will honor journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Freedom Summer icon Bob Moses and baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson at the 2014 Freedom Awards.

Cycle for Life

Ride to Fight On will benefit West Cancer Center

She’s young, physically active, and the family history did not suggest she was at risk. Yet Kate Horton was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Wellness Clinic Part of City’s Insurance Changes

A new “wellness clinic” for city of Memphis employees and retirees opens Wednesday, Oct. 1, in Midtown and takes its place in City Hall’s summer to fall political tempest over changes in health insurance coverage approved by the Memphis City Council in June.

Whitehaven Flood Response Complicated

When the Memphis area got seven inches of rain on Sept. 11, a group of Whitehaven homeowners at the state line watched once the rain stopped as their neighbors on the other side of the border got a prompter response in terms of a federal disaster declaration.

Triumph Bank Surpasses $500 Million in Assets

Triumph Bank didn’t choose its new tagline, “Let’s talk growth,” earlier this year only because it sounded hopeful or was an ideal to strive for.

Williams-Sonoma Growth Highlights DeSoto Push

In 1999, Williams-Sonoma Inc. opened its first DeSoto County distribution center on Polk Lane in Olive Branch.

Delta Makes More Changes at Memphis International

Delta Airlines is making more changes at Memphis International Airport.

Smart Growth Plan Sets Stage in Germantown

In 2007, the city of Germantown adopted its Smart Growth plan and accompanying zoning regulations, which promoted more walkable, accessible mixed-use development in its central business district and surrounding neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Art

South Main to unveil new public art project

Downtown’s South Main neighborhood may have been part of the first official arts district in the city of Memphis, but that’s not been exactly obvious while looking around on a drive or walk through the area.

Real Estate Experts Look at Impact of North Mississippi

Six years after the real estate bubble burst nationally, the recovery of the commercial and residential sectors in Memphis is slower than in other parts of the country. But they are recovering on their own new terms, say the incoming president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, the president of the West Tennessee Home Builders Association and a mortgage lender.

Trolley Report First Challenge for MATA Leader

For the new president and general manager of the Memphis Area Transit Authority, last week’s report on the authority’s grounded trolley system was an introduction to one part of the long-term challenges facing the agency that is public transportation in Memphis.

Haslam Checks In With Bond Rating Agencies

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was in New York City last week to talk with the major bond rating agencies.

Inferno Celebrates 15 Years, Charitable Milestone

Anniversaries are a time of reflecting on past successes, and the Memphis-based advertising, marketing, design and PR firm inferno is at just such a moment. Except the 15-year anniversary it’s now celebrating is as much about where it’s going as where it’s been.

State Supreme Court Reverses Bartlett Murder Conviction

The man convicted and sentenced to death for the brutal 2003 double murder of a husband and wife in Bartlett will get a new trial, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled last week.


Beasley Looks to Reclaim Career With the Grizzlies

Michael Beasley is at least worth the smallest of risks – being invited to Grizzlies training camp, signed to a nonguaranteed contract, in the position of competing for the one and only open spot on the team’s roster.

One Night in K.C.: Being a Fan Again

For one 12-inning, roller coaster ride of a night at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, I understood you a little better.

How Much Longer Till Titans Fans Simply Stay Home?

Just for a moment, I’m going to let you in on something that not a lot of people know about.

Is This the Year the Vols Stomp the Chomp?

KNOXVILLE – Much has happened since Tennessee placekicker James Wilhoit booted a 50-yarder with seven seconds remaining and the No. 13-ranked Vols beat No. 11 Florida 30-28 at Neyland Stadium.


Stuttering Foundation's Fraser Honored for Service

Jane Fraser, president of the Memphis-based Stuttering Foundation of America, has received an honorary fellowship from the London-based Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists. She was selected for her distinguished service in promoting the profession of speech and language therapy. Fraser, whose father started the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation in 1947, has served as its president since 1981.


Stonebridge Crossing Sells for $29.8 Million

9135 Morning Ridge Road, Memphis, TN 38016, Sale Amount: $29.8 million -
The 500-unit Stonebridge Crossing apartment complex in Cordova has traded hands.


Level Nine Provides Concierge Staff on Call

Jimmy Farrell, a partner at Benefit Recovery Inc., a health care cost-containment firm, was searching for reliable and enjoyable transportation to and from Memphis International Airport for himself, his clients and employees.


Once and Again

I REMEMBER THIS SONG. Last week, I wrote about passing institutions – a couple of examples of places and people that won’t come our way again. I said the past can inform the future, but we can’t go back to some other time.

Focus On Your Strengths

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of sitting on a career panel about making the right career moves. In a packed room, we covered everything from preparing for a job interview to how office politics can influence promotions at work.

Retirement: Savings-to-Income Ratio

Ray’s take: If you've at least started planning for your retirement, congratulations. It's often a hard first step. Follow-up steps are just as important.

Puzzled Groups Across the Land

DAVIDSON, N.C. – A few years ago, Brown University had the largest puzzle-related student activities organization in the country. Its Puzzling Association, with over 30 members, met weekly to solve, discuss and construct. New York Times puzzle editor Will Shortz declared a “Brown Week” in the autumn of 2010, publishing a crossword by a different student for six consecutive days. Natan Last, Class of 2012, had 14 Times puzzles published before he graduated.

Social Media Impact on Buying Decisions

Research giant Gallup released its State of the American Consumer Report in June of this year with the overarching finding that few brands are winning the battle for consumer engagement. Those that are, inevitably steal share and pull away from the competitive pack.

The Return of King Dollar

The market’s game ball in the third quarter goes to the U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar rose 7 percent, boosted by the comparative hawkishness of the U.S. Fed. The currency has now advanced for 11 consecutive weeks, its longest winning streak in nearly 20 years (although the uptrend actually started in mid-2011). What should you know about the return of King Dollar?

Leadership and Fundraising

“... The true leader can be recognized because somehow or other his people consistently turn in superior performances. ... A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but because of his or her ability to empower others. Success without a successor is failure.”

Soft Skills for Emerging Leaders

As a professional, as a leader, even as a brand ask yourself this critical question: are you empathetic? Do you have the genuine ability to “understand and share the feelings of another.”

Nashville Edition

New Breed of Lodging

Music City Lofts Offer Competition for Upscale Hotels

Somewhere between short-term rentals and traditional hotels, you can find a new breed of visitor lodging in Nashville.

Airbnb, Other In-Home Vacation Rentals Face Rules, Taxes

When Hume-Fogg teacher Elizabeth Smith and her husband became empty-nesters, they talked about downsizing.

Where Should I Take My Nashville Visitors?

Getting into the short-term rental game also means being a tour guide for Music City.

Yoga, Pilates Provide Workout Options

Whether it’s a desire to slim down in advance of holiday binging or a New Year’s resolution reboot, many people look at the fall as a good time to kick-start their exercise efforts.

Pendulum Swings for Crieve Hall Clocksmith

Scott Zaft “jumped the wall” and made it out of corporate America to a life in which he’s his own boss and lives in tick-tock precision down a steep driveway and to the rear of a 1950s Crieve Hall rancher.

A Simple Fix Could Save Your Home and Family

Following the grueling negotiations between buyers and sellers over issues such as price, possession and the list of appliances that remain with the houses, the inspection ensues.

Knoxville Edition

Downtown Knoxville Tourism Finally Finds its Stride

When Kim Trent moved to Knoxville in 1990, she could stand along Gay Street on a Sunday and be the only soul in sight. Today, she’s a face in the crowd.

Urban Wilderness a Paradise for Outdoors Enthusiasts

Knoxville Urban Wilderness offers 42 miles of trails, four Civil War sites and the Ijams Nature Center on public and private lands, connecting parks, neighborhoods and schools.

Hard to Ignore $150 Million Annual Impact of UT Athletics

It’s a safe bet for Knoxville. Whether the economy – or the team – is up or down, the city can count on Tennessee fans to spend big money when the Vols are playing.

Where Else but Knoxville for Women's Basketball Hall of Fame?

The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame was supposed to be built in Jackson when it was first envisioned.

Pigeon Forge, Knoxville Help Fill Each Others’ Coffers

While the tourism industries in Pigeon Forge and Knoxville are quite different, they are inextricably linked.

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Blog News, Training & Events
PROPERTY SALES 90 140 15,764
MORTGAGES 100 162 18,210
BUILDING PERMITS 194 315 32,829
BANKRUPTCIES 57 116 10,129

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