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VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 52 | Saturday, December 23, 2017
Weekly Issue

Forrest Down

Memphis makes history in removing the two most visible Confederate monuments in a deal that involved selling the parks where they once stood

It’s hard to know where the equestrian statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest is when there aren’t lights on it.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS EDITORIAL

Editorial: National Black Theater Museum Would Be Big Bang for the Arts

When Hattiloo Theatre founder Ekundayo Bandele took his well-developed idea for a National Black Theater Museum in Overton Park to the Memphis City Council this month, he began by saying: “It doesn’t exist anywhere in the world. This didn’t come from anywhere.”

SPECIAL REPORT

Memphis Sound at 60

Stax Records, Royal Studios strike a chord that still echoes today

As Stax Records and Royal Studios both wrap up a year of celebrating their 60th anniversary, The Memphis News looks back at the creators and purveyors of the Memphis sound and its significance, both in its heyday and today.

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THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

This Week in Memphis History: December 22-28, 2017

1929: Memphis Power & Light Co. advertises Christmas gifts in The Daily News, including Christmas tree lamps at $1.25 for a set of eight; washing machines for $99.50 or $185; waffle irons from $8.45; cigar lights “attachable to any socket” at $5 each; and curling irons “for maid or matron” at $1.95 and $3.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Black Theater Museum Plan Gets Good Reviews at City Hall

For about five months, Hattiloo Theatre founder Ekundayo Bandele had been working on the idea he proposed Tuesday, Dec. 19, to establish the National Black Theater Museum inside the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art building in Overton Park.

To Be or Not to Be: Tennessee Shakespeare Company Expanding With New Facility

Dan McCleary is the founder of the Tennessee Shakespeare Company. But that hasn’t obscured his view of reality, of the fact that many people were first introduced to Shakespeare in a high school classroom in a less than engaging way.

EDUCATION

Kelsey Backs Away From Voucher Legislation

The push to allow some Tennesseans to use private-school vouchers has hit a roadblock that could stall voucher legislation for a fourth year.

Council Preparing Plan to Provide Pre-K Funding

The Memphis City Council has been out of the school funding business for just under a decade.

REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

Frayser Bauhaus

Memphis architectural icon shows signs of life

Memphis' best and most unique example of art deco-international style Bauhaus architecture has been hiding in plain sight in Frayser for nearly 70 years.

Possible Trader Joe’s Update, New $35M Airport Facility

In this week’s Real Estate Recap, a new development in the saga of Germantown’s Trader Joe’s, Memphis International Airport begins work on a new $35 million facility, and Central BBQ announces a new a location... -
Developers planning renovations of the old Kroger location at 2130 Exeter Road have bought out the property’s previous owners in a multimillion-dollar deal.

COMMUNITY

Third Memphis TEDx Event Set for Jan. 6

When Hardy Farrow takes the stage in the Halloran Centre at The Orpheum Theatre in a few weeks, it will be to present his argument about poverty and what to do about it.

2017: YEAR IN REVIEW

2017 a Year of Expansion for Memphis Banks

The biggest banks in Memphis made aggressive pushes this year to raise their profiles and expand footprints, as competition in the sector heats up and the industry continues winning back the strength it enjoyed before the bust of 2008.

PUBLIC COMPANIES

FedEx Forecasts Record Holiday Deliveries

It wasn’t just solid news for FedEx’s fiscal second quarter that ended Nov. 30, during which the package delivery company grew earnings 11 percent to $775 million, or $2.84 a share. That’s up from $700 million, or $2.59 per share during the year-ago period.

Analysis: AutoZone May Be Set Up for Stronger 2018

Analysts who cover the stock of AutoZone Inc. are split into two sizable camps at the moment. Some 44 percent think the stock is worth rating a “buy,” while more than 50 percent think investors that already own shares should hold on to them and do nothing for now.

Fred’s Ends 2017 Where it Began: Amid a Turnaround, Looking for Growth

You wouldn’t know it from walking into a Fred’s store like the one at 5016 Summer Ave., with the big sign above it outside that says Fred’s in red letters on a white background accompanied by signs announcing “Low Price Leader” and “Pharmacy” on either side.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Technicolor, Agilent Approved for Tax Incentives

The Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County approved a pair of tax abatements Wednesday, Dec. 20, that have the potential to affect more than 1,000 jobs in the county.

Agilent Expanding Distribution in Memphis, Creating More Than 100 Jobs

Agilent Technologies Inc., a life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemicals company, has announced it will be expanding its operations in Memphis, which will result in 117 new jobs.

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Seeking Independence

Wamp calls for ‘bloodless political revolution’ in Congress

Former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp of Chattanooga came to Memphis this week for the first time in seven years to call for a new generation of independent candidates for office he says can stop 20 years of elected leaders in Washington putting “party before country.”

County Commission Approves Sheriff Pay Raise

Shelby County commissioners voted 10-0 Monday, Dec. 18, to raise the pay of the Shelby County sheriff elected in 2018 from $116,955 a year to $135,575 annually.

Party Leaders: Voter Turnout Trumps Trump

The chairmen of the local Democratic and Republican parties are leading very different game plans into the 2018 elections.

SPORTS

Iowa State Must Stay True to Selves to Beat Tough Memphis Offense

At this late date in the college football season, deception may come on an individual play – a quarterback’s deft sleight of hand on play-action or a linebacker feigning blitz only to drop back into coverage.

Nothing ‘Exotic’ About Titans’ Running Game

The Tennessee Titans will tell you that their success is built around the run game. Don’t buy it. “Exotic smashmouth” has become a mere shell of its former self.

Amid the Tumult, a Vol Legacy Finally Gets His Call

Jacob Warren got one of the best phone calls of his life a couple of weeks ago. The senior tight end at Farragut High School was relieved to hear what new Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt told him.

Mismatch: Fizdale and Gasol Should Have Worked, But Didn’t

There’s no way to prove this, but I believe it: if David Fizdale and Marc Gasol never had been part of the same team, they would have respected each other from afar.

Z-Bo Flashback as Kings Stun 76ers; NBA Mock Drafts Relevant to Grizzlies Fans

If you happened to check in on Tuesday’s game in Philadelphia between the 76ers and Sacramento Kings, it had to make you a little nostalgic. Former Grizzly Zach Randolph led the Kings back from a 16-point deficit to a 101-95 victory at Wells Fargo Center.

THE PRESS BOX

Mismatch: Fizdale and Gasol Should Have Worked, But Didn’t

There’s no way to prove this, but I believe it: if David Fizdale and Marc Gasol never had been part of the same team, they would have respected each other from afar.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Lankford to Manage Agricenter’s New Organic Center

Chris Lankford has been named farm manager for Agricenter International’s newly created Organic Resource Center, which is designed to be a resource for Mid-South growers in the basics of the organic certification process. Lankford will be responsible for the operation of the new organic farm, developing peri-urban agriculture projects, and promoting organic agricultural practices. He also will assist the director of research in additional research as well as the operation of Agricenter’s farm as a whole.

VIEW FROM THE HILL

Fall Creek Falls: Sound Plan or Political Payback

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Now go find a job. That’s the message the state of Tennessee is sending nearly 60 employees at Fall Creek Falls State Park this joyous holiday season.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

My Christmas Story

CHRISTMAS TIME. Every Christmas I tell this story, and in the telling Christmas comes home.

Pets in Your Estate Plan

Ray’s Take: Most of us consider our pets part of the family. But sometimes we don't think about including them in plans for what happens after we're gone. Part of our responsibility to these dependent creatures is to make sure that their care and comfort will continue uninterrupted should we become incapable of caring for them ourselves.

Top Stories Of 2017 in Travel

It’s been a big year for travel news, and that doesn’t even include the recent shutdown of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport or American Airlines’ disaster averted with a potential pilot shortage over the holidays.

Laid Off Just In Time For The Holidays

I hate to admit this. I have seen more people let go this holiday season than in years past. It’s a sad and stressful situation. As employers approach the end of the year, they re-evaluated their priorities and made business decisions to reorganize. The shift in structure left many people without a job.

Is Your Expertise Coming Through?

Inc. magazine columnist Joseph Gulfo said it best: “Expert. This is one of the most overused words you’ll ever hear.”

Arts Transforming Neighborhoods

What does an artist look like? What about a businessperson? Do they look the same? What are they doing? How do they dress? Where do they live? Here are two more questions. Which is the introvert? Which can assess the environment and create impactful solutions?

Put Managed IT Services on Your Holiday Wish List

Business owners of all sizes have to tackle technology systems and infrastructure at some level. This can be daunting, time consuming and expensive if you’re not an IT expert. In fact, a recent survey by Alinean Inc., an ROI consultancy, found that the average small business spends 6.9 percent of its annual revenue on IT compared with larger companies, which only spend 3.2 percent of revenue on the same services. 

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 119 482 10,051
MORTGAGES 119 497 11,811
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 29 82 1,716
BUILDING PERMITS 268 1,056 21,366
BANKRUPTCIES 50 263 6,700
BUSINESS LICENSES 28 151 3,584
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 33 172 4,155
MARRIAGE LICENSES 20 111 2,290

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