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VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 50 | Saturday, December 9, 2017
Weekly Issue

Food Fancy

More original concepts, eateries make mark on Memphis

Say what you want about the kind of city Memphis is or isn’t for foodies who prefer originality to the chains and knockoffs that are so familiar a sight in suburbia. But let it be known that 2017 was another year of ascendancy for Memphis’ singular, distinctive food scene, with the constant arrival of new concepts and experiences that in turn also says something about the city that patronizes those establishments.

EMPHASIS Regional Business

Battle Over Arlington ER Facility to Resume in 2018

A pitched battle in the town of Arlington between major Memphis health care institutions and state officials is set to pick back up in 2018.

Sports & Business Tag-Team Partners in DeSoto County

When Snowden Grove Park, a 17-field baseball-only facility was built in 1999 in Southaven, it cued a change in dynamics. And not just for local and regional competitive baseball teams that would now have a place to compete on miniature professional quality fields.

Piece by Piece: Construction Projects Flourishing Throughout Mid-South

With $11 billion spread out among more than 300 active projects in the Memphis area, according to data from brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors, it’s safe to say business in the region is good.

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Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church will host “Noel! Noel!” Friday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at MBCC’s Midtown campus, 70 N. Bellevue Blvd. The Christmas celebration will feature chart-topping soul singer Avery Sunshine and other local and national artists. Cost is free. Visit theblvd.org or call 901-729-6222.

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Editorial: The Fine Print And Timing Of Letting The People Decide

As candidates start to fill in slots on the first of three elections in Shelby County next year, political decisions are being made about what else will appear on the ballot for the county general election in November.


December 8-14, 2017: This week in Memphis history:

1978: The Democratic National Committee meets for a midterm convention in Memphis. The centerpiece of the gathering is a call by U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy for health care reform that will become the major goal for the rest of his political career. The midterm convention brings President Jimmy Carter to the city. Kennedy and Carter will face each other two years later in a bitter fight for the party’s presidential nomination.


50 Years Later

New Redding biography offers different perspective on Stax’s role

Almost 50 years to the day after he died in a plane crash while on tour, the image and sound of soul singer Otis Redding remains vital and relevant – and heard.


‘Disgusted’ SCS Vows to Change Culture

An independent investigation that confirmed grade-changing allegations at Trezevant High School in a “systemic pattern” points to a “culture” of improprieties in the school system, several Shelby County Schools board members said Tuesday, Dec. 5.


RCV Goes To Ballot, Term-Limit Change May Join It

Memphis City Council members gave final approval Tuesday, Dec. 5, to a November 2018 referendum that would repeal the use of ranked-choice voting (RCV) in some city council races starting with 2019 city elections.

County Commission Renews Opioid Legal Skirmish with County Administration

Shelby County Commissioners voted Monday, Dec. 4, to hire another attorney to represent it in an ongoing legal battle with county mayor Mark Luttrell over opioid litigation. And the commission approved a resolution declaring opioid abuse a “public nuisance” as an opening to legal depositions of opioid manufacturers and distributors.


Fred’s Reports $51.8M Loss, Cancels Dividend

Memphis-based discount retailer Fred’s Inc. accompanied the release of its fiscal third quarter earnings performance Wednesday, Dec. 6 – which included reporting a loss of $51.8 million for the quarter – with separate, related news that shows the company’s turnaround remains a difficult work in progress.

AutoZone Posts Positive Q1 2018 Results

A few weeks ahead of its annual meeting here set for Dec. 20, Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc. has kicked off its fiscal 2018 with better-than-expected earnings for the first three months of the year.


Outside Investors to Purchase Gibson Factory in Downtown Memphis

The 24,080-square-foot Nashville warehouse, which sits on a half-acre in the North Gulch district, was also acquired by Somera Road and Tricera Capital for $6.83 million, the Tennessean reported on Nov. 14. 

Multifamily Containers Next on Entrepreneur’s List

Whether it’s employing folks from the neighborhood at his South Memphis recycling facility or helping clean up the city, Fred Spikner loves making Memphis a better place one small step at a time.

Germantown Mayor Seeks Multifamily Moratorium

In the waning minutes of a Germantown Planning Commission meeting this week, Mayor Mike Palazzolo proposed a moratorium on all new standalone multifamily developments in the suburb’s Smart Code zoning districts.


Growth Spurt

Pinnacle Financial Partners executive talks strategy in Memphis

Executives with Pinnacle Financial Partners in Memphis are “so granular” in maintaining a pipeline of candidates they’d like to recruit to work at the bank that they meet every week to discuss the pool of potential hires.

First Horizon-Capital Bank Merger Now Complete

The parent company of First Tennessee Bank will end 2017 as a significantly larger institution, with billions more in assets, deposits and loans, thanks to the completion Nov. 30 of its merger with Charlotte, North Carolina-based Capital Bank Financial Corp.


Return of Trolleys Pushed Back to April

Plans for a restoration of trolley service by the end of the year have been put off again by leaders of the Memphis Area Transit Authority after “body rot” was discovered in three trolleys being restored in Iowa.


Holiday Toy Truck Fundraiser to Benefit Porter-Leath Kids

Nearly 6,000 at-risk children up to age 5 and who are served by Porter-Leath will have a merrier Christmas this year thanks to the 16th Annual Toy Truck Benefiting Porter-Leath and Bob & Roland’s 13th Annual Stumbling Santa Pub Crawl hosted by the Flying Saucer Downtown.


Lesley Brown Steers Local Education to True North

Try not to smile when you hear Lesley Brown use the word “kiddos.” I dare you. Try not to feel an immediate rush of care for the children she’s dedicating her career to advancing and engaging.


Memphis Professionals React to CVS-Aetna Deal

News coverage in the immediate aftermath of the announcement that drugstore giant CVS Health plans to buy health insurer Aetna for $69 billion focused on how it will change the country’s health care industry in a significant way. But much is still unclear.


Coalition Taps Green & Healthy Homes Initiative

Leaders from Memphis and Shelby County and representatives from nearly 25 partner organizations signed an agreement Thursday morning, Nov. 30, at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library in East Memphis to work together on Tennessee’s first Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) led by the Baltimore-based organization.


Spikner Plans Shipping-Container Apartment Complex

126 N Bellevue Blvd.,, Memphis, TN 38104  -
 Memphis businessman Fred Spikner of Spikner Enterprises LLC has submitted plans to the Memphis and Shelby County Board of Adjustment for an apartment complex made from shipping containers.


Blankenship Named President Of Coldwell Banker Collins Maury

Sean Blankenship has joined Coldwell Banker Collins Maury as president, coming to the Collierville-based full-service real estate firm after serving as chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. In his new role, Blankenship will focus on growing the company’s presence in the greater Memphis and northern Mississippi markets.


Worth the Wait

Memphis Tigers in AutoZone Liberty Bowl for first time

Just since 1995, the University of Southern California has stayed home to play in the Rose Bowl more than a half-dozen times. Steve Ehrhart, executive director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, couldn’t help but look at that with a bit of envy.

Grizzlies Stop Losing Streak at 11, But Victories Remain Elusive

Perhaps Tom Thibodeau saw it coming. His young Minnesota Timberwolves, though not short on talent, do not yet consistently devote themselves to defense. They were playing for a second straight night and they were on the road at FedExForum.

Game of Thrones? UT’s Cast Not That Smart

When he was president of the University of Tennessee in 1959-70, Andy Holt often referred to the Vols athletics program, and particularly its football program, as “the front porch of the university.”

Pay for No Play: Paying Millions to Former Coaches

Tennessee’s bungled search for a football coach will come at a cost for the university. A big cost.

Titans Set 2nd ‘Training Camp’ Next Week in Arizona

Road trip! The Tennessee Titans are trying something a little different for a two-game swing out West beginning with this Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.


Latest SEC Football Rankings: 1. Sexton. 2. Saban.

Fourteen schools play football in the SEC. Six of them, or 42.9 percent, now have a different man coaching their football team than they had at the start of the season.


Snapshot: Piece de Resistance

The stage crew prepares the iconic chandelier in "The Phantom of the Opera" for the performance this week. The play runs at the Orpheum Theatre through Dec. 10. (Memphis News/Houston Cofield)


Reminded Again

WE NEED ADVICE, FROM OURSELVES. When I closed up my parents’ home some 30 years ago, I found myself in my old room, going through my desk drawers one more time. In the back of one, I found something I’d missed – a magnifying glass with a loose handle.

Avoid 401(k) Loans

Ray’s Take Many employers offer 401(k) plans that grant participants the option to take out a loan. And when times are tough – or maybe you really, really want to renovate your kitchen – it’s tempting to withdraw money from your 401(k) for a loan.

Gift Ideas For Travelers

Do you have a travel lover to shop for this holiday season? It’s pretty easy to find great lists of gifts for travelers online that recommend all the latest gadgets, trendy pieces of luggage and nifty home décor with a travel theme. Some of the suggestions aren’t that practical, like the custom map cufflinks for $200 I came across.

Two Issues Nonprofits Should Address Now

As we enter the last month of the year, there is a lot for nonprofits to consider, plan for and take action on. With this column we share news updates on #GivingTuesday and sexual harassment.

Making the Most of Generation IoT

A talk by Maciej Kranz, vice president of strategic innovations for Cisco Systems. This talk about connected things hails from the 2017 Back of Innovation Conference. What is most interesting is that while the connected home space is slow to adapt, the connected commercial, or B2B, space is adopting the Internet of Things at a dizzying rate. The presenter would know, as he is the vice president of strategic innovations at Cisco.

Making The Most Of Holiday Parties

We’ve all been there. There’s a company holiday party you’d rather not attend – or maybe your next-door neighbors are throwing an event you just can’t avoid. Whatever the occasion, these parties can be draining during the holidays. This is especially true for those of us who are introverts or have other commitments such as children or a demanding job. It can feel like there’s just no room for another to-do on the list.

Do Good to Make Your Company Great

During the holiday season, we often give a little more back to our communities by supporting toy drives, food banks or even devoting a day to volunteering with our co-workers.

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