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VOL. 132 | NO. 35 | Friday, February 17, 2017

Downtown Developer Charged in Public Corruption Case

John Wessman, the real estate developer who plans to turn two Downtown Memphis buildings into boutique hotels, has been charged with bribery in a Palm Springs, California, corruption case.

Grassfed Burger Joint Coming to Memphis

An Atlanta-based restaurant that specializes in grassfed burgers is planning a new location in Memphis.

Commercial Appeal Changes Reflect News Industry Realities

In a special staff meeting this week at The Commercial Appeal, USA Today Network executive and president of The Tennessean newspaper Laura Hollingsworth was asked whether The CA’s corporate parent might sell its longtime home at 495 Union Ave.

NuVasive Receives 11-Year PILOT, Will Invest $116 Million

Medical device company NuVasive Inc. has been approved for an 11-year tax incentive that will allow them to invest $116 million into their southeast Memphis facility and create 15 net new jobs.

Last Word: Wessman Trouble, Selling 495 Union and An Underground Film Icon

When Wessman Development came to town last year with the idea of a boutique hotel, the Palm Springs, California company was part of the flood of smaller hotel projects Memphis was seeing and is still seeing. Then the company added another hotel and just this month the redevelopment of a building on Madison west of Second Street as apartments with retail on the ground floor. In a very short period of time, Wessman has had a lot of plans for Memphis.

Local Weather
Memphis, TN
Wind: Northwest at 4.6 mph
Humidity: 79%


Ballet Memphis will present its winter mixed-repertory show, “Places Beyond,” Friday through Sunday, Feb. 17-19, at Playhouse on the Square, 66 S. Cooper St. The show includes two new original works and a reprise of “Angels in the Architecture.” Visit balletmemphis.org for show times and tickets.

more events »

Ballet On Wheels Series Explores Contributions of Black Dancers

The dancers at Memphis’s Ballet On Wheels Dance School are celebrating Black History Month in an innovative way this year. In conjunction with the Memphis Public Library, Ballet On Wheels has launched an interactive, monthlong series called “Groundbreakers: African-American Ballerina Stories of Triumph and Struggles,” that invites Memphians to consider the history and future of ballet in a new light.

Rudd Praises Board as ‘Historic’ Step for U of M

NASHVILLE – Calling the appointment of a board of trustees a “historic” and “essential” step for the University of Memphis, president M. David Rudd says the autonomous board will enable the university to control its own destiny.

Warhol Film Icon Talks Art, Being an Underground Icon

Joe Dallesandro has “practically never” done the kind of question-and-answer session he did Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

Snapshot: Hearts for Health

Mary Jo Pakkala, a second-year pharmacy student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, gives a blood pressure screening to 24-year-old Olivia Marshall at the Fred's on Lamar Avenue. The American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists at UTHSC is partnering with Fred’s to provide free blood pressure screenings through Feb. 28.

Snapshots: Tech901 Settles In At Crosstown

Even though the official grand opening isn’t until May, one Crosstown Concourse tenant is already up and running.


State Lawmakers Confronted Over Anti-LGBT Bills

NASHVILLE – The unveiling of legislation undercutting same-sex marriage and enforcing transgender bathroom rules turned into a short-circuited press conference and confrontation Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Tennessee GOP Mulls Capitol Complex Security Clamp-Down

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Republican legislative leaders are suggesting stricter security to enter the Capitol complex after a few dozen protesters interrupted a news conference about transgender bathroom access.

Economist Makes 'Caviar' Argument Against Grocery Tax Cut

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Reagan administration economist Arthur Laffer is urging Tennessee lawmakers not to include a cut in the sales tax on groceries as part of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to offset a gas tax hike.


Grizz Hit All-Star Break With Loss, But Their Goals Are Within Reach

After he had answered the obligatory questions about the Grizzlies’ ugly 95-91 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans in the last game before the All-Star break, coach David Fizdale spoke to the big picture: “We’re in good position.”

Helton Providing Priceless, Free Service to Vols

Todd Helton stands behind the batting cage at Tennessee’s Lindsey Nelson Stadium, eyeing swings and chatting with UT baseball players.

Free Agent Frenzy? That’s Not Robinson’s Style

Upon his arrival as the Tennessee Titans’ general manager in January 2016, Jon Robinson made an immediate impact with the trade for DeMarco Murray and his wheeling/dealing approach to the draft.


The Press Box: Men’s Pro Tennis Needs a Slice of Apple Pie

There are a lot of ways to define the state of men’s professional tennis, but maybe the easiest is to open up the 2017 ATP World Tour Media Guide and turn to the alphabetical listing of players. Let’s try the “K” section.


Murrell Helps Teens Find the Right Career Path

Erica Murrell admits to three obsessions: kids, animals and science. Fortunately, she’s got a job that connects all three. “For me, it’s about connecting people with what they’re passionate about,” she says. “I love figuring out where to put them.”


Publicly Advancing

WHEN PUBLIC GOES PRIVATE, WE HAVE IT BACKWARDS. My kids and I know more about public schools and public school innovation than our brand-new secretary of education and voucher poster girl, Betsy DeVos, and our own state senator and voucher poster boy, Brian Kelsey.

Retirement Spending Budget

Ray’s Take How much you spend from your retirement savings from year to year is arguably the most important piece in the retirement finance puzzle.


Private Prison Group Rejects Push for Independent Audits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The largest U.S. private prison operator has rejected a shareholder resolution seeking independent audits of its detention facilities.


Arkansas House Approves Cuts to Unemployment Benefits

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The Arkansas House has approved cuts to the state's unemployment benefits as part of a bill that also reduces taxes on employers.


Trump Administration Says It Will Revise Travel Ban

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – President Donald Trump's administration said in court documents on Thursday it does not want a larger appellate panel to review a ruling keeping its travel ban on hold and will instead replace the ban.


Freddie Mac to Pay Treasury $4.5B After Profit Doubles

NEW YORK (AP) – Freddie Mac said Thursday that it will pay the U.S. Treasury a dividend of $4.5 billion next month after its profit more than doubled in the last quarter.


'Day Without Immigrants' Protest Closes Many US Restaurants

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The heart of Philadelphia's Italian Market was uncommonly quiet. Fine restaurants in the nation's capital and New York closed for the day. Grocery stores, food trucks, coffee shops and taco joints in places like Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston shut down.


Auto Workers Union Preparing 'Buy American' Ad Campaign

DETROIT (AP) – The United Auto Workers union is preparing an ad campaign that urges people to buy U.S.-made vehicles as it tries to tap into feelings of nationalism stoked by President Donald Trump's election.

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PROPERTY SALES 110 188 14,031
MORTGAGES 126 219 16,224
BUILDING PERMITS 170 411 29,164
BANKRUPTCIES 57 116 9,042

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