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VOL. TMN-11 | NO. 10 | Saturday, March 10, 2018
Weekly Issue

Novel Approach

Memphis Public Libraries’ next chapter merges technology, access

The smallest of the city’s 17 public libraries is also one of its most used. The Frayser Branch library is a brick-and-glass rectangle on a half-acre at 3712 Argonne St. With some modest columns and shrubs, a few planters and cinderblock lattice work, it is shoe-horned into the side of a hill in a residential neighborhood a block from the commercial corridor of North Watkins Road still dominated by churches.

EDGE May Get Tweaked as Economic Dispute Settles Down

A March 1 joint session of the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission hosted by chairs Berlin Boyd and Heidi Shafer discussed, among other topics, the current state of economic development in Shelby County, and in particular, the role the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County plays in it.

'Perfect Storm' of High River, Mechanical Failure Shuts North Wastewater Plant

As the Mississippi River at Memphis neared a crest of 39.4 feet, the river overwhelmed and submerged three pumps at the city’s north wastewater treatment plant Thursday, March 8, causing the Maynard Stiles Wastewater Treatment Plant to shut down. The result was raw sewage coming through manholes at nearby General DeWitt Spain Airport in Frayser and an overflow that is going untreated into the Mississippi River.

EDITORIAL

Editorial: Memphis Library System Comes Off the Shelf

After decades of trying to build a city that will appeal to tourists, we finally seem to get it: The city’s future is about those of us who are here now – together.

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EVENTS

The Pink Palace Museum opens “Remembering the Dream,” an MLK50 exhibition that tells the chronological story of the civil rights movement depicted by Ernest Withers’ “I Am a Man” portfolio, Saturday, March 10, at the museum, 3050 Central Ave. On display through Jan. 27, the exhibit includes 10 of Withers’ photographs, interpretive panels with each image, and other civil rights-era artifacts. Visit memphismuseums.org.

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THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

This Week In Memphis History: March 9-15, 2018

1981: Grand opening of The Antenna Club, 1588 Madison Ave., in what had been a nightclub called The Well. The Panther Burns are the featured entertainment at the Antenna opening, with The Crime playing the following night and Barking Dog the night after that.

EMPHASIS Construction

Memphis Tile and Marble A Family Affair for 50 Years

Back in the 1960s, Hugo Kumitz had a tile and marble company in Memphis. His top employee was a man named Thomas Cox.

Coming Full Square

One of the most iconic intersections in Memphis still has room to grow

For the first time in a while, Overton Square isn’t 100 percent leased. And while no one really expects that to be the case for very long, these rare vacancies provide a good chance to stop and examine what the popular entertainment destination has going on.

RKA Construction Preps for New Home

For the past eight years, RKA Construction has made a name for itself in the high-end custom home arena, handling everything from small renovations and additions to large, new homes. To accommodate a need for more operational space, RKA recently purchased a 4,000-square-foot building at 81 Tillman St. to serve as its new office, and renovations are underway.

RETAIL

Memphis Pedigree

Hollywood Feed may open up to 25 stores this year

Hollywood Feed’s newest Memphis store is officially open for business at the corner of Collins Street and Sam Cooper Boulevard. This 5,000-square-foot built-to-suit space replaces their flagship store on Broad Avenue, which currently houses the pet specialty retail chain’s corporate offices and distribution warehouse.

POLITICS

Republican Mayoral Candidates Find Ways to Differentiate

The three contenders in the May Republican primary for Shelby County mayor didn’t disagree on much when they met this week at the Southwind clubhouse. But David Lenoir, Joy Touliatos and Terry Roland did try to distinguish themselves from the other two in a relatively spark-free first encounter as a trio.

Issues and Answers: Election 2018

In a survey of 19,000 adults in fall 2017, the Knight Foundation found that 84 percent of Americans think that the news media is very important, even critical, to our democracy. Eighty-eight percent said that news media must “make sure Americans have the knowledge they need to be informed about public affairs.”

ENERGY

Wells at New TVA Plant to Stay Idle for Now

The Tennessee Valley Authority has no plans to use the wells it drilled into the Memphis Aquifer earlier in the construction of the Allen Combined Cycle Plant, the $1 billion natural gas-fired power plant it is building in southwest Memphis.

REAL ESTATE

Memphis Home Sales Stay Hot Despite February Cold, Rain

A cold and rainy start to the year may have slowed down new construction, but it wasn’t enough to cool off Memphis’ overall housing market.

Home Sweet Home

Stellar year for housing market revealed at Chandler Reports’ 2017 Year-in-Review Seminar

Almost every facet of the Shelby County housing market showed improvement or promise in 2017, and the stellar year saw a new record high for average home sales price and a historic low number foreclosures.

Survey: CRE Experts Concerned About Interest Rates

Rising interest rates in 2018 are the primary concern for the commercial real estate industry, according to a recent report by Chicago-based international law firm Seyfarth Shaw.

Lake District, Raleigh Springs Town Center Moving Forward with Transformative Projects

3536 Canada Road, Lakeland, TN 38002 -
On the same day that the last piece of the old Lakeland Factory Outlet Mall was torn down, the city’s 160-plus-acre mixed-use Lake District project celebrated another milestone – its first tenant.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Shelby County Mortgage Market Up 9 Percent in February

Now that the weather is starting to warm up a little from the frigid start to the year, mortgage lenders like Jessica Campbell are noticing something else: a “steady increase” in both refinances and purchase mortgage volume.

Fed Numbers Show Local Lending Increase

Robert Shaw is among the Memphis banking executives looking forward to what the rest of 2018 will bring. He is CEO of Memphis-based Paragon Bank, which at the end of February announced record-breaking revenue and pre-tax income for the fourth quarter of 2017. The numbers were driven by solid loan growth, a healthy net interest margin and continued attention to controlling expenses.

ECONOMY

Waddell: Investment Gains Don’t Last Forever

David Waddell was upbeat during the 2017 version of the yearly “State of the Union” presentation he gives to clients of Waddell & Associates, but this year, not so much.

HEALTH CARE

Olympus Opens Expanded Bartlett Campus

Medical device manufacturer Olympus celebrated the grand opening of its $12 million expanded Bartlett campus at 2937 Appling Road on Tuesday, March 6. The state-of-the-art facility expands Olympus’ existing R&D and surgical manufacturing building on Appling Road, which has operated in Bartlett since 1984.

University Clinical Health Launching Telemedicine Network

Going to the doctor is going high-tech at two rural West Tennessee clinics in a few weeks, thanks to a project University Clinical Health plans to launch within the next 30 days.

St. Jude Welcomes Future Scientists for Annual Event

Students and teachers from various Shelby County high schools got to see the inner workings of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital last week when the hospital hosted its third annual Science Scholars of Tomorrow event.

GOVERNMENT

Council Still Battling With Public Art Issue

Memphis City Council members were told Tuesday, March 6, that removing a mural from a private business front on Lamar Avenue will be difficult despite a council call to do so.

City Now Considering New Sewer Connections on Case-by-Case Basis

It’s the kind of wording about a basic local government service that gets that attention of those who make sure the water runs when taxpayers turn on the faucet and the toilet flushes when taxpayers want it to.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Halfway There

ServiceMaster welcomes latest wave of employees Downtown

Downtown’s office population grew by 300 people this week as ServiceMaster Global Holdings welcomed the largest influx of employees to its new corporate headquarters in the old Peabody Place Mall.

HISTORY

Forrest Slave Market Site to Get New Marker In April

A new historical marker to be unveiled April 4 on the southwest corner of Adams Avenue and B.B. King Boulevard will note what the existing 63-year old marker doesn’t – that it was not only an early home of Confederate general, slave trader and Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest. It was also the site of the slave market that Forrest owned and operated for six years.

AGRIBUSINESS

AgLaunch Finds Traction In Intersection of Startups, Investors and Farmers

Jan Bouten, a partner in Innova, the local early stage investment capital group, has some basic standards when deciding on startup companies to invest in.

THE TIPPING POINT

At ComCap Partners, Alex Willis Focuses on Improving Community

Ever spot your name on a street sign? It’s a total coincidence – you know this to be true – and yet you may be tempted to stop and grab a selfie with the caption built right in. If you’re a Memphian descended from renowned civil rights leader A.W. Willis, Jr., though, the Willis in white letters on a green sign was your grandfather. And chances are, you share his first and middle initials, too.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Trey Carter Honored Among Top 35 Millennial Influencers

Patrick “Trey” Carter III has been named one of the Top 35 Millennial Influencers in the Country by the Next Big Thing Movement, a global network of more than 20,000 young professionals and creatives. Carter, president of Olympic Career Training Institute and an active community volunteer, is the only Tennessean to be included on the list. He will be honored Saturday, March 10, at NBTM’s Forward Conference in New York City alongside other influencers, including “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth and YouTube vlogger Tyler Oakley.

MLK 50

Freeman: Wide Income, Poverty Gaps Persist in Shelby County

The president of the National Civil Rights Museum says the national attention that comes with the 50th anniversary of the 1968 sanitation workers strike and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination can be a guide for the nation as well as Memphis.

RESTAURANT NEWS

City & State Stretches Its Reach

The team behind the Broad Avenue coffee-and-retail concept City & State has exported it to Midtown, with an iteration that co-owner Lisa Toro describes as not quite a second location, more of a “1.5.” The cafe space inside the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is now being managed by City & State. It’s an expansion of a partnership between the museum and Toro, who led the redesign and launch of the Brooks Museum Store in November. The museum’s cafe is now Cafe Brooks by City & State.

THE PRESS BOX

Tubby Time

Smith never knew how fast his clock was ticking

At various points in his life, Guffrie Smith was a soldier, a barber, a farmer, and a school bus driver. These are not jobs that reward impatience. If you’re inpatient in those occupations, you or someone else gets hurt.

SPORTS

Third School’s the Charm

When Nick King signed with the University of Memphis, he had dreams of being the player he was at East High School: an impossible mismatch all over the floor. Problem was, coach Josh Pastner saw the 6-foot-7 King as a traditional power forward. The conflicting visions never meshed and after two seasons King transferred to the University of Alabama.

Russell Happy She Came Back, Even If . . .

Mercedes Russell had a tough decision to make last March when the Tennessee Lady Vols ended a disappointing season in the second round of the NCAA women’s tournament.

TENNESSEE LEGISLATURE

Civil War Re-Enactor Outflanked On Statues, Medicaid Expansion

When state Rep. Steve McDaniel was a youngster he often read the historical marker at the intersection of Highway 22 and Wildersville Road detailing Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s first West Tennessee raid in the Battle of Parker’s Crossroads.

Monuments Bill Would Establish Felony Charge for Some Votes

NASHVILLE – A state legislator is set to seek the attorney general’s advice on legislation enabling the state to charge local elected officials with a felony for “knowingly” casting votes in conflict with state law.

What’s Best for State, Education or Punishment?

Carlos Reyes, a graduate of Murfreesboro Oakland High School’s Class of 2017, would be in his second semester at MTSU majoring in business administration – if he could afford it.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Gorillas in the Living Room

IMPROVING THE VIEW. There are very large gorillas in our living room.

No Luck Investing

Ray’s Take: A rabbit’s foot on a string. A silver dollar. A four-leaf clover. A lucky penny. These are all lyrics from a 1961 song by our very own Memphis legend, Elvis Presley, titled “Good Luck Charm.”

Finding God In the Midst Of Cancer

Anthony Maranise walked into my office to take over my job that day. He was 8 years old and had been battling cancer for the past three years of his young life. He carried an attaché case almost half his size and had a smile as wide as his face.

The New World Of Social Media

Social media used to be so fun. We could all stay connected with friends and family, for long periods of time and around the world. It felt like social media was expanding our friend circles. For example, I have reconnected with friends that date back to kindergarten. Before the internet, this would have been much more difficult.

Is Facebook Still Relevant?

Expected to lose nearly 2 million users younger than 25 in 2018 to growing social platform Snapchat, many are wondering whether Facebook will remain a prominent business partner beyond 2018.

The Bigger the Back End, The Stronger the Backlash

Be careful. When innovation gets real, people react in unpredictable ways.

What’s a Volanthropist? A Dolunteer?

More and more of us live a “mobile” lifestyle, using our devices for everything from grocery shopping to bill paying. Yet there is often a disconnect between mobile life and nonprofit life.

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Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 68 321 13,763
MORTGAGES 79 340 15,906
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 44 2,183
BUILDING PERMITS 265 765 28,522
BANKRUPTCIES 49 227 8,877
BUSINESS LICENSES 28 113 4,678
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 25 118 5,511
MARRIAGE LICENSES 16 73 2,967

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