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VOL. TMN-11 | NO. 12 | Saturday, March 24, 2018
Weekly Issue

Thousands March In Local Version of 'March For Our Lives'

Several thousand people marched Saturday, March 24, from Clayborn Temple to the National Civil Rights Museum in the Memphis version of the national March For Our Lives.

Prescription for Tragedy

Opioid addiction, overdoses taking lives across the city and the country

He has his own GPS, an internal shield that keeps him from driving anywhere near 637 Poplar Ave. Home to the Memphis morgue. That’s where they showed Jerry Davidson his 22-year-old son, Oliver, his eyes closed and his lips purple.

Shelby County Expects $18M-$25M Revenue Surplus

Shelby County government expects to have a revenue surplus of $18 million to $25 million at the end of the current fiscal year, county chief administrative officer Harvey Kennedy told county commissioners Friday, March 23.

Soulsville Climbing Wall Drops MLK 50 Tie-In After Criticism

The Memphis Rox climbing wall gym in Soulsville has changed its plans for an April 3 MLK50-inspired opening to an immediate soft opening after criticism of the tie-in with the 50th anniversary of the sanitation workers strikes and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Overton Park Conservancy will host a Park Fun Day and Science Fair Sunday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Overton Park’s East Parkway Pavilion. Events include a science fair with research partners from the University of Memphis, Rhodes College and Christian Brothers University; an 11:30 a.m. mini-BioBlitz, a tour of the Old Forest with conservancy staff to record as many species as possible; the finals of the International Society of Arboriculture Southern Chapter's tree-climbing contest; and games and food trucks. Cost is free. Visit overtonpark.org.

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Editorial: Opioids Pose New Danger, Require New Strategy to Combat

So you’ve seen drug problems come and go – numerous declarations of war on pot, crack, meth and other street drugs sold illegally.


This Week In Memphis History: March 23-29

2010: Groundbreaking for the Salvation Army Kroc Center at the Mid-South Fairgrounds after a five-year effort that included the local Salvation Army chapter raising $25 million to trigger $60 million in matching funds from the estate of Joan Kroc.

EMPHASIS Retirement Communities

Experts: Start Conversation Early About Move to Retirement Community

Jim Shoemaker, president and CEO of Germantown-based financial planning firm Shoemaker Financial, had a sit-down in recent days with three sisters and their husbands, for a talk about what to do about their mother.

$23M HarborChase Slated For Completion in 2019

In just 12 years, one out of every five Americans will be 65 or older. In the senior housing industry, the Greatest Generation is increasingly giving way to their children, the baby boomers. And that means developers and operators are changing retirement communities to suit the tastes of this next wave of residents.

Serving Seniors

Memphis Jewish Home To Open New Rehab Wing

Memphis Jewish Home and Rehab broke ground last month on a $7.5 million rehab wing. The addition will include 16 private treatment rooms, a new dining area, an aqua therapy pool, an indoor walking path and space for more exercise equipment.


Tenn.'s Road, Infrastructure Systems Problem Shared Across State

Though we often complain about our government, we count on it every day, in large ways and small.

What Do Statewide Candidates Say About Infrastructure Investment?

Is investment in public infrastructure important? And should Tennessee have more dedicated revenue sources to pay for construction and maintenance of infrastructure across the state, or is the existing tax structure – primarily the state tax on fuel, and wheel taxes – sufficient to pay for what Tennessee needs to sustain and grow its economy?


Commission Plans To Appoint Environmental Court Judge in April

Shelby County commissioners plan to appoint a new General Sessions Environmental Court judge April 2 with Monday being the deadline for applicants to apply for the interim position.

Plan to Expand Pre-K Would Leverage Private Funds

After voters defeated two ballot questions in two years for sales tax increases – city and county – to fund an expansion of prekindergarten classrooms primarily in Memphis, the effort is back with a momentum that seemed unlikely five years ago.


Snapshot: Slicing Up the Wonder Bread Factory

Demolition crews are making progress on razing portions of the old Wonder Bread factory on Monroe Avenue. The building is one element of a planned $73 million mixed-use project that will span multiple parcels in the Edge District.


EPE Expansion Plans Placed on Hold Again

Elvis Presley Enterprises’ expansion plans have been put on hold for the second straight month as the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County board continues to sort out what, if any, implications will stem from approving bond financing for the Whitehaven project.

Onyx, Barrett Distribution Seek Tax Breaks

A medical device manufacturer and a third-party distribution center operator will be seeking tax abatements from the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County to expand their respective footprints in the area.

THDA Down-Payment Assistance Fund Sees Plenty of Demand in Memphis

The $60 million in federal down-payment assistance funding for Tennessee meant to last through 2020 will probably only make it to Labor Day based on demand in Memphis and elsewhere.


CSE’s Martin Helping Students Find Their Voice

Katie Martin’s required coursework in her dual degree master’s program at the University of Texas in Austin had the Texas native walking the length of a specific dichotomy every day.


Shelby County Schools Plans Wage Increase

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson will have a formal proposal in about a month to raise the pay of all Shelby County Schools employees to at least $15 an hour.


Children’s Central

New CMOM executive director wants community in the space

The first career choice a child has in mind isn’t always the right one. Stephanie Butler, who today is the new executive director of the Children’s Museum of Memphis, thought she wanted to be a doctor.

Olford Ministries Continues to Influence the World

The man who reportedly most influenced the Rev. Billy Graham’s ministry left a legacy in Memphis that still impacts people from all over the world.


Sexual Misconduct Allegation at Playhouse Could Trigger Report to Authorities

Playhouse on the Square will not be making public the details of its investigation or a report it commissioned on an allegation of “sexual misconduct” by theater founder Jackie Nichols. But the theater’s board could be required to report the allegation to authorities if it hasn’t already, Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich confirmed Tuesday, March 20.

Dunavant Says Gangs ‘Prime Problem’ In West Tennessee

U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant says street gangs in various forms and coalitions are “the prime problem and concern here in West Tennessee and Memphis.”

Council Makes First Moves On Prekindergarten Funding

Memphis City Council members took first votes Tuesday, March 20, approving the city’s move toward funding $6 million of a $16 million expansion of local prekindergarten programs.

Community Sounds Off on Brooks Museum Relocation

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art representatives don’t have to guess how members of the public feel about the beloved 102-year-old art museum planning to leave its longtime Overton Park home to relocate to the city fire station at Union Avenue and Front Street.


The Right Note

IRIS Orchestra partners with Brooks Museum for new season

The IRIS Orchestra is trying something new for its just-announced 2018-19 concert season. As the resident orchestra of the Germantown Performing Arts Center, the IRIS Orchestra’s normal Saturday evening concerts will continue to be held at GPAC, with a new start time of 7:30 p.m.

HBO Documentary Probes Real Life of Elvis Presley

A Memphis screening of the three-hour, two-part HBO documentary on Elvis Presley over the weekend elicited cheers and applause with some somber moments .


FedEx Talks Texas Bombs, Walmart In Q3 Earnings

It was a busy Tuesday for FedEx Corp. as the Memphis-based company discussed the San Antonio facility explosion, $2.5 billion in hub modernizations, and a new deal with Walmart all while posting higher than expected returns during its March 20 third quarter earnings call.


New Maciel’s Concept Coming to Broad Avenue District

A new Maciel’s location is in the works, coming to the site behind Rec Room on Broad Avenue that previously housed French Truck Coffee.

Food Delivery Search Engine Launching in Memphis

Memphians are enjoying a bumper crop of on-demand ordering apps and platforms, especially in the meals-to-go space. Uber Eats and Bite Squad are among the big-name food-ordering apps that give diners here the option – with just a few taps – to order meals that get sent straight to their door.


Archer Malmo Alums Start New Creative Agency

Dan Price and Ben Colar have been talking about doing this for nearly five years, and now the pair of Archer Malmo alums is moving forward with their ambition to launch their own creative agency.


Snapshot: Adorning the City’s Main Arteries

Volunteers coordinated by Volunteer Memphis and Memphis City Beautiful completed their planting of trees Saturday along South Parkway between Gaither and Pillow. The “Plant the Parkways” effort seeks to plant more than 1,000 flowering trees along the city’s parkways, which are considered park land. The effort, which moves to North Parkway in May, is also sponsored by Leadership Memphis and The Kresge Foundation.


MERI Rebrands With Genesis Legacy Donor Program

Following years of significant growth for its whole-body donor program, the Medical Education and Research Institute (MERI) and Genesis Legacy of Life are rolling out a comprehensive rebrand of their services and spaces.


Dean: ‘It’s Kind of Our Turn’ in Governor’s Race

Democratic contender for governor Karl Dean is pushing hard the idea that Democrats can win one of the two statewide races on the Tennessee ballot this year.


Walker Named President Of Black Swan Digital Forensics

Jim Walker has been named president of Memphis-based Black Swan Digital Forensics, the only forensics lab in the U.S. that focuses exclusively on data recovery from digital devices such as cellphones, vehicle systems, computers and social media accounts. Walker comes to Black Swan after more than 30 years of military and public service at the federal, state and local level, including eight years as Alabama’s director of homeland security and more than 20 years in the U.S. Army, where he was an Airborne Ranger and retired as a lieutenant colonel.


Riviana, Ebrofrost Continue Work On $26M Frozen Food Facility

2360 Prospect St. -
Riviana Foods’ South Memphis rice facility is growing again. The Houston, Texas-based company has filed a $3.1 million building permit application for site work at the 2360 Prospect St. plant it shares with Ebrofrost North America, the U.S. arm of German rice and pasta manufacturer Ebrofrost Holding GmbH.


Right Call: Hiring Penny Hardaway Already Paying Dividends for U of M

Penny Hardaway appeared and fans cheered, hooted and hollered. Their deliverer, formerly a Memphis State star and All-American wearing No. 25, had come home in a gray suit and blue tie to rescue their beloved Tigers.

Mixed Emotions as Vols, Lady Vols Exit Postseason

Wait till next year. Again. Hope for better. It’s going to be a long offseason for Tennessee basketball.


Dems Need Viable Candidates to Catch Blue Wave

Republicans called it the “kickoff” to what they hope will be a great election season.


Parkinson to Introduce Bill Phasing Out State’s Achievement School District

NASHVILLE – Rep. Antonio Parkinson is set to make a push to remove Memphis schools from the state’s Achievement School District and dissolve the state district because of its failure to pull them out of Tennessee’s bottom 5 percent for performance.

Small Cell Legislation Advancing, But Rural Options More Limited

NASHVILLE – Unable to get cell-phone service at a football game in Nashville or Knoxville? Can’t send a text from a Broadway honky tonk or Beale Street blues bar? Wondering how autonomous cars will ever work?


How Much House?

Ray’s Take: One of my greatest joys is helping someone plan and reach his or her goal of buying a new home. Whether it’s a first home, a vacation home, a fixer-upper, new construction or an empty nesting home, buying a new home is exciting.

For Real

REAL NEED. REAL EFFORT. “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

Transformative Feedback

Why didn’t “someone” say something? That seems to be the standard response when the job performance does not meet expectations. Whether it is a new employee or one who has been underperforming for years, somewhere between “you’re hired” and “you’re fired,” “someone” should have had that difficult conversation. What if that “someone” is you?

Businesses Must Protect Children’s Information

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires a company to safeguard information collected online from children under 13. That includes clearly disclosing to parents what information it collects and how it will be used, and seeking verifiable parental consent. The company must take reasonable measures to protect the confidentiality and security of the information.

Starting a Digital Marketing Career

Digital marketing is a hot field. It has been hot for more than 10 years. I rarely share much about how to move into the field of digital marketing. However, I get many questions about it because a large part of my career was spent as a digital marketer.

2018 E-commerce Trends

If 2017 taught us anything, it’s that e-commerce is much more than transactions made from a desktop computer or mobile device. Whether you’re in a B2B or B2C market, e-commerce remains a critical sales tool with a wide influential reach – estimated to impact over 50 percent of in-store purchases, while online sales are thought to see an annual increase of 15 percent for each of the next four years.

(Re)building Your Leadership One Person at a Time

A special column for emerging nonprofits and those who are “struggling.”

Extreme Collaboration

Collaboration, as a concept, can be used by those seeking control of a culture for their own purposes. If collaboration becomes a form of groupthink or censorship, watch out. I’ve seen many different professional cultures’ versions of collaboration – and have left some feeling as if I were in a governmental public input meeting where very little actual input is allowed by design. 

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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.