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VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 14 | Saturday, April 1, 2017
Weekly Issue

Sustaining the Rally

Rebranding, Stubby Clapp giving Redbirds renewed optimism

Innings come to an end, games come to an end, and seasons come to an end. Yet the Memphis Redbirds are forever playing against their best selves – those grand and glorious days when AutoZone Park was new and the Triple-A baseball team competed in the highest-level pro sports league in town.

EDITORIAL

Editorial: Ending the Shell Game Of Memphis Buildings

Memphis’ tallest building, 100 North Main, is a dump – a fenced-off, red-tape-entangled, code-violating fire hazard of a dump. Its owners aren’t doing anything about it, and it’s not the only property in this city sitting unused and neglected.

DCA Founder Buys Historic Nabisco Building Downtown

Doug Carpenter, founder and principal of the creative communications consulting firm DCA, has bought a historic Downtown building he will convert into his company’s new office.

Bartlett Weighs $60M Plan to Reconfigure, Expand Bartlett High

The Bartlett City Schools board is considering a $60 million plan to upgrade and expand the Bartlett High School campus over three to four years. The project would be partially financed with a 14-cent hike in Bartlett’s property tax rate.

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EVENTS

National Civil Rights Museum will hold its annual April 4 Commemoration, a community-focused observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy, Tuesday, April 4. The event will feature the changing of the wreath on the balcony of Room 306, where King was slain, and a moment of silence at 6:01 p.m., the time the shot was fired. Other events are scheduled throughout the day. Visit civilrightsmuseum.org for details.

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Fans Fill AutoZone Park for 'Battle of the Birds'

Cards, Yadier Molina Making Progress on Contract

During batting practice Thursday afternoon at AutoZone Park, new Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp looked up at a clear blue sky.

EMPHASIS Economic Development

Community Groups Working to Bridge Economic Development Gaps

When a $1 million award for North Memphis was announced recently, it signaled an opportunity to bring change to those communities.

EDGE's ICED Loan Program Gives Small-Business Owners a Hand Up

Camy Archer had built a loyal following of customers at her eponymous Midtown restaurant over the course of two decades and business was good.

Memphis Continues Pursuit of New Convention Center Hotel

More Downtown hotel rooms. Lots of them. And preferably under one roof.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

March 31- April 6, 2017: This week in Memphis history

2016: A metal barrier goes up on the Overton Park Greensward, replacing orange cones used by the Memphis Zoo to mark its overflow parking area. Protesters opposed to the continued overflow parking quickly attach a homemade sign to the barrier reading “Iron Curtain” as Memphis Police keep watch over a busy day in the park for the zoo as well as on the greensward, where a reading flash mob and several rugby games are taking place.

FOOD INDUSTRY

Midsouth Food Truck Fest Returns in May

Midsouth Food Truck Fest organizer Stanley Perrin is preparing for the May 13 return of his yearly bash celebrating food truck culture in Memphis and is hoping to outdo the attendance numbers of the festival’s first two years.

MEDIA

Gannett Cuts 30 Percent of Commercial Appeal Newsroom

The Commercial Appeal newsroom got around 30 percent smaller Tuesday, March 28, as a result of cuts made by the newspaper’s still relatively new corporate parent, Gannett Co. Inc.

COMMUNITY

New Face of Memphis Animal Services Begins to Show

When you walk through the doors of Memphis Animal Services, you may not recognize the place. Euthanasia rates are low. Relationships with local rescue groups are strong. Community outreach is booming. And there’s a new director at the helm: Alexis Pugh, a fresh pair of hands for a shelter that has had a rocky past.

Joyner, McCloy to Receive Dunavant Awards

Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner and Memphis Public Libraries director Keenon McCloy are the 2017 winners of the Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Awards.

HEALTH CARE

National Cancer Institute Director Lauds St. Jude

Dr. Douglas Lowy returned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Friday, March 24, and praised the facility as being a worthy beneficiary of research funding that comes through his National Cancer Institute.

Johnson Comes Back to Memphis to Lead Comprehensive Pharmacy Services

Calvin “CJ” Johnson came home to Memphis in February to take over as CEO of Comprehensive Pharmacy Services after the past few decades traveling the world, first as a part of the U.S. Army and more recently as an executive in the health care industry.

Church Health YMCA Opens at Crosstown

The dashboards on the running machines were being adjusted. The weighted balls and other workout equipment was ready. And patrons of the Church Health YMCA at Crosstown Concourse were getting their first good look around the new facility Wednesday, March 29, with leaders of the new Y cutting the ribbon.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

City of Memphis, Partners Urge Small Developers to Step Up

With once seemingly impossible projects coming to fruition like the Crosstown Concourse and ServiceMaster converting the former Peabody Place mall into its new corporate headquarters, there’s a feeling in the city that no project is too big to tackle.

RegionSmart Gets City Lover Peter Kageyama

Renowned author and lover of cities Peter Kageyama will be speak at this year’s RegionSmart Summit, which is the second annual gathering of Mid-South mayors and civic leaders to discuss future workforce development, transportation and land use in the area.

RDC President Gives Riverfront Update

Pop-up parks, cruise lines and plans to enhance existing attractions were all topics Riverfront Development Corp. president Benny Lendermon touched on during a state of the riverfront he delivered Friday, March 24, to the Downtown Memphis Commission.

LAW & THE COURTS

Memphis Police Surveillance Suits Remain Separate

Two Memphis federal court lawsuits accusing the Memphis Police Department of conducting illegal surveillance of protesters will remain separate.

SUSTAINABILITY

Motor Vessel Mississippi Returns to Memphis Riverfront

The largest diesel towboat on the Mississippi River has been known to move 16 to 17 barges at one time – although it has done 33.

EDUCATION

Hopson Admits System Neglect in ‘Critical Focus’ Pitch

The best budget situation he has had in four school years as leader of Shelby County Schools has prompted Dorsey Hopson to do something he was unable to do before he became superintendent.

TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS

Riverside and Cooper Bike Lanes Draw Complaints

Out of 10 repaving projects the city is considering for bike lanes by this fall, the two that got the most attention at an open house Monday, March 27, were the Riverside Drive and Cooper Street bike-lane proposals.

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Knoxville Hotel Group Buys Land Across From AutoZone Park

Vision Hospitality Group, a Knoxville-based hotel company, just purchased a vacant parcel of land across from AutoZone Park – possibly paving the way for a new Downtown hotel just blocks from Beale Street.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

National Designer Nicole Miller Amps Up Memphis Fashion Week in April

Memphis Fashion Week has evolved from its beginning into a showcase for all the elements of the developing fashion industry in Memphis.

RETAIL

Victory Bicycle Studio Opening Companion Bike Shop on Broad

Victory Bicycle Studio owner Clark Butcher is preparing to bring a new bike shop, under a different brand identity, to Broad Avenue.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Rudd Says University Redirecting Neighborhood

The railroad tracks between Highland Avenue and Zach Curlin Drive have been a fact of life and a border of sorts for as long as there has been a University of Memphis – even before it was called the University of Memphis.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Local, Federal Authorities Target Southwest Memphis Gang Activity

When two men were shot to death in January in front of a house at 477 Delta St. in a drive-by shooting, it was part of spike in homicides to start the new year.

REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

Despite Stigma, Real Estate Auctions are ‘Purest’ Marketplace

Sometimes there is a stigma attached to selling real estate at an auction, but Jeff Morris says it’s actually the purest form of capitalism.

ECONOMY

Fed’s Bullard: Slow-Growth Economy Will Continue

The economy has been in low-growth mode for years, and it’s probably unwise to assume things will change this year.

THE TIPPING POINT

SCS’ Ramírez Reflects on Time in Memphis

Every day, Shelby County educators must perform a delicate balancing act. On one hand, they must raise expectations and ensure that more of their students are college-ready. On the other, they must take into account the many barriers to academic success these kids face – things like poverty, poor nutrition, unsafe neighborhoods and a lack of transportation.

SPORTS

The Conductor, Mike Conley, Orchestrating A Career Year

Hours before the Indiana Pacers found themselves caught in the middle of a tornadic offensive performance from Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, there was a calm at FedExForum. As the Grizzlies went through their day-of-game shoot-around, Conley was almost still, standing off to the side and playing coach. With Conley’s history of being banged up at this stage of the season, Tony Allen was understandably concerned.

Can Top Recruiting Class, Loyalty Save Warlick’s Job With Lady Vols?

It looks like Butch Jones isn’t the only University of Tennessee coach on the hot seat. The Lady Vols’ second-round exit from the NCAA Tournament increased the scrutiny and pressure on Holly Warlick. After five seasons and no trips to the Women’s Final Four, the clock is ticking.

Pro Sports Motto: Relocation, Relocation, Relocation

When I joined a Fantasy Football League a few year ago I chose a team name from the depths of my soul: “I Hate the Raiders.”

REAL ESTATE RECAP

Penn National Gaming to Buy 2 Tunica Casinos for $44M

1450 Bally Blvd. , Robinsonville, MS 38664  -
A Pennsylvania-based gaming company is planning to add to its Tunica-area holdings by buying the gaming operations of Bally’s Casino Tunica and Resorts Casino Tunica.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Griffin Joins Memphis in May To Lead Marketing Efforts

Robert Griffin has joined Memphis in May International Festival as director of marketing, a role in which he’s responsible for all marketing and communication programs, promotions, media and public relations, marketing research and sponsorship activation for the annual festival. 

TENNESSEE LEGISLATURE

Lawmakers Blast Haslam Administration for Process Toward JLL Contract

The Tennessee Department of General Services is set to award a statewide contract for facility management services to Jones Lang LaSalle, a company that already handles 10 percent of state office space and estimates a 15.9 percent savings if all higher education institutes participate.

Memphis Rep. Towns Attacks Drug Lobby

Legislation designed to make oral chemotherapy medication more affordable is hitting a snag in the form a financial reporting amendment.

Anti-Gay Marriage Legislation Fades Along With Transgender Restrooms

Anti-gay marriage legislation appears to be dead in the House of Representatives for the year. The House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted Wednesday, March 29, to put off an amended version of the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act until 2018. Under the measure, Tennessee’s policy would require it to defend “natural marriage” between one man and one woman regardless of any court decision to the contrary.

Norris’ Broadband Bill Clears State Senate Hurdle

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris’ broadband internet access bill is rolling through the General Assembly.

IMPROVE Act Moves Closer to Passage

With hardly a peep of discontent from lawmakers, the governor’s IMPROVE Act containing fuel-tax increases and a host of tax cuts moved out of the House Local Government Committee today.

State House Votes to Block Memphis, Nashville Pot Ordinances

Setting up a Senate debate on state pre-emption of Nashville and Memphis marijuana laws, the state House has approved legislation striking down local ordinances giving police discretion to hand out citations for small amounts of pot.

View From the Hill: A Disjointed Stash of Marijuana Bills

This year’s marijuana bills are a mixed bag.

Bill to Ban Outsourcing Sails Through Committee

A Senate panel approved legislation Monday prohibiting the outsourcing of jobs at state parks less than a week after the State Building Commission renewed plans for rebuilding and privatizing the inn at Fall Creek Falls.

Senate Douses Memphis and Nashville Pot Ordinances

State senators are intent on striking down Memphis and Nashville marijuana laws giving police discretion to hand out citations for possessing small amounts of pot.

Inn Construction, Private Management Plan Draw Ire of State Sen. Lee Harris

State Sen. Lee Harris is criticizing Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision to renew an outsourcing plan for development and operations at Fall Creek Falls State Park, calling it a move to bolster profits for a private company.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Claiming Our Responsibility

4,000, 801, 70, 24 AND COUNTING. It’s well past time to be honest about our numbers and their toll. About 4,000 people were lynched in the South between the Civil War and the civil rights movement, about 800 more than previously thought due to the research of the Equal Justice Initiative. The “about” part is significant since those kinds of statistics are more carefully hidden than proudly claimed. 

After Losing a Loved One

Ray’s Take The loss of a loved one can shatter your life. As you adjust to not having that person as a part of your world any longer, the painful grieving process can feel never-ending. 

The Art of the Catch at Spring Training

This is a story of 27 baseballs and how it took one 10-year-old boy the course of three spring training baseball games to amass that collection.

Is College Worth The Investment?

I’ve met a number of people lately who have said something that’s surprised me. They’ve told me that they aren’t sure if college is really worth it. They believe it would be a waste of money to pay for something they might never use, especially if they change their mind on their career path later.

PR is Your Fire Department

Public relations departments are like fire departments. PR folks would much rather prevent your organizational fire than put it out. So, why is it that PR is almost always brought in after a crisis occurs? It’s simple. Many executives only see PR playing a role in generating earned media or planning events. While it involves that, it’s so much more.

4 Tips for Approaching Decision Makers

One way to help sustain your organization is to build and nurture relationships with decision makers who can provide finances and resources. 

Crosstown Relocations Involve IT From the Start

Crosstown Concourse is exploding with activity as the mammoth building prepares to open to the public this year. On any given day, you’ll find plumbers, electricians, architects and other contractors working diligently prepare the 1.1 million-square-foot space for various office, retail and multifamily users.

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Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 69 69 21,228
MORTGAGES 57 57 24,842
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 8,703
BUILDING PERMITS 128 128 43,475
BANKRUPTCIES 50 50 14,244
BUSINESS LICENSES 12 12 6,503
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 60 60 13,737
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 19 5,177

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