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VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 17 | Saturday, April 22, 2017
Weekly Issue

Riding New Wave

In RegionSmart world, leaders learn to love their neighbors

In 2007, about a half-dozen Memphis companies came together to found the Urban Land Institute Memphis chapter. It was a fine start. Six years later, ULI Memphis was convening a group of mayors from the tri-state area and, at least initially, trying very hard to make it informal and non-threatening.

EDITORIAL

Editorial: Realistic Regionalism And the Road Ahead

There can be an eye-roll factor to calls for regionalism. And some of that is justified. Over many years, we’ve seen leaders who didn’t want to be near one another – much less agree to anything – emerge from a meeting and declare a breakthrough simply because they had been in a room together.

Memphis Business Academy Showcases Project Lead The Way STEM Progress

The Memphis Business Academy is flexing its STEM muscles.

Former MATA CEO Placed on Diversion in Prostitution Case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The former CEO of the Memphis Area Transit Authority has been placed on six months' diversion after entering a plea to charges of patronizing prostitution.

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EVENTS

The 31st annual Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival will take place Friday through Sunday, April 21-23, in Robert R. Church Park (Fourth and Beale streets). The festival will showcase the Republic of Togo from an international perspective, with music, food, a diverse cultural marketplace and more. Hours are 8 a.m. until late night; admission is $5. Visit the festival’s Facebook page for a complete schedule.

more events »

EMPHASIS Law Week

Law Week Honors Memphis' Legal Community

Law Week is a tradition that celebrates local legal professionals and continues the dialogue about law and justice issues in the Memphis community at large.

'Fragile Fortress'

Judges, attorneys discuss judicial independence

When former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey spoke at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in April on the concept of judicial independence and the reality of judicial criticism, he came with some criticism of his own of the judiciary.

Third-Party Litigation Financing Grows Into Popular, High-Stakes Trend

Two decades ago, commercial third-party litigation financing was as small and uncommon as to be “negligible,” in Charles Agee’s words. Maybe $100 million in such funding per year.

NST Looks to Cultivate Young Litigators With Memphis Law Scholarship

Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz PLC, the largest plaintiff-based law firm in Tennessee, is looking to cultivate the next generation of litigators.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

April 21-27, 2017: This week in Memphis history

1865: The steamboat Sultana, many times over its capacity of several hundred people on board, explodes on the Mississippi River north of Memphis after docking at the cobblestones Downtown. Most of the passengers on board are Union soldiers just released from Confederate prison camps at the end of the Civil War, many returning to homes in East Tennessee.

SUSTAINABILITY

Bartlett Opens Greenway; Ghost River Natural Area Grows

The city of Bartlett has 29 parks, and every one of them has a walking trail. But the path that formally opens to the public Friday, April 21, at a trailhead at Santa Valley Road and U.S. 64 is Bartlett’s first venture in a full-fledged greenway.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Court OKs $16.8M Settlement in First Tennessee Bank Class-Action Suit

Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Mary Wagner has approved an agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit against First Tennessee Bank related to overdraft fees that calls for the bank to put $16.8 million into a settlement fund.

MINORITY BUSINESS

Memphis Chamber Sets Goal for Local, Minority Contracts

The Greater Memphis Chamber has set a goal of 600 new business-to-business contracts for minority- and women-owned enterprises and locally-owned firms by the end of the year.

Shelby County Commissioners Pledge to ‘Push It’ on Minority Business Contracts

Shelby County commissioners took a hard line Monday, April 17, on increasing the share of county government contracts for minority and locally owned businesses now that it has a plan for tackling a documented disparity for such contracts.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Memphis Looks to Detroit’s Riverfront for Inspiration

In a lot of ways Memphis and Detroit are kindred spirits. Both cities have similar populations, demographics, soul-laced musical legacies and are both looking to rebuild their economies after getting hammered by the recession.

RegionSmart Speaker to Highlight Suburban Retrofitting

Redevelopment is a ubiquitous term in Memphis right now. Major projects such as the Crosstown Concourse and ServiceMaster’s new headquarters are located well within the city limits, but according to Ellen Dunham-Jones, that is only just one piece of the puzzle.

EDGE Board Approves Two PILOTs, GMACW Merger

The Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County on Wednesday, April 19, granted tax abatements for a pair of companies with capital investment plans totaling $34 million and approved a resolution that allows the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce to merge into EDGE.

TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS

Memphis Airport Unveils Updated Modernization Plan

The Memphis International Airport unveiled an updated $214 million, multiyear plan to completely overhaul its B Concourse, where almost all of the airport’s operations will be consolidated upon completion.

POLITICS

Corker Sees Trump Foreign Policy Evolving, Not Moderating

U.S. foreign policy should be to “keep the volume up” on North Korea’s progress in developing a nuclear capability and intercontinental ballistic missiles, says U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, “with the acknowledgement that what you could bring in is Russia, China, South Korea and Japan into a conflict.”

COMMUNITY

Dunavant Winners Have Passion for Public Service

As he presented the Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Award Tuesday, April 18, to Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker recalled fondly his time as the mayor of Chattanooga.

EDUCATION

Coalition Urges City Funding For Schools

A coalition of 13 organizations and 17 citizens, including Shelby County Schools board chairman Chris Caldwell and state Reps. Raumesh Akbari and G.A. Hardaway, are calling on Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland to include at least $10 million in funding for schools in the budget he takes to the Memphis City Council next week.

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Commission Draws Brighter Line on Surplus Use

Shelby County commissioners set the tone for the upcoming county government budget season Monday, April 17, by approving a refinancing of county debt with up to $120 million in bonds over time.

RETAIL

Bikesmith Adding New Events, Expanding to Crosstown Concourse

Jim Steffen is pedaling harder this year. The proprietor of The Bikesmith – an operation that includes a truck that doubles as a mobile bike shop and a retail presence inside a converted auto garage at 509 N. Hollywood St. – is making good on his ambition to do more this year.

REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

Memphis Office Market Off to Good Start

Though small to mid-sized leases comprised the majority of leasing activity, the Memphis area office market got off to a healthy start in 2017, according to Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors’ first quarter Marketbeat report.

REGIONAL NEWS

Mayors Say Region Needs New Mindset, More Density

When Hernando West first surfaced in 2007, it was going to be a different kind of development south of the state line. But the recession that followed put the plans for the city’s first mixed-use development on hold – until recently.

DOWNTOWN

Loflin Yard Planning More After Initial Success

Not long after the opening of the Downtown bar, restaurant and entertainment space Loflin Yard, Janet Boscarino just knew.

THE TIPPING POINT

Andrews Gazes into Memphis’ Green Future

Imagine you’re in a helicopter. Stretched out beneath you is one of the country’s largest urban parks – 4,500 acres of sprawling hills, glistening lakes, and furry green forest, dotted with tiny people who are walking, cycling, picnicking, fishing, kayaking and riding horses.

HEALTH CARE

Methodist South Prepares for ICU Renovations

After embarking on a major expansion of its emergency department – one of the busiest in Memphis – Methodist South in Whitehaven is preparing to launch another significant renovation project.

SPORTS

Grizzlies Beat Spurs 105-94 in Game 3

The tone had been set three nights earlier in San Antonio. First-year coach David Fizdale had watched his team not just get beat by the San Antonio Spurs, but in his view disrespected by the officials.

Revamped Redbirds Off to Flying Start, but Clapp Still Waiting for a Call

At first, new Memphis Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp wasn’t all that comfortable in his own office. When the Redbirds played the St. Louis Cardinals in an exhibition game at AutoZone Park just before the big league season started, Clapp saw his desk as almost a foreign object.

NFL Experts Can’t Agree On QBs in Upcoming Draft

The NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 27, and it seems more than likely that Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett will go first overall to the hapless Cleveland Browns. 

Redbirds’ Patrick Wisdom Maturing as Hitter

Every player is on his own timetable. No matter the position he plays, no matter when and where he was drafted. Memphis Redbirds third baseman Patrick Wisdom, 25, came into the St. Louis Cardinals’ system with high – fast-track – expectations. Selected in the supplemental first round (52nd overall) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of St. Mary’s College, Wisdom was tabbed by Baseball America as the 71st best overall prospect.

Memphis Basketball Adding More Junior College Players; Bill Self Mum on K.J. Lawson

With only two returning scholarship players from last season’s team, University of Memphis basketball coach Tubby Smith continues to mine the junior college ranks for players he hopes can contribute immediately.

Tennessee's 6-6 Freshman Has a Message: ‘I Will Not Eat You’

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones knew he got a special player when he signed five-star offensive lineman Trey Smith of University School of Jackson.

Who Will Grab the Spotlight in Vols' Spring Game?

Tennessee completes its fifth spring practice under head coach Butch Jones on Saturday, April 22, at 4 p.m. with the DISH Orange & White Game at Neyland Stadium.

‘Good Locker Room’ Doesn’t Happen by Accident

The first time I heard the term “good locker room” in relation to an NFL team, I figured it had something to do with TVs, air conditioning and nearby shower accommodations.

Titans Sold on Robinson-Mularkey Plan

In Jon Robinson and Mike Mularkey the Tennessee Titans trust – completely.

REAL ESTATE RECAP

East Memphis Office Sells for $17 Million

6055 Primacy Pkwy., Memphis, TN 38119 -
Primacy II, a 123,265-square-foot East Memphis office building, has a new owner thanks to a huge $17 million deal.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Shaffer Named Executive Director Of Rebranded BLDG Memphis

John Paul Shaffer recently was named executive director of BLDG Memphis, the rebranded entity that brings the Community Development Council of Greater Memphis and Livable Mem-phis under a single organizational identity.

TENNESSEE LEGISLATURE

Memphis, Nashville Mayors Praise Passage of Haslam’s Road Funding Bill

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland lauded the Tennessee Legislature for passing the IMPROVE Act, including a combination of fuel tax and fee increases designed to improve transportation funding.

House, Senate Approve IMPROVE Act

The House and Senate are nearly ready to send the IMPROVE Act to Gov. Bill Haslam, passing it with relatively wide voting margins after months of debate.

Memphis Gets Nod for New Hotel Tax, Nashville Having Pipeline Problems

The state Senate approved legislation enabling the Memphis City Council to consider an ordinance to create a new hotel/motel tax of no more than an aggregate of 5 percent to go toward the city-owned Memphis Cook Convention Center.

View From the Hill: Tearful End for Non-Citizen Tuition Relief Bill

State Rep. Raumesh Akbari grew so emotional she couldn’t speak. On the verge of tears, the Memphis Democrat started to talk about a high school from her Shelby County district with a large number of undocumented immigrant students.

Veterans Want Tax Relief Addressed Separately

Members of the Legislature’s Veterans Caucus are renewing a call to increase property tax relief statewide for veterans and the elderly in a measure separate from the governor’s IMPROVE Act.

Fuel-Tax Bill Short of Votes in the House

NASHVILLE – Votes aren’t adding up in the House of Representatives for passage of the governor’s gas tax/tax cut legislation.

Voting Selfie Bill Sailed Through State Senate

NASHVILLE – Legislation stemming from the infamous voting-booth selfie by pop star Justin Timberlake sailed through the Senate on Thursday, April 13.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Target-Date Funds and Taxes

Ray’s Take Target-date funds are mutual funds that contain a collection of other mutual funds that are designed to invest aggressively at the beginning and, over a long time horizon, move money into progressively more conservative holdings as the target date approaches.

One Day with Harry Potter in Orlando

Our goal was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal Orlando Resort is home to adjoining amusement parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, and both have their own unique spin on Harry Potter.

Our Best Point of View

Editor’s note: At press time, The Daily News learned a proposal to construct two silos on the riverfront was withdrawn from the Board of Adjustment agenda.

Hitting the Ceiling

Nearly every growing company faces a phenomenon – at multiple points in its growth trajectory – where the leadership team feels stuck, growth stalls or halts, and everything starts to feel complex. The strategies of the past that served them so well are no longer working. Revenue has plateaued and frustration is creeping into the organization.

The Limits Of Loyalty

Loyalty is an important quality. It’s what helps bind friendships and loved ones. It’s what holds teams together. But, dare I say it – there are limits to loyalty.

Five Ways to De-Energize Your Board

There is an ideal board in the consciousness of many nonprofit leaders. It often involves members who are engaged in governance and fundraising; who advocate for the organization; and serve as community ambassadors building relationships and partnerships. 

Wisdom in the Workplace

Maybe you’ve been in this meeting or one like it. Competing agendas fly like bullets. The pace of conversation speeds up. Interruptions pounce out the façade of civility. People anxiously wait to talk, heads burning with desire, rather than listen.

Defining the Basics: Bike Lane Expansion

Our current administration’s platform desires to be brilliant at the basics, but what is the definition of basic?

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Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 102 224 17,767
MORTGAGES 127 277 20,703
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 176 510 36,326
BANKRUPTCIES 54 146 11,828
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 80 5,640
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 27 147 12,181
MARRIAGE LICENSES 11 60 4,417

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