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VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 27 | Saturday, July 1, 2017
Weekly Issue

Stiff Competition

Memphis battling to remain competitive in a tourism business worth billions

Selling Memphis as a place to visit may be easier now than it’s ever been. Conversely, it may also be as difficult as it’s ever been. That dichotomy arises from the fact that Memphis has more amenities, more things to do, see and eat than ever before.

EDITORIAL

Editorial: Memphis Tourism Has Its Own Unique Ride

Memphis is never, ever going to be a theme park built for the delight of visitors from around the world.

Thomas & Betts Moving Corporate Headquarters

Thomas & Betts Corp. has chosen a new location for its corporate headquarters. The Memphis-based electrical component manufacturer is moving from Southwind to ServiceMaster Global Holdings' current space at 860 Ridge Lake Blvd. in Ridgeway Center. ServiceMaster is vacating the East Memphis property for its new headquarters Downtown.

Fred’s Cut Out of New Walgreens, Rite Aid Deal

Walgreens Boots Alliance has struck a new deal with Rite Aid to buy 2,186 of the chain’s stores for $5.18 billion, an agreement that replaces the two rivals’ planned merger. It also nixes the component of the merger involving Memphis-based Fred’s Inc. buying hundreds of Rite Aid stores to help the now-defunct merger pass regulatory muster.

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EVENTS

Downtown Memphis’ Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular will take place Tuesday, July 4, at Mud Island River Park, 125 N. Front St. The park opens at 10 a.m., live music and activities begin at 6 p.m. and the fireworks display will launch at 9:15 p.m. Visit facebook.com/mudislandriverpark for details.

more events »

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

June 30-July 6, 2017: This week in Memphis history

2016: On the first day of the NBA’s free agency period, the Memphis Grizzlies offer point guard Mike Conley $153 million over five years to stay with the team – an NBA record contract. The same day in a related move, the Grizzlies come to terms with power forward Chandler Parsons on a four-year $94 million contract.

DOWNTOWN

‘Great Streets’ Experiment Opens Between River and FedExForum

The sun umbrellas are on the way for the tables and chairs on the northern side of Peabody Place between Front and Main streets, and so is a temporary mural wall and some kiosks for a marketplace.

COMMUNITY

BreakFest Festival Returns In September

Organizers of a daylong festival celebrating all things breakfast and brunch have cooked up a new and bigger version of the event, which comes back for its third year in September.

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Levitt Shell Seeks to Use Shipping Containers

The Levitt Shell could be getting a new look in the coming months. Representatives from the popular Overton Park concert venue have applied for a conditional use permit with the Shelby County Board of Adjustment to add repurposed shipping containers to be used as a permanent retail structure.

HEALTH CARE

St. Jude Ranked No. 1 Pediatric Cancer Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has reclaimed the title as the No. 1 pediatric cancer hospital in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 28th annual “Best Hospitals” list, which compared nearly 5,000 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions.

NONPROFIT SECTOR

Individual Giving Fuels Memphis, National Philanthropic Economy

Americans give. So do Memphians. The “Giving USA 2017” report showed that in 2016 Americans gave $390.1 billion.

EDUCATION

ASD Grade Extensions May Prompt Legal Action

The Shelby County Schools system is exploring possible legal action against the state-run Achievement School District, the state Department of Education, Memphis Scholars charter schools and Aspire Public Schools over the two charter organizations adding grades to Memphis schools they took over.

LAW & THE COURTS

Sessions Gets More Opposition to Ending DOJ Memorandum

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been getting a lot of mail from Memphis lately about Juvenile Court.

Gibson Becomes First African-American Woman Partner at Burch, Porter & Johnson

Tannera Gibson knew she wanted to be more than an attorney. She wanted to be an attorney at Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC, one of the city’s oldest law firms with a deep history in and out of court and the business of law.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Opera Memphis Using Grant to Reach Mostly Absent Audience

Innovation isn’t necessarily the first word that comes to mind to describe opera. That’s one reason Opera Memphis’ award of a $28,000 Innovation Grant – among the first to be handed out by OPERA America, funded by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation – is interesting, to say the least.

GOVERNMENT

County Budget Vote Delayed But Government Continues To Operate

Shelby County government’s fiscal year begins Saturday, July 1, but the county won’t have a new operating budget at least until July 10.

AGRIBUSINESS

Experiments Could Yield Truly ‘Local’ Craft Beer

Whether it’s Gotta Get Up to Get Down, Grindhouse or RockBone – there’s no doubt that Memphians love their local craft beers. But despite the plethora of pilsners, pale ales and lagers in the market, Memphis has yet to produce a truly “local” beer, and researchers at Agricenter International are hoping to change that.

POLITICS

Freedom Fund Luncheon Speakers: Democratic Party Must Change

Former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. says if voters can make the big change they made last November in the White House they can do it again.

REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

Cooper-Young’s Landmarks Status on Hold While City Sorts Out Bylaws

Despite rainy conditions, several dozen Cooper-Young residents packed into an upstairs room at First Congregational Church of Memphis Thursday, June 22, for the second public meeting held in the hopes of establishing the more than century-old neighborhood as an official Memphis Landmarks Commission district.

$18.5 Million Permit Filed for Central Station Project

In this week’s Real Estate Recap, developers pull an $18 million permit for the Central Station overhaul, another new Downtown hotel is in the works and the new Laurelwood bookstore gets a restaurant...

SPORTS

New Grizzlies Ready to Work, Free Agent Picture Still Cloudy

All across the NBA landscape, teams are trotting out their second-round draft picks and saying the same things: We had these players rated higher. We couldn’t believe they were still there. And the classic, “We’re so happy they fell to us.”

Paying Fulmer $100K A Deal for UT Athletics

What does Phillip Fulmer’s hiring as special adviser to University of Tennessee president Joe DiPietro have to do with Vols football coach Butch Jones?

Redshirt Season Helps Johnson Improve Game

Jalen Johnson’s first season on Tennessee’s basketball team didn’t go as planned. Now, he’s better for it.

Grizz Front Office Has Tough Decisions to Make

To be an NBA general manager on the eve of free agency is to be asked a lot of questions you really can’t answer.

Grizzlies Grabbed Accomplished College Players in NBA Draft

When last week’s NBA Draft tipped off, the Grizzlies were outsiders with no picks. It didn’t stay that way. General manager Chris Wallace had indicated weeks earlier the Grizzlies would approach this draft as if they had picks, adding, “You don’t know what opportunities will come your way in the 11th hour.”

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Peer Power Hires Dennis Ring As Development Director

Dennis Ring has joined the Peer Power Foundation as director of development. In his new role, he is responsible for spearheading and cultivating development and donor relations efforts for the 12-year-old organization, which serves more than 1,000 students using a peer-to-peer tutoring method.

THE TIPPING POINT

Barksdale Fertilizes Relationships Through Agriculture

William Barksdale is just off a trip to China, but he’s reminiscing about the Mississippi Delta. On sultry summer days spent alongside his father, walking the rows of soybean and cotton fields, Barksdale grew into an awareness of the nobility of farming – the simple grace involved in raising crops that will feed and clothe people.

VIEW FROM THE HILL

Tennessee, Left Coast a World Apart on Immigration

San Francisco resident Terry Karlsson relishes her hometown’s reputation for embracing “multi-cultural diversity.”

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

The Big Picture

The city is a gallery, the neighborhoods its rooms. Artistic talent runs in the family like spilled India ink on paper, although it ran away from me. Briefly majoring in art, I learned that my talent lay in appreciation not execution, and there is much to appreciate in our city.

June Travel Is The Worst

My love-hate relationship with late spring travel all started with a trip to England.

Breaking The Rules And Finding Your Perfect Job

Sometimes in your career, things don’t always work out the way you plan them. For me, the first time I learned this lesson, I was in college. I went to one of those fancy, private schools to study computer engineering in the late ’90s. I knew that an investment in such a great degree would guarantee me a job when I graduated. Not only that, it would guarantee me a great paying job.

Wield a Red Pen Like a Pro

You’re probably thinking a lot about how your marketing looks. You’ve created a compelling brand, made videos to showcase your best work, and even tried Facebook Live to document exciting events.

Is Your Company Protected from Ransomware?

Think of it as a heist. Instead of force in exchange for your purse or wallet, it’s an attack on your confidential online files.

The Green Rush & Tokyo Smoke

Alan Gertner gave a keynote presentation for the Front End of Innovation 2017 Conference and his talk was about the emerging Green Rush, legalized cannabis, the birth of a brand and an industry.

What Will Your References Say?

When people want to know more about your nonprofit, who do they talk to? Who serves as a reference? How can you help ensure your references speak knowledgably and with specifics?

Dry Ice Can Save Your Groceries, Budget

A couple weeks ago thousands of Memphians lost power for days as a result of the historic summer storm.

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Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 98 238 15,862
MORTGAGES 122 284 18,332
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 13 34 2,439
BUILDING PERMITS 137 452 32,966
BANKRUPTCIES 62 178 10,191
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 73 5,251
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 28 92 6,240
MARRIAGE LICENSES 13 63 3,476

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