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1. Last Word: Trader Joe's, Bredesen at Rhodes and Haslam on Memphis -

Here comes Trader Joe’s with a Friday opening in Germantown after lots of mystery and delays and changes for what is a pretty simple concept. For so many of us, this has been a long-hoped for goal. It’s kind of up there with smuggling in Coors beer from the west in the 70s before it became available everywhere and Coors had a brewery here.

2. A New Benchmark -

Shelby Farms Park is gearing up for the second annual Mempho Music Festival and another chance to showcase the country’s largest urban park to a diverse and wide-reaching audience.
Memphis’ newest music festival is expecting a crowd of 20,000 on Oct. 6 and 7, which is impressive for a park two years out from a $70 million renovation embarked upon in 2010 with a distant vision for such an event.
The master plan for the park was designed not only for people to recreate and relax, but as a place to build community, and a music festival can be a big part of that, said Jen Andrews, executive director of Shelby Farms Park. Andrews has always had a larger vision for the park as a place where the community could come together and take ownership and pride in the best that Memphis has to offer.
Enter another visionary, native Memphian Diego Winegardner, founder of Mempho Fest and CEO of Big River Presents, which is putting on the festival. Winegardner grew up in Memphis and now lives outside of New York City where his day job is in finance and investment management. A couple of years ago on a trip home to Memphis he met some old friends for a bike ride at Shelby Farms Park.
“I was completely blown away,” Winegardner said. “The sun was setting on Hyde Lake, and I had this lightning-bolt moment of how special it would be to bring a world-class music festival to this site.
I thought about Memphis’ place in the annals of American music as the birthplace of blues, soul and R&B and the hip hop scene that we have here.
“If you think about the labels … Sun, Stax, Royal…I was exposed to all of that growing up, and seeing B.B. King on Beale Street was just normal,” he said. “I didn’t appreciate it until I was gone. I started to get really nostalgic about my hometown.”
Winegardner is a music enthusiast who has been to most of the notable music festivals in the U.S. and many around the world. He had the resources and connections to realize his dream. Last year, the first Mempho Fest kicked off with great success with 10,000 in attendance for two days of concerts featuring a variety of bands from different music genres.
“I’ve always been a big fan of (Memphis) and its people and a big defender of the city and its history,” Winegardner said. “This music festival was born out of my passion for music and my passion for the city of Memphis.”
When Winegardner first met with Andrews two years ago to pitch his idea, she caught his vision right away.
He approached it cautiously and wanted to understand how to protect the park and still give people a good experience, she said. “We like working with Diego,” she said. “They care about the park, and like us, have a big, bold vision, and they hired a professional team who knew how to put on a safe and fun event.”
This year’s festival will feature two days of multi-genre music headlined by Grammy Award-winning artist and hip-hop superstar Post Malone as well as Beck, Phoenix, NAS and Janelle Monae. Local talent like Lucero and alternative Mac deMarco also will perform, and there will be a special tribute to Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios featuring the label’s past and present stars.
Sunday will feature performances by crowd favorites like George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic and Stones Throw, Chuck Laevell’s Rolling Stones’ backer band.
The festival will not only expand in attendance, but will add a larger culinary and craft beer presence in addition to on-site camping and VIP and super-VIP experiences.
“We’re trying to create more than just music on a stage,” said Winegardner, who also created a nonprofit arm called Mempho Matters that will partner with organizations that line-up with the vision of the festival, such as Oceanic Global Foundation, #BringYourSoul, Learn to Rock and the Memphis Area Women’s Council’s “Memphis Says NO MORE” campaign.
As part of Mempho’s partnership with the Oceanic Global Foundation, the festival has a 100 percent waste-free goal, which will start with its no straw policy.
“A best practice environmental policy is important to help make sure the park is as pristine when we leave as when we showed up,” said Winegardner.
The partnership promoting the Memphis Area Women’s Council’s “NO MORE” campaign is to make sure that Mempho Fest’s female attendees feel safe. Winegardner, who has a teenage daughter, knows stories about the lack of safety for females at other events, prompting him to take up the cause.
“In this day and age, you really have to take a stand and make it an institutional part of our way of doing things,” he said.
Money raised through Mempho Matters will also benefit the Memphis community through contributions to musical education in the form of free tickets for students and teachers to attend the festival as well as instruments and money for music education in local schools.
Last year, Mempho Matters gave away 2,000 tickets to students and teachers.
“We want to build bridges into the community and be as inclusive as possible,” Winegardner said. “We want to educate the children and the youth of tomorrow about the history of Memphis musically and create a sense of pride for its citizens while also attracting new people and adding another chapter to Memphis’ long, rich history.”
Andrews is optimistic about the growth of Mempho Fest this year, projecting double the attendance in its second year as well as adding 400 weekend camping permits. Those include primitive camping, RV hookups and glamping.
“The camping option is an important part of festival culture, and one of the great benefits of the park is its tremendous scale, which can accommodate that,” Andrews said.
But the plan is to grow Mempho Fest slowly, she said.
“We learned a lot the first year, and we’re applying the learning to this year’s festival,” she said. “We have a strong plan for safely managing the crowd. We want this to be a world-class festival.”
Big River Productions and Winegardner have an undisclosed agreement with Shelby Farms Park, and both entities hope to continue the relationship.
“I’m hoping that Mempho Fest will become a long-term asset for the city of Memphis,” Winegardner said.
Music remains a big driver of visitors to Memphis — 56 percent of leisure visitors come to the city for something related to music, said Kevin Kane, president and CEO of Memphis Tourism, formerly called the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We’re supporters of (Mempho Fest),” he said. “We believe in it and want to see it grow. Music festivals have a big impact on the economy. The more events we have based in music the better, and we think it’s great to utilize Shelby Farms in this way.”

3. Council Approves Conditional Return of Beale Street Cover -

After much debate and consultation with attorneys, the Memphis City Council voted Tuesday, Sept. 11, to allow Memphis Police and the Downtown Memphis Commission to reinstate a cover charge for the Beale Street entertainment district.

4. City Balks at Forrest Descendants’ Proposed $30M Settlement -

The city of Memphis is balking at a $30 million settlement demand by descendants of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Sons of Confederate Veterans in connection with the removal of the Confederate general’s statue from Health Sciences Park.

5. Council Approves Conditional Return of Beale Cover -

After much debate and consultation with attorneys, the Memphis City Council voted Tuesday, Sept. 11, to allow Memphis Police and the Downtown Memphis Commission to reinstate a cover charge for the Beale Street entertainment district.

6. Last Word: Rain and Lightning, Recycling Blues and Polls and Campaigns -

Signs of festival season in the air Sunday after what was left of Tropical Storm Gordon dumped most of its remaining rain and wind on the city Saturday. The Central Gardens home tour was doing a brisk business Sunday afternoon with lots of foot traffic in light jackets and lines outside a few of the homes on Belvedere as Birds and golf carts buzzed around. Further south Cooper-Young practicing moderation a week ahead of its milestone event for festival season – a new mural on Young west of Cooper toward the Fairgrounds awaiting your judgment next weekend.

7. REI ‘Raises the Bar’ on Outdoor Recreation in Memphis -

REI’s new Memphis store is promoting local outdoor recreation areas in addition to the sales of its own camping and outdoor gear.

The consumer co-op not only is donating $20,000 total to the Wolf River, Overton Park and Shelby Farms Park conservancies for trail restoration and other improvements, but is leading its nearly 50 employees to engage with and volunteer in the parks.

8. Last Word: Graceland Opens Vigil, Hunt-Phelan For Sale and Southern Heritage -

After two years of making the Elvis candlelight vigil more about who paid and getting people in line, Graceland said Wednesday the vigil will return to being a free event next August – no admission, no buying packages that include the vigil. The timing on this is interesting coming about two weeks after the 2018 edition of the vigil.

9. Last Word: Selling Local Soccer, Football's Arrival and Luttrell's Vetoes -

So the United Soccer League Memphis franchise is to be called Memphis FC 901. The branding was launched as the Labor Day weekend began with a video that is part Rogues nostalgia, soccer at school memories and a liberal dose of Grit ‘n’ Grind rhetoric from another sports franchise just down the street from AutoZone Park. The combination is another example of sports carrying the banner for the promotion of Memphis in general.

10. Last Word: Oath, Occupancy and Buses -

Shelby County Mayor elect Lee Harris and the 13-member Shelby County Commission with a majority of eight new members take the oath of office Thursday afternoon Downtown at the Cannon Center. And Harris turned in his resignation as a state Senator Wednesday, urging the county commission to leave the seat vacant for the remaining four months left in his four-year term of office in Nashville.

11. Memphis City Council Considers Surface Parking Lot at Main and Beale -

Memphis City Council members vote Tuesday, Aug. 28, on a special-use permit to turn the land on the northeast corner of South Main Street and Beale Street into a surface parking lot with landscaping.

12. Tennessee Gives $15M to Parks, Trail Projects -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee officials say $15 million in grant money will help fund parks and recreational trail projects in communities.

Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Shari Meghreblian say the department will award about $13.5 million in Local Park and Recreation Fund grants to 51 communities across Tennessee.

13. Last Word: Bob Smith Talks, Crosstown Anniversary and Grant's Parking Lot -

Bob Smith’s testimony was a good part of the first day of the nonjury trial that began Monday before Memphis Federal Court Judge Jon McCalla on police surveillance of protesters. Smith was the alias used by Police Sgt. Tim Reynolds – Reynolds acknowledged during his testimony Monday Downtown. The identity was also used by several other officers.

14. Strickland Open to Talks About Idea of City-Only Industrial Development Board -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says he is open to discussing the idea of a city-only Industrial Development Board along with other ideas to be explored by a study group approved by the Memphis City Council last week.

15. The Week Ahead: Aug. 20-26 -

Good morning, Memphis! Fall is just around the corner and the weather later this week may give a you a more convincing notion of that. Here is a list of events and meetings that may be of interest as you get the week started.

16. REI Sets Plans For Memphis Grand Opening -

REI is planning special events and giveaways for the opening weekend of its Memphis store, Aug. 24-26.

The outdoor retailer’s grand opening at 5897 Poplar Ave. in Ridgeway Trace Center will feature parking-lot parties with free breakfast, music, games and REI Outdoor School programs. The events start at 8 a.m. Aug. 24-25 and 9 a.m. on Aug. 26, and end at noon each day.

17. Last Word: Suburban Elections, Charter Changes and Aretha Franklin -

Almost there for the November ballot with Thursday’s qualifying deadline for the contenders in the five sets of elections in five of the six suburban towns and cities. Three mayor’s races – all contested -- in Germantown, Lakeland and Bartlett. 11 races decided at the deadline with candidates running unopposed. Something of a surprise in one of the Millington alderman races.

18. Firestone Fallout -

The red letters grow fainter as the years pass in North Memphis. The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. plant’s smokestack, once a symbol of the industrial base that defined North Memphis, has become a different kind of symbol in the 35 years since the tire plant closed.

19. REI Sets Plans For Memphis Grand Opening -

REI is planning special events and giveaways for the opening weekend of its Memphis store, Aug. 24-26.

The outdoor retailer’s grand opening at 5897 Poplar Ave. in Ridgeway Trace Center will feature parking-lot parties with free breakfast, music, games and REI Outdoor School programs. The events start at 8 a.m. Aug. 24-25 and 9 a.m. on Aug. 26, and end at noon each day.

20. Newsmakers: Aug. 15, 2018 -

Joseph W. Smith, associate attorney at Rice, Amundsen & Caperton PLLC, has been selected as an associate member in the Leo S. Bearman Sr. American Inn of Court. Smith was nominated and voted by the Masters of the Inn. He began his legal career at Rice, Amundsen & Caperton as a runner during his undergraduate studies at the University of Memphis and continued as a law clerk while attending the U of M Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. He joined the firm as an attorney in May 2016 and focuses his practice on all aspects of domestic relations, including divorce, custody, support and adoption.

21. Last Word: Bigger Goodlett, Collierville's Dilemma and Ronnie Grisanti's at Regalia -

Shelby County Schools officials breaking ground Monday evening on the new Goodlett Elementary School to open a year from now on the grounds of the current Goodlett Elementary at 3001 S. Goodlett. The bigger Goodlett will allow for nearby Knight Road Elementary to close and its students to attend the new Goodlett. GOODLETT.

22. Mayor Strickland Hopes County Supports MATA -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland meets with Shelby County Mayor-elect Lee Harris this week as Harris’ transition team is assembled and begins working toward him taking office Sept. 1.

23. Last Word: Tunica Makes Book, The McCalla Ruling and Bush's Exit as Defender -

Monday may be the biggest day in Tunica since the dawn of riverfront casinos in the early 1990s. Sports betting opens Monday morning in Tunica with Mississippi officialdom on hand at Horseshoe Tunica along with NFL and Tigers football star DeAngelo Williams who will be among those making the ceremonial first bets at The Book at Horseshoe Tunica.

24. Last Word: Transition Time, Two Years of Heart and Eads De-Annexation Growth -

Here comes the transition in the county mayor’s office. Shelby County Mayor-elect Lee Harris announced Wednesday that the transition team will be co-chaired by former Downtown Memphis Commission president Paul Morris and former Grizz coach Lionel Hollins. Harris’s campaign manager Danielle Inez will be executive director of the transition team. They are soliciting applications to be on the transition team and the resumes have to be in soon. Harris takes office as outgoing mayor Mark Luttrell leaves at the end of this month.

25. Making a Splash -

Jen Andrews’ office is in the northwest corner of the visitor center at Shelby Farms Park. The office’s huge windows give her an expansive view of the park. But it’s also two-way glass. On the outside of that glass, at a certain height, are smudges where children have pressed their foreheads and dogs have jumped up with their paws.

26. Loeb Presents Renderings of New Hotel Proposed for Overton Square -

New renderings were released Tuesday of an Overton Square hotel tall enough – at seven stories – for rooftop bar patrons to see much of Midtown, including Overton Park six blocks to the north.

27. Last Word: Cops Stay Put, Day One at SCS and Barry Gibb Comes To Town -

Memphis Police are staying put in their recent move to 170 North Main from the CJC. There has been some question about the former state office building the city bought possibly becoming the site of a second convention center hotel. And that’s where this gets complex.

28. MCA Closing On a Dozen Properties Near Park -

Memphis College of Art has either sold or accepted offers on all 12 of the properties it owns just south of Poplar Avenue and Overton Park where the school is headquartered.

The financially strapped college is disposing of its apartment buildings, single-family homes, office and studio/class space, and dormitories in preparation for closing by spring 2020.

29. Last Word: DEB Comes to Memphis, Collierville's New School and Lamar Avenue -

At the end of an eventful week on several fronts, two of those fronts met Saturday evening in Memphis Park. The park, cleared of all remaining Confederate monuments and markers earlier in the week, was the site of the first Le Diner en Blanc in the city. This is an event that takes place in other cities with the Paris DEB 30 years old and still running.

30. The Week Ahead: Aug. 6-12 -

Good morning, Memphis! It’s that time of year again when backpacks, books and buses are on the minds of families around the county. Here’s to a prosperous year for the students of Shelby County Schools and a first day that is safe and fun.  

31. College of Art Closing on a Dozen Properties it is Selling Near Overton Park Site -

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story indicated the Womack House at 152 N. Tucker was sold. The transaction was for an easement, not the entire property.

Memphis College of Art has either sold or accepted offers on all 12 of the properties it owns just south of Poplar Avenue and Overton Park where the school is headquartered.

32. Airport Authority Renews Smaller Deal With Grizzlies -

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has extended a scaled-back version of its marketing partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies so it can invest those advertising dollars elsewhere.

The MSCAA board of commissioners approved Thursday, July 26, a three-year extension of the marketing contract the airport authority has with Memphis Basketball Inc., the parent company of the Grizzlies.

33. SCS Closes On Bayer Building To House New Central Office -

Shelby County Schools board members voted Tuesday, July 31, to buy the Bayer Building, 3030 Jackson Ave., as the new central office of the school system for $6.6 million.

34. Shelby County Schools Closes on Bayer Building As New Central Office -

Shelby County Schools board members voted Tuesday, July 31, to buy the Bayer Building, 3030 Jackson Ave., as the new central office of the school system for $6.6 million.

35. Last Word: Early Voting's Strong Finish, School Moves and City Hall Crackdown -

Most of the major contenders for Tennessee Governor – Democratic and Republican – were in Shelby County over the weekend in which early voting ended and the campaigns now adjust their last minute efforts to the gap between early voting and election day on Thursday.

36. The Week Ahead: July 30-August 5 -

Good morning, Memphis! The break from summer humidity has been nice, but it means school is just around the corner. Fortunately, there are plenty of events for you to enjoy as the home stretch of summer appears.

37. Airport Authority Renews Smaller Marketing Deal With Grizzlies -

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has extended a scaled-back version of its marketing partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies so it can invest those advertising dollars elsewhere.

The MSCAA board of commissioners approved Thursday, July 26, a three-year extension of the marketing contract the airport authority has with Memphis Basketball Inc., the parent company of the Grizzlies.

38. University of Memphis, Slider Inn Projects Move Forward -

1115 E. Getwell Loop St., Memphis, TN 38152 - Turner Construction Co. is beginning the first phase of a $10.6 million expansion and renovation of the University of Memphis’ athletic training facility on its Park Avenue campus. 

39. Last Word: Early Voting Tea Leaves, More Sunflowers and Marketing the Airport -

The blitz is on to the last weekend of campaigning as early voting finishes up Saturday and election day awaits next Thursday. Some of the contenders on the ballot have their second wind. Others are waiting for their political sails to fill. All of them are still moving at various speeds in the Memphis summer of unrelenting heat, sun screen, three changes of campaign t-shirts per day, 100-foot markers at early voting sites, robo-calls, replaced yard signs, new direct mail pieces and voters who swear they voted for you even if they have no idea what you are running for.

40. Memphis Airport Scales Back Partnership With Grizzlies -

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has extended a scaled-back version of its marketing partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies so it can invest those advertising dollars elsewhere.

The MSCAA board of commissioners approved Thursday, July 26, a three-year extension of the marketing contract the airport authority has with Memphis Basketball Inc., the parent company of the Grizzlies.

41. Last Word: T.O. Jones, One Beale's Launch and De-Annexation in Trouble -

You might call it the final act of the MLK 50 observances around our city this year. With very little fanfare at the start of Tuesday’s city council session, the council honored T.O. Jones, the leader of the union representing city sanitation workers and the leader of the 1968 strike by those workers. Jones was a pivotal figure in the strike who soon after lost his position with the local union in the internal politics of AFSCME as the local became a powerful political symbol.

42. De-Annexation Plan Encounters Council Resistance -

The Strickland administration’s proposal to de-annex two more parts of the city – Southwind-Windyke and Rocky Point – got bad reviews Tuesday, July 24, in city council committee sessions on their way to the first of three council votes in August.

43. Council Gets First Look at Sanitation Overhaul -

Memphis City Council members offer their first thoughts Tuesday, July 23, on the reconfiguration of city sanitation services outlined last week by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

44. Memphis’ Youngest Students Show Reading Gains On 2018 State Tests – And That’s A Big Deal -

Those working to improve early literacy rates in Shelby County Schools got a small morale boost Thursday as newly released scores show the district’s elementary school students improved their reading on 2018 state tests.

45. Affordable Housing Management Firm Buys Two Memphis Apartment Complexes -

One of the fastest-growing affordable housing property management companies in the U.S. has entered Tennessee with the purchase of two Memphis apartment properties.

Denver-based Monroe Group bought the 150-unit Keystone Landing Apartments, located at 4266 Ridgestone Drive in Raleigh, from Keystone Landing Apartments LLC for $6.5 million. It purchased the 120-unit Pendleton Apartments, located at 1764 Pendleton St. near Cherokee Park, from Pendleton Apartments LLC for $6 million.

46. Last Word: MemFix 4's Big Weekend, Early Voting Six Days In and Grizz Moves -

A big weekend to avoid the interstate with a rare closing of I-240 between the 385 split and the I-40 split and Poplar over I-240 also closed in both directions. This kicks in Friday evening and runs up to Monday morning’s rush hour as TDOT crews work to replace four bridges in East Memphis using a relatively new process in which parts of the bridges are assembled in advance and then moved into place. The bridges are both Poplar bridges, the Park Avenue bridge and the Norfolk Southern rail bridge. And this will happen all over again in about a week’s time using the same schedule, weather permitting. Weekenders on the interstate already have some experience with a milder version of this with the interstate projects on the south leg

47. Last Word: Soccer Names, Early Voting and a Censure and Ole Miss's Bowl Ban -

We will know the name of the United Soccer League Memphis team Sept. 1 as well as get a look at its logo. Will we go with something like the Rogues or Americans or go for a World Cup-style name suitable for craft beer consumption? Along with the answer to that, we will get an exhibition at the ballpark on that Saturday before Labor Day between the Colorado Rapids of MLS and the Tulsa Roughnecks FC of the USL. So if this is any indication, World Cup and craft beer.

48. The Week Ahead: July 16-22 -

Good morning, Memphis! The popular Roundhouse Revival at the Mid-South Coliseum returns this weekend, along with a retro skate night against the scenic backdrop of the Mississippi River at sunset. Check out those events and more happenings you need to know about in The Week Ahead...

49. City Council Approves $1.2M for Hampline -

Memphis City Council members approved $1.2 million in funding for the Hampline bikeway linking the eastern end of Shelby Farms Greenline to Overton Park’s eastern border.

The resolution approved Tuesday, July 10, on a unanimous vote funds the upgrade of the existing Hampline with $1 million in Tennessee Department of Transportation pass-through funding of federal grant money along with $269,635 in city capital funding through general obligation bonds.

50. Heat Wave -

After what was a banner year in many ways for Memphis commercial real estate in 2017, projections for this year were bullish. But at the halfway point of 2018, have expectations in the area risen with the temperatures or have they begun to dry out under the sweltering summer heat? 

51. City Council Approves $1.2M Funding for Hampline -

Memphis City Council members approved $1.2 million in funding for the Hampline bikeway linking the eastern end of Shelby Farms Greenline to Overton Park’s eastern border.

The resolution approved Tuesday, July 10, on a unanimous vote funds the upgrade of the existing Hampline with $1 million in Tennessee Department of Transportation pass-through funding of federal grant money along with $269,635 in city capital funding through general obligation bonds.

52. More Detailed Fairgrounds Plan Includes Smaller Garage, Lower Priced Sports Site -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland plans to take a more specific $95 million to $100 million plan for Fairgrounds redevelopment to the City Council and Shelby County Commission in two weeks and the state building commission in Nashville in the fall.

53. Beale Hotel, South Main Mixed-Use Top Busy Week In Development -

It’s a busy week for the city of Memphis when it comes to economic development. The Downtown Memphis Commission has two of its affiliate boards, the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. and the Design Review Board, in action this week, while the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County is holding a meeting for its Economic Development Finance Committee.

54. Council Discusses Doing Away With Elected City Court Clerk -

Memphis City Council members discuss a proposal Tuesday, July 10, that would abolish the office of City Court clerk and divert its functions to the city treasurer’s office.

The change would require approval by city voters in a referendum proposed for the Nov. 6 ballot. If the referendum ordinance is approved on three readings, it would be the fourth ballot question changing the city charter to go to city voters on the November ballot.

55. Last Word: Kyle Anderson's Apartment Search, Tate vs. Robinson and Finding Capital -

Keedran Franklin, an activist who has been a visible part of the rise in local protests and other actions over the last two years or so is free on bond pending a first court appearance Monday morning after being arrested by Memphis Police on a variety of misdemeanor and felony charges Friday night.

56. The Week Ahead: July 9-15 -

Good morning, Memphis! This week delivers a blast with some entertainment straight out of the '80s, plus your chance to tour a midcentury property in the midst of a restoration. Plus, we share what you need to know about early voting, I-240 closures, and plenty of other local happenings in The Week Ahead...

57. One Phase at a Time: Epping Way Leg Of Wolf River Greenway Now Open -

The Wolf River Greenway’s Epping Way leg just opened. Perhaps to those not directly involved in the project it feels like it just sort of popped up overnight. And Bob Wenner, the Wolf River Greenway coordinator and project manager, understands – sort of.

58. Last Word: River Museum Review, Tigers' Blended Family and Oxford Crackdown -

It’s not the Gulf. It’s Lake Pontchartrain that draws the crowds on Mud Island. The Riverwalk replica of the Gulf of Mexico’s neighbor that is. A few adjustments is all it took to return authorized wading to the area at the end of the scale model of the Mississippi River. The river park is changing as it continues to make its way through the annual season from the summer and into the fall.

59. Democrats Organize for Early Voter Turnout at Germantown Site -

Shelby County Democrats plan to bring out Democratic voters on the July 13 opening of the early-voting period at two polling sites – one each in Whitehaven and Germantown.

The Shelby County Election Commission picked those two locations – Abundant Grace Fellowship Church in Whitehaven and New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Germantown – last week as a compromise to complaints about making Agricenter International the only early-voting site open for the entire 14-day period in advance of the Aug. 2 Election Day.

60. Early Voting Becomes Issue, Cause in Run-Up To Aug. 2 Election Day -

Since early voting began in Tennessee in July 1994, it hasn’t increased voter turnout in Shelby County – at least not on its own in a sustained way. That still depends on what and who is on the ballot.

61. Last Word: Inland and the Bus, Early Voting Shuffle and Multi-Family Moves -

When City Hall announced last month that it was about time to rebid the sanitation contract Inland Waste has with the city, the mayor’s office went out of its way to say that Inland could be among the bidders for the contract serving about 35,000 households in Cordova and into East Memphis. Nevertheless, the company that owns Inland Waste didn’t like the tone of this and sent us an email accusing the Strickland administration of throwing it “under the bus.” And the administration hit back.

62. Election Commission Compromise on Early Voting Pleases Few Critics -

Shelby County election commissioners voted Friday, June 29, to rearrange the early voting schedule in advance of the Aug. 2 election day – keeping 25 of the 26 sites, substituting an East Memphis church for another church in the area that is having HVAC problems and adding a 27th early voting site at the election commission offices in Shelby Farms Park.

63. June 29-July 5, 2018: This week in Memphis history -

2016: Four children – ages 6 months to 4 years old – are found stabbed to death in their apartment at The Greens of Irene complex in southeast Shelby County. A fifth child, 7 years old, escapes the house and alerts neighbors, who call Shelby County sheriff’s deputies. The mother of the children, Shanynthia Gardner, is charged with the murders.

64. Editorial: Multifamily Development About More Than Numbers -

Finding a place for multifamily development across Memphis and into the suburbs is essential not only to the growth of Memphis and Shelby County by population.

It is essential to how we manage and shape the growth of Memphis and Shelby County.

65. Bike Share, Greenway and Bike Lane Efforts Point Toward Common Goal -

Four years after it made its tentative debut with the opening of the Overton Park Bike Gate, the Hampline, across East Parkway from the eastern end of Overton Park, is about to become permanent.

“The Hampline that exists today is about to be changed,” city bikeway and pedestrian program manager Nicholas Oyler said on WKNO-TV’s “Behind The Headlines.”

66. The Week Ahead: June 25-July 1 -

Good morning, Memphis! Your lawn chairs and blankets will get plenty of use this week as a bevy of concerts jam out under the night sky. Plus, South Main lights up for Trolley Night, dinosaurs roar into the Agricenter and much more in The Week Ahead…

67. Sprint Triathlons Saturday At Shelby Farms Park -

The 3rd Annual Annie Oakley & Buffalo Bill Super Sprint and Sprint Triathlons will be Saturday, June 23, at Shelby Farms Park (south of the intersection of Farm Road and Walnut Grove Road). The event includes four races: an all-women super sprint triathlon, an all-women sprint triathlon, an all-men super sprint triathlon, and an all-men sprint triathlon.

68. Methodist Kicks Off Centennial Celebration -

This weekend Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare begins its next 100 years helping people in the Mid-South with their healthcare needs. The hospital is celebrating with events like a book launch on Friday and “The Party of the Century” with special guest Magic Johnson on Saturday.

69. Last Word: Draft Day, EDGE's Busy Plate and The Day After In D.C. -

There are two ways – at least -- to look at Thursday’s NBA draft. This could be the day that Hasheem Thabeet’s symbolic legacy, which has endured much longer than he was actually on Memphis soil, is put to rest or it could be the day he becomes a permanent part of Memphis basketball culture.

70. Binghampton Apartments, Parkside TIF Get EDGE Greenlight -

Several hundred new apartments, a South Memphis grocery store and a new TIF district were all given the green light by the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County during a busy Wednesday, June 20, board meeting. 

71. Events -

The Shelby County Real Estate Road Show, co-sponsored by the Shelby County Trustee’s Office and Chandler Reports, is Thursday, June 21, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (registration 5 p.m.) at Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road. Learn about the county’s tax sale process and anti-blight initiative, plus how to buy properties through Shelby County Land Bank. Cost is free. Register at rersmemphis621.eventbrite.com.

72. Council Approves 13-Year Contract with MRPP -

Memphis City Council members gave the Memphis River Parks Partnership a 13-year contract to manage and operate the city’s riverside parks Tuesday, June 19, with a 10-year renewal option.

The MRPP, which until earlier this year was the Riverfront Development Corp., sought a 10-year contract with the city in order to promote the stability of the organization in drawing private and philanthropic funding for the city’s riverfront plan.

73. Last Word: 'Same Night Batteries,' Corker and Alexander React and ASD Results -

Things you notice in City Council chambers on a long council day: The clock on the wall in back of the chamber is placed over another clock – a clock built into the wall when City Hall opened in 1966 and since deprived of its hands. This came up because the clock in front stopped working Tuesday, the same day that the council got new microphones for a sound system that is consistently buggy.

74. Council Approves 13-Year Contract with MRPP, Makes End of Fiscal Year Moves -

Memphis City Council members gave the Memphis River Parks Partnership a 13-year contract to manage and operate the city’s riverside parks Tuesday, June 19, with a 10-year renewal option.

The MRPP, which until earlier this year was the Riverfront Development Corp., sought a 10-year contract with the city in order to promote the stability of the organization in drawing private and philanthropic funding for the city’s riverfront plan.

75. Council Approves 13-Year Contract With MRPP, Makes End of Fiscal Year Moves -

Memphis City Council members gave the Memphis River Parks Partnership a 13-year contract to manage and operate the city’s riverside parks Tuesday, June 19, with a 10-year renewal option.

The MRPP, which until earlier this year was the Riverfront Development Corp., sought a 10-year contract with the city in order to promote the stability of the organization in drawing private and philanthropic funding for the city’s riverfront plan.

76. Parkside Proposal -

The developers of the proposed Parkside at Shelby Farms project have applied for a tax-increment financing (TIF) designation to fund nearly $72 million in public infrastructure improvements to the area, including the construction of Shelby Farms Parkway.

77. The Week Ahead: June 18-24 -

Good morning, Memphis! Summer officially arrives Thursday with the solstice (aka the longest day of the year). Celebrate by taking in an evening Redbirds game or outdoor movie – or head indoors for one of nearly a dozen chamber music concerts. Here’s what else you need to know about in The Week Ahead...

78. Last Word: Kiwanis Debate, Haslam on the Gov. Race and Street Work -

For the last couple of days there has been this brewing story that Kim Kardashian West was on her way to the city to meet with Alice Marie Johnson, the convicted drug dealer sentenced to life in prison who was pardoned by President Donald Trump last week after serving 21 years in federal prison. And that is just what happened Wednesday – almost. The meeting was in Southaven. And, according to People, it included lessons in how to use Snapchat. The meeting included an interview with the Today show that will air Thursday morning.

79. Last Word: Riverfront Change, Skeleton to Canopy and Summer Camp -

The two contenders for Shelby County Mayor in the Aug. 2 county general election – Democratic nominee Lee Harris and Republican nominee David Lenoir – meet for the first time in the general election campaign Wednesday at the Memphis Kiwanis Club weekly luncheon. It is the first of several debates between the two. And judging from what Harris and Lenoir have said separately and what we’ve reported from those appearances, this is a highly anticipated debate/discussion about the future of Shelby County on several fronts.

80. Mempho Festival Headliners Announced for October Event -

Beck, Phoenix, Post Malone and Nas are the headliners for the second annual Mempho Music Festival Oct. 6 and 7 in Shelby Farms Park.

81. Lake District Lands Malco Theater, Former Benchmark Seeks New Life -

3536 Canada Road,
Lakeland, TN 38002

Tenant: Malco Theatres Inc.

Tenant’s Agent: Michael Lightman, Michael Lightman Realty

Landlord: The Lake District

82. Council Drops Referendum From November Ballot -

There will be no referendum question on the Nov. 6 election ballot that would change a basic structural feature of city government.

The Memphis City Council rejected on third and final reading Tuesday, June 5, a referendum question that, if approved by city voters, would have required council approval of city contracts.

83. City Council Approves $685M City Budget, Takes City Tax Rate to $3.19 -

The Memphis City Council gave final approval Tuesday, June 5, to a $685 million city operating budget, an $87 million capital budget and a $3.19 city property tax rate.

The votes ended City Hall’s budget season with few changes by the council to the budget proposed by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

84. New Benchmark Owners Seeking Incentives for 4-Star Hotel -

A Rhode Island-based company has acquired the site of the former Benchmark Hotel and is seeking a 15-year tax incentive from the Downtown Memphis Commission to demolish the structure’s remaining concrete skeleton and replace it with a new four-star hotel.

85. County General Election Campaigns Meet Summer Heat -

With their minds still in the numbers from the May county primary election, candidates on the Aug. 2 Shelby County ballot are on the summer campaign trail with early voting about six weeks away.

“Those were just crazy results,” Republican nominee for Shelby County sheriff Dale Lane said of the turnout as he campaigned Saturday, June 2, at the Memphis Italian Festival.

86. The Week Ahead: June 4-10 -

Good morning, Memphis. Or should we say, “Hush, y’all.” It’s time again for the annual FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament, a Memphis tradition that spans 60 years and has been funneling millions of dollars into the doors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

87. Malco Sues Overton Square Landlord Over Lack of Parking -

Memphis-based Malco Theatres Inc. is suing Overton Square landlord Loeb Properties over the dwindling number of parking spaces surrounding Studio on the Square.

The movie theater chain alleges net profits from Studio on the Square have been reduced as a result of insufficient free parking, which Malco claims is in violation of a long-standing lease agreement, according to documents filed in Shelby County Chancery Court.

88. Big River Summer -

There hasn’t been a formal opening ceremony for the part of the Big River Trail across the West Memphis flood plain on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River, part of a 7-mile loop bikers and hikers began using last fall.

89. Last Word: After The Tom Lee Storm, Tiger Lane Changes and Crosstown Growth -

A year ago many of you were without power in the wake of a sudden and violent storm that has come to be known as the Tom Lee Storm. It is the third most powerful storm, according to Memphis Light Gas and Water Division, in terms of those without power and the damage done. It’s called the Tom Lee storm because the 1950s-era Tom Lee memorial in Tom Lee Park – the obelisk – was toppled and shattered as the obelisk fell from the base. A year later, the base that proclaims Tom Lee “a worthy Negro” remains and the obelisk is in storage.

90. Week Ahead: May 28-June 3 -

Happy Memorial Day, Memphis! Once a grand hotel and commercial skyscraper to be located at the base of Beale Street near Riverside Drive, a scaled-back version of the One Beale project is still alive and goes before a key city board for a closing extension this week.

91. Council Delays Ordinances To De-Annex 2 Areas -

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday, May 22, again delayed votes on third and final reading of two de-annexation ordinances. One would de-annex uninhabited flood plain land in southwest Memphis, while the other would de-annex the part of Eads within the Memphis city limits.

92. Draft Prohibits Removed Confederate Monuments to be Relocated in Shelby County -

The private nonprofit corporation that had Confederate monuments removed from two city parks last December wants to transfer the statues to a nonprofit that will relocate them somewhere outside Shelby County.

93. Draft Calls for Confederate Monuments' Relocation Outside Shelby County -

The private nonprofit corporation that had Confederate monuments removed from two city parks last December wants to transfer the statues to a nonprofit that will relocate them somewhere outside Shelby County.

94. Last Word: One Beale Changes, Treedom and Motel Mirrors in Cooper Young -

For all of the expectation and ambition present in a Memphis where Crosstown Concourse is almost a year old, Shelby Farms Park is an institution and the local economy in general has shaken off a lingering recession that wanted a rent to own deal – there may be some limits to our ambition. At least the scope of some of our ambition, which brings us to the One Beale project at Beale and Riverside.

95. Council Delays Ordinances To De-Annex 2 Areas -

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday, May 22, again delayed votes on third and final reading of two de-annexation ordinances. One would de-annex uninhabited flood plain land in southwest Memphis, while the other would de-annex the part of Eads within the Memphis city limits.

96. Last Word: Bike Second Line Protest, Loeb's Portrait and SCS Budget Notes -

“Get on your bikes and ride.” The local bike share program begins Wednesday at 60 different Explore Bike Share stations at different points around town. The bike rental program is considered a milestone in the city’s bicycle culture. And like all milestones there has to be a ceremony. This effort to make it easier to mix bikes into your daily journeys will kick off Wednesday morning in Court Square at 9:30 a.m.

97. Events -

The Shelby County Office of Resilience will unveil draft recommendations for the Mid-South Regional Resilience Plan and gather feedback at workshops Wednesday, May 23, at the Baker Community Center, 7942 Church St. in Millington, and Thursday, May 24, at the University of Memphis Police Services Building, 460 S. Highland St. Both meetings run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The plan is being developed to address unmet recovery needs for weather-related events in Shelby and DeSoto counties, along with parts of Fayette and Marshall counties. Learn more at resilientshelby.com.

98. Memphis Surgeon Kelly Honored By Pediatric Orthopaedic Society -

Dr. Derek M. Kelly, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, has been awarded the Special Effort and Excellence Award from the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.

99. Last Word: A New Council Member, Law Without Signature and Corker Down Under -

The Memphis City Council should be back up to full strength by the time Tuesday becomes Wednesday. Filling the Super District 9 seat left vacant by the resignation earlier this month of Philip Spinosa to join the leadership of the Greater Memphis Chamber is on the council’s agenda Tuesday afternoon – the last item on the agenda. But the council usually skips around.

100. Events -

The Shelby County Office of Resilience will unveil draft recommendations for the Mid-South Regional Resilience Plan and gather feedback at three workshops:

• Tuesday, May 22, at the Hernando Public Library, 370 W. Commerce St. (Hernando, Miss.)