MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Four young children were stabbed to death in a gated apartment complex in suburban Memphis on Friday, and the Shelby County Sheriff's Department has charged their mother, Shanynthia Gardner, with first degree murder as well as other charges.
56. Mayor, DA Discuss Approach To Curb Crime - Tuesday, July 05, 2016
Much of the attention in local crime statistics this year goes to the jump in the city’s homicide rate.
But that rate pales in comparison to aggravated assaults.
From January through May, there were 492 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people in Memphis, according to statistics from the Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commission.57. Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley's First Guitarist, Dies At 84 - Thursday, June 30, 2016
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Scotty Moore, the pioneering rock guitarist whose sharp, graceful style helped Elvis Presley shape his revolutionary sound and inspired a generation of musicians that included Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Bruce Springsteen, died Tuesday. He was 84.58. Symbols of War Keep Dragging Us Down - Thursday, June 30, 2016
More than 150 years ago, we fought our nation’s most bloody war, a conflagration that claimed 620,000 lives, almost as many as were killed in all other American war efforts combined.
Despite the horror of it all, we just can’t seem to learn a lesson, possibly because of Southern hardheadedness, and a century and a half later, we seem doomed to an eternal task: pushing Sisyphus’ rock to the top of a hill only to have it chase us back to the bottom.59. Chamber Names Simmons Director of Public Policy - Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Haley Simmons has joined the Greater Memphis Chamber as the director of public policy, a new position in the chamber’s community development department. In this role, Simmons will be focused on enhancing the chamber’s advocacy efforts to inform and engage its members on important policy issues, and he’ll also be responsible for growing the chamber’s role in education initiatives.60. Brush With Death Recalled, Part 1 - Thursday, June 09, 2016
I was 50 when I died. April 21, 2002. I can’t forget the date.
A few weeks earlier, I saw an old friend, Cotton, at a memorial service for a mutual friend. In the early 1980s, Cotton and I were in the same golf group. After the service, we reminisced about a golf outing that no one involved could forget.61. ‘Prevent’ Defenses: Freeze, Briles Look to Protect Themselves - Friday, June 03, 2016
It’s safe to say in pretty much every college football program in America that players are made to pay some penalty for the basic infraction of being late to a practice or a team meeting.
Sometimes they are suspended for a quarter. Other times for a half or an entire game against some non-competitive directional school. Sometimes, the players even have a semi-legitimate excuse for being late.62. Legislators Sweating the Small Stuff - Thursday, May 26, 2016
My late father kept a paper weight on his desk at home that read: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Well, we’re sweating the small stuff – from the federal government down to the states – with this harangue over transgender bathrooms.63. Balink Chosen to Lead The Exchange Club Family Center - Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Jennifer Balink has been named executive director of The Exchange Club Family Center, where she’ll begin her duties July 1. In her new role, Balink aims to secure and direct every available resource toward breaking the cycle of child abuse and family violence in the Memphis community. 64. State Legislature Closed Door On Progress, Invited Ridicule This Session - Saturday, May 21, 2016
The Tennessee General Assembly spent the last four months selecting a state book, attempting to regulate ingress/egress of bathrooms, and putting guns on college campuses. Given this lamentable priority list, we're not surprised that our House of Representatives chose not to vote on a bill that would have helped young kids realize their dreams, lift families out of poverty, and generate revenue for Tennessee.65. Station to Station - Saturday, May 14, 2016
Even now, Explore Bike Share founder Doug Carpenter does not try to pretend that the initiative will cure all that ails Memphis.
It won’t wipe out poverty. It can’t cure cancer. It won’t eliminate diabetes and obesity, solve all of the city’s transportation problems or totally bridge cultural and racial gaps that predate the bicycle’s invention.66. Dave Thomas Named CEO Of Kemmons Wilson Insurance - Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Dave Thomas has joined Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group as chief executive officer. In this role, he’s responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and also is tasked with growing the Memphis-based property and casualty insurance company. Thomas has 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, most recently serving as CEO of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp.67. Tennessee Leads the Nation in Bankruptcies - Saturday, May 07, 2016
Tennessee has a model program for financial literacy in its public schools. All high school students must pass a personal finance course to graduate, and even kindergartners are learning about money under a new initiative to extend the curriculum to primary school.68. Akbari Proving to be Worthy Successor to Iconic DeBerry - Friday, May 06, 2016
Those who wondered how Raumesh Akbari would do in following legendary Memphis legislator Lois DeBerry now have a much clearer picture.69. FDA Effort Aims to Curb Smoking in LGBT Community - Tuesday, May 03, 2016
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration's latest anti-smoking campaign takes aim at young adults in the LGBT community, who officials say are nearly twice as likely to use tobacco as their peers.70. Events - Thursday, April 28, 2016
Memphis College of Art will host an MFA Open House for prospective students on Friday, April 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Nesin Graduate School, 477 S. Main St. The event will take place concurrently with an opening reception for “Hueman: MFA Thesis Exhibition.” Visit mca.edu.71. Last Word: Memphis Gets Busy, Elections Future and Past and Dad Rock In C-Y - Tuesday, April 26, 2016
While their folks are still getting settled over in the front office at The Commercial Appeal, Gannett announces Monday an $815 million offer to buy Tribune Publishing which would put The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune in the expanding USA Today family.72. Robots Are Taking Tennessee’s Jobs - Saturday, April 23, 2016
MTSU student Nathan Simpkins found the perfect major when the university started its mechatronics engineering program in 2013, a pursuit practically guaranteeing him a high-paying job in an increasingly automated manufacturing industry.73. Bridging a Divide - Saturday, April 23, 2016
The Mid-South is united by more than the Mississippi River, but that’s what it took to get the region’s mayors in the same room.
In the aftermath of the 2011 Mississippi River flood, damage stretched from Millington’s naval base to Memphis’ Beale Street. Leaders of the affected municipalities had to come together to apply for FEMA grants and plot their way out of devastation.74. Tickled Pink - Friday, April 22, 2016
MEMPHIS IN BLACK AND WHITE. AND PINK. I’m glad Billy Orgel got engaged at Justine’s because that inspired his family to save it, not because they miss the crystal and crabmeat but because the place is personal.75. FDA Campaign Takes Aim at Chewing Tobacco Use by Rural Teens - Wednesday, April 20, 2016
WASHINGTON (AP) – Government health officials will team up with minor league baseball as part of a new $36 million campaign to discourage rural teenagers from using chewing tobacco.
Baseball stadiums will feature the campaign's central message this summer – "smokeless doesn't mean harmless" – via advertising and promotions with players. Ads will also run on local television, radio and online in 35 markets across the U.S., including cities in Michigan, Montana, South Carolina and Tennessee.76. Southern Yankee - Saturday, April 16, 2016
To best understand another man’s baseball passion, you must first understand his baseball pain. So if you hope to truly understand Peter B. Freund, new majority owner of the Memphis Redbirds, you must travel back to his youth.77. Legislators Playing Expensive Game With LGBT Issues - Thursday, April 14, 2016
The silly season is in full swing on Capitol Hill, but the “bathroom bill” and any jokes surrounding it are no laughing matter anymore. It’s getting downright expensive.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said this week the bill dealing with transgender student use of restrooms could cost the state more than $1.2 billion in federal funds for K-12 and higher education.78. Last Word: Lipscomb's Successor, MATA School Buses and Roland's Big Breakfast - Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Paul Young gets a lot more attention these days than he did when he was the first director of the city-county Office of Sustainability. The attention comes with being the city director of Housing and Community Development where virtually all of the funding comes from the federal government.79. Last Word: Pro Day, Hardwood Patios in C-Y and Memphis' Contested Convention - Thursday, April 07, 2016
That federal funding has changed the face of public housing in the city in the last 25 years. There is only one large public housing project left in the city as a result of the federal funding and its use by Young’s predecessor, Robert Lipscomb.
And what Lipscomb did with the job combined with being the executive director of the Memphis Housing Authority is why a lot of people want to get to know Paul Young these days.
Our centerpiece story by Madeline Faber in Tuesday’s edition makes clear that Young has no desire to wield that kind of power. And it is unlikely anyone in the near future will have the kind of autonomy Lipscomb did.
But beyond that there is still the flow of a lot of federal dollars and Young has some ideas based on his experience in government and finance prior to coming to HCD – everything in government is initials.
It’s a much different experience than Lipscomb’s. Lipscomb coined the phrase “ending public housing as we know it” and at times that slogan wasn’t followed with a lot of detail about what came after public housing was demolished, especially with the first of the projects to fall.
The last public housing project, Foote Homes, will be demolished on Young’s watch which makes his tenure important if more limited than Lipscomb’s tenure.
It was a windy Pro Day Wednesday at the University of Memphis for Tigers quarterback Paxton Lynch. And if the wind wasn’t for you, you could watch Lynch work out for NFL teams and their representatives on the NFL network.80. Lawmakers Lure Us In With Momentary Sanity, And Then... - Thursday, April 07, 2016
Don Wade was there to watch in person.
Just when it appears the Tennessee Senate is made up of sensible people – as evidenced by the killing of de-annexation legislation – the body is changing course with a Bible-thumping measure.81. From Forest to Flooring, Cafe Ole’s New Deck Has ‘Seen the World’ - Thursday, April 07, 2016
This is a Memphis story. And by now it should be clear that Bill Courtney loves a Memphis story.82. City Ready to Develop Master Plan for Pinch District - Monday, April 04, 2016
The Pinch District, one of Memphis’ oldest neighborhoods, is getting its time in the spotlight.
The Downtown Memphis Commission, the city of Memphis Division of Housing & Community Development and the city-county Division of Planning & Development are coming together to develop the Pinch’s first master plan in to bring the area up to date with mixed-use buildings and streetscape improvements.83. Settle? No. UT Needs to Defend Itself in Title IX Suit - Saturday, April 02, 2016
Lots of smoke. But is there a fire? That is the issue at the University of Tennessee, where a Title IX lawsuit alleges the university has a “hostile sexual environment” and violates federal laws dealing with student discipline hearings for sexual assault cases, especially those involving student-athletes.84. Dodging a Disaster With Volkswagen? - Saturday, March 26, 2016
Next month will mark five years since the first Passat rolled off the assembly line at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant. Most anniversaries are a cause for celebration.
But as Chattanoogans blow out the candles on this particular milestone they’ll be hoping that Volkswagen’s diesel emissions troubles will soon be extinguished, too, and that the new SUV model they’ll start producing this year will help VW emerge from the crisis a better and stronger company than before.85. Cleaning House - Saturday, March 26, 2016
Every neighborhood in Memphis and Shelby County has the right to be free from the negative effects of vacant, abandoned and blighted properties. That’s the battle cry of the Memphis Blight Elimination Charter, a 23-page pledge that will steer policy and programs dedicated to blight eradication.86. Rudd + Bowen + Pastner = PR Nightmare at Memphis - Thursday, March 24, 2016
You keep thinking the story can’t get worse, and then it does. What we have here is an ongoing public relations disaster that is the University of Memphis athletic department as it pertains to all matters regarding the men’s basketball program.87. Last Word: Putt and 1969, Fred Smith on Amazon and Ramsey's Departure - Thursday, March 17, 2016
George Howard Putt died in prison sometime last year state prison officials disclosed Wednesday -- far from the brief time he spent in Memphis but never far from the carnage he left behind in the Memphis of 1969.88. Tennessee Senate Speaker Ramsey Announces He Won't Run Again - Wednesday, March 16, 2016
The bodies of the first two of the five people killed by Putt between Aug. 14 and Sept. 11, 1969 were discovered just days after the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles by the Manson family dominated national news coverage. Less than a year earlier the Boston Strangler movie was in theaters, creating a sensation about the murders committed by serial killer Albert DeSalvo in Boston just a few years earlier.
Bernalyn and Roy Dumas were strangled by Putt in their home in Cooper-Young and Putt mutilated her body in a way that police homicide detectives still wouldn’t talk about decades later. The bodies were found in separate rooms.
Even with no details other than the names of the victims, the city was quickly spooked by the double murder. So when the body of Leila Jackson was found short of two weeks later, the city’s reaction was a palpable fear in which anyone unknown was to be avoided. Memphians didn’t tarry after work. They went home and bolted the doors.
It got worse as more victims turned up with little in common other than four of the five were women. They were of varying ages. Some were strangled and some were stabbed.
Just about any magazine rack of the day include true crime magazines that by the late 1960s were beginning to look very dated in their lurid noir-like covers teasing the most sensational crime narratives of the day.
They were an intentional contrast to the cover images of youth in bright colors in natural settings in other magazines heralding a new future and youth culture.
The murders in a Southern city, whose 1969 conservatism is hard to describe nearly 50 years later, quickly grabbed the covers of the true crime magazines. And the images they offered spoke to the scenic reality where Putt roamed even as the murders continued.
Apartment buildings and boarding houses were the settings for some of the murders but not all.
Glenda Sue Harden was last seen walking to her car parked on the Cobblestones from the insurance office she worked at nearby. Her body was found in Martin Luther King/Riverside Park hidden under a piece of plywood.
At one of the murder scenes, police found an ice pick stuck in the side of the building with a stocking tied around it.
Putt’s last victim, in an apartment building on Bellevue, screamed as she was stabbed repeatedly and others in the building gave chase with police close behind, arresting Putt near the new and unopened section of the interstate that runs west of Bellevue.
Putt tried to force his way into another apartment nearby but the women inside kept him on the other side of the door.
The killer that panicked an entire city was a skinny utterly forgettable guy in his 20s with sideburns and glasses who appeared to have rarely roamed beyond a community of neighborhood bars, boarding houses and old apartment buildings in the Midtown and Medical Center areas.
It turns out he came to Memphis after walking away from a prison farm in Mississippi and into a Memphis that was slowly but surely changing. And the world that Putt encountered would soon vanish in large part.
Overton Square’s incarnation was about a year away. A new bridge was about to be built across the Mississippi River as part of Interstate 40 which was to go through Overton Park just south of the north-south leg of the interstate where Putt was captured.
Originally sentenced to death, Putt’s sentence was commuted when the U.S. Supreme Court banned the death penalty in the early 1970s.
He was serving a 497-year sentence when he died at the Turney Center Wednesday in Only, Tennessee.
Putt never sought parole and never gave any explanation for why he killed five people in less than a month and his apparently random selection of victims.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, a leading figure in the Republican takeover of all three branches of Tennessee state government, announced Wednesday that he won't run for re-election.89. Council Tallies Damage in 'Day of Bad News' - Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd summed up City Hall’s attitude Tuesday, March 15, during the council’s executive session. “Today is the day of bad news,” he said after a briefing from Mayor Jim Strickland on the deannexation bill approved the night before by the Tennessee House. 90. Last Word: Mudslide, The Deannexation Storm and Kilzer at Calvary - Friday, March 11, 2016
That was followed by more details on the estimated $60 million it will cost to replace the entire radio system for local first responders from the radios to the towers used to transmit their signals.
Lots of news on a very rainy day including the flooding from the constant rain that closed some schools and cancelled a lot of other events. And then there was a mudslide on Riverside Drive from the bluff overlooking Tom Lee Park and the Mississippi River. The rain has also pushed the Wolf River to the point that it is now over some parts of the greenway in Germantown.91. Higher-Ed Shuffle Stokes Fears of UT-TSU Merger - Thursday, March 10, 2016
Anthony Joshua, who moved to Nashville from Madison, Wis., to attend Tennessee State University, says he’s worried his historically black institution could be in for serious change – for the worse.92. Anne Dixon Joins BRIDGES as CFO - Wednesday, March 09, 2016
Anne Dixon has joined BRIDGES as vice president of finance and chief financial officer. Dixon, who is a Bridge Builders alumna, is responsible in her new role for financial reporting and analysis to help BRIDGES leadership in performing their responsibilities. 93. Editorial: Your Anger And The Political Process - Saturday, February 27, 2016
The moving national elections that are our presidential primaries have never generated a 40 percent or higher voter turnout in Shelby County.
That goes back to 1972 when the primaries were redesigned to temper a convention process in both parties that had lost touch with voters.94. Tennessee AD Dave Hart: Sexual Assault Unacceptable Act - Friday, February 26, 2016
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart stood by his embattled football coach during a news conference Thursday at the university, two weeks after a federal lawsuit was filed Feb. 9 in Nashville alleging that Tennessee mishandles assault complaints against athletes.95. Last Word: Timing and Numbers, Old Dominick Takes Shape and Zip Lines To Spring - Thursday, February 25, 2016
Political opportunity is defined by timing.
Witness a look at the early voting turnout numbers in advance of Tuesday’s election day.
More than half of the more than 43,000 Shelby County voters who cast early ballots voted Monday and Tuesday – the last two days of an early voting period that began Feb. 10 – way back there when Martin O’Malley was the third Democratic presidential contender and Jeb Bush was considered a force to be reckoned with in the Republican primaries.96. Beale Street Music Festival Marks 40th Year With 64 Acts - Thursday, February 25, 2016
The last time Neil Young played Memphis, it was at the Mid-South Coliseum with a rockabilly band called the Shocking Pinks and Ronald Reagan was president.97. Neil Young, Paul Simon, Modest Mouse Top Beale Street Music Fest Lineup - Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Neil Young, Beck, Paul Simon, Train and Modest Mouse are among the headliners for the 2016 Beale Street Music Festival, April 29-May 1, in Tom Lee Park.98. Duke Takes Reins at Friends for Life - Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Longtime nonprofit administrator Diane Duke recently took the helm of Friends for Life as its new executive director. In her new role, the Los Angeles native leads and oversees an organization that’s helping those affected by HIV/AIDS through the provision of education, housing, food, transportation and healthy life skills training.99. Cohen Urges Memphis Clinton Supporters To Speak No Ill of Sanders - Monday, February 22, 2016
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen told a group of 70 supporters of Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton that they should avoid attacking Bernie Sanders, her rival for the Democratic nomination.100. Cohen Urges Clinton Supporters To Speak No Ill Of Sanders - Friday, February 19, 2016
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen told a group of 70 supporters of Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton that they should avoid attacking Bernie Sanders, her rival for the Democratic nomination.