Editorial Results (free)
1. 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.
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.
2. December Welcomes Batch of Memphis Holiday Markets
- Tuesday, December 08, 2015
By the time everyone has put up the tinsel, taken down the trees and is counting down the days until 2016 arrives, the month of December will have seen at least half a dozen holiday markets, stores and pop-up shops unfold around Memphis.
3. Mid-South Farm Tourism Harvests Big Autumn Business
- Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Deciding to start a business that is focused on carving paths through a field of corn might not seem like a sound post-college plan.
But Justin Taylor and friend Chris Taylor weren’t thinking long term when they started what is today known as the Mid-South Maze at Agricenter International. It was 2001, and the pair had a friend who owned land in Arkansas, a few miles outside of Downtown Memphis. That April, at the last moment possible to plant and be ready for a corn maze that fall, the two took the plunge just to see what would happen.
4. Have to Have a Pygmy Goat? Here are the Basics
- Saturday, September 19, 2015
Wondering if pygmy goats are for you? Pygmy goats aren’t just adorable; they are useful, particularly for the small farmer.
For pet owners, they are enormous fun to be around. Because of their diminutive size, pygmies are easily handled by children and make great 4-H projects. Requirements for housing, pen space and feed are much less than for the larger dairy breeds.
5. A Tasteful List 2015
- Friday, September 18, 2015
MEMPHIS ON A PLATE. Presenting the fifth helping of the Tasteful List, updated for 2015 – an alphabetical survey of local flavor in one decidedly local man’s opinion.
Could I get another napkin over here?
6. Judge D’Army Bailey’s Legacy Spans Streets, Courtroom
- Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Shelby County Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey was more than a robed courtroom figure. In the wake of his death Sunday, July 12, from cancer, Bailey is being remembered for a life of activism in which the judge had roots as a radical.
7. Circuit Court Judge D'Army Bailey Dies At Age 73
- Monday, July 13, 2015
Shelby County Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey died Sunday, July 12.
Word of the 73-year old jurist’s death comes less than a year after Bailey returned to the bench, winning election to Circuit Court after retiring as a Circuit Court Judge in 2009.
8. Memphis Restaurants ‘Love Their Patios’
- Wednesday, June 17, 2015
The warm weather means it's that time of year again for Memphis diners.
Patios have begun filling up around the city as restaurant patrons flock to outdoor dining settings where they can people-watch, enjoy drinks and nosh on smaller, simpler menu items.
9. Farm Feast
- Thursday, May 21, 2015
The first elementary school students came to Agricenter International for some hands-on education more than a decade ago. About 80 students went on a literal field trip, walking through the cotton, soybean and cornfields.
10. Johnson Named Memphis Law School Registrar
- Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Jamie M. Johnson has joined the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law as law school registrar.
In her new role, Johnson will have direct oversight of the registrar’s office and duties relating to enrollment verification, managing student’s academic records, and ensuring the accuracy, integrity, maintenance and delivery of all law school institutional data. Johnson will also work closely with the dean of academic affairs to administer exams, determine class rank and report grades.
11. A Tasteful List 2014
- Friday, September 05, 2014
MEMPHIS ON A PLATE. Presenting the fourth edition of the Tasteful List, updated for 2014 – second, third and fourth helpings, this year’s specials, delicious memories – an alphabetical survey of local flavor in one decidedly local man’s opinion.
12. Fincher Outlines ‘Complicated’ Farm Bill Details
- Wednesday, March 05, 2014
The only active row-crop farmer in Congress has been on the road the last month talking particulars of a very complex farm bill with farmers not only in his West Tennessee district, which includes part of Memphis, but in five other states and other parts of Tennessee.
13. Agriculture Census Shows Boom in Farm Sales
- Monday, February 24, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) – American agriculture has experienced a boom, with market values of crops, livestock and total agricultural products reaching record highs even as the amount of U.S. farmland declined, according to a new government survey.
14. Retirement Unlikely for Some Blue-Collar Americans
- Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Tom Edwards grew up in a family that's been cutting trees and hauling timber in the Pacific Northwest for more than a century. The Spanaway, Wash., resident says he has worked as a logger since he was a kid – it's just what an able-bodied youngster was expected to do.
15. A Tasteful List Updated for 2013
- Friday, September 06, 2013
A LIST YOU CAN SINK YOUR TEETH INTO. Hello, my name is Dan and I’ll be your server.
Presenting the third edition of the Tasteful List, updated for 2013 – second and third helpings, this year’s specials, delicious memories – an alphabetical survey of local flavor in one decidedly local man’s opinion.
16. County Commission Approves Tall Trees Sale
- Saturday, April 20, 2013
Shelby County Commissioners approved Monday, April 15, the sale of the old Tall Trees Juvenile Detention facility at 3335 Old Getwell Road.
17. County Commission Approves Tall Trees Sale
- Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Shelby County Commissioners approved Monday, April 15, the sale of the old Tall Trees Juvenile Detention facility at 3335 Old Getwell Road.
18. Commission Weighs Tall Trees Sale
- Monday, April 15, 2013
The sale of the old Tall Trees juvenile detention facility, zoning code changes to account for trucks with four back tires and a possible revote on legal fees in the schools consolidation case top the Shelby County Commission agenda for Monday, April 15.
19. Motivated by Freshness
- Tuesday, April 09, 2013
As consumer demand for healthy, locally grown food has increased, farmers markets are cropping up all over Memphis.
Farmers markets provide a place for smaller producers to sell their goods, and hopefully earn a profit. But profitability can be challenging for the operators who run the markets. Some, like Agricenter International’s Farmer’s Market and the farmers market at the Memphis Botanic Garden run the markets to support their overall mission. They say the markets are about more than profitability.
20. Bailey Finds Ideal Job With Community Legal Center
- Thursday, January 31, 2013
At the beginning of January, Johnna Bailey began work as immigration attorney for the Community Legal Center, a resource for the working poor.
“It’s defined as those who are just above the poverty line, meaning that legal aid would not serve them, but it’s still too expensive for them to hire a private attorney,” Bailey said.
21. USDA Offering Loans to Farmers Who Grow for Locals
- Wednesday, January 16, 2013
MEMPHIS (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has created a new loan program to help small farmers, including growers who want to take advantage of the soaring interest in locally produced food.
22. Cooper-Young Featured in America’s Top 10 Great Neighborhoods List
- Thursday, October 04, 2012
Cooper-Young has been named one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2012 under the American Planning Association’s Great Places in America program, noted for its revitalization, character and historic architecture.
23. Cooper-Young Featured in Top 10 'Great Neighborhoods' List
- Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Cooper-Young has been named as one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2012 under the American Planning Association’s Great Places in America program, noted for its revitalization, character and historic architecture.
24. Midtown Utopia
- Monday, September 24, 2012
Of Memphis’ tales of humble beginnings, of which there are many, the fluctuating renaissance of the Cooper-Young neighborhood is certainly compelling throughout.
The area has cycled from its 19th century roots to 1970s crime and neglect to its present-day status as one of the largest historic districts in the Southeast, a magnet of all ages and walks of life. All thanks to individuals and organizations that wouldn’t settle for sub-par quality in their tiny town within the bustling Bluff City.
25. A Tasteful List 2012
- Friday, September 07, 2012
A LIST YOU CAN SINK YOUR TEETH INTO. So many of you seemed to salivate over last year’s Tasteful List, I’ve updated it for 2012. While reduced some, make no mistake, there’s nothing dietary about it.
26. Business as Usual
- Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Despite a summer of unusually high temperatures and a nationwide drought that’s been called the worst the U.S. has seen in 25 years, Memphis’ farmers markets have been thriving, according to many participants.
- Thursday, March 01, 2012
Business Over Coffee International will present “Grass Roots Business Seminar: Building Your Business From Ground Up” Thursday, March 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at National College of Business and Technology – Memphis, 3545 Lamar Ave. Admission is $25 for BOCI members; $35 for nonmembers; and free for students, in partnership with NCBT/BOCI. Lunch is included. For reservations, call Sherri Henley at 820-4469.
- Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The Kiwanis Club of Memphis will meet Wednesday, Feb. 29, from noon to 1 p.m. at The Peabody hotel, 149 Union Ave. Lori Turner-Wilson will speak about social media. Cost is $25 per person.
- Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The Memphis Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, Feb. 28, at noon at the University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. Andy Cates of Colliers International will speak. Cost is $18 per person. For reservations, email Taylor Hughes at email@example.com.
- Monday, February 27, 2012
The Tennessee Beta Unit of Parliamentarians will meet Monday, Feb. 27, at 5:45 p.m. at the Poplar-White Station Branch Library, 5094 Poplar Ave. Those interested in expanding their knowledge of parliamentary law and Robert’s Rules of Order are welcome to attend.
31. Changes in Dining Scene Highlight Dynamic Year
- Monday, December 26, 2011
On Thanksgiving Eve, we drove to the airport to pick up my stepson, one of whose flights had been delayed, so it was after 10 by the time he emerged from baggage claim. All being hungry, I drove to Cooper-Young, thinking we could easily get in at the recently opened Alchemy at 10:30.
32. Skunx Chef’s Pub Latest C-Y Eatery
- Monday, December 19, 2011
Duncan Aiken has loved pizza his whole life, though pizza, as he has found out, can be a harsh mistress. It took years to develop a recipe for the kind of crust he favors, years of studying, traveling, working and, of course, eating.
33. A Tasteful List
- Friday, October 14, 2011
A LIST YOU CAN SINK YOUR TEETH INTO. Seems like everybody has a list these days, so, in recognition of the 125th anniversary of The Daily News, here’s mine – 125 things that make Memphis easy to swallow – a sort of alphabetical soup to nuts of local flavor. Friends old and new, and a few long-gone, but I can taste them still.
34. Looking Out for Others Drives Smith’s Work
- Thursday, July 28, 2011
Three days after Jeffrey Smith’s father had surgery to repair a broken hip, doctors told his mother he was being discharged that day – whether or not she had found a nursing home for his rehabilitation and Alzheimer’s treatment.
35. Auto Industry, Seeing New Life, is on Hiring Spree
- Thursday, July 07, 2011
DETROIT (AP) – Volkswagen opened a plant in Tennessee last month with 2,000 workers. Honda is hiring 1,000 in Indiana to meet demand for its best-selling Civic. General Motors is looking for 2,500 in Detroit to build the Chevy Volt.
36. ‘Off Night’ No Excuse For Bad Dining Experience
- Monday, June 27, 2011
The mantra seems to be: “Every restaurant has an off night.”
So that excuses everything?
You drop a hundred or two hundred bucks on a meal that never cohered and the service was lackadaisical and the atmosphere sort of not on point and you’re supposed to walk out and say to your companion, “Well, I guess every restaurant has an off night,” and you both shake your heads wisely and ruefully?
37. A New Home
- Thursday, May 26, 2011
On a humid late May afternoon that signaled the imminent arrival of a sweltering Memphis summer, Burundi native Sedekia Imanairakiza seemed to be in his element, skillfully nurturing the soil and sowing the seeds that will yield fruitful summer crops at Urban Farms, a community garden in the heart of the city.
38. TN Supreme Court Hears Priest Case
- Thursday, April 07, 2011
The Tennessee Supreme Court is in Jackson, Tenn., Thursday to hear a Memphis civil case involving allegations of child sexual abuse by a Catholic priest that could change the criteria for hearing such claims.
39. As Calendar Turns to New Year, Recipe for Success Unchanged
- Monday, January 03, 2011
It takes a particular poverty of the imagination to quote the opening of “A Tale of Two Cities” every time one writes a story summing up a year, and yet 2010 truly does seem as if it were “the best of times and the worst of times” in the local restaurant business.
40. When One Door Closes, Another Opens for Vaughn
- Monday, December 27, 2010
“By Jan. 2, there will no vestige of Grace,” said Ben Vaughn.
When Vaughn announced two weeks ago that Grace, his restaurant in Cooper-Young, was closing, it seemed like a throwback to the bad economy days of 2009, especially combined with other recent closings.
41. Italian Eatery to Take Over Dish’s Cooper-Young Site
- Monday, November 22, 2010
Italian is coming to the intersection of Cooper and Young.
Chef David Cleveland, in Memphis since 1997, and veteran front-of-the-house manager Leslie Billman will open Cortona – they hope by the beginning of 2011 – in the space where Dish closed Jan. 31.
42. Court Gives Thumbs-Down to Sex Abuse Case
- Tuesday, June 01, 2010
The Tennessee Appeals Court has ruled the statute of limitations has run in a Memphis civil case alleging the Catholic Diocese of Memphis was negligent in supervising a priest accused of child sexual abuse.
43. Hagan Presented Francis Gassner Award
- Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Joey Hagan has been presented the Francis Gassner Award by the Memphis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for his outstanding contributions to the quality of the built environment in Memphis.
44. Cooper-Young Preps for New Farmer’s Market
- Thursday, April 08, 2010
Memphis is a few weeks away from getting another farmer’s market.
After months of planning, the Cooper-Young Community Farmer’s Market is preparing to secure the final approvals it needs to open its season May 1 in the parking lot of First Congregational Church.
45. Restaurants Embrace New Normal
- Monday, January 04, 2010
“For 2010, I’d like to see a 20 percent increase in revenue,” said Jeff Dunham, owner and chef at the popular Grove Grill in East Memphis.
46. Pressure Mounts to Stop Antibiotics in Agriculture
- Monday, January 04, 2010
FRANKENSTEIN, Mo. (AP) – The mystery started the day farmer Russ Kremer got between a jealous boar and a sow in heat.
The boar gored Kremer in the knee with a razor-sharp tusk. The burly pig farmer shrugged it off, figuring: “You pour the blood out of your boot and go on.”
47. Mental Health Advocate To Accept National Honor
- Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Marian Bacon is the person on the other end of the phone line who saves people’s lives.
She does it by listening compassionately and giving soothing advice.
Today, the local Crisis Center volunteer is in Los Angeles for the 2009 Voice Awards for her work as a mental health advocate. She and four other individuals from throughout the United States will receive Consumer Leadership Awards from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Bacon credits some tough love from a senior citizen volunteer for helping her rise above victimhood. Bacon lives with bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress syndrome and is haunted by the memories of having been a sexually abused child. She draws on that experience to help others.
Kick in the ‘bootstraps’
For most of her life, the 41-year-old woman couldn’t even help herself.
“I met a lady named Helen Adamo,” Bacon said. “My mental illness was really bad and I was feeling sorry for myself. One day, she just told me that I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself. She basically kicked me in the bootstraps and told me I needed to get a grip on myself.
“From then on, I learned how to manage my mental illness. Don’t get me wrong; I have days that my mental illness is not perfect, but I have good days.”
Adamo, who is 81 and moved from Memphis eight years ago to the Bolivar, Tenn., area, did not know about Bacon’s achievements until contacted by The Daily News. She said she always knew Bacon had great potential because she was “such a nice person.”
Adamo was one of the first volunteers for the Memphis office of the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) when it opened in the early 1980s.
Adamo said she gave Bacon pep talks when driving her home after NAMI meetings.
“I’ve raised five children, and I’ve found out that was the best way to talk to teenagers, was in a car,” she said. “That’s where you are a lot of the time. You can’t get their attention anywhere else. Marion was trying to take classes on her own and had been through a trying childhood and growing-up process. But hey, she was a young woman and it was time to get with it.”
Five years ago, Bacon became a volunteer like Adamo. Two years ago, she got her first job. Now, she’s pursuing an associate’s degree in social work from Southwest Tennessee Community College.
“Before I volunteered, I never worked or did anything,” she said.
Bacon has done so much in such a short time that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,
which is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is honoring her.
Besides working full time for the Memphis Center for Independent Living, Bacon volunteers as a crisis counselor for people who are dealing with suicidal impulses, emotional issues, mental illness, domestic violence, sexual abuse, homelessness and grief.
Bacon also devotes time to NAMI and the Tennessee Mental Heath Consumers Association. She opens up about the private demons of having been raped repeatedly by foster brothers and finding recovery with NAMI’s “In Our Own Voice,” a public education program.
“I just inform people that you can get better, but I was told I would never be able to work,” she said. “Now I do work.”
Someone who witnessed Bacon telling her story offered her a job at the Tennessee Mental Health Consumers Association. That job led to her current employment as a counselor at the Memphis Center for Independent Living. The organization is devoted to helping people with disabilities be independent.
However, Bacon admits it was a struggle to step outside to begin helping others.
“It was hard actually getting myself motivated,” she said. “Helen Adamo was still in the office every day encouraging me. She was like a mother figure.”
The volunteer work that is the most difficult for Bacon is dealing with suicidal people on the telephone.
“I used to be in that boat,” she said. “I’m a suicide survivor.”
Bacon attempted suicide the first time at age 10 by cutting herself. That background is crucial to understanding and having empathy for people who call the Richard G. Farmer and Allen O. Battle Crisis Center.
The nonprofit entity, which is funded by the United Way of the Mid-South, was spun off from Family Services of the Mid-South, which closed Oct. 1.
“I like volunteering at the Crisis Center because I’m able to help others by sharing my story and telling them there’s a way out because I’ve been there, done that,” Bacon said.
“There is help down the road. They usually listen. I’ve had a couple of close calls on the phone, where I’ve had to use two telephones, where I’ve had to call the police on one phone and talk to the person on the other phone – when they don’t know I’m calling the police, which is sort of hard to do. It’s hard to try to help somebody who don’t want to be helped, but I still do it.”...
48. Ugly Mug Gets 'Bedhead' Facelift
- Friday, February 08, 2008
Working with Indianapolis-based advertising agency Young & Laramore, Memphis-based Ugly Mug Coffee Co. has put on a new face, so to speak, with a new look for its products.
New packages come with taglines such as "We did our part. Now don't mess this up," "Don't be waiting for no apology. It ain't coming," and "Office coffee. The official coffee of purgatory." Each package also comes with a picture of a "bedhead," photos of people captured in their "ugliest pre-coffee moments."
49. Atkins Finds Professional Home Second Time Around at Leitner Williams
- Thursday, August 30, 2007
Jay Atkins has been practicing law for about six years, five of which have been spent at Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC. He was promoted to of counsel in 2006, during his second stint at the firm.
50. When the Helpers Need Help
- Friday, April 27, 2007
A local nonprofit organization that was founded 37 years ago to be a resource for people who feel they are at their weakest point in life is experiencing a crisis of its own.
The Crisis Center, a program of Family Services of the Mid-South, has experienced a 79 percent increase in call volume over the past year while at the same time reeling from a chronic shortage of volunteers and an almost 40 percent decrease in the money it receives from United Way of the Mid-South.
51. Ugly Mug's Recent Growth Sure Isn't Ugly, Owners Say
- Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Seattle might be the home of Starbucks and birthplace of the national coffee craze, but for Mark Ottinger and Tim Burleson, co-founders and co-owners of Memphis-based Ugly Mug Coffee Co., the Emerald City has nothing on the Bluff City when it comes to java.
52. After 30 Years of Service, Local Red Cross Official to Retire by Month's End
- Friday, May 12, 2006
Sherry Farmer loves working for an organization with a volunteer base. After spending almost 30 years with the Mid-South chapter of the American Red Cross, Farmer still is impressed by the spirit of volunteerism there.
53. Archived Article: Marketplace
- Monday, August 12, 2002
Businesses ready for next months showcase
Memphis business readies for September showcase
By SUE PEASE
The Daily News
For a third year in a row, the Memphis Regional Chamber and Mid-South Minority Business Council team up to present Busi...