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VOL. TMN-10 | NO. 51 | Saturday, December 16, 2017
Weekly Issue

Sherra Wright Charged In 2010 Murder of Lorenzen Wright

The ex-wife of Memphis basketball star Lorenzen Wright is charged with first degree murder, conspiracy and attempted first degree murder in the 2010 death of Wright.

The Cutoff

The complex backstory of the Memphis cutoff of new sewer connections to areas outside the city

When Memphis leaders got together with suburban mayors in September at Agricenter, it was to talk about a unified countywide approach to getting Amazon’s $5 billion HQ2 project.

EDITORIAL

Editorial: Sewer Cutoff Holds Key To Other Growth Issues

There’s a long-running chicken-and-egg argument about development. One side of the argument is that government decisions control where homes and businesses are built; the other is that developers call the shots.

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EVENTS

The Orpheum Theatre Group and Memphis arts community will host the second annual Midsouth Arts Against Hunger food drive benefiting Mid-South Food Bank through Wednesday, Dec. 20. Patrons who donate at least one nonperishable item will receive a voucher for free admission to see a screening of “Miracle on 34th Street” Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Orpheum, 203 S. Main St. Donations will be collected at the Orpheum box office and Halloran Centre lobby Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., through the day of the event; tickets for the screening also are available for $5 cash only at the Orpheum box office. Visit orpheum-memphis.com for details.

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THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

December 15-21, 2017: This week in Memphis history

1970: Elvis Presley takes a commercial flight from Memphis to Washington, D.C., without telling anyone on either end of the trip. At the White House gate, he leaves a note saying he would like to meet with President Richard Nixon. After some phone calls back and forth with White House aides, Presley meets with Nixon in the Oval Office.

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Election Commission Goes To Court In RCV Controversy

The Shelby County Election Commission is going to court to settle a conflict over ranked-choice voting. The five-member commission voted unanimously Tuesday, Dec. 12, to file suit against the state election coordinator and the city of Memphis in Davidson County Chancery Court.

Former Shelby County Republican Leader Dies in Car Wreck

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Bill Giannini, a former chairman of the Shelby County Election Commission and the Shelby County Republican Party, has died in a car crash.

2017: YEAR IN REVIEW

Leaps and Bounds

Health care grows immensely in 2017 with no end in sight

Memphis’ health care industry was packed with activity in 2017, everything from a slew of new hires and personnel changes to new facility openings, major research announcements and expansions.

THE TIPPING POINT

Robertson Reignites United Way’s Iconic Brand

“All the women in my family are natural-born leaders,” Lori Spicer Robertson says as she leans forward in her desk chair. “To me, that was the norm – just what you did.”

REAL ESTATE RECAP

Out-of-Town Investors Buy Gibson Guitar Factory

145 Lt. George W. Lee Ave., Memphis, TN 38103: Investment firms in New York and Miami have purchased the Gibson Guitar Factory property in Downtown Memphis and an additional warehouse Gibson Brands Inc. owns in Nashville.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

New Memphis Promotes Dakin to Pilot ‘Launch’ Initiative

Frankie Dakin has been promoted to director of strategic initiatives at New Memphis, a role in which he’ll pilot the organization’s new Launch: Campus to Career program. The initiative, which builds on New Memphis’ Summer Experience, connects college students with professional opportunities and networks to inspire them to launch careers in Memphis. Dakin will lead the program, encouraging area students to find and prepare for internships with local employers.

MLK 50

Mayor’s Critics Have Their Own Plans for Strike Anniversary

When the 1968 sanitation workers strike ended in April 1968, Cleophus Smith didn’t feel like the formal city recognition and a minimal pay raise he and other sanitation workers had gained was something to be celebrated.

EDUCATION

Hopson ‘Angry And Frustrated’ About Grade Changes

The use of grade floors – a minimum grade a student can get – is a different matter than the grade-changing investigation that began at Trezevant High and is about to expand to seven other high schools in the Shelby County Schools system, according to SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson.

Grade Floors Revealed With Grade Tampering

As Shelby County Schools officials were just beginning to investigate allegations of grade tampering at Trezevant High School in September 2016, they were also looking into reports that Trezevant teachers were told in writing by the vice principal that the school had a “grade floor” – no nine-week grades lower than a 60.

REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

Shelby County Housing Market Remains Strong

As the year winds to a close, Shelby County home sales remained strong in November, continuing the nearly uniform rise in average sales price, volume and overall units that has been indicative of the local housing market in 2017.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Public Art Process Getting New Brush

The more abstract or open to interpretation public art is, the more varied the reactions will be. And for some political leaders, the more likely it is they will hear complaints from those who see it.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Shelby County Mortgage Market Up 3 Percent in November

With most of the final quarter of the year now in the books, area bankers continue to sound a pretty consistent theme: that 2017 has proven to be a busy year as far as mortgage activity goes.

First Horizon Foresees Bigger Savings from Capital Bank Deal

The parent company of First Tennessee Bank thinks it will save even more money than originally thought after its acquisition of North Carolina-based Capital Bank Financial Corp.

NONPROFIT SECTOR

Reconnecting Memphis

That’s the focus of new GiVE 365 grant cycle

Last August, GiVE 365 members toured the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf. The Germantown-based nonprofit had received a $4,100 grant toward its mission of helping children from birth through age 6.

Memphis Habitat Unveils New Housing Development Plans, Fundraising Goal

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis has unveiled plans for its newest housing development: a 32-lot subdivision called Cedar Heights in South Memphis’ Castalia Heights neighborhood. The Wednesday, Dec. 13, announcement was part of a larger slate of goals and events to celebrate the local chapter’s 35th anniversary.

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Trader Joe’s Still Mystery As Developers Buy Old Kroger

Developers planning to renovate the old Kroger location at 2130 Exeter Road in Germantown have bought out the property’s previous owners in a multimillion-dollar deal.

NouriTech Ready to Construct Fish Feed Facility

It’s been a little more than a year since Cargill and California-based Calysta announced the two companies would partner to bring an old corn mill on Presidents Island back to life with a brand new $120 million, state-of-the-art facility.

Gibson Guitar Factory Sale Clears First Hurdle

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. approved a lease transfer request by the new owners of the Gibson Guitar Factory in Downtown Memphis on Tuesday Dec. 12, effectively clearing the way for the lengthy redevelopment process to begin.

HEALTH CARE

Hospital Indemnity Coverage On the Rise

As a way of offsetting high out-of-pocket medical expenses following a hospital stay, including ambulance costs, more employees are adding supplemental hospital indemnity coverage to their plans through their employers. With the cost of the average hospital stay at nearly $20,000 in Tennessee and the average cost per night topping $4,800, “gap plans” are becoming more popular ways for people to bridge the gap on potential expenses.

SPORTS

Improving Tigers Will Get Tested Facing Louisville in Madison Square Garden

Already, the Memphis Tigers had survived to beat Northern Kentucky by two points, Mercer by two points (in double-overtime) and Samford by one point. All on their home floor at FedExForum.

Former AD Dickey has Confidence in Fulmer, Pruitt

Doug Dickey lived and breathed some of Tennessee’s football glory days, and he would like nothing better than to see those days return.

Grizzlies Not Just Losing Games, But Respect

Another horrific loss, another long counseling session at Marc Gasol’s locker with Gasol simultaneously playing the parts of frustrated team psychologist and exasperated patient.

‘Ugly’ Titans Offense Can No Longer Be Ignored

It had been festering for weeks, but the Tennessee Titans seemed to push the matter aside as they were squeezing out close wins against the NFL’s third-easiest schedule.

Strong Season Sets Recruiting Table for Tigers

The Tigers’ Dec. 30 date with Iowa State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl isn’t far off. But closing in even faster is college football’s new early signing period from Dec. 20-22 for high school seniors headed to a Division I school.

SNAPSHOT

I-269 Rolling Along Ahead of Schedule

Mississippi northern district transportation commissioner Mike Tagert explains the importance of Interstate 269 as leaders open a 14-mile section east of Olive Branch Dec. 5, several months ahead of its scheduled Feb. 21 completion.

Groundswell of Support

(From left to right) Alberto Garibi, Joann Massey, Bruce Lerner, Robert Knecht, Patrice Robinson and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland celebrate the groundbreaking for the partnership between PeroxyChem and the Maynard C. Stiles Wastewater Treatment Plant. In partnership with the city of Memphis, PeroxyChem’s production will result in reliability of supply and save the city the cost of shipment, while also creating local jobs with a particular focus on hiring minority-owned subcontractors.

VIEW FROM THE HILL

Legislators Not Shy in Pushing ‘Model’ Bills

The group that brought Tennessee the voter photo ID law could be on the brink of spawning another kink on the voting process, one that cross-checks jury service with voter rolls.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Estate Planning For Unmarried Couples

Ray’s Take Times change. And more couples put off getting married for numerous reasons. People are marrying at a later age and sometimes not at all. Older Americans who have been widowed or previously divorced are deciding to cohabit instead of marrying.

What to Give Them for Christmas

GIVE THEM TOMORROW. See the children. See them run. 

Something In The Water

The Society of Entrepreneurs in Memphis held a book signing and panel discussion at Novel bookstore last week for the society’s book, “There’s Something in the Water.” The book commemorates the 25th anniversary of the society and profiles the entrepreneurial accomplishments of each member.

Best Places To Work in 2018

For the 10th year, Glassdoor.com has released its Employees’ Choice Awards. For 2018, they’ve expanded the list of best companies from 50 to 100.

5 Deadly Sales Call Pitfalls

Good, old-fashioned sales calls are making a comeback, given how few salespeople are leveraging them anymore. With digital communication now serving as the preferred form of initial outreach to new prospects, there is a sizable opportunity for sales reps skilled at making a truly skillful sales call. 

What’s Under The Tree For Your Nonprofit?

Christmas is soon to be celebrated. We rejoice in the birth of Christ and enjoy time with family and friends. We give gifts, prepare food, travel, write cards and attend parties. We hug our loved ones, phone those who are far away and miss those who have departed.

Creating Global Champions With Innovation

A 2017 Back End of Innovation talk by Santhi Ramesh, global director, innovation, commercialization & futures, The Hershey Co.

Former Shelby County Republican Leader Dies in Car Wreck

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Bill Giannini, a former chairman of the Shelby County Election Commission and the Shelby County Republican Party, has died in a car crash.

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Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 85 317 11,842
MORTGAGES 99 353 13,780
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 41 60 1,918
BUILDING PERMITS 304 784 24,948
BANKRUPTCIES 54 233 7,706
BUSINESS LICENSES 64 161 4,060
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 26 144 4,825
MARRIAGE LICENSES 17 65 2,609

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