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VOL. TMN-11 | NO. 16 | Saturday, April 21, 2018
Weekly Issue

Regional Win

Third annual RegionSmart Summit to tackle some of the area’s biggest development issues

In an increasingly interconnected world, having a cohesive economic regionalism strategy is becoming more of a must-have for successful metropolitan areas.

Local Legislators Continue Efforts to Reform EDGE

The push to reform the way the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County operates continued Friday, April 20 at a joint subcommittee meeting held by the Shelby County Commission and Memphis City Council.

EDITORIAL

Editorial: New Economic Development Strategy Requires Changes

We often find ourselves conflicted when considering the concept of regionalism. In one part of our re-examination of the city’s economic development strategy, we hear that we should play to our strengths in what we go after.

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EMPHASIS: LAW & THE COURTS

More Scrutiny for Employers Likely This Year From Immigration Services

Local immigrant and businesswoman Alexandra Matlock knows how hard it can be navigating the U.S. customs process. Her journey coming from Colombia to eventually obtaining permanent work status in the U.S. took well over a decade.

State Weighted Caseload Study Shows Two More Judges Needed Locally

Shelby County’s court system – civil and criminal – is down about two judges, according to the Tennessee Comptroller’s annual report on weighted caseloads.

Opioid Litigation, FedExForum NonCompete Top Local Law Developments

Here are some of the legal issues making news in recent months.

Candidates Lined Up for Four Open Judicial Seats on the August Ballot

The Shelby County primary elections are in the early voting period and nearing the May 1 election day, but candidates in the August state and federal primaries are also campaigning. The August ballot includes four special elections for nonpartisan judicial positions – two Circuit Court judges, a Criminal Court judge and a General Sessions Criminal Court judge will be elected on the August ballot to fill vacancies in each of the divisions.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

April 20-26, 2018: This week in Memphis history

2012: The American Queen, the world’s largest steamboat, arrived at Beale Street Landing, its homeport, for the first time in four years since it was refurbished and resumed overnight river cruises on the Mississippi River.

DOWNTOWN

History Upgrade

Mud Island Museum Gets Shorter Season for Possible Update

Mud Island’s Mississippi River Museum will have a shorter season than the rest of the river park.

Trolley Restoration Meant Rebuilding the System

Nearly four years after two trolleys caught fire in the span of six months in late 2013, Memphis Area Transit Authority officials announced that three restored trolley cars would go into service on April 30.

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Lee, Boyd, Black Talk Confederate Monuments, Oppose Pre-K Expansion

Three of the four major contenders for governor in the Aug. 2 Republican primary disagree with the removal of Confederate monuments from city parks but also disagree with the state legislature’s decision to cut $250,000 of city funding in retaliation.

Republican Contenders for Mayor Say City Paying for Monuments Misstep

The three Republican contenders for Shelby County Mayor believe the city of Memphis acted improperly in removing Confederate monuments from city parks last year and is, in effect, paying the piper for challenging the Tennessee Legislature.

Luttrell Vetoes One Resolution, Refuses to Sign Another

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has vetoed a resolution for attorney and former County Commissioner Julian Bolton to continue in his role as legislative policy adviser to the commission.

First Weekend of Early Voting Logs More Than 7,000 Votes in County Primaries

More than 7,000 early votes were cast in the 2018 Shelby County government primaries through the first weekend of the early voting period.

RESTAURANT NEWS

Here Comes the Hot Chicken

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is finally opening the doors of its first Memphis location to the public Wednesday April 18 and bringing its signature Nashville hot chicken with it.

New Chef Takes Over at The Brass Door

A new chef is moving into the kitchen at Downtown’s The Brass Door, taking over for Patrick Reilly, who’s spent the past six months helping to breathe new life into the re-opened Irish pub.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

EDGE Approves Trio of Tax Abatements

The Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County approved a trio of tax abatement packages during its Wednesday April 18 meeting.

TENNESSEE LEGISLATURE

Hacker Blamed for Third TNReady Computer Snafu

Frustrated by a third year of TNReady foul-ups, this time with testing statewide disrupted by a suspected hacker, state lawmakers are set to step in and put an end to what they feel is a fiasco.

Civil Rights Cold Case Bill Nears Passage

Years of work behind her, state Rep. Johnnie Turner is making the final push for creation of a state body designed to initiate investigations into civil rights cold cases, potentially solving decades-old murders or giving people the opportunity to put a heinous act behind them.

EDUCATION

GoFundMe Page Seeks to Reimburse Memphis for State Money Withdrawal

NASHVILLE – A GoFundMe page has been started on Facebook to raise funds to make up a $250,000 budget cut the Tennessee Legislature levied against the city of Memphis for removing Confederate monuments from two city parks late last year.

SCS Leaders Question TNReady Credibility

Shelby County Schools board members are questioning the credibility of state student achievement testing after the third major problem with online testing in three years.

RETAIL

Fred’s Delays Earnings, Annual Report Due to Specialty Pharmacy Unit Sale

A couple of hours before Memphis-based discount retailer Fred’s Inc. was due to begin its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2017 earnings presentation for analysts, the company pulled the plug.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Designing the Future

Regions rolls out modern branch design across Memphis area

Legacy banking institutions like Regions Bank increasingly want their brick-and-mortar locations to look like something other than, well, a bank.

First Horizon Starts Off 2018 With Strong Q1 Results

The first full quarter with Capital Bank integrated into the operations of Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp. saw a pickup year-over-year in several key areas like loans, deposits and growth in net income.

COMMUNITY

Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation Puts $5 Million in Whitehaven Park Renovation

A Whitehaven park is getting a $5 million remake, including a $900,000 endowment fund to keep the new David Carnes Park ready for recreation.

TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS

IMC Official Discusses Transportation Challenges

Although Memphis has long been known as America’s distribution center, simply being in the right place at the right time isn’t always enough.

New Plans Would Change Memphis Medical District

With 27,000 people who either work or attend classes in the Memphis Medical District, and about 375 acres of parking space, something has to give.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Supporting Musicians Focus of New Initiative

Old Dominick Distillery is hosting a bash this week to raise money for a new program that supports Memphis musicians while also turning them into ambassadors for the city.

HEALTH CARE

Local Experts: Health Care So Far Immune to Simplification and Lower Costs

That Walmart may be close to acquiring the health insurer Humana is one signal that we’re in not just a period of change for the health care industry, but a fundamental reshaping of the landscape and a shifting of the players involved.

OVERTON PARK

Link Between Overton Greensward and Zoo Defines Enduring Controversy

It seemed like a good idea to the Powers-Hill Design firm as it was drawing up plans for a reconfigured Memphis Zoo parking lot to include a pedestrian walkway from the zoo plaza through the new parking lot to the Overton Park Greensward.

THE TIPPING POINT

Richards Focused on Customers and Employees

Chris Richards knows the value of a chance encounter.

SPORTS

One-Year Turnaround? Grizzlies Vow It Can Be Done

Mike Conley had no doubt: “With health, we’re a completely different team.” This was a day after the season ended, a 22-60 record next to the Memphis Grizzlies’ name and forever the shorthand explanation of their 2017-2018 NBA journey.

Bickerstaff the Grizzlies’ Best Option for Coach

Would keeping interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff be the easiest play for the Memphis Grizzlies? Absolutely.

Pruitt Pumped Up for ‘Exciting’ Spring Game

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt loosened up a bit as the Vols went through spring practices last week, talking at length about individual players for the first time.

Away From the Court

Grizzlies leave tough season focused on marketing around NBA Draft

For seven straight years, the Memphis Grizzlies made the playoffs. For seven straight years, the winning on the court provided momentum and opportunity for those working on the business side trying to sell season tickets and arrange corporate sponsorships.

Hardaway and Tigers Get Two More Signees

University of Memphis coach Penny Hardaway has added two more players to his roster. Shooting guard Antwann Jones signed with the Tigers after being released from his national letter of intent with Texas A&M. Isaiah Maurice signed after playing one season at Kansas State and one season at South Plains junior college.

REAL ESTATE RECAP

Overton Square Adds Two New Restaurants in One Week

2110 Madison Ave. -
Loeb Properties has announced that Bogard, a new upscale restaurant that will serve contemporary Southern-inspired dishes, has signed a 3,790-square-foot lease in Overton Square.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Amanda Dunham Talks Changes At East Memphis’ Grove Grill

Twenty years after The Grove Grill opened in Laurelwood Shopping Center, the restaurant is reinventing itself with modernized decor and the recently launched Third Thursday monthly tasting series. Helping drive the changes are chef Chip Dunham – the son of Grove Grill owners Jeff and Tracey Dunham – and his wife, beverage director Amanda Dunham, who both joined the restaurant after moving to Memphis last July.

SNAPSHOT

Scenes From National Walk Out Protests

Shelby County Schools officials estimated approximately 20 Memphis schools participated in the April 19 National Walk Out protests. The protests in numerous cities were over two days to call attention to gun violence.

VIEW FROM THE HILL

Sex Week Seems Tame Compared to Session Antics

Why should UT Knoxville be limited to its annual Sex Week when Tennessee legislators are celebrating year-round?

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Outward And Visible Signs

FAITH IN THE DAY.

When It Rains, It Pours

Ray’s Take

Top Summer Destinations

Springtime is planning time for summer travel. If you’re still considering your options for an upcoming vacation, I’ve listed six destinations that are on my mind for summer travel. Every destination is somewhere I specifically want to visit during an upcoming summer.

Running Away Money

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Margaret Heffernan. Margaret is incredibly impressive, with a career that includes running five companies in the United States and the United Kingdom, being a college professor, authoring five books, and giving multiple TED Talks. Originally from Texas, Margaret has lived all over, including in the U.K.

Dogs + Vodka = Winning Marketing Strategy

New York Times best-selling author, Robert Cialdini, is known for his expertise on the subject of persuasion – specifically the role it plays in driving consumers to purchase.

Hiring Your New Leader

It happens all the time. “I quit!” or “You’re fired!” are the extremes that can mark the beginning of a crucial organizational change process.

Another Conscious Company: Which Wich

Editor’s note: Columnist Michael Graber interviewed Jeff Sinelli, founder and “chief vibe officer” at Which Wich, about the sandwich chain’s focus on conscious capitalism. 

RDC Rebrands With Leadership Change

The Riverfront Development Corp. is changing names as the organization that manages city property by the Mississippi River has a change in leadership.

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Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 80 401 13,843
MORTGAGES 99 439 16,005
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 19 63 2,202
BUILDING PERMITS 233 998 28,755
BANKRUPTCIES 49 276 8,926
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 136 4,701
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 23 141 5,534
MARRIAGE LICENSES 15 88 2,982

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