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VOL. 130 | NO. 254 | Thursday, December 31, 2015


Bill Dries

Last Word: Highland Row, Late Hit in Birmingham and Hi-Fi

By Bill Dries

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A happy Day 363 into 364 depending on when you are reading this. Sounds festive doesn't it? But let's not have any party hats or popping corks just yet.

We’ve got the name of the first tenant in the recession-delayed Highland Row development by the University of Memphis.
It’s Char, a steakhouse restaurant that should start taking shape in March.

Here are a few civic-minded resolutions for 2016 to take you into your New Year’s Eve countdowns and celebrations.
Ambition is a quality we tend to equate with a very outsized vision of what is possible. And that often comes down to “big” – as in quantity – as in more of something.
So in our solitary ambitions for the New Year we may look at a goal like more time with our children or other loved ones or making time for a specific activity as inadequate on a scale of New Year’s Eve parties that stretch for blocks or bright lights seen for miles.
But we all know how hard it can be to take what some see as small steps. What we don’t always know in this season of parties is the power of these kinds of “modest” goals that are as ambitious as any other public goal in their ability to change lives.

31-10, Auburn over U of M in the Birmingham Bowl and the Tigers football program now goes into the winter preparing for lots of transitions in the off season.
No post-game brawls this time.
BUT. Memphis safety Reggis Ball put a post-game hit on the Auburn equipment staff person holding the game ball, took it from him and ran for the end zone while extending a middle finger to the Auburn folks on the field – the last part is according to the website SB Nation which has a link to the video.
Ball had to be reeled in after he headed for the sidelines with the ball during the game after scoring a touchdown.
We will call this the second in a series pending an official review.
This time the University’s reaction was swift with Tigers Athletic Director Tom Bowen saying Ball is no longer with the football team. Ball is a senior and the Birmingham Bowl was his last game as a Tiger.

Just a few doors down from Goner Records in Cooper-Young is Halford Loudspeakers, a two-year old locally owned business where David Halford is making his own line of loudspeakers and selling turntables as well as repairing loudspeakers.
You would have to call this a "hi-fi" store. But these days you may wonder which came first, the retro hi-fi store or the vinyl section at Urban Outfitters?
Halford has album covers on the wall and during one recent visit put on a vinyl copy of Amy Lavere’s recent “Runaway’s Diary” LP to show the range of his speakers.

When Darrius Stewart was shot in July by Memphis Police officer Connor Schilling, the incident changed how local law enforcement handles such police shooting as a matter of policy. The incident and its aftermath and the change were all together one of the major stories of 2015 in our city. And the impact of the incident will likely continue to be felt in Memphis in 2016.

Statewide – a rise in bicycle and pedestrian deaths for 2015 and the state begins keeping a statewide animal abuse registry.

Nationally – bullets and ballots – an Associated Press survey of new 2016 laws on both fronts and pending home sales slipped a bit in November.

PROPERTY SALES 81 201 16,108
MORTGAGES 40 104 10,026
BUILDING PERMITS 130 336 38,272
BANKRUPTCIES 28 56 7,528