VOL. 130 | NO. 228 | Monday, November 23, 2015
Strickland: Police Director Armstrong Stays, For Now
The city of Memphis eventually will have a new Memphis Police Department director, but, for now, current director Toney Armstrong will continue to hold the job.
Mayor-elect Jim Strickland announced Friday, Nov. 20, that Armstrong will remain in the job while he searches for a replacement.
“Director Armstrong has graciously agreed to continue to lead the department until a new director is hired,” Strickland said in a written statement. “He has also agreed to advise me in the search.”
Strickland, who takes office Jan. 1, also announced other changes in his administration’s line up.
Strickland is keeping six division and department directors from the administration of outgoing mayor A C Wharton.
They are: Finance director Brian Collins; Public Works director Robert Knecht, who has been serving as interim director of that division since the exit of Dwan Gilliom; General Services director Antonio Adams; Libraries Director Keenon McCloy; Information Services director Brent Nair; and Kevin Woods, the executive director of the Workforce Investment Network.
Leaving with the first of the year will be chief administrative officer Jack Sammons; former CAO and special assistant to the mayor George Little; Parks and Neighborhoods director Janet Hooks; Fire director Mike Putt; Human Resources director Quintin Robinson; City Attorney Herman Morris; and City Engineer John Cameron.
Cameron announced he would not seek reappointment to his position shortly after the Oct. 8 election.
Strickland said some of the other departures were retirements but didn’t elaborate on which were voluntary.
– Bill Dries
AutoZone Park to Be Site Of Triple-A National Championship
In conjunction with the Pacific Coast League and International League, AutoZone Park will serve as the host site of the 2016 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game.
Minor League Baseball's premier event – set for Sept. 20 – will be televised live to a national audience on NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m. and will pit the PCL champions against the winner of the International League's Governors' Cup in a one-game, winner-take-all championship.
“We can’t wait to showcase the city of Memphis and award-winning renovations to AutoZone Park,” said Memphis Redbirds general manager Craig Unger. “We are committed to bringing premier events to AutoZone Park and hope this will be the first of many in Downtown Memphis in the years to come.”
The Triple-A National Championship Game debuted in its current one-game format in 2006. Similar to Major League Baseball, the league winner of the 2016 Triple-A All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C., will be assigned the home team for the National Championship Game in Memphis.
The game also serves as a gathering for leaders from all 30 Triple-A teams that attend for the joint Pacific Coast-International League meetings.
The Redbirds won PCL championships in 2000 and 2009, but have never been crowned Triple-A Champions. After winning the 2009 PCL title, the Redbirds lost to the Durham Bulls, 5-4, in 11 innings in the national championship game.
– Don Wade
Grizzlies All In on Tickets for Kids Program
From controlling owner Robert Pera on down, the Grizzlies are participating in the annual Tickets for Kids program.
Pera, others members of the ownership team and all 15 players on the roster are taking part.
The program gives players and ownership the opportunity to purchase blocks of tickets to future Grizzlies home games to be distributed to local charities and youth organizations. The tickets are also given to local schools to incentivize attendance, academic achievement, community service and other personal and academic developments.
The program aims to bring thousands of kids to Grizzlies games this season who might not otherwise have the opportunity to see an NBA game in person.
“The fact that the entire team has chosen to participate in the program is really significant,” said Diane Terrell, vice president of the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation and community investment team. “It’s a testament to just how committed our players are to the community.”
The players’ sections carry names tied to the players. For example, there is (Mike) Conley’s Crew, Z-Bo Cares (Zach Randolph), and Rio’s Soldiers (newest Grizzly Mario Soldiers).
– Don Wade
Pair of Baptist Nurses Elected to State Board
Two Baptist nurses, Joshua Roberts and Karli Caruso, have been elected to serve on the Tennessee Organization of Nurse Executives Board.
Roberts, a pediatric practice specialist, will serve as the council chair for Memphis. Caruso, manager of a medical surgical unit at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, will be the nurse manager representative for the state.
In their roles, Roberts and Caruso will meet and work with nursing leaders from across the state, the Tennessee Hospital Association and the Tennessee Nurses Association.
– Andy Meek