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VOL. 131 | NO. 254 | Thursday, December 22, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: Fred's Post Mortem, Karen Camper on Guns and Pentatonix at Calvary

By Bill Dries

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Who knew Fred’s could become probably the most complex local business story of the year? More post mortem on the $950 million deal announced this week in which the Memphis-based corporation bought 865 Rite Aid stores from Walgreens and Rite-Aid, who are working toward an acquisition and merger deal of their own.

Turns out the Feds could require Walgreens to divest even more stores to approve the deal and that means Fred’s could take on even more stores in the deal announced this week.

Stay tuned.

More on the FedEx earnings call this week, influenced heavily by the Christmas shipping season underway as analysts and investors watch the increase in net income and what it means per share. It was also the last earnings call for corporate communications executive vice president Michael Glenn. And it was the first earnings call since FedEx founder Fred Smith’s speech on trade policy in the Trump era.

Grizz over the Pistons 98-86 in Detroit Wednesday. Back here at the Forum, the Tigers rough up Incarnate Word 95-71.

The Grizz are back at the Forum Friday night to play the Rockets. The Tigers return to action after Christmas with a Tuesday game against SMU at the Forum, the first of three home games through Jan. 5.

In the old University Center at what was then Memphis State University there was an oil painting – the image of a lanky, incredibly tall Tigers basketball player wearing a head band. If you were a student there in the mid to late 1970s, you knew immediately that the player was John Gunn – a Tigers basketball legend and before that part of the golden age of basketball at Melrose High School who died too soon 40 years ago.

John Varlas at The Commercial Appeal with an excellent look from 40 years on at hard times, hopeful times, the Tams, the Tigers, the Golden Wildcats and the Coliseum.

So you like Live at the Garden at the Memphis Botanic Garden and the other events. And that’s good. One of these days it will be Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. The new executive director wants to beef up the philanthropy end and restore more of a balance of those kinds of events with the traditional parts of the garden experience. Michael Allen calls it a “refocusing.”

Planned Parenthood nears a local goal of $12 million in fundraising as the organization tries to prepare itself for a possible defunding or reduction in federal funding with the new administration.

State Senator Brian Kelsey’s plan for a redistribution of the state sales tax rate… a half cent off to be shifted to the local part of the tax rate would mean $50 million more annually for the city of Memphis.

As legislators draft bills in anticipation of the January gavel in Nashville, we begin a series of profiles by our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard, starting in the House with Memphis Democrat Karen Camper. Camper talks about the Shelby delegation taking a different approach to legislation aimed at the city’s problem with violence that sidesteps the well drawn lines on the issue of gun control in the legislature.

The Memphis Real Estate Recap: Farnsworth buys the Merle Norman distribution center, SWTCC makes some repairs on Macon Cove, Holiday Inn Wolfchase sells for $11.5 million and two Family Dollar stores – Poplar and Sycamore View – go for $2.6 million.

South of the border, Oxford, Mississippi Mayor Pat Patterson will not be seeking re-election in 2017 after two terms over eight years.

Goldman Sachs to pay $120 million for manipulating the global benchmark for interest rate swaps before the recession and during the recession – a period of five years.

Speaking of the recession, existing home sales nationally for November are the highest since February 2007. And why 2017 is likely to be different.

Morgan Freeman’s latest role is “Jarvis” – the voice of Facebook’s AI device. This is a role Freeman previously played in the “Iron Man” movies.

Looking at your retirement options at the end of the year, NerdWallet via AP goes over the rules. You’re welcome.

When the a cappella group Pentatonix was in town in November for a concert they also made a video here for their Christmas album. That is OneVoice, the a cappella group from Briarcrest Christian High School, assisting on “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and yes, you are correct, this was shot at Calvary Episcopal Church.

PROPERTY SALES 51 223 1,152
MORTGAGES 55 189 861
BUILDING PERMITS 149 541 2,593