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VOL. 131 | NO. 255 | Friday, December 23, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: Pro-Memphis On Different Terms, Trump's Pledge and Phil Gagliano

By Bill Dries

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Be honest. How many of you are even at work Friday? And if you are, how many of you know there are cookies or egg nog in the break room? "He sees you when you are sleeping. He knows when you're awake."

He probably also knows I still have ugly Christmas socks to buy.

Our end of year interview with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland covered his first year of a four-year term at the top of City Hall. And we talked about the city’s record homicide toll among other topics as well as a few clues about the year ahead.

A different kind of pro-Memphis video posted this week by New Memphis Institute that colors outside the lines of the videos we’ve seen in recent years that have been a valuable part of keeping the Memphis spirit going. Along the way there has been a pretty healthy discussion about also keeping real the discussion about the challenges we face. The new video is along those lines too with a voice and direction that speaks directly to Memphians.

Quite a stir several years ago when Eric Trump came to Memphis to announce his foundation would donate $20 million over a decade to St. Jude. The New York Times reported Wednesday that the son of President-elect Donald Trump has decided to stop direct fundraising efforts for that foundation because of the perception that it could be seen as buying access to the White House. AP takes a look at the issue and what happens next.

In his View From the Hill column, Sam Stockard offers the second part of his profile of Democratic State Rep. Karen Camper of Memphis.

In our Friday sports section:

The Press Box column by Don Wade considers the balance between the arc of an athlete’s career and the college football bowl post-season and the long NBA schedule.

Tigers basketball moves into conference play with a deep bench.

David Climer in Nashville on Joshua Dobbs in an otherwise disappointing season for the Big Orange.

Dave Link in Knoxville sets the stage for the Vols in the Music City Bowl next week.

Terry McCormick on the comeback of the Titans.

And while Phil Gagliano played for four major league baseball teams in a dozen years, he is probably best known in Memphis, his hometown, for his tenure with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1960s.

The Cardinals of that era of Bob Gibson, Tim McCarver, Curt Flood, Lou Brock, Mike Shannon and Orlando Cepeda were more than a championship team. They were the face of baseball’s diverse future.

In Memphis baseball, you couldn’t do better than playing for the Cardinals.

Gagliano died Thursday in Branson, Missouri. He was 74.

Some of the most important conversations we’ve had this year on Behind The Headlines have been about criminal justice reform. The issue has been pervasive this year. Even on shows that began about other topics, it has often come to the surface. This week, Crime Commission president and former District Attorney General Bill Gibbons is our guest along with Josh Spickler of Just City and City Council member Worth Morgan, the current and future chairman of the council’s public safety committee. You will also hear more from Gibbons on an anti-gang initiative started in Boston 20 years ago that is coming to Memphis in 2017.

The show airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV.

The cover story by Don Wade in our weekly, The Memphis News is a snapshot of the Grizz so far in what is a very interesting and transitional season. It comes at the end of a week in which Grizz coach David Fizdale complained about a lack of leadership on the floor and the next night, the Grizz, especially Marc Gasol, turned in a stellar performance. And this is, of course, Fizdale’s first year at the helm.

The PDF of the full issue is up now on this website. The hard copies hit the racks Friday morning and the cover story goes online Friday afternoon.

Now that Arkansas voters have approved medical marijuana, the emerging ground rules have established that there will be five places in the state growing the pot. But the commission setting the rules probably won’t begin considering the specific sites until June.

Numbers Anyone?

The U.S. economy grew 3-5 percent last quarter.

The highest long-term U.S. mortgage rates since 2014.

U.S business investments up in November for a second month.

And the numbers on Obamacare about a month from Obama’s exit from the White House.

PROPERTY SALES 69 163 12,921
MORTGAGES 35 85 8,088
BUILDING PERMITS 109 531 30,465
BANKRUPTCIES 18 85 6,149