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VOL. 131 | NO. 243 | Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Daily Digest

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Developer Withdraws Plan For Collierville Shopping Mall

On Nov. 28, the Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved on first reading a request to rezone approximately 95 acres near South Houston Levee Road and Bill Morris Parkway for a new mall, but just a week later, the potential developer has withdrawn its application.

According to Mark Heuberger, the town of Collierville’s public information officer, the applicants did not give a reason for the sudden withdrawal.

“It’s not unusual for somebody to test the water and go back to the drawing board or test the water and then maybe have a change of heart,” he said.

According to the application, HL385 Investments, owned by Jason Crews of Germantown, intended to develop a new shopping center in two phases with outparcels toward the intersection of Houston Levee Road and Tenn. 385.

“I don’t think it would have had the support of the board, the way that it was initially presented,” Heuberger said. “The developer had analogized it to a Wolfchase-type mall, and some of the board members expressed that was not in our future land plans.”

– Patrick Lantrip

Riverside Ice Rink To Open Dec. 10

A city ice skating rink by the Mississippi River opens Saturday, Dec. 10.

The Fourth Bluff Ice Rink, located in Mississippi River Park next to the Tennessee Welcome Center, is open to the public into January for a $10 admission, which includes skate rental.

The rink is part of efforts to bring more public use to the area, including at the Cossitt Library and in parks overlooking the river and Wolf River Harbor. It is funded with a $5 million grant from the Reimagining the Civic Commons organization, which is a coalition of four national phil-anthropic groups.

The local Fourth Bluff effort includes the Downtown Memphis Commission, Hattiloo Theatre, the Memphis Library Foundation, the Hyde Family Foundations, film producer Craig Brewer and Black Lodge Video.

Programming for the ice rink includes themed skate nights and weeks, live music, food trucks, skating lessons and free Wi-Fi.

The hours are Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The rink is closed on Mondays.

– Bill Dries

La Quinta Hotel Guest Sues Over Legionnaires’ Outbreak

A California woman staying at the La Quinta Inn & Suites near Memphis International Airport has filed a $3 million civil lawsuit against the owners of the motel at 2979 Millbranch Road over a recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Acencion Casas, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Marlene Casas, claims in the suit that the owners, La Quinta Holdings Inc. and Minesh and Jagruti Patel, “created a dangerous condition at the hotel by maintaining it in a manner that threatened the safety of their guests.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in Memphis federal court Tuesday, Dec. 6, also alleges the owners knew of the condition and failed to warn Casas or other guests.

Marlene Casas stayed overnight at the Memphis motel Aug. 27, the lawsuit claims.

Sadler Bailey, the attorney representing Casas, said she was in the city to visit Graceland.

“This lady drank water at the hotel out of the tap and she took a shower and the air conditioner was running,” Bailey said. “It could have been any of those sources. … It’s quite possible – in fact, it’s quite probable – that other people were exposed to the same bacteria and didn’t get sick. Marlene’s got some significant underlying health problems.”

Casas developed pneumonia, Bailey said, 10 days after she stayed at the motel, showing symptoms three to four days after returning from Memphis.

The Shelby County Health Department ordered the La Quinta to close Sept. 22 after confirming five cases of Legionnaires’ disease linked to the business.

Health officials said those who stayed at the hotel between July 1 and Sept. 22, which included more than 6,000 reservations, could have been exposed to the disease.

The La Quinta was allowed to reopen Oct. 5 after health officials were unable to find an active source of the legionella bacteria. By the time of the reopening, the health department had identified seven confirmed cases and 19 probable cases of Legionnaires’ disease. The owners agreed to follow a water maintenance plan, and the health department said it would continue surveillance for six months following the outbreak.

The summer outbreak of the bacteria is the second locally in three years. Bailey was the attorney in a legal claim involving an outbreak at the 24-Hour Fitness gym on Ridgeway Road that ended with a confidential settlement.

– Bill Dries

Commission Sets Meeting On Minority Business

Shelby County Commissioners have set a special meeting for Dec. 14 to vote on the second read-ing of two ordinances that would change county purchasing procedures to both enhance the amount of locally owned small businesses that get county contracts and establish a minority and women business enterprise program.

A delay in the scheduled second reading vote Monday, Dec. 5, came as commissioners and business leaders debated the precise terms for county government contracting. That includes whether the enterprise program should have language that sets specific standards for contracting with black-owned businesses.

The commission and administration’s goal is to have the policies approved by year’s end, which is why the special meeting was scheduled. That would set third and final reading of both ordi-nances for Dec. 19, the final commission meeting of 2016.

With the delay, the commission then voted down Monday a $1.3 million contract for security services at local county government facilities with Allied University Security Services.

Commissioners specifically questioned why a local business didn’t get the contract in a bidding process overseen by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. SCSO officials said they followed county procedures in the bidding.

The defeat of the contract means Allied will continue to provide security services on a month-to-month basis as they are now. As that continues, the county administration will rebid the contract.

Meanwhile, commissioners Van Turner and Terry Roland pulled the third and final reading of their ordinance that would have made assistant county attorneys part of county government’s civil service system and thus more difficult for a county mayor to fire them. Turner said he want-ed to perhaps redraw the measure.

The commission approved the second of three readings of an ordinance setting up agreements with the cities of Millington, Lakeland and Arlington for emergency ambulance service by the Shelby County Fire Department. The county has been contracting with a private company for ambulance service.

– Bill Dries

Tigers’ K.J. Lawson Makes AAC Honor Roll

University of Memphis redshirt freshman K.J. Lawson has been named to the American Athletic Conference Weekly Honor Roll following his performances against Jackson State and Ole Miss.

Lawson hit four of nine shots from the field, and nine of 10 from the foul line on the way to scoring 18 points for the Tigers vs. Jackson State. He added seven rebounds, five assists, one blocked shot and one steal in the Memphis victory.

Against Ole Miss, he scored 17 points and went eight of 18 from the floor with three rebounds and two assists.

For the week, he averaged 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, shooting 44 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

– Don Wade

Tennessee Lawmakers To Convene in January

State lawmakers are scheduled to convene the 110th Tennessee General Assembly on Jan. 10.

The three-day organizational session will kick off with the formal elections for speaker in both chambers, though heavy Republican majorities in both the Senate and House mean that little drama is expected for the Republican nominees, Sen. Randy McNally of Oak Ridge and Rep. Beth Harwell of Nashville.

The next day the two chambers are scheduled to meet in joint session to elect the comptroller, treasurer and secretary of state. And on the last day of the organizational session lawmakers are to participate in ethics training.

Once those tasks are complete, lawmakers plan to take a recess until the end of the month before returning to hear Gov. Bill Haslam’s annual state of the state address.

– The Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 52 151
BUILDING PERMITS 0 541 2,593
BANKRUPTCIES 37 157 618
BUSINESS LICENSES 12 77 276
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0