VOL. 131 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 1, 2016
Liberty Bowl Sold Out, Parking Could Be an Issue
The 57th AutoZone Liberty Bowl, featuring Arkansas vs. Kansas State, is sold out. The game, slated to begin at 2:20 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 2, is the first sellout since the Razorbacks’ appearance in the game six years ago.
But city authorities are concerned about the crowd and the parking and are urging fans to arrive early and, if possible, to carpool or use public transportation.
The city is providing free off-site parking and shuttle service from three locations: the Benjamin J. Hooks Central Library, 330 Poplar Ave.; University of Memphis Central Avenue parking lot, near the Holiday Inn University of Memphis; and the U of M’s Southern Avenue parking lot, at the corner of Southern and Echles.
Game day shuttle service from the parking lots to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Service from the stadium to the parking lots will begin at 4:30 p.m. and continue until two hours after the game ends.
– Don Wade
Piscotty is Cardinals’ Player of the Year
For his achievements both at Triple-A Memphis and in St. Louis, the Cardinals selected outfielder/first baseman Stephen Piscotty as the organization’s Player of the Year for 2015.
Piscotty, 24, batted .305 with seven home runs and 39 RBI in his 63 games with the Cardinals following his July 21 call-up from Memphis. He ranked among team leaders in two-out RBI (23), game-winning RBI (7) and batting average with runners in scoring position (.393, 29 RBI).
“Following his productive work at Memphis, Stephen earned the promotion to St. Louis, stepped in and contributed to our major league club down the stretch and into the playoffs,” said Cardinals Director of Player Development Gary LaRocque.
A first-round draft selection in 2012 (36th player overall) out of Stanford University, Piscotty matched Matt Carpenter’s team-high 12-game hitting streak while also hitting safely in each of his first 10 games started and received voter recognition for the 2015 BBWAA National League Rookie of the Year Award.
The right-handed hitting Piscotty batted .272 with 11 home runs and 41 RBI in 87 games played with the Memphis Redbirds before his promotion to the majors. He joins Kolten Wong (2013), Allen Craig (2009) and Adam Kennedy (1999) as former Memphis Redbirds to have won the organization’s Player of the Year honors.
– Don Wade
Lowery’s Prayer Breakfast Marks 22nd Year
Myron Lowery is leaving the Memphis City Council as of New Year’s Day.
But the outgoing council chairman will still be hosting a New Year’s Day Prayer Breakfast Friday, Jan. 1, at 9 a.m. on his first day out of office in 24 years.
Lowery’s prayer breakfast is marking its 25th anniversary as what has become a political institution.
The event, to be held at the Holiday Inn Memphis Airport, 2240 Democrat Road, will feature U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen. Incoming Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell also have been invited to speak.
The gathering comes a year after Strickland and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton sat at the same table at the breakfast. Lowery made a point of endorsing Wharton’s re-election effort at the event after asking Strickland to stand.
The prayer breakfast is known for such moments.
It began with former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton as its keynote speaker for many years. Herenton’s addresses at the annual event quickly became known not only for the priorities he outlined but also for his comments about his critics.
Herenton later started his own prayer breakfast during a brief political dust-up with Lowery that later was resolved.
Lowery also is hosting his 22nd annual Jazz Champagne Brunch at the same location Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Lowery did not run for re-election in 2015, ending his tenure as the council’s longest-serving member. He was first elected to the council in 1991.
– Bill Dries
‘Name That Swan’ For Memphis Botanic Garden
Memphis Botanic Garden is ready to name the swan it introduced to its Japanese Garden last spring, and it’s asking for the public’s help.
The male swan was offered by Tennessee Safari Park in Alamo, Tenn. He hit it off with female swan Ziggy, so he’s now becoming a long-term member of the family, according to MBG.
Garden staffers are accepting name submissions through Jan. 31, and the winner will take home a $50 certificate good for admission to any of MBG’s family events held throughout the year.
To enter, submit an original snapshot of either swan, along with your suggested name, in one of three ways: Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org; post it on Memphis Botanic Garden’s Facebook page with the hashtag #namethatswan; or post it on Twitter or Instagram, including #namethatswan.
Both Ziggy and the male are “mute swans,” which, for the record, aren’t really mute. She’s a “Polish mute” and he’s a “royal mute” – races with different geographical origins – but the two races interbreed freely in the wild, where their ranges overlap.
“We’re thinking there will be some ‘overlapping’ here, and we may be having a ‘name the cygnet’ contest in the spring!” MBG wrote on its blog.
– Kate Simone
Poplar Ave. Car Wash Sells for $2.5 Million
The Boomerang Carwash at 4831 Poplar Ave. has sold for $2.5 million
Arkansas-based Washpop LLC purchased the property from Bailey’s Tunnel Wash LLC in a Dec. 23 warranty deed. In conjunction with the sale, Washpop filed a five-year, $2.5 million mortgage with First Capital Bank.
The 1,587-square-foot carwash was built in 2011 and is situated on a 0.1-acre strip on the south side of Poplar between Colonial and South Mendenhall roads. The Shelby County Assessor’s 2015 appraisal is $307,700.
The Poplar Avenue Boomerang is the fifth Memphis-area carwash that Arkansas-based Bailey’s Tunnel Wash has sold this year. In March, an affiliate of real estate investment trust STORE Capital purchased the facilities at 1565 N. Germantown Road, 5795 Raleigh Lagrange Road and 4234 Hacks Cross Road, and in September, an affiliate of Spirit Realty Capital purchased Bailey’s carwash holding at 9809 U.S. 64 in Arlington.
– Madeline Faber