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VOL. 131 | NO. 128 | Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dries

Bill Dries

Last Word: Blight Fight Second Stage, Hickory Hill Schools and Brexit React

By Bill Dries

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If you had never seen blight and wanted to see it in order to define it, there are several places in Memphis that could give you the on sight definition you were seeking. At the top of that list would probably be Frayser.

Those working to bring back the city’s original blue collar suburb bill it as the city’s largest community. That size holds for the amount of blight as well.

And it’s the reason that the second-stage of the long gestating city blight effort has focused on Frayser to make its mark – not only with demolition but with what to do after the house is down.

Leaders of the city effort talked with our editorial board about what happens next.

The target area is the area around Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School and neighboring Frayser Elementary School.

Much effort has been put into outlining all of the hoops the blight fight has to jump through. The success of this effort depends on what happens on the ground once houses are demolished – how quickly new houses replace them, new houses that are affordable.

Meanwhile, a new apartment complex to go up in South Main called Patterson Flats.

More ServiceMaster details this time as the company and its landlord at the old Peabody Place Mall go to the Design Review Board on the other side of the Fourth of July holiday. The design details includes more windows on the upper levels of the mall and no more skybridge across Second Street.

The American Home Shield division of ServiceMaster also announced Monday it has bought a home warranty company based in the west.

How many schools does Hickory Hill need? That’s a question SCS leaders are thinking about as they vote Tuesday to likely approve two more charter schools that want to locate in Hickory Hill. These deliberations underscore a very interesting plan by SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson that gets headlines for closing schools but not as much attention for school consolidations and changes in the grade structures as well as an emerging strategy that will likely change the school system even more.

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean on Behind The Headlines talks about the one that got away – the one goal, that is, during his eight years as mayor – it was a mass transit system.

The Grizz have Craig Brewer make a video as part of the campaign to keep Mike Conley.

The video features Justin Timberlake, just as the previous video aimed at Marc Gasol did.

Meanwhile, JT began his work week with a bit of clarification about his tweet on the BET Awards Sunday evening – specifically expressing support for actor Jesse Williams' speech in accepting BET’s Humanitarian Award and then his response to criticism.

Rolling Stone also includes a link to Williams' speech.

Back to Grizz-ness: Tony Wroten is coming back to the fold. The team have claimed Wroten after he was waived by the Knicks last week.

The Redbirds and New Orleans Zephyrs had a bench-clearing brawl in the fifth inning Monday of their game at AutoZone Park. When I say bench clearing, I mean nobody left in the dugout on either side. One player from each team was thrown out of the game in which umpires had warned both teams prior to whatever was going on coming to a head with a fifth inning pitch that got too close to someone’s head. Look for more disciplinary measures to come.

Some local reaction the Monday after Brexit shows there is a distinction to be made between our reaction based on what we think will happen and what might actually happen.

Quite a few Brexit 2 jokes going around Monday as Iceland upset England at Euro 2016.

Yes, soccer. Basketball season is finally done. Football is yet to come and this is the heart of baseball season and baseball weather. But baseball rarely has the screens at your favorite watering hole all to itself even now. And it’s soccer on some of the screens now. Even when a Major League Baseball game is on, you will usually be watching softball or college baseball in these parts. I’ve even seen a baseball game switched off in a few places. And the Olympics are on the way.

Courtroom tales from Bill Walk, the new partner at Pietrangelo Cook PLC which is also adding an office in South Main.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 39 190
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0