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VOL. 131 | NO. 56 | Friday, March 18, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: Monday Vote, Beale's Search and Longview Heights

By Bill Dries

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Look for the state Senate to vote on the deannexation bill Monday in Nashville. At least that’s the date on the Senate calendar.

That could change as a member of the Shelby County legislative delegation has at last asked the Tennessee Attorney General for a legal opinion on the proposal. But it’s not a straight-up question about whether the proposal is constitutional. It’s a question about the specific characterization of past Memphis annexations as “egregious” – what has come to be the key legal term in this considerable political controversy.

The heat from this has been so significant for state Sen. Reginald Tate that Tate has withdrawn as a Senate sponsor of the legislation, pleading amendments he didn't know about.
Since the House vote earlier this week, opponents of the bill have been vocal in urging anyone who will listen in the city to call or email Tate.

Meanwhile, there are very different sentiments among Shelby County Commissioners on all of this.
The commission sees itself as an arbiter of sorts in the political controversy and there are early indications that back the political axiom that the most dangerous place to be in such a dispute is in the middle. But some of the comments from several commissioners raise questions about how the middle is defined on deannexation.

The Behind The Headlines show Friday evening at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV is a reporters roundtable discussion about deannexation – some other issues in the mix as well – but the bulk of our time spent analyzing this controversy specifically.
Our guests are Ryan Poe of The Commercial Appeal and Christopher Blank of WKNO-FM.

Since it was formed last May, the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority has been pretty quiet. That changed on St. Patrick’s Day as the group decided to add a second round to its search for a management firm for the entertainment district and reopen the process for new proposals.
Dwain Kyles, the leader of the 21 Beale group, didn’t like this a bit and didn’t mince words about it.

Two headquarters moves dominate EDGE action this week.
One is Hollywood Feed which will keep its retail in the Broad Avenue Arts District but move its HQ and distribution site to a warehouse on Warford that will get a $2.1 million renovation.
The second began as the Evergreen Packaging spinoff from Memphis-headquartered International Paper.
Evergreen is merging with two other companies to create a global packaging organization called Nuco and there was intense competition in other cities for Nuco’s nod – sorry couldn’t help it.

Speaking of local, a new mutual fund built around alternative investment strategies.
The idea with Preserver Partners LLC isn’t that the alternative is different types of businesses. The alternative is mid-to-high single digit returns on a consistent basis and not as much volatility in the process.

Longview Heights in South Memphis is one of those neighborhoods that you would create as the landscape to surround a school if it didn’t exist.
Its stately homes are the perfect companion for the new Porter-Leath Early Childhood Academy which broke ground this week on Alice Avenue next to Alton Elementary School.
The academy’s construction is also a big symbol of early childhood efforts that began coalescing several years ago when Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell made the controversial decision to get Shelby County government out of the Head Start business. Luttrell declared that local government wasn’t the best provider of the federally-funded services.
Combine that with the Shelby County Schools system’s goal of all third graders reading at a third grade level and you have the start of an effort that takes in the nearly $10 million project in Longview Heights. It includes a teacher training center.

More from Don Wade and the restless off season for the University of Memphis basketball program. The Tigers aren’t the only college basketball program tossing and turning in March Madness.


Billy Corgan in Rolling Stone on the new tour which is coming to the Orpheum April 24 with Liz Phair opening and it sounds like joining Corgan and band during their set for a few songs.
The piece includes a video on Corgan’s involvement in professional wrestling.
And yet he won’t make it here until a full month after Sputnik Monroe Day.

The Guardian on a Harvard study on overturned federal trial court rulings.

Why yes, we do have the Peabody’s Roof Top party schedule.

PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225