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VOL. 131 | NO. 57 | Monday, March 21, 2016

The Week Ahead: March 21-27

Daily News staff

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How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from the first Great River Indoor Food Truck Festival to a celebration of late Memphis wrestler Sputnik Monroe.

As the week begins, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen is in Cuba with President Obama, where Obama is the first president in 88 years to visit the island nation. It’s Cohen’s second trip to Cuba. He was in Havana in August for the reopening of the U.S. Embassy.
Cohen will be attending the Cuban national team’s exhibition baseball game with the Tampa Bay Rays and sporting a cap honoring Minnie Minoso.
Minoso was the first black Cuban player in Major League Baseball. Cohen met him as a child when the Chicago White Sox played an exhibition game in Memphis.

It’s Sputnik Monroe Day Thursday.
Yes, the late Memphis wrestler who was drawing crowds at Russwood Park in the 1950s with the late Billy Wicks – his archrival – before Jerry Lawler, Tojo Yamamoto and Jimmy Hart has a day in his honor in the pre-cable capital of professional wrestling.
To mark the occasion, the documentary “Memphis Heat” will be show Thursday at the Malco Paradiso Theatre with a possible limited run at Malco Theatres later.
The Paradiso screening coincides with the release of the documentary soundtrack, which is being released on blood red vinyl.
The 2011 documentary is a fascinating look at Memphis professional wrestling in its long heyday and the behind-the-scenes workings of the wrestling business that gave way to the national wrestling circuit on cable television and, later, pay-per-view.
Monroe talks in the documentary about the origins of professional wrestling in tent sideshows as well as the rise of the Memphis-Nashville wrestling circuit in which he billed himself as 250 pounds of “twisted steel and sex appeal.”

The Tennessee Senate has a Monday vote slated on the de-annexation bill that has become the hottest political topic locally since the schools merger.
The controversial proposal was approved in the state House last week.
Remember, this is politics which means objects may appear more real than they are and they rarely happen on the originally scheduled date.
Consider yourself warned and us covered by a disclaimer.

On the Memphis end of this controversy, Shelby County leaders are expected to have their own dollars figures ready Tuesday or Wednesday on what the impact of a new de-annexation law would be on City Hall and in turn on county government.
Early indications are the county dollar figures won’t be as dramatic as those of City Hall.
The county calculations are also supposed to include how much de-annexation would increase the expenses of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to police areas once in Memphis that would become part of unincorporated Shelby County with de-annexation.
The additional law enforcement cost is seen as being the highest-dollar item for county leaders to consider in the way of services.
Fire services for parts of the city that are de-annexed would go to a fire fee system used by county government to pay for the Shelby County Fire Department.

The Memphis Cook Convention will be hosting something new – the first Great River Indoor Food Truck Festival and Marketplace.
The event, hosted in conjunction with the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, will take place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday.
An indoor food truck festival is an innovative use for Memphis’ outdated convention center. The MCVB is holding out for a $54 million short-term upgrade to keep Memphis competitive in recruiting conventions and business events. But for now, Memphians can enjoy live music and food served on sticks.

Malco’s Ridgeway Cinema Grill is planning to help theatergoers this week get excited about the upcoming release of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” which opens at the East Memphis cinema Thursday.
The Ridgeway theater, at 5853 Ridgeway Center Parkway, is hosting – what else? – a Greek-inspired wine tasting that same day. It’s scheduled for 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. in the lobby, and wine enthusiasts will have a selection of red and white wines to sample, in addition to Greek-themed hors d’oeuvres and a seasoned olive-oil tasting. The Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County will also be on hand with some of their animals.
Admission to the wine tasting is $10 per person. The theater will also be taking donations for the humane society.

Madison Avenue

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

Also this week, the Madison Avenue Business Association is hosting an event over two days to boost business along the street. All you need to participate is at least $20 to spend.
The inaugural “Meet Me Along Madison” is happening Tuesday and Wednesday. On those days, participating restaurants, retail outlets and service-oriented businesses will all be featuring an item for $20.16.
Participating businesses include Madison mainstays like Boscos Squared, which will offer a beer and food flight; Maggie’s Pharm and The Square Olive with gift baskets; and S Berry Jones Architects and PR specialist Shannon R. Little will offer consulting specials, among offers from other participants.

The Memphis and Shelby County Board of Adjustment meets Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Among agenda items is a request from Sugar Services seeking to expand its South Main facility.
The factory, which has occupied six acres in the South End area for the past 30 years, now stands out against the surrounding South End apartment and condo boom.
The company is seeking approval to demolish the building at the southeast corner of Tennessee Street and G.E. Patterson Avenue and construct a new one to house a production line.
Because of its longevity, the Sugar Services facility was grandfathered in to the South Central Business Improvement District special purpose district. Neither the existing structure nor the proposed structure conform with the regulations of the area, and that could provide an opportunity for board discussion and community input.

Just the name, “Cookies on Tap,” sounds delicious. On Thursday, there will be a drop-in tasting event that features a flight of four, 5-ounce High Cotton Brewing beers expertly paired with a Girl Scout cookie. And all this to benefit Girl Scouts Heart of the South. Event runs 4 to 7 p.m. at 598 Monroe Ave., call 901-334-3447 or go to troop901memphis.com.

Friday’s the day for the South Main Art Trolley Tour. Stroll through the historic arts district, as shops, restaurants, and art galleries display creative merchandise, cuisines and art. Held on the last Friday of every month, this free event runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. along Main between Vance and St. Paul avenues.

The Memphis Botanic Garden is the site of a family Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Hunts will be divided by age, and there will be live music, kids crafts, lawn games, and photos with the Easter Bunny. Call 901-636-4100, or visit memphisbotanicgarden.com.

The Daily News staff compiles The Week Ahead for you, our readers, every week. You'll receive it as part of our Monday online edition. Email associate editor Kate Simone at ksimone@memphisdailynews.com if you have items for consideration.

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