Last Word: Humdingers, Gangster Disciples Paper Work and Underground Day

By Bill Dries

Sometimes you think you know what is going on and then something happens like Chris Wallace, the general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies, grabbing a bite to eat Monday at Humdingers out east with former Grizz coach Lionel Hollins. Next thing you know there’s another possibility for the next Grizz coach – a return engagement that would be exceedingly rare.

As that marinated Tuesday, complete with an Instagram someone took of Wallace and Hollins in a corner booth, ESPN’s Jake Trotter got the paperwork showing a University of Memphis bid for the Big 12 athletic conference is well underway including FedEx possibly sponsoring a Big 12 championship game.

There’s a lot of that going around these days – paperwork that goes under the radar for a while.

Bank of New York was in Memphis Federal Court last week filing a complaint against Global Ministries Foundation. The bank bought the Health and Ed bonds -- $12 million worth – that financed GMF buying the Warren and Tulane Apartments. Five years and two failed HUD inspections later as well as massive move out of residents from both of the complexes with a history of code violations, the bank wants a receiver appointed for both.

Some entirely different federal court filings in the federal case against reputed leaders of the Gangster Disciples here in Memphis and in Jackson, Tennessee and Atlanta lay out about three dozen allegations of violence and/or threats by gang leaders that we take a look at. Not what you normally see in a federal case involving street gangs.

The day after the Gangster Disciples case went public last week, interim Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings put a lot of guns and drugs on the table for a press conference. We look at what the display means for an interim director who is interested in becoming the permanent director.

Television viewers in Memphis have taken to a WGN America television series about the Underground Railroad whose first season ends Wednesday. “Underground” is a very popular show and its largest audience is in the Memphis market.
Even before the series debuted in March, producers and actors in the production were in Memphis this past October at the National Civil Rights Museum for a panel discussion and screening.
They returned Tuesday and included a stop at City Hall where it was proclaimed “Underground Day” by Mayor Jim Strickland. It was a rare case of a mayor being upstaged in the Hall of Mayors.
The actors were in town following the announcement that the show will have a second season and as locally we’ve been talking a lot about very real events in Memphis about a decade after the fictional storyline – the Memphis massacre of 1866 -- and what that past means to our present.
Meanwhile, WGN has a marathon showing of the first season of Underground Wednesday afternoon.

Home managing versus home staging in a changing and evolving residential real estate market. A local company is balancing both in a town where the inventory is low and homes are selling without the staging in a lot of cases.

Resurrection Health has merged with a Knoxville-based set of community health centers, Cherokee Health Systems.

On the body camera front, Shelby County Commissioners still aren’t sold on ongoing funding for the staffing District Attorney General Amy Weirich says she needs to handle the recordings that come from body cameras and dash cams used by Memphis Police. It’s a debate about whether the county should pay for it. But the commission has given Weirich five temporary positions only through the end of June toward the body camera coordination and review.


The generation that was the younger end of the generation gap has proven to be pretty stable when it comes to changing jobs. That according to a new survey, which shows 40 percent of the baby boomers surveyed stayed with the same employer for more than 20 years. Those younger than the baby boom generation do not stay as long or have the same expectations.

And the FDA takes a look at its definition of healthy, specifically the use of the word healthy on food products.

Other Reading:

The Hill on U.S. Senator Bob Corker and the possibility of a Trump-Corker ticket.

A new website for the Americana Music Triangle, a music tourism venture that includes driving trails and links to different parts of the history connected to this concept. The triangle concept has Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans as the points.