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VOL. 131 | NO. 105 | Thursday, May 26, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: Grizzdale?, Rio Bound and The Ways of the City Council

By Bill Dries

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The Grizzlies just about have their new coach. He is David Fizdale who comes to Memphis from being an associate coach for the Miami Heat.

Here is the ESPN report that broke the story Wednesday evening.

This comes on a day when having long since lost track of the NBA playoffs I was amazed to find they are still underway. And yet some of us complain about baseball games being a grind. They don’t call the playoffs the second season for nothing.

Maybe the Grizz will get a chance to move deeper into that second season with Fizdale at the helm? Attempt at sports commentary is now mercifully at an end.

More developments on the Global Ministries Foundation front, although THDA executive director Ralph Perrey never said those three words Wednesday as he announced the Tennessee Housing Development Agency will resume inspections of HUD-subsidized apartment complexes in July and the Memphis market is the “top priority.”

The THDA inspections stopped in 2011 because of a beef over who got the contracts to do the inspections. HUD has now resumed the inspections.

A few caveats – the THDA inspectors can’t order fixes for any bad conditions they might find. They give the complex owner 30 days to fix the problem and then forward a report to HUD which imposes sanctions and/or orders a fix.

Big and bigger. New figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis show First Tennessee Bank has $26.7 billion of the $33.4 billion in bank assets in the Memphis area. Also Paragon CEO Robert Shaw predicts a rise soon in interest rates.

If you are a reporter and you are doing this with the right intentions, there will come a moment early in your career (probably before you realize it is a career or start calling it that) when you get a chance to see how you can handle something so big in scope that the first challenge is where to focus.

And once you are on the ground, there are always elements that come into play that no one could have anticipated.

For a group of University of Memphis journalism students that moment is the Rio summer Olympics in August.

For those who don’t know, the university newspaper – The Helmsman – is an institution in this very competitive media market where some of the people who put out The Daily News and The Memphis News worked very hard in their formative years in this business. The Helmsman’s tradition of hard work and journalistic independence is a long and enduring one.

The students going to the Rio games need a bit of help. Our story includes a link to the crowdfunding campaign in their behalf.

The place to find the ongoing story of an institution like the Memphis City Council can be in its routines and its traditions.

We are in the council’s most enduring tradition – the budget season. And the budget season has come to that part of its deliberations when the 13 council members have carved some amount of money from the Mayor’s budget proposal. They then consider how much, if any, of that to use in giving grants to local nonprofits.

It can say a lot about the larger fiscal decisions the council as a body is likely to make. And it’s another indication of the direction of the council that took office just five months ago with six new members.

Our Nashville correspondent, Sam Stockard, on “the small stuff” in Nashville.

The Memphis Real Estate Recap: Graceland West details, three new tenants for Saddle Creek South including Sephora, Loeb in Hickory Hill and Start Co. expands at 88 Union including high speed fiber.


Trouble in Microsoft’s Mobile Unit.

Citibank pays to settle claims of manipulating interest rate benchmarks.

CEO pay is up including female CEOs but…

PROPERTY SALES 21 82 6,474
MORTGAGES 7 53 4,088
BUILDING PERMITS 240 353 15,714
BANKRUPTCIES 38 58 3,328