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VOL. 131 | NO. 220 | Thursday, November 3, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: The Curses, Early Voting's Last Day and Midtown Kroger's First Day

By Bill Dries

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The goat, the curse, whatever you choose to call it – it’s over for the Cubs who are baseball’s world champions. And even in this basketball town, there is something about the tradition of baseball that commands attention. But alas October belongs to the political surprise in Presidential races exclusively as once again the World Series is decided in November.

Since we are on the object of curses in what may be the most superstition-laden professional sport in the world, let us not forget that the Cleveland Indians come with their own legendary curse that remains unbroken. And it has a Memphis connection.

The legend’s most concise version is that the Indians have been cursed since the 1960 trade of Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers despite Colavito being the American League home run leader with the Indians in 1959 with 42 home runs. Cleveland fans were dismayed and vocal about their displeasure.

How does Memphis enter into this, you may ask. The answer to be found in the book “Baseball in Memphis” by Clarence Watkins.

The Cleveland Indians were playing the Chicago White Sox in an exhibition game at Russwood Park on April 17, 1960 – the day Colavito was traded.

Colavito had walked in the sixth inning. That’s when his manager told him he had been traded.

That was also the night that Russwood burned to the ground in a fire.

At FedExForum Wednesday evening, Grizz 89 - Pelicans 83 in extra inn -- I mean overtime. You didn't think I was going to leave that out did you?

... The final day of early voting in Shelby County in advance of the Nov. 8 election day ...

All 21 early voting sites across the county are open Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The ground rules bear repeating. You can vote at any of those locations regardless of where you live and have the district races for your precinct on your ballot.

Through Tuesday, 198,149 Shelby County voters had cast early ballots. That compares to 190,493 at the same point in 2012 and 201,807 in 2008.

So the turnout to that point higher than 2012 and less than in 2008.

When we get the Wednesday turnout numbers we will post them @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols.

More about this in the Friday edition but the Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, was in Memphis Wednesday evening at Minglewood Hall. He drew a crowd of about 100, most who were supporters of the ticket topped by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. But a vocal few were critical of Weld for his statements supportive of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The remake of Laurelwood in East Memphis adds Babcock Gifts, the locally-owned gift shop, and J. McLaughlin, a clothing store, to its mix.

As we were posting word of the new tenants Wednesday, much of the CRE spotlight was on the opening of the new Midtown Kroger. And the designers, architects and engineers have some hopes that the store, specifically the measures they’ve taken outside the supermarket, will be the start of a change along Union Avenue – a change that is more pedestrian friendly.

Lots of good reviews on the spacious interior of the store. But mixed reviews on the parking lot so far, which was bumper to bumper for the opening. We’ll see once the new supermarket smell wears off.

The star of the formal ceremony was the Idlewild Presbyterian carillon which included a version of the University of Memphis fight song.

Kroger Delta Division president Scott Hendricks tells us the Arlington store’s conversion to a Kroger marketplace store will open next year and while Midtown marked the last of $100 million in major renovations and new construction for Kroger in the area, there are some existing store renovations on the way.

Sam the Sham aka Domingo Samudio is inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame Thursday at the Cannon Center along with Stax’ own William Bell, the Hi Rhythm Section, blues legend John Lee Hooker, jazz sax man Charles Lloyd and the one and only Marguerite Piazza.

Snoop Dogg is in town Thursday for the ceremony. If you saw the ambitious 2014 music and film documentary project “Take Me To The River” you already know that one of the more inspired pairings was William Bell and Snoop Dogg’s collaboration on “I Forgot To Be Your Lover.”

If you didn’t here is the trailer: two minutes and 31 seconds of nothing but Memphis that would be too much to handle if it was two minutes and 32 seconds.

No charges in the January police shooting of Jonathon Bratcher and District Attorney General Amy Weirich goes to Chancery Court to open the TBI investigative file on the incident.

$16 million in political contributions to the candidates in the general election contests for the Tennessee Legislature. And at the top of the dollar figures is state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville, who is running for re-election unopposed on Tuesday’s ballot but who is likely to run for Tennessee Governor in 2018.

In the capitol, specifically the very top of the capitol in Nashville, restoration work begins.

It’s deer season and there is a lot of venison out there, a lot of it making its way to various programs fighting hunger that includes the “Hunters for the Hungry” program at Alpha Omega Veteran’s Services.

The Fed doesn’t touch the key rate but there are some hints about a hike.

Video ambitions at Facebook.

PROPERTY SALES 68 162 2,781
MORTGAGES 60 97 1,880
BUILDING PERMITS 148 769 6,470
BANKRUPTCIES 61 172 1,149