VOL. 131 | NO. 220 | Thursday, November 3, 2016
No Criminal Charges In Bratcher Police Shooting
The Shelby County district attorney general’s office will not pursue criminal charges against Memphis police officers who shot and killed Jonathon Bratcher this past January in South Memphis.
District Attorney General Amy Weirich announced the decision Wednesday, Nov. 2, after her office reviewed a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report on the incident.
The report is not open to the public by state law, and Weirich said because of that she can’t comment on the specific conclusions of the report. She cited “the totality of circumstances” in her decision not to charge the officers or seek a grand jury indictment in the case.
“I believe a jury would find that the officers had lawful justification to fire their weapons at the suspect in self defense, in the defense of others and in order to affect an arrest,” Weirich said in a written statement.
As Weirich announced her decision Wednesday, she also filed a petition in Chancery Court seeking the public release of the report as she did for the release of the TBI report into the July 2015 police shooting of Darrius Stewart.
Bratcher was shot and killed by police near Mississippi Boulevard and South Parkway East on Jan. 27 after he bailed out of a car being pursued by police on traffic charges.
– Bill Dries
First South to Open New Collierville Branch
First South Financial Credit Union has announced a 3,950-square-foot Collierville branch opening at 369 S. Byhalia Road.
That location will be the 16th for the credit union, which serves more than 50,000 members and is the largest in West Tennessee based on capital.
The new branch features four drive-up teller stations and a drive-up ATM. Lobby hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and drive-up hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– Andy Meek
Memphis in May Accepting Barbecue Team Applications
Memphis in May International Festival is now taking applications for the 40th annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, scheduled for May 17-20 in Tom Lee Park.
The 2017 events marks the first year the competition has stretched into four days. It also features the largest prize purse in the history of the championship, with a total of $117,150 in prize money. All competition categories will see higher prize payouts this year.
Festival organizers are projecting another maximum-capacity competition, with more than 300 judges scoring the 250-plus barbecue teams competing in categories such as whole hog, ribs, shoulder and patio porkers, plus 12 ancillary contests. Those judges include more than 90 who are set to be trained at a sold-out judging seminar this month.
“This is a significant anniversary for the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest,” James L. Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May, said in a statement. “Our judging seminar sold out in record time and we expect the same for the 40th anniversary contest. We are looking forward to some very serious competition in 2017 as the teams vie for the title of World Champion.”
The contest routinely draws teams from across the country and around the world, and this year’s competition will include at least one team from the 2017 Memphis in May honored country, Colombia. Applications are availabe at memphisinmay.org/wcbcc-teams, with an application deadline of Feb. 19.
Memphis in May kicks off with the Beale Street Music Festival on May 5-7. Other events include the International Salute to Colombia (May 8-14), 901Fest (May 27) and the Great American River Run (May 28).
– Daily News staff
More Than $16M Flows To Tenn. Legislative Candidates
More than $16 million in political contributions has flowed to candidates running for seats in the Tennessee General Assembly this year.
That total includes $1.5 million given to candidates in the final reporting period before next week’s general election.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, a Collierville Republican with no Democratic opponent this year, has quietly led the way with more than $655,000 in receipts so far.
Norris is among several potential gubernatorial candidates to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018. Others include Republican Sen. Mark Green of Clarksville and House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville. Each has raised about $515,000.
Republican Sen. Steve Dickerson has brought in $625,000 for his race against Democrat Erin Coleman in his closely divided Nashville District. About $120,000 of that amount has come in the form of direct and in-kind contributions from the Senate Republican Caucus, which has spent another $669,000 on anti-Coleman advertising in October alone.
Coleman campaign received some free publicity on Wednesday when she was endorsed by President Barack Obama.
The top 12 recipients are Republicans, combining for more than $5.3 million in donations.
Democrat Gloria Johnson has received about $233,000 for her bid to reclaim the Knoxville seat she lost to Republican Rep. Eddie Smith two years ago.
The Tennessee Relators PAC has been the top donor to Statehouse candidates, giving a total of $258,000. The next highest contributor was the Senate Republican Caucus with $233,000, followed by the Tennessee Bankers Association PAC with $230,000 and $177,000 from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee.
Early voting for next week’s election ends Thursday.
– The Associated Press