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VOL. 131 | NO. 213 | Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: MAA and TraVure, JT Votes Early and Minority Biz Momentum

By Bill Dries

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Big news overnight for one of several corporate headquarters moves we’ve been watching in the last year. Mid-America Apartments LP is poised to become the anchor of the TraVure mixed-use development on the western side of Germantown.

The Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a 15-year PILOT agreement Monday evening that the city’s Industrial Development Board approved a week earlier.

MAA executives decided during the summer that they were going to stay in Shelby County and not go outside the county. The PILOT means MAA will move a few blocks east from the Memphis side of the line to the Germantown side of the line and become the anchor of the development on what many long-time Germantown citizens will remember as the Kirby Farms property between Poplar and Poplar Pike.

Early voting in Shelby County is running a bit ahead of the early voter turnout so far in 2012 and a bit behind the early voter turnout to the same point in 2008.

There is a bit of a lag in the Shelby County Election Commission posting the information and there are two versions of the same chart on the website with different information. We also don’t have the turnout by the election day precinct the voters live in, which is a more specific indication of who is turning out. In past elections, this information has been available.

Among the early voters Monday, Justin Timberlake, whose Instagram at a voting machine shows he came from Los Angeles to Memphis to cast his vote. In case you are wondering, JT voted at New Bethel Church in Germantown and as he left the polling place Monday turned up on a few other Instagram accounts as he posed for a picture or two. Wonder how he voted on the county attorney referendum?

Another reminder that while we know a lot about voter turnout in early voting. We don’t know how the early voters have voted until after 7 p.m. on election night.

While you are in the Presidential mood, more of the papers of Andrew Jackson – one of three Tennesseans to serve as President – are being published by the University of Tennessee Press. This is the 10th volume with the UT folks in Knoxville already working on the next two volumes.

Volume X covers 1832 and Jackson’s bid for a second term as well as his role in the Trail of Tears forced move of Native Americans out of the southeast, including Tennessee, and the first secession crisis.

There are two ways to look at this – the 19th century version of Wiki-leaks or the adventures of a three-time Presidential contender who lost the first time and complained about the results –calling them “the corrupt bargain.”

A bit of red meat for both sides in our current Presidential drama.

Often there is the business way of doing things and there is the government way of doing things. And there aren’t a lot of similarities. But one of the leaders of the renewed push in Memphis for growth in minority businesses, Darrell Cobbins, says government contract practices can help establish the momentum necessary to lead private contract growth for minority business.

He talked about it on WKNO’s Behind The Headlines, which should be up soon on our video page on this website, if it isn’t already.

Also part of the discussion is Joann Massey, director of the city’s office of business diversity and compliance, which just last week made big changes to the setting of goals for how much of city projects and contracts go to minority businesses. The goals are now going to be more specific – minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses.

As promised, more thoughts on the first weekend of the Big River Crossing apart from the formalities and ceremonies. We also have more background on how the project got done and some of the risks along the way. Also more on what to look for on the West Memphis side.

In our Health Care Emphasis:

An examination of why rates for marketplace health care insurance through the Affordable Care Act are going up and why some insurors are leaving parts of the Tennessee marketplace.

Too many claims outside the network with some low income enrollees seeing increased federal subsidies to offset the resulting rate increases partially. And some of the local experts we’ve talked with about this say the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid under the ACA “compounds the problem” to quote one of those we talked with.

The Campbell Clinic Spine Center in Cordova as an example of consolidation in medical practices.

And 20 years for the McDonald Murrmann Women’s Clinic. And some thoughts from co founder Dr. Susan Murrmann about private management companies that offer to buy medical practices. “But you have to sign a contract – kind of like a deal with the devil – and you have to work for them the rest of your life. And we didn’t want to be part of that.”

More from Huffington Post on the making of the Washington Post story on former white nationalist Derek Black. This is a story that includes Black’s speech at a conference in Memphis by white nationalists and white supremacist groups several years ago. The Huffington piece includes a link to the WaPo piece.

John Grisham on CBS Sunday Morning on not being a very good state legislator when he represented Southaven in the Mississippi legislature and being out of the limelight while continuing to own the legal thriller genre.

China makes another bid on the Hilton hotel chain.

TD Ameritrade buys Scottrade for $4 billion.

The most reliable cars, according to a new Consumer Reports’ survey.

PROPERTY SALES 38 38 20,670
MORTGAGES 45 45 23,790
BUILDING PERMITS 187 187 42,781
BANKRUPTCIES 57 57 13,237