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VOL. 131 | NO. 176 | Friday, September 2, 2016

Dries

Bill Dries

Last Word: Hyde Lake, Global Ministries Exits and Another Big 12 Rumor

By Bill Dries

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A big day at Shelby Farms Park Thursday as the Heart of the Park renovations were formally opened. And it was also a cause to look back on where the park has come from.

Several perspectives on that from the front lawn of the visitors center overlooking the expanded Patriot Lake, which has now become Hyde Lake. Through the capital campaign that raised the private money that paid most of the bill for these renovations you didn’t hear too much about the impact of the recession.

The plan from James Corner’s field operations groups was selected by the conservancy in 2008 just before the onset of the national economic downturn. And Thursday Corner and others talked about it at some length. It did alter the plans but looking at the results it is hard to say that it muted the ambitions for change and a specific direction that accommodates many different experiences on a lot of parkland.

An explanation about the $70 million figure we use for Heart of the Park. This includes the playground construction and some other projects undertaken before the overall plan that the conservancy undertook starting in June of 2014.

Global Ministries Foundation is getting out of the federally subsidized apartment business – selling off those apartment complexes here and in other cities. This was the mission of GMF – restoring these properties to preserve affordable housing through a portfolio that was a mixture of those properties and market rate apartment complexes with the profits from the market rate units making the upkeep of the subsidized units possible.

Baptist Memorial Health Care in talks with Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, which runs several medical centers, about at least some partnerships and a possible merger south of the state line.

On our side of the stateline, a rebranding for the Church Health Center, which has seen some changes on other fronts this year and will see more when it moves into Crosstown Concourse early next year.

More on the Nonconnah Center sale we reported on earlier this week. The buyer is an out of town investment group, ReMark Trust. This is a submarket that has the highest office vacancy rate in the Memphis area at a 49 percent vacancy rate. ReMark’s deal is a sign that may be changing but at least one competitor thinks ReMark paid too much.

More on the Memphis Redbirds box office for the season just ended. The numbers offered some encouragement but the team looks to be next to last in attendance in the Pacific Coast League. That is 15th out of 16 teams.

Don Wade’s Press Box column looks at what has changed in Memphis since the Redbirds made their debut at AutoZone Park in 2000.

Another day, another rumor about the chances of the University of Memphis becoming part of the Big 12 conference. An ESPN report shows 12 teams on the short list and seven that are out. But Memphis isn’t on either list.

If you follow @tdnpols, you’ve seen our retweets from some of the history accounts we follow showing the kickoff of various Presidential campaigns of the past at right about this time on the calendar. The local efforts are about to be underway with Republicans opening up their campaign headquarters in East Memphis Wednesday evening. And they did so with a quip about the turmoil in the local Democratic party, which doesn’t exist anymore -- the party that is.

An update on Mike McLean’s bid for the Clerk of Courts post in Seminole County, Florida, which for some reason including campaign robo-calls to Memphis. McLean lost in the Republican primary to Grant Maloy who did not campaign here in Memphis.

We’re calling it the beer show around the office this week. That’s what Behind the Headlines on WKNO will be about Friday at 7 p.m. The guests are Drew Barton of Memphis Made Brewing Co., Brice Timmons of High Cotton and Kevin Eble of Hammer & Ale.

And while beer is an essential element, the show also looks at the business of beer with some discussion about Wiseacre’s concept of an expansion of its brewery at the Mid-South Coliseum.

The cover story in The Memphis News is a detailed survey of which jobs are in demand in the Memphis area and what the future job market looks like in that regard. The PDF of the entire issue is up now on this website. The hard copies are in the racks Friday morning and the story goes up on line here Friday afternoon.

Arkansas has a casino referendum on the November ballot.

Other Reading:

Before the Memphis-made “Million Dollar Quartet” debuts on CMT, “Quarry” will debut on Cinemax Sept. 9. And in the Cinemax series shot in Memphis a while back, Memphis plays Memphis in 1972 with the central character a recently returned Vietnam veteran. Rolling Stone has more.

Chalkbeat maps out standardized tests Shelby County Schools students take in the current academic year.

Dangerous Minds has a first look at some of the William Eggleston photos in the upcoming “Big Star – Isolated in the Light” photo book. Also lots of interview archive stuff found for the book that sheds more light.

Nationally:

Factory activity shrinks.

Unemployment benefits requests go up.

Apple’s chief executive goes on Irish television to say the company is repatriating some of its Irish earnings to the U.S. after the European Union ordered the company to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes and billions more in interest. And Tim Cook says Apple has set aside several billion dollars to pay tax liabilities in the U.S. from the repatriation.

Facebook offers instant video in its Messenger app – not to be confused with a video call.

There is this thing I have heard of called “vacation.” Next week I will be trying out this new experience, which means Last Word will also be taking a break for the week unless one of my colleagues wants to give this space a try.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 19 170
BUILDING PERMITS 28 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 25 98 716
BUSINESS LICENSES 4 26 302
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0