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VOL. 132 | NO. 73 | Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dries

Bill Dries

Last Word: Tubby Support, Pot Bill Withers and Changing Indigent Counsel Rules

By Bill Dries

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Just in time for spring, the near unraveling of the Overton Park-Zoo parking compromise. The Memphis City Council again put together a compromise Tuesday to keep the move to a new expanded parking lot on track and the funding in place by the Memphis Zoo and Overton Park Conservancy.

The basics were worked out over an hour or two at City Hall on what was a busy council day on several other fronts including Beale Street. Also no $10 flat rate fee at Downtown parking meters but you will be paying more for on street parking.

Tigers Athletic Director Tom Bowen felt compelled Tuesday to issue a statement of support of basketball coach Tubby Smith after a rough week or two of departures from the ranks.

New first quarter numbers for the Shelby County housing market from Chandler Reports, the real estate information company that is part of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc., show a strong start for the year in the number of homes sold. The average home sale price here in March was $151,688. The highest average price was $380,218 in Germantown East – the 38139 ZIP. Collierville’s 38017 ZIP had the most new home sales in March with 15.

Chandler numbers on the mortgage market show a 24 percent bump in the purchase mortgage volume compared to a year ago. The mortgage bankers we talked with tell us most of their business is new purchase transactions and the low rates are popular because the industry expects a rise in rates before the end of the year.

Back to committee and probably the drawing board for pot legislation proposed by Memphis Democrat Antonio Parkinson in the House, reports our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard. This is the bill that would have dropped felony charges for possession of an ounce of pot to a misdemeanor. Lots of debate in the House this week about how much pot means you are probably a dealer and how much means you aren’t in the business, just a customer.

A new report to the Tennessee Supreme Court recommends some big changes in legal representation for the indigent. And these changes have been talked about for quite some time. The report from a new task force says the system should be more centralized and pay private attorneys tapped by judges more per billable hour. It also says public defenders should be used more.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is critical of Memphis Police for sending the TACT team to serve a misdemeanor warrant on an animal hoarder. But the court upheld the dismissal of the federal lawsuit over the fatal police shooting of Donald Moore Sr. This was a 2013 incident in which a loaded gun with a round in the chamber was found in Moore’s hand after he was shot by police. But the court said the police decision to use the TACT team response was “disproportionate” and escalated the situation. One of the judges, in a separate opinion, called the TACT team methods “appalling.”

National Zucchini Bread Day is just around the corner. The owner of Lilee’s Gourmet Bakery in Bartlett has expanded into Memphis grocery stores and supermarkets.

This Saturday it is the Kaleidoscope festival in Binghamptona multicultural food gathering that is working specifically to help refugees.

A recap of Center City Revenue Finance Corp. action from Tuesday on the sale of the Sheraton convention center hotel and the move by the Oden marketing firm to Vance Avenue.

And a prestigious architecture award for the Big River Crossing – specifically its lighting system.

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