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VOL. 132 | NO. 80 | Friday, April 21, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: The Day After, $21.9M More for SCS and First Tennessee Overdrafts

By Bill Dries

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Take That For Data, Indeed. The Grizz crack the century mark over the Spurs 105-94 in a motivated Game 3 of the playoff series before a loud and proud Forum. Game 4 is Saturday on Beale. Meanwhile, Markel Crawford chooses. He will be leaving the Tigers basketball program for Ole Miss.

Thursday was the day after for the Tennessee Legislaturethe day after the passage of the most watched bill of the session, Gov. Bill Haslam’s overhauled gas tax bill. There is still some tweaking to do and a couple of other decisions for legislators to make before Haslam signs it into law. No signing ceremony has been set and it looks like the House and Senate will put the finishing touches on this Monday with floor votes in both chambers.

Also on the day after, the Lee Sisters of Memphis were on capitol hill to be honored for their activism in the 1960s. The sisters featured in Jet magazine in 1965 as the “most arrested family” in the country were honored earlier this month with a historical plaque for their numerous arrests during the sit-in movement of the early 1960s in Memphis. The plaque is on the Main Street Mall near the Gayoso intersection.

The rest of the legislative session should move pretty quickly – in fact, so quickly that some important legislation – if not as visible as the gas tax bill – will probably march off to its fate good or bad and not get noticed immediately. As we said the last time we met here, there are a lot of campaigns on the 2018 ballot that begin or are built around Wednesday’s passage of the main part of the gas tax bill.

Our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard reports there is a letter circulating among legislators urging vigilance on the outsourcing of state jobs in particular as an April 28 deadline nears for a state contract agreement with the firm of JLL.

The Greater Memphis Chamber rolled out a goal Thursday of 600 new business to business contracts by the end of this year for minority and women and locally owned businesses – 300 for each category. And the announcement came to a group of small business owners with a pretty blunt appeal by one business owner to go local and stay local.

The airport unveils its $214 million plan to overhaul the B Concourse and lays out how the transition will happen over several years as the airport continues to operate on a daily basis. The plan is drawn to match the airport’s conversion in recent years from a place where passengers connect from one flight to another on their way to and from somewhere else to an “origin and destination” airport where most passengers are beginning or ending their journeys. From the renderings it looks like quite a change in surroundings and décor for a terminal where you can sometimes look at an old picture and find where in the terminal the picture was taken. That’s not a knock either. Roy Harrover’s design has served this city well for more than 50 years now.

In Bartlett Friday morning, the city formally opens the first leg of the Fletcher Creek Greenway. And we catch up on a tract of land in Fayette County by LaGrange that is being added to the Ghost River Natural Area.

Shelby County Schools budget proposal was already a milestone in the last seven turbulent years of historic change in public education locally. It got better this week when some more specific funding and revenue numbers came in to the tune of $21.9 million more in revenue from various sources than the school system originally anticipated. That means SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson’s plan for $47 million of funding for turn-around programs in failing schools and in particular schools on the cusp of either getting better or closing becomes a $68 million plan.

The additional funding will go to expand the set of 20 summer learning academies, add a summer ACT camp, 20 bus monitors, and a Career Technical Education academy.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says Donald Trump hasn’t moderated as President. He also told us on “Behind The Headlines” that Trump isn’t the conservative the campaign stump speeches might have led you to believe he was. Here’s our preview on that point as well as Syria and North Korea with the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The program airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV.

The cover story by Don Wade in our weekly, The Memphis News, sets the table, so to speak, for next week's RegionSmart Summit the Urban Land Institute has organized and that The Daily News is sponsoring. The group of more than 200 people, even without the gaggle of mayors that will be holding their Mid-South Mayors' Council as part of the gathering, will be hearing some new ideas from elsewhere. And they will be talking in a realistic way about an emerging new definition of regionalism. It's not without its challenges and its elements of competition.

 A PDF of the new issue in its entirety is up now on this website. The hard copies of the issue hit the streets Friday morning and the online version of the cover story goes up here Friday afternoon.

First Tennessee Bank in Circuit Court Thursday where Judge Mary Wagner signed off on a settlement in which the bank puts up $16.8 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over how the bank posted debit card transactions – highest dollar amount to lowest – that the plaintiffs argued made bank customers more likely to incur overdraft fees. This is a 2011 lawsuit and First Tennessee admits no wrongdoing in the settlement. But the bank has since changed the high to low posting policy.

In our Friday sports section:

Better box office numbers at the start of the Redbirds season and Stubby Clapp gets used to a desk job.

In “The Press Box”, Wade has some predictions for next week’s NFL draft and reviews the ever-changing Tigers basketball off-season roster

David Climer on the definition of “good locker room” with a reference to the Titans one and only season at the Liberty Bowl, which he calls “alleged home games.”

Speaking of the Titans, Terry McCormick lays out the Robinson-Mularkey Plan and more kudos for GM Jon Robinson who probably needs to consider running for mayor of Nashville or Governor, which comes up sooner.

Bringing it closer to Memphis, Dave Link on Trey Smith, the big freshman from Jackson, Tn. who is the only five-star recruit at the Big Orange this year. And a preview of Saturday’s spring game at Neyland.

All the way back here, Sunday is Rajun Cajun, the largest fundraiser for Porter-Leath featuring eight tons of fresh, still moving crawfish.

Philly rockers Low Cut Connie have a May Memphis date at Ardent Studios in Midtown. May 6 to be exact, as the Beale Street Music Festival is underway in Tom Lee Park. But they’ve already been in town and at Ardent. To mark one year since the death of Prince, the band released a cover of Prince’s “Controversy.” The rest of the new album drops May 19.

Speaking of the BSMF, a change of headliners in the May 6 line up with 2 Chainz subbing for Ludacris, who cancelled at week’s end.

PROPERTY SALES 69 163 12,921
MORTGAGES 35 85 8,088
BUILDING PERMITS 109 531 30,465
BANKRUPTCIES 18 85 6,149