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VOL. 132 | NO. 84 | Thursday, April 27, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Election Day, Game 6 and School Vouchers Get Rolled

By Bill Dries

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Intermission in the NBA playoffs as tipoff of Game 6 approaches Thursday evening at the Forum. Look at all of the clouds as the lights dimming and letting you know it’s time to take your seats for the show that is reigniting the local passion for basketball.

Some thoughts from Don Wade before Game 6 about what this all means off the court in that Memphis television viewers get a glimpse of on both ends of the commercial breaks. And a few words on it from one of the speakers at the Urban Land Institute RegionSmart Summit earlier Thursday two blocks west at Halloran Centre. And David Fizdale, who during this series has cemented, ratified and certified his place as spiritual leader of the Grizz and in local basketball lore, talks about being stubborn.

Election Day in the east Thursday. Some 51,000 of you can vote Thursday in the special primary elections for state House District 95 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. That is provided you were not among the 2,500 citizens who cast your ballot during the early voting period. Here are the details.

If you think you settled this last year, you are right. Voters in this same district, which covers Collierville, Germantown and Eads, elected Republican newcomer Mark Lovell over Republican incumbent Curry Todd in last year’s legislative primaries and Lovell had no opposition in the general election that followed. Come this January and the start of the legislative session, Lovell didn’t even last a full month in the capital. He resigned in February after he was accused of inappropriately touching someone. Lovell still denies any wrongdoing. The House investigation concluded he probably did what he was accused of.

After the polls close at 7 p.m., we will provide live coverage of the vote count @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, -- where Democracy lives -- and tell you who advances to the June 15 special general election.

Railgarten is half open and half closed after the Board of Adjustment voted Wednesday to send the mix of indoor and outdoor bars, bands and ping pong back to the Memphis City Council.

The world’s largest gas fermentation facility broke ground on Presidents Island Wednesday where the Cargill corn mill facility once operated on 37 acres. NouriTech is a joint venture between Cargill and Calysta that will make FeedKind, a protein source used in commercial fish farms as well as for livestock and pets – 200,000 metric tons of it a year when the plant is at full capacity. That should be in 2018 with a second phase of construction in 2020.

Meanwhile, Mueller Industries Inc. is set to move its Memphis headquarters to Collierville’s Schilling Farms development in a new 55,000 square foot building. Mueller makes copper and copper alloy tubing, fittings, valves and other items used in plumbing and HVAC systems.

Fred’s, the Memphis-headquartered discount retailer turned health care and pharmacy giant, still waiting for the Feds to decide on its plans to buy what will likely be hundreds of Rite-Aid stores from Walgreens. But the company did reach an agreement this week with a critical activist investor with a 25 percent stake in the company.

He’s not a corporate HQ, but Dr. Guy Reed is the chairman of UT’s Department of Medicine here and interim executive vice president of Methodist Le Bonheur. He’s leaving both to become dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.

Probably to no one’s surprise, the tallest building in the city also remains the tallest empty, vacant and fenced-off building in the city. A scheduled foreclosure auction of the 100 North Main Building on the steps of the courthouse was delayed again Wednesday for the seventh time. The new date for the foreclosure sale is June 7.

In the Tennessee Legislature:

The school voucher bill that would apply only to Shelby County and was opposed by every public school system in the county got “rolled” Wednesday on Capitol Hill – that means it is postponed for the year but is likely to come up again next year.

Our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard in his “View From The Hill” column has more follow up on the gas tax bill, specifically what it means in the 2018 elections and how voters will react then to what is in the IMPROVE Act.

The state House minority leader, Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley, who is considering a bit for Governor next year, has a bill for state education block grants that the Legislature will now take up in committee after the Haslam administration budget, which makes it a long-shot of sorts but not entirely out of the question.

A look ahead to budget hearings at City Hall starting next week and a recap of the budget basics in the proposal by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

Free eye exams being offered by veterinary ophthalmologists for service animals in the Memphis area.

Here is the Live at the Garden slate for the summer.

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173