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VOL. 132 | NO. 69 | Thursday, April 6, 2017

Dries

Bill Dries

Last Word: Lawsons Exit, LaRose Lessons and No Medicaid Expansion This Year

By Bill Dries

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The Lawson Brothers exit Tigers basketball seeking a release from the University of Memphis. The statement from Dedric and K.J. Lawson was all sweetness and light and apparently about as sincere as one of those interviews where players and coaches declare that if they will just play hard and put more points on the board than the other team then they should win.

But a Tweet from K.J. Lawson including this: “Two middle fingers as I make a exit” -- seemed closer to the real sentiment. Tigers Coach Tubby Smith stuck to “disappointed” for his reaction.

Plenty of discussion about this in Tiger Land and plenty more to come with a couple of other shoes to drop in the off season. The future of their father, Keelon Lawson, who is on the Tigers basketball staff. And does Dedric Lawson declare for the NBA draft this summer? And what will happen during the off season toward a rebuilt Tigers team next fall.

Don Wade goes deeper in the shoe closet to include the possibility of Markel Crawford leaving and the other two Lawson brothers.

The Germantown school board approved a contract Wednesday evening on land at Forest Hill Irene and Poplar Pike for a new elementary school. But the board still had quite a discussion about how to continue talks with Shelby County Schools to make a deal on getting Germantown Elementary and/or Middle Schools. The debate is over who should be involved in those discussions and who should not on the Germantown side of the table.

More details of the $200 million Carter USA development proposed for the 32-acre site west of Saddle Creek including a 40,000 square foot theater that could be IMAX and split opinions among Germantown citizens on the development which cleared the Germantown Planning Commission this week.

A Bartlett shopping center between Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett and Wolfchase Mall sells for $4.8 million to Faropoint Investments, the latest investment in the Memphis area by the Israeli company.

A group of third, fourth and fifth graders at LaRose Elementary got a primer on protesting Tuesday – the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination – and there were a few unexpected turns in the lesson plan. And, of course, the unexpected is a regular part of protest. In this case it was several police cars showing up as police heightened their visibility noticeably Tuesday at several observances of the anniversary.

The director of the city’s public library system, Keenon McCloy, talks about the “renaissance” in the library system starting with Cloud901 and moving into libraries becoming an experience. McCloy also talks about her journey in city government that started with running the transition office in 1991 for Memphis Mayor-elect Willie Herenton and the controversial start of her tenure at the library. A decade into her tenure at the library she is the recipient of the annual Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Award.

In the Tennessee Legislature:

No Medicaid expansion in Tennessee this year. The Democratic sponsor of the measure in the state House pulled it this week in Nashville.

In his “View From The Hill” column, our Nashville correspondent, Sam Stockard, puts more meat on the bones including a long list of questions and what ifs as well as House Speaker Beth Harwell saying Gov. Bill Haslam should renegotiate the terms of a Medicaid expansion with the new administration. She sees what she termed “wiggle room” for possibly an expansion through an adjustment of the financial qualifications for TennCare, our version of Medicaid in Tennessee.

Late word Wednesday that a de-annexation bill was delayed n Senate committee with an amendment from Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville that would exempt any city from the law -- should it pass -- if they have started a voluntary de-annexation process before New Year's Day 2018. The amendment is a requirement the city of Memphis could already check the box on as the terms of Norris' amendment stand at present.

Chalkbeat reports the voucher bill of state Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown has stalled in the House over a move to take out a requirement that private schools accepting the voucher money must meet TNReady student achievement testing standards.

What began as a bill that allows state Senators to raise campaign funds during recesses in even-year sessions of the Legislature has now turned into a bill that allows an incumbent state Senator to raise double the amount of money from supporters than they can currently. That’s by resetting the totaling of campaign receipts every two years instead of every four years.

Back to sports, Thunder over the Grizz Wednesday at the Forum 103-100 with three more games on the schedule in the regular season. Here is info of Grizz playoff tickets.

And some notes from the St. Louis Cardinals visit to the city last weekend toward what it will take to get the city’s favorite Major League Baseball team back in the playoffs after missing last season.

By the way, the Redbirds open the season on the road Thursday and open at home next Tuesday.

UT Health Science Center has a new associate vice chancellor. She is Susan Davies and she comes to Memphis from Appalachian State University.

Jesse Cook, the Canadian guitarist best known for his PBS concert special, is booked April 27 to play the New Daisy on Beale.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 64 151 1,493
MORTGAGES 45 105 1,152
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 5 19 209
BUILDING PERMITS 201 410 3,466
BANKRUPTCIES 35 119 872
BUSINESS LICENSES 9 32 361
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0