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VOL. 132 | NO. 164 | Friday, August 18, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Ouster History, Lake District in Foreclosure and Crosstown

By Bill Dries

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Five of the seven flags that fly on the southern tip of Mud Island River Park are folded and stored as of Thursday. The Riverfront Development Corporation took down the five flags that have flown over the turf we now call Memphis – before and since it became a city – including a version of the Confederate flag – leaving only the U.S. flag and the Tennessee flag. This was a reaction to the week-long and counting aftermath from the violence in Charlottesville.

It’s not the first time a Confederate flag has been lowered at the set of flagpoles on the southern end of the park. The better-known “Stars and Bars” rebel flag that once flew on Mud Island was removed decades ago during a local controversy about Confederate symbols.

Here’s a round up of where the local reaction on this question is as the week is about to end. And there is every indication this will be a busy weekend on several fronts of the local face of this national issue. Our piece also looks specifically at Mayor Jim Strickland’s point about his oath of office and what happens if he gives an order that is judged at some point to be a violation of state law – notably the state law against removing Confederate monuments. A previous Memphis Mayor has been ousted for refusing to enforce a state law – a very well-known Memphis Mayor even 100 years after the fact.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee questions President Donald Trump’s competence and ability to accurately read the nation’s sentiment. His harshest criticism of Trump yet, made during a Thursday recess speech in Chattanooga, yet there was what some commentators have called “wiggle room” in his remarks. Here is the Huffington Post take.

And while Trump went after two other Republican Senators Thursday for criticism of him, he has not done that with Corker – at least as of around 11 p.m. Thursday Memphis time. Covered? Covered.

Memphis Cong. Steve Cohen says he is drawing up articles of impeachment for Trump based on several days of conflicting Trump react to Charlottesville and white supremacy and Confederate monuments.

Lakeland’s ambitious Lake District project , a mixed-use development of the 160-acre site of the old Belz Outlet Mall and surrounding property is off about a year and a half after the California-based developer, Yehuda Netanel and his Gilad Development company, unveiled the plan. The property is due to be sold in foreclosure Sept. 8 on the steps of the Judge D’Army Bailey Courthouse.

Meanwhile, the parking garage part of the Bakery Project clears the Downtown Parking Authority with the City Council and County Commission the next stop. And Henry Turley gets involved in the improvements to the railroad overpass at Central Station.

The National Civil Rights Museum’s Freedom Awards is moving to the Orpheum in October as the Memphis Cook Convention Center prepares for renovations. And the award recipients are a trio that reflect the awards move to cross generational lines.

In the Friday Sports Section:

Don Wade’s Press Box column is about baseball’s “real” home run records and this season’s contender to break those records.

The Tigers offensive line working hard in the heat in advance of the season opener at the Liberty Bowl.

Meanwhile, the University of Memphis extending and adding to a season football ticket discount for recent alums. The offer is good through Aug. 30.

Trouble for a former Tiger athlete.

David Climer on freshman running backs – three of them – for Big Orange football.

Associated Press on the Tennessee Supreme Court decision allowing attorneys for two former UT football players to get a look at social media communications from witnesses in their upcoming rape trial.

“Behind The Headlines” is a discussion about the Fairgrounds with Fred Jones Jr. of the Southern Heritage Classic, Marvin Stockwell of Friends of the Fairgrounds and Paul Young of the city’s Housing and Community Development Division. It’s a really good discussion of what happens next and why. The show airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV.

The cover story in the new issue of our weekly, The Memphis News, is all about Crosstown – Crosstown Concourse and Sears Crosstown and how both were made. The PDF of the new issue is already up on this very website. The hard copies are on the street Friday morning. The cover story goes online Friday afternoon.

And here is our Daily News advancer on Saturday’s formalities at Crosstown Concourse.

A possible first treatment for ALS and a related form of dementia known as FTD. That could be the upshot of new research at St. Jude and the Mayo Clinic where an ALS breakthrough has identified the mechanism in ALS that kills neurons. The finding from the collaboration were published this week in “Neuron,” a scientific journal.

Lawsuit filed in Nashville over the White County arrangement to reduce sentences there if those convicted agree to undergo sterilization procedures.

In the digging a deeper hole department… In an attempt to be clever when last we met, my note on Health Sciences Park and UT Health Science Center ended with the phrase Faux Pas Corrige, which I thought was French for mistake corrected based on a French translation of the word corrected, assuming faux pas was mistake and that part of the translation was covered. Not so. Faux pas corrige translates to fake not corrected. The proper French translation is Erreur corrigee. The first way sounded better but alors ca va.

Rhodes College opens its 169th academic year Friday which is the first convocation for the college’s recently-named president Marjorie Hass. By the numbers, 516 first-year students on campus in the class of 2021. They come to the city from 41 states and 69 percent of them come from outside Tennessee. The largest group of students from outside Tennessee are from Texas, followed by Georgia, Louisiana, Florida and Missouri.

PROPERTY SALES 50 226 2,557
MORTGAGES 44 145 1,731
BUILDING PERMITS 204 569 5,701