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VOL. 132 | NO. 154 | Friday, August 4, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Primary Care, Weirich On Twitter and Tigers Offense

By Bill Dries

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Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich has been responding by Twitter for the last two days to the New York Times Magazine article about the Noura Jackson case that went up online earlier this week. Using the hashtag “ProCrimeNYTimes,” Weirich @ShelbyCountyDA -- tweeted Wednesday that the long read is “a blatant effort to create sympathy for the defendant while demonizing prosecutors.”

Other passages: “Everytime def was asked her whereabouts the night of her mother’s murder, she gave a different answer.” “Armed with a gun neighbor runs with her to the house. Neighbor was surprised when Def ran in the house ahead of him. There was no intruder.” “911 operator asked def if her mother – who was covered in blood - had been shot def answered no. how would she know that.” “When prosecutors discovered their human error, PROSECUTORS immediately advised defense and court voluntarily” “When defendant’s conviction was reversed, Weirich asked a special prosecutor to handle. The def pleaded guilty to killing her mother.”

Meanwhile, the reporter who wrote the piece, Emily Bazelon, on The Permanent Record, the podcast of Just City. This was recorded before the Twitter responses.

The new vice chancellor for health affairs at UTHSC, Dr. David Stern, has a lot to say about primary care physicians and the practice of primary care medicine that is different from what we’ve been hearing from other parts of the Memphis medical community – namely, that we need to encourage more physicians to go into primary care practice. Stern, who started his new duties at UT this week, tells us that even the best primary care isn’t good enough to decrease costs, emergency room visits and readmissions. He says integrate behavioral health into primary care and there will be a big difference.

Here comes the new school year, starting Monday in most places within this county of seven public school districts – eight with the Achievement School District – charter schools, private schools and the relationship among all of them. More comments from Lakeland Mayor Wyatt Bunker on the newest school in the county that opens there Monday and SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson on the second year of the Whitehaven Empowerment Zone and the district’s relationship with charter schools in particular.

Usually we hear from FedEx about Christmas shopping and package delivery a little bit later than this, but FedEx announced Thursday that it is dropping special charges for most packages shipped in the holiday season. And the announcement is a reaction to competition between FedEx and UPS.

Second quarter results from Jernigan Capital Inc. show net income for the quarter of $5 million and $236 million in new development investments in the self-storage sector.

In our Friday Sports Section:

Don Wade on Tigers football offense for the season that begins in a month.

And some thoughts in the “Press Box” column on match-ups like UCLA-Memphis and their value or lack of value, which depends on which team you are talking about.

David Climer on Big Orange’s quarterback quandary.

Terry McCormick on the politics of coming back from an injury in the NFL.

No vote at Thursday’s meeting of the Community Redevelopment Agency on expanding the Uptown tax increment financing – or TIF – district to include parts beyond Uptown proper. Uptown residents wanted assurances that the money raised over several years from the TIF in Uptown – about $95 million -- is used in Uptown exclusively and they want the assurances in writing. This was an issue that came up in council chairman Berlin Boyd’s town hall meeting at Greenlaw Community Center a week ago

“Behind The Headlines” is all about economic development incentives – PILOTs and TIFs -- for retail projects and projects smaller in scope than a new corporate HQ or manufacturing plant. Our guests are Shawn Massey of The Shopping Center Group and Reid Dulberger of EDGE. The show airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker via CBS reacting to leaked transcripts of President Donald Trump’s conversations with foreign heads of state. In short, it is find the leakers and fire them.

Vice President Mike Pence in Nashville Thursday for the Tennessee Republican Party’s Statesmen’s Dinner says Republicans will continue to try to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Tennessean's report.

In the race for Governor, specifically the Republican primary – Bill Lee names former state GOP party chairman Chris Devaney to run his campaign.

Meanwhile, four of the cities getting money from the U.S. Justice Department to fight gun violence has been told they don’t get the federal money until they give federal immigration authorities access to local jails and notify them before releasing inmates wanted for violating immigration laws. Memphis is not one of the four cities.

A guest column from Andre Fowlkes of Start Co. on “entrepreneurial problem solving.” Fowlkes will be among the panelists at our Aug. 17 Newsmakers Seminar on Startups along with Jessica Buffington of FrontDoor and marketing strategist Susan Akil Ewing. Our keynote speaker at the Brooks will be Scott Vogel, executive director of Regional One Health Center for Innovation.

The cover story by Don Wade in the new issue of our weekly, The Memphis News, is about sustainability efforts at the Shelby County Corrections Center that have really taken a leap at what used to be known as the Penal Farm. The PDF of the entire new issue is up now on this website. The hard copies go in the racks Friday morning and the cover story goes online here Friday afternoon.

PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225