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VOL. 132 | NO. 238 | Friday, December 1, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Lake District Recycling, The New First and The AAC 'Glass Ceiling'

By Bill Dries

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The U.S. Senate vote on a tax reform plan is now set for 10 a.m. our time Friday morning following more debate in D.C. that began Thursday as the trigger provision to raise tax rates if economic growth from the proposed tax cuts doesn't materialize was ruled out of order by the Senate parliamentarian. This was the provision on which the support of U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee hinged. And Corker is leading a group of deficit hawks whose block of votes is considered crucial in what happens to a proposal that was being reshaped as midnight approached. Here's Politico with comments from Corker as of late Thursday

For your Saturday morning planning purposes here is the course map for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. Lots of discussion this week about 5ks and marathons and street closings and the rules governing them. And that will be part of the discussion on “Behind The Headlines” with city council chairman Berlin Boyd and council members Kemp Conrad and Martavius Jones. We'll also cover Confederate monuments and Beale Street and an early look at budget season 2018.

All three council members say the move by council member Reid Hedgepeth to change the rules for runs and races will likely change by second and third readings of the ordinance and that other parts of the existing ordinance dealing with protests are not part of the effort. The show airs Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. on WKNO TV.

And a scene setter for the discussion of the Confederate monuments issue. Tami Sawyer, leader of the Take Them Down 901 effort, sent a letter Thursday to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and the two retired Tennessee Supreme Court justices who are the mediators in the controversy requesting “proportional representation” in the private discussions by her group and African-American citizens in general.

“The descendants of Forrest are represented. The Sons of the Confederacy are represented. This lends unequal representation to parties who are honoring the Forrest legacy.”

The developer of the Lake District project in Lakeland has met another milestone in the project on the site of the old Factory Outlet Mall at the Canada Road exit. Yehuda Netanel says he’s now assembling the homebuilders for the mixed use project. Plus Netanel tells us in the demolition of the mall, 45,000 tons of asphalt, concrete and masonry will be recycled for use as the road base in the new development to come.

It’s been just over 11 years since First United Methodist Church burned to the ground. And all these years later, the new sanctuary on the same site is heading for a planned opening in February. Eleven years is long enough in the way our memories work to perhaps forget what the old circa 1890 church looked like on that corner of Second and Poplar. The new church will include some of the old granite walls and some new elements as well as a bow to the ironwork frame that marked the project’s lull during the recession that followed the fire.

A most unusual squatter case from a few years back involving a $3 million house in East Memphis reached the Tennessee Supreme Court this week with a ruling in a case of first impression about a change in state law in 1989 that made real property part of the state theft statute.

In our Friday Sports Section:

Don Wade on the “glass ceiling” for football teams in the American Athletic Conference including our Tigers.

A look ahead to Saturday’s AAC title game in Orlando between the Tigers and UCF with a glance over the shoulder to the first UCF game of the season.

Put Steve Spurrier, Rocky Top’s version of Darth Vader, in the column of those who think former Vols quarterback and current USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin should be the next coach of Big Orange football.

Dave Link in Knoxville reviews a turbulent week at the UT athletic department in the search for a new coach.

Terry McCormick in Titantown on what’s wrong with Marcus Mariota in his third season there.

And a Florida sports agent who once represented Major League Baseball players Jordan and Justus Sheffield is contesting a $25,000 fine from the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office for failing to register as an athlete’s agent before he represented the Sheffield brothers.

More fallout from the problems with the ACT exam in some parts of Tennessee this past October, Lt. Gov. and Senate Speaker Randy McNally says the state could drop the use of the ACT in public schools and instead go with the rival SAT.

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital is the tip of the spear in a new coalition formed to combat the health problems that can come with substandard housing – health problems related to items like lead paint and water leaks. The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative has as its goal to improve the quality of housing in Memphis.

Researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center involved in the new American Heart Association guidelines for high blood pressure that set a lower threshold for defining high blood pressure. The study recommends a threshold of 130/80 compared to the long-held 140/90.

The cover story by Michael Waddell in our weekly, The Memphis News, is about the city’s medical device industry. The PDF of the new issue is on this website now. Hard copies hit the street Friday morning and the online version of the cover story goes up Friday afternoon.

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751