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VOL. 132 | NO. 244 | Monday, December 11, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Haslam and Cohen on Tax Reform, More than Food and Charles McNutt

By Bill Dries

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For some of you this is not the week before the week before Christmas. It is Star Wars week, as the latest sequel in the sci-fi series begins its run in theaters across the country. Along those lines, there is a social media slide show of 1970s images of George Lucas telling the story of what an uphill climb the original Star Wars was – the making and the distribution. And around Planet Memphis, the premiere certainly wasn’t that big a deal. There was an advance screening at the old Memphian theater – now the Circuit Playhouse – that didn’t draw a whole lot of attention.

I got a ticket to it from someone with kids who couldn’t go and couldn’t interest his kids in going. And my first thought was something along the lines of: “A free ticket. I don’t really care what the movie is. I just want to see a movie before everyone else does.” Plus it was the Memphian and the charm of the Malco Quartet at Highland and Poplar was wearing a bit thin at the time. Sorry, Malco. RIP Quartet.

As the weekend began on Planet Memphis, The Grizz hired Greg Buckner as assistant coach to interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. Before Memphis, Buckner was coach of the Houston Rockets 2011-2016 and was an assistant to Bickerstaff there for two seasons before that.

Don Wade on Andrew Harrison -- the stand-in for an injured Mike Conley.

The Grizz home stand is among the highlights of The Week Ahead, which is, of course, topped by the premiere of “The Last Jedi” starting Thursday in a city not so “far, far away.” … Never mind, let’s just stick with making Wookie noises.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says attempts at some kind of economic development incentives just for border areas of the state – including Memphis – are difficult after several attempts at something local leaders here have been pushing for. Haslam also says a limit on state and local tax deductions in the federal tax reform bill that is now in conference committee in D.C. could end up helping the Memphis side of the competition for economic development between Memphis and North Mississippi. One of the key obstacles to a reconciled bill that the House and Senate can agree to is how much of the deduction should be done away with.

An op-ed from U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis on the tax bill in the making.

Phil Bredesen’s first interview since declaring last week for the 2018 U.S. Senate race. Bredesen says don't look for a lot of anti-Trump rhetoric.

Columbia Republican Sheila Butt will not be seeking re-election after four terms in the state House.

Just in time for your holiday season entertaining consideration, Andy Meek’s cover story in our weekly, The Memphis News, surveys the local food scene, which is always growing. And one foodie about town says in the story that it’s no longer enough just to open a restaurant. The atmosphere and the experience are necessary for sustained success in a very competitive environment. And the story looks at alternating food offerings at places known more for beer or for entertainment than the food offered.

A $35-million building permit for a maintenance facility on the south end of Memphis International Airport’s property.

The death of Dr. Charles McNutt announced Saturday morning just a few days short of what would have been his 89th birthday. In the posting of McNutt’s death on its Facebook page, the Tennessee Division of Archaeology said his “contributions to the archaeology of Tennessee and the southeast are too numerous to list.”

McNutt was an archaeologist and expert on the prehistoric southeast United States. He came to what is now the University of Memphis in 1964 and taught for more than 25 years there as well as conducted research and assisted in valuable findings that better defined the cultures that lived at Chucalissa, the pre-DeSoto Native American mound settlement in southwest Memphis we wrote about in a recent cover story for The Memphis News.

The excavation site at Chucalissa is owned by the state but run by the University of Memphis and looking back at McNutt’s role in the work the university undertook there with its students is a reminder that there is more to be learned and understood in this forgotten treasure that was Memphis before there was a Memphis. It is time to remember Chucalissa again and make it a part of the present. A few words from McNutt himself in an addendum he wrote seven years ago to an otherwise very technical “assessment of the mound summit investigations” – found in the gift shop at Chucalissa – “This is a story that has an excellent beginning – but only that.”

“Johnny became a man through his errors.” One of the eulogies for Johnny Hallyday – who despite his monumental sales figures was largely unknown outside of France and its colonial empire. None of the second part of that mattered as France turned out over the weekend for his funeral in Paris including former presidents and the current prime minister. Johnny Hallyday outlived his primary musical influence by 40 years. The Guardian on the French Elvis Presley.

The Memphis News Almanac: Ted Kennedy at the DNC Mid Term in Memphis, The Chamber’s 1965 wish list, West Magnolia Heights and Barbara Park and 101 Flatboats.

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