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VOL. 132 | NO. 245 | Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Awaiting A Sell-Out, Public Art and Controversy and Southaven's Triangle

By Bill Dries

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The Grizz fall to 8-19 with a loss Monday to the Miami Heat 107-82 at the Forum. It is Tigers basketball Tuesday at the Forum with the Albany Great Danes. Meanwhile the Tigers football appearance in the Dec. 30 AutoZone Liberty Bowl is moving toward a sellout. The Tigers have sold 15,000 tickets to the bowl game including an initial allotment of 8,300. And offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey announced Monday he is leaving to take the same post at Texas A&M after nine seasons in Memphis.

A really good discussion about public art on “Behind The Headlines.” Controversies on elected bodies about public art that uses city funds in particular are nothing new. There are probably some city council members who still question what the metallic modern sculpture on the southwestern corner of the Cannon Center represents. For the record, the 2003 Vito Acconci sculpture is titled “Roof Like Fluid Flung Over the Plaza” and it is inspired by the eternally turbulent waters of the Mississippi River. The work itself is still capable of generating its own turbulence.

But the more recent controversies have been over the use of local artists and some zombie-like characters included in a set of murals in the Lamar and Willet area. There will be another city council discussion about this next week. Here are the leaders of the two organizations involved in advance of that discussion.

A couple of legal notes both from Shelby County Chancery Court Part 2:

Chancellor Jim Kyle has denied Graceland’s motion for an expedited hearing on its claim that the Memphis Grizzlies, through Memphis Basketball LLC, should not be able to stop Graceland from pursuing a 6,000 seat concert venue on its Whitehaven campus. Graceland sought a court order that would ban Memphis Basketball from “issuing threats to sue or otherwise cause harm to the city, the county, or EDGE if they move forward with approving Graceland’s Supplemental Economic Plan and the current phase of the Graceland project.” Kyle’s ruling doesn’t mean the lawsuit is over. It does mean Graceland isn't likely to move on the project at least for now. Did I say, at least? – at least.

Kyle also effectively ended the role Chancery Court plays in the dispute over opioid litigation between the county commission and county mayor Mark Luttrell. He has dissolved the stay on the Circuit Court lawsuit that names 24 opioid manufacturers and distributors as defendants since Luttrell followed through on a motion to intervene in that lawsuit. Kyle saying in his ruling that for his court’s purpose, it doesn’t matter how Circuit Court deals with the motion to intervene – its role in this is finished.

In our Regional Business Emphasis:

The Southaven triangle of Landers Center, Snowden Grove and Tanger Outlet and the mix of retail, recreation and entertainment it embodies.

Baptist Memorial’s plan for an Arlington hospital will continue in the new year with an appeal of a state decision against the emergency department it wants to build there. And its competitors are certain to continue opposing it.

And a survey of construction projects underway across the Mid-South from the Lake District to Hillwood and the Port of West Memphis.

This is deadline week for signing up for Obamacare and there are a few glitches so far along the lines of incorrect information about the availability of health care plans in certain states.

Apple owns Shazam – the song recognition app that some of you can’t live without – and the question is can you still get it as a separate app when the $400 million deal closes.

Free NFL games coming to Yahoo now that Verizon owns Yahoo.

Bitcoin frenzy at the top of the week as the alternative currency debuted on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. The trading frenzy here isn’t actually bitcoin but its future direction.

Setting the stage for Janet Yellen’s final press conference Wednesday as Fed chair with lots of speculation about her successor, Jerome Powell, who takes the position with several new Fed board members.

PROPERTY SALES 74 196 20,828
MORTGAGES 86 244 23,989
BUILDING PERMITS 138 453 43,046
BANKRUPTCIES 64 174 13,354