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VOL. 132 | NO. 251 | Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Daily Digest

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Grizzlies’ Conley Out Until Sometime in 2018

The Memphis Grizzlies’ latest medical update indicates point guard Mike Conley is not close to returning to the lineup.

Conley has not played since Nov. 13, and the update provided by the organization said he is continuing to get therapy and treatment for soreness in his left heel. The statement also noted he has not begun on-court activities yet and that another update will come in about two weeks.

Forward/center Brandan Wright, however, is close to playing. Wright, who has been out with a groin injury, has resumed on-court work and was projected to play before the end of the week.

Guard/forward Wayne Selden, who has been sidelined by a right quad injury, also has started on-court work and his return was projected for two weeks out.

Memphis (9-21) next plays on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at Golden State and Thursday, Dec. 21, at Phoenix.

The Grizzlies’ next home game is Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m. vs. the Los Angeles Clippers. Overall, seven of the Grizzlies’ next eight games will be played on the road.

– Don Wade

‘Mountaintop’ Sculpture to be Moved Off Mall

Memphis’ longest-standing memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is moving from the Main Street Mall to one of two new memorial areas.

The city will move “The Mountaintop,” a 1977 sculpture by Richard Hunt, to the corner of Second Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, at what the city has described as a place for reflection.

The city also is building I Am A Man Plaza, a memorial plaza at Pontotoc Avenue and Hernando Street, across Pontotoc from Clayborn Temple. The centerpiece of the plaza will be a newly commissioned sculpture with the words “I Am A Man” as its centerpiece.

“The Mountaintop” is currently on the Main Street Mall between Poplar and Exchange avenues.

Both areas are expected to be ready in advance of activities in April marking the 50th anniversary of the sanitation workers strike that brought King to Memphis in 1968.

– Bill Dries

Auction of Elvis Artifacts to Feature Jewelry, Gifts

The earliest known Elvis Presley concert poster and jewelry Presley gave the wife and son of his personal physician are among the highlights of next month’s Auction at Graceland.

The auction, set for Jan. 6 during the annual birthday celebration at Graceland, will feature 271 lots of rare Elvis artifacts. As with past Graceland auctions, all the items are owned by third-party collectors and are researched and certified by Graceland Authenticated. The mansion and all artifacts in the Graceland Archives are owned by Lisa Marie Presley and are not for sale.

The 1954 poster for the concert at the Eagle’s Nest, one of Presley’s first paid gigs, is estimated to sell for $15,000 to $20,000.

The auction also includes numerous pieces of jewelry, including a TCB necklace – short for “Taking Care of Business” – that Presley gave Dean Nichopoulous, son of physician Dr. George Nichopoulos, often referred to as Dr. Nick. The TCB necklace is expected to draw $20,000 to $30,000. A necklace with a TLC design (a variation on TCB) Presley gave Dr. Nick’s wife, Edna, is estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.

A platinum diamond ring Presley gave former Miss Tennessee Linda Thompson while they were dating in the early 1970s is expected to draw $30,000 to $40,000, while a pair of Grand Prix-style sunglasses he gave his karate instructor, bodyguard and friend, Ed Parker, is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.

Other highlights include a leather rocking chair from the Jungle Room at Graceland ($10,000 to $15,000); the signed title to Presley’s Circle G Ranch in Mississippi ($10,000 to $20,000); the wooden desk from Presley’s home office in Palm Springs, California ($10,000 to $20,000); and an engraved 1922 Colt .32-caliber revolver Presley gave tour promoter Tom Hulett ($5,000 to $10,000).

Select artifacts will be on display at the Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment complex now through Jan. 4, and on Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at The Guest House at Graceland. The Jan. 6 auction will be held in the Guest House theater, and online registration and bidding are now open at gracelandauctions.com.

– Daily News staff

AutoZone Executive Announces Retirement

A key AutoZone executive is retiring.

Jim Griffith, AutoZone’s senior vice president for store operations, customer satisfaction, will retire from the Memphis-based auto parts retailer early next year. He joined AutoZone in 1987 as a part-timer and has held several positions in store operations, including store manager, district manager, regional manager and vice president of stores.

Griffith also spent seven years leading the store development team and since 2015 has successfully led the store operations team as senior vice president.

AutoZone chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes wished Griffith well in a prepared statement and added that Griffith “has developed strong leaders who are prepared to lead this organization to continued success well into the future.”

– Andy Meek

Viral Tweet Raises Nearly $185,000 for St. Jude

A Washington State University student’s viral tweet has resulted in raising nearly $185,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The spontaneous fundraising campaign began Nov. 25 when Washington State sophomore Danni Messina tweeted to her 1,617 followers that she would donate 50 cents to St. Jude for each retweet and a quarter every time someone favorited the tweet.

It went viral in a matter of hours, ultimately receiving more than 476,000 likes and 205,000 retweets.

As news of her pledge quickly spread across the country, she set up a GoFundMe campaign to reach her goal for St. Jude. More than 1,600 people contributed to the campaign, raising nearly $100,000 in three weeks.

St. Jude partner Kmart took notice and got involved to support her efforts, creating a “Danni Messina Day” in its stores Dec. 2 that raised $86,418 for St. Jude in Messina’s name.

For her part, Messina dipped into her savings and contributed $1,000 to St. Jude.

After the tweet went viral, Messina told her social media followers she “did something really, really crazy, but something that’s been close to my heart for a long time.” As a member of Tri Delta, St. Jude Partner of the Year in 2014, Messina was already familiar with the hospital’s work.

The Memphis hospital is welcoming Messina for a tour and meeting with a St. Jude patient during which her final fundraising total will be revealed.

“It has warmed my heart talking to patients and learning about their stories, but also seeing so many people help out this amazing cause,” Messina said in a release. “It started with a tweet but it’s so much more than that – it’s people coming together to make a difference this holiday season.”

– Daily News staff

MATA Reduces Bus Schedule for Christmas, New Year’s

The Memphis Area Transit Authority will operate the city’s bus system on a Sunday schedule for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with the rubber-tired trolley buses out of service on both days.

The customer service counters at the three transit centers, Airways, American Way and William Hudson, will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s, along with the MATA Call Center Hotline.

– Bill Dries

Tenn. AG Issues Opinion on Immigrant Tuition Break

The state attorney general says Tennessee’s public colleges and universities can’t be left to decide whether to offer in-state tuition breaks for students whose parents brought or kept them in the country illegally.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery’s opinion says state lawmakers would have to pass a bill explicitly making those immigrants eligible.

The opinion addresses state legislation proposing that the boards of individual schools determine eligibility for in-state tuition. The opinion says the bill doesn’t expressly mention “unlawful aliens” and wouldn’t leave the decision to legislators, and federal law requires both.

The proposal to let individual institutions make in-state tuition decisions failed earlier this year, as did a bill to grant those students in-state tuition across all public colleges and universities.

Both bills will likely be considered again in 2018.

– The Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 207 263 9,865
MORTGAGES 197 246 10,862
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 12 1,301
BUILDING PERMITS 138 686 21,643
BANKRUPTCIES 0 256 6,219
BUSINESS LICENSES 29 93 4,032
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 25 85 2,977
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 71 2,092