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VOL. 132 | NO. 30 | Friday, February 10, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Little Chairs in Longview, Police Pay Raise and Tiger Football Schedule

By Bill Dries

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The toys are in their cubbyholes. No stray Legos yet. The little chairs tucked neatly under little tables. The tall trees with their bare branches are much in need of little eyes inspecting their twisted branches and the shadows they make on the winter ground.

The green and blue curved walls of the Porter-Leath Early Childhood Academy are awaiting the taped-up, color saturated art work that truly signifies children have made the place their own.

The center formally opens in Longview Heights Friday morning. We were there for the groundbreaking a while back. And got a look around Thursday as workers put the last touches on the center for children four years old and under. Meanwhile, the teachers and those who will teach the teachers at what is also a professional development center specifically for day care and early child development workers, are already settling in. The academy is a move to improve the quality of day care across a city that has several hundred various centers and establish that these workers are also teachers who have an important educational mission.

Pearl’s Oyster House gets an annex – in Cordova. It’s going to be in what used to be the Hollywood Videos store back when video stores were a thing.

New 2017 housing numbers from Chandler Reports, the real estate information company that is part of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.:

January saw a 28 percent increase in total home sales for the area. The month also posted the largest number of new–home permits since the housing market crash nearly nine years ago. The most expensive homes by average home price were in the East Germantown ZIP code of 38139 -- $600,207. The most new home sales for January were in Cordova South (38018) – 14.

The number of mortgages in Shelby County for January went from 551 a year ago to 680, a 23 percent increase. That is an atypically busy start to the year as purchase mortgage volume hit $112 million for the month.

The Memphis Police Association billboard on Poplar Avenue that welcomes people to Memphis by noting the record 2016 homicide count is blending with the impasse ordinance as the union prepares to begin contract negotiations with the city. Meanwhile, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says his budget will include a pay raise for police – the third in two years.

The Tigers football 2017 schedule is out – seven home games at the Liberty Bowl, four games on television. The 12-game schedule starts Aug. 31 with Louisiana-Monroe at the Fairgrounds.

In our Friday Sports Section:

Don Wade on Tubby’s Temper and its effect on the basketball Tigers. And he looks at prospects for the baseball Tigers. Meanwhile, the baseball Tigers have new uniforms modeled by someone you saw in the Super Bowl.

David Climer on new offensive coordinator Larry Scott at Big Orange and the gamble Vols coach Butch Jones is taking with that choice.

Dave Link in Knoxville on UT football’s recruiting class for 2017 led by a five-star offensive tackle from Jackson, Tennessee – one of seven in-state players signed after 13 players in and out of state de-committed during the recruiting cycle.

In the Tennessee Legislature at the end of their work week:

State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville wants to talk with the Trump administration about refugee resettlement rules in Tennessee. The White House meeting is still being firmed up this week, according to our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard. And Norris's efforts on what has been a volatile issue in the Legislature comes against a dramatic backdrop nationally on the larger issue of immigration.

At week’s end the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had denied a request by Trump to lift a lower court ban on enforcement of the order that bans travel by immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries. The stay on enforcement remains in place at least until the larger issue of its constitutionality is decided, which could take much longer. Trump has vowed to appeal on the narrow issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Norris said before the appeals court ruling that there is nothing in that issue that prevents the legislature from reshaping the state’s refugee resettlement program.

The Legislature has hired its own attorney to challenge the existing refugee program implemented during the Obama administration after Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery declined to take the case citing the U.S. Constitution.

There are two new bills in the Tennessee Legislature that don’t look like they would affect the decision by the Tennessee Valley Authority to drill its own water wells to cool its new gas-fired power plant in southwest Memphis. But the two bills filed this week in Nashville are certainly a reaction to it. And they were telegraphed last month during a half-day tour state Senators Brian Kelsey and Lee Harris did that included the borders of the TVA site and MLGW’s Sheahan Pumping Station.

The first bill by Harris and Kelsey and sponsored by fellow Shelby delegation member G.A. Hardaway in the House would require 14 days advance notice to the state or local governments with jurisdiction over wells in the area of the intent to drill a water well.

The second bill, sponsored by Kelsey and Ron Lollar, also of Big Shelby, in the House, would create a Memphis Sands Aquifer regional management board.

We tackle the new TVA power plant under construction in southwest Memphis and TVA’s decision to tap the Memphis water aquifer on “Behind The Headlines.” Our guests are Jerry Collins of Memphis Light Gas and Water, Brian Waldron head of the Center for Applied Earth Science & Engineering Research at the University of Memphis and Scott Banbury of the Sierra Club. This was recorded before the above legislation was introduced. BTH airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV.

The cover story in our weekly, The Memphis News, by Patrick Lantrip, is a bountiful survey of commercial real estate development in the six suburban towns and cities. There is a lot going on there with the lifting of the recession and some of the growth, probably more in residential development, is directly attributable to the suburban school systems currently in their third school year.

A PDF of the entire new issue is up now on this very website. The hard copies hit the streets Friday morning and the cover story goes up online here Friday afternoon.

Brick and mortar retailers weren’t the only ones who had a bad holiday season. The U.S Postal Service lost $200 million. Some of that is less first-class mail use but the USPS also has retiree health care liabilities it must fund. Sound familiar?

PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047