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VOL. 132 | NO. 31 | Monday, February 13, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Bell at the Grammys, Old Dominick's Return and Luttrell & Strickland

By Bill Dries

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Memphis at the Grammys: William Bell was performer, presenter and winner at the Grammys Sunday evening. Gary Clark Jr. joined Bell to perform Bell’s calling card, “Born Under A Bad Sign” and the duo then presented a Grammy to Beyonce. In the non-televised Grammy awards, Bell won for Best Americana album for his Stax effort “This Is Where I Live.”

Justin Timberlake won for “Can’t Stop the Feeling” which took the Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

And with James Corden hosting you knew there would be some version of Carpool Karaoke. The song was Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” – the original recorded at American Sound at the corner of Chelsea and Danny Thomas.

Al Jarreau died Sunday less than a week after cancelling the rest of his tour which included a March date at the Germantown Performing Arts Center and announcing that he would not tour anymore. Jarreau is fondly remembered here for the shows he did, especially at the Mud Island Amphitheatre.

The State of the City and County speeches were a bit late this year as the change in administrations at the White House occupied much of our attention in January. But County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland got around to their respective reviews and looks forward last week. These are two political leaders at very different points in the arc of their leadership. We look at the similarities and the differences.

Both leaders cited some of the same economic development projects in their separate generally positive reviews of where our city and county have been going recently.

In the new edition of our weekly, The Memphis News, Patrick Lantrip looks at the commercial real estate growth in the six suburban towns and cities recently – projects underway or about to begin in all six that are impressive given the scale of these smaller communities. Many of these projects are large enough to have ripple effects well beyond the boundaries of the six towns and cities. And they represent growth that in many cases is the result of the suburban school systems currently in their third school year.

On Friday we got word of a milestone in the city’s somewhat underground history of booze … spirits – whatever term you want to use for alcoholic beverages. A Memphis distillery has begun aging barrels of whiskey for the first time in 100 years. That century dates back to the last barrel of the original Old Dominick brand and the state’s epic battle first over prohibition and then the enforcement of prohibition in Memphis where resistance to prohibition came from the highest levels of political leadership – meaning Edward Hull Crump. The new barrels are part of the restoration of the Old Dominick brand and the opening this spring of the new Old Dominick Distillery on Front Street.

The Memphis College of Art searches for a new executive director after the retirement of Ron Jones, the director who led the Overton Park institution through a crucial turnaround in its strategy.

The new CEO of Methodist North Hospital, Dr. Florence Jones, is a 40-year veteran of the health care industry who came to Methodist eight years ago.

Temple over the Tigers Sunday at the Forum 74-62.

The Grizz in New York Monday evening to play the Brooklyn Nets. More from Don Wade on the weekend’s meeting with the Warriors on Beale.

We told you about UT’s new football offensive line coach in our Friday sports section. It turns out Walt Wells was arrested for drunk driving and took a plea deal on a reckless driving charge last year.

There are so many variations and changes to Gov. Bill Haslam’s gas tax bill in the Tennessee Legislature that state Senate majority leader Mark Norris is filing a bill to take all of the different versions and put them in some kind of order for voting.

Part of Norris’s job description as majority leader is to carry most if not all of the legislation that the governor proposes.

Haslam, from the outset, never doubted his complex set of tax hikes and tax cuts designed to be revenue neutral would be amended.

Our Nashville correspondent, Sam Stockard, outlines how Norris intends to navigate this in the upper chamber.

Elsewhere in the capitol:

The new state architect is Ann McGauran.

The Nashville-based private prison company once known as Corrections Corporation of America – now CoreCivic – sees growth in President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. And company leaders touted it in the most recent earnings call by what is the nation’s largest private prison operator. This is something of a remarkable reversal of fortune as President Barack Obama had talked of winding down the use of private for-profit prisons toward the end of his tenure.

Plans to widen Hacks Cross Road between Shelby Drive and Stateline Road. As you might expect, these are tentative plans being presented by county government at a meeting Thursday evening. This could be an expansion of five to seven lanes depending on how this goes in public input and traffic studies.

The build out by tenants at Crosstown Concourse continues.

Amazon begins collecting sales tax due to Arkansas in March.

The Memphis News Almanac: Jack Dempsey fights in Memphis, Paderewski plays the Pantages, Disparity studies 20 years ago and Orbit Raceway on Lamar.

PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
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