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VOL. 132 | NO. 18 | Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: The TVA Well Controversy, Fred Smith Redux and Norris On The Gas Tax

By Bill Dries

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The new Trader Joe’s in Germantown won’t be alone by the plans the supermarket chain got approved Tuesday night by the Germantown Design Review Commission. The conversion of the old Kroger store on Exeter includes seven other bays as Trader Joe’s goes for a smaller footprint than the size of the original building.

No name yet for the Grizz D-League team to play in Southaven next season. But more details about how the deal came about Tuesday. And you can expect a name in the spring. Cubs?

Meanwhile, Jason Wexler of the Grizz front office on whether its proper etiquette to wear the jersey of an SEC team with a Grizz ballcap.

A big week for the well controversy at the new TVA plant under construction in the Frank Pidgeon Industrial Park in southwest Memphis. We talked with new TVA board chairwoman Lynn Evans of Memphis about whether the wells TVA is drilling are a danger to the city’s aquifer. Evans, a former MLGW board member, tells us she is satisfied there isn’t a danger – adding she drinks the city’s water from the tap. More on this in the Thursday edition from the other side of the issue – namely state Senators Brian Kelsey and Lee Harris, who spent half a day Tuesday on a combination tour and fact-finding mission that was an encapsulated crash course in the city’s water supply. They remain critics of the TVA wells but not the plant, which is a natural gas-fired plant that replaces a coal-fired power plant across the road.

A bit further north on the city’s riverfront, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland will announce Wednesday the formation of a riverfront task force. This is the latest in a series of announcements about the riverfront that could change the way development decisions are made in that area.

More on the mechanics of the TIF expansion the city is about to pursue to create affordable housing in the east-west corridor between St. Jude and Le Bonheur hospitals. Getting approval of the zone expansion is just the start of a process that takes in a lot of blight.

FedEx founder Fred Smith on Fox Business Network Tuesday again differing with President Donald Trump on trade policy, specifically Trump’s withdrawal of the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In the Tennessee Legislature:

State Senate majority leader Mark Norris of Collierville talks with our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard about Gov. Bill Haslam’s gas tax bill. Norris says he favors the tax roll-backs in the bill but the tax hikes that are the calling card of the proposal are a different matter.

Back here, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is on board with the plan but says it is a work in progress – meaning amendments and he will watch those amendments closely.

“Slumber Party” – that’s the first of the high-gravity beers coming out under the Memphis-Made label. That’s after a state law was recently changed allowing the high-gravity brews. And with the occasion, the Cooper-Young taproom is changing up its operation a bit.

PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270