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VOL. 132 | NO. 21 | Monday, January 30, 2017

The Week Ahead: January 31- February 6

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Good morning, Memphis! It will get up to 49 degrees Saturday, but the Mississippi River water temp will still be frigid when the annual Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics splashes off at Mud Island River Park. A busy week starts with Gov. Bill Haslam’s State of the State address today.     

So begins a week without gigantic inflatable bunnies in Midtown – specifically in Overton Park.
“Intrude” – the second in a series of outdoor art installations at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art – closed Sunday. They no doubt left because of our conflicted weather. Or maybe they were just tired of posing for so many selfies. There is still time to make up a really good story for Easter about the bunnies.  

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam delivers his State of the State address to the Tennessee Legislature Monday in the Capitol. Look for more of a push for his gas-tax hike package, hints of possible areas for a compromise in what is a very complex proposal. And you just might hear Haslam’s first impressions of what the Trump administration in Washington means for state governments – ours in particular.

Shelby County Schools board members vote Tuesday on a proposal to close Carnes and Dunbar elementary schools at the end of the current school year. Town Hall meetings in those neighborhoods were held recently so residents and parents of students could voice their opinions.

The Shelby County Drug Court marks its 20th anniversary Wednesday at the Criminal Justice Center.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Garth Brooks opens a three-night, four-show stand at FedExForum starting on Thursday.

Muddy’s Bake Shop is changing things up a little for its latest monthly book club gathering this week.
The store regularly hosts discussions of novels and works of nonfiction. This time, the shop at 5101 Sanderlin Ave. is hosting a discussion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” and the “I Have a Dream Speech.”
The gathering is set for Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The book club events are free and open to anyone. 

Who can resist a good pun? Certainly not the folks behind The Civil Pour, a monthly series of conversations about controversial topics.
The next one will be held Feb. 2 at Loflin Yard Downtown. The topic this time is only mildly controversial (We kid, we kid ) – “Living in Trump’s America.”
The event is set for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Here’s how the folks behind the event describe their motivation, via Facebook: “We've lost the ability to listen. We used to be able to talk to one another about important things. Big topics. We could disagree and that would be okay because with disagreement came conversation and with conversation came new understanding. But now, everyone is shouting and no one is listening. And we're not even shouting at each other. We lob cleverly crafted one-liners from the safety of internet anonymity, engaging with those whose thoughts confirm our biases and blocking those who don’t.”

The annual Polar Bear Plunge & Chili Cook-Off is Saturday at Mud Island River Park. Brrr! Hundreds of plungers are freezin' for a reason to b-b-benefit Special Olympics of Greater Memphis. The People's Choice Chili Cook-Off Tasting goes from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Plunge registration – to plunge into the frigid waters of the Mighty Mississippi – is from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Plunge Costume Contest is at 2 p.m. just before the Polar Bear Plunge at 2:30 p.m. Spectators are admitted free. Call 901-683-1271 or go to specialolympicsmem.org for more information.


Cirque du CMOM. Saddle up!
Deep in the heart of Memphis, a cultural wonderland meets the wild, wild west on Saturday, with exotic cowboy fare and rodeo fun to benefit the Children's Museum of Memphis. All the festivities take place at the museum, 2525 Central Ave. Call 901-458-2678 or visit cmom.com for more. 

General Federation of Women's Clubs will host an informal presentation about the organization’s plans to open a club in Memphis on Tuesday in the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The 126-year-old organization, which brings together local women's clubs through volunteer community service, has almost 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and more than a dozen countries.
GFWC membership is open to women of all ages and interests.  

Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and Rhodes College will present a symposium titled A Broken System: Perspectives on the Death Penalty in Tennessee, Wednesday Feb. 1 2017 at 5 p.m in Rhodes College’s Paul Barrett Jr. Library located at 2000 North Parkway.
Speakers will include Sabrina Butler Porter, who is one of only two women in the United States exonerated from death row; Cynthia Vaughn, whose mother, Connie, was murdered in Memphis in 1984 and whose stepfather, Don Johnson, was convicted of the murder and sentenced to death in Tennessee; Amy Lawrence, coordinator of Tennessee Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty; and Reverend Stacy Rector, director of TADP.  

The Association for Women Attorneys will host its 37th annual banquet, where they will induct their 2017 board officers, committee chairs and award scholarships to University of Memphis law school students.
The event will be held Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Tower Center at Clark Tower located at 5100 Poplar Ave., suite 3300.
Tickets for the banquet are $60 for members, $70 for nonmembers and $30 for law students.
Email ldeakins@lewisthomason.com or call 901-577-6152 for more information.  

The Daily News staff compiles The Week Ahead for you, our readers, every week. You'll receive it as part of our Monday online edition. Email associate editor Kate Simone at ksimone@memphisdailynews.com if you have items for consideration.

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