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VOL. 132 | NO. 141 | Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: The TNT Virus, Tax Compromise and The Race for Governor Gets Active

By Bill Dries

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FedEx filed a notice with the SEC Monday that indicates its TNT Express subsidiary is still feeling the effects of a cyber attack late last month. And FedEx has traced the Petya virus to its operation in the Ukraine and spreading from there to the whole system.

Shelby County commissioners find a third way between a $4.10 county property tax rate and a $4.13 rate Monday. Now it is on to a final vote on the compromise $4.11 tax rate at a special meeting Wednesday that would end the county budget season.

Bartlett Town Centre, the shopping center with a Kroger as its anchor on the southeast corner of Stage Road and Bartlett Boulevard has sold for $28.8 million going from a Houston investment firm to an Atlanta investment firm.

Some movement in the race for Governor as the political pace locally begins to pick up. You could say we’ve been in a lull since the November presidential election at least in terms of conventional political activity – Democrats and Republicans. A special election here and there. But last week’s movement knocked a bit of the dust off with more to come this weekend when local Democrats meet in a convention to reorganize the local party.

A follow-up to our cover story on Beale Street. There is a pending case in Chancery Court that questions the boundaries of the entertainment district and what’s at stake is whether the Purple Haze nightclub can serve booze until 5 a.m. like the clubs on Beale proper. Purple Haze contends it is part of the district, just a block south of the busiest of the five checkpoints into the district after 10 p.m. – at Second and Beale. Club 152 contends in the lawsuit that Purple Haze isn’t part of the entertainment district and so shouldn’t have the extended hours to serve liquor. Purple Haze, through its attorneys, is seeking to have all of this dismissed.

Meanwhile, Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins has granted a motion by the city of Memphis and the Downtown Memphis Commission to intervene on the side of 152 Beale when it comes to this issue. In the 1990s when the exception for Beale Street cleared the Legislature there was plenty of grumbling from bars in the Pinch about the exception at a time when the Pyramid as an arena was in its prime. So this isn’t exactly a new issue and it is no coincidence that two clubs with very similar formats on either side of the cover charge line are the main combatants in this.

Meant to do this the last time we spoke. We’ve done a lot of reporting on Beale Street over the years. Here is a cover story from 2013 when the district was beginning to change but long before the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority or similar moves were on the scene.

From our blight discussion this week on “Behind The Headlines”: “We’ve really created a culture where slumlords can sort of exist and people don’t have a place to go.’

The Orpheum’s new vice president of education comes to Memphis from being stage manager at the American Ballet Theatre and working in production at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Jennifer McGrath tells us she was drawn to the Memphis job specifically by the Orpheum’s recent addition of the Halloran Centre that allows for even more education opportunities in a space built specifically for the wide range of large and small events.

Increasingly the world of groundbreaking medical research underway in one part of Memphis is intersecting with another part of Memphis where there are health issues and problems that amount to a lack of access to not only those break throughs but also the preventative lifestyle changes that we put under the general heading of wellness. Rhodes College now has its first chair in “population health.” And we talked with Dr. Kendra Hotz who comes to the endowed chair from Church Health.

Don Wade back from SEC Media Days in Alabama last week with a notebook that includes the media’s verdict on who finishes atop the SEC at the end of the football season, a preseason team of favorites and other topics including Rachel Heck at the U.S. Women’s Open.

Meanwhile, the Grizz sign Rade Zagorac from a trade way back in 2016 that brought Deyonta Davis to Memphis as we wait for a few more developments in this eventful offseason.

Chalkbeat on more SCS personnel moves with the new school year just around the corner.

PROPERTY SALES 0 277 20,909
MORTGAGES 0 329 24,074
BANKRUPTCIES 0 238 13,418