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VOL. 132 | NO. 125 | Friday, June 23, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Health Care Plan React, Treasury Footprint and Tom Bowen - Take Two

By Bill Dries

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It’s like they aren’t even looking at the same legislation. That’s one explanation of the very different reviews the Senate health care bill got Thursday as it was unveiled in Washington. Illustrating the contrast, the reactions of Republican U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis.

Since press time, more reaction from U.S. Senator Bob Corker who says the current health care system means “rising costs” and “limited choices.”

“Congress has a responsibility to resolve these issues and stabilize the individual insurance market, and over the next several days, I will take time to fully review the legislative text and seek input from a wide range of stakeholders across our state. I will make a final decision based on whether this legislation, on the whole, is better than what is in place today.’

Since the old Treasury department store was demolished some time ago there has been a lot of talk about doing something on the big Frayser footprint left at Hollywood and James. With its location by an interstate exit it has been touted for logistics or some kind of distribution center. There was a proposal for a truck stop with a hotel that drew opposition from nearby homeowners and never came back. But the plan that is off and running with approval of a 15-year PILOT awarded Wednesday by the EDGE board is a return to retail with a $16 million shopping center anchored by a supermarket. The project is called The Frayser Gateway.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland talking on “Behind The Headlines” about the necessity of economic development – commercial and residential – breaking out of the areas that are on a roll to areas like Frayser. You can see the whole conversation on that and other topics Friday at 7 p.m. on Channel 10.

Meanwhile, one of the two Downtown hotels planned for the open land across Union from the south side of AutoZone Park appears to be moving with the owners pulling a $6 million building permit Thursday.

In our Friday Sports Section:

Part 2 of Don Wade’s Q&A with Tigers Athletic Director Tom Bowen and comments on conference realignment, Tubby Smith’s future, strong opinions from the seats about Smith and other sports controversies. Bowen says we are in a conference “quiet period” that allows the U of M to improve its facilities and its fan base.

And in Press Box, some analysis of the conversation with Bowen.

Now that the catfish in Nashville are only on ice in restaurants, David Climer questions whether the Predators Stanley Cup appearance is an enduring sports moment.

And Dave Link on UT sprinter Christian Coleman turning pro.

The Shelby County Democratic Party convention is set for July 22 at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church.

When Novel, the new bookstore in part of the space once occupied at Laurelwood by Booksellers, opens in August – the smaller space will still include room for a restaurant. And Libro will be owned and operated by Sabine Bachmann, who owns Ecco and Fratelli’s Café at Memphis Botanic Garden.

Speaking of the Botanic Garden, Friday’s Little Big Town show as part of the Live at the Garden series is postponed and it’s been reset for Sept. 8. Hang on to your tickets for Friday they will be honored in September.

More on the NAACP’s Freedom Fund luncheon this weekend which will mark the centennial of the Memphis branch.

And a review of one emerging front in the new local activism that includes the Memphis Branch -- the effort to push for the removal of Confederate monuments.

Le Bonheur has a new undergraduate research partnership with Rhodes College called Summer Plus. It’s modeled after the same program Rhodes has had for several years at St. Jude. The St. Jude program pairs students with scientists at the research center. The Le Bonheur program will put students with treatment teams as they work with children and their families.

LeBonheur’s work outside its hospitals and in the community is the subject of the cover story by Andy Meek in the new edition of our weekly, The Memphis News. The PDF of the new issue is up now on this website. The hard copies go in the racks Friday morning with the online version of the cover story going up Friday afternoon.

Deadline reports the film “Maya Dardel”, coproduced by Memphian Morgan Jon Fox was acquired by Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films following its debut earlier this year at SXSW under the title “A Critically Endangered Species.”

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is going to Europe next week.

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