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VOL. 132 | NO. 130 | Friday, June 30, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: No Deal, Ivan Rabb and Intermodals in Overton Park

By Bill Dries

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And the winner is … not Fred’s. After months of speculation about the Memphis-based discount retail store’s transformation into a pharmacy-based enterprise with the purchase of hundreds of Rite Aid stores in a third-party divestment move, Fred’s was nowhere to be found when Walgreens announced a deal Thursday to buy the Rite Aid stores. The corporation told investors it will still pursue its strategy but acknowledged its trajectory is “stunted” – that as Fred’s got hammered on Wall Street.

In our Friday Sports Section:

Ivan Rabb meets the press at FedExForum and Don Wade analyzes his place in this NBA Summer for the Grizz. And he takes in the view from the front office on the eve of Friday’s start of the NBA free agency period.

David Climer on the $100,000 deal that gives Phillip Fulmer a desk and a title at Big Orange.

Dave Link in Knoxville on Jalen Johnson’s redshirt season for UT basketball.

There is perhaps some irony in the role that intermodal containers are playing in some entertainment venues and their plans in a city where logistics is king. We are “America’s Distribution Center” after all -- to resurrect the snappy ad campaign used to promote Memphis in the 1980s. The Levitt Shell which just recently underwent a renovation of its grounds to include some concessions areas and patio-like seating areas is considering bringing in some intermodals for a more permanent retail presence on its acreage at Overton Park. The request goes to that arbiter of all things intermodal recently – the Board of Adjustment. Intermodal containers in Overton Park – what could go wrong?

Just in time for the Fourth of July, the Great Streets corridor between FedExForum and the riverfront is up and running with Peabody Place, north of Beale, being the most visible part of that corridor with bright street markings, tables and chairs and soon-to-come sun umbrellas where cars once parked at an angle as Sunday brunch warriors from distant places like Bartlett and Poplar & Ridgeway did what they had to do for Mimosas on the south end of the Main Street Mall.

Everybody out of the pool at Guest House at Graceland. The Shelby County Health Department has traced three cases of Legionnaires’ Disease to the pool and hot tub at the Whitehaven resort.

Meanwhile, the cover story by Jody Callahan, in our weekly, The Memphis News, is a made-for-summer story on the tourism industry in Memphis.

The PDF of the new issue is up now on this website. Hard copies hit the streets Friday morning with the cover story going up online Friday afternoon.

The South City development is our topic on “Behind The Headlines” with our guests Marcia Lewis, director of the Memphis Housing Authority; Archie Willis of CommCap and Paul Young, the city’s director of Housing and Community Development. This is a pretty broad topic and if you’ve watched the show – which by the way debuted seven years ago in September – you know we go broad and we go into detail. That’s the case here but we’ve also focused much of our attention on the start of demolition at Foote Homes, the last of the city's large public housing developments. The show airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett is considering a bid for either Congress or the U.S. Senate in 2018.

Sticking to Knoxville, there is a federal lawsuit there over how TVA removes trees from its right of ways that should be closely watched in this tree-loving city.

The Pilot trial we told you about earlier this week isn’t moving to Memphis. It has set up shop in Chattanooga in a change of venue out of Knoxville.

Associated Press on the motive for the ransomware attack this week that hit FedEx’s TNT Express division. The motive probably wasn’t extortion but possibly just the havoc it created.

Drought? What drought? All thanks to Tropical Storm Cindy.

Slight economic growth nationally in first quarter figures that got adjusted.

In Washington, the deficit spikes and new Congressional Budget Office numbers put the drop dead date for Congress to increase borrowing authority some time in October.

PROPERTY SALES 62 288 2,619
MORTGAGES 52 197 1,783