The Week Ahead: March 20-26

Daily News staff

Happy Monday, Memphis! It’s the first day of spring, and a bounty of social gatherings, government meetings and business events are in bloom. Check out our top picks in The Week Ahead…

FedExForum will be the site of the NCAA South Regional on Friday and Sunday. There will be two games played on Friday, with times to be determined by matchups and television, and the Sweet 16 winners will then meet on Sunday in the Elite Eight for the right to advance to the Final Four. Before first-round play started there were several interesting teams that could wind up here, including Kentucky with John Calipari, North Carolina, UCLA, Butler with former Memphis guard Avery Woodson, and Middle Tennessee State University.

The week back from spring break is a busy one in local government, with the Shelby County Commission and Memphis City Council both back in action this week on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

And during Tuesday's council day at City Hall there will be an addition to the Hall of Mayors, the room lined with portraits of former Memphis Mayors from the city's first mayor, Marcus Winchester onward. Interim mayors are not included and there are a few mayors missing here and there in the timeline. The portrait of former Mayor A C Wharton Jr. will be unveiled at a 3 p.m. ceremony in the hall just a year and three months after Wharton left office. The Hall of Mayors is also where current mayors make some of their most important announcements during their tenures.

MusliMemFest takes place Saturday at Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove Road, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will feature vendors, arts, food, cultural events and entertainment. Admission is free, but some specific programs require registration and a small entrance fee. It is the second annual MusliMemFest, which was created to foster an interest in building bridges and strengthening relationships between the diverse peoples who call Memphis and Shelby County home. Learn more about the day’s events at

On Monday, a related event during the month-long Muslims in Memphis will be an interfaith panel discussion titled “Why Justice is Foundation to Christianity, Islam and Judaism.” It will be held at 7 p.m. at Temple Israel, 1376 E. Massey Road.

State and local historians have quite a day Saturday with the dedication of two historical markers. In Memphis, the Shelby County Historical Commission unveils a marker to the Lee family. In the 1960s, the politically active Memphis family made Jet magazine for the number of times family members were arrested in civil rights demonstrations and protests.
The marker to the Lee family will be unveiled Saturday afternoon at Main and Gayoso – an important intersection in our city’s considerable civil rights history. It is where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. broke off a march in the sanitation workers strike that ended in violence. Because of the violence, King returned to the city to lead another march that would refute the violence of that earlier march. King was assassinated before he could lead that march.
In Randolph, Tennessee, on Saturday, a stone monument to Fort Prudhomme is being rededicated by the Colonial Dames in what is billed as a Fort Prudhomme Homecoming. The fort on the Chickasaw bluff north of present day Memphis in Tipton County began as a stockade erected by the French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier de La Salle in 1682. The temporary shelter was named for an armorer in La Salle’s party named Pierre Prudhomme, according to the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Prudhomme vanished when he went out with a hunting party, but returned to the camp named in his honor 10 days later and the journey continued down river.
The marker is in Randolph, an ill-fated rival in early 19th century Tennessee for the commerce and growth that would eventually come to Memphis. But there is still some controversy about exactly where Fort Prudhomme was located – there are four possible locations including Randolph. They include Downtown Memphis, Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park and at Fort Pillow in northwest Tennessee.
But if you are looking for a real historical controversy that doesn’t have a stone marker, just get a group of historians around and ask them where Hernando DeSoto first came upon the Mississippi River. And then stand back.

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich goes before a disciplinary board of attorneys Thursday and Friday on a complaint about her conduct in the 2009 murder trial of Noura Jackson. Weirich, who was an assistant district attorney prosecuting the case, made a comment during closing statements to the jury in which she called on Jackson to just explain what had happened in the murder of her mother. That was after Jackson had exercised her Fifth Amendment right not to testify. The Tennessee Supreme Court overturned Jackson’s conviction based on that and evidence the prosecution did not turn over to the defense that might have been helpful to the defense.

On Thursday, the 2017 Bartlett Business Expo will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bartlett Recreation Center, 7700 Flaherty Place. A variety of local businesses will showcase their goods and services. The expo is free and open to the public. Visit for more.

The Flying Brushes Art Show will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Appetizers and wine complement artwork created by the ARTists of Open Arms Care, an intermediate care facility for people with intellectual disabilities. Event is free and will be held at Jack Robinson Gallery, 400 S. Front St. Call 901-371-9774 or visit for more.

Thursday’s “A Century of Funk: Rufus Thomas at 100” concert will feature a special performance by the Stax Music Academy Rhythm Section and a panel discussion. The event will highlight songs and anecdotes from Thomas' lengthy career. Admission is free and there will be birthday cake. It starts at 7 p.m. at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore. Call 901-942-SOUL or visit for more.

On Wednesday, the Wolf River Conservancy is hosting “Drink a Beer, Save a River,” the first in a series to be held at Ghost River’s tap room at 827 South Main. The event, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., is in celebration of World Water Day and will help showcase opportunities for participants to get involved with sustainable and environmentally focused groups in Memphis. Representatives from a few nonprofits will also be on hand to talk about what they’re doing and how people can get involved.

In geeky and pop culture news, MidSouthCon 35 – hosted by MidSouthCon, the “Mid-South’s premier science fiction and fantasy convention,” as it calls itself – will kick off this week. It runs Friday through Sunday at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Go to for more info, including registration details.

And since it is spring now, it’s time to consider healthier transportation options when you can. A group of local leaders would like to see such options be used more permanently in Memphis. On Wednesday, they host a meeting to explore how Memphis can secure dedicated funding that grows and improves the city’s transportation system.
Part of the “How To Leave Your Car at Home” series, it will be facilitated by Suzanne Carlson of Innovate Memphis, Memphis Area Transit Authority commissioner Andre Gibson, Smart City Memphis’ Tom Jones and John Paul Shaffer of the Community Development Council of Greater Memphis.
The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Loflin Yard, 7 W. Carolina Ave. Light refreshments will be provided. Those who arrive by transit, bike, or walking will receive a complimentary drink ticket.

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 if you have items for consideration.