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VOL. 132 | NO. 60 | Friday, March 24, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Veep Visit, Women and Baseball and Civil Rights Cold Cases

By Bill Dries

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Game time at FedExForum for the NCAA South semifinals and Vice President Mike Pence is expected to be here to cheer on the Butler Bulldogs. The Butler mascot – a live bulldog – was already in town Thursday making the rounds. I think March Madness requires that all involved up their mascot game if they get this far. So UCLA, we expect to see a live bear roaming Beale Street. You might be able to work a deal with the zoo on this. But if there’s a cost split make sure you nail down those percentages.

John Calipari: “It was a terrific ride. We loved our time here.” Except for that entire season erased from the record books because of a distinct lack of ethics and the sanctions against the University as well as making a mockery of the concept of student athletes with a one and done player who won’t even say whether or not he really took the ACT – all of which dropped after you rode out of town hiding on the floor of the back seat of a car on the way to the airport after some passive-aggressive statement like the one you made when you came back to town this week. Does that refresh your memory? Memphians, the cabin light is now on for you to extend either middle finger whenever you feel it is appropriate from this point forward.

A look at what the southeast corner of Madison and Cooper in Overton Square will look like once YOLO becomes Hopdoddy. Lenny’s will remain and get an upgrade.

Meanwhile, tracking the new EDGE loans used in sustaining the growth of the Broad Avenue Arts district into larger Binghampton. The retail Binghampton Gateway Center is under construction as we speak. Fueling the growth beyond that is $300,000 worth of forgivable loans to a dozen businesses that has leveraged $3 million in private investment.

Don Wade’s piece on women in Major League Baseball is quite the discussion piece judging from the two-hour discussion Thursday in our newsroom. The story is built around John Kovach, a women’s baseball historian who recently moved to town and the excitement many baseball fans saw this past week at the World Baseball Classic, which although it was men only, still raised questions about whether the state of the game as played in the U.S. is in need of a change.

I direct your attention in particular to a question Don poses in the story. And I welcome any and all reaction because it is time to play ball.

In the Tennessee Legislature, Sam Stockard reports some veterans on Capitol Hill want tax relief for veterans to be a separate matter from Gov. Bill Haslam’s gas tax bill.

A bill that would effectively block local ordinances in Memphis and Nashville allowing police to write civil summonses for $50 fines for possession of half an ounce or less of pot passed the House by a wide margin this week.

And the Senate approves a bill inspired by the July Black Lives Matter protest that shut down the Hernando DeSoto Bridge.

A bill to allow immigrant students in the country illegally to pay in-state college tuition at state universities and colleges is moving through Senate committee.

And Memphis Democrat Johnnie Turner wants a joint committee to look into the possible investigation of cold cases related to the civil rights era in the state. In the process, Turner talks about her own past as a protester and activist in the era. Turner has talked about this in vivid detail in the past, before she became a legislator. She talked about it again this past Wednesday in committee.

At City Hall this week, a lot of history in the Hall of Mayors was added to with the unveiling of a portrait of former Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and there was plenty of present day politics present as well. If you haven’t been to this public area of City Hall, which is on the other side of the lobby from the council chambers, I highly recommend it as a starting point. Dive deeper and you begin to find out that there are some mayors who are not on the walls and who isn’t on the wall is just as interesting as who is. There are also some interesting relics in the cases in the room as well including E.H. Crump’s desk name plate, Lt. George W. Lee’s hat, firefighter gear from long ago and police items – not to mention the bell of the U.S.S. Memphis.

Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland is critical of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander for saying TVA doesn’t need wind energy generated by the Clean Line – a wind energy initiative that’s garnered support from MLGW, the city council and the county commission in the last year.

Bill Hagerty, former Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, nominated Thursday by President Donald Trump as U.S. ambassador to Japan.

Spurs over the Grizz in San Antonio Thursday evening 97–90.

In the Friday Sports Section:

Don Wade’s Press Box column is on the NBA schedule and the practice of resting players now that some time has passed from when the Cavs came at FedExForum without LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

David Climer on the battle to be the next quarterback at the University of Tennessee.

Dave Link in Knoxville on UT football recruiting.

Bob Dylan and George Harrison go to see Elvis Presley at Madison Square Garden in 1972 and 45 years later Dylan talks about what happened next or what didn’t happen next. It’s a single answer in a long wide-ranging interview posted on Dylan’s website. Rolling Stone sets the context.

The surest sign that winter has packed its bags and left town – The first part of the Peabody’s schedule for its rooftop parties is out.

University of Memphis president David Rudd on “Behind The Headlines” to talk about the school’s transition to its own board of directors, how state funding works, why the concept of in-state tuition is obsolete and the land bridge over the railroad tracks and other developments along the tracks. The show airs at 7 p.m. Friday on WKNO TV.

The cover story of our weekly, The Memphis News, by Patrick Lantrip is about ag innovation. Agriculture and innovation aren’t necessarily two words that go together in terms of an image. For most of us innovation is tech and medical breakthroughs. Even farmers admit the idea of commercial applications of technology on their farms is something venture capital firms have a hard time grasping. But ag is all about innovation especially as consumers want to know more about where their food comes from, how its grown, what’s added to it and what is not added to it. And the Memphis Farm and Gin Show that’s been a tradition here for nearly 70 years is becoming more and more about that kind of innovation each year.

The PDF of the new issue is already up on this very website. The hard copies hit the streets Friday morning and the cover story goes online Friday afternoon.

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