VOL. 132 | NO. 65 | Friday, March 31, 2017
Last Word: A New Chapter, The Kissell Dome and The New Bartlett High School
By Bill Dries
Booksellers of Laurelwood is set to return in most of the same location with a smaller footprint and new owners. John Vergos of the Rendezvous and a former Memphis City Council member is among the investors bringing back the East Memphis institution that closed in February. No word on whether the new group will keep the name or go with a new name.
After two years of study, there is a $60-million plan to reconfigure the existing 26-acre campus of Bartlett High School. The financing includes a 14-cent property tax rate hike in Bartlett as part of a larger 35-cent tax hike proposal. Bartlett City Schools board members got their first look at the presentation from Fleming Architects Thursday evening at the high school with an audience of about 500. Bartlett Schools superintendent David Stephens pointed out the auditorium where the meeting was held was built in 1917 and that there hasn’t been any new construction on campus in almost 40 years – several renovations, but no new construction.
Here are the basics of the plan with much more to come in the Monday edition.
Malco has pulled a permit for its movie theater as part of the overall renovation of the Central Station property in South Main. This is a seven-screen movie theater that includes the brick powerhouse building at the train station which will be added onto as well as adapted for life as a movie theater.
Another permit pulled for Pinnacle Bank as the anchor tenant at Ridgeway Center, the Boyle project that is the first spec office space in Memphis in a decade.
And intermodal shipping containers make a comeback in two restaurant/bar plans – one on Broad and the other in Midtown.
“Behind The Headlines” is all about real estate. Taking part in the discussion are Steve Lockwood of the Frayser Community Development Corp., Wendy Greenlaw of Chandler Reports, the real estate information company that is part of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc. and Gary Thompson of Boyle. The show airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV.
Play Ball. Baseball is back despite all manner of weather warnings on a tube near you. None of which came to anything. If spring training were a painting you could have just put a frame around Thursday and Downtown where the Redbirds call AutoZone Park home. The Redbirds and the Cardinals playing an exhibition game Thursday evening with the Redbirds starting their regular season on the road Thursday and opening the season at home on April 11.
Don Wade on the start of the season for both teams whose fortunes are connected from the outset when all things are possible and the grass is greener than it will ever be, even when it’s not real.
Also some off the field stuff including work toward a three-year contract extension for Yadier Molina and a reference to the “Kissell Dome.”
The cover story by Don in our weekly, The Memphis News, is a season-opening look at the box office business of Redbirds baseball 17 seasons after the ‘birds made their debut at Third and Union, which is now B.B. King and Union. The ballpark was new then, the choice of location was bold as was the scale and expense of the venue. And the resulting strong attendance is proving hard to match these days.
The PDF of the new issue is already up on this website. Hard copies of the issue hit the streets Friday morning and the online version of the cover story goes up on this website Friday afternoon.
In our Friday Sports Section:
Mike Conley’s career year and some thoughts on the Oakland-Los Angeles-Oakland-Las Vegas Raiders.
David Climer on the aftermath of the Lady Vols’ quick exit in the NCAA Tournament and what it means for their coach.
In the Tennessee Legislature:
Our Nashville correspondent, Sam Stockard, says Memphis Democrat Joe Towns is becoming more vocal about a snag in a bill that would make oral chemotherapy medication more affordable. The bill requires pharmas to file a report with the state if the price of their medication rises more than 10 percent in a year. Towns is railing against “these damn lobbyists" who he says are threatening to kill it.
Also some heat in House committee Thursday related to the gas tax bill.
And the anti-gay marriage bill gets rolled in the House and appears dead there for the year.
From Chalkbeat: Democratic state Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis on why he supports the school voucher pilot program bill for Shelby County schools and a separate piece on why the Catholic Jubilee schools probably won’t participate if the bill by state Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown becomes law.
The Chalkbeat piece on DeBerry drew a response from Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson who Tweeted: “Wow! Our students and families need intense support. Not judgmental and dismissive conclusions about their morality. Poverty is real.”
A Westwood High alum is back in town as the new CEO of Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, the Memphis-based company that is the largest hospital pharmacy services provider in the country.
On the other end of the spectrum, a boot camp for emerging business developers.
More than two dozen MATA route changes take effect this weekend.
And Food Truck Fest prepares to return to Tiger Lane.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker’s Tweets are usually pretty tame stuff. So lots of people noticed Thursday morning when he Tweeted: “We have come a long way in our country when the speaker of one party urges a president NOT to work with the other party to solve a problem.”
Not only is this unusual for Corker. This is an unusual comment from a member of one chamber about the leadership of the other chamber.
The Hill on what is behind the Tweet.
Earlier this week, Corker and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander introduced legislation that would allow those living in counties with no health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act – no insurors offering coverage on the federal health insurance market exchange for any price – to use their federal subsidy to buy any health insurance plan outside the exchange as long as the insurance is approved by the state for sale in that market. And the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services must certify there are no insurance coverage options in that county on the exchange. The legislation is only in effect through the end of the 2019 plan year.