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VOL. 132 | NO. 97 | Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: "A Downward Spiral", Outdoors Pop-Up and Haslam in Raleigh

By Bill Dries

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At the end of another day of alarming news and denials from the White House, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee used a new phrase that has significance in a cycle of action and reaction and more action in which many of us gauge reaction by whether the person speaking has an R or a D after their name. The lines are that clearly drawn.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Corker, a Republican considered to be President Donald Trump’s running mate last year and on a short list for Secretary of State in the new administration, said the White House is in a “downward spiral.” This on the day that the Washington Post and the New York Times reported Trump revealed highly classified intelligence information about ISIS in Iraq and Syria in a meeting last week with Russia’s foreign minister and the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

“The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order,” said the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Here’s Huffington Post on the reaction from Corker.

Here is the thing about having our representatives in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate on “Behind The Headlines” in the times we find ourselves in: You wonder what could happen in Washington in the 24-hour period between when we record the show and when it airs the first time on Friday evening. That was the case this past week with U.S. Rep. David Kustoff of Germantown just as it was a few weeks ago when we had Corker on. In both cases though we found that the shows held up quite well because what continues to happen in Washington is not necessarily a change in the status of a story we might be discussing. It is that the whole subject changes several times over and you now have new issues thrust into the spotlight along with the existing ones.

So, we talked a lot about the firing of FBI director James Comey by President Trump in our interview with Kustoff, Kustoff’s vote for Obamacare repeal and the AHCA as its replacement. And we went with a longer political arc to talk about the political change in our state and in particular in the 8th Congressional District which includes some of Memphis but a whole lot more of rural west Tennessee. And we talked about Kustoff’s long history in Republican politics Memphis-style.

The family of Jared McLemore, the man who set himself on fire Friday at Murphy’s in Midtown, said Monday he struggled with bipolar disorder for most of a life that ended with Friday’s incident and was in treatment when he died. The family of the woman working at Murphy’s who was the target of his rage said Monday she had a restraining order against McLemore and that he repeatedly terrorized her. Their statement termed this “a perfect storm of domestic abuse, the stigma around it and the visceral reality of mental illness.”

A retirement in Circuit Court announced Monday.

You probably don’t think of Outdoors Inc. as a pop-up store. The concept is usually a retailer just getting started who wants to test the waters. And Outdoors Inc. has been an institution since 1974 when there were still plans for an expressway through Overton Park, Shelby Farms Park was the Penal Farm and a greenline was a green line probably on the floor of a hospital. Outdoors Inc. is opening a sixth location as a pop up shop at Peabody Place, just a hop, skip and a jump from the river.

Last week, we told you about the plan to privatize the management of Fall Creek Falls State Park. The state didn’t get any bidders on the contract and the Haslam administration is now saying it will re-examine the whole idea of outsourcing the management of state parks. Our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard talks to Republicans and Democrats in the Shelby County delegation to Nashville who opposed the outsourcing. The topic will come up Wednesday in a post session committee meeting.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was in Raleigh last week to visit an ASD school and talk about the future of the state-run Achievement School District, which is a major part of public education in Memphis.

No penalties for any of the 17 athletic programs at the University of Memphis with a new batch of academic progress rates from the NCAA. This is the 13th consecutive year that every athletic program at the U of M has met the standards for academic growth and eligibility of student athletes.

Also in Digest, the eastern block of Beale gets a new sign to light things up on what has historically been the most challenged part of the entertainment district.

Two guys working in a real estate company who became homebuilders 50 years ago when they formed their business talk about what happened to their business after interest rates went up in the 1980s. Clyde Patton and Bruce Taylor got into commercial construction including a renovation of the Cotton Exchange Building at Union and Front then went a few blocks south to work on Paperworks. The founders of Patton & Taylor Construction Co. will receive the lifetime achievement award Wednesday from the Memphis chapter of Lambda Alpha International.

Valerie June in Rolling Stone talking all about Memphis, Bella Sun, “$5 Cover” and beyond and working at Maggie’s Pharm and recently getting a shout out from the guy who wrote “Maggie’s Farm” – the song.

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751