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VOL. 132 | NO. 89 | Thursday, May 4, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Three Gs React, More CA Changes and the Forrest Controversy Defined

By Bill Dries

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The day after Germantown leaders offered his school system $25 million for Germantown Elementary, Middle and High Schools, SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson was fielding calls from parents of students at the schools – the “three Gs” as they are known.

And while he said the ultimate decision is up to the school board, Hopson cited “the uncertainty that just the discussion causes.”

“They don’t have utilization issues,” Hopson said of the school buildings. “They are all doing very well. I know whatever the board decides I know they are going to be very sensitive to our families.”

The Commercial Appeal sees a change on the masthead as editor Louis Graham announces Wednesday he is leaving effective May 12 to become executive director of enterprise content at ALSAC St. Jude, a very popular destination for journalists leaving the business.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell took a $1.2 billion consolidated county budget to the Shelby County Commission at the top of committee sessions Wednesday Downtown. He also defended his call for a stable property tax rate with some commissioners already calling for some kind of property tax roll back once the new certified rate is set to account for the 2017 reappraisal.

The city council budget committee opens hearings Thursday on Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s operating budget proposal after finishing with the capital budget Wednesday.

Another Junior College transfer signs with Tigers basketball Mike Parks Jr. of Southwest Mississippi Community College is the fourth such transfer.

Youth Villages broke ground this week on a $22-million expansion of its Bartlett campus. It includes a center for at-risk youth specifically.

A recap of local elections in North Mississippi this week includes an upset in Hernando.

In the Tennessee Legislature:

A group of 75 legislators ask the Haslam administration to put the outsourcing of the running of state buildings on hold. They want an impact statement to test claims that it would save the state money and maintain the quality of services.

In his “View From The Hill” column, our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard reports there is still plenty of life left in that controversial resolution honoring the author of a seven-year old book titled “Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Redemption.”

On its way to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk is a bill that reacts to California’s ban on state-funded travel to Tennessee because of the Tennessee law that allows counselors to refer patients if they disagree with the patient’s lifestyle. The House sponsor says California’s ban is “economic jihad." Memphis Democrat Raumesh Akbari says the Tennessee response is “petty.”

More than a month until summer by the calendar, but it is already the “Summer of Acceleration.” No, not a driving recommendation. This is a boot camp for start-ups that ends in August with a Demo Day.

Other signs of summer include some new colors, art and lines on several Downtown streets forming a more visible corridor for bikes and pedestrians between FedExForum and the riverfront. It’s a year-long pilot that kicks off in June, after Memphis in May.

First it was the black bear roaming around Frayser that was then supposedly spotted in Bartlett, which is a migratory pattern some people have made over the years. Now a bobcat spotted in an office park near American Way. Actually this probably all got started in 2007 when a manatee was spotted in the Mississippi River and later in McKellar Lake, sadly not alive when it was found in the lake. Nature, you are not only fickle, you also give us the wrong directions sometimes.

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