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VOL. 132 | NO. 210 | Monday, October 23, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: The Bucc Falls, Lakeland Demolition and Crossing The Year Mark

By Bill Dries

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Late word Sunday that Bernal Smith II, the president and publisher of the New Tri-State Defender, died at his home Sunday. Smith was a part of the reporters roundtables we do from time to time on "Behind The Headlines." He brought back the city's legacy African-American-owned newspaper and in that role over the last seven years was a big voice in the reshaping of Memphis as a media market. He put reporters back on the streets of this city to cover Memphis and its issues in an independent way that make this a much richer and more competitive media market than it has been in quite some time. Editorially, he was a strong voice on numerous issues and he spoke from the experience of growing up in this city. He was 45 years old and here at The Daily News, those of us who came to know him and work with him on the show express our condolences to his family.

The Buccaneer Lounge is no more, heavily damaged in an overnight fire Saturday into Sunday in the Madison Heights area. The lounge billed itself as the city’s best dive bar, which means it had its ups and downs – lots of good shows and periods when there wasn’t anything going on. It was probably the capitol of hipster-dom in its later years and the fact that it was open sporadically in the last year only added to its hipness quotient -- that and the tight quarters. According to the Assessor’s website, this started with a home built on the site in 1910 with additions in back of it. There wasn’t a whole lot left of the gables or the roof during a Sunday afternoon drive-by.

Developers of the Lake District, the Lakeland mixed use development that is under a deadline to meet specific milestones, have set the date for demolition of the factory outlet mall now on part of the site. It will be Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. per a Lake District posting.

In the year since Big River Crossing formally opened on the north side of the Harahan Bridge, there has been a lot of work and thought on what happens next when you make the crossing – whether you are coming east or west. No birthday candles on the first anniversary of the crossing but there was a half marathon and 5k run that was an introduction to the six-mile trail loop on the Arkansas flood plain, directly across the Mississippi River from the Memphis skyline.

The anniversary and what has happened in a year’s time is the cover story in the new issue of our weekly, The Memphis News. And those metal poles you see on both ends of the crossing have been turning out a lot of information that is included in a graphic with the article.

Also an online-only piece of some observations on the crossing and beyond it just before fall by the calendar began to feel like fall.

That journey completed for now, here is The Week Ahead Halloween edition with lots of autumnal opportunities – or what you might call festivals.

An addendum to the week ahead with word Sunday afternoon that the Foo Fighters show Tuesday at the Forum is postponed because of a family emergency. The new date is May 3 and your tickets for the Tuesday show will be honored at the Forum on that date.

The Grizz test out the new way and wind up not only beating the NBA champs Golden State but frustrating the Warriors immensely.

As The Weekend Began:

Confluence Park opens on Mud Island’s north end after a busy week for riverfront development plans. More on this when next we meet.

Some of the Republicans on the ballot in the 2018 August state and federal primary ballot began gathering in the city for the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women’s convention including contender for Governor Bill Lee who is one of several candidates resurrecting the Mountain City to Memphis trek.

Much more from the weekend forum of all six Republican candidates for Governor and a separate appearance by U.S. Rep.s Marsha Blackburn and David Kustoff in our Tuesday edition.

Gibson confirmed our Thursday story that it is selling its Downtown factory space but intends to remain in the city.

Margo Price hs released the follow-up to her critically acclaimed album made at Sun Studios. The followup “All American Made” was also made in Memphis – just down the street from Sun at Sam Phillips Recording. Here is the New York Times on what has happened between the two albums and an anology to Nick Drake.

Dodd-Frank is under fire -- you might say in flames -- in Washington but the “stress test” of the financial regulatory act is still in place. And First Tennessee’s parent company reports it has passed the test.

The state is taking Nashville Metro Schools to court over its refusal to share student data with the state-run Achievement School District. And the result there will determine whether Shelby County Schools shares the same information here where all but two of the ASD schools taken over by the state are.

Monsanto is taking the Arkansas Plant Board to court over its decision to ban the herbicide dicamba in the state. Drift from the herbicide can kill untreated plants in neighboring fields, according to complaints from farmers there and here in Tennessee.

An Elvis auction next month in Tupelo built around Elvis Presley’s early life there.

The Memphis News Almanac: Early voting, Richards Medical, the Tri-State Fair draws 275k and “Cruise of the Hellion” at Pantages and the “eccentric billiardist” on the bill.

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173