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VOL. 132 | NO. 211 | Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Paying the Piper, Sewer Regrets and The New Incumbent's Strategy

By Bill Dries

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Grizzlies over the Rockets 98-90 after being down 12 on the road in Houston. There is just something in the Memphis sports ethos that happens at halftime or between quarters. The Grizz are 3-0 in this young season. And for the second consecutive game some extracurricular action on the court. Mario Chalmers of the Grizz and James Harden of the Rockets scuffled after Chalmers got floored by Harden after Harden got swarmed by him and James Ennis. Harden got the foul and he and Chalmers each got a technical for what followed.

The mouthpiece got thrown over the weekend and Monday it was time to pay the piper. Steph Curry of Golden State fined $50k for throwing his mouthpiece during the weekend game with the Grizz at the Forum. No suspension though. Also his teammate Andre Iguodala fined $15k for yelling at an official. Curry and Kevin Durant of Golden State were ejected from the Friday game in the aftermath of what Curry clearly felt should have been called a foul but wasn’t. No word on what Durant faces after the fact. Also no fines levied or suspensions given for the Memphians wearing as much Golden State gear as they could.

Pinnacle Financial is the seventh biggest bank in the Memphis market, according to a new FDIC report based on customer deposits in the market. And Pinnacle’s chairman says it’s because of an aggressive push to establish its profile and its use of financial advisors.

FedEx buys an inventory research company in Salt Lake City that the company describes as a move to stay ahead of problems that can come up with at-risk shipments – those that require specific conditions during the shipping process.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says he should have talked to more people before he stopped sewer connections to developments outside the Memphis city limits this past August. But that said, he stands by the decision. Also during the interview on Behind The Headlines, which you can find in its entirety in the column to the right of this, he says he’s not sure what closing Health Sciences Park would accomplish toward the goal of removing the statue there of Nathan Bedford Forrest. But he likes the idea of a memorial around the Forrest statue to lynching victims if the statue cannot be moved.

As promised here when last we met, more on the opening of the Wolf River Greenway segment on Mud Island, including Henry Turley talking about the early days of residential development on the northern half.

And two pieces from the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women convention in Memphis starting with a forum featuring all six of the contenders for governor in the 2018 Republican primary. There are some different approaches to continuing education reforms of the Haslam administration that began toward the end of the Bredesen administration. And U.S. Rep. and Senate contender Marsha Blackburn outlines a very different incumbent’s strategy for Republicans in the mid-term elections. It’s basically that 2016 wasn’t the “revolution” – that’s what she is terming the 2018 midterms.

On the subject of next year’s Senate race, former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher has made it official. He’s running in the Senate GOP primary with Blackburn.

You will see more candidates emerging for the next few weeks in the county races on the ballot that starts with the May local primaries. Again, this is candidates declaring their intentions before the holidays get started and then coming back at the start of the new year for the campaign.

So this week, look for Mickell Lowery to formally open his bid in the Democratic primary for the county commission District 8 seat now held by Walter Bailey who is term-limited.

You last saw Lowery in 2015 running for his father, Myron Lowery’s seat on the council. Martavius Jones was the winner of that seat.

Alvin Crook, a Young Democrats leader, thought about running four years ago for the District 12 seat won by Van Turner. He quickly withdrew from the race in 2014 and is back with a new cause in 2018, running for the Shelby County School board for its District 9 seat.

And a correction: Earlier we thought Geoff Diaz was back for a rematch with District 10 commission incumbent Reginald Milton. Diaz has moved in the intervening four years. And as a result, he is running in the May Republican primary for District 5, the seat now held by commission chairwoman Heidi Shafer, who is also term-limited.

Got it? Good.

Funeral services for our good friend Bernal Smith II, the publisher and president of The New Tri-State Defender, will be Friday at noon at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Westwood. Visitation is Thursday at the church from 4-7 p.m.

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