VOL. 132 | NO. 216 | Tuesday, October 31, 2017
‘Riverline’ Branding Planned For Downtown Trails
The Riverfront Development Corp. is about to mark the 4.8 miles of riverfront biking and pedestrian trails between Mud Island’s north end and Big River Crossing on the Harahan Bridge with a coordinated set of signs and other markers.
Branded as the “Riverline,” the signage and markers go to the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Design Review Board for approval Wednesday, Nov. 1.
The DRB meets at 4 p.m. at the Downtown Commission Offices, 114 N. Main St.
The markers include 39 precast yellow spheres that will mark the trail every eighth of a mile. In addition, there are 48 large pole marker signs; five smaller pole marker signs; 16 precast signs with the Riverline logo and the name of the park it passes; 11 map and information signs; 12 blade signs; two trail identity signs; three map signs; nine visitor information signs; five painted yellow-circle signs on concrete walks; and three murals on concrete flood walls near the Pyramid.
The improvements also will include a connector sidewalk within Martyr’s Park to better connect it with the sidewalk on Channel 3 Drive that leads to Big River Crossing.
The move toward the improved signage and markings comes just weeks after the Wolf River Greenway section on Mud Island’s north end formally opened to the public. Confluence Park, as it is being called, marks the confluence of the Mississippi and Wolf rivers and is the westernmost section of the greenway that follows the Wolf River across the length of Shelby County eastward into Fayette County.
– Bill Dries
Explore Bike Share Seeks Permanent Headquarters
In anticipation of its roll out next spring, Explore Bike Share is in the search for a permanent headquarters and a temporary warehouse to construct its 600-bike fleet.
For its permanent headquarters, the nonprofit bike-share initiative is seeking a minimum of 6,000 square feet with expansion opportunities and room for two overnight vans, a maintenance shop and a battery-charging station. It wants the facility to be within its initial service area, which includes Midtown, Downtown, Uptown, South Memphis, Binghampton and Orange Mound.
Meanwhile, Explore Bike Share also is looking for a warehouse with a minimum of 20,000 square feet to occupy for two to three months beginning Feb. 1.
“Explore Bike Share has valued and prioritized transparency through all aspects of its journey, and this part of the process is no different,” said John Paul Shaffer, Explore Bike Share board secretary and executive director of BLDG Memphis. “There is immense potential for activating spaces to build, operate and maintain Memphis’ incoming fleet of bikes, and we want to make sure that everyone has the chance to share and seize the opportunity.”
Proposals can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Nov. 3.
– Patrick Lantrip
Cohen Seeks Amendment To Limit Presidential Pardons
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen said Monday, Oct. 30, he will introduce a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution limiting the power of a president to make pardons.
Cohen announced the amendment the same day that former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, a Trump campaign official, were charged in an unsealed federal grand jury indictment with 12 counts of conspiracy against the U.S., money laundering and lying to the FBI and seven counts of failure to file reports on foreign bank and financial accounts. All of the charges are in connection with the special counsel’s investigation of Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election.
Prosecutors also announced Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.
Cohen said Manafort’s indictment “accelerates the need to pass a Constitutional amendment limiting a president’s pardoning authority.”
“If adopted, the amendment would prohibit presidents from pardoning themselves, their families, members of their administrations and individuals who worked on their presidential campaigns,” Cohen said in a written statement. “The indictment makes clear that some of Manafort’s activities took place while he was working on the Trump campaign so the need is clear and present.”
– Bill Dries
Tenet Healthcare To Lay Off 1,300 Workers
The parent company of Saint Francis Hospital in Memphis and Bartlett has announced a company-wide cost reduction effort intended to lower operating expenses by $150 million and will include cutting about 1,300 positions, including contractors.
Tenet Healthcare hasn’t provided details about specific markets yet, but the initiative will consist mostly of headcount reductions and renegotiating contracts with suppliers and vendors. The company currently operates 77 general acute care hospitals, 20 short-stay surgical hospitals and about 460 outpatient centers in the U.S., as well as nine facilities in the United Kingdom.
Tenet’s executive chairman and CEO Ronald Rittenmeyer said in a statement the company is moving “quickly and decisively” to improve financial results and returns for shareholders.
“The cost reduction program … includes a number of structural changes in the way we operate, all intended to reinforce accountability, improve agility and speed decision making. We believe these changes will help us drive organic growth, expand margins, and better support our hospitals and other facilities in delivering higher levels of quality and patient satisfaction.”
Tenet operates two local hospitals: Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis at 5959 Park Ave. and Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett at 2986 Kate Bond Road.
– Andy Meek
U of M Hooks Institute Given $10,000 Grant
The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute at the University of Memphis has received a $10,000 grant from the Ingersoll Rand Foundation to support the Hooks African-American Male Initiative. The Hooks Institute launched HAAMI in 2015 to increase the retention and graduation rates of African-American male students at the U of M.
Current data shows that for first-time, full-time students who graduated within a four-year period, African-American males demonstrated an average graduation rate of 10.6 percent, significantly less than all other groups.
“We feel our support of HAAMI is a contribution to the long-term sustainability of HAAMI’s mission to increase the graduation rate of African-American males, thus contributing to the overall success of diversity in our community,” said Jim Crone, account manager at Trane Mid-South, a brand of Ingersoll Rand.
The grant will provide general operating support for the HAAMI program; support for HAAMI sessions and cultural outings; equipment, technology and support for a HAAMI resource center; and promotion of the program.
– Don Wade
Kroger Opens New Fuel Center, Another on Way
Kroger Delta Division has opened its largest fuel center in Memphis and announced it will open a Midtown fuel center in early 2018.
The new location is in front of the Kroger store at Poplar Avenue and Kirby Parkway. It offers 18 pumps, the most of any local Kroger fuel center, and its hours of operation are 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Construction on the new Midtown Kroger fuel center, located near the Poplar and Cleveland store, has begun and is expected to be finished early next year.
– Andy Meek
EPIcenter CEO Joins Board Of Entrepreneurship Org
Leslie Lynn Smith, president and CEO of EPIcenter, has joined the board of directors for the Center for American Entrepreneurship, a nonpartisan policy, research and advocacy organization.
The center’s mission is to engage policymakers in Washington, D.C., and at the state and local levels across the nation about the importance of entrepreneurs and startups to innovation, economic growth, job creation and economic opportunity, and to pursue a comprehensive policy agenda intended to support new business formation, survival and growth.
The board will oversee strategic objectives, policy agenda and tactical effectiveness of the organization and met for the first time in recent days in Washington.
The center is led by founder and president John Dearie, former policy director and acting CEO at the Financial Services Forum and co-author of “Where the Jobs Are: Entrepreneurship and the Soul of the American Economy.”
– Andy Meek