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VOL. 132 | NO. 216 | Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Bill Dries

Last Word: Cohen on Manafort, Collierville's Growth and The Quiet Jackson

By Bill Dries

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A close one for the best team in the NBA Monday evening at the Forum but the Grizz lose only their second game of the young season to the Hornets 104 – 99. Some of you went. Some of you watched. Still others opted for the Edgar Allen Poe biography on “American Masters” while getting your costume together and then made a late run for candy. You know who you are.

The proposal to give county government’s top 19 elected offices a pay raise once the winners of the 2018 elections are decided is probably stuck at seven votes on the Shelby County Commission. So the backers of the pay raises on the commission are looking for a compromise before third and final reading of the pay raise ordinances next month. Here’s the rundown of that and other action Monday at the commission session including an amended agreement with the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy and land for a Woodstock K-12 School.

With Monday’s indictment of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort along with another campaign aide and a guilty plea by still another, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis is proposing a constitutional amendment in anticipation of pardons:

“The indictment of Paul Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman last year, accelerates the need to pass a Constitutional amendment limiting a president’s pardoning authority. I will be introducing the amendment on Tuesday. If adopted, the amendment would prohibit presidents from pardoning themselves, their families, members of their administrations and individuals who worked on their presidential campaigns. 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.”

Cohen also introduced a bill Monday calling on President Donald Trump to release all remaining government documents on the Kennedy assassination calling Trump’s decision to withhold some of the records “a slothful approach to meeting a legal dictate.”

The Justice Department has had Memphis on its mind for the last two weeks with major changes to two oversight roles within the city. The Justice Department has changed its collaborative review of the Memphis Police Department that had originally included reviewing how police go about deciding who gets arrested and who doesn’t and studying de-escalation techniques. The new agreement signed by Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings earlier this month takes out any mention of that. That follows up on a change in all of the collaborative reform agreements across the country that Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in September. And there is the settlement agreement with Juvenile Court, which keeps the Justice Department oversight intact of racial disparities and disproportionate minority contact issues. The due process issues involved in the oversight are declared in compliance.

From our “Behind The Headlines” conversation with Kevin Kane of the CVB and Jennifer Oswalt of the DMC – forget about the Mud Island garage on Front as the site of a second convention center hotel. And look for parking to get rearranged elsewhere along the riverfront.

Explore Bike Share looks for a headquarters with storage in advance of its spring roll-out.

In our Commercial Real Estate Emphasis, Collierville’s growth and its challenges particularly in residential development. The owner of Crews Development, Jason Crews, tells us the challenge is to keep home prices down with lot prices increasing and higher material and labor costs.

Who owns an “Eat Local” t-shirt? If you don’t eat out every day that approach is a lot easier to maintain. But these days we all eat out more than we once did. And that is fueling the rise of chains whose pending arrivals we note on an almost daily basis. It’s a national trend and a recognition that the Memphis economy isn’t as bleak as those in other parts of the country may think when they look this way. And maybe we aren’t as committed to Eat Local as we might think. Want to start a debate? Just ask a Danver’s loyalist if they will be giving Cook Out a try.

Meanwhile, we look at the growing “I Love Juice” restaurants. The couple that has a new one planned for the Tennessee Brewery development on the other side of winter is also involved in the City Silo business that many of you knew as the Cosmic Coconut.

The emphasis is in advance of Thursday’s Daily News Seminar on commercial real estate including the local pursuit of Amazon HQ2. There is also an Urban Land Institute forecast.

Pinnacle Financial has five new offices in the works for different parts of the county including one of two loan production offices in Whitehaven on Elvis Presley Boulevard near Tri-State Bank’s recently-opened headquarters, a mortgage office on Getwell that is already open and a Midtown office on Union Avenue.

Tito Jackson really wants to play the blues. And you might not think that is much of a problem for one of the Jackson 5. But you would be wrong between decisions to use session players on Jackson 5 records and then giving audiences what they wanted later on as the Jacksons. That’s how you wind up with Tito Jackson playing small gigs with a band of friends he called the “Beer Belly Blues Band” before he just recently got into a partnership with the late B.B. King’s backing band for the real thing. For the quietest of the Jackson, Tito Jackson had a lot of say last week when he was in town for the Memphis Music Hall of Fame festivities.

At the Indie Memphis film festival, a documentary about scientific research using animals that you might not expect from a genotyping company.

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