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VOL. 133 | NO. 167 | Thursday, August 23, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: Rallings Talks Bridge, Bird at U of M and Spec Industrial

By Bill Dries

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Part of the unofficial job description of an activist can be to be as provocative as possible. And provocative is what the attorneys and the judge in the Memphis Police surveillance lawsuit trial in federal court got Wednesday from Keedran Franklin. Franklin is one of the activists/protesters in the recent wave of protests locally in the last two to three years who was being watched closely by Memphis Police.


His testimony in the trial Wednesday was just about all provocative starting with referring to Mayor Jim Strickland as “Jim-Jim.” Meanwhile, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings completed his testimony Wednesday saying he has started a criminal investigation into a parody account on Twitter under Rallings name started by another activist Paul Garner, who was also mentioned prominently in 330 pages of court documents including depositions by police brass on the way to the trial.

Police Major Eddie Bass also recounting his family’s involvement in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and his career in law enforcement during his testimony. Bass also defended the police approach to protests in recent years saying he would have refused any order to engage in “political surveillance."

Testimony in this non-jury trial could wrap up Thursday.

Meanwhile, an op-ed piece in The New York Times by Leta Mccollough Seletzky, who comments on the lawsuit and the trial underway as she also offers some intriguing peeks at the book she is writing about her father, Memphis police undercover officer Marrell Mccollough.

Thursday is the withdrawal deadline for candidates in the five sets of municipal elections on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Birds are coming to the University of Memphis.

The Tennessee Comptroller’s report on the sudden departure of the acting head of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows Jason Locke used WhatsApp on his state-issued cell phone. And Locke ordered a public information officer for the TBI to destroy a social media message that is a public record under state law. Locke’s wife notified the governor’s office of her husband’s misuse of state property and funding with another state employee.

The withdrawal deadline for those candidates in the five sets of suburban municipal elections that made last week’s deadline to file for the races comes Thursday at noon. We will be watching for changes and post them @tdnpols. But if the past is any indication, there will be few if any folks getting out. And then it’s a matter of the Shelby County Election Commission certifying the ballot for November.

Bird – the dock-less electric scooter shared mobility service – is formally coming to the University of Memphis campus in what might see Bird-mania reach a new peak locally. Plenty of evidence that Birds have traveled far since their introduction to Memphis this summer. The U of M agreement is a formal location of some of the scooters on campus without having to wait for visitors from afar.

Change of plans for a new tenant in Overton Square because of the mayoral transition in county government.

Site consultants hold a convention in Memphis.

Atlanta developers announce plans to build what is the first spec industrial building within the city in a decade near Lamar Avenue and the BNSF intermodal yard.

New coach for the Hustle, the G-league affiliate of the Grizz in Southaven.

Mass transit in Nashville and in Memphis is one of many points that you have to call by its cliché – a tale of two cities. In his “View From The Hill” column, our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard looks at how the capital city’s debate has taken a very different route. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Memphis dentist Fred Heros is honored with the highest honor given by the Tennessee Dental Association for his work that expands his dental practice in Bartlett to include work at Church Health, Baptist hospital and Mission to Mercy.

PROPERTY SALES 61 61 6,453
MORTGAGES 46 46 4,081
BUILDING PERMITS 113 113 15,474
BANKRUPTCIES 19 19 3,289