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VOL. 133 | NO. 40 | Friday, February 23, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: Corker & Blackburn, More Frost and Dale Watson's Move to The Haven

By Bill Dries

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It's possible around City Hall these days to get your RFQs mixed up with your RFPs. And there is a difference in requests for qualifications and requests for proposals. Usually RFQs come before RFPs – but there are exceptions – loopholes. The latest RFQ out of City Hall – album title or t-shirt slogan? – is for the adaptive reuse of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

The move of the Brooks out of its 102-year old home in Overton Park to the riverfront is at least five years away. And there are already at least two ideas out there.

As promised here, more on the Memphis Zoo parking plan for Overton Park that went public Thursday at a meeting at the Pink Palace.

The May county primary ballot is all but set with the passing of Thursday’s withdrawal deadline. In the week since the filing deadline only one contender has withdrawn – Maurice Denbow from the Republican primary for County Clerk bringing the field in that primary to three candidates. So, no county primary races were decided with the withdrawal deadline. Still two county commissioners -- Van Turner and Willie Brooks -- with no opposition Democratic or Republican and a third -- Reginald Milton -- with only independent opposition. And in countywide races, Richard DeSaussure, Wayne Mashburn and Dale Lane are unopposed in Republican primaries for Criminal Court Clerk, Register and Sheriff respectively. And Bill Morrison is unopposed in Democratic primary for Probate Court Clerk. The filing deadline for August state and federal primaries and county nonpartisan races is April 5 at noon. DEMOCRACY

He’s not the keynote speaker at Saturday’s Shelby County Republican Party Lincoln Day Gala. But U.S. Senator Bob Corker will probably be the center of attention at the event. And that is not uncommon in an election year when a Republican figure from out of state keynotes the gala and the home-grown candidates get some mic time in advance of the primaries.

Corker is reconsidering his decision not to seek re-election to another six-year term. And Marsha Blackburn, who would go from the only major candidate in the Senate primary at this point to a major challenger of Corker should he get back in, gave Corker something on her side of the ledger to consider. Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and 18 other Republican state Senators endorsed Blackburn’s Senate candidacy this week.

Lots of discussion about time’sup and metoo at our annual Women & Business seminar Thursday at The Brooks.

Dr. Susan Murrmann, attorney Tannera George Gibson and Rhodes College president Marjorie Hass were the featured speakers at Thursday's Daily News Seminar on Women & Business.

Next Thursday, we review the year 2017 in real estate with numbers and analysis at the Chandler Reports Annual Real Estate Review at Memphis Botanic Garden. Chandler Reports is the real estate information company that is part of The Daily News Co. Inc. and is marking its 50th year in business. The numbers, in general, show a new high in the volume of home sales last year at $3.13 billion and residential foreclosures at record lows.

Wendy Greenlaw, business development manager of Chandler Reports and The Daily News Online will present the annual numbers. Eric Barnes, publisher of The Daily News, will moderate a panel discussion that includes Jason Woods of Community Mortgage, Gary Thompson of Boyle Investment and Dan Butler of CrestCore Realty.

A rendering of the exterior renovation of 1 S. Main St., one of three Downtown infill projects granted exterior grants this week from the DMC. (Looney Ricks Kiss)

Frost, the bakery, is expanding -- its second recent expansion.

Speaking of real estate, is infill becoming the new mixed use? Three Downtown infill projects got exterior improvement grants from the Downtown Memphis Commission this week. And one will feature a barber shop that is also a kind-of-but-not-really hidden entrance to a speakeasy-themed bar.

More Frost… or to be more precise, more frosting. Frost, the local bakery, is expanding again with a third location coming up and a production facility expansion in Bartlett. And the owners, Bill and Kristi Kloos, give us some insights into their base vanilla recipe and the frosting along with some sales stats. Frost sells about 400 strawberry cakes a month – their most popular flavor.

The Grizz are back from the All-Star break Friday night at the Forum against Cleveland and Grizz rookies Ivan Rabb and Kobi Simmons talk about the first half of their first season in the NBA where the lessons have been a bit hard for rookies on a losing team.

In “The Press Box,” Don Wade on the NCAA catching up to Louisville and Rick Pitino’s defense of parties for players featuring strippers and prostitutes: “That had nothing to do with their eligibility or performance in winning that championship.”

The cover story by Andy Meek in the new issue of our weekly, The Memphis News, is about Church Health’s medical residency program designed to increase the numbers of primary care physicians – family doctors whose practice is general. Church Health is also working with those residents to train them as advocates for their patients. This is no small feat. Resurrection Health was attempting the same kind of residency program on a larger scale.

The PDF of the new issue is up now on this very website. The hard copies of the new issue go in the racks Friday morning. And the online version of the cover story goes up here Friday afternoon.

How many of you thought the sex scandal involving the mayor of Nashville, Megan Barry, and her police security chief was about a short, discreet affair that would pass quickly with no additional revelations? This got so much worse than that Thursday with the TBI saying in an affidavit it has recovered nude cellphone pictures of a woman from the work phone of former police Sgt. Rob Forrest. The TBI got a search warrant and then Barry’s cellphone but Barry and her attorney have refused as of Thursday night to turn over the pass code for her phone. Here’s The Tennessean.

One of the surprises at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s annual luncheon in December was an appearance by Dale Watson, who before he played one of his biggest hits announced that he had recently moved to Memphis – Whitehaven specifically. Our friends over at The Memphis Flyer also took note of Watson’s move from Austin to Memphis, bringing along his Ameripolitan Music Awards with him a cover or two ago as well.

There is a different take on this in Austin via savingcountrymusic.com calling Watson’s move “a massive hole in Austin’s music community that will never be properly filled.” This is somewhat about Memphis. But the piece, which quotes from the Flyer piece, is also a rant about gentrification in Austin and what happens when success scales up in a good economy. And these are, of course, familiar concerns and discussions in our own city. The comments on the story are pretty interesting as well.

Le Bonheur has started an endowment fund aimed at community efforts that starts off with a $2 million balance from a former Rhodes College professor who along with her husband owns a luxury retreat in North Carolina.

The Big River Trail, the set of trails on the Arkansas flood plain by the West Memphis side of Big River Crossing will be partially closed to the public starting Friday because of the rising Mississippi River. And the Arkansas gate on the western side of the crossing will be closed Sunday for the same reason.

As we reported here when last we met, the National Weather Service is forecasting the river at Memphis will crest next week. This does not mean the Big River Crossing itself – the bicycle and pedestrian boardwalk on the northern side of the Harahan Bridge – is closed. It is not. It remains open with its normal daily hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the Memphis gate open. When the river level drops, the Arkansas gate and trails will reopen just as they did last year at about this time for the same reason. And if you get close enough to the Arkansas gate after the river is past its crest but while some high water is still in the trail area you will probably see lots of cranes feasting on the fish left on the flood plain by the departing waters.

This week’s “Behind The Headlines” is a continuation of the issues discussed in the PBS documentary “American Creed” hosted by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and historian David Kennedy. Our show features artist Yancy Villa-Calvo, Rev. Earle Fisher and Madeline Faber of High Ground News. The show airs Friday at 7 p.m. on WKNO TV.

PROPERTY SALES 62 288 2,619
MORTGAGES 52 197 1,783