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VOL. 133 | NO. 15 | Friday, January 19, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: The Snow Split, Amazon Post-Mortem and Intermodal Comeback

By Bill Dries

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A split verdict on Snow Day 4. Some school systems and colleges and universities are out again Friday, others are not and still others are opening later in the day. Shelby County Schools, which is out, says it has 13 extra days built into its schedule for just such an event or events – that is 13 days extra beyond the 180 days the state requires as the bare minimum for a school year.

More snow week stats from the city which since this event began and through 7 a.m. Thursday has used 27,000 gallons of brine, 910 tons of salt and 2,072 labor hours.

The closings here appear to be the case elsewhere in the state. Our Twitter feeds in the office included notices that Williamson County Schools are out Friday etc. etc. But that may be to celebrate Amazon’s imminent arrival in Nashville – just kidding.

Speak of the devil, now that we know we aren’t on Amazon’s list for HQ2, the immediate reaction indicates this wasn’t a surprise and that the Amazon package local leaders put together was more of a kind of personal inventory of attributes and challenges.

An open letter from Memphis Greenspace president Van Turner to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam Thursday names some of the entities that have expressed interest in the Confederate monuments removed Dec. 20 from two city parks. And Turner says his company, which bought the parks from the city including the monuments, is willing to tend the graves of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife unless or until the Forrest descendants wants to have their remains moved elsewhere.

In Election Commission action, Heidi Kuhn has pulled to run in the May Democratic primary for Criminal Court Clerk. Democratic incumbent State Rep. John DeBerry has pulled for re-election in District 90.

The plan for a Medical District apartment complex made from intermodal containers has cleared the Board of Adjustment after other development plans involving intermodals have encountered resistance in 2017. And the renovation of a warehouse on Southpoint Drive gets a Fast Track PILOT from EDGE.

In our Friday Sports Section:

Don Wade’s Press Box column on the better fortunes of the Tigers basketball program attributable in large part to Jeremiah Martin but in dire need of better recruiting for the seasons to come.

Mickey Callaway of Germantown is about to begin spring training as the manager of the New York Mets. Shades of Marv Throneberry. Google it.

The cover story by a very busy Don Wade in our weekly, The Memphis News, looks at a “vibrant” local sports scene that includes the recent addition of a soccer franchise that makes its debut in 2019 at AutoZone Park and makes the case that a new sport probably wouldn’t have been as welcome by the other sports entities in town not too many years ago when the competition was tighter for fewer dollars.

Consider this a supplement to next week’s Newsmakers: Memphis Sports seminar at the Brooks – Jan. 25 at 3:30 p.m. The panelists are Memphis Redbirds owner Peter Freund who is also involved in the USL franchise, Jason Wexler of the Grizz, Darrell Smith of the FedEx St. Jude Golf Classic and Mark Alnutt of the University of Memphis.

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

Terry McCormick in Titantown on Mike Mularkey getting sacked and surprised.

Dave Link on UT’s football recruiting success in the Big Orange rebuild.

We heard from Cong. Steve Cohen of Memphis about our repost of the Roll Call story and video about the 1986 Cadillac Cohen uses for short runs to the Capitol in D.C. He reminded us that he did not recite the lyrics to the Steve Alaimo/The Gentrys tune “Every Day I Got To Cry Some” – he sang the song. Noted.

A “Hiker Happy Hour” Friday evening on Highland serves as a launch for Devils Backbone Brewing in the Memphis market.

As promised when last we met, a deeper dive into Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s State of the City address at Kiwanis earlier this week along the lines of the city’s crime problem.

Among the Grammy nominees, the liner notes for Otis Redding Live at the Whisky A Go-Go, a 1966 performance.

In March, the latest book by our publisher, Eric Barnes, is out. His latest novel is “The City Where We Once Lived.”

Coming this spring, “A Spy In Canaan” – a new book about photographer Ernest Withers by Commercial Appeal reporter Marc Perrusquia.

Memphis City Council chairman Berlin Boyd and Shelby County Commission chairwoman Heidi Shafer on “Behind The Headlines” to talk about opioids, reprisals in Nashville for the Confederate monuments coming down, sewer cut-offs, education funding. What didn’t we talk about? The show airs at 7 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday on WKNO TV.

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