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VOL. 133 | NO. 16 | Monday, January 22, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: Brunch Overload, Grade-Changing Misdemeanor and Sports Rebirth

By Bill Dries

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What happens when Memphians have been home and/or work bound for about two weeks between a national flu outbreak and snow and ice that hangs tough in below freezing temperatures and the temperature Sunday under sunny skies is almost 60? The correct answer is brunch overload.

It’s harder to get to bringing the kitchen down and turning it around for dinner than a first down for the Titans several weekends ago. And there is so much demand for Mimosas that the sound of champagne bottles being opened sounds like automatic gunfire. Well, more resonant that gunfire actually. More pop than bang, but you get the idea.

Monday is the day city sanitation crews begin dealing with the recycling backlog from our snow week. The city crews worked through the weekend to get to the regular garbage carts that piled up during the week.

Monday is also day three of the federal government shutdown and among those who represent Memphis in Washington D.C. the view of who is to blame for the shutdown is a look across the aisle at the other guys.

Here is the rest of The Week Ahead.

A new Monday on-line feature for the new year. About Memphis is a simple concept -- the stuff we see around here on various social media sites about Planet Memphis that we think are interesting. No elaborate lead-in to frame it, just a headline and a link and you take it from there. We think it helps to add context to what we are doing with our original content on a daily basis. Sometimes it will be a different perspective on events and issues we are covering. Other times it will be something we haven’t gotten to yet or that we haven’t touched on in a while.

Shelby County Commissioners have a minority and locally-owned business ordinance fix on their agenda Monday as well as a six month moratorium on new construction landfills.

A follow up to our cover story of last week on the Trezevant High School grade-changing scandal and the debate over the use of grade floors in Shelby County Schools. SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson has said he believes there could be a legal interpretation that some of the alleged conduct at Trezevant was criminal. Our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard reports that Memphis Democrat Antonio Parkinson has a bill in the state House that would define changing a student’s grade outside of established policies for such alternations to transcripts a misdemeanor under state law. There is also talk of amending the bill to strip a teacher of his or her state certification. There is some push back from the Tennessee Education Association.

Parkinson: “I honestly think that once this legislation is passed, I don’t expect us to charge one individual. I think this will serve as a real and true psychological deterrent and keep people from ever going down that path again so we never have this problem again in Tennessee.”

When our annual Newsmakers gathering on sports in Memphis convenes Thursday afternoon at the Brooks, there will be a lot of discussion about sports and specifically its box office business as a significant part of the rebirth of Memphis at large. The concept is interesting at a time when soccer is making a return but not in the form a new separate soccer stadium like the one Nashville is building. We’ve also seen the rise of Tigers football through two coaches that has boosted attendance to a critical level in terms of the impact in the larger area around the Fairgrounds. Here is an idea of where that conversation Thursday is likely to go in this week’s cover story by Don Wade in The Memphis News.

In the Sports Notebook, the return of Z-Bo over the weekend and Jeremiah Martin’s injury.

As the weekend began, we got more specifics of who might be interested in the recently-removed Confederate monuments.

In the race for Tennessee Governor, some very different views on a Medicaid/TennCare expansion at a health forum in Nashville last week run down by AP’s Jonathan Mattise in Nashville. The Republican contenders gather Tuesday evening in Nashville for another forum.

Elsewhere in the capitol, a new speaker pro tempore in the state Senate which means a new deputy speaker in the Senate.

More signs of the political times, a portrait of recently-retired Circuit Court Division 9 judge Robert Childers was unveiled in what is now the courtroom of Judge David Rudolph at the Judge D’Army Bailey Courthouse.

Ray Lepone is the new deputy district attorney general after about a year and a half as a Juvenile Court magistrate.

The impact of federal tax reform shows up in First Tennessee Bank’s fourth quarter financials and year-end numbers.

Def Leppard and Journey booked for FedExForum July 6. Here is Rolling Stone on what to expect... other than no Steve Perry. Def Leppard’s first Memphis concert date, you may ask. Glad you did. Sept. 3, 1981 at the Orpheum opening for Ozzy Osbourne on the Blizzard of Ozz tour per “Memphis Rocks” by Ron Hall.

More local reading coming your way in the spring. Robert Gordon’s latest is “Memphis Rent Party” and it is out March 6.

And April 14, HBO debuts a new comprehensive three-hour two-film documentary “Elvis Presley – The Searcher.” The film will get a big push at SXSW in Austin the month before the debut with a panel discussion including Priscilla Presley, David Porter, and Jon Landau.

The Memphis News Almanac: Thompson Drops Out, Fire Station #25 and rezoning Mitchell Road, Skyscraper chimes and Tennessee prohibition.

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173