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VOL. 133 | NO. 21 | Monday, January 29, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: End of the Camp Out, Megasite Views and The Glory Years

By Bill Dries

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No camp out this year for the opening of applications for optional schools because it is online at Shelby County Schools this year. Also the applications are available at the same time – Monday morning at 10 a.m. – for the open enrollment at any other SCS school that has available space. Those were some hardcore campers that in some cases had been at this for a couple of generations. Persisting through barcodes and a 99.9 percent probability that their first choice of school would happen without the tent, generator and heaters.

Here is the rest of The Week Ahead.

Mike Conley is out for the rest of the season, The Grizz made it official Saturday.

The discussion about the megasite in Haywood County that bears the word Memphis in its formal name – the Memphis Regional Megasite – has a history of about a decade of long periods of obscurity with sudden and dramatic appearances in the local news cycle. That was the case in the run-up to the cover story by Patrick Lantrip in the new issue of our weekly, The Memphis News. You will read about a pretty conventional regional outlook and attempt to market the megasite that is still a struggle at this point and not “shovel ready” by the judgment of Toyota – the latest corporation with site consultants looking to invest a lot of money in a manufacturing plant. You will also hear from a critic in the megasite’s own backyard who says he thinks the state should spend the money it has put into the project into three or four pursuits including finding a use for the North Memphis land where the Firestone plant once stood.

This is not our first cover of the Megasite. We’ve done lots of coverage over the last decade there and in The Daily News.

As the weekend began…

FedEx rolled out a $3.2 billion reaction to federal tax reform. $1.5 billion to an overhaul of the FedEx hub in Indianapolis with a modernization and expansion of the Memphis SuperHub to come in the spring, another $1.5 billion to the company’s pension fund, and $200 million to pay raises.

A change in the set of local health clinics that have seen a rapid expansion in recent years continued to play out as Cherokee Health Systems of Knoxville began running this city’s Resurrection Health Clinics which had closed at the end of 2017. The merger of the two was agreed to in 2016 and appears to have been a gradual merger until the continuing resolution Congress approved this month cut in half the financial support from Washington for such clinics and in particular the residency program at Resurrection. Our past discussions with Resurrection founder Rick Donlon highlighted the need for such a residency program for family medicine and primary care physicians.

Primary Care Specialists joins Regional One Health and Regional One CEO Dr. Reginald Coopwood says it confirms the turnaround of the institution many of us still know as The Med – its development into a network.

“Around Memphis” our roundup of links to things published elsewhere that are Memphis-related includes a Whitehaven photo essay, the Time Warp Drive-in schedule, the impact of Tyreke Evans of the Grizz off the court and a discussion about public schools in Brentwood that is based in part of the suburban schools experience in Memphis.

Notes from our Thursday Newsmakers forum at the Brooks on the business of sports includes the owner of the Redbirds laying out very different audiences for the Redbirds and the soccer team that moves into AutoZone Park in 2019, Jason Wexler of the Grizz describing this as the glory years of Memphis sports and talking about Grizz Gaming.

“The finding of arsenic out there changed the game,” TVA CEO Bill Johnson last week at City Hall talking about the issue of TVA wells in southwest Memphis where a $1 billion new gas-fired plant to replace the old Allen plant is underway.

The Memphis News Almanac: Wolfchase staffs up for its opening, fewer hospital beds in 1978 Memphis, James Meredith applies to Ole Miss and a new fire station at National and Broad.

PROPERTY SALES 21 82 6,474
MORTGAGES 7 53 4,088
BUILDING PERMITS 240 353 15,714
BANKRUPTCIES 38 58 3,328