VOL. 133 | NO. 7 | Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Crosstown High Pulls $4M Permit for New Gym
Crosstown High, a charter school slated to occupy the northeast side of Crosstown Concourse, has filed a $4 million building permit application for a new gym.
The new high school, which is scheduled to open in August, began its buildout last September, when it filed a $4.1 million building permit application at its 1365 Tower Ave. location.
Once open, the first class will consist of 500 freshmen, with additional grades being added each year.
The charter school will offer a unique approach to education that will include students being taught by teams of teachers and participating in a 90-minute “project period” that involves partnering with other Crosstown Concourse tenants – including Methodist Healthcare, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and several retail businesses – for class projects.
– Patrick Lantrip
Akbari Pulls Petition To Run for State Senate
Democratic state Rep. Raumesh Akbari has decided to run for the District 29 state Senate seat being vacated by Lee Harris in the Shelby County legislative delegation.
Akbari pulled her qualifying petition Monday, Jan. 8, at the Shelby County Election Commission as Democratic state Rep. Barbara Cooper was pulling her qualifying petition to seek re-election to House District 86.
Akbari’s decision for the August ballot opens up her state House District 91 seat, with Young Democrats leader London Lamar among those considering a bid to replace her.
Harris is leaving the state Senate at the end of 2018, when his current four-year term ends, to run for Shelby County mayor, starting with the May county primaries.
The state Senate Democratic primary also has drawn the interest of County Commissioner Justin Ford, who has pulled a petition.
Meanwhile, Cooper faces a primary challenge in August from Amber Huett Garcia.
District 99 Republican state Rep. Ron Lollar is the first candidate for the Tennessee Legislature in Shelby County, incumbent or otherwise, to file his qualifying petition.
Incumbent Shelby legislators Larry Miller, Dwayne Thompson and Jim Coley have petitions out. Thompson, a Democrat, already had potential opposition from Shelby County Schools board member Scott McCormick, who has pulled a petition to run in the District 96 Republican primary.
McCormick does not give up his school board seat to run. His term on the school board runs through 2020.
Thompson upset the Republican incumbent, Steve McManus, two years ago in the predominantly Republican suburban district to give Democrats a net gain of one seat in the Shelby delegation to Nashville.
Local Republican leaders have said they would have a strong challenger for Thompson this year. McCormick is a former Memphis City Council member.
Meanwhile, county Trustee David Lenoir has filed his petition for the Republican primary for Shelby County mayor.
Rev. Roslyn Nichols has joined the Democratic primary field for County Commission District 9, the seat currently held by Justin Ford, who is term-limited.
Robert Hill has filed to run in the May Republican primary for Juvenile Court clerk.
Incumbent Probate Court Clerk Paul Boyd has filed for re-election in the Republican primary.
Jamal Whitlow has filed in the May Democratic primary for Shelby County clerk.
Republican Amber Mills and Democrat J. Racquel Collins have filed in the May primaries for the District 1 seat on the County Commission. The seat currently is held by Republican Terry Roland, who is term-limited and running for Shelby County mayor.
In the nonpartisan August ballot races for the judiciary, incumbent Circuit Court Judges David Rudolph and Mary Wagner have pulled their petitions. Each was appointed to a Circuit Court vacancy last year by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. Rudolph is being challenged by Judicial Commissioner Yolanda Kight, and Wagner is being challenged by attorney Michael G. Floyd.
– Bill Dries
Tigers DB Carter Chosen For Another All-America Honor
University of Memphis defensive back TJ Carter has been named to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America team, marking Carter’s third selection to a freshman All-America team this season.
The Nashville native already had been named to the ESPN.com and USA Today freshman All-America teams. Carter, the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, started all 13 Memphis games this season and led the team with five interceptions. The five interceptions is a Memphis freshman record, ranks second in the conference and is tied for 11th in the country.
A second-team, all-AAC honoree, Carter finished the year with 11 pass breakups; two fumble recoveries, including one on his first collegiate snap; and one forced fumble. He was also fifth on the team with 69 total tackles.
Carter was named the Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week after Memphis’ comeback win at Houston. Memphis trailed 17-0 at the half and came back to win 42-38, as Carter forced a fumble and grabbed an interception in the final three minutes to seal the victory.
– Don Wade
Russell Reappointed Chancery Court Clerk
Donna L. Russell has been reappointed clerk and master of Chancery Court by Shelby County’s three Chancellors, Walter L. Evans, Jim Kyle and JoeDae L. Jenkins.
Russell took the oath of office Jan. 4 to begin her second term. She was appointed Chancery Court clerk in 2012, coming to the court after retiring from FedEx Corp. as a corporate tax adviser.
Before FedEx, Russell spent eight years as chief deputy clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. She came to that position after clerking for U.S. Magistrate James Allen following her graduation from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. She also clerked in the Circuit Court clerk’s office.
During her first term, Shelby County Chancery Court became the first court in the state to implement electronic filing of cases. The court also is involved in the online sale of tax-delinquent properties.
Russell is on the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Practice and Procedure and is about to become the chairwoman of the Shelby County IT Steering Committee, which coordinates information technology and its uses across Shelby County government.
– Bill Dries
Old Dominick Distillery Launching Music Series
Old Dominick Distillery, at 305 S. Front St., is launching a music series this month.
The event is called the Pure Memphis Music series. A friends and family preview night is set for Jan. 18, and the listening room series will take place in the distillery’s upstairs event space.
The first concert will be held Jan. 25, and they’ll be held the second and fourth Thursday of each month going forward.
– Andy Meek