VOL. 133 | NO. 114 | Thursday, June 7, 2018
SCS Pulls Permit for New Goodlett Elementary
Shelby County Schools has filed a $25 million building permit application for construction of a new Goodlett Elementary School at 3000 Claudette St.
The larger school is to be built on the site of the existing Goodlett Elementary, which is at 3001 S. Goodlett St. Once completed, the new school will allow Shelby County Schools to close nearby Knight Road Elementary.
The school system is also moving ahead with plans for a new Alcy Elementary that will also be larger than the existing school now on the site. That will allow the school system to consolidate students from nearby Magnolia and Charjean elementary schools into the new Alcy.
– Bill Dries
Lori James Leases Up At Laurelwood
The contemporary women’s boutique Lori James is moving to Laurelwood Shopping Center in East Memphis.
The 30-year-old boutique owned by Memphian Lori James has been at Regalia Shopping Center since its inception. The Laurelwood location will be approximately 2,500 square feet and is slated to open in July.
“With so many stores continuing to open in the center, we feel that this move will be a positive step in advancing the growth of our boutique,” James said in a written statement.
– Bill Dries
Collierville Adding Drainage Inlets South of Town Square
The town of Collierville is installing new drainage inlets along five streets south of the town square to improve drainage in those areas as part of a $2.3 million project.
The inlets along Echo Cove, Harris Cove, West Street, Friendship Cove and Hurdle Drive will improve the transition of the flow of stormwater into Collierville’s stormwater network.
The $1.3 million in improvements begins in July in the Alcorn Village neighborhood. Construction there is expected to take three months.
Phase two of the project includes replacing the box culvert at Sycamore and South Street with a culvert that has larger capacity. That $1 million project gets started in September and is also expected to take three months to complete.
The $2.3 million in total improvements are funded with federal Community Development Block Grant funding that comes to Collierville through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
– Bill Dries
Council Drops Referendum From November Ballot
There will be no referendum question on the Nov. 6 election ballot that would change a basic structural feature of city government.
The Memphis City Council rejected on third and final reading Tuesday, June 5, a referendum question that, if approved by city voters, would have required council approval of city contracts.
The measure, introduced by councilman Martavius Jones, died on third and final reading for lack of a second.
The power of the mayor to make contracts without council approval is one of the central features of the charter that created the mayor-council form of government 50 years ago. The power to enter into contracts is one of several features that makes the structure of city government a “strong mayor” form of government.
After several delays earlier this year, the council also gave final approval Tuesday to two de-annexation ordinances that will de-annex the portion of Eads within the city limits as well as uninhabited flood plain land in southwest Memphis unless a majority of residents in each area specifically petition to remain in the city.
The council approved the city’s purchase of land next to Rodney Baber Park in Frayser for $68,000 as part of a larger federal resiliency grant program to create a Wolf River Greenway area in the expanded park area by the Wolf River.
In planning and development items, the council approved an amended planned development for the One Beale project that calls for seven- and nine-story buildings on a larger site, which now incorporates land east of Wagner Place in its first phase. Council members also approved transferring ownership of Wagner Place north of Pontotoc Avenue to the developers. The public would still be able to use the street. The transfer is because the hotel development on the east side of Wagner and Beale will include an overhang that encroaches on Wagner.
The council also set June 19 public hearings and votes on a trailer parking area on East Holmes Road near Tchulahoma for the Amazon fulfillment center; a new- and used-tire store at 975 N. Germantown Parkway; and an appeal of a Land Use Control Board decision on a development at Princeton Avenue and East Erwin Drive. The council set an August hearing and vote on a proposed construction landfill at Shelby Oaks Drive east of Summer Avenue.
– Bill Dries
U of M Professors Awarded $1.9 Million NIH Grant
Two University of Memphis professors have received a $1.9 million grant for a collaborative brain imaging and big data project. The grant was awarded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Gavin Bidelman of the Institute for Intelligent Systems and School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Mohammed Yeasin of Electrical and Computer Engineering received the grant for “Neural Dynamics Underlying the Emergence of Auditory Categorization and Learning.” Bidelman directs the Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, housed within the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
The ability to categorize sounds is a precursor to spoken and written language that often is impaired in auditory-based learning disorders, such as dyslexia.
Bidelman said the grant will support the team’s work to understand the neurobiology of normal perception of speech, music and auditory learning, and also inform potential interventions for certain communication problems that impair the process of categorizing sounds.
“State-of-the-art data science approaches will be applied to electrical brain recordings to decode where, when and how the human brain maps sounds to meaning and determine what markers of neural activity are most predictive of successful speech perception and learning,” he said in a statement. “A major innovation of the project is the application of big data techniques to human neuroimaging data that will enable us to ‘decode’ which electrical signatures are causally related to behavioral outcomes.”
Bidelman’s and Yeasin’s grant is the second the NIH has awarded to U of M professors this spring. Joel Bumgardner, professor of biomedical engineering, recently received a $1.9 million NIH grant to support his work to regenerate bone lost to periodontal disease or injury.
– Daily News staff