VOL. 133 | NO. 60 | Friday, March 23, 2018
Benchmark Hotel Case Continued Until April
The public nuisance case between the Downtown Memphis Commission and the owners of the former Benchmark Hotel has been continued until April 12.
Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter had declared the site a public nuisance in February despite claims by the building’s owners, MNR Hospitality, that it was still an active construction site. The building had been in a partially demolished state for more than a year and a half.
The lack of progress eventually prompted the DMC to seek legal action with the support of several high-profile neighbors, including The Rendezvous’ John Vergos, and The Peabody hotel’s Marty Belz.
Potter retired March 1, and the Shelby County Commission is set to appoint his replacement April 2.
– Patrick Lantrip
Rhodes College Senior Named One of 40 US Watson Fellows
Jennifer Bitterly, a senior English and philosophy major at Rhodes College, has been named a Watson Fellow, a prestigious designation that includes a stipend to be used for travel and study abroad for 2018-2019.
Bitterly is one of only 40 graduating college seniors nationwide awarded the fellowship. She plans to visit Guatemala, South Africa, Greece, India and Mongolia while completing her project titled “Searching for Home, Shaping the Self.”
“I hope to learn how the relational value of home takes shape through physical place,” she says. “Though the idea of home may appear simple, in my experience it is richly layered and offers rewarding insight into how our personal and communal identities are formed through and from our surroundings.”
A graduate of La Reina High School in California, Bitterly received the Bellingrath Scholarship at Rhodes. She spent a semester in Spain as a Buckman Fellow and also has studied and been an intern abroad in Ecuador and Argentina.
In 2017, while participating in the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, she explored concepts of home within migrant communities in Memphis and the Mid-South. This past year, she has worked as a legal assistant at an immigration law firm in Memphis, where she prepares hardship waivers for families.
In addition, Bitterly has participated in Rhodes’ mock trial program all four years of college, where she is a two-time winner of the American Mock Trial Association’s All-American attorney award.
She also is a Rhodes Diplomat; vice president of the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta; and a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, the philosophy honor society Phi Sigma Tau, and Omicron Delta Kappa, an honor society for outstanding scholarship and leadership.
After completing the Watson Fellowship, Bitterly plans to pursue graduate studies.
“I am currently considering both law school and a doctorate in an interdisciplinary field such as American Studies, potentially as a joint J.D./Ph.D,” she says.
Established in 1968, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship provides for one year of independent study and travel outside the United States. Bitterly is Rhodes’ 12th Watson Fellow since 2002.
– Daily News staff
Wealth Management Firm Gets New Logo, Brand
Wealth management firm Hilliard Lyons, which has 10 branches in Tennessee, including a Memphis office, is unveiling a new brand and logo firm-wide.
The Tennessee branches – which employ 70 wealth advisers, client service associates and other staff – are getting new exterior signage this week.
The new logo and branding elements are a departure from the firm’s former bull, bear and ticker tape logo, which the firm has used since 1973.
The new logo incorporates a golden pathway and a modern typeface, and will be the most visible part of the firm’s redefined brand. While the logo makes a nod to the firm’s heritage by including “EST. 1854,” it’s also a cleaner look.
The Louisville, Kentucky-based firm has rebranded everything that the public will see, including letterhead, business cards, statements, the firm’s website, and websites for wealth advisers.
– Andy Meek
State Lawmakers Pass ‘In God We Trust’ School Bill
Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill to require public schools to prominently display the national motto, “In God We Trust.”
It would take effect immediately if Republican Gov. Bill Haslam signs it. The legislation passed the Senate unanimously and cleared the House in an 81-8 vote, with both chambers controlled by Republicans.
The measure requires schools to display the motto in a prominent location, either as a plaque, artwork, or in some other form.
Whether this motto represents an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion is a question that has invited legal challenges in other states with similar laws.
But the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Susan Lynn, says the bill shouldn’t bother “faithless people” and “people of other faiths” because it’s the motto of the country.
“Our national motto and founding documents are the cornerstone of freedom and we should teach our children about these things,” Lynn said.
Haslam said he’ll look at the legislation when it hits his desk, but added that “at the end of the day, I’ve never been one that thought that having a motto somewhere changes a lot of people’s thoughts.”
– The Associated Press