Main Street Journal - Thursday, April 5, 2012

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Photo Credit: Kontji Anthony/WMC
Recognition at Last

The Memphis City Council passed the resolution last year and this week a portion of Linden Avenue became Dr Martin Luther King Jr Avenue. Councilmember Janis Fullilove offered an apology, on behalf of the City, to his family for his assassination. Is Memphis closer today to achieving his dream? (See the Southpaw column to the right for her thoughts on that!) More from ABC24, WMC, WREG.

In a related story, retired Memphis police Major Tim Cook says that James Earl Ray admitted to him in 1998 that he did shoot King. Also, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition held a rally to revive King’s dream of economic justice. Hundreds gathered at the National Civil Rights Museum to mark his assassination.

Unified Shelby County Schools: Many services provided free, or at cost to City schools, will be assumed by the new unified system.

Representative Curry Todd: He announced on the floor of the State House on Tuesday that he has an incurable cancer. More reports from the Nashville Scene. Tennessean, the Memphis Flyer. Video of his remarks.

The Endless Election Season: Today is the deadline for qualifying petitions for the August 2 elections. Current Transition Planning Commission member David Pickler has filed a petition for the Unified School Board; more from the Commercial Appeal.

Municipal School Districts: While the State Senate voted to lift the statewide ban on MSDs, the House bill was stalled when Democrat Craig Fitzhugh proposed an amendment making the bill only applicable to Shelby County, which is unconstitutional.

Memphis Housing Authority: More on the State Supreme Court finding that the MHA can be held responsible in the death of Charles Brown.

Rev Jesse Jackson: He visited the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to praise the students as “role models and frames of reference” for the community. Jackson visited the University of Memphis, for a voter registration rally hosted by the NAACP. And he was interviewed on WREG’s Live @ 9.

Liberty Bowl: The City agreed to improve the stadium’s Jumbotron and other improvements with funding essentially from promises, revenues collected but now diverted, and bonds. Total cost is $9 million. More details from WMC.

Second Amendment: Lt Gov Ron Ramsey chided the TN Chamber of Commerce for focusing their efforts on the “guns in trunks” bill and not fighting for other issues.

Ernest Withers: A judge affirmed her earler ruling that he is subject to the Freedom of Information Act due to his status as an FBI informant. The Commercial Appeal wants to publicise his actions as an informant.

Nashville: A suspected undocumented resident, Olbin Euceda, has been charged with 41 criminal counts against 26 victims over a three month period. At least three “viable candidates” have applied for the Metro school board chair.

Mid-South Aerotropolis Conference: Coming on April 10, the day-long event will focus on Memphis “capitaliz[ing] on its transportation infrastructure to create more jobs, spur more capital investment and enhance neighborhood revitalization”.

Arkansas: Activist group Arkansans for Compassionate Care wants to start a petition drive to get legalised marijuana on November’s ballot. Domestic violence charges were dismissed against West Memphis councilman Marco McClendon.

Business: St. George’s Independent School will host an educational symposium focused on “entrepreneurial citizenship”. The entrepreneurial news from the Commercial Appeal.

People on the Move, via the Business Journal. The Daily News reports Today’s Events. What to Do and People in Business, covered in the Commercial Appeal.

Airline Industry: Airlines have been reducing seating capacity in order to boost fuller planes, and impact bottom lines.

Electrolux: Contractors who missed out on the first round of work building their facility will get a workshop on submitting successful bids.

GTx: They have submitted a letter to the FDA trying to resolve issues that stopped the clinical trials of one of their in-development drugs, Capesaris.

Local Media: A semi-private office and a dedicated parking space in the County building for the exclusive use of Commercial Appeal employees came in for discussion by the County Commission.

Morgan Keegan: Just two days after completing the sale of MK, Regions Financial repaid $3.5 billion in TARP. More from the Commercial Appeal, and again.

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The Main Street Journal will not update today. We will return to regular updates on Monday, April 9. Thank you.

NEW! INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Paul Morris makes the case that it’s now or never for the Hotel Chisca. Either we save it now or knock it down!

NEW! INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! Southpaw: When he came to Memphis in the days before his assassination, Rev Dr Martin Luther King saw the city as a launching point for radical change, a point mostly lost to popular history. We can still be those people and that city!

NEW! INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! What Is “Stand Your Ground”? Regular contributor Craig Harper looks at Tennessee’s “Stand Your Ground” law, telling you what it is and what it covers. Clear and factual information.

INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! First-time contributor B. R. Kuhn shares a harrowing tale of mental illness to illustrate the health care model TennCare should be funding.

Charter Schools: State Treasurer David Lillard ruled that the Unified Shelby School Board was wrong to deny 17 charter schools that otherwise met standards, simply because it didn’t want to deal with them in 2012-2013. More from Fox13, WMC.

Farmers Markets: A comprehensive listing of opening dates from the Flyer.

Voter ID: A State House committee killed a proposal to allow college IDs to be used for voting purposes.

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis: Davis reacts to news from Attorney General Jim Lahood that two smaller stipends he receives are legal. However, a $35,000 stipend he receives was questioned.

University of Memphis: The school’s 100th anniversary is coming up the weekend of April 20 and a new monument will be unveiled: a bronze copy of the school’s sports mascot, TOM. More from the U of M magazine. A video on the sculptor, David Alan Clark.

Student Kailee Tippin is organising a “slutwalk” to protest violence against women.

Downtown: Coming soon to the property they bought several years agoCentral BBQ. More from the Daily News. Three new ballrooms worth of dining space is coming soon, hopefully in May.

Tennessee: The TN Housing Development Agency has received two-thirds of a million dollars from the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling, for mortgage relief. Six Indian groups are near State recognition. Crime was up slightly on the State’s colleges and universities. Tax Freedom Day fell more than two weeks earlier for Tennesseans than it did for other Americans. The TFD website.

Good Friday & Easter: The Commercial Appeal has the list of Good Friday closings. Thanks to competition with the ethanol/fuel market, your corn-fed ham will cost you more this year.

National Weather Service: They will be trying out a new warning scale that includes descriptions like “catastrophic” and “mass devastation” to cut through the clutter of television coverage.

48 Hour Holds: Judicial commissioners will no longer hold probable cause hearings.

City of Memphis: The City is reviewing disability payments to four people who must either prove their disability again, or get back to work.

Green Lane Project: We were one of six cities chosen by the Bikes Belong Foundation to add more “protected roadways” for bikes around the city and promote cycling in general.

Politics: The bill legalising medical marijuana is dead for the year; more from the Nashville Scene, the Tennessean, the Knoxville News-Sentinel, the Associated Press (via WMC) and the Commercial Appeal. Governor Bill Haslam wants legislators to spend time on “things that really matter to a state”. A vote is due on the governor’s civil service reforms. A proposal is floating around to let the governor appoint the Attorney General. More on the just-passed “saggy pants” bill, sponsored by Democratic Memphis Rep. Joe Towns.

The House debated then passed, 71-23, a Bible quote-filled resolution opposing Obamacare; more from the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Governor Bill Haslam is likely to sign the bill allowing teachers to criticise scientific theories and teach controversy.

West Tenessee: The Megasite has been renamed the Memphis Regional Megasite, to promote large scale manufacturing. Anyone booked into the Tipton County Jail is now automatically strip searched.

Senator Lamar Alexander: Speaking to the TN Chamber of Commerce he said that Washington can do more to help the economy.

Freedom From Religion Foundation: They have bought a billboard near downtown Nashville, touting atheism. More from WTVF in Nashville. The FFRF website on the campaign.

DeSoto County: Health Help MS covers 22 counties and helps those without insurance to locate it. Hernando has hired a new planning director, Jared Darby. Drivers there are “speed demons”! Southaven is cracking down on code violations.

Farm Road: Repaving and repairs on the road begin Monday.

Mississippi: The MS House narrowly approved a bill to allow cities in dry Counties to vote on alcohol sales. And the Senate voted for a bill requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. “Nerves are fraying and tempers are flaring”, says the Associated Press. The State is selling one of its two planes to pay for 78 new Highway Patrol vehicles. Judges and attorneys may get a pay raise.

Picture of the Day

The Memphis Dawls perform at Otherlands, from Tumblr by the Dawls. Photographer uncredited. © 2012.


Joe Spake’s Daily Buzz: The rest of the day’s news, from all sorts of eclectic places.

Rays of Wisdom: There’s a lot to consider with refinancing your home. (via the Daily News)

I Swear: More on crosswords. (via the Daily News)

Don W. Morgan, PhD: A call for “everyone” to give kids access to choices that will keep them healthy. (via the Tennessean)

Tennessean: Tennessee isn’t ready for medical marijuana because so many will abuse the law and smoke recreationally.

Wendi C. Thomas: Memphis naming a street to honor Rev Dr Martin Luther King was a long time coming. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Commercial Appeal: Kudos to DeSoto County for healthy living. Strip searches should be applied fairly.

Fox13 Insiders: Mark Skoda and Joseph Kyles discuss the issues of the day.