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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Creative Placemaking Event Being Planned for Tennessee Brewery

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 10:46 AM

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The long-vacant Tennessee Brewery at 495 Tennessee Street downtown may see new life — at least for the short term — this coming spring.

Plans are in the works for a six-week event to be held from April 25th to May 31st in the brewery's courtyard space that could include a beer garden, musical performances, pop-up boutiques, movie screenings, art shows, food trucks, and more.

The event is being planned through a partnership with Memphis entrepreneur Taylor Berger, the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team, and Doug Carpenter & Associates.

The goal of the event is to activate the long-dormant brewery space, which is being considered for demolition by its current owners if no interested buyers come forward soon.

The building's leasing agent James Raspberry said the building's current ownership group has plans to demolish the 114-year-old structure if someone doesn't step in to purchase it in the next six months.

"At this juncture, someone needs to purchase the property. The ownership group is ready to hand off the baton," Raspberry said.

The current owners purchased the building 12 years ago, and they've repaired the south wall and installed a new roof, but Raspberry said "kids have gone through and just vandalized the building and ruined two to three sections of the roof."

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Memphis Airport Welcomes First Frontier Airlines Flight

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 3:57 PM

The first non-stop Frontier Airlines flight from Denver arrived in Memphis today around 1:15 p.m. Some of the passengers poured out of the plane wearing Elvis-style sunglasses given out on the flight, and even the pilot donned Elvis shades and waved to reporters from the cockpit.

A passenger leaving the first Frontier flight from Denver
  • A passenger leaving the first Frontier flight from Denver

Another passenger from todays arriving Frontier flight
  • Another passenger from today's arriving Frontier flight

Frontier Airlines had a presence at Memphis International Airport years ago, but it couldn't compete with Northwest Airlines and eventually pulled service. Now the low-cost carrier is back offering non-stop flights to its Denver hub.

Frontier originally announced they'd start with flights four days a week leaving from the Memphis airport, but reception has been so good, they've already announced plans to expand that service to seven days a week.

Frontier is considered a leisure airline and an ultra-low-cost carrier, meaning passengers opt for cheaper tickets with few frills (such as no free drinks, etc.), and they can choose to pay for as many extra services as they wish.

"We will bring the lowest fare into the city we fly into," said Frontier director of sales Andrea Blankenship during a quick welcoming ceremony before the first flight arrived today.

Scott Brockman and Andrea Blankenship in front of the first arriving Frontier flight
  • Scott Brockman and Andrea Blankenship in front of the first arriving Frontier flight

"We are reinventing ourselves as an [origination and departure] airport, and Frontier offers a tremendous product," said Memphis Shelby-County Airport Authority president Scott Brockman.

Read more about the airport's transition from a hub to an O&D airport in the next issue of the Memphis Flyer.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Calvary Episcopal Church Offers "Ashes To Go"

Posted By on Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 1:23 PM

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Wednesday, March 5th is Ash Wednesday, but the faithful who don't have time for church can get their ashes on the go tomorrow. Calvary Episcopal Church will be taking their ashes to the street, specifically along Main Street downtown, at noon.

Members of the parish will walk along Main, offering a cross-shaped smear of ashes on the forehead to anyone who wants one. Typically, one would have to attend an hour-plus liturgy at church on Ash Wednesday to experience the Imposition of Ashes, a Lenten kick-off tradition.

“Ashes to Go is about sharing one of the most sacramentally potent moments of the year with our friends and neighbors in downtown Memphis.” said the Rev. Chris Girata, rector of Calvary Episcopal Church, who is leading the initiative. “Ash Wednesday is about remembering our mortality, but it is also about reconnecting with God and growing closer to God in the season of Lent. Lent is a time of love unconditionally offered, not guilt imposed, and we hope to impress that love on the friends and strangers we will meet with Ashes to Go.”

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tennessee Ag Gag Bill Is Back

Posted By on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

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A bill introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly that would regulate the use of drones in agriculture also outlaws “surreptitious commercial surveillance." And that has animal welfare groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States, concerned that its just another attempt to pass a so-called "ag gag" bill in the state, according to an article in The Tennessean.

Last year, the state legislature passed a bill that would have made it illegal for whistleblowers (and journalists) to hold undercover footage of animal abuse for longer than 48 hours without alerting law enforcement, but it was vetoed by Governor Bill Haslam.

Such bills, known as "ag gag" bills, have been introduced in state legislatures across the country as a way to crack down on undercover animal abuse investigations on factory farming operations. Most undercover investigations take much longer than 48 hours, and without being able to secretly record for several days, animal welfare groups are less likely to successfully expose animal abuse.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Make Memphis To Host Kick-Off Event

Posted By on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 2:13 PM

In December, entrepreneur Taylor Berger of Chiwawa and Yolo fame started a Facebook group with a goal of connecting Memphis people and bringing to action their ideas for making Memphis a better place. That group has since grown to include more than 1,300 members.

Make Memphis will host its first big public event this Saturday, February 8th from 4 to 6 p.m. Those attending will be asked to submit an idea for a project that could improve the city, and anyone who wants can pitch their idea for 90 seconds. Some of those projects will be included on ioby.org's new Memphis website, where people can donate money to make the projects reality. Ioby.org is a crowd-source fundraising website, similar to Kickstarter, aimed at funding city projects.

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Also at Saturday's meeting, Make Memphis will form a business group of interested parties that will eventually host monthly meetings so entrepreneurs can share ideas and prioritize projects.

Attendees should RSVP on Eventbrite. Tickets are $5, but they will be refunded in the form of a gift certificate that can be used to find any project listed on ioby.org.

Medical Marijuana Act Gains Entry to TN Senate

Posted By on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Senator Ophelia Ford
  • Senator Ophelia Ford

Senator Ophelia Ford (D-Memphis) has signed on as the sponsor of SB 2451, better known as the Koozer-Kuhn Medical Cannabis Act, in the Tennessee Senate. The Senate bill was filed for introduction on February 5th.

The Koozer-Kuhn Medical Cannabis Act would legalize medical marijuana for specific medical conditions through a Safe Access identification card process. The bill is featured as the cover feature "In the Weeds" in this week’s Memphis Flyer.

The House bill, sponsored by Representative Sherry Jones (D-Nashville), has gained 10 co-sponsors: Joe E. Armstrong (D-Knoxville), JoAnne Favors (D-Chattanooga), Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville), Derren Jernigan (D-Old Hickory), Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville), Larry J. Miller (D-Memphis), Gary Odom (D-Nashville), Johnny Shaw (D-Boliver), David Shepard (D-Dickson), and Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory).

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Gawker Knows the Hippest Neighborhoods in Memphis

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 10:26 AM

A warning to the Memphis set of mustachioed, PBR-swilling lovers of music you've probably never heard of, Gawker knows where you are.

Back in November, the gossip website Gawker asked readers to vote for the hippest neighborhood in their cities in a poll that asked "What is the Williamsburg of your city?" Williamsburg is, of course, the Brooklyn neighborhood known for being hip, or at least being the national epicenter of hipsterdom.

So, the results are in and the hippest parts of Memphis are Cooper-Young, Overton Square, and South Main.

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Now before the fixed-gear, humanely raised, locally sourced mud starts to fly on this issue, the poll results were generated "thanks to the collective knowledge of Gawker readers." Each of the Memphis neighborhoods in the poll received one vote each.

East Nashville won the honor for Tennessee's capitol city. Not a single vote was cast for hippest neighborhood in Knoxville, though Happy Holler, the North Knoxville commercial enclave, was noted as an up-and-comer. The St. Louis neighborhoods of Central West End and The Grove were voted neighborhoods hippest there.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Easy Way Co-Owner's Death Ruled To Be Suicide, Not Robbery

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 4:45 PM

David Carter
  • David Carter

Although previous reports alluded that Easy Way co-owner David Carter was killed during a robbery, the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office has now ruled Carter's death as a suicide.

Memphis Police director Toney Armstrong announced the new findings in a press conference Friday afternoon.

Carter was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest at the Easy Way Distribution Center on Mendenhall on Monday morning around 6 a.m. He was inside an office area. Files were overturned, and two safes were open. Carter's truck was parked in the lot, and the passenger door was left open. His jacket was found on the ground.

Police originally believed that Carter encountered someone outside the facility who forced him inside. They believed Carter was shot during a robbery.

But surveillance footage from inside the business shows Carter entering the facility alone and deactivating the alarm system. Police were unable to find any evidence that Carter was coerced or threatened by another person, and surveillance video does not show anyone else entering or exiting the office where his body was found.

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Best of Memphis Winner Gets Memphis Flyer Tattoos

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Brian Skinny McCabe
  • Brian "Skinny" McCabe

Newby's bar manager/bartender/booking agent Brian "Skinny" McCabe will never forget the times he's won "Best Bartender" (or the times his Highland strip employer has won "Best College Bar") in the annual Memphis Flyer "Best of Memphis" reader's poll. That's because his BOM awards are tattooed on his body.

McCabe recently had the finishing touches put on his latest Memphis Flyer tat, which pays homage to this year's Mike McCarthy-designed comic book-style cover. McCabe took a few minutes to tell us about his Flyer ink.

Brian Skinny McCabes BOM tattoo collection
  • Brian "Skinny" McCabe's BOM tattoo collection

Flyer: How many years has Newby's received BOM awards?
McCabe: From what I was told, we've been winning ever since The Memphis Flyer started it. I've been there for almost nine years, and I can only think of once when we didn't win Best College Bar.

You have two BOM tattoos. When did you get your first one?
The first was shortly after I won in 2012.

And what made you think, "I should get a tattoo commemorating this!"?
I want my co-workers to see it on a nightly basis so they know who is the "Boss Applesauce."

Where on your body are the tattoos?
Right (massive) calf muscle

Who was your tattoo artist?
Super Dave at No Regrets. He's done mostly all of my work since I turned 18. I'm 32 1/2 now.

Any regrets?
Sometimes I wish it would glow in the dark.

Will you continue this trend for any BOM awards in the future?

I have officially retired from the rat race, but just in that category. But, to answer the question, yes! I still have plenty of room.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Memphis Colleges Up for Renovations

Posted By on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 10:53 AM

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A pair of Memphis colleges may get multi-million-dollar upgrades this year, though few details of the projects are known.

Building permits have been pulled recently for projects at both Memphis College of Art and for Rhodes College.

A building permit requested in November describes a $1.47 million project at Memphis College of Art. That project would finish out the fourth and fifth floors of the existing MCA graduate school building at 477 South Main Street, according to the permit. The college moved parts of its operations to the South Main Art District in 2010.

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A building permit was pulled Monday for an $8 million renovation project at Rhodes College. The permit request did not give a fuller description of the project other than its location at 2000 North Parkway.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Calling All Hotties!

Posted By on Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Every year, the Flyer staff is tasked with the oh-so-tough job of scouring the city for the loveliest faces and the most bodacious bods to showcase in our annual Valentine's Day Hotties issue.

So we're asking you to make our jobs easier by shooting us some pictures and contact information for the hotties in your life. The hotter, the better. We're not looking for any of that "Oh, he's hot because he's a good person" crap. We want truly gorgeous people, folks.

Think you're hot stuff? Then nominate yourself! We promise we won't tell anyone.

Submit pictures, contact information for your hottie, and a few lines about him or her to bphillips@memphisflyer.com. We'll narrow submissions to the 14 hottest people, interview them, and ask them to come in for a photo shoot later in the month.

The deadline for submissions is January 24th.

The Memphis Flyer 2013 Hotties were smokin!
  • The Memphis Flyer 2013 Hotties were smokin'!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy Zach Randolph Day!

Posted By on Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Zach Randolph
  • Zach Randolph

At 4 p.m. on Friday, Mayor A C Wharton will declare December 27th to be "Zach Randolph Day" in a ceremony at Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2856 Hickory Hill.

The honor is intended as a way to thank Randolph for his charitable contributions. Randolph will be present and signing autographs at the event.

Over the years, Randolph has paid electric bills for people who couldn't afford them.

“I remember my first year in Memphis, it was real hot out so I paid a bunch of people’s electric bills,” Randolph told ProsGiveBack.com. “I remember it was real bad and people didn’t have air conditioning so I wanted to make a difference, so I paid their bills for a month so they wouldn’t have to worry about it for the time being."

He's contributed funds to the Grizzlies charitable foundation to ensure that children from the Boys & Girls Club get Christmas gifts. And he's donated large sums to the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association among other charitable contributions.

He also rescued a pit bull that was stuck in a drain pipe near the Shelby Farms Greenline. The dog had heartworms and skin infections, and it was taken in the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans . Randolph donated $10,000 to cover the dog's medical expenses. The pup was named Little Z-Bo.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

SantaCon is Coming to Memphis Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 3:09 PM

SantaCon in New York City
  • SantaCon in New York City

If anyone hasn’t quite exhumed their Christmas spirit yet this year, the holiday-themed and adults-only SantaCon, a rally of Santas landing in downtown Memphis on Saturday, might be the celebration to revive it. This will be the Bluff City’s first year for the event, which was founded in 1994 in San Francisco. Participants are required to dress up like Santa and address other participants as such, all while consuming alcoholic beverages at various locations. According to the original SantaCon organizers, Father Christmas partakers are also encouraged to bring gifts to give to strangers along the route.

SantaCon starts at noon at the Central BBQ on Butler Avenue, after which the participants will march towards Beale Street by 1 p.m. Four checkpoints in the area are Tater Red’s at 2 p.m., Coyote Ugly at 3 p.m., Hooter’s at 5 p.m., and finally, the Elvis statue in front of the MLGW building at 7 p.m.

More information for the Memphis event, including guidelines and a songbook of “Twisted SantaCon Carols,” is located on the SantaCon website.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shots From the People's Conference on Police Misconduct

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Organizers gathered in downtown Memphis yesterday following the first ever People's Conference on Police Misconduct.

The conference was planned by the Memphis United Coalition following an incident on South Main on October 25th, when the organizers of a post-Trolley Tour "cypher" in front of K’PreSha Boutique alleged that police officers responding to a noise complaint over-reacted and escalated the situation. One attendee, Jeffrey Lichtenstein, said his phone was confiscated after he filmed the police action.

A few days before that, on October 21st, Ashley Moore and Paul Garner, volunteers with Homeless Organizing for Power and Equality (H.O.P.E.), were arrested for “obstruction of a highway or sidewalk” when they attempted to record the police searching a man at the homeless hospitality center, Manna House.

Protesters gather outside of City Hall in Memphis in response to police harassment at a Hip Hop Performance on South Main this October
  • Chris Shaw
  • Protesters gather outside of City Hall ]in response to police harassment at a Hip Hop Performance on South Main this October

Protesters gather outside of City Hall with messages for police.
  • Chris Shaw
  • Protesters gather outside of City Hall with messages for police.

Protesters march from St. Patrick's Church to City Hall in Memphis after the People's Conference on Police Misconduct.


Darius "Phatmak" Clayton and other local rappers take part in a hip hop cypher outside of City Hall.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

People's Conference on Police Misconduct

Posted By on Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM

The Memphis United Coalition will host a conference devoted to police reform on Tuesday, December 17th.

The "People's Conference on Police Misconduct" begins at noon at St. Patrick's Church (277 S. Front) with a "Know Your Rights" workshop and community forum moderated by LeMoyne-Owen College professor Gee Joyner and Rhodes College professor Earle Fisher.

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From there, the group will march to Civic Center Plaza downtown at 2 p.m. A public hip-hop "cypher" (a freestyle rap and hip-hop performance) will be held there from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. During that event, representatives from Memphis United will deliver letters demanding police reform to Memphis Police Department (MPD) Director Toney Armstrong, Mayor A C Wharton, Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich, and members of the Memphis City Council.

An after-party featuring performance by Lurrell Low, Red Planet, YR Generation, Girls Of Gravitron, and Knowledge Nick will be held at K’PreSha Boutique (323 S. Main).

The "People's Conference on Police Misconduct" was planned following an incident on South Main on October 25th, when the organizers of a post-Trolley Tour "cypher" in front of K’PreSha Boutique alleged that police officers responding to a noise complaint over-reacted and escalated the situation. One attendee, Jeffrey Lichtenstein, said his phone was confiscated after he filmed the police action.

A few days before that, on October 21st, Ashley Moore and Paul Garner, volunteers with Homeless Organizing for Power and Equality (H.O.P.E.), were arrested for “obstruction of a highway or sidewalk” when they attempted to record the police searching a man at the homeless hospitality center, Manna House.

After these incidents, Memphis United took on the cause of demanding police reform. The coalition was formed in March 2013 to organize the "People’s Conference on Race and Equality," a peaceful alternative to the KKK rally at Health Sciences Park.

Memphis United is demanding sensitivity and crisis intervention training for Memphis patrol officers, adherence to the MPD’s policy that allows civilians to record police actions, an end to harassment based on race, nationality, disability, economic status, and gender identity, and an the immediate testing of the the 12,000 back-logged rape kits.

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