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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.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Senators File Bill Against In-Flight Cell Calls

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 9:31 AM

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As promised, Senators filed legislation to prohibit cell phone conversations on commercial airline flights just before a federal commission approved the first step in lifting the 22-year ban in a Thursday meeting.

Federal Communications Commission commissioners voted 3-2 Thursday to begin the process that could allow passengers to text and make cell phone voice calls when their flights are above 10,000 feet. But as we reported in a story last week, the process will be a long one with at least months of mandatory public comment.

But a group of Senators couldn’t wait. They filed the Commercial Flight Courtesy Act, which would prohibit cell phone voice calls on flights. One of those Senators was Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander who worried that voice calls on flights could lead to “fist fights.”

“Keeping phone conversations private on commercial flights may not be enshrined in the Constitution, but it is certainly enshrined in common sense,” Alexander said in a Thursday statement. “This legislation is about avoiding something nobody wants: nearly 2 million passengers a day, hurtling through space, trapped in 17-inch-wide seats, yapping their innermost thoughts.”

The legislation has bi-partisan support. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein is an original co-sponsor of the bill who said flying on a commercial flight is “not conducive to numerous passengers talking on cell phones.”

The legislation would, however, allow passengers to send text messages.

But U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said his agency may step in to block in-flight in before the FCC and before the legislation is considered.

“We believe USDOT’s role, as part of our Aviation Consumer Protection Authority, is to determine if allowing these calls is fair to consumers,” Foxx said. “USDOT will now begin a process that will look at the possibility of banning these in-flight calls.”

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Court Papers Outline Former Alexander Aide's Child Porn Arrest

Posted By on Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Loskarns Facebook profile picture
  • Loskarn's Facebook profile picture
The federal complaint filed Thursday against U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander‘s former chief of staff Ryan Loskarn outlines years of the ousted aide’s child pornography consumption and his brazen attempt to hide it from investigators Wednesday.

The complaint was filed by U.S. Postal Inspector Brian Bone in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In it, Bone said Loskarn’s capture came after the USPS and the Toronto Police Service began an investigation into a movie production company in 2010 that featured films of young nude boys.

That investigation led them to one customer, Jesse Ryan Loskarn, with a Washington address. Invoices showed that Loskarn had made several purchases from the company between November 2010 and March 2011.

In 2013, law enforcement officials matched files identified on Loskarn’s home IP address to those on a peer-to-peer network offering child porn. One file matched to Loskarn’s computer showed young girls being raped, the complaint said.

Law enforcement officials “utilized the ram to force entry” on Loskarn’s home Monday after they knocked to execute their search warrant but got no response. While officers rammed the front door, an officer stationed on the perimeter of the scene watched Loskarn lean out a window and place an object on his roof. Once inside, officers went to the location and discovered he had placed a portable hard drive there, the complaint said.

“There was snow on the ledge and roof where the drive was found due to the snow storm the day before,” the complaint said. “This device was free of snow.”

Computer forensic examiners from the U. S Department of Justice reviewed the hard drive and found child porn videos.

Loskarn was arrested Wednesday. Alexander responded to the initial search of Loskarn’s home that morning by placing him on unpaid administrative leave. Later that day, the Tennessee Republican had “removed (Loskarn) from the payroll” and named David Cleary, another top aide, to the chief of staff post.

“The courts will judge Mr. Loskarn’s guilt or innocence, but under these circumstances, he cannot continue to fulfill his duties as chief of staff of this office,” Alexander said in a statement.

Loskarn will be held until his detention hearing on Monday.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sen. Lamar Alexander Suspends Chief of Staff On News of Child Porn Allegations

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Loskarns Facebook profile picture
  • Loskarn's Facebook profile picture
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) suspended the chief of staff of his Washington office Wednesday as law enforcement official searched the staffer's home on allegations of child pornography.

Alexander said he learned about the search and the allegations against his chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn, Wednesday morning, according to a statement on Alexander's official Senate website.

"I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned," Alexander said. "Based on this information, I immediately placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. The office is fully cooperating with the investigation.”

Alexander
  • Alexander

A National Journal profile of Loskarn in 2011 said he is a native of Sykesville, Md. and a graduate of Tulane University. He started working on Capitol Hill in 2000 and worked for a time as communications director for Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. He told the Journal at the time that his hobbies included home improvement projects, reading and "trying to force myself to go to the gym."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Four Places to Donate Toys This Holiday Season

Posted By on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

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Businesses across Memphis have different ways of giving back during the holiday season, but these four organizations will accept toy donations. All four locations require that donations are new and unwrapped.

The Memphis Police Association holds its toy drive every year in early December, but they will be accepting toys and monetary donations for special needs children of any age at its office location until December 12th. Toys most needed are for children ages 11 to 14.
628 Jefferson

Oasis of Hope, a faith-based organization in North Memphis, has a pop-up store that sells discounted toys to families in the neighborhood, who may not be able to afford full prices during Christmas. The community store, a part of Oasis Appliance, Bike Shop, and SweeT-Shirt, will accept toy donations for children of all ages from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until December 14th.
1294 N. Thomas

Stop the Hurt, Start the Healing Foundation, an organization that aims to continue Michael Jackson’s mission of healing the world, is having its fifth annual toy drive at Walmart in Raleigh from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. The drive will benefit Hope House, an organization that provides help for children who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Toys for children of all ages are needed.
3950 Austin Peay

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital is not doing a holiday toy drive, but accepts toys throughout the year for patients. Toys for children ages 13 to 15 are especially needed. Donations can be dropped off during business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
850 Poplar, Building 2

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Humane Society Seeking "Hottest Hounds" For Coffee Table Book

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

The cover of the recently released New Orleans edition of Hottest Hounds
  • The cover of the recently released New Orleans edition of Hottest Hounds

Think your dog is hot? Fido may get his big modeling break from a new fund-raising project for the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County.

The Humane Society is asking local dog owners to donate $100 to $200 to have their pooch's picture included in Hottest Hounds, a coffee table book of dogs that originally started in Birmingham, Alabama.

The hardcover keepsake book is expected to be released around the middle of next year. Dog parents can have their pup included on one page for $100 or a two-page spread for $200. The Humane Society will receive 30 percent of the proceeds.

Sixteen photos will also be featured on the front and back cover, and locals can bid on those spots. The winning bids are donated to the Humane Society.

To secure a spot in Hottest Hounds: Memphis, call or email Cassie Moore at 205-335-8298 or HottestHounds@gmail.com.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Memphis International Airport Now Has Free Wi-Fi

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 10:36 AM

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Memphis International Airport launched free wi-fi access today. The service is offered through Boingo Wireless. Previously, the airport only offered paid wireless access.

The free, ad-supported wi-fi can be used for basic internet needs, such as checking email, searching the web, or using social media, but those with more data-intensive internet needs, such as streaming video and uploading large files, can purchase premium wi-fi.

"Our customers asked for free Wi-Fi services, and we listened,” said Scott Brockman, Chief Operating Officer for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

The wi-fi is available at all gates, ticketing, and baggage claim areas. In late December, the rental car area of the airport will also have free wi-fi.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Know Your Rights" Workshop This Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

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This Saturday, Homeless Organizing for Power and Equality (H.O.P.E.) will host their sixth "Know Your Rights" workshop at the Memphis Center for Independent Living. A program of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, H.O.P.E. is made up of people that have either formally been homeless or are currently homeless.

For the past four months, members of H.O.P.E. have been working with the Shelby County Public Defenders office and other lawyers to host a series of "Know Your Rights" workshops, in part as a response to the harassment and arrests citizens have endured for filming Memphis Police officers with their phones. H.O.P.E.’s Street Watch Initiative will have complaint forms available to document instances of police harassment and abuse, and members of the initiative will walk those in attendance through the process of filing a formal complaint against an officer.

According to a press release issued by the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, the H.O.P.E organization, The Bridge: Memphis Street Newspaper, and the Manna House have also had preliminary meetings with Colonel Russell Houston from the Memphis Police Department's Crump Station. Those meetings have mainly focused on changing the negative relationship that exists between the homeless of Memphis and the MPD.

H.O.P.E.'s “Know Your Rights" workshop is Saturday, November 16th at the Memphis Center for Independent Living (1633 Madison Avenue) from 2:30- 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 901-300-0006.

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