Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr. Gets a Bio Pic

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 12:31 PM

News of a new MLK biography flick, and Indie Memphis budget news at "Sing All Kinds," the Flyer's pop culture blog.

MSARC Turned Over to City Attorney's Office

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 12:28 PM

During a contentious City Council committee meeting -- in which members Kemp Conrad, Shea Flinn, Jim Strickland, and Bill Boyd walked out -- Memphis CAO Keith McGee today said the city attorney's office would assume executive oversight of the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center.

McGee said that the center, which has been plagued with allegations of mismanagement under Public Services and Neighborhoods director Ken Moody and deputy director Yalanda McFadgon, will also be audited by an outside firm.

Before discussion about MSARC began, Moody and McFadgon, already at the table for a previous item, excused themselves from the room. Conrad then requested that the council hear the issue during executive session.

"I want to hear from the people responsible for this division," he said.

After Joe Brown, the committee chair, did not accept the motion, another motion was made to overrule the chair. Brown did not accept that motion, either, and several council members then left the room.

Brown said the council owed it to the public and the media to hear McGee's presentation.

"We don't turn over meetings in the middle of a session," Brown said. "We just don't do that. We're going to hear this meeting out."

City Council chair Myron Lowery later entered the meeting and said they would hear the issue in executive session later on today.

To read more, including comments from the council's executive session, go to the In The Bluff blog.

Bianca Knows Best ...

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 12:27 PM

This week, our advice maven Bianca Phillips tackles a family addiction problem.

Monday, May 18, 2009

When the NFL Courted Memphis -- And We Said, "Nah."

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Once upon a time, the National Football League asked Piggly Wiggly founder Clarence Saunders to put his team in the league. Clarence wasn't impressed. Vance Lauderdale has the story.

A Skatepark for Mud Island?

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Public input study proposes skate park, carousel, and aquarium for river park. Mary Cashiola has the story.

Tending Baseball's Garden

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 8:42 AM

Despite the latest steroid scandal, baseball's future looks bright to Frank Murtaugh.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Beale Street Landing at $33 Million

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 12:26 PM

The price has gone up again for this riverfront project. Read all about it in City Beat.

The Mayor as Artist

Shelby County mayor A C Wharton gets honorary art degree.

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton may be color-blind, but that didn't stop the Memphis College of Art from giving him an honorary degree last weekend.

During MCA's 2009 commencement ceremony, Wharton, MCA trustee Ellen Cooper Klyce and former Commercial Appeal arts writer Fredric Koeppel, were all given honorary doctorates of fine arts.

Wharton, also the commencement speaker, said the students would step out into the world not as a new generation but as the re-generation, a reference from Thomas Friedman's book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded.

"What if the world was without color and only shades of gray, black, and white?" Wharton asked. "What you have to offer is bigger than your canvas and field of study."

Friends of Israel Fest is Sunday

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 8:44 AM

The Memphis Friends of Israel Festival takes place Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at Shelby Farms. There will be Israeli music, Jewish and Middle-Eastern foods, Israeli vendors, educational exhibits, dancing, entertainment, a petting zoo, face-painting, and a 5K race at 8 a.m.

This is the second annual festival, supported by a multi-religious civic group called Friends of Israel. The goal is to promote Israel and explain its importance to the world. For more info on the festival and the race, go to the Memphis Friends of Israel website.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Is Wilco's Jeff Tweedy Living the Life He Sings About?

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2009 at 5:19 PM

The acrimony has moved to the courtroom for former Wilco bandmates Jay Bennett and Jeff Tweedy. Andria Lisle's got the story.

Star Trek: A Worthy Update of the Franchise?

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Greg Akers tackles the new Star Trek flick, and kinda likes it.

Pasties, G-Strings, and Pretty Things on View at Nocturnal

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2009 at 11:34 AM

An old-fashioned burlesque show comes to town tonight at Nocturnal. Details here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's Next in Shelby County Clerk Case?

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2009 at 9:53 PM

Is the criminal investigation of the Shelby County Clerk's office -- and, possibly, some local elected officials -- going federal? Two veteran criminal lawyers, neither of whom is involved in the case, have different views.

John Pierotti, a former Shelby County District Attorney General, expects the case to stay in state court. All of those indicted so far in connection with car tags and licenses face state charges. Memphis City Councilwoman Barbara Swearengen Ware was not indicted but was named as making payments to clerks in 2007 and 2008. She has said she did nothing improper or illegal. Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons has said more indictments are likely.

"I wouldn't think Bill would be going to the trouble of requesting an investigative grand jury unless he intends to prosecute it," Pierotti said.

Pierotti said it is rare for a D.A. to make that request, and he never did it during his tenure.

Defense attorney Leslie Ballin said it might be "cleaner" to move the case to federal court, so there would no need to appoint a special prosecutor if Gibbons decides to recuse himself.

Gibbons, a former City Council member before any of the current members were elected, is planning to run for governor. A third possibility is parallel or joint investigations with state and federal indictments. Pat Brown, a former federal public defender in Memphis, said some cases go both ways if there are multiple defendants and state and federal violations.

Football booster Logan Young was indicted on federal charges announced at a joint press conference by Gibbons and former United States Attorney General Terry Harris. And former Shelby County Commission aide Calvin Williams was indicted on state charges before that case was dropped and he was later tried and convicted on federal charges.

Public corruption cases in recent years have generally been handled in federal court, including the Tennessee Waltz cases and the Main Street Sweeper cases against former councilmen Rickey Peete (who pleaded guilty) and Edmund Ford (who was found not guilty at trial).

Bono Writes Elvis Poem

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Jolly ole England is abuzz today with the BBC Radio 4 broadcast of Bono's 14-minute long poem about Elvis Presley. Check it out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bianca Knows Best ...

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2009 at 12:51 PM

... and helps a very Jerry Springer-esque family situation.
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