• Issue Archive for
  • Jun 15-21, 2006
  • Vol. 1, No. 903


  • Southern Comfort

    Grand mansions, clear lakes, and the world's best cheeseburger make Holly Springs, Mississippi, a worthy journey.
  • Get Moving

    “It’s like the civil rights movement but with Memphis music,” says local rapper Miscellaneous. He’s talking about the 1st Annual Memphis Movement, a concert he organized to promote solidarity the rapping community. (It should be noted that Miscellaneous is currently involved in a public feud with Yo Gotti.). The concert is today at the National Civil Rights Museum at 1 p.m. Read more about Miscellaneous and the event in this week’s Local Beat here.
  • Act Two for Act One

    The winner of the award for best local feature at last year’s Indie Memphis Film Festival, Act One, is now available on DVD. A product of Old School Pictures, a local filmmaking collective that has made several features and twice won top local prize at Indie Memphis, Act One is a clever comedy about a successful screenwriter whose life is complicated by a one-night stand and the pressure of producing a new script. The film is directed by Memphian Brad Ellis and stars Allen Gardner, who provide commentary on the DVD. The DVD also includes a behind-the-scenes feature, audition and outtake reels, and a sampling of press coverage. The discs are available for $15, which covers taxes and shipping and handling fees. You can order the DVD here. To read the Flyer’s features on this award-winning local film, go here and here.
  • It’s All Metal

    Did you know that when Graceland’s gates needed repairs, they were hauled over to the National Ornamental Metal Museum, located near downtown Memphis? Or that blacksmiths from the blufftop foundry also forged the trophies for the Memphis in May barbecue festival? (The trophies are cleavers, by the way, surrounded by little metal pigs.) The museum is so unique, in both its day-to-day operations and its 30-year commitment to metalsmithing, that writer Matt Dellinger penned a two-page article for Smithsonian magazine’s May issue. Read how founder Jim Wallace turned the former U.S. Marine hospital into a home (he raised his sons there) and into a nationally renowned museum attracting 30,000 visitors a year, here.
  • For Daddy

    For Father's Day, take Dad to the Memphis Botanic Garden on Sunday, June 18th from noon to 5 p.m. for the Exotic Italian Car Show. At this show, state-of-the-art Ferraris and other heart-racing cars will be on display. Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. Tickets are $5. Call 761-4771 for more information.
  • Bye Bye, Leon

    Local talk jock Leon Gray is no longer affiliated with Progressive Talk 680/Air America. His photograph has been removed from the Web site, and his blog has been deleted. When asked about the circumstances surrounding Gray’s sudden departure WWTQ programmer Jerry Dean responded, “No comment.” When asked if the station planned to hire a new local personality Dean responded, “No comment.” All Dean would offer was that Leon’s show would be replaced by the last hour of the Randi Rhodes show, and the first hour of the Majority Report.

  • Bluff City IQ

    Bizjournals.com recently conducted a study in which they examined the concentration of brainpower in communities of all sizes across America. By computing the percentage of cities’ population with high school, college, or graduate education, the Web site assigned each city a score and ranked them to find the smartest US city. In the Large City category…drumroll please… Seattle was ranked #1 with 47 percent of its adult population holding a bachelor’s degree, and 17 percent with advanced degrees. Memphis was ranked 42nd among America’s largest cities with 13 percent of the population holding a bachelor’s degree and 7.7 percent with a graduate or professional degree. Read the article here, and view other stats on Memphis brainpower (and see who we’re smarter than) here.
  • Mayor Meets with Council on FedExForum Parking Garage

    Who knew that a downtown parking garage meant so much to members of the Memphis City Council?

    Mayor Willie Herenton met with the council for half an hour Tuesday, then spent several more minutes answering questions and sparring with reporters outside the conference room in City Hall. At the end of the day, there were no definitive answers about the FedExForum parking garage that enriches the Memphis Grizzlies but was supposed to be a nonprofit mass transit facility.

  • They Must Have a HUGE Dining Room Table

    Memphians Tom and Barbara Southwell have amassed more than 2,000 limited-edition dinner plates commemorating the history of the Methodist Church. The Guinness Book of World Records certified the Southwells as the owners of the largest plate collection in the world. Some 600 of their plates are now on display through October at the World Methodist Council Museum in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.

    For more about the Museum and the Southwell’s plate exhibition, go here and a related story here..

  • Elvis for Sale

    Somebody call Uri Geller: There’s more Elvis-related items for sale. First up is a pair of gloves once belonging to the King of Rock put up by the Denmark-based Web site Elvis Unlimited. Asking price is $5,000. (That’s $500 per finger.) Read about it here.

    Next: The Los Angeles auction house Bonhams & Butterfields is selling the purchase and sale agreement that Elvis signed for Graceland. Bonhams & Butterfields is estimating the auction of the document, being held June 25th and 26th, will bring as much as $75,000. Previous Elvis memorabilia sold by Bonhams & Butterfields has brought in $3,000,000. Check it out here.

  • On Cages and Conscience

    Much has been made recently of the latest natural exhibit at the Memphis Zoo, Northwest Passage. But just how happy are those polar bears we see swimming in that enormous pool? In this week’s issue of TIME, the debate over which animals belong in captivity is stirred. Check out the story here.
  • Madison Versus Memphis

    Memphis is generally considered a pioneer among city police departments across the country for our method of dealing with mentally ill criminals. But one police department in Madison, Wisconsin rejects what they call “the Memphis Model.”

    In 1987, Memphis police shot and killed a mentally ill man. The following year, the police department formed a partnership with advocates for the mentally ill to train certain officers to deal with those situations. Those officers became the Crisis Intervention Team or CIT.

    Since then, departments across the country have been forming their own CIT teams, using the Memphis model as their guide. After a drug addict was stabbed by police in Madison a few months ago, concerned citizens began asking police to adopt a system similar to the one in Memphis.

    Madison police chief Noble Wray publicly rejected our model. Wray says in Memphis, officers on the CIT team “need good judgment, maturity, and leadership skills” whereas in Madison, those qualities are required for all officers on the force. He dubbed this “the Madison Model.”

    So what are you saying, Wray? That our cops aren’t as good as yours? Bring it on.

    For more, go here.
  • Mr. Money Bags

    Who is the Memphis-born, Wall Street wonder, hedge-fund billionaire who's built a house in Greenwich, Connecticut — a waterfront house with parking for 25 cars in the basement garage? You know the house: It's "a cross between Tara and a national monument." Last year’s property taxes amounted to just under $200,000. It's assessed at $26 million, but it could be worth $60 million. House and owner are included in "Greenwich's Outrageous Fortunes" by Nina Munk in July's Vanity Fair. Read it here.
  • The Sound of Money

    The Saturday Independent, a Coffee County newspaper located in the heart of this weekend’s Bonnaroo festivities, breaks down the economic value that the world-renowned music festival brings to the surrounding area. Some excerpts:

    “$22 million - Lodging, food, transportation and entertainment spent by festival-goers as a whole.

    191 - Nearly 200 new jobs were created in Coffee County during the months leading up to and after the festival.”

    More here.

  • Hunger Fast

    Memphian cycles across the country to raise money for African orphans.

We Recommend


  • Bad News for Predatory Lenders

    After a ceremony at the Main Library Wednesday that was attended by an all-star assembly of legislative leaders, by Mayors Herenton and Wharton, and by other luminaries, both city and state, Governor Phil Bredesen signed into law a far-reaching bill to curtail predatory lending practices in Tennessee. Given special credit for his efforts in starting the bill toward passage was Memphis lawyer Frank Glankler, cited by one speaker as the “tough ex-Marine who said, ‘This is wrong, and we’ve got to stop it!’” Here Glankler gets a congratulatory handshake from Bredesen. The bill restricts high-interest lenders from charging excessive fees and rapid refinancing and provides appropriate penalties.
  • Clinton In Little Rock

    Last week saw a generous number of Flyer hands on deck in Little Rock for the annual convention of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. A feature of the event was a tour of the Clinton Museum on the Arkansas River, and to top that came a luncheon address from the man himself on Saturday, the last day of the convention.

  • Carousel stays; Pippin goes

    The Mid-South Fair released a statement today saying that the fair and the city have reached an agreement pertaining to property used by Libertyland. The Grand Carousel, which was owned by the city before Libertyland started in 1974, belongs to the city and will stay on the Fairgrounds until plans are made to finalize its location. The Zippin Pippin, on the other hand, will be sold as part of the Mid-South Fair’s auction on Wednesday. The reason, according to the statement, is that “although the Pippin was purchased by the City of Memphis Park Commission in 1947, the original wood structure has been replaced over the years at the expense of the Mid-South Fair.”

    Read the Flyer’s previous coverage on the story here, here, here, and here.

  • Who's the Pretender?

    If state Senator Steve Cohen should succeed in his current bid to represent the 9th Congressional District, he can give part of the credit to world-class musical worthies Jackson Brown and J.D. Souther, who showed up at attorney Leslie Ballin’s house for a well-attended fundraiser on Cohen’s behalf last Saturday night. The senator, as we hear it, won’t be Running on Empty, having raised upwards of $50,000 on the occasion. Cohen chimed in on a chorus of his late friend Warren Zevon’s song, “Werewolves of London.” A valiant enough effort, but, if he wins, Cohen would be well advised to hold on to the congressional seat as his day job.
  • On the Hooks

    Former Memphis City School Board member Michael Hooks Jr. was indicted this morning. The charges include conspiracy and making false statements to the FBI. Read all about it in the newest Flyer hitting the stands tomorrow.

    Also check out this Flyer profile of Hooks from 1999, here.



  • Take That, Dixie Chicks

    This just in from radio station 94.1 the Buzz: a press release stating that the station removed Dixie Chicks songs “NOT BECAUSE OF THEIR CONTROVERSIAL STANCE TOWARD THE PRESIDENT” (emphasis theirs). Rather, the girls got dumped because they removed the Memphis date on tour, even though they added more dates in Canada. Read what the Flyer’s written about the Dixie Chicks here.
  • Good Times At Memphis In May

    A highly educational website called drunkuniversity.com has a photo of these guys, and the photo is labeled “Memphis in May.” Now, we don’t know if this was actually taken at Memphis in May, and we don’t know if these guys ever attended a university, but we are fairly confident they are indeed drunken.

    Recognize any of these fellows? The website allows viewers to rate the pictures, and this one got a 3.4 out of 5, which seems pretty good to us.




Food & Drink

  • Here Comes the Sun

    Summer is officially here (although it’s felt like summer for weeks now in Memphis). Celebrate the dog days of summer with free cooking lessons. Wild Oats is offering a class tonight on using ancient grains, organic veggies, and fruits in honor of the summer solstice. It starts at 7 p.m. For more details, go to the Flyer's online calendar here.


  • Memphis, Arkansas?

    Did Saturday night’s draw between Jermain Taylor and Winky Wright at the FedExForum come down to favoritism? In a story on the fight and the resulting controversy, ESPN quotes challenger Wright as saying, “What do you expect? I’m [essentially] in his hometown. They gave him what he wanted.” Taylor is actually from Little Rock, but ESPN.com reported that the crowd in the half-empty Forum was largely for Taylor. Well, at least there was no ear-biting. Or brand-new facial tattoos. Read it here.
  • Cardinals Eye Reyes

    Forgive us if you’ve read this before. Anthony Reyes — the top prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals’ farm system — will take the mound at AutoZone Park Friday night for the Redbirds. But with every Cardinal starter not named Chris Carpenter struggling of late, Reyes may find himself up the river, so to speak, any day now. Read the latest scoop from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch here.


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