Trolleys, Weirich, & Booze 

Trolley timeline (finally) revealed, a murder case wins appeal, and booze hits the airport gates.

Weirich case appealed

Convicted murderer Andrew Thomas won an appeal in his case last week as judges agreed the prosecutor in the case, Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich, failed to disclose a key piece of evidence.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents paid Thomas' former girlfriend, Angela Davis, $750 for her testimony against him. That payment came after Thomas was convicted in a federal trial but before his state trial for murder. Weirich prosecuted the case but never disclosed that payment during the murder trial. She said she was unaware of it.

"Our files contained no reference whatsoever to a payment made by the federal government to the witness," Weirich said. "The first we learned of this payment was 10 years after our state court trial."

Weirich asked Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery's office to appeal the decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

click to enlarge flyby_weekthatwas.jpg

Bike/ped projects granted

Bike and pedestrian projects will get a $2.2 million injection in Memphis as six grants were recently awarded to the city and the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA).

The projects will bring 400 bike racks along MATA bus lines, bike lockers at MATA park-and-ride facilities, pedestrian-friendly updates to traffic signals, sidewalk repairs, signs at all intersections of the Shelby Farm Greenline, and more.

Boozin' the concourse

Starting this week, the airport's new beer and liquor license will allow travelers to purchase alcoholic beverages from bars and restaurants within the airport and take them to-go for consumption in the concourse.

The beverages will be poured into cups from the bar or restaurant of purchase that will identify what drink it is and where it was purchased.

Trolleys to return

The trolleys' return to Memphis will take more than a year, according to information from MATA.

Officials say that all the physical work needed to bring trolleys back to Memphis will take about 12 months. However, the trolleys' return to service will depend on a certification of MATA's trolley safety plan by the Federal Transit Authority (FTA), and there's no firm date on that decision.

I Am a Man Plaza planned

The UrbanArt Commission (UAC) and the city of Memphis want to build I Am a Man Plaza with a dedicated arts installation adjacent to Clayborn Temple to be finished for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Blacklist" mocked

About 60 people gathered outside of Memphis City Hall in a mocking protest of the recently released list (the so-called "blacklist") of more than 80 names deemed worthy of a police escort when on City Hall premises.

MPD director Michael Rallings said that "peace and safety" are the motivating factors behind keeping such a list, which includes disgruntled former city employees and some local activists.

Beale Street intrigue

Intrigue pushed the latest Memphis City Council discussion about the future of Beale Street last week but, again, failed to yield any concrete direction for that future.

Some on the council believe race was the reason 21 Beale, a local, African-American-led company, was passed over for the contract to manage the entertainment district.

One member of that company told council members that he did serve community service hours after 21 people died in a stampede in his Chicago night club years ago. Another told them that his law license was pulled years ago for mismanaging funds.

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