Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shelby County Facilities Get Healthy Vending Options

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 3:35 PM

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More than 170 vending machines in 17 county buildings are being restocked with healthier snacks, thanks to Mayor Mark Luttrell's Healthy Shelby awareness plan.

Half of the foods in each vending machine can have no more than 35 percent of calories from fat and no more than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat. A "Fit Pick" symbol will identify healthier options, including snacks that are lower in fat and sugar than traditional vending machine snacks.

“Providing an effective public health program is one of my top priorities. It makes good sense for Shelby County government to promote a healthier lifestyle for our employees and visitors,” Luttrell said.

Examples of "Fit Pick" offerings include baked chips, pretzels, Chex Mix, roasted peanuts in the shell, animal crackers, sunflower seeds, pickles, juices, and flavored water.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open Downtown

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 10:57 AM

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Twelve electric vehicle charging stations have been installed and are now operating in downtown parking garages.

ECOtality, a San Francisco-based company that specializes in energy-efficiency, and its partner, Blink Network, paid for the equipment and installation. Blink offers discounted access to charging stations to its members.

Costs for non-Blink members is $2 per hour or $1 to $1.50 per hour for members. Users must also pay parking garage fees.

Charging stations are location on the first and second floors of the following Downtown Parking Authority garages:

• The Justice Center Garage (245 Washington Avenue)
• Front Street Garage (85 North Front, between Adams and Jefferson)
• Riverfront Garage (Front Street at Monroe)
• Peabody Place Office Tower Garage (110 Peabody Place between Main and Second)
• Gayoso Parking Garage (Gayoso between Main and Second ).
• 250 Peabody Place Garage (250 Peabody Place between Third and Fourth).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Neighborland Kicks Off in Memphis

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Neighborland, a national social network for civic activism, has launched a Memphis page where locals talk about what positive changes they'd like to see in the city. Other users can then click a "Me Too" button to show their support.

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Ideas that have been posted on the site for Memphis so far range from the likely implementable, such as extending the Shelby Farms Greenline downtown and improving city sidewalks, to the probably never going to happen, such as the re-opening of Libertyland. Others, such as a post demanding a Trader Joe's in Memphis, reflect the wants Memphians have been talking about for years.

The site launched in New Orleans last year, and it's since launched pages for other major cities across the country. Neighborland is holding its Memphis kick-off at the Crosstown Arts office (427 N. Watkins) on Sunday, Sepetmber 23rd. Besides cold beer and refreshments, attendees will also be treated to a talk from the folks at ioby, a crowdfunding tool for neighborhood entrepreneurs and community leaders. They'll be discussing how residents can fund some of the ideas mentioned on Neighborland. The event begins at 2 p.m.

The event is free, but registration on Eventbrite is encouraged.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gas Cards Offered in Exchange for Guns

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 9:32 AM

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Turn in a gun and get free gas: That's the premise for the city's "Gas for Guns" event scheduled for Saturday, September 15th at Bloomfield Baptist Church (123 S. Parkway West) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

No questions will be asked of those who surrender their weapons. But participants will be given a $50 Mapco gas card for each gun turned in, as well as two Memphis Grizzlies tickets. There's a limit of three gas cards per person.

“Crime, especially violent crime, is often fueled by relatively easy access to firearms,” said Mayor A C Wharton. “Last year, 1,600 guns were reported stolen here in Memphis. Those guns didn’t just evaporate and disappear. They ended up on the street."

Friday, September 7, 2012

Memphian's Boating Accident Goes Viral [VIDEO]

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM

By now, you may have seen the video: A driver loses control of his motor boat, tossing him around like a rag doll, and slamming his passengers into the sides of the boat and into each other.

The video has gone viral, catching the eye of comedian Daniel Tosh of Tosh.0 as well as a number of major media outlets.

As the Riverfront Times reports, the driver was Marvin F. Carter III, from Memphis. Two other Memphians, April and Wanda Hunsucker, were also on board.

The incident occurred on Friday, August 24th on the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri. The footage was captured by passenger Brett Tintera of Osage Beach, Missouri.

Jessica Lussenhop of the Riverfront Times reports:


Tintera says he sees in the footage that Carter threw the throttle down all the way (translation for non-boat people: that's apparently a big no-no) and blasted into some waves left by behind by another boat.

"This particular boat was going obscenely fast," says Tintera. "It was a normal, beautiful day down there, there weren't many weird waves. It was just driver error."

All seven passengers aboard were injured, including a broken leg and wrist, a ruptured spinal disc, bruised ribs, a broken back, and shattered eye sockets.

Read more about the accident on the Riverfront Times' Daily RFT Blog.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Decision to Cut Daily Helmsman Funding Was First Amendment Violation

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 3:33 PM

A University of Memphis committee was found to have violated the First Amendment when it cut $25,000 from the student newspaper's budget, according to a report released by U of M president Shirley Raines' executive assistant David Cox.

After the investigation, the paper received the full $25,000 in student activity fees back. Earlier this year, the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee voted to slash the Helmsman's budget by one-third. Cox's report found that members of that committee based their decision to cut funding on the paper's content, which violated the student journalists' First Amendment rights.

Read the full story by Helmsman reporter Michelle Corbet here. For background on the cuts and other issues facing student reporters at the U of M, read this Flyer cover story.

Memphis' First Co-Working Facility Launches

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in need of affordable office space have a new option with Urban Workspace, a new co-working facility at 6 West G.E. Patterson downtown.

Co-working spaces foster networking between business professionals in various fields because they share space. It's similar to independent professionals working in a coffee shop, but the co-working space provides office amenities. Urban Workspace provides 24 workspaces, high-speed wireless Internet, a conference room, presentation materials, office equipment, a dry erase wall for brainstorming and planning, a lounge area, and a full kitchen.

Additionally, Urban Workspace members can take advantage of workshops, seminars, cooking classes, meet-ups, monthly lunches, and happy hours.

The workspace is provided through a partnership with Innovative Solutions Group and Cricket Communications, Inc.

“The center is not just a place to conduct business and host meetings,” said Anna Harris, ISG operations director. “Urban Workspace is a friendly, downtown community that fosters daily networking and collaboration between various fields of work. This, in addition to the motivation of working within close contact of others, will help our members achieve greater levels of success than if they were working alone.”

Urban Workspace will hold its open-to-the-public grand opening celebration tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 5th at 6 p.m.). There will be live music, drinks, and food prepared by chef Michael Patrick.

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