Friday, September 30, 2016

The Pink Heat Debunked

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 1:20 PM

THE MEMPHIS POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • The Memphis Police Department

The Memphis Police Department announced yesterday that they will be rolling out a hot-pink squad
car in support of breast cancer awareness for the month of October.


Because the year is 2016, and public perception is sometimes best gauged by your social media feed,
we at The Flyer noticed some measure of discontent at the announcement of Barbie's Dream Squad Car hitting the streets.


Some rightly pointed out that tackling MPD's massive backlog of untested rape kits might (just
maybe) be a better use of resources. Wanting to settle any concerns of public funding being funneled to an aesthetically-driven awareness campaign, we reached out to MPD to clarify a couple of unknowns.


The results:

  • It is one squad car that was already in possession of the MPD.
  • Decal Jones did the wrap-job, the cost of which was donated through a partnership with the West
  • Clinic and the University of Tennessee West Institute for Cancer Research.
  • Nary a public penny was spent on the Charger's pink transformation.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Memphis Police Used Social Media Tracking Software

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 3:09 PM

A Facebook photo from Geofeedia shows how the software overlays social media posts onto a map. - GEOFEEDIA
  • Geofeedia
  • A Facebook photo from Geofeedia shows how the software overlays social media posts onto a map.

For at least one year, the Memphis Police Department (MPD) used software to track social media posts across the city, but it's not yet known if MPD still tracks social media users here. 

Two years ago, the city of Memphis bought software from Geofeedia, the “market leader in location-based social media monitoring, intelligence and analysis.”

The software shows users a map of their area overlaid with pins showing who is posting what, to what social media platform they are posting, and what they are posting about (see photo above). The company cites customers like the NCAA, the 2012 London Olympic Games, the South Dakota Tourism Dept., the Mall of America, and, of course, “the public sector” (meaning mostly police, it seems).

A purchase order from the city of Memphis shows it bought the software on Oct. 4, 2014 for $9,500. The description of the purchase is “social media monitoring software for investigative services as per specifications and insurance requirements.”


The bill and the software were sent from Chicago-based Geofeedia to Memphis Police Department (MPD)  headquarters at 201 Poplar, according to purchase order.

MPD spokesman Louis C. Brownlee said Wednesday that the department used the service for one year and dropped it.

"It was a one-year subscription in 2014," Brownlee said in an email. 

When asked how MPD used the technology, Brownlee resounded, "we used it for checking social media for public safety."

However, Brownlee has not yet responded to questions about how they tracked social media or whether or not the Memphis police still use a similar service to track social media users here.  

Geofeedia tweeted a photo (below) on Oct. 28, 2014 from an event sponsored by the Tennessee Association of Law Enforcement Analysts (TALEA) and a post that read: "Listening to Memphis PD talk social media at TALEA #lesm #police #socialmedia"

GEOFEEDIA
  • Geofeedia

The purchase of the software came to light here only after a tip to the Memphis Flyer on Wednesday. Stories about Geofeedia being used in other cities have surfaced recently in Denver and Seattle.

GEOFEEDIA
  • Geofeedia
Geofeedia was founded in 2011, according to its website. The company says its services are used “for corporate security and risk mitigation at large corporations, for situational awareness by government agencies, and to help sales and marketing companies discover trends and patterns.”

In the “public sector” portion of its website (one headlined “For the People”), the company says this:

“With public safety at stake, predicting, analyzing, and acting on social media conversations in real-time is a must. It’s not enough to just listen for keywords and hashtags – you can start with the locations that matter most to increase situational awareness, reduce response time, and assist first responders during community events.

“Only relying on keyword and hashtag listening means you are missing two thirds of social media activity. Add location-based intelligence to your social media data set to increase your community engagement.”

This story will be updated.

New Leader Takes Reins at Urban Child Institute

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 9:55 AM

The Urban Child Institute's headquarters on Jefferson. - JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks
  • The Urban Child Institute's headquarters on Jefferson.

Shorb
  • Shorb

The Urban Child Institute's (TUCI) board of directors has named Gary Shorb, the retiring CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, as its new, permanent executive director.

The move comes in an era of change for the nonprofit agency. TUCI had long been criticized in the community for sitting on a large investment fund but giving little of it to Memphis charities that actually help children ages 0-3 years, the group of children on which TUCI focuses its research work.

But in less than a year, TUCI has announced new leaders and a new gifting strategy to get more money into the Memphis community. Gene Cashman, TUCI's founder and longtime executive director, and board chairman Dr. Hershel "Pat" Wall retired from the agency in December. Le Bonheur Children's Hospital CEO Meri Armour has since been serving as TUCI's interim executive director. 
 
“Gary Shorb is well respected in the community and has an impeccable reputation for honesty, transparency, partnership and hard work,” TUCI board chair Jill Crocker said in a statement. "Gary is one of the great leaders of Memphis and we are thrilled that he agreed to lead The Urban Child Institute. He will continue his work to bring our community together to better serve our children and our city.”

Shorb has served as Methodist's CEO since 2001 and joined the nonprofit health care company in 1990. 

He serves on the boards of Memphis Tomorrow, the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, Healthy Shelby, People First, Committee for Economic Development, Governor Haslam’s Scientific Advisory Council, the University of Memphis Board of Visitors, and the Tennessee Business Roundtable.

He is past chairman of the Overton Park Conservancy, chair of Memphis Fast Forward and he serves on the board of the publicly traded Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA).

“I am honored to serve as executive director of The Urban Child Institute," Shorb said in a statement. "Urban Child’s mission of promoting health and well-being for children and their families is a natural fit with my history of working in health care.

"I’m glad to continue working to improve our community in this next phase of my life. I am very committed to doing all I can to help children and families. I had hoped to continue involvement in community health work after leaving Methodist and this allows me to do just that.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Memphis Pets of the Week (Sept. 29-Oct. 5)

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 1:56 PM

Each week, the Flyer will feature adoptable dogs and cats from Memphis Animal Services. All photos are credited to Memphis Pets Alive. More pictures can be found on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

No Federal Charges for Officer in Darrius Stewart Death

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 2:55 PM

Edward Stanton III said no charges would be filed against a Memphis police officer in the 2015 shooting death of Darrius Stewart. - TOBY SELLS
  • Toby Sells
  • Edward Stanton III said no charges would be filed against a Memphis police officer in the 2015 shooting death of Darrius Stewart.

No federal charges will be filed against former Memphis Police Department officer Connor Schilling in the 2015 shooting death of African American teenager Darrius Stewart.

The news was announced Tuesday afternoon by Edward Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Stanton said the decision not to charge Schilling came after a “comprehensive, independent” review of the circumstances related to event by his office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
Schilling (left), Stewart (right)
  • Schilling (left), Stewart (right)

“In conducting the review, federal authorities were tasked with determining whether Schilling violated federal law by willfully using unreasonable force against Stewart,” Stanton said.

Schilling did not, according to Stanton and the three federal review agencies. Why not?

According to Stanton, witnesses saw a physical confrontation between Schilling and Stewart. In the “violent struggle” Stewart was able to get on top of Schilling.

“Based on these eyewitness accounts, the statement of the officer involved, the video, and the physical evidence, there is insufficient evidence to disprove Schilling’s assertion that he needed to use deadly force against Stewart,” Stanton said.

Schilling fired twice at Stewart. Witnesses said Stewart was trying to run away from Schilling and the second shot hit Stewart in the back. This made many wonder if the use of force was justified.

Federal authorities said there was insufficient evidence to determine that the second shot was “unreasonable.”

“Much of the evidence tends to show that the second shot followed only a few seconds after the the first,” Stanton said. “Since eyewitness accounts and physical evidence both indicate that the second shot came very soon after Stewart stood up in close proximity to Schilling, the evidence cannot establish that the threat initially posed by Stewart had abated at the time of the second shot.”

UPDATE: 


U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen issued the following statement on the government's move to not file charges on Schilling:

“I am disappointed that the Department of Justice will not be bringing civil rights charges against Officer Schilling, but I am pleased that the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney Stanton conducted a complete and thorough investigation into the shooting of Darrius Stewart, which I requested,” Cohen said in a statement. “Despite DOJ’s decision, however, there was still a miscarriage of justice.
"The standard for an indictment for a federal civil rights charge is extremely high, so I understand and respect U.S. Attorney Stanton’s decision, but there can still be a miscarriage of justice even when civil rights violation standards are not met.

[Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich] must agree since she requested a manslaughter indictment, but for whatever reason, the grand jury failed to follow her recommendation. I suspect the Stewart family will now pursue a civil suit, and I hope justice will be meted out.”

 

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Virtual Reality Lab in Memphis? Memphis Game Developers' Growing Community Is Nothing to Sneeze At.

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 1:51 PM

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The first time I spoke with University of Memphis computer science professor Ernest McCracken, the brains behind Memphis Game Developers (MGD), his team of indie programmers was building Fallen Space, an open-world alien survival game. Since then, they’ve curated a community of indie programmers and artists that is nothing to sneeze at. U of M now offers a three-hour credit course in Unity Game Development, which McCracken teaches. Students will also soon have access to the U of M’s first virtual reality lab. Even more impressively, MGD members can now use Microsoft HoloLens. “WTF are HoloLens?” you ask? They’re “game changing technology,” McCracken says — enabling users to interact with holograms in our world. I caught up with McCracken to see how new technology has furthered Memphis as an indie gaming mecca.

Ernest McCracken
  • Ernest McCracken
MF: How much progress has been made on Fallen Space since we last spoke?

EM: Fallen Space has been in deep crunch development. When developing a game, we almost forget about all the small nit picky project level things we have to manage. So far we've got a basic framework for the game that lets the player create a procedurally generated universe and freely fly around in it. We’re adding more content to this universe — the player can now have a squad of ships and manage inventories.

MF: How did the three-hour credit course at U of M come to be?

EM: I was already teaching other classes at the University of Memphis. The department asked me if I'd like to teach it and I was thrilled to say yes. we cover a fairly large range of game topics in the course from breaking down why textures look so good in modern games to the basics of scripting and animation. By the end of the course, a student will be able to create simple physics based games and a get good taste of programming. I believe we currently have 23 students enrolled. It had been a class when I was a student, but only briefly. Not many professors have experience in the field.

Related: Local Game Developers Working on New Alien Invasion Game

MF: Why is having access to Hololens such a big step for game development?



EM:
Augmented and mixed reality systems like the Hololens are game changing technology. Companies are already investing in virtual reality (VR) for training purposes. It can be expensive to train mechanics on real equipment so VR offers a huge potential in savings while offering extremely immersive training. Augmented Reality (AR) takes that one step further by overlaying on top of the real environment. It would help both train and assist surgeons, for example.

MF: U of M will soon have its first virtual reality lab. What will students have access to and what all can they learn using VR technology?

EM: It was an idea presented by one of our members, and it serves a dual purpose. First, we wanted a meet-up location that was close to campus to attract more students. We also needed a dedicated space for room. VR requires a fair amount of open space. Students will have both Oculus Rift/Touch and HTC Vive as well as other tools for game development like drawing pads for texturing. Getting started in virtual reality actually does not require much more than the same skills for game development.

Cross the Big River on Big River Crossing

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 1:06 PM


We got an advance tour of Big River Crossing (BRX) on Friday afternoon. 

Work was still underway but we were able to walk to Arkansas and back (a trip of about two miles). 

BRX is set to open on Saturday, Oct. 22. Check out our video to get a feel of it before then. (Sorry for all the train and traffic shots through the grates!) 
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Friday, September 23, 2016

Homeless Advocates Protest, Demand Better Housing and LGBT Shelter

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 1:55 PM


Two by two, protestors marched from Morris Park down North Orleans Street and gathered at the steps of the Memphis Housing Authority last Thursday afternoon, holding signs that read “access is a civil right” and chanting “No justice, no peace.” As MHA representatives arrived outside, they were met by homeless advocates kneeling in prayer led by Rev. NaKeesha Davis of St. James A.M.E. Church.

“God, we pray today that you will fill the hearts of all mankind with the fire of love and desire to ensure justice for everyone,” Davis said. “For those who don’t have a voice .. for those who have been pushed aside.”
JOSHUA CANNON
  • Joshua Cannon
Organized by Mid-South Peace and Justice Center's (MSPJC) Homeless Organizing for Power and Equality (H.O.P.E.) advocacy group, about 30 people — including members of OUTMemphis and Memphis Center of Independent Living (MCIL) — rallied at Morris park to address issues affecting the homeless community. Criticizing the Memphis City Council’s effort to curb panhandling, H.O.P.E. organizers say there are no free shelters for men, no inclusive shelters for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and less than 70 beds in the city for women without children. Though a date had not been set by press time, MHA Executive Director Marcia Lewis and H.O.P.E. coordinator Tamara Hendrix agreed to meet next week.
Mee-Mee Scruggs, a homeless transgender woman, said she found shelter in a rooming house, but can barely afford rent. After spending three days in jail for driving without a license, Scruggs said her landlord ordered her to pay a $56 late fee. In order to make ends meet, according to Scruggs, she demeans herself and takes risks like driving with no identification.

“I have to do a lot of uncalled for stuff to pay my rent,” Scruggs said. “I have to go out here in the streets and jump in cars with different men.”

H.O.P.E. organizers kneel in prayer outside of the Memphis Housing Authority. - JOSHUA CANNON
  • Joshua Cannon
  • H.O.P.E. organizers kneel in prayer outside of the Memphis Housing Authority.
Worst-case needs, spurred by high rent burdens and inadequate housing, affected 46 percent of non family households, 43 percent of other family households, and 40 percent of families with children, according to a 2013 report from the U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department.

With the impending demolition of the Foote Homes, as well as the Warren and Tulane apartments, H.O.P.E. members called on Mayor Jim Strickland to delay the process until all residents have been relocated and 448 units of replacement housing are online.

“We can’t afford to lose any housing when we’ve only got 50 units of affordable housing for every 100 people in the city of Memphis who need it,” said Paul Garner, an organizing coordinator with MSPJC.
A map created by Housing and Community Development on August 31 shows the locations of where 453 residents from Warren and Tulane apartments, as well as the Foote Homes, have relocated. “Two or three weeks have passed and folks are looking for housing every day,” said Director Paul Young, noting that more residents have moved since that date. - HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  • Housing and Community Development
  • A map created by Housing and Community Development on August 31 shows the locations of where 453 residents from Warren and Tulane apartments, as well as the Foote Homes, have relocated. “Two or three weeks have passed and folks are looking for housing every day,” said Director Paul Young, noting that more residents have moved since that date.

The demolition will occur in phases, Lewis said, with the first scheduled for October 10 and the second at the end of January. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said there’s no plan to delay the demolition. But it will only happen after all residents are relocated, and, according to Lewis, the housing authority is on schedule.
JOSHUA CANNON
  • Joshua Cannon

“Although people are still living there, they are already going through relocation and are going through various phases,” Lewis said. “We’re talking about a process that is moving as we speak … It’s not going to be demolished while people are living there. It just doesn’t work like that.”

On the site of Foote Homes, 712 units of new mixed income housing will replace the current 420 units, said Memphis Housing and Community Development Director Paul Young. At least 480 of those units will be replacement units to serve families eligible for public housing.

HCD is searching for a developer to rehabilitate the Warren and Tulane apartment complexes, which were privately owned developments, Young said. Per an agreement with HUD, the land must be used for housing.

“We know that housing is a dramatic need,” Young said. “We have essentially 700 families who are looking for housing or will be over the next couple of months. We want to get as many units online as possible.”

Film Row Gets MEMFixed Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 11:28 AM

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MEMFix hits Film Row Saturday.

We asked John Paul Shaffer, program director for Livable Memphis (the group that organizes MEMFix events), why they’re doing it and what visitors can expect.

Memphis Flyer: How did y’all select Film Row for the next MEMFix?

John Paul Shaffer: [A MEMFix location has] got to have good bones in terms of buildings. And the potential to be really walkable and be kind of close to or nearby things that are happening and have some interest.

A big part of [selecting Film Row] was that it’s part of the Memphis Heritage Trail. Also, one round of MEMShop had already focused on this location. So, there was already some momentum and some interest in these spots.

Also, the proximity to South City. [Film Row] is really this kind of connection between South Main and South City. It’s a little almost-forgotten stretch of roadway down there.

We’re trying to support the MEMShops that are there and inject a little new activity there as well.

MF: What can folks expect at MEMFix this weekend?

JPS: We’re going to have a lot of public art. We’ve been working with the UrbanArt Commission. We have three artists working on everything from murals that’ll be going up on what’s now a boarded-up building, some streetscape art, some artistic crosswalks.

We’re going to have live music that’s curated by the Memphis Slim Collaboratory.

We’re also excited because this is the first time we’ll be activating public parks as a part of a MEMFix.

MF: Like Army and Navy Parks?

JPS:
Yeah, it’ll be a neat new dynamic to the program.

MF: What will happen in the parks?

JPS:
We’ll have vendors set up. We’ll have a stage, and a bocce court, and The TapBox [mobile beer vendor] will be in one of the parks.

Also, because of both film history and civil rights history of the neighborhood, we’re going be doing a history tour with Dr. Earnestine Jenkins from the University of Memphis. She’ll be talking about everything from the contraband camps back in the 1800s post-Civil War, all the way up to the film era, and some of the African American film production that was happening in Memphis.

MF: Will you be able to go into some of the buildings at Film Row?

JPS:
Yes, there will be pop-up shops in three of the buildings. One is more of a renovated space but the other two are some of the old distribution centers, pretty rustic spaces that we’re going to be getting in.

MF: Do these things work?

JPS:
Yeah, I think so. Each one has its own metrics and measurements of success but I’d say overall each one of these had led to some new momentum in these neighborhoods.

Like in The Edge, the neighborhood association was kind of restarted post-MEMFix and they’ve continued to work now in collaboration with the Medical District Collaborative.

I think these things kind of forge new partnerships or reignite interest form party owners and businesses an residences.
—-
Here’s a list of vendors and events for Saturday’s MEMFix:

Brick and mortar: Makeda’s Cookies, Circuitous Successions Gallery, Central BBQ

Food Trucks: A Square Meal on Wheels, TapBox Mobile Beer Garden, Cariflavor, MEMPops

Pop-up shops: Phillip Ashley Chocolates, Mbabazi’s House of Style, Klassy Chics Boutique, Replenish Kombucha, Tako’s Treasures

Vendors: K’PreSha’s Haul of Style, Urban Indulgence Handmade, iKandys, Gwynevere, Color and Read, Ekata Designs, iKandys, Guilt Free Pastries, Thigh High Jeans

Memphis Slim Collaboratory Stage:
The Pocket
DJ Spaceage
Tia Henderson
Chris Milam

City's Zoo Parking Plan Gets A 'Nope, Nope, Nope'

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 9:44 AM

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The city’s concept for the Memphis Zoo’s expanded parking plan got a big thumbs down from park advocacy groups Thursday, reviews that can be summed up in three words: “Nope, nope, nope.”

Get Off Our Lawn filed an open records request for the proposal (so did the Memphis Flyer to no avail) and the group published it on Facebook Thursday.

Here's the PDF of the plan:


“Approximately two acres of public parkland would be paved and converted to private use,” said the group’s Facebook post. “Nope, nope, nope.”

An equally stinging review of the plan was published by GOOL’s parent group, Citizens to Protect Overton Park (CPOP).

“We oppose this land grab,” read a Facebook post from CPOP. “There's no good reason to sacrifice two acres of irreplaceable public parkland for a handful of private parking spaces.”

But the Overton Park Conservancy (OPC) and the city of Memphis urged patience in the process and explained that the plan published Thursday was a concept, and is by no means final.

Here’s OPC’s statement in full:

“We wanted to briefly talk about the parking project document that’s making the rounds on social media this afternoon.

This draft represents the City engineer’s first revision to the plan that was proposed at the July 19 City Council meeting. No action is meant to be taken based on this concept, and it will likely go through multiple rounds of revisions before construction documents are created.

In both the original July 19 draft and this July 27 draft, the ridgeline of the proposed berm separating the Greensward from the Zoo parking lot remains in the same place.

In the July 27 version, some of the additional Zoo parking spaces have been distributed closer to that ridgeline. This was done to visualize one option for accommodating the Council amendment that called for all spaces to be 10’ x 20'.

After reviewing this draft with the city engineer last month, Overton Park Conservancy asked for some changes to the document. Out of concern for the health of mature magnolias on the Greensward, we asked that the spaces added around those trees be redistributed. We also discussed the appearance that the section of Overton Park Avenue adjacent to the park will be opened to vehicular traffic, and it’s our understanding that it will not be.

The city is preparing to issue a request for proposals for a design firm to create the plan that will actually be implemented. We expect to see the next round of revisions during that process, which will also solicit input from the public. We’re eager to begin that phase and work together to resolve this long-standing issue.”

Here's the city of Memphis statement:


“A draft map of parking plans at Overton Park is circulating social media, but we want to make sure you have the context for it.

It’s important to note that this map, which was obtained in a public records request, is just a concept that will be subject to more revision before construction. We are preparing to start the process to hire a design firm that will create the final plan.

We’ll work to keep you informed in the coming months as we seek public input and as this plan is implemented. In fact, we were already planning a meeting internally next week to get the ball rolling on communications and outreach plans.

We owe you a timeline on implementation, and we’ll check back in when we have it.”




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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Prosecution Dropped Against Lipscomb

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 3:51 PM

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The prosecution against Robert Lipscomb, the former city leader accused of rape, has been dropped, according to a spokesman in the Shelby County District Attorney General’s (SCDAG) office.

Larry Buser, a SCDAG spokesman, said Thursday “prosecution has been declined” in the case and said his office would offer no further statement.

A spokesman in Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s office said “this administration has no involvement with any issue facing Robert Lipscomb and we have no comment.” The spokesman directed questions to the SCDAG’s office or to members of former Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s administration.

The accusations against Lipscomb came to light nearly one year ago. He was relived of duty as director of Housing and Community Development (HCD) by then-mayor Wharton on Monday, Aug. 31.

Wharton said in a statement at the time that he and then-Memphis Police Department director Toney Armstrong spoke by phone to an adult male “who made a criminal complaint of a sexual nature” against Lipscomb. According to the story, the accuser would have been a minor at the time of the alleged rape.

Wharton called that first allegation “extremely disturbing.” At last count, nine accusers came forward to Wharton’s office with similar stories about Lipscomb. But Wharton administration officials stopped publicly reporting the number of accusations they were receiving.

At the time of the first allegation, Wharton said he was going to refer the matter to the SCDAG’s office. He did. But Lipscomb was never arrested or even formally charged with anything.

In the month following the allegations, Lipscomb lost his HCD job and he lost his job with the Memphis Housing Authority (MHA). His house was searched by police, he was hounded at home by reporters, and he has remained out of the public eye, in Memphis anyway.

Lipscomb’s attorney Ricky Wilkins said: "I don't expect Mr. Lipscomb to provide any public statements with regard to this matter. As you know, he's a very private man and I'm sure is happy about this announcement so that he can put this issue behind and move on with his life." 

901 Grille & Market Headed to Midtown

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 1:41 PM

City Market owners Hamida and Sunny Mandani will bring 901 Grille and Market to the edge of Midtown. - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • City Market owners Hamida and Sunny Mandani will bring 901 Grille and Market to the edge of Midtown.
The shop at the now-vacant corner of East Parkway and Central will soon become 901 Grille and Market, a new project from the folks who brought City Market to Memphis.

Hamida and Sunny Mandani opened their first City Market store Downtown at the corner of Main and Union. They then opened a Midtown location in Cooper-Young. (They also opened the Quench wine and liquor store on Second.)

The newest project, 901 Grille and Market, will fill in the space left vacant from the former Kwik Shop and Grill, which sits across the street from the Christian Brothers University campus.

The current shops at the corner of East Parkway and Central. - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • The current shops at the corner of East Parkway and Central.

In a statement, the store owners said the new market will offer “farm-to-table favorite featuring regional and international flavors. The East Parkway location will also feature a market for quick pickup of grab-and-go handmade snacks, local craft beers, and various dry goods.”

State Cash Hits Memphis Building Projects

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 11:09 AM

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Some serious state cash is flowing to a ton of Memphis projects thanks to the Tennessee State Building Commission.

Here are some projects approved by the board earlier this month:

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Eyes on you (everywhere)


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is getting $16 million ($16 MILLION!) worth of security cameras and wireless keyless access devices to buildings across campus.

The money will also establish an emergency operations center in the General Education Building at the corner of Dunlap and Madison.

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People get ready


Southwest Tennessee Community College will get a new $3.5 million Industrial Readiness Facility, which will (put on your serious voice) “provide an effective teaching and learning environment for the local workforce to develop skill in sectors of advanced manufacturing.”

Memphis companies have long decried the lack of a local workforce ready to take on the jobs they have. Welp. Looks like Southwest is getting in the game.

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Arena rock


AgriCenter International’s Show Place Arena is getting $2 million worth of improvements. State documents don’t spell out the particulars.
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High on the Hill


This one’s not in Shelby County or even in West Tennessee but it’s one for proud Tennesseans everywhere…right?

The cupola that stands tall atop the vaunted Tennessee State Capitol building (where wise lawmakers tried to make the Bible the state book and wise lawmakers did, in fact, make the official state rifle the Barrett .50, a gun so powerful it can destroy commercial aircraft) is getting a full restoration.

Originally, the restoration was to cost only $1.95 million. The new budget was revised up to $2.5 million.

Here’s what that money will buy us:

“Complete restoration os the cupola including restoration or replacement of ornamental iron, interior and exterior stone repairs, painting of access structure, life safety tie-off installation, interior and exterior lighting and all related work.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Gay Former Student Sues CBHS for $1 Million

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 2:23 PM

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Former Christian Brothers High School student Lance Sanderson and his parents have filed a lawsuit against CBHS that asks the school to pay damages of $1 million for sexual discrimination and failure to fulfill a school contract. 

The Flyer has written about the Sanderson case, which caused lots of controversy in 2015. The Sandersons' full complaint, filed September 20, 2016, lays out the timeline of events leading to Sanderson's being turned down in his request to bring a male date to the 2015 CBHS prom, and actions prior to the event were alleged to be discriminatory.

Read the complaint below. 


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Help Envision a Post-Carbon Memphis

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 12:29 PM

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Do you believe in a post-carbon Memphis?

Well, POCACITO wants to hear your ideas “no matter how wild they may seem.”

Memphis is one of three stops on a tour of leaders from the Post-Carbon Cities of Tomorrow (POCACITO) group. They'll also stop in Detroit and Minneapolis.

The group describes itself online as “an international consortium of cities working together to share their visions, innovations, and experiences building more equitable, accessible, and sustainable urban communities.”

POCACITO will be here Tuesday and Wednesday for a two-part event “to help shape Memphis’ sustainable urban future.”

Do you think Memphis can ever be carbon free?
Yes
No
Maybe
here

“We believe that sustainability is a function of accessibility and community is founded on inclusivity,” reads the invitation to the event. “That’s why we want you, your friends and neighbors, your colleagues and their kids – everyone whose life is impacted by the environmental issues facing Memphis – to be involved in building a more sustainable tomorrow.”

• Tuesday, Sept 27, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. (University of Memphis, University Center)

Finding the Vision: “A two-hour town hall-style forum on Tuesday evening that focuses on defining a visionary post-carbon future for Memphis.”

“This freestyle, open dialogue will encourage you to dream big and, most important, share your ideas, no matter how wild they may seem.”

• Wednesday, Sept. 28, noon-4:30 p.m. (Playhouse on the Square)

Finding the Way: “We will work in groups to develop ways to achieve the visions shared [Tuesday].”

“[We’ll] put together concrete steps we can all take to make sure our discussions lead to initiatives that lead to implementation and to a more sustainable future for our communities and cities.”

The events are free and open to the public. Registration is recommended for Tuesday and is required for Wednesday. Register here.
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