#Babykillers, lottery, and buskers 

Roland: Planned Parenthood "#babykillers"

A Shelby County Commissioner said Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR) are "baby killers" and gave that as the reason he voted last week to delay its federal funding for a free condom program.

County commissioners delayed approval last Monday for $407,000 in federal grants earmarked for local HIV prevention services for four local agencies, including $115,000 in funding for PPGMR's condom program.

Millington commissioner and Shelby County mayoral candidate Terry Roland tweeted that he did believe in birth control, but not in giving PPMGR any money and he hashtagged the tweet "#babykillers." Roland has since deleted the tweet.

"These commissioners don't care about the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections in our community ... they just want to use their positions and power to score cheap political points," said PPGMR CEO Ashley Coffield.

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Neighbors oppose dairy plans

The Memphis City Council was slated to vote Tuesday on a plan from Turner Holdings, the Midtown-based milk distributor, that would allow it to park more trucks on its lot.

Neighbors and other interested parties met at Hattiloo Theatre last week to discuss the plan, a meeting filled with anger, doubt, and worry.

The dairy bottling and distribution center wants to transform a nearly three-acre lot behind its facility into a development that would allow the lot to be used for "vehicle maintenance, repair, warehousing, and temporary parking of trucks and trailers." The move would bring many more trucks to Turner.

Several opposed the plan last week saying the trucks would bring more noise, traffic, and fumes to their neighborhood. Others, though, defended the dairy, saying it provides community support and jobs.

Bob Loeb, president of Loeb Properties, said he opposed the dairy's plan and would jump at the chance to buy the property "to see it redeveloped for a compatible use."

Detox facility fails

A drug and alcohol treatment facility planned for Cooper-Young was voted down by a local board last week.

The Memphis and Shelby County Land Use Control Board voted against allowing the facility, which was to open in the old Sheet Metals Worker building at 673 S. Cooper, close to Peabody Park. JourneyPure, Inc. wanted to turn the building into a 32-bed facility for medical detoxification and outpatient treatment.

Company officials said more than 80,000 people in Shelby County need this service. However, neighbors of the building barraged board members with opposition, saying property values would fall and safety in the area would be negatively affected.

Holt rips commercials

West Tennessee state Rep. Andy Holt ripped Tennessee Lottery commercials Wednesday, saying they target Tennessee's poor and "are increasingly predatory, disgusting, and out of hand."

Holt threatened legislation to "put an end to" the commercials if lottery officials didn't tone them down, "Mark my words."

"If you cannot sell a product without encouraging people to sin, go hungry, and skip Christmas, then you clearly have a bad product on your hands," Holt said.

The 110th Tennessee General Assembly convened last week. Buckle up.

Bring on the buskers

The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) wants to bring more buskers downtown.

The DMC won funds last week to launch the new Main Street Sounds project. The program will pay buskers, or street musicians, to perform in nearly 50 slots open throughout April and May on the Main Street Mall between Jefferson and Peabody Place.

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