Condoms In, Stanton Out 

Trump fuels a resignation, the city gets free condoms, & new projects bloom.

Stanton resigns

Edward Stanton III announced his resignation from his post as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee last week.

Stanton was appointed to the post in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama. His resignation comes after the election of President Donald Trump. He'll serve in the role until the end of February.

"I am confident the extraordinary professionals of the U.S. Attorney's Office will remain tirelessly devoted to the unwavering cause of justice on behalf of the citizens of West Tennessee and our great nation," Stanton said in a statement.

Stanton created the office's Civil Rights Unit in 2011. He also prosecuted drug lord Craig Petties and Amos Patterson, who shot three soldiers at the Millington Army National Guard Recruiting Center in 2013.

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The Alley, the hall, and the hotel

Developers are working now to transform a former chrome plating shop in the Edge District into a space for a cafe, coffee roaster, community space, and a spot for a curated group of micro-retailers.

That space will be called Edge Alley and is adjacent to High Cotton Brewing. The cafe and coffee concept will bring dining back to that part of the Edge.

Permits were pulled last week for more work at the site of the proposed food hall called South Main Market. While its website only promises "coming in 2017," nearly $1 million in work has already been done at the building in what will be a $1.5 million project.

Here's how the DMC described the project: "Picture a single destination where delicious smells and sights converge on you at the threshold. A hub where you can sit down to a delicious plate of tacos, while your friends enjoy steaming bowls of ramen, plates of succulent rotisserie chicken, or samplers of distinct cheeses and wine pairings."

Work should begin soon on a plan to turn the former Memphis College of Art (MCA) building at 477 South Main into a 66-room boutique hotel. California-based Wessman Development got a permit last week for renovations totaling more than $5.3 million for the project. MCA renovated the nearly 5,000-square-foot building into a graduate school in 2010 in a $2.6 million project. The school shuttered the building in 2015.

Condoms or abortions?

The Shelby County Commission approved a federal grant for Planned Parenthood of Greater Memphis Region's (PPGMR) free condom distribution program on Monday after a debate on abortion and a threat from the state.

State officials advised the Shelby County Commission last week that they could lose $407,000 in federal grants for HIV prevention if they do not approve the $115,000 amount allotted.

A vote to approve the earmarked funds has been delayed since mid-January. Ashley Coffield, CEO of PPGMR, described the move as a power play to garner "cheap political points." The state letter came at the end of the month.

"I know we have disagreements about abortion rights, but there is a time and a place for those discussions," said Coffield, who also urged the commissioners "not to play politics with public health".

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