Protests, the Aquifer, and Statues 

Jeff and Nathan came down, we took to the streets, and a water war raged.

JANUARY

Citizens and stakeholders debated a plan that would expand Turner Dairy in Midtown.

Planning work got underway to design a new parking lot for the Memphis Zoo, which would end parking on the Overton Park Greensward.

Environmentalists here protested the nomination of Scott Pruitt, Trump's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Students from the University of Memphis, Christian Brothers University, LeMoyne-Owen College, and Rhodes College walked out of classes, protesting the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

More than 3,000 marched from the D'Army Bailey Court House to the National Civil Rights Museum Saturday in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington.

The Sierra Club and Protect Our Aquifer filed a lawsuit to challenge the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) plan to drill wells into the source of Memphis' drinking water.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland convened a task force to develop the Memphis riverfront.

Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) CEO Ron Garrison resigned following his arrest for allegedly patronizing a prostitute.

FEBRUARY

Thousands marched to the National Civil Rights Museum to protest executive orders on immigration and refugees signed by Trump.

The project to put apartments and retail space on the site of the shuttered hotel at Union and McLean re-emerged.

Memphis Police Department director Michael Rallings defended the use of a so-called "blacklist" of people who had to be escorted inside city hall.

Plans to build "I Am A Man Plaza" emerged from the UrbanArt Commission (UAC) and the city of Memphis.

Trolley testing began and MATA officials said they'd be back within 12 months.

MARCH

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich took a private reprimand for her conduct in the murder trial of Noura Jackson.

Club owner/deejay Robert Raiford passed away.

City leaders said they would continue to push for the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue.

Nearly 20 were laid off at The Commercial Appeal, beginning what leaders called a "historic transformation" of the paper.

APRIL

State wildlife officials responded to a sighting of a bear in North Memphis.

Officials unveiled a $214 million, four-year plan to modernize Memphis International Airport.

Wiseacre Brewing chose not to expand in the Mid-South Coliseum.

MAY

The "Tom Lee Storm" left 188,000 homes without power, the third-largest event in Memphis history.

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with Memphis leaders, drawing a protest.

Jared McLemore, local audio engineer and musician, committed suicide by setting himself on fire at Murphy's.

Novel, a new bookstore with local investors, announced it would take over some of the old Booksellers space in Laurelwood.

Louis Graham resigned as editor of The Commercial Appeal.

click to enlarge Memphians marched (top); and city officials proposed changes for the Coliseum.
  • Memphians marched (top); and city officials proposed changes for the Coliseum.
click to enlarge flyby_theyearthatwas2.jpg
click to enlarge flyby_theyearthatwas14.jpg

JUNE

Mark Russell was named the new executive editor of The Commercial Appeal.

Tropical Storm Cindy left more than 8,500 without power.

Gannett Co. announced it would sell The Commercial Appeal office building at 495 Union.

MATA officials promised trolleys would return later in the summer.

ServiceMaster officials opened the first portion of its new building in the Peabody Place mall.

The "Tom Lee Storm" caused about $15.1 million in damages.

JULY

Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) found no detectable traces of arsenic or lead in drinking-water wells close to where the TVA found groundwater toxins.

Plans emerged for a 108-unit apartment complex to be built on the corner of Madison and McLean.

Chicago-based Studio Gang unveiled its plan for a connected Memphis riverfront.

Terrence Patterson resigned his post as president and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC).

Restaurateur Ronnie Grisanti passed away.

AUGUST

Memphis in May brought a $111.9 million economic impact to Memphis.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam urged members of the Tennessee Historical Commission (THC) to act on Memphis' request to remove the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Crosstown Concourse opens.

Graceland leaders proposed a new $50 million, 6,200-seat arena. Though, the leaders pulled the proposal after pressure from the Memphis Grizzlies.

Memphis City Council members were presented four options for the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis

Protestors held rallies around the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue.

City officials re-opened a planning process for the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

Plans were revealed for a $70 million project to turn historic properties in the Edge district into residence, office, and retail spaces.

SEPTEMBER

The Tennessee Historic Commission (THC) said it would not vote on removing the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue during its October meeting.

Gary Rosenfeld was named MATA's new CEO.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art officials announced that they were considering moving the museum from its 101-year home in Overton Park.

Loeb Properties got a $3.3 million tax break to build a $24.2 million hotel in Overton Square.

More than 150 faith leaders signed a letter supporting the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue.

Renovation work began on the Cook Convention Center after the council approved $21 million for the project.

MLGW officials said some 40,000 homes and businesses lost power in the wake of Tropical Depression Harvey.

OCTOBER

Memphis College of Art (MCA) officials announced the school would close.

Amazon won $15 million in tax breaks for a distribution center that would employ 600.

The city council called for backup plans if the city's waiver with the THC was voted down.

A freshwater aquarium was pitched as a new attraction for Mud Island River Park, as the council considered a tourism development zone (TDZ).

The THC voted down Memphis' waiver request to remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue.

The University of Memphis started construction of a land bridge, amphitheater, and parking garage, part of its $66 million Master Campus Plan.

A new advisory team was announced to lead the project to expand the zoo's parking lot and end Greensward parking.

The city council offered Amazon $50 million if would locate its new headquarters here.

NOVEMBER

Bill Cosby's star was removed from the sidewalk in front of the Orpheum Theatre.

Council members weighed a move to allow open containers of alcohol on Main Street.

An adminstrative judge was set hear the city's request to move the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue. The council asked the mayor for a back-up plan.

MLGW announced new, higher utility rates for 2018.

Jennifer Oswalt was chosen as the new president and CEO of the DMC.

Elvis Presley Enterprises said it would challenge the Memphis Grizzlies' non-compete agreement that is blocking it from adding a concert hall to Graceland.

Owners of the Windjammer Restaurant and Lounge announced it would close.

The council ended the Beale Street Bucks program.

City officials said they would mothball the Mid-South Coliseum in a new, $160 million redevelopment project that would transform the Mid-South Fairgrounds as a youth sports destination.

DECEMBER

Trump priorities fueled the arrest of 20 undocumented workers here.

Ground broke on the I Am A Man Plaza.

Billy R. Turner was indicted for the Lorenzen Wright murder. Wright's wife, Sherra, was also arrested in connection to the crime.

MATA said the return of the vintage, steel-wheeled trolley will be delayed until April 2018.

Statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis came down after city officials sell Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park to a nonprofit group.

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