Friday update

The Memphis Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog reported yesterday that BurgerFest will indeed be back this year. BurgerFest, the successor to Best Memphis Burger Fest that was organized by Seth Agranov and his team, will be at Tiger Lane on October 27. However, this year it will be a little bit different: There will be no cooking competition among teams this year, although they do plan to bring that back in the future. There will be a ticket that gets you burger and beer samples, and there will be a burger bar where you can get full-sized burgers. There will also be kids’ activities.

Personally, I am quite fine with hearing there will be no team competition. My team the Moody Ques accomplished what we needed to last year. We proved we could run with the big boys on the burger scene, hauling in two trophies; we proved we could still function as a team after a couple of key departures. A personal goal of mine was to beat one other team in particular, and we did that too – I won’t say which team or I will get lectured by a redhead. Given our success last year, taking a year off from burgers sounds good to me. I did talk to our vice-president Jamie this week and we’re looking into options for a fall get-together for the team.

The Memphis Tigers host Georgia State at the Liberty Bowl tonight at 6 PM in a nationally televised game on ESPN. For those going to the game, there are throwback dog specials:

Food truck Fridays are back at the FedExForum plaza today through October 5.

John Mellencamp comes to the Orpheum Sunday, March 17 of next year. He’ll perform his classic hits plus some new songs.

Mick Jagger was in Memphis this week, meeting up with Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun Studio. The CA learned the reason Sir Mick was here: He’s doing reconnaissance for an upcoming movie project.

There was a joke on Twitter that Mick is making more appearances in Memphis these days than Tennessee Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn. How true…

For those of you into all things pumpkin, the Gourmade food truck will be at Ghost River this evening (starting at 3 PM) with a limited batch of their pumpkin amaretto pound cake. They’ll have banana pudding too.

The Commercial Appeal is in the kitchen with a Q&A with Majestic Grille chef Patrick Reilly.

The University of Tennessee is giving Carolinians escaping Florence free admission to their home game against UTEP tomorrow. Man, given the choice between the hurricane and Neyland Stadium, I think I’d take the hurricane.

Belle Tavern is opening early this weekend for soccer:

Statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight has its Senate projections online. As of this morning the Republicans have slightly more than a 2 in 3 chance to retain the Senate. They also have projections for all the individual Senate races. As of this morning Marsha Marsha Marsha has a 7 in 10 chance of defeating Phil Bredesen, although she is projected to win by only 2 percentage points.

For those more interested in sports than politics, FiveThirtyEight has NFL projections too.

Oh, My Squash! is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. It’s the perfect time of year for those who love this vegetable, with summer squashes still around, but also with winter squashes starting to make their debut. Market sponsor Char Restaurant will be there with a demonstration on how to make their Plum Peachy Iced Tea. The demo will be 9-11 AM at the Glass Silo, Trainside South. Shamicheal Hallman of the Cossitt Library will be there with a Reading Corral for kids 10-noon. There will also be a kids’ crafts table. Live music all day long. The Market runs from 8 AM to 1 PM under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson every Saturday.

Former Trump campaign manager has reached a plea deal with the Special Counsel’s office. The Special Counsel has arranged a charging document, charging Manafort with lying to the FBI, witness tampering, money laundering, tax fraud, failing to report foreign bank accounts, and failing to register as a foreign agent. Now, here’s the interesting part… Manafort must admit that he committed all the crimes in the charging document, but he’s only pleading to two of the charges. That means the other charges could still be prosecuted by the State of New York at a later date – and remember, state convictions are not pardonable.

The next question is, by accepting the plea deal, does that mean Manafort is now cooperating in the investigation of Donald Trump? Based on what I’ve read, I tend to believe not, at least not yet. Manafort’s lawyers and Trump’s lawyers still have a joint defense agreement, meaning they share everything they know in order to help each other’s cases. Trump’s lawyers had joint defense agreements with Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, and Michael Cohen… but it was announced those agreements were ended a few days before the aforementioned three defendants flipped and starting working with prosecution. Not until we hear a similar announcement from Paulie Walnuts’ attorneys will we know he is cooperating. (EDIT: Two minutes after I hit Publish, I saw this. Manafort will indeed be cooperating with Mueller.)

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow or Sunday with more news.