Wednesday update

Lansky Bros. is hiring a Shipping & Receiving Manager whose hours would be 9 AM to 5 PM Monday-Friday. Required skills and responsibilities include

  • Process all incoming and outgoing shipments
  • Strong communication skills
  • High level of detail and accuracy
  • Organizational skills
  • Commitment to delivering excellent internal customer service
  • Must be able to lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Clean driving record for required use of company van to deliver product to the shops

If interested, send a resume to sales@lanskybros.com.

The DM reports that construction on the Downtown Mobility Center will begin next week. The trolley stop southbound on Main between Peabody Place and Beale, which will be adjacent to the center, will be demolished and replaced with a new one.

Nikki from Nikki’s Hot Products, which has gone out of business, posted that the very last of her Bloody Mary mix is available for sale at Cordelia’s Market. This is your last chance to stock up.

A second Sunrise Memphis location will open in East Memphis. The popular breakfast spot will open in the building being vacated by Blue Plate Cafe.

Memphis Voyager recently sat down for a talk with Charles Nwankwo and Rickey Johnson, two of the owners of Sage Memphis.

The Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will be at Grind City Brewing Co. this Sunday from 1 to 6.

A couple of days ago I linked to a story about Brookside, Alabama, a Birmingham suburb that is a notorious traffic trap. Yesterday there was a followup story that the police chief has resigned.

Shen Yun, a dance performance celebrating the culture of China, comes to the Cannon Center this Saturday. There are 2 PM and 7 PM performances and tickets are $80-$150.

Bardog Tavern will have a Valentine’s Day wine dinner featuring the wines of Meiomi downstairs in the Underdog Monday, February 14 at 6:30 PM. The dinner includes

First course: Crab cakes with remoulade

Second course: Lobster bisque or spring salad

Main course: Your choice of a 12 oz. New York strip with scallops and herbed butter, garlic mashed potatoes, and asparagus; OR halibut with crawfish cream sauce, risotto, and Brussels sprouts with bacon jam

Dessert: Tres leches cake with fresh fruit

The dinner comes with one cocktail and four Meiomi wines. Cost is $95 excluding tax and tip. Limited availability. Get tickets at the bar or by phone.

The Grizzlies are on the road at San Antonio tonight at 7:30. The game will be broadcast on Bally Sports Southeast.

Old Dominick Distillery is hiring Part-Time Tour Guides.

That’s it for today. Back tomorrow.

Tuesday update

Some Mud Island residents are unhappy that MPD recently conducted a sting in their neighborhood. The operation drew nine men and one women to the River Inn at Harbor Town, where they were arrested on charges related to human trafficking, prostitution, and promoting prostitution. People were complaining, why did this have to happen here, the publicity about criminal activity could lower our property values.

The answer is pretty clear: Say they held the operation at a hotel on Germantown Parkway. If the criminals sensed something was not right and tried to flee, they’d have many different escape routes and it would be nearly impossible for police to cover them all. On Mud Island, there are only two escape routes: The A.W. Willis bridge and the back entrance where Mud Island Drive meets Second Street about a mile south of Frayser. I’m sure the police had both of those exits covered.

A representative from Harbor Town posted to Nextdoor that River Inn’s assistance was requested and gladly provided. Because of the operation, several young women are now availed of the services of Restore Corps, which helps victims of human trafficking. Ten criminals were taken off the streets, as were cocaine, crack, meth, marijuana, and three guns.

Congratulations to River Inn and all the agencies involved on an operation that was safe, discreet, and successful. As for the property owners complaining this will give Mud Island a reputation as a neighborhood that attracts criminals, I would be much more concerned about a certain large, ungated apartment complex on the north half of the island than I would operations like this one.

According to another report on Nextdoor, there was gunfire near Loflin Yard last night. MPD had the street taped off at one point and shell casings were found on Carolina Avenue. Note that Loflin Yard is closed on Mondays, so the shooting was not likely connected to anything going on there.

Carolina Watershed has been doing right after dark on Sundays lately. They have the ones that light up so you can see them in the dark.

Last week, I mentioned that TV host Jon Taffer announced that he’d be involved in a new show concept. That concept has now been made public: Restaurant Rivals will feature Restaurant Impossible‘s Robert Irvine in a competition with Bar Rescue‘s Jon Taffer. Irvine and Taf will each have 24 hours to turn around a restaurant, with diners rating who did better. Irvine tends to focus more on menus, while Taffer focuses on the overall restaurant experience. The show will be carried on Discovery+.

Rep. John Gillespie of Memphis wants to create a new criminal charge, aggravated reckless driving, to make sure that drivers in the city who willfully endanger others get more than just a slap on the wrist. The new charge would be a Class A misdemeanor, where reckless driving is a Class B.

Congrats to the bar at Good Fortune Co. and South Main Nutrition, both of which received perfect scores of 100 on health inspections last week.

Interesting read: The former New Mexico secretary of labor got a job bartending a movie theater in a wealthy suburb of Austin, and the theater sounds a lot like Downtown’s Malco Powerhouse. His experience over Christmas 2021 lead him to write a piece about the real reasons companies are having trouble retaining staff.

Here’s a clock that tells you time via literature. H/t to the Morning Brew newsletter for this link and the one above.

Today is National Irish Coffee Day.

School of Rock Memphis will perform a tribute to the Grateful Dead Friday at 8 at Memphis Clover Club.

Marty Ray Project is live at the Tin Roof tonight at 7. Holy crap they covered Vanilla Ice!

Robert Moody presents The Orchestra: Unplugged: Hallelujiah Handel at the Halloran Centre Thursday and Friday. Both performances are at 7:30 PM and are $37.50.

That’s it for today’s news. Back tomorrow.

Monday update

Got an important note for any of my readers who have reason to drive I-22 southeast into Birmingham. (Lamar Avenue which runs through Memphis becomes I-22 in north Mississippi.) There’s a northwest suburb of Birmingham named Brookside that is gaining national attention as a notorious speed trap. Cops will sit on I-22, even though, according to Google Maps, I-22 does not run through Brookside. Not only will they aggressively ticket violations, but they will also concoct violations out of thin air.

This sounds like an area to avoid. You can do so by taking the U.S. 72 exit about a mile before Brookside and taking that highway into Birmingham. It may add a few minutes to your trip, but it could save you fines and the hassle of court appearances.

There was a trash fire reported on the Main Street Mall this morning around 4 near Margie’s 901 ice cream shop. The fire was quickly put out. Probably a homeless person trying to stay warm.

This’ll be of interest to NBA fans… the Brooklyn Nets have become the first pro sports team to move into the metaverse to provide fans an immersive game experience. A system of 100 high-res cameras will provide a 3D fan experience from any position on the court. Want to be on the free-throw line when Kevin Durant shoots? You can. Want to be in the corner when James Harden attempts a three? You can. With the proper virtual reality hardware, of course. That hardware isn’t cheap, but neither are Nets tickets. The name of the Nets’ metaverse? The Netaverse.

I wonder if the Grizzlies will have their own VR/AR metaverse in the near future. Memphis isn’t as wealthy or as technologically advanced a city as New York, so it probably isn’t the immediate priority (a deep run into the playoffs is the immediate priority). Still, I bet we see something like that in Memphis no later than 2025.

A friend pointed out to me that it looks like the Western Conference semifinals will be going on during BBQ Fest. BBQ teams, you better start figuring out how to get a TV in your booths.

With one-third of the team out for various reasons, the Grizzlies dropped a road game to Dallas last night, 104-91. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Utah lost too, so Memphis still holds 3rd place in the West by a game over the Jazz.

The Memphis Tigers, on the other hand, notched a road W over Tulsa, 83-81. The contest looked out of reach for Memphis in the first half and early second half, then Tyler Harris switched into boss mode and brought us back.

Next up for the Tigers: Thursday vs. East Carolina, 8 PM at FedExForum. There will be a lot going on for that game:

From the DM: Development partners Kevin Woods and Billy Orgel, along with Paul Young who runs DMC, discuss plans for the 100 N. Main project. In particular, check out this drawing illustrating the building’s future components. Young notes that by combining office space with hotel space and apartments, that block of Main Street will be activated 18 hours a day.

Fact I gleaned from today’s Morning Brew newsletter: This will be the first time in 12 years that neither the NFC nor AFC conference title game will feature Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers.

Also from the Brew… Bitcoin is down to $35,919. Daaaang it was up in the $64K neighborhood as recently as November.

AI technology is now advising the world’s highest-stakes Texas Hold’em poker players. For example, AI might tell a player who has a suited 7 and 6 with an Ace, Jack, and 2 on the flop that he should check (bet nothing) 39% of the time, bet 30% of the pot 51% of the time, and bet 80% of the pot 10% of the time. That behavior will optimally confuse the other players at the table as to what the player actually holds.

The good news for us causal players is that only the players at the highest levels (like those who buy in for a tournament for $250,000) have both the money to buy the AI software and the time to study its recommendations for all the different hands. You shouldn’t be at a disadvantage if you buy into a $30 tournament or a $1/$2 cash game at Tunica or Southaven.

Today is Beer Can Appreciation Day and I plan on appreciating some Pabst Blue Ribbon cans later this evening.

It’s also National Peanut Butter Day. My recommendation to celebrate would be at the Arcade restaurant with their fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Anyone else getting a “Card Encryption Error” when they try to pay with their chipped debit card at Walgreens today? Never seen that before. It was no big deal, though, my total was only $7 and I had cash.

Weather-wise, no rain expected this week but today is expected to be the only day with above-normal temperatures. It should get close to 60 today, but don’t break out the shorts – it’ll get down to bear freezing tonight.

The Broom Closet on South Main will host a Third Eye Opening event with instructor Matt Petty tonight at 6:30. There will be a variety of sounds from singing bowls, chimes, and gongs. Bring a yoga mat. Space is limited and late entries won’t be accepted.

That’s the news for today. Back tomorrow.

Sunday update

Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers are back on national TV today, playing a road game at Tulsa. on ESPN Tip-off is 2 PM. Gotta impress that NIT selection committee!

The Grizzlies are on the road as well, playing the Dallas Mavericks tonight at 6:30.

Today is National Pie Day.

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s COVID Week-in-Review. Most notably, his kids are sitting in auditoriums or gyms for hours a day (although fewer hours than 2 weeks ago), not being taught anything, at school because so many teachers are out in isolation or quarantine. He states (and I agree) that the public deserves to know how many hours a week this is happening per school, since it’s our tax dollars that are funding education.

Kids throw free at the Downtown Civil Axe Throwing location today.

DJ Duke spins classic soul at the Hard Rock tonight 6 to 9.

Kinsey Rose from “The Voice” will perform at South Main Sounds Friday night at 7. She’ll be joined by Alexis Taylor.

Wyly Bigger will perform at halftime at Saturday’s Grizzlies game.

That concludes a rather boring Sunday post. There’s really not much going on this time of year. I’ll be back tomorrow if I have any news to report.

Saturday update

The Memphis Public Libraries posted some news to Facebook yesterday that I have been waiting a long, long time to hear:

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovated Cossitt Library at Front and Monroe is next week!!!!! Tuesday, January 25 at 9:30 AM.

I will be there and I am so excited! Since I can write from any location I want, I anticipate taking my laptop up there often and getting a lot of work done. Plus I’ll have access to thousands of books to inspire writing ideas.

I re-shared the library system’s post, and 14 hours later, my re-share has 7 likes. If I’d shared a post about a new nightclub opening rather than a library, I bet it would have got 70 likes. Such is the world we live in.

I finally located my mugshot on the wall at the Blind Bear:

You can find the mugshots on the wall to the right, immediately after you walk in the front door. Want your mugshot taken? You can have it done at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre party on February 12.

I’m kinda surprised at how many people were smiling or giggling in their mugshots. Think about it. You’ve been making thousands of dollars a week smuggling rum into the States from Canada for 7, 8 years now. Now it’s 1929 and the Feds finally nabbed you. You’re probably not going to know life outside a prison cell again until the 1950s. Would YOU be smiling?

Memphis-themed gift shop Feelin’ Memphis now has Homecooking Dinner Mixes by Southern Sister’s Gourmet. Tawanda and Cordell tried the Chicken and Dumplins and the Mississippi Mud Brownies this week and loved it. Stop by the store at 509 S. Main and pick some up.

Stix, the fast-casual Asian restaurant on Second, now has Sake Hot Chocolate. They combine powdered hot chocolate mix with Hakushika’s Snow Beauty Junmai Nigori Sake to produce this creation which is great on a cold winter day.

Penny Hardaway’s profanity-laced tirade against the media following Thursday’s loss to SMU made the national news – New York PostESPN. I’m really beginning to think that Penny has subconsciously, but not yet consciously, realized he’s in over his head in this head coaching gig. I’m tired of hearing, yeah, we woulda won but injuries and COVID and 17-18-year-old players. I want to hear, “No excuses. I should have done a better job instructing my team.”

OK, good… now I see that Penny apologized to the city and the fans for his rant. That apology needed to happen.

The Grizzlies got a nice road win over the Denver Nuggets, 122-118, last night, with Ja looking like his usual All-Star self and dropping in 38.

There was a vehicle collision with injuries this morning at Jackson and North B.B. King. That’s near the entrance to St. Jude. I hope no patients or family members were involved.

Barbie’s Inspiring Women series has added an Ida B. Wells doll to its collection.

Today is National Hot Sauce Day.

Memphis Symphony Orchestra will perform Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony at the Cannon Center tonight.

Time to eat Chef Boy-ar-dee spaghetti and meatballs and read the WWE Smackdown recap from last night, then it’ll be time for a full day of bears, geese, and dogs. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Last night I watched SMU play a high school team on national TV. SMU beat the high school team, 70-62. Next up: The high school team travels to Tulsa for a nationally televised game on ESPN Sunday at 2.

The high school team asked its fans to stand until it scored its first point. The fans were left standing for more than 6 minutes. Suggestion to the coach: Next time, ask the fans to stand until the high school team commits its first turnover. Butts will be in seats in the first :20.

Charcuterie box company Feast & Graze will have a brick & mortar retail location beginning February 1 thanks to the DMC’s Open on Main program. The shop will be at 55 S. Main, right down the street from Ben Yay’s and Maciel’s. Cristina McCarter, proprietor of Feast & Graze, will get a year’s free rent, giving her time to test whether this is a retail store concept that will work.

Downtown bartenders: You can win recognition by submitting a cocktail in the Choose901 Downtown Cocktail Contest. You have until February 4 to turn in a recipe using Old Dominick spirits. Winners will be crowned in

  • Best Overall
  • Best Name
  • Best Use of Garnish
  • Best Presentation
  • Best Gin Drink
  • Best Whiskey Drink
  • Best Vodka Drink

Now you can get Green Beetle food without coming Downtown. The Green Beetle food truck will be parked outside the Memphis Made taproom in Cooper-Young, Menu items include

  • Boudin Balls
  • Yard Bird Fries (topped with smoked chichen)
  • Loaded Taco Fries
  • Smoked Chicken Sandwich
  • Smashed Burger
  • Catfish Strips
  • Chicken Tenders

River Time Market and Deli has a description, witness, and video of the man that smashed in their front door and stole their cash box this past weekend. The suspect is a man who is known to police and residents in the area. Yet police are telling the owners, “We have to have a name. We can’t pick him up without a name.” That is RIDICULOUS. We’re supposed to be on a first-name basis with our local criminals?

DJ AD spins at the Blind Bear Saturday night starting at 9 PM.

There’s a Senior Property Accountant job available Downtown.

Robot umpires will man home plate for some Triple-A Minor League Baseball teams in 2022, but the Memphis Redbirds are not one of those teams.

THe U of M Law School has several tenure-track faculty positions open and has a particular need for expertise in Torts.

On Wednesday, February 18, there will be a walk across Big River Crossing at sunset, just in time to watch the rise of the full Snow Moon from the Arkansas side. It’s free to participate in this event.

Tell a tree rat you appreciate them today, because it’s Squirrel Appreciation Day.

ABC 24’s Richard Ransom has an idea for fighting drag racing and reckless driving in Memphis: Start ticketing drivers of cars with modified mufflers that make them super loud. The law is already on the books.

RIP Meat Loaf.

Broke Tall Folk play The Vault tonight at 8.

There will be a blindfold poetry slam tonight at 7 at 488 S. Second. Note that tickets must be purchased in advance (they won’t be sold at the door) and there is a camouflage attire theme.

Lucas Carpenter, Eva Cassel, and David Adams play the 5 Spot in the back of Earnestine & Hazel’s tonight at 9. $10 cover.

It’s Bachateame Friday at the Rumba Room tonight 9 to 3.

Soup Sunday moves to a new venue this year. It will be at The Kent, the new Uptown event space at Front and Keel on Sunday, February 20. Because of COVID, they’re scaling back this year – they’ll limit the number of tickets sold and only 20 restaurants will participate with their finest soups and other goodies. A variety of beer, wine, and cocktails will be served alongside the food. Grab your early bird ticket for $75 while it’s still January. The annual event, in the past held at FedExForum, is a fundraiser for Youth Villages.

That’s it for today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Last night’s Grizzlies loss to Milwaukee was disappointing but expected. Playing on the road against one of the best teams in the league happens now and then, and when it does, the odds are not in Memphis’ favor. Let’s have a look at the updated standings:

  • The Grizzlies (31-16) are in 3rd place in the Western Conference
  • They’re 2.5 games back of 2nd-place Golden State (32-12)
  • They’re 1 game ahead of 4th-place Utah (29-16)
  • They’re avoiding play-in scenarios by 8 games

Next up: The Grizzlies play on the road at Denver at 8 PM Friday. If you go out to a bar to watch the game, make sure you choose a bar that won’t cut off the TVs midway through it.

The Memphis Tigers get a shot at a team that is likely to make the NCAA tournament tonight. SMU comes to FedExForum to play a 6 PM game televised on ESPN2.

In other Memphis Tigers news, Rasheed Wallace is no longer an assistant coach for the team. He has been reduced to a consulting role where he can work from home, and health & safety protocols are said to be the reason.

A team headed by Billy Orgel and Kevin Woods has been selected to redevelop 100 N. Main, the tallest building in the city and one that has been blighted for most of the past decade. Orgel has previously redeveloped the Tennessee Brewery and Uptown’s Snuff District. The redevelopment will include the entire block bordered by Main, Adams, Second, and Jefferson, and will include office space, apartments, a hotel, and retail and restaurant space.

A word of advice from someone who’s out a lot: If you go to the Downtown bars and pay with a credit card, do not let that card out of your sight until a bartender or server takes it. The second it comes back, put it in your wallet or purse. Do not leave your card unattended on the bar where someone can steal it. Sadly, I am not talking about the actions of some random thief. I am talking about a regular.

From Slate: The NBA’s electrifying new superhero. Ja Morant’s fearless, astonishing play has made the Memphis Grizzlies must-see TV.

Memphis Police Department will hold a hiring expo Saturday, January 29 from 11 AM to 3 PM at the 17u N. Main building. There will be free parking at the Mud Island parking garage, corner of Front and Poplar. If interested, bring your ID and fill out an application onsite. Wear athletic clothing for a basic agilities test. There’s a $15,000 signing bonus and up to $10,000 is available to assist with relocation.

The annual Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre party returns to the Blind Bear Saturday, February 12 beginning at 8 PM. Dress up like a gangster or flapper and let’s party like it’s 1929! FreeWorld – yes, the entire band, not a subset – will be back for a night. Jamie Harmon will take “mug shots” and pics for the dining room wall. The Amurica photo booth will be parked outside. They’ll have a special dinner menu that includes a bottle of champagne for $45/individual or $90/couple. Not familiar with the real, February 14, 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre? Wikipedia to the rescue.

Jon Taffer will announce a new show today. Jon is the star of Bar Rescue, in which he fixes and upgrades bars that have gotten themselves in financial and operational trouble. Jon says that Bar Rescue will be back for another season, but his announcement today will be a new concept. In 2017 Jon and his team of experts rescued several bars in the Memphis area, including Downtown cigar bar Robusto by Havana Mix.

Today is National Cheese Lovers’ Day.

The rolling 7-day average of new COVID cases continues to drop by 50 to 200 a day. Today it’s down to 1699, more than 800 down from the rolling average’s high. The Omicron variant is slowly burning itself out in the community. The county will hold its weekly COVID task force press conference today at noon.

That’ll do it for this post. Back tomorrow with more news.

 

 

Wednesday update

The Union Mission has a couple of volunteer opportunities open.

Food server: This is someone who loves people and loves interacting with the Mission’s guests. There would be side work including cleaning the kitchen and dining room. No previous food service experience is required but must be willing to take direction from the kitchen manager. Shifts are 11 AM to 1 or 2 PM for lunch and 4:30 PM to 7 or 8 PM for dinner.

Food prep: Helps the kitchen manager prepare the meals. Enthusiastic about serving a hot meal to those in need without direct interaction with the guests. LIke the server role, no previous experience is required but must be willing to take direction from the kitchen manager. Shifts are 8 AM to 11 AM for lunch or 1 PM to 4 PM for dinner.

If interested in volunteering for either of these roles, email rdaniels@memphisunionmission.org or call 901-343-6769.

In a presentation to the city council yesterday, DA Amy Weirich explained that the majority of drag racing and reckless driving cases are nolle prossed, meaning that the prosecutors decide not to move forward with the case. Weirich said moving ahead with charges involves locating witnesses who will testify that a specific person was driving the vehicle.

As for what could be done from a legislative perspective to make streets safer, Weirich suggested a law allowing police to seize the car when a drag racer is arrested, rather than waiting for a conviction. She also suggested making reckless driving a more serious misdemeanor with a heavier maximum sentence.

Fourth Street between Union and Crump will be renamed for Ida B. Wells. This would be a full renaming, not an honorary one, meaning mailing addresses would change, new street signs would be made, and the street name would change on maps. Wells was a journalist on an anti-lynching crusade in Memphis in the 1880s and 1890s.

Dr. Bean’s Coffee and Tea Emporium on South Main is hiring. Email  info@drbeanscoffee.com for more information on open positions.

River City Records will host a meet & greet with Memphis guitarist Eric Gales on Saturday, January 29, with the time TBA. His latest album is set to be released the day before.

The Little Rock Central High basketball team got to use their Christmas present Monday – tickets to the Memphis Grizzlies MLK Day game. The Central team was invited to sit courtside for the Grizzlies’ warm-up. The Grizzlies gave them sweatshirts and other merchandise and a local business owner gave each Central player $100 to spend in the Grizzlies team store.

ZDnet has an article on how to protect yourself against various forms of stalkerware. You’ve probably heard of a stalker attaching an Apple AirTag to a victim’s car to track their location. This is just one of many tech-based stalking methods.

Desmond Bane has been setting basketball courts on fire lately, but he won’t be doing so tonight. He and Kyle Anderson have entered NBA health and safety protocols. The Grizzlies play an away game at the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at 7.

WREG reported on last weekend’s break-in at River Time Market & Deli.

Temperatures could fall this afternoon as much as 35 degrees in a couple of hours, Chelsea Chandler of ABC 24 reports. It’s quite possible we’ll see thunderstorms with hail, freezing rain, sleet, and snow all within 24 hours. The wind chill at 7 tomorrow morning is forecast to be 2. No I did not leave a digit out.

That’s it for now. Stay warm. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

Recently I had an email communication with a reader in which I listed reasons why having a home in Downtown Memphis was a good thing. I told him, most likely in 2023 or 2024, Downtowners will be able to walk to Western Conference Finals games.

After seeing what I saw on TNT yesterday, I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll be walking there in 2022. The Grizzlies are playing like a top four team in the NBA. They looked better than ever in their 119-106 win over Chicago.

The 3rd-place Grizzlies are now a game and a half away from catching Golden State for 2nd in the West. Memphis holds a 1-game lead over 4th-place Utah. The Grizz are 9 games ahead of 7th-place L.A. Lakers, which means it’s becoming pretty clear the Grizzlies will make the playoffs without having to fight through play-in games.

I saw an odd thing yesterday. The Race for Reconciliation was at noon and they had police guarding the intersections runners would pass. Main and Union was being guarded by the Memphis Harbor Police. I wonder if MPD had so many cops out with COVID that they had to call in a favor with the harbor police.

The DM has a look at the race, which drew more than 600 runners.

MemphisWeather.net has a recap of Sunday’s snow event.

Today at 9:45, DA Amy Weirich will walk City Council members through the process of how her office determines whether to charge a driver with drag racing or reckless driving.

The 7-day rolling average of new COVID cases per day in Shelby County continues to fall by about 100 a day. It’s down to 1950 from a high of over 2500 about a week ago.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. is organizing a trash pickup in Cooper-Young this coming Saturday. They’ll provide the bags and supplies. Pick up trash for 30 minutes and they’ll give you a free beer.

MATA will reduce its weekday bus schedule to a Saturday level of service beginning today because so many of its bus drivers are out with COVID.

Also starting today, Shelby County Schools students and staff can get free weekly COVID tests.

ABC 24’s Chelsea Chandler warns of another potential winter weather event Wednesday night. The high tomorrow will be in the 50s, but the temperature will drop FAST (her capitalization) into the 20s, causing the rain that will fall tomorrow to turn to rain, sleet, and snow as it departs the area. The biggest threat will be black ice on the roads Thursday morning. The high and low Thursday will be 29 and 19. Well that certainly sounds like a day that will suck.

This looks like the only somewhat nice day this week, so I’m gonna get out and run all my errands. Back tomorrow with more news.

 

Monday update

Happy MLK Day! Every year I try to read a sermon, speech, or letter by Dr. King to further understand his message. The past few years, I’ve been reading his mid-and-late-1960s messages, so this year I decided to be different. I read Transformed Nonconformist, a sermon he gave not long after being installed as the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. He was only 25 and a year away from receiving his Ph.D.

Dr. King invoked a comparison between a thermometer and a thermostat. All a thermometer does is reflect current conditions. If you’re cold, a thermometer will tell you how cold it is, but it won’t do anything to change the temperature. A thermostat, on the other hand, has a needle you can move to make it warmer, to change current conditions for the better.

So many people, Dr. King went on to say, function as thermometers: They reflect back conventional societal conditions of the current time, but they don’t do anything to change those conditions for the better. Dr. King invited his listener to be a thermostat, to be someone who moves the needle in our society here on earth, inspiration coming from the knowledge that we are part of the society of heaven.

Being a thermostat includes the willingness to be a nonconformist. Dr. King brought up the many white people he knew who were sincere in their support of equality for all races. However, he said, those people were thermometers, not thermostats; they feared moving the needle of equality because they feared they’d stand alone.

All right. I’m not done talking about this, but I’m fixing to discuss modern American politics, and I prefer to do that at the end of my posts. Let’s get on with the news.

The big event of the day is the MLK game at FedExForum, the Grizzlies hosting the Chicago Bulls at 2:30. The game will be broadcast live on TNT. Prior to the game, sports legends will speak at the Earl Lloyd Sports Legacy Symposium, which will be broadcast live by Bally Sports. Memphis’ own Wendy Moten, recent contestant on The Voice, will sing the national anthem at the game.

Speaking of the Grizzlies – Bleacher Report has an interesting trade speculation as the NBA deadline approaches: Could Jerami Grant by on the way to the Grizzlies? They believe the Detroit Pistons forward could be grabbed in a trade for some assortment of Dillon Brooks, Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, players with short-term medium salaries, and picks. Grant is in the prime of his career and can play the 3 or 4 position. Grant at the 4 might give Jaren Jackson Jr. the opportunity to spend more time at center.

Interestingly, Bleacher Report writer Dan Favale believes that Desmond Bane has accomplished enough by now that he would be considered untouchable, along with Ja and Jaren, in trade talks.

I suppose the question to be answered – and one to which I don’t know the answer, because I kmow very little about him – is, does Jerami Grant fit the profile of a Grizzlies player? Strong on defense, high basketball IQ, grit & grind mentality? If so, he might be worth a look.

I’m very unhappy to report that River Time Market & Deli was broken into over the weekend. A man used a brick or rock to smash through the deli’s door. He took their cash box (which contained only change) and a drink out of the cooler. Hardly worth the hundreds of dollars of repairs the small business will incur.

River Time, on the south side of Court Square, will be closed today and tomorrow to deal with the damage. When they reopen, I encourage all my readers to stop by for breakfast or lunch and support them. They are a mom-and-pop business – literally, they are. They are the kind of business that makes Downtown a true neighborhood, not just a city center.

The National CIvil Rights Museum will conduct a hybrid MLK Day celebration, with in-peerson as well as virtual options. If you attend in person, you must reserve passes in advance and wear a mask.

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s COVID Week-In-Review. Case numbers and positivity are still enormous… but they are starting to trend in the right direction. If we can just get through about another month, James believes, we’ll enjoy another period of relatively low infection in the community, as we had February-June and October-November 2021.

Starting Wednesday, you can order 4 free at-home COVID tests to be shipped to your home. There are no shipping fees and no credit card number is required.

The DM has a story on drag racing in Memphis and while, although there are laws on the books prohibiting it, it’s a tough charge to get to stick. Drag racing often gets charged down to reckless driving if it is believed the standard of evidence for the stronger charge cannot be met. However, when the DA does obtain a conviction for drag racing, they can request forfeiture of the car.

There’s a 5K walk/run departing from AutoZone Park today at noon. Keep that in mind if you plan to drive Downtown around that time. You may be delayed.

Back to my discussion of Dr. King’s Transformed Nonconformist speech… I know some of my readers follow the national news and some don’t, so let me fill you in on what’s going on in Congress. Several voting rights bills, most notably the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill, sit in Congress, waiting to be voted on. All 50 Senate Democrats say they support voting rights, and with VP Harris holding the tiebreaking vote, theoretically they could force the legislation through with a 50+VP/50 majority.

Except they can’t, under current Senate rules. Republicans will filibuster the bills endlessly, leaving them permanently in limbo. It takes 60 votes to end a filibuster, and the Dems will never get 10 Republicans to join them.

However, the Senate can vote to change its own rules. All 50 Dems + the VP could vote to relax filibuster rules, then they could vote to end the Republican filibuster and bring the bill to the floor. They could then vote the bill into law, protecting all the voting rights gains nonwhite races have achieved the past 70 years. It would send a strong message that the country continues to move strongly forward toward equality – not roll backward.

Why won’t this happen? Two Democratic Senators – Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) won’t even hear of changing the filibuster rules. They are afraid if they do so, and the voting rights legislation passes, they will stand alone, just as Dr. King talks about in his sermon. Meaning, they’re afraid their voters will turn them out in the next election cycle. They lack the courage to do something extraordinary, right now, and send a message that passing the voting rights legislation is worth facing consqeuences at the ballot box at a later date.

If 100 years from now, history books look back at our generation as the one when American democracy came to an end, I hope Manchin and Sinema’s names are right there alongside Trump and Mitch McConnell as the reasons why. They’re earning that place in history right now.

That’s it for today. Back tomorrow with more news.