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Body cams, a dog park, and a hippo

Cop complaints fall, city plans Mud Island dog park, and a hippo was born at the Memphis Zoo.

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MPD complaints way down

Civilian complaints against Memphis Police Department officers have fallen about 75 percent since the department rolled out its body-worn camera program, a fact that was set for review during Tuesday's Memphis City Council meeting.

"Off the top of their head, everyone can probably think of two reasons why that might be the case," said council member Worth Morgan. "One is the officers are behaving better, and two is that the citizens are behaving better as well."

Council members were also slated to discuss the city's process for issuing protest permits. Getting one now requires 14 business days' notice, but Morgan said he wanted to know if that is "the best we can do."

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CA employees reapply for jobs

Employees in The Commercial Appeal's advertising department were asked to reapply for their jobs.

Memphis Newspaper Guild president Daniel Connolly said no other departments at the Memphis daily newspaper were affected, only advertising. Employees there were to turn in resumes for those jobs last week.

The move came a little more than a week after Gannett Co. Inc., the company which has owned the paper for about a year, cut 20 employees from the CA's newsroom.

Some may vote to leave Memphis

South Cordova, Rocky Point, Southwind, Windyke, Riverbottoms, Eads, and parts of Frayser should all be considered for de-annexation, according to a task force studying how Memphis could — and maybe should — shrink.

The task force, comprised of city and county officials, has studied certain areas for months and announced its findings Thursday. Those areas were selected because they weren't heavily populated, were hard to cover with city services, or their residents had asked to be de-annexed.

A new dog park, bigger Spanish Park?

City officials hope to open a new dog park on Mud Island and to expand Spanish War Memorial Park in Midtown.

City council members were set to review both plans Tuesday. The dog park is planned for the corner of Island Drive and A.W. Willis Bridge at a cost of more than $475,000.

Spanish War Memorial Park, which is close to Cooper-Young at the corner of East Parkway and Central, could add about 1.4 acres of land. The strip of land is already used as a makeshift entrance to the park, and council members will consider buying it from Union Pacific Railroad at a cost of $170,000.

Build frenzy on the way?

Developers want to put a hotel on Beale Street, two townhouse subdivisions in the South End, and a hotel near Wolfchase Mall.

A Mississippi group has planned a six-story, 101-room Best Western on a vacant lot across the street from Robert Church Park.

One developer wants to build 30 town homes, and another wants to build a subdivision with 18 townhomes, all in the exploding South End district.

A Florida company wants to build a four-story, 100-room Courtyard Marriott just east of the Woflchase Galleria mall.

All of these projects will be reviewed at city hall next month.

"Awww" of the week

The hippopotamus family at the Memphis zoo just got a little bit larger. A 76-pound female calf was born to Binti, one of the zoo's female Nile hippos. The calf, who has yet to be named, made her debut at the zoo last week.

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