Here's a rundown of the stories that will likely prove to be the most talked-about this week. Some of the events mentioned below happened after Flyer press time.
City Council Says Goodbye, Hello
Tuesday's meeting this week was the last for council members Jim Strickland, Wanda Halbert, Bill Boyd, Harold Collins, and Alan Crone.
New council members — Berlin Boyd, Frank Colvett Jr., Patrice Robinson, Jamita Swearengen, Martavius Jones, and Philip Spinosa Jr. — will start work in January.
Liberty Bowl Renovations
On Tuesday, the Memphis City Council was scheduled for a vote on a $4.8 million upgrade to the Liberty Bowl stadium that would add about 4,000 new, premium seats (seats with seat backs).
The city would essentially front the funds to the stadium and would be paid back within a year by the University of Memphis.
- Midtown Market, Strickland, Schilling, Stewart, and the Liberty Bowl
Midtown Market Project
The council was also set to consider this week a plan to transform the corner of Union and McLean into an apartment complex, shops, and, perhaps, an "upscale grocery store."
Belz Enterprises and Harbour Retail Partners want to build a $43.5 million project called "Midtown Market" on the now-blighted corner.
The project got $10.5 million in tax breaks from the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. earlier this year. Now, the developers want the city council to ask for $4 million in grant funds for the project from the federal government.
Darrius Stewart File
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation file on the Darrius Stewart case was released for public viewing on Tuesday.
Last week, Shelby County Chancellor James R. Newsom III ruled that the files should be open but stayed the order until December 15th to allow Memphis Police officer Connor Schilling, who shot and killed the unarmed Stewart on July 17th, time to file an appeal.
Schilling's attorney had been fighting to keep the report closed to the public, citing a concern that he might be facing a federal indictment and opening the record would jeopardize his right to an impartial jury.
A quick glance at the file revealed multiple witness accounts stating that Schilling and Stewart were wrestling on the ground when Schilling shot Stewart a first time. Stewart was a shot a second time, in the back, as he attempted to flee, witnesses said.
Loflin Corner Key Shop Project
The Center City Development Corp. was scheduled to vote Wednesday to loan and grant $65,425 to a company looking to transform the Loflin Safe and Lock Co. building in the South End into a bar and restaurant.
The two-story building was most recently home to a horse stable. The building's new owner cleaned up the site and hopes to make it into a neighborhood entertainment destination. The building's first floor would have the bar and restaurant. The second floor would be residential.
Behind the building is a 10,000-square-foot lawn that would be used for horseshoes, ping-pong, cornhole, bocce ball, and croquet, according to the documents from Loflin LLC, the site's new owner. A barn in the backyard would be used for weddings, corporate events, and private parties.
Strickland Transition Team
Mayor-elect Jim Strickland's vision for the city was to become clearer Wednesday as his transition team was scheduled to present ideas to him in a public forum.
Strickland packed an agenda to fill the afternoon Wednesday at the University of Memphis. His team will give recommendations on city planning, crime, financial responsibility, accountability, minority business development, poverty, youth, and more.