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Raiford, Pence, and Power

An icon passes, Pence punts, and politicians scrap on wind energy.



Weirich reprimanded

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich accepted a private reprimand for her conduct in the murder trial of Noura Jackson and did not face a Supreme Court hearing panel.

A court board recommended discipline for Weirich in 2016 for an outburst during her closing arguments in the trial and for failing to hand over a witness statement to Jackson's attorneys.

The reprimand "admits an attorney error has occurred but ... it does not unnecessarily stigmatize a lawyer from whom the public needs no protection," Weirich said.


Zoo threatens Greensward deal

The Memphis Zoo threatened to pull out of the deal to rework its parking lot (and end Greensward parking) last week because zoo officials said the Overton Park Conservancy (OPC) could not pay its share.

OPC officials said they did not have reserves to cover their half of the project — estimated to cost $3 million — and that getting the funds would be a challenge. However, they said last week they'd raise the funds.

The two groups are expected to work out details of the plan before the council's next meeting on Tuesday, April 11th.

Wharton joins "Hall of Mayors"

A portrait of former Mayor A C Wharton was unveiled at Memphis City Hall, joining the 62 mayoral portraits in the Hall of Mayors. City officials, judges, past mayors, and more joined Wharton and his family to mark the event.

New retail aimed for Union

Loeb Properties will raze an old Valvoline shop on Union and build a "modern" shopping center to cost about $1.1 million. Demolition will begin on the project April 1st, the company said, and the new space will be completed this fall.

Raiford passes

Robert Raiford, the colorful downtown icon/disco owner, passed away.

"People don't realize I don't play music like a DJ; I play music from the heart," Raiford said in a Memphis magazine story last year. "I can watch you — you don't even have to dance all night long, but I know good and well you're having a good time. I watch your feet, watch your mood, read your body language, and I can tell. I'm doing something for you — I'm not just doing something for the dance floor."

Politicians argue wind energy

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland publicly argued two sides of a proposed project that would bring wind energy here from Oklahoma and Texas.

Clean Line Energy Partners want to build a $2 billion wind-energy network, called the Plains and Eastern Clean Line, that would connect the plains and Memphis via 720 miles of overhead electrical lines.

Alexander urged Tennessee Valley Authority board members against buying power for the project, saying it would raise energy rates.

Roland said Alexander's information was "outdated and misleading" and that it would be a boon for Shelby County. The project would help "our country realize President [Donald] Trump's vision for more infrastructure here," Roland said.

"Senator Alexander obviously didn't take note of what happened in November," Roland said. "The American people voted for public-private partnerships, new infrastructure, job creation, and economic opportunity."

Pence cancels

Vice President Mike Pence cancelled his trip to Memphis last week.

Pence was scheduled to attend the NCAA South Regional games at the FedExForum but cancelled as lawmakers prepped a vote on a bill that would have repealed and replaced the Affordable Care Act. Cancelled, too, was a protest aimed at Pence.


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