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The Memphis News Almanac

 

The new issue of The Memphis News marks the debut of a new feature in our weekly.

It is The Memphis News Almanac. And like most almanacs, it is a set of events that happened on the dates covered by that particular issue in years past.

Nothing too elaborate. Just enough to get you thinking about where we’ve been as a city and community.

The feature is an outgrowth of some of our thoughts in the last year or so as The Daily News marked its 125th anniversary. We heard from a lot of folks who have been reading us for a long time but were surprised to know we’ve been around that long.

So, our almanac covering all things Memphis will pull items from past editions of The Daily News as well as from definitive history texts like William Miller’s “Mr. Crump of Memphis” and James Roper’s “The Founding of Memphis” and “The Memphis Diaries of Ida B. Wells” edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis.

We are aware that this feature begins as our community is having an interesting discussion about history. We also begin the feature as The Memphis News nears the five year mark in its existence. Our first issue, with a cover story on the suburbs, hit the streets June 18, 2008.

So, give our almanac a look and feel free to contribute. If you have programs or ticket stubs from events, political ballots or literature, photographs — any mementos that are reminders of our history that you wouldn’t mind possibly seeing in The Memphis Almanac, give it a scan and send it me at bdries@memphisdailynews.com.

 

 

SBA administrator Karen Mills in Memphis

The day after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, outgoing Small Business Administration administrator Karen Mills was in Memphis Wednesday (Feb. 13) touring West Tennessee Ornamental Door Company, which manufactures steel security doors, fences and gates for homes and businesses.

Company president James Hoffa bought the business in 2001, and he is a 2012 graduate of the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Program in Memphis.

Mills toured this specific company because it’s unquestionably a success story. Thanks to two SBA-guaranteed loans, West Tennessee Ornamental Door Company currently employs 16 people and had more than $2.8 million in revenue last year.

Moreover, it’s positioned for more growth. The company’s 56,000-square-foot facility can handle up to $10 million in sales. And its product line can be found in Lowe’s and Menards home improvement stores nationwide, as well as in local home improvement companies and window and door companies.

J.M. Smucker Co. not leaving after all

The J.M. Smucker Co. will reverse the decision it announced in 2010 to close its Memphis plant and lay off employees by this year if the company, which makes fruit spreads here, gets a tax break for a $55 million expansion it’s planning.

The company is applying for a 12-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) benefit, under which almost $5.5 million in taxes would be foregone. In return, the company would keep 125 jobs in Memphis.

“The packaged consumer food industry is highly competitive, and profitability is dependent on volatile agricultural commodity prices and other difficult-to-predict variables,” Smucker’s application reads. “As such, the certainty of tax abatements for a specified number of years influences the company’s choice of location for long-term capital investments.”

Smucker announced in 2010 it would close its Memphis plant and lay off 161 employees by 2013. The intention was to consolidate its operation to “improve its supply chain as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the long-term strength and profitability of its leading brands,” a release stated.

Design Challenge to Unveil Ideas for South Main

Thirty-five teams have signed up to compete in the South Main Design Challenge, a competition to generate ideas and solutions for seven vacant and underused spaces in South Main.

Competing teams have been assigned a location to create short-term and long-term concepts for the following spaces:

  1. Parking Lot on Main Street at Huling
  2. The former Ambassador Hotel
  3. Vacant space on Main Street at Talbot
  4. Russell Hardware Building
  5. Army and Navy Parks on GE Patterson
  6. The Buffalo Mural Lot on Main Street near Memphis College of Art
  7. Lyric Panel Lot on Main Street near The Arcade

The public is invited to observe as teams unveil their ideas for the spaces during the next three upcoming Trolley Tour Nights in South Main. Judges will attend each event and will award $1,000 to the overall winning concept.

Concepts for the Huling Lot and Ambassador Hotel site will be unveiled at the next Trolley Night on Feb. 22 at the American Institute of Architects, 515 S. Main St., from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Concepts for Talbot Lot and Russell Hardware will be shown on March 29 and concepts for Buffalo Mural Lot, Army/Navy Parks and the Lyric Panel Lot will be unveiled on April 26.

The South Main Design Challenge is presented and produced by the Downtown Memphis Commission and AIA Memphis.

Calvary to Kick off Lenten Preaching Series, Waffle Shop on Valentine’s Day

Calvary Episcopal Church is busy preparing this week for its 90th Lenten Preaching Series and Waffle Shop – an annual institution that many Memphians have chosen as an annual culinary rite of passage.

From Thursday, Feb. 14 through Friday, March 22, Calvary’s famous Waffle Shop will be open every weekday from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., serving up all traditional favorites, including homemade waffles, salads and daily specials.

Calvary will also offer take-out orders and pre-ordered and prepaid “Lunches to Go.” Lunches to Go orders may be placed in the Great Hall from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Prepaid orders will be bagged and ready for pick up in the Great Hall after the service.

This year’s Preaching Series will feature national and local spiritual leaders from a variety of denominations and religions including Rabbi Sandy Sasso, Bishop Spong, the Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, among others. The series begins each weekday at 12:05 p.m. and will be finished by 12:40 p.m.

“We are honored to have celebrated this historic tradition with the Memphis community for 90 years now,” said the Rev. Chris Girata, rector at Calvary Episcopal Church. “This will be my first time to experience Lent at Calvary, and I look forward to engaging with the community through the preaching series and delicious meals in the Waffle Shop.”

Calvary Episcopal Church is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee and The Episcopal Church, a province of the Anglican Communion. Founded in 1832, Calvary’s parish today comprises more than 1,000 baptized members. Although a growing number reside in Downtown Memphis, parishioners come from all across the Mid-South.

A new concept this year Calvary has created is a separate meditation room where people can eat their meals in quiet and watch the preaching series at the same time via simulcast. This is aimed at those with time-sensitive lunch hours who still want to experience the sermon.

Additionally, Calvary will have a “Waffle Shop After Dark” for those who may not be able to make it during lunch or who want to bring their families for an evening meal and hear a speaker. This series will be every Wednesday during Lent with the Waffle Shop open from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and the speaker beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Dansette

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