Tuesday, May 19

Gov. Bill Lee visits Memphis’ COVID-19 alternate care facility as our cameras get first tour inside (WATN-TV Memphis) The facility will be used for COVID-19 overflow, if needed. Local 24 News cameras got a first inside tour of the alternate care hospital in downtown Memphis – that is now available for COVID-19 patients, should our local hospitals fill in the coming months. Touring the hospital Monday morning, Governor Bill Lee said the 18-month lease gives the building flexibility into the future. “We hope that we never have to use this building for COVID-19 overflow, but we also know that this building could be used for other things in the future and we are proud of the fact that so many came together to make this happen,” said Lee. LINK

Gov. Lee Tours Memphis COVID Care Facility (WPLN Radio Nashville) Gov. Bill Lee was in Memphis today to walk through an emergency COVID-19 care facility. Lee says he hopes it will never be used for its intended purpose, but unlike similar facilities in other states, the Memphis site could have a life beyond the pandemic. “This one was done with foresight. And a longer-term lease that allows for an asset that this region, this city, this county, this region and the state of Tennessee will have for some time into the future.” LINK

Lee tours new, $51M coronavirus care facility in former CA building (Daily Memphian) It cost $51.3 million to transform the former Commercial Appeal newspaper building on Union Avenue into a COVID-19 alternate care site, the only one in Tennessee. Monday, Gov. Bill Lee accepted the facility, taking it from federal to state control. “The amount of work that’s been done right here in the last 30 days is incredible. And as a person who used to be in the construction business, I can say it’s incredible,” Lee said. “But here’s why it’s important. This is one of the few sites built in America that were coordinated with the (U.S. Army) Corps (of Engineers) in response to COVID-19 crisis, that actually creates a long-term asset for our community,” he said. LINK

Construction completed at temporary care facility for COVID-19 patients (WHBQ-TV Memphis) As Shelby County continues to grapple with new coronavirus cases a $51.3 million temporary hospital in Memphis aimed to treat COVID-19 patients is now complete. Remnants of the former Commercial Appeal building remain nestled in the now temporary hospital for COVID-19, including things like old printing presses. “We hope that we never have to use this building for COVID-19 overflow,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Monday. LINK

State takes control of Memphis COVID-19 overflow hospital (WMC-TV Memphis) It’s a massive project state leaders hope will never be needed. Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially handed control of a new overflow hospital for local COVID-19 patients to the state … Tennessee Governor Bill Lee joined Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and other leaders for a private tour of the building. “The amount of work that’s been done here in the last 30 days is incredible,” said Lee. The state signed an 18-month lease on the building, but it may never see one patient. LINK

Tennessee officials tour alternate COVID-19 care site (AP) Top leaders in Tennessee got a sneak peek Monday at a former Memphis newspaper building that has been transformed into a 401-bed hospital for COVID-19 patients. Gov. Bill Lee, Shelby County officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers toured The Commercial Appeal building’s transformation, made to assist local hospitals should they exceed their bed capacity because of the coronavirus outbreak. The alternate care site has been set up with basic supplies, such as beds, chairs, tables and IV poles. LINK

Tour the $51M transformation of the former Commercial Appeal building into an overflow hospital (Commercial Appeal) In roughly one month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contractors have turned The Commercial Appeal’s former building at 495 Union Ave. into a 401-bed hospital for COVID-19 patients, and a media tour of the building Monday showed a space that’s massively transformed … Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee toured the building Monday and addressed journalists outside. “What this is, is a representation of how a community can come together in the midst of a crisis and integrate, cooperate, coordinate and execute,” Lee said. LINK

State of Tennessee makes Memphis COVID-19 alternate care site ready (WZTV-TV Nashville) The State of Tennessee has completed renovation on a COVID-19 alternate care site in Memphis. Gov. Bill Lee, a delegation of Shelby County leaders and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers service members marked the completion with a joint review of the equipping and readying of the Mid-South region’s COVID-19 alternate care site at 495 Union Avenue. “Our work in Shelby County represents an effective local, state, and federal partnership effort to put in place a critical need in our COVID-19 efforts,” Gov. Lee said. LINK

COVID-19 overflow treatment center completed at former Commercial Appeal building (TN Journal) An overflow coronavirus treatment center has been completed within the building that until recently housed the Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis. Here’s the full release from Gov. Bill Lee’s office: NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and a delegation of Shelby County leaders and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers service members will mark the completion of a significant project in Tennessee’s COVID-19 efforts with a joint review of the equipping and readying of the Mid-South region’s COVID-19 alternate care site at 495 Union Ave., in Memphis, Tenn. LINK

Gov. Lee praises the community efforts to bring help to those in need (WHBQ-TV Memphis) Governor Bill Lee made several stops in Memphis to see some of the good that’s happening in the community. Which included a visit to Christ Missionary Baptist Church in south Memphis, as they gave out hundreds of meals. FOX13’s Tony Sloan was there during the governor’s visit and this local effort to bring the community together. Lee stopped at the Christ Missionary Baptist Church to help give out food to some of the more than 500 families affected by COVID-19. LINK

Tennessee gov. encouraged but says state still faces serious threat (WMC-TV Memphis) As the Mid-South continues to reopen, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee says he’s “encouraged” by what he’s seeing. But the governor says we’re not out of the woods yet. The governor made three stops in Memphis on Monday. He stopped by the old Commercial Appeal building on Union, which will serve as an overflow hospital for COVID-19 patients. His other two stops were in places he says must not be overlooked. “We are very fortunate to be in the spot that we’re in,” said Lee. LINK

Lee: Restaurants and retail establishments can return to full capacity (Morristown Citizen-Tribune) Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has announced that starting Friday, guidelines will be relaxed for retaillers and restaurants allowing full capacity. The governor’s office said in a press release that new guidelines will be given sometime this week, but would allow for full capacity and focus more on social distancing practices. Previously, the governor has asked that businesses allow 50% capacity. “Tennesseans have worked incredibly hard to do their part and help slow the spread of COVID-19 so that our state can begin to reopen,” Lee said in a press release. LINK

Lee says ‘everything’s on the table’ for budget cuts (Daily Memphian) Facing a “significant” budget challenge in the pandemic era, Gov. Bill Lee says the entire budget is up for review, including funds tied to the Education Savings Account. “We have an obligation to be good stewards with taxpayer money, and that’s how we’ll approach the budget. … Every time you approach a budget, everything’s on the table. So we’ll be looking at this in a way that’s prudent and is good stewardship,” Lee told The Daily Memphian. LINK

Tennessee met COVID-19 testing benchmarks, but Alabama and Georgia did not (Times Free Press) Tennessee is one of 10 states to reach a benchmark for COVID-19 testing set by Harvard researchers, who earlier this month estimated that the state needed to perform about 3,266 tests daily by May 15 to properly track and contain the coronavirus pandemic. Georgia, which has a more severe outbreak and larger population, needed to average 25,979 tests per day, and Alabama 8,817 tests per day, according to estimates from the Harvard Global Health Institute. Neither Georgia nor Alabama met those thresholds. LINK

State Funding Board meeting canceled (TN Journal) A meeting of the State Funding Board scheduled for this week has been canceled. The panel comprised of the comptroller, treasurer, secretary of state, and finance commissioner is tasked with coming up with the state’s revenue estimates and approving incentive deals for economic development projects. Gov. Bill Lee told reporters over the weekend the State Funding Board would be meeting to discuss the fiscal “metrics” the state’s spending plan will have to be adjusted to. A State Funding Board spokesman says this week’s meeting was canceled because there were no items on the agenda to discuss. Revenue projections could be discussed at a future date, though nothing has been scheduled. LINK

Metro Public Health Dept. partners with OEM, Hands On Nashville to offer free cloth masks (WKRN-TV Nashville) The Metro Public Health Department has partnered with Hands On Nashville to offer cloth masks at locations throughout Davidson County. A release from MPHD on Monday states that Hands On Nashville volunteers and Metro Public Health Department staff will set up drive-through centers at four Metro Parks community centers on May 22 and 23. Each person will receive two of the cloth masks. MPHD received 180,000 masks from Governor Bill Lee’s Unified Command. LINK

Tennessee businesses follow reopening guidelines (WCYB-TV Bristol) More businesses and services are reopening in the region, but they’re still under restrictions to protect you. The phased reopening called Tennessee Pledge requires businesses to take precautions to protect you. “Do the things you need to do in order to stay open but protect your customers and yourself,” says Kingsport Chamber President and CEO, Miles Burdine. To help grow consumer confidence, local chambers of commerce are providing businesses compliance flyers to display. LINK

Johnson City commissioners to review $1.8 million in COVID-19 relief (Johnson City Press) Johnson City commissioners will review about $1.8 million in potential funding intended to assist entities impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. Of that money, about $313,560 was awarded to Johnson City through the $2.2 trillion CARES Act and can be passed on to agencies that support low- to moderate-income households. The remaining $1.5 million would come from Gov. Bill Lee’s Local Government Support Grant, which the city plans to use to purchase a fire truck, 11 law enforcement vehicles and six school buses. The state earmarked about $1.5 million for Johnson City from a $200 million pool of grant funding Lee announced in early April for cities and counties burdened financially by the COVID-19 outbreak. LINK

Chattanooga area public swimming pools will reopen following Gov. Lee’s guidelines during coronavirus pandemic (Times Free Press) Chattanooga area swimming pools will reopen following Gov. Lee’s Tennessee Pledge, according to a news release from the Hamilton County Mayor’s Office. For area swimming pools, the pledge includes a list of protocols in line with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Residents must abide by the recommended guidelines in order to participate in swimming pool activities. The use of face coverings in a pool area is recommended when in close proximity to others, however, masks are not advised to be worn while swimming. Group sizes of aquatic fitness classes, swim lessons, swim practices, or any other pool gatherings will also be limited to less than 10 people. LINK

Free COVID-19 testing set up at five Memphis Housing Authority communities (WREG-TV Memphis) Healthcare workers and the Tennessee National Guard took the streets of Memphis to conduct free and voluntary COVID-19 testing on Monday. They were at five different communities run by the Memphis Housing Authority … This effort is part of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s unified command group to expand testing across the state. The UCG is working with the Memphis Housing Authority and Tennessee Black Caucus to reach vulnerable and underserved populations. LINK

Memphis Housing Authority teams up with TDH to provide accessible COVID-19 testing for families (WMC-TV Memphis) Memphis Housing Authority teamed up with the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee National Guard to provide free COVID-19 testing to families in the city’s housing units. LINK

More than 1,000 Metro public housing residents test for COVID-19 (WTVF-TV Nashville) Since last month, more than 1,000 people who live in Metro Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) properties have tested for COVID-19. One of the biggest pushes happened last Thursday and Friday when close to 550 residents in 14 properties took advantage of the tests provided by the state through the help of the Tennessee National Guard. Despite concerns from advocacy groups about transparency beforehand, MDHA said it’s pleased by the turnout. LINK

Tennessee Processing Extended Unemployment Benefits For Those Laid Off (WPLN Radio Nashville) The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is beginning to process unemployment extensions for residents who have been laid off. They say qualified claimants will able to receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits under the Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation program, an initiative that’s part of the federal CARES Act. LINK

TN begins extended unemployment benefits program (WTVF-TV Nashville) The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is now processing Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) in addition to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). PEUC is the third unemployment program provided through the federal CARES Act signed into law by President Donald Trump. LINK

After canceling TNReady exams, state must pay millions for testing prep work (Daily Memphian) Tennessee expects to pay about $15.8 million this year to its new testing company under the terms of the 2019 contract after canceling annual tests this spring due to the coronavirus. That’s about $5 million less than initially planned while state officials continue talks with testing giant Pearson about which products and services were delivered, said Chelsea Crawford, communications chief for the education department. About $11 million of Tennessee’s bill is for materials already printed for canceled TNReady and end-of-course assessments during an all-paper testing year. LINK

DCS: State will need more foster homes for children following COVID-19 shutdown (WTVF-TV Nashville) We are seeing the impacts of COVID-19 in some very visible ways, like the death toll and unemployment numbers. But there are some hidden impacts of this pandemic, as well. Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services and groups that work with them say there will be an increasing need for foster homes as the state begins to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. LINK

Driver Services Centers reopen after closing for 2 months amid COVID-19 (WKRN-TV Nashville) All Driver Services Centers, with the exception of the Shelbyville Driver Services Center, are now open and are taking additional precautions to protect the health and safety of both customers and employees, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Customers are encouraged to utilize the department’s e-Services portal to complete numerous transactions such as renewals, duplicates, paying reinstatement fees, and completing the new resident application. LINK

TN Commission on Aging & Disability warns of scammers spoofing their hotline (WSMV-TV Nashville) The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability provides free assistance to our elderly population when it comes to medicare, but now it appears fraudsters are using the good deed in a negative way. “It was about two weeks ago that I received word that scammers were spoofing our SHIP hotline, and not representing themselves as SHIP coordinators but asking for sensitive information from our older Americans,” Ryan Ramsey, State SHIP Program Development and Quality Assurance Coordinator, said. LINK

Looking at Tennessee cities after 400,000 workers are idled in the coronavirus pandemic (Commercial Appeal) Any sure understanding of the jobs picture for Tennessee’s pandemic-struck economy starts with the state’s four largest metropolitan areas. Early in March, nearly 2.5 million of Tennessee’s 3.1 million working residents were employed by about 100,000 enterprises located in and around Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee visits a drive-through COVID-19 testing location Saturday, April 18, 2020, in Franklin, Tenn. An expanded testing effort launched in Tennessee Saturday includes workers from the Tennessee National Guard at 15 drive-through testing sites across the state. LINK

Jackson businesses reopen, but social distancing remains (Jackson Sun) In theory, Jackson and Madison County have fully lifted their coronavirus-related restrictions on retail and restaurants. In actuality, that may not be true. “They might say we can open fully, but we can’t,” said Ashley White, manager at The Blacksmith. “We’re still observing the 6-foot rule, which is keeping us at 50% capacity.” The Blacksmith staff’s social distancing rules were more self-imposed rather than government-mandated due to the current public health environment. “People are still being slow and cautious with the reopening,” White said. LINK

Nashville State plans to have students back on campus this fall (WKRN-TV Nashville) Nashville State Community College closed all six of their campuses when COVID-19 hit Tennessee, but they made sure learning continued. “I am not letting a pandemic stop our purpose we have a mission to serve,” said NSCC President Shanna Jackson, “We really bounded together and did the best thing that we could for our students by moving things online.” Online classes became the norm and interactions with other students and teachers moved to Zoom, but now there are discussions about opening the campuses back up in the fall. LINK

Some Tennessee high schools are working out while others have to wait: Is there a level playing field? (Tennessean) Most Tennessee counties and school districts are on a similar schedule as far as allowing high school athletes to resume organized group workouts. But there’s no set schedule, as government regulations and school district representatives are making the ultimate call on when it’s deemed safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some high school teams in West Tennessee are already back at work. Some across the state will begin this week. Many won’t get started until June at the earliest. LINK

We had questions about Tennessee’s free cloth masks, so Knox News had them tested (News Sentinel) Tennessee took a lot of flak for the free masks it began distributing this month, with critics saying the sock-like material the masks are made of wouldn’t be effective at stopping the spread of coronavirus. Social media critics were bashing the masks on sight alone, though, so Knox News decided to put them to the test. We enlisted Northeastern University engineering professor Amy Mueller – she’s running a cloth mask testing project. LINK

Tennessee Nurse Practitioners Return To Pre-Pandemic Paperwork As Emergency Rules Expire (WPLN Radio Nashville) Tennessee nurse practitioners hope looser regulations during the pandemic have shown they don’t need a medical doctor checking their work — often for a fee. They’ve battled mandatory chart reviews in the legislature for years. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants were temporarily freed from what they see as merely paperwork oversight in mid-March with Executive Order 15 from Gov. Bill Lee. The sweeping order also relieved advanced practice nurses of site visits from a doctor every 30 days. LINK

Video: Here’s what we know about the coronavirus in Tennessee as of May 18 (Tennessean) Here is what we know about COVID-19 in Tennessee as of Monday, May 18. LINK

May 18 COVID-19 update: 18,011 total cases, 301 deaths in Tennessee (WTVF-TV Nashville) On Monday, an additional 623 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Tennessee, bringing the state’s total number of confirmed cases since the outbreak began to 18,011. The Tennessee Department of Health said as of May 18, 301 Tennesseans have died and 9,886 have recovered from the coronavirus. The state has seen a total of 1,489 hospitalizations due to the virus. More than 337,000 tests for COVID-19 have been administered. LINK

State tops 18,000 cases (Nashville Post) The Tennessee Department of Health has reported a total of 18,011 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 623 cases from the number on Sunday afternoon. Of those people, 1,489 individuals have been hospitalized and 301 people have died, up seven and three in 24 hours, respectively. Nearly 12,100 test results were processed and reported since Sunday, bringing the statewide total to 337,428 people tested. LINK

Springfield assisted living center reports coronavirus outbreak with staff, residents impacted (Tennessean) At least 13 residents and five staffers at a Springfield nursing home have been confirmed or presumed positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to information released by the business. Springfield Heights Assisted Living by Americare confirmed the positive test results after a mass testing of residents and employees last week, the company said. LINK

Emails reveal slow response to nursing home’s deadly COVID-19 outbreak (WTVF-TV Nashville) Did the state and Metro health departments do enough to stop an outbreak of COVID-19 at a Nashville nursing home? As of last Friday, the Trevecca Center for Rehabilitation and Healing had 55 cases, with four reported deaths. But NewsChannel 5 Investigates obtained emails that reveal what was going on behind the scenes when people started getting sick there, and they raise questions about how the outbreak at Trevecca and other long-term care facilities are being handled. LINK

756 state inmates currently have COVID-19 (Tennessean) According to information from the Tennessee Department of Correction, as of Monday, 756 inmates being held at state prisons currently have the coronavirus. Almost all those with cases at both Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville and Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville — both previously large coronavirus clusters — have recovered. Four men housed at those prisons have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19. LINK

Atlanta Fed CEO upbeat about 2020 recovery (Nashville Post) But Bostic tells Chamber group ‘we’re getting to that crisis time now’ for many companies. The president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on Monday said he is hopeful that the region’s economy can bounce back to close to its pre-pandemic levels in the coming quarters but also acknowledged that many business are fast approaching crunch time. Speaking to members of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s P2030 Lead Cabinet, Raphael Bostic said economic activity in his district through February suggested a continuation of steady growth and that many fundamentals looked to be in good shape. LINK

Crane Watch update: Activity persists through Covid-19 crisis (Nashville Business Journal) Our interactive Crane Watch development map has received its first refresh since the Covid-19 pandemic. Even amid that public health and economic crisis, it shows that construction is still clicking along across the region. As seen on the map, Nashville continues to see a phenomenon of new tower cranes sprouting up as others come down. Among the most recent are a pair of cranes at the Sixth South apartment development in SoBro, and at the Nashville Warehouse Co. mixed-use development in Wedgewood-Houston, which is backed by Opportunity Zone real estate investment. LINK

General Motors Spring Hill Plant moving forward with reopening (WSMV-TV Nashville) The General Motors plant in Spring Hill is gearing up to return back to production in the next coming weeks. Chairman of the UAW, Michael Herron, tells us partial shift workers are starting Monday to prepare for full production next week. Herron said they are also returning specific production and skilled trades workers to perform plant start up activities and fill component feeder lines. Starting next week, first shift will fully return while second shift production will start the following week of June 1st. They have not yet released the date of when third shift will start up again. LINK

FedEx, Microsoft announce multiyear partnership to transform commerce (Memphis Business Journal) Talk about team-ups. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg made “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” LeBron James and Anthony Davis rejuvenated the Lakers. Now, FedEx and Microsoft join forces as they attempt to transform commerce. On Monday, May 18, the two gargantuan companies announced a multiyear collaboration that will combine FedEx’s global logistics network and Microsoft’s intelligent cloud — through a joint offering fueled by Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365. LINK

Volkswagen production workers return to Chattanooga plant after COVID-19 shutdown (Times Free Press) More than 1,800 employees and contractors returned to Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant on Monday after a nearly two month shutdown due to the coronavirus. According to VW, instead of arriving at the plant entrance through turnstiles as in the past, each person started the day at the Volkswagen Conference Center. LINK

U.S. Senate GOP primary race updates: Sethi plans 95 county tour (Times Free Press) After getting physically knocked off track during April and part of May by the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders, Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race is getting back on course. Republican Senate hopeful Manny Sethi last week announced he is starting a 95-county tour of the state, holding in-person town hall events. “From now until Election Day on Aug. 6, I will be visiting every county in Tennessee,” said Sethi, a Nashville trauma surgeon. “I believe the way you campaign is the way you will represent. I will represent every person from Mountain City to Memphis, Turtletown to Tiptonville, and I will be visiting every county to share my vision for this state and country.” LINK

Democrat says COVID-19 endorses Republican U.S. Rep. DesJarlais (Times Free Press) In fundraising pleas on Twitter, a hopeful in the Tennessee 4th Congressional District’s Democratic primary is raking up years-old controversies involving Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais while also asserting that COVID-19 endorses the congressman. “My opponent pulled a gun on his first wife & shot it, forced her & mistresses into three abortions, & illegally prescribed painkillers for a patient he was sleeping with while married,” Democrat Christopher J. Hale charged in a tweet over the weekend which he linked to ActBlue, a website helping Democratic candidates raise money online. LINK

Second Lady Karen Pence coming to Gatlinburg for Smokies visit (WATE-TV Knoxville) Gatlinburg will get a visit from U.S. Second Lady Karen Pence on Tuesday as the Great Smoky Mountains enters the second phase of reopening. Pence will join Deputy Secretary of the Interior Dave Barnhardt to reopen roads to Clingmans Dome, tour the observation tower there and visit with park employees. In light of mental health awareness month, she will also deliver remarks to community and business leaders and will speak about how the outdoors is beneficial to people’s mental health. LINK

Second Lady Karen Pence to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Tuesday (WCYB-TV Bristol) Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence will visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Tuesday. According to a White House press release, the Second Lady will highlight mental health awareness during her visit. Pence will reopen the road to Clingmans Dome which has been closed to motor vehicles since December when it shut down for the winter. The road normally reopens to traffic on April 1, however, the whole park was canceled due to COVID-19 on March 24. The road has remained closed to cars since the reopening of the park May 9. LINK

OPINION

David Plazas: These are the 14 legal reasons to qualify for an absentee ballot in Tennessee (Tennessean/USA Today Tennessee) My column Sunday urging every Tennessee voter to request an absentee ballot drew dozens of emails with questions, concerns and critiques. The most prevalent concern was the issue of election integrity and avoiding voter fraud. I am working on a follow-up column on this topic to come later this week. Other readers said they would have preferred that I include all the 14 acceptable reasons to qualify for an absentee ballot instead of just providing a link to the secretary of state’s website. (I added the list at the end of the column over the weekend). LINK

Column: Government mask ordinances risk doing more harm than good (Daily Memphian) Ordinances around mandatory use of masks or facial coverings in Memphis public places are in the early stages of consideration at both Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission.  These proposals, sponsored by council members Dr. Jeff Warren and Michalyn Easter-Thomas and commissioners Tami Sawyer and Van Turner, respectively, are works in progress. The council version comes up for a second reading on Tuesday. Sawyer and Turner presented a revised version of their proposal on Monday. LINK

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