Hello, Memphis, where the Beale Street Music Festival returns tomorrow – but at the fairgrounds and not Tom Lee Park.
But first, a monitoring report from Disability Rights Tennessee and the Youth Law Center details disturbing allegations about conditions at the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville, reports Josh Keefe, our colleague at The Tennessean.
Staff put Ramen noodle bounties on young men they didn’t like at Tennessee’s only state-run youth development center, according to a new surveillance report.
To collect the bonuses, young people at the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville physically assaulted their peers, investigators found.
Placing bounties is known as ‘putting noodles on your head’ at the facility, and about a quarter of the approximately 80 boy and young male investigators interviewed said they had witnessed, perpetrated or experienced the practice.
The use of bounties is just one of many troubling allegations in the report on conditions at Wilder that the two groups released on Wednesday. During their 20-month investigation, the report’s authors said they uncovered numerous violations of state and federal laws at the facility. Wilder reduced his population to just 36 young men between the ages of 14 and 19 on Tuesday, DCS spokeswoman Sandra Brandon said, well below his capacity of more than 100.
School board member Althea Greene, who is running for the Shelby County commission seat of District 7, recorded a robo-vote call sent to families at schools in Memphis Shelby County amid early primary voting, reports Laura Testino.
In the one-minute audio message, obtained by The Commercial Appeal, Greene, who is on the ballot, does not say she is running for office. After running for a board member for MSCS District 2, which overlaps with District 7 in the county, Greene tells families early voting is underway and reminds them that redistricting may have changed their electoral district.
Opponents of the District 7 race have called for an investigation into the robocall, which they say could be an ethics violation if not a violation of the law.
Toney fights to stay in Republican primary
Brandon Toney, a critical care nurse practitioner from Germantown who is running in the state Senate District 31 Republican primary, is trying to kick him out of the August ballot, reports Sam Hardiman.
Toney’s “good faith” or Republican credentials have been challenged and now party members in the state are voting to remove him from the August ballot. Toney was set to face Brent Taylor in the Republican primary to succeed incumbent State Senator Brian Kelsey, who is not running for re-election following his indictment on allegations of illegally redirecting campaign finance funds.
Challenge Lee Mills Residence
The state’s election coordinator disputes the residency of Tennessee House District 99 candidate Lee Mills, saying Mills does not live in the district — or in Shelby County, reports Katherine Burgess.
Mills, who ran for the seat in 2020 and lost to Rep. Tom Leatherwood, against whom he is running again in this year’s Republican primary, was then uncontested by the state.
An added wrinkle is that Mills’ wife, Amber Mills, is currently on the ballot in the Shelby County primary, seeking re-election as County Commissioner representing District 1. Amber Mills represented that district of Shelby County for nearly four years, and the state has not challenged his residency in Shelby County or Commission District 1.
Christian Brothers University chooses new president
David Archer has been chosen as the 24th president of Christian Brothers University, giving tenure to the interim appointment he began last November. The new president was previously an associate professor and director of the university’s healthcare MBA program, Laura Testino reports.
Archer succeeds Jack Shannon, who the CBU said left college in November to pursue other opportunities. Shannon became president in July 2019.
New video series spotlights successful black men
Kudzukian, in collaboration with The Delta Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, is launching a series of videos highlighting the journey of successful black men in Memphis, reports Astrid Kayembe.
“The Journey” premieres May 1, and each 30-minute episode features a different “Memphis icon,” who shares the ups and downs of their journey and how they overcame obstacles.
Last Minute Beale Street Music Festival Details
What’s the Beale Street Music Festival without the threat of rain?
The festival kicks off Friday at the Liberty Park fairgrounds with a weekend lineup including Three 6 Mafia, Lil Wayne, Megan Thee Stallion and more, but also with a chance of rain Saturday night and Sunday, reports Dima Amro.
Around 90,000 tickets have been sold so far for the three-day event.
About 50% of attendees are expected to be from the Memphis area and the other half from out of town. For local residents not making it to the festival but who may be trying to get around the area, officials warn that traffic could increase during performances by larger artists. Gina Butkovich reviews what you need to know about getting to and from the event, as well as the area.
“Beale Street Music Fest for 20-22 years since keeping records has been the #1 overnight demand generator we have in the city/county so we are very excited,” said Wayne Tabor, Metropolitan Memphis President and CEO of the Hotel and Lodging Association.
Randy Blevins, vice president of marketing and programming for Memphis in May, said the nonprofit’s goal is to achieve pre-pandemic economic impact by 2022, Omer Yusuf reports in this story. for subscribers.
Dann Miller is news director at The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @dannmiller.