Good morning, Memphis, where Briarcrest girls bowling coach Rick Orr was named this year’s recipient of the Courage Award at the annual Memphis Area High School Sports Awards.
But, first, as Graceland marks its 40th anniversary of when it opened to the public, Whitehaven residents have a variety of takes and unique stories about the landmark, our Astrid Kayembe reports.
Memphis City Councilwoman Cheyenne Johnson moved to the Graceland area 30 years ago to be closer to her family. As a longtime resident of Whitehaven, she passes by Graceland daily on her commute and has visited the attraction.
“It just seems like another… commercial business when you pass it on Elvis Presley (Boulevard),” she said. “I think you don’t realize what you have until it’s too late. We just take for granted so much, but people who come in to visit, they’re looking for these historical sites.”
Astrid spoke with Johnson and three other Graceland neighbors about what it’s like to live near Elvis Presley’s home.
Shelby County gets lower property tax rate
Shelby County will have a slightly lowered property tax rate for fiscal year 2023 after commissioners passed a rate of $3.39 per $100 of assessed value, our Katherine Burgess reports.
“Lowering the property tax rate to $3.39 allows us to give some relief to Shelby County taxpayers while also making historic investments in our future,” said Shelby County Commissioner Michael Whaley, who chaired this year’s budget committee.
Read Katherine’s story to find out how much you’ll spend on property taxes for fiscal year 2023.
ServiceMaster Clean assures MSCS cleaning workers will be paid $15 hourly wage
Memphis-Shelby County Schools custodial workers will be employed exclusively by ServiceMaster Clean and at a wage of $15 per hour, our Laura Testino reports.
The MSCS board reversed course from last week and approved the $34 million contract, a total custodial spending increase of $9 million.
During the meeting Monday, board member Joyce Dorse-Coleman offered some insight into what deterred her own vote and may have deterred others from approving the contract in last Tuesday’s voting meeting. If the wage increases, she said, she wants to make sure workers aren’t negatively impacted in other areas.
Briarcrest coach impacts bowling team while battling cancer
Briarcrest girls bowling coach Rick Orr is authentic and raw when he speaks as a cancer survivor, our Wynston Wilcox reports. And the strength Orr shows in the classroom and at the bowling alley, even on his worst days, is the courage it takes to leave a lasting impact.
Orr was named this year’s recipient of the Courage Award at the annual Memphis Area High School Sports Awards presented by Farm Bureau Health Plans and held at Orpheum Theatre.
“I love the kids so much and it gives a lot of meaning to my life so I just want to be there,” Orr said. “And be a positive influence and want to tell them about Jesus Christ.”
Read Wynston’s story to see a list of all the winners from last night’s awards.
Gov. Bill Lee signs executive order on school safety
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order aimed in his view at “enhancing school safety,” but the order doesn’t mention guns, Adam Friedman reports.
The order requires school districts to update their school safety plan and conduct security assessments while also directing the department of commerce to evaluate law enforcement training standards in active shooter situations.
Lee’s order comes less than two weeks after 19 students and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Top chefs to raise funds for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
More than 30 award-winning chefs from Memphis and across the country will be cooking at Le Bon Appetit, the signature fundraiser for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, our Jennifer Chandler reports.
The tasting event, held on June 11 at Crosstown Concourse, brings some of the nation’s most celebrated talent together in Memphis to raise funds for the hospital.
“From a chef’s perspective, this event is not something we have to sell,” said Kelly English, chef/owner of Restaurant Iris, Second Line as well as other local restaurants. “We make sure we take care of our chefs and that they know why they are here.”
Who will appear at MidSouth Nostalgia Fest?
About a dozen celebrity guests from the worlds of movies and television are scheduled to appear at the annual MidSouth Nostalgia Festival, our John Beifuss reports.
The festival is set for June 9-11 at the Whispering Woods Hotel & Conference Center in Olive Branch.
The festival will reunite “The Yearling” star Claude Jarman Jr. with Karolyn Grimes (Jimmy Stewart’s daughter “Zuzu” in “It’s a Wonderful Life”), his co-star alongside John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in John Ford’s “Rio Grande” (1950).
Some other stars set to appear include “Leave It to Beaver” star Jerry Mathers; and Robert Fuller, TV he-man hero on “Wagon Train” and “Emergency!”
Read John’s story to se all the stars set to appear this year at the MidSouth Nostalgia Festival.
Penny Hardaway hopes for good news on recruiting front soon
Coach Penny Hardaway has already made significant inroads with his Memphis basketball roster reconstruction, our Jason Munz reports.
Hardaway, taking a break from his annual round at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl charity golf tournament at TPC Southwind, admitted he would feel “good, not great” if he didn’t make any more roster additions between now and the start of the season.
“I feel like I’m missing one shooter,” Hardaway said. “I do love the guys I have on the team. That’s no knock on anybody we have coming back. But, I feel like one more shooter wouldn’t hurt.”