Good morning Memphis where we are less than a week from the start of the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Competition and if you’re lucky you might see the King of Ghana is in Bluff City this week.
But first, more than 7,000 single-family homes have been purchased by outside investment groups in Shelby County in the past two years, resulting in lower owner-occupancy rates, our Omer Yusuf reports in his story for subscribers.
Outside investors, after purchasing home inventory, often make those properties available for rent in the purchased neighborhoods and communities, thereby reducing the amount of home inventory available to those seeking home ownership.
“When you buy all these houses and then renovate them, you’re giving them a high rental value that people can’t afford, number one,” said Melvin Burgess, Shelby County real estate appraiser. “Number two, what about our kids who want to come home from college or kids who want to come back home and are trying to find a family home? You won’t be able to afford it.”
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What to expect from the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
The Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest will be held May 11-13 with over 200 teams participating, reports our Jennifer Chandler.
“When you compete in Memphis in May, bring your love of cooking with fire into the arena,” said Pit Master Melissa Cookston, known as the “Winningest Woman in Competition Barbecue.” “Put your skills to the test against others who have the same passion in the quest for the Holy Grail, the World Cup.”
Jennifer tells us what to expect from this year’s WCBCC in Memphis.
College student off campus after receiving rape report
In a lawsuit, Mara Louk alleges that Visible Music College gave her an ultimatum less than two months after she came to administrative authorities to report that she was raped by a fellow student: sign a document acknowledging that she broke school rules by having premarital sex with another student or was expelled from school, our Laura Testino reports in her story for subscribers.
“[Louk]attempted to report a rape,” her attorney, Cari Simon, wrote in a compliant filing with the US Department of Education last week.
“She entered Visible’s so-called Title IX trial to seek justice and shelter after another student violently raped her,” continues the complaint on file with The Commercial Appeal. “She slandered it for breaking a rule she didn’t break, unable to tell her friends what happened, and dumped by the educational institution, which is required by federal law to protect her.”
Gov. Bill Lee’s office refuses to release execution records
State officials continue to hide public information about last month’s belated execution of Oscar Franklin Smith, our report on Mariah Timms and Melissa Brown.
In response to multiple requests from The Tennessean and other news organizations for public records from the Tennessee Department of Justice and his own office, Lee’s office cited both the advisory process and attorney-client privilege.
The Lee administration has made extensive use of both intentional and so-called executive privileges throughout its tenure, and this habit has been challenged by state records disclosure laws.
The King of Ghana visits Bluff City after Memphis during International Week in May
Asantehene King of Asante Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is visiting Memphis this week to represent his native Ghana as the Memphis in May International Festival celebrates what it calls “International Week,” reports our John Beifuss.
John provides us with a list of the main International Week events that King Otumfuo will attend.
Global technology company opens office in University of Memphis Research Park
Global technology company Ookla will open an office in the University of Memphis Foundation research park, reports our Corinne Kennedy.
The company is considered a global leader in the areas of network intelligence and connectivity insights. Its flagship products are Speedtest and Downdetector.
“We believe networking and connections should go beyond the confines of the internet. We are excited to increase our presence in the Memphis community and expand our recruitment efforts with the University of Memphis for top local talent,” said Doug Suttles, Ookla- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Yo Gotti Birthday Bash returns to Memphis
The eighth edition of Yo Gotti’s Birthday Bash takes place on July 15th at the FedExForum, reports our Bob Mehr.
No guest artists have been announced as of yet, but in the past hip-hop luminaries Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy and Lil Baby have all joined Yo Gotti as part of the concert celebration.
“Birthday Bash is back and it’s going to be better than ever,” Gotti said in a press release. “I have a few surprises and special appearances for my hometown family, but all I know is that I will continue to stand up for the city that raised me. The energy at FedExForum will be unforgettable and fans won’t want to miss it.”
Memphis Athletics Launches NIL Marketplace After Tennessee Law Change
On April 20, Gov. Bill Lee signed an amendment aimed at further easing restrictions on names, images and likenesses for colleges and universities – allowing college coaches to attend NIL events, universities making donations to NIL collectives to gather and give NIL representatives presentations on campus for recruits and players.
Now, the Memphis Athletics Department announced the launch of their official NIL Marketplace, run by the school’s current partner, Opendorse, a NIL stand-by company, reports our Jason Munz.
“Think of it more as a shopping experience,” said Bridget Perine, branding and image coordinator for Memphis student-athletes. “Instead of a sponsor having to look up a student-athlete’s direct link to their Opendorse profile, it’s now like going into a supermarket and seeing each and every student-athlete. You can sort them by interests and sports. It’s much more forward-thinking to help the company figure out who it wants to do a deal with.”
The 901 was written by Ray Padilla, Digital Producer for The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Ray_Padilla_.