Capitol Commission Recommends Removal of Forrest Bust

The Tennessee Capitol Commission voted 9-2 Thursday to recommend transferring a prominent bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest to the Tennessee State Museum. The final decision will be made by the Tennessee Historical Commission, likely in October. Appearing before the commission Thursday morning, Gov. Bill Lee said that after careful consideration of the matter in light of new debates around the statue and the "pain" it causes the state's Black legislators, he now believes it...

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On the surface, what they have in common is a body count. 

The coronavirus is on the rise in Memphis and Shelby County, as officials do a full reverse on plans to reopen bars and get restaurants up to full capacity. Deaths so far: More than 200.

The homicide rate in Memphis is also on the rise. According to a recent report, murders are up 30 percent. If the rate doesn't decline, 2020 could end with a record number of homicides. Deaths so far: More than 130.  

Public Domain

 

New coronavirus cases in Shelby County are straining resources such as testing, hospital capacity and contact tracing.

Earlier this spring and summer, COVID testing sites throughout the county were underutilized—sometimes performing less than half as many daily tests as they could handle. Now, the Shelby County Health Department says most are fully booked. This higher volume has created a problematic backlog.

WKNO-TV

 

In June, the Shelby County Schools (SCS) board approved the purchase of 90,000 devices, which will allow students to virtually attend a classroom and continue their education. Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray says the devices are one means “the SCS school system is trying to maintain the health and safety of students and teachers” – the main missions of SCS as they reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Dr. Ray joins this week’s WKNO-TV Behind the Headlines with host Eric Barnes and Daily Memphian reporter Bill Dries. Dr. Ray discusses COVID-19 concerns being raised by teachers and parents (through meetings and surveys) as SCS sets August 10th as the first day back for students. Dr. Ray describes some of the measures that SCS is taking to protect the staff and students, including a mask requirement for anyone on campuses, as well as temperature checks.

The Tennessee Capitol Commission voted 9-2 Thursday to recommend transferring a prominent bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest to the Tennessee State Museum. The final decision will be made by the Tennessee Historical Commission, likely in October. 

Appearing before the commission Thursday morning, Gov. Bill Lee said that after careful consideration of the matter in light of new debates around the statue and the "pain" it causes the state's Black legislators, he now believes it shouldn't remain exalted in the seat of state government.    

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN News

Gov. Bill Lee said on Wednesday afternoon that the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the state Capitol should be moved to the Tennessee State Museum.

“Forrest represents pain and suffering and brutal crimes committed against African Americans,” Lee told reporters. “That pain is very real for many Tennesseans.”

 

The governor’s remarks come a day before the State Capitol Commission is to meet to vote on whether the monument should be removed from the building.

MPD Excessive Force Complaints Coming to Light

Jul 8, 2020

In the wake of the recent George Floyd protests, law enforcement agencies nationwide are reconsidering what accountability and transparency means to a community. 

But as the media begin to pore over internal documents connected to race and policing, opacity is slowing down the search for answers.

One recent examination of Memphis Police Department use of force documents found the case of Daniel Jefferson, who shot an undercover police officer in the leg. 

Watch: TN Governor on COVID-19, July 08

Jul 8, 2020

Watch the TN Governor Bill Lee briefing on COVID-19 in Tennessee, on Thursday, July 08 at 3:00 PM. 

Church Health Summer Safety Tips

Jul 8, 2020
Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Summertime means stocking up on sunscreen and bug spray. Add hand sanitizer to that list. Here are some tips for a safe summer while dealing with a pandemic.


WPLN

 

For the first time, Tennessee’s State Capitol Commission is likely to vote for the removal of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest. The monument to the Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan grand wizard has been inside the building since 1978.

Gov. Bill Lee is scheduled to address the panel Thursday. It’s unclear if Lee will openly say whether he supports the removal of the Forrest bust.

Last week, he told reporters he wanted to follow the process laid out in state law when removing a monument.

Miles Kovarik

 

Shelby County is reviving restrictions on some businesses as the coronavirus spreads at unprecedented levels. New regulations, taking effect Wednesday night, will shutter bars and require restaurants to close by 10 p.m.

Food can still be served at bar seating areas in restaurants, under the new health directive. 

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President Donald Trump on Saturday was photographed wearing a mask during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, after months of refusing to don the medical expert-recommended face coverings meant to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"I love masks in the appropriate locations," Trump said, speaking to reporters at the White House before his visit.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, along with more than 150 prominent journalists, authors and writers, published a letter decrying what it called the "intolerant climate that has set in on all sides" of debate in Harper's Magazine on Tuesday, fueling a heated controversy over free speech, privilege and the role of social media in public discourse.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to go to another debate that's gotten remarkably heated over the past few days, but this one isn't happening in the aisles of the big-box stores. No, this is taking place online. This week, the literary magazine Harper's posted what it titled "A Letter On Justice And Open Debate." It was signed by more than 150 writers, artists, scholars, journalists and others, decrying what it called the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to go to another debate that's gotten remarkably heated over the past few days, but this one isn't happening in the aisles of the big-box stores. No, this is taking place online. This week, the literary magazine Harper's posted what it titled "A Letter On Justice And Open Debate." It was signed by more than 150 writers, artists, scholars, journalists and others, decrying what it called the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

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