Thousands of Memphians still without power 6 days later

Private contractors remove a fallen tree from the roof of a house in Orange Mound Monday, Feb. 7, 2022 days after a winter storm toppled trees and power lines, leaving nearly 140,000 MLGW customers without electricity.

Good morning, Memphis, where a higher temperature and sunny day can hopefully put warmth into the homes of more than 50,000 residences still without power.

Thursday’s ice storm knocked power out for thousands across Shelby County, and Memphis, Light, Water and Gas crews are still working to get power back up and running for everyone.

During the course of the storm, 241,260 customers were impacted by power outages, according to an MLGW news release.

In this story, our Astrid Kayembe, Dima Amro and Gina Butkovich take us into the lives of some Shelby County residents who remain without power.

Cameron LaBonia with her husband Dean Park and their daughter, 15-month-old Rosie, inside their Germantown home Monday where they have been without power since last Thursday's winter storm knocked out electricity for nearly 140,000 customers in the Memphis area.

Currently, the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is investigating four deaths as potentially weather-related after the ice storm, our Laura Testino reports.

To avoid future power outages, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland invited further community conversation about whether MLGW should install further power lines underground, our Samuel Hardiman reports.

The mayor said he spoke at length this week with MLGW CEO J.T. Young about undergrounding and that the conversation focused on the cost of further undergrounding.

“… It would cost more …you and I, as customers, would have to be charged more. We’ll see if there’s an appetite to do that. It’s either bury the lines or cut down all the trees,” Strickland said.

Law enforcement agencies are searching the 800 block of Island Drive in Harbor Town on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, for missing 2-day-old infant Kennedy Hoyle.  Kennedy was last seen Tuesday in the area of Sedgewick Drive and Levi Road. An Amber Alert was issued around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Brandon Isabelle pleads ‘not guilty’

Brandon Isabelle, the suspect in the killing of Danielle Hoyle and her 2-day-old daughter Kennedy Hoyle, pleaded “not guilty” during his arraignment Monday, our Micaela Watts reports.

When police detained Isabelle for questioning, they say he admitted luring Hoyle to a Whitehaven neighborhood and shooting her. He also allegedly admitted to taking Kennedy to the northern point of Mud Island and throwing the newborn into the Mississippi River.

Elizabeth Edkin teaches 3rd grade English and language arts class at Sheffield Elementary School on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021.

What Memphis schools want to do with Tennessee funding

Memphians have advocated for more funding and equitable funding to Tennessee public education in ways that incentivize opportunities, rather than test outcomes, Laura reports.

Gov. Bill Lee plans to bring a new funding formula proposal to the legislature soon, and since produced a series of town halls, public meeting hours and more than a thousand public comments. 

“I feel that there are folks in the Department of Education that mean well,” said Mauricio Calvo of Latino Memphis. “I have zero confidence that the state legislature has the political will, or the interest, in doing the right thing — by that I mean providing more funding, using this as an opportunity to provide more funding for vulnerable students.”

Demonstrators gather at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., for civil disobedience training on Thursday, June 4, 2020. This is the ninth day of action in reaction to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day.

National Civil Rights Museum to launch Corporate Equity Center

The National Civil Rights Museum announced the launch of its Corporate Equity Center, designed to increase the number of Black executives in senior-level executive jobs of various corporations, Gina reports. 

The initiative, called “the C-Suite Initiative,” comes as the nation deals with a racial reckoning highlighted by the May 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the knee of a policeman.

Shift manager Jacob Bouchard poses with a slice of buffalo chicken pizza Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, at Memphis Pizza Cafe, 5061 Park Avenue.

What is the best pizza in Memphis? 

Pizza is one of the most popular foods eaten on Super Bowl Sunday with an estimated 12.5 million pizzas sold during 2021’s Super Bowl game. 

Memphis may be world-renowned for barbecue, but our pizza is not to be overlooked.

Five of our journalists give their favorite pizza pies to try, and we also look at what readers have suggested is the best pizza in Memphis.

Renderings show what the exterior of Friends For Life's new location could look like.

Friends for Life to grow services for those with HIV, AIDS

For almost four decades, Friends for Life has been helping Memphis-area residents who are HIV-positive or live with AIDS find the resources needed to live a happy, healthy life, our Corinne Kennedy reports.

The organization will soon be able to expand its efforts across the Mid-South when the nonprofit moves into the former Memphis Leadership Foundation building.

“This is a dream for all of us, to give us more space to impact the community in such a positive way and shine a positive light on those who live with or are affected by HIV and AIDS in our community,” board chair Kevin Spragling said. 

A group gathers outside of 201 Poplar on Friday Feb. 4, 2022 in protest of Pamela Moses' conviction and sentencing to six years in prison on charges of illegally registering to vote.

Locking up Pamela Mosses makes her a political prisoner

Black Lives Matter activist Pamela Moses was sentenced to six years in prison for illegally registering to vote. Our Tonyaa Weathersbee writes in her latest column that what it illuminates isn’t Moses’ lawlessness, or probation officials’ incompetence as much as it illuminates a confusing and unjust law – and a punishment that doesn’t fit the crime.

Here’s an excerpt: 

During a 2018 conversation with 1960s civil rights activists David Acey and Calvin Taylor about the need to strike a balance between business and political interests and people trying to succeed in a system stacked to benefit said interests, Pamela Moses just wasn’t feeling it.

“There is no balance when you have one entity that has everything, and a minority of the city which has none,” the Black Lives Matter activist said.

 “There is none…”

Still, a year later, Moses swallowed her skepticism and tried to participate in that system; one that she already believed was stacked against people like her.

 And, now, she’s doing prison time for it.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane walks odff the court after their 119-109 win ov er the Utah Jazz at FedExForum on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022.

How Desmond Bane got his rise with Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies’ Desmond Bane developed into one of the NBA’s rising stars because of his ability to play on and off the ball, our Damichael Cole reports.

He entered the league with a three-and-D label — someone who specializes in 3-point shooting and defense — but his shooting on 2-pointers and 3-pointers suggests a more all-around player is developing.






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