The Week That Was 

Cocaine killed Gilliam

Cocaine killed Gilliam

Joe Gilliam Jr., the former TSU and NFL great who broke racial barriers but could never beat drug addiction, died after using cocaine, a Metro autopsy report has concluded. Gilliam had convinced most of his friends that he had cleaned up his life, but as Tennessean columnists Larry Woody and Dwight Lewis hinted in the days after Gilliam’s sudden death, the former quarterback battled the same old demons until his final days. Arguably the greatest athlete in TSU’s impressive pantheon, Gilliam became one of the first black starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

Shed is dead

Preservationists lost another battle this week as demolition of the historic Union Station train shed began. Shed owner Harry Sender applied for a demolition permit last fall, and despite efforts from Mayor Bill Purcell and Congressman Bob Clement to save the historic structure, nobody came up with a viable option. Sender, who is about as popular with preservationists right now as Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick is with Titans fans, plans to build a deck to ease access to Cummins Station, the hotel, and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Digging up dirt

The Old Hickory landfill builders have won yet another battle. Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy has refused to issue a temporary injunction to stop its development. Opponents of the landfill were hoping, of course, that McCoy would halt progress on the builder’s plans. Despite their victories in court, however, the builders still must contend with Metro’s own regulations that dictate where landfills can go.

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