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Editorial Results (free)

1. Harris Files Ford Challenge at Deadline -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris is challenging Democratic state Sen. Ophelia Ford in the August primary for District 29, the Senate seat held by a member of the Ford family since 1975.

2. HopeWorks Fundraiser To be Held March 1 -

Dr. Ben Carson, an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, will speak at the sixth annual Morning of Hope breakfast and fundraiser Saturday, March 1.

3. HopeWorks Breakfast Fundraiser Planned for March 1 -

Dr. Ben Carson, an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, will speak at the sixth annual Morning of Hope breakfast and fundraiser Saturday, March 1.

4. Obama-Romney Showdown Starts Off With a Harsh Tone -

MENDENHALL, Pa. (AP) — The 2012 presidential general election has begun. It won't be pretty.

Tuesday marked Day One, in essence, of the contest between the two virtually certain nominees, Republican Mitt Romney and Democratic President Barack Obama. Rick Santorum's departure removed the last meaningful bump from Romney's path to the GOP nomination. Romney and Obama wasted no time in portraying the voters' choice in dire, sometimes starkly personal terms.

5. HopeWorks Fundraiser To Feature Poverty Expert -

HopeWorks, a faith-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Memphians break the cycle of crime and poverty, will feature Dr. Ruby Payne at its annual fundraiser, “An Evening of Hope,” Thursday, March 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Woodland Hills Event Center, 1000 Woodland Hills Drive, in Cordova.

6. State Issues Can be Tricky for Presidential Field -

CINCINNATI (AP) — Mitt Romney gingerly distanced himself from a labor issue on the Ohio ballot one day. The next, he embraced the initiative "110 percent."

The equivocation not only highlighted his record of shifting positions but also underscored the local political minefields national candidates often confront in their state-by-state path to the presidency.

7. No Deal: NBA Cancels First Two Weeks of Season -

NEW YORK (AP) – Two weeks of NBA games are lost. Many more could be in jeopardy.

There's a "gulf" that separates owners and players, and they will have to close it quickly to avoid further damage to the schedule.

8. HopeWorks, Businesses Give Hope Through Internships -

A number of local businesses are offering hope to the city’s chronically unemployed in the form of internships that provide real-world, on-the-job training.

The program is coordinated by HopeWorks, a 22-year-old nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping poor and chronically unemployed Memphians find steady work.

9. Redistricting Comes Just in Time for Filing Deadline -

Contenders for the 13 seats on the Memphis City Council got some certainty this week with council approval of the new set of district lines for the body.

And it could make the noon Thursday, July 21, qualifying deadline something that hasn’t been seen in many election cycles – a deadline with some last-minute candidates and plenty of politicos watching the last-minute developments.

10. Pow! Duo of Comic Book Stores See Continued Success -

Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and many other comic book heroes and heroines have commanded the attention of dedicated fans since their debuts in the middle of the last century.

Just last month, a copy of “Amazing Fantasy #15,” a comic featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man back in 1962, sold for $1.1 million to a private collector.

11. Haslam Pushes Research Consortium Funding During Memphis Visit -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told members of the Memphis Research Consortium that his decision to include $10 million in funding for the effort wasn’t a gift but an investment in the city’s future as a biomedical research center.

12. Lighting the Fuse -

Memphis voters have 22 words to weigh as they decide what is to become of Shelby County’s two public school systems.
“Shall the administration of the Memphis City School System, a special school district, be transferred to the Shelby County Board of Education?”
The words seem inadequate to cover what a “yes” or a “no” vote means after a state law and other factors changed the terms of a vote already scheduled for March 8.
Voters for schools consolidation may be against special schools district status but for letting some of the six suburban towns and cities try to go with their own municipal school system.
Voters may be against school consolidation and against special school district status if it includes taxing authority for the county school board, albeit with tax approval required by the Tennessee Legislature.
Some voters may see it as a way of ending reforms driven by MCS superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash. Others may see it as a way of ending Shelby County Schools board chairman David Pickler’s dominance of that school system.
School consolidation advocates are still urging citizens to vote “yes” and school consolidation opponents are still urging citizens to vote “no.”
“The lay of the land has changed, so will people consider the lay of the land or what? That statement stands. It’s on the ballot and everyone knows what it’s designed to do,” said Memphis City Council chairman Myron Lowery. “This occurred after the question was put on the ballot. If someone wants to make that stretch, they’re jumping over a lot of hurdles. This was not in place when this was put on the ballot.”
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., along with Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, sought a transition period even as political positions began to harden. He doesn’t see what’s in the law as a transition period.
“The way it’s structured, there’s every incentive not to reach an agreement. It looks to me like it falls off the face of the earth,” Wharton said. “There was nothing in there that states where do you go if at the end of this (the planning process) there is nothing resolved.”
State Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, disagrees.
“The state has a compelling interest in assuring that the administration of schools is properly discharged,” Norris wrote in an op-ed piece for The Memphis News last week. “To do otherwise defies common sense and common decency.”
Pickler said if voters approve the question, he will quickly move to assemble a team to work on the transition. It’s a transition that Pickler has always emphasized will be controlled by the county school system. That is one point on which the attorneys seem to agree.
“Clearly we understand that this issue is not about educational outcomes,” he said during a WKNO forum last week. “We still do not believe that creating a mega district … doesn’t do anything to improve education.”
MCS board member Tomeka Hart, at the same forum, countered “We do here as an economic issue,” a reference to the University of Memphis study showing special schools district status could cost MCS half of the county property tax base it relies on for funding. “It’s time to rewrite all of this,” Hart concluded.
Here is the timeline – to date – of the ongoing schools showdown:

13. Strickland to Bring Message of Hope to Memphis -

Bill Strickland is widely admired for the many hats he wears; CEO, social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and visionary.

14. Candidates Feel The Heat As Election Nears -

Here comes the blitz.

The last full day of campaigning before the Thursday election will be a dash through triple-digit temperatures for all of the contenders on the county ballot.

Two of the three contenders in the Republican primary for governor, U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp of Chattanooga and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, will be in Memphis.

15. Events Company Sparks New Activity Atop Clark Tower -

After four years of refining and expanding his catering business, Wade Hartsfield has taken on a soaring new challenge.

16. Early Voting Begins as Candidates Jockey for Votes -

Voters begin making decisions Friday as early voting begins in advance of the Aug. 5 election.

Early voting Friday and Saturday is limited to Shelby County Election Commission headquarters, 157 Poplar Ave. Friday hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

17. Ford Wins Democratic Mayoral Primary -  

Interim County Mayor Joe Ford became the Democratic nominee for mayor in the August county general elections Tuesday night.

And the August sheriff’s race will be a contest between Democrat Randy Wade and Republican Randy Wade.

All three were among the winners in Tuesday’s low turnout county primaries.

Approximately ten percent of Shelby County’s nearly 600,000 voters cast ballots in early voting and election day polling.

Ford, who was appointed interim mayor in December, beat County Commissioner Deidre Malone and General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson in the Democratic primary. He will face Republican Mark Luttrell who had only token opposition in the Republican primary from perennial contender Ernie Lunati.

Luttrell has raised more money than all three of the Democratic primary contenders combined and began running television ads in the last week runup to election day.

The final unofficial totals in the Democratic mayoral primary are:

Ford 20,360 57%

Malone 12,916 37%

Jackson 2,168 6%

The pair of primaries for Sheriff featured eight candidates, seven of whom either currently work for the sheriff’s department or are past employees. Only Reginald French, in the Democratic primary was not a former or current department official.

Wade was the 2002 Democratic nominee, losing to Luttrell who is leaving as Sheriff after serving two terms. French was the Democratic nominee in the 2006 elections.

Oldham is Luttrell’s chief deputy, the number two position in the department. He is also a former director of the Memphis Police Department.

The final unofficials totals in the Republican primary are:

Bill Oldham 13,821 48%

Dale Lane 7,981 28%

Bobby Simmons 5,886 21%

James Coleman 943 3%

In the Democratic primary:

Randy Wade 22,643 67%

Reginald French 6,777 20%

Larry Hill 2,738 8%

Bennie Cobb 1,814 5%

Voters in the primary elections decided to return six Shelby County commissioners to new four year terms with Tuesday’s results. They also elected six new commissioners. The winner of the thirteenth commission seat will be decided on the August general election ballot in a contest between district 5 Democratic incumbent Steve Mulroy and Republican challenger Dr. Rolando Toyos. The winner of the match up will determine whether the commission remains majority Democrat or goes majority Republican.

Mulroy easily defeated Jennings Bernard in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Republican incumbent Mike Ritz ran unopposed as did new Democratic commissioner Walter Bailey.

In the remaining ten contests, the primaries decided who gets the seats since no one ran in the opposing party’s primary.

The most hotly contested contest among the commission races was for District 4 Position 1. Outgoing Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas beat John Pellicciotti, appointed to a commission seat last year but running for a different position in the same district. Jim Bomprezzi, the former mayor of Lakeland, was the third contender in the contest.

The final unofficial totals in the Republican primary:

Thomas 7,631 52%

Pellicciotti 4,871 33%

Bomprezzi 2,298 15%

In position 2 of the same district incumbent Republican Wyatt Bunker easily overcame two challengers with former Lakeland alderman John Wilkerson finishing second and Ron Fittes finishing third.

Millington businessman Terry Roland claimed the third position in the district that takes in all six of Shelby County’s suburban towns and cities.

Roland beat George Chism to take the seat Pellicciotti was appointed to but opted not to run for in deference to Roland.

Heidi Shafer, an aide to outgoing County Commissioner George Flinn, claimed Flinn’s District 1 Position 2 seat over Albert Maduska.in the GOP primary.

District 1 incumbent Republican Mike Carpenter easily beat businessman Joe Baier.

In the Democratic commission primaries, Melvin Burgess claimed Malone’s District 2 Position 3 seat in a field of six contenders. His closest contender was Reginald Milton. Burgess, a city school system audit manager, had run for the seat before. He brought in 54 percent of the vote.

The other hard fought Democratic commission primary saw Justin Ford, son of the interim mayor, claim his father’s District 3 Position 3 seat.

Ford beat Edith Moore, a retired IBM executive, whom the commission appointed to the seat after the elder Ford became mayor.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Ford 7,342 66%

Moore 3,822 34%

Democratic incumbent commissioners Henri Brooks, Sidney Chism and James Harvey were all re-elected over primary challengers.

The county-wide primaries for seven clerk’s positions saw the return of former Criminal Court Clerk Minerva Johnican 16 years after Republican challenger Bill Key took her job. Johnican decisively beat Ralph White and Vernon Johnson in her first bid for office since the 1994 defeat. She will face Republican Kevin Key, the son of Bill Key in the August general election.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Johnican 16,381 51%

White 10,170 31%

Johnson 5,954 18%

Former Juvenile Court Clerk Shep Wilbun easily won the Democratic primary with 76 percent of the vote to face Republican Joy Touliatos in August for the office being vacated by Republican Steve Stamson. Touliatos was unopposed in the primary.

Democrat Coleman Thompson is back for another go at incumbent Republican Register Tom Leatherwood.

Aside from Leatherwood, Jimmy Moore is the only other of the seven clerks seeking re-election. Moore ran unopposed in the GOP primary. He will face Democrat Ricky Dixon in August.

Trustee Regina Newman was appointed to her office following the death last year of Paul Mattila. Newman easily overcame M LaTroy Williams in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. She will face David Lenoir, who beat former Shelby County Commissioner John Willingham in the Republican contest.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Lenoir 15,922 58%

Willingham 11,569 42%

The other six candidate field on the ballot was in the Democratic primary for Probate Court Clerk. Sondra Becton posted impressive vote totals over her rivals, bringing in 35 percent of the vote with Peggy Dobbins her closest rival. Becton, who is making her fourth bid for the office, will face Republican Paul Boyd, who ran unopposed in his primary.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Becton 10,929 36%

Dobbins 5,366 18%

Annita Hamilton 4,848 16%

Clay Perry 3,549 12%

Danny Kail 3,120 11%

Karen Tyler 2,782 9%

The closest contest of the evening was in the Democratic primary for County Clerk. Wrestling promoter and television personality Corey Maclin won his political debut by less than 1,400 votes over Charlotte Draper and LaKeith Miller. He will face Republican Wayne Mashburn who beat Steve Moore in the companion primary.

Early voting in advance of the Aug. 5 election day begins July 16. The August ballot will also feature state and federal primary elections including the statewide primaries for governor and the primaries for all nine of the state’s Congressional districts.

...

18. Proof in Results for HopeWorks -

HopeWorks, with a reputation for turning people’s lives around, now has the tracking data to prove it.

Less than 10 percent of its graduates from January 2006 to April 2010 who had criminal backgrounds ended up back behind bars. The faith-based program teaches job skills and provides career counseling to the chronically unemployed, including people with felony records.

19. Candidate Filing List -- The Final Version -

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell appeared on his way to the Republican nomination for Shelby County mayor at Thursday’s noon filing deadline for candidates on the May 4 primary ballot.

20. UPDATE: Mayor's Race Grows At Filing Deadline -

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell appeared on his way to the Republican nomination for Shelby County mayor at Thursday’s noon filing deadline for candidates on the May 4 primary ballot.

Luttrell faces only token opposition from perennial candidate Ernie Lunati.

Meanwhile, the Democratic primary for mayor grew to three contenders as General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson filed his qualifying petition just before the deadline. He joins interim County Mayor Joe Ford and Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone.

Luttrell ruled out a bid for Shelby County mayor last year (2009). But when Harold Byrd decided not to run in the Democratic primary, some local GOP leaders asked Luttrell to reconsider.

The result touched off a scramble of candidates from both parties for the open sheriff’s office. But before the noon deadline, the initial field of over a dozen possible contenders was narrowed to ten – six Democrats and four Republicans.

The other surprise at the filing deadline was the return of attorney Walter Bailey to the District 2 Position 1 seat he gave up in the 2006 elections. Bailey sought re-election then to another term despite a two term limit on commissioners. Bailey lost to J.W. Gibson who decided not to seek re-election. He also lost a court fight to overturn the term limits.

Bailey was the only candidate who had filed for the seat at the Thursday deadline.

Only one incumbent county commissioner – Republican Mike Ritz -- was effectively re-elected at the deadline because he had no opposition.

All but one of the eleven contested County Commission races will be decided with the May 4 primaries. The only general election battle for the August ballot is the district 5 contest between GOP challenger Dr. Rolando Toyos and whoever wins the May Democratic primary between incumbent Steve Mulroy and Jennings Bernard.

Former County Commissioner John Willingham also returned to the ballot among a field of Republican contenders in the primary for Shelby County Trustee.

And former Criminal Court Clerk Minerva Johnican joined the Democratic primary field for her old job. Incumbent Republican Bill Key pulled petition to seek re-election but did not file at the deadline.

Here is the list of races and contenders from The Shelby County Election Commission. All candidate have until noon Feb. 25 to withdraw from the ballot if they wish.

D-Democrat

R- Republican

I- Independent

Shelby County Mayor:

Deidre Malone (D)

Joe Ford (D)

Otis Jackson (D)

Mark Luttrell (R)

Ernest Lunati (R)

Leo Awgowhat (I)

Shelby County Sheriff:

James Coleman (R)

Bobby Simmons (R)

Bill Oldham (R)

Dale Lane (R)

Larry Hill (D)

Bennie Cobb (D)

Randy Wade (D)

James Bolden (D)

Elton Hymon (D)

Reginald French (D)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 1

Mike Ritz (R) (incumbent)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 2

Albert Maduska (R)

Heidi Shafer (R)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 3

Mike Carpenter (R) (incumbent)

Joe Baire (R)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 1

Walter Bailey (D)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 2

Henri Brooks (D) (incumbent)

David Vinciarelli (D)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 3

Eric Dunn (D)

Norma Lester (D)

Tina Dickerson (D)

Melvin Burgess (D)

Reginald Milton (D)

Freddie Thomas (D)

County Commission Dist 3 Pos 1

James Harvey (D) (incumbent)

James Catchings (D)

County Commission Dist. 3 Pos 2

Sidney Chism (D) (incumbent)

Andrew "Rome" Withers (D)

County Commission Dist. 3 Pos 3

Edith Moore  (D) (incumbent)

Justin Ford (D)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 1

Chris Thomas (R)

John Pellicciotti (R)

Jim Bomprezzi (R)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 2

Wyatt Bunker (R) (incumbent)

John Wilkerson (R)

Ron Fittes (R)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 3

Terry Roland (R)

George Chism (R)

Edgar Babian (R)

County Commission Dist 5

Steve Mulroy (D) (incumbent)

Jennings Bernard (D)

Rolando Toyos (R)

Shelby County Clerk

Charlotte Draper (D)

Corey Maclin (D)

LaKeith Miller (D)

Wayne Mashburn (R)

Steve Moore (R)

Criminal Court Clerk

Vernon Johnson (D)

Minerva Johnican (D)

Ralph White (D)

Michael Porter (R)

Kevin Key (R)

Jerry Stamson (I)

Circuit Court Clerk

Jimmy Moore (R) (incumbent)

Steven Webster (D)

Carmichael Johnson (D)

Ricky W. Dixon (D)

Juvenile Court Clerk

Joy Touliatos (R)

Charles Marshall (D)

Sylvester Bradley (D)

Shep Wilbun (D)

Julia Roberson Wiseman (I)

Probate Court Clerk

Paul Boyd (R)

Sondra Becton (D)

Danny Kail (D)

Annita Sawyer Hamilton (D)

Peggy Dobbins (D)

Clay Perry (D)

Karen Tyler (D)

Shelby County Register

Tom Leatherwood (R) (incumbent)

Coleman Thompson (D)

Lady J. Swift (D)

Carlton Orange (D)

Shelby County Trustee

Regina Newman (D) (incumbent)

M. LaTroy Williams (D)

John Willingham (R)

Jeff Jacobs (R)

David Lenoir (R)

...

21. Compromise 101: Who’s going to fund the schools? -

In the year he’s been head of the Memphis school system, Superintendent Kriner Cash has been virtually unflappable.

Since the Memphis school board hired him in July 2008, Cash has doggedly pitched a detailed plan for the school system’s renewal with dozens of specific goals in a well-traveled PowerPoint presentation.

22. Hope Works Swims Against Recession Tide to Rebuild Lives -

Sometimes people who have made the wrong choices in life become so burdened by guilt they become resigned to being bad. Antonio Owens helps them confront that guilt so they can live a good life.

23. Events -

The Memphis Bar Association will hold a free legal clinic Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Friendship United Methodist Church, 6220 U.S. 51 N. The clinic is free and open to the public and provides attendees with an opportunity to talk to an experienced attorney. Attorneys will see individuals on a first-come, first-served basis.

24. Events -

The Memphis Chapter of the Society of Information Management will present its annual Strategy Series for Executives today from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Esplanade Conference Complex, 901 Cordova Station. The theme of the series is “Charting a Course Through Challenging Times.” For more information or to register, visit www.hmgstrategy.com/events.

25. GOP Excludes Reporters From Annual Fundraiser -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The state’s Republican Party spokesman said this year’s annual fundraiser will be closed to the news media even though reporters have been welcomed at previous dinners.

Communications Director Bill Hobbs told The Associated Press that the “Statesmen’s Dinner” scheduled for Saturday will be a “closed ticketed event and historically has not been open to the media.”

26. Obama Starts TV Ads in 4 Tennessee Markets -

CHATTANOOGA (AP) - Barack Obama is running television advertisements in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville, in what supporters say is the first such market buy for Tennessee's Feb. 5 Democratic presidential primary.

27. Archived Article: Memos - Marie Burgess, Marissa Mulhern, Elaine Wunderlich and Vince Mashburn joined Askew Hargraves Harcourt & Associates Inc

Seven attorneys from Burch, Porter & Johnson were included in the 2003-2004 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. C. T...

28. Archived Article: Memos - John Crow was elected to the board of directors for the Memphis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects John Crow was elected to the board of directors for the Memphis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Donald A. Friedman was n...

29. Archived Article: Gov't (c'dovasuit) - Chancery Judge D Cordova zoning case requires expert review By KATHLEEN BURT The Daily News Chancery Judge D.J. Alissandratos will appoint a land-use expert to review a zoning decision made by the Memphis City Council in connection to a lawsuit file...