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Editorial Results (free)

1. US Wholesale Inventories Rise 0.3 Percent in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. wholesalers restocked their warehouses at a modest pace in June for a second straight month, a sign they may anticipate slower growth ahead.

The Commerce Department said Friday that wholesale inventories rose 0.3 percent, the same as the previous month. May's inventory gain was revised down from 0.5 percent.

2. Economy Shrank at Steep 2.9 Percent Rate in First Quarter -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy shrank at a steep annual rate of 2.9 percent in the January-March quarter as a harsh winter contributed to the biggest contraction since the depths of the recession five years ago. But the setback is widely thought to be temporary, with growth rebounding solidly since spring.

3. Economy Set for Rebound After First Quarter Contraction -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy took a beating from an especially harsh winter during the January-March quarter, skidding into reverse for the first time in three years. But spring has arrived and along with it, signs that the chill was just a temporary setback in the long road to recovery.

4. Slowing Chinese Economy Likely to Pinch US, Too -

WASHINGTON (AP) – After watching China narrow the U.S. lead as the world's largest economy, Americans might be tempted to cheer signs that the Chinese economy might be stumbling.

Any schadenfreude would be short-sighted.

5. US Economy Slows to 0.1 Percent Growth Rate -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year as a harsh winter exacted a toll on business activity. The slowdown, while worse than expected, is likely to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer weather.

6. Manufacturing Grew More Quickly in March -

U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead. The Institute for Supply Management, a group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday that its manufacturing index increased to 53.7 from 53.2 in February. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

7. US Manufacturing Grew More Quickly in March -

U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead.

8. US Factory Output Rebounds in February -

U.S. factory output rebounded strongly in February after harsh winter storms caused a steep drop-off in production in January. Manufacturers produced more autos, home electronics and chemicals.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that factory production surged 0.8 percent, nearly reversing a 0.9 percent plunge in January that was due mainly to weather. February’s gain was the largest in six months.

9. US Factory Output Rebounds in February -

U.S. factory output rebounded strongly in February after harsh winter storms caused a steep drop-off in production in January. Manufacturers produced more autos, home electronics and chemicals.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that factory production surged 0.8 percent, nearly reversing a 0.9 percent plunge in January that was due mainly to weather. February's gain was the largest in six months.

10. Blast of Winter Weather Can't Faze US Employers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Brutal winter weather snarled traffic, canceled flights and cut power to homes and factories in February. Yet it didn't faze U.S. employers, who added 175,000 jobs, far more than the two previous months.

11. US Manufacturing Boosted by Orders and Stockpiles -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing expanded more quickly last month as companies received more orders and boosted their stockpiles.

A measure of production fell to its lowest level in nearly five years, likely a casualty of severe winter weather. But the rise in orders raises the possibility that factory output will rebound in coming months, economists said.

12. Survey: US Companies Add 175,000 Jobs in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A private survey shows that businesses added jobs at a modest pace in January, a sign that hiring may have rebounded after a disappointing figure in December.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 175,000 jobs last month. That's down from 227,000 in December, which was revised lower. But it was much better than the government's official figure of just 74,000 new jobs in December.

13. January 31-February 6: This week in Memphis history -

1974: A nine-member delegation from the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce began a visit to four cities in Japan at the invitation of the Japanese government. The visit to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Nara led to the opening of the Sharp manufacturing plant in Hickory Hill four years later.
The four-city visit was billed as a chance to exchange opinions “on a broad range of matters and problems of mutual interest.” But Chamber chief executive officer Ronald E. Leigh also had talks scheduled, according to The Daily News, “with one corporation that has had representatives here on four occasions,” including the week before the Memphis delegation left for Japan.
That corporation was Sharp Corp. The plant, which in the beginning made color televisions, was a breakthrough for direct foreign business investment in Tennessee and Memphis.

14. Sharp’s Exit From Solar Part of Industry Trend -

Sharp Corp.’s announcement last week that it would end solar panel production at its Memphis plant is the latest indication of how volatile the solar energy industry has become.

15. Sharp to End Solar Panel Production in Memphis -

Sharp Corp. will stop making solar panels at its Memphis manufacturing plant by the end of March, leaving more than 300 employees out of a job.

The company's notice to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development says 311 workers will lose their jobs as of March 22.

16. Surprisingly Weak Jobs Report Puzzles Economists -

WASHINGTON (AP) – It came as a shock: U.S. employers added just 74,000 jobs in December, far fewer than anyone expected. This from an economy that had been adding nearly three times as many for four straight months – a key reason the Federal Reserve decided last month to slow its economic stimulus.

17. Flipping the Switch -

Tim Bolding, executive director of United Housing Inc., had become increasingly interested over the years in energy efficiency, sustainability and alternate energy sources when he saw homes in New Orleans being rebuilt with solar panels.

18. US Manufacturing Expands at Best Pace in 2.5 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – US factory activity expanded last month at the fastest pace in 2.5 years, an encouraging sign that manufacturing could lift economic growth and hiring in the coming months.

19. Pace of US Manufacturing Hit 2-Year Peak in August -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. factories expanded last month at the fastest pace since June 2011 on a jump in orders. The report signals that manufacturing output could strengthen in coming months.

20. Hardy Pushes Intermodal Sites for New Jobs -

Carolyn Hardy admits she pushed hard to get the intermodal container yard that opened this week in Hickory Hill completed faster than the two years many contractors told her it would take.

21. Smaller US Trade Gap Could Lift Second-Quarter Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A sharp decline in the trade deficit with other nations suggests the U.S. economy grew this spring at a faster pace than previously estimated, helped by a record level of exports.

22. Editorial: Memphis in May Events Still Deliver -

Watching the evolution of the Memphis in May International Festival, it is easy to lose sight of who is in the crowds by the river with us.

It turns out a lot of them aren’t from Memphis, strictly speaking. The irony is for all of our more high-profile efforts to bring in visitors from the larger region, we have built quite the model for nearly 40 years while we were having what many of us regarded as our annual big party for ourselves by the river.

23. US Job Postings Fell in March; Hiring Slowed -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in March compared with February and slowed overall hiring, underscoring a weak month of job growth.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings fell 1.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million jobs. Total hiring declined 4.3 percent to 4.3 million.

24. Memphis in May Founder Receives Beale Street Note -

The founder of the Memphis in May International Festival will get a brass note in the Beale Street Entertainment District just before the opening weekend of this year’s festival.

Lyman Aldrich started the festival in 1976 as a way to promote business ties between the city and other countries. The 1976 festival honored Japan as the city was courting the Japanese company Sharp Manufacturing to open a Memphis plant.

25. Memphis in May Founder Receives Beale Street Note -

The founder of the Memphis in May International Festival will get a brass note in the Beale Street Entertainment District just before the opening weekend of this year’s festival.

Lyman Aldrich started the festival in 1976 as a way to promote business ties between the city and other countries. The 1976 festival honored Japan as the city was courting the Japanese company Sharp Manufacturing to open in the city.

26. Housing, Manufacturing Give US Economy Lift -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Gains in housing and manufacturing propelled the U.S. economy over the winter, according to reports released Tuesday, and analysts say they point to the resilience of consumers and businesses as government spending cuts kick in.

27. Strong Auto Output Boosts US Factory Production -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A strong increase in auto output boosted U.S. factory production last month, the latest sign that manufacturing is helping drive economic growth after lagging for much of 2012.

28. Expert: Memphis Has Big Story to Tell -

Memphis area commercial real estate brokers were not only brought up to speed on the latest numbers and trends Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Commercial Property Forecast Summit – they were also briefed on how to tweak their marketing strategy to recruit business by a former executive with the Federal Reserve.

29. US Service Firms Grew More Slowly in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Growth at U.S. service companies slowed slightly in January behind weaker new orders and business activity. But hiring improved, a bright sign for the economy.

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its index of non-manufacturing activity dipped to 55.2 in January. That’s down from 55.7 in December, which was the highest level in nearly a year. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

30. Signs of the Times -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. called the Electrolux Memphis manufacturing plant a “monster plant” this week after a tour of the $266 million manufacturing center in Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park.

31. US Economy Could Withstand Brief Fall Off ‘Cliff' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – It's the scenario that's been spooking employers and investors and slowing the U.S. economy:

Congress and the White House fail to strike a budget deal by New Year's Day. Their stalemate triggers sharp tax increases and spending cuts. Those measures shrink consumer spending, stifle job growth, topple stock prices and push the economy off a "fiscal cliff" and into recession.

32. Apple's Softer Side Emerges Under CEO Cook -

NEW YORK (AP) – "Those jobs aren't coming back."

That's what Steve Jobs reportedly told President Obama when asked at a dinner in early 2011 whether Apple would consider moving some of its manufacturing from China to the United States.

33. US Manufacturing Shrinks in November to 3-Year Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing shrank in November to its weakest level since July 2009, one month after the Great Recession ended. Worries about automatic tax increases in the New Year cut demand for factory orders and manufacturing jobs.

34. Bright Starry Nights -

It’s been in the works for an entire year. More than 130,000 visitors are expected to drive through the Starry Nights holiday light show at Shelby Farms Park this year. And when they do, they’ll see the handiwork of volunteers who have been building dozens of set pieces starting as early as February.

35. Tame US Prices, More Confident Builders Aid Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The outlook for the U.S. economy brightened a little Tuesday after reports that consumer prices stayed tame and homebuilder confidence rose to the highest level in six years.

36. US Trade Deficit Rose to $44.2 Billion in August -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit widened in August from July because exports fell to the lowest level in six months. The wider deficit likely dragged on already-weak economic growth.

37. Economic Uncertainty Hurts Business Travel -

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. companies are continuing to cut back on employee travel plans amid uncertainty surrounding the health of the economy.

Americans are expected to take 438.1 million business trips this year, down 2 percent from last year, the Global Business Travel Association said Tuesday. Overall business travel spending is expected to be up 2.6 percent, but that's only because trips are more expensive.

38. US Service Firms Grow at Fastest Pace in 6 Months -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service companies grew in September at the fastest pace in six months, helped by a sharp increase in customer demand.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 55.1, up from 53.7 in August. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

39. Data Suggest US Economy Growing Only Modestly -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A spate of data Thursday painted a mixed picture of the U.S. economy: Demand for long-lasting manufactured goods fell and slightly fewer people signed contracts to buy homes. At the same time, the job market looked a little better.

40. Electric Charging Stations Create Driver Options -

Twelve of the parking spaces outside the visitors center at Shelby Farms Park come with a roof.

Construction of the solar-assisted electric and hybrid vehicle charging stations was completed in September.

41. Blooms to Come -

The Yoshino Cherry trees along Cherry Road in Audubon Park still have a fall and winter before they bloom again in April.

When they do, there will be three new cherry trees blooming nearby in the Japanese Garden at the Memphis Botanic Garden. And there will be five new ones in the row of trees on Cherry Road as well as five more on Mud Island.

42. Brown Joins REACH As Vice President -

Stephen Brown has joined REACH Human Capital as vice president of business development. In his new role, Brown will assist companies in selecting and training employees.

43. Future Looking Bright At Bartlett’s ECE Solar -

Most people who install solar panels to their home understand that it’s an investment that takes awhile to pay off.

Being in the business of installing solar panels is much the same. Still, Bill Turberville of Electrical Contracting Enterprises LLC, 3080 Stage Post Road in Bartlett, said he’d rather be the first in that market than the last.

44. Fred’s, Other Retailers Report Tepid Sales -

NEW YORK (AP) – Shoppers, worried about jobs and the overall economy, pulled back on spending in June, resulting in tepid sales for many retailers, including Memphis-based Fred’s Inc.

45. As US Economy Steadies, Bank Closings Become Rarer -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer U.S. banks are failing than at any time since the financial crisis erupted in 2008. The healthier banking industry is helping sustain an economy slowed by lackluster hiring, weak manufacturing and Europe's debt crisis.

46. US Manufacturing Shrinks for First Time in 3 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing shrank in June for the first time in nearly three years, adding to signs that economic growth is weakening.

Production declined, and the number of new orders plunged, according to a monthly report released Monday by the Institute for Supply Management.

47. Consumer Spending Flat in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumers spent no more in May than in April after seeing almost no gain in their pay. The lack of growth in consumer spending and wages suggests that a faltering job market is slowing the economy.

48. US Gas Prices Cheapest Since January -

The price of gasoline has dropped to the lowest level in five months, giving drivers some relief ahead of the July 4 holiday.

The national average fell to around $3.40 per gallon on Tuesday. Gas is now below $3 in South Carolina and under $4 in every other state in the continental U.S.

49. Weak US Job Market Weighing on Broader Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The sluggish job market is weighing on the U.S. economy three years after the Great Recession ended. And the signs suggest hiring may not strengthen any time soon.

A measure of the number of people applying for unemployment benefits over the past month has reached a six-month high, the government said Thursday. The increase suggests that layoffs are rising and June will be another tepid month for hiring.

50. US Employers Post Fewest Job Openings in 5 Months -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Employers in April posted the fewest job openings in five months, suggesting hiring will remain sluggish in the months ahead.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings fell to a seasonally adjusted 3.4 million in April, down from 3.7 million in March. The March figure was the highest in nearly four years.

51. Jobs Lost to Recession Trickle Back, But Wages Lag -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. job growth slumped in April for a second straight month. It suggested an economy that is growing steadily but still sluggishly, which could tighten the presidential race.

52. Memphis in May Symbolizes City -

Japan was the first country honored by the Memphis in May International Festival.

The reason was simple. The Sharp Manufacturing plant had just opened in the then-remote Hickory Hill area of Shelby County, making televisions and microwave ovens.

53. US Factory Orders Fell in March by Most in 3 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Demand for U.S. factory goods dropped in March by the most in three years, driven lower by a sharp fall in volatile orders for commercial aircraft. Still, more recent data suggest the decline may be temporary.

54. Sharp Marks Production of 3 Millionth Solar Panel -

Less than two years after its executives marked the making of the 2 millionth solar panel at the Memphis Sharp Manufacturing plant, the company on Monday, April 30, marked the production of the 3 millionth solar panel by Sharp Electronics Corp.

55. Experience Helps Harckum Lead Versant, CSCMP -

When supply chain executives from different businesses in Memphis get together, they talk about each other, said Glen Harckum, chairman of the local Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

56. US Economic Outlook Brightens as Retail Sales Rise -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans bought more electronics, started home improvement projects and updated their wardrobes last month, inspired by warmer weather and a healthier job market.

U.S. retail sales rose 0.8 percent in March, the Commerce Department said Friday.

57. Solar Energy Gets Boost With Two New Arrays -

April is proving to be a banner month for alternative energy as two solar arrays formally opened within days of each other last week.

The West Tennessee Solar Farm in Haywood County is the largest in the state with 21,000 panels.

58. Growing Power -

The outlook is as bright as ever for the local solar industry. Two large solar arrays are opening this week in Memphis and Haywood County, while industry leaders are gathering here this week to tout solar power and its growth in Tennessee in recent years.

59. Obama Call for Manufacturing Revival a Tough Goal -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is making a strong election-year push for an economic revival "built on American manufacturing." But he faces an uphill slog, with little consensus even within his own party on how to do it.

60. Obama Uses Tax Proposals for His Political Message -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Aiming tax increases at millionaires and companies that ship jobs abroad may help frame the fairness theme of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, but it's a plan that stands virtually no chance of passing Congress.

61. Unemployment Claims at 352,000, Fewest Since 2008 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people seeking unemployment benefits plummeted last week to 352,000, the fewest since April 2008. The decline added to evidence that the job market is strengthening.

62. Tennessee Solar Study Says Need to Stay Aggressive -

KNOXVILLE (AP) – Tennessee's solar and related industries provide more than 6,400 jobs in a growing green economic sector, but the state needs to stay aggressive in supporting and pursuing the ventures, a report released Thursday shows.

63. Stronger Factories, Lower Prices Lift Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing is recovering from a slump, and inflation may be peaking.

Data issued Wednesday point to an economy growing slowly but steadily. Still, surging oil prices and a possible European recession threaten to drain the economy's momentum.

64. West Tenn. Solar Farm By I-40 Nears Completion -

This was supposed to be the month that the West Tennessee Solar Farm in Haywood County was completed.

But while the farm’s growing set of solar panels by Interstate 40 has been getting the attention of passing motorists in recent weeks, the panels have been the easiest part of the undertaking being spearheaded by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.

65. Businesses Ordered More Long-Lasting Goods -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Businesses ordered more computers, communications equipment and other big-ticket items in August, a hopeful sign for the slumping economy.

Orders for capital goods, which are considered a good measure of business investment plans, rose 0.9 percent in August, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. It was the second gain in three months.

66. Unemployment Rates Fell in Majority of US Cities -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Unemployment rates fell in roughly two-thirds of U.S. cities last month, despite zero job growth nationwide.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that unemployment rates dropped in 237 of the nation's largest metro areas in August from July. They rose in 103 and stayed the same in 32. That's an improvement from July, when rates fell in 193 areas and rose in 118.

67. Economy Shows Signs of Moving Past August Shocks -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumers and businesses are not so worried that the economy is about to tumble into a recession after all.

Manufacturing grew a little slower in August than the previous month, but it didn't contract as some had feared. Shoppers spent more at retail stores during the crucial back-to-school season. And fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that layoffs have slowed.

68. Let There Be Light -

This fall, a group of 1,000 Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division customers move deeper into a three-year, futuristic-sounding “Smart Grid” test project that began this past January.

They volunteered last year to get new automated meters for their homes, and half of them got a wireless digital counter top readout for inside their homes that allows them to watch their electricity usage. With a computer dashboard readout they can also follow trends for energy usage over time, and the device even suggests scenarios for cutting costs.

69. Small Spending Cuts to Have Little Economic Impact -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The first phase of a deal to raise the government's borrowing limit would pose little threat to the economy in the short term because almost none of the spending cuts would occur before 2014.

70. IDB Approves Six Projects in Finale -

Jill Iglehart teared up at the end of the last working meeting this week of the Memphis-Shelby County Industrial Development Board despite vowing not to.

“This has been an excellent board,” said Iglehart who was appointed 17 years ago. “It has been a privilege and an honor to serve with you. We are adjourned.”

71. AP: Western States Lag in Recovery -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Western states hit hardest by the housing crisis are feeling the greatest economic stress two years after the recession ended, according to The Associated Press’s monthly analysis.

72. Service Sector Grew in June at Slower Pace -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. service sector, which employs nearly 90 percent of America’s work force, expanded for a 19th consecutive month in June. But growth slowed from May, a sign that the economy remains sluggish.

73. Factories Busier in June After Spring Slump -

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. factory activity picked up in June after a sluggish May, helped by lower gas prices and some easing of supply disruptions.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said Friday that its index o activity rose to 55.3. The sector has now grown for 23 straight months. Last month's growth was the slowest in 20 months.

74. Brighter Day -

With the flip of a switch Tuesday, June 21, at the corner of South Mendenhall and East Raines roads, the Sharp Manufacturing Co. Memphis plant upped its solar power generating capacity.

75. Inflation Slows in May as Gas Prices Fall -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Falling energy prices cooled overall inflation in May, offering some relief to consumers who have been coping for months with high gas prices.

Overall consumer prices rose 0.2 percent, the smallest increase in six months, the Labor Department said. It was the first drop in energy costs in nearly a year.

76. Trade Group Says US Service Sector Grew in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy's service sector, which employs 90 percent of America's work force, grew in May for an 18th straight month, posting slightly faster growth than in April.

77. May Manufacturing Activity Cooled to 20-Month Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing activity expanded in May at the slowest pace in 20 months, the latest sign that a sharp rise in energy prices is hampering economic growth.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said Wednesday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 53.5 percent in May from 60.4 in April.

78. GOP Frosh Take Care of Districts in Defense Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hard-charging Republicans who rallied voters last year with cries of "Stop the spending, ban the earmarks" are quietly offering a more familiar Washington refrain now that they're in Congress – not in my backyard.

79. Factory Output Dropped on Japan Supply Disruptions -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. factories in April produced fewer goods for the first time in 10 months. A temporary parts shortage stemming from the Japanese earthquake forced automakers to cut back output.

80. Service Sector Expanded in March at Slower Pace -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. service sector expanded in March for the 16th straight month, although growth slowed from the previous month's pace, which was the fastest in more than five years.

81. Road to Blues City Brewery Rough -

The plan by City Brewing Co. of La Crosse, Wis., to buy the 40-year-old Memphis beer brewery that is now Hardy Bottling Co. didn’t begin this year.

82. Oil Spike: Comparing Yesterday to Today -

OIL THREATENS - Political strife in the Middle East interrupted our market rally. Increasing oil prices, in anticipation of supply disruptions, have increased corporate input cost assumptions and decreased consumer spending assumptions.

83. Factory Activity Grows at Fastest Pace in 7 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Factory activity expanded in January at the fastest pace in nearly seven years, as America’s manufacturers reported a sharp jump in new orders.

Still, builders spent less on projects in December, pushing annual construction spending down to a decade low.

84. Green Hope Strengthens at Sharp Manufacturing -

In the last two years, a lot of dignitaries have taken the tour of the Sharp Manufacturing Co. plant in Hickory Hill to fly the flag of clean energy and solar energy in particular.

85. Factory Activity Grows at Fastest Pace in 7 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Factory activity expanded in January at the fastest pace in nearly seven years, as America's manufacturers reported a sharp jump in new orders.

Still, builders spent less on projects in December, pushing annual construction spending down to a decade low.

86. Industrial Production Rises by Most in 5 Months -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Industrial production rose in December by the largest amount in five months, providing the economy with solid momentum heading into the new year.

Activity at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased 0.8 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Industrial production was up in every month but one in 2010.

87. Sharp Plant Provides Solar Panels for Jackson -

A solar panel array, billed as the largest in the seven-state Tennessee Valley Authority region, is nearing completion in Jackson, Tenn., later this month.

The one-megawatt solar power array and another 47-kilowatt solar array are at American Drive Business Center in Jackson. Power produced by the one megawatt array will go onto the Jackson Energy Authority grid to be bought by TVA. The 47-kilowatt array will produce power to be used in the business center.

88. NIH Renews Grant to CBU -

The National Institutes of Health has renewed for the second year Christian Brothers University’s Minority Health International Research Training grant.

The $242,208 award for 2011 is the second allotment of the more than $1 million grant that is funding the MHIRT program at CBU.

89. Higher Factory Output Lifts Hopes for Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. factories renewed hopes that they can be an engine of economic growth by revving up production of big-ticket goods for consumers and businesses in October.

Overall production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities was unchanged last month – but that was only because of a sharp drop in utility output due to warmer-than-normal weather, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.

90. Bright Future -

The Memphis Sharp Manufacturing plant is maxing out its production capabilities as it rides the growth wave of the solar power industry over the last several years. Sharp Manufacturing Co. of America, one of the nation’s leaders in solar panel production, is seeing increased demand for residential, commercial, governmental and utility-scale applications.

91. Manufacturing Activity Surges in October -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Manufacturing activity expanded last month at the fastest pace since May, driven by demand in the United States and abroad for cars, computers and other goods.

The report signals that U.S. factory output, which slowed over the summer, remains a strong player in an otherwise weak economy. A separate report on Monday showed that manufacturing in China, the world's second-largest economy, also grew.

92. U of M Goes Green With Environmental Fair -

The University of Memphis is showing off its green stripes on campus Tuesday with its third annual environmental awareness fair.

Dubbed “Tiger Blue Goes Green,” the event will bring in campus and community groups offering information, displays, and even places to recycle cell phones and other items. All of this is intended to celebrate and publicize the university’s commitment to eco-friendly policies, with an emphasis on “green jobs.”

93. Solar Installation Grants Awarded by State Institute -

The Tennessee Solar Institute announced this week that it has committed more than $9 million in grants to Tennessee businesses or organizations.

Five of the recipients are in Memphis.

First Tennessee Bank received $69,990. Great Neck Saw was awarded $980,000. Memphis Bioworks Foundation qualified for $270,120. Sharp Manufacturing Co. will get $349,376. Shelby Electric Company Inc. is in line for $56,400.

94. Sharp Highlights City’s Attributes -

Is a “jobless recovery” a recovery? Not for those who are the jobless.

The awards Tennessee is getting from business groups for its business climate is part of an uncertain recessionary mix in which the Memphis area loses existing businesses to DeSoto County in spite of the state’s recent successes and accolades.

95. Jobs Picture Dims As Unemployment Claims Rise -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The economy is looking bleaker as new applications for jobless benefits rose last week to the highest level in almost six months.

It's a sign that hiring remains weak and employers may be going back to cutting their staffs. Analysts say the increase suggests companies won't be adding enough workers in August to lower 9.5 percent unemployment rate.

96. The Hard Sell -

To understand how Northwest Mississippi’s small boomtowns like Olive Branch keep one-upping Memphis and reeling in jobs and taxpayers with the promise of greener pastures, an Internet video is one place to start.

97. Sharp Reaches Solar Panel Milestone -

With a thumbs up from a factory line worker, the 2 millionth solar panel rolled off the assembly line this week at the Memphis Sharp Manufacturing Plant.

Instead of going immediately into a cardboard box, the panel was lifted by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., Hiroshi Sato, Japan’s Consul General from Nashville, and Paul Shaffer, head of local 474 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, off the assembly line as workers applauded.

98. Job Hopes Rise on Flurry of Economic Reports -

WASHINGTON (AP) - A handful of economic reports released Thursday raised hopes for an improving job market with fewer layoffs and more hiring.

Productivity slowed more than initially estimated in the first quarter of the year, a sign that employers are struggling to squeeze more work out of leaner staffs. The lower figure was expected after the government last week revised its growth estimate for the first quarter.

99. Memphis in May -

In 1977, Lyman Aldrich had job creation in mind when he invited Japanese businessmen to serve on the board of Memphis in May.

Two years later, Sharp Electronics, a Japanese manufacturer, announced its intention to build its first U.S. plant in Memphis.

100. Energy in Memphis -

On an overcast, chilly day this week, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen carefully climbed a ladder to the roof of the Sharp Manufacturing plant on Mendenhall Road.