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Editorial Results (free)

1. Budget Reality Informs Response to Sick-Outs -

For about a year, Memphis Fire Department Director Alvin Benson has been taking ladder trucks out of service to deal with firefighters on vacation and on sick leave at much lower levels than those that surfaced Wednesday.

2. Benson Says Fire Absences Cause Concern But Not Alarm -

Memphis Fire Director Alvin Benson admits the 65 firefighters out sick Wednesday, July 9, is “the highest number we’ve had off sick in one day for some time." However, he declined to call it a job action.

3. City Could Consider Blue Flu a Strike -

At some point, if enough Memphis Police officers call in sick, the job action underway since the end of June could be considered a strike by the city of Memphis. And that would signal a new phase in what is the most significant job action by Memphis Police since the 1978 police and fire strikes.

4. Blue Flu Tops 550 Cops Out -

As Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong has watched the number of police officers on sick leave grow and top 550, so has much of the city.

Armstrong and the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. have gone public in not just talking about the impact but putting numbers to it.

5. Armstrong Confirms Blue Flu, Wharton Seeks Alternatives -

More than 400 Memphis police officers called in sick during the Fourth of July holiday week in what Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong acknowledged Sunday, July 6, is most likely an organized work slowdown by officers upset over cuts in health insurance benefits.

6. City Budget Dispute Remains Staring Match -

It was the first thing Memphis Fire Director Alvin Benson told Memphis City Council members Tuesday, May 20, during budget committee hearings.

7. Council Hesitates Over Fire Recruit Class Funding and Charter Restrictions -

Memphis City Council members discussed a new recruit class Tuesday, May 20, for the Memphis Fire Department that is not in Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s budget proposal.

But council members voted down a plan to come up with the $1.7 million for the class of 100 fire recruits from a $3 million cut in the line item for fire department sick leave, proposed by council member Kemp Conrad.

8. Police, Fire Directors Discuss Budget With Council -

Memphis City Council members got deeper Tuesday, Feb. 4, into the specifics of Memphis Police and Fire Department budget decisions.

But they didn’t get a clearer picture of what the direction forward will be as they and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. prepare to make some hard decisions about public safety in dealing with the city’s unfunded pension liability.

9. Council Hears More on Police and Fire Budget Decisions -

Memphis City Council member got deeper Tuesday, Feb. 4, into the specifics of Memphis Police and Fire Department budget decisions.

But they didn’t get a clearer picture of what the direction forward will be as they and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. prepare to make some hard decisions about public safety in dealing with the city’s unfunded pension liability.

10. Events -

In-Synk and The Daily News will host a Leadership Lunch & Learn book review and discussion on Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” Friday, Sept. 6, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Triumph Bank board room, 5699 Poplar Ave. Cost is $20. Visit seminars.memphisdailynews.com.

11. Council Grapples With Attrition Plan Reality -

Every version of a city budget the Memphis City Council and Mayor A C Wharton Jr. considered in June included a plan to lose 300 city employees through attrition for long-term savings toward meeting rising future debt obligations.

12. Council Ponders Use of Reserve To Keep Fire Station Open -

Memphis City Council member considered briefly Tuesday, July 16, using $1.1 million from the $48 million city reserve fund to keep a North Memphis fire station open.

But they dropped the idea after Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. agreed to keep Fire Station #6, on Danny Thomas Boulevard north of Chelsea Avenue open at least until Labor Day.

13. City Budget Woes Affect 400 Employees -

The numbers at play so far in the Memphis City Council’s long budget season are big.

Council members tallied $24.4 million in city operating budget cuts Tuesday, June 18, in a marathon seven-hour session before an overflow crowd of angry city employees.

14. Council Lowers Property Tax Rate, Approves $609M Budget -

Memphis City Council members approved a $3.11 city property tax rate Tuesday, June 5, to fund a city operating budget of $609,802,357 and Memphis City Schools to the tune of $64,819,307.

The split council vote came nearly 14 hours after the council’s day started at City Hall with a budget committee session in which the basic elements of the ultimate budget compromise were mapped out before noon.

15. Pieces of the Puzzle -

Memphis City Council members left the city property tax rate at $3.19 Tuesday, June 21, as they ended their budget season.

But they added 18 cents to the tax rate on a one time basis with a separate resolution.

16. Wharton Ditches Three Division Directors, Retains Others -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. firmed up most of his division directors Tuesday.

He moved to reappoint seven division directors and notified three others they will not be reappointed in a possible realignment of their divisions.

17. City Council to Consider New Fire Director -

The Memphis City Council today will consider the appointment of Alvin D. Benson as the city’s new director of Fire Services.

Benson, who is deputy director, has been nominated by Mayor Willie Herenton to replace Director Richard Arwood, who recently retired. Herenton also has nominated City Court Judge Earnestine Hunt Dorse to serve as administrative judge of the three divisions of City Court.

18. ON FIRE -

Fire blazed through several buildings in Downtown Memphis around 3 a.m. Friday, sending firefighters, employees of nearby businesses and residents scrambling.

It reportedly began at the 113-year-old First United Methodist Church at Second Street and Poplar Avenue, and flaming embers flew through the air to ignite the nearby Lincoln American Tower, Rhodes Jennings Building and Court Square Annex at North Main and Court streets.

19. ON FIRE -

Fire blazed through several buildings in Downtown Memphis around 3 a.m. Friday, sending firefighters, employees of nearby businesses and residents scrambling.

It reportedly began at the 113-year-old First United Methodist Church at Second Street and Poplar Avenue, and flaming embers flew through the air to ignite the nearby Lincoln American Tower, Rhodes Jennings Building and Court Square Annex at North Main and Court streets.