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Editorial Results (free)

1. New Plan to Spur Entrepreneurship Growth -

On one of the first pages of a more than 80-page plan to kick start entrepreneurial growth in the Memphis area, a reader is greeted with a stark assessment.

“The Memphis economy is broken,” reads one of the bullet points within the newly released development plan called MEMx, a blueprint developed by Memphis-based Start Co. with help from the national JumpStart Inc. organization as well as with input from more than 200 Memphis partners and community leaders.

2. Start Co. Retools Website in Push to Evolve -

Start Co., a nonprofit working as a hub of public-private efforts to kick-start new entrepreneurial ventures in Memphis, has launched a new website as the group continues to shift from serving as a local startup resource to becoming a more robust venture development entity.

3. Four Memphis Startups Win Spots in ‘The TENN’ -

Memphis’ startup community continues collecting recognition beyond the city limits to go along with the steady attraction of new platforms, investments, mentors and programs for startups here.

4. Start Co. Adds Women’s, Logistics Accelerators -

Two new startup accelerators are joining the Memphis entrepreneurial scene, both targeting different kinds of company founders.

One is focused on women-led tech startups. The other will focus on company founders who want to build startups focused on the logistics industry.

5. Couple Moves to Memphis to Launch Startup -

Pam and Tom Cooper are the co-founders of Boosterville, a Memphis-based startup with an app that helps school fundraisers raise money by connecting them with local businesses.

6. LaunchYourCity Draws Lessons From West Coast -

The group from LaunchYourCity that traveled to San Francisco in March has returned, refreshed and reinvigorated, ready to carry out what was the hoped-for goal of the trip:

Take the lessons learned and use them to help Memphis’ startup community scale new heights.

7. Launching Pad -

Eric Mathews sounded a little emotional in early February as he described what was about to happen to the organization he leads that’s at the vanguard of spurring entrepreneurship and startup activity in Memphis.

8. Startup Conference Billed as ‘Must Attend’ -

Scott Case, the founding chief technology officer of Priceline.com and Startup America CEO, had some words of praise for Memphis and Tennessee while on a panel at November’s Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, Calif.

9. Ben F. Jones Law Chapter Chooses Officers -

The Ben F. Jones chapter of the National Bar Association has tapped new officers and board members for 2013. And the group’s president-elect talks about the group’s work in a way that heralds a continuing service to the Memphis community.

10. Universal Commercial to Host Networking Breakfast -

Universal Commercial Real Estate LLC will host its monthly Regional Minority Business Entrepreneur Power Breakfast Friday, Nov. 2, with the topic, “Launching Memphis Entrepreneurs.”

11. Events -

Cannon Wright Blount will present “Getting Started With QuickBooks: Learn From the Experts” Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at its office 756 Ridge Lake Blvd., suite 100. Cost is $75. Visit cannonwrightblount.com or email quickbooks@cannonwrightblount.com.

12. Events -

The Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. board will meet Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 9 a.m. at the board’s office, 114 N. Main St. in the Crump Building. Visit downtownmemphiscommission.com.

13. Entrepreneurial Ecosystem -

Maybe you’re a startup founder who wants to rub shoulders with your peers, pitch investors in the hope of landing venture capital and talk to a lawyer about drawing up paperwork.

Maybe you’re a veteran researcher who’s got a side project that looks like it could turn into something big. Or maybe you’ve got little more than an idea on the back of a napkin.

14. National Tech Media Site Relocating to Memphis -

Nibletz.com, which bills itself as “the voice of startups everywhere else”, is moving its base of operations to Memphis, after considering a few other cities – and even sweeter incentives elsewhere.

15. Events -

Black Business Association of Memphis will meet Friday, June 22, at 9 a.m. at BBA, 555 Beale St. Andre Fowlkes of Launch Your City will speak. Visit bbamemphis.com or email info@bbamemphis.com.

16. Events -

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Memphis will begin a free workshop series to answer entrepreneurs’ questions Thursday, June 21. Visit scorememphis.org or call 544-3588 for a schedule.

17. Jason Baldwin Part of U of M Law Event -

Jason Baldwin has been a free man for about seven months. To understand how dramatically the life of Baldwin, of the West Memphis Three, has changed since then, he’s currently planning to go to law school.

18. Leadership Change -

Eric Mathews, long at the center of a variety of tech ventures and entrepreneurship projects in the city, is taking the reins at EmergeMemphis.

19. EmergeMemphis Names Mathews As Executive Director -

Eric Mathews, long at the center of a variety of tech ventures and entrepreneurship projects in the city, is taking the reins at EmergeMemphis.

20. TRA Chief Quits as Haslam Contemplates Reform of Agency -

NASHVILLE – The announcement of Chairman Eddie Roberson's resignation from the Tennessee Regulatory Authority comes as Gov. Bill Haslam is engaged in a study on how to overhaul the agency that oversees many utilities in the state.

21. Consolidation Opponents Present Sides -

A week before early voting in advance of the Nov. 2 Election Day starts, both sides in the consolidation debate are seeing a lot of each other.

Forums across Shelby County are offering voters very different views of the same document, the proposed metro charter that would consolidate the city of Memphis and Shelby County governments.

22. Commission: Read the Charter and Vote -

Both sides in the consolidation debate are urging citizens to read the proposed metro charter and vote.

And as the campaign nears the Nov. 2 Election Day vote on the charter, each side is accusing the other of reading things in the charter that aren’t there.

23. Metro Charter Group To Complete Work Monday -

The Metro Charter Commission will complete its work Monday on a proposed consolidation charter.

The 9 a.m. meeting at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building is the last one for the group with began its work last December.

24. Charter Comm. Nails Down Final Details -

Metro Charter Commissioners continue closing in on the exact language of a consolidation charter with a meeting Monday.

The 4 p.m. meeting at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St., is one of only three the group has left to draft the charter that goes to voters on the Nov. 2 ballot.

25. Charter Commission Approves 25-Member Council -

Size matters in local government. Witness this week’s debate by Metro Charter Commissioners about the size of a metro council. The structure of the local legislative body is one of the most important elements of the proposed consolidation charter the group is drafting. The charter goes to voters on the Nov. 2 ballot.

26. Charter Commission Votes on Draft Language -

The Metro Charter Commission has given tentative approval to four sections of the proposed consolidation charter.

The voice votes at Thursday’s meeting at Southwind High School marked the first votes on the charter’s language.

27. Consolidation Charter's First Draft Starts To Take Shape -

The Metro Charter Commission has given tentative approval to four sections of the proposed consolidation charter the group is drafting.

The voice votes at Thursday’s meeting at Southwind High School marked the first votes on the language of the charter.

28. Charter Commission Takes Message to the People -

The Metro Charter Commission drew a crowd of 200 last week at the first of three public hearings on the consolidation proposal still taking shape.

The two-and-half-hour session at the Memphis Botanic Garden even included something the group hasn’t encountered much in public forums held by other groups – applause for the idea of consolidation.

29. Services Split Raises Suburban Questions -

The Metro Charter Commission took a first step last week toward defining which services of a consolidated government would go into which taxing district.

The listing of services in each of two taxing districts – urban services and general services – is a first step to determining the tax shift or split. (See June 3 story at www.memphisdailynews.com)

30. Obama Focuses On Small Biz Job Creation -

President Barack Obama Tuesday called for Congress to pass a Small Business Jobs Package that would set up a $30 billion lending fund and provide other initiatives for firms to expand and add jobs.

31. Charter Commission Continues Work on Mayoral Limits -

Metro charter commissioners wanted to do more than send a message last week as they set guidelines for the office of metro mayor in a consolidated local government.

Several commissioners felt they had to discourage voters from making choices based too much on simple name recognition.

A proposed limit of two consecutive four-year terms on the mayor’s office was the setting for the larger debate. The charter commission’s recommendation, which is preliminary, would allow someone to be elected and serve two terms, sit out four years and then run again.

Those are the term limits now in place for most county offices. The same limits take effect for Memphis mayor and the City Council in 2011.

Other charter commissioners cited the recent election of Walter Bailey to the Shelby County Commission this year. Bailey ran for re-election in 2006 despite term limits, but lost to J.W. Gibson. After sitting out four years, Bailey was elected to the County Commission again without opposition.

Gibson, who serves on the charter commission, is among those who say term limits should not bar someone from running again after sitting out a term.

But charter commissioner Rufus Washington said local voters are guided in too many cases solely by name recognition and endorsements made in ballots handed to them as they walk into polling places.

“They don’t know who they are voting for,” he said. “We don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a city and a community that has some of the most innovative businesses in the world. But I think our politics is about the 17th century. I said it and I’m glad I said it.”

“You have people that make statements, ‘Nobody can run this city but me’ (and) ‘God put me here.’ That’s offensive to me,” Washington said, referring to former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton. “Sometimes people don’t know what’s best for them.”

He also referred to Bailey’s re-election.

“You can’t tell me that these are the only people that have the ability to run this city. … I take issue with that. I take the same position at the national level. We need a house cleaning,” he said.

Former Collierville Mayor Linda Kerley said the problem isn’t limited to Memphis politics. She agreed the charter commission should try to interrupt the political pattern with the charter proposal.

“We need to somehow make a very strong statement,” she said. “We don’t need to put a person in a position where they can falter. … We are not looking at the integrity of the position.”

The Rev. Ralph White proposed a compromise of three consecutive terms with no option to then sit out a term and serve again if elected a fourth time.

But before any of the alternatives to two consecutive terms could be moved, the commission’s conversation veered into the requirement that candidates be 21 or older, and other qualifications.

White proposed raising the minimum age to run for mayor to 25 years old. That and another motion to leave the minimum age at 30 each failed to get enough votes, so the 21-year benchmark remained.

Commission vice chair Andre Fowlkes, who is 32, argued for a 25-year-old age minimum.

“That’s a pretty bright person. I mean, let’s really think about it. They are rallying an entire city to vote for them and give them the majority to win. … They must be doing something right,” he said.

Commissioner Chris Patterson saw problems in that argument.

“If the simple ability to get elected – to organize your friends – if that’s the test, then term limits is off the table and you can just drop to 18 (years old) by default. To me, that can’t be the reason that you do it,” he said.

Fowlkes argued a candidate younger than 30 years old for mayor would, as a matter of practical politics, have to convince older voters since voter participation is lower among younger voters.

Read more about the work of the Metro Charter Commission in the current edition of The Memphis News, which can be found at The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

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32. How to Build a Government in 71 days -

The idea of consolidation is a political perennial in Memphis, but the details of merging Memphis and Shelby County governments are much more elusive.

The Metro Charter Commission’s formation last year represented the most meaningful move toward consolidation in almost 40 years.

33. Charter Commission to Examine Metro Mayoral Powers -

The Metro Charter Commission will take a second look at a civil service system for a proposed consolidated government Thursday.

The group drafting a proposed consolidation charter for the November ballot will also discuss what powers a metro mayor should have.

34. Charter Comm. Considers Two New Divisions -

The first proposal to reach the Metro Charter Commission for a new consolidated government would create two new divisions – “parks and community enhancement” and “civilian enhancement.”

A three-member task force considering how to handle park services and amenities including public libraries brought its recommendations to the full body Thursday afternoon.

35. Small Businesses Could Land More Government Contracts -

Small businesses account for 11 percent of the contracts Shelby County government awards on an annual basis.

But interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford rolled out a report Thursday that sets a 20 percent goal along with a campaign to raise awareness among small businesses that they can get a piece of the county’s business.

36. Biz Consultants Skeptical of Job Tax Credits -

Tax credits for hiring new workers in the $15 billion jobs bill passed by the U.S. Senate aren’t enough to spur Memphis small firms to add to their payrolls, according to local business coaches.

But the owner of a company that helps businesses take advantage of tax credits advises employers to keep track of hiring data anyway. They could still qualify for existing incentives with the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

37. Events -

The Memphis Advertising Federation will hold a roundtable discussion today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at EmergeMemphis, 516 Tennessee St. The title of the discussion is “Guerilla Marketing – Unconventional Strategies for Outsmarting Your Competition.” For reservations, e-mail info@aafmemphis.org.

38. Charter Commission Elects Ellis Chair -

As Shelby County Commissioners were appointing an interim county mayor this week, the Metro Charter Commission was working four floors above them at the County Administration Building in only its second meeting.

39. Metro Charter Commission to Choose Chair -

The first order of business today will be selecting a leader. It’s become a familiar note in political daily planners these days.

The Metro Charter Commission holds its first meeting today on the third floor of the Shelby County Courthouse.

40. Commission to Revisit Charter Appointments Today -

Approving mayoral appointments to boards and commissions is usually the quickest part of the Shelby County Commission’s agenda. It’s normally a routine vote.

That won’t be the case today.

The commission will meet this afternoon starting at 1:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building Downtown. A full agenda for the meeting is available at The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

41. Metro Charter Appointments Win Recommendation -

Shelby County Commissioners Wednesday recommended all 10 of County Mayor A C Wharton’s appointees to a metro charter commission.

The commission, which will include five people appointed by the Memphis mayor and confirmed by the City Council, will draft a charter proposal to consolidate Memphis and Shelby County governments.

42. Wharton Turns in 10 Names for Consolidation Commission -

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has come up with 10 appointees to a metro charter commission and has sent the names to the Shelby County Commission for approval.

The commission will consider the appointments Wednesday in committee sessions. The full commission is scheduled to vote on the names later this month.

43. Wharton Turns in 10 Names for Consolidation Commission -  

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has come up with 10 appointees to a metro charter commission and has sent the names to the Shelby County Commission for approval.

The commission will consider the appointments Wednesday in committee sessions. The full commission is scheduled to vote on the names later this month.

The nominees are:

•Millington Mayor Richard L. Hodges

•Former Collierville Mayor Linda Kerley

•County Commissioner J.W. Gibson of Memphis

Julie Ellis, an attorney at Butler Snow PLLC

•Lou Etta Burkins, FedEx Express project engineer of unincorporated Shelby County

Andre Fowlkes, Memphis Small Business Chamber executive director

•Billy Orgel, Tower Ventures developer, of Memphis.

Chris Patterson, an attorney at Wiseman Bray PLLC of Germantown

•The?Rev??Randolph Meade Walker, pastor of Castalia Baptist Church

Rufus Washington, retired U.S. Marine and president of Southeast Shelby County Coalition

The charter commission is to draft the proposed structure of a consolidated city and county government. The draft will then be taken to voters in Memphis and Shelby County outside of Memphis in a pair of referenda set for Nov. 2010.

The proposed charter must pass in each referendum to become the new structure of local government.

The consolidation charter would not have the effect of consolidating the six suburban municipalities outside Memphis into the proposed new consolidated government. But it would probably affect the delivery of services to Arlington, Bartlett, Collerville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington and from what is now Shelby County government.

The Memphis mayor has five appointments to the metro charter commission. But in approving the creation of the commission last month, the City Council also said it would not vote on appointees by the Memphis mayor until its Oct. 20 meeting. That means whoever wins the Oct. 15 election will make the appointments.

If Wharton wins the special election, he could make those five appointments as well as the 10 he’s forwarded to the County Commission. But Wharton has said he would not make all 15 appointments in that scenario.

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44. Fowlkes Takes Helm At Small Business Chamber -

Becoming the executive director of the Memphis Small Business Chamber is another facet of coming home for Andre K. Fowlkes.

Although he’s a native Memphian, he brings a big-city perspective and financial expertise to the job. He’s lived in New York and San Francisco where he worked for high-profile firms Fisher Investments and Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, respectively.

45. Events -

Talk Shoppe will present “How to Buy and Sell 108 Investment Properties in 180 Days” today from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, 3693 Tyndale Drive. For more information, call Jo Garner at 759-7808.