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Editorial Results (free)

1. Visible College Basement Opens New Opportunities -

There was a time, in the years surrounding the bankruptcy of the Stax Records label decades ago, when the vault of the old C&I Bank Building Downtown housed masters from the label.

2. May Primary Ballot Almost Complete -

The ballot for the May Shelby County primary elections isn’t quite set, although the Shelby County Election Commission has certified 81 candidates.

Still awaiting a decision at a special meeting Wednesday, March 5, are three would-be candidates whose residency is being formally challenged.

3. Election Commission Approves All But Three Names For May Primaries -

Shelby County Election Commissioners certified all but three names Thursday, Feb. 27, for the May county primary ballot and will meet March 5 to consider challenges to the residency of candidates Edith Ann Moore, M. Latroy Williams and E. Jefferson Jones.

4. Roland ReElected At Filing Deadline, Two Countywide Races Set For August -

One of the six Shelby County Commission incumbents seeking re-election this year was effectively elected to a new four-year term in a new district with the noon Thursday, Feb. 20, filing deadline for candidates in the May county primaries.

5. Commission Approves Pidgeon Land Sale, Weighs Schools Moves -

Shelby County Commissioners approved Monday, Dec. 3, the purchase of 33.6 acres of land in the Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park by Carolyn Hardy for the Hardy Investment Trust.

6. County Commission Ends Redistricting Court Fight -

Shelby County Commissioners have dropped their appeal in the Chancery Court lawsuit over redistricting and ended the protracted political dispute.

The commission voted 8-5 Monday, Oct. 8, to drop its appeal of the June ruling by Chancellor Arnold Goldin in favor of a new set of district lines that make the five-district, 13-member commission a body of 13 single-member districts with the 2014 elections.

7. Commission Debates Schools Court Moves, Ends Redistricting Case -

Shelby County Commissioners have dropped their appeal in the Chancery Court lawsuit over redistricting and ended the protracted political dispute.

But the commission also voted Monday, Oct. 8, to replenish its contingency fund with $800,000 for the legal fees in the continuing federal lawsuit over municipal school districts.

8. Shelby County Redistricting Process to Formally End -

Shelby County Commissioners will vote Monday, Oct. 8, on putting a formal end to the redistricting process, 10 months after the new district lines were due.

The commission meets at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

9. Events -

The Association of Fundraising Professionals will meet Thursday, June 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thomas Center at Christian Brothers University, 650 E. Parkway South. Cost is $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Register at afpmemphis.org.

10. YMCA Announces Board Members -

YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South has installed its 2012 metropolitan board of directors.

Sandra Bailey of Methodist Extended Care Hospital will serve as board chair; Ted Ferris of the Greater Memphis Chamber will serve as secretary; and Perry Green of Waddell and Associates Inc. will serve as treasurer.

11. Friday is Deadline to Apply for Disaster Loans -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Friday is the deadline for private, nonprofit organizations in Tennessee to submit disaster loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available because of severe storms, flooding, winds and tornadoes between last April 30 and May 18.

12. Daq Drama Raises More Ownership Questions -

The case of a Southeast Memphis restaurant with no beer permit, beer for sale and a complex ownership history got more curious last week as the saga appeared to come to an end.

Keevon Morgan, the Nashville man who said he was the owner of The Daq, took the Fifth before the Shelby County Beer Board when members asked him more questions about the club’s ownership.

13. 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.

...

14. Largely Misunderstood, Probate Work Still Sought After -

It is the smallest office of the clerk’s positions on the May 5 primary ballot.

But because the Probate Court Clerk’s Office and the court's two divisions deal primarily with wills and estates, it might be the one office that begins with the simplest mission.

15. Daq Beer Question Looms Larger -

After one of several rounds of questions about his business last week, Keevon Morgan of Nashville said he thought he got caught in a political squeeze.

The comment came as the deputy county attorney, members of the Shelby County Beer Board and their attorney closed the board’s meeting Thursday to talk in private – presumably about who owns the restaurant Morgan recently opened in Southeast Shelby County.

16. The Daq Beer Permit Delayed After Closed Beer Board Conference -

A beer permit for a southeast Shelby County restaurant was delayed Thursday for a second time in as many months.

The Daq at 4202 Hacks Cross Road has gone from a typical Shelby County Beer Board case with holes in its application to a political minefield.

17. Beer Board Head Reacts to Alleged Influence Ploy -

 The head of the local Beer Board has complained that a deputy administrator to the County Commission tried to influence the board’s decision on a Hacks Cross Road business.

The complaint from Merrick Horne touched off an internal county government investigation last month in which commissioner James Harvey, Deputy Administrator for the Commission Clay Perry and attorney Ricky E. Wilkins gave sworn statements.

18. UPDATE: Beer Beef Prompts Probe -  

The head of the Shelby County Beer Board has complained that a deputy administrator to the Shelby County Commission tried to influence the board’s decision on a Hacks Cross Road bar.

The complaint from Merrick Horne touched off an internal county government investigation last month in which commissioner James Harvey, Deputy Administrator for the Commission Clay Perry and attorney Ricky E. Wilkins gave sworn statements.

Perry is running in the May 4 Democratic primary for Probate Court clerk. Harvey, a Democratic county commissioner, is seeking re-election in the same set of primaries.

At the center of the controversy is a beer permit sought by the owners of a recently opened nightspot called The Daq.

Danny Shaw, a real estate agent and acquaintance of Perry and Harvey, left a phone message for Harvey seeking help when a Beer Board vote was delayed last month. Shaw called on behalf of the alleged owner, Keevon Morgan, of Nashville.

In a report released Monday, Deputy County Atty. Danny Presley concluded the episode “was clearly an attempt by Mr. Shaw to circumvent the proper procedures of the Shelby County Beer Board by contacting an elected official and a high-ranking staff member of said body to achieve a certain result, which was the speedy issuance of a beer permit for Mr. Morgan.”

Presley concluded Shaw “enjoyed a comfortable familiarity with both Clay Perry and Commissioner Harvey.”

“It is critical to note that, notwithstanding the clear appearance of utilizing political influence to circumvent the process, there is no evidentiary proof at this time that either Mr. Perry or Commissioner Harvey accepted or solicited any form of gratuity in exchange for their services,” Presley wrote.

Neither Harvey nor Horne could be reached by press time.

The Beer Board, at its March 18 meeting, delayed action on the beer permit when it couldn’t determine who the owner of the nightspot was.

There were two leases, and as the board’s staff investigated, they got conflicting answers on which lease was valid, as they called and contacted the various names on both sets of paperwork.

The Daq held its grand opening days later, on March 22, without a beer permit.

Horne said he drove by, saw the opening and went in where he talked to someone else who said they were the owner.

On the day of the grand opening, Shaw left a message at the commission offices for Harvey, according to a County Commission e-mail. Perry was copied on the e-mail, which is a routine procedure in handling calls to commissioners.

The next evening, March 23, Horne got a call at home from Perry asking if the board could call a special meeting.

Horne said Perry asked what could be done to speed the application process for The Daq.

Perry agreed that he quizzed Horne about possibly calling a special meeting to consider The Daq’s permit application.

“Clay then inferred that the owners were ‘connected.’ (I took that to mean politically, although I cannot remember the specific statement to quote.),” Horne wrote.

Perry denied saying anything like that or trying to imply any kind of political power.

“I haven’t been paid anything,” Perry is quoted as saying at one point in the interview.

Perry said Harvey never discussed the matter with him, and that Harvey had not talked with Kenny Shaw before Perry called Horne.

Perry said Shaw made it “perfectly clear” that Morgan wanted a specially called meeting.

Harvey said he talked with Shaw.

“I said, ‘Call Clay and tell him what your problem is and he will let me know what I need to do thereafter,’” Harvey told Presley.

Perry called the investigation “silly” and “politically motivated,” as well as politically timed. The report surfaced the same week that early voting began in advance of the primaries.

Perry said he was responding to a call from a constituent, a primary task of the commission staff.

“You can write it any way you want, and in the end, I’m still staff,” Perry told The Daily News. “I’ve been doing constituent service for 15 years. That’s all that was – constituent service.”

Presley said the investigation was prompted by a phone call from Horne and authorized by Shelby County Commission chairwoman Joyce Avery. Perry said he is to meet Monday with Avery.

The Beer Board’s next meeting is Thursday . Presley told The Daily News at that time, the board will consider new questions about who owns The Daq.

“Unfortunately, there is a rather stark inconsistency or discrepancy between what was represented back on March 18 and what we received in document form,” Presley said.

Horne told Presley that after last month’s vote to delay, Wilkins asked how long it would take The Daq to get a permit. Wilkins is an assistant county attorney hired to advise the Beer Board.

Wilkins denied any attempt to sway Horne or the board.

“No one has lobbied anybody that I know of on the planet Earth about this application,” he told Presley. “I don’t know these people. I have had no affiliation with any of these people.”

Note: An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect location for The Daq. We regret the error.

...

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. Rural Officials Get Help with Economic Development -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Elected officials in 28 rural Tennessee counties are eligible to apply for scholarships to educate them about economic development.

They will be able to study under a $30,000 grant to the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service.

22. Weekend Events Draw Politicians in Droves -

Before candidates take their quests for elected office to the public, they usually give them a road test before other politicos – allies and adversaries – to see if this is really what they want to do for the next year or so.

23. Neuvo Salon Files Permit For New East Memphis Location -

5158 Wheelis Drive
Memphis, TN 38117
Permit Amount: $712,367

Project Cost: $712,367
Permit Date: Applied May 2009
Completion: March 2010
Owner: Neuvo Salon
Tenant: Neuvo Salon
Contractor: Construction Solutions LLC
Architect: Thoda and Associates PLLC

24. Perry Enters Probate Clerk Race -

Add another candidate to the already forming 2010 Shelby County ballot.

Clay Perry, deputy administrator to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners, is in the race for Shelby County Probate Court clerk.

25. July Unemployment RatesDecrease in 78 Counties -      Shelby County's non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 4.6 percent, a decrease of 0.3 percent from June 2007. Compared to July of 2006, Shelby County saw a 1.7 percent decrease in unemployment.