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Editorial Results (free)

1. Council Approves Music Hall of Fame Funding -

Memphis City Council members have approved $250,000 in funding for a Memphis Music Hall of Fame at Hard Rock Cafe’s new location at Beale and Second streets.

The funding from the federal money turned over to the city when federal officials abandoned plans for Interstate 40 through Overton Park is the first of two funding requests organizers of the Hall of Fame plan to make of the city for the $1.2 million project, which will also include private funding.

2. City Council Approves Music Hall of Fame Funding -

Memphis City Council members have approved $250,000 in funding for a Memphis Music Hall of Fame at Hard Rock Cafe’s new location at Beale and Second streets.

The funding from the federal money turned over to the city when federal officials abandoned plans for Interstate 40 through Overton Park is the first of two funding requests organizers of the Hall of Fame plan to make of the city for the $1.2 million project, which will also include private funding.

3. Beale Street Music Festival Offers Diverse Lineup -

The lineup for the three-day Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival features a new night of late-night dance music from a stage in Tom Lee Park and a 69-act lineup in which Memphis artists are nearly a third of the diverse set of performers.

4. Beale Street Music Festival Lineup Announced -

The bill for the three-day Memphis in May Beale Street Music this year features a new night of late night dance music from a stage in Tom Lee Park and a 69-act lineup in which Memphis artists are nearly a third of the diverse set of performers.

5. Harris to Lead Council’s Budget Committee -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris will be chairman of the council’s budget committee for 2014.

6. Harris to Lead City Council Budget Committee -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris will be chairman of the council’s budget committee for 2014.

7. Council Rules Could Change in 2014 -

Memphis City Council members are already starting to adapt some items in a set of proposed changes in how they conduct business.

The proposal took a bit longer to formulate than originally anticipated.

8. Crosstown Funding Mix of Local, State and Federal -

The $15 million in funding Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration put together as the last piece of financing for the Sears Crosstown building redevelopment is not just a combination of state and federal grant money.

9. Council Approves Crosstown Funding, Delays Redbirds Decision -

Memphis City Council members approved $15 million in city funding that is a combination of federal grants, bonds and stormwater funding Tuesday, Dec. 3, as the last piece of financing for the Crosstown revitalization project.

10. Council OKs Crosstown, Debates Schools Lawsuit -

Memphis City Council members approved the Crosstown planned development Tuesday, Nov. 19, marking the latest move through local government for the $180 million project with construction scheduled to begin late this year or early next year.

11. Council Approves Crosstown Plans and Water Rate Hike -

Memphis City Council members approved the Crosstown planned development Tuesday, Nov. 19, marking the latest move through local government for the $180 million project with construction scheduled to begin late this year or early next year.

12. Council Keeps Southbrook Mall Renovation Alive -

Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday, Nov. 5, to start over again in plans to find a legal use for city funds in renovating the Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

And the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. gave a qualified endorsement through what amounts to a new feasibility study on the mall due before the council in a month.

13. Council Rules -

Three Memphis City Council members continue to look at the council’s rules of procedure and how those rules are enforced as the council prepares for the annual election of a new chairman for the new year.

14. Council Committee Looks Broadly at Council Rules -

A trio of Memphis City Council members weighing possible changes to the council’s way of conducting business has more questions at the outset than answers about what kind of conduct is allowed and what shouldn’t be on the elected body.

15. Fullilove’s Funding Push Raises Legal Questioning -

Memphis City Council member Janis Fullilove pushed hard for $1.5 million in city funding for the renovation of Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

16. Council Approves Beale Deal, Delays Highland McDonald's -

Memphis City Council members sent a plan Tuesday, Oct. 15, to settle the last barrier to direct day to day city control of the Beale Street entertainment district to a federal bankruptcy judge.

The council approved a resolution that would use $400,000 from a dormant city fund related to the abandoned Midtown interstate corridor and $100,000 in revenues it has collected from the Beale Street district to pay off a loan Beale Street developer John Elkington took out for improvements he made to Handy Park.

17. Funding for Untested Rape Kits Sparks Debate -

The Memphis City Council’s sharpest debate during a Tuesday, Aug. 20, council agenda with several major issues wasn’t about Smart Meters or changes in garbage pickup.

It was about “several thousand” rape kits Memphis Police have – some dating back to the 1980s – that investigators never processed.

18. Council Approves Smart Meters, Delays Vote on Solid Waste Fee and Plan -

Memphis City Council members approved a $10.1 million contract Tuesday, Aug. 20, for Memphis Light Gas and Water Division to buy 60,000 Smart Meters.

And the council delayed a final vote on setting a solid waste fee that is the starting point for changes over several years to the way the city collects garbage. The two-week delay in setting the fee also delays acting on a plan to provide sanitation workers with a retirement supplement of up to $1,000 a month funded with the savings from the changes in the services.

19. Electrical Workers Union Speaks Out Against Smart Meters -

The union representing Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division employees, including meter readers, plans to take its problems with Smart Meters to the road – the side of the road.

Leaders of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1288 said Monday, July 8, they intend to put up billboards warning the public of what they say are the dangers of the new meters the utility plans to seek city funding for later this year.

20. Council Approves $24.2 Million In Budget Cuts -

Memphis City Council members tallied $24.2 million in city operating budget cuts Tuesday, June 18, in a marathon seven-hour session before an overflow crowd of angry city employees.

But the council adjourned before taking a final vote on the operating budget as amended or setting a city property tax rate.

21. City Council Delays Sales Tax Votes -

Memphis City Council members delayed Tuesday, March 5, final votes on an ordinance to put a half-percent sales tax hike to Memphis voters sometime before Sept. 30 and a resolution outlining how the estimated $47 million in revenue from the tax hike would be used.

22. Council Delays Sales Tax Votes -

Memphis City Council members delayed Tuesday, March 5, final votes on an ordinance to put a half-percent sales tax hike to Memphis voters sometime before Sept. 30 and a resolution outlining how the estimated $47 million in revenue from the tax hike would be used.

23. Sales Tax Hike Headed to Ballot -

Memphis City Council members take final votes Tuesday, March 5, on a half-percent city sales tax hike referendum and the use of the estimated $47 million in revenue the tax hike will produce.

The council, which meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St., is expected to pass the referendum and send it to voters this year.

24. City Council Approves Fairgrounds TDZ Request -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Feb. 19, plans for a tourism development zone to capture sales tax revenue in a large area for a renovation of the Fairgrounds property at first.

The boundaries of the zone go to the state for approval and city Community and Housing Development division director Robert Lipscomb said such a proposal could be at the state building commission in Nashville in April.

25. Payne Joins Fulton CPAs as Senior Accountant -

Tarasha Payne has joined Fulton CPAs PLLC as a senior accountant in the areas of taxation, compilation and reviews, and client services. Payne has more than 15 years’ experience in the field and is working toward CPA certification. The announcement comes on the heels of big changes at the accounting firm, including new ownership and a name change from Polsgrove & Fulton. (See The Daily News’ Monday, Dec. 17, edition for more information.)

26. 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.

27. State Cuts to Medicaid Affect Patients, Providers -

ATLANTA (AP) – Just as Medicaid prepares for a vast expansion under the federal health care overhaul, the 47-year-old entitlement program for the poor is under increasing pressure as deficit-burdened states chip away at benefits and cut payments to doctors.

28. Council Cautious About City Finances -

Memphis City Council members set the tone for the beginning of a new four-year term of office at their next to last meeting of 2011.

And the message is the council intends to be an equal partner with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. in setting the city’s fiscal priorities, not waiting and then voting his proposals up or down.

29. Orpheum Looks South For Expansion Plans -

The show must go on even if the stage isn’t big enough, but The Orpheum Theater hopes to change that very soon.

Executive director Pat Halloran has announced plans to buy a Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division parking lot adjacent to the historic theater as the site for its new Performing Arts and Leadership Academy.

30. City Council Delays MLGW Insurance Contract -

A fight for a $122 million health insurance contract that began last year continued last week as the Memphis City Council delayed approval of the contract between CIGNA and Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.

31. 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.

32. Harding's Convocation to Inaugurate New Name -

The 10th annual convocation celebration at Harding School of Theology is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 22, when area leaders are scheduled to help inaugurate the school’s name change.

Prior to July 1, the school was called Harding University Graduate School of Religion. Harding School of Theology is associated with Churches of Christ.

33. Mayors Launch Office of Sustainability -

When Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell launch their joint office of sustainability this week, it will be the latest move in a continuing realignment of both local governments.

34. MLGW's Collins Receives U of M Engineering Award -

Jerry R. Collins Jr., president and chief executive officer of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division, was honored with the Herff Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Engineering by the University of Memphis Herff College of Engineering.

35. Hybrid Luxury -

With gas selling at $3 a gallon, the staff at Lexus of Memphis gathered earlier this month for a training session.

The East Memphis dealership had just taken delivery of a first for the luxury carmaker – a five-door hybrid hatchback Lexus. The CT200h is the fifth hybrid Lexus has offered, but the first hybrid car classified as a luxury car that promises to top 40 miles per gallon of gas.

36. Memphis Closer to Electric Vehicle Technology -

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division should have 10 locations up and running by September for public charging stations for electric vehicles.

And Tennesseans who buy a Nissan Leaf, the all-electric vehicle coming to the market in 2012, will get a free home charging station as part of federal government incentives in six states and Washington as well as state government incentives in Tennessee.

37. Business Sense -

Mark Luttrell has a little more than eight weeks under his belt as Shelby County mayor, and he’s spent much of that time on things that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

38. City Council Gives UDC Green Light -

It is complex. It is tedious. Some of its proponents even call it boring. And it took six years to create.

This week the Memphis City Council gave final approval to a new Unified Development Code that won final approval the day before by the Shelby County Commission.

39. BBB of the Mid-South Elects New Officers, Directors -

The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South has elected officers and new directors for 2010.

Pierre T. Landaiche III of SMG Management and the Memphis Cook Convention Center has been re-elected chairman of the board.

40. Events -

The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South will present a breakfast series session titled “Classifying & Paying Your Employees” today from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Better Business Bureau, 3693 Tyndale Drive. For reservations, contact Nancy Crawford at 757-8627 or ncrawford@bbbmidsouth.org.

41. Events -

The University of Memphis will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the new University Center today at 10 a.m. The day will include the opening of Tiger Dining’s Union Food Court and later, music and entertainment from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

42. Only Remaining Avenue in Miss. Water Case is to Sue Tenn. -

If Mississippi wants to pursue its water rights lawsuit against Memphis, it will have to sue the state of Tennessee.

That’s the effect of this week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear an appeal by Mississippi’s attorneys. The nation’s highest court passed on hearing the case against Memphis and Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division without comment.

43. MLGW to Restore Power In Light of Frigid Temps. -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford and Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division President Jerry Collins have announced that power will be restored to residents in Memphis whose utilities have been cut off for lack of payment.

44. Council Chairman Collins Readies For New Regime -

Memphis City Council Chairman Harold Collins will have a very good seat for today’s swearing-in ceremony of Memphis Mayor-elect A C Wharton Jr.

45. Artists, Events Announced For Broad Avenue Art Walk -

The Historic Broad Avenue Arts District has announced the lineup for this year’s Art Walk, which will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 2.

The event will take place in the area bounded by Sam Cooper Boulevard and Broad Avenue, between Hollywood and Collins streets.

46. Lee Fees Caught in Legal Loop -

With the predictability of a boomerang, Joseph Lee’s legal fee situation never seems to go away and keeps coming back to where it started.

At the Memphis City Council meeting Aug. 18, the body is scheduled to approve Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division’s payment of more than $426,000 to the city of Memphis. That amount from the city-owned utility company is to reimburse the city what it recently paid to settle a lawsuit the former MLGW president and CEO filed last year.

47. Here Comes the Sun: Memphis’ cut of the state’s solar energy plan -

The Sharp Manufacturing plant in Hickory Hill has always been a symbol as much as a working part of the city’s economic infrastructure.

The plant on South Mendenhall Road represents the city’s first truly international big business presence. It opened in 1978 after Japanese executives came to Memphis to negotiate directly with city leaders. And once the deal closed, a now-legendary picket line was thrown up by local union leaders. The picketing symbolized organized labor’s determination to have a voice in local economic development.

48. City Poised to Pay Lee’s Legal Expenses -

Joseph Lee appears set to get the six-figure sum he’s long awaited to cover his legal expenses incurred during a 2007 federal corruption investigation.

The city of Memphis within the past few days sent him an agreement styled as an “offer of judgment” for $426,422.33.

49. Events -

The Greater Memphis Chamber will host the Metro Business Council Breakfast today from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at The Racquet Club of Memphis, 5111 Sanderlin Ave. Terrance Reed, vice president of human resources for Buckeye Technologies, and Paul Morris of law firm Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston PC will speak. Cost is $20 for members. For reservations, contact Ericka Milford at emilford@memphischamber.com or 543-3518.

50. Events -

The Musculoskeletal Quarterly Lecture Series will be today at 5 p.m. at the University of Memphis’ FedEx Institute of Technology. Timothy M. Wright will speak on “Improving the Performance of Elbow Arthroplasty – An Effort in Translational Research.” For reservations, call 271-0000.

51. Council Amends Rental Energy Efficiency Standards -

The Memphis City Council has given final approval to an ordinance that sets minimum energy efficiency standards for rental property.

The ordinance, approved Tuesday on third reading with a unanimous council vote, came with some amendments. They were worked out in talks between Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division officials and representatives of apartment complex owners as well as owners of smaller and single-family rental properties.

52. Council Approves Apartment Energy Efficiency Standards -

The Memphis City Council has given final approval to an ordinance that sets minimum energy efficiency standards for rental property.

The ordinance, approved today on third reading with a unanimous council vote, came with some amendments. They were worked out in talks between Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division officials and representatives of apartment complex owners as well as owners of smaller and single-family rental properties.

53. Council to Discuss Employee Buyouts -

The Memphis City Council today is to begin discussing the terms of a buyout for city employees.

A resolution setting out the terms is on the agenda for an 11:30 a.m. committee session. The full council will vote on the resolution later this month.

54. Lee Files Suit Against Council Members, City -

When the Memphis City Council declined earlier this month to approve the payment of a six-figure legal bill incurred by former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division president and CEO Joseph Lee, some council members worried they’d soon have a lawsuit on their hands.

55. Lee’s Decision to Sue Probably Inevitable -

Former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division president and CEO Joseph Lee decided late Wednesday afternoon, after talking with his lawyer for more than an hour, to file a lawsuit over $426,422 in legal fees he incurred last year.

56. Lee To Announce Next Step In Legal Fees Flap - The Memphis City Council Tuesday affirmed its vote in Oct. to reject paying the legal fees of former Memphis Light Gas & Water Division president Joseph Lee.

The bill for Lee’s legal defense in a grand jury probe that led to his indictment as well as a hearing before the council came to $426,422. The corruption charges were later dropped by federal prosecutors.

The 7-6 vote came at the end of a day in which MLGW president Jerry Collins told council members talks between the utility and Lee’s attorney, Robert Spence, failed to reach any terms for a lesser amount.

Spence told The Daily News an announcement on a decision by Lee about pursuing the legal fees in a lawsuit against the city could be made as early as today.

The council has also given final approval Tuesday to an ordinance regulating the location of financial services, payday loan and title loan businesses.

The council vote was unanimous on third and final reading. Third and final vote before the Shelby County Commission is scheduled for Dec. 8.

The council passed an amended version that emerged as a compromise during this week’s council session.

The ordinance bans the businesses from being with 1,000 feet of each other. The compromise worked out by council member Bill Morrison, with agreement from the payday loan industry, deals with a 90 day grace period for existing businesses to apply for a waiver.

Council member Barbara Swearengen Ware argued the location of the businesses isn’t the problem. It’s the high interest rates the companies charge – up to 264 percent annually.

“We need to deal with the root of the problem,” she said. “And if we could regulate how much (of an) interest rate is charged or how much the fees are, then we would be doing a service to the community,” Ware said. “I know we mean well here, but it’s supply and demand that is driving these businesses.”

But usery rates are regulated by the state and not the city council.

Morrison said the businesses cluster in his district which covers Frayser and Raleigh. Frayser is among the areas of the city hardest hit by home foreclosures.

Council member Harold Collins, whose district includes Hickory Hill – also hit hard by home foreclosures – said there is a connection. He counted at least 20 pay day lenders along one stretch of Winchester.

“Maybe they’re not contributing to the fact that many of the people in my district are losing their homes. But they are sure out there,” he said. “There needs to be some kind of line drawn that will keep the people in Hickory Hill from losing their homes.”

Steve Lockwood, head of the Frayser Community Development Corporation, said the close proximity of the lenders allows people in desperate financial straits to get around a limit of two loans totaling $500 from a particular lender by simply going to the payday lender next door.

He termed the location limits “an opening shot across the bow.” He said his organization’s financial counselors see a connection between the lenders and foreclosures.

“I think that the neighborhoods that are really going to benefit from this are in Cordova,” Lockwood said. “If you want Cordova to look like Winchester or Frayser, don’t pass this.”

In other action, a Fairgrounds development agreement is tentatively set to have the first of three Memphis City Council votes in two weeks.

The city picked Fair Ground LLC to develop a master plan for the property that includes the Mid-South Coliseum, The Liberty Bowl and The Children’s Museum of Memphis. What is still being worked out is a contract with the terms for drawing up that master plan.

There are still several formidable obstacles to putting a development agreement in writing.

Shelby County government owns some of the Fairgrounds land including some of the land under The Liberty Bowl.

City Housing & Community Development director Robert Lipscomb told City Council members he will again pursue an agreement in which the county would sell its share in The Fairgrounds as well as The Pyramid.

The Shelby County Commission rejected such a sell-off by the county during consideration of a development agreement for The Pyramid involving Bass Pro Shops.

The commission eventually approved the development agreement after the agreement won approval from the city council.

Without a sell-off, the Fairgrounds development agreement appears on its way to the same dual track debate and voting process.

Lipscomb also told The Daily News there are conflicting legal opinions on the amount of public infrastructure financing the city would have to put up to leverage private investment.

He said the amounts vary from $75 million to $200 million. The city is seeking legal opinions on the public amount required under terms of Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) financing. If the amount is $200 million or close to it, Lipscomb said it makes the Fairgrounds renovation much harder to accomplish.

Henry Turley, one of several developer partners in Fair Ground LLC, said he considers the city’s contribution to be $75 million. Turley was instrumental in drafting the state legislation that allowed for the Tourism Development Zones.

The TDZs allow for financing of bonds through sales tax revenue generated in the designated area or zone.

Turley wants to include a big box retail store on the site and possibly a hotel according to tentative plans that are fluid on the location of those and other parts of an overall plan. The sales tax revenue from the store would go to pay off the TDZ bonds. No local government general fund revenue would be used.

...

57. Council Again Rejects Lee Legal Fees -

The Memphis City Council this evening affirmed its vote in Oct. to reject paying the legal fees of former Memphis Light Gas & Water Division president Joseph Lee.

The bill for Lee’s legal defense in a grand jury probe that led to his indictment as well as a hearing before the council came to $426,422. The corruption charges were later dropped by federal prosecutors.

The 7-6 vote came at the end of a day in which MLGW president Jerry Collins told council members talks between the utility and Lee’s attorney, Robert Spence, failed to reach any terms for a lesser amount.

Council members voting against the proposed settlement were: Bill Boyd, Kemp Conrad, Shea Flinn, Reid Hedgepeth, Myron Lowery, Bill Morrison and Jim Strickland. Those voting for it were: Joe Brown, Harold Collins, Edmund Ford Jr., Janis Fullilove, Wanda Halbert and Barbara Swearengen Ware.

Spence told The Daily News an announcement on a decision by Lee about pursuing the legal fees in a lawsuit against the city could be made as early as Tuesday.

The council has also given final approval this evening to an ordinance regulating the location of financial services, payday loan and title loan businesses.

The council vote was unanimous on third and final reading. Third and final vote before the Shelby County Commission is scheduled for Dec. 8.

The council passed an amended version that emerged as a compromise during today’s council session.

The ordinance bans the businesses from being with 1,000 feet of each other. The compromise worked out by council member Bill Morrison, with agreement from the payday loan industry, deals with a 90 day grace period for existing businesses to apply for a waiver.

Council member Barbara Swearengen Ware argued the location of the businesses isn’t the problem. It’s the high interest rates the companies charge – up to 264 percent annually.

“We need to deal with the root of the problem,” she said. “And if we could regulate how much (of an) interest rate is charged or how much the fees are, then we would be doing a service to the community,” Ware said. “I know we mean well here, but it’s supply and demand that is driving these businesses.”

But usery rates are regulated by the state and not the city council.

Morrison said the businesses cluster in his district which covers Frayser and Raleigh. Frayser is among the areas of the city hardest hit by home foreclosures.

Council member Harold Collins, whose district includes Hickory Hill – also hit hard by home foreclosures – said there is a connection. He counted at least 20 pay day lenders along one stretch of Winchester.

“Maybe they’re not contributing to the fact that many of the people in my district are losing their homes. But they are sure out there,” he said. “There needs to be some kind of line drawn that will keep the people in Hickory Hill from losing their homes.”

Steve Lockwood, head of the Frayser Community Development Corporation, said the close proximity of the lenders allows people in desperate financial straits to get around a limit of two loans totaling $500 from a particular lender by simply going to the payday lender next door.

He termed the location limits “an opening shot across the bow.” He said his organization’s financial counselors see a connection between the lenders and foreclosures.

“I think that the neighborhoods that are really going to benefit from this are in Cordova,” Lockwood said. “If you want Cordova to look like Winchester or Frayser, don’t pass this.”

In other action, a Fairgrounds development agreement is tentatively set to have the first of three Memphis City Council votes in two weeks.

The city picked Fair Ground LLC to develop a master plan for the property that includes the Mid-South Coliseum, The Liberty Bowl and The Children’s Museum of Memphis. What is still being worked out is a contract with the terms for drawing up that master plan.

There are still several formidable obstacles to putting a development agreement in writing.

Shelby County government owns some of the Fairgrounds land including some of the land under The Liberty Bowl.

City Housing & Community Development director Robert Lipscomb told City Council members he will again pursue an agreement in which the county would sell its share in The Fairgrounds as well as The Pyramid.

The Shelby County Commission rejected such a sell-off by the county during consideration of a development agreement for The Pyramid involving Bass Pro Shops.

The commission eventually approved the development agreement after the agreement won approval from the city council.

Without a sell-off, the Fairgrounds development agreement appears on its way to the same dual track debate and voting process.

Lipscomb also told The Daily News there are conflicting legal opinions on the amount of public infrastructure financing the city would have to put up to leverage private investment.

He said the amounts vary from $75 million to $200 million. The city is seeking legal opinions on the public amount required under terms of Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) financing. If the amount is $200 million or close to it, Lipscomb said it makes the Fairgrounds renovation much harder to accomplish.

Henry Turley, one of several developer partners in Fair Ground LLC, said he considers the city’s contribution to be $75 million. Turley was instrumental in drafting the state legislation that allowed for the Tourism Development Zones.

The TDZs allow for financing of bonds through sales tax revenue generated in the designated area or zone.

Turley wants to include a big box retail store on the site and possibly a hotel according to tentative plans that are fluid on the location of those and other parts of an overall plan. The sales tax revenue from the store would go to pay off the TDZ bonds. No local government general fund revenue would be used.

...

58. Council Resurrects Utility Assistance Program -

About four months after the city of Memphis pulled the plug on a $2.5 million utility assistance program intended to help the working poor pay their power bills, the Memphis City Council has approved another $2.5 million in utility assistance.

59. Lee’s Legal Bills Back on Council Agenda -

A resolution to pay the legal bills of former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division President and CEO Joseph Lee is back on the City Council agenda today.

The item was defeated on a 6-6 tie vote at the council’s Oct. 7 meeting and would have become official upon approval of the minutes of that meeting at the council’s Oct. 21 meeting. However, MLGW President Jerry Collins asked that council members pull the item off the minutes and send it back to the council’s MLGW Committee to attempt a compromise one more time, a request the council approved.

60. Council to Reconsider Paying Lee’s Legal Bills -

The Memphis City Council reopened the debate Tuesday night over whether to pay more than $426,000 in legal fees incurred by former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division president and CEO Joseph Lee starting in early 2007.

61. Q3 Building Permits Plummet -

Listen to homebuilders’ language and it’s easy to discern their problems. Instead of using terms such as “expanding operations” and “ramping up production” – as they did a few years ago – builders now resort to phrases like “hunkering down” and “scaling back.”

62. Lee’s Legal Fees Suit Could Surface Again -

It was one year ago this week that nine new members were elected to the Memphis City Council.

It was the largest turnover of seats on the 13-member body in its 40-year history.

This week, the council had its most serious difference of opinion to date over a controversy that began onthe watch of the previous council. And it was one of the previous council members that made the difference in the outcome.

63. Committee Recommends Approval of Lee Settlement -

Memphis City Council members set the stage Tuesday for a vote in two weeks on settling the legal bills of former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division president Joseph Lee.

A council committee voted to recommend the $425,000 settlement of a lawsuit against MLGW filed by Lee. Lee sued to recover money he spent defending himself from a criminal investigation and then a federal corruption indictment. Federal prosecutors later dropped the charges.

64. MLGW Lets Lee off Legal Fee Hook -

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division is poised to pay several hundred thousand dollars in legal fees incurred by its former president and CEO Joseph Lee over the past year.

Yet that decision to pick up the tab for Lee’s attorneys has evolved considerably over the course of a year, ever since Lee became the subject of a federal indictment in the early summer of 2007. Its evolution saw MLGW change, re-think or clarify its position on Lee’s legal fees at least four times.

65. Building Permits Down 72 Percent in Q2 -

If the county’s new subdivisions sound quieter than usual – free from the cacophony of summer construction – look no further than the most recent data showing how housing starts have come to a screeching halt.

66. MLGW Cutoffs Rise While Customers Scramble to Pay Up -

Less than three months after the city of Memphis rolled out a $2.5 million utility assistance program, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton’s office released a terse statement late in the day June 27, saying the program would not be funded in the new fiscal year.

67. MLGW Deal Could Slash Pyramid Upkeep Costs -

Of the $560,000 Memphis and Shelby County would have paid for Pyramid-related costs during the coming fiscal year, almost half would have gone toward a single item: the empty arena’s power bill.

In the context of the city’s half-billion-dollar operating budget, a five- or six-figure price tag for one item might not seem like much.

68. Events -

The Memphis Regional Chamber will host a breakfast forum today from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at The Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Jerry Collins, president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division, will speak about “EmPowering the City.” The event is $20 for chamber members and $30 for nonmembers. R.S.V.P. to Ericka Milford at emilford@memphischamber.com.

69. City Council To Scrutinize MLGW’s Practices -

For top executives of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division, the political heat at City Hall can be stifling.

Some of those executives are due back before a Memphis City Council committee in the near future to finish a free-flowing discussion that began last week and they might argue took on the character of a withering interrogation.

70. Events -

Talk Shoppe will meet today from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, 3693 Tyndale Drive. This week will be “Open Microphone” week. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Jo Garner at 759-7808.

71. Events -

The Memphis Botanic Garden will host “Tuesdays on the Terrace: Wine Tasting at the Garden” today from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Garden, 750 Cherry Road. Hors d’oeuvres by Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse will be offered, along with a wine bar. The cost is $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 636-4131.

72. Letter at Center of Ward Resignation Controversy -

Armstead Ward, human resources vice president at Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division, is resigning effective Sept. 5 after an internal audit found he does not live within the city limits, even though utility employees are required to do so.

73. MLGW VP Ward to Resign Effective Sept. 5 -

Armstead Ward, the human resources vice president of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division, submitted his resignation Tuesday to utility president and CEO Jerry Collins. Collins announced the resignation in a one-line press release that said Ward’s resignation is effective Sept. 5.

74. Events -

Talk Shoppe will meet today from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, 3693 Tyndale Drive. Julia Barreda Willhite of GoBilingual.com will present "How to do Business in the Latino Market." The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Jo Garner at 759-7808.

75. Events -

The Memphis Rotary Club will meet today at noon in the Memphis Cook Convention Center, 255 N. Main St. Dr. Pat Wall, chancellor of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is the featured speaker. The cost is $18 per person and reservations can be made by contacting Taylor Hughes at 526-1318 or taylor@memphisrotary.org.

76. Events -

The Engineers' Club of Memphis Inc. will meet today at noon at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave. The cost is $12 and no reservations are required. Mike Glasgow, regional engineer at Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association, will speak about "Deep Burial of PVC Gravity Sewer."

77. Hickory Ridge Sears Ready for Business -

It hasn't yet been a week since the storms that wreaked havoc across the Memphis area Tuesday produced a tornado that smashed through the Hickory Ridge Mall and tore out a wall of the mall's Sears store, among other damage it caused.

78. Hickory Ridge Sears Ready for Business -

It hasn’t yet been a week since the storms that wreaked havoc across the Memphis area Tuesday produced a tornado that smashed through the Hickory Ridge Mall and tore out a wall of the mall’s Sears store, among other damage it caused.

79. 'Unstable Environments' -

It's not repair work. It's rebuilding in Hickory Hill. That's how the team of local emergency responders described the immediate task in the community hit harder by Tuesday evening's storms than any other part of Memphis.

80. Lee Case Twists and Turns -

Within the past few days, each side in the pending federal corruption case against former Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division president Joseph Lee has considerably upped the ante.

First, prosecutors altered their trial strategy in a major way, returning to the grand jury to procure separate indictments Jan. 7 against Lee and his original co-defendant, former Memphis City Councilmember Edmund Ford. They did so to satisfy a federal judge's ruling last month asserting that bribery and corruption charges against both men had been improperly combined into one 11-count indictment.

81. Several Job Swaps on Tap at Today's Council Meeting -

The new year formalities are almost completed at City Hall.

The oaths of office have been taken. The written and signed oaths are soon to be filed. Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton barely roiled the political waters with his New Year's Day speech. But he made a more detailed pitch for consolidation than he ever has before on Jan. 2.

82. Evans Elected AsNew MLGW Board Chairman -      Lynn Evans is the new chairman of the Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division board. Evans was elected to the post by fellow board members at Thursday's utility board meeting. William Taylor was elected vice chairman.
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83. Herenton to Address Kiwanis Club Today -      Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton will deliver his annual State of the City address today at the Memphis Kiwanis Club at The Peabody Hotel.
     The group's regular weekly meeting starts at noon.

84. Herenton To Take Oath Tuesday -

Mayor Willie Herenton will kick off his fifth term in office Tuesday.

Herenton and all 13 Memphis City Council members elected this year will begin new four-year terms by taking their respective oaths of office at noon at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will be the featured speaker.

85. Numbers Confirm That '07 Construction Went From High-Octane to Running on Fumes -

As president of one of Memphis' largest homebuilders and a 35-year industry veteran, Jerry Gillis of FaxonGillis Homes had no trouble summing up construction activity during the past year: "It started out with a bang and ended with a whimper." Indeed it did.

86. Beale Street Funding, Other Issues Raised At Council Meeting -

Memphis City Council members this week marked the 24th anniversary of the opening of the renovated Beale Street entertainment district with an old question: When does the city get money from the district it owns?

87. Council to Tackle Burning Issues Today -      The Memphis City Council will address several items during the group's committee meetings this morning that deal with the on-again, off-again debate over the redevelopment of the Mid-South Fairgrounds.
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88. City Council to DiscussCollins' Nomination to MLGW -      The Memphis City Council plans to discuss at its Tuesday meeting Mayor Willie Herenton's nomination of Jerry Collins as president of Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division. Herenton announced his nomination of Collins, who

89. MLGW's Campbell Testifies On Need for Transparency -      Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division assistant manager of energy resources Laura Campbell testified this week before the Federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission on the need for greater transparency in the natural gas

90. Builders, Developers Could Pay Hefty Fines For Not Following New Erosion Rules -

April showers bring May flowers, but rain throughout the year brings the potential for tainted waterways.

Without protective measures, rainwater can flow through a construction site and carry dirt and other debris into storm drains. The muddied water then can enter rivers and streams, contaminating drinking water and wildlife habitats.

91. Storm Water Fund Floods City's Maintenance Coffers -

Five months into the city's new Storm Water Enterprise Fund, the new fees are bringing in about $1 million each month, said Jerry Collins, director of public works for Memphis.

The fees became effective May 1, and show up as an extra charge on the Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division bills of both residential and commercial property owners. The fees collected through the storm water fund will pay for $140 million worth of improvements to the storm water drainage system in Memphis.

92. Homeowners' Associations Often Unregulated -

Gene Gibson, Robert Lee Browne and Dr. Kitsie Hendrix spared no expense on the upscale gated community they're developing near Poplar Avenue and Cherry Road, a project that will be heavily landscaped with property values at $1 million.

93. Fair Installed as President of State Realtor Group -

Rosemarie Fair was installed as president of the Tennessee Association of Realtors for 2006. Fair, CEO of Memphis-based One Source Commercial Inc., was named TAR Realtor of the Year in 2004. The Memphis Area Association of Realtors named her Realtor of the Year in 1991.

94. Archived Article: Real - Spring Blooms Mean Hot Real Estate Market

Realtors Gear Up for Another Hot Spring

LANCE ALLAN

The Daily News

Whether 2005 can match or surpass the record year Memphis real estate experienced in 2004 is yet to be seen. But one thing is ce...

95. Archived Article: Newsmakers - HEADLINE

MAAR Inducts Officers, Names Realtor Award Winners

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors announced the following 2004 award winners: Lee McWaters of McWaters & Associates, Realtor of the Year; Sally Isom of Prudential Collins-M...

96. Archived Article: Trends Focus2 - ANDY MEEK

Officials Study Developments Effect on Water

ANDY MEEK

The Daily News

As commercial real estate development continues to flourish in Metro Memphis, some local developers believe the trend could have an impact, if only a slight ...

97. Archived Article: Great Workplace Ii (lead) - Great Place to Work Impact

Positive Workplace Fosters Productivity

National recognition offers morale boost, financial benefit

ANNE MANNING

The Daily News

Placing nationally as one of Americas top companies apparently goes far beyond ...

98. Archived Article: Newsmakers - MLGW EXEC PRESENTED BEST COMMUNICATIONS AWARD

FedEx's Fred Smith Named CEO of the Year
FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer Frederick W. Smith was named Chief Executive of the Year for 2004 by Chief Executive magazine....

99. Archived Article: Gov Focus - Five-year, $70 million proposed to fix drainage

Drainage Problems Addressed in Proposed Budget

ANDREW BELL

The Daily News

The congregation at Audubon Park Baptist Church, located at Park Avenue and South Goodlett Street, conjured up a vi...

100. Archived Article: Memos - Jill Stem, who leads Lee Hecht Harrison outplacement and career advising practice in Memphis, was part of the team that succes Jill Stem, who leads Lee Hecht Harrison outplacement and career advising practice in Memphis, was part of the team that su...