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Editorial Results (free)

1. GOP Blocks Tax Hike on Firms Moving Overseas -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators blocked an election-year bill Wednesday to limit tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas.

The bill would have prohibited companies from deducting expenses related to moving their operations to a foreign country. It also would have offered tax credits to companies that move operations to the U.S. from a foreign country.

2. GOP Blocks Democrats' Minimum Wage Try in Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republicans derailed a Democratic drive Wednesday to raise the federal minimum wage, blocking a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's economic plans and ensuring the issue will be a major feature of this fall's congressional elections.

3. Council Displeased With Budget Ideas -

This isn’t going to be pretty. Two weeks before Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. takes a budget proposal to the Memphis City Council, council members reacted angrily to how Wharton’s administration set the stage for its definitive recommendations.

4. Council Unhappy With Budget Plans So Far -

The administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. got a rough reception at the Tuesday, April 1, Memphis City Council session as it set the stage for Wharton’s budget proposal to come in two weeks.

5. Debt and Liability -

There is rarely a good answer to the question “How much?” in politics.

With issues including the unfunded pension liability, overall debt, and revenue estimates and their validity, City Hall’s overall money problem begins but hardly ends with the question. It won’t be that simple.

6. Latest Federal Internet Gambling Bill Proposes Tax -

LAS VEGAS (AP) – If Congress makes no progress on a national framework for online gambling this session, it won't be for a lack of legislation.

Two lawmakers introduced bills over the summer that would legalize some form of Internet gambling nationwide. Last week, Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington, introduced a bill that would tax federally-sanctioned online wagering.

7. In Reversal, Obama to Allow Canceled Health Plans -

WASHINGTON (AP) – His personal and political credibility on the line, President Barack Obama reversed course Thursday and said millions of Americans should be allowed to renew individual coverage plans now ticketed for cancellation under the health care law that is likely to be at the heart of the 2014 elections.

8. Industrial Revolution -

Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park was completed in 1967, but it’s only now, four-plus decades later, that the property is finally realizing its full potential.

The 3,500-acre industrial park was developed when Memphis and Shelby County paid roughly $4.5 million to buy the land in the late 1950s after city, county and Port Commission leaders saw the need for a large industrial park following the creation of Presidents Island.

9. A Deal: Voting to Avoid Default, Open Government -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Up against one last deadline, Congress raced to pass legislation Wednesday avoiding a threatened national default and ending a 16-day partial government shutdown along the strict terms set by President Barack Obama when the twin crises began.

10. Shutdown in Third Day With Debt Trouble Looming -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Efforts to resolve the government shutdown were at a standstill Thursday as President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner traded barbs, the Treasury warned of a dire risk to the economy ahead and work in the Capitol was briefly halted because of gunshots outside.

11. GOP House: Keep Government Open, Hit 'Obamacare' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Charting a collision course with the White House, the Republican-controlled House approved legislation Friday to wipe out the three-year-old health care law that President Barack Obama has vowed to preserve – and simultaneously prevent a partial government shutdown that neither party claims to want.

12. Senate, House Ensnared in Health Care Controversy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Implacable Republican opposition to Obamacare has Congress once more veering closer to gridlock.

In the House, more than 50 conservatives support tacking a one-year delay in implementing the health care law onto a bill needed to prevent a partial government shutdown on Oct. 1.

13. Senate Moves Forward on Transportation Spending -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A $108 billion measure that would boost funding for infrastructure projects and housing subsidies for the poor is moving ahead in the Senate.

The measure cleared a procedural hurdle by a bipartisan 73-26 vote Tuesday, and that sets up days of debate with the goal of passing the measure next week.

14. 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.

15. US Government Collecting Huge Number of Phone Records -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The government is secretly collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order, according to the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Obama administration is defending the National Security Agency's need to collect such records, but critics are calling it a huge over-reach.

16. No Deal in Sight as Deadline for Fiscal Deal Nears -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A last-gasp effort Thursday to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts got off on the same convulsive, partisan tone that marked congressional attempts to resolve the impasse before lawmakers left Washington to go home for Christmas.

17. Home Builders Association Presents Lifetime Awards -

Memphis Area Home Builders Association presented lifetime achievement awards to Jim Reid, Dudley Schaefer Sr., Monroe Pointer and Tommy Cox at the trade organization’s annual holiday gala earlier this month.

18. Fiscal Cliff Efforts Ongoing, Boehner Offers Plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner pushed ahead on negotiating a broad deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," even as the GOP leader readied a backup plan Tuesday to pressure the White House with little time left to avoid a double hit on the economy.

19. Home Builders Association Presents Achievement Awards -

Memphis Area Home Builders Association presented lifetime achievement awards to Jim Reid, Dudley Schaefer Sr., Monroe Pointer and Tommy Cox at the trade organization’s annual holiday gala earlier this month.

20. High-Stakes Game -

At week’s end, International Paper Co. appeared ready to move forward with officially applying for a package of tax incentives as part of a plan to expand the company’s headquarters in the city.

21. High-Stakes Game -

At week’s end, International Paper Co. appeared ready to move forward with officially applying for a package of tax incentives as part of a plan to expand the company’s headquarters in the city.

22. Transcript: Luttrell Discusses Schools, Other Issues Facing County -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell talked several weeks ago with The Memphis News editorial board about the coming merger of schools and the creation of municipal school districts.

The conversation took place a few days before voters in all six suburban towns and cities approved the creation of municipal school districts.

23. Hill Leaders May Punt Spending Bills to Next Year -

WASHINGTON (AP) – With the agenda for a postelection lame duck session of Congress already stacked high, congressional leaders are considering lightening the load by punting much of the remaining budget work of Congress to next year.

24. Council Passes Sales Tax Hike Ballot Question -

The pair of questions the Memphis City Council is considering for the Nov. 6 ballot is another chapter in the council’s nearly five-year debate about the size and role of city government.

The council Tuesday, July 17, approved on third and final reading the referendum ordinance that puts a half percent local option sales tax hike proposal to Memphis voters.

25. Wharton: ‘Everything is Coming Together’ -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. had to make a decision Monday, July 2: Get up before dawn and catch a flight to Atlanta or stick with a scheduled and extensive bus tour for newspaper editors and others of the three core city neighborhoods he has targeted in a small-business innovation effort.

26. Unified Development Code Meeting Slated for June 27 -

A public meeting to discuss amendments to the Unified Development Code is slated for Wednesday, June 27, at Circuit Playhouse, 51 S. Cooper St., from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

27. Events -

The Downtown Memphis Commission design review board will hold a special-called public meeting Wednesday, May 23, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the DMC conference room, 114 N. Main St. DRB members and staff will discuss current drafts of the Downtown Memphis design guidelines and sign code.

28. Council Rejects 18 Cent Property Tax Hike -

Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday, March 20, to reject a one-time, 18-cent property tax hike to mop up an estimated $13 million in red ink for the current fiscal year.

Instead the council voted to use $10 million from the city’s reserve fund and cut $3.2 million in the existing budget including money for a voluntary buyout program of some sanitation workers that the Wharton administration has yet to activate.

29. Elvis Presley Blvd. Center of Council Talks -

For decades what is now Elvis Presley Boulevard was the road to Memphis for those from Mississippi, whether they were coming to stay or coming to visit.

Much has changed since Elvis Presley moved into a home on a hill already named Graceland in the mid-1950s when Whitehaven was a country road not yet a part of the city of Memphis.

30. Council Weighs In on Electrolux Incentives -

Some Memphis City Council members want to at least slow the appropriation of local government funding to Electrolux North America Cooking Products if the company isn’t more responsive to hiring local for the construction of its Memphis manufacturing plant.

31. Thomison Joins PGM/Trumbull -

Dr. John Thomison has joined Pathology Group of the Mid-South/Trumbull Labs LLC.

Hometown: Nashville

32. GOP Leaders Hope for Agreement on Payroll Tax Cut -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate rejected dueling Democratic and Republican plans for extending the Social Security payroll tax on Thursday as partisan skirmishing continued over a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's plan for breathing life back into the American job market.

33. Memphian Cobb Joins MIFA As Meals on Wheels Director -

Trentwood Cobb has joined Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association as director of MIFA Meals on Wheels, which provides hot meals to senior citizens in the greater Memphis area.

Hometown: Memphis

34. Wharton, Fullilove & Conrad Re-Elected -- Harris-Ford to Runoff - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. won a full four-year term of office as mayor Thursday, Oct. 6, two years after he claimed the mayor’s office in a special election.

And all 12 of the Memphis City Council members seeking re-election won new four year terms in the city election cycle, marking the largest return of incumbents to the 13-member council in the 43-year history of the mayor-council form of government.

35. Senate Democrats Add Millionaire Tax to Jobs Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Struggling to deliver the big jobs package proposed by President Barack Obama, Senate Democrats are using the issue to force Republican senators to vote on tax increases for millionaires, picking up on a White House theme that the nation's wealthiest Americans aren't paying their fair share.

36. Vote for Me -

Four years after the biggest turnover on the Memphis City Council, the Oct. 6 city elections could see the biggest return of incumbents ever on the council. Early voting begins Friday, Sept. 16.

Twelve of the 13 incumbents are seeking re-election. It would have been 13 had Barbara Swearengen Ware not taken a plea deal on an official misconduct charge.

37. Debt-Limit Votes: Senate Momentum, House Concerns -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House began debate Monday on the hard-bargained plan to avert a national financial default, even as the White House and congressional leaders struggled to round up enough votes to approve it. Supporters said momentum for the deficit-reduction compromise was on their side, but resistance from both liberals and conservatives made the outcome unclear.

38. House Nears Vote on GOP Debt Bill; Dems Oppose -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Partisan to the core, Congress groped uncertainly Friday for a way to avoid a government default threatened for early next week. "We are almost out of time," warned President Barack Obama as U.S. financial markets trembled.

39. GOP Retools Plan as Congress Seeks Debt Fix -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Six days away from a potentially calamitous government default, House Republicans appeared to be coalescing Wednesday around a work-in-progress plan by House Speaker John Boehner to increase the U.S. borrowing limit and chop $1 trillion in federal spending. But the White House dismissed the proposal as a waste of time, and it got a thumbs-down from Senate Democrats and tea party activists, too.

40. White House Threatens to Veto Boehner's House Plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House threatened on Tuesday to veto emergency House legislation that aims to avert a threatened national default, a pre-emptive strike issued as Republican Speaker John Boehner labored to line up enough votes in his own party to pass the measure.

41. Debt Dispute Boils: Capitol's Hot, Inside and Out -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Gridlock stubbornly held the high ground in the steamy capital Friday despite the threat of a government default in 11 days' time. Talks between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner seemed stuck in limbo, and the Democratic-controlled Senate scuttled legislation drawn to conservatives' specifications.

42. Boyd Moves Into Temp. Council Seat -

It’s the week between the filing deadline for the Oct. 6 Memphis elections and the deadline for any candidates who made the first deadline to get out of the race by Thursday, July 28, at noon – the withdrawal deadline.

43. 4 Council Members - All 3 City Court Judges To Run Unopposed In Oct. Elections -

Four incumbent Memphis City Council members and all three incumbent City Court Judges were effectively re-elected at the Thursday, July 21, noon deadline for candidates to file their qualifying petitions for the Oct. 6 Memphis ballot.

44. Last-Minute Filers Make Election Deadline -

A flurry of last-minute filings came at the noon Thursday, July 21, deadline for candidates in the Oct. 6 Memphis elections to turn in their qualifying petitions.

Shelby County Election Commission staffers were still checking the signatures on the petitions filed Thursday to make sure those signing were voters and lived in the districts they signed for or the city in the case of the citywide races.

45. S&P Says US Will Get Lowest Rating if It Defaults -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Standard & Poor's executive said the agency will give the U.S. government its lowest credit rating if Congress fails to raise the borrowing limit and the United States defaults on its debt.

46. 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.

47. Council Approves ‘Right-Sizing’ Budget, Tax Hike -

While the Memphis City Council left the city property tax rate at $3.19 as it ended the budget season Tuesday, June 21, it added 18 cents to the tax rate on a one-time basis with a separate resolution.

48. Obama Gains Foothold; GOP Autumn Surge Behind Him -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Six months after Republicans alarmed Democrats with a midterm election wave, President Barack Obama has shaken off the jitters and found his political footing despite sluggish economic growth and deep public anxiety about the direction of the country.

49. Council to Consider Sewer Fee, Postponing Layoffs -

A voting majority of Memphis City Council members seem to have reached an early agreement on lowering the city sewer fee.

At a 10 a.m. council committee session Tuesday, council members will discuss the proposed ordinance sponsored by eight of the 12 council members to cut the maximum monthly residential sanitary sewer fee from $50 to $25.

50. City Seeks Fast Fairgrounds Development -

The $15 million creation of Tiger Lane last year at the Mid-South Fairgrounds happened within budget and so quickly that Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration would like to use the method to venture into the more complex parts of the renovation of the city-owned property.

51. Obama: Talks on Entitlements 'Have Already Begun' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama said Wednesday that difficult debates on how to address the costs of Social Security and Medicare are "starting now," even though his 2012 budget blueprint lacked any major changes to the large benefit programs.

52. TSA: Some Gov't Officials to Skip Airport Security -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Cabinet secretaries, top congressional leaders and an exclusive group of senior U.S. officials are exempt from toughened new airport screening procedures when they fly commercially with government-approved federal security details.

53. Council Approves Midtown Overlay -

The Midtown overlay is a done deal with this week’s approval by the Memphis City Council.

And the final result is a set of development guidelines that now allows the CVS pharmacy at Union Avenue and Cooper Street that wasn’t allowed by the overlay in its previous form.

54. Obama Planning New Package of Economic Aid -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Eager to jumpstart the economy ahead of crucial midterm elections, President Barack Obama said Friday he intends to unveil a new package of proposals, including tax cuts and targeted spending, to spark job growth.

55. Preservationists Strike Up Battle Hymn -

The Memphis City Council’s 10-2 vote Tuesday to approve plans for a CVS drug store on the corner of Union Avenue and Cooper Street seems to mean the demolition of Union Avenue United Methodist Church.

56. Midtown CVS Approved By Council -

Memphis City Council member approved a CVS drug store at Union Ave and Cooper St. on a 10-2 vote that followed a two hour debate.

The council also approved an amendment calling on the developers of the store to get as close as they can in their plans to requirements of the advisory Midtown overlay. The two exceptions to that are restrictions on a drive through window for the pharmacy and how far from the street the building can be.

57. Bass Pro and Beyond -

"Adaptive reuse” is the term for what city leaders hope will happen at The Pyramid.

Throw in the Mid-South Fairgrounds and the Beale Street Landing projects, though, and “adaptive reuse” seems inadequate to define what is happening among the three concepts.

58. Obama Slams Wall Street Ways While Asking Support -

NEW YORK (AP) - President Barack Obama rebuked Wall Street for risky practices Thursday even as he sought its leaders' help for "updated, commonsense" banking regulations to head off any new financial crisis.

59. Fairgrounds Work Continues Despite Flux -

On his way home from church one Sunday last month, Kevin Kane and his family decided to go by the Mid-South Fairgrounds to see what was left of the Zippin Pippin.

60. School Funding Debate Marches On -

The city of Memphis is pursuing a last appeal in the Memphis school funding court case, and the City Council this week came up with a plan to provide $50 million in court-ordered funding to the school system.

61. Gut-Check for Obama and Dems on Health Care -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Abandoning the health care overhaul is not an option, a senior White House official said Wednesday, after President Barack Obama's top domestic initiative took a devastating hit with the Democratic loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat.

62. UPDATE: Council Weighs One-Time 31 Cent Tax Hike -

Memphis City Council members will weigh budget cuts in the middle of the current fiscal year as well as using at least $16 million of the city’s reserve funds to pay the Memphis school system $50 million.

63. Chaotic Council Welcomes Wharton To ‘Land of Fire’ -

Memphis Mayor-elect A C Wharton Jr. got an early welcome to the ways of City Hall in the week before he took the oath of office.

It came from the City Council he will serve with for the next two years.

64. Bass Pro Shows Signs of Continuing Interest in Pyramid -

John Morris, the founder of Springfield, Mo.-based retailer Bass Pro Shops, has traveled to Memphis three times in the past 90 days.

65. Reid: No Health Care Vote in Senate Until Fall -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democratic leaders on Thursday abandoned plans for a vote on health care before Congress' August recess, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama's ambitious timetable to revamp the nation's $2.4 trillion system of medical care.

66. Obama Challenges GOP Critics on Health Care -

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama pushed back hard against Republican critics of his health care overhaul plan Monday, vowing to fight "the politics of the moment" but gave ground on his tight timetable for passage of legislation.

67. Election Commission to Consider Mayoral Deadline -

The Shelby County Election Commission today is setting the stage for the next step in the coming special election for Memphis mayor.

The commission will meet at 4:30 p.m. to consider setting a deadline for candidates to file and a date for the election itself sometime in late October. In setting the dates, the commission would abide by terms of the Memphis Charter. The charter calls for a special election three months after a vacancy in the mayor’s office if there is no regularly scheduled election within six months of the date the office becomes vacant.

68. City Council Declares Mayoral Vacancy At End Of July -

The Memphis City Council approved Tuesday on a 7-6 vote a resolution declaring the mayor’s office vacant as of July 31.

The vote came after a debate in which council members questioned each other’s motives, Mayor Willie Herenton’s word and several legal opinions.

69. UPDATE: Council Approves Mayoral Vacancy Effective July 31 -

The Memphis City Council approved Tuesday on a 7-6 vote a resolution declaring the mayor’s office vacant as of July 31.

The vote came after a debate in which council members questioned each other’s motives, Mayor Willie Herenton’s word and several legal opinions.

70. UPDATE: Council Approves Transitional MSARC Funding -

The city’s tie to the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center isn’t completely severed yet, even though the city agency soon will be transferred to Shelby County and fall under the local health department.

71. Pyramid Funding Details Shift to Legal Front -

Now the attorneys begin drafting a contract.

This week, the Memphis City Council signed off on a three-part deal that gives the city of Memphis complete ownership of The Pyramid and continues city funding of the Shelby County Health Department for one more fiscal year.

72. Life After City Hall: The story behind Herenton’s Washington surprise -

You would think that Mayor Willie Herenton’s “resignation” last spring as he thought about trying out for Memphis City Schools superintendent would be difficult to top.

73. Pyramid-Health Dept. Deal Approved By Council -

Memphis City Council members Tuesday approved an $8.5 million deal giving the city complete ownership of The Pyramid and providing a last installment of city funding for the local Health Department.

74. City Council Approves Pyramid - Health Dept. Deal -

Memphis City Council members tonight approved an $8.5 million deal giving the city complete ownership of The Pyramid and providing a last installment of city funding for the local Health Department.

75. Events -

The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence will hold a workshop titled “Making the Message Work: Strategic Communications 101” today from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Alliance office, 5100 Poplar Ave., Suite 502. The facilitator will be Jennifer Leigh, who will discuss how to communicate effectively with members, donors and other constituents with a small marketing and communication budget. For more information or reservations, call 684-6605 or visit www.npexcellence.org.

76. Bush, Hill Leaders: Job Losses Argue for Auto Help -

WASHINGTON (AP) - President George W. Bush and congressional leaders seized on the latest grim unemployment data Friday to try to fire up lukewarm support on Capitol Hill for bailing out U.S. automakers. But they clashed anew over terms of the rescue plan and the source of any aid.

77. Chrysler Exec: Failure Could Spark Depression -

WASHINGTON (AP) - A top Chrysler executive warned Wednesday that a carmaker collapse could send the economy spiraling into a depression, while the United Auto Workers agreed to new concessions for their companies.

78. 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.

...

79. Obama Wants Econ Rescue Approved 'Right Away' -

CHICAGO (AP) - With the economy in crisis, President-elect Barack Obama urged the new Congress to pass a quick economic stimulus bill, pledged help for the troubled auto industry and blessed the Bush administration's bailout of the financial industry.

80. Residency Decision Uncovers Underlying Attitudes -

It may have been the most important debate the Memphis City Council has had since the group of 13 took office in January. And it may affect the way council members see each other for quite some time.

81. Stretch In MPD Residency Requirement Rejected By Council On 6-7 Vote - Memphis City Council members Tuesday voted down a proposed loosening of residency requirements for police officers.

The 6-to-7 council vote rejected a resolution which would have allowed the police department to hire applicants who live within 20 miles of Shelby County.

The department is currently able to hire applicants who live within Shelby County including Memphis under a provision that allows the council to waive the requirement that all city employees must live in Memphis. The Shelby County waiver expires in February.

The council vote, which was along racial lines, came after four hours of debate among council members and citizens who filled the chambers. Most of the citizens who filled out cards to speak, over 70, were in favor of hiring outside Shelby County. But opponents, including several retired Memphis police officers, were also vocal in their opposition.

Council member Wanda Halbert argued that Memphians who apply for jobs as police officers are being rejected because they are being discriminated against.

Council member Bill Boyd termed Halbert's comment "trash".

Other council members said they respected council members with opposing viewpoints. But the disagreements were over issues other than the need to hire more police officers. They were over the best way to do that.

Those voting yes were: Boyd, Kemp Conrad, Shea Flinn, Reid Hedgepeth, Bill Morrison and Jim Strickland.

Those voting no were: Halbert, Joe Brown, Harold Collins, Edmund Ford Jr., Janis Fullilove, Myron Lowery and Barbara Swearengen Ware.

Read more about the issue in Thursday's edition of The Daily News.

In other action, the council elected Myron Lowery as its chairman for 2009. Lowery has been chairman since the resignation of chairman Scott McCormick.

Council member Harold Collins was elected vice chairman for the coming year.

Tuesday was also the first council meeting for Kemp Conrad who was elected on the Nov. 4 ballot to fill the vacancy created by McCormick's resignation.

...

82. Council Rejects Police Residency Stretch Outside Shelby County - Memphis City Council members have voted down a proposed loosening of residency requirements for police officers.

The 6-to-7 council vote rejected a resolution which would have allowed the police department to hire applicants who live within 20 miles of Shelby County.

The department is currently able to hire applicants who live within Shelby County including Memphis under a provision that allows the council to waive the requirement that all city employees must live in Memphis. The Shelby County waiver expires in February.

The council vote, which was along racial lines, came after four hours of debate among council members and citizens who filled the chambers. Most of the citizens who filled out cards to speak, over 70, were in favor of hiring outside Shelby County. But opponents, including several retired Memphis police officers, were also vocal in their opposition.

Council member Wanda Halbert argued that Memphians who apply for jobs as police officers are being rejected because they are being discriminated against.

Council member Bill Boyd termed Halbert's comment "trash".

Other council members said they respected council members with opposing viewpoints. But the disagreements were over issues other than the need to hire more police officers. They were over the best way to do that.

Those voting yes were: Boyd, Kemp Conrad, Shea Flinn, Reid Hedgepeth, Bill Morrison and Jim Strickland.

Those voting no were: Halbert, Joe Brown, Harold Collins, Edmund Ford Jr., Janis Fullilove, Myron Lowery and Barbara Swearengen Ware.

...

83. Council Could Revisit Lee’s Legal Bill Payment -

The Memphis City Council has a chance next week to reconsider its decision not to pay more than $426,000 in legal fees incurred by former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division president and CEO Joseph Lee.

84. 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.

85. Commission to Consider Selling Arenas -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners are set to vote today on selling the county’s share of The Pyramid, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium and the Mid-South Coliseum.

Passage of the resolution would take county government out of the pending deal for Bass Pro Shops to develop The Pyramid as a super store and the site of other attractions.

86. Bush: Lawmakers ‘Must Listen,’ Vote Yes on Rescue Plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush said Thursday “a lot of people are watching” to see if Congress will enact the $700 billion financial rescue plan he called the best chance to restore calm to the financial industry.

87. Bass Pro Moves Closer to Memphis Reality -

Bass Pro Shops officials say they are ready to sign on the dotted line to start the planning process for the return of The Pyramid to public use.

But Shelby County government is looking again at getting out of The Pyramid as the city government’s partner.

88. Pre Development Agreement Announced In Bass Pro Contract Talks -

The joint city county Pyramid reuse committee was told Thursday afternoon that Bass Pro Shops has agreed “in word and deed” to what the committee’s attorney described as a “pre development agreement.”

89. Tentative Pact In Bass Pro Pyramid Contract Talks -

The joint city county Pyramid reuse committee was told Thursday afternoon that Bass Pro Shops has agreed “in word and deed” to what the committee’s attorney described as a “pre development agreement.”

90. Bodies Politick Shift Pyramid Finance Issue To Third Parties -

Two accounting and public finance companies have been hired to look over the finances of the two companies vying for use of The Pyramid.

Taking on the two firms became a necessary next step in the political process of figuring out a new use for The Pyramid after a lopsided recommendation by the Herenton administration in favor of Bass Pro Shops over the Ericson Group.

91. Debate Over Police Residency Intensifies -

The Herenton administration's budget proposal isn't the only numbers game under way at City Hall as City Council Budget Committee hearings begin today.

As those hearings continue into May, the council again will debate the best way to up the numbers of Memphis Police officers.

92. Being a Real Pro Is a State Of Mind, Johnson Says -

University of Memphis Athletic Director R.C. Johnson admits the attention Tigers athletics gets is out of proportion to what it probably deserves given other nonsports accomplishments at the university.

93. Rasberry Lobbies To Build On 'Underground' Lot -

To longtime Memphians, the lot on the northeast corner of McLean Boulevard and Cowden Avenue is known as the "underground house" because of its architecture. That's even though the strikingly modern house surrounded by mounds and bushes and shrubs has been just a memory for two years and counting.

94. Attorney General To Defend Strip Club Ordinance -

Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper will help defend the Shelby County ordinance governing Memphis strip clubs in U.S. District Court.

Cooper's office filed a motion Monday to intervene on the side of the city and county in the case filed by seven strip club owners. The suit challenges the constitutionality of the ordinance as well as the state law on which the ordinance is based.

95. City Council Puts Off Strip Club Ordinance Vote -

The Memphis City Council has delayed indefinitely a final vote on a new city ordinance governing strip clubs.

Tuesday's 7-5 vote to table the ordinance means a county ordinance banning beer sales at the clubs enacted last year remains in effect for the city of Memphis as well as the unincorporated county.

96. City Council Puts Off Strip Club Ordinance Vote -

The Memphis City Council has delayed indefinitely a final vote on a new city ordinance governing strip clubs.

This afternoon's 7-5 vote to table the ordinance means a county ordinance banning beer sales at the clubs enacted last year remains in effect for the city of Memphis as well as the unincorporated county.

97. Prestidge Chosen to Head Kroger Delta Division -

Mark Prestidge has been promoted to president of The Kroger Co.'s Delta Division. The Delta Division is based in Memphis and includes 111 Kroger stores in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. Prestidge succeeds Richard Tillman, who recently announced his retirement after a 42-year career with Kroger. Prestidge previously served as vice president of operations for Kroger's Southwest Division.

98. Archived Article: Newsmakers - Rhodes Professor Honored as Professor of the Year

LRK Hires New Project Manager

Joseph Bruce joined Looney Ricks Kiss as project manager/project architect in the Multifamily Residential Studio. Bruce previously worked for RTKL Associates in Da...

99. Archived Article: Real Focus - Sandy Barnhart latest tenant as Depot blossoms SANDY YOUNGBLOOD The Daily News The Depot Redevelopment Corp. is hard at work these days, continuing to show and lease property at what was formerly known as the Memphis Defense Depot. Previously owned ...

100. Archived Article: Memos - Flynn Named Vice President of Ruth Ann Marshall has been appointed North American Region president for MasterCard International. Marshall formerly was executive vice president at Concord EFS Inc. Stephen J. Flynn has been named vice president of res...