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Editorial Results (free)

1. Memphis Releases $200M Pedestrian Safety Plan -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. unveiled an ambitious pedestrian and school safety action plan Tuesday, July 14, that has been in the making for 18 months.

The plan takes in a list of $200 million in improvements to sidewalks and street crossings over 20 years. Wharton’s administration doesn’t have all the funding nailed down, and said it would likely come through a combination of grants, city capital funding and money from nonprofit philanthropies.

2. SEC is Better With Steve Spurrier in It -

HOOVER, Ala. – If you’re a Tennessee fan, you don’t like him. He was the one who said you can’t spell Citrus without “U-T.”

He started his record-setting 23rd appearance as a coach at the 2015 SEC Media Days by zinging the Vols for their 7-6 season, saying they were “celebrating big” while casting South Carolina’s 7-6 season as a disaster averted.

3. Tennessee’s ‘Fighting 26’ Democrats Work to Stay Relevant -

Sometimes Tennessee Democrats must feel like a tree that falls in the forest: Does anyone hear them?

When Democratic legislative leaders called for a special session this summer on Insure Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam’s market-based plan to use federal dollars to catch 280,000 working people in a health care coverage gap, they found themselves alone.

4. City Releases $200 Million Pedestrian Safety Plan -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. unveiled an ambitious pedestrian and school safety action plan Tuesday, July 14, that has been in the making for 18 months.

The plan takes in a list of $200 million in improvements to sidewalks and street crossings over 20 years. Wharton’s administration doesn’t have all the funding nailed down, and said it would likely come through a combination of grants, city capital funding and money from nonprofit philanthropies.

5. Steve Spurrier Pokes Fun at Tennessee, Arkansas -

HOOVER, ALA. – South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier wasted no time taking his first jabs at other SEC schools. As he made his opening remarks at SEC Media Days Tuesday, July 14, at The Wynfrey Hotel, he spoke of the joy he and his team felt by rallying at season’s end to get to a bowl game, then win the Independence Bowl against Miami and finish 7-6.

6. Teen Truckers? Bill Would Drop Big-Rig Driver Age to 18 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Parents may hesitate to hand teens the keys to the family car, but Congress is proposing to allow drivers as young as 18 to get behind the wheel of big rigs on the nation's interstates

7. Acting Up -

The Knoxville area has a rich legacy of actors who have found success in show business: Patricia Neal, David Keith, Cylk Cozart, David Dwyer, John Cullum, Bruce McKinnon, Polly Bergen, Dale Dickey, Brad Renfro, Johnny Knoxville, perhaps the most famous of all, Dolly Parton, singer/songwriter turned actress.

8. Boner, Fate and the Summer of Shame -

Phil Bredesen knew what he was trying to do. He just didn’t know if he could accomplish it.

“I had this sense that Nashville was ready for change,” says the former Metro mayor and Tennessee governor, reflecting on his early motivation for taking on the system that had run Nashville for decades.

9. Lichterman Nature Center to Go Solar With Rooftop Array -

It’s been about 20 years since the log building from the 1920s that was once the centerpiece of the Lichterman Nature Center in East Memphis burned to the ground.

The 16,000-square-foot, two-story Loewenberg Visitors Center designed by Williamson Pounders Architects that replaced it has come to symbolize the city’s master plan for the 65-acre site whose landscape changes with the seasons.

10. All-Male Nanny Service Eyeing Middle Tennessee -

Mary Poppins he’s not. No flying umbrellas, no Oscar-winning musical numbers.

But as a caregiver, Jon Ericksen would rank himself right up there with any nanny in the business.

“Two nieces grew up in the house with me, I have worked with kids a lot in all my jobs, so I knew this was something that I would be very interested in,” says Ericksen, one of the men working for MyManny, a Tennessee-based, all-male nanny agency.

11. Grizzlies Rookies Jarell Martin, Andrew Harrison Have Much to Prove -

The bottom-line question about Memphis Grizzlies rookies Jarell Martin and Andrew Harrison is the same as after every other NBA Draft: What does the team really have in these guys?

12. Supreme Court Extends Gay Marriage Nationwide -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, a historic culmination of decades of litigation over gay marriage and gay rights generally.

13. Memphis Redbirds' Winning Record Doesn't Extend to Attendance -

The Memphis Redbirds are running last in the 16-team Pacific Coast League’s attendance race; the St. Louis Cardinals own the best record in the 30-team on-field competition run by Major League Baseball.

14. Bishop Hears Stronger Call After ‘Fighting God’ -

The reason Richard Stika entered the seminary was to get thoughts of being a priest out of his system

It didn’t turn out that way.

On Dec. 14, the bishop of the Knoxville Catholic diocese will mark his 30th anniversary as a priest.

15. Editorial: Music Comes First at Ardent -

Few industries can match the music business for uncertainty, volatility and instability.

It helps if a city has a music industry infrastructure ruled by music corporations and recording studios, both independent and controlled by the corporate giants.

16. Keeping the Beat -

Jody Stephens may best be known as a rock 'n' roll timekeeper, the guy whose drum kit kept the beat and provided the rhythmic foundation for the pioneering power pop group Big Star.

17. Memphis Restaurants ‘Love Their Patios’ -

The warm weather means it's that time of year again for Memphis diners.

Patios have begun filling up around the city as restaurant patrons flock to outdoor dining settings where they can people-watch, enjoy drinks and nosh on smaller, simpler menu items.

18. Old-Time Country, Stones Intertwined -

Joey, the CowPolka King, well remembers the times he would play acoustic bass, piano or his specialty – the accordion – and try to catch up after Cowboy Jack Clement launched into one of his favorite songs….

19. Stones Rock Music City -

Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed our name. Well, hell, Mick, if it’s puzzling you, it’s Nashville. Music City USA.

We’re the national media’s flavor of the day – the “It city,” which has gone from being a secondary concert market – remember The Beatles played Memphis, not Nashville – to one of the country’s prime touring destinations.

20. Different Strokes -

Five years ago, Jim Napolitano left Hillwood Country Club in Nashville to become general manager at Chickasaw Country Club. The economy was still wheezing and Chickasaw, which received its charter in 1922 – or two years after the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote – was trapped in a time warp.

21. Carlisle Corp. Gets Tentative OK on One Beale Plan -

Developers got a tentative green light to move forward with the ambitious One Beale project, convincing regulators that the twin skyscraper development would be a game-changer for the Memphis skyline.

22. Collierville Commits -

Right after the Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Monday, June 8, to raise the town’s property tax rate by 20 cents, a flash of lightning flared outside the town hall chamber’s windows.

23. 5 Reasons Why US Employers are Showing Confidence in Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Employers last month delivered a vote of confidence in the U.S. economy.

They added 280,000 jobs – a surprisingly robust total at a time when consumers are hesitant to spend and the economy appears less than fully healthy. Some key industries, from energy to manufacturing, have been struggling. And economic troubles overseas have put investors on edge.

24. Colonial Country Club Hires General Manager -

Colonial Country Club has hired John Schoenbeck as its new general manager.

As a “Class A” PGA Member, Schoenbeck has more than 22 years of golf club management experience and was most recently the managing director of The Woodlands Country Club, host of the PGA Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational.

25. Snapshot: Memphis-Based Public Companies -

Here's a look at what's going on at the dozen public companies headquartered in Memphis:

AutoZone Inc.

AutoZone Inc. is one of the largest auto parts retailers and distributors in the U.S., with a store count of 5,476 as of Feb. 14. Since 1998, the company has repurchased $15.7 billion worth of its own shares. At the end of March, AutoZone continued its share buyback program with the authorization to buy back another $750 million in company stock. The company followed that news with plans to pursue a $650 million debt offering to be used for “general corporate purposes.” – Andy Meek

26. Life’s Unfair to the SEC. Right, Nick? -

There’s a lot of injustice in sports these days.

From the FIFA scandal to serial PEDs cheat Alex Rodriguez passing Ruth and Gehrig on the all-time RBI list, from whatever the New England Patriots do with air pressure in footballs to what the Golden State Warriors do to opponents when launching basketballs from behind the 3-point line.

27. Colonial Country Club Hires New General Manager -

Colonial Country Club has hired John Schoenbeck as its new general manager.

As a “Class A” PGA Member, Schoenbeck has more than 22 years of golf club management experience and was most recently the managing director of The Woodlands Country Club, host of the PGA Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational.

28. Ramsey: No Medicaid Expansion Until 2017 -

The Tennessee legislative session ended in late April, giving itself a little more than two and a-half months to handle the state’s business. That’s plenty of time, according to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

29. Ramsey Uses ‘System’ to Reshape State’s Political Landscape -

Senate Speaker and Lieutenant Gov. Ron Ramsey laughs at the notion he’s changed since being elected to the Legislature 23 years ago, that he’s lost touch with the common man or become “arrogant” as lieutenant governor of Tennessee.

30. More Giving -

The most dedicated donors to the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis give with their hearts and their minds, striking a balance between real-time needs and the financial realities of any given moment.

31. Media Heads Rule Ranks of Best-Paid CEOs -

NEW YORK (AP) – They're not Hollywood stars, they're not TV personalities and they don't play in a rock band, but their pay packages are in the same league.

Six of the 10 highest-paid CEOs last year worked in the media industry, according to a study carried out by executive compensation data firm Equilar and The Associated Press.

32. Deloitte Promotes Vince DeGutis -

Vince DeGutis, a partner in Deloitte Tax LLP, has been named Deloitte’s Memphis managing partner.
In his new role, DeGutis is responsible for overseeing the Memphis office, enhancing Deloitte’s brand and reputation in the business and civic community, and facilitating revenue growth by advancing targeting and growth activities. He is also responsible for the development and implementation strategies to attract and retain the next generation of leaders within Deloitte.

33. Farm Feast -

The first elementary school students came to Agricenter International for some hands-on education more than a decade ago. About 80 students went on a literal field trip, walking through the cotton, soybean and cornfields.

34. Push For New Collierville High School Begins -

This is not an election year in Collierville.

But at a Collierville Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week, Collierville Schools superintendent John Aitken kicked off a summer campaign about schools and taxes.

35. Trucking Industry Sees Record Revenues -

The U.S. trucking industry generated $700.4 billion in 2014, topping $700 billion for the first time ever, according to industry figures.

The trucking industry’s good fortunes should be a boon to the local economy, which leans heavily on transportation, distribution and logistics. The record revenue means a high volume of goods is being shipped across the country, with a lot of it winding its way through Memphis warehouses and eventually onto trucks.

36. 'King of the Blues' B.B. King Dead at 89 at Home in Vegas -

LAS VEGAS (AP) – B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues, died late Thursday at home in Las Vegas. He was 89.

37. Changing Hometown, Careers Pays Off for Hyams -

Jimmy Hyams moved to Knoxville from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the summer of 1985 looking for a fresh start to his journalism career and found a job as a sportswriter for the Knoxville News Sentinel.

38. Cannabis Oil Bill Could Lead to More ‘Evil Weed’ Wins -

Logan and Stacie Mathes were on "pins and needles" as they waited for Gov. Bill Haslam to sign legislation into law allowing cannabis oil to be used to treat seizures and similar medical problems in Tennessee.

39. Rodgers Takes Reins at Collierville Chamber -

Kanette Keough-Rodgers recently took over as president/CEO of the Collierville Chamber of Commerce after the chamber’s transition team selected her from more than 170 candidates.

In her new role, Rodgers is responsible for retaining and expanding chamber membership by ensuring members receive relevant, responsive and timely services, initiatives, programs and events. She is also responsible for forging and sustaining relationships with community, government and educational institutions.

40. Avondale Partners Expands Into Memphis -

Avondale Partners, a Nashville-based boutique investment banking and wealth management firm, has opened a new office in Germantown with John Santi heading up the location as managing director.

The new office brings to the Mid-South investment banking and equity research focused on the health care, transportation, logistics and business services sectors as well as a fiduciary investment practice for individuals and institutions.

41. Economic Microscope -

Back in 2012, Century Wealth Management president and founder Jay Healy was telling the firm’s clients that the U.S. stock market was behaving like a coiled spring.

42. Will Tennessee Republicans Ever Be Truly Happy? -

Why aren’t Tennessee Republicans happier?

With the GOP so dominate in the Tennessee General Assembly and losses so rare – on the Hill or in elections – the party’s lawmakers should be jubilant with this year’s session. But it’s never enough.

43. ServiceMaster Ups First-Quarter Earnings -

Memphis-based ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc. posted first-quarter earnings of $28 million, the company reported Tuesday, April 28.

44. Wendell Smith’s: Charlotte Avenue's Safe Zone for Sinners, Saints -

Other than the fact the roads outside – 53rd and Charlotte – are paved, not much has changed at Wendell Smith’s Corner, a monument to a short life well lived.

45. Sounds Like a Hit for Neighbors -

For months, sounds of construction surrounded the Nashville Sounds’ sparkling new First Tennessee Park in Germantown.

The constant thump-thump-thump of pounding jackhammers competed with the irritating, high-pitched beeps of vehicles backing up. Ka-ching! Cranes lifted steel beams into place, keeping time with a syncopated thrumming of never-ending drilling. Ka-ching!

46. Kelly, Berry Battle for Safety Spot in Legacy Showdown -

Todd Kelly Jr. concludes his first spring practice with Tennessee’s football team this week in a heated competition for a safety job.

47. Biblical Lessons Lost in Lack of Health Care Debate -

Tennessee’s legislators spent hours this session arguing over guns and whether to pass a law making the Bible the state book of Tennessee.

In fact, the Bible bill took two days of debate in the House, where it passed, and thorough discussion in the Senate, before it died – at least until next year.

48. Dr. Neil Bomar Joins Support Solutions -

Dr. Neil Bomar has joined Support Solutions as its first staff psychiatrist, a role in which he will help individuals with intellectual disabilities and those with a history of long-term mental illness who are currently supported by the organization. Bomar’s addition makes Support Solutions one of the only industry providers in the Mid-South to provide this level of support.

49. Injuries Slow Development of Vols Defensive Players -

Tennessee football fans might want to look past the defensive lineup for the Orange & White Spring Game. It will bear little resemblance to the unit that will start the 2015 season opener against Bowling Green on Sept. 5 at Nashville’s LP Field.

50. Big Leap From Hollywood Hustle to Nolensville ‘Barn’ -

The step-grandmother of Clark Gable’s granddaughter leans back in her chair inside the Mennonite furniture store and holds up a foot.

“Look. I’m wearing orange socks. I must be eccentric,” says Linda Roberts as a gray, misty day chases me from Nolensville Road into the worn building tucked against Mill Creek.

51. Vanderbilt's Tim Corbin: Developing Champions ‘The Right Way’ -

For a baseball coach – one of the best in the business – Tim Corbin owes much of his career to influences from a different athletic endeavor.

52. The J-Hey Kid Starts Fresh With St. Louis Cardinals -

Jason Heyward homered in his first big-league at-bat, which did not announce his arrival so much as confirmed it.

Before the Atlanta Braves used the 14th overall pick in the 2007 June Draft on Heyward – then just 17 years old – his star virtually shone above Turner Field. Heyward was a stud for East Cobb in metro Atlanta, one of the country’s elite amateur baseball programs.

53. Events -

Germantown Community Theatre and All Children’s Theatre will present “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” Thursday, April 9, through April 26 at GCT, 3037 Forest Hill-Irene Road. Buy tickets at gctcomeplay.org or 901-937-3023.

54. Events -

Greater Memphis Chamber will host a Lunch in the Know on Wednesday, April 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Baptist Memorial Health Care Medical Plaza B, 6027 Walnut Grove Road. RedRover and Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority representatives will present “A Better MEM in in Progress,” discussing the airport’s future and new marketing strategy. Cost is free for chamber members. Email lloeb@memphischamber.com.

55. Scarboro Takes Reins at Regional Fed -

Douglas Scarboro has been named regional executive of the Memphis Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In that role, Scarboro is responsible for working with business leaders and local communities in western Tennessee, northern Mississippi and eastern Arkansas to inform the setting of monetary policies.

56. Grichuk Makes Cardinals’ Roster as Reserve Outfielder -

When outfielder Randal Grichuk arrived at spring training this year, he could look down the schedule to the April 3 St. Louis Cardinals’ exhibition game with the Memphis Redbirds at AutoZone Park and wonder if he would be staying behind while the big club left for Chicago and the start of the major-league season.

57. Vols’ Dobbs Embraces the Role of ‘CEO Quarterback’ -

Joshua Dobbs enters his junior season as Tennessee’s undisputed No. 1 quarterback and team leader, the player most responsible for the Vols’ relevance again in SEC football.

58. Humble Grilled Cheese Gets Royal Treatment From Nashville's Top Chefs -

If you were looking to celebrate National Whipped Cream Day, then you’ll have to wait until next year on Jan 5.

National “I Want Butterscotch Day” has also passed.

And National Frog Legs Day? It only comes around every four years to celebrate Leap Day.

59. What Better Place for an NRA Convention? -

When the National Rifle Association announced that it would hold its 2015 convention in Nashville, the timing was propitious.

In 2010, gun sales and handgun permits were booming, and Tennessee had just enacted a controversial and contested new “guns in bars” law that allowed people with handgun permits to carry concealed firearms into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

60. Pray Tell -

PRAYING FOR TENNESSEE. This being Easter week, let’s open with a prayer. Aren’t we all Christians – at least all of us who matter – and in Tennessee, the Promised Land?

61. On Saban, Calipari and NCAA grandstanding -

Hold up your hand if you’re an Alabama football player and you have not been arrested in the last week. Three Crimson Tide players were arrested, one on suspicion of domestic violence, another for driving under the influence and another on a marijuana charge.

62. Obama Signs Order Creating New Cyber Sanctions Program -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday authorized a new U.S. government approach to deterring cyberattacks: financial sanctions against malicious overseas hackers and companies that knowingly benefit from the fruits of cyberespionage.

63. Gamers Delight -

As the crowd of attendees at a preview party Monday night for Broad Avenue’s newest enterprise relaxed on couches, ordered drinks at the bar, and played video games like Super Smash Bros. – several of which were projected on a 120-foot-wide wall for collective viewing – one thing was readily apparent.

64. In-State Emphasis Paying Off for Vols Swim Program -

You don’t need to search the Allan Jones Aquatic Center for a reminder of Tennessee’s glory years in men’s swimming under legendary coach Ray Bussard.

Hanging from the rafters are 10 SEC championship banners and the 1978 NCAA championship banner. Bussard coached eight SEC championship teams – the first in 1969 and seven consecutive from 1972-78 – and the NCAA title team.

65. Love Song to a City -

As the story goes, Al Green wrote the lyrics to “Let’s Stay Together” in about five minutes. In 1972, the song – which spans just three minutes and 13 seconds – reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

66. Jones Still Battling for Medicinal Marijuana -

State Rep. Sherry Jones is continuing her push for legalization of medical marijuana in Tennessee after taking it further than ever in the legislative process last year.

67. Rice Moves 3-Day Divorce Conference to Beale -

After several years in Tunica, divorce attorney Larry Rice is bringing his three-day conference for family law attorneys back to Memphis and to Beale Street.

68. Open Meetings Laws Don't Apply to Tennessee Transparency Panel -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A panel of experts assembled to offer advice on transparency issues is not subject to the state's open meetings law. At least that's the opinion of Ann Butterworth, who heads the Comptroller's Office of Open Records Counsel.

69. Eakin: Rising Rents Hitting All of Middle Tennessee -

Selling business people on the idea of relocating to Nashville is easy for commercial real estate broker Barry R. Smith because he, too, bought into the city’s charm when he first came to town in 1981.

70. Farm & Gin -

Jacob Waters isn’t old enough to drive a car yet. But, by his own account, he has driven a tractor a few times.

71. Fresh Selection -

It would seem I Love Memphis blogger Holly Whitfield was correct last year with a forecast that called for a “permanent Foodnado” in Memphis.

72. Mike Shildt: From College Walk-On To Memphis Redbirds Manager -

Any professional baseball player can tell you about the stigmas he has to fight. For one guy, it might be that he doesn’t hit with enough power. And for another it might be that he doesn’t make consistent enough contact.

73. Building From a New Blueprint -

When recruiting new businesses, East Tennessee economic development officials have long touted the benefits of partnering with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.

The lab and the university both have a history of working closely with private business to develop cutting-edge manufacturing techniques, technologies and new products. That research effort recently received a major boost with President Obama’s announcement of a new manufacturing innovation hub based in the Knoxville area.

74. Relevant Again? 10 Keys to Success for UT Baseball -

KNOXVILLE – Tennessee baseball coach Dave Serrano wasn’t pushing the panic button after his team lost two of three games in their season opening series at Florida International University in Miami last weekend.

75. Jones, Vols Make Honor Roll With Recruiting Class -

KNOXVILLE – Butch Jones has done it again.

Tennessee’s football coach has created a national buzz with his 2015 recruiting class.

UT finished with the No. 4 class in the nation as rated by 247Sports and ended up ranked No. 5 by Rivals when the Feb. 4 national signing day was over.

76. Americans Striving to Find Their Place in a Global Sport -

He was supposed to be the next Andy Roddick, the next great American tennis player. That’s what they said about Ryan Harrison.

77. Haslam Budget Seeks to Improve Teacher Salaries -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam says he's committed to making Tennessee the fastest-improving state in the nation in terms of teacher pay and that his budget will reflect that commitment.

78. Wade to Lead Southern College of Optometry's Hayes Center -

Dr. Lisa Wade has been named director of the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence at Southern College of Optometry, which focuses on teaching business principles to help optometrists succeed in independent practice.

79. Local Elections Ramp Up With Gumbo Fest -

There were so many contenders for the District 5 seat on the Memphis City Council at the Sunday, Feb. 8, Tennessee Equality Project Gumbo Contest that they occasionally went for the same voter’s hand in the crowd of several hundred.

80. Spokeswoman: Republican Rep. Nunnelee of Mississippi Dies -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee of Mississippi, a fiscal and social conservative elected to Congress in a Republican wave of 2010, has died. He was 56.

Elizabeth Parks, the spokeswoman in Nunnelee's congressional office, said he died Friday in his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi.

81. Tigers’ Season: Inconsistent Play, Lukewarm Support -

It has become a nightly ritual at University of Memphis home games. When a member of the stats crew walks down press row holding a sheet of paper displaying the “announced attendance,” members of the Fourth Estate roll their eyes and shake their heads.

82. Skyline-Changing Tower Project Planned for Beale -

The resurrected One Beale project at Riverside Drive and Beale Street has returned to a two-tower plan that will include 280 apartments, 40,000 square feet of retail and meeting space, 20,000 square feet of office space and a 300-room hotel.

83. Obama's Record Budget: Tax the Rich, Help Middle Class -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Promising to help America's middle class, President Barack Obama on Monday sent Congress a record $4 trillion budget that would hammer corporate profits overseas and raise taxes on the wealthy while boosting tax credits for families and the working poor.

84. Super Bowl Ad Winners and Losers -

Think there was only one big game on Super Bowl Sunday? A typical NFL game has only 11 minutes of actual “game action” compared to 63 minutes of commercials, according to The Wall Street Journal. With 30 seconds of commercial airtime going for $4.5 million this year, it is clear that Super Bowl advertising is serious business, making for an equally interesting off-the-field game unfolding when the clock stops.

85. Consumers Fuel Steady US Economy as Rest of World Struggles -

WASHINGTON (AP) – There's a good reason the U.S. economy is impressing the world right now despite a slowdown in the final three months of 2014: In a word, steadiness.

Companies have been hiring at healthy rates for the past year. Layoffs hover near historic lows. Auto sales are strong. Gas prices have sunk. Congressional budget fights have faded. Americans are increasingly confident.

86. Open In Memphis -

First-year Memphis Open tennis director Erin Mazurek no doubt could tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the Detroit Red Wings.

Mazurek spent five years working for the National Hockey League team as director of private events. So, she’s got a history there. She knows the value of winning and what the Stanley Cup means (last won by the Red Wings in 2008).

87. Drowning in Student Loan Debt -

Three-and-a-half years after graduating from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Yasameen Hoffman is still trying to land the kind of full-time job that will help her start paying off her student loan.

88. Justices Debate Judicial Candidates' Campaign Appeals -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court's conservative and liberal justices clashed Tuesday over campaign finance restrictions in a dispute involving candidates for elected state and local judgeships.

89. Walter Awarded AAF Silver Medal -

Ronald A. Walter, president and general manager of WREG-TV, has been chosen to receive AAF Memphis’ 2015 Silver Medal, the highest form of individual recognition given by local chapters of the American Advertising Federation. The annual award, which honors an exceptional leader for a career of outstanding accomplishment and contribution in the industry, will be presented at AAF Memphis’ luncheon Jan. 29 at 11:30 a.m. at Memphis Botanic Garden.

90. Bringing Out the Best in Others -

According to John D. Rockefeller, “Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” The best leaders, employers, or workplaces are the ones that understand that just below the surface of average, waiting to be ignited, is the extraordinary.

91. ServiceMaster Signals Desire to Strengthen Tennis Tournament -

After it was announced at a press conference at The Racquet Club of Memphis that ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc. had entered into a three-year deal to be the presenting sponsor of the Memphis Open, the company’s chief financial officer, Alan Haughie, couldn’t help himself.

92. Millennial Challenge: Do I Rent or Do I Own? -

Mike Smalling is a mortgage loan originator with F&M Mortgage and is a lifer in mortgage lending. He recently penned a book entitled “Your Mortgage Matters,” and the work provides information for those new to home buying, as well as those that have bought and sold numerous homes.

93. Hitting the Accelerator -

Five years after the Great Recession rocked the nation and nearly destroyed auto manufacturing in Tennessee, the Midstate’s industry is booming again.

Nissan’s growth is no small part of that, largely because of the company’s confidence in the state of Tennessee and Gov. Bill Haslam, according to José Muñoz, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co. and chairman of Nissan North America, which is headquartered in Franklin.

94. Despite Low Gas Prices, Gas Tax Hike Appears Unlikely -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The new Republican-controlled Congress is facing an old problem: where to find the money for highway and transit programs.

With gasoline prices at their lowest in years when the new Congress convened, there had been talk that it might be time to raise federal gas and diesel taxes, which haven't budged in more than 20 years.

95. Center of Attention -

The Pinch District, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and commercial centers, will receive some much-needed tender loving care in advance of Bass Pro Shops opening its massive store at The Pyramid May 1.

96. IRS Cuts Taxpayer Services as Filing Returns Gets Harder -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The IRS is cutting taxpayer services to historically low levels just as President Barack Obama's health law will make filing a federal tax return more complicated for millions of families.

97. Overtimes, Trade Dominate Grizz Weekend -

The Memphis Grizzlies have played a lot of big games and made a lot of moments in recent years at FedExForum. Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns, which required two overtimes and included Tony Allen, aka The Grindfather, hugging an inflatable birthday cake as fans serenaded him, was one of the wilder and stranger ones.

98. Obama Proposes Publicly Funded Community College for All -

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – President Barack Obama on Friday proposed to bring the cost of two years of community college "down to zero" for all Americans, an ambitious nationwide plan based on a popular Tennessee program signed into law by that state's Republican governor.

99. Transportation Department Wants Safety Slogans -

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is looking for a few good safety slogans.

TDOT is asking the public to submit ideas for the electronic message boards that grace the state's highways, warning motorists about speeding, texting and other driving hazards.

100. Fear of Trying -

The most complicated move in ballroom dancing is often the step that gets you through the dance studio’s front door.

Television shows like, “Dancing with the Stars’’ and “So You Think You Can Dance’’ are wildly popular and have contributed to a renewed interest in the glamourous art (skill? sport?) of ballroom dancing, but those high-energy, competitive programs or a movie like “Dirty Dancing’’ can also intimidate people and keep them glued to the couch.