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Editorial Results (free)

1. Commission Approves $3 Million in Pre-K Funding -

Shelby County Commissioners approved $3 million in county government surplus funds Monday, July 21, from the just-ended fiscal year to fund prekindergarten classrooms in the Shelby County Schools system.

2. County Commission Continues Prekindergarten Debate -

Shelby County Commissioners pick up Monday, July 21, where they left off earlier in the month about a way to fund prekindergarten programs.

The commission faces dueling resolutions, with one setting up further study on an expansion, and the other dedicating $3 million in surplus funds from the just-ended fiscal year and the first $3 million of any surplus from the current fiscal year to Shelby County Schools and the suburban school systems.

3. Brooks Residency Issue Grows More Political -

Shelby County Commissioners seemed to settle one question Monday, July 7, about the residency challenge of Commissioner Henri Brooks.

They voted to make a determination of their own on whether she violated the residency clause of the county charter by moving out of the Midtown house she listed as her home address for years and continuing to use the address.

4. Commission To Hold Brooks Hearing, Sets Standardized Property Tax Rate -

Shelby County Commissioners agreed Monday, to make their own determination about the residency of commissioner Henri Brooks probably toward the end of July in a proceeding that one commissioner described as a “question and answer session.”

5. Timing Key Element of County Tax Rate Debate -

More funding from Shelby County government for prekindergarten classrooms is a matter of timing, say those on both sides of the property tax rate question on which the $2.8 million in additional funding hinges.

6. County Budget Season Not Over Yet -

The Shelby County Commission defeated two competing versions of the county property tax rate for the new fiscal year on the second of three readings Monday, June 16.

But they both advance to third and final readings when the commission meets in July.

7. County Commission to Weigh New Disparity Study -

Shelby County Commissioners consider a start Monday, June 16, toward a new disparity study as a way to changing the county’s efforts in increasing minority business participation in government contracts.

8. Commission to Vote on Budget, Tax Rate -

Shelby County Commissioners take final votes Monday, June 2, on a $1.1 billion operating budget and a $75 million capital budget for Shelby County government, and the first of three votes on a new property tax rate for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

9. Commission Prepares Final Budget Moves -

When Shelby County Commissioners make the last adjustments to the county budget in committee sessions Wednesday, May 28, they will likely increase the 2.5 percent pay raise county Mayor Mark Luttrell proposed for county employees to 3 percent.

10. Schools Funding Compromise Avoids Legal Complications -

Don’t expect to see construction work begin immediately at a school near you. But the Shelby County Commission’s approval Monday, May 12, of $52.1 million in capital funding for all seven of the public school systems in the county breaks the two-year intermission on schools construction funding that began with the 2011 move to a schools merger in Shelby County.

11. Schools Wish List Comes to $51 Million -

Shelby County Commissioners take their first budget vote next month on a $51 million capital list for Shelby County Schools in the current fiscal year.

And the recommendation from the administration of Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell to the commission in committee sessions next week might not be the same wish list submitted by Shelby County Schools leaders and approved by the school board earlier this month.

12. Mo’s Bows Founder to Appear on ‘Shark Tank’ -

Memphis entrepreneur and Mo’s Bows founder Moziah Bridges will appear on the hit ABC show “Shark Tank” this Friday, April 25, and it’s a pretty good bet he’ll be dressed to the nines as he displays his typical pluck and sense of style to a panel of investors that includes Mark Cuban.

13. Commission Votes Down Family-Planning Rebid -

Shelby County commissioners voted down a bid Monday, March 24, to rebid the county’s contract for federally funded family-planning services with Christ Community Health Services.

Some commissioners branded Commissioner Steve Mulroy’s effort to urge County Mayor Mark Luttrell’s administration to rebid the contract as a political effort. Mulroy is taking criticism from former Commissioner Deidre Malone in the three-way Democratic primary race for county mayor for his vote in favor of the contract in 2011.

14. Commission Votes Down Family Planning Services Rebid Resolution -

Shelby County Commissioners voted down a bid Monday, March 24, to rebid the county’s contract for federally-funded family planning services with Christ Community Health Services.

And the commission rejected an August referendum item on eliminating any residency requirement from the Shelby County Charter for county government employees as well as Shelby County Schools teachers.

15. May Primary Ballot Almost Complete -

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

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

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

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

17. Consolidation Talk Surfaces as Races Come to Life -

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy says he would pursue city and county government consolidation if elected Shelby County mayor.

Mulroy made the comment at a Cooper-Young fundraiser as campaigns leading into the May county primaries came to life this week.

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

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

19. Election Filing Pace Quickens as Deadline Nears -

The May 6 Shelby County primary races began to move toward their final form Monday, Feb. 17, just ahead of the noon Thursday filing deadline for candidates.

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy brought the Democratic primary race for county mayor to four as he filed his qualifying petition Monday afternoon.

20. Luttrell Begins Re-Election Bid for Mayor -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell made it official Tuesday, Feb. 11, filing his qualifying petition with the Shelby County Election Commission to run for a second term of office.

21. Democratic Mayoral Hopefuls Pitch Base -

The four likely contenders in the May Democratic primary for Shelby County mayor have already had their first debate. But there were no clashes among the quartet, at least not yet.

James Harvey, Deidre Malone, Kenneth Whalum Jr. and Steve Mulroy each spoke to the Shelby County Democratic Party’s executive committee two weeks from the Feb. 20 filing deadline for the May 6 primary election.

22. Four Democratic Mayoral Contenders Make First Joint Appearance -

The four likely contenders in the May Democratic primary for Shelby County Mayor have already had their first debate. But there were no clashes among the quartet, at least not yet.

James Harvey, Deidre Malone, Kenneth Whalum Jr. and Steve Mulroy each spoke to the Shelby County Democratic Party’s executive committee two weeks from the Feb. 20 filing deadline for the May 6 primary election.

23. Mulroy Gets in County Mayor’s Race -

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy considered a bid for Shelby County mayor for the second time in a year and Monday, Feb. 3, pulled a qualifying petition to enter the Democratic primary just more than two weeks before the filing deadline for candidates in the May 6 county primaries.

24. Commission Approves Other Part of Ballpark Deal -

Shelby County Commissioners reluctantly approved county government’s part of the AutoZone Park deal Monday, Jan. 27, despite delaying a vote on it at committee sessions last week.

The item was added onto the commission’s agenda by chairman James Harvey who said he could because it was “time sensitive.”

25. Commission to Have New Faces in 2014 -

When Shelby County Commissioners said farewell to one of their own this week at the commission’s last meeting of 2013, it was the latest in a series of changes that will remake the 13-member body by this time next year.

26. Commission Debates Pay for County Offices -

Shelby County Commissioners appear to have another deadlock similar to the one that spilled over from 2011 into 2012 on drawing new district lines for the 13-member body.

This time the issue is what to pay those holding six countywide elected offices once all of the votes are counted next August in the county general elections.

27. 2014 County Campaigns Come to Life -

There was plenty of political activity when suburban voters went to the polls last week to vote in school board races.

And much of it had to do with a different set of elections, the county primary and general elections on the ballot in 2014.

28. Shelby County Schools To Apply For Head Start Funding -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson said Monday, Oct. 14, the school system will apply for $23 million in federal Head Start funding that now goes to Shelby County government.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said Monday, Oct. 14, Porter-Leath children’s service will also make a bid for the Head Start contract county government now operates.

29. Head Start Funding Deadline Looms for County -

Shelby County Commissioners will probably talk again Monday, Oct. 14, about who should apply for $23 million in federal funding for the Head Start program.

Last month the commission approved a resolution urging Shelby County Schools to apply for the early childhood development program now administered by Shelby County government.

30. County Commission’s Partisan, Personal Divide Resurfaces -

As Shelby County Commissioners were asking some pretty pointed questions Monday, Sept. 9, of those vying for an appointment to the countywide school board, Commissioner Heidi Shafer told Shante Avant, one of the contenders, “We’re not as scary as we seem.”

31. Commission Appoints Avant To School Board, Keeps Shafer As Budget Chair -

Shelby County Commissioners appointed Shante Avant, a mother who has worked for the Women’s Foundation and other local nonprofits for 17 years, as the newest members of the countywide school board.

32. Commission Appoints Avant To School Board, Keeps Shafer As Budget Chair -

Shelby County Commissioners appointed Shante Avant, a mother who has worked for the Women’s Foundation and other local nonprofits for 17 years, as the newest members of the countywide school board.

33. Issues of County Budget Season Remain -

The Shelby County property tax rate of $4.38 is ready for the tax bills that are to go out starting later this month.

But with the county budget season now over, some of the major themes of the Shelby County Commission’s debate over taxes are likely to remain in play.

34. Tax Rate Delay Could Affect County Cash Flow -

Shelby County property taxes aren’t due until October, but the tax bills were to go out to taxpayers later this month.

And that could cause some cash flow problems if a new county property tax rate isn’t set soon.

35. Commission Awaits Next Budget Steps -

When Shelby County Commissioners get together Wednesday, July 17, for committee sessions, they will probably begin to fill in some of the blank space left in the wake of their decision this week to vote down a $4.38 county property tax rate.

36. Commission Votes Down $4.38 Tax Rate -

Shelby County Commissioners voted down a $4.38 county property tax rate Monday, July 8, in a decision that could reopen the county’s operating budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

At the least, the commission vote means it will be mid August at the earliest before the commission sets a tax rate. But if the commission lowers the tax rate from $4.38, it would force reconsideration of a county operating budget that is based on that higher tax rate.

37. Differences Welcome County Budget Talks -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell isn’t happy that the countywide school board hasn’t sent a budget proposal to the county yet.

38. City-County Swaps Grow More Complex -

Memphis City Council members and Shelby County Commissioners are talking about a swap.

The Memphis Animal Shelter would be run by county government if the city would continue funding Memphis police officers in Memphis schools after the merger of Shelby County’s two public school systems.

39. County Wage Theft Ordinance Defeated -

After weeks of discussion, talks between Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy and leaders of the city’s hospitality industry broke down on Mulroy’s “wage theft” ordinance.

40. County Wage Theft Ordinance Defeated -

Shelby County Commissioners voted down a “wage theft” ordinance Monday, Jan. 14, on third and final reading.

The proposal failed on a 5-7 vote with very little debate among commissioners but a just about even split among 23 citizens who spoke on the issue before the commission voted.

41. County Wage Theft Ordinance Defeated -

Shelby County Commissioners voted down a “wage theft” ordinance Monday, Jan. 14, on third and final reading.

The proposal failed on a 5-7 vote with very little debate among commissioners but a just about even split among 23 citizens who spoke on the issue before the commission voted.

42. Commission Finds Barriers to Comparing Pre-K -

The idea of universal pre-kindergarten in public schools across Shelby County – or at least an expansion of pre-kindergarten access with the coming August merger of city and county schools – is one goal of the schools merger that has a broad consensus.

43. Commission Approves Bartlett Senior Facility -

If an expansion of an assisted-living facility at Baylor and Brunswick roads stays on schedule with votes next month by the Memphis City Council, the planned development should win final approval less than a month before the area it is in is annexed by the city of Bartlett.

44. Election Reform Advisory Board Approved -

A new Election Reform Advisory Board approved Monday, Sept. 24, by the Shelby County Commission is to report its recommendations by the end of March to the Shelby County Election Commission.

And the Election Commission is under no obligation to act or even accept the recommendations, although election commissioners Steve Stamson and Norma Lester are also on the committee of 12.

45. Commission Approves Pera Group on Forum Lease -

Shelby County Commissioners approved Monday, Sept. 24, a change in the lease for FedExForum to the new Grizzlies ownership group headed by Robert J. Pera.

But the 9-4 vote came after commissioners criticized Pera’s representatives for not providing basic financial statements about Pera or his ownership group.

46. After 21 Rounds of Voting, Still no Commission Chair -

Shelby County Commissioners put off electing a chairman for the next year’s term Monday, July 16, after 21 rounds of voting in which no one got seven votes.

The commission will try again at its July 30 meeting.

47. Scott Joins Methodist South as Chief Medical Officer -

Dr. Howard Scott has been named chief medical officer at Methodist South Hospital. Before joining Methodist South, which is part of the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare system, Scott served as chief medical officer for West Kendall Baptist Hospital in Miami. He has also maintained an active private practice for 29 years.

48. County Commission Amends Budget, Moves Basketball Complex -

Shelby County Commissioners added nearly $1 million in grants to county government’s $1.1 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The commission balanced the budget Monday, May 21, over the objections of Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell by taking the money from the county’s $90 million reserve fund. The amount is 24 percent of the county budget total that doesn't include elected officials outside the county administration.

49. Copter Drones Dominate Commission Debate -

A plan by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to buy two miniature helicopter drones hit some political turbulence Monday, May 7, among Shelby County Commissioners concerned about privacy issues.

“The potential for abuse is great,” said Commissioner Brent Taylor. “They could peer into our private spaces without a warrant.”

50. Commission’s Redistrict Debate Moves to Chancery -

It is now up to a court to decide on a new set of district lines for the Shelby County Commission.

And Chancellor Arnold Goldin is not being asked to approve a simple tweaking of district boundaries that will essentially keep the commission as it is.

51. County Commission - Luttrell Clash on Urgency of School Transfer Rules -

Shelby County Commissioners approved Friday, Feb. 10, a resolution authorizing Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell to negotiate with the countywide school board on the terms of a transfer of school buildings in the event suburban municipal school districts are formed.

52. County Commission Floats - Sinks Schools Transfer Rules -

A resolution that would involve Shelby County government along with the countywide school board in any transfer of school buildings to another school district surfaced Monday, Feb. 6, after a weekend of behind the scenes talks.

53. New District Plan Fizzles, Causes Strife -

The dust hasn’t completely settled on the differences Shelby County Commissioners are having with each other across party lines and on a number of other fronts.

“We’ve outed a civility gap on this commission,” commissioner Steve Mulroy said. “It’s existed for a while.”

54. Commission Approves Flat Bonus, Moves Toward Redistricting End Game - Shelby County Commissioners approved a flat $650 bonus per county employee Monday, Dec. 5, after a lengthy debate about what to do with $2.5 million of an $8.7 million surplus from the fiscal year that ended June 30.

55. CCRFC Approves Bonds for Pyramid, Convention Ctr. -

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. has approved the bond financing that should make it possible to begin construction Oct. 1 on the adaptive reuse of The Pyramid.

56. County Commission Approves City Convention Center Buyout -

Shelby County Commissioners have approved selling county government’s share of the Memphis Cook Convention Center to the city of Memphis for $75 million.

The commission vote Monday, Aug. 22, came after city Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb fielded a lot of questions from several commissioners about the Bass Pro Shops renovation of The Pyramid.

57. Commissioners Plan for 2nd Yr. of Term -

Shelby County Commissioners meet Monday, Aug. 8, to set the stage for the second year of their current four-year term of office.

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

58. Commission Approves Balanced Budget -

No county property tax hike. No 2 percent pay raise for county employees. The full $400,000 in funding for the county office of early childhood and youth, and no cuts in funding to the Greater Memphis Chamber or Shelby Farms Park.

59. Commission Delays Final County Budget Vote -

Shelby County Commissioners cut several million dollars across county government Monday June 6 with a resolution suggesting all county employees making over $100,000 a year take a 10 percent pay cut. They also slashed $300,000 from the county’s office of early childhood and youth and moved $250,000 in funding for a sickle cell clinic from the general fund to the fund balance.

60. Friends Launch Joy Magazine Memphis -

Much of the friendship forged between Anthony Milan and Henry Nelson stems from a continual exchange of ideas.

61. Robertson Honored For Radio Achievement -

For almost 40 years, Howard Robertson, CEO of TRUST Marketing Inc. and SPOTSET Radio Network, has worked to establish himself in both the television and radio industries, successfully creating his own company and radio network.

62. County Commission Tightens Attorney-Client Rules -

The Shelby County Commission could keep legal documents out of the hands of some of its own members if they talk to the public about what happens in closed attorney-client meetings.

The commission passed the resolution Monday establishing that and other sanctions including censure that would have to be enacted with a majority vote.

63. Dev. Race Procedures Draw Elected Officials’ Ire -

When Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. decided the facility in Ako, Japan, where the company produces large power transformers was approaching full capacity, it wasn’t long before the company decided it needed to build another plant.

64. Rotarians Launch Midtown Club -

Midtown now has its own Rotary club.

The group, which has 26 members, is looking for others to join. They set their charter celebration for 6:30 p.m. Friday in a VIP tent at the Levitt Shell, where the club was scheduled to be recognized from the stage just before the 7:30 p.m. performance by The Dynamites.

65. Luttrell’s Staff Filled With Familiar Faces -

Shelby County Mayor-elect Mark Luttrell is taking some of his team from the sheriff’s department with him when he switches offices Sept. 1

66. Luttrell Assembles Team - As interim Shelby County mayor Joe Ford attended his last County Commission meeting, county mayor elect Mark Luttrell began naming the team he will go into office with on Sept. 1.

67. Ford Wins Democratic Mayoral Primary -  

Interim County Mayor Joe Ford became the Democratic nominee for mayor in the August county general elections Tuesday night.

And the August sheriff’s race will be a contest between Democrat Randy Wade and Republican Randy Wade.

All three were among the winners in Tuesday’s low turnout county primaries.

Approximately ten percent of Shelby County’s nearly 600,000 voters cast ballots in early voting and election day polling.

Ford, who was appointed interim mayor in December, beat County Commissioner Deidre Malone and General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson in the Democratic primary. He will face Republican Mark Luttrell who had only token opposition in the Republican primary from perennial contender Ernie Lunati.

Luttrell has raised more money than all three of the Democratic primary contenders combined and began running television ads in the last week runup to election day.

The final unofficial totals in the Democratic mayoral primary are:

Ford 20,360 57%

Malone 12,916 37%

Jackson 2,168 6%

The pair of primaries for Sheriff featured eight candidates, seven of whom either currently work for the sheriff’s department or are past employees. Only Reginald French, in the Democratic primary was not a former or current department official.

Wade was the 2002 Democratic nominee, losing to Luttrell who is leaving as Sheriff after serving two terms. French was the Democratic nominee in the 2006 elections.

Oldham is Luttrell’s chief deputy, the number two position in the department. He is also a former director of the Memphis Police Department.

The final unofficials totals in the Republican primary are:

Bill Oldham 13,821 48%

Dale Lane 7,981 28%

Bobby Simmons 5,886 21%

James Coleman 943 3%

In the Democratic primary:

Randy Wade 22,643 67%

Reginald French 6,777 20%

Larry Hill 2,738 8%

Bennie Cobb 1,814 5%

Voters in the primary elections decided to return six Shelby County commissioners to new four year terms with Tuesday’s results. They also elected six new commissioners. The winner of the thirteenth commission seat will be decided on the August general election ballot in a contest between district 5 Democratic incumbent Steve Mulroy and Republican challenger Dr. Rolando Toyos. The winner of the match up will determine whether the commission remains majority Democrat or goes majority Republican.

Mulroy easily defeated Jennings Bernard in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Republican incumbent Mike Ritz ran unopposed as did new Democratic commissioner Walter Bailey.

In the remaining ten contests, the primaries decided who gets the seats since no one ran in the opposing party’s primary.

The most hotly contested contest among the commission races was for District 4 Position 1. Outgoing Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas beat John Pellicciotti, appointed to a commission seat last year but running for a different position in the same district. Jim Bomprezzi, the former mayor of Lakeland, was the third contender in the contest.

The final unofficial totals in the Republican primary:

Thomas 7,631 52%

Pellicciotti 4,871 33%

Bomprezzi 2,298 15%

In position 2 of the same district incumbent Republican Wyatt Bunker easily overcame two challengers with former Lakeland alderman John Wilkerson finishing second and Ron Fittes finishing third.

Millington businessman Terry Roland claimed the third position in the district that takes in all six of Shelby County’s suburban towns and cities.

Roland beat George Chism to take the seat Pellicciotti was appointed to but opted not to run for in deference to Roland.

Heidi Shafer, an aide to outgoing County Commissioner George Flinn, claimed Flinn’s District 1 Position 2 seat over Albert Maduska.in the GOP primary.

District 1 incumbent Republican Mike Carpenter easily beat businessman Joe Baier.

In the Democratic commission primaries, Melvin Burgess claimed Malone’s District 2 Position 3 seat in a field of six contenders. His closest contender was Reginald Milton. Burgess, a city school system audit manager, had run for the seat before. He brought in 54 percent of the vote.

The other hard fought Democratic commission primary saw Justin Ford, son of the interim mayor, claim his father’s District 3 Position 3 seat.

Ford beat Edith Moore, a retired IBM executive, whom the commission appointed to the seat after the elder Ford became mayor.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Ford 7,342 66%

Moore 3,822 34%

Democratic incumbent commissioners Henri Brooks, Sidney Chism and James Harvey were all re-elected over primary challengers.

The county-wide primaries for seven clerk’s positions saw the return of former Criminal Court Clerk Minerva Johnican 16 years after Republican challenger Bill Key took her job. Johnican decisively beat Ralph White and Vernon Johnson in her first bid for office since the 1994 defeat. She will face Republican Kevin Key, the son of Bill Key in the August general election.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Johnican 16,381 51%

White 10,170 31%

Johnson 5,954 18%

Former Juvenile Court Clerk Shep Wilbun easily won the Democratic primary with 76 percent of the vote to face Republican Joy Touliatos in August for the office being vacated by Republican Steve Stamson. Touliatos was unopposed in the primary.

Democrat Coleman Thompson is back for another go at incumbent Republican Register Tom Leatherwood.

Aside from Leatherwood, Jimmy Moore is the only other of the seven clerks seeking re-election. Moore ran unopposed in the GOP primary. He will face Democrat Ricky Dixon in August.

Trustee Regina Newman was appointed to her office following the death last year of Paul Mattila. Newman easily overcame M LaTroy Williams in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. She will face David Lenoir, who beat former Shelby County Commissioner John Willingham in the Republican contest.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Lenoir 15,922 58%

Willingham 11,569 42%

The other six candidate field on the ballot was in the Democratic primary for Probate Court Clerk. Sondra Becton posted impressive vote totals over her rivals, bringing in 35 percent of the vote with Peggy Dobbins her closest rival. Becton, who is making her fourth bid for the office, will face Republican Paul Boyd, who ran unopposed in his primary.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Becton 10,929 36%

Dobbins 5,366 18%

Annita Hamilton 4,848 16%

Clay Perry 3,549 12%

Danny Kail 3,120 11%

Karen Tyler 2,782 9%

The closest contest of the evening was in the Democratic primary for County Clerk. Wrestling promoter and television personality Corey Maclin won his political debut by less than 1,400 votes over Charlotte Draper and LaKeith Miller. He will face Republican Wayne Mashburn who beat Steve Moore in the companion primary.

Early voting in advance of the Aug. 5 election day begins July 16. The August ballot will also feature state and federal primary elections including the statewide primaries for governor and the primaries for all nine of the state’s Congressional districts.

...

68. Candidate Filing List -- The Final Version -

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell appeared on his way to the Republican nomination for Shelby County mayor at Thursday’s noon filing deadline for candidates on the May 4 primary ballot.

69. UPDATE: Mayor's Race Grows At Filing Deadline -

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell appeared on his way to the Republican nomination for Shelby County mayor at Thursday’s noon filing deadline for candidates on the May 4 primary ballot.

Luttrell faces only token opposition from perennial candidate Ernie Lunati.

Meanwhile, the Democratic primary for mayor grew to three contenders as General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson filed his qualifying petition just before the deadline. He joins interim County Mayor Joe Ford and Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone.

Luttrell ruled out a bid for Shelby County mayor last year (2009). But when Harold Byrd decided not to run in the Democratic primary, some local GOP leaders asked Luttrell to reconsider.

The result touched off a scramble of candidates from both parties for the open sheriff’s office. But before the noon deadline, the initial field of over a dozen possible contenders was narrowed to ten – six Democrats and four Republicans.

The other surprise at the filing deadline was the return of attorney Walter Bailey to the District 2 Position 1 seat he gave up in the 2006 elections. Bailey sought re-election then to another term despite a two term limit on commissioners. Bailey lost to J.W. Gibson who decided not to seek re-election. He also lost a court fight to overturn the term limits.

Bailey was the only candidate who had filed for the seat at the Thursday deadline.

Only one incumbent county commissioner – Republican Mike Ritz -- was effectively re-elected at the deadline because he had no opposition.

All but one of the eleven contested County Commission races will be decided with the May 4 primaries. The only general election battle for the August ballot is the district 5 contest between GOP challenger Dr. Rolando Toyos and whoever wins the May Democratic primary between incumbent Steve Mulroy and Jennings Bernard.

Former County Commissioner John Willingham also returned to the ballot among a field of Republican contenders in the primary for Shelby County Trustee.

And former Criminal Court Clerk Minerva Johnican joined the Democratic primary field for her old job. Incumbent Republican Bill Key pulled petition to seek re-election but did not file at the deadline.

Here is the list of races and contenders from The Shelby County Election Commission. All candidate have until noon Feb. 25 to withdraw from the ballot if they wish.

D-Democrat

R- Republican

I- Independent

Shelby County Mayor:

Deidre Malone (D)

Joe Ford (D)

Otis Jackson (D)

Mark Luttrell (R)

Ernest Lunati (R)

Leo Awgowhat (I)

Shelby County Sheriff:

James Coleman (R)

Bobby Simmons (R)

Bill Oldham (R)

Dale Lane (R)

Larry Hill (D)

Bennie Cobb (D)

Randy Wade (D)

James Bolden (D)

Elton Hymon (D)

Reginald French (D)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 1

Mike Ritz (R) (incumbent)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 2

Albert Maduska (R)

Heidi Shafer (R)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 3

Mike Carpenter (R) (incumbent)

Joe Baire (R)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 1

Walter Bailey (D)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 2

Henri Brooks (D) (incumbent)

David Vinciarelli (D)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 3

Eric Dunn (D)

Norma Lester (D)

Tina Dickerson (D)

Melvin Burgess (D)

Reginald Milton (D)

Freddie Thomas (D)

County Commission Dist 3 Pos 1

James Harvey (D) (incumbent)

James Catchings (D)

County Commission Dist. 3 Pos 2

Sidney Chism (D) (incumbent)

Andrew "Rome" Withers (D)

County Commission Dist. 3 Pos 3

Edith Moore  (D) (incumbent)

Justin Ford (D)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 1

Chris Thomas (R)

John Pellicciotti (R)

Jim Bomprezzi (R)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 2

Wyatt Bunker (R) (incumbent)

John Wilkerson (R)

Ron Fittes (R)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 3

Terry Roland (R)

George Chism (R)

Edgar Babian (R)

County Commission Dist 5

Steve Mulroy (D) (incumbent)

Jennings Bernard (D)

Rolando Toyos (R)

Shelby County Clerk

Charlotte Draper (D)

Corey Maclin (D)

LaKeith Miller (D)

Wayne Mashburn (R)

Steve Moore (R)

Criminal Court Clerk

Vernon Johnson (D)

Minerva Johnican (D)

Ralph White (D)

Michael Porter (R)

Kevin Key (R)

Jerry Stamson (I)

Circuit Court Clerk

Jimmy Moore (R) (incumbent)

Steven Webster (D)

Carmichael Johnson (D)

Ricky W. Dixon (D)

Juvenile Court Clerk

Joy Touliatos (R)

Charles Marshall (D)

Sylvester Bradley (D)

Shep Wilbun (D)

Julia Roberson Wiseman (I)

Probate Court Clerk

Paul Boyd (R)

Sondra Becton (D)

Danny Kail (D)

Annita Sawyer Hamilton (D)

Peggy Dobbins (D)

Clay Perry (D)

Karen Tyler (D)

Shelby County Register

Tom Leatherwood (R) (incumbent)

Coleman Thompson (D)

Lady J. Swift (D)

Carlton Orange (D)

Shelby County Trustee

Regina Newman (D) (incumbent)

M. LaTroy Williams (D)

John Willingham (R)

Jeff Jacobs (R)

David Lenoir (R)

...

70. Surprises Possible as Primary Filing Deadline Nears -

Although today marks the filing deadline for the May 4 Shelby County primaries and independent candidates on the Aug. 5 county general election ballot, plenty of political drama remains.

In fact, the filing deadline is often just as important – and surprising – as election day.

71. Temporary MED Fix Just That: Temporary -

The Regional Medical Center at Memphis will get $10 million from Shelby County government to keep its emergency room open through June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

The Shelby County Commission’s 9-3 vote this week takes the money from the county’s $73 million reserve fund.

72. Memphis Bar Assn. Elects New Officers, Board Members -

At the Memphis Bar Association’s Annual Meeting Thursday at The Peabody hotel, the MBA announced its 2010 officers and new members of its board of directors.

Immediate past president Art Quinn passed the gavel to incoming president Ricky E. Wilkins of the Law Offices of Ricky E. Wilkins. John Cannon of Shuttleworth Williams PLLC and Gary K. Smith of Apperson Crump & Maxwell PLC automatically move to the positions of vice president/president-elect and treasurer, respectively. Linda Warren Seely, director of pro bono projects at Memphis Area Legal Services Inc., was chosen as secretary.

73. Commission Deadlocked On Next County Mayor -

Joyce Avery will serve as Shelby County Mayor until Dec. 10.

Shelby County Commissioners decided Monday that she will serve the full 45 day period in the county charter. But they weren’t able to decide who will be mayor after Dec. 10.

74. UPDATE: County Commission Deadlocks On Mayoral Choice -

Joyce Avery will serve as Shelby County Mayor until Dec. 10.

Shelby County Commissioners decided Monday that she will serve the full 45 day period in the county charter. But they weren’t able to decide who will be mayor after Dec. 10.

75. Halbert Mulls Run for City Mayor -

Another potential mayoral candidate is considering stepping into the fray.

With the release of a brief statement Wednesday afternoon, Wanda Halbert floated her interest in October’s special election to choose someone to fill the rest of Willie Herenton’s mayoral term, which ends in 2011.

76. Halbert Mulls Run for City Mayor -

Another potential mayoral candidate is considering stepping into the fray.

With the release of a brief statement Wednesday afternoon, Wanda Halbert floated her interest in October’s special election to choose someone to fill the rest of Willie Herenton’s mayoral term, which ends in 2011.

77. Chairmanship Battle a Preview Of Coming Political Landscape -

The political fortunes of the Shelby County Democratic Party haven’t been this high in awhile.

Democrats have high hopes for the 2010 county elections. In the 2006 elections, four Democratic challengers of Republican incumbents in countywide offices came within 1,000 votes of wins. Democrats picked up a countywide office in the 2008 elections when Otis Jackson, one of the four Democrats who got close but not close enough two years earlier, upset Republican incumbent Chris Turner in the General Sessions Court clerk’s race.

78. Judge Denies Motion to Fast-Track GM Sale Appeal -

NEW YORK (AP) - The sale of most of General Motors' assets is moving closer to completion, after a bankruptcy judge denied motions by groups with asbestos and injury-related claims seeking to halt the sale and appeal directly to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

79. County Leaves Wiggle Room In Tax Rate -

In setting the Shelby County property tax rate for the coming fiscal year, county officials have planned for the loss of as much as $1.06 billion in tax value from successful challenges to property value this year.

80. Weekend Events Draw Politicians in Droves -

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

81. Debate Expected Over Sex Discrimination Vote -

A proposal to ban employment discrimination in Shelby County government because of a person’s sexual orientation faces a make-or-break vote today.

The full Shelby County Commission will take up the measure for the first of three votes required before county ordinances can become law. The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Shelby County Administration Building at 160 North Main St.

82. Not So Fast -

A proposed ordinance to prohibit employment-related discrimination in Shelby County government based on sexual orientation failed in a County Commission committee Wednesday morning on a 5-5 vote.

The measure, sponsored by Commissioner Steve Mulroy, will head to the full commission Monday for a vote on first reading but without the support of committee approval behind it. If Monday’s vote results in another tie or clear defeat, the measure at that point will have died.

83. Top Attorney Responds to Cohen’s Bankruptcy Queries -

Harvey Miller, a partner in the New York City-based law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and a man The New York Times has described as the most prominent bankruptcy lawyer in the U.S., says he thinks Congress needs to revisit the country’s bankruptcy code.

84. Taube Named Partner At Adams and Reese -

Emily Campbell Taube has been named a partner at Adams and Reese LLP. Taube is a member of the Litigation Practice Group and focuses on the areas of commercial litigation, employment litigation, product liability and estate and trust litigation.

85. Bass Pro Deal Trundles On -

The same team that negotiated the development agreement with Bass Pro Shops will do the talking for city and county governments on a lease of The Pyramid to the fishing and hunting retailer.

Earlier this week, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners approved the yearlong development agreement on a 9-3 vote. It’s the same agreement approved in October by the Memphis City Council.

86. Bass Pro Development Agreement Approved On 9-3 Vote -

There is a development agreement between Bass Pro Shops and Memphis and Shelby County governments.

The Board of Shelby County Commissioners approved the development agreement Monday afternoon on a 9-3 vote. The Memphis City Council approved the same agreement earlier this month.

87. Bass Pro Development Agreement Clears Last Hurdle -

There is a development agreement between Bass Pro Shops and Memphis and Shelby County governments.

The Board of Shelby County Commissioners approved the development agreement this afternoon on a 9-3 vote. The Memphis City Council approved the same agreement earlier this month.

88. Monday Vote Could Make — or Break — Bass Pro Agreement -

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners’ vote on a development agreement for Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid will probably be close Monday if this week’s vote by a committee is any indication.

Monday’s vote will make or break the plan to lease The Pyramid to the hunting and fishing retailer. The one-year development agreement to precede a lease goes to the 13-member body with a negative recommendation from the commission’s Economic Development & Tourism Committee.

89. Pyramid Decision Sets Stage For Further Debate -

Shelby County government will stay in The Pyramid business for now.

A move to sell the county’s share of The Pyramid, The Mid-South Coliseum and Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium to the city of Memphis for $5 million failed this week on a 5-6 vote of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.

90. Charter Vote Hits Logjam -

Shelby County Commissioners did it the hard way this week on the second of three readings of a new set of proposed charter amendments.

Ultimately, the commission approved the charter amendments Monday for the Nov. 4 ballot. This measure would establish five countywide offices as positions in the county charter instead of the Tennessee Constitution and a separate amendment would limit those holding the five offices to no more than two consecutive terms in office.

91. Commission Moves Forward With More Charter Changes -

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners will meet twice next week for the second and third readings of two new sets of county charter changes for voters to consider.

During two days of deliberations this week, the commission approved proposed changes to five countywide offices – sheriff, trustee, register, county clerk and assessor – that would fix legal problems in the current county charter noted in a 2007 Tennessee Supreme Court ruling. Those changes are the same ones voters rejected by a narrow margin in the Aug. 7 elections. But on the August ballot they were attached to a term limits proposal.

92. So Far, So Good For Shelby Farms Master Plan -

The new master plan for Shelby Farms looks a lot like the plan James Corner of New York-based field operations submitted earlier this year to get the master plan contract.

Corner and officials with the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy unveiled the first new master plan for the public land in 33 years Wednesday to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.

93. Commissioners Work Through Frustrations, OK Schools Funding -

With some reluctance this week, members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners put aside any threat of cutting funding to city and county schools.

It came the same day that Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and Memphis school board members were weighing next moves in the pending money scrap between the city and the city school system.

94. Charter Changes Stalled in Commission -

The movement of two sets of proposed Shelby County charter amendments ground to a halt Monday over the issue of term limits.

For the second time in as many weeks, members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners will meet in special session today to consider their next step. The commission is under a June 6 deadline to give final approval so the amendments can go to voters Aug. 7 in a countywide referendum.

95. Arena Talks Appear Fraught With Motives, Real or Imagined -

Shelby County Board of Commissioners member Sidney Chism had been talking for months about the county washing its hands of its minority ownership share in The Pyramid. It was his way of expressing his frustration with what he sees as the micromanagement by some on the commission of talks to find a use for the vacant arena.

96. Government Gets Involved in Storm Recovery Effort -

Two days before a swarm of tornadoes descended on Memphis and the region, emergency responders in Memphis and Shelby County began making plans in case Tuesday's approaching storm spawned tornadoes.

97. Thompson Trial Set for March 31 -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson's pending corruption trial appears to be on a fast track. U.S. District Jon P. McCalla this week set a March 31 trial date on the charges of extortion and mail fraud.

98. Big Ideas -

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners will vote Monday on a resolution that suggests county leaders not extend a letter of intent for Bass Pro Shops to develop attractions in The Pyramid.

The resolution by Commissioner Steve Mulroy cleared a committee this week on a 6-2 vote as developer Greg Ericson outlined an expanded $250 million plan to build a "first class Disney-esque indoor theme park" in The Pyramid.

99. While U of M-Area TIF Passes, It's Still a Bone of Contention -

Shelby County Commissioners this week put in place the final piece of the structure for a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan for the University of Memphis area.

The ordinance creating a Redevelopment Trust Fund passed on a 9-2-1 vote on third and final reading. The same ordinance was expected to win final approval Tuesday from the Memphis City Council.

100. Commission Distances Itself From Salton Cos. -

Shelby County Commissioners have taken at least a temporary step back from a construction contractor whose name has surfaced in the most recent federal corruption investigation.

The two-week delay this week in approving a $274,422 contract with Salton Cos. LLC came less than a week after former County Commissioner Bruce Thompson was indicted on federal extortion and mail fraud charges.