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Editorial Results (free)

1. Deal to Improve Veterans' Health Care Costs $17 Billion -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans' health care would authorize at least $17 billion to fix the health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays, the bill's chief supporters said Monday.

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3. Fortune Honors Ronald McDonald House Board Vice President -

Nancy Mills, board vice president for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis, has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 “Heroes of the 500” for 2014 for her philanthropic work on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis.

4. Homebuilders Launch Insurance Program -

The West Tennessee Home Builders Association has joined forces with other homebuilder associations in Tennessee and contracted with national employee benefit consulting firm gbac inc. and Memphis-based Shoemaker Financial to launch the Tennessee Construction Industry Health Insurance Program.

5. Events -

The Booksellers at Laurelwood will host “Shots Fired” author C.J. Box for a discussion and signing Monday, July 28, at 6 p.m. at 387 Perkins Road Extended. Visit thebooksellersatlaurelwood.com.

6. UTHSC Researcher Gets Neonatal Project Grant -

Dr. Adebowale Adebiyi, assistant professor in the physiology department at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health.

7. UTHSC Doctor Receives Mental Health Study Grant -

Kazuko Sakata, an assistant professor in the pharmacology department at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a two-year grant totaling $147,500 from the National Institute of Mental Health, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to research whether an enriched environment early in life is more effective than later in improving or preventing depression.

8. Kelsey Calls for Tennessee to Join Obamacare Suit -

State Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown called Tuesday, July 22, for Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper to join a lawsuit over federal subsidies in the form of tax breaks for those who buy health insurance on an exchange established in the Affordable Care Act.

9. UTHSC Receives $3.1 Million in Federal Grants -

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the University of Tennessee Health Science Center nine federal grants totaling more than $3.1 million for a variety of programs and research projects.

10. Tennesseans to Share $10 Million in Refunds -

More than 336,000 Tennessee residents will split $10 million in refunds from health insurance companies because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

The Tennessean reported the refunds will average $53 per family and came about because of the medical loss ratio rule in the law. That provision requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of insurance premiums on patient care and quality improvement efforts. The refunds are for premiums paid in 2013.

11. Shelby County Honored for Employee Health -

Shelby County’s government has been named a recipient of the Healthier Tennessee Workplace Award.

Healthier Tennessee is a nonprofit agency associated with Gov. Bill Haslam’s office. The agency promotes healthy workplace conditions at businesses across the state.

12. Contractors See Bright Days Ahead -

After slogging their way through the deepest economic slump in more than 60 years, Memphis area contractors say the near future looks much brighter than the dark days of the recession and its immediate aftermath.

13. Critical Decisions -

For the team behind the pending redevelopment of the massive Sears Crosstown property to reach its goal of maximizing the participation of women- and minority-owned businesses, it needed to make a crucial decision early in the planning process.

14. Varying Health Premium Subsidies Worry Consumers -

MIAMI (AP) – Linda Close was grateful to learn she qualified for a sizable subsidy to help pay for her health insurance under the new federal law. But in the process of signing up for a plan, Close said her HealthCare.gov account showed several different subsidy amounts, varying as much as $180 per month.

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16. Tennesseans to Share $10 Million in Refunds -

More than 336,000 Tennessee residents will split $10 million in refunds from health insurance companies because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

The Tennessean reported the refunds will average $53 per family and came about because of the medical loss ratio rule in the law. That provision requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of insurance premiums on patient care and quality improvement efforts. The refunds are for premiums paid in 2013.

17. Shelby County Honored for Employee Health -

Shelby County’s government has been named a recipient of the Healthier Tennessee Workplace Award.

Healthier Tennessee is a nonprofit associated with Gov. Bill Haslam’s office. The agency promotes healthy workplace conditions at businesses across the state.

18. Wharton Sticking to Budget Plan Without Tax Hike -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. knows there’s a push coming for a city sales tax hike referendum to reverse health care insurance cuts approved by the Memphis City Council in June.

He knows that because he was at the meeting with municipal union leaders Tuesday, July 23, in which those hosting the meeting, the Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said they back the union leaders’ call for the referendum. And they are expected to take that call to the council next month.

19. Health Advocacy Groups File Lawsuit Against State -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Three advocacy groups filed a class action lawsuit on Wednesday accusing the state of Tennessee of failing to provide certain services required by the federal health care law.

20. Kelsey Calls for Tennessee to Join Affordable Care Act Lawsuit -

State Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown called Tuesday, July 22, for Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper to join a lawsuit over federal subsidies in the form of tax breaks for those who buy health insurance on an exchange established in the Affordable Care Act.

21. UTHSC Receives $3.1 Million in Federal Grants -

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the University of Tennessee Health Science Center nine federal grants totaling more than $3.1 million for a variety of programs and research projects.

22. Events -

The Downtown Memphis Commission board will meet Thursday, July 24, at noon in the commission conference room, 114 N. Main St. Visit downtownmemphiscommission.com.

23. Develop Interests Before Retirement -

Ray’s take: Retirement success is not automatic. It takes planning – and not just financial planning. According to a study by University of Missouri – Columbia, couples should plan for retirement, both financially and socially, and consider the changes that may occur in their relationships and day-to-day activities.

24. Regional One Health Expands Footprint -

In the last year, Regional One Health has added about 100 employees and its new name.

Of course, for about three decades it was known as The Regional Medical Center at Memphis – or simply The MED. That officially changed back on Feb. 26 when Regional One Health became the new name for the Shelby County Health Care Corp. and the “umbrella” name for the hospital.

25. Sales Tax Push Continues in City Debate -

The idea of a sales tax hike referendum in November to fund a restoration of cuts in city health care insurance benefits keeps rolling.

The Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference came out in favor of the citywide local option sales tax hike Tuesday, July 22, after a closed luncheon attended by leaders of municipal unions and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

26. Dueling Rulings: Courts Split on Health Law Clash -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama's health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.

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28. Wal-Mart Ups Price Wars for Back-to-School Season -

NEW YORK (AP) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is upping the price game for the crucial back-to-school shopping season.

29. Tennessee Gets High Marks in Child Welfare Report -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The latest national ranking of the well-being of children shows Tennessee is among five states that made the biggest improvement in the last year.

The Kids Count Data Book, an annual report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, grades states on education, health care and poverty.

30. UTHSC Awarded $3.1 Million in Federal Grants -

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the University of Tennessee Health Science Center nine federal grants totaling more than $3.1 million for a variety of programs and research projects.

31. UTHSC Doctor Receives Mental Health Study Grant -

Kazuko Sakata, an assistant professor in the pharmacology department at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a two-year grant totaling $147,500 from the National Institute of Mental Health, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to research whether an enriched environment early in life is more effective than later in improving or preventing depression.

32. Events -

Kiwanis Club of Memphis will meet Wednesday, July 23, from noon to 1 p.m. at The University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. LeMoyne-Owen College President Johnnie Watson will speak. Cost is $18 for nonmembers.

33. Mays Dismisses Unions' Claim Against City -

U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays has dismissed a 3-year-old lawsuit filed by 13 labor unions representing city employees against the city of Memphis for the 4.6 percent pay cut all city employees took that year.

34. UTHSC Researcher Gets Neonatal Project Grant -

Dr. Adebowale Adebiyi, assistant professor in the physiology department at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health.

35. Events -

The Booksellers at Laurelwood will host “Gone Dead Train” author Lisa Turner for a discussion and signing Tuesday, July 22, at 6 p.m. at the bookstore, 387 Perkins Road Extended. Visit thebooksellersatlaurelwood.com.

36. AbbVie, Shire Agree on $55 Billion Combination -

The drugmaker AbbVie has reached a deal worth roughly $55 billion to combine with British counterpart Shire and become the latest U.S. company to seek an overseas haven from tax rates back home.

The companies said Friday they will create a new company that is incorporated on the British island of Jersey, where Shire currently is incorporated. But the new company will be controlled by shareholders of North Chicago, Illinois-based AbbVie, who will own about 75 percent of the new company's stock.

37. Gauge of US Economy Rises 0.3 Percent in June -

A gauge designed to predict the economy’s future health increased in June for a fifth consecutive month, supporting the view that economic growth should accelerate in the second half of this year.

38. Health Department Seeking Input on State Health Plan -

The Tennessee Department of Health is seeking public input on the State Health Plan.

The plan is required by state law and acts as the health department’s guide for protecting, promoting and improving the health of people in Tennessee.

39. Events -

The National Association of Women Business Owners, Memphis Chapter will hold “Meet Shelby County Women Candidates,” an after-hours nonpartisan reception, Monday, July 21, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Salsa, 6150 Poplar Ave., suite 129. For more information and to RSVP, visit nawbomemphis.org.

40. Early Vote Expands as Campaigns Enter New Phase -

There is a unique and persistent part of the political process that gnaws at candidates, separating them from the voters they court and sometimes stalk. You might call it the day of the ballot.

In the weeks leading up to the start of early voting, they get hit up constantly by those putting out endorsement ballots to be distributed during early voting and on election day, most often by paid poll workers. Candidates must pay to be on a ballot, which those organizing the ballots say is necessary to cover printing and distribution costs.

41. 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.

42. Wharton Ready to Shift Talk on Benefits Debate -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is trying to turn the page on the emotional City Hall debate over cuts in health insurance benefits to city employees and retirees and also close the book on the city budget for the two-week old fiscal year.

43. ServiceMaster Sponsoring New BizTown Shop -

Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Inc. has announced the newest shop in JA BizTown will be sponsored by ServiceMaster.

44. Editorial: City Falters in Benefits Changes Approach -

There was a better way for the city of Memphis to make needed changes to health insurance benefits for city employees and retirees.

A lot more leadership from the mayor is at the top of the list of “should haves” we have in how this has been handled to date with pension changes still to come in October.

45. Wharton Clarifies He Won't Propose Sales Tax Ballot Question -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. clarified Thursday, July 17, that he has no intention of proposing a ballot question later this year asking city voters to approve a half cent increase in the city’s local option sales tax.

46. Largest US Insurer's Move Signals Industry Shift -

The nation's largest health insurer expects to play a much bigger role in the health care overhaul next year, as the federal law shifts from raising giant questions for the sector to offering growth opportunities.

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48. Youth Movement -

It’s a good time to be a young professional in Memphis who wants to do more than punch a clock.

From the Greater Memphis Chamber to the New Memphis Institute, plus groups like the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals and Leadership Memphis, among others, the tent of movers, shakers and impact makers has expanded considerably in Memphis of late.

49. Number of 'Sick' Memphis Officers Dropping -

MEMPHIS (AP) – The number of Memphis police officers who are calling in sick with the so-called "Blue Flu" is dropping.

Memphis Police Department spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said 178 officers were out sick Wednesday, down from a high of 557 reached last week.

50. Events -

AIA Memphis will host its Third Thursday Lecture on Local Design on Thursday, July 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers; RSVP required. Email info@aiamemphis.org.

51. Council Moves to Bridge Gaps in Health Coverage Changes -

The ad hoc committee that gathered municipal union leaders, city retirees and Memphis City Council members at the same table to talk about city health insurance meets Thursday, July 17, for the first time since the council approved health insurance plan changes that have drawn vocal protests from city employees and retirees.

52. House Votes to Slash IRS Tax Enforcement Budget -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The GOP-controlled House has voted to slash the budget for the Internal Revenue Service's tax enforcement division by $1.2 billion, a 25 percent cut that would mean fewer audits of taxpayers and make it more likely that people who cheat on their taxes will get away with it.

53. Events -

The Center City Development Corp. board will meet Wednesday, July 16, at 9 a.m. in the Downtown Memphis Commission conference room, 114 N. Main St. Visit downtownmemphiscommission.com.

54. Sherman Joins Campbell Clinic as Sports Medicine Physician -

Dr. Henry “Hank” Sherman has joined Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics as a sports medicine family practice physician in its Southaven office. Sherman treats patients who suffer from a variety of orthopedic injuries – from competitive athletes looking to get back in the game to weekend warriors who want to stay active later in life.

55. Council Hears Alternatives to Health Insurance Cuts -

Memphis City Council members fielded several plans Tuesday, July 15, for alternatives to health insurance cuts approved by the council last month. But leaders of the police and fire unions were not among those making an alternative proposal at the committee session, the first in a series of what amount to public hearings.

56. States Told to Find Way to Clear Medicaid Backlog -

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A half-dozen states with backlogs for Medicaid enrollees were facing a federal deadline Monday to create plans for getting those low-income residents enrolled in health coverage.

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58. ServiceMaster Sponsoring New BizTown Shop -

Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Inc. has announced the newest shop in JA BizTown will be sponsored by ServiceMaster.

59. Events -

The Booksellers at Laurelwood will host “100 Things to Do in Memphis Before You Die” author Samantha Crespo for a discussion and book signing Tuesday, July 15, at 6 p.m. at the bookstore, 387 Perkins Road Extended. Visit thebooksellersatlaurelwood.com.

60. Sick Calls Drop, But Benefits Debate Still Volatile -

The Memphis Police Department returned to normal operations Sunday, July 13, for the first time in more than a week with fewer than 350 officers calling in sick.

And the number of sick calls among Memphis firefighters dropped to 60 Sunday, the lowest total for the department since sick calls among firefighters spiked Wednesday, July 9.

61. City Council Turns Again to Benefits Discussions -

Memphis City Council members won’t take any major votes Tuesday, July 15, on city employee benefits.

But the controversial topic will likely dominate much of another council day at City Hall. The council is in the gap between its approval of health insurance changes in June and an October vote on the companion proposal to change city employee pension plans for new hires and those with less than 10 years of service.

62. Wharton Courts Alternatives in Benefits Dispute -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. says any alternatives are welcome to the coming health insurance changes for city employees and retirees.

But delaying the roll out of those changes in January is not an option. And neither is reopening the city budget or the city property tax rate.

63. UTHSC to Operate Forensic Center -

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has been awarded a $3.1 million contract to operate the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center and the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s Office.

64. West Cancer Center Sponsoring Conference -

West Cancer Center is sponsoring the second annual Cancer Awareness Conference: Heads Up Conquer Cancer, put on by Mt. Zion Baptist Church in partnership with the American Cancer Society. The event will take place on Saturday, July 12, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 60 South Parkway E.

65. UTHSC Forms Biomedical Research Department -

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine has formed a new biomedical research department on the Memphis campus, the Department of Genetics, Genomics and Informatics. Professor Robert W. Williams, the UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair in Computational Genomics, will serve as founding chair.

66. Tenn. Accused of Failing to Follow Health Law -

Tennessee health officials say they disagree with numerous aspects of a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that accuses the state of failing to provide services for people as required by the federal health care law.

67. UTHSC Researcher Finds Racial Gap in Med Adherence -

The launch of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit in 2006 has encouraged more elderly patients to take their heart medications as prescribed.

But while the longstanding gap between white and minority patients in cardiovascular medication adherence has narrowed, black seniors are still less likely to adhere to medication goals than Hispanic Medicare participants, and both groups lag white seniors in the rate of adherence in using the common drugs that treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

68. Wharton: Focus is to Get Officers Back to Work -

Talks in recent days among city leaders and the heads of the police and fire unions have focused on ending the sick-out among police and firefighters since the Fourth of July holiday week that appears to have leveled off.

69. UTHSC Researchers Find Racial Gap in Medication Adherence -

The launch of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit in 2006 has encouraged more elderly patients to take their heart medications as prescribed.

But while the longstanding gap between white and minority patients in cardiovascular medication adherence has narrowed, black seniors are still less likely to adhere to medication goals than Hispanic Medicare participants, and both groups lag white seniors in the rate of adherence in using the common drugs that treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

70. We’re All Invited -

MEMPHIS, SERVED IN THE SHELL. Following up last week’s column, this from a reader:

“We have no civic pride, half the population is intent on killing as many as they can and the other part lives behind walls or gates. There was a time in the fifties when you could leave your front door unlocked and keys in the car.”

71. Budget Reality Informs Response to Sick-Outs -

For about a year, Memphis Fire Department Director Alvin Benson has been taking ladder trucks out of service to deal with firefighters on vacation and on sick leave at much lower levels than those that surfaced Wednesday.

72. Benson Says Fire Absences Cause Concern But Not Alarm -

Memphis Fire Director Alvin Benson admits the 65 firefighters out sick Wednesday, July 9, is “the highest number we’ve had off sick in one day for some time." However, he declined to call it a job action.

73. Tennessee Accused of Failing to Follow Health Law -

Tennessee health officials say they disagree with numerous aspects of a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that accuses the state of failing to provide services for people as required by the federal health care law.

74. West Cancer Center Sponsoring Conference -

West Cancer Center is sponsoring the second annual Cancer Awareness Conference: Heads Up Conquer Cancer, put on by Mt. Zion Baptist Church in partnership with the American Cancer Society. The event will take place on Saturday, July 12, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 60 South Parkway E.

75. UTHSC Forms Biomedical Research Department -

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine has formed a new biomedical research department on the Memphis campus, the Department of Genetics, Genomics and Informatics. Professor Robert W. Williams, the UT-ORNL Governor's Chair in Computational Genomics, will serve as founding chair.

76. Nurse-Family Partnership Benefits Mothers, Children -

At one level, the results of a clinical trial that studied low-income families in Memphis for more than 20 years delivered about what was expected.

“I don’t think it was a surprise to anyone that some of the families living in our impoverished areas, the young moms, were not prepared for parenthood and rarely understood how best to care for their (young children),” said Meri Armour, president and CEO of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

77. Chamber Head: Hard Choices on City Benefits Necessary -

The president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber says efforts by municipal union leaders to boycott business members of the chamber and get those businesses to drop their chamber membership is having only a minimal effect.

78. City Official: No Blue Flu Threshold for National Guard -

The state of Tennessee has offered to direct Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers to Memphis to help fill manpower gaps as a result of the hundreds of Memphis Police officers who’ve called in sick over the last week.

79. Wharton Says City Won’t ‘Split Hairs’ on Blue Flu -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. said Tuesday, July 8, the city will “approach it accordingly” when it comes to the more than 550 Memphis Police officers who have called in sick in the last week.

80. US Companies Post Most Jobs in 7 Years in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers advertised more jobs in May than in any month in the past seven years, a sign that this year's strong hiring trend is likely to continue.

More Americans also quit their jobs, a good sign because it usually occurs when workers find new and higher-paying jobs. It also opens up more positions for those out of work.

81. Survey Aims to Help Protect Children’s Emotional Health -

A task force made up of more than 40 community leaders is asking randomly selected Shelby County residents to "Answer the Call" this summer by participating in a confidential phone survey, which will gather information to help develop tools to assist parents in protecting their children's emotional and behavioral health.

82. Cushman & Wakefield Adds Yates to Capital Markets Team -

Alex Yates has joined the Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors Capital Markets team as vice president, assisting and executing investment sales, debt/equity placement and development advisory projects. Yates’ efforts will be heavily concentrated in multifamily and retail, but he will focus on other product types as well.

83. Blue Flu Tops 550 Cops Out -

As Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong has watched the number of police officers on sick leave grow and top 550, so has much of the city.

Armstrong and the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. have gone public in not just talking about the impact but putting numbers to it.

84. Armstrong Cancels Regular Days Off as Blue Flu Spreads -

As the work week after the Fourth of July holiday began, the number of Memphis Police officers taking sick leave grew from 308 Sunday evening to 522 by the end of the work day Monday, July 7 in a widening job action by cops unhappy with the city’s cut in health insurance benefits.

85. University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Operate Forensic Center -

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has been awarded a $3.1 million contract to operate the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center and the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s Office.

86. UTHSC College of Allied Health Sciences Gets New Name -

Come fall, nearly 600 students will be enrolled in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Health Professions – and that will be a first because on July 1, that became the new name for what formerly was known as the College of Allied Health Sciences.

87. In Rare Move, Police Confirm ‘Blue Flu’ -

In the storied history of labor relations between City Hall and the rank and file of the Memphis Police Department, there is a standing rule about work slowdowns, sometimes referred to as “blue flu.”

88. Economic Development Growth Engine Looks to Make PILOTs More Effective -

For years, the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive used to recruit or retain jobs in Memphis and Shelby County has been a lightning rod for criticism, particularly from municipal labor unions who view the incentives as corporate welfare that erodes the tax base.

89. Armstrong Confirms Blue Flu, Wharton Seeks Alternatives -

More than 400 Memphis police officers called in sick during the Fourth of July holiday week in what Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong acknowledged Sunday, July 6, is most likely an organized work slowdown by officers upset over cuts in health insurance benefits.

90. Armstrong Tallies 181 Cops Out Sick for Fourth -

Memphis police brass count 181 police officers who have called in sick during the Fourth of July holiday week, according to a Saturday, July 5, statement from Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.

91. Corporations are People? It's a Real Legal Concept -

WASHINGTON (AP) – There may be more to that "we the people" notion than you thought.

These are boom times for the concept of "corporate personhood."

Corporations are people?

92. Pharmacy Sales Boost Major Drugstores in June -

A jump in pharmacy revenue fueled June sales growth for two of the nation's largest drugstore chains, and they may start adding gains from the health care overhaul later this year.

Walgreen Co. and Rite Aid Corp. said Thursday that pharmacy revenue from their established stores climbed more than 11 percent at Walgreen and 5 percent at Rite Aid last month. Walgreen runs the nation's largest drugstore chain with 8,215 stores, while Rite Aid ranks third with 4,754. The company in the middle, CVS Caremark Corp., doesn't report monthly results.

93. Haslam Signs Agreement to Protect Dairy Industry -

Gov. Bill Haslam has signed an agreement with eight other states to protect the dairy industry in the event of an outbreak of hoof and mouth disease.

According to the state Agriculture Department, the agreement is called the Secure Milk Supply Plan. It sets standards by which milk producers, haulers and processors interact with animal health authorities to reduce the risk of spreading hoof and mouth disease in the event of an outbreak.

94. Rizzo’s to Help Raise Funds for Crisis Center -

The Memphis Crisis Center and Rizzo’s Diner at 106 G.E. Patterson Ave. are partnering for a monthly event to raise funds for the 24-hour hotline for people in emotional distress.

“Less to Wine About Wednesdays” will be held on the second Wednesday of every month. The restaurant, which has been featured on Food Network, will give 25 percent of the day’s proceeds to the Memphis Crisis Center.

95. Waller Lansden Leases in Renaissance Center -

A Nashville-based law firm is moving into permanent space at the Renaissance Center office building.

Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis LLP, which opened a Memphis office in February, has leased 10,000 square feet in the East Memphis office building at 1715 Aaron Brenner Drive.

96. Events -

Mud Island will host a Fourth of July celebration and fireworks display Friday, July 4, at the park, 125 N. Front St. The park will be open at 10 a.m., and fireworks begin at nightfall. Visit mudisland.com.

97. US Hiring Surges As Unemployment Falls to 6.1 Percent -

U.S. employers accelerated their hiring last month, adding a robust 288,000 jobs and helping drive the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent, the lowest since September 2008.

It was the fifth straight monthly job gain above 200,000 – the best such stretch since the late 1990s tech boom. In the past 12 months, the economy has added nearly 2.5 million jobs – an average of 208,000 a month, the fastest year-over-year pace since 2006.

98. University of Tennessee Health Science Center Professor Wins Caffeine Research Grant -

S. Casey Laizure, a professor in the clinical pharmacy department at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy, has received a grant totaling $150,000 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

99. Alexander Raises More Than $900,000, Launches New Ad -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander has raised more than $900,000 in the second quarter and has more than $3.4 million on hand in the final weeks before the primary.

Alexander's campaign is also launching a new television ad stressing the senator's opposition to President Barack Obama's health care law.

100. Different Pension Path Possible in Council Delay -

Memphis City Council members are looking at hybrid pension plans for city employees that could have separate terms for police officers and firefighters and enroll all other city employees in the Social Security plan.