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Editorial Results (free)

1. Blue Streak Making Difference for Memphis Kids -

To say that the job I was given when I was superintendent of Catholic School for the Memphis Diocese was daunting would be an understatement. One of the assignments I had was to resurrect Catholic education in the inner city of Memphis.

2. In Tennessee, School Voucher Bill Fails for Session -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a program that gives parents the option to move a child from a failing public school to a private school has once again failed to pass.

3. Upward Mobility -

In hindsight, the story started exactly as it should have.

Recruited by a headhunter to move from South Carolina to Memphis, Chuck Haddad packed up the family – wife Darlene and sons Garen and Jered – and came for a job that he would lose, forcing him to make a life-changing decision.

4. Collierville Explores New School Options -

The Collierville Schools system is about to start the process of finding a site for a new high school and determining how much it would cost.

The Collierville school board voted unanimously Tuesday, April 8, to have the school system’s staff begin developing a request for the qualifications of an architect and planners to come up with plans for the school and select a site.

5. House Democrats Unveil Budget Plan With Tax Hikes -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Democrats unveiled their response to Paul Ryan's GOP budget on Monday, and it relies on a $1.5 trillion in higher taxes over the coming 10 years and the economic benefits of immigration reform to make the numbers work.

6. Children’s Commission Wants Pre-K Expansion -

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is recommending the state expand its pre-K and home visitation programs to help youth be more successful in school and life.

The commission is basing its recommendations on a policy report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count project.

7. For-Profit Charter Schools Bill Fails in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A proposal to allow charter schools in Tennessee to be operated by for-profit groups failed in its final committee vote Thursday before reaching the House floor for debate.

8. Taveras Aims to Prove Himself at Top -

Before every Memphis Redbirds season, there is picture day. On Monday, March 31, the Redbirds held an open workout at AutoZone Park, but first, players lined up like school kids in the first-base dugout to don a Redbirds jersey and cap and get their pictures taken.

9. Children’s Commission Wants Pre-K Expansion -

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is recommending the state expand its pre-K and home visitation programs to help youth be more successful in school and life.

The commission is basing its recommendations on a policy report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count project.

10. School Board Approves $52.6 Million Capital Ask -

Shelby County Schools board members have approved 25 sets of attendance zone changes for the first school year of the demerger and sent a $52.6 million capital “ask” for the current fiscal year to the Shelby County Commission for consideration.

11. Sugarmon Opens Campaign for Juvenile Court Judge -

City Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon told supporters Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court is “administratively top-heavy” and too expensive to operate as it currently is.

“We are going to make a change to a 50-year continuum of Juvenile Court,” Sugarmon told supporters at the Shelby County Election Commission last week as he filed his qualifying petition to run in the August election for Juvenile Court judge. “We’re going to reverse this trend. We are going to change this court.”

12. Positive Pastner Makes More Sense After Wins -

Take a hike.

Yes, you, Negative Nelly Tigers fan. You have unrealistic expectations for the University of Memphis basketball team and its coach, Josh Pastner, who suggested – amid criticism – that this small minority of overly critical Tiger fans no longer was needed inside the tent.

13. Hopson Says Common Core Waiver is Option -

Shelby County Schools could seek a waiver from the state to continue using Common Core state education standards if the Tennessee Legislature suspends the use of the standards.

“As our world changes … this is really where we need to be,” Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson told school board members Tuesday, March 18. “If this is where the country is going – 45 of the states are going – and ultimately all states are going there, I think it really sets our kids back if we say, ‘Well, not you kids. We’re going to wait for a couple of years.’”

14. ‘It’s Natural’ -

He goes to bed at 10 p.m. and gets up at 6 a.m.

“We’re designed for early to bed and early to rise,” Dr. Bill Sears said.

15. Schools Demerger Reflects Cooperation, Competition -

For now, Shelby County’s seven public school systems are cooperating and competing with one another often at the same time on the way to the demerger of public education in August.

The same dual existence is playing itself out between the Shelby County Schools board and parents of children who have attended schools about to be in the suburban school systems but who live outside the six cities and towns.

16. Right on Cue -

The Orpheum Theatre Memphis frequently plays host to musicals, but an arrival next week will bring something the theater doesn’t get to put on its stage often – a Broadway play.

“War Horse,” a play that inspired a Steven Spielberg movie of the same name, will premiere at The Orpheum March 25. It’s the story about a character named Albert and his horse Joey, the latter of which has been tapped to fight for the English during World War I.

17. Talking Sex -

ALL OF OUR COLLEGE PRESIDENTS SHOULD GET SEXY. The Tennessee General Assembly has long been afraid of sex.

When I was a UT student in the late sixties, the Tennessee legislature proposed a law making it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to view nude art. On the humanities complex plaza, stood and still stands a huge statue of Europa and the Bull – both starkers and anatomically and quite dramatically correct. The morning after the news of the proposed law broke, Europa was wearing a huge bra and the bull a jock strap, fashioned from sheets – lots of them – and placed on the statue by enterprising students in the night.

18. Rardin Takes Trial Advocacy Training to Liberia -

Assistant Shelby County District Attorney General Kevin Rardin is leaving for Liberia next month for a week of trial advocacy training in the African nation.

For Rardin it is his latest venture in parts of the world with different criminal justice systems or systems that are just forming.

19. Book Blitz -

Literacy Mid-South is spending part of this month literally surrounded by books.

The nonprofit, which is promoting the national Read Across America initiative in March, is in the process of collecting some 3,000 books (valued at $48,000) to give away. And in the meantime, those books will need to be somehow stored in the organization’s 1,300-square-foot office.

20. Grinder Looks to Bring Energy to Associated Builders Role -

Justin Grinder knew at an early age that he wanted to be involved in the construction industry.

21. Tigers Seniors Hope to Script Memorable Last Chapter -

The five Memphis seniors talked about their college basketball careers and they sounded older, wiser. And although nobody used this word, maybe a little scared about what might, or might not, come next.

22. Hopson Talks New School Construction -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson said he will seek funding before the new fiscal year that begins July 1 for a new Westhaven Elementary School and possibly two other new schools in southeast and northwest Shelby County.

23. Do You Feel Lucky? -

Ray’s Take: When thinking about your future, do you believe that you will be taken “feet first in a pine box” out of the home you worked so hard for during your younger years? Or do you sometimes get that uncomfortable feeling that you need to “knock on wood” as you look around at friends or acquaintances who have experienced a sudden change in health forcing a change in venue?

24. Collierville Schools Prepares for Parent ‘Angst’ -

UPDATE: In a special meeting Friday, March 7, the Germantown Municipal Schools board voted 3-0 to rescind its tuition requirement for open enrollment of students living outside Germantown.

--

25. Obama Admin Drives Ahead With New Cleaner Gas Rule -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is driving ahead with a dramatic reduction in sulfur in gasoline and tailpipe emissions, declaring that cleaner air will save thousands of lives per year at little cost to consumers.

26. Exlines’ Best Pizza Marks 40 Years -

It was about 40 years ago that Walt and Violet Exline were looking for a home in Raleigh and stopped with their Realtor to eat lunch at a pizza parlor at the corner of Austin Peay Highway and Stage Road.

27. Demerger Debate -

In five months, a new school year will begin in Shelby County. And for a second straight academic year, many parents will be able to say it is unlike any in their lifetimes.

The first and last school year of the unified Memphis City and Shelby County Schools systems will be followed by what educators are calling the “demerger.”

28. Actions Should Speaker Louder Than Words -

The Sports Morality Police have pinned on their badges and are cracking down on athlete-on-athlete crime.

You know, those vicious moments where one millionaire calls another millionaire a name across the line of scrimmage in what amount to little more than a grunt.

29. Goldsworthy: Germantown, Collierville Discuss Schools Contract -

Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy says Germantown and Collierville schools leaders are discussing a contract to allow Collierville students to continue attending the Germantown district’s Houston High in the new academic year.

30. Kids' College Versus Your Retirement -

Ray’s Take: Most parents want to give their kids the best college education possible. At the same time, they know they must finance their own retirement. It’s hard to objectively prioritize, especially when your precious children are involved.

31. School Closings Votes Leave Issues -

Shelby County Schools board members completed Tuesday, Feb. 25, the first half of their actions to prepare the new map of the demerged school system for the academic year that begins in August. And they set the stage for more possible changes in years to come.

32. Rules to Limit Marketing Unhealthy Food in Schools -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Even the scoreboards in high school gyms will have to advertise only healthy foods under new rules announced Tuesday by the Obama administration.

Promotion of sugary drinks and junk foods around campuses during the school day will be phased out under the rules, intended to ensure that such marketing is brought in line with health standards that already apply to school foods.

33. Stop Asking for Referrals -

Referred prospects offer one of the strongest returns of any marketing or sales strategy you can deploy. After all, a good referral costs nothing to generate and a referred prospect is much more likely to become a customer than an average lead.

34. Pending Bill Would Make Tennessee Time Uniform -

A bill pending in the Tennessee legislature would have the state adopt a uniform time system.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Curry Todd of Collierville, would take effect in July if passed, and so would make daylight savings time permanent in Tennessee. The state currently moves clocks forward an hour each spring and back an hour each fall.

35. Telling Her Own Story -

Long before she was running her own business and co-writing a book, “Women in High Gear,” Amy Howell was a little girl in overdrive.

36. Breaking Through -

If it was just an abstraction or a mere theory, it wouldn’t have a definition in the dictionary or a website. It would simply be another urban myth.

But with a few keystrokes you can go right to www.glassceiling.com. And the dictionary definition of “glass ceiling” is tangible – “an unfair system or set of attitudes that prevents some people (such as women or people of a certain race) from getting the most powerful jobs.” In fact, you can almost see a woman stuck in middle management, briefcase in hand, staring up at that glass ceiling and wondering: Where do I find the ladder that gets me from here to there?

37. For Love of the Game, Indeed -

“I’ve never been humbled by anything like baseball. And I’ve been humbled more coaching than playing.”  – Jonathan Lyons, former college and minor-league pitcher and now a coach of a 12-and-under competitive team

38. Changes Likely in Attendance Zones Proposal -

The set of two dozen proposed attendance zone changes affecting nearly 7,000 students in Shelby County unveiled this week by Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson is the first step on the road to certainty for parents of children in the consolidated system that is about to break into seven public systems.

39. Lawmakers Seek Compromise on School Voucher Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Lawmakers trying to decide on a limited school voucher program in Tennessee or a broader one say they're close to reaching an agreement on legislation.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville is carrying a proposal for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam that's limited to students from low-income families attending the bottom 5 percent of failing schools. He had that measure withdrawn last year when Senate Republicans sought to expand to a larger number of children.

40. Is That Big Move Going to Pay Off? -

Ray’s Take You’re contemplating moving to another home – maybe even to another city or the country. The catalyst could be a job offer, school changes, the desire for more living space or to be near family. While your personal, family and career situation will be major factors in the final decision, don’t forget to consider the financial angle as well. There are more costs for a new home than the selling price alone.

41. Bill Would Make Tennessee Time Uniform -

A bill pending in the Tennessee legislature would have the state adopt a uniform time system.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Curry Todd of Collierville, would take effect in July if passed, and so would make daylight savings time permanent in Tennessee. The state currently moves clocks forward an hour each spring and back an hour each fall.

42. Ellis Joins State Systems As Sales Executive -

Alisa Ellis has joined State Systems Inc. as a low voltage sales executive. She brings 16 years of telecommunications experience to the company, which offers protection products and services, including fire protection equipment, training and cleaning services, as well as technology services such as network integration, cabling systems and wireless support.

43. Stage Door Opens Arts Opportunities to All -

In recreational sports, you might hear that it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. It is not so different in community theater.

“The ultimate goal lies in the process of theater,” said Brandon Kelly, artistic director for Stage Door Productions, a new 501(c)3 nonprofit performing arts organization housed in the Kroc Center of Memphis.

44. ‘Zeroing’ In -

Ron Ritchhart came to Memphis for a two-day symposium on Harvard’s Project Zero education research with a message about student-achievement testing he suggested U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan should hear.

45. The Sweet Spot -

Gary Wilkes usually doesn’t notice the smell at the family business, Wayne’s Candy Co. Inc., unless he has just returned from vacation.

46. Gresham Tackles Hot Issues on Senate Education Committee -

As chair of the Tennessee Senate Education Committee, Sen. Dolores Gresham has plenty of hot-button issues crossing her desk these days.

47. Harvard Project Zero Comes to Martin Institute -

At a time when it seems every assumption about the mechanics of education is being questioned, educators at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero have been deconstructing the same assumptions and trying to analyze more objectively what should happen to help students learn.

48. FDA Launching Anti-Smoking Campaign Aimed at Youth -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration is using ads depicting wrinkled skin on youthful faces and teenagers paying for cigarettes with their teeth in a campaign to show the nation's young people the costs associated with smoking.

49. Empowering Programs -

On a recent Thursday night in January, 10 young girls enjoyed assorted cheeses, crab cakes, fruits and desserts at Napa Café in East Memphis.

While the girls, all members of Girls Inc. of Memphis, loved the food, it was their discussions with female employees from CB Richard Ellis Memphis that nourished their imaginations and ambitions.

50. Traveling is a Worthwhile Investment -

Ray’s Take When you set your spending priorities, don’t forget to consider travel. Assuming your finances and budget are adequately on track, investing dollars in traveling can repay a host of personal dividends.

51. Archer-Malmo Launches Digital Lab -

The bright orange sign in the shape of a triangle that hangs in the lobby at archer-malmo has a feature that’s not immediately obvious to visitors.

If someone taps on the sign, the light visible behind it will dim and then flash in quick succession the same number of times the sign was tapped. That feature was added thanks to a few employees of the marketing and communications agency who got together and decided to “hack” the sign – no particular reason, really, just to flex their technical skills.

52. County Schools Weighs Charter Rent Waiver -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson is considering waiving rent payments by charter schools that lease the school system’s old buildings in return for them taking all children in an area and coordinating their location with Shelby County Schools.

53. That’s Entertainment -

It was late in Game 6 of the Grizzlies’ 2013 playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers. Already, FedExForum was abuzz with anticipation. The hated Clippers were about to go down. Grizz, the team’s chest-thumping mascot, scaled a ladder inside the arena and unfurled a banner:

54. School Closings Discussion on Different Tracks -

You couldn’t call it a debate.

But there is clearly a conflict in the way those affected by a slate of 13 possible school closings view what is happening in many of those schools and what Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson views what is not happening.

55. Damn This Traffic Jam! -

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

“Got it.”

So read an Aug. 13, 2013, email exchange between a couple of New Jersey pols. Why Fort Lee?

Earlier efforts to pluck Democratic endorsements in the Garden State for Gov. Chris Christie’s reelection campaign had failed as to Fort Lee’s mayor, Mark Sokolich. Moreover, the day before, the Democratic state senator who represents Fort Lee had effectively blocked Christie’s reappointment of a Republican state supreme court justice. On Aug. 12, Christie referred to Jersey’s Democratic state senators as “animals.”

56. Details Surface in Ambitious Digital Pilot Program -

Toward the end of his run as Memphis City Schools superintendent, Kriner Cash talked of a switch in schools to digital devices for learning away from school.

It ultimately didn’t get very far in terms of details like how it would be paid for. And school board members at the time greeted the idea of giving students such devices to take home with silence.

57. Higher-Income Americans Hit Hardest by Tax Changes -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Higher-income Americans and some legally married same-sex couples are likely to feel the biggest hits from tax law changes when they file their federal returns in the next few months. Taxpayers also will have a harder time taking medical deductions.

58. Morris: High Bids Lead to Harahan Redesign -

Plans for the pedestrian and bicycle boardwalk on the north side of the Frisco Bridge are being redesigned after the first bids on the boardwalk came in too high.

But Downtown Memphis Commission President Paul Morris said talks are underway with Union Pacific railroad executives about a compromise as backers of the part of the larger “Main to Main” project seek to raise more private funding.

59. Teen Tutors -

Imagine it: Memphis students helping their fellow students make better grades and, in the process, substantially boosting standardized test scores and overall academic performance – a feat school officials have been trying to accomplish for years.

60. Dual-Income Families Come with Big Costs -

Ray’s Take: DINKs (dual incomes, no kids) might not actually be bringing home as much additional gross income as they think. When kids enter the picture, it’s probably time to take a long and hard look at the pluses and minuses – financial and otherwise – of continuing to have both parents work outside the home.

61. Leaders Seek Reaction on Schools Closings -

Shelby County Schools leaders expect to hear a lot Thursday, Jan. 16, when they hold a public hearing on the latest tentative list of 13 schools that could be closed in the new school year that starts in August.

62. Competing Claims -

The future of Ashlar Hall has become nearly as unpredictable as its eccentric former proprietor, Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges.

A Monday, Jan. 13, hearing before Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter did little to clear the air surrounding a November transfer of the 1397 Central Ave. property and competing claims over its future.

63. Health Department to Give Away Safe Sleep Books -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Health is increasing efforts to prevent sleep-related deaths for babies.

In partnership with Charlie's Kids Foundation, the department is providing copies of a book called "Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug" for each baby born at participating hospitals in 2014. The book was written by pediatrician John Hutton to teach caregivers to safely put a baby to sleep.

64. Property Struggle -

Discussions are underway about the particulars of an imminent demolition contract for the Tennessee Brewery, and the owners of the castle-like structure Downtown could decide the property’s fate by sometime in February or March.

65. Haslam to Decide on School Vouchers This Week -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam won't announce his decision about whether to support school voucher legislation until state lawmakers return into session this week.

The Republican governor last year supported a voucher program limited to students from low-income families attending failing schools. Haslam had that measure withdrawn when Senate Republicans sought to expand to a larger number of children.

66. Move Past Fighting for the Kids’ Sake -

There is an African saying that “When elephants fight, only the grass gets trampled.” Since my only encounters with elephants are limited to an occasional trip to the zoo, I did not really get the full impact of the saying until I saw elephants fight on an Animal Planet show.

67. Malco Sells 97,000 Bows for St. Jude -

Moviegoers bought more than 97,000 bows to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during Malco Theatres’ annual Wrapped with Love campaign last year.

The bows were handmade from actual film and available at theater box offices for $1 each. A formal check presentation at St. Jude is being planned for early spring.

68. On the Border -

The first attendance zone maps and details about where school children in Cordova might go to school this coming August was the dominant topic of discussion when the Cordova Leadership Council held a town hall meeting late last year.

69. Give Me My Money -

IT’S MINE, AND I WANT IT BACK.

“I thought I heard the captain say
Pay me my money down
Tomorrow is our sailing day
Pay me my money down”

70. Can ‘Cardinal Way’ Improve Park Attendance? -

To put it in the game’s terms, the Memphis Redbirds/AutoZone Park/St. Louis Cardinals defeated political skepticism and doubt by a score of 8-4 and saved baseball at Third and Union for many summers to come.

71. Malco Sells 97,000 Bows for St. Jude -

Moviegoers bought more than 97,000 bows to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during Malco Theatres’ annual Wrapped with Love campaign last year.

The bows were handmade from actual film and available at theater box offices for $1 each. A formal check presentation at St. Jude is being planned for early spring.

72. Suburban Superintendents Start Work -

Each of their contracts now approved, the superintendents and directors of Shelby County six suburban school systems sat down Tuesday, Jan. 7, around the same table for the first time to talk about how to build their school districts.

73. ‘Hungry’ Johnson Making Most of Latest NBA Chance -

You can’t really call this forward James Johnson’s second chance because the Memphis Grizzlies are his fifth NBA team, if you count his four preseason games with the Atlanta Hawks before being released last October.

74. Embrace Potential in 2014 -

The renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, when asked which one of the many buildings he designed was his favorite, without hesitation replied, “My next one.” The new year that stretches out in front of us has the same potential to be the best yet, for Memphis and for each of us.

75. Ghosts of Holiday Programs Past -

It’s that time of year again. Time for holiday programs.

Such as the one recounted by John Irving in “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” The one directed annually by Rev. and Mrs. Wiggin. The one that made Owen mad, because the little kids were “disguised as turtledoves.”In costumes “so absurd that no one knew what these children were supposed to be”! They looked like “science-fiction angels, spectacular life-forms from another galaxy, as if the Wiggins had decided that the Holy Nativity had been attended by beings from faraway planets.”

76. Does Your College Student Know Debt? -

Ray’s Take Too many of us are sending our kids to college with no understanding of how to handle – or better yet avoid – debt. A recent survey revealed that while 70 percent of undergrads had credit cards, fewer than 10 percent paid them off in full each month. Even worse, a mere 14 percent knew what their interest rate was!

77. Reading With Wolves -

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is the passenger in a Cessna. He’s headed to visit his dad in north Canada for the summer. The pilot dies of a heart attack. Brian crash-lands the plane in a lake surrounded by a dense forest. Can he survive?

78. Don’t Panic Over Scary Financial News -

Ray’s Take If it’s not another country defaulting on their debts it’s political gridlock on economic issues here or ominous predictions about the Federal Reserve. The news seems to be featuring more than its share of scary economic news these days.

79. School Board to Weigh Additional School Closings -

Shelby County Schools board members voted Tuesday, Dec. 17, to start the process of considering the closing of four more schools for the 2014-2015 school year, bringing the number of schools that could close to 13.

80. Since When is Failure Good? -

Failure is the new business and innovation buzzword. Magazine articles, consultants and even professors are encouraging everyone to “learn to fail.”

Their intent is to break the hardwiring in our culture that trains us to strive for success and perfection because they believe this limits our appetite for taking risk. They hold up poor Thomas Edison as a famous failure and use Winston Churchill’s quote “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” as support for their mantra. The failure zealots celebrate failure and encourage everyone to not just fail, but fail a lot.

81. Achievement School District Prepares for Third Year -

It was already official before Achievement School District superintendent Chris Barbic made the formal announcement last week.

Months ago, Barbic had confirmed that former Westside Middle School principal Bobby White would be leading the state-run school district’s effort at Frayser High School in the 2014-2015 school year.

82. Carver, Westwood Off School-Closing List -

Carver High School has survived another attempt to close it.

Small and declining enrollment at Carver since the 1980s led Memphis City Schools leaders to propose closing the school several times. And in April, Shelby County Schools leaders put the South Memphis high school on a list of schools for possible closure, citing low enrollment, under-utilization of the building and low student performance.

83. Don’t Lose Your Investment Balance -

Ray’s Take What’s the right portfolio balance for you? There are no stock answers (no pun intended). The makeup of your personal stock, bond and investment portfolio balance is as individual as your fingerprints. It depends on your age, the number of kids you have, your fixed and discretionary costs, your income, risk tolerance, your health, your spending habits, and much more – not to mention your specific financial goals.

84. Events -

Beth Sholom Synagogue will present Acoustic Sunday Live!, featuring Jesse Winchester, Mary Gauthier, Amy LaVere and John Paul Keith, Sunday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. at the synagogue, 6675 Humphreys Blvd. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Buy tickets at bsholom.org.

85. Soulful Synergy -

What happened at the corner of McLemore Avenue and College Street in the 1960s is nothing short of extraordinary.

At the crossroads of segregated neighborhoods in South Memphis, two white business partners would open the doors wide to whites and blacks alike, who congregated to write and record songs that would set off a soul explosion heard around the world.

86. All Signs Point to Breakthrough for ‘Josh’ -

Josh.

Say only that, and everyone in Memphis knows you’re talking about the University of Memphis basketball coach.

A first name. Like Michael, LeBron or Kobe. OK, not exactly like that, but sort of like that because it captures who he is. To say “Pastner” sounds too formal, doesn’t do justice to the gentle, but enthusiastic and optimistic soul – Josh! – that at 19 applied for the Los Angeles Clippers’ head coaching position.

87. Literacy Focus -

For Shelby County Schools officials, there hasn’t been much time to wonder about the second part of the historic reformation of public education in Shelby County.

As members of the six suburban school boards were sworn in this month and agreements for school buildings and funding and settling the federal lawsuit were approved, Shelby County Schools board members were hearing the first details of what a new emphasis on literacy could look like in the 2014-2015 school year for the post-merger school system.

88. Runners Ready to Brave Elements for St. Jude -

Despite the looming possibility of winter weather, more than 20,000 people are still prepared to hit the streets this Saturday for the 12th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, a series of races designed to raise awareness of and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

89. Events -

Cooper Young Night Out will be held Thursday, Dec. 5, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at businesses in the Cooper-Young neighborhood. Visit cooperyoung.biz for a list of activities.

90. Agape Celebrates Young ‘Pictures of Hope’ Artists -

Agape Child & Family Services celebrated 14 young photographers Tuesday, Dec. 3, unveiling the Pictures of Hope holiday cards based on the children’s missive to capture their dreams on camera. The celebration and unveiling were part of Agape’s second-annual Meet the Young Artist holiday party, held at Chuck Hutton Chevrolet in East Memphis.

91. Needs of Homeless Change During Holidays -

The needs of the homeless and the hungry rise in prominence during the holidays.

But those who work with those problems year round are always quick to say the problems are still there after the attention wanders once the holidays are over.

92. School Board Questions Teacher Residency -

One of the coming debates about education reform in Shelby County will be about the role of teacher residency programs in preparing future Shelby County Schools system teachers.

Shelby County Schools board members approved two contracts before the Thanksgiving holiday with Memphis Teacher Residency and Teach For America, the two dominant residency programs working in Shelby County.

93. Ludlow’s Boot Camp Takes Fitness to Higher Level -

While there are those people who jump headlong into exercise, pulled in by the rush of endorphins and an eagerness to look and feel better, others need a push.

That’s where Tony Ludlow comes in. The former staff sergeant for the U.S. Marine Corps leads participants five days a week in push-ups, crunches, weight training and jumping jacks through his USMC Fitness Boot Camp in the parking lot of Christ United Methodist Church in East Memphis.

94. Health Care Impact -

Local fitness organizations like the Kroc Center have seen increased membership numbers this year as more people in the Mid-South are working to get fit and taking an active role in their overall health.

95. Our Kind of Street -

A DIFFERENT KIND OF ADDRESS. The sticker on the door of Elwood’s Shack – sort of on Summer and sort of in Lowe’s parking lot – said “Summer Ave. is my Poplar.”

96. How to Handle Your Child’s Financial Trouble -

Ray’s Take You’ve finally reached the point where your children are grown and launched, and are looking forward to a secure retirement, or at least a slower financial headwind. Suddenly, catastrophe strikes one of your kids. Should you help, even if it could jeopardize your own future?

97. Holiday Inn Launches Brand Awareness Campaign -

Holiday Inn, the iconic hotel chain that launched in Memphis more than 60 years ago and went on to become an international mega-brand, wants customers to change their view.

That phrase has a literal and figurative connotation. It refers to a new generation of hotel guests becoming acquainted with the storied hospitality brand, and it also refers to Holiday Inn’s multimillion-dollar Change Your View campaign, a newly launched effort to remind people what’s special about the company.

98. Commission Considers County Pay Raises -

Shelby County Commissioners take up proposed pay raises Monday, Nov. 18, for the offices of Shelby County mayor, Shelby County sheriff and four other countywide elected officials.

The commission votes on the first of three readings, which also includes an ordinance to keep the pay of Shelby County Commissioners at $29,100 a year.

99. College Football Notebook: November 15, 2013 -

It has been a challenging season at Mississippi State. And it’s about to get more challenging with No. 1 Alabama invading Starkville for a 6:45 p.m. game this Saturday.

“Alabama is a team that leads the nation in just about everything,” Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen said.

100. Suburban School Boards Set, Other Issues Remain -

Voters in Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities completed the process Thursday, Nov. 7, of establishing the basics of their municipal school districts, with elections for their respective school boards.