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Editorial Results (free)

1. Poll: Americans Skeptical of Commercial Drones -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans broadly back tight regulations on commercial drone operators, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, as concerns about privacy and safety override the potential benefits of the heralded drone revolution.

2. Southwest Adding Seasonal Memphis-Baltimore Flight -

Southwest Airlines is adding a seasonal second daily nonstop flight between Memphis International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Airport to its summer schedule, which begins June 7.

3. Charter Operator AB Jets Soaring to New Heights -

David Turner began working for a local charter plane operation in 2000, but five years later Turner decided he needed a change of scenery and started flying for Memphis-based AB Jets.

4. Southwest Adding Seasonal Memphis-Baltimore Flight -

Southwest Airlines is adding a seasonal second daily nonstop flight between Memphis International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Airport to its summer schedule, which begins June 7.

5. ServiceMaster Lays Off 40, Eliminates 21 Positions -

The Servicemaster Co. announced this week it will lay off 40 employees effective next month, most of them from the company’s Memphis headquarters.

6. Clarksville, Fort Campbell Still Big Draw for Veterans -

Clarksville has become one of the nation’s boom towns, thanks largely to retirees from military service.

Veterans have flocked to the area in recent years for the shopping and health care benefits available at Ft. Campbell.

7. TBI Suspends Involvement in 24th Judicial District -

DECATURVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director has suspended the agency's investigations in the five-county judicial district where the high-profile homicide of a 20-year-old nursing student is being prosecuted, saying the decision comes from an argument with District Attorney General Matt Stowe.

8. Q&A: Al Bond, University of Memphis senior offensive lineman -

Fast Facts: First-team American Athletic Conference selection; started all 12 games at right tackle, playing 798 of 915 offensive snaps; been starter since midway of freshman year; stands 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds; graduate of Southwind High School; enrolled in graduate school after receiving undergraduate degree in correctional administration.

9. St. Louis Fed Memphis Executive Stepping Down -

After getting her master’s degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis, Martha Perine Beard joined the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis as a management trainee in 1971.

10. Nearly 500 to Lose Jobs in Shelby County -

Nearly 500 employees in Shelby County will lose their jobs by next June, including 210 at Cargill Inc. and 84 at Delta Airlines, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

11. Southwest Adding Seasonal Baltimore Flight -

Southwest Airlines is adding a seasonal second daily nonstop flight between Memphis International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Airport to its summer schedule, which begins June 7.

12. St. Louis Fed Memphis Executive Retiring in 2015 -

Martha Perine Beard is retiring next year as regional executive of the Memphis branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

13. Summer Avenue Car Lot Denied -

In zoning and development items Tuesday, Dec. 16, the Memphis City Council unanimously voted down a car lot at Summer Avenue and Vaughn Road.

Council members approved an amendment to the Kirby Gate planned development by Grant Properties LLC that allows a self-service storage facility as well as an amendment to the Oak Tree Planned Development at Mt. Moriah Road and Park Avenue permitting commercial mixed-use development.

14. ServiceMaster Lays Off 40, Eliminates 21 Positions -

The ServiceMaster Co. announced this week it will lay off 40 employees effective next month, most of them from the company’s Memphis headquarters.

15. City Council Approves Pension Changes -

Memphis City Council members put to rest Tuesday, Dec. 16, at least the City Hall portion of the debate about city employee benefits and the liability of those benefits by approving changes to the city’s pension plan.

16. Holiday Rush -

Marianne Avery has worked for the United States Postal Service for 30 years. In that three decades of service, Avery has pretty much seen it all, but for the veteran postal worker the week before Christmas remains a busy, beloved time of year.

17. FedEx Reports 23 Percent Earnings Boost -

FedEx on Wednesday, Dec. 17, reported net income of $616 million for the September-November quarter, a 23 percent increase from $500 million in the same period last year but slightly below Wall Street estimates.

18. City Council Approves Pension Changes -

Memphis City Council members put to rest Tuesday, Dec. 16, at least the City Hall portion of the debate about city employee benefits and the liability of those benefits by approving changes to the city’s pension plan.

19. T-Mobile to Let Customers Carry Over Unused Data -

NEW YORK (AP) – T-Mobile will now let customers carry over their unused cellular-data allotments.

U.S. wireless carriers have been pushing consumers into larger data plans, but they typically lose what they don't use at the end of their billing month. Under T-Mobile's plan announced Tuesday, customers would be able to stash what they don't use for up to a year. It's reminiscent of the days before wireless companies offered unlimited voice calls; some carriers were offering to roll over unused minutes into future months.

20. Southwest Bag Workers Picketing Over Flight Delays -

DENVER (AP) – Saying Southwest Airlines is neglecting workers and its customers, baggage handlers are bringing attention to the company's slide in on-time performance as they seek a new contract.

21. Southwest Could Offer International Hope -

It’s hard enough getting a direct flight to a domestic destination out of Memphis International Airport these days. And if looking at an international city, just getting a convenient connecting flight can be a headache.

22. Recipe for Success -

Michael Hudman is overseeing some last-minute preparations at Porcellino’s, walking through the space that will not only be home to a butcher shop but also represents fresh progress toward the master plan that chefs Hudman and Andy Ticer came up with years ago for their piece of Brookhaven Circle.

23. City Council to Consider Pension Alternative -

Memphis City Council members again have final votes pending Tuesday, Dec. 16, on several possible sets of changes to the city’s pension plan.

The last meeting of 2014 for the council again finds the body poised to make final decisions on the last in a set of two changes this year to the benefits city employees and retirees receive.

24. NLRB Issues Rule to Speed Up Union Organizing -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The National Labor Relations Board issued a final rule on Friday aimed at modernizing and streamlining the union election process.

The new rule will shorten the time between when an election is ordered and the election is held, eliminating a previous 25-day waiting period. And it seeks to reduce litigation that can be used to stall elections. It will also require employers to furnish union organizers with email addresses and phone numbers of workers.

25. SeaPort Looks to Shift Some Memphis Flights to Nashville -

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) – Faced with a demand for more flights from Tupelo to Nashville, SeaPort Airlines is considering moving some Memphis flights to the Nashville route.

"Demand is running 10-to-1 with Nashville over Memphis, even though we don't even have a three-to-one frequency advantage in flights," SeaPort president Rob McKinney told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

26. This week in Memphis history: December 12-18 -

2013: The city of Memphis was preparing to take day-to-day control of the Beale Street Entertainment District with the court settlement marking the formal exit of Performa Entertainment, the developer and manager of the district since its reopening in 1983. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced the Downtown Memphis Commission would run the district until a new developer and manager could be selected by the city and a future direction agreed on. The DMC continues to run the district a year later.

27. Maines Paper & Food Files $3M Building Permit -

New construction is planned at the Maines Paper & Food Service cold-storage facility in Arlington.

A $3 million building permit application has been filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the facility at 11420 Gulf Stream Road, listing the scope of work as “new construction, dry storage.”

28. Dixon Preparing for Renovations -

Dixon Gallery and Gardens is preparing to make some significant renovations.

The museum and event venue applied for a $600,000 building permit through the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for “renovation of interior spaces, millwork, galleries, museum store, exterior renovations, new roof and new service entrance” to the property at 4339 Park Ave. in East Memphis.

29. Airport Hires Manager to Increase Air Service -

Memphis International Airport has hired a former American Airlines network planner to help increase service at the airport.

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has tapped Will Livsey to serve as its new Senior Manager of Air Service Research and Development.

30. Delta Cutting Routes to Three More Cities -

Delta Airlines is slashing more routes at Memphis International Airport, including its nonstop flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

In all, Delta will eliminate three more routes from Memphis and switch another flight from daily to weekly in the airline’s latest round of reductions.

31. Mississippi Regulators OK Small Entergy Rate Increase -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Entergy Corp. will get a $16.2 million overall rate increase but many customers will see little or no difference in their monthly bills under a new rate plan approved Thursday by the Mississippi Public Service Commission.

32. Airport Hires Manager to Increase Air Service -

Memphis International Airport has hired a former American Airlines network planner to help increase service at the airport.

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has tapped Will Livsey to serve as its new Senior Manager of Air Service Research and Development.

33. Target Bringing 400-Job Project to Memphis -

Memphis is poised to land hundreds of new jobs and retain several hundred more. Target will seek incentives from Memphis and Shelby County as early as next week for an online fulfillment center that will create over 400 new jobs.

34. Reinventing Retirement -

Ray’s take: At the turn of the 20th century, the average life expectancy was 47 years. Today, the average American can look forward to about 78 years of life. The average life expectancy for today's 65-year-old has increased to 84, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. I currently have twelve clients over 90.

35. ReStoring Hope -

The Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis ReStore is feeling the holiday love.

The store’s November “Go North ReStock the ReStore” event brought in a large number of donations and the Hickory Hill store recorded $10,673 in sales the day of the event, the store’s biggest day of sales so far this fiscal year. In addition, November Web traffic was more than double that of November 2013.

36. Sources: Target to Seek Incentives for Memphis Project -

Target will seek incentives from Memphis and Shelby County as early as next week for an industrial project that could create up to 600 jobs, according to multiple sources.

The Minneapolis-based retail giant has explored sites in DeSoto County and Memphis for a distribution center and is in the process of finalizing a lease for the 900,000-square-foot building at 5461 Davidson Road in Southeast Memphis. In addition to the 600 jobs, Target is expected to make significant capital improvements to the property, which was formerly occupied by Hamilton Beach.

37. Burger King, Hortons to Become Restaurant Brands -

NEW YORK (AP) – Tim Hortons and Burger King said Tuesday that they will become Restaurant Brands International when their tie-up closes, which is expected to happen this week.

In August Burger King agreed to pay $11 billion to buy Tim Hortons, a Canadian chain known for its coffee and doughnuts. Tim Hortons Inc. shareholders approved the combination on Tuesday. U.S. regulators have cleared the deal and the companies expect Canadian regulators to sign off on Friday, making the sale official.

38. Dixon Preparing for Renovations -

Dixon Gallery and Gardens is preparing to make some significant renovations.

The museum and event venue applied for a $600,000 building permit through the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for “renovation of interior spaces, millwork, galleries, museum store, exterior renovations, new roof and new service entrance” to the property at 4339 Park Ave. in East Memphis.

39. Milhaus Acquires Highland Row Property -

44 S. Highland St.; 366, 374 and 380 Ellsworth St.
Memphis, TN 38111
Sale Amount: $4.3 million

40. December’s a 'Fun Month' for MIFA -

December is a good month at the Metropolitan Inner-Faith Association (MIFA), a “fun month, a popular month,” as executive director Sally Jones Heinz says.

41. Plough Foundation Grants $12 Million to Help Local Seniors -

The Plough Foundation has made an unprecedented series of grants totaling nearly $12 million to serve Memphis-area seniors.

The grants will help feed vulnerable Shelby County senior citizens a million meals, to rehab the homes of 500 low-income seniors and to build a continuum of care for elderly victims of abuse through a coordinated community response, among other projects.

42. Auction Doesn’t Attract Commerce Center Buyer -

An auction of the former FedEx and Holiday Inns headquarters failed to produce a buyer.

The Commerce Center complex on Lamar Avenue is back up for sale after not receiving a minimum bid of $2.5 million for the 313,843-square-foot, three-building campus on 33 acres. Sperry Van Ness’ SVN Auction Service had put the property on the auction block for the owner, which had been seeking $7.5 million for the property.

43. Sirius XM to Pay $3.8 Million to Settle Complaints -

Some Sirius XM customers, who were charged for satellite radio service they didn’t want, can now apply for a refund.

Sirius XM agreed Friday to pay $3.8 million to settle complaints that it misled customers with its advertising and billing practices. The money will be split among 46 states and the District of Columbia. Those in four states, California, Hawaii, Wyoming and New York, can’t apply for a refund, Sirius said.

44. Maines Paper & Food Service Plans Construction -

New construction is planned at the Maines Paper & Food Service cold-storage facility in Arlington.

A $3 million building permit application has been filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the facility at 11420 Gulf Stream Road, listing the scope of work as “new construction, dry storage.”

45. How to Gain Immunity From Funding Cuts -

Martin Elliott, senior director of Mattel Inc.’s New Business Ventures, tells innovators how to avoid the budget cut thresher. Think like a V.C.

46. Yard Work Waiting? Hit Mowz App and Take a Nap -

It’s hard to decide what’s less fun, mowing the lawn or raking leaves. If you loathe both in equal measure, however, help may be just a few clicks away.

Mowz, an app-based service offering a mobile way to book multiple landscaping services, has made its way to Nashville. It’s the latest offshoot from Plowz, which began as a snowplowing-assistance app in upstate New York last winter and has since migrated to more than 20 cities.

47. Batch Gets Bigger With Storefront, Fourth City -

Batch is gonna need a bigger box.

The Nashville-based foodie subscription service, which curates amazing mini-collections of locally-made edibles and packs them up and ships them all over the U.S. and Canada, has added a fourth city – Austin – and a permanent storefront at the Nashville Farmers Market.

48. Festive Drinks and Fun Venues -

A number of new places opened in Nashville this year, bringing a bevy of new bourbons, crafted brews and incredible places to sit, relax and sip. If you are looking for more than a meal and want that genuine, trendy Nashville experience, here are a few hot spots.

49. West Coast Strife Persists and Local Impact Remains Elusive -

Labor strife on West Coast docks isn't going to steal Christmas in Memphis, but it is having an impact locally, according to industry officials. But just how deep that impact cuts remains to be seen.

50. Precious Cargo -

In November, a trailer full of new, pre-released LeBron James shoes made by Nike was stolen in the Memphis area.

But thanks to a local task force dedicated to stopping cargo theft, the Oregon-based sports apparel giant, which operates a massive distribution center in Frayser, was able to recover nearly all of the shoes, which were valued at around $700,000.

51. Starbucks to Push More Food, Offer Mobile Ordering -

NEW YORK (AP) – Starbucks plans to let customers across the U.S. order ahead on their smartphones over the next year, a move that should help shrink lines as it pushes more snacks, sandwiches and even wine.

52. Justices Weigh Bias Claim of Pregnant UPS Driver -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Two of the three women on the Supreme Court vigorously questioned a UPS lawyer Wednesday over the company's refusal to give lighter duty to a pregnant worker, a closely watched case with potentially broad impact for female workers and their employers.

53. Southwest Airlines Agents Approve Labor Contract -

DALLAS (AP) – Customer-service agents at Southwest have approved a new labor contract, a boost for the airline, which hasn't been able to get a deal with pilots or ramp workers.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said Wednesday that agents approved a four-year contract that includes pay raises, a signing bonus, job-security provisions and more flexible vacations. The union didn't give details on the raises.

54. Memphis Marketer Launches Gift Recommendation Service -

Gift-giving might feel like a chore for some people, especially at Christmastime. The difficulty of figuring out what to buy for the aunt who has everything, for example, or the wrapping of geometric impossibilities that require reams of paper and tape tend to produce feelings other than mirth and holiday cheer.

55. Pension ‘Concept’ Flips Council Script -

For most of her seven years on the Memphis City Council, Wanda Halbert has been the most outspoken member when it comes to last-minute items added to the council’s agenda for a vote.

So, when Halbert rolled out a compromise plan on the city’s pension changes Tuesday, Dec. 2, she took some heat from other council members.

56. Rolling Along: RV Industry Maintains Momentum -

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – RV manufacturers have made up more ground since being sideswiped by the Great Recession, and production of the rolling homes is expected to return next year to levels seen before the economic downturn hit.

57. Greenline Part of Larger Changes to Shelby Farms -

The visitors center at Shelby Farms Park is about to come down, the latest sign of the transformation of the park.

58. Commerce Center Auction Doesn’t Attract Buyer -

An auction of the former FedEx and Holiday Inn headquarters failed to produce a buyer.

The Commerce Center complex on Lamar Avenue is back up for sale after not receiving a minimum bid of $2.5 million for the 313,843-square-foot, three-building campus on 33 acres. Sperry Van Ness’ SVN Auction Service had put the property on the auction block for the owner, which had been seeking $7.5 million for the property.

59. Veterans Care Battles Bureaucracy, Hesitancy -

The new generation of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq face a homeland that knows about post-traumatic stress disorder.

But those veterans still face a massive federal bureaucracy that requires them to sort it out as they also try to deal with issues on their own.

60. City Council Could Close Pension Debate -

At their next-to-last meeting of the year Tuesday, Dec. 2, Memphis City Council members could put to rest the dominant issue they have faced in 2014 – changing the unsustainable trajectory and liability of city employee benefits.

61. Treat Your Visitors to These Dining Treats -

Having been busy lately on a cookbook project, I haven’t been able to visit restaurants as often. So after my deadline, I worked on making up for lost time by hitting five restaurants in a couple of weeks.

62. Patrick Ready to Cook at Relocated Rizzo’s Diner -

Chef Michael Patrick reaches for a metaphor to describe what it will feel like once the new, more expansive version of his Downtown eatery, Rizzo’s Diner, opens in the next several days at 492 S. Main St.

63. Running Pony Nominated for Regional Emmys -

Memphis video production company Running Pony has been nominated for three regional Emmy awards.

The nominations were revealed at a ceremony in Nashville. Running Pony was nominated for a commercial campaign produced along with Sullivan Branding for University of Memphis Tigers football, and for a public service announcement produced along with King Quality Communications for Memphis Gun Down.

64. ’Tis the Season -

After the recession struck, desperate retailers competing for a shrinking amount of shopping dollars and market share began tinkering with time-tested holiday marketing strategies.

Good prices, great values, unique offerings and convenience no longer were enough to boost retail sales.

65. See Spot Relax: Pet Massage Gaining Popularity -

PHOENIX (AP) – Spa treatments don't stop with people. You won't see any aromatherapy candles around, but animals get massages, too, and it's become a regular service that many pet owners value as more than just glorified petting.

66. Program Launched to Grow State’s Small Businesses -

Because many small businesses might still find access to credit tight, and because putting new capital to work in small businesses can give the economy a jolt through the creation of jobs, a pair of organizations has launched a new lending program with those factors in mind.

67. Shelby County November Vote Certified -

With a few adjustments and a legal question still to be decided in Nashville, the Shelby County Election Commission certified the last election of 2014 in Shelby County Monday, Nov. 24.

The results, audited by certified public accountants Watkins-Uiberall PLLC and Banks, Finley, White & Co., include new totals for the city of Memphis referendum on selling wine in food stores and the Memphis referendum on changes to the city charter provisions on the civil service system.

68. New FDA Rules Will Put Calorie Counts on Menus -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Whether they want to or not, consumers will soon know how many calories they are eating when ordering off the menu at chain restaurants, picking up prepared foods at supermarkets and even eating a tub of popcorn at the movie theater.

69. How Much Do You Know About How the Internet Works? -

WASHINGTON (AP) – We may be the Internet generation. But we don't know much about how it works.

A new Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday found most people can recognize Microsoft founder Bill Gates and know that hashtags belong in tweets, but are confused about whether having a privacy policy means that a company actually keeps consumer information confidential.

70. City Council Meets With Actuaries -

Memphis City Council members were to meet Tuesday, Nov. 25, with actuaries from Segal Consulting of Atlanta about different options for the city’s pension plan. The meeting comes after the council decided a week earlier to vote down the hybrid pension plan for city new hires and employees with fewer than 10 years of service.

71. Spillyards Leads Community Advisors Launch -

Greg Spillyards has joined the brokerage team at Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors to launch the firm’s Community Advisors service line.

Community Advisors is focused on the Memphis city core, with a goal to provide real estate advisory services to assist in the revitalization of the city’s underserved areas with passion, creativity and entrepreneurship, and with service to those already living and leading in their neighborhoods.

72. Framing a Business -

Tom Clifton loves what he does for a living so much that he’ll sometimes happily bound into the office on Sundays to take care of a project.

73. Do You Need to Break the Bank to Get a Good Phone? -

NEW YORK (AP) – It might seem as though everyone has an iPhone or Galaxy smartphone. But many customers are eschewing the best cameras and screens – and their top-end price tags – and choosing models that can get the job done at less than a third of the cost.

74. In Wake of Spotify Pullout, Music Industry Debates Streaming -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – From board rooms in Japan to songwriter's rooms in Nashville, a debate is brewing in music industry circles about the financial and creative value of streaming music, even as its popularity and impact skyrocket.

75. Wish Granted: Same Day Delivery for the Holidays -

NEW YORK (AP) – A procrastinator's holiday wish come true: Presents ordered at the last minute can now show up under the Christmas tree that same day.

Amazon, Target and Macy's and other retailers are offering speedier delivery, including overnight and same-day options that will continue even past the holidays.

76. Running Pony Nominated for Regional Emmys -

Memphis video production company Running Pony has been nominated for three regional Emmy awards.

The nominations were revealed at a ceremony in Nashville. Running Pony was nominated for a commercial campaign produced along with Sullivan Branding for University of Memphis Tigers football, and for a public service announcement produced along with King Quality Communications for Memphis Gun Down.

77. Germantown Mayor-Elect Discusses Revenue, Schools -

The incoming mayor of Germantown wants to grow the city’s sales tax base to make its government a bit less reliant on property tax revenue.

Property taxes fund about 60 percent of Germantown city services, said mayor-elect Mike Palazzolo, who takes office Dec. 16. Sales tax revenue funds another 16 percent, with the rest coming from fees and state and federal funding.

78. One Stop Grows From Changing Church Base -

In a city known for its churches and the culture of those churches, Betty Hobson has found a business model that shows just how broad and deep the influence of those churches can be.

79. I Choose Memphis: Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling -

“I Choose Memphis” spotlights Memphians who are passionate about calling this community home. New Memphis Institute provides the profiles.

Name: Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling

80. Incumbent Council Members Weighing Choices -

The only open seat on the Memphis City Council in the 2011 city elections is once again an open seat going into the 2015 city elections.

Current council member Lee Harris was elected to the state Senate in the August elections and will resign effective Jan. 12. That means the remaining 12 council members will appoint someone to fill the year remaining in Harris’s four-year council term of office.

81. Rogero Talks ‘Smart Growth,’ Democratic Politics -

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero became the first woman to hold that office when she won the election in 2011.

She’s been actively involved in a number of local issues since her election, from urban-core revitalization and business recruitment to broader social issues such as marriage equality.

82. Auction of Elvis Items Set for January -

More than 60 authentic artifacts related to late singer Elvis Presley are set to be auctioned in Memphis in January.

Elvis Presley Enterprises says the auction, scheduled for Jan. 8, will be part of the annual celebration of Presley's birthday at Graceland, his longtime Memphis home. Bidding will begin online two weeks prior to the live auction at Graceland.com/Auction.

83. Collierville Chamber CEO to Retire -

Fran Persechini has decided to step down as president and CEO of the Collierville Chamber of Commerce after spending 20 years with the organization.

“I am so proud of the work our chamber has done to improve our business climate, cultivate leaders and strengthen our community,” said Persechini in an email. “The chamber is positioned well to do great things and impact Collierville even more, making this the ideal time for me to step aside and let a new leader carry the torch.”

84. Delta Slashes More Memphis Flights -

Delta Air Lines will dramatically reduce service at Memphis International Airport once again, delivering another blow to airline employees, local flyers and airport officials.

Delta has informed the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority that effective Jan. 5, 2015, the airline will cease nonstop flights to Pittsburgh International Airport, New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. In addition, Delta will cease its nonstop flight to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in April.

85. Memphis May Offer Less Police Services -

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong says some services provided by the agency will likely be reduced soon because of staffing levels.

Armstrong told The Commercial Appeal that staffing levels have dropped to 2,160 as of Tuesday, which is the lowest level since 2009.

86. BankTennessee Celebrates 80 Years in Business -

The bank got its start in 1934 as First Federal Savings and Loan Association, founded by a group of local Memphis bankers and businessmen.

In 1997, its name was changed to BankTennessee. And this year, it’s celebrating its 80th anniversary – a milestone that finds the institution as a more expansive organization, coming off one of its most successful years in 2013, with a larger geographic footprint and a much more robust suite of products and services than it started with.

87. Obama: US Needs to Bring Schools Into 21st Century -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama called on local school officials Wednesday to help meet his goal of bringing high-speed Internet to virtually every student within a few years to help American children compete with counterparts in countries that already use technology to help them learn.

88. Timberlake Becomes Co-Owner of Audio Tech Company -

NEW YORK (AP) – Justin Timberlake wants to make sure you have a 20/20 sound experience when you listen to music: He's now a co-owner of the audio technology company AfterMaster Audio Labs, Inc.

89. Auction of Elvis Items Set for January -

More than 60 authentic artifacts related to late singer Elvis Presley are set to be auctioned in Memphis in January.

Elvis Presley Enterprises says the auction, scheduled for Jan. 8, will be part of the annual celebration of Presley's birthday at Graceland, his longtime Memphis home. Bidding will begin online two weeks prior to the live auction at Graceland.com/Auction.

90. If You Don’t Come Across … -

Ten years ago this month, as I was immersing myself into the nuances of cruciverbalism – the art of writing crosswords – these lines came to me:

“If you don’t come across, I’m gonna be down/Your love to me is a mystery and the clues are all around.” (I know, that’s songwriting, not puzzle-writing, but stay with me on this.)

91. Expedient Data Centers Expands to Memphis -

Expedient Data Centers, a leading provider of cloud computing and other related services, has settled on Memphis as the site of its first data center in Tennessee.

Expedient currently operates 10 data centers in six markets, and its 11th is planned for 3180 Players Lane in Memphis, close to the TPC Southwind Golf Course and FedEx headquarters.

92. Wharton’s Hybrid Pension Falls in Council -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s hybrid pension proposal, the second of two parts of his overhaul of city employee benefits, was voted down Tuesday, Nov. 18, by the Memphis City Council in a bid by some on the council to end “uncertainty” among city employees.

93. Council Votes Down Water Rate Hike, Wharton Hybrid Pension Plan -

Memphis City Council members voted down a water rate hike of 2.3 percent Tuesday, Nov. 18, proposed by Memphis Light Gas and Water Division. And the council voted down Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s hybrid pension plan change for city employees with under 10 years on the job.

94. Feds: Bullying, Lying Debt Collectors an Epidemic -

NEW YORK (AP) – The country is facing an epidemic of unscrupulous debt collectors willing to pose as law enforcement and threaten arrest to squeeze dollars out of Americans, a top prosecutor said Tuesday as he announced the arrests of seven people who worked for an Atlanta-area company.

95. New Tech Imperatives for CEOs -

It’s no secret that in today’s economy, small- and medium-sized businesses must constantly reinvent themselves in order to maintain relevancy in their marketplace.

Perhaps lesser known is that technology has helped these businesses be more competitive, especially with keeping an eye on how revenue and expenses are impacting the bottom line, order tracking and customer service.

96. City Council to Consider Police Funding -

Memphis City Council members will consider Tuesday, Nov. 18, taking $1 million from city reserves to fully fund an additional Memphis police recruit class in the current fiscal year.

The $1 million from reserves would go with $2 million the council approved at the start of the fiscal year for a new recruit class.

97. Delays Remain for Some Hachette Books on Amazon -

NEW YORK (AP) – The Amazon.com-Hachette Book Group conflict is over, but the restoration of normal service will take at least a few days.

As of Friday afternoon, shipping times of up to three weeks or longer were still listed for numerous Hachette books. They include James Patterson's "Cross My Heart," J.K. Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy" and J.D. Salinger's "Franny and Zooey."

98. Education Commissioner Leaving for Private Sector -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Education Department Commissioner Kevin Huffman said Thursday that the scrutiny he received during his nearly four turbulent years at the helm of the state's schools didn't influence his decision to leave for the private sector.

99. Collierville Chamber CEO to Retire -

Fran Persechini has decided to step down as president and CEO of the Collierville Chamber of Commerce after spending 20 years with the organization.

“I am so proud of the work our chamber has done to improve our business climate, cultivate leaders and strengthen our community,” said Persechini in an email. “The chamber is positioned well to do great things and impact Collierville even more, making this the ideal time for me to step aside and let a new leader carry the torch.”

100. -

EMPHASIS Financial Services
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