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Editorial Results (free)

1. Medicare Hospital Fund to Last Four Years Longer -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare's finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year's estimate.

2. Zillow Buying Trulia to Build Real Estate Titan -

NEW YORK (AP) — Zillow and Trulia, two companies that changed the way people shop for homes, are combining.

Real estate website operator Zillow Inc. is buying its rival in a $3.5 billion deal that will make the biggest player in the online real estate information market.

3. M Club Golf Tournament Slated for Aug. 29 -

The M Club, the letter winners association at the University of Memphis, will play host to the 2014 “Clash of the Tigers” Golf Tournament on Friday, Aug 29, at Windyke Country Club.

The tournament will take place on the eve of the Tigers kicking off the 2014 football season. Memphis will take on Austin Peay the following evening in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

4. Simmons First National Moves Into Tennessee -

A similar history, a foundation in agriculture lending and growth potential attracted Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp. to buy Community First Bancshares Inc. of Union City, Tenn., and its $1.9 billion subsidiary First State Bank, says Simmons’ Chairman and CEO George A. Makris.

5. Registration Could Reflect Suburban Relocation -

When Shelby County’s six new suburban school districts register students on Tuesday, July 29, some of those systems’ superintendents will watch for changes from the numbers of students who pre-registered in the new school systems less than a year ago.

6. Suburban Schools Mark A Week to Debut -

Suburban school leaders drop by the Shelby County Schools data center Monday, July 28, to get their first formal look at achievement test scores for their students during the only year of the Shelby County Schools merger.

7. Start Co. Steers Accelerators Toward Demo Day -

Memphis’ startup community is in the throes of its busiest summer in memory.

The Start Co. organization is running four startup accelerator programs at the moment simultaneously, compared to past undertakings that involved one accelerator at a time. The four programs underway now include Seed Hatchery, Upstart, SparkGap and Sky High, and they include the participation of more than two dozen teams, some of which hail from Memphis and others from around the country.

8. Master Your Market Seminar to Examine Housing Trends -

Real estate industry professionals will have the opportunity this week to learn more about major trends in the local real estate market, including residential and commercial sales, new housing, foreclosures and lending practices.

9. Average US 30-Year Mortgage Rate at 4.13 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates were stable to slightly higher this week, remaining near their lows for the year.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan was 4.13 percent, unchanged from last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, edged up to 3.26 percent from 3.23 percent last week.

10. US New-Home Sales Plummet in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of new U.S. homes plunged in June, a sign that real estate continues to be a weak spot in the economy.

New home sales fell 8.1 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 406,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The report also revised down the May sales rate to 442,000 from 504,000.

11. 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.

12. Mississippi Sales Tax Holiday Starts Friday -

Mississippi merchants and shoppers are gearing up for the fifth annual back-to-school sales tax holiday.

Mississippi’s sales tax holiday starts Friday, July 25, at 12:01 a.m. and ends Saturday, July 26, at midnight. For retailers, it is one of their busiest times of the year.

13. Senate Bill Targets Companies That Move Overseas -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate voted Wednesday to advance an election-year bill limiting tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas. But big hurdles remain.

The Senate voted 93-7 to begin debating the bill, which would prevent companies from deducting expenses related to moving operations to a foreign country. The bill would offer tax credits to companies that move operations to the U.S. from a foreign country.

14. US Economy, Though Sluggish, May Now Be Sturdier -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged.

That conclusion, one held by a growing number of economists, might surprise many people. After all, in the five years since the recession officially ended, Americans' pay has basically stagnated. Millions remain unemployed or have abandoned their job searches. Economic growth is merely plodding along.

15. 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.

16. Pairing Off -

“Got a pair of nickels for a dime?” “Sure. Here you go: 5, 10, 15 cents.”

On Saturday of the U.S. Open, Frankie Frisco’s “Second Thoughts” column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette began, “Every golf tournament claims that pairings and tee times are mostly picked at random ….” Going forward, the item reported, as had other news outlets the day before, that a certain pro golfer was unhappy that, for the Open, he and two other golfers had been put in the same threesome for round one.

17. TheGRIND Evolves as First Anniversary Approaches -

The one-year anniversary is approaching for theGRIND, a digital publication that launched in January to bring its own take on covering the people, places and events of Memphis.

Leading up to that milestone, the publication has several things in the works that collectively showcase how it’s evolved quickly from an idea to the reality of an ambitious media startup. Editor in chief Kendra Lyons, for example, says plans in the works include a print version of the digital-only outlet, as well as a coffee table-style book that would feature the best photography and stories from theGRIND.

18. US Home Sales Increase 2.6 Percent in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of previously owned homes rose for a third straight month in June, pushing activity to the highest level in eight months and providing evidence that housing is regaining lost momentum.

19. 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.

20. Teach for America Leverages Start Co. Resources -

Education reform has been alive and well here in Memphis over the last few years. There have been many great initiatives established to secure dollars and establish programming to move our youth forward. As always, I am thinking of scale, sustainability and innovation to stay relevant.

21. Survey: Graduates Should Return to Memphis After School -

Measuring economic sentiment among consumers at any given moment in time involves looking at specific data points and how consumers feel about those sets of numbers and facts.

That’s a key element of the Memphis Economic Indicator, a quarterly survey measuring general business and economic sentiment produced jointly by The Daily News and Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP that’s now one year old.

22. Verizon Launches Rewards Program With Tracking -

NEW YORK (AP) – Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked so the company can help target ads that match their interests.

23. Early Voting Draws 673 in First Weekend -

Democratic political leaders and candidates put a lot of emphasis this past weekend on a strong start to the early voting period in advance of the Aug. 7 elections.

The early voting period opened Friday, July 18, with three Tennessee Supreme Court justices in town as well to campaign for retention in their nonpartisan races at the bottom of the ballot.

24. Beale Street Landing Looks Beyond Early Curiosity -

The Riverfront Development Corp. is filling in a calendar of events at the newly opened Beale Street Landing that stretches into the fall and demonstrates the role of programming in holding the larger public’s interest beyond those coming to the landing now out of curiosity.

25. French Fort Plan Calls for $150 Million Development -

What would begin as 67 apartments in the former U.S. Marine Hospital and nurses’ quarters on the northern edge of the French Fort neighborhood would grow in phases to a $150 million development south of E.H. Crump Boulevard, according to a plan unveiled over the weekend.

26. Busy Street -

Evidence for the attractiveness of Downtown’s South Main neighborhood can be found in any of several corners.

One example is at 314 S. Main St., where Café Pontotoc opened its doors about two weeks ago. Owners Milton and Cherie Lamb wanted to establish a comfortable neighborhood bar that serves wine, local beers and small plates in a setting where patrons get used to coming in to unwind.

27. Business Licenses Up 26 Percent in Second Quarter -

The last three months proved to be a healthy period for the local business climate.

Business licenses issued by the Shelby County Clerk’s Office in the second quarter of 2014 spiked 25.7 percent from the same period in 2013, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

28. I Choose Memphis: Hillary Quirk -

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

Name: Hillary Quirk

Job title and company: Community Manager, Start Co.

29. 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.

30. Justices Stump in Memphis as Early Voting Begins -

Early voting in Shelby County opened Friday, July 18, with that most political of omens – rain.

The three Tennessee Supreme Court justices on the ballot statewide were at the Burch, Porter & Johnson law firm a few blocks from the Shelby County Election Commission early voting site Downtown.

31. Memphis Redbirds Begin Homestand Thursday -

The Memphis Redbirds open an eight-game homestand on Thursday, July 17, and will play host to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Triple-A Rockies) and Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A Royals) at AutoZone Park. The homestand includes two giveaways and a fireworks show. Game time is 7:05 p.m., and gates open an hour before then.

32. Stormwater Meetings Planned in Whitehaven -

The City of Memphis Division of Engineering has announced a series of neighborhood meetings focused on a stormwater master plan for Whitehaven.

The purpose of the plan is to identify potential solutions for flooding and drainage issues, and the goals of the meetings are to give people information about the project and gather input about drainage and flooding problems people have experienced.

33. US Unemployment Aid Applications Drop -

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week, a steady decline that suggests a strengthening job market.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dipped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

34. Cargill Inc. to Invest $45 Million In West Memphis Grain Facility -

Cargill Inc. will invest $45 million to build a grain handling and shipping facility in West Memphis, the company announced Friday, June 10.

35. House Passes Tax Breaks to Boost Charitable Giving -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House passed a package of tax breaks Thursday designed to boost charitable donations by seniors, private foundations and procrastinators.

One provision provides tax breaks to people over 70 who make donations from their individual retirement accounts. Another reduces excise taxes on private charitable foundations.

36. US Unemployment Aid Applications Drop to 302,000 -

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week, a steady decline that suggests a strengthening job market.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dipped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

37. No Crying in Vanderbilt Football, Not Anymore -

HOOVER, Ala. – Before James Franklin, Vanderbilt never had been to consecutive bowl games. He took them to three in three years.

38. Jones, Volunteers Still Face Steep Climb Up Rocky Top -

HOOVER, Ala. – It’s Tennessee against the world. Don’t believe that? Just ask second-year coach Butch Jones.

Last season’s “brick-by-brick” theme has been replaced by the “power of one,” as in one team against all odds. Given the power/opportunity of the microphone and a large contingent of reporters at SEC Media Days, Jones used his pulpit to say, without exactly saying it, please don’t expect too much too soon.

39. Locally Grown Foods Look to Bigger Business -

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Once a niche business, locally grown foods aren't just for farmers markets anymore.

A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to major institutions like Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in downtown Philadelphia, eliminating scores of middlemen from farm to fork. Along the way, they're increasing profits and recognition for smaller farms and bringing consumers healthier, fresher foods.

40. Redbirds Begin Eight-Game Homestand Thursday -

The Memphis Redbirds open an eight-game homestand on Thursday, July 17, and will play host to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Triple-A Rockies) and Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A Royals) at AutoZone Park. The homestand includes two giveaways and a fireworks show. Game time is 7:05 p.m., and gates open an hour before then.

41. Stormwater Meetings Planned in Whitehaven -

The City of Memphis Division of Engineering has announced a series of neighborhood meetings focused on a stormwater master plan for Whitehaven.

The purpose of the plan is to identify potential solutions for flooding and drainage issues, and the goals of the meetings are to give people information about the project and gather input about drainage and flooding problems people have experienced.

42. Thoughts for 30-Somethings -

Ray’s take: You spent your 20s setting up your life – developing some marketable skills, getting a career started, (hopefully) creating a budget, and learning to live with it.

43. Rehab on the River -

The next front in the “previtalization” of Memphis is a three-story, neoclassical brick building from the Depression era that was once a hospital for those who worked on the Mississippi River.

44. SEC Media Days Notebook: July 15 -

HOOVER, Ala. – South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier has been at this college coaching game a long time. He also had a stint in the NFL. And a college program’s big boosters, he said, are “similar to an owner in the NFL because they put the money up.”

45. Uphill Climb -

Shelby County’s homebuilding industry is off to a slow start in 2014, with builders filing 16.6 percent fewer permits in the second quarter than in the same three-month period a year ago.

Builders filed 245 permits in Shelby County in the second quarter, compared with 294 permits in the second quarter of 2013, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. Builders filed 191 permits in the first quarter.

46. Tennessee Road Projects Could Face Cuts in August -

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee has funding for 13 road-widening projects totaling more than $200 million, including a $15.6 million Shelby County project, waiting on whether Congress refreshes the federal Highway Trust Fund in August.

47. 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.

48. Hopson Brings Johnson Back To Schools As Adviser -

Carol Johnson, the former superintendent of Memphis City Schools, will serve as an interim adviser to Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson for the next two to three months and assist in Hopson’s search for a permanent chief academic officer.

49. School Board to Vote on Head Start Contract -

Shelby County Schools board members meet Tuesday, July 15, at 5:30 p.m. at the school board auditorium.

The agenda for the voting meeting, which follows the board’s 4 p.m. work session, includes a vote on a $16.7 million contract for Porter-Leath to manage 12 Head Start sites for the school system in the 2014-2015 school year.

50. Volkswagen to Build New SUV in Tennessee, Add 2,000 Jobs -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Volkswagen plans to build a new seven-passenger SUV at its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, adding about 2,000 factory jobs as it tries to reverse U.S. sales that have fallen for the past two years.

51. Cargill to Invest $45M In West Memphis Facility -

Cargill Inc. will invest $45 million to build a grain handling and shipping facility in West Memphis, the company announced Friday, July 11.

52. Wright Taking UAM to New Heights -

When Keri Wright was a little girl, her dad built an airplane out of plywood and fitted it with controls and switches, and she and her brother would play in the plane next to their sandbox.

As she grew older, the family went to an airshow every summer in Oshkosh, Wis., and Wright loved watching the F-16 fighter jets zoom overhead.

53. 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.

54. Shelby County Home Sales Dip 1 Percent in Quarter -

Shelby County home sales slowed slightly in the second quarter compared to the same three-month period in 2013, but rising prices have real estate professionals hopeful for a strong end to the year.

55. Chrysler Recalls 651,000 SUVs for Mirror Lights -

NEW YORK (AP) — Chrysler says it is recalling 651,000 Jeep and Dodge SUVs in the U.S. because vanity mirror lights that have undergone repairs can short circuit and start a fire if not reassembled correctly.

56. Grizz Draftee Adams Signs Multi-Year Deal -

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed 2014 first-round draft pick Jordan Adams to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Adams (6-foot-5, 209 pounds) was selected by Memphis in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft after two seasons at UCLA, where he averaged 16.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and a school-record 2.43 steals on .467 shooting in 30.2 minutes in 69 career games. His 168 career steals rank seventh in Bruins history.

57. Cargill to Invest $45 Million in West Memphis Facility -

Cargill Inc. will invest $45 million to build a grain handling and shipping facility in West Memphis, the company announced Friday, July 11.

Cargill, which operates a corn mill on Presidents Island in Memphis, said in a statement that the new facility would “ become a key origination point in the south for soybeans, corn, milo and wheat.”

58. Riverfront Cornerstone -

Beale Street Landing seems an unlikely choice as a cornerstone, considering its troubled path to completion.

At this point, it’s almost a motto – not on time and over budget, and by a lot on both counts.

59. More 'Headline-Grabbing' Corporate Deals Expected -

LONDON (AP) – More "headline-grabbing" acquisitions are likely over the coming year as businesses take advantage of a period of improving economic growth and cheap financing.

That's the conclusion of business consulting firm EY, which says the value of takeover deals announced in the first half of 2014 struck its highest level since the end of the boom years in 2007.

60. 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.

61. Fed Split on Signals for First Rate Increase -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve officials had differing views in June on the best way to signal to financial markets when they might raise a key short-term interest rate. They were in broad agreement, however, that they will likely announce an end to their monthly bond buying program in October.

62. Grizzlies Draftee Adams Signs Multi-Year Deal -

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed 2014 first-round draft pick Jordan Adams to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Adams (6-foot-5, 209 pounds) was selected by Memphis in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft after two seasons at UCLA, where he averaged 16.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and a school-record 2.43 steals on .467 shooting in 30.2 minutes in 69 career games. His 168 career steals rank seventh in Bruins history.

63. For the Red, White & Blue -

Let’s start this column with holiday quiz:

1. Who immortalized Paul Revere’s “midnight ride” and how?
2. Which body of water did Washington and his men cross on Christmas 1776?
3. According to legend, who sewed the first American flag?
4. Who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner”?
5. Which European countries fought for the colonies and which did not?
6. What was thrown into Boston Harbor in 1773 and why?
7. Who was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence?
8. Which state whose name starts with V was not one of the original 13 colonies?
9. How did John Adams explain to Abigail the colonies’ defeat at Long Island?
10. What was the approximate population of the 13 colonies on July 4, 1776?

64. City Could Consider Blue Flu a Strike -

At some point, if enough Memphis Police officers call in sick, the job action underway since the end of June could be considered a strike by the city of Memphis. And that would signal a new phase in what is the most significant job action by Memphis Police since the 1978 police and fire strikes.

65. 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.

66. Digital ‘Buy Local’ Platform MadeIn Set to Launch -

Next week, a venture called MadeIn is launching a new shopping platform in Memphis to connect people to a website where they can buy and sell local goods.

The venture is a digital platform that will act as a kind of local version of Amazon, and MadeIn creator Jennifer Sadler said her startup also will sell curated gift boxes that include an assortment of local products.

67. Atkinson Joins Dermaflage Team -

Michael Graber asked that I write this week’s column to both announce my move to join the leadership team at our Ventures company, Silicone Arts Labs, and to reflect on the last seven years at Southern Growth Studio. We announce my departure from the Studio with a great sense of pride and accomplishment, as it is one of the ways we are meeting our mission and making a positive impact in Memphis.

68. Juvenile Court Judge Race Remains Hard-Fought -

The candidates are counting down the days to the July 18 start of early voting in advance of the Aug. 7 election day.

With one more weekend of campaigning until early voting dictates a shift in tactics, the sizeable cast of the longest ballot of any Shelby County election cycle is searching at events for crowds comprised of mostly voters rather than other candidates and their campaign workers.

69. 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.

70. ‘Significant Headwinds’ -

When Gov. Bill Haslam joined local economic development and civic officials at FedExForum in January to announce that Conduit Global would open a call center in Shelby County that would employ 1,000 people over the next three to five years, it provided a much-needed boost to the local office real estate sector.

71. 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.

72. Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Dips to 4.12 Percent -

Average U.S. mortgage rates are near historically low levels.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday that the nationwide average rate for a 30-year loan dipped to 4.12 percent, down from 4.14 last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage, which had taken a big dip the previous week, was unchanged this week at 3.22 percent.

73. I Choose Memphis: Airika Wallace Gigas -

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

Name: Airika Wallace Gigas

74. A Wise Sports Fan Appreciates the Journey -

So what does Team USA’s soccer experience and the Memphis Grizzlies experience have in common?

You know, besides the obvious – playing against a bunch of floppers/whiners, be they from Portugal or Lob City?

75. Yellen Sees Little Threat to Financial Stability -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that she doesn't see a need for the Fed to start raising interest rates to defuse the risk that extremely low rates could destabilize the financial system.

76. Survey: US Companies Added 281,000 Jobs in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A private survey shows U.S. business hiring surged in June, a sign of stronger economic growth.

Payroll processer ADP said Wednesday that private employers added 281,000 jobs last month, up from 179,000 in the previous month.

77. 32 States Trail US as a Whole in Job Recovery -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Five years after the Great Recession officially ended, most states still haven't regained all the jobs they lost, even though the nation as a whole has.

In May, the overall economy finally recovered all 9 million jobs that vanished in the worst downturn since the 1930s. Another month of solid hiring is expected in the U.S. jobs report for June that will be released Thursday.

78. Brooks Residency Case Resumes in Court -

When Chancellor Kenny Armstrong takes the bench Thursday, July 3, to resume his hearing on the effort to unseat Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks, he will likely have the same basic question he had when the hearing recessed Tuesday in his courtroom.

79. Council Delays Action on Pension Plan Changes To October -

Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday, July 1, to delay final votes on a set of ordinances to change the city’s pension for new hires and employees on the job for less than 10 years.

The council had planned to vote on the pension changes at its July 15 meeting. But the council moved to delay it further after a council day briefing of several hours from Segal Consulting of Atlanta, the consulting firm hired by the council specifically to advise it on pension plan changes proposed by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

80. Southwest Opens New Chapter: International Flights -

DALLAS (AP) – After four decades of expanding to all corners of the lower 48 states, Southwest Airlines flies into new territory on Tuesday – Jamaica, the Bahamas and Aruba.

Southwest is taking over routes flown by AirTran Airways, which it bought in 2011. The company plans to eliminate the AirTran brand by year end.

81. Contracts to Buy US Homes Up Sharply in May -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes shot up in May. But the pace of buying this year remains slower than in 2013, in part because of sluggish sales during winter.

82. Palazzolo Opens Run for Germantown Mayor -

So far, Germantown Alderman Mike Palazzolo has no opposition in his bid to become the next mayor of Germantown in the Nov. 4 elections.

And his early start campaigning door to door in March and covering about 25 percent of the city so far means he may not in the race to succeed outgoing Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy.

83. Timing Key Element of County Tax Rate Debate -

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

84. Web Sites Can Take Some Hassle Out of Car-Buying -

DETROIT (AP) – Want to take some of the stress and mystery out of the car-buying process? Get on the Internet.

Auto Web sites – once filled mostly with reviews and advice – are getting more sophisticated, connecting potential buyers with dealers and offering instant price guarantees. Some let buyers estimate their trade-in values and turn in credit applications online. One company even lets buyers complete the entire sale online and get cars delivered to their door.

85. US to Ask China to Restart Cyber Working Group -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States wants to restart a cybersecurity working group that China shut down after the U.S. indicted five Chinese military officers on charges of hacking into American companies' computers to steal trade secrets.

86. Baker’s Career Mirrored State’s Political Story -

As the week begins, political leaders of both parties and across several generations will gather in East Tennessee for the funeral of former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker.

87. Curtain Up -

Ekundayo Bandele could have gone for the standard opening ceremony for the new Hattiloo Theatre in Overton Square – a single ceremony with perhaps some theater, a couple of speeches and a ribbon-cutting.

88. Redbirds Back Home For Weekend Series -

The Memphis Redbirds open up a four-game weekend series Thursday, June 26, at AutoZone Park against the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

The homestand includes the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2013 National League Championship Series replica ring giveaway on Friday night for the first 3,000 fans. Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday, and first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Also on Friday, Cardinals pitcher and former Redbird Joe Kelly is scheduled to make a rehab start as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.

89. Nashville's Historic Ryman Auditorium to Expand -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Ryman Auditorium, the mother church of country music, is getting a new $14 million expansion that will provide more space for tours, food and beverage services and retail.

90. The View From Nashville -

IF WE DON’T CARE, NO ONE ELSE WILL. Longtime friend and Nashville marketing maven, David Bohan, answered my column about oxymoronic Nashville barbecue with his own column “Marketing Matters” in The Tennessean last week.

91. Economy Shrank at Steep 2.9 Percent Rate in First Quarter -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy shrank at a steep annual rate of 2.9 percent in the January-March quarter as a harsh winter contributed to the biggest contraction since the depths of the recession five years ago. But the setback is widely thought to be temporary, with growth rebounding solidly since spring.

92. Redbirds Back Home for Weekend Series -

The Memphis Redbirds open up a four-game weekend series Thursday, June 26, at AutoZone Park against the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

The homestand includes the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2013 National League Championship Series replica ring giveaway on Friday night for the first 3,000 fans. Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday, and first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Also on Friday, Cardinals pitcher and former Redbird Joe Kelly is scheduled to make a rehab start as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.

93. Let’s Talk Civics -

I type in the word civics at OneLook Dictionary Search. Giving credit to “MacMillan Dictionary,” the site gives me “a school subject in which you study how government works and what people’s rights, duties, and responsibilities are as citizens.”

94. Schadt Reflects on ArtsMemphis Time, Looks Ahead -

Thirteen years is a long time to do one job and do it well, which explains why Susan Schadt already talks with an air of wistfulness about her imminent departure as president and CEO of ArtsMemphis at the end of this year.

95. US: Looking at All Options in Immigration Surge -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress Tuesday he would consider "every conceivable, lawful option" to deal with a continuing flood of immigrants crossing the U.S. border illegally in southern Texas.

96. Ni Hao, Y'all: US Hinterlands Woo Chinese Firms -

PINE HILL, Ala. (AP) – Burdened with Alabama's highest unemployment rate, long abandoned by textile mills and furniture plants, Wilcox County desperately needs jobs.

They're coming, and from a most unlikely place: Henan Province, China, 7,600 miles away.

97. Schadt Stepping Down as ArtsMemphis CEO -

ArtsMemphis President and CEO Susan Schadt is stepping down from her role at the arts funding organization after 13 years, as she heads to a new job at a Memphis-based publishing firm.

December 31 is her last day with ArtsMemphis, after which she’ll take over as CEO and owner of Wild Abundance Publishing. That firm, which Schadt founded in 2008, specializes in books focused on conservation and the arts.

98. Calm Amidst the ‘Storm’ -

The S&P 500 continues to inch ever so closer to the 2,000 mark, while volatility measures remain historically low. Furthermore, there have been 43 consecutive days where the S&P 500 has registered a daily return mark within the -1 percent to +1 percent band.

99. Building Permits Tumble 38 Percent in May -

Homebuilding activity slowed in May compared to a year ago, with builders filing fewer permits and selling fewer new homes than the same month last year.

Builders pulled 72 permits in Shelby County in May, down 38.4 percent from 117 permits in May 2013, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. The 72 permits filed by builders in May were up slightly from 68 permits filed in April.

100. Schadt to Leave ArtsMemphis at Year End -

ArtsMemphis president and CEO Susan Schadt will step down from her role at the arts funding organization after 13 years, soon heading to a new job at a Memphis-based publishing firm.

Dec. 31 is her last day with ArtsMemphis, after which she’ll take over as CEO and owner of Wild Abundance Publishing. That firm, which Schadt founded in 2008, specializes in books focused on conservation and the arts.