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Editorial Results (free)

1. Savers Beware: Fees May be Shrinking Your 401(k) -

WASHINGTON (AP) – It's the silent enemy in our retirement accounts: High fees.

And now a new study finds that the typical 401(k) fees – adding up to a modest-sounding 1 percent a year – would erase $70,000 from an average worker's account over a four-decade career compared with lower-cost options. To compensate for the higher fees, someone would have to work an extra three years before retiring.

2. Medicare Database Reveals Top-Paid Doctors -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million.

Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing.

3. Obama Signs Actions Taking Aim at Gender Pay Gap -

WASHINGTON (AP) – In a concerted election-year push to draw attention to women's wages, President Barack Obama signed directives Tuesday that would make it easier for workers of federal contractors to get information about workplace compensation. He seasoned his move with a sharp rebuke of Republicans whom he accused of "gumming up the works" on workplace fairness.

4. Growing Demand for US Apartments Pushing Up Rents -

These are good times for U.S. landlords. For many tenants, not so much.

With demand for apartments surging, rents are projected to rise for a fifth straight year. Even a pickup in apartment construction is unlikely to provide much relief anytime soon.

5. Caught in the Middle -

Even before the Affordable Care Act came along, Deborah Casey was living between a logistical rock and an economic hard place. Casey, a 61-year-old widow, draws a monthly Social Security check based on her husband’s earnings. She works part-time for Shelby County (no benefits), and to continue receiving the same amount in that Social Security check, she has to keep tabs on how much she makes. This is exactly how someone who wants to provide for herself winds up on a “fixed income.”

6. With Health Law, Workers Ponder the I-Quit Option -

CHICAGO (AP) – For uninsured people, the nation's new health care law may offer an escape from worry about unexpected, astronomical medical bills. But for Stephanie Payne of St. Louis, who already had good insurance, the law could offer another kind of escape: the chance to quit her job.

7. White House Promotes Economic Issues Facing Women -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Add pay equity to President Barack Obama's 2014 do-it-himself wish list.

The White House is launching a campaign to promote a host of economic issues facing women, a key voting bloc in this year's midterm election.

8. Low-Wage Jobs Unexpectedly a Way of Life for Many -

WASHINGTON (AP) – For years, many Americans followed a simple career path: Land an entry-level job. Accept a modest wage. Gain skills. Leave eventually for a better-paying job.

The workers benefited, and so did lower-wage retailers such as Wal-Mart: When its staffers left for better-paying jobs, they could spend more at its stores. And the U.S. economy gained, too, because more consumer spending fueled growth.

9. Latest Airline Perk: Safe Distance From the Masses -

NEW YORK (AP) – On flights from San Francisco to Hong Kong, first-class passengers can enjoy a Mesclun salad with king crab or a grilled USDA prime beef tenderloin, stretch out in a 3-foot-wide seat that converts to a bed and wash it all down with a pre-slumber Krug "Grande Cuvee" Brut Champagne.

10. Feds File Suit Against For-Profit College Chain -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed suit Wednesday against a large, for-profit college chain alleging that it pushed students into high-cost private student loans knowing they would likely end in default.

11. County Primary Filing Deadline Arrives -

A couple of days before the filing deadline for candidates in the May county primaries, it looked like a political season with lots of action at the deadline itself.

The deadline is noon Thursday, Feb. 20, with another week for any candidates who meet that deadline to withdraw if they wish.

12. Kickstarter Campaign Seeks Funds for Symphony -

Chris James, who plays second flute and piccolo with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, acknowledges the easy temptation to get dejected, even angry, about the financial plight of the symphony as it races to close a six-figure budget gap.

13. Pressure Mounts for Apple to Expand its Horizons -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Apple reshaped technology and society when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone seven years ago. Now, the trend-setting company is losing ground to rivals that offer what Apple has stubbornly refused to make: smartphones with lower prices and larger screens than the iPhone.

14. Farm Bill Deal Would Cut Food Stamps by 1 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Farm-state lawmakers are lobbying colleagues member by member, vote by vote as they push for House passage of a massive, five year farm bill that would make cuts to food stamps and continue generous subsidies for farmers.

15. Holiday Shopping Season: A Disappointment So Far -

NEW YORK (AP) – Sparse crowds at malls and "50 percent off" signs at The Gap, AnnTaylor and other stores give a clue as to how the holiday season is going.

This is shaping up to be the most discount-driven holiday season since the country was in a deep recession. It's also one of the most disappointing for stores.

16. AP Survey: US Income Gap is Holding Back Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The growing gap between the richest Americans and everyone else isn't bad just for individuals.

It's hurting the U.S. economy.

So says a majority of more than three dozen economists surveyed last week by The Associated Press. Their concerns tap into a debate that's intensified as middle-class pay has stagnated while wealthier households have thrived.

17. Wharton to Present Pension Plan to City Council -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. will take a five-year plan for meeting the city’s $709 million unfunded pension liability Tuesday, Dec. 17, to Memphis City Council members during their executive session.

18. Federal Data Show Health Disparities Among States -

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Residents in some parts of the U.S. are signing up for health care coverage at a significantly greater rate than others through the new online insurance marketplaces now operating in every state.

19. Pay Gains for Young Women; Inequality Still Seen -

WASHINGTON (AP) – About 75 percent of young women believe the U.S. needs to do more to bring about equality in the workplace, a new study finds, despite a narrowing pay gap and steady employment gains for women at higher levels of business and government.

20. Grant Helps HopeWorks Expand GED Program -

Last month, Andy Burgess of Memphis received his GED diploma. With his sights set on a career in the transportation industry, Burgess knew the high school equivalency certificate would make him a more viable job candidate.

21. Stocks March Into Higher Realm -

Found: New Highs!

Markets continued their record march this week as a tepid jobs report reinforced expectations for further Fed stimulus. In anticipation of “print it” Janet’s reign, the 10-year Treasury yield has frozen at 2.5 percent. With a valuation of 17x trailing operating earnings, S&P 500 earnings yield nearly 6 percent. Obviously 6 percent is more than 2.5 percent, making stocks more attractive than bonds. To wit, equity mutual funds have added $32 billion in assets since May 31, while bond mutual funds have shed $128 billion. The longer interest rate expectations remain anchored at low levels, the more enticing the gap between the earnings yield for stocks and the interest rate yields for bonds. This explains the continued push into record territory for the stock market. As rate increase fears abate, stocks escalate.

22. Poll: Health Exchange Rollout Gets Poor Reviews -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The debut of the government's health insurance marketplaces drew a huge audience – and underwhelming reviews.

Just 7 percent of Americans say the rollout of the health exchanges has gone extremely well or very well, according to an AP-GfK poll.

23. African-American Philanthropy and Museums, Part 2 -

Part two of a three-part series “While our museums face many challenges, there are as many opportunities. Collectively we need to determine what steps we’re prepared to take and how aggressive we’re prepared to be to ensure the current and future relevancy and sustainability of our museums.”

24. City Leaders Outline Pension Crisis Talks -

There still isn’t an agreement on the numbers. But the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. met late last week with leaders of the unions representing city employees about the conclusion in a consultant’s report that the city’s pension fund liability is unsustainable to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

25. Senate Education Panel Holds Hearings on Common Core -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Supporters and critics of a new set of benchmarks for math and reading are getting their voices heard this week, as a state Senate panel holds hearings on the common core standards that have been adopted to some degree by 47 states and the District of Columbia.

26. Women Regain Jobs Lost in Recession -

U.S. women have recovered all the jobs they lost to the Great Recession. The same can’t be said for men, who remain 2.1 million jobs short.

The biggest factor is that men dominate construction and manufacturing – industries that have not recovered millions of jobs lost during the downturn. By contrast, women have made up a disproportionate share of workers in those that have been hiring – retail, education, health care, restaurants and hotels.

27. Women Regain Jobs Lost in Recession -

U.S. women have recovered all the jobs they lost to the Great Recession. The same can’t be said for men, who remain 2.1 million jobs short.

The biggest factor is that men dominate construction and manufacturing – industries that have not recovered millions of jobs lost during the downturn. By contrast, women have made up a disproportionate share of workers in those that have been hiring – retail, education, health care, restaurants and hotels.

28. US Builders Broke Ground on More Homes in July -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. developers broke ground on homes at a faster pace in July. But the rise was all due to apartment construction, which is typically volatile. By contrast, builders began work on fewer single-family homes – the bulk of the market – and sought fewer permits to build them.

29. US Budget Deficit Down 37.6 Percent Through July -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The government on Monday reported a $97.6 billion deficit for July but remains on track to post its lowest annual budget gap in five years.

July's figure raises the deficit so far for the 2013 budget year to $607.4 billion, the government says. That's 37.6 percent below the $973.8 billion deficit for the first 10 months of the 2012 budget year.

30. SEC Seeks to Prolong Football Dominance -

HOOVER, Ala. – There is no effort at denial. Nor should there be or could there be. Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive began his annual address at football media days by mentioning his “annual brag bag” and then spilled the entire contents while barely taking a breath:

31. Central Bank Bumper Cars -

Markets last week called Bernanke’s bluff and ended the second quarter on a high note. As we well know, Bernanke spooked markets with a timeline for dousing quantitative easing by mid-year 2014. Bond markets convulsed and the 10-year Treasury yield climbed from 1.61 percent to 2.67 percent. Why would Chairman Bernanke do such a thing?

32. Mortgage Activity Sees Small Increase -

Mortgage activity was a bit lackluster in Shelby County last month compared to the same time in 2012, judging by the latest data.

Looking forward, though, bankers say the demand is there, the busy season for lenders is well underway and that the purchase mortgage business is at times far outpacing demand for refinances.

33. Google Settles Suit, Clears Way for Stock Split -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Google has resolved a shareholder lawsuit blocking a long-delayed stock split, clearing the way for the Internet search leader to issue a new class of non-voting shares later this year.

34. Commission to Complete Schools Budget -

Shelby County Commissioners should wrap up their action Monday, June 17, on the first budget for the consolidated school system with a final vote on the school system budget.

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

35. Coverage May be Unaffordable for Low-Wage Workers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – It's called the Affordable Care Act, but President Barack Obama's health care law may turn out to be unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels.

36. Old Boundaries Fade as Schools Merger Nears -

There is still some power left in the line that separates Memphis City Schools from Shelby County Schools with about two weeks left until the two public school systems formally become one.

That was evident Tuesday, June 11, as the countywide school board approved a slate of 35 policy decisions for the merged school system whose fiscal year begins July 1.

37. School Board Approves Use of Reserve To Fund Merger Budget -

Countywide school board members approved Tuesday, June 11, the use of $12 million from the reserves of the two combined school systems to bridge a funding gap in the budget for the first fiscal year of the consolidated school system.

38. US Trade Deficit Up 8.5 Percent to $40.3 Billion -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit widened in April, as demand for foreign cars, cell phones and other imported goods outpaced growth in U.S. exports.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the trade gap rose 8.5 percent in April from March to $40.3 billion.

39. Commission Takes Up Property Tax Hike -

Shelby County Commissioners take the first of three votes Monday, June 3, on a 6-cent property tax hike as well as a 30-cent increase in the tax rate.

And four of the seven votes needed for the tax hike are there. So is a very vocal minority on the commission who see the recertified tax rate increase as a tax hike even before the 6-cent tax hike recommended by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is considered.

40. Mothers Now Top Earners in 4 in 10 US Households -

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's working mothers are now the primary breadwinners in a record 40 percent of households with children — a milestone in the changing face of modern families, up from just 11 percent in 1960.

41. School Board Considers Funding Shifts -

When countywide school board members begin considering changes Thursday, May 16, to the $1.18 billion budget proposal before them, there will be few easy choices.

First reactions and questions from school board members Tuesday at the first of three board sessions this week revolved around ways to shift funding in order to expand pre-kindergarten to more schools.

42. School Board Examines Budget Fine Print -

The funding gap for the still tentative schools merger stands at an even $35 million in new funding.

The new total came Tuesday, May 14, after interim schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson told countywide school board members he and his staff had eliminated a “district initiative department” that would have cost $737,366.

43. Grizzlies Take Down Thunder in Overtime -

Moments before Game 4 of the Grizzlies-Oklahoma City playoff series tipped off at FedExForum Monday night, Tony Allen, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol stood at midcourt to be recognized for making the NBA’s All-Defensive teams (Allen first-team, Gasol and Conley second-team).

44. Hopson Says Merger Not Reason for Staff Cuts -

The interim superintendent of Shelby County’s two public school systems says staffing changes at some schools to start with the first school year of the merger aren’t as draconian as they could have been.

45. US Trade Deficit Falls to $38.8 Billion in March -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March for a second month as the daily flow of imported crude oil dropped to the lowest level in 17 years. The deficit with China hit a three-year low.

46. Obama Budget: Cover Uninsured, Trim Medicare, Tax Cigarettes -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama's new budget offers Medicare cuts to entice Republicans into tax negotiations, while plowing ahead to cover the uninsured next year under the health care law the GOP has bitterly fought to repeal.

47. Conley Proving Adept at Stealing the Show -

The question came at Lionel Hollins as a compliment, the way many questions after dramatic victories do.

The Grizzlies had just beaten the San Antonio Spurs, 92-90, at a rowdy FedExForum on a driving layup by point guard Mike Conley for the team’s 50th win – tying the franchise record. So the coach was asked to explain his team’s “resiliency.”

48. Hopson Goes ‘All In’ on Schools Post -

Dorsey Hopson’s answer was quick and concise when he was asked Wednesday, March 27, if he wanted the job of being superintendent of the consolidated school system on a permanent basis.

“No,” Hopson said, as he stood with a “cabinet” of 10 school systems administrators from both school systems who will help him take city and county schools into the merger in the next four months.

49. US Budget Deficit Jumps in February by $204 Billion -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. federal budget deficit jumped in February from January, though it is still running well below last year's pace. Higher taxes and an improving economy are expected to hold the annual deficit below $1 trillion for the first time since President Barack Obama took office.

50. Bearing Down -

The old adage “loaded for bear” is fitting for a new full-service branding agency that’s emerged on the Memphis advertising landscape.

“We came up with Loaded for Bear after stepping back and looking at the Memphis creative landscape and what our goals were, which are to prove that great creative can happen in a ‘creative wilderness’ such as Memphis, but also to help our clients be prepared for anything,” said managing director Joel Halpern. “That is where the term came from, an old hiker’s saying that means going off in the prepared for the worst case scenario, or a bear.”

51. Hollywood Feed Expands, Renews Local Leases -

Hollywood Feed has renewed and expanded two of its Memphis locations.

The Memphis-based natural and holistic pet food merchant is growing its 2648 Broad Ave. warehouse from 44,400 square feet to 77,763 square feet.

52. Seminar: Uncertainty Pervades Real Estate -

2013 will be a big year on many real estate fronts – foreclosures, property taxes and property values.

That was the message industry professionals heard Thursday, Feb. 14, at real estate information company Chandler Reports’ 2012 year-end “Master Your Market” seminar at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis.

53. School Budget Debate Far From Over -

The countywide school board’s $145 million “ask” is on its way to the Shelby County Commission.

There was much debate among board members about the amount but general agreement that they need more details about what would be in even a preliminary budget.

54. School Board Meets as Budget Debate Grows -

Countywide school board members meet Tuesday, Feb. 12, in special session to send a still-forming budget for the first fiscal year of the consolidated school system to the Shelby County Commission.

55. Madewell Coming to Saddle Creek -

The Shops of Saddle Creek in Germantown will soon gain another national retailer with no other presence in Tennessee.

Madewell, a subsidiary of J. Crew Group Inc., has signed a 3,061-square-foot lease in The Shops of Saddle Creek North, 7509 Poplar Ave., in part of the space that was previously The Gap in between James Avery Jewelry and Brighton Collectables.

56. Retailers Report Strong January Sales -

NEW YORK (AP) – Sometimes, the devil is in the deals. Americans shopped the winter clearance racks in January, resulting in strong sales during the month for retailers.

But spending is expected to slow as the deals dry up heading into the spring, and Americans digest rising gas prices and a 2 percent payroll tax hike that started in January.

57. Final Bell -

From the moment he became Memphis City Schools superintendent, Kriner Cash had competition.

“I’ve been fighting since I got here,” he said in the early stages of what winds up as a five-year tenure that officially comes to an end July 31.

58. Cash Exits At Critical Juncture In Merger -

Countywide school board members approved Thursday, Jan. 10, a severance package that ends Kriner Cash’s tenure as superintendent of Memphis City Schools.

Cash will remain through the end of July as an employee in an advisory capacity. At the end of July he gets six months of regular pay and $17,000 in moving and legal expenses as well as a letter of recommendation from the school system.

59. Plenty is Happening in the 38104 ZIP Code -

Saying something different is happening in Midtown is like saying the sun will rise in the east each morning.

But the pockets of change particularly in commercial real estate in Midtown point to significant changes we haven’t seen before. And they represent some big opportunities to affect daily life for those who call Midtown home as well as those who pass through an area with three major east-west arteries – Poplar, Union and Madison Avenues.

60. Plenty is Happening in the 38104 ZIP Code -

Saying something different is happening in Midtown is like saying the sun will rise in the east each morning.

But the pockets of change particularly in commercial real estate in Midtown point to significant changes we haven’t seen before. And they represent some big opportunities to affect daily life for those who call Midtown home as well as those who pass through an area with three major east-west arteries – Poplar, Union and Madison Avenues.

61. Differences Discussed as Schools Move Ahead -

Students and public schools in Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities are almost certainly going to be part of the consolidated Shelby County public school system that debuts in August.

62. Beebe Proposes Another Arkansas Grocery Tax Reduction -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe proposed a $4.9 billion budget Thursday that calls for eliminating nearly all of the state's grocery tax next year if the state's payments to three school districts for desegregation and other key obligations decline over a six-month period.

63. Saint Francis Introduces MAKO Knee Treatment -

Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis this week becomes the first hospital in the city to offer the MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing treatment.

The treatment uses a highly advanced, surgeon-controlled robotic arm system to correct early to mid-stage osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. Saint Francis spent $1.5 million to acquire the new technology, and the first surgery is scheduled to take place Thursday, Nov. 15.

64. School Board to Vote on Supporting Tax Hike -

The chairman of the Shelby County Commission and the newest county commissioner have different thoughts on the countywide tax hike on the Nov. 6 ballot.

But chairman Mike Ritz and commissioner Steve Basar, elected to the commission in August, agree that the countywide school board hasn’t been aggressive enough in carrying out the transition to the schools merger to come in August.

65. Commercial Advisors Capital Markets to Zero In on ‘Untapped Segment’ -

Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors Asset Services LLC has launched a Capital Markets Group, a new service line to complement the firm’s tenant representation and third-party leasing and management businesses.

66. Census Data Another Sign Economy has Bottomed Out -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Five years after the housing bust, the U.S. economy is showing signs of finally bottoming out.

Americans are on the move again after putting their lives on hold and staying put. More young adults are leaving their parents' homes to take a chance with college or the job market, while once-sharp declines in births are leveling off and poverty is slowing.

67. Schools Case Continues in Federal Court -

When U.S. District Court Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays resumes his hearing on municipal school districts, Thursday, Sept. 20, he will already have a desk full of reports, documents and depositions to consider.

68. School Board to Begin Merger Votes Next Week -

Countywide school board members should begin voting up or down the first recommendations of the schools consolidation planning commission at their Thursday, Sept. 27, meeting.

The recommendations are the blueprint for how the merged school system will operate leading up to and past the merger start date of August 2013.

69. 3 Tips for Improving a Struggling Sales Team -

Successfully managing a sales team takes a special touch, because great salespeople are wired differently than most. Their defining qualities – fearlessness and dogged determination – are what make them both stellar at closing business and, at times, a handful to manage.

70. US Poverty Rate 15 Percent; Record Numbers Persist -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The ranks of America's poor remain stuck at a record 15 percent, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday.

Roughly 46.2 million people remained below the poverty line in 2011, unchanged from 2010. The figure is the highest in more than half a century.

71. Report: Foreclosure Sales Fell Sharply in Second Quarter -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Sales of bank-owned homes and those already on the foreclosure path fell sharply in the second quarter, reflecting a thinner slate of properties for sale in many cities as banks take a measured approach to placing homes on the market.

72. School Board Questions Processes -

The process that countywide school board members are using to filter school merger recommendations from the transition planning commission looks a lot like the commission itself.

The group of senior administrators from both school systems even has a similar name – the transition steering committee. And like the transition planning commission, it will explore hiring consulting firms to advise it.

73. Most Americans Say the Rich Don't Pay Enough Taxes -

WASHINGTON (AP) – As the income gap between rich and poor widens, a majority of Americans say the growing divide is bad for the country and believe that wealthy people are paying too little in taxes, according to a new survey.

74. After the Vote -

As 400 supporters of municipal school districts rallied just off the Arlington town square in July, conversations about the ballot outcome turned to one question – how Federal Judge Hardy Mays would rule in the legal challenge to the state law governing the establishment of a municipal school district.

75. Transcript: Luttrell Discusses Schools, Other Issues Facing County -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell talked several weeks ago with The Memphis News editorial board about the coming merger of schools and the creation of municipal school districts.

The conversation took place a few days before voters in all six suburban towns and cities approved the creation of municipal school districts.

76. Biz Owners Weighing Health Care Law Impact -

So far, it’s not easy to get a clear picture of how President Barack Obama’s health care law will affect Memphis-area small businesses.

That’s mainly because there are lots of business owners – including both supporters and even strident critics of the Affordable Care Act – who themselves don’t know what impact the law will have.

77. Ritz Seeks Countywide Sales Tax Hike -

Incoming Shelby County Commission chairman Mike Ritz wants to add a countywide sales tax hike for education to the Nov. 6 ballot.

The move, if approved by voters, would not only trump the half-cent sales tax hikes approved this month for five of the six suburban municipal school districts – it would also lessen the revenue the city of Memphis would get from a half-percent citywide sales tax hike already on the November ballot.

78. Gov't Report: Tax Cheats Getting Paid by Medicaid -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Thousands of Medicaid health care service providers still got paid by the government even though they owed hundreds of millions of dollars in federal taxes, congressional investigators say. A legal technicality is making it harder for the IRS to collect.

79. Clearances, Heat Lured Shoppers to Spend in July -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans shoppers proved resilient in July, driving a key sales figure up at retailers across the country, despite persistent worry about jobs and the global economy.

Results came in better than expected for many retailers, helped by hot weather and summer clearance sales, an encouraging sign as the back-to-school season, the second-biggest shopping season behind the holidays, kicks off.

80. Day of Answers -

Polls open across Shelby County at 7 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, in elections that already promise to be memorable for problems during the early voting period as well as the mixture of issues and one-of-a-kind contests on the ballot.

81. US Poverty on Track to Rise to Highest Since 1960s -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.

82. Schools Merger Draft Receives Different Responses -

The plan for a consolidated countywide public school system got overshadowed last week by the federal court motion to stop the August referendums on municipal school districts.

But the 200-page plan with 172 recommendations is now formally before the countywide school board and Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman – the two next stops in the process for approving a merger plan.

83. ‘Paradigm Shift’ -

As he nears the two-year mark as Shelby County mayor this September, Mark Luttrell said he continues to be confronted by the “urban and suburban divide.”

84. Slice of the Pie -

Come mid-July, local restaurateur Aldo Dean will launch Aldo’s Pizza Pies, his group’s third concept in Memphis and second in Downtown’s Central Business District.

Dean is one of three partners behind the new 3,900-square-foot restaurant on the ground floor of Henry Turley Co.’s Barboro Flats at 100 S. Main St. Adam Slovis of Slovis & Associates LLC represented Dean and his group in its seven-year lease for Aldo’s Pizza Pies.

85. Mtg. Could Produce Schools Draft -

The group drafting the blueprint for the merged Shelby County public school system will go longer than its normal two-hour session Thursday, June 14.

The 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. session is an important milestone for the schools consolidation planning commission that began its work in September.

86. CCRFC Approves Chisca Hotel Tax Break -

Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. at its Tuesday, June 12, board meeting approved a 20-year PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) program for the restoration of the Chisca Hotel led by Main Street Apartment Partners LLC.

87. CCRFC Approves Chisca Hotel Tax Break -

Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. at its Tuesday, June 12, board meeting approved a 20-year PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) program for the restoration of the Chisca Hotel led by Main Street Apartment Partners LLC.

88. US Trade Deficit Narrowed to $50.1 Billion -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit shrank in April, but only because a big drop in imports offset the first decline in U.S. exports in five months.

The Commerce Department said Friday that the trade deficit narrowed 4.9 percent in April to $50.1 billion.

89. Tina Fey’s ‘Bossy Pants’ Rocks -

After reading the 2009 novel that I dissed a bit last week, I read Tina Fey’s 2011 autobiographical “Bossy Pants.” Superb, stellar, well-written. Educational, insightful, witty and fun! What more could I ask?

90. City Budget Season Ends With Frustration -

The year of the “gap budget” at City Hall felt and sounded a lot like the previous two budget years at City Hall.

The mayor and City Council were frustrated even as the budget deliberations came to an end with a lowered city property tax rate.

91. Council Lowers Property Tax Rate, Approves $609M Budget -

Memphis City Council members approved a $3.11 city property tax rate Tuesday, June 5, to fund a city operating budget of $609,802,357 and Memphis City Schools to the tune of $64,819,307.

The split council vote came nearly 14 hours after the council’s day started at City Hall with a budget committee session in which the basic elements of the ultimate budget compromise were mapped out before noon.

92. ‘Reluctant Contingency Plan’ Gets Approval -

After tallying savings of $97 million by recommending outsourcing transportation and custodial work as well as closing 21 schools, the group planning out a consolidated countywide school system knew there was pain to follow.

93. Medical Necessity -

An aging population, changes in the national health care model and a shortage of primary care physicians have increased the need for physician assistants, or PAs, who work under the direction of physicians and surgeons.

94. New School System Faces $89M Shortfall -

The gap between expenses and revenues for a countywide school system that debuts in August 2013 is estimated at $89 million by the group that is planning what the school system will look like and how it will operate.

95. Schools Planning Commission Puts Financial Gap at $89 Million -

Those drafting the blueprint for the consolidated Shelby County public school system to come in August 2013 always knew they would come to the point at which they would have to balance the school system they want and the school system the county can afford.

96. Budget Talks Turn to MCS Funding Issue -

If the city of Memphis has one more fiscal year of funding Memphis City Schools, it could be one-time-only funding instead of raising the city property tax rate.

After several years of Memphis City Council members debating the use of one-time-only funding to cover continuing expenses in the city’s operating budget, the coming schools consolidation that begins in August 2013 has prompted some new scenarios.

97. US Trade Gap Widens at Fastest Pace in 10 Months -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit rose in March at the fastest rate in 10 months. A rise in consumer goods lifted imports to a record level, outpacing a solid gain in U.S. exports.

98. Twitter Plays Outsize Role in 2012 Campaign -

NEW YORK (AP) – @BarackObama is on Twitter. So is @MittRomney. And so are all the voters following the 2012 presidential contest, whether they know it or not.

Candidates, strategists, journalists and political junkies have flocked to Twitter, the social networking hub where information from the mundane to the momentous is shared through 140-character microbursts known as tweets.

99. Medicare Disruptions Seen if Health Law is Struck -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Medicare's payment system, the unseen but vital network that handles 100 million monthly claims, could freeze up if President Barack Obama's health care law is summarily overturned, the administration has quietly informed the courts.

100. Tax Hike At Center Of Budget Debate -

Even as he made his case for a 47-cent property tax hike Tuesday, April 17, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. outlined alternatives to the full tax hike.

“This is a product in progress,” he said after his annual budget address.