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Editorial Results (free)

1. US Unemployment Benefit Applications Plunge to 15-Year Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people seeking unemployment aid plunged last week to the lowest level in almost 15 years, a sign hiring will likely remain healthy.

Weekly applications dropped 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That is the lowest level since April 2000. It is also the biggest decline in two years. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell 8,250 to 298,500.

2. Fed Stays 'Patient' on Rates While Noting Improving Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve reiterated Wednesday that it will be "patient" in raising interest rates from record lows even as the U.S. economy moves steadily closer to full health.

3. Settlement Could Fund I-Zone Schools -

With federal money about to run out for the Shelby County Schools Innovation Zone schools, the $8 million in cash due from the city of Memphis next month is most likely to land in the bank account for that effort.

4. School Board Approves Settlement Over 2008 Funding Cut -

Nearly six years after it began, the Shelby County Schools system and the city of Memphis have settled their differences over the city council’s 2008 decision to cut funding to what was then the Memphis City Schools system.

5. Obama Administration on Track to Surpass Health Care Goal -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Some 9.5 million people have already signed up for 2015 coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law, and the administration is on track to surpass its nationwide enrollment target set last year.

6. Invest Early -

It would be true if you were talking about stock in Apple Inc., Google Inc. or Netflix Inc. And it is true when talking about children.

7. Government to Overhaul Medicare Payments to Doctors, Hospitals -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Medicare will change the way it pays hospitals and doctors to reward quality over volume, the Obama administration said Monday, in a shift that officials hope will be a catalyst for the nation's $3-trillion health care system.

8. CBO: Deficit to Shrink to Lowest Level of Obama Presidency -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Solid economic growth will help the federal budget deficit shrink this year to its lowest level since President Barack Obama took office, according to congressional estimates released Monday.

9. Low Inflation Likely to Keep Fed 'Patient' About a Rate Hike -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve ended 2014 with a pledge to be "patient" in raising interest rates from record lows. The way things are going, its patience may endure for a long while.

10. Colleges Meet in Nashville in Effort to Fight Sex Assaults -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A two-day summit focused on fighting sexual assaults at college campuses is drawing about 400 officials from 76 schools across Tennessee.

Media report the meeting begins Tuesday at Tennessee State University and will feature national experts who will offer training on issues like defining consent, prevention and complying with changing federal laws.

11. Shelby County Mortgage Market Sees Improvement -

The mortgage market in Shelby County ended 2014 in a slighter better position than where it stood in 2013.

Banks and mortgage lenders made 8,471 purchase mortgages in Shelby County during 2014, up 2 percent from the 8,301 mortgages during 2013, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports,www.chandlerreports.com.

12. Taxing Question -

With gas prices in a historic plunge, the idea of hiking state and federal gas taxes and fees to pay for transportation infrastructure improvements is gaining traction.

Democratic and Republican leaders in both chambers of Congress in recent weeks have signaled a willingness to approve an increase in the federal gas tax to help fund improvements to the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. Meanwhile, a new statewide coalition has launched to support an increase and reform in Tennessee’s transportation fees.

13. Family Dollar Shareholders Approve Dollar Tree Takeover -

NEW YORK (AP) – The battle over dollar stores is nearly over. Family Dollar shareholders voted on Thursday to approve a takeover bid by rival Dollar Tree, despite higher competing offers from Dollar General.

14. Haslam on Statewide Tour to Tout Insure Tennessee -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he isn’t counting votes in the Tennessee legislature just yet for his Insure Tennessee Medicaid expansion proposal.

At least he’s not counting hard votes for the upcoming Feb. 2 special legislative session as he holds a series of nine public forums across the state.

15. Supreme Court Won't Hear Dispute Over Debit Card Fees -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a challenge from retailers who claim the Federal Reserve allows banks to charge businesses too much for handling debit card transactions.

16. Cohen Calls Tennessee Promise ‘A Fraud’ -

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis calls the Tennessee Promise last dollar scholarship program for community college and state technical centers “a fraud.”

17. Opponents of Big River Steel Mill Defend Suit Against Plant -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Opponents of a new steel mill under construction in eastern Arkansas argued in a court hearing Friday that they didn't forfeit their right to sue to stop the plant just because the state had already issued a permit.

18. House, Senate at Odds Over Who Goes First on Medicaid Plan -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican leaders in the state House and Senate are at odds about who should go first on taking up Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans.

19. Fed Survey Finds Moderate Economic Growth -

The U.S. economy was growing at a moderate pace in December and early January, helped by gains in sales of autos and other consumer products, increased factory production and a pickup in tourism in various parts of the country, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.

20. Wright Medical Expects Fourth-Quarter Growth -

Wright Medical Group Inc. expects revenue for fourth quarter 2014 to be approximately $83.3 million, representing growth of 23 percent as reported compared to fourth quarter 2013, the Memphis-based orthopedic company announced Monday, Jan. 12.

21. Obama Renews Push for Paid Leave for Working Parents -

BALTIMORE (AP) – President Barack Obama on Thursday renewed his push for paid leave for parents and other workers, saying he's astonished that so many people don't get paid sick leave.

22. IRS Cuts Taxpayer Services as Filing Returns Gets Harder -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The IRS is cutting taxpayer services to historically low levels just as President Barack Obama's health law will make filing a federal tax return more complicated for millions of families.

23. FDA Approves Appetite-Zapping Implant for Obese Patients -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal regulators have approved an appetite-suppressing implant designed to treat obesity by zapping nerves that connect the stomach and the brain.

The Maestro Rechargeable System uses electrodes implanted in the abdomen to stimulate the vagus nerve, which signals to the brain that the stomach is empty or full. Patients and doctors can adjust the device settings using external controllers.

24. Fed Survey Finds Moderate Economic Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy was growing at a moderate pace in December and early January, helped by gains in sales of autos and other consumer products, increased factory production and a pickup in tourism in various parts of the country, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.

25. Federal Deficit in October-December Up Slightly at $176.7 Billion -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal deficit for the first three months of the budget year is up slightly from the same period a year ago, reflecting the absence of a special payment from mortgage company Freddie Mac that helped narrow the gap in 2014.

26. County Commission Endorses Haslam Plan -

At the first Shelby County Commission meeting of 2015, all but one of the 13 commissioners voted for a resolution backing Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Medicaid expansion plan, “Insure Tennessee.”

That included some vocal Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act in general.

27. County Commission Endorses Haslam's Medicaid Expansion Plan -

Shelby County Commissioners, including some vocal Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act in general, are calling on the Tennessee Legislature to approve Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee Medicaid expansion plan.

28. Executive Inn Demolition Long Time Coming -

The old Executive Inn hotel on Airways Boulevard where Brooks Road dead ends is the latest problem vacant property to be demolished and touted by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. as another step in his administration’s anti-blight effort.

29. Got Help Paying for Health Care? Watch Your Mailbox -

WASHINGTON (AP) – If you're among the millions of consumers who got financial help for health insurance last year under President Barack Obama's law, better keep an eye on your mailbox.

30. Social Security Won't Seize Tax Refunds to Collect Old Debts -

WASHINGTON (AP) – People who owe old debts to the Social Security Administration are getting a reprieve this tax season: The federal government won't be seizing their tax refunds.

Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin suspended a debt collection program last spring in which thousands of people had tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments that happened more than a decade ago. Members of Congress complained that some people were being forced to repay benefits they received decades ago as children.

31. Wright Expects 23 Percent Revenue Growth for Fourth Quarter -

Wright Medical Group Inc. expects revenue for fourth quarter 2014 to be approximately $83.3 million, representing growth of 23 percent as reported compared to fourth quarter 2013, the Memphis-based orthopedic company announced Monday, Jan. 12.

32. 2014 Was Best Hiring Year Since '99; Jobless Rate 5.6 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States capped its best year for hiring in 15 years with a healthy gain in December, and the unemployment rate hit a six-year low. The numbers support expectations that the United States will strengthen further this year even as overseas economies stumble.

33. Haslam Eager to Defend Insure Tennessee Plan -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam hopes that when the special session of the Tennessee Legislature begins Feb. 2 the ceremony of the start of a legislative session as well as his second inaugural will have passed.

34. Macy’s Exit Presents Problems, Possibilities in Whitehaven -

In what could be a troubling sign for the city’s first enclosed mall, Macy’s is closing its 150,000-square-foot store at Southland Mall in early spring, a move that will affect 112 employees.

The South Memphis store is one of 14 locations Macy’s will close this spring as part of a national restructuring, the retailer announced late Thursday, Jan. 8. The 14 stores account for approximately $130 million in annual sales, according to the company.

35. Strings Come With Fairgrounds Zone -

Shelby County Commissioners could take up an endorsement Monday, Jan. 12, of the city’s proposed Tourism Development Zone for redevelopment of the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

But at this point, the backing has a lot of strings attached. And those strings involve two issues related to local schools funding.

36. Southwest Tennessee Grows With Demand -

For Nathan Essex, the president of Southwest Tennessee Community College, his tenure has been a series of changes.

It was Essex who presided over the merger of Shelby State Community College and State Technical Institute in the late 1990s, before he was appointed president of the resulting Southwest Tennessee Community College in 2000.

37. Tennessee’s Health Problem -

For years, the concept of “wellness” or “preventive health” measures has been the “eat your vegetables” mantra of a growing national discussion on health care that has focused primarily on the cost of such care and who should pay for it or try to control it.

38. Sens. Corker, Alexander to Chair Committees -

Tennessee’s two Republican U.S. senators are committee chairmen in the Senate’s new GOP majority.

Junior Sen. Bob Corker was named chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday, Jan. 7.

39. Haslam Calls Special Session on Medicaid -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has set Feb. 2 as the date for a special session of the Tennessee Legislature on his Medicaid expansion proposal.

The proclamation issued Thursday, Jan. 8, includes more details that legislators have been awaiting since Haslam announced the general terms of his proposal in December.

40. Obama to Reduce FHA Mortgage Premium Rate to Spur Buying -

WASHINGTON (AP) – First-time homebuyers whose home loans are guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration would benefit from an Obama administration move to lower mortgage insurance premiums.

41. Despite Global Weakness, Fed Upbeat About US Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve policymakers who met in December expressed concern about weakness overseas but were upbeat enough about the U.S. economy and impact of lower oil prices to prepare for a likely interest rate hike sometime this year.

42. City Council Delays Vote on Beale Tourism Authority -

At the first Memphis City Council meeting of 2015, council members delayed for two weeks a vote on a Beale Street Tourism Development Authority to guide future development of the entertainment district through a nine-member appointed board.

43. Council Signals Return to Schools Funding Mediation -

It’s back to mediation Thursday, Jan. 8, in the six-year long schools funding deadlock between the city of Memphis and Shelby County Schools.

That was the next step several Memphis City Council members pointed to after more than an hour behind closed doors at City Hall Tuesday with their attorney as well as city Chief Administrative Officer George Little.

44. Obama Taps Community Banker for Fed Board -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama has selected the former head of a community bank in Hawaii to fill a vacancy on the Federal Reserve Board.

The White House said Tuesday that Obama will nominate Allan R. Landon, the former chief executive of the Bank of Hawaii, to fill one of two vacancies on the seven-member board. The nomination will require Senate confirmation.

45. FDA Drug Approvals Reached 18-Year High in 2014 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration approved 41 first-of-a-kind drugs in 2014, including a record number of medicines for rare diseases, pushing the agency's annual tally of drug approvals to its highest level in 18 years.

46. LGBT-Owned Businesses Get Diversity Boost -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – As a Mexican-American woman who started her own consulting firm in Los Angeles, accountant Sonia Luna has taken advantage of programs aimed at helping minority- and women-owned businesses compete for government and corporate contracts. But increasingly, the fact that Luna also is a lesbian entrepreneur hasn't hurt either.

47. Justice Department: Verso can Acquire NewPage -

The U.S. Justice Department and Memphis-based Verso Paper Corp. have reached a settlement that will allow Verso to move ahead with its acquisition of NewPage Holdings Inc.

48. Rental Showdown -

Tiffany H., 43, has found the perfect way to make money. It’s close to home, easy-to-manage and gives her the flexibility she needs as a busy mom shuttling two children back and forth to two different schools each day.

49. Justice Department: Verso Can Acquire NewPage -

The U.S. Justice Department and Memphis-based Verso Paper Corp. have reached a settlement that will allow Verso to move ahead with its acquisition of NewPage Holdings Inc.

50. Report: 4 Million Actively Enroll in Health Plans -

The first 50-state report on the latest sign-up season under President Barack Obama's health care law shows that more than 4 million people selected plans for the first time or re-enrolled in what the administration called "an encouraging start."

51. Being Uninsured in America Will Cost You More -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Being uninsured in America will cost you more in 2015.

It's the first year all taxpayers have to report to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required under President Barack Obama's law. Those who were uninsured face fines, unless they qualify for one of about 30 exemptions, most of which involve financial hardships.

52. Key Decisions on Drones Likely From Congress -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is on the verge of proposing long-awaited rules for commercial drone operations in U.S. skies, but key decisions on how much access to grant drones are likely to come from Congress next year.

53. Why the US Will Power the World Economy in 2015 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States is back, and ready to drive global growth in 2015.

After long struggling to claw its way out of the Great Recession, the world's biggest economy is on an extended win streak that is edging it closer to full health. But the new year doesn't look quite so bright in other major countries.

54. FTC Sues Data Broker for Selling Info to Scammers -

In a first-of-a-kind case, the Federal Trade Commission is targeting a data broker for allegedly selling sensitive consumer information – including bank account numbers – to marketers that authorities said the broker knew had no legitimate need for it.

55. Gas Tax Increase Gaining Momentum in Tennessee -

Momentum is mounting for a possible proposal to raise the state's gas tax for the first time in 25 years.

Gov. Bill Haslam told The Tennessean he thinks a legislative proposal on the issue is close and could be introduced in the next General Assembly, which convenes in January.

56. St. Louis Fed Updates Memphis Board -

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has announced some changes to the board of directors of its Memphis branch, effective Jan. 1.

57. Average US 30-Year Mortgage Edges Up Slightly -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but the benchmark 30-year low remained very close to the 19-month low hit last week.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Wednesday that the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage edged up to 3.83 percent this week from 3.80 percent last week, which had been the lowest level since May 2013.

58. FTC Sues Data Broker for Selling Consumer Info to Scammers -

In a first-of-a-kind case, the Federal Trade Commission is targeting a data broker for allegedly selling sensitive consumer information – including bank account numbers – to marketers that authorities said the broker knew had no legitimate need for it.

59. US Economy Accelerates, Helps Lift Dow Above 18,000 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A surge in U.S. economic growth lifted stocks Tuesday to record highs and showed that the United States is putting distance between itself and struggling economies around the world.

60. St. Louis Fed Updates Memphis Board -

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has announced some changes to the board of directors of its Memphis branch, effective Jan. 1.

61. Don’t Be a Hero, Leave Rates at Zero -

As if we needed further evidence that investment markets price off of central bank soliloquies, markets worldwide rallied 4.5 percent last week in reaction to a short press release from the U.S. Fed.

62. Tennessee Joins Multistate Lawsuit Over Immigration -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee is joining a multistate lawsuit seeking to halt President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, state Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced Monday.

63. Gas Tax Increase Gaining Momentum in Tennessee -

Momentum is mounting for a possible proposal to raise the state’s gas tax for the first time in 25 years.

Gov. Bill Haslam told The Tennessean he thinks a legislative proposal on the issue is close and could be introduced in the next General Assembly, which convenes in January.

64. 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.

65. Cuban Cigar Boom? Not Yet, Stores and Customers Say -

MIAMI (AP) – The coveted Cuban cigar is set to make its first legal appearance in the U.S. in years, with relaxed guidelines allowing American travelers to return with a few of the once-forbidden items in their suitcases. But the cigars won't roll into stores just yet, and owners say they aren't worried about any dip in business.

66. Election Year Marks Passing of Generations -

There were more than a few indications of the passing of political generations in Memphis this past year.

Political leaders left the scene to return to life out of office, got elected to other offices and, in some cases, passed away.

67. Jobless Aid Applications Decline to 289,000 -

Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign of solid job security and growing confidence among employers.

Weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That is the lowest level since late October.

68. Immigrants Find Room to Grow in Nashville's Public Gardens -

With the growing season wrapped up for winter and the temperature hovering at 45 degrees on a recent Sunday, the community garden off Wedgewood Avenue looked to be draped in a brown afghan with just a few patches of green peeking through.

69. This week in Memphis history: December 19-25 -

2009: On the front page of The Daily News, the Metro Charter Commission, drafting a proposed charter for a consolidated Memphis-Shelby County government made an early decision in its draft that their proposal would not include a consolidation of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools.
It was the first decision on a charter issue by the group since it was formed that October. The reasoning was to sidestep what was judged to be the most controversial part of any consolidation. Nevertheless, the proposed charter was still crushed in the referendum that followed in the county outside Memphis and it only narrowly passed in the city of Memphis. The charter had to win approval in both to consolidate.

70. Average 30-Year Loan Rate Falls to 3.80 Percent -

Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan rate reaching a new low for the year.

The rates’ historically low levels could be a boon to potential homebuyers. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage dropped to 3.80 percent this week from 3.93 percent last week. It is now at its lowest level since May 2013.

71. Jobless Aid Applications Decline to 289,000 -

Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign of solid job security and growing confidence among employers.

Weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That is the lowest level since late October.

72. Fed Promises 'Patient' Approach to a Rate Increase -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is edging closer to raising interest rates from record lows given a strengthening U.S. job market and economy. But it says it will be "patient" in determining when to raise rates.

73. Roth Conversion, Should You Do It? -

Ray’s Take There’s been a lot of discussion in recent years about Roth accounts, specifically the Roth IRA and the Roth 401(k). Maybe you’re wondering if you should convert your own accounts but aren’t sure.

74. 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.

75. Ex-Employees Sue Sony Pictures Over Hacked Personal Details -

NEW YORK (AP) – Two former employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment are suing the company for not preventing hackers from stealing nearly 50,000 social security numbers, salary details and other personal information from current and former workers.

76. Panel Hears Testimony on EPA Regulations -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee Republican senator has joined lawmakers in other states who have filed legislation that seeks to curtail federal regulation.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville discussed the resolution on Tuesday during a special joint committee meeting on the effect of Environmental Protection Agency regulations in Tennessee.

77. Fed Likely to Note Gains But Signal No Rate Hike -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A resurgent U.S. economy has emerged from a long struggle with high unemployment and weak growth. And the Federal Reserve seems poised to recognize the sustained improvement.

78. Wealth Gap Widens Between Whites and Minorities -

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The economic recovery has not been equal among the races, according to a Pew Research Center study released Friday.

The study found that the wealth gap between white households and minorities has widened in recent years.

79. 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.

80. FCC Approves Scripps, Journal Broadcast Merger -

The E.W. Scripps Co., parent company of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, and Milwaukee-based Journal Communications Inc. now have approval from the Federal Communications Commission for their plan to merge their broadcast operations.

81. Court Order Details Spread of Violent Gang -

Fourteen years ago, a group of eight teenagers who lived on Burnham Street in Frayser tried to join the Vice Lords street gang and were rejected.

They became the FAM Mob street gang.

And according to a petition filed in Shelby County Environmental Court this week by the Multi-Agency Gang Unit to secure the city’s two latest no-gang zones, the rejection fueled violence that gang unit officers say have been a large part of the gang since its founding.

82. Latest No-Gang Zones Target FAM Mob -

Two Frayser apartment complexes are the latest no-gang safety zones in Memphis under court orders the district attorney general’s office sought from Shelby County Environmental Court.

The Ridgecrest Apartments on Rangeline Road and the Greenbriar Apartments on Dellwood Avenue are areas where members of the FAM Mob gang named in the court order signed by Judge Larry Potter are specifically prohibited from gathering together in public for any reason.

83. Tech Summit Addresses Industry's Lack of Diversity -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson spent most of this year pressuring the technology industry into facing up to the glaring scarcity of women, blacks and Latinos at companies renowned as great places to work.

84. Armstrong’s Comments Overshadow Attorney General’s Visit -

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong had some concerns Tuesday about speaking before U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder addressed a group of 100 local leaders at Hattiloo Theatre in Overton Square.

85. Fed Proposing Big US Banks Boost Capital Buffers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal regulators are proposing that the eight biggest U.S. banks be required to further increase the amount of capital they set aside to cushion against unexpected losses.

86. Obama Health Adviser Apologizes for 'Glib' Remarks -

WASHINGTON (AP) – MIT economist Jonathan Gruber – an often-quoted adviser on the president's health care law – told Congress on Tuesday he was glib and "inexcusably arrogant" when he said it was "the stupidity of the American voter" that led to the law's passage. Democrats tried to limit the damage as Republicans raked Gruber at a four-hour hearing, but acknowledged he gave the GOP a political gift "wrapped in a bow."

87. E-Cigarette Tech Takes Off as Regulation Looms -

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Just a few years ago, early adopters of e-cigarettes got their fix by clumsily screwing together a small battery and a plastic cartridge containing cotton soaked with nicotine.

88. It’s Time to Move -

I posed the question just last week, “Ferguson, Missouri …What’s Next?” Little did I know, that the “what’s next” would be yet another grand jury finding no probable cause for having a criminal trial in the death of Eric Garner.

89. 321,000 Jobs Added in November, Most in Nearly 3 Years -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A burst of U.S. hiring in November – the most in nearly three years – added 321,000 jobs and provided the latest evidence that the United States is outperforming other economies throughout the developed world.

90. Latest Fed Survey Finds Economic Improvement -

The U.S. economy kept expanding in October and November, helped by solid gains in consumer spending, manufacturing and overall employment, according to the Federal Reserve's latest survey of business conditions around the country.

91. West Coast Port Slowdown Won't Halt Holiday Goods -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Labor strife on the West Coast waterfront isn't going to steal Christmas.

With few exceptions, gifts and other holiday products made in Asia and shipped through U.S. sea ports already have made it to shelves – or are at distribution centers and ready to roll. Still, cargo is struggling to get through the nation's largest ports, which handle billions of dollars of goods on an average day.

92. 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.

93. Black Friday Gun Buys Test Background Check System -

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (AP) – Black Friday isn't just when shoppers rush to stores for holiday sales. It's also one of the busiest days of the year for gun purchases.

In the U.S., there are nine guns for every 10 people. Someone is killed with a firearm every 16 minutes. And every minute, gun shops make about 40 new requests for criminal background checks on people wanting weapons.

94. Telecom Controversy Emerges at City Hall -

During the recent repaving of Danny Thomas Boulevard Downtown, city public works crews discovered a leak in sewer lines, and the political timing lined up with a controversy at City Hall that’s been out of the public eye for the most part since the spring.

95. Bank Earnings Up 7.3 Percent in Third Quarter -

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. bank earnings rose 7.3 percent in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, as banks reduced their expenses and continued to lend out more money, which help drive up revenue.

96. More-Confident US Households Step Up Borrowing -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans are slowly but steadily borrowing more money, bringing to an end a five-year effort to cut household debt that has slowed consumer spending and the economy.

97. Youth Detention Likely an Issue at Budget Hearings -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state's troubled Department of Children's Services is among the agencies Gov. Bill Haslam was to hear from Monday as he begins his annual budget hearings.

The department oversees a Nashville youth detention facility that recently made national headlines because of rioting and escapes.

98. After Overcoming Hurdles, Southwest Opens Nursing School -

More than four years after breaking ground for a new nursing building, leaders of Southwest Tennessee Community College last week formally opened the school’s new Nursing, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology Building.

99. EPA Delays Decision on Ethanol in Gas -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration said Friday it is delaying a decision on whether to reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation's fuel supply.

Last year the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to reduce the amount of ethanol in fuel for the first time, acknowledging that a biofuel law that both Republicans and Democrats had championed nearly a decade ago was not working as well as expected.

100. White House: Immigration Steps Would Boost Wages -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama's moves on immigration would expand the labor force and increase worker productivity, according to a White House report Friday that estimates average wages would rise over a 10-year period.