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Editorial Results (free)

1. Anti-Medicaid Expansion Lawmaker Criticizes Radio Ads -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – State House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada, a staunch opponent of Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 200,000 low-income Tennesseans, on Friday decried what he called "dishonest scare tactics" by a conservative group running radio ads targeting GOP lawmakers.

2. Gasol Voted to Start NBA All-Star Game -

In a franchise first, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has been voted by the fans to the Western Conference starting lineup for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, to be held Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden.

3. Charter School Fair to be Held Jan. 31 -

Memphis-area charter schools will hold a school fair Saturday, Jan. 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pipkin Building at the Mid-South Fairgrounds

The fair is organized by the Tennessee Charter School Center for the tuition-free schools that Memphis has more of than any other city in the state.

4. NFL Players Find Second Careers as Entrepreneurs -

As Eddie George neared the end of his nine seasons in the NFL, the running back began pondering his next play.

5. Murfreesboro, Nashville Players Get Jump on UT Careers -

KNOXVILLE – Jack Jones didn’t want to waste any time getting started with his football career at the University of Tennessee, so he graduated in December from Murfreesboro Oakland High School.

6. U of M Online RN-to-BSN Program Among Best -

The online RN-to-BSN program in the University of Memphis’ Loewenberg School of Nursing has been named one of the best online classroom experiences by RNtoBSN.org.

7. 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.

8. First Horizon Ends 2014 on Upswing -

The parent company of First Tennessee Bank wrapped up its 140th anniversary year by delivering $213 million in net income to shareholders, up from $24 million for 2013.

9. Gasol First Grizzlies Player to Start NBA All-Star Game -

In a franchise first, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has been voted by the fans to the Western Conference starting lineup for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as a starter for the All-Star Game,” Gasol said. “Knowing that I will be facing my brother Pau for the opening tip, it will be a true accomplishment for our family and a memory I will cherish for the rest of my career. It holds special meaning to be voted in by the fans, and I look forward to representing my teammates, the organization, the city of Memphis and entire Mid-South community and Grizzlies fans across the world.”

10. 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.

11. Ford Jr. to Headline Dunavant Award Event -

Former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. will be the keynote speaker for the March 25 Dunavant Public Servants Awards luncheon hosted by the Rotary Club of Memphis East.

The awards, now in their 12th year, honor one elected official and one non-elected public official within Shelby County who demonstrate the qualities and characteristics of longtime Probate Court Clerk Bobby Dunavant.

12. EDGE Approves Ikea Incentives -

Swedish furniture retailer Ikea has been awarded an 11-year tax break to develop a $64 million store near Interstate 40 and Germantown Parkway that is expected to employ 175 people.

The board of the city-county Economic Development Growth Engine on Wednesday, Jan. 21, approved the controversial payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive on an 8-1 vote. Larry Jackson voted against the measure.

13. NFL Players Find Second Careers as Entrepreneurs -

As Eddie George neared the end of his nine seasons in the NFL, the running back began pondering his next play.

14. Mississippi Casino Revenue Flat in December, Down for 2014 -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi's 17 casinos along the Mississippi River won less than $1 billion for gamblers last year for the first time since 1994.

The decline along the river, punctuated by the June closing of the Harrah's Tunica Hotel & Casino, continued to drag down overall gambling revenue in Mississippi in 2014. The statewide total fell 3.2 percent to $2.07 billion for all of 2014, down about $70 million from 2013.

15. Boyd Gets Encore as City Council Member -

After serving less than a year on the Memphis City Council in 2011, Berlin Boyd is back on the council and working toward a longer stay.

Boyd was the pick of the other 12 council members Tuesday, Jan. 20, to fill the District 7 vacancy created when Lee Harris resigned to take his seat in the state Senate.

16. Hopson Plans Slated for Public Debate -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson has proposed ending a single school building housing a conventional SCS school next to a state-run Achievement District School, a move Hopson has talked about making since he became superintendent.

17. Hopson Proposes Expanding I-Zone, Restructuring Other Schools -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson proposed Tuesday, Jan. 20, two sets of school consolidations and reconfigurations for the school year to come across 14 schools, affecting more than 2,000 students.

18. Council Approves Schools Deal, Appoints Boyd -

Two weeks after they ignored a proposed $43.1 million settlement of the six-year old schools funding legal standoff, Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Jan. 20, approved a $41.8 million settlement with Shelby County Schools.

19. -

NEWSMAKERS
20. 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.”

21. 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.

22. 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.

23. Memphis' RN-to-BSN Program Rated One of Nation’s Best -

The online RN-to-BSN program in the University of Memphis’ Loewenberg School of Nursing has been named one of the best online classroom experiences by RNtoBSN.org.

24. Tennessee Lawmakers Re-Elect Treasurer, Comptroller -

A joint session of the Tennessee House and Senate has approved new terms for two of the state's constitutional officers.

Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard were elected Wednesday to their fourth two-year terms. Wilson, Lillard and Secretary of State Tre Hargett were each first elected in 2009 after Republicans gained control of the Legislature.

25. Library Foundation Plans Teen Lab Groundbreaking -

The Memphis Library Foundation has announced it will break ground for its teen lab space in early February.

The foundation has reached its first fundraising benchmark of $1.9 million for the state-of-the-art teen learning lab, where young people will have a chance to pursue their interest in technology with audio and video production equipment, a sound mixing lab, an art studio, performance stage, creation stations, a gaming zone, a 3-D printer and more.

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NEWSMAKERS
27. Big Hit and Some Misses From Vols’ 2014 Early Enrollees -

KNOXVILLE – Recruiting is anything but an exact science. Experts are everywhere. Star ratings rise and fall. Player projections are widely varied.

One thing is certain: Only time will tell if coaches hit or miss on a recruit.

28. Library Foundation Plans Teen Lab Groundbreaking -

The Memphis Library Foundation has announced it will break ground for its teen lab space in early February.

The foundation has reached its first fundraising benchmark of $1.9 million for the state-of-the-art teen learning lab, where young people will have a chance to pursue their interest in technology with audio and video production equipment, a sound mixing lab, an art studio, performance stage, creation stations, a gaming zone, a 3-D printer and more.

29. A Better Sports Village Than We Knew -

When the historic 2014 University of Memphis football season was just getting started, hope and doubt were still equally matched opponents.

The athletic department, as we all know now, had gone with a risky slogan: “Wait Til This Year.”

30. Ohio State Alters SEC-Dominated Landscape -

A year ago, Florida State put the chanting – “S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C! – on pause. Auburn, after all, came oh so close to winning the last BCS national championship game.

But now Urban Meyer and Ohio State have silenced SEC Country.

31. Tentative Deal Limits Role of Beale Street Development Corp. -

In the beginning of the redevelopment of Beale Street, city leaders of the late 1970s put in place the Beale Street Development Corp. in a role they saw as a cultural guardian of the district between Fourth and Second streets.

32. The Other Fellow -

Long before his death last year, former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee was aware that other Republicans, including those who worked in his groundbreaking campaigns of the 1960s and 1970s, believed it was no longer possible for a political moderate like him to get elected in Tennessee.

33. 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.

34. 2 PACs Fined by Tennessee Election Officials -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Two political action committees have been fined by Tennessee officials who say the organizations didn't properly disclose information including donors and expenditures before elections last year.

35. Strickland In Mayor's Race, Wharton Responds -

After months of speculation, Memphis City Council member Jim Strickland confirmed Thursday, Jan. 15, he is in the 2015 race for Memphis mayor.

36. Tennessee Lawmakers Re-Elect Treasurer, Comptroller -

A joint session of the Tennessee House and Senate has approved new terms for two of the state's constitutional officers.

Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard were elected Wednesday to their fourth two-year terms. Wilson, Lillard and Secretary of State Tre Hargett were each first elected in 2009 after Republicans gained control of the Legislature.

37. Morris: Public Transit Tops Downtown Goals -

A stronger and more vital public transportation presence in Downtown and a plan for development of land south of Central Station are two priorities of the Downtown Memphis Commission for the coming year.

38. 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.

39. -

NEWSMAKERS
40. 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.

41. Honoring a Legacy -

The Grizzlies are in their 14th season in Memphis, and next Monday, Jan. 19, will mark the 13th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Day.

42. Tigers Finish Football Season in AP Top 25 -

Ahead of Notre Dame and LSU and ahead of Nebraska and Oklahoma. That’s where the University of Memphis football team finishes the historic 2014 season by cracking the Associated Press’ final Top 25 rankings for the first time in school history.

43. 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.

44. Rudd Defends Relay Partnership For Teachers -

The University of Memphis’ College of Education produced 19 teachers last year who are teaching in the 59 lowest performing schools in the Shelby County Schools system.

University of Memphis president David Rudd wants the number to be around 600 a year and he wants the school’s College of Education to partner with the nonprofit Relay Graduate School of Education to meet that goal.

45. Key US Military Command's Twitter, YouTube Sites Hacked -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hackers claiming to work on behalf of Islamic State militants seized control of the Twitter and YouTube sites of the military's U.S. Central Command on Monday. The Pentagon swiftly suspended the sites and said it appears that no classified material was breached.

46. Coalition Announces Effort to Preserve Nashville's Music Row -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Fresh off their successful effort to prevent the demolition of a Nashville studio that once recorded the likes of Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, advocates want to include all of the city's Music Row area in their preservation efforts.

47. 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.

48. I Choose Memphis: Gene Baker -

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

Name: Gene Baker

49. 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.

50. Elvis Birthday Proves Eventful on Several Fronts -

Jack Soden, the head of Elvis Presley Enterprises, looked out at a crowd on the front lawn of Graceland last week in single-digit temperatures and talked about the durability of Elvis Presley’s appeal.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. Tigers Lineman Bond to Play in NFLPA Bowl -

The NFL Players Association has announced University of Memphis offensive lineman Al Bond has committed to play in the 2015 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

At 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, Bond was an American Athletic Conference First-Team selection in 2014. He started all 13 games of his senior season at right tackle, playing 895 of 1,012 offensive snaps for the Tigers during the year, including every snap in 10 of 13 games.

54. Tennessee Named Top State for Economic Development -

A leading national publication focused on site selection and economic development has named Tennessee its 2014 State of the Year for a second consecutive year.

Tennessee becomes the first state to win the Business Facilities magazine award for economic development efforts in back-to-back years and the first state to win the designation three times.

55. Commercial Success -

If, as the saying goes, everyone gets 15 minutes of fame, Bart Durham’s has come in 15- and 30-second spurts – the length of the commercials that depict him as a lawyer everyman, ever-ready to tilt at windmills for the sake of justice for the working class.

56. Shelby County's School Systems Prepare to Build -

Shelby County government will have $110 million in bonds over the next two years to finance school construction projects across the seven public school systems.

And just from the early plans on the drawing board, there is no shortage of projects. Some of them are also to be funded by property tax revenue from the suburban municipalities that formed their own six separate school districts that opened for classes this past August.

57. 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.

58. School and Chemo -

A child with cancer who comes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has a lot of concerns.

And if they are already in school, one of them is will they have to repeat a grade once they recover and then have to adjust to a new group of classmates.

59. 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.

60. Pastner Rumors Part of 2014-15 Season Narrative -

Wading in with some quick takes on everything from Josh Pastner to Jameis Winston to Baseball Hall of Fame voting …

An acquaintance approached me this week to say that, while he couldn’t vouch for the validity of the story, someone close to him had heard from someone else close to the University of Memphis administration that a “big booster” had delivered the message that “something needs to be done about Josh Pastner.”

61. Tanger Outlets Confirms Southaven Involvement -

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. has confirmed what The Daily News first reported in December: It will play a key role in the development of a massive outlet mall in Southaven.

62. Harris Goes to Nashville -

At his last Memphis City Council session, Lee Harris reflected this week on his three years on the council and the group of politicians he joined.

63. 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.

64. 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.

65. Haslam's 2nd Inauguration Theme is 'Together for Tennessee' -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam plans for his inauguration to a second term include an outdoor ceremony, a dinner and ball and tours of the state Capitol and governor's mansion.

66. Tigers Lineman to Play in NFLPA Bowl -

The NFL Players Association has announced University of Memphis offensive lineman Al Bond has committed to play in the 2015 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

At 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, Bond was an American Athletic Conference First-Team selection in 2014. He started all 13 games of his senior season at right tackle, playing 895 of 1,012 offensive snaps for the Tigers during the year, including every snap in 10 of 13 games.

67. 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.

68. Turnover-Prone Tigers Travel to SMU -

Before the University of Memphis had played its first American Athletic Conference game this season, Tigers coach Josh Pastner declared the league race “wide open.”

After a 1-1 start in league play that included the Tigers’ 74-66 home loss Saturday to Tulane, a team that had not won in Memphis since 1992 at The Pyramid, Pastner and the Tigers need the coach’s prediction to prove true.

69. 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.

70. 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.

71. County Commissioners to Discuss Medicaid Expansion -

In their first committee sessions of 2015, Shelby County Commissioners will discuss Wednesday, Jan. 7, the impact the proposed Insure Tennessee program will have on Regional One Health, Memphis’ public hospital.

72. Corporate Tax Take Boosts Arkansas' Revenue in December -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – A boost in corporate tax collections last month helped push Arkansas' revenue $44.1 million higher than predicted for the first half of the fiscal year, the state Department of Finance and Administration said Monday.

73. Tennessee Named Top State for Economic Development -

A leading national publication focused on site selection and economic development has named Tennessee its 2014 State of the Year for a second consecutive year.

Tennessee becomes the first state to win the Business Facilities magazine award for economic development efforts in back-to-back years and the first state to win the designation three times.

74. 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.

75. 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."

76. Miss. Agriculture Values Projected to Top $7.7B -

The overall projected totals for Mississippi's crop values should top $7 billion for the third straight year, experts say, despite low prices for some goods.

John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said his preliminary estimate of 2014 is over $7.7 billion. Final figures will be available in May.

77. Airbnb, VRBO Offer Parallels to Online Music -

Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., understands short-term rental sites like HomeAway, VRBO and Airbnb aren’t going away and are beneficial for visitors and neighborhoods.

78. UT’s Baulkman on Tyndall: ‘He’s a Cool Dude’ -

Devon Baulkman won’t forget his first impression of University of Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall a couple of years ago.

Baulkman was playing for Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla. at the time. Tyndall was the head coach at Southern Miss.

79. UT’s Tyndall Winning Fans Despite NCAA Investigation -

KNOXVILLE – Donnie Tyndall has hardly slowed down since the former Southern Miss head coach took over Tennessee’s basketball program in April.

Of course, Tyndall had little choice.

80. Building the Base -

It was late September, and local officials were deeply engaged with retail giant Target as the company explored investing in an online fulfillment center in Memphis when the discussions turned toward a familiar subject.

81. Loeb Acquires Newby’s Restaurant Space -

Memphis-based Loeb Properties has acquired one of the most venerable locations on the Highland strip.

Loeb purchased the long-time home of club and restaurant Newby’s at 535 and 539 Highland St. from Paragon Bank. A purchase price was not disclosed Friday, Jan. 2.

82. NCAA Contenders Include the 'Little Guys' -

Every March they become the nation's darlings.

This year, a host of stalwarts aren't waiting nearly that long to establish themselves as contenders – either for their own, non-power conferences or possibly the Final Four after another round of realignment.

83. New Laws OK Wine Shipments, Ban Tiger Selfies -

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – New state laws taking effect Thursday give livestock in California more living room, approve direct-to-consumer wine shipments in Massachusetts and levy the ultimate punishment on wannabe teen drivers in Nevada by denying them licenses if they skip too much school.

84. Big Deals Highlight 2014 Real Estate -

In Inked, we like to highlight local real estate transactions and the often-interesting companies leasing or buying commercial real estate space in the Memphis market. We also like to keep you informed about major deals before they happen and track companies that are critical to the local economy. Here are some important items that appeared in Inked in 2014.

85. County Sees New Faces, New Directions -

There was a lot of moving around in Shelby County government in 2014, much of it the literal kind as the Vasco Smith County Administration Building was remodeled.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell got new offices in the renovation and the Shelby County Commission chambers got an upgrade as well with the commission offices and committee room moving from the fourth floor to the sixth floor.

86. 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."

87. 'New Year's Six' Bowls Offer Compelling Individual Matchups -

It isn't just the quality of the teams that make the best bowl games so intriguing.

Each of these spotlight games also offers plenty of compelling individual matchups.

As the bowl season prepares to ring in the new year with its top games of the postseason, here's a look at noteworthy individual matchup in each of the so-called "New Year's Six" contests on Wednesday and Thursday.

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NEWSMAKERS
89. Political Back Pages -

Even in the best of times, the relationship between any Memphis mayor and any group of 13 on the Memphis City Council is adversarial. That has been the intent of the structure of city government since the mayor-council form of government took effect in 1968.

90. 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.

91. Miss. Agriculture Values Set to Top $7.7 Billion -

The overall projected totals for Mississippi’s crop values should top $7 billion for the third straight year, experts say, despite low prices for some goods.

John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said his preliminary estimate of 2014 is over $7.7 billion. Final figures will be available in May.

92. Market Square, Old City Vie for Knoxville Revelers -

Christmas wrapping packed away? Check. 2014 all but in the books? Check. Resolutions for 2015 made? Maybe. Check. Making plans for New Year’s Eve? Check. Check.

New Year’s Eve revelers have choices of how they want to ring in 2015 while celebrating a successful – or at least completed – 2014. There’s no time yet for making resolutions when two of the year’s biggest parties are about to blast Knoxville with noisemakers and fireworks.

93. 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.

94. School Transitions -

In the uniquely timed world of education, a year can be defined several ways, and while one of those years is underway, planning for the next one has already begun.

By the calendar year, 2014 has been a dizzying array of historic moments and transitions.

95. Christmas Coming Home -

CHRISTMAS TIME. Every Christmas I tell this story, and in the telling Christmas comes home.

It was my first time to England and overseas, and prime time for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Soho.

96. Grizz in Finals? Definite Maybe -

Anything’s possible. And by anything, I mean Mississippi State was No. 1 in the college football poll this year at the same time the Kansas City Royals were playing in the World Series.

That’s about like having simultaneous lunar and solar eclipses.

97. Losing Streak Ends Impressive Stretch by Grizzlies -

After the Grizzlies lost to the Chicago Bulls, their second six-game winning streak of the season coming to an end, Mike Conley made a fair point.

98. -

NEWSMAKERS
99. US Companies Eager to Embrace Cuba Face Hurdles -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Cargill aims to sell more corn and soybeans. MasterCard covets another site for Americans to swipe credit cards. Marriott sees beachfront property that needs hotels.

And outside Orlando, Florida, Danny Howell just knows there would be demand for his classic Chevrolet parts.

100. 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.