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Editorial Results (free)

1. Late Sign-Ups Improve Outlook for Obama Health Law -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults.

2. Mississippi Jobless Rate Rises in March as Payrolls Fall -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in March as more people entered the labor force than could find jobs.

A separate survey shows state employer payrolls fell for the fourth straight month, suggesting that Mississippi's stronger economic growth in late 2013 may be softening.

3. Arkansas Unemployment Rate Dips Below 7 Percent -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — State officials say Arkansas' unemployment rate has dropped below 7 percent for the first time in more than five years.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says the state's unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in March, down from 7.1 percent in February. Agency spokeswoman Becky Heflin says it's the first time Arkansas' jobless rate has been below 7 percent since January 2009.

4. Some Fear Bill Will Hurt Babies Born Addicted -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Opponents of a Tennessee bill that would punish pregnant women who abuse narcotics say it will have the unintended consequence of hurting the very people it's supposed to protect: the babies.

5. Tenn. Revenues Improve but Still Fall Short -

Tennessee revenue collections are showing signs of improvement, but are still well below expectations.

The state's general fund collections came in $4 million short of projections in March, which reflects economic activity in the previous month.

6. No Bluffing -

Each season the last home game at FedExForum is Fan Appreciation Night and a Grizzlies’ player is charged with grabbing the microphone and walking to center court to say a few words before tip-off.

7. Election Commission May Move Initial Early Voting Site -

Shelby County Election Commissioners certified the ballot Wednesday, April 16, for the Aug. 7 state and federal primary elections and the nonpartisan judicial and Shelby County Schools board elections on what politicos call the “big ballot.”

8. First Horizon Grows Net Income in First Quarter -

The first earnings announcement of the 150th anniversary year for First Tennessee Bank’s parent company was one of those seemingly uncommon things in banking these days – a surprise to the upside.

9. Panel Makes Common Core Compromise Proposal -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A special committee of lawmakers on Tuesday recommended that the testing component of Tennessee's Common Core education standards be delayed for one year.

The House and Senate will now vote whether to accept the conference committee report before it heads to the desk of the governor, who has said he'd rather not delay the testing.

10. House Passes Haslam Free Tuition Plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover tuition at two-year colleges for any high school graduate is headed to his desk after passing the House on Tuesday.

11. Jones Grows Into Legislative Career -

Some people are born into politics; others grow into a political career. For Tennessee Rep. Sherry Jones, it was a little bit of both.

12. McCullough: Trucking Critical to Local Economy -

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series on Carnival Memphis’ annual Business & Industry Salute, which this year is trucking.

Jim McCullough could have ended up in a cubicle working in the accounting industry after he graduated from the Mississippi State University School of Business.

13. Wharton Outlines $596 Million Budget Plan -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. warned Tuesday, April 15, that “half measures” in converting city employees to a defined contributions benefits plan would not restore the city’s financial health and resolve an unfunded pension liability of hundreds of millions of dollars.

14. Tennessee Revenues Improve but Still Fall Short -

Tennessee revenue collections are showing signs of improvement, but are still well below expectations.

The state's general fund collections came in $4 million short of projections in March, which reflects economic activity in the previous month.

15. -

NEWSMAKERS
16. Wharton Takes Budget to City Council -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. takes a budget proposal to the Memphis City Council Tuesday, April 15, that is supposed to be a departure for an administration that, since 2010, has come to the council with options instead of a total budget plan.

17. Mortgage Market Sees Small First-Quarter Gains -

Shelby County’s mortgage market started off 2014 a bit tame, not as chilly as the weather but not exactly bursting with energy either.

Local banks and mortgage lenders made 1,617 purchase mortgages during the first quarter, flat compared with the 1,624 mortgages during first quarter 2013, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

18. Commission Budget Season Begins Quietly -

Shelby County Commissioners began their budget season quietly with a first look in committee sessions last week at a $1.2 billion consolidated county budget proposal by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.

19. Haslam Unveils $1.5B Transportation Plan -

Gov. Bill Haslam and Transportation Commissioner John Schroer have released the state’s three-year, $1.5 billion transportation program.

The Haslam administration said the plan unveiled Thursday takes a conservative approach because of uncertainty over future federal transit funding. It contains no money to pay for early engineering work on new projects.

20. Milestone Year -

The day after First Tennessee Bank celebrated its 150th birthday a few weeks ago by shooting fireworks over its Downtown Memphis headquarters, with executives and bank stakeholders mingling on a nearby hotel rooftop, the bank’s chairman, president and CEO looked back with pride at his bank’s long history.

21. Schools Leaders Outline Budget Goals -

The Shelby County Commission and Shelby County Schools leaders eased into what is likely to be the most difficult discussion of county government’s budget season – funding the county’s school district in the first academic year of the demerger.

22. Constantly Commenting Coach -

On the day after a certain university’s basketball team hung in there and won a game, a sports-oriented radio station repeatedly aired an excerpt of an interview with the winning head coach. Here’s a snippet: “We got cold. Couldn’t make any shots. … But I thought our defense was a constant. It was the constant denominator.” The constant what?

23. -

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS
24. Mississippi Network Set for Child Medical, Mental Needs -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi officials hope that a $5 million grant will create a more seamless system to care for children's medical, mental and behavioral needs.

The partnership between the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi Children's Home Services was announced Tuesday.

25. Volkswagen Expansion Talks at Standstill in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Expansion talks at Volkswagen's lone U.S. plant have ground to a halt amid disagreements about the role of organized labor at the factory in Tennessee.

An acrimonious vote in February at the plant in Chattanooga resulted in the narrow defeat of the United Auto Workers union.

26. Fourth Annual MED Night Raises Hospital Awareness -

“Celebrate good times, come on!” The song by Kool & the Gang – this year’s MED Night: A Soul Celebration headliner – pretty much encapsulates not only the night, but the overall feeling about Regional One Health’s vision and new direction.

27. Avoiding Heartache -

The Grizzlies had just watched the Golden State Warriors score 14 straight points to turn a seven-point deficit into a 100-93 victory. Yet Memphis coach Dave Joerger rejected the notion that the Grizzlies, who also happened to miss their last seven shots in the fourth quarter, had lost the game more than the Warriors had won it.

28. Senate Nears Passage of Jobless-Benefits Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Capping a three-month struggle, the Senate closed in Monday on passage of election-year legislation to restore jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed that expired late last year.

29. Lebanon’s Pody Works for Amendment Passage -

Helping people with insurance requires the ability to plan for multiple scenarios.

That’s something Rep. Mark Pody, a Republican from Lebanon, Tenn., has taken with him to the Tennessee General Assembly, and he says it helps even when everyone is in agreement on a bill’s final outcome.

30. Haslam Free Tuition Plan Garners Praise, Concern -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal this year, a program that would cover a full ride at two-year colleges for any high school graduate, appears on track to pass as lawmakers enter the waning days of the legislative session. The details, however – including how to pay for this perk in the years to come – remain scattered.

31. Alexander has $3.1 Million for Senate Campaign -

Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander raised $614,000 in the first quarter, leaving him with $3.1 million on hand for his bid for a third term.

Alexander said he received formal notification on Thursday that he has qualified for the Aug. 7 primary. His eight opponents in the GOP nomination contest include state Rep. Joe Carr of Murfreesboro and former Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn.

32. Luttrell Wants Suburban Schools Consideration in Funding Split -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has a pretty good idea what is on the $52.6 million capital spending “ask” list Shelby County Schools is sending his way.

33. This week in Memphis history: April 4-10 -

2013: The Memphis Soul concert in the East Room of the White House featuring Sam Moore and Justin Timberlake.

34. State DCS Releases Child Death Figures -

Tennessee's Department of Children's Services has published the first set of child fatality statistics since an agency overhaul following revelations that child welfare officials did not know how many children were dying in DCS custody.

35. Steiner Resigns as CEO of GTx -

Dr. Mitchell Steiner has resigned effective Thursday from being CEO and vice chairman of GTx, the Memphis-based company he co-founded.

36. Report Says Blacks, Latinos Losing Economic Ground -

WASHINGTON (AP) – African-Americans and Latinos are losing economic ground when compared with whites in the areas of employment and income as the United States pulls itself out of the Great Recession, the latest State of Black America report from the National Urban League says.

37. Children's Services Releases Child Death Figures -

Tennessee's Department of Children's Services has published the first set of child fatality statistics since an agency overhaul following revelations that child welfare officials did not know how many children were dying in DCS custody.

38. Rape Survivors Go Public in Backlog Lawsuit -

The three rape victims who filed a federal lawsuit March 26 against city and county governments over the backlog of 12,000 untested rape kits deliberately wanted their real names used in the lawsuit, their attorney said Wednesday, April 2, as two of the three women talked with reporters about the case.

39. High Court Loosens Reins on Big Campaign Donors -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court's conservative majority voted Wednesday to free wealthy donors to give to as many political candidates and campaigns as they want, further loosening the reins on giving by big contributors as the 2014 campaign moves into high gear.

40. Haslam: No Threat Implied in VW Incentive Offer -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says making a $300 million incentive package to Volkswagen subject to labor talks concluding to the state's satisfaction was not a threat but a "statement of reality."

41. Deadline Brings High Interest for Health Insurance -

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A blizzard, jammed phone lines and unreliable websites failed to stop throngs of procrastinating Americans from trying to sign up for health coverage by the midnight Monday deadline for President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy initiative.

42. Report: Tennessee Offered Contingent Incentives to VW -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee's incentive offer to Volkswagen was made contingent on the labor situation at the German automaker's plant in Chattanooga developing to the "satisfaction" of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's administration, according to documents obtained by WTVF-TV in Nashville.

43. Campfield Sticks to Goals of Smaller Government -

For a decade, state Sen. Stacey Campfield has been unafraid of making headlines.

First as a state representative, and then in the Senate, he’s spoken his mind and put forth legislation that meets his stated goals of shrinking government.

44. Candidates Commit as Deadline Nears -

The first day of spring was March 20, but, after months of fundraisers and petition filings, the last day of the month served as the start of this year’s political season.

With the filing deadline for the August state and federal primaries, as well as nonpartisan Shelby County Schools board and judicial positions, Thursday at noon, candidates began Monday, March 31, making the set-in-stone decisions that will point election efforts toward voters and away from the groundwork.

45. Deadline Dash: Health Care Sign-Ups Amid Glitches -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A flood of last-minute applicants rushed to sign up for health insurance on Monday, deadline day for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more than 125,000 people at a time using the fragile system despite a new spate of intermittent ills.

46. Mississippi Governor Signs Criminal-Justice Overhaul Bill -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Monday signed a bill designed to make the criminal justice system more efficient and less expensive.

Bryant said House Bill 585, which becomes law July 1, will protect public safety and could save the state $266 million in prison expenses, spread over 10 years.

47. Industrial Portfolio Sells for $43 Million -

4550 Swinnea Road6005 Freeport Ave., 3399 E. Raines Road
Memphis, TN
Sale Amounts: $10.1 million; $14.8 million; $18 million

48. Judge Upholds Country of Origin Label for Meat -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Shoppers who want to buy American beef for dinner instead of meat from Canada or Mexico will still be able to find the country of origin on the label.

A federal appeals court ruling Friday allows the government to go forward with rules that require labels on packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The meat industry attempted to block the rules, which went into effect last year, saying they are costly and provide no health benefits to the consumer.

49. Brown’s Contempt Hearing Reflects Political Skirmish -

Joe Brown’s bid to unseat District Attorney General Amy Weirich in the 2014 elections probably wasn’t supposed to begin this way – in a courtroom dispute with Juvenile Court that has nothing to do with Weirich.

50. Ramsey: Pay Raises, Higher Ed Funding Face Cuts -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says worse-than-expected revenue collections could force Tennessee to cancel planned pay raises for state employees and reduce planned investments in higher education.

51. Effort to Rewrite Tenn. Whiskey Law Fails -

State lawmakers on Tuesday decided not to rewrite the legal definition of Tennessee whiskey this session, meaning the rules supported by Jack Daniel’s will govern other distillers in the state for at least another year.

52. Ogle Appointed County Historian -

The Shelby County Commission has appointed Jimmy Ogle, chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission, as the new county historian.

53. Bailey Files for Circuit Court Return -

Former Shelby County Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey filed his qualifying petition Wednesday, March 26, to run for Circuit Court Judge Division 3 in the August judicial elections.

Bailey filed one week before the April 3 deadline for candidates in those nonpartisan races and as well as the state and federal primaries on the ballot. He also had pulled a petition to possibly run for judge of Circuit Court Division 1.

54. Haslam’s Medicaid Expansion Talks Continue -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has walked a fine line since announcing a year ago that the state would not accept federal funding for an expansion of TennCare, Tennessee’s version of Medicaid, at least for now.

55. US Economic Growth for 4th Quarter Revised Higher -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the October-December quarter, slightly more than previously estimated, as consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in three years.

56. Sebelius Visits Nashville to Push Health Exchange -

NASHVILLE (AP) – U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius visited Nashville on Thursday to urge Tennesseans to sign up for insurance through the federal health care exchange before a March 31 deadline.

57. Tigers Season Sits Somewhere Between Respectable, Not-Quite-Great -

So, how best to categorize the 2013-2014 season for the Memphis Tigers basketball team?

Great? Not even coach Josh Pastner has settled on that word.

Respectable? It was much more than that. You may be tired of hearing Pastner say it, but it is true the Tigers stayed in the national rankings until the final Associated Press poll right before the NCAA Tournament.

58. Clash of Contenders -

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy says his political plans last year didn’t include running for county mayor in 2014.

He was on U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen’s short list of recommendations for an open federal judgeship, a White House appointment he said he knew he might not get “the first time.”

59. Report: Digital Sites Bring Momentum to News -

NEW YORK (AP) – Growing digital outlets are bringing "a sense of momentum" to the news business even as long-term problems continue to plague the industry, a journalism think tank said on Wednesday.

60. Senate Sponsor Says Compromise Near on Common Core -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Senate sponsor of a contentious proposal to delay further implementation of Tennessee's Common Core education standards for two years said Tuesday that a compromise is close on the legislation.

61. Bailey Files for Circuit Court Return -

Former Shelby County Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey filed his qualifying petition Wednesday, March 26, to run for Circuit Court Judge Division 3 in the August judicial elections.

Bailey filed one week before the April 3 deadline for candidates in those nonpartisan races and as well as the state and federal primaries on the ballot.

62. Time to Ignore Financial Predictions -

Ray’s Take. Financial “experts” like to make predictions about what the markets, the economy and sundry other things financial will do in the months ahead. At the beginning of 2013, one well-known economist predicted 2013 would bring 50 percent unemployment alongside a 90 percent drop in the stock market. Thankfully, he was about as far off the mark as you can get. What’s in store for 2014?

63. Effort to Rewrite Tennessee Whiskey Law Fails -

State lawmakers on Tuesday decided not to rewrite the legal definition of Tennessee whiskey this session, meaning the rules supported by Jack Daniel's will govern other distillers in the state for at least another year.

64. Ogle Appointed Shelby County Historian -

The Shelby County Commission has appointed Jimmy Ogle, chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission, as the new county historian.

65. Crunch Time -

The regular season is down to 12 games and the Grizzlies are a season-high 14 games over .500 at 42-28. They have a 10-game home winning streak.

As forward Zach Randolph said, “This is the best time to be peaking.”

66. Common Core Spawns Widespread Political Fights -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — More than five years after U.S. governors began a bipartisan effort to set new standards in American schools, the Common Core initiative has morphed into a political tempest fueling division among Republicans.

67. The Daily News Claims Four Awards -

The Daily News and The Memphis News earned first place honors over the weekend for editorials in the annual Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors awards.

The editorials were judged the best among Division 3 newspapers across the state of Tennessee, newspapers with a circulation of up to 15,000.

68. Tigers Season Ends On Common Theme -

RALEIGH, N.C. – Senior guard Geron Johnson had guaranteed the Memphis Tigers would win two NCAA Tournament games. But in the wake of their 78-60 loss to top-seeded Virginia Sunday night in the round of 32, Johnson looked a reporter in the eye and offered a revised declaration.

69. School Board to Vote on $52.6 Million Capital Funding -

Shelby County Schools board members take up a $52.6 million capital funding request Tuesday, March 25, that superintendent Dorsey Hopson would take to the Shelby County Commission for funding.

And the board votes as well Tuesday on setting attendance zones for the school year that begins in August – the first school year of the demerger into six suburban school systems as well as a Shelby County Schools system that becomes the city of Memphis and the unincorporated areas of Shelby County.

70. Panel Begins Study of State's Funding Formula -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A task force appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam has begun studying the state's school funding formula.

The panel held its first meeting on Monday. It was formed amid criticism that the Basic Education Program, or BEP, is not adequately funding districts statewide. The program hasn't been fully funded since it was overhauled about seven years ago under then-Gov. Phil Bredesen.

71. Tigers Season Ends on Common Theme: ‘Underachieved’ -

RALEIGH, N.C. – Senior guard Geron Johnson had guaranteed the Memphis Tigers would win two NCAA Tournament games. But in the wake of their 78-60 loss to top-seeded Virginia Sunday night in the round of 32, Johnson looked a reporter in the eye and offered a revised declaration.

72. Commission Takes Up Family Planning Contract -

Shelby County commissioners Monday, March 24, take up an attempt to end the county’s contract for federally funded family planning and related health services with Christ Community Health Services.

73. Events -

T.O. Fuller State Park will host its first Spring Hike on the 2-mile Discovery Trail Saturday, March 22, at 9:30 a.m. starting at the visitors center, 1500 W. Mitchell Road. The hike will be followed by a birds of prey program. Cost of the hike is free. Call 543-7581 or email michael.champagne@tn.gov to sign up.

74. Backlog Backlash -

The first thing Veronica Coleman-Davis wanted to do was take a look at where thousands of untested rape kits had been stored over the last 30 years.

The former U.S. attorney is investigating how the backlog came to be. It’s an effort that, until her appointment in February by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., had been pointed at clearing the backlog with no answers from any of the players in the criminal justice system about how the backlog happened in the first place.

75. Events -

The Eyewear Gallery will hold free dry-eye screenings Friday, March 21, from noon to 2 p.m. at its office, 428 Perkins Road Extended. Visit theeyeweargallery.com or call 763-2020.

76. Tigers Look to Ace Next Tourney Test -

Memphis made the Final Four. Seriously, you can stop worrying about the first game this Friday against George Washington University.

The Tigers joined American, Michigan and national champion Dayton in the annual Academic Performance Tournament’s Final Four, as played out by Inside Higher Ed. In this tournament, the winners are based on the Academic Progress Rate, the NCAA’s multiyear measure of a team’s classroom performance.

77. Fed Clarifies Guidance on Short-Term Rates -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve sought Wednesday to clarify a question that investors have been trying to determine: When it might start to raise short-term interest rates from record lows.

78. House Rejects Senate Changes to Medicaid Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The House has rejected Senate changes to a bill to require the governor to seek legislative approval for any prospective deal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.

Republican Rep. Jeremy Durham of Franklin at first sought to agree to the Senate changes that that would bar lawmakers from being reimbursed for meal and lodging expenses if a special session had to be called to consider a Medicaid deal.

79. Lawmakers Mull Full Repeal of Tennessee Whiskey Law -

NASHVILLE (AP) – State lawmakers are considering an outright repeal of a 2013 law that for the first time established a legal definition of Tennessee whisky.

Supporters of the move say the law enacted last year unfairly benefits Jack Daniel's, the world's most famous Tennessee whiskey.

80. Haslam Pushing Common Core Standards -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam reiterated Tuesday that Common Core education standards are crucial to continuing to improve education in Tennessee and he hopes to dismiss misconceptions about them.

81. ‘Champion of Working Man’ Rep. Turner Set to Retire -

State Rep. and Nashville Democrat Mike Turner is retiring from the General Assembly and considering a run for mayor.

82. County Commissioners Review Ethics Code -

Shelby County Commissioners take their first look Wednesday, March 19, at possible changes to county government’s ethics code.

The changes, proposed by Commissioner Steve Mulroy, touch on issues raised earlier this year when a panel of the county ethics commission considered and ultimately dismissed a complaint filed by Commissioner Terry Roland against fellow Commissioner Sidney Chism.

83. New Insurance Rights for Same-Sex Couples -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Addressing gay and lesbian concerns, the Obama administration Friday moved to expand health insurance access for same-sex couples and close a loophole that threatened to leave some HIV/AIDS patients without coverage.

84. Broker’s Act to Reflect Commission Changes -

The Broker’s Act has been enhanced by our state legislature and will be signed into law this month.

The Tennessee Association of Realtors Governmental Affairs Committee recommended an important modification to the language of the “Notice of Agreement to Pay Leasing Commission,” and the Metro Memphis CCIM chapter initiated a call to action where members sent emails to state legislators explaining the importance of passing this amendment.

85. Talking Sex -

ALL OF OUR COLLEGE PRESIDENTS SHOULD GET SEXY. The Tennessee General Assembly has long been afraid of sex.

When I was a UT student in the late sixties, the Tennessee legislature proposed a law making it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to view nude art. On the humanities complex plaza, stood and still stands a huge statue of Europa and the Bull – both starkers and anatomically and quite dramatically correct. The morning after the news of the proposed law broke, Europa was wearing a huge bra and the bull a jock strap, fashioned from sheets – lots of them – and placed on the statue by enterprising students in the night.

86. UT President Says School Can't Ban Sex Week Event -

NASHVILLE (AP) – University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro is urging lawmakers not to pursue legislation that would penalize the school over its student-run Sex Week.

In a letter this week to Senate Education Chairwoman Dolores Gresham and Senate Government Operations Chairman Mike Bell, DiPietro argued that First Amendment protections prevent the school from ending the event that has raised the hackles of GOP leaders in the Legislature.

87. Grisham Thriller Smacks of Dickens -

At the pretrial conference, big-city lawyer Wade Lanier does an “evidence dump.” His witness list includes 45 people not previously disclosed in discovery. Local lawyer Jake Brigance moves for a continuance. Lanier says that with two weeks remaining before trial, there’s plenty of time for Jake to call these folks. Judge Reuben Attlee denies the motion. What will Jake do?

88. Ruling Sets School Board Membership at Nine -

No local elected body in Shelby County has changed as many times in as short a period of time as the Shelby County Schools board.

The federal court order Tuesday, March 11, by U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays approving the restructure of the school board to a nine-member body effective Sept. 1 will mark the third change in the school board in three years when it takes effect following August school board elections.

89. Spring Break Cleanup -

In perfect spring break weather, college students from around the country gathered on McKellar Lake as Daft Punk and Pharrell tunes pumped out of a boat-mounted sound system.

And since March 1, that spring break crowd has been filling a trash barge with what is expected to be 150,000 pounds of concrete, plastic bottles, discarded dolls, other toys and tires by the time the effort concludes on March 20.

90. Mays Approves 9-Member County Schools Board -

With two rulings in as many days, U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays this week cleared his schedule of any pending matters in the reformation of public education in Shelby County.

Mays approved the restructuring of the Shelby County Schools board Tuesday, March 11, to a nine-member body with districts that include the city of Memphis and unincorporated Shelby County but not the six suburban towns and cities.

91. Bill to Block Nashville Amp Project Worries Haslam -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday raised concerns about efforts by fellow Republicans in the state Legislature to block a dedicated bus lane project through Nashville.

The governor told reporters after a speech to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce that although he has not formed an opinion about whether the project – called the Amp – is a good idea, he's worried about the possible precedent of legislative committees deciding over individual transportation projects in the state.

92. Durham Dives Into Legislature During First Year -

When someone first mentioned to freshman state Rep. Jeremy Durham that there would be a new seat in Williamson County, he thought he was being asked to suggest someone, not run.

93. Court Dismissal Leaves Matter of School Board Restructuring -

UPDATE: U.S. District Judge Samuel "Hardy" Mays approved Tuesday, March 11, the Shelby County Commission's plan to restructure the Shelby County Schools board to a nine-member board with the August 2014 elections.

94. Mays Accepts Suburban Schools Settlements, Dismisses Related Court Claims -

The Memphis Federal Court judge overseeing the three-year old court case over the reformation of public schools in Shelby County has dismissed the last major claim of the case, all remaining claims still pending.

95. Mays Accepts Suburban Schools Settlement, Dismisses Related Court Claims -

The Memphis Federal Court judge overseeing the three-year old court case over the reformation of public schools in Shelby County has dismissed the last major claim of the case, all remaining claims still pending.

96. Commission to Vote on Crosstown Funding -

Shelby County Commissioners will vote Monday, March 10, on $5 million in public infrastructure funding for the Crosstown redevelopment project.

The commission meets at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols.

97. US Applications for Jobless Aid Reach 3-Month Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, the lowest level in three months as layoffs remain at pre-recession levels.

98. Coca-Cola Exploring Expansion in Chattanooga -

CHATTANOOGA (AP) – Officials with Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United are looking at expanding in Chattanooga.

99. Senate Leaders Threaten UT Funding Over Sex Week -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican leaders in the state Senate are warning that new funding for the University of Tennessee could be threatened over the use of student fees for a weeklong program about sex.

100. Do You Feel Lucky? -

Ray’s Take: When thinking about your future, do you believe that you will be taken “feet first in a pine box” out of the home you worked so hard for during your younger years? Or do you sometimes get that uncomfortable feeling that you need to “knock on wood” as you look around at friends or acquaintances who have experienced a sudden change in health forcing a change in venue?