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Editorial Results (free)

1. 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.

2. Manufacturing Grew More Quickly in March -

U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead. The Institute for Supply Management, a group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday that its manufacturing index increased to 53.7 from 53.2 in February. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

3. US Home Market: Few Buyers and Not Enough Sellers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Entering the 2014 spring buying season, the U.S. housing market faces an unusual dilemma: Too few people are selling homes. Yet too few buyers can afford the homes that are for sale.

4. US Trade Deficit Hits $42.3 Billion in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit climbed to the highest level in five months in February as demand for American exports fell while imports increased slightly.

The deficit increased to $42.3 billion, which was 7.7 percent above the January imbalance of $39.3 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

5. Now Tack! -

In sailing, when the wind shifts direction, you must move your sails or risk losing the wind. The first indication of a shifting breeze comes from the telltales, strips of lightweight material attached to the sails that foreshadow a change in conditions. Recently, the market telltales have been active.

6. US Manufacturing Grew More Quickly in March -

U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead.

7. Change Agents -

Greg Smith was a hard worker. Ran a carpet cleaning crew, didn’t mind putting in 10 or 12 hours a day to get the job done.

8. Yellen: Job Market Needs Low Rates 'For Some Time' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made clear Monday that she thinks the still-subpar U.S. job market will continue to need the help of low interest rates "for some time."

9. Caught in the Middle -

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

10. Tigers Don't Feel Like 'Cinderella' vs. 1 Seed Virginia -

RALEIGH, N.C. – The pressure valve that at times seems to control life for the Memphis Tigers had opened in the form of a 71-66 victory over George Washington in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 64.

11. Shelby County Building Permits Down Slightly in February -

With bitterly cold temperatures lingering over the Memphis area last month, homebuilders pulled slightly fewer housing permits in February when compared to the same month last year.

Shelby County homebuilders filed 67 permits in February, down from 73 permits in February 2013 but up slightly from 64 permits filed in January, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

12. 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.

13. US Consumer Prices Tick Up Just 0.1 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Cheaper energy kept U.S. consumer prices in check last month, despite a big rise in the cost of food, the latest sign that inflation is tame.

The consumer price index rose 0.1 percent in February, matching January's increase, the Labor Department said Tuesday. In the past 12 months, prices have risen just 1.1 percent, down from 1.6 percent in January and the smallest yearly gain in five months.

14. US Homebuilder Confidence Edges Higher in March -

U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market edged higher this month, reflecting improved demand for new homes as the traditional spring home-selling season ramps up.

But the outlook for sales of single-family homes over the next six months dimmed slightly as builders continue to grapple with a shortage of skilled workers, ready-to-build land and rising building materials costs.

15. Yellen to Put Fed's New Leadership on Display -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Janet Yellen era at the Federal Reserve begins in earnest this week with a two-day meeting, a policy statement and fresh economic forecasts. Yet all that will be a prelude to the marquee event: Yellen's first news conference as Fed chair.

16. Staging Success -

When the Live at the Garden summer concert series at Memphis Botanic Garden launches its 14th season in June, it will feature a new permanent stage and several other amenities.

Besides the new stage, the $6.1 million project now under construction includes a food court, box offices and a below-grade “pit” in front of the stage that can hold around 125 people.

17. 2014 Home Sales Off to Slow Start -

Shelby County home sales were up in February when compared to the same month last year but not enough to overcome January’s sluggish start, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports.

18. US Consumer Borrowing Up $13.7 Billion in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumers increased their borrowing in January on autos and student loans but cut back on their credit card use.

Consumer borrowing rose $13.7 billion in January following an even larger $15.9 billion rise in December, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

19. 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.

20. New Frontiers -

When the first Frontier Airlines jet kicking off regular service at Memphis International Airport arrives Friday, March 7, from Denver at gate C7, it will symbolize just how much the airport has changed. It is also an indication of how the airport continues to evolve.

21. US Service Sector Grew at Slower Pace in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. service companies expanded more slowly in February as hiring levels declined in a cautionary sign for the economy coming out of winter.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its service-sector index fell to 51.6 from 54 in January. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

22. US Home Prices Rose at Solid Pace in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose in January after three months of declines as a tight supply of properties likely supported prices despite slower sales.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices rose 0.9 percent in January after dipping 0.1 percent in December. Over the past 12 months, home prices have risen 12 percent, the biggest year-over-year gain in more than eight years.

23. Apple CEO Tim Cook Teases, Reassures Shareholders -

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) – Apple CEO Tim Cook is still trying to convince shareholders that the iPhone maker remains a step ahead in the race to innovate, even though recent performance of the company's stock lags behind other technology trendsetters.

24. Estimated Q4 Economic Growth Rate Cut to 2.4 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate last quarter, sharply less than first thought, in part because consumers didn't spend as much as initially estimated.

25. Cold Weather Causes Factory Output to Drop -

Harsh winter weather led to a steep drop in U.S. factory output in January. Manufacturers made fewer cars and trucks, appliances, furniture and carpeting, as the recent cold spell ended five straight months of increased production.

26. US Consumer Prices Rose 0.1 Percent Last Month -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer prices barely rose last month as a sharp increase in energy costs was offset by cheaper clothing, cars and air fares. The figures indicate inflation remains mild.

27. Butler Sevier Law Firm Expands Downtown -

Butler, Sevier, Hinsley & Reid PLLC law firm has expanded its presence at 88 Union Ave.

28. US Housing Construction Down 16 Percent in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home construction fell in January for a second month but the weakness in both months reflected severe winter weather in many parts of the country. The expectation is that housing will deliver another year of solid gains, helped by an improving economy.

29. Cold Weather Causes Factory Output to Drop -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harsh winter weather led to a steep drop in U.S. factory output in January. Manufacturers made fewer cars and trucks, appliances, furniture and carpeting, as the recent cold spell ended five straight months of increased production

30. Cold Weather Causes Factory Output to Drop -

Harsh winter weather led to a steep drop in U.S. factory output in January. Manufacturers made fewer cars and trucks, appliances, furniture and carpeting, as the recent cold spell ended five straight months of increased production

31. Late-Payment Rate on Mortgages Falls in 4th Quarter -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – U.S. homeowners are doing a better job of keeping up with mortgage payments, a trend that has reduced the rate of late payment on home loans to the lowest level in more than five years.

32. US Job Openings Fall in December From 5-Year High -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in December and hiring slowed, adding to evidence that the job market weakened that month.

Still, the number of available jobs remained near a five and a half-year high. The Labor Department said Tuesday that openings slipped 1 percent to 3.99 million in December, from 4.03 million in the previous month. November was the first time that employers had posted more than 4 million open jobs since March 2008.

33. January Home Sales Mirror Temperature -

Shelby County home sales plummeted with the temperatures in January, as sales declined 18 percent compared to January 2013, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

34. Health Care Law Will Mean Fewer People On the Job -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Several million American workers will reduce their hours on the job or leave the workforce entirely because of incentives built into President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

35. Frigid Weather Pulls January Auto Sales Down 3 Percent -

DETROIT (AP) – Auto sales slid 3 percent in January as bouts of snow, ice and frigid temperatures in much of the country kept buyers snug in their homes instead of venturing out to car dealers.

36. US Consumer Spending Up 0.4 Percent in December -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans increased their spending at a solid pace for the second straight month in December even though their income was flat.

Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in December, compared with November when spending had increased an even stronger 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday. That was the best gain in five months.

37. Fed to Reduce Pace of Bond Buying by Another $10 Billion -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is pushing ahead with a plan to shrink its bond-buying program because of a strengthening U.S. economy. It's doing so even though the prospect of reduced Fed stimulus and higher U.S. interest rates has rattled global markets.

38. Insurance Through Work? Health Law Affects You Too -

The health care overhaul's reach stretches far beyond the millions of uninsured Americans it is expected to help. It also could touch everything from the drug choices to doctor bills of people who have insurance through work.

39. US Employers Advertise Most Jobs Since March 2008 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers advertised more jobs in November and more Americans quit, positive signs for millions who are unemployed and looking for work.

The Labor Department said Friday that job openings rose 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted 4 million, the most in 5 ½ years. And the number of people quitting increased 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted 2.4 million, a five-year high.

40. Lawmakers Reconvene For 108th General Assembly -

State lawmakers on Tuesday reconvened the 108th Tennessee General Assembly in a legislative session that is expected to feature debates over creating a school voucher program and whether to allow supermarkets to sell wine.

41. Consider Selling Momentum, Buying Contrarian -

The S&P 500 has been the world’s performance bell cow since the great recession on the relative strength of the U.S. economic recovery. The S&P 500 has outperformed the MSCI All World ex USA All Cap Index by 17 percent over the last year, 11 percent annualized over the last three years and 5 percent annualized over the last five years.

42. Fed Reduced Bond Buys After Seeing Big Job Gains -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve agreed last month to modestly reduce its bond purchases because of improvements in the job market that many Fed members felt would be sustained.

Many participants called the job gains "meaningful," according to the minutes.

43. US Consumer Borrowing Up $12.3 Billion in November -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans increased their borrowing in November, led by continued gains in auto and student loans.

The Federal Reserve said consumers increased their borrowing by $12.3 billion in November to a seasonally adjusted $3.09 trillion. That is a record level and follows an October increase of $17.9 billion.

44. Council Approves Ballpark Deal -

Memphis City Council members approved the city’s $19.5 million purchase of AutoZone Park Tuesday, Jan. 7, and another $4.5 million in improvements to the baseball park.

The deal includes the St. Louis Cardinals buying the Memphis Redbirds franchise and entering into a 17-year lease with the city of Memphis at $300,000 a year.

45. US Home Prices Tick Up 0.1 Percent in November -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices barely rose in November from the previous month and year-over-year gains slowed, reflecting declines in sales in the fall.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices increased just 0.1 percent in November from October. That's down slightly from October and far below August's 0.9 percent gain.

46. Plans in Works for Dormant Midtown Project -

City officials are working on plans to kick-start the dormant Washington Bottoms project at Poplar Avenue and Cleveland Street in Midtown.

Memphis Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb confirmed that he is working on the effort but said he was not yet able to release detailed information on the project.

47. US Consumer Confidence Rises on Better Job Outlook -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer confidence jumped this month on a better outlook for hiring and overall growth, supporting other signs that show the economy could accelerate in 2014.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence rose to 78.1 in December, up from 72 in the previous month. November's figure was revised up from 70.4.

48. CEO Predictions for the Next 100 Years of Flying -

NEW YORK (AP) – Millions of people step aboard airplanes each day, complaining about the lack of legroom and overhead space but almost taking for granted that they can travel thousands of miles in just a few hours.

49. Signed Contracts to Buy US Homes Level Off -

The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy existing homes in November was essentially unchanged from October, suggesting sales are stabilizing after several months of declines.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index ticked up to 101.7 from 101.5 in October. The October figure was revised lower from an initial reading of 102.1.

50. US Consumer Spending Rose 0.5 Percent in November -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans increased their spending in November by the most in five months, and their income edged up modestly.

Consumer spending rose 0.5 percent from October, when spending had risen 0.4 percent, the Commerce Department said Monday. It was the best showing since June. The gain was driven by a jump in spending on long-lasting durable goods such as autos.

51. Christmas Miracle Goes Viral -

Canadian airline WestJet created a viral marketing sensation this holiday season. It was the second installment in what the brand has proclaimed an annual tradition.

Last Christmas, the brand converted one of its gates into the North Pole as a flash mob ensued, singing and dancing to “Deck the Halls.” The resulting video garnered more than a million views on YouTube.

52. Bright Spot -

The Memphis multifamily market turned in a strong performance during 2013, with enhanced investor interest and new units under construction.

Blake Pera, senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis Memphis’ multifamily division, classified the multifamily market in 2013 as healthy and continuing to improve.

53. Fed Will Reduce Bond Purchases by $10 Billion in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve has sent its strongest vote of confidence in the U.S. economy since the Great Recession struck six years ago: It's decided the economy is finally strong enough to withstand a slight pullback in the Fed's stimulus.

54. Fed Likely to Maintain Bond-Buying Pace for Now -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Is this week when the Federal Reserve finally slows its aggressive stimulus for the economy? Or does it want to await more evidence of a consistently improving economy?

55. Injury Bug Has Grizz Fans Crying in Beers -

The Oklahoma City Thunder had Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Memphis Grizzlies had Jamaal Franklin and Nick Calathes.

56. College Football Season Brought Many Surprises -

It seems like just yesterday that temperatures were stifling and everyone who really mattered in the college football world – the SEC’s coaches and top players – had met in Hoover, Ala., for that little party known as SEC Media Days.

57. US Runs $135.2 Billion Budget Deficit in November -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government ran a much smaller deficit through the first two months of the budget year than the same period last year, signaling further improvement in the nation's finances.

58. AP-GfK Poll: Strong Opposition to In-Flight Calls -

WASHINGTON (AP) – As federal regulators consider removing a decades-old prohibition on making phone calls on planes, a majority of Americans who fly oppose such a change, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds.

59. Germantown Schools Deal Approved by Aldermen -

UPDATE: The Germantown Board of Aldermen approved the tentative agreement with Shelby County Schools Monday, Dec. 9, as described below.

Again the terms call for Germantown Elementary, Middle and High Schools to remain in the Shelby County Schools system next school year.

60. US Consumer Spending Up 0.3 Percent in October -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumers increased their spending in October even though their wages and salaries barely increased, raising questions about how strong the economy will grow at the end of the year.

61. US New-Home Sales Jump in October -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans ramped up purchases of new homes in October after three months of soft sales, evidence that the housing recovery is improving fitfully.

Sales of new homes grew 25.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 444,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was the largest monthly percentage increase since May 1980.

62. US Job Openings, Hiring Reach 5-Year Highs -

U.S. job openings and overall hiring both reached five-year highs in September, signaling steady improvement in the job market.

Job postings rose 69,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.9 million, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s the most since March 2008, just a few months after the Great Recession began. It’s also close to the roughly 4 million job openings each month that are consistent with healthier job markets.

63. US Home Permits Rise at 5-Year High on Apartments -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. developers received approval in October to build apartments at the fastest pace in five years, a trend that could boost economic growth in the final three months of the year.

64. US Job Openings, Hiring Reach 5-Year Highs -

U.S. job openings and overall hiring both reached five-year highs in September, signaling steady improvement in the job market.

Job postings rose 69,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.9 million, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s the most since March 2008, just a few months after the Great Recession began. It’s also close to the roughly 4 million job openings each month that are consistent with healthier job markets.

65. Schools Agreements Involve Art of Settlement -

Technically, the suburban Shelby County governments that have reached tentative agreements with Shelby County Schools are not paying, in those agreements, for school buildings.

They are paying $10 each in quitclaims for the buildings and much larger amounts to settle all claims in general, notably the pending lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

66. Team Players -

The key players, from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to St. Louis Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr., grabbed the microphone at an invitation-only rally held on the club level of AutoZone Park and made their best pitches.

67. We’ll Get There -

IT’S NOT THE RIDE. IT’S THE DESTINATION. The guy driving this thing is from Chicago. And the way they get places in Chicago isn’t pretty.

Calling the Obamacare website wreck “a bump in the road” is like calling, well, like calling the ride I’m about to describe as bumpy.

68. Spending Cuts, Shutdown Lower US Budget Deficit -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government started the first month of the 2014 budget year with a smaller budget deficit, signaling further improvement in the nation's finances at a time when lawmakers are wrestling to reach a deal to keep the government open past January.

69. Humane Aid -

The Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County wants to take its spay and neutering services to the streets, but the nonprofit organization needs the help of local businesses to get the initiative rolling.

70. Tigers Find Different Rhythm This Season -

A year ago in this exhibition matchup, the University of Memphis trailed at the half and beat Christian Brothers University by 11 points.

But Friday night, Nov. 8, at FedExForum, the Tigers defeated CBU 92-63 and nobody had to play more than 22 minutes as Memphis coach Josh Pastner mixed and matched his lineups throughout the game.

71. Women’s Foundation Awards Grants to 29 Organizations -

The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis is awarding $625,000 in grant money to 29 of the city’s organizations that are making a strong impact in the lives of area women.

The Tuesday, Nov. 5, Annual Grants Showcase and Volunteer Recognition event, which is free and open to the public, allows for individuals to speak with representatives from each organization and witness the positive impact in the education, housing and career objectives that each organization has helped to influence.

72. Community Main Focus of Conrad’s Goals -

Since Kemp Conrad, principal with Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors LLC, took the position as president of Commercial Advisors’ asset services – a leading third-party provider of leasing, property management and project management services – revenues have increased by 215 percent.

73. Community Improvement at Heart of Conrad’s Goals -

Since Kemp Conrad, principal with Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors LLC, took the position as president of Commercial Advisors’ asset services – a leading third-party provider of leasing, property management and project management services – revenues have increased by 215 percent.

74. US Job Openings Rise in August, But Hiring Flat -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers advertised more jobs in August but hiring was essentially flat, further evidence of a job market that has weakened after a promising start to the year.

75. US Airways Net Income Dips on Higher Taxes -

DALLAS (AP) — Higher taxes reduced US Airways' third-quarter profit, but the airline still beat Wall Street expectations on a combination of more traffic and higher average fares.

US Airways, the nation's fifth-biggest airline, pushed revenue higher by filling a larger percentage of seats. Including US Airways Express regional flights, passengers traveled nearly 5 percent more miles and they paid 4.4 percent more for every mile that they flew.

76. US Existing-Home Sales Drop 1.9 Percent in September -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans bought fewer existing homes in September than the previous month, held back by higher mortgage rates and rising prices.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of re-sold homes fell 1.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million. That's down from a pace of 5.39 million in August, which was revised lower.

77. Head Start Funding Deadline Looms for County -

Shelby County Commissioners will probably talk again Monday, Oct. 14, about who should apply for $23 million in federal funding for the Head Start program.

Last month the commission approved a resolution urging Shelby County Schools to apply for the early childhood development program now administered by Shelby County government.

78. Crosstown Wins 20-Year Tax Break -

The $180 million project to revitalize the Sears Crosstown building won a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement Thursday, Oct. 10, from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp.

79. Government: Most Heating Bills to Rise This Winter -

The government forecast Tuesday that most households will pay more for heat this winter. Heating oil users will catch a slight break, but still pay near-record prices to keep warm.

Prices for natural gas, electricity and propane should be higher, the primary reason that more than 90 percent of U.S. homes will incur higher heating expenses.

80. Growth at US Service Firms Slows From 8-Year High -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Growth at U.S. service companies slowed in September from an eight-year high in August, as sales fell sharply, new orders dipped and hiring weakened.

The Institute of Supply Management said Thursday that its service-sector index fell to 54.4 in September, down from 58.6 in August. August's reading was the highest since December 2005. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

81. US New-Home Sales Jump 7.9 Percent in August -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans stepped up purchases of new homes in August after cutting back in July, suggesting that higher mortgage rates are not yet slowing the housing recovery.

Sales of new homes increased 7.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 421,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That comes after sales plunged 14.1 percent in July to a 390,000 annual rate.

82. AutoZone Reports Mixed Quarterly Results -

AutoZone Inc. arguably has shifted temporarily into the slow lane, but the Memphis-based auto parts retailer is confident its engine still has enough horsepower to outrace the competition.

83. Hospital Wing First to Use iTClamp -

Memphis-based air medical transport service Hospital Wing is the first aero-medical service in the country to use the new iTClamp hemorrhage control system, following its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this summer.

84. New Study Warns of US Long-Term Debt Problems -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The government could run out of cash to pay its bills in full and on time sometime between the end of October and the middle of November if lawmakers fail to increase its $16.7 trillion borrowing cap, Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf said on Tuesday.

85. Slower Holiday Sales Growth Predicted for 2013 -

Coming off of a weak back-to-school shopping period, a research firm expects holiday sales growth will be slower this year during the crucial holiday season. Shoppers are also expected to visit fewer stores as they research purchases online.

86. US 30-Year Mortgage Rate Steady at 4.57 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages held steady this week, hovering near two-year highs. But rates could change quickly next week when the Federal Reserve addresses its bond purchase program.

87. Education Reform Leaders -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson and Achievement School District superintendent Chris Barbic say the education reformation underway locally in Shelby County can lead and influence the national discussion about education reform.

88. Districts for Low-Performing Schools Make Picks -

After one school year watching each other, leaders of the state-run Achievement School District and the countywide school system’s set of Innovation Zone schools got together this summer to compare notes and figure out which low-achieving schools each would take for the 2014-2015 school year.

89. Muddled US Jobs Picture to Weigh on Fed Decision -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Employers are sketching a hazy picture of the U.S. job market for the Federal Reserve to weigh in deciding this month whether to reduce its stimulus for the economy – and, if so, by how much.

90. ‘Waiting for You’ -

Five days a week, the indefatigable restaurateur whose name customers often shorten to Sue, or Ms. Sue, comes downstairs.

Five days a week, she makes the usual preparations, the kitchen on the floor below where she lives clangs to life, a door is unlocked, and the Little Tea Shop waits for first-timers and hungry regulars to make their way inside, past a large sign out front that greets passers-by with a photo of owner Suhair Lauck.

91. TVA Won't Ask to Raise Borrowing Cap -

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Valley Authority won't ask Congress to raise its borrowing cap for at least the next 10 years.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the federal utility says it anticipates being able to reduce its net borrowing in the next two years and reduce its debt over a decade by $5 billion. That's because the demand for electricity is slowing.

92. Kudzu’s Wrestles With Plant Closure Fallout -

When the current ownership of Kudzu’s Bar & Grill bought the eatery in September 2011, tables were full, the parking lot was packed and the business kept busting its projections.

Jerry King, one of Kudzu’s owners, said every month the results would be as much as a double-digit percentage above what had been projected. That, however, was before Hostess’ Downtown Memphis Wonder Bread plant closed late last year.

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

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

94. US Homebuilder Confidence Nears 8-Year High -

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders is at its highest level in nearly eight years, fueled by optimism that demand for new homes will drive sales growth into next year.

The brighter sales outlook is the latest sign pointing to a sustained pickup in construction in coming months and comes as applications for permits to build single-family houses are at a five-year high.

95. US Budget Deficit Down 37.6 Percent Through July -

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

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

96. Obama Pitches Mortgage Overhaul as Housing Rallies -

PHOENIX (AP) – Buoyed by an improving housing market, President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed a broad overhaul of the nation's mortgage finance system, including winding down government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He declared that taxpayers should never again be left "holding the bag" for the mortgage giants' bad bets.

97. Better Economic Growth Likely to Follow Weak Second Quarter -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The economy is expected to have grown at a dismal pace in the April-June quarter, weighed down by large tax increases and steep government spending cuts.

But the second quarter should be the low point for the year, economists say. The fiscal drag is expected to fade. At the same time, steady hiring, more business spending and a solid recovery in housing should push growth higher in the second half of the year.

98. Barbic Shares Achievement Test Results With Frayser Audience -

The superintendent of the Achievement School District told a Frayser audience last week that students and their teachers in the cluster of schools in the area will work harder on their reading skills in the school year to come.

99. Improving Real Estate Metrics Offer Hope -

The 2013 countywide reappraisal resulted in a historic drop in property values, but improving real estate metrics are providing a glimmer of hope for the local economy.

That was the message industry professionals heard Thursday, July 25, at real estate information company Chandler Reports’ 2013 Mid-Year Master Your Market seminar at the Memphis Marriott East.

100. US New-Home Sales Jump to Five-Year High -

Americans snapped up new homes in June at the fastest pace in five years, a sign the housing recovery is strengthening.

Sales of newly built homes rose 8.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That’s the highest since May 2008 and up from an annual rate of 459,000 in May, which was revised lower.