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Editorial Results (free)

1. Hands Up, You’re in Tennessee -

ARMED AND DANGEROUS. I got an email last week from a White Station classmate.

“Aren’t you the guy who once wore a western style .22 pistol in a holster into the drug store at Poplar and Perkins? Man, were you ever ahead of your time.”

2. 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.”

3. Fantasy Games and Online Gambling -

Despite the federal prohibition of “online gambling,” fantasy sports are cropping up everywhere – especially last month during March Madness and now as baseball season gets underway.

4. Aghabeg Joins Gateway Group as Controller -

Angela Aghabeg has joined temporary staffing and executive search firm Gateway Group Personnel as controller. In her new role, Aghabeg is responsible for the maintenance and accuracy of the general ledger and compliance with governmental reporting requirements and tax filings. She also is accountable for compiling historical and current data and financial records and preparing monthly financial statements for analysis and projections.

5. Sponsor Says He Would Raise Money for Open Carry -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The House sponsor of a bill seeking to do away with permit requirements to openly carry is offering to raise the estimated $100,000 cost from private sources.

Republican Rep. Micah Van Huss said in a letter to his House colleagues on Monday that he was disappointed with what he called a "bogus" cost estimate attached to the bill that he sees as an attempt to kill the measure.

6. The Business Case for Investing in Green Space -

Editor’s Note: This column will appear Tuesdays through April in honor of Sustainability Month for Memphis and Shelby County.

During 2013 the Greater Memphis Chamber formed the Chairman’s Circle, a group of over 100 Memphis business leaders organized to push for action on key issues to accelerate the regional economy. Early in the life of the organization we created “moon missions,” which are coordinated efforts to truly transform our community.

7. Tenn. House OKs Anti-Meth Bill -

Supporters of a watered-down version of Gov. Bill Haslam’s anti-methamphetamine legislation approved by the House on Wednesday believe it will help in the fight against the drug’s production across the state, even though it’s not as tough as they would like.

8. 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.

9. Tennessee House OKs Watered-Down Anti-Meth Bill -

Supporters of a watered-down version of Gov. Bill Haslam's anti-methamphetamine legislation approved by the House on Wednesday believe it will help in the fight against the drug's production across the state, even though it's not as tough as they would like.

10. 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.

11. Tennessee Legislative Session Nearing End -

Legislative leaders are hoping to adopt Tennessee's annual spending plan as early as this week, clearing the way to the conclusion of the legislative session.

But that assumes that the Republican-controlled House and Senate can find quick agreement over budget cuts proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam to close a funding gap created by flagging tax revenues.

12. 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.

13. 2014 Campaigns Hit the Streets -

With the April filing deadline behind them and early voting for the county primaries a week and a half ahead, those running for elected office in Shelby County this year kept a full weekend schedule.

14. Museum Milestone -

When the National Civil Rights Museum formally reopens Saturday, April 5, it will be with the “breaking” of a ceremonial chain at the new entrance to the building that was once the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. Editorial: Government Must Address Coverage Gap -

Our national discussion of the Affordable Care Act continues to say so much about more than the issue of affordable health care.

It continues to be the most profound statement about what passes for political discourse and the decision-making process our elected officials have created for issues that are of crucial importance to citizens.

21. 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.”

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. Brown Contempt Jailing Maps Political Challenge -

The arrest of the Democratic nominee for Shelby County district attorney general Monday, March 24, is the best indication yet of the tumult within the local Democratic Party as it attempts to win countywide offices four years after losing every race to Republicans.

25. 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.

26. Federal Court Ruling Ends Consolidation Quest -

The last unresolved issue of the 2010 attempt to consolidate city of Memphis and Shelby County governments ended quietly last week in Memphis federal court.

The 2010 federal court lawsuit over the failed consolidation attempt – the most serious attempt in 39 years – ended with an order Wednesday, March 19, from U.S. District Judge Thomas Anderson granting a motion for summary judgment by defendants in the case.

27. Fisher Finds Reward Sharing Local Economic Story -

When Conduit Global announced during a January event at FedExForum it would create 1,000 new jobs in Memphis over the next three to five years, Gwyn Fisher was finally able to exhale and show some emotion.

28. 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.

29. Anderson Upholds Dual Majorities Requirement For Metro Consolidation -

The 2010 federal court lawsuit over the failed attempt at consolidating the city of Memphis and Shelby County governments has failed as well with an order Wednesday, March 19, from U.S. District Judge Thomas Anderson granting a motion for summary judgment by defendants in the case.

30. 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.

31. Tennessee Governor Appeals Same-Sex Marriage Order -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee's governor is asking a federal judge to put her ruling requiring the state to recognize the marriages of three same-sex couples on hold while a higher court weighs in on the case.

32. ‘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.

33. Target Says It Ignored Early Signs of Data Breach -

NEW YORK (AP) – Target Corp. said in its annual report that a massive security breach has hurt its image and business, while spawning dozens of legal actions, and it noted it can't estimate how big the financial tab will end up being.

34. I Choose Memphis: Micah Brafford -

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

Name: Micah Brafford

Job Title and Company: Vice President of Commercial Banking, Independent Bank

35. Mississippi River Geotourism Effort Touted -

The National Geographic Society wants to create an interactive media geotourism project that guides visitors on journeys they can coordinate up and down the length of the Mississippi River.

Jim Dion, coordinator of the Geotourism Map Guides division of National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations, has been in Memphis this week, meeting with local and regional tourism leaders and possible donors to the effort.

36. 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.

37. 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.

38. 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.

39. Arkansas Lands $165 Million Poultry Operation -

Alabama-based Peco Foods announced plans Monday for a new poultry plant, hatchery and feed mill in northeast Arkansas, a $165 million operation expected to create 1,000 jobs in two rural counties.

40. Grizz Need Strong Finish for Playoff Chance -

Twenty games to go and, at this point, even a 13-7 finish might not be good enough to ensure the Grizzlies make the Western Conference Playoffs.

That, for the record, is how they closed the season a year ago. But this time, despite a 36-26 record going into the Tuesday, March 11, game against Portland at FedExForum, the Grizzlies still sit in ninth place.

41. 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.

42. Collierville Schools Prepares for Parent ‘Angst’ -

UPDATE: In a special meeting Friday, March 7, the Germantown Municipal Schools board voted 3-0 to rescind its tuition requirement for open enrollment of students living outside Germantown.

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43. Collierville Approves No Tuition Open Enrollment Policy For In-County Transfers -

Collierville Schools board members voted Tuesday, March 4, to approve an open enrollment policy that would open enrollment in their schools to children outside the town limits but within Shelby County on a space available basis at no charge.

44. Sponsor Puts Off Change to US Senate Nominations -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The sponsor of a proposal to give state lawmakers the power to name U.S. Senate nominees has a hold on the measure.

Under the bill sponsored by state Sen. Frank Niceley, primary elections would be replaced with caucus votes in the General Assembly.

45. Obama Admin Drives Ahead With New Cleaner Gas Rule -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is driving ahead with a dramatic reduction in sulfur in gasoline and tailpipe emissions, declaring that cleaner air will save thousands of lives per year at little cost to consumers.

46. Demerger Debate -

In five months, a new school year will begin in Shelby County. And for a second straight academic year, many parents will be able to say it is unlike any in their lifetimes.

The first and last school year of the unified Memphis City and Shelby County Schools systems will be followed by what educators are calling the “demerger.”

47. Patching Up Poplar -

Its narrow traffic lanes are unforgiving and its storm water drain grates make driving the outside lane a perilous endeavor.

Sidewalks disappear and resume from block to block, while street crossings for pedestrians are daunting even for the most determined and fleet-footed runner who has to navigate stoplights and traffic.

48. Fans Welcome ‘Grindfather’ Back -

Decades from now, it might be the first story Tony Allen tells. The night Allen returned to the FedExForum court for the Grizzlies, after missing more than a month with a wrist injury, and when he checked into the game he received a standing ovation.

49. Tenn. Houses Passes Supermarket Wine Bill -

A years-long effort to allow wine to be sold outside of Tennessee liquor stores easily cleared what was expected to be its toughest hurdle on Thursday when the state House overwhelmingly approved the measure.

50. Tennessee House Passes Supermarket Wine Sales Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A years-long effort to allow wine to be sold outside of Tennessee liquor stores easily cleared what was expected to be its toughest hurdle on Thursday when the state House overwhelmingly approved the measure.

51. Grizz Look at Final 30 With Hope for Strong Finish -

As the Grizzlies took their leave from FedExForum, having won their last home game before the NBA All-Star break, forward James Johnson looked toward the next night’s game at Orlando. He made clear that the Grizzlies were not thinking of Disney World or any other fantasyland, but were committed to the work immediately in front of them.

52. Tennessee Teachers Push Back on Evaluation Process -

NASHVILLE (AP) – When Tennessee was competing for a half-billion dollars in federal education money, teachers agreed to allow the state to ramp up its use of student test scores for evaluating educators.

53. Food Industry Seeks Voluntary GMO Labeling -

WASHINGTON (AP) – People who want to know more about genetically modified ingredients in their food would be able to get it on some packages, but not others, under a plan the industry is pushing.

54. Book on Tennessee Women to Go to Public High Schools -

MURFREESBORO (AP) – Copies of a new book about remarkable Tennessee women will go to all of the state's public high schools, thanks to support from the Middle Tennessee State University History Department.

55. Starting Over: When Corporate Goes Kaput -

For many employees in the Memphis area, the story is all too familiar. You wake up one day and go to work, just like it was any other. You wear the same clothes, drive the same route, and eat at the same place for lunch. Things seem fine at first, but something starts to feel a little out of whack.

56. Memphis Set to Welcome Gonzaga, ESPN -

He laughed with officials. During the game. He sat down. During the game.

The Tigers’ 101-69 victory over Rutgers Tuesday, Feb. 4, at FedExForum was a literal laugher. Even for University of Memphis coach Josh Pastner.

57. Samuelson Turns Passion Into Race-Management Company -

Retired Navy Cmdr. Michael Samuelson of Lakeland has one simple philosophy that sums up his approach to life: “Enjoy yourself.”

For Samuelson, that enjoyment often comes in the form of running, usually on trails and frequently for more than 26 miles during one run. Oh, and he also likes to run across the country, as in from Washington to Delaware in 80 days.

58. Obama Asks CEOs for Help Hiring Long-Term Jobless -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Confronting an economic recovery slowed by persistent joblessness, President Barack Obama on Friday won commitments from nearly 300 companies to reach out to the nearly 4 million Americans who have been jobless for half a year or more.

59. Ethics Complaint Against Chism Dismissed -

It was commissioner against commissioner in the highest profile use so far of Shelby County government’s current ethics policy.

And the dispute that affected the commission’s deliberations on a county property tax rate ended last week with a three-citizen panel dismissing County Commissioner Terry Roland’s complaint against fellow Commissioner Sidney Chism.

60. Destination: Memphis -

On a slow Sunday afternoon Downtown with the Broncos and Chargers NFL playoff game on a bar TV screen, a trio of 20-somethings – two men and one woman – watched the game, speculated about whether the Grizzlies were playing a few blocks away and quizzed one another about their plans for the future.

61. Ethics Panel Dismisses Roland Complaint Against Chism -

The highest profile use of Shelby County government’s ethics policy since it was implemented in 2008 has ended with the three-citizen panel hearing a complaint by County Commissioner Terry Roland against fellow Commissioner Sidney Chism dismissing Roland’s claim.

62. Ethics Panel Dismisses Roland Complaint Against Chism -

The highest profile use of Shelby County government’s ethics policy since it was implemented in 2008 has ended with the three-citizen panel hearing a complaint by County Commissioner Terry Roland against fellow Commissioner Sidney Chism dismissing Roland’s claim.

63. Tennessee Senate Passes Supermarket Wine Bill 23-8 -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Local governments could hold votes on whether to allow wine sales in supermarkets and convenience stores, under a bill the state Senate passed on Thursday.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro was approved on a 23-8 vote after the companion bill was revived in the House this week. Five Republicans voted against the measure, along with three Democrats.

64. Wage Hike for Federal Contract Workers Limited -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama's plan to raise the minimum wage for federally contracted workers is winning praise from unions and labor activists, but it could take a year or more before any hikes take place and the impact may not be as widespread as some advocates had hoped.

65. Beretta to Build New Firearms Plant in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Italian gun maker Beretta said Wednesday that Tennessee's support for gun rights was a major factor in its decision to build a manufacturing and research facility in the Nashville suburb of Gallatin.

66. Commission Approves Ballpark Deal -

The deal for the city of Memphis to buy AutoZone Park and the St. Louis Cardinals to buy the Memphis Redbirds franchise is on its way to a mid-February closing.

Shelby County Commission approval of the county’s part of the deal Monday, Jan. 27, came with a lot of reluctance and some of the same complaints Memphis City Council members had last month – primarily that they were being rushed.

67. Commission Approves Other Part of Ballpark Deal -

Shelby County Commissioners reluctantly approved county government’s part of the AutoZone Park deal Monday, Jan. 27, despite delaying a vote on it at committee sessions last week.

The item was added onto the commission’s agenda by chairman James Harvey who said he could because it was “time sensitive.”

68. Union Membership Holds Steady at 11.3 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The nation's union membership held steady at 11.3 percent last year, but losses among state and government workers suggest an ominous trend for the future of organized labor.

69. Café Keough Owner Banking on Locale, Food for Success -

It’s tough enough to start a new business. Tougher still if that business is an independent restaurant. And tougher still if your vision for what it will be lives only in your imagination.

“I’m trying to make an old Memphis cafe,” Kevin Keough, owner of Café Keough at 12 S. Main St., said one recent afternoon as he sipped coffee and explained his dream. “But that doesn’t exist. So I had to make it up, what I think it could have looked like.”

70. Full Steam Ahead -

A burgeoning distribution and logistics market for the Mid-South is taking root in the rich Delta soil in Marshall County, Miss., and Fayette County, Tenn.

Industrial developers and their tenants, lured by the availability of large tracts of land, major infrastructure enhancements, a new intermodal facility and friendly, focused public policy, are increasingly targeting the area.

71. Full Steam Ahead -

A burgeoning distribution and logistics market for the Mid-South is taking root in the rich Delta soil in Marshall County, Miss., and Fayette County, Tenn.

Industrial developers and their tenants, lured by the availability of large tracts of land, major infrastructure enhancements, a new intermodal facility and friendly, focused public policy, are increasingly targeting the area.

72. Call Center ‘Gratifying’ for Local Office Sector -

Conduit Global’s announcement this week that it is locating a call center in Shelby County that will employ 1,000 people was a breath of fresh air for local office real estate professionals.

73. Technology Upgrade -

When it opened in the early 1990s, the IMAX theater at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum was state of the art.

And it was part of a move by the city’s museums into what was then a new frontier in museum environments that had been dominated by display boards and walls.

74. Jobs Explosion -

Conduit Global will hire 1,000 people over the next three to five years to staff a large call center in Shelby County, the company announced Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Conduit Global president Bryce Hayes said the New York-based company will start hiring 300 immediately for the $8 million call center serving Verizon.

75. Telecom Company to Open Call Center in Shelby County -

A telecommunications-related company will locate a major call center in Shelby County, a project that will create hundreds of new jobs.

The company, which has been operating under the code name Project Moscow, will announce the deal that will employ over 500 people on Wednesday, Jan. 22, according to sources with knowledge of the project. The unidentified company would operate the call center for one of the nation’s largest telecommunications providers, Verizon.

76. Council Gets Overview of Public Safety Spending -

Memphis City Council members got a first and at times conflicting look Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the hard decisions they could make about city spending on public safety.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. walked the council through some ideas for cuts in city spending beyond larger changes in city retirement and health benefits. Those obligations are the “cornerstone” of the efforts to get the city’s financial house in order, said city Chief Administrative Officer George Little.

77. Higher-Income Americans Hit Hardest by Tax Changes -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Higher-income Americans and some legally married same-sex couples are likely to feel the biggest hits from tax law changes when they file their federal returns in the next few months. Taxpayers also will have a harder time taking medical deductions.

78. Grocery Wine Bill Negotiations Near Breakthrough -

NASHVILLE (AP) – After years of bitter legislative fights over efforts to allow Tennessee grocery stores to sell wine, groups representing liquor stores and supermarkets are nearing an agreement that would give the measure its best ever chances of becoming law.

79. Luttrell Says Timing Key to Schools Funding -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell refers to the start two years ago of the reformation of local public education as “chaos and confusion.”

80. Give Me My Money, the Sequel -

A BILLION IS, LIKE, A LOT. Sometimes numbers are so huge – so much larger than life, if you will – they are beyond our comprehension.

For instance, the tonsillectomy that went so horribly wrong recently and left one child brain dead can engage the national media and captivate the country for weeks – while we pay no attention at all to the millions upon millions allowed to remain at risk at the edge of life every day.

81. Gasol’s Return Has Hoop City Joyful Again -

Kevin Durant is a nice guy. He’s also a cold-blooded competitor.

“I usually don’t talk to the opposing team at all,” Durant said after he dropped 37 points on the Grizzlies. “But I saw him flagging me down. I told him, ‘Welcome back.’ He is one of those players. I don’t ever want to see a guy get injured.”

82. Full Senate to Vote on Latest Attorney General Election Proposal -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The state Senate is taking another run at changing the way Tennessee's attorney general gains office.

Under a proposed constitutional amendment advanced to a full Senate vote Tuesday, the attorney general would stand for popular election rather than being appointed by the state Supreme Court.

83. Competing Claims -

The future of Ashlar Hall has become nearly as unpredictable as its eccentric former proprietor, Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges.

A Monday, Jan. 13, hearing before Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter did little to clear the air surrounding a November transfer of the 1397 Central Ave. property and competing claims over its future.

84. Shankman-Cohn to Lead Interior Design Coalition -

Leslie Shankman-Cohn has been elected the 2014 president of the Tennessee Interior Design Coalition, a statewide coalition committed, through legislative and regulatory endeavors, to enhance and protect the right to practice interior design. Shankman-Cohn is a partner in Jill Hertz Interior Design, a division of Eclectic Interiors. She specializes in custom-designed furniture, space planning, furnishings and finishes specifications, universal design, Aging in Style and sustainable design issues.

85. Economist: Government is Top Employer in Mississippi -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Government is Mississippi's largest employer these days, state economist Darrin Webb told lawmakers Tuesday.

86. Billingsley Is Newest County Commissioner As "Tax Dead" Program Advances -

Former Germantown alderman Mark Billingsley is the newest Shelby County Commissioner.

On the second ballot Monday, Jan. 13, commissioners appointed Billingsley to fill the vacancy created by the resignation this month of Wyatt Bunker, who became mayor of Lakeland last year.

87. Luttrell: Financial ‘Perfect Storm’ Over -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell doesn’t see the storm he saw last year at about this time.

88. Business Lobby Seeks Major Push on Immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the nation's biggest business lobby intends to "pull out all the stops" to pass an overhaul of immigration laws. That would place the chamber on the side of President Barack Obama on one of the White House's top legislative priorities of the year.

89. Judicial Candidates Move to August Ballot -

In the first week to pick up petitions for the August judicial elections in Shelby County, judicial candidates have accounted for most of the activity at the Shelby County Election Commission.

Juvenile Court Chief Magistrate Dan Michael has pulled a petition to run for Juvenile Court judge in the nonpartisan race. Michael has been campaigning for several months in his bid to succeed outgoing Judge Curtis Person Jr.

90. Mississippi Lawmakers Face Long Agenda in 2014 Session -

CLARKSDALE, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi lawmakers start their three-month session at noon Tuesday, and they face a long agenda. They'll write a budget, seek ways to control prison costs, debate education policy and argue about health care.

91. Grizzlies Trade Bayless to Celtics for Lee -

While the Grizzlies were flying back from Detroit Sunday after beating the Pistons, they knew that combo guard Jerryd Bayless soon would be leaving for Boston and that Celtics shooting guard Courtney Lee would be coming to Memphis in a trade.

92. Tenn. Prevailing Wage Law Rescinded as of Jan. 1 -

As of Jan. 1, most government building projects in Tennessee no longer have to pay the prevailing wage.

WPLN-FM reports Tennessee’s prevailing wage law was in place for nearly four decades before the General Assembly voted to repeal it last year. The idea behind the law was to make sure every electrician or plumber hired on a government-funded project got paid the going rate.

93. Tennessee Prevailing Wage Law Rescinded as of Jan. 1 -

As of Jan. 1, most government building projects in Tennessee no longer have to pay the prevailing wage.

WPLN-FM reports Tennessee’s prevailing wage law was in place for nearly four decades before the General Assembly voted to repeal it last year. The idea behind the law was to make sure every electrician or plumber hired on a government-funded project got paid the going rate.

94. Wading In With a Few Thoughts to Begin 2014 -

1) A shout-out to Tennessee State Parks’ First Hikes of 2014 program. My wife and 15-year-old son and I spent part of our New Year’s Day hiking 5.8 miles at Fort Pillow State Park in Henning. Great way to step into the New Year. Even if we did order pizza after returning home.

95. Events -

T.O. Fuller State Park will host its first hike of the year Wednesday, Jan. 1, at 9:30 a.m., starting at the visitors center, 1500 Mitchell Road. The 4-mile hike along the Discovery Trail will include a birds of prey program during the break. Cost is free; bring hiking shoes and water. Call 543-7581 or email michael.champagne@tn.gov.

96. Businesses Encouraged to Support LGBT Community -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Tennessee Equality Project is starting a new initiative to encourage business to show support for the state's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Executive director Christopher Sanders says the group is providing business owners with small "Equality Means Business" window stickers to place on their front doors. Sanders said the stickers show that a business agrees to hire employees and serve the public without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.

97. Events -

The 55th AutoZone Liberty Bowl, featuring the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Rice University Owls, will be held Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 3 p.m. at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, 335 S. Hollywood St. Country vocal group Diamond Rio will perform at halftime. Visit autozonelibertybowl.org.

98. Federal Judge Rules NSA Phone Surveillance Legal -

NEW YORK (AP) – The heated debate over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records fell squarely into the courts Friday, when a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the legality of the program and cited its need in the fight against terrorism just days after another federal judge concluded it was likely not constitutional.

99. Events -

Beale Street will host the AutoZone Liberty Bowl parade Monday, Dec. 30, at 3 p.m. on Beale, followed by the Bash on Beale pep rally at 5 p.m. in Handy Park. The parade will include floats, and high school and university marching bands. Both events are free. Visit autozonelibertybowl.org.

100. Banner Year for East Memphis Office Space -

The Memphis office real estate market began showing signs of life in 2013, with the market for Class A office space in the East Memphis submarket fueling the resurgence.

While the city’s overall office market numbers may not appear very strong, the city’s most desired office submarket – East Memphis around Poplar Avenue and Interstate 240 – began showing strong signs of improvement in the second half of the year.