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Editorial Results (free)

1. Green Mountain Consulting Finds Home Along Poplar -

Logistics vendor Green Mountain Consulting wasn’t necessarily looking to buy an office building when it began its search for more office space for expansion.

“We’re not getting into the commercial real estate business because we wanted to be in it; we got into it because we have a company to operate and needed the space,” said Jim Jacobs, one of Green Mountain’s co-founders.

2. Rain Stops, Flood Waters Remain -

Once the rain stopped Sunday, June 29, the National Weather Service at Memphis had recorded seven inches of rain in a 30-hour period. That’s about three and a half inches more rain than Memphis gets on average in the month of June.

3. New Rosenfelt Novel Delivers -

David Rosenfelt has done it again! Kept me in my chair for two whole hours, that is. Once I got to page 100 of “Without Warning,” I had to just go ahead and finish it. You know, to see how it would end.

4. Slowing Chinese Economy Likely to Pinch US, Too -

WASHINGTON (AP) – After watching China narrow the U.S. lead as the world's largest economy, Americans might be tempted to cheer signs that the Chinese economy might be stumbling.

Any schadenfreude would be short-sighted.

5. Defining Luck -

Some people seem to have all the luck. From the outside, they appear to get every promotion, make more money, drive a nicer car and live in a nicer house. It’s like they are surrounded by a ray of sunshine all day. This seems especially true of celebrities, company heads and professional athletes. How do they get so lucky, and when will my luck change?

6. All Signs Point to Breakthrough for ‘Josh’ -

Josh.

Say only that, and everyone in Memphis knows you’re talking about the University of Memphis basketball coach.

A first name. Like Michael, LeBron or Kobe. OK, not exactly like that, but sort of like that because it captures who he is. To say “Pastner” sounds too formal, doesn’t do justice to the gentle, but enthusiastic and optimistic soul – Josh! – that at 19 applied for the Los Angeles Clippers’ head coaching position.

7. Inman Joins Next Day Access as Franchise Manager -

Greg Inman has joined accessibilities solutions provider Next Day Access as franchise manager for the Memphis office, where he will supervise sales, marketing, service management and hiring. Next Day Access offers wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, bathroom safety products and other accessibility products for people with disabilities or accessibility challenges.

8. Race for the Cure Ready at New Home -

Participants in Saturday’s Komen Memphis-MidSouth Race for the Cure will see some significant changes this year.

One of them will be a change of scenery. After 20 years at The Shops of Saddle Creek in Germantown, the race is moving to Carriage Crossing in Collierville.

9. Medical Office Facility Sells for $5.9 Million -

7865 Educators Lane
Memphis, TN 38133
Sale Amount: $5.9 million

Sale Date: Sept. 26, 2013
Buyer: GA HC REIT II Bartlett TN MOB LLC
Seller: APD Investments LLC, Robert S. Biscan, The Colony Group LP and Amir H. Mehrabi
Details: An affiliate of Newport Beach, Calif.-based Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II Inc. has paid $5.9 million for the medical office building at 7865 Educators Lane in Northeast Memphis.

10. Basar Looks to 2014 County Commission Election -

It may be the first time that a Shelby County Commissioner has given public notice of a barbecue.

Commissioner Steve Basar has held four at his house in the year that he’s been on the elected body. And he told political supporters at a fundraiser last week that he has “sunshined” all of them, a shorthand term to describe the public notice required by Tennessee’s open meetings law – or Sunshine Law – for any deliberative gathering of two or more commissioners.

11. Woodchase Apartments Owner Files Loan -

The owner of the 808-unit Woodchase Apartments at 1955 N. Germantown Parkway in Cordova has filed a $17.5 million loan on the property.

12. No. 1 in Blue -

BLUE IS A COOL COLOR. The warm colors are the reds and yellows – daylight, bright edges, clear boundaries, absolute rights and wrongs, the white-hot heat of righteousness and those who glow in it, sunshine on the surface.

13. UPS to Double Presence at Airport -

The world’s second-busiest cargo airport is about to see another increase in freight capacity, helping bolster a facility that has suffered in recent years from fewer passenger flights.

Atlanta-based United Parcel Service will double in size at Memphis International Airport, according to Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority president and CEO Larry Cox, who announced the news Thursday, Sept. 19, at the monthly board of commissioners meeting.

14. Nineteenth Century Club Prepares to Fade Away -

No matter what happens to the old mansion that has been home to the Nineteenth Century Club for most of the 20th century and all 13 years of the 21st century, the club itself is about to go out of existence.

15. Lincoln Charged With Selling Memphis to World -

There is a surge these days in Memphis boosterism, but there may be no one else with their pulse more on what is new and exciting and worth celebrating in the city than Rashana Lincoln.

As director of community engagement for the New Memphis Institute (formerly the Leadership Academy), Lincoln is charged with selling her greatest passion: Memphis.

16. Tennessee Named Top Choice for Retirement -

Retirees considering where to spend their golden years might want to consider Tennessee.

That’s according to Bankrate.com, the personal finance website, which this week ranked Tennessee at the top of its list of the 10 best states for retirement. The site’s analysts crunched numbers in several categories, including cost of living, taxes, health care, crime and climate.

17. In Need of Relief -

Perhaps it is only too appropriate that baseball is played without a clock. For securing the future of the Memphis Redbirds may require extra innings, not to mention extra effort.

The ballpark was on the leading edge of revitalizing Downtown when it opened in 2000 at Third and Union. This, of course, was “B.G.” in Memphis – Before the Grizzlies. Also, before FedExForum. The city was ready for something big and bold – something that showed Memphis could overachieve, not underachieve.

18. Bill Could Change Open Meetings Law -

A Republican lawmaker who last year backed off a bill that would have allowed local officials to hold more closed-door meetings has renewed the effort, saying he’s asked county commissioners to bring him a proposal that has a chance of passing a key subcommittee.

19. Entrepreneurial Spirit Thriving in Memphis -

In recent years, there has been a civic pushback against the relentless downing of Memphis that over a long period of time came to dominate any attempt to have a purposeful discussion about the city’s future.

20. US Citing Security to Censor More Public Records -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration answered more requests from the public to see government records under the Freedom of Information Act last year but more often than ever cited legal exceptions to censor or withhold the material, according to a new analysis by The Associated Press. It frequently cited the need to protect national security and internal deliberations.

21. Renewed Bid Would Dilute Tennessee Open Meetings Law -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A renewed push is under way to get Tennessee lawmakers to allow local official to hold more closed-door meetings.

Williamson County Commissioner Bob Barnwell, who also spearheaded a similar attempt last year, has written to local government colleagues around the state urging them to encourage state lawmakers to pass a bill to allow private meetings among officials as long as a quorum isn't present.

22. Quiz Measures Knowledge of Tennessee Sunshine Law -

Can a government office refuse to turn over public documents? When can elected officials hold meetings that are closed to the public?

The Tennessee Sunshine Quiz is letting Tennesseans test their knowledge of open government issues with an online survey. The quiz measures knowledge of the state’s Public Records Act and Public Meetings Act.

23. Airports and Stock Exchange Reopen After Superstorm Sandy -

NEW YORK (AP) – Two major airports reopened and the New York Stock Exchange got back to business Wednesday, while across the river in New Jersey, National Guardsmen rushed to feed and rescue flood victims two days after Superstorm Sandy struck.

24. Crowder Joins MCCA To Manage New Product Line -

Mack Crowder has joined Memphis Consumer Credit Association as director of business continuity and risk. In his new role, Crowder will manage the start-up and growth of a new product line of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions for MCCA.

25. Consolidation Debate Heats Up as Election Nears -

For more than a year and a half, the reformation of public schools in Shelby County has followed a flow chart all sides in the historic movement agreed were likely moves before everything was decided.

26. Executive Coach Burtch Earns Int’l Designation -

Bill Burtch, founder and president of full-service management consultancy firm Harmony Coaching & Consulting, has received the Professional Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation, becoming the second PCC in Memphis. Burtch, who also holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources designation, focuses his consulting work in executive/team coaching, professional development training and human resources consulting.

27. School Talks Now Turning to New Supt. -

The discussion about who will head the new consolidated Shelby County school system has been under way on an unofficial basis since Memphis voters approved a Memphis City Schools charter surrender in March 2011.

28. School Board To Review Cash Contract -

The countywide school board is about to get started on the question of who will be the superintendent of the consolidated school system to come in August 2013.

School board chairman Billy Orgel has called a special board meeting for June 11 to discuss the employment contract of Memphis City Schools superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash.

29. Late Payments on Mortgages Fall in 1st Qtr. -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The percentage of U.S. homeowners behind on their mortgage payments dropped in the first three months of this year to the lowest level since 2009, according to a new report.

30. Redbirds Reconnection -

One of baseball’s enduring maxims is that anytime you go to a game you’ve got a chance to see something you’ve never seen before.

Apparently, this now applies off the field too, because a few weeks ago a group that included Magic Johnson as the front man paid $2.15 billion to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers from financially troubled owner Frank McCourt.

31. Official Says Decision Puts US Information at Risk -

In the middle of Sunshine Week, a period dedicated to government openness, the Obama administration is urging Congress to change the Freedom of Information Act to keep secret new categories of information that it says have been put a risk by a Supreme Court ruling.

32. Tennessee Public Panels Inconsistent on Notices -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee has at least 200 boards and commissions that do everything from promoting soybeans to licensing dentists to overseeing the state’s colleges and universities. Almost all of them are required to invite the public to attend their meetings, but the way they do that is inconsistent at best.

33. Tenn. Panel Hasn't Posted Regular Meeting Notices -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A state commission that recently was in court over allegations it crafted an immigration policy in secret hasn't regularly posted notices of upcoming meetings on its website during at least the past two years.

34. Harwell Opposes Changes to Tenn. Open Meetings Law -

NASHVILLE (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell has voiced opposition to efforts to water down Tennessee's open meetings law and has called on a Republican colleague to drop a bill seeking to make changes to the current rules.

35. Chen to Discuss Inspirational Story -

Wei Chen, the Memphis-based businessman who last spring became the first Chinese citizen to fly around the world in a single-engine plane, will share his rags-to-riches story with Memphians Tuesday, Jan. 10, during a sold-out lunchtime presentation hosted by the Leadership Academy at its 22 N. Front St. office.

36. Ramsey May Support Sunshine Law Change -

Tennessee Senate speaker Ron Ramsey says he may support changes to Tennessee’s open government laws to allow officials more leeway to discuss official business in private.

37. In Sports, Only Count On Surprise -

Editor’s Note: This is the debut of “The Press Box,” a weekly column looking at the latest happenings in Memphis sports and sports business.

Partly sunny with scattered clouds, a 30 percent chance of an isolated thunderstorm, a 15 percent chance of an NCAA Final Four, and a remote chance of an invitation to the Big East.

38. No Immediate FOIA Changes Expected After Ruling -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — State officials say a western Arkansas judge's ruling against the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act won't have much practical impact in the near future.

Sebastian County Circuit Judge James Cox has declined Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's request that he review his Oct. 4 ruling declaring the criminal penalty of the state sunshine law unconstitutional and McDaniel's request to intervene in the case.

39. New Org. Dedicated to Hearing-Impaired Children’s Needs -

A new nonprofit organization is working to improve the literacy needs and communications skills of hearing-impaired children and their families in the Memphis area.

The Deaf Family Literacy Academy (DFLA) of Memphis, which has been in the pipeline for roughly two years, was founded with the financial support of Tennessee-based Dollar General, which wanted to fund a literacy program in Memphis and Shelby County.

40. Welcoming Home an Ambassador -

Memphian Wei Chen completed a round the world flight Friday at Wilson Air Center at Memphis International Airport.

He began the journey May 22 making stops in 21 countries and more than 40 cities to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

41. Declare Your Independence from Debt Now -

Ray’s Take: Where American patriots fought for independence, today’s Americans are often indentured servants to the tyranny of crippling debt for most of their lives. Don’t think it’s too late for you to make a change. Make a stand for your freedom starting today and make a plan to throw off the shackles of debt forever.

42. Methodist Hospice Set for Opening -

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is set to open its new hospice residence, which will provide comfort and care in a serene, homelike like setting for terminally ill adult and pediatric patients in the final stage of life.

43. Fayette, Tipton Home Sales See Big Drops -

April home sales in Fayette and Tipton counties – down 20 and 38 percent, respectively, from April 2010 – have local agents hanging in there and hoping for the best.

Fayette County saw 44 home sales last month, compared to 55 in April 2010, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. Last month’s total, however, was down 22.8 percent from March’s 57 sales.

44. Revenue Up, Jobs Down at US Casinos in 2010 -

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – After two bad years in which gamblers either stayed home or held onto their wallets more tightly, the nation's casinos began to slowly rebound last year, with revenue increasing slightly even as the number of jobs declined.

45. Unemployment Falls in Two-Thirds of States -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The unemployment rate fell in two-thirds of the nation's states last month, the latest evidence that the strengthening economy is encouraging many employers to boost hiring.

46. Shelby Farms Unveils New Playground -

Wild songbirds provided the music for a springtime scene straight out of a fairy tale, as Snow White – illuminated in sunshine and surrounded by blossoming trees – read a story to a wide-eyed little girl seated at her side.

47. Character Will Always Stack Up -

Stacked against giants. A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the 40th anniversary of the Overton Park/I-40 decision, a uniquely Memphis accomplishment by unique Memphians. Since then, many have told me stories about your involvement or that of those you knew. I’d like to share one. It comes from a good friend, David Sims, a Memphian who now lives in Wilmington, N.C. I’m sharing it not just because it’s good, or because it made me laugh – David does that a lot – but because it points out that the richness of our characters is what gives cities character. Memphis is far richer than most.

48. Shining the Sun Into Local, State Government -

Sunshine Week, which kicked off Monday, started almost a decade ago when 150 proposals in the Florida Legislature threatened to turn the Sunshine State’s model “government in the sunshine” law into Swiss cheese.

49. Not Through Here -

National stop sign.

He’d been down there all alone for hours, his flashlight bouncing off the vaulted ceiling and green-tinted walls far beneath the city, following the course of the old Gayoso Bayou now captured in a gigantic storm drain. You think about history down there. And battery life. You see things few have seen. And you see “no signal” on your cell phone.

50. Layers 2010 Blends Myriad Aussie Flavors -

Man, oh man, can you beat the weather! Is this a false spring? Will winter return, frigid, austere and overbearing, like the high school principal from hell? Oh, who cares, because I have the wine to remind you of balmy days and sunshine no matter what happens to the sweep of jet stream and the vagaries of La Nina.

51. Understanding Chinese Law Key to Biz There, Panel Says -

Memphis companies and entrepreneurs hungry to enter new markets have a vast opportunity waiting for them in China, a land of more than one billion people who increasingly have money to burn.

The Greater Memphis Chamber’s International Business Council hosted a panel discussion this week with local and international experts to help Memphis businesspeople figure out how to grab a piece of that pie. Success in doing so, they said, includes familiarity with Chinese and international law, something that might sound like a no-brainer but might easily trip up the unaware.

52. A Stand-Up Schools Vote -

This school fight is ours to win.

Somebody else started it.

The school bully tried to take our lunch money one too many times, and this time, he got his clock wound.

David Pickler’s plan – pursued for years – to divorce 70 percent of Shelby County’s school children and run off with the 30 percent with the most money has backfired. I call it Pickler’s plan because he’s gone to great lengths to make sure we all see him as the voice and face of Shelby County Schools, and he’s been president of that board since he was just a cucumber. Although he doesn’t seem to want it right now, he richly deserves the credit.

53. Time to Cheer the Past Year -

Perk up, Memphis.

Think of 2010 as a splash of cold water on your face, a big cup of black coffee, a ray of sunshine from the dawn of 2011 in your eyes. Now you’re awake. You can bitch about your aches and pains, call in sick, roll over and pull the covers over your head. Or you can get the hell up, kiss somebody you love and get out there and positively change your city.

54. Good Time to Start A Business in China -

China has become a place where you may increase chances for success.

A non-stop flight to China is 15 hours or “five or six movies” relates John Chen, 36, COO of Sunshine Enterprises of Memphis and a Chinese immigrant. John and partner Wei Chen have 60 workers in the U.S. and 300 in China. He graduated from the University of Memphis and began an import/export business here.

55. Infection Offensive -

Tennessee has lifted a curtain of secrecy, exposing the successes and failures of Memphis hospitals in preventing bloodstream infections.

The likelihood of getting a central line-associated bloodstream infection at some area hospitals is double what it should be. Data compiled by the Tennessee Department of Health in a recent report show some hospitals have a standardized infection ratio (SIR) of 2.0 or more when the national guideline is 1.0.

56. Olive Branch Reels in Another Company -

Olive Branch will add nearly 1,000 jobs thanks to a trio of major economic development deals involving the creation of new plants and a hospital facility.

Even more impressive for the North Mississippi town: the announcements of this impressive job growth came within the span of only a few days last week.

57. Olive Branch Job Growth Up to 1K With Soladigm Addition -

Olive Branch will add nearly 1,000 jobs thanks to a trio of major economic development deals involving the creation of new plants and a hospital facility.

Even more impressive for the North Mississippi town: the announcements of this impressive job growth came within the span of only a few days last week.

58. Father and Daughter Offer ‘Edgy’ Art Exhibition -

Impressionism, with its serene, idyllic imagery, has long been a hallmark of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, but exhibits opening in July are all about powerful contrasts.

“In the Blood: John Torina and Clare Torina,” a father/daughter exhibition that opened on July 2 and runs through Sept. 26, presents startlingly different sides of one artistic family, against a tableau of feminine impressionism.

59. Community Gift -

The floats told the story of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital on Tuesday as it celebrated its 58th birthday with the opening celebration for a new $340 million pediatric medical center.

A giant heart with stitches symbolized the giving spirit of the Le Bonheur Club, the ladies sewing club that led the effort to build the old hospital. Another float featured huge hard hats in tribute to the construction workers who built the new one.

60. Changing Landscape -

Beale Street’s recent announcement that it is welcoming three tenants goes well beyond having a few cool new places to hang out.

It signals a milestone for the two-and-a-half block entertainment district.

61. PROMISES, PROMISES: Records Not So Open with Obama -

WASHINGTON (AP) - One year into its promise of greater government transparency, the Obama administration is more often citing exceptions to the nation's open records law to withhold federal records even as the number of requests for information declines, according to a review by The Associated Press of agency audits about the Freedom of Information Act.

62. Home Sales Rebound Despite Weather Obstacles -

February, the shortest month of the year with only 28 calendar days, is at a natural disadvantage when it comes to home sales.

Toss in this past February’s record cold temperatures coupled with winter storms wreaking havoc on the area, and it probably wouldn’t surprise anyone to see the housing market suffer yet another slow period.

63. MED MCS Funding Swap Proposal Emerges -

Some Memphis City Council members are working with Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford on a deal in which county government would become the single source of local funding for the Memphis school system. In exchange for that the city would contribute some amount of funding to the Regional Medical Center.

64. UPDATE: MED MCS Funding Swap Proposal Surfaces -

Some Memphis City Council members are working with Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford on a deal in which county government would become the single source of local funding for the Memphis school system. In exchange for that the city would contribute some amount of funding to the Regional Medical Center.

65. Wright Medical Buys Arlington Bldg. For Distribution Needs -

11481 Gulf Stream Ave.
Arlington, TN 38002
Sale Amount: $1.6 Million

Sale Date: Oct. 29, 2009
Buyer: Wright Medical Technology Inc.
Seller: Covington Furniture Manufacturing Co.
Details:  Wright Medical Group Inc. has bought a 56,340-square-foot building at 11481 Gulf Stream Ave. near its Arlington campus to increase distribution capacity. Operating in the transaction as Wright Medical Technology Inc., the company paid $1.6 million for the building, which was completed in 1973 and sits on 4.29 acres near the intersection of Tenn. 385 and U.S. 70.

66. SunShine Car Wash Slated For Poplar and Colonial -

SunShine Carwash Partners LLC has bought the parcel at 4831 Poplar Ave. in East Memphis with plans to build a tunnel wash facility there. The company on Oct. 30 paid $500,000 for the property from BCH Investments LLC and on the same day filed a $1 million loan through Landmark Community Bank.

67. 36 Tenn. Counties Lack Web Site, Survey Finds -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - More than a third of Tennessee counties don't have their own Web site, according to a survey by a nonprofit conservative group.

The Sam Adams Alliance reviewed county Web sites in 36 states, assessing whether they offered information about budgets, upcoming meetings, elected and administrative officials, audits, zoning, contracts, lobbying, public records and taxes.

68. GlaxoSmithKline Changes Doctor Training Policy -

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC said Monday it is making major changes in its funding of educational programs for doctors, reducing the number it sponsors and switching its focus to independent ones with balanced information.

69. Fed's Steps to Aid Banking System Raise Risks, Too -

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve's bold steps to prevent the banking industry from collapsing last year have injected new dangers into the financial system.

Analysts and government officials fear that the nation's biggest banks will be emboldened to resume excessive risk-taking on the belief that the Fed will be there – again – to prevent them from collapsing.

70. A River Runs Through Us – Past, Present, Future -

Are we more than the places our roads take us?

And must our success as a city always be defined as an ever-growing number of people living on the same amount of land?

The renewal of the Wolf River and the land bordering it suggests there can be destinations in the place we call home that are not on any road and that have the capacity to remind us there are forces bigger than man.

71. Redevelopment Ahead for Poplar-Colonial Intersection -

Change is coming to a busy East Memphis intersection, where a car wash will soon be built as the first piece of a larger redevelopment plan.

SunShine Car Wash is planning a new facility at the southeast corner of Poplar Avenue and Colonial Road, on land the company’s owners recently acquired. Last month a group called BCH Investments LLC bought three parcels – 4811, 4825 and 4831 Poplar Ave. – for $1.4 million.

72. Bernanke Says He Didn't Bully BofA to Buy Merrill -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke faced an unusual political trial Thursday and disputed accusations that he pressured Bank of America to acquire Merrill Lynch in a deal that cost taxpayers $20 billion.

73. Medical Device Group Spent $364K Lobbying in Q1 -

The medical device industry’s chief advocacy group spent $364,638 lobbying the federal government in the first quarter of the year, according to a recent disclosure report.

The Advanced Medical Technology Association, whose members include Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc., whose Spinal and Biologics Business is based in Memphis, lobbied on legislation affecting a range of devices, from pacemakers to catheters to artificial hips.

74. Jones Orchard Offers Taste of Country Living -

Juanita Jones stood in the March sunshine, inspected a branch on one of the last peach trees to blossom and wished for a warm April.

75. Shabazz Helps Children Discover Books -

Akiba Shabazz lures children into books with garden seeds, celebrity hairstyles, paper airplanes and stories.

Her approach varies according to the individual child. The children’s interests and ages vary, but the one thing they have in common is they are inner-city youths hungry for knowledge and curious about opportunities.

76. Sept. Commercial Sales Drop 18% -

Shelby County’s commercial real estate market was highlighted by a wide variety – but a low volume – of transactions in September, revealing a continued slowdown because of the credit crisis and overall economic slowdown.

77. Honda's Hydrogen Car is Smooth But Has Hindrances -

WASHINGTON (AP) - For years, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have been the far-off technological bets of the auto industry – the car that holds the promise of gasoline-free driving.

Honda Motor Co. is starting to give a small number of drivers a glimpse into the future.

78. Extensive Rehab Planned For Frayser Apartments -

2881 Range Line Road
Memphis, TN 38127
Permit Amount: $2.6 Million

Project Cost: $2.6 million
Permit Date: Applied September 2008
Completion: Spring 2009
Owner: Rynard Properties Ridgecrest LP
Tenant: Rynard Properties Ridgecrest LP
Contractor: R.L. Rynard Construction Inc.

79. Carwashes, Oil Change Shops Sell for $2.9M -

Mark C. Johnson and Timothy A. Michelotti have sold the remainder of their oil change/carwash portfolio to Sunshine Carwash Partners LLC for $2.9 million. This latest round of transactions included the GTX 10-Minute Oil Change shops at 1675 Union Ave. and 6975 U.S. 64 (Stage Road). Both locations also had Sunshine Carwash franchises on site.

80. Fannie, Freddie Deal Helps Some Borrowers, Not All -

NEW YORK (AP) - Few outside Washington and Wall Street may understand what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do, but the government's bailout of the two will likely be felt in cities and suburbs across the country.

81. June Commercial Sales Down 31 Percent -

New month, same story for Shelby County’s commercial real estate market.

Following a recent trend, June’s sales total was salvaged by a high-profile, high-dollar multifamily transaction that kept the commercial numbers afloat while other property types foundered.

82. Weekend Powwow Addresses State Employee Cuts -

State House members held private meetings over the weekend to discuss Gov. Phil Bredesen’s proposal to cut 2,000 state employees through voluntary buyouts.

Democratic House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh talked about the weekend discussions during a House committee meeting on Monday. Also attending the secret budget meetings were state Comptroller John Morgan, Treasurer Dale Sims and Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz.

83. Primacy Sinks Roots Deeper in Asia -

Thanks to Asia's manufacturing volume and Memphis' distribution network, plenty of links exist between these two faraway places, but the latest display of their connection doesn't involve the movement of products throughout the world.

84. Dated Tennessee Law Not Sufficient For Dealing With E-mails -

NASHVILLE (AP) - In Tennessee, the law treats government electronic communication just like any other public record. With some exceptions, e-mails dealing with public business should be open to the public - at least in theory.

85. Sunnier Skies Could Be Ahead for Sunshine Law -

National Sunshine Week began Sunday as a time to reflect on the value of open government. It also kicked off "March Madness," but Tennesseans soon could have something more to celebrate than the number of teams in a basketball tournament.

86. Newby's Owner Weathers BMI Suit - For the most part, the last few years have been good to Todd Adams, the owner of a popular college bar along the Highland Strip.

Newby's, the bar he bought in 1997, is sometimes referred to by its owner and customers as "the college bar you never graduate from."

That's a spirit he's tried to maintain and cultivate at the University of Memphis area hotspot, and it's partly the reason he's now fighting a group of lawyers and music industry executives who filed a federal lawsuit last year against Newby's.

He's also fighting to keep his business afloat, even though the toll from the
lawsuit has led him to consider filing bankruptcy.


'Really sad affair'

Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), a nonprofit group that licenses the music of songwriters and publishers, brought the suit against Adams in federal court.

Any business where music is played or performed, such as a restaurant, hotel or airport lounge, is required to buy a license from a group such as BMI. For an annual fee, the license gives those businesses the performing rights to the 6.5 million songs in the BMI catalog.

Newby's owned a BMI license several years ago but doesn't anymore. For more than a decade, Adams has maintained that the music industry group changed the terms of his license agreement after he thought it was already finalized.

Among the factors that determine a business' yearly license fee is its capacity. Adams said Newby's legal occupancy is 132, but he says BMI records peg that number at 600.

The answer given by a BMI representative when asked the reason for that discrepancy is that disagreements over occupancy are common between business owners and BMI.

Newby's currently employs fewer than 20 people, and Adams scrapes to pay the bills. But he said BMI, which has a branch office in the 10 Music Square East building on Nashville's famed Music Row, has steadfastly refused to negotiate with him.

"I've been trying to come up with a reasonable payment for them - I've been doing that since day one," Adams said. "They have never wanted to do anything at all except sue me and make tens of thousands of dollars. It's just a really, really sad affair."


What it amounts to

For Adams, that situation doesn't appear to get any better. The lawsuit doesn't mention a specific amount of money the music group is seeking.

But Jerry Bailey, director of media relations for BMI, said there is a statutory range BMI can request for in damages, which can reach as high as $30,000 per song.

If the infringement is determined to be willful, the costs could get up to $150,000 per song. In Newby's case, court documents on file in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee record 21 instances of copyright infringement.

"Generally, BMI doesn't ask for damages at that willful infringement level," Bailey said. "One reason is that damages at that level would definitely put most businesses out of business if there are multiple songs involved, and it's never been our intention to put anyone out of business. We simply want to license them.

"If they've caused us significant legal costs and there are lost revenues involved, then we always ask for enough to recover our damages, in addition to court costs and legal fees. That's what it really amounts to."


Formidable foe

That formula for damages, though, should be viewed in the context of another facet of BMI's operation - its near-perfect batting average. Bailey could not recall offhand a similar copyright infringement lawsuit the group has lost.

An entire floor in the BMI building in Nashville is occupied by a bank of computers performing research that's part of the process of tracking unlicensed businesses such as Newby's. The group has several tactics it uses to build a case against an offending business, such as sending an anonymous researcher on-site to collect evidence.

Those researchers show up and order from the menu, hang out, socialize - all while secretly recording the details of who exactly is playing which copyrighted songs.

That's what happened in Newby's case. A BMI researcher was in the crowd on New Year's Eve in 2006 noting that the audience was listening to performances of songs such as "Get Down Tonight" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band.

"Better than 90 percent of these cases get settled before they go to trial," Bailey said. "If they go to trial, it can be extremely expensive for a business owner should they lose."


The business owner might be on the losing end in that scenario, but so would another party. Adams said his bar's performance space fills an important need for young bands just starting out, some of which may be in the process of distributing their music and trying to get their first radio play.

Newby's also stands apart from other Memphis venues such as TJ Mulligan's, where he said it's more common to hear bands whose set lists are comprised almost exclusively of cover material.

"What has Newby's done except offer a great place for artists to play in Memphis?" Adams said. "Ninety-nine percent of the artists here play their own music. Sure, maybe half a dozen times a year someone will play a cover song. But are you kidding me? You're going to charge me $12,000 or something a year for that?"

Personally and professionally, Adams ought to be a happy and comfortable man. His business remains a popular concert venue for up-and-coming bands more than a decade after he first took it over. It sits at the heart of the neighborhood surrounding the University of Memphis, an area that's the focus of a broad revitalization effort.

Adams and his wife, Stephanie, a nurse, got married four years ago. The protracted court fight, however, has taken a toll on the bar owner.

"We're good people over here," he said. "We're not selling to minors, breaking the law. I'm just trying to make it through another year, hopefully until this university district gets developed. And then it's going to explode over here and just be amazing."


...

87. Term Limits, Fullilove Outburst Highlight Charter Commission -

It's not unusual for politics to involve emotions. But Thursday's meeting of the Memphis Charter Commission tested the limits of both. It also tested the state's open meetings law as city Attorney Elbert Jefferson sought for the second consecutive meeting to talk privately with the seven-member commission about legal issues.

88. Decline in Residential Sales Not Dampening DeSoto’s Momentum -

DeSoto County is by no means insulated from the nationwide housing crisis, but the booming community south of Memphis is weathering the storm as well as - if not better than - any place in the Mid-South.

89. New Lawsuit Could Take Big Bite Out of Big Tax Revenue Generator -

The 67-acre property off Germantown Parkway that's home to the Woodchase Apartment complex is one pricey piece of land. Its 2007 property assessment - $12.8 million - was one of the largest in Shelby County.

90. Time Matters In Desire for Change To Sunshine Law -

Too many items on the agenda and not enough meeting time. That's the bottom line rationale for a call by most on the Shelby County Board of Commissioners to change the Tennessee Open Meetings Law, also known informally as the Sunshine Law.

91. Panel Votes to LegalizePrivate Government Meetings -      A state legislative panel is recommending members of local government bodies be allowed to meet privately in small numbers to discuss public business and even decide how they will vote.
     

92. Some Changes Approved to Strengthen Open Records Laws -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to clarify and strengthen open records laws squeaked by on a 9-8 vote Tuesday in a study committee on open government.

Nashville attorney George Barrett, appointed by the Tennessee Municipal League, proposed not changing the law but rather allowing the state comptroller's office to study whether records were improperly being denied to the public.

93. Commission Distances Itself From Salton Cos. -

Shelby County Commissioners have taken at least a temporary step back from a construction contractor whose name has surfaced in the most recent federal corruption investigation.

The two-week delay this week in approving a $274,422 contract with Salton Cos. LLC came less than a week after former County Commissioner Bruce Thompson was indicted on federal extortion and mail fraud charges.

94. Lawmakers To Weigh in On Open Meetings -

A committee formed by Tennessee state lawmakers to suggest changes to the state's open meetings law will vote on several proposals Nov. 27 and 28. Revisions to the law that emerge from the two-day session then will be presented to the full state legislature in January.

95. Burchett Agrees To Introduce Bill Shoring Up Sunshine Law -

KNOXVILLE (AP) - A legislative panel has partially retreated from an earlier recommendation that would weaken the state's "Sunshine Law," which governs when meetings of government officials must be open to the public.

96. Proposed Changes Could Weaken Open Meetings Law -

NASHVILLE (AP) - What started as a legislative effort to strengthen the law that prevents local government officials from meeting in private could end up weakening the law instead.

Tennessee's Sunshine Law currently prohibits local government officials from meeting behind closed doors to conduct public business, but there is no penalty for breaking the law.

97. Local Companies Make 'Fastest-Growing' List -

For the first time, Inc. magazine and its Internet counterpart, Inc.com, have published a list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies, which together produced $194 billion in revenue in 2006 or about 1.5 percent of the national gross domestic product.

98. Mayoral Candidates Put Efforts Into Early Vote -

If rain is the enemy of election day turnouts then a sunny late summer day might be the curse of early voting efforts.

Early voting in advance of the Oct. 4 Memphis city elections opened Friday at 15 sites with 4,290 voters showing up. The next day, which saw sunshine and tens of thousands of people jam the Cooper-Young Festival in Midtown, the turnout was less than half that - 2,040 early voters.

99. Ethics Panel Wants to Meet Privately to Discuss Open Records - NASHVILLE (AP) - State ethics commissioners, charged with making state government more accountable and ethical, want to meet privately with a representative of the state attorney general's office to discuss open records and open meetings policies.

100. Celeb Trademark Issues at Root of Three Separate Lawsuits -

Call it the battle of the brands. Since late April, three recognizable, high-profile Memphis music entities - Newby's, Sun Studio and Elvis Presley Enterprises - all have gone to court within weeks of each other in a series of unrelated cases that all have one thing in common.