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Editorial Results (free)

1. Tennessee Joins Multistate Lawsuit Over Immigration -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee is joining a multistate lawsuit seeking to halt President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, state Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced Monday.

2. Lane Closures Halted on Tennessee Roads for Holidays -

The state Transportation Department is halting all lane closures on interstates and state highways over the holidays.

According to a news release, the department expects 2 million drivers of Tennessee roadways over Christmas and New Year.

3. Gas Tax Increase Gaining Momentum in Tennessee -

Momentum is mounting for a possible proposal to raise the state’s gas tax for the first time in 25 years.

Gov. Bill Haslam told The Tennessean he thinks a legislative proposal on the issue is close and could be introduced in the next General Assembly, which convenes in January.

4. Area Hospitals Penalized for Avoidable Complications -

Regional One Health and Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis are among the 721 hospitals that the federal government is penalizing for having high rates of infections and other patient injuries.

Baptist Memorial and Regional One were among the hospitals that showed up on a list published by Kaiser Health News (KHN). Two other area hospitals, Methodist Healthcare in Fayette County, and Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven, also are being penalized.

5. Tennessee Part of T-Mobile ‘Cramming’ Settlement -

Tennessee consumers who got a $9.99 a month charge on their T-Mobile bills for “premium” text messages they never requested will be part of a $90 million settlement announced Friday between the phone company and all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.

6. UTHSC Researchers Awarded $1 Million Grant -

Two researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Ilsa Schwarz, professor emeritus, and Jillian McCarthy-Maeder, assistant professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, have received a $1 million grant from the Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

7. Tenn. Opposes Supreme Court Gay Marriage Hearing -

The Tennessee attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let a ruling stand that upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

The November decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals marked a rare victory for gay marriage opponents. But because it conflicts with decisions in other circuits, legal observers believe it could push the Supreme Court to take up the issue of gay marriage, possibly as soon as this spring.

8. Council Approves More Rape Kit Testing Funds -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Dec. 16, $1.5 million more in city funding for rape kit testing. The money comes from higher-than-anticipated revenue collections on the city’s tax on mixed drinks.

9. Akbari Introduces Bill to End ASD Phase-Ins -

Democratic state Rep. Raumesh Akbari of Memphis has introduced a bill that would bar the state-run Achievement School District from phased-in takeovers of schools a grade or two per school year.

The bill, filed for the upcoming session of the Tennessee Legislature, which begins Jan. 13, would reinforce what has been the practice of Shelby County Schools for the current school year. The Shelby County Schools board voted earlier this year to close schools the ASD was to take over a grade at a time.

10. Haslam Reaches Deal to Expand Medicaid -

Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday, Dec. 15, that he has reached a deal with federal officials to expand Medicaid in Tennessee after months of discussions.

The Republican's administration is touting it as an alternative deal with federal officials. The program, dubbed Insure Tennessee, would provide coverage for the state's uninsured without creating new taxes for Tennesseans.

11. UTHSC Researcher Wins Breast Cancer Study Grant -

Gustavo Miranda-Carboni, assistant professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a one-year grant totaling $158,232 from the National Cancer Institute, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health, to study triple negative breast cancer.

12. Yamaha Jet Boat to Grow Tenn. Plant, Add 150 Jobs -

Yamaha Jet Boat Manufacturing USA is expanding its production facility in East Tennessee, creating 150 new jobs.

The company announced it will spend about $18 million to buy a 36,000-square-foot building next to its current plant in Vonore that will be used for offices and production.

13. UofM Faculty Express Concerns About Program -

Faculty members at the University of Memphis say they have concerns about a new teacher training program under consideration.

The Commercial Appeal reports the newspaper and faculty obtained Relay Graduate School of Education's 448-page application last month through the Freedom of Information Act. The university has offered Relay free classroom and office space for the program that it proposes to start next summer.

14. Tenn. Funding Board Projects Lower Growth -

The State Funding Board projects that Tennessee revenue growth will slow down in the upcoming budget year.

Under revenue estimates adopted by the panel on Tuesday, the state's general fund would grow 2.6 percent to 3 percent in the budget year that begins on July 1. That compares with a revised projection for the current budget year's collections to grow 3.85 percent to 4.2 percent.

15. Short stay? Travel Site Also Lauds Knoxville Area -

People with an eye for inexpensive yet great vacation or short getaway destinations are likely to land in Knoxville.

Knoxville ranks ninth in the nation on hotel search trivago.com for Best Value City with a ranking of 91.59, coming in between Springfield, Mo., and Little Rock, Ark.

16. Knoxville Area a Magnet for Retirees -

Retired air traffic controller Sterling King moved to Knoxville when his brother needed him. Five years later, he has fallen in love with the area and everything it has to offer.

Moderate weather, without the bone-chilling Northern winters or the searing heat of Florida summers, is a big draw, along with its location in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, says King, 58, who migrated from Dayton, Ohio, to Raleigh, North Carolina, and then to Knoxville.

17. Immigrants Find Room to Grow in Nashville's Public Gardens -

With the growing season wrapped up for winter and the temperature hovering at 45 degrees on a recent Sunday, the community garden off Wedgewood Avenue looked to be draped in a brown afghan with just a few patches of green peeking through.

18. Clarksville, Fort Campbell Still Big Draw for Veterans -

Clarksville has become one of the nation’s boom towns, thanks largely to retirees from military service.

Veterans have flocked to the area in recent years for the shopping and health care benefits available at Ft. Campbell.

19. More Veterans Calling Middle Tennessee Home -

When Scott Ledermann, a military health care recruiter in Nashville, retired from the Army in October, it didn’t take him long to land a job with a local company.

Nashville-based HCA Healthcare, a company that has made hiring veterans a priority, scooped him up in no time. Now, he’s working in human relations at the company’s operations center in Donelson.

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21. Vols’ Barnett Faces Nation’s Best in Iowa’s Scherff -

KNOXVILLE – Derek Barnett is spending most of the Christmas holidays away from his Nashville home, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

22. Jake Locker: Nice Guy Who Deserved Better -

Jake Locker’s time with the Tennessee Titans has quietly come to an end. Sure, he’s officially a Titan until March, but Sunday’s shoulder injury vs. the Jets – and his upcoming surgery – ends a star-crossed four-year run.

23. This week in Memphis history: December 19-25 -

2009: On the front page of The Daily News, the Metro Charter Commission, drafting a proposed charter for a consolidated Memphis-Shelby County government made an early decision in its draft that their proposal would not include a consolidation of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools.
It was the first decision on a charter issue by the group since it was formed that October. The reasoning was to sidestep what was judged to be the most controversial part of any consolidation. Nevertheless, the proposed charter was still crushed in the referendum that followed in the county outside Memphis and it only narrowly passed in the city of Memphis. The charter had to win approval in both to consolidate.

24. Evolving Identity -

Some of the most telling views of Memphis are the ones many of us see for only seconds at a time as we drive on viaducts that take us and our cars just above the treetops and rooftops of older neighborhoods interrupted by the roadways.

25. TBI Suspends Involvement in 24th Judicial District -

DECATURVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director has suspended the agency's investigations in the five-county judicial district where the high-profile homicide of a 20-year-old nursing student is being prosecuted, saying the decision comes from an argument with District Attorney General Matt Stowe.

26. Troubled Youth Center Making Improvements -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A troubled Middle Tennessee youth detention center has increased security and is making changes to its behavior-modification program in hopes of preventing future rioting and escapes, officials said Thursday.

27. A Present for the Kids -

GIVE THANKS. This Christmas, our country has given our kids a chance. As a county, we had a chance to do it for ourselves but local government wouldn’t fund it and local citizens wouldn’t pay for it. As a state, our governor had to be talked into asking for it and our Legislature would rather not talk about asking for help at all.

28. St. Louis Fed Memphis Executive Stepping Down -

After getting her master’s degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis, Martha Perine Beard joined the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis as a management trainee in 1971.

29. Conn’s Inc. to Open Second Store in Memphis -

Specialty retailer Conn’s Inc. will open a second store in Memphis, the second of possibly three stores the Texas-based home appliances and furnishings chain plans to open in Tennessee.

30. Target, Cummins Awarded Tax Breaks -

Two companies won approval Wednesday, Dec. 17, for tax incentives for projects that will create around 1,400 jobs.

The board of the city-county Economic Development Growth Engine approved 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, incentives for Target and Cummins Inc.

31. Target, Cummins Awarded 15-Year Tax Breaks -

Two companies won approval Wednesday, Dec. 17, for tax incentives for projects that will create around 1,200 jobs.

The board of the city-county Economic Development Growth Engine approved 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, incentives for both Target and Cummins Inc.

32. St. Louis Fed Memphis Executive Retiring in 2015 -

Martha Perine Beard is retiring next year as regional executive of the Memphis branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

33. High Court to Decide on Secrecy of Execution Team -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday in a legal challenge from death row inmates that has already postponed two scheduled executions.

Eleven inmates have sued the state over its lethal injection and electrocution procedures, claiming they are unconstitutional.

34. Haslam Names Candice McQueen New Ed Commissioner -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam has named a top education official at Lipscomb University to be the next Education Department commissioner.

The Republican governor announced Wednesday that he's chosen Candice McQueen. She will replace Kevin Huffman, who announced last month that he's leaving for the private sector.

35. Statewide Coalition Forms to Support Medicaid Plan -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – More than 80 business, health care and civic groups have formed the Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee to support Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to offer health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans.

36. Hemlock Permanently Closing $1.2 Billion Plant in Tennessee -

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Hemlock Semiconductor Group is permanently closing its idled polysilicon plant in Clarksville, citing global trade disputes that have led to an oversupply of the compound used in solar energy panels.

37. Council Approves More Rape Kit Testing Funds -

Memphis City Council members approved on Tuesday, Dec. 16, $1.25 million more in city funding for rape kit testing. The money comes from higher-than-anticipated revenue collections on the city’s tax on mixed drinks.

38. Discussion Remains in Schools Settlement -

The Memphis City Council still has a pretty strong case that its approval of a settlement between the city and Shelby County Schools over a six-year-old funding dispute will be necessary at some point.

39. Health Leaders: Improvement Possible -

Tennessee’s place in the 2014 America’s Health Rankings makes one thing very clear: There’s a lot of room for improvement.

Tennessee ranked 42nd among all states in the annual analysis of the health of the nation conducted by UnitedHealth Foundation.

40. City Council Approves Pension Changes -

Memphis City Council members put to rest Tuesday, Dec. 16, at least the City Hall portion of the debate about city employee benefits and the liability of those benefits by approving changes to the city’s pension plan.

41. Wharton and Schools Settle Six-Year Funding Dispute Without Council -

It appears Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and the Shelby County Schools board have settled the six-year dispute over city funding for schools without the Memphis City Council.

But the fast-moving compromise will likely require a council vote to fund it.

42. Greenfield Voted to Lead Veterinary Dental College -

Dr. Barden Greenfield has been unanimously voted president-elect for the American Veterinary Dental College. In 2009, Greenfield started Your Pet Dentist, the umbrella that incorporates his involvement in Memphis Veterinary Specialists, Nashville Specialists and the Animal Emergency and Specialty Clinic of Little Rock. He has been on the AVDC board for three years, serving as chair of the PR Committee and as a member of the Credentials Committee.

43. Robin Williams Tops 2014 List of Google Searches -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Robin Williams' suicide seared into the world's collective mindset more than anything else this year, based on what people were searching for on Google.

44. Panel Hears Testimony on EPA Regulations -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee Republican senator has joined lawmakers in other states who have filed legislation that seeks to curtail federal regulation.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville discussed the resolution on Tuesday during a special joint committee meeting on the effect of Environmental Protection Agency regulations in Tennessee.

45. Yamaha Jet Boat to Grow Tennessee Plant, Add 150 Jobs -

Yamaha Jet Boat Manufacturing USA is expanding its production facility in East Tennessee, creating 150 new jobs.

The company announced it will spend about $18 million to buy a 36,000-square-foot building next to its current plant in Vonore that will be used for offices and production.

46. Tennessee Opposes Supreme Court Gay Marriage Hearing -

The Tennessee attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let a ruling stand that upheld the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The November decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals marked a rare victory for gay marriage opponents. But because it conflicts with decisions in other circuits, legal observers believe it could push the Supreme Court to take up the issue of gay marriage, possibly as soon as this spring.

47. Tennessee Funding Board Projects Lower Growth -

The State Funding Board projects that Tennessee revenue growth will slow down in the upcoming budget year.

Under revenue estimates adopted by the panel on Tuesday, the state’s general fund would grow 2.6 percent to 3 percent in the budget year that begins on July 1. That compares with a revised projection for the current budget year’s collections to grow 3.85 percent to 4.2 percent.

48. Ad Retargeting May Spoil Holiday Surprise -

When you shop Amazon for a product and then see that same product in a Facebook ad days later, it is certainly not a coincidence. It is a marketing strategy called ad retargeting, and it is dominating online advertising.

49. From Sweden to Memphis -

Swedish retail giant Ikea will open a 225-employee store in the Wolfchase Galleria area in 2016.

The furniture retailer will locate the 269,000-square-foot store on a 35-acre site in Memphis near Interstate 40 and Germantown Parkway.

50. UTHSC Researcher Wins Breast Cancer Study Grant -

Gustavo Miranda-Carboni, assistant professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a one-year grant totaling $158,232 from the National Cancer Institute, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health, to study triple negative breast cancer.

51. Events -

Madonna Learning Center will present its 2014 Christmas play, “Home for the Holidays,” Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Germantown Performing Arts Center Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, 1801 Exeter Road. Tickets are $5. Visit gpacweb.com.

52. Ikea to Open First Tennessee Store in Memphis -

Swedish furniture retailer Ikea will open its first Tennessee store in Memphis next year, according to several people familiar with the effort and confirmed by Ikea representatives Monday.

The company and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. will announce the store Tuesday, Dec. 16, according to several sources. A statement to the media Monday night read: "Ikea, the world's leading home furnishings retailer, will announce plans on Tuesday morning for a proposed Memphis store. The proposed Ikea Memphis would be the first Ikea store in either Tennessee, Arkansas or Mississippi and would increase the Swedish retailer's presence in the Southeastern U.S."

53. Haslam Reaches Agreement to Expand Medicaid in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday that he has reached a deal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee after more than a year of discussions with federal officials.

The Republican's administration touted the plan as an alternative deal with federal officials. The two-year pilot program, dubbed Insure Tennessee, would provide coverage for the state's uninsured without creating new taxes for Tennesseans.

54. Tourism Commissioner Leaving Haslam Administration -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam says his tourism commissioner, Susan Whitaker, is leaving his administration after serving in that position for 12 years.

55. Events -

The 13th annual Porter-Leath Toy Truck will collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations Monday, Dec. 15, to Dec. 19 from 7 p.m. to 7 p.m. at WMC-TV Action News 5, 1960 Union Ave., and Bud Davis Cadillac, 5433 Poplar Ave. Donations from both locations will benefit children and families served by Porter-Leath. Visit porterleath.org.

56. Haslam Addresses Public Safety Summit -

While there's been progress in making Tennessee a safer state, much remains to be done, particularly on domestic violence, Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday.

The Republican governor kicked off a public safety summit in Nashville that also focused on Tennessee's sentencing laws, homeland security concerns, drug abuse and trafficking and other issues.

57. UTHSC Researcher Wins Prostate Cancer Grant -

Subhash Chauhan, a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a three-year grant totaling $562,500 from the Department of Defense to research new therapies for advanced-stage prostate cancer.

58. Senate Confirms TVA Board Nominees -

The U.S. Senate has confirmed two nominees to serve on the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public utility.

Media report the Senate held a roll call vote on the nominations of Democrats Ron Walter and Virginia Lodge after some Republicans objected to all Democrats being appointed to the board. The measure passed Tuesday night 86-12.

59. Four Charter Schools Prepare To Close -

Four charter schools operating in Memphis will close at the end of the current school year under terms of a recently enacted Tennessee law.

The law requires the closure of any charter school that is ranked in the bottom 5 percent of schools statewide as measured by state test scores. The closings come without any decision by the local school board that authorized the charters.

60. Commission Approves Greenline Contracts -

Shelby County Commissioners approved a contract Monday, Dec. 8, buying the section of the old CSX rail line from Mullins Station Road to the old Cordova train station for $2.5 million and a companion contract to build a 4.1-mile-long extension of the Shelby Farms Greenline on it for $2.2 million.

61. Tennessee Gets Grant to Expand Preschool -

Federal officials have awarded a $17.5 million grant to Tennessee to expand preschool services.

A statement from the U.S. Education Department on Wednesday says Tennessee is one of 13 states receiving funding from the Preschool Development Grants program to expand services. Five other states received grants for preschool development.

62. Home Builders Group Welcomes New President -

The West Tennessee Home Builders Association celebrated the inauguration of incoming board president David Goodwin Jr. at the organization’s annual gala Thursday, Dec. 4. The association also celebrated several achievements and milestones at the gala.

63. Kelsey, DeBerry Sponsor Profiling Legislation -

The same week that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Memphis pushing a ban on profiling by federal law enforcement agencies, two Tennessee legislators from Shelby County have filed legislation that would require all law enforcement agencies in the state to put a similar policy in writing.

64. Airport Hires Manager to Increase Air Service -

Memphis International Airport has hired a former American Airlines network planner to help increase service at the airport.

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has tapped Will Livsey to serve as its new Senior Manager of Air Service Research and Development.

65. Stars Flock to Music City’s Ernest Tubb Record Shop -

When Bob Dylan drops by, he generally goes right for “a handful” of Hank and Carter Family recordings, although on one Lower Broadway afternoon the old man from the North Country also is reported to have purchased a “Larry the Cable Guy” DVD.

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67. Old Friends Conspire to Get Tennessee a Better Bowl -

For all the tough times University of Tennessee football has endured in recent years, a turn for the better was bound to happen.

It certainly did early this week.

UT’s invitation to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville – now called the TaxSlayer Bowl – was a stunning coup for a 6-6 team that seemed destined for anything but a January bowl on the beach.

68. Titans’ On-, Off-Field Decisions Defy Imagination -

When the Tennessee Titans hired Ken Whisenhunt in January, it brought a breath of fresh air to an organization that sorely needed a change.

But it hasn’t taken long for that breath of fresh air to quickly become stale and toxic.

69. Ramsey: Medicaid Expansion ‘Sellable’ in Tennessee -

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says that if fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam succeeds in his negotiations with President Barack Obama’s administration on a special Tennessee deal for Medicaid expansion, the result could be “sellable” to skeptical state lawmakers.

70. University of Memphis Faculty Express Concerns About Program -

Faculty members at the University of Memphis say they have concerns about a new teacher training program under consideration.

The Commercial Appeal reports the newspaper and faculty obtained Relay Graduate School of Education’s 448-page application last month through the Freedom of Information Act. The university has offered Relay free classroom and office space for the program that it proposes to start next summer.

71. Akbari Introduces Bill to End ASD Phase-Ins -

Democratic state Rep. Raumesh Akbari of Memphis has introduced a bill that would bar the state-run Achievement School District from phased-in takeovers of schools a grade or two per school year.

The bill, filed for the upcoming session of the Tennessee Legislature, which begins Jan. 13, would reinforce what has been the practice of Shelby County Schools for the current school year. The Shelby County Schools board voted earlier this year to close schools the ASD was to take over a grade at a time.

72. Events -

The 13th annual Porter-Leath Toy Truck will collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations Monday, Dec. 15, to Dec. 19 from 7 p.m. to 7 p.m. at WMC-TV Action News 5, 1960 Union Ave., and Bud Davis Cadillac, 5433 Poplar Ave. Donations from both locations will benefit children and families served by Porter-Leath. Visit porterleath.org.

73. Competition, Cooperation Part of Regionalism Mix -

When a group of mayors with common borders get together, it is usually a sympathetic gathering of chief executives where there is much comparing of notes.

The items range from sewer projects and common problems to relationships with legislative bodies from aldermen to council members.

74. Community Hospitals Becoming Endangered Species -

The state of Mississippi has 110 hospitals and three-fourths of them are, as you might expect, in rural areas.

“And 56 of them have fewer than 50 beds,” said Mendal Kemp, director of the Center for Rural Health at the Mississippi Hospital Association.

75. Making a Statement -

One of the regional banking players in Memphis is Jackson, Miss.-based Trustmark Bank, which took a big step that made a statement in Memphis this year.

76. Kelsey, DeBerry Sponsor Profiling Legislation -

The same week that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Memphis pushing a ban on profiling by federal law enforcement agencies, two Tennessee legislators from Shelby County have filed legislation that would require all law enforcement agencies in the state to put a similar policy in writing.

77. Airport Hires Manager to Increase Air Service -

Memphis International Airport has hired a former American Airlines network planner to help increase service at the airport.

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has tapped Will Livsey to serve as its new Senior Manager of Air Service Research and Development.

78. Events -

The Booksellers at Laurelwood will host Perre Coleman Magness, author of “Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook” for a discussion and book signing Saturday, Dec. 13, at 2 p.m. at the bookstore, 387 Perkins Road Extended. Visit thebooksellersatlaurelwood.com.

79. Higher Ed Officials Discuss Funding Outlook -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Faced with flat revenue projections, higher education officials will have to find ways to cover costs at their institutions because the state won’t be able to help them anytime soon, a top economist said Wednesday.

80. Back to Normal -

NORMAL. AGAIN. Last week, Bob Loeb and I took a stroll through the 1950s in the reality of 2014.

81. A Tale of Two Projects -

At 7.7 miles, it takes about 12 minutes to make the drive between the Mid-South Fairgrounds and Graceland.

However, the political fortunes of each couldn’t be more different.

A financing plan for a long-delayed expansion of the Graceland campus to develop all 120 acres owned by Elvis Presley Enterprises and amassed since the mid-1990s cleared the Shelby County Commission this week and the Memphis City Council a week before.

82. Target Bringing 400-Job Project to Memphis -

Memphis is poised to land hundreds of new jobs and retain several hundred more. Target will seek incentives from Memphis and Shelby County as early as next week for an online fulfillment center that will create over 400 new jobs.

83. Harwell Defeats Tea-Party Challenge for Speaker -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell decisively defeated a tea-party challenge from Rep. Rick Womick on Wednesday to win the Republican nomination for another term in charge of the lower chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly.

84. Senate Confirms TVA Board Nominees -

The U.S. Senate has confirmed two nominees to serve on the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public utility.

Media report the Senate held a roll call vote on the nominations of Democrats Ron Walter and Virginia Lodge after some Republicans objected to all Democrats being appointed to the board. The measure passed Tuesday night 86-12.

85. Four Charter Schools Prepare to Close -

Four charter schools operating in Memphis will close at the end of the current school year under terms of a recently enacted Tennessee law.

The law requires the closure of any charter school that is ranked in the bottom 5 percent of schools statewide as measured by state test scores. The closings come without any decision by the local school board that authorized the charters.

86. Home Builders Group Welcomes New President -

The West Tennessee Home Builders Association celebrated the inauguration of incoming board president David Goodwin Jr. at the organization’s annual gala Thursday, Dec. 4. The association also celebrated several achievements and milestones at the gala.

87. Events -

Tennessee Shakespeare Company will present “Twelfth Night” Thursday, Dec. 11, through Dec. 21 at Dixon Gallery and Gardens Winegardner Auditorium, 4339 Park Ave. Buy tickets at tnshakespeare.org.

88. Four Memphis Charter Schools To Close In Summer -

Four charter schools operating in Memphis will close at the end of the current school year under terms of a recently enacted Tennessee law.

The law requires the closure of any charter school that is ranked in the bottom five percent of schools in the state in terms of student achievement as measured by state test scores. The closing comes without any decision by the local school board that originally authorized the charter schools.

89. Haslam Proposes Changes Intended to Help Teachers -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam has unveiled several proposals intended to support Tennessee teachers.

The Republican governor discussed the proposals on Tuesday at the annual conference of Learning Forward, an association devoted to advancing professional learning for student success.

90. Tennessee Governor Questions UAW Process at Volkswagen -

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a longtime critic of the United Auto Workers' efforts to organize their first foreign automaker in the state and region, is questioning the process by which the union qualified under a new labor policy at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

91. Board of Regents, Nissan Break Ground for Training Center -

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Board of Regents and Nissan have broken ground for a new $35 million training center in Smyrna.

The board is building the 150,000-square-foot-plus center near Nissan's Smyrna Vehicle plant.

92. Memphis Features Prominently in 'Nashville' Finale -

Tennessee’s capital is a centerpiece of the hit ABC series “Nashville,” but its winter finale episode airing tomorrow will also highlight Memphis and a few iconic locations here in addition to featuring a Memphis-focused storyline.

93. UTHSC Researcher Wins Prostate Cancer Grant -

Subhash Chauhan, a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a three-year grant totaling $562,500 from the Department of Defense to research new therapies for advanced-stage prostate cancer.

94. Commission Approves Greenline Contracts -

Shelby County Commissioners approved a contract Monday, Dec. 8, buying the section of the old CSX rail line from Mullins Station Road to the old Cordova train station for $2.5 million and a companion contract to build a 4.1-mile-long extension of the Shelby Farms Greenline on it for $2.2 million.

95. Events -

Talk Shoppe will meet Wednesday, Dec. 10, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the YMCA Nuber Center, 5885 Quince Road. CPA Garrett Surles will present “It’s Not Too Late – Year-End Tax Tips.” Cost is free. Visit talkshoppe.biz or call Jo Garner at 901-482-0354.

96. Sharp & Robbins Names Popwell Partner -

Chris Popwell has been named the newest partner at Sharp & Robbins Construction, which will now operate as Sharp, Robbins & Popwell LLC. Popwell joined Sharp & Robbins’ Memphis office in 2008 as an estimator/project manager and most recently served as general operations manager of the Nashville office since 2012.

97. Graceland Plan Clears Main Local Hurdles -

Elvis Presley Enterprises attempted to secure private financing of its plan for a 450-room resort hotel and a remake of its plaza area, but those attempts failed, said Graceland’s bond counsel, because it is difficult for borrowers to get conventional financing for a hotel project.

98. Beach-Bound -

“Miami here we come!!!” That was quarterback Paxton Lynch’s tweet, spiced up with sun and palm tree icons.

It summed up what has been a glorious football season for the University of Memphis: a 9-3 record, a 7-1 mark in the American Athletic Conference and the program’s first share of a league title in 40 years. So the Tigers are headed to the first-ever Miami Beach Bowl for a Dec. 22 game with BYU.

99. Commission Approves Graceland Plan, Delays Fairgrounds TDZ -

Shelby County Commissioners approved the Graceland economic impact plan Monday, Dec. 8, the last local hurdle for a plan that includes the construction of a 450-room hotel and a later phase transforming the Graceland Plaza area across Elvis Presley Boulevard from the Graceland mansion.

100. West Virginia to Face Texas A&M in Liberty Bowl -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – West Virginia will make its first Liberty Bowl appearance in half a century when it meets Texas A&M on Dec. 29.

The Mountaineers (7-5) lost 32-6 to Utah in the 1964 Liberty Bowl at Atlantic City, New Jersey, rather than the game's current home of Memphis, Tennessee.