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Editorial Results (free)

1. Late Judge Higgs Changed Local Politics -

Funeral services for Shelby County Criminal Court Judge and Memphis mayoral contender Otis Higgs were pending and being planned Monday, Feb. 18, just days after his unexpected death.

2. Judge and Mayoral Contender Otis Higgs Dies -

Shelby County Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs, whose two bids to become Memphis Mayor in the 1970s were important chapters in the city’s political and racial history, died Friday, Feb. 15, at the age of 75.

3. Resource Entertainment Group Plans Growth, New Offerings -

Resource Entertainment Group is continuing a steady growth path and looks to expand thanks to a new website as well as management of a new Downtown event space called The Columns.

The entertainment services company specializes in live entertainment, production services, entertainment consulting and event programming expertise. The company manages some of the Mid-South’s most popular entertainers and provides bands, DJs, speakers, audio systems, concert lighting, staging and tech crews.

4. Agricenter International Announces New Board -

The Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove Road, recently elected two new board members.

5. New Elvis ‘Icon’ Exhibit Opens at Graceland -

MEMPHIS (AP) – A new exhibit chronicling Elvis Presley's influence on pop music performers has opened at Graceland in Memphis.

The exhibit, called "Icon: The Influence of Elvis Presley," opened Thursday at the Graceland tourist attraction. It includes 75 items on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, plus other memorabilia from artists who have been influenced by Elvis.

6. Super Bowl Ad Sneak Preview and Spoilers -

When you’re spending $3.5 million on a 30-second TV spot, maximizing buzz is the name of the game. That’s why one of the overarching themes with this year’s bevy of Super Bowl ads is pre-game promotion as well as the introduction of more social media integrated campaigns. Savvy marketers are taking a more holistic approach.

7. Forget Competition – Help Each Other -

Lots of geniuses work alone and make remarkable contributions to our world. I joke that if you’re playing Trivial Pursuit or Jeopardy and you’re stuck for an answer, try Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson. They pretty much did it all.

8. Branding Music’s Mojo Focus of AdFed Luncheon -

As Memphis musicians and studios struggle to find work among the rubble of the record industry, the concept of brand entertainment partnerships offers interesting possibilities.

Kevin McKiernan, president and CEO of Creative License, will talk about the ways advertisers and artists can work together at The American Advertising Federation of Memphis’ monthly luncheon Thursday from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis.

9. Big Draw -

Now showing: Shrek the Third, a kid-friendly flick about a green grouchy ogre voiced by funnyman Mike Myers.

The setting: an amphitheater-like park surrounded by clothing stores, a jeweler and an ice cream shop.

10. More Than Shopping -

Resource Entertainment Group is a Memphis-based entertainment services company with a resume full of big names and corporate clients.

The company has booked concerts for acts like Harry Connick Jr., Ludacris and Elton John. It produced Sun Studio’s 50th anniversary reunion festival, among a long list of other shows through the years.

Which is one reason REG managing partner Howard Stovall gets some funny looks when he tells people about the new entertainment series his company is presenting – in a suburban shopping center.

REG was tapped to put together two evenings of entertainment each month from April through October at Collierville’s The Avenue Carriage Crossing, the 60-acre “lifestyle center” at Tenn. 385 and Houston Levee Road.

The events are part of “Fridays at the Avenue,” a venture the shopping center is launching next week.

The mall has lined up a seven-month slate of outdoor movies, live music and other entertainment that will be presented in Carriage Crossing’s central park. The series kicks off April 30 with a magician, juggling lessons, a display of fire eating and more.

Later events will include free outdoor movies including “E.T.,” “Hoosiers” and “Peter Pan.” Local bands such as The Venus Mission and The Soul Shockers will perform.

A full list of events can be found at the shopping center’s website, http://http://carriagecrossing.shoptheavenue.com/event/fridays-avenue.

The series’ goal is to draw in families by creating something not usually associated with the clothing stores and food courts of traditional malls: a community-building experience.

“We started talking about this last summer,” said Carriage Crossing spokeswoman Elizabeth Allen. “But we didn’t have the talent and staff on hand to get the level of entertainment that we wanted.”

Enter REG, which is programming a similar Music in the Park concert series for Carriage Crossing’s sister shopping center in Murfreesboro.

The company turned out to be the perfect partner for what Allen said the Collierville center wanted to provide.

As the economic slump continues to batter retailers, the traditional shopping mall – something of a relic in an age of Amazon.com, Netflix and other shop-by-mail outlets – is taking its own beating.

Shelby County malls are working harder than ever to attract and keep tenants, not to mention shoppers.

“There’s a renewed focus on the importance of family, friends and community,” Allen said of what’s driving consumers to hoard more of their money and seek out different experiences. “And we embrace those values.”

Stovall said an event like Fridays at the Avenue is a shrewd, perfectly timed move for the Collierville center, which opened in 2005.

“If your competition is online marketing, and you create an experience that requires you to be there, that does a good thing for your tenants,” Stovall said.

In an unexpected way, his company’s new partner has seemed to fit seamlessly into REG’s operation despite the setting. The core need was similar to that of many other REG clients: entertainment as part of a broader strategy.

It’s not the Memphis Botanic Garden, where REG booked the venue’s “Live at the Garden” concert series in the summers of 2002, 2003 and 2004. And it’s not the rooftop of The Peabody hotel, where REG is the entertainment producer for the Peabody Rooftop parties.

But Fridays at the Avenue is a unique, lower-key entertainment production whose draws will include everything from a meet-and-greet with former American Idol contestant Alexis Grace to the giveaway of a Wii video game system.

“We’re trying to be part of peoples’ lives and part of the community,” Allen said.

...

11. Memphis Symphony to Honor Elvis, 'Piano Men' -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - New music director Mei-Ann Chen says her Memphis Symphony Orchestra will have "a journey of discovery" during its 2010-11 season.

12. Three County Candidates Withdraw -

Three candidates in the May 4 primary elections withdrew from the ballot by today's noon deadline.

Jeff Jacobs withdrew from the GOP primary for Shelby County trustee.

13. Candidate Filing List -- The Final Version -

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell appeared on his way to the Republican nomination for Shelby County mayor at Thursday’s noon filing deadline for candidates on the May 4 primary ballot.

14. UPDATE: Mayor's Race Grows At Filing Deadline -

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell appeared on his way to the Republican nomination for Shelby County mayor at Thursday’s noon filing deadline for candidates on the May 4 primary ballot.

Luttrell faces only token opposition from perennial candidate Ernie Lunati.

Meanwhile, the Democratic primary for mayor grew to three contenders as General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson filed his qualifying petition just before the deadline. He joins interim County Mayor Joe Ford and Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone.

Luttrell ruled out a bid for Shelby County mayor last year (2009). But when Harold Byrd decided not to run in the Democratic primary, some local GOP leaders asked Luttrell to reconsider.

The result touched off a scramble of candidates from both parties for the open sheriff’s office. But before the noon deadline, the initial field of over a dozen possible contenders was narrowed to ten – six Democrats and four Republicans.

The other surprise at the filing deadline was the return of attorney Walter Bailey to the District 2 Position 1 seat he gave up in the 2006 elections. Bailey sought re-election then to another term despite a two term limit on commissioners. Bailey lost to J.W. Gibson who decided not to seek re-election. He also lost a court fight to overturn the term limits.

Bailey was the only candidate who had filed for the seat at the Thursday deadline.

Only one incumbent county commissioner – Republican Mike Ritz -- was effectively re-elected at the deadline because he had no opposition.

All but one of the eleven contested County Commission races will be decided with the May 4 primaries. The only general election battle for the August ballot is the district 5 contest between GOP challenger Dr. Rolando Toyos and whoever wins the May Democratic primary between incumbent Steve Mulroy and Jennings Bernard.

Former County Commissioner John Willingham also returned to the ballot among a field of Republican contenders in the primary for Shelby County Trustee.

And former Criminal Court Clerk Minerva Johnican joined the Democratic primary field for her old job. Incumbent Republican Bill Key pulled petition to seek re-election but did not file at the deadline.

Here is the list of races and contenders from The Shelby County Election Commission. All candidate have until noon Feb. 25 to withdraw from the ballot if they wish.

D-Democrat

R- Republican

I- Independent

Shelby County Mayor:

Deidre Malone (D)

Joe Ford (D)

Otis Jackson (D)

Mark Luttrell (R)

Ernest Lunati (R)

Leo Awgowhat (I)

Shelby County Sheriff:

James Coleman (R)

Bobby Simmons (R)

Bill Oldham (R)

Dale Lane (R)

Larry Hill (D)

Bennie Cobb (D)

Randy Wade (D)

James Bolden (D)

Elton Hymon (D)

Reginald French (D)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 1

Mike Ritz (R) (incumbent)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 2

Albert Maduska (R)

Heidi Shafer (R)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 3

Mike Carpenter (R) (incumbent)

Joe Baire (R)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 1

Walter Bailey (D)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 2

Henri Brooks (D) (incumbent)

David Vinciarelli (D)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 3

Eric Dunn (D)

Norma Lester (D)

Tina Dickerson (D)

Melvin Burgess (D)

Reginald Milton (D)

Freddie Thomas (D)

County Commission Dist 3 Pos 1

James Harvey (D) (incumbent)

James Catchings (D)

County Commission Dist. 3 Pos 2

Sidney Chism (D) (incumbent)

Andrew "Rome" Withers (D)

County Commission Dist. 3 Pos 3

Edith Moore  (D) (incumbent)

Justin Ford (D)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 1

Chris Thomas (R)

John Pellicciotti (R)

Jim Bomprezzi (R)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 2

Wyatt Bunker (R) (incumbent)

John Wilkerson (R)

Ron Fittes (R)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 3

Terry Roland (R)

George Chism (R)

Edgar Babian (R)

County Commission Dist 5

Steve Mulroy (D) (incumbent)

Jennings Bernard (D)

Rolando Toyos (R)

Shelby County Clerk

Charlotte Draper (D)

Corey Maclin (D)

LaKeith Miller (D)

Wayne Mashburn (R)

Steve Moore (R)

Criminal Court Clerk

Vernon Johnson (D)

Minerva Johnican (D)

Ralph White (D)

Michael Porter (R)

Kevin Key (R)

Jerry Stamson (I)

Circuit Court Clerk

Jimmy Moore (R) (incumbent)

Steven Webster (D)

Carmichael Johnson (D)

Ricky W. Dixon (D)

Juvenile Court Clerk

Joy Touliatos (R)

Charles Marshall (D)

Sylvester Bradley (D)

Shep Wilbun (D)

Julia Roberson Wiseman (I)

Probate Court Clerk

Paul Boyd (R)

Sondra Becton (D)

Danny Kail (D)

Annita Sawyer Hamilton (D)

Peggy Dobbins (D)

Clay Perry (D)

Karen Tyler (D)

Shelby County Register

Tom Leatherwood (R) (incumbent)

Coleman Thompson (D)

Lady J. Swift (D)

Carlton Orange (D)

Shelby County Trustee

Regina Newman (D) (incumbent)

M. LaTroy Williams (D)

John Willingham (R)

Jeff Jacobs (R)

David Lenoir (R)

...

15. Surprises Possible as Primary Filing Deadline Nears -

Although today marks the filing deadline for the May 4 Shelby County primaries and independent candidates on the Aug. 5 county general election ballot, plenty of political drama remains.

In fact, the filing deadline is often just as important – and surprising – as election day.

16. Ford Expected to Run for County Mayor -

After a tumultuous year of political upheaval in 2009, the 2010 campaign season has belatedly come to life.

Democrat Harold Byrd’s decision not to run for Shelby County mayor late last month and Republican Mark Luttrell’s decision this week to get in the race have shaken the political atmosphere out of its post-New Year doldrums.

17. West Memphis Lawyer Dies Of Brain Aneurysm -

Kent J. Rubens of the West Memphis law firm Rieves, Rubens & Mayton passed away Wednesday from complications of a brain aneurysm. Although based in Arkansas, Rubens was a well-known litigator in the Memphis legal community.

18. If It's Tie-Dyed or Unique, Freewheelin' Frank's Probably Sells It -

Frank Evans didn't intend on having a career selling tie-dyed shirts, Bob Marley cigarette lighters, or memorabilia from rock n' roll greats such as the Grateful Dead. But that's what he's been doing for more than 30 years as owner of Freewheelin' Frank's, a shop specializing in those items and more.

19. Booking It -

It's the kind of task for which Memphis-based Resource Entertainment Group, a venue management and entertainment consulting company, seems perfectly suited.

REG, which has booked concerts for major acts such as Ludacris, Harry Connick Jr. and Elton John over the years, has signed a contract with the Gibson Lounge to become the venue's exclusive rental agent.

20. Archived Article: Marketplace (limo) - By SUE PEASE Limousine ride not just for weddings anymore By SUE PEASE The Daily News Its only mid-March, but believe it or not, the school year is in its final stretch. With that comes the beginning of prom season for area schools. With prom time a...