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Editorial Results (free)

1. Discriminate at the Ballot Box -

DISCRIMINATING TASTE. By all means, discriminate. Refuse to accept some prepackaged deal as the best you can do, some label to be the quality test. In the known, look for proven performance from each individual offering, standing alone, not just part of some group menu. In the unknown, demand fresh and bold, the promise of new and interesting interpretations from old and predictable ingredients.

2. ‘Big Ballot’ Moves to Early Voting Friday -

Voters begin making their decisions Friday, July 18, on the longest ballot of any election cycle in Shelby County politics.

Early voting in advance of the Aug. 7 election day begins Friday at the Shelby County Election Commission’s Downtown offices, 157 Poplar Ave., from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

3. Addison at Collierville Owner Files $17 Million Loan -

400 Orchard Circle
Collierville, TN 38017
Loan Amount: $16.8 million

Loan Date: July 1, 2014
Maturity Date: July 1, 2021
Borrower: G&I VII Addison at Collierville LLC
Lender: CBRE Capital Markets Inc.
Details: The owner of the 226-unit Addison at Collierville apartments at 400 Orchard Circle W. has filed a $16.8 million loan on the property.

4. Cypress Realty Files $7 Million Construction Loan -

Cypress Realty Holdings Co. has filed a $7 million construction loan for a medical office building on Wolf River Boulevard in Germantown.

5. Luttrell Opens Campaign With Warning -

The way Mark Luttrell sees it, his campaign for mayor in 2014 is different than his campaign four years ago because then he was challenging an incumbent and now he is the incumbent.

6. SEC Network Poised to Take Over -

Wading in … and wondering what an eventual deal between the SEC Network and DirecTV will mean for me. Will my bill go up 10 percent? Fifteen percent? Twenty percent?

Will I have to drink only domestics in brown bottles? Give up the ESPN of coffee (Star----)?

7. US Auto Sales Hit 9-Year High in May -

DETROIT (AP) – Brisk demand for SUVs and pickup trucks – and five sunny weekends – pushed U.S. auto sales to a nine-year high in May.

Chrysler, Nissan and Toyota all reported double-digit sales gains over last May. Even General Motors, battling bad publicity from a mishandled recall, surprised with a 13 percent sales increase.

8. Politics Continues After County Primaries -

A lot of the candidates from the Shelby County primary ballot were in the same room the day after the Tuesday, May 6, election.

The occasion was County Commission committee sessions.

It was mostly winners.

9. County Primaries Reflect Different Political Fortunes -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone will challenge incumbent Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell in the August county general election after winning the Tuesday, May 6, Democratic mayoral primary.

10. Malone to Challenge Luttrell In August Mayoral Showdown -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone will challenge incumbent Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell in the August county general election after winning the Tuesday, May 6, Democratic mayoral primary.

11. August’s ‘Big Ballot’ Awaits County’s Voters -

With the unofficial results in the Shelby County primary elections in, get ready for the “big ballot.”

The candidates who won the Democratic and Republican primaries in Tuesday’s elections advance to the August ballot where they will join a much larger group of candidates and races that once every eight years produce the largest ballot of any election cycle in Shelby County politics.

12. Harris Files Ford Challenge at Deadline -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris is challenging Democratic state Sen. Ophelia Ford in the August primary for District 29, the Senate seat held by a member of the Ford family since 1975.

13. May Primary Ballot Almost Complete -

The ballot for the May Shelby County primary elections isn’t quite set, although the Shelby County Election Commission has certified 81 candidates.

Still awaiting a decision at a special meeting Wednesday, March 5, are three would-be candidates whose residency is being formally challenged.

14. Roland ReElected At Filing Deadline, Two Countywide Races Set For August -

One of the six Shelby County Commission incumbents seeking re-election this year was effectively elected to a new four-year term in a new district with the noon Thursday, Feb. 20, filing deadline for candidates in the May county primaries.

15. Luttrell Begins Re-Election Bid for Mayor -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell made it official Tuesday, Feb. 11, filing his qualifying petition with the Shelby County Election Commission to run for a second term of office.

16. Democratic Mayoral Hopefuls Pitch Base -

The four likely contenders in the May Democratic primary for Shelby County mayor have already had their first debate. But there were no clashes among the quartet, at least not yet.

James Harvey, Deidre Malone, Kenneth Whalum Jr. and Steve Mulroy each spoke to the Shelby County Democratic Party’s executive committee two weeks from the Feb. 20 filing deadline for the May 6 primary election.

17. Four Democratic Mayoral Contenders Make First Joint Appearance -

The four likely contenders in the May Democratic primary for Shelby County Mayor have already had their first debate. But there were no clashes among the quartet, at least not yet.

James Harvey, Deidre Malone, Kenneth Whalum Jr. and Steve Mulroy each spoke to the Shelby County Democratic Party’s executive committee two weeks from the Feb. 20 filing deadline for the May 6 primary election.

18. Consolidation Voting Case Still Complex in 3rd Year -

Three years after all the votes were counted in dual votes on an attempt to consolidate city and county governments, the federal lawsuit over the dual-vote requirement in state law continues.

And a look at the depositions and other written statements in the case file from the experts for each side shows the issues in the federal court case remain complex.

19. Council Rules Could Change in 2014 -

Memphis City Council members are already starting to adapt some items in a set of proposed changes in how they conduct business.

The proposal took a bit longer to formulate than originally anticipated.

20. Ford Plans 23 New Cars, 11,000 New Jobs in 2014 -

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) – Ford Motor Co. says it will hire more than 11,000 people in the U.S. and Asia next year to support an aggressive rollout of new vehicles.

21. Traffic Concerns Delay Germantown Whole Foods -

The development team behind a proposed Whole Foods store in Germantown is going back to the drawing board after some neighbors expressed concerns about the project, particularly over traffic.

The development team withdrew its application from the Germantown Planning Commission’s Tuesday, Dec. 3, agenda and will return next month. After that, the development team would need approval from Germantown’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

22. Council Rules -

Three Memphis City Council members continue to look at the council’s rules of procedure and how those rules are enforced as the council prepares for the annual election of a new chairman for the new year.

23. Council Committee Looks Broadly at Council Rules -

A trio of Memphis City Council members weighing possible changes to the council’s way of conducting business has more questions at the outset than answers about what kind of conduct is allowed and what shouldn’t be on the elected body.

24. Whole Foods Eyes Germantown Site -

Whole Foods Market and local development firm Cypress Realty Holdings Co. are targeting the Poplar Avenue corridor in Germantown for the Memphis area’s second Whole Foods store.

25. Cypress Realty Holdings Buys 114 Acres for $2.5 Million -

An affiliate of Memphis-based real estate company Cypress Realty Holdings Co. has paid $2.5 million for 114 acres of land at the southwest corner of Walnut Grove and Houston Levee roads in unincorporated eastern Shelby County.

26. Democrats ‘Roast’ Herenton, Look Ahead to 2014 -

Divisions within the local Democratic party took a backseat over the weekend as the Shelby County Democratic Party held the first of two large fundraisers for the 2014 election year.

But the look back for the party came with some advice for the future.

27. Malone Begins Campaign for County Mayor -

Four years after she left elected office, Deidre Malone says she has learned a lot.

And as a result, her second campaign to become Shelby County mayor will be different than the first one four years ago.

28. Solid US Job Gains Could Bolster Second-Half Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Robust hiring in July would mark a fourth straight month of solid gains, an encouraging sign for a U.S. economy that is still struggling with high unemployment.

Economists predict that employers added 183,000 jobs – a figure that would show that businesses are growing more confident despite weak economic growth. More jobs would boost consumers' ability to spend, allowing for stronger growth in the second half of the year.

29. CBU Names Sumner-Winter Director of Stewardship -

Wendy Sumner-Winter has been appointed director of stewardship and donor engagement at Christian Brothers University. In the newly created position, Sumner-Winter will oversee planning, strategy development and implementation of initiatives to increase communication and connections with the CBU community, including donors, alumni and friends.

30. Former Interim Mayor Joe Ford Arrested -

Former interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 5, by Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies after a liquor store owner swore out a warrant saying Ford had not paid a $1,301 bill from July.

31. Former Interim Mayor Joe Ford Arrested -

Former interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 5, by Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies after a liquor store owner swore out a warrant saying Ford had not paid a $1,301 bill from July.

32. Events -

The Memphis Association of Law and Business will host a lecture by Christine Richards, executive vice president of general counsel at FedEx, Tuesday, Oct. 16, at noon in the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law Wade Auditorium, 1 N. Front St. Visit memphis.edu/law for details.

33. Proposed Gas Tax Advances to November Memphis Ballot -

Memphis City Council members gave final approval Tuesday, Aug. 7, to a second ballot question for the Nov. 6 ballot in Memphis.

On an 8-3 vote, the council approved on third and final reading the referendum ordinance that puts a one-cent-a-gallon local gas tax to Memphis voters. The same ballot will also include a referendum on a proposed half percent local sales tax hike the council approved in July.

34. Polls Set to Open for Early Voting -

Shelby County voters start deciding Friday, July 13, general election countywide races for assessor of property, General Sessions Court clerk, district attorney general and a race for a Shelby County Commission seat. The ballot also includes seven races for district seats on the countywide school board.

35. Council Rejects 18 Cent Property Tax Hike -

Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday, March 20, to reject a one-time, 18-cent property tax hike to mop up an estimated $13 million in red ink for the current fiscal year.

Instead the council voted to use $10 million from the city’s reserve fund and cut $3.2 million in the existing budget including money for a voluntary buyout program of some sanitation workers that the Wharton administration has yet to activate.

36. Commissioners Fail to Approve Redistricting Plan -

Shelby County Commissioners will try again Monday, Dec. 19, to give final approval to a new set of district lines for the 13-member body.

At a special meeting Wednesday, Dec. 14, a new set of district lines that would keep but tweak the current five-district setup won approval on the second of three readings. But it did not appear to have the two-thirds majority – or nine votes – needed to pass next week.

37. Commissioners Fail to Approve Redistricting Plan -

Shelby County Commissioners will try again Monday, Dec. 19, to give final approval to a new set of district lines for the 13-member body.

At a special meeting Wednesday, Dec. 14, a new set of district lines that would keep but tweak the current five-district setup won approval on the second of three readings. But it did not appear to have the two-thirds majority – or nine votes – needed to pass next week.

38. McCarver Wins Hall of Fame's Frick Award -

DALLAS (AP) – Tim McCarver found it a bit hard to offer any analysis after this honor.

39. Wharton, Fullilove & Conrad Re-Elected -- Harris-Ford to Runoff - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. won a full four-year term of office as mayor Thursday, Oct. 6, two years after he claimed the mayor’s office in a special election.

And all 12 of the Memphis City Council members seeking re-election won new four year terms in the city election cycle, marking the largest return of incumbents to the 13-member council in the 43-year history of the mayor-council form of government.

40. Ford Theft Charge Now Dropped -

A theft charge against former interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford was dropped Friday, Sept. 30.

Ford turned himself in last week after Las Savell Jewelers swore out the warrant in a dispute over Ford’s purchase of two Rolex watches in December.

41. Ford Waives Arraignment on Theft Charge -

Former interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford waived arraignment Wednesday, Sept. 28, on theft charges in General Sessions Criminal Court.

42. Joe Ford Charged With Theft -

Former interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford has been charged with theft of property under $10,000, according to a warrant issued Tuesday, Sept. 27.

43. Joe Ford Charged With Theft -

Former interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford has been charged with theft of property under $10,000, according to a warrant issued Tuesday, Sept. 27.

44. UAW, Automakers Continue Talks as Deadline Nears -

DETROIT (AP) – United Auto Workers negotiators say they made progress with General Motors Co. during contract talks Tuesday night, but both sides are quickly approaching a deadline to reach new deals with GM and Chrysler Group LLC.

45. Vote for Me -

Four years after the biggest turnover on the Memphis City Council, the Oct. 6 city elections could see the biggest return of incumbents ever on the council. Early voting begins Friday, Sept. 16.

Twelve of the 13 incumbents are seeking re-election. It would have been 13 had Barbara Swearengen Ware not taken a plea deal on an official misconduct charge.

46. 4 Council Members - All 3 City Court Judges To Run Unopposed In Oct. Elections -

Four incumbent Memphis City Council members and all three incumbent City Court Judges were effectively re-elected at the Thursday, July 21, noon deadline for candidates to file their qualifying petitions for the Oct. 6 Memphis ballot.

47. Jackson Indicted for Official Misconduct -

General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson has been indicted on four state charges of official misconduct.

48. Auto Industry, Seeing New Life, is on Hiring Spree -

DETROIT (AP) – Volkswagen opened a plant in Tennessee last month with 2,000 workers. Honda is hiring 1,000 in Indiana to meet demand for its best-selling Civic. General Motors is looking for 2,500 in Detroit to build the Chevy Volt.

49. City Council Rejects 18-Cent Property Tax Hike -

The city of Memphis operating budget for the fiscal year to come July 1 is $11 million from being balanced.

The Memphis City Council voted on a series of 16 budget amendments Tuesday, June 7 in a marathon council session that began at 9 a.m. with the budget committee and ended shortly after 10 p.m.

50. MED Gives Up $10M In County Funding -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and the Shelby County Commission are still considering layoffs and service cuts to balance the county’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

51. Regions Manager in Memphis Honored With Award -

Bryan Ford, commercial and industrial client manager in Memphis for Regions Financial Corp., is the April recipient of Regions’ Better Life Award.

52. Council to Consider Budget, Schools Tax -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. takes a $687.4 million city operating budget Tuesday to the Memphis City Council.

And the council will talk over a special school tax rate of 39 cents Tuesday.

The budget proposal is $22.7 million in the red.

53. $1.2B Budget Presented To County Commission -

The budget season began officially Monday morning as Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell took a $1.2 billion consolidated county government budget proposal to county commissioners with $22.7 million in red ink.

54. Luttrell Takes $1.2 Billion Budget to County Commission -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell took his first budget proposal as mayor to Shelby County Commissioners Monday morning.

55. McWherter Had Local Reach -

As Tennessee governor, Ned McWherter always did well politically in Memphis, the largest base of Democratic voters in a single county in the state when they turn out.

His death this week from cancer ends the story of one of the state’s most powerful and influential Democrats. The power and influence was forged during 20 years in the Tennessee Legislature.

56. Local Democratic Party Faces Battle for Chair -

Shelby County Democratic Party chairman Van Turner probably faces a challenge in his bid for another two years in the position and the challenger is probably Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford.

57. Employee Benefits Issue Plays Out Locally -

The debate the Wisconsin Legislature is having about public employee benefits is an issue familiar to local elected leaders.

As Wisconsin’s stormy and emotional debate, which includes a generous helping of collective bargaining controversy not present in any of the local discussions, has played out nationally, the local efforts are moving ahead again.

58. Memphis Firm Acquires Two Atlanta Properties -

Memphis-based Cypress Realty Holdings Co. has acquired two outparcels in the North Atlanta market.

59. Highwoods Extends Tenants at Southwind Office Center -

Raleigh, N.C.-based Highwoods Properties Inc. has signed two deals at its Southwind Office Center, a 62,000-square foot, three-story building with views of the Tournament Players Club at Southwind golf course.

60. Cypress Realty Holdings Buys Millington Perkins Site -

8472 New Wilkinsville Road
Millington, TN 38053
Sale Amount: $1.3 Million

61. Cypress Realty Holdings Buys Millington Perkins -

Cypress Realty Holdings Co. II LLC has paid $1.3 million for the Perkins Restaurant & Bakery at 8472 New Wilkinsville Road in Millington in a special warranty deed.

62. CNBC Goes Local With FedEx Broadcast -

It was a Memphis morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” program Monday, with FedEx founder Fred Smith guest hosting the show’s broadcast from Hangar 26 at FedEx’s SuperHub at Memphis International Airport.

63. Dear Santa -

Dear Santa, Please consider my gift list for our local elected officials. After all, they’ve been giving it to us all year.

To all: Common Sense – a simple grid for MATA routes, consolidated city and county services, cutting the grass, sidewalk maintenance, paying attention to review board and appointed commission recommendations.

64. Luttrell Sets Priorities as Budget Season Approaches -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has been content in his first three months in office to leave a lot of the out-of-town traveling to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

65. Ford’s County Pension Resolution Withdrawn -

A controversial resolution that would have increased the county pension of former County Commissioner and interim County Mayor Joe Ford has been withdrawn by Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz.

66. Swearengen Ware Faces Council Suspension -

For the fifth time in the Memphis City Council’s 42-year history, one of its sitting members has been charged with felony misconduct.

And the charge against council member Barbara Swearengen Ware raises the same questions the other cases did about whether an indicted council member should remain in elected office.

67. Commission Delays Ford Pension Vote -

Shelby County Commissioners have delayed a vote for a month on a resolution that would up retirement benefits to former Shelby County Commissioner Joe Ford by counting his five years as a Memphis City Council member toward his county retirement benefits.

68. County Commission Spars Over PILOT Rules For Suburbs -

Shelby County Commissioners sparred over how much oversight is too much when it comes to awarding tax breaks for corporate and industrial moves to Shelby County and expansions of existing businesses.

69. Commission: Ford Pension Increase Possible -

The Shelby County Retirement Board was scheduled earlier this month to approve the creation of a new slimmed-down pension plan for future county employees.

But the board will have to deal with that item, which it’s been planning for months and will have a big impact on county finances, at a later meeting. Because much of the board’s time this month has been taken up by one thing.

70. Committee Wants to Boost Joe Ford’s Pension -

Shelby County Commissioners are recommending that former interim County Mayor Joe Ford get an increased county pension that counts Ford’s time as a City Council member.

71. Board Declines Ford’s Pension Increase Request -

The Shelby County Retirement Board rejected Joe Ford’s appeal of the $747 monthly pension amount the board approved last month for the former interim county mayor.

72. Board Declines Ford’s Pension Increase Request -

The Shelby County Retirement Board rejected Joe Ford’s appeal of the $747 monthly pension amount the board approved last month for the former interim county mayor.

73. MSARC Shift Approved, Transition Begins -

The Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center will begin its move to a different part of the organizational chart of Shelby County government.

The Shelby County Commission this week approved moving MSARC from the health department to the community services division. There was no opposition to the transfer, which comes more than a year after county government assumed control of the agency from the city.

74. Carpenter Revives Efforts to Limit Employee Leave in Shelby County -

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter is back for another term of office with a revised version of his proposal to put new limits on the amount of leave time county employees can bank.

75. Joe Ford Awarded $747 Monthly Pension -

The Shelby County Retirement Board has awarded former interim mayor Joe Ford a monthly pension of a little more than $747.

The award is $450 less than the roughly $1,200 amount Ford believes he’s entitled to when his years as a Memphis City Council member are included with his service in county government.

76. Ford’s Pension: $747 a Month -

The Shelby County Retirement Board has awarded former interim mayor Joe Ford a monthly pension of a little more than $747.

77. Public Employees Challenge Politicians’ Ideas -

Memphis City Council member Jim Strickland has withdrawn a proposal to solicit bids by nonprofit organizations to run some of the city’s community centers.

78. County Election Winners Sworn in Wednesday -

With former Shelby County Mayor Jim Rout doing the hosting duties and interim county mayor Joe Ford on stage, 26 winners from the Aug. 5 county elections took the oath of office Wednesday at the Cannon Center.

79. Gov. Contender McWherter Tours MED -

For candidates running for Tennessee governor, their frequent trips to Memphis this summer have resembled pilgrimages at times.

No one has made the most obvious Memphis pilgrimage stop yet – Graceland – but two other points in the city have been popular.

80. Ford Veto of Leave Resolution Holds But Leaves Scars -

Outgoing interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford got his way on his veto of a plan to change the rules for county employees who “bank” county leave with the intent of cashing some of it in near the end of their tenure. But Ford probably has a bone to pick with his human resources director in what amounts to the last week of his administration.

81. Ford Veto Stands At Last County Commission Meeting of Term -

The last meeting for six Shelby County Commissioners came with proclamations, plaques and an agenda full of controversy.

The Monday meeting was the last of the four year term for two commissioners who reached their two term limit, two others who opted not to seek re-election ahead of term limits and two others who were appointed to the body in the last year but were defeated in the Aug. 5 elections.

82. Luttrell Assembles Team - As interim Shelby County mayor Joe Ford attended his last County Commission meeting, county mayor elect Mark Luttrell began naming the team he will go into office with on Sept. 1.

83. Controversy Highlights End to Commission’s Term -

Six Shelby County Commissioners attend the last scheduled meeting of their tenure Monday.

The commissioners elected and re-elected in the Aug. 5 elections, as well as Shelby County Mayor-elect Mark Luttrell, begin their four-year terms Sept. 1.

84. New Pension Plan Nearing Finish Line -

The Shelby County Retirement Board is moving toward an October vote on the creation of a new pension plan for future county employees.

Assuming the board likes the plan and its features enough to issue the green light, it would then head to the Shelby County Commission for approval. Assuming there are no significant changes there either to the proposed new plan, which includes several features less generous than what the county now offers, it would go into effect at the start of Jan. 1, 2011.

85. Carpenter Wants Legal Opinion on Ford Veto Timing -

With two weeks left in his term of office, interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford is biding his time in a veto of a resolution limiting how much paid leave county employees can bank and cash in.

86. Dem Leaders Prepare for Legal Challenge -

Local Democratic Party leaders are collecting affidavits as a start toward formally challenging the Aug. 5 Shelby County election results.

A standing-room-only crowd of more than 200 people gathered at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union hall in Midtown this week.

87. Pinnacle Board Gets Downtown Hard Sell -

Pinnacle Airlines Corp. executives, after listening to a coordinated, Downtown-focused pitch from developers, businessmen and political leaders, will now take about a month to finish deciding where to relocate their corporate headquarters.

They’re considering sites Downtown, near Memphis International Airport as well as beyond the city. Mississippi has made what Pinnacle acknowledged is a “generous” offer for the company to move to Olive Branch.

Pinnacle executives are in town this week for the Memphis-based regional air carrier’s regular board meeting. Backers of the proposal to make Pinnacle the anchor tenant at Downtown’s One Commerce Square took that opportunity to make their case directly to the company in a private meeting Tuesday evening on the 29th floor of the landmark tower.

After about an hour, Pinnacle executives descended to the One Commerce lobby, where Memphis’ business elite were gathered, refreshments were served, and projected onto a screen were the words “Pinnacle Land Here” against a backdrop of the city.

Guests included a handful of political leaders, representatives of the Greater Memphis Chamber, EmergeMemphis, the Center City Commission and the heads of Memphis two largest locally-based banks, First Tennessee and Independent Bank, among other people.

Contrasting with the traditional nametags everyone else wore, the nametags of Pinnacle board members were brightly colored. All the better, Downtown supporters pointed out, for identifying them and laying on the charm.

“We’re going to fill this building,” exclaimed Karl Schledwitz, one of the partners with Southland Capital president Terry Lynch involved in buying the tower and working to lease a significant portion of it to Pinnacle.

As guests mingled, a marketing video produced by the Center City Commission was played on one wall that featured Downtown workers talking up the neighborhood. The same video was shown earlier that evening during the private pitch to Pinnacle’s board.

Making the case to the board were Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.; incoming Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and representatives of the investors buying One Commerce, as well as the Center City Commission and the Looney Ricks Kiss architectural firm.

Pinnacle Airlines Corp.’s board of directors participated in a walk-through of One Commerce Square, hosted by members of the Center City Commission, the investors who are buying the building, and key business and government leaders,” said Phil Trenary, Pinnacle’s president and CEO, in a statement released Tuesday night. “This visit gave our board an opportunity to get a firsthand look at the building.

“Pinnacle has not selected a new site and still has to complete an in-depth analysis on this and other sites. We appreciate the interest and enthusiasm that the City of Memphis, the CCC, the Chamber and the ownership group have shown as we move through this process.”

Tuesday was the culmination of a months-long synchronized attempt at deal-making among several entities working to keep Pinnacle from being lured away from Memphis.

Details of the multimillion-dollar incentive package business and civic leaders have pieced together to cement the Downtown location for Pinnacle also began to trickle out Tuesday.

Coupled with that, a series of well-timed dominoes still needs to fall into place before a deal sweetened with a variety of incentives comes together.

Lynch confirmed Tuesday afternoon that several things have to happen more or less simultaneously.

The city, or perhaps an entity like one of the Center City Commission’s affiliated boards, would need to buy a nearby parking garage at the same time the investors buy One Commerce Square and at the same time Pinnacle signs a lease. Plans in the works now call for leasing the nearby parking garage back to One Commerce Square's new owners and giving Pinnacle parking there. More Pinnacle parking would be available at 250 Peabody Place.

Lynch said a memorandum of understanding has already been making its way around to various people involved in the deal. Wharton, outgoing Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford and CCC President Paul Morris have all signed a memo outlining the proposed incentives.

Lynch said U.S. Bank, the current owner of One Commerce Square, has accepted the investment group’s bid, but plenty more moving pieces need to fall into place.

“We have a letter of intent and we’re working through a contract right now. We’re just going back and forth. That’s the status of it right now,” Lynch said.

He said the timeline for next steps is fluid.

“If we don’t get past the first one, we can’t get to the second one,” Lynch said. “There’s various steps we have to get to.”

Wharton said Tuesday the city would like to commit $3 million from the $5 million economic development fund Wharton recently asked for the City Council’s approval to establish.

Wharton also mentioned Tuesday the possibility of applying for $15 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act bond allocations from the state to add to the pot of financing for the Pinnacle deal.

Another facet of the issue is how to pay for and fit into the package the acquisition of a nearby parking garage for Pinnacle’s use. The importance of that topic was discussed by Downtown officials with Pinnacle’s board Tuesday night.

“Landing Pinnacle Downtown would be a big boost in all kinds of ways,” said council member Bill Boyd.

U.S. Bancorp recently accepted the bid to buy One Commerce Square tower from a group of investors that includes Lynch; Schledwitz; and Gary Prosterman.

Lynch’s group is committing $25 million to $30 million on the building, which includes the purchase price and improvements to the building in the coming months. The group is now teeing up a deal to make Pinnacle the building's anchor tenant, something that Wharton has said will be an attraction to other businesses that have expressed interest in following suit if Pinnacle inks a deal.

Lynch wasn’t able to disclose the building's formal purchase price, but One Commerce Square was listed for $12 million.

Look for updates at The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

...

88. Luttrell Appoints CAO, Transition Team -

Shelby County Mayor-elect Mark Luttrell has begun preparing to take office in just a few weeks.

Luttrell, who won last week’s election for Shelby County mayor, takes office Sept. 1.

89. Luttrell, Cohen Win Most-Watched Races -

Outgoing Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell was elected Shelby County mayor Thursday evening. Meanwhile, incumbent Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen easily won the 9th Congressional District primary, crushing challenger and former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

90. Small Business Must Search for Oppty., Gibson Says -

Opening up local government contracts to small businesses is a two-way street.

And small-business owners have to be as good at searching for opportunities as they expect local government to be in opening up the process, said Shelby County Commissioner J.W. Gibson.

91. County’s Top Cop Eyes Top Spot -

Outgoing Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell arrives this week at the pinnacle of a political rise that began eight years ago.

92. Mayoral Bid Awakens Ford Political Machine -

Since the late 1970s, the Ford family, as a political organization, has had an interest in either the Memphis or Shelby County mayor’s office. In 1978, John Ford declared he was running for county mayor but then withdrew from the race. Five years later, he ran for city mayor.

93. In Search of an Oasis -

Part of the path to inner-city recovery appears to run through a garden, or at least through the produce section of a supermarket. Nine farmers markets operate in various parts of Shelby County this summer, from Downtown to Collierville and places such as Germantown, Agricenter International and Cooper-Young in between.

94. Candidates Agree on Improving Small Biz Climate -

Whoever wins the Aug. 5 race for Shelby County mayor will inherit widespread dissatisfaction with county government’s small-business programs.

Small-business owners have complained that the Memphis and Shelby County programs are too bureaucratic, have nothing in common and are more trouble than they’re worth for the owners to get involved.

95. YouthBuild to Hold Groundbreaking Event -

Interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford and officials with the Shelby County Division of Community Services and the Division of Corrections will break ground on a new one-room vocational training facility constructed by incarcerated participants of YouthBuild.

96. Ford Jr. Takes Readers Behind the Scenes With New Book -

Former Memphis Congressman Harold Ford Jr. made it clear last week that he’s a former Memphian.

But his new book, “More Davids Than Goliaths,” to be released next month, has plenty of Memphis – Memphis politics, at least – on its pages.

97. Early Voters Showing Up in Droves -

At a clip of more than 7,000 voters a day this week, early voting in advance of the Aug. 5 Election Day is on pace to triple the 31,000 total early voters in advance of the May 4 county primaries.

But that’s if the pace continues. The candidates and their campaigns work on theories about what generates turnout. Some are more proven than others, while others are a shot in the dark.

98. Ford Jr. Endorses Uncle for County Mayor -

Former Memphis Congressman Harold Ford Jr. made it official Wednesday endorsing his uncle, Joe Ford, in the Aug. 5 race for Shelby County mayor.

99. Hatch Act Behind Oldham’s Sheriff Dept. Resignation -

It’s a first in a race for Shelby County sheriff.

After decades of contenders who run while serving in the ranks of the sheriff’s department, a notice from the Justice Department in Washington appears to have changed not just the race between Bill Oldham and Randy Wade on the Aug. 5 ballot. It also promises to change future races.

100. DECISION '10: Mayor’s Race a Contest Between Contrasting Styles -

The race for Shelby County mayor offers a choice between two very different politicians who, while in the political spotlight for years, have often been near the edges of that light.

Joe Ford, the interim Shelby County mayor and Democratic nominee, is a former Shelby County Commissioner and City Council member. He has served as chairman of both legislative bodies. Ford also is the face of the city’s most storied political family.