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Editorial Results (free)

1. Hit Factory -

The massive trees and the shade they make are the only thing left on the northwest corner of Danny Thomas Boulevard and Chelsea Avenue from the days when American Studios turned out 120 hit records from 1965 to 1972.

2. Ni Hao, Y'all: US Hinterlands Woo Chinese Firms -

PINE HILL, Ala. (AP) – Burdened with Alabama's highest unemployment rate, long abandoned by textile mills and furniture plants, Wilcox County desperately needs jobs.

They're coming, and from a most unlikely place: Henan Province, China, 7,600 miles away.

3. Busby Joins Howell Marketing as Social Media Manager -

Lisa Busby has joined Howell Marketing Strategies LLC as a social media manager, handling the social media marketing for several accounts. Busby’s background includes experience in the business, media and nonprofit sectors – including past roles as a radio news reporter and writer, and as a print editor in the national headquarters for the Fraternal Order of Police.

4. Eddleman Joins Family Safety Center -

Vernetta Eddleman has joined the Family Safety Center, Memphis and Shelby County’s center for victims of domestic violence, as director of client services.

In her new role, Eddleman will be responsible for the planning, design, development and management of client services, and will also supervise and train staff and partner agency providers in delivering quality care to victims and their families.

5. Haslam Unsure of Reason for Few Court Applicants -

NASHVILLE (AP) – They sit at the pinnacle of Tennessee's justice system, enjoying power, privileges, prestige – and even a job nearly for life, once in office.

With all the enviable perks that justices on the state Supreme Court earn, it's no wonder Gov. Bill Haslam is at a loss to explain why only five people applied for the seat being vacated by retiring Justice Janice Holder.

6. Scartozzi Named Sales Director at Hilton Memphis -

Heidi Scartozzi has joined the Hilton Memphis, managed by Davidson Hotels & Resorts, as director of sales. Scartozzi is a 15-year hospitality veteran, most recently serving as a regional director of sales for JQH Hotels and Resorts, servicing 13 hotels on the West Coast.

7. Gonitzke Named CEO of National Foundation for Transplants -

Connie Gonitzke has been appointed president and CEO of the National Foundation for Transplants. Gonitzke joined the Memphis-based organization in 2002 as a patient advocate. In 2006, she was named director of resource development, and in 2008, she became the senior vice president of development.

8. 3 Memphians Among State Supreme Court Applicants -

Two Memphis judges and a Shelby County Commissioner are among the five applicants for a vacancy on the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Criminal Court Judge Chris Craft, Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Holly M. Kirby and Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy have submitted applications to the Governor’s Commission on Judicial Appointments, the newly formed body that will send a list of three finalists to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

9. A Tasteful List Updated for 2013 -

A LIST YOU CAN SINK YOUR TEETH INTO. Hello, my name is Dan and I’ll be your server.

Presenting the third edition of the Tasteful List, updated for 2013 – second and third helpings, this year’s specials, delicious memories – an alphabetical survey of local flavor in one decidedly local man’s opinion.

10. Council Approves Solid Waste Fee, Delays Vote On Handy Park Lease -

The Memphis City Council sent a proposed lease of Handy Park on Beale Street back to committee Tuesday, Sept. 3, for more discussion about the details.

And the council approved on the first of three readings a restoration of the city’s solid waste fee to $25.05 a month. But there were conflicting explanations about which part of an overhaul of sanitation services the restoration of the fee is supposed to be aimed at.

11. Woeppel Named CEO of UT Medical Group -

Charles “Chuck” Woeppel has been named chief executive officer of UT Medical Group Inc. Woeppel, who has served as the organization’s chief operating officer since 2012, will also continue in that role.

12. Rhodes Program Spotlights Community Service -

Rhodes College’s efforts to make community involvement an important part of student life was recently on display with its second annual REACH (Research, Engagement, and Community History) Symposium held in the Blount Auditorium of Buckman Hall.

13. Room Race -

To illustrate the stiff competition Memphis faces in landing conferences and conventions because of hotel room capacity available in the city, Memphis-based hotel consultant Chuck Pinkowski points to a formidable foe just three hours away.

14. Christian Brothers Names Doyle Vice President of Student Life -

Tim Doyle has joined Christian Brothers University as associate vice president of student life. In the role, Doyle supervises multiple aspects of campus operations – including housing, student government, health services and Greek organizations – working to address non-academic student needs and help students develop into active, engaged alumni.

15. Changing Current -

The Uptown waterfront along the Wolf River Harbor – the area of the rejuvenated Uptown neighborhood that has for the most part been left out of the revitalization – could soon become a bustling waterfront village, according to a recently released master plan for the area.

16. Republicans to Back Obama's Student Loan Plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans are willing to give President Barack Obama a rare win, the chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee said Thursday in outlining a deal that would let college students avoid a costly hike on their student loans.

17. Bass Striking Right Chord as Curb Institute Director -

John Bass earned a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Memphis.

Specifically, the degree is focused on 16th century music compared to modern jazz pedagogy and how musicians then might have been taught improvisation.

18. Riverfront Report Highlights Quick Fixes -

With a set of 20 Memphis riverfront plans and reports spanning several decades, urban planner and designer Jeff Speck’s mission wasn’t to add to the stack of documents, maps and renderings.

19. Exterior Plans for Bass Pro Approved -

Bass Pro Shops’ exterior building and site improvements for repurposing the city-owned Pyramid as a destination retailer were approved by the Design Review Board Wednesday, March 6, but the board asked for more time to digest the company’s controversial signage requests.

20. Exterior Plans for Bass Pro Approved -

Bass Pro Shops’ exterior building and site improvements for repurposing the city-owned Pyramid as a destination retailer were approved by the Design Review Board Wednesday, March 6, but the board asked for more time to digest the company’s controversial signage requests.

21. Events -

The Orpheum Theatre will present “Anything Goes” Tuesday, Feb. 26, through March 3 at the theater, 203 S. Main St. Visit orpheum-memphis.com or call 525-3000 for showtimes and tickets.

22. Events -

Make-A-Wish Mid-South will host Wine for Wishes Thursday, Feb. 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at The Cadre, 149 Monroe Ave. The fundraiser will include food and wine pairings, a silent auction and live music by The Will Tucker Band. Visit midsouth.wish.org.

23. Bass Berry Law Firm Honored for Recent Deals -

The law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC has won the mergers and acquisitions “deal of the year” award in the $50 million to $100 million category from M&A Advisors.

The deal for which Bass Berry won the award was announced earlier this year. It involved Luminex Corp. – a health care and life sciences research company – acquiring privately held GenturaDx, a molecular diagnostics company focused on making nucleic acid testing affordable and practical for any lab.

24. Towns Named to Southern College of Optometry Board -

Leticia “Tish” Towns, senior vice president of external relations for the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, has been named to the Southern College of Optometry board of trustees. Among her duties at The MED, Towns oversees the development of the hospital’s strategic plan and manages marketing and communications, community engagement, the Traumatic Brain Injury program, government relations and pastoral care.

25. As 'Fiscal Cliff' Looms, Voter Angst is Palpable -

HOOKSETT, N.H. (AP) – Five hundred miles from Washington, the lunch crowd at Robie's Country Store and Deli is filled with angst over America's elected leaders and their latest struggle to prevent a fiscal crisis.

26. Scharff Elected to Legal Roles at Buckman, Bulab Holdings -

Jonathan Scharff has been elected vice president, legal and general counsel for Buckman and corporate secretary for Bulab Holdings Inc., Buckman’s parent company. Scharff has more than 22 years’ experience in the legal industry, including positions at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale PC in St. Louis and Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh PLLC in Memphis. In his new position, he will oversee legal needs in U.S. and global operating companies and work with associates in preventing and managing legal risks.

27. Commercial Advisors Hires Ewen as Controller -

Erika Ewen has joined Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors Asset Services LLC as controller. Ewen will direct the accounting department in all accounting functions and financial reporting of Commercial Advisors Asset Services as well as all property management clients.

28. A Tasteful List 2012 -

A LIST YOU CAN SINK YOUR TEETH INTO. So many of you seemed to salivate over last year’s Tasteful List, I’ve updated it for 2012. While reduced some, make no mistake, there’s nothing dietary about it.

29. Events -

BIG for Memphis will meet Wednesday, June 27, from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Phelps Security, 4932 Park Ave. BIG brings together Memphis Police Department colonels and business leaders to curb crime and impact the community. Cost is free. R.S.V.P. to billy.garrett@phelpssecurity.com or 365-9728.

30. Literacy Mid-South’s Dean Appointed to State Coalition -

Kevin Dean, executive director of Literacy Mid-South, has been appointed to the Tennessee Literacy Coalition’s board of directors. The board unanimously approved Dean’s nomination, and he will serve as a representative from West Tennessee for three years.

31. DC Office Strengthens Bass Berry Offerings -

Business clients of a law firm often prefer to work with a firm that has a presence in the nation’s capital. And that’s understandable, given the pace of federal regulatory change, among other things.

32. City’s Music Hitting Some High Notes -

THE MEMPHIS SOUND HAS A NEW GIG. Memphis has had plenty of superstars, but the beat behind them and underneath and around them, the bass they stood on, the lead they followed, the brass that announced them and made them royalty – that beat was a superstar all by itself.

33. School of Rock to Open Locale in Germantown -

National music store School of Rock will open a location in Germantown next month adjacent to Lane Music, marking a unique partnership from both a synergistic and commercial real estate standpoint.

34. Cohen-Hart in Congressional Race at Filing Deadline -

The chairman of the countywide school board, Billy Orgel, was effectively elected to his District 7 school board seat without opposition at the Thursday, April 5, filing deadline for candidates on the Aug. 2 primary and general election ballot in Shelby County.

35. Honors Continue For Architect Of Memphis Sound -

Memphis music icon Willie Mitchell was honored on what would have been his 84th birthday last week with a Tennessee state historical marker at his Royal Studios.

36. Transportation Boosted to Top of Political Agenda -

WASHINGTON (AP) – After years of procrastination, the White House and Congress have suddenly boosted a long-term plan to improve the nation's roads, bridges and transit systems to the top of the political agenda.

37. Holtz Joins Fulmer Cos. Marketing Department -

Wendy Holtz has joined Fulmer Cos. as its marketing communications manager.

Hometown: New Braunfels, Texas

Education: B.S. in communications from the University of Texas, Austin; M.B.A. in international business from San Diego State University

38. Welcome Addition -

The four-story office building at Court Avenue and Second Street in Downtown Memphis was built in 1903 as the home of The Commercial Appeal and later became the longtime headquarters of the Welcome Wagon Corp.

39. MasterSingers, Symphony to Perform at Evergreen -

MasterSingers Chorale and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra will perform Sunday, Nov. 6, at 3:30 p.m. at Evergreen Presbyterian Church, 613 University St.

40. A Tasteful List -

A LIST YOU CAN SINK YOUR TEETH INTO. Seems like everybody has a list these days, so, in recognition of the 125th anniversary of The Daily News, here’s mine – 125 things that make Memphis easy to swallow – a sort of alphabetical soup to nuts of local flavor. Friends old and new, and a few long-gone, but I can taste them still.

41. Early Voting Off to Modest Start -

The first full week of early voting in advance of the Oct. 6 Memphis elections got a push with 1,684 citizens casting ballots on Friday, Sept. 16’s first day of the early voting period.

Another 411 filed absentee votes before Friday’s opening.

42. Bass Berry Attorneys Named Best Lawyers -

Twelve attorneys from the Memphis office of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC have been named in The Best Lawyers in America 2012.

The attorneys are Michael A. Brady, John S. Golwen, John A. Good, J. Brook Lathram, Christopher G. Lazarini, Peter R. Pettit, Stephen W. Ragland, John C. Speer, Richard R. Spore III, John A. Stemmler, Shepherd D. Tate and David A. Thornton.

43. An Elusive Search for Perfect ‘French 75’ -

Devotees of cocktails will argue the origins and ingredients of their favorite libations with the fervor of constitutional lawyers parsing the punctuation of the Bill of Rights. Certainly those who regard a correctly made Old-Fashioned or Floridita as a major component of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness will agree that going to the barricades to defend the purity and integrity of a cocktail merits the same iconic consideration as the image of five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising Old Glory on the heights of Iwo Jima.

44. Hansen Promoted to Store Manager at Macy’s -

Greg Hansen has been promoted to vice president/store manager at Macy’s Oak Court.

Hometown: Lynbrook, N.Y.

45. British Invasion -

Right before visitors to the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum enter a hallway at the end of the tour that takes them past a guestbook and leads into the gift shop, they’ll walk past a collection of black-and-white photos.

46. Planners Discuss Future of Uptown West -

Butterflies to jobs to fountains. Those were among the one-word suggestions for the Uptown West area Thursday, June 30, at the first of three public hearings held by a steering committee to guide future development of the area.

47. Sea Bass Almost Didn’t Make McEwen’s Menu -

One in an occasional series on the signature dishes of local chefs.

The Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass at McEwen’s on Monroe not only wasn’t foreseen as a signature dish, it wasn’t even supposed to be on the menu.

48. Pinnacle Awards Honor City’s Best Brokers -

As emcee Dan Conaway noted in his opening address Thursday night at the 10th annual Pinnacle Awards, “OK is the new great.”

49. Pinnacle Awards Honor City's Best Brokers -

As emcee Dan Conaway noted in his opening address Thursday night at the 10th annual Pinnacle Awards, “OK is the new great.”

50. Boehner Signals Compromise in Budget Talks -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker John Boehner signaled Thursday that a compromise is coming with Democrats on immediate cuts in government spending, noting that Democrats control the White House and the other half of Congress. Boehner said Republicans are fighting for the biggest spending cuts they can get.

51. Tea Party Rallies to Keep GOP Cutting Spending -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The tea partyers who helped drive GOP gains in the last election rallied in the city they love to hate Thursday, urging Republican House leaders – Speaker John Boehner above all – to resist the drive toward compromise in the protracted fight over the federal budget. Even, they say, if that means Congress fails to do its most important job: pay for the government.

52. Council Moves To Set Up School System Summit -

Memphis city council members are setting up a summit meeting to talk about the political standoff between the county’s two public school systems.

Council members approved a resolution Tuesday calling for a meeting of the two school boards, the council, the Shelby County Commission, both mayors and Shelby County legislators to Nashville.

53. Council to Hear Latest MCS Payment Pitch -

At the next-to-last meeting of the year, Memphis City Council members take up some complex financial and political matters.

For now they are discussing matters during committee sessions Tuesday that precede the main council session at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. An agenda is on page 10.

54. MSO Concert to Benefit At-Risk Children -

School children in Memphis will have a little more music in their holidays this year thanks to a unique collaboration between the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of at-risk children.

55. High Note -

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the University of Memphis’ Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music has planned a concert that will blow the roof off, assuming the walls don’t burst at the seams first.

The fact that Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection), which was chosen for the concert, is too big both sound-wise and size-wise for the school’s Harris Concert Hall is reminiscent of the growth that has taken place since the former “music department” became a “school of music” in 2000.

56. Germantown’s ‘Godspell’ Steeped With Everyday Life -

It’s not uncommon for theater directors to couch old standards in new, quirky settings, but when quirks are a play’s hallmark, sometimes simplicity makes for a welcome change.

Such may be the case for Germantown Community Theatre’s 39th season opener, “Godspell,” the extremely versatile retelling of the Gospel of St. Matthew, written by John-Michael Tebeleak with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

57. 11 Bass Berry Attorneys Named in Best Lawyers -

Eleven attorneys from the Memphis office of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC have been named in The Best Lawyers in America 2011.

The Memphis attorneys include Michael A. Brady, alternative dispute resolution; John S. Golwen, commercial litigation; John A .Good, banking law, corporate governance and compliance law, corporate law, mergers & acquisitions law, securities law; Christopher G. Lazarini, alternative dispute resolution; Peter R. Pettit, banking law; Stephen W. Ragland, bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law; John C. Speer, banking law, commercial litigation; Richard R. Spore III, administrative law, banking law, real estate law; John A Stemmler, banking law, project finance law, real estate law; Shepherd D. Tate, alternative dispute resolution, commercial litigation, securities law; David A. Thornton, employee benefits law

58. Cash’s Road Manager Reminisces About ‘Life With Johnny’ -

Marshall Grant and Johnny Cash were stuck at a train crossing one night in 1955 when they heard one of Cash’s early hits on the radio, prompting the Man in Black to say: “We don’t sound like other people.”

59. Parker Joins Management of Semmes-Murphey -

Dr. Autry Parker has joined the pain management team at Semmes-Murphey Neurologic & Spine Institute. Parker is a board certified, fellowship trained anesthesiologist, specializing in the treatment of severe and chronic pain.

60. LaVere Adds Playhouse Series to Busy Summer -

Amy LaVere is sandwiching a special gift for her Memphis fans into a jam-packed fall schedule that includes a movie role, touring and recording a new album.

Resource Entertainment Group and Playhouse on the Square have teamed up with the bass-slapping chanteuse to produce Amy LaVere & Friends, a concert series that kicks off June 30 on the Midtown theater’s main stage.

61. Seafood Businesses Combat Oil Spill Misconceptions -

Market repercussions from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are causing bigger problems for Memphis seafood businesses at this point than the actual environmental damage from the disaster.

Supply has been diminished as fishermen stop trawling for shrimp and dredging for oysters so they can make better money putting out oil booms for BP, whose Deepwater Horizon platform exploded last month. Shrimp prices are going up even though Gulf shrimp accounts for a small portion of the overall market. And people are becoming fearful of eating seafood.

62. Colvett Named Greenscape President -

Frank Colvett Jr. has been promoted to president of GreenScape Inc.

Colvett previously was executive vice president and corporate treasurer. He has been at GreenScape since 1992 and has served in various capacities including project manager, estimator and vice president of marketing.

63. Wopat Presents Evening of Jazz at BPACC -

For St. Valentine’s Day weekend, the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center (BPACC) is bringing a well-known face from a popular early-1980s television series, but audiences may be surprised to find his talent isn’t limited to acting.

64. Howard Named Prez-Elect Of Collegiate Registrars And Admissions Officers -

Kate Howard has been named president-elect of the Tennessee Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

65. Stephens Named Executive Director Of Exceptional Foundation of West Tenn. -

Jeni Stephens has been named the executive director of the Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee.

Stephens was appointed following a national search conducted by the EFWT.

She joins the EFWT with a 14-year background in nonprofit administration. She most recently served as deputy director of development for the Pink Palace Family of Museums. She also has served as director of marketing and development for the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and the Memphis Academy of Science in Engineering.

66. Memphis Bar Assn. Elects New Officers, Board Members -

At the Memphis Bar Association’s Annual Meeting Thursday at The Peabody hotel, the MBA announced its 2010 officers and new members of its board of directors.

Immediate past president Art Quinn passed the gavel to incoming president Ricky E. Wilkins of the Law Offices of Ricky E. Wilkins. John Cannon of Shuttleworth Williams PLLC and Gary K. Smith of Apperson Crump & Maxwell PLC automatically move to the positions of vice president/president-elect and treasurer, respectively. Linda Warren Seely, director of pro bono projects at Memphis Area Legal Services Inc., was chosen as secretary.

67. Calvary Noon-Hour Concerts in Full Swing -

Driving Downtown for the Calvary & the Arts concert every Wednesday has become an autumn ritual for Skip Daniel.

Last week, he listened to the Celtic music of Planet Reel in the sanctuary of Calvary Episcopal Church at 102 N. Second St. Wednesday, he plans to hear the Memphis Jazz Orchestra play a Veterans Day tribute.

68. Bass Pro Shows Signs of Continuing Interest in Pyramid -

John Morris, the founder of Springfield, Mo.-based retailer Bass Pro Shops, has traveled to Memphis three times in the past 90 days.

69. A Mayor’s Race to Remember: Candidates pump up the drama as election nears -

The field is set at 25 candidates and Memphians start voting Sept. 25 in a mayor’s race that has been neither a surprise nor the expected.

But there’s no guarantee the election will settle what the post-Willie Herenton era will look like. Too many other events still have to be decided.

70. Beale Street Report Overshadowed by Wilkins Flap - The handing over of the case files is still being worked out. So is a motion for a change of counsel. And the final invoice from attorney Ricky E. Wilkins for his work on the Chancery Court case involving the Beale Street Entertainment District is yet to come.

The decision by Memphis Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery to replace Wilkins comes at a crucial time in the long-running case.

Special Chancellor Don Harris is about to unseal a report on the entertainment district that has already been partially leaked. The report from Philadelphia accounting firm Parente Randolph was being prepared for release late last week as Wilkins and Lowery began a testy e-mail exchange that ended with Lowery firing Wilkins earlier this week.

For the past year or so of former Mayor Willie Herenton’s tenure, the city, represented by Wilkins, was zealously pursuing an accounting of money from Beale Street since 2002.

Money pit

The money is supposed to flow from the nightclubs on Beale Street to management company Performa Entertainment to the Beale Street Development Corp. and finally to the city. The money hasn’t flowed to the city at all, even though the city owns the district. On that, all sides agree.

The BSDC is the nonprofit board that holds the lease from the city, and Performa has a contract to run, manage and develop Beale Street with the BSDC.

Performa CEO John Elkington contends the district wasn’t profitable for a long time after its dedication in late 1983. Elkington said he and Performa put their own money into it. Under his contract, Elkington said he can and should recoup the money when the district turns a profit.

Wilkins contended in court that Performa mingled the Beale Street money with Performa ventures in other cities. It’s an allegation Elkington has adamantly denied.

“That’s nowhere in the report,” Elkington said in his only positive reference to the Parente Randolph findings.

Advocacy wars

The report by Paul Pocalyko, a principal of the accounting and consulting firm, concluded Performa owed the city of Memphis more than $6 million in profits from the district.

Press reports of Pocalyko’s multimillion-dollar bottom line had the political effect of stalling plans by Lowery to settle the lawsuit and fire City Attorney Elbert Jefferson.

“My overall goal is to save the taxpayers money,” Lowery said this week, denying that he is trying to “squash” the accounting of profits from the district. “If this case can be settled, I want it settled. If it must go to court, then it will go to court. But the overall goal is to improve the efficiency of this city.”

Elkington has been Beale Street’s developer since the district between Second and Fourth streets reopened 25 years ago.

“They spent $500,000 on an audit that is not an audit,” he said.

Elkington recently hired attorney John C. Speer, a member of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC, to represent Performa.

Speer wouldn’t comment on the content of the Pocalyko report.

But he said, in general, the report mistakenly counted revenue, to the tune of millions of dollars, as due the city.

“That document is not an audit. It’s an opinion,” Speer said. “We are disappointed that it wasn’t an audit because we think an audit would have a credibility that would have supported the conclusion we have that there’s not any money owed to the city.”

Earlier this week, Speer was awaiting his own full copy of the report and both sides were still arguing about what would be redacted from it.

“The conclusions and opinions in there are not supported by fact,” Speer said. “They are opinions that are designed to support the position taken by the city’s attorney.”

That included approximately $2 million merchants made from selling wristbands over the seven-year period starting in 2002. The wristband sales allow patrons to get in several clubs for one cover charge.

“That money never goes to us. That’s $2.1 million,” Elkington told The Daily News. “So a third of what they are alleging went to the merchants.”

Another $900,000 was disallowed because it was a credit some tenants were given on their rent after they made property improvements. But Performa claims it has a 1991 letter with then-city chief administrative officer Greg Duckett approving the credit arrangement.

“What they’re trying to do is rewrite the lease,” Elkington said. “We’ve always said, ‘If we owe some money, we’ll pay it.’ … Right now, this is stuff that is conjecture.”

‘Black hole’

Lowery has said one of his first actions on taking office was to direct city Chief Administrative Officer Jack Sammons to find a way to settle the Beale Street lawsuit.

A settlement had been one of three priorities – along with a Mid-South Fairgrounds redevelopment contract and an agreement for Bass Pro Shops to develop The Pyramid – Herenton had set for his final weeks in office but never achieved.

Lowery had the same goal for his tenure, which lasts until the special election on Oct. 15 if he doesn’t win the right to fill out Herenton’s term.

Lowery’s immediate concern was millions of dollars the city was paying outside attorneys to pursue litigation. That concern was why Lowery tried to fire Jefferson within minutes of taking the oath of office on July 31. He held Jefferson responsible for what he termed a “black hole” of legal expenses approved on Jefferson’s watch as city attorney.

Lowery mentioned prominently the $35,000 a month to Wilkins and his law firm for work on the Beale Street case.

...

71. Field of 28 For Mayor Meets Filing Deadline With Enough Signatures -  

A field of 28 candidates had filed petitions with enough valid signatures to run in the Oct. 15 special election for Memphis mayor by today’s noon deadline.

Shelby County Election Commission administrator Richard Holden told The Daily News several contenders had their petitions rejected once election commission staff checked the signatures.

Each person signing must be a registered voter in the city of Memphis and list the address that is on their voter registration record.

A total of 33 petitions were filed by the noon deadline. But several candidates were disqualified for not having enough signatures. And then three were returned to the list of candidates after a second check of their petitions. Those who returned to candidate status included Memphis school board member Sharon Webb.

Those who made today's cut have until noon Sept. 10 to withdraw from the race. The field will then become final.

The candidates include: 

  • Leo Awghowhat
  • Kenneth Baroff
  • Joe Brown, Memphis City Council member
  • Randy L. Cagle
  • Charles Carpenter, attorney
  • Carol Chumney, former City Council member
  • Dewey Clark, former aide to and witness against jailed Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell
  • James M. Clingan
  • Menelik Fombi, a candidate for Memphis City Schools Board in past elections
  • Wanda Halbert, chairwoman, City Council budget committee
  • Johnny Hatcher
  • Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges  
  • Constance Houston
  • Dewayne Jones
  • E.C. Jones, former City Council member
  • Jerry Lawler, entertainer and former professional wrestler
  • Myron Lowery, Memphis mayor pro tem
  • Ernie Lunati
  • Harrel C. Moore  
  • Mary T. Shelby-Wright, perennial candidate for numerous offices
  • Detric W. Stigall
  • Silky Sullivan, restaurant owner and entrepreneur
  • David Vinciarelli
  • Vuong Vaughn Vo
  • Sharon Webb, Memphis school board member
  • Kenneth T. Whalum Jr., pastor of New Olivet Baptist Church and Memphis school board member
  • A C Wharton Jr., Shelby County mayor
  • John Willingham, former Shelby County commissioner

Sullivan showed up at the Election Commission in a white Rolls Royce wearing a white suit.

“When you see this white suit, you know I’m coming at you,” he told reporters as he outlined a plan to turn The Pyramid over to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital instead of the proposed lease to Bass Pro Shops.

“It’s going to be a dogfight,” Sullivan said of the mayor’s race.

When someone asked if he would still be in the race after next week’s withdrawal deadline, Sullivan said he was in “to the violent end.”

“You know you can’t win,” political blogger and radio talk show host Thaddeus Matthews said to Sullivan.

“Why not?” Sullivan replied.

Anthony Willoughby, the last candidate to file before noon, told reporters he was a Realtor-broker who played a role in the development of Banneker Estates in southwest Memphis, the subdivision developed by former Mayor Willie Herenton.

“I’m not a politician,” Willoughby said. “I’m going to run on that statement.”

Willoughby didn't have enough qualified signatures, though. So he won't be running.

Daniko Flowers, a construction worker still wearing his safety vest, showed up at five minutes before noon and checked out a petition. He returned at three minutes past noon and was not allowed to file. Flowers only had 18 signatures on the petition anyway.

...

72. Events -

MPACT Memphis will hold a Lunch Bunch today at noon at MPACT’s office, 506 S. Main St. To R.S.V.P., contact Joy Turner at jturner@mpactmemphis.org or 528-8340.

73. Dress Newest Pathologist At Pathology Group of the MidSouth -

Dr. Matthew A. Dress has joined Pathology Group of the MidSouth PC as its newest pathologist.

Before joining Pathology Group of the MidSouth, Dress served as the chief resident in anatomic and clinical pathology at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Tennessee. He then completed a fellowship in hematopathology at the University of Rochester Medical Center-Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. 

74. Law Firm Alliances on the Rise -

Law firms locally and nationally are more frequently forming partnerships with other firms or joining networks to help better serve their clients and use every attorney’s base of knowledge to improve overall performance.

75. Why the Struggle to Control Beale Street Continues -

Eight blocks lie between the Shelby County Courthouse and Beale Street.

The courthouse’s seated representations of wisdom, justice, liberty and authority look southward toward the entertainment district. Sometimes, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, you can hear the band in Handy Park from the courthouse steps.

76. Beale St. Merchants Take City to Court -

The Beale Street Merchants Association has joined the thickening legal fray over the finances of the entertainment district.

The association filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Chancery Court against the city of Memphis, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com. It came as the city’s attorney accused the district’s manager, Performa Entertainment, of “hiding behind” a protective order in another lawsuit.

77. Beale St. Merchants Take City to Court -

The Beale Street Merchants Association has joined the thickening legal fray over the finances of the entertainment district.

The association filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Chancery Court against the city of Memphis, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com. It came as the city’s attorney accused the district’s manager, Performa Entertainment, of “hiding behind” a protective order in another lawsuit.

78. Shanker Named Partner At Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs -

Jill Uiberall Shanker has become a partner at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP. Shanker is a member of Wyatt’s Corporate and Securities Team.

79. UT Medical Group Names Martin VP of Corporate Compliance -

Linda Martin has joined UT Medical Group Inc. as vice president of corporate compliance.

80. Good Discusses Corporate Practice, Economic Effect on Mergers, Transactions -

John Good is a member and former managing partner at Bass Berry & Sims PLC and a principal founder of the firm’s Memphis office. Good practices in the areas of securities offerings and other corporate finance matters, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. He serves on the firm’s Executive Committee, which manages the firm.

81. Bass Pro Project Picture Becomes Clearer - For six hours Monday, the political and legal forces backing a Bass Pro Shops development of The Pyramid made their case to Memphis City Council members and the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.

They began that morning at City Hall and ended that afternoon at the County Building as Bass Pro CEO Jim Hagale ran to catch a 3 p.m. flight out of Memphis.

After it was done, the effort had made some progress with the skeptical local elected officials who are most concerned with the financial assumptions behind the project. And critics on both bodies succeeded in stripping away a bit of the gift wrapping on the package.

Part of the sales pitch included how rent from Bass Pro would help pay the remaining city and county government debt on The Pyramid. The combined debt comes to about $10 million with county government owing just more than $5 million of that.

Commissioner Mike Ritz calculated that all but about a million of the county’s debt would be paid by the time a Bass Pro Shop opens.

Memphis Regional Chamber President and CEO John Moore came with a printed handout after the meeting to refute the point. Ritz had his own and neither made much progress in convincing the other. But Ritz is the one with a vote on the future of the project.

“Some of them are drinking the Kool-Aid,” Ritz said after a couple of rounds with Moore on the point. A lobbying session between Ritz and former County Commission member Charles Perkins, hired by the city of Memphis, appeared more amicable.

Pursuing finality

Incoming commission chairwoman Deidre Malone said the four-member city-county Pyramid Reuse Committee of which she’s a member will be the next to take up the proposal and make a recommendation to the full council and commission.

A commission vote could come by the end of September, she estimated.

Council member Jim Strickland chaired the council’s session but said no vote had been scheduled by the full council.

Negotiators for the city, who have taken the lead in the talks at the agreement of both mayors, had set a Sept. 15 deadline to have approval by both bodies.

But Hagale didn’t seem to be worried about trying to enforce an exact date.

“All these deadlines are floating around. I’m not sure what they are,” he told The Daily News. “I’m going to be honest. I’ve signed three agreements here. The ball is in the city and county’s court. Hopefully, they’ve had enough time to vet all of the other options and they’ll come to a conclusion. This process, I think, for everybody’s benefit needs to be finalized.”

As Commissioner Steve Mulroy questioned Hagale about Bass Pro’s Memphis business plan, Hagale put a finer point on the efforts from his end of the negotiations that began three years ago this week.

“I’ve signed three agreements since this all started that have not been counter-signed,” he said. “Frankly, I think Bass Pro has been given credit for delays in this project that are not rightfully ours.”

The central question for commissioners and council members is $30 million in state and federal government funding to build a parking garage and take on infrastructure projects around The Pyramid.

Funding sources

City Housing & Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb was adamant that no city or county general fund revenue would be used in the project. He and the city negotiating team said $87 million in potential funding through the use of tax incentives and other financing instruments has been identified to draw the $30 million from. That includes drawing from excess tax revenue returned to projects already in zones identified as a tourism development zone (TDZ) and a tax increment financing (TIF) area.

Strickland questioned attorney Charles Carpenter, part of Lipscomb's team, closely on whether the city and county governments would be on the hook if there aren’t excess revenues.

“That’s never been anticipated,” Carpenter replied.

“There’s no way possible?” Strickland asked.

“I’m not that omnipotent,” Carpenter responded.

Strickland was uncertain at the end of the session.

“I still am not crystal clear in my mind that general fund tax dollars will not be used for the project. It was said that they are not intended to be used,” he said. “I don’t know the answer to that.”

Attorney Hunter Humphreys said Bass Pro’s $1-million-a-month rental fee to local government starting in the second year of a 20-year contract once the new attraction is open could be offset with ad valorem tax revenue or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements. But Humphreys said that wouldn’t include an offset for sales tax revenue.

Ritz, who had feared tax offsets would mean Bass Pro wouldn’t pay any rent, argued the language on that point could be more specific in the agreement.

Humphreys said a lease agreement to come after the development agreement would have more detail.

“I think it’s clear on this issue. … I’d love to argue it if it were ever disputed on this issue,” he told Ritz.

The 20-year contract would follow a two-year construction period that would in turn follow the one-year period covered by the development agreement unveiled this week.

The commission and council would have to approve those agreements as well.

Meanwhile, Hagale said structural issues that had been a concern of Bass Pro this summer have been resolved.

“I don’t think that at this point, we have any concerns about the structural feasibility of that building,” he said.

Concerns about new seismic standards in place since The Pyramid was opened in 1991 and how to build a seven-story hotel inside the structure were a major issue earlier this year as project negotiations reached a decisive point. Hagale told The Daily News on Monday that he was unaware of the end of July deadline at the time.

He also addressed doubts about his commitment to the project.

“Early on we said that we wanted this to be really evaluated on the merits, and not become a part of the theatrics,” Hagale said at the first session of the day.

...

82. Events -

The Memphis Regional Chamber will hold its Breakfast Forum today from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at The Peabody, 149 Union Ave. The cost is $20 for chamber members and $30 for nonmembers. To R.S.V.P., contact Ericka Milford at emilford@memphischamber.com or 543-3518.

83. Events -

The Memphis Bar Association will hold a continuing legal education seminar, "Family Law Seminar," today from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the MBA conference room, 80 Monroe Ave., Suite 200. For more information, call the MBA at 527-3573.

84. Mattila Vows Not to Cause Shake-Up; Wharton Concerned Over Bass Pro Deal -

Shelby County Trustee Paul Mattila doesn't plan to make any changes in faces at the office he took over this week after winning appointment by the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.

Mattila secured the appointment during a busy day at the County Building that saw Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. react for the first time to proposed terms of development of The Pyramid by Bass Pro Shops.

85. Mattila Wins Trustee’s Post, Wharton Has Problems With Bass Pro Terms -

Paul Mattila, a legislative assistant to the late Shelby County Trustee Bob Patterson, was appointed Monday to be the new Shelby County Trustee. In balloting by Shelby County Commissioners, Mattila beat Debra R. Gates, chief administrator under Patterson and interim Trustee since Patterson’s death last month.

86. Mattila Wins Trustee’s Post, Wharton Has Problems With Bass Pro Terms -

Paul Mattila, a legislative assistant to the late Shelby County Trustee Bob Patterson, was appointed today to be the new Shelby County Trustee. In balloting by Shelby County Commissioners, Mattila beat Debra R. Gates, chief administrator under Patterson and interim Trustee since Patterson’s death last month.

87. History Lesson Serves As Cautionary Tale For The Pyramid -

When Brad Fain of Prosperity International looked at the Memphis riverfront around The Pyramid recently, he saw something that wasn't there. But he also missed a key part of the mental landscape.

Fain's Orlando investment company is one of the two out-of-town financial partners in the Ericson Group's $250 million plan to turn The Pyramid into Pyramid Adventure theme park and develop Mud Island park as well as other parts of the riverfront. The other is Essex Investment Partners of New York.

88. Commission Remains Tight-Lipped About Pyramid -

Shelby County commissioners weren't in the mood this week to say much about the new proposal to turn The Pyramid into a theme park. The $250 million Pyramid Adventure theme park idea that includes surrounding riverfront development got good reviews last week before commissioners.

89. Peterson Named Director of Purchasing at UTHSC -

Kenneth M. Peterson has been appointed director of purchasing for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Previously, Peterson was a career employee of the U.S. government, and formerly served as director of the National Acquisition Center for the Customs and Border Patrol Protection Service in the Department of Homeland Security.

90. Bass, Berry & Sims LawyersRecognized in Best Lawyers -      Eight attorneys from the Memphis office of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC have been recognized in the Best Lawyers in America 2008, representing 11 different specialty areas. The firm has more listed attorneys in the field of ba

91. Bass Berry Lawyer to Smooth Voter Issues As Presidential Election Approaches -

The controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election brought attention to the myriad problems in the U.S. voting process.

Voters in that election, in which George W. Bush defeated Tennessee Democrat Al Gore, claimed they were suppressed or presented with obstacles in registering to vote, which resulted in a barrage of recounts and delayed election results.

92. Bass Berry Starts Capitalizing on REITs -

The U.S. Congress created real estate investment trusts, or REITs, in the 1960s as a way to encourage real estate investment.

More than 40 years later, REITs are still a strong investment opportunity for people looking to diversify their portfolios, said Dr. Pankaj Jain, an assistant professor in the Fogelman College of Business and Economics' Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate at the University of Memphis.

93. Reynolds Named Head Baseball Coach at STCC -

Alan "Bo" Reynolds has been named the new head baseball coach at Southwest Tennessee Community College. He previously worked at Olive Branch High School, where he was head baseball coach in 2005-2006 after serving as assistant coach from 2003 to 2005. He also coached at Rhodes College from 1990 to 2003, where he was both an assistant coach and head coach and the University of Memphis from 1987 to 1990. There, he was an assistant under head coach Bobby Kilpatrick.

94. The Sound of Music Makes Itself Heard -

In Jerry Schilling's new book, "Me and a Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship with Elvis Presley," Memphis music is as much a central character as Schilling himself, the youngest member of Elvis' famed Memphis Mafia.

95. Christensen Named to Top Posts At Leading Medical Facilities -

Michael L. Christensen has been appointed the Stevens Professor in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy. Christensen also has assumed the directorship of the Pharmaceutical Department of Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, as well as the directorship of the Pediatric Clinical Research Unit at the Children's Foundation Research Center. He is a pediatric clinical pharmacist with expertise in clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, pediatric therapeutics and pediatric clinical trials. The new Stevens professorship was established and funded by Mr. and Mrs. David Stevens.

96. Bass Berry's Stemmler Recognized In Chambers USA 2006 Guide -

"Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business" recently ranked John A. Stemmler of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC among the nation's best real estate attorneys.

Chambers and Partners publishes the world-renowned guides "Chambers UK," "Chambers USA," "Chambers Global" and "Chambers Student." The guides contain assessments of the reputations and expertise of business lawyers in 175 countries across the world. General counsel and other purchasers of legal services refer to Chambers rankings when selecting lawyers.

97. First Mercantile Taps Maness to Handle National Accounts -

Philip E. Maness has been appointed director of national accounts and executive vice president of First Mercantile in Cordova. He began his career with First Mercantile in 1984, serving most recently as strategic planning officer.

98. Memphis Area Legal Services Board Elects Matthews as VP -

The Memphis Area Legal Services' board of directors has elected Antonio "Toney" Matthews to serve as its vice president. Matthews is an attorney with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC and is a member of the Defense Research Institute, the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association and the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility Hearing Committee.

99. Xanadu Owner Makes Guitars from Cigar Boxes -

When John and Beverly Lowe started Xanadu Music and Books at the corner of Winchester and Old Germantown roads in Hickory Hill in 1987, they only sold books. Then, they started selling musical instruments and merchandise. Now, after having moved to 2200 Central Ave. in 2000, they've added cigar box guitars.

100. Local Resident Named Land Realtor of America -

Keith Morris of 4M Land Co. in Somerville was honored with the 2005 Land Realtor of America award by the Realtors Land Institute. Morris, current president of the Tennesseen RLI chapter, is the first Tennessean to receive the award. He graduated from the University of Memphis.