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Editorial Results (free)

1. Germantown Schools Joins Shared Services Pact -

When the Germantown Municipal Schools board voted May 5 to not participate in three shared services agreements with the other five suburban school systems, it “strained” the school system’s relationship with the other five, Germantown Schools superintendent Jason Manuel told the board Wednesday, May 14.

2. Suburban Leaders Turn to Schools Details -

Shelby County Schools board members have schools agreements with suburban leaders in Bartlett, Collierville and Millington on their agenda Tuesday, Nov. 26, a week after approving the same type of agreements with different dollar amounts with Arlington and Lakeland.

3. Suburban Prospects -

Walker Taylor’s business philosophy is a simple one, and it’s helping keep his Germantown-based restaurant a must-visit for diners from around the world.

4. Suburban Voters Decide School Board Races -

Voters in Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities elected their respective municipal schools boards Thursday, Nov. 7 with low voter turnouts that reflected that most of the school board positions on the ballots were one-candidate uncontested races.

5. Early Voting Expands in District 91 Primary -

Early voting in the Democratic primary special election for State House District 91 expands Friday, Sept. 27, from the Shelby County Election Commission’s Downtown offices, 157 Poplar Ave., to three satellite locations.

6. Filing Deadline Nears for School Board Races -

It looks as if the prospective candidates in many of the suburban school board races on the Nov. 7 ballot had already decided the winners a day away from the noon, Thursday, Sept. 26, filing deadline for the six sets of races.

7. Election Aftermath -

At least one suburban leader wants to explore the idea of a shared superintendent for several of the municipal school districts to come.

Arlington Mayor Mike Wissman raised the possibility the day after voters in all six suburban cities and towns approved in special elections the formation of separate suburban school systems.

8. County Commission Debates Schools Merger -

Shelby County Commissioners marked the two-year anniversary Monday, Feb. 11, of the federal lawsuit over schools consolidation and municipal school districts with a running debate across several items about the upcoming schools merger.

9. Schools Merger Budget Sent Back -

The first and very preliminary draft of a budget for the first year of the consolidated public school system in Shelby County was probably dead on arrival this week.

Even before a public hearing Monday, Jan. 4, that drew several hundred people, countywide school board members spent most of the day reviewing the numbers with the transition steering committee – a group of top administrators from both school systems.

10. Huffman Brings Leverage to Possible Mediation -

Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman would bring lots of political leverage with him should he mediate the coming merger of schools in Shelby County.

11. Obama Carries Shelby, Cohen Over Flinn and Two Tax Hikes Defeated -

President Barack Obama carried Shelby County in unofficial Nov. 6 election returns as his Republican challenger Mitt Romney took the state’s 11 electoral votes.

Voter turnout in the most popular election cycle among Shelby County voters was 61.9 percent, about the same percentage as four years ago. But the 371,256 voters is fewer than 2008 when more than 400,000 Shelby County voters cast ballots. The percentage is about the same because there are fewer registered voters in Shelby County than there were four years ago after a purge by election officials.

12. School Board Members Look to Post-Election Direction -

Once the winners are certified in the six sets of suburban school board races on Tuesday’s ballot in Shelby County, the first order of business for all of the boards will be selecting superintendents to run the six fledgling school systems.

13. Suburban School Board Races Almost Set -

Races on the Nov. 6 ballot for six sets of suburban school boards took shape Thursday, Aug. 16, at the noon filing deadline for candidate qualifying petitions.

The candidates that made the deadline have another week to withdraw from the races if they wish.

14. Board to Make Ad Hoc Choices -

Countywide school board members meet Thursday, Aug. 16, to take another step toward the selection of a single superintendent to oversee the schools merger process.

The board meets at 5 p.m. at Overton High School before the latest in a series of public forums at the school on the proposed schools consolidation blueprint.

15. Schools Transition Committee Hears Few Hopes In Collierville - The first public hearing in the schools consolidation process Tuesday, Jan. 10, drew more than 600 people to Collierville United Methodist Church.

Hosted by the schools consolidation transition planning commission, the forum featured lots of opposition to the coming schools consolidation and concerns about student achievement and the movement of students and teachers among schools.

16. Commission To Pick School Board Members -

Shelby County Commissioners take the final step Monday, Sept. 12, to the creation of a new countywide school board that will take office in three weeks.

The commission meets at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

17. County Commission Interviews School Board Applicants -

It took Shelby County Commissioners nearly 10 hours Wednesday, Sept. 7, to interview nearly 100 contenders for seven appointments to the countywide school board that takes office Oct. 1.

The general government committee session with the applicants is a good indicator of what is likely to happen Monday when the full commission makes the appointments. The seven non-binding straw polls of the commission included selections by most of the 13-member body. But they selected either three or four finalists each which means there will probably a lot of shifts in votes Monday when commissioners are limited to one vote each.

18. Countywide School Board List Hits 100 -

Shelby County Commissioners are preparing for a long afternoon Wednesday, Sept. 7, as they interview applicants for the seven seats the commission will fill on the new countywide school board.

The interview sessions before the general government committee chaired by commissioner Mike Carpenter begin at noon.

19. Post-Election, Political Leaders Talk Turnout -

Sometime this week, the Shelby County Election Commission will meet to certify the results of the Aug. 5 elections.

There may or may not be a challenge of those election results in Chancery Court by the Shelby County Democratic Party and several losing candidates. But discussion about why Democrats fared so poorly and Republicans did so well in the county general elections will probably endure beyond questions about voting irregularities.

20. GOP Carries Countywide Offices -

The only thing Republican candidates in Shelby County were denied in the Aug. 5 elections was a majority on the Shelby County Commission. The local GOP slate swept every countywide partisan race on the ballot with Thursday’s election results.

Voter turnout – early and Election Day – was almost 30 percent of Shelby County’s 600,000 voters. All election returns will be audited and must be certified by the Shelby County Election Commission.

Republican Bill Oldham, the former chief deputy of the Sheriff’s Department under outgoing Sheriff Mark Luttrell, beat Democrat Randy Wade in the race for sheriff.

The unofficial returns with all precincts reporting were:

Oldham: 89,613 (52%)

Wade: 82,981 (48%)

Wade, who was the Democratic nominee for sheriff in 2002, linked his 2010 campaign to the re-election bid of Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen. Wade, a former sheriff’s deputy, is Cohen’s district director.

Oldham campaigned on continuing the policies of Luttrell. But his campaign faltered when Oldham was forced to resign his job as chief deputy – the No. 2 position in the department – following a complaint to the U.S. Justice Department that his candidacy violated the Federal Hatch Act.

The civil complaint investigated by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel left Oldham with the choice of either quitting the job or quitting the race. To keep both could have jeopardized federal funding the department receives.

The complaint was unique because deputies and high-ranking officers running for sheriff has been a regular feature of the sheriff’s race for decades. It wasn’t until 2002 that those in the department were required to take a leave of absence if they ran.

In other general election races, challenger Ken Hoover lost to Shelby County School Board Chairman David Pickler in the race for the District 5 seat on the seven-member board.

Pickler has been chairman for 11 of the 12 years the school board has been an elected body. Pickler ran on his record as chairman. Hoover also ran on Pickler’s record, saying his leadership style was too autocratic and not transparent enough.

The unofficial results were:

Pickler: 5,123 (51%)

Hoover: 4,956 (49%)

In the two other contested school board races, former Bolton High School principal Snowden “Butch” Carruthers beat Millington parent Charlene White in District 1. And political newcomer David Reaves beat fellow newcomer Lara A. McIntyre, both of Bartlett, for the District 3 seat.

White and McIntyre both called for change in school board methods during their campaigns.

District 7 school board member Ernest Chism ran unopposed.

The even-numbered district school board seats are on the 2012 county ballot.

After running for Probate Court clerk three other times, Democratic nominee Sondra Becton could not claim the office on her fourth try – even with the incumbent she campaigned against the three other times out of the race. Republican contender Paul Boyd easily beat Becton in the race for the office Chris Thomas gave up to run for and win a seat on the Shelby County Commission.

Becton lost to Thomas by 604 votes four years ago and was among the four Democratic challengers who unsuccessfully challenged the results in Chancery Court. This time she lost by more than 6,500 votes.

The vote totals were:

Boyd: 82,259 (52%)

Becton: 75,702 (48%)

Republican Tom Leatherwood easily defeated Democratic challenger Coleman Thompson to remain Shelby County register. The two faced each other in 2006, with Leatherwood winning.

The results Thursday were:

Leatherwood: 96,531 (58%)

Thompson: 68,784 (42%)

As early voting began, Thompson’s Pyramid Recovery Center was evicted from its longtime South Memphis space that was also an early voting site and an election day polling place. The landlord agreed to leave the voting sites up and running. But the possibility of a change in polling places served to highlight Thompson’s financial problems.

Late publicity about financial problems took a toll on another Democratic contender.

Newcomer Corey Maclin began campaigning early for Shelby County clerk, with incumbent Republican Debbie Stamson not seeking re-election. Maclin lost to Republican nominee Wayne Mashburn, the son of late county clerk Sonny Mashburn.

The unofficial returns were:

Mashburn: 88,619 (55%)

Maclin: 72,651 (45%)

Stamson’s husband, Steve Stamson, retired as Juvenile Court clerk, setting up the race that was won by Republican nominee Joy Touliatos, the chief administrative officer of the clerk’s office. She beat Democratic nominee Shep Wilbun, who won appointment to the clerk’s office in 2000 but lost to Stamson in the 2002 election and was beaten by Stamson again in 2006.

With all precincts reporting, the numbers were:

Touliatos: 85,849 (51%)

Wilbun: 73,345 (44%)

The remaining votes went to independent candidate Julia R. Wiseman.

Also seeking a return to countywide office was Minerva Johnican. Johnican, the Democratic nominee for Criminal Court clerk, lost to Republican nominee Kevin Key, the son of outgoing Criminal Court Clerk Bill Key and an administrator with the Circuit Court Clerk’s office.

The results were:

Key: 79,755 (49%)

Johnican: 74,831 (46%)

Independent candidate Jerry Stamson: 8,581 (5%)

Johnican, also a former Memphis City Council member and Shelby County Commissioner lost the clerk’s job in 1994 when she was upset by the elder Key.

Incumbent Republican Circuit Court Clerk Jimmy Moore easily defeated Democratic challenger Ricky Dixon. Although Dixon was part of the effort by Democratic party leaders to get voters to vote the entire party slate, Moore continued to show up at Democratic functions and make his case for crossover votes.

Regina Morrison Newman, the third Shelby County tustee in four years, lost her bid for a full term in the office to Republican challenger David Lenoir. It was an impressive political debut for Lenoir, who had heavy backing from the local GOP.

The results were:

Lenoir: 77,166 (49%)

Newman: 72,618 (46%)

Independent candidate Derrick Bennett: 6,353 (4%)

Newman was appointed to the office by the Shelby County Commission following the 2009 death of Trustee Paul Mattila. Mattila was appointed to the office and won a special election for the position following the 2008 death of Bob Patterson. Patterson was re-elected to a four-year term in 2006.

In the judicial races:

Attorney Bill Anderson Jr. emerged atop a field of 20 candidates for General Sessions Criminal Court Judge Div. 7 with 15 percent of the vote. Assistant County Attorney Janet Lansky Shipman was second and the only other contender to go into double digit percentages. The 20 candidates were the largest field in any race – primary or general – on the Shelby County ballot.

Prosecutor Bobby Carter, who had the backing of District Attorney General Bill Gibbons and former District Attorney General John Pierotti, was elected judge of Criminal Court Div. 3 in a close race with attorneys Glenn Wright and Latonya Sue Burrow.

Carter got 26 percent of the vote to Wright’s 25 percent and Burrow’s 24.7 percent.

The results in the three other special judicial races saw the three appointed judges rejected by voters.

  • Lee Wilson, the appointee to General Sessions Criminal Court Judge Div. 10, lost to former General Sessions Court Clerk Chris Turner by more than 64,000 votes. Turner’s victory was the strongest proof of the strong Republican turnout for races across the general election ballot. Turner had been the General Sessions Court clerk until 2006, when he was upset by Democratic challenger Otis Jackson. He is also a former Republican state legislator.
  • Lorrie Ridder, the appointee to Circuit Court Judge Div. 4, lost to attorney Gina Higgins by about 5,000 votes.
  • Rhynette Northcross Hurd, the appointee to Circuit Court Judge Div. 8, lost to attorney Bob Weiss by more than 12,000 votes.

Ridder and Hurd had been appointed to the Circuit Court vacancies by Gov. Phil Bredesen, who picked them each from a list of three finalists from the Judicial Nominating Commission. Bredesen even taped a robo-call on behalf of Hurd, his first robo-call for any candidate in the state.

Wilson was appointed to the General Sessions vacancy by the Shelby County Commission and adopted a domestic violence case docket for the court.

...

21. County School Board Races Shoot Sparks -

They tend to be the forgotten races when a statewide primary race for governor and general election races for county mayor and sheriff compete for voters’ attention.

But the set of Shelby County school board races also on the Aug. 5 ballot already are shaping up as a referendum on the current school board.

22. Pickler, Hoover Debate Differences on County School Leadership -

The chairman of the Shelby County Schools Board of Education and his challenger in the August election have already had their first debate.

Chairman David Pickler and challenger Ken Hoover debated this week at Germantown Middle School.

23. School Board, Congressional Race To Take Center Stage -

As voters focus on the May 4 county primaries, the field for the Aug. 5 election is almost set. The filing deadline for candidates was last week. Thursday at noon is the deadline for any candidates to withdraw.

24. Races Open For Two County School Board Seats -

The Aug. 5 elections will feature two races for open seats on the Shelby County school board.

At the noon Thursday filing deadline for the four odd-numbered district seats as well as the state and federal primaries, board member Anne Edmiston did not file for another four-year term. Board member Teresa Price had announced earlier that she would not be running either.

25. UPDATE: Two Open County School Board Seats At Filing Deadline -

The Aug. 5 elections will feature two races for open seats on the Shelby County school board.

At the noon Thursday filing deadline for the four odd-numbered district seats as well as the state and federal primaries, board member Anne Edmiston did not file for another four-year term. Board member Teresa Price had announced earlier that she would not be running either.

26. Clovernook Offers Financial Management Course For Visually Impaired -

Pam Boss began playing the piano in the third grade.

She went on to earn a degree in music from the University of Memphis in 1998 and currently works as a communications skills instructor at the Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired.