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Editorial Results (free)

1. No Candidates Withdraw by Deadline -

It appeared no candidates who made the April 3 filing deadline for the August state and federal primary elections and nonpartisan county elections withdrew by the Thursday, April 10, withdrawal deadline.

2. 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.

3. Candidates Commit as Deadline Nears -

The first day of spring was March 20, but, after months of fundraisers and petition filings, the last day of the month served as the start of this year’s political season.

With the filing deadline for the August state and federal primaries, as well as nonpartisan Shelby County Schools board and judicial positions, Thursday at noon, candidates began Monday, March 31, making the set-in-stone decisions that will point election efforts toward voters and away from the groundwork.

4. Shelby County to Play Key Role in 2014 State Election -

As prospective candidates weigh special election races in the next three months for a state House seat and suburban school boards, there are also signs of life in Shelby County in the statewide races on the 2014 election ballot.

5. School Board Asks For $145 Million Extra -

The countywide school board is asking the Shelby County Commission for $145 million in extra funding for the first fiscal year of the schools merger.

The “ask” is a preliminary number that goes to a county commission budget retreat scheduled for Feb. 23. It is extra funding beyond the $361 million county government currently provides both school systems.

6. School Board Meets as Budget Debate Grows -

Countywide school board members meet Tuesday, Feb. 12, in special session to send a still-forming budget for the first fiscal year of the consolidated school system to the Shelby County Commission.

7. Schools Merger Begins Move Into Parental Reality -

Countywide school board chairman Billy Orgel noticed lots of parents of school children from the county outside of Memphis at the annual camp-out for optional school enrollment over the long weekend.

8. Election Follows Script in County -

In Shelby County and Tennessee the presidential race stuck to the script both national campaigns expected.

President Barack Obama carried Shelby County and Republican challenger Mitt Romney took the state and its 11 electoral votes.

9. 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.

10. Shelby Early Vote Shows Cohen Winning - Two Tax Questions Losing -

Early vote totals from Shelby County were released just before 10 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6, after the vote count was delayed in part by long lines of voters waiting to vote at the 7 p.m. closing of polls.

11. Race to the Finish -

Republican state Sen. Brian Kelsey walked into the storefront at the Carrefour shopping center earlier this month and liked what he saw of the local effort for the Romney-Ryan presidential ticket.

12. Growth Streak -

Andrew Holliday and Daniel Brown, the founding partners of Memphis-based branding and marketing firm Harvest Creative, used to joke about one day making the Inc. 500|5000, the list published each year by Inc. Magazine that honors the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

13. Judge Won't Void Senate Democratic Primary -

A federal judge has refused to void the Tennessee Democratic primary for U.S. Senate won by an anti-gay candidate the party has disavowed.

District Judge Kevin Sharp ruled that the lawsuit filed by losing candidate Larry Crim was improper because it was not filed against an individual.

14. Election Chief: No Time for New Dem. Primary -

There isn’t enough time to hold another primary following the state Democratic Party’s disavowal of its U.S. Senate nominee, State Election Coordinator Mark Goins said Tuesday, Aug. 7.

15. Disavowed Senate Nominee Preparing for November -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Senate candidate disavowed by the Tennessee Democratic Party said Monday that he's determined to show he's a viable challenger to Republican incumbent Bob Corker in November.

16. Central BBQ Files Permit For Downtown -

A popular barbecue restaurant is expanding its local footprint to Downtown Memphis.

Central BBQ has filed a $150,000 building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the renovation of a commercial kitchen to a restaurant at 147 E. Butler Ave. in the South Main Historic Arts District.

17. Central BBQ Files Permit for Downtown -

A popular barbecue restaurant is expanding its local footprint to Downtown Memphis.

Central BBQ has filed a $150,000 building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the renovation of a commercial kitchen to a restaurant at 147 E. Butler Ave. in the South Main Historic Arts District.

18. School Board Takes Steps Back, Forward -

The two public school systems in Shelby County used the same team to evaluate charter school applications this week in the first joint proposal the Memphis City and Shelby County School systems have brought to the board for approval.

19. Riley Poised to Lead MAAR Commercial Council in 2011 -

Ron Riley launched his sales career by selling copiers and printers at Xerox Corp. shortly after receiving his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Memphis.

20. August Trial Date Set in Forrest Hill Cemeteries Case -

Former Forrest Hill cemeteries owner Clayton Smart is scheduled to go on trial on fraud charges starting Aug. 24.

21. UK Pound Falls to 5-Year Low against Dollar -

LONDON (AP) - The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar in five years Friday on fears that Britain's banking sector could suffer more losses from the world financial crisis, and that the dispute between Britain and Iceland over money in collapsed Icelandic banks could escalate.

22. Cohen Crushes Tinker - Jackson Upsets Turner - Charter Changes Pass-Fail - Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen was the big winner in Thursday’s primary elections. Cohen, with 80 percent of the vote, crushed challenger Nikki Tinker in the hard fought 9th District Democratic primary.

The upset of the evening was the general election contest for General Sessions Court Clerk where Democratic challenger Otis Jackson beat Republican incumbent Chris Turner.

And only one of two sets of Shelby County charter amendments on the ballot were approved by voters.

Voter turnout was just under 16 percent in Shelby County. Voter turnout was clearly driven by the 9th District Democratic primary. More people voted in that primary which covers most but not all of Shelby County than voted countywide in the state Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Turnout in the Democratic primaries was twice that of the Republican primaries in Shelby County.

All results are unofficial pending audit and certification by the Shelby County Election Commission and Tennessee election officials

9th Congressional District
Democratic Primary
Steve Cohen 50,284 79%
Nikki Tinker 11,814 19%
Joe Towns Jr. 914 1%

Not even close. Cohen won the primary for the open all Shelby County seat two years ago by 4,400 votes over Tinker and 13 other candidates. This time around he was the incumbent and Tinker’s challenge was more strident with a pair of controversial attack ads in the gap between the end of early voting and election day. Both were probably factors in the vote totals along with a smaller field of five candidates.

Cohen faces independent candidate Jake Ford in the Nov. 4 general election.

7th Congressional District
Republican Primary
248 of 265 precincts reporting
Marsha Blackburn 29,158 65%
Tom Leatherwood 15,636 35%

These are the results district wide which includes not only the eastern part of Shelby County but a strip of Middle Tennessee up to the Kentucky state line. In Shelby County’s part of the 7th district, Leatherwood beat Blackburn with 62 percent of the vote. But it was 62 percent of just over 19,000 votes. Outside Shelby County it was always going to be difficult for Leatherwood.. The low voter turnout in Collierville and other eastern parts of the county made Leatherwood’s task impossible.

Blackburn faces Democrat Randy G. Morris on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Shelby County Charter Amendment #360
Yes  49,506   49.73%

No   50,043   50,27%

Closest contest of the night in Shelby County with a 537 vote margin and the highest turnout with 99,549 votes total.

This set of charter changes was to fix a legal problem noted in a recent Tennessee Supreme Court ruling. Another part of the package deal was increasing term limits for the county mayor and the county commission from two consecutive four year terms approved by voters in 1994 to three consecutive four year terms. The County Commission meets Monday to ponder whether it should offer another charter amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot that would fix the legal problem.

Shelby County Charter Amendment #361
Yes 65,548 68%
No 30,188 32%

This set of charter amendment includes provisions for recalling elected officials. It also establishes a new method for filling a vacancy in the office of County Mayor.

General Sessions Court Clerk
Otis Jackson 51,438 52%
Chris Turner 43,971 45%

The upset of the evening. Turner, the Republican nominee and the incumbent was seeking a fourth term. Jackson, the Democratic nominee, was making his fourth bid for county-wide office after coming close in a 2006 bid for County Clerk.

Trustee
Paul Mattila 54,734 57%
Ray Butler 29,977 31%

Mattila beats Butler in a race featuring an energetic and misleading campaign by M. LaTroy Williams in which Williams billed himself as the “real Democrat.” He was, in fact, an independent candidate garnering 8 percent of the vote. Mattila fills the remaining two years left in the term of office of the late Bob Patterson, a Republican. Mattila, a Democrat, worked with Patterson. Butler, the Republican, was also a friend of Patterson’s and the race amounted to who would best continue to operate the office as Patterson did.

Criminal Court Judge Div. 6
John Fowlkes 44,581 52%
Latonya Burrow 21,874 26%
Michael G. Floyd 12,071 14%
Claiborne H. Ferguson 6,240 7%

Fowlkes serves out the remaining six years left of the eight year term of office of Fred Axley who resigned from the bench shortly after winning re-election in 2006. Burrow finished a close second to Axley two years ago and again ran an energetic campaign this time around. But Fowlkes status in the legal community and his appointment to the bench by Gov. Phil Bredesen proved to be the advantage.

Assessor of Property
Cheyenne Johnson 59,637 60%
Bill Giannini 39,057 40%

Johnson, the Democratic nominee, easily beat Giannini, who is also doubling as local GOP chairman. Local Democrats keep the county-wide position in their column as voters go for the candidate endorsed by outgoing Democratic incumbent Rita Clark.

U.S. Senate
Democratic Primary
2,192 of 2,290 precincts reporting
Bob Tuke 54,613 32%
Gary G. Davis 37,193 22%
Mike Padgett 32,190 19%
Mark Clayton 30,359 18%
Kenneth Eaton 13,718 8%
Leonard Ladner 4,431 3%

These are the statewide results. Tuke got 42 percent of the Shelby County vote with Clayton finishing second. Tuke, the former state Democratic Party chairman, faces Republican incumbent Lamar Alexander, one of the most successful politicians in the history of the state, in the Nov. 4 general election.

Judicial Retention Races

All seven state appellate court judges, including two Tennessee Supreme Court justices, won their yes/no contests on the ballot across the state. That includes Tennessee Criminal Appeals Court Judge Camille McMullen of Millington who was just appointed to the bench in June by Gov. Phil Bredesen.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

...

23. Few Surprises At Filing Deadline -

About half of Shelby County's delegation to the Tennessee Legislature won re-election at Thursday's filing deadline for candidates on the Aug. 7 ballot.

Eight of the 16 state House seats had only one candidate - the incumbent. And all three of the state Senate seats on the ballot were incumbent-only affairs.

24. Events -

The Memphis Bar Association will hold a continuing legal education course today from 8:50 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Hilton Memphis hotel, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. The course is the annual John Dice Seminar and is worth six hours of CLE credit. For more information, call the MBA at 527-3573.

25. Judge Thwarts Lawyer's Attempt To Block Forest Hill Inquiry -

State investigators and the court-appointed receiver of Forest Hill cemeteries and funeral homes began to meet some resistance this week in their civil cases against those who allegedly embezzled more than $20 million from the cemetery trust funds.

26. N.J. Operator Bids to BuySmart's Cemeteries -      New Jersey-based cemetery operator David J. Shipper has made a bid to buy Forest Hill Cemeteries and Funeral Home owner Clayton Smart's 28 financially troubled cemeteries for $32.1 million.
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27. Forest Hill Owner In Contempt Again -

Forest Hill Cemeteries and Funeral Home owner Clayton Smart has the money to hire attorneys to represent him on criminal charges. But that doesn't mean he's likely to get out of jail anytime soon.

28. Forest Hill Owner in Contempt Over House Sale -

Forest Hill cemeteries owner Clayton Smart has the money to hire attorneys to represent him on criminal charges. But he’s not likely to get out of jail any time soon.

Chancellor Arnold Goldin Wednesday found Smart in contempt of a court order as he approved the use of up to $120,000 from the sale of one of Smart’s homes in Oklahoma. Goldin ruled Smart is in contempt for having his wife, Nancy, sell the house without court approval.

29. More Charges Filed in Cemetery Investigation -

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - An associate of an oil speculator accused of embezzling $70 million from cemetery trust funds in Michigan turned himself in Wednesday to face charges that he aided and abetted the alleged embezzlement.

30. Smart Clings to Claim He's Broke, Represents Himself -

Forest Hill cemeteries and funeral homes owner Clayton Smart will act as his own attorney at least for the time being.

Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs made the ruling Wednesday at the end of another hearing in which Smart repeatedly claimed he didn't have any money to hire an attorney.

31. Smart Represents Himself, Claims He's Broke -

Forest Hill cemeteries and funeral homes owner Clayton Smart will act as his own attorney – at least for the time being.

Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs made the ruling Wednesday at the end of another hearing in which Smart repeatedly claimed he didn't have any money to hire an attorney.

32. Smart Represents Himself, Claims He's Broke -

Forest Hill cemeteries and funeral homes owner Clayton Smart will act as his own attorney – at least for the time being.

Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs made the ruling Wednesday at the end of another hearing in which Smart repeatedly claimed he didn't have any money to hire an attorney.

33. Mich. Regulators Approve FeeIn Cemetery Investigation -      With the approval of Michigan cemetery regulators and an Ingham County judge, a state-appointed conservator was paid $442,673 for operating 28 troubled public cemeteries in Michigan from December through June, court docu

34. Forest Hill Cemetery OwnerTo Appear in Criminal Court -      Forest Hill Cemetery owner Clayton Smart will make a court appearance Friday when he is scheduled to go before Judge Otis Higgs in Criminal Court Division 2.
     He currently is being held

35. Forest Hill Cemeteries' OwnersIndicted by State Grand Jury -      The Tennessee Grand Jury has indicted the owners of Forest Hill Cemeteries and Funeral Homes for allegedly stealing nearly $20 million from trust funds set up for the beneficiaries of about 13,000 pre-paid funeral contra

36. Manufactured Homes Industry Works To Reverse Negative Perceptions -

Every once in a while, someone needs to set the record straight, and it appears the time has come for the manufactured housing industry.

Hurricane Katrina stirred much controversy over housing. The August 2005 storm also sparked debates about design and the fear of endless trailer parks. But almost two years have passed, and manufactured housing sales are still strong in North Mississippi and Tennessee.

37. Archived Article: Calendar - Calendar of events Sept

Calendar of events Nov. 4-Nov. 10

Nov. 4

The Greater Memphis Arts Council, 8 S. Third St., presents artwork by Everett Charles Yates, on display through Jan. 15. Nov. 5

The Center for Historic Preservation, a clea...

38. Archived Article: Memos - ResortQuest International Appoints Paul Manteris has been appointed vice president of operations for ResortQuest International Inc. He most recently held senior management and training positions with Colorado-based Premier Resorts Inc./Village Resor...

39. Archived Article: Back-bba - Local architecture firm Self Tucker was awarded the corporation of the year award by the Black Business Association during its 1997 Annual Benny Awards on Thursday night at the Adams Mark Hotel. Local architecture firm Self Tucker was awarded the co...

40. Archived Article: Law Briefs - The Memphis Bar Association will sponsor a seminar on jury selection and voir dire on Friday from 1:30 p The Memphis Bar Association will sponsor a seminar on jury selection and voir dire on Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. at One Commerce Square....