» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Name & Property Search
Search results for 'Tom Ford' | Search again
DeSoto Public Records:2
Shelby Public Records:104
Editorial:100
West Tennessee:1
Middle Tennessee:3343
East Tennessee:8
Other:4

You must be a subscriber to see the full results of your search.

Please log in or subscribe below if you are not already a subscriber.

The Daily News subscribers get full access to more than 13 million names and addresses along with powerful search and download features. Get the business leads you need with powerful searches of public records and notices. Download listings into your spreadsheet or database.

Learn more about our services | Search again


Editorial Results (free)

1. This week in Memphis history: June 6-12 -

2013: The Memphis Grizzlies announced they would not renew the contract of Lionel Hollins as coach of the NBA team following the Grizzlies’ best year in franchise history. Some Grizzlies fans rallied in Tom Lee Park in support of a new contract for Hollins.

2. 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.

3. Carnival Memphis Celebrates Trucking Industry -

Trucking industry representatives and employees packed the spacious Tennessee Ballroom at Hilton Memphis, the gleaming glass hotel in East Memphis, for Carnival Memphis’ salute to the trucking industry.

4. Fundraising Help for Orchestra Continues -

The Kickstarter campaign to raise at least $25,000 for the financially struggling Memphis Symphony Orchestra has beaten its goal, pulling in a little more than $28,500.

That’s one example among many of how, once the orchestra’s dire straits became known earlier this year, supporters have been lining up to come to the rescue. And more chances for the public to help are still to come.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Fields Begin to Gel for May and August Ballots -

With two weeks to the filing deadline for candidates in the May Shelby County primary elections and two months to the deadline for those in the August state and federal primaries and county nonpartisan elections, the fields have solidified enough that some political players are weighing their prospects for a late entry before the filing deadlines.

9. Memphis Designer Puts Personal Touch on Denim Line -

If you’re wondering where Memphis fashion designer Derrick Gooden gets his talent, you could say it’s in his jeans.

10. 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.

11. Automakers Report Sales Up Double-Digits in August -

DETROIT (AP) – The major U.S. and Japanese automakers all posted double-digit U.S. sales gains last month as car buyers snapped up pickup trucks and small cars to lead the industry toward its best month in six years.

12. Harold Ford Sr. Buys Sycamore View Property -

1670 Sycamore View Road Memphis, TN 38134

Sale Amount: $1.8 million

Sale Date: April 8, 2013

13. 2013 Auto Sales Will be Strong, Firm Predicts -

DETROIT (AP) – A healthier economy and more model introductions should push U.S. auto sales above the 15 million mark this year, predicts an auto industry research firm.

The Polk research firm says auto sales should continue to lead the country's economic recovery, rising nearly 7 percent over 2012 to 15.3 million new vehicle registrations.

14. Facebook Investors to Cash Out More Shares -

NEW YORK (AP) – Insiders and early Facebook investors are taking advantage of increasing investor demand and selling more of their stock in the company's initial public offering, the company said Wednesday.

15. Twitter Plays Outsize Role in 2012 Campaign -

NEW YORK (AP) – @BarackObama is on Twitter. So is @MittRomney. And so are all the voters following the 2012 presidential contest, whether they know it or not.

Candidates, strategists, journalists and political junkies have flocked to Twitter, the social networking hub where information from the mundane to the momentous is shared through 140-character microbursts known as tweets.

16. Toyota, Chrysler See Big April Sales Gains -

DETROIT (AP) – Toyota and Chrysler saw big U.S. sales gains in April, but they came at the expense of General Motors and Ford.

When automakers finish reporting numbers on Tuesday, industry-wide sales are likely to rise only a little above April of 2011, but the annual pace is expected to match February and March. Automakers and analysts noted that this April had more Sundays than last year and fewer cars are sold on Sundays

17. Saab Declares Bankruptcy as GM Blocks Chinese Deal -

STOCKHOLM (AP) – After six decades of building cars renowned for their teardrop designs and quirky features, cash-strapped Saab Automobile gave up its desperate struggle for a lifeline Monday and filed for bankruptcy.

18. 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.

19. White House Considers Big Boost to Fuel Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is telling American automakers that it would like cars and light trucks to average 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025 – a boost to fuel economy that would save consumers money at the pump and help with global warming but drive up the cost of automobiles.

20. GM to Raise Car Prices Due to Oil, Metal Costs -

DETROIT (AP) – General Motors Co. said Monday it will raise car and truck prices by an average of $123 per vehicle to make up for its increased oil and metal costs.

21. Investors' Return to US Stocks Could be too Late -

BOSTON (AP) — Investors are finally inching back into the stock market. But are they too late?

While millions sought refuge in traditionally stable bonds over the past two years, they missed a more than 90 percent rally in stocks. Suddenly bonds don't look so safe, and some of the $11 trillion that Americans have parked in mutual funds is shifting back to stocks.

22. Businesses Hiring in 2011 Face a Buyers' Market -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Companies planning to ramp up hiring this year will have an added luxury: their choice from a flood of applicants, without having to pay a premium for top talent.

Unemployment remains near double digits, and there are nearly five unemployed workers competing for each available job. That is giving employers more confidence, while at the same time enabling them to keep wages low.

23. November Auto Sales Show Industry in Recovery -

DETROIT (AP) – After a year of watching auto sales slowly increase month by month, industry executives are finally willing to firmly declare that the U.S. market is in recovery.

People who had been too afraid to make a big car purchase are finally coming back to dealerships, a little more confident that they won't lose their jobs. And that's reflected in November's auto sales figures: Industry sales were up 16.9 percent for the month compared with a year ago. Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai all posted double-digit gains.

24. Memphis Booster Perl Joins Glankler Brown -

It surely says something about labor attorney and Memphis booster Arnold Perl when his move to a new law firm in the city prompts what almost could be viewed as a sigh of relief from no less than Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

25. FedEx CIO Carter to Highlight Leadership Academy Luncheon -

In May, longtime FedEx CIO and executive vice president of information services Rob Carter joined the likes of pop star Lady Gaga, fashion designer Tom Ford and Oscar-winning director James Cameron on Fast Company’s 2010 list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business.

26. Action! We Belong in the Movies -

Gene Hackman has a big head.

I’m not talking ego, the man really does have a head the size of a medicine ball. I know because I stood next to him one morning in Court Square chatting about the Hebe Fountain. Okay, he wasn’t actually talking to me, he was talking to the little guy on the other side of him – Tom Cruise. Maybe 5-7, depending on his shoes. They were here shooting “The Firm.”

27. Obama Hails Auto Bailout as Good News in Michigan -

DETROIT (AP) – President Barack Obama on Friday heralded the recent turnaround for U.S. automakers, arguing that thousands of jobs and increased production vindicate his unpopular decision to bailout the industry.

28. 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.

29. US Auto Sales Seen Slowing With Recovery in Doubt -

DETROIT (AP) – When it comes to car shopping, Americans are tapping the brakes.

Forecasters expect U.S. sales of cars and light trucks to slow for June after months of improvement. It's another sign that people are beginning to doubt the economic recovery with unemployment still high.

30. Confiscated Cell Phones Go to Domestic Violence Victims -

Shelby County Interim Mayor Joe Ford and officials with the Shelby County Division of Corrections on Thursday donated more than 100 cell phones that had been confiscated from inmates to the YWCA of Greater Memphis Abused Women’s Services Program.

31. Federal, State Tax Liens Up In County -

Interim Shelby County mayor Joe Ford, now the Democratic nominee for mayor in the fall general election, garnered attention last year for his personal financial woes.

32. Ford Wins Democratic Mayoral Primary -  

Interim County Mayor Joe Ford became the Democratic nominee for mayor in the August county general elections Tuesday night.

And the August sheriff’s race will be a contest between Democrat Randy Wade and Republican Randy Wade.

All three were among the winners in Tuesday’s low turnout county primaries.

Approximately ten percent of Shelby County’s nearly 600,000 voters cast ballots in early voting and election day polling.

Ford, who was appointed interim mayor in December, beat County Commissioner Deidre Malone and General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson in the Democratic primary. He will face Republican Mark Luttrell who had only token opposition in the Republican primary from perennial contender Ernie Lunati.

Luttrell has raised more money than all three of the Democratic primary contenders combined and began running television ads in the last week runup to election day.

The final unofficial totals in the Democratic mayoral primary are:

Ford 20,360 57%

Malone 12,916 37%

Jackson 2,168 6%

The pair of primaries for Sheriff featured eight candidates, seven of whom either currently work for the sheriff’s department or are past employees. Only Reginald French, in the Democratic primary was not a former or current department official.

Wade was the 2002 Democratic nominee, losing to Luttrell who is leaving as Sheriff after serving two terms. French was the Democratic nominee in the 2006 elections.

Oldham is Luttrell’s chief deputy, the number two position in the department. He is also a former director of the Memphis Police Department.

The final unofficials totals in the Republican primary are:

Bill Oldham 13,821 48%

Dale Lane 7,981 28%

Bobby Simmons 5,886 21%

James Coleman 943 3%

In the Democratic primary:

Randy Wade 22,643 67%

Reginald French 6,777 20%

Larry Hill 2,738 8%

Bennie Cobb 1,814 5%

Voters in the primary elections decided to return six Shelby County commissioners to new four year terms with Tuesday’s results. They also elected six new commissioners. The winner of the thirteenth commission seat will be decided on the August general election ballot in a contest between district 5 Democratic incumbent Steve Mulroy and Republican challenger Dr. Rolando Toyos. The winner of the match up will determine whether the commission remains majority Democrat or goes majority Republican.

Mulroy easily defeated Jennings Bernard in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Republican incumbent Mike Ritz ran unopposed as did new Democratic commissioner Walter Bailey.

In the remaining ten contests, the primaries decided who gets the seats since no one ran in the opposing party’s primary.

The most hotly contested contest among the commission races was for District 4 Position 1. Outgoing Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas beat John Pellicciotti, appointed to a commission seat last year but running for a different position in the same district. Jim Bomprezzi, the former mayor of Lakeland, was the third contender in the contest.

The final unofficial totals in the Republican primary:

Thomas 7,631 52%

Pellicciotti 4,871 33%

Bomprezzi 2,298 15%

In position 2 of the same district incumbent Republican Wyatt Bunker easily overcame two challengers with former Lakeland alderman John Wilkerson finishing second and Ron Fittes finishing third.

Millington businessman Terry Roland claimed the third position in the district that takes in all six of Shelby County’s suburban towns and cities.

Roland beat George Chism to take the seat Pellicciotti was appointed to but opted not to run for in deference to Roland.

Heidi Shafer, an aide to outgoing County Commissioner George Flinn, claimed Flinn’s District 1 Position 2 seat over Albert Maduska.in the GOP primary.

District 1 incumbent Republican Mike Carpenter easily beat businessman Joe Baier.

In the Democratic commission primaries, Melvin Burgess claimed Malone’s District 2 Position 3 seat in a field of six contenders. His closest contender was Reginald Milton. Burgess, a city school system audit manager, had run for the seat before. He brought in 54 percent of the vote.

The other hard fought Democratic commission primary saw Justin Ford, son of the interim mayor, claim his father’s District 3 Position 3 seat.

Ford beat Edith Moore, a retired IBM executive, whom the commission appointed to the seat after the elder Ford became mayor.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Ford 7,342 66%

Moore 3,822 34%

Democratic incumbent commissioners Henri Brooks, Sidney Chism and James Harvey were all re-elected over primary challengers.

The county-wide primaries for seven clerk’s positions saw the return of former Criminal Court Clerk Minerva Johnican 16 years after Republican challenger Bill Key took her job. Johnican decisively beat Ralph White and Vernon Johnson in her first bid for office since the 1994 defeat. She will face Republican Kevin Key, the son of Bill Key in the August general election.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Johnican 16,381 51%

White 10,170 31%

Johnson 5,954 18%

Former Juvenile Court Clerk Shep Wilbun easily won the Democratic primary with 76 percent of the vote to face Republican Joy Touliatos in August for the office being vacated by Republican Steve Stamson. Touliatos was unopposed in the primary.

Democrat Coleman Thompson is back for another go at incumbent Republican Register Tom Leatherwood.

Aside from Leatherwood, Jimmy Moore is the only other of the seven clerks seeking re-election. Moore ran unopposed in the GOP primary. He will face Democrat Ricky Dixon in August.

Trustee Regina Newman was appointed to her office following the death last year of Paul Mattila. Newman easily overcame M LaTroy Williams in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. She will face David Lenoir, who beat former Shelby County Commissioner John Willingham in the Republican contest.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Lenoir 15,922 58%

Willingham 11,569 42%

The other six candidate field on the ballot was in the Democratic primary for Probate Court Clerk. Sondra Becton posted impressive vote totals over her rivals, bringing in 35 percent of the vote with Peggy Dobbins her closest rival. Becton, who is making her fourth bid for the office, will face Republican Paul Boyd, who ran unopposed in his primary.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Becton 10,929 36%

Dobbins 5,366 18%

Annita Hamilton 4,848 16%

Clay Perry 3,549 12%

Danny Kail 3,120 11%

Karen Tyler 2,782 9%

The closest contest of the evening was in the Democratic primary for County Clerk. Wrestling promoter and television personality Corey Maclin won his political debut by less than 1,400 votes over Charlotte Draper and LaKeith Miller. He will face Republican Wayne Mashburn who beat Steve Moore in the companion primary.

Early voting in advance of the Aug. 5 election day begins July 16. The August ballot will also feature state and federal primary elections including the statewide primaries for governor and the primaries for all nine of the state’s Congressional districts.

...

33. Filing Deadline Hits for August Primaries -

The stage is set for the county’s most anticipated political showdown in the Aug. 5 state and federal primary elections.

Noon today is the deadline for candidates in the primaries, as well as those vying for nonpartisan seats on the Shelby County school board and the three judicial positions, to file their qualifying petitions for the ballot.

34. Candidate Filing List -- The Final Version -

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

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

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

Luttrell faces only token opposition from perennial candidate Ernie Lunati.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

D-Democrat

R- Republican

I- Independent

Shelby County Mayor:

Deidre Malone (D)

Joe Ford (D)

Otis Jackson (D)

Mark Luttrell (R)

Ernest Lunati (R)

Leo Awgowhat (I)

Shelby County Sheriff:

James Coleman (R)

Bobby Simmons (R)

Bill Oldham (R)

Dale Lane (R)

Larry Hill (D)

Bennie Cobb (D)

Randy Wade (D)

James Bolden (D)

Elton Hymon (D)

Reginald French (D)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 1

Mike Ritz (R) (incumbent)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 2

Albert Maduska (R)

Heidi Shafer (R)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 3

Mike Carpenter (R) (incumbent)

Joe Baire (R)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 1

Walter Bailey (D)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 2

Henri Brooks (D) (incumbent)

David Vinciarelli (D)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 3

Eric Dunn (D)

Norma Lester (D)

Tina Dickerson (D)

Melvin Burgess (D)

Reginald Milton (D)

Freddie Thomas (D)

County Commission Dist 3 Pos 1

James Harvey (D) (incumbent)

James Catchings (D)

County Commission Dist. 3 Pos 2

Sidney Chism (D) (incumbent)

Andrew "Rome" Withers (D)

County Commission Dist. 3 Pos 3

Edith Moore  (D) (incumbent)

Justin Ford (D)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 1

Chris Thomas (R)

John Pellicciotti (R)

Jim Bomprezzi (R)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 2

Wyatt Bunker (R) (incumbent)

John Wilkerson (R)

Ron Fittes (R)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 3

Terry Roland (R)

George Chism (R)

Edgar Babian (R)

County Commission Dist 5

Steve Mulroy (D) (incumbent)

Jennings Bernard (D)

Rolando Toyos (R)

Shelby County Clerk

Charlotte Draper (D)

Corey Maclin (D)

LaKeith Miller (D)

Wayne Mashburn (R)

Steve Moore (R)

Criminal Court Clerk

Vernon Johnson (D)

Minerva Johnican (D)

Ralph White (D)

Michael Porter (R)

Kevin Key (R)

Jerry Stamson (I)

Circuit Court Clerk

Jimmy Moore (R) (incumbent)

Steven Webster (D)

Carmichael Johnson (D)

Ricky W. Dixon (D)

Juvenile Court Clerk

Joy Touliatos (R)

Charles Marshall (D)

Sylvester Bradley (D)

Shep Wilbun (D)

Julia Roberson Wiseman (I)

Probate Court Clerk

Paul Boyd (R)

Sondra Becton (D)

Danny Kail (D)

Annita Sawyer Hamilton (D)

Peggy Dobbins (D)

Clay Perry (D)

Karen Tyler (D)

Shelby County Register

Tom Leatherwood (R) (incumbent)

Coleman Thompson (D)

Lady J. Swift (D)

Carlton Orange (D)

Shelby County Trustee

Regina Newman (D) (incumbent)

M. LaTroy Williams (D)

John Willingham (R)

Jeff Jacobs (R)

David Lenoir (R)

...

36. Events -

The Greater Memphis Chamber will hold a breakfast forum today from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at The Peabody hotel, 149 Union Ave. Tom Schmitt, chairman of the chamber, will speak. To register, contact Ericka Milford at 543-3518 or emilford@memphischamber.com.

37. Luttrell to Run for County Mayor -

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell is running for county mayor in the May 4 Republican primaries.

“Probably the toughest part of this decision process was deciding to leave the sheriff’s office,” he said. “I have a very deep, abiding loyalty to the sheriff’s office.”

38. Economy Grew at 5.7 Percent Pace in 2009 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy’s faster-than-expected growth at the end of last year, powered by companies replenishing stockpiles, is likely to weaken as consumers keep a lid on spending.

39. Malone Files Petition For County Mayor’s Race -

Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone filed her qualifying petition for Shelby County mayor Monday at the Shelby County Election Commission, making her the first candidate to file in the race.

Interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford has said he is now considering a bid for mayor in the May primary after initially saying he would not seek the office.

40. County Mayor Race Clarifies With Byrd’s ‘Agonizing’ Decision -

A month before the filing deadline for the 2010 Shelby County primaries, and the race for county mayor is beginning to take shape.

And one of the candidates who weighed the race but got out – Bank of Bartlett President Harold Byrd – said something is missing from the field so far.

41. Herron Hires Veteran Operative for US House Bid -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - State Sen. Roy Herron has hired veteran political operative Carol Andrews as a senior adviser to his campaign to succeed fellow Democrat John Tanner in Congress.

42. Visible School Names Ellis To Modern Music Ministry Faculty -

Bill Ellis has been hired to the Visible School faculty in the Modern Music Ministry program.

Ellis will teach guitar, the history of pop music and hands-on courses in world music and ethnomusicology.

43. 2009 Year In Review -

2009 was a year without a script – and plenty of improvising on the political stage.

It was supposed to be an off-election year except in Arlington and Lakeland.

2008 ended with voters in the city and county approving a series of changes to the charters of Memphis and Shelby County governments. Those changes were supposed to set a new direction for both entities, kicking into high gear in 2010 and ultimately culminating two years later.

44. MED Task Force Members Appointed -

Shelby County Interim Mayor Joyce Avery and County Commissioner Joe Ford, who will become county mayor Dec. 10, have appointed a task force to brainstorm short- and long-term solutions to the revenue crisis at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

45. U of M’s Raines Appointed To Southern Regional Education Board -

Dr. Shirley C. Raines has been appointed to the Southern Regional Education Board by Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. Raines, president of the University of Memphis, will serve a four-year term.

46. Public-Private Partnerships at Center of Freight Conference -

Memphis’ intermodal and freight capabilities are legendary. The city has boasted the world’s busiest cargo airport for 17 straight years thanks to hometown shipping giant FedEx Corp.

47. Ashby Brings Immigration Knowledge To Donati Firm -

Bryce W. Ashby recently rejoined the Donati Law Firm LLP after clerking for Judge Bernice Donald in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Ashby, who is fluent in Spanish and has worked extensively as an advocate and organizer in Latino and immigrant communities, practices in labor and employment law and civil rights law.

48. Ford, Nissan, Tesla's Electric Plans Get $8B Jolt -

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - Cultivating the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicles, the Obama administration said Tuesday it would lend $5.9 billion to Ford Motor Co. and about $2.1 billion to Nissan Motor Co. and Tesla Motors Inc. in a government-industry partnership to build green cars.

49. Deadline: What it's Really Like Inside the City's Big Daily - EDITOR’S NOTE: Bill Dries was a reporter at The Commercial Appeal from June 1997-October 2005. This story is based in part on his experiences there and more recent conversations with other CA staffers.

The fall evening six years ago when Chris Peck became the editor of The Commercial Appeal was treated with utmost secrecy inside the newspaper at 495 Union Ave.

Then-publisher John Wilcox was determined to prevent leaks of that night’s decision to any other media outlets. So not only would the choice be a secret to those outside the building, but inside as well.

Then-Metro editor Charles Bernsen camped out in his small office at one end of the newsroom with the blinds drawn across its large window. He emerged just before the regular 11 p.m. deadline to tell editors on the copy desk he was sending the story, written from home by a trusted reporter.

The article by Tom Charlier in the Oct. 9, 2002, edition described Peck as “a veteran journalist who built a national reputation for innovative leadership and unblinking coverage of difficult topics” as the editor of The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash.

Otis Sanford, the CA’s deputy managing editor and the other finalist for the top job, was promoted to managing editor. It was the first of many changes in the past six years to the newspaper’s masthead, where its top leaders are listed.

New era dawns

Peck arrived in Memphis shortly after the article and, although he would officially take over in January after Angus McEachran’s retirement, there was a great deal of anticipation – and, uncharacteristically for a floor full of reporters – not much background checking on Peck.

Before selecting Peck, executives of the CA’s parent company, the E.W. Scripps Co., had set up a committee of CA employees and solicited their opinions on what they wanted to see in the next editor. Many said they wanted a new direction at the newspaper.

Peck came to Memphis from a short stint as the Belo Distinguished Chair in Journalism at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He had served as editor at the Spokane Spokesman-Review just prior to the academic post.

Peck left that paper on the heels of a journalism controversy that got little play outside the Northwest and continued to linger as recently as two years ago. It concerned financing for a large public project involving the newspaper’s owners.

Meanwhile, hopes were high among some CA staff members that Peck would change the dysfunctional management style at the paper. Others believed no creative undertaking the size of a newspaper is possible without some level of dysfunction. And still others were leery about any optimistic assessment for any reason.

Bernsen was among the first to leave the CA after Peck’s hire. Louis Graham, who had been expected to head the Metro desk even if Sanford became the new top editor, replaced Bernsen.

Six years later, departing and current staffers describe the CA’s management style and newsroom atmosphere as “toxic.” They also complain that little has changed in terms of who runs the newspaper on a daily basis despite a frequent shuffling of the management chart.

None would talk with The Memphis News on the record for fear of reprisals. Even past staffers didn’t want their names used because of the prospect of doing freelance work for the newspaper. Those still in the newsroom and on the payroll wouldn’t talk on company phones.

Profits and losses

What ails The Commercial Appeal has a lot to do with what ails the newspaper industry in general these days. But that’s a black-and-white version that misses large colorful splotches unique to the institution.

Decisions made during the past six years to pursue a growth strategy targeting “suburban” readers, as well as longstanding practices for managing talent, have also helped bring the newspaper to where it is today.

Managers at the newspaper, in separate interviews with The Memphis News, insist it is stable, profitable and will remain a seven-day-a-week operation despite recent moves that severely cut the reporting staff, eliminated classified ads from the already thin Monday and Tuesday print editions and an admission that the newspaper probably won’t be covering less urgent topics in the future.

Asked if the demise of classified ad sections in the Monday and Tuesday editions could be a sign that the Monday and Tuesday print editions might vanish entirely, publisher Joe Pepe was unequivocal.

“No. That’s not going to happen, at least under my tenure here,” Pepe said. “A lot of the transactional classified business is done online anyway. Everything that you see in the paper every day of the week is also online. So putting the Monday and Tuesday (classifieds) online was essentially just a way for us to save on some newsprint costs while not taking away from the advertising.”

The CA is profitable, Peck and Pepe insist, although they won’t release any numbers.

“We’ve projected a profit for 2009,” Peck said. “We were profitable in 2008. So, I fully expect we’ll be profitable in 2009.”

Pepe responded, “Absolutely,” when asked if the CA is profitable. When asked if he would be more specific, he replied, “No. Good try.”

Doing less with fewer

The newspaper is not alone in its reluctance to give out specific financial data. Most businesses consider such information to be proprietary.

The optimistic assessment is in contrast to a letter subscribers got this month from Karl D. Wurzbach, vice president of circulation, saying subscription rates would go up by $2 a month effective Nov. 1.

“This is the only way we can continue to deliver to your home every day,” he wrote. “This increase is across the board, for everybody, with no exclusions.”

Wurzbach’s letter also noted that the CA had dropped home delivery to 11,600 subscribers in outlying areas during a five-month period. The weekday newsstand price had already increased from 50 cents to 75 cents.

“It was costing us more money to print and deliver than we earned in revenue,” he said in the letter. “No company can survive using that business model. … Simply put, we are making very difficult decisions to help our business survive.”

Both moves in the appearance and delivery of the paper came in the week after 20 reporters and editors faced the ultimate “difficult decision.”

The newspaper made the decision of whom to fire using a controversial system that ranks reporters in the particular section of the paper they work for. The key to the ranking is not reporting ability or even a byline count; it’s how a reporter gets along with his or her editor. It had already been a key to longevity at the CA before Peck arrived in Memphis and made it a formal part of employee evaluations.

“You have to grieve those who are no longer with us in a genuine way because they were great contributions,” Peck said. “But you really at that point also have to rather quickly turn your attention to the task at hand. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

But the veteran employees “grieved” by management are the same employees management had ranked as the least valuable in their respective departments.

That included Jimmie Covington, the longest-serving reporter at the paper until his dismissal in March after years of being shuffled from one suburban bureau to another. Covington was a veteran of the county government and Memphis City Schools beats.

The layoffs also included Frederic Koeppel and Christopher Blank, who provided much of the newspaper’s arts coverage and who apparently won’t be replaced with full-time reporters.

There’s now no mention of the “master narratives” Peck once included in his “blueprint” for the CA. They included long-form stories on race, the city’s musical heritage, barbecue and the river. It was to be a departure from the newspaper being what Peck referred to as a “news utility,” or all-purpose paper of record.

“What we have to do is prioritize our staff resources,” Peck said just weeks after 20 people in the CA newsroom either resigned or were fired in the latest series of cutbacks – the deepest to date for the editorial staff. “I think where that’s going to lead is making sure that we have the nuts and bolts of hard news coverage. That’s probably police reporting, court reporting, government reporting, school reporting. We want to make sure we’ve got those bases covered.”

Whatever is left of a full-time reporting staff will be devoted to issues and institutions such as FedEx, the University of Memphis Tigers basketball team, the Memphis Grizzlies, the economy and the medical center.

“If we run out of people at that point, then we’re going to turn to freelancers and more community-generated content,” Peck said. “I think we’ll be able to fill a lot of holes there if we need to and I think it will work out fine.”

Wanted: free (or reduced) labor

Pepe offered a basic definition of citizen journalism.

“All blogging is citizen journalism,” he told The Memphis News. “In a lot of cases it’s unsubstantiated. It’s not objective. It’s not edited content. It leans more toward opinion and subjectivity. Anytime we have citizen journalism, it’s still going to get edited. It’s still going to get verified. It’s going to get checked for facts before we post it. We apply the same rules to citizen-sponsored journalism as we do to our top line reporter.”

Sanford said citizen journalism “has its place” and has been discussed since the early 1990s. It shows up in the pages he governs in the form of opinion pieces and letters to the editor. Non-newspaper employees also serve on the CA’s editorial board.

“Now, I am a traditional, old-fashioned journalist,” Sanford said. “And I believe that while citizen journalism has its place, I’m not one – and maybe this is an old-fashioned view – but I’m not one to think that citizen journalism can ever take the place of the traditional journalism that I know and love. I just don’t believe that.”

The names of reporters and photographers cut in the most recent round of layoffs are already turning up in CA coverage as freelancers. Instead of a straight name with “The Commercial Appeal” below it, their names now appear with the phrase “special to The Commercial Appeal” and, of course, they receive no health benefits or regular paychecks from the newspaper.

Worldwide wakeup call

Before Peck’s arrival in Memphis, the CA was more than out of touch with the need for an Internet presence. The newspaper was hostile to such a move.

Posting a story on the Web site that was anything more than a teaser paragraph before the actual newspapers rolled of the presses and into delivery trucks was seen as handing the story to the competition.

It was a philosophy that had served the newspaper well in competing with television news, even with the rise of 24-hour cable news channels.

However, there have been consequences for being late to the Internet party, and financial consequences for not taking the Internet seriously.

“Right now all the revenue is generated off advertising,” Pepe said of print journalism’s gradual realization that it needed to be in the Web business as well. “Until search engines are firewalled – until all local media either together or individually start charging for content online – it’s going to continue to be a source of non-revenue in terms of content. That then means that revenue for all Internet ventures will be based on advertising.”

After Peck arrived, the move to unique content for the Web site was still slow in coming.

Editors exerted the same multi-tiered control over copy that might mean a story was not edited for Web or print until later in the day, closer to the print deadline.

Scraps often erupted over how copy was edited after it left the editors and went to the “new media” department. It might be a change in a few words or a new, snappier lead (first sentence), but some editors clearly didn’t like having their work changed as much as they might have imagined reporters liked having their work rearranged.

Reporters are expected to take such changes without protest, and protests are rare even when edits distort meaning. Reporters can always fall back on the excuse that the story got messed up after it was out of their hands.

But that brings into play another rule for newsroom survival – always, always make a hard copy of the story you turn in to your editor.

The anonymity of snark

The comments section on www.commercialappeal.com, where readers may post their thoughts at the bottom of stories, has been wildly successful if you look just at the number of comments some stories generate in a short amount of time.

But success isn’t the word that comes to mind if you start to read the comments on a regular basis.

They routinely crackle with racial tension and even racial slurs. When some staffers complained about the slurs and called for better policing of such comments, Peck reportedly asked for a list of what slurs should be considered cause for removing comments.

Sanford had a different take in March as he spoke at a University of Memphis panel discussion about race and the media.

“Please stop reading those comments,” Sanford told a crowd of 100 people on campus. “You’ve got … anonymous people who go on our stories … and make unbelievably goofy and stupid comments. And then that becomes, unfortunately, the reality. And we have to stop that. We can’t stop the comments because the Web people have told us, ‘Well, that’s how you get people in there.’ But please don’t listen to that.”

To civic groups and even individual citizens who contact the paper with complaints and concerns, Sanford is its face, voice and ears. When the CA participates in media forums, chances are the speaker will be Sanford.

For the past two years, Sanford has been in charge of the paper’s editorial board and Viewpoint section. It’s a position that evolved after editorial page editor David Kushma’s departure, when Kushma’s duties came to be included in Sanford’s.

“That just didn’t work right,” Sanford told The Memphis News. “We had a lot of discussions about this. Corporate was even involved in it. We agreed that the editorial pages, Viewpoint, the editorial board – we would sort of restructure the newsroom operation and the editorial board and the editorial opinions of the paper so that would fall directly under the publisher and I would be running that. I think that was a good thing to do.”

That means that Sanford works for Pepe, not Peck, as he did when he was managing editor.

Gum-popping good times

Peck met with each reporter in his office shortly after he arrived in Memphis. He appeared to be taking notes on a legal pad as he listened to their comments and suggestions.

However, trying to find Peck’s strategy over the years has been no simple matter. There wasn’t much beyond slogans that included “rebuilding the jet while flying it” or “building a 21st century newspaper.” The latter phrase was still being used six years into the new century.

One reporter who tried to get into Peck’s head in terms of management philosophy hit a brick wall with a thud, although he is still employed at the CA.

On that occasion, Peck was in no mood to discuss philosophy despite a casual-sounding e-mail asking if the reporter had a few minutes to talk. Instead of a dialogue, Peck gave the reporter $50 in cash and a list of books he could buy to read. He also sent the reporter back to the night cops beat for objecting to how a story was edited.

The editorial page and op-ed page were the first parts of the paper that changed. Peck wanted more letters to the editor. He also wanted to stop the practice of rigorously fact-checking letters.

This drew dissent from Kushma, who was eventually overruled and left in the first round of buyouts in 2003 that followed Peck’s arrival. Some of the other changes were in the Metro section – the hard news engine of the paper.

Reporters were switched around, which is a normal part of life at the city’s daily newspaper unless you are declared immune from such changes. The six or seven Metro editors were immune for the most part from the changes.

The newspaper’s home office in Cincinnati had long maintained that the paper was top heavy with such editors. Peck talked a lot about change, but didn’t change that.

At one of Peck’s first meetings with the Metro staff, a reporter asked Peck when there would be changes for the editors as well. Peck’s answer was to talk about Dentyne gum and how the company that makes it had allegedly improved its sales figures by repackaging the gum.

The analogy was that the CA was going to undergo a similar repackaging: What was under the wrapper would remain the same.

For weeks after the meeting, fellow reporters left numerous packages of Dentyne on the questioner’s desk.

Before Peck answered the question, some staffers remained hopeful because they saw most of the problems with the new management as a result of Peck having to answer to John Wilcox, the CA’s publisher. It was a key difference in the management structure.

Before Wilcox’s arrival, McEachran had served as editor and president – a title that gave McEachran near absolute power over everything the newspaper did, editorially and otherwise.

The Dentyne story showed that if there was a struggle between Wilcox and Peck, it wasn’t much of a difference of opinion. They essentially agreed on a newsroom strategy that continued to unfold.

Neighborly gestures

Of those at the top of the masthead, only Sanford has seen all of the changes unfold from one regime to the other.

“In terms of news, certainly the newspaper has changed dramatically under Chris,” Sanford told The Memphis News. “There have been significant changes in focus and really in newsroom culture.”

Asked to characterize whether the change has been good, bad or indifferent, Sanford said, “I’m not going to say. I’m going to let others decide that. The readers can determine that.”

Peck’s take on newsroom culture at the CA is almost as neutral.

“The culture is not one where people are necessarily beaming with big smiles every day because it’s a difficult time in the industry,” he told The Memphis News. “I think that I have tried to be very realistic with people with what’s going on in the business – and very realistic about our expectations of what we need from our staff, from my office all the way down to the last person who leaves at night.”

The Neighbors sections were abolished with Peck’s settling in – sections included every Thursday for each zone of the city that also contained honors rolls of all schools in and out of the zone, and other such listings. It had the kind of items that readers might like to cut out and post on their refrigerators. No matter where you lived in Memphis, you got a Neighbors section.

Peck wasted no time in making the refrigerator postings a rallying cry for what was to replace Neighbors. They would be hyper-local sections that would contain only news about that part of the county. Some would be written by a staffer, but most often written by citizens in that area. Often, the citizens were members of a group or organization that was the focus of the piece.

Soon the philosophy began to apply to the news that appeared in other parts of the particular delivery zone.

Not every section of the city got a suburban edition. Vast sections of North and South Memphis as well as Frayser and Raleigh were out of the loop.

Peck first pleaded ignorance to and has since repeatedly denied a central tenet of life in Memphis. Memphians often have family that might live in another part of town. Thus someone Downtown might want to see the honor roll of Tara Oaks Elementary School in Collierville or someone in Bartlett might be interested in what is happening in Arlington.

This often led to readers wondering what they missed in other parts of the city, and being suspicious of only receiving certain news.

New suburban bureaus were opened as full-time postings in Mississippi and Arkansas and state Capitol coverage from Jackson and Little Rock, respectively, was abandoned. Meanwhile, the newspaper’s greatest success in a suburban edition was being changed to make it fit the cookie-cutter mold of the new suburban bureaus.

Escape hatch

The newspaper’s DeSoto County edition opened late in McEachran’s tenure. It was one of the few times McEachran talked about marketing studies as he explained a concept to the newsroom. But it was because the data were clear.

DeSoto County readers wanted a newspaper that covered North Mississippi and did not mention Memphis, at least on the front page. The DeSoto County bureau had a separate sales and management staff. And the CA edition delivered in DeSoto County had its own front page that was DeSoto County-centric. It was even called The DeSoto Appeal. And it was a hit out of the box, with plans to duplicate the model in Tipton County while maintaining a different model within Shelby County because of the differences in attitudes clearly shown in the marketing study.

Peck wasn’t interested in the distinction.

When Pepe arrived as publisher in late 2005, the CA got someone with experience in such suburban editions. Pepe came to Memphis from St. Louis, where he headed the Suburban Journals – a collection of 38 weekly community newspapers.

Pepe said the CA’s suburban business strategy as modified several times over has worked. That strategy is to get advertising from small businesses in the community receiving the directed section – businesses whose reach and revenue can’t sustain a pitch to the paper’s larger audience.

“In St. Louis, they’ve been in place for 50 years,” Pepe said. “So they were humming. Here, we’ve had them in place for three or four years. I would suggest that if we’d not done this, that we would have even greater financial problems, only because the dependency on the larger advertisers would have been even greater than it is.”

“Zoning,” as it’s called, is now a three-day-a-week proposition.

“We still do zoning Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. We have a suburban, urban and a DeSoto zone. I think that’s where we need to be,” Peck said. “What we’re trying to do is balance the best of both worlds. Make sure our readers have the best of what’s going on in greater Memphis, but that we also provide a degree of zone content that is either geared toward the metro area, the suburbs or DeSoto County.”

But the practice has been much different than the theory behind the advertising and the needs of news consumers. As valued as the suburban coverage has been throughout Peck’s tenure, the bureaus have been places where reporters with troublesome attitudes toward editors have been exiled.

It was the next destination for many of those summoned for personal meetings with Peck as the first round of buyouts began in late 2003. In some cases, reporters have welcomed the assignment to be able to get out of the Downtown newsroom.

In the doghouse

The first round of buyouts under Peck in 2003 was brutal – even more ham-handed and graceless than anyone imagined possible. And the CA is not an organization noted for having an optimistic outlook.

All employees who were older than 40 and had been at the company 20 years or more got packets outlining the terms of the buyout. But within that group, Peck singled out about a dozen copy editors, reporters and photographers, including some of the most senior reporters and photographers in the organization. He had already begun discussions with several in the group who had been ill or had surgery.

Each got an e-mail from Peck asking if they had a few minutes to talk in his office. Peck would later quarrel with an assertion that he had threatened those in the group in the one-on-one talks. But he did tell each of them that if they didn’t take the buyout, they would be assigned more onerous duties.

One was told that if he didn’t take the buyout, he would be working nights and weekends. When the employee said he already worked nights and weekends, the meeting ended abruptly. A features reporter and another reporter each were told they would be working the night cops beat if they didn’t accept the buyouts.

The night shift started at 4:30 p.m. and ran until 1 a.m. or so. It involved listening to a police scanner and checking for such news that had to be written on deadline. The night cops reporter is the only news reporter on duty at the paper after 5p.m. unless there’s a late City Council meeting or someone on dayside decides they are on a roll and continues working.

Most papers have the night cops beat, and it is usually where beginning reporters start. It’s a good way to learn the basics of print reporting and determine whether a reporter can hold up under deadline pressure. At the CA, it is a beat assigned to reporters who are out of favor – firmly, decisively and usually terminally out of favor.

Under Peck, even summer interns don’t have to work night cops.

The Newspaper Guild, the union that represents reporters, photographers and copy editors, took the unusual move of passing a resolution that complained about Peck’s singling out employees. The same day the union passed the resolution, Peck called into his office the reporter who had made the proposal. I was that employee.

“I would really like for this not to find its way to Cincinnati,” was his reaction after he quarreled over whether his other talks with employees had amounted to threats.

The guild membership had voted unanimously for the resolution to be sent to Scripps management in Cincinnati. Peck later talked union leaders out of sending it, despite the membership vote.

Some of the squeezed employees took the buyout. Others stayed and were shuffled out to the suburban bureaus the following August, and were among those laid off this past March.

‘Treacherous ground’

The guild’s idea of a protest was to have reporters in the newsroom wear green on certain days of the week. This signaled that contract negotiations weren’t going well or weren’t going at all.

It’s been six years since the last labor contract expired that included guaranteed annual raises. Then the guild went to the idea of wearing green buttons – no words on the buttons, just green buttons that Scripps brass in town would see during their visits to Memphis. The brass never got near the newsroom. Still later, the guild kept the idea of the green color scheme but added the wording “We All Merit A Raise” to protest the company’s proposal of merit pay raises instead of a percentage raise guaranteed in the contract.

At one point, the guild was optimistic that the company was getting the message. So the guild urged members not to file grievances against management to keep the goodwill going.

In October 2007, the most visible sign of dissent in years came outside the framework of the guild and stalled contract talks. As the CA prepared to publish a series of articles on the impact of Memphis businesses around the world, a lead piece about FedEx to be sponsored by FedEx was ordered rewritten and the reporter, Trevor Aaronson, refused. The newspaper had approached FedEx about sponsoring that particular piece. Dozens of staff members, in a rare public move, signed a petition objecting to the practice Peck referred to as “monetizing content.” They felt it crossed the line separating the editorial part of the newspaper from sales. National trade magazines and blogs, which normally overlook the CA, took note of the flap.

Peck retreated, telling Editor & Publisher, a print trade magazine, “I went to our publisher and said, ‘We have probably gone half a step more than we should have gone on this project.’ It is treacherous ground when you start talking about having an advertiser in a section that has them in the reporting.”

Aaronson later left the CA, but has been quoted as saying he enjoyed the freedom he was given to pursue his own interests.

“I don’t care to talk about my experiences there,” Aaronson wrote in an e-mail.

The favored few

The stage for the latest round of layoffs that came in April was set with the release of fourth-quarter figures for Scripps.

Profits were way down. The chain ended the year with its share prices down 51 percent or $22. The chain announced it would freeze the pension plan, cutting 401(k) matching funds from the company. At the CA, the 401(k) match has always only applied to managers.

Mark Watson, head of the triumvirate of labor unions at the CA, including The Newspaper Guild, broke the news about the layoffs, calling it a “crisi-tunity.” He was among those laid off weeks later.

The weekend after the announcement, Peck in his Sunday column once again lectured about the hard economic times.

From the start, Peck’s quest was to garner favorable attention within the city and in journalism circles across the country by winning awards. At first, he touted every award the paper won, which, for writing and reporting, were usually the monthly Scripps awards from the home office in Cincinnati.

But he later reversed that and said the paper should note only awards of national stature. Photographers regularly won those, but reporters didn’t.

When some reporters complained their work was always excluded from consideration, Peck directed that reporters submit on a monthly basis any work they wanted to be considered for award entries.

Those suggestions were then forwarded to the very editors who had been excluding their work in the first place and who remained in control of contest entries.

Like other newspapers, the CA’s approach to awards is sometimes to deem a story to be eligible for an award, possibly before the first interview is done or the first word is written.

But a contest entry had to have the right byline as well – the right reporter doing a story for a contest was usually not the one covering the beat from which the story arose.

Pamela Perkins, who left the paper voluntary in the November 2008 round of layoffs, along with music writer Bill Ellis, who left in 2005, won a national award in 2004 from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri for their continuing coverage of the return of Stax Records and the surrounding Soulsville neighborhood in South Memphis. Their writing won first place in the arts and entertainment category of the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards.

There was no companywide e-mail congratulating them as there had been for awards in the monthly Scripps competition.

Stephen Price’s work as one of several reporters working on the deadly shooting of a child on Rosamond Avenue in 2002 caught the attention of Florida’s Poynter Institute, a leading journalism think tank. Other reporters deemed more worthy were praised the next day in the inevitable self-congratulatory e-mail in which management separated those it favored from those it didn’t.

Price had blended into the neighborhood crowd as police cleared reporters from the area, came back with the story no one else had and wrote it on deadline.

The Poynter Institute carries a lot of weight in Peck’s newspaper philosophy. Several times, he’s used Poynter fellows to mediate discussions with community leaders about the newspaper’s policies. But when Price’s account of the shooting aftermath in the Rosamond neighborhood was reprinted in Poynter’s annual anthology of the nation’s best journalism of the past year, CA management once again did not acknowledge the accolade.

Curious ideas

As the 2004 presidential season began, Peck revealed an important part of his views on political coverage to an editors’ forum in Washington. It was the same night as the Iowa caucuses.

The remarks to the American Press Institute gathering didn’t get much publicity, even after they showed up on an industry blog. It took a few more months. He never said anything about it to anyone who worked at the CA.

Peck said having reporters cover campaign events was a waste of time and resources. Instead, he said citizen journalists should cover the events – those who were already going to attend the rallies anyway.

“We have to get over the notion that we have to do it all ourselves,” he told Chad Capellman of API as he talked of having editors find volunteers to write summaries of what was said. “It’s not doing the democracy any good to send out a reporter to write down a regurgitation of what a candidate is saying in a staged event.”

Peck also said newspapers should compete with comedy shows such as “The Daily Show” and “Saturday Night Live” as a source of political information. Also, Peck called for focus groups of readers to determine what issues should be discussed.

“Don’t let the candidates drive coverage of the three issues they want to ride to get elected,” he told the API group.

Being the newspaper’s political reporter had been a difficult posting for some time, even before Peck arrived in Memphis. Bernsen had a checkered history of political coverage that turned into a deep distrust and contempt for politics when he became the head of Metro.

Each election season he would dutifully call those assigned to political coverage to his office and haul out a set of his own news clippings, which he said illustrated the kind of reporting he wanted. Under no circumstances, he insisted, would the candidates be setting the agenda for the newspaper’s coverage.

Such tension is normal in the planning of most media coverage of politics. It’s a game candidates, their representatives and the reporters who cover them play constantly.

Bernsen’s decision was not to play the game at all. He did not want coverage of campaign events and rallies. And the end of an election meant the end of political coverage. Any attempt a candidate made to establish or give voice to an issue was uniformly rejected even if it obviously hit a nerve with voters. To him, the whole process was rigged and the newspaper’s view was the only valid one.

There was supposed to be a wall between the reporting that was allowed on the political process and the endorsements of candidates that the CA editorial board made. Most candidates interested in the newspaper’s endorsement never believed there was a wall. If there was, they reasoned, editors not on the board would still find a way to limit or tilt coverage of those who weren’t endorsed.

Prism of perception

The CA began 2009 with a curious 15-part series that recapped the public life of Mayor Willie Herenton.

Herenton has had problems with the newspaper throughout that public life. And similarly, the newspaper’s leadership has had problems seeing straight when the subject was Willie Herenton.

The paper’s until then consistent political coverage was missing in action when Herenton launched a surprisingly strong-willed bid for mayor in 1991. Editorially, the newspaper had strong reservations about the People’s Convention that Herenton took by storm, clearing the first political obstacle in what became a historic campaign.

His willingness to participate in the convention, whose goal was to come up with a consensus black challenger to incumbent Dick Hackett, put off those in the newspaper’s front office. It translated to next to no coverage of a campaign effort that was on the streets every day, while Hackett pursued the local equivalent of a rose garden strategy of speaking to small groups at select backyard parties.

When Herenton won, the ambivalence turned into hostility.

Herenton had a good relationship with several reporters who had covered his tenure as city schools superintendent – even through the sexual harassment lawsuit that came near the end of his tenure there and just before his entry into the 1991 mayor’s race. (The harassment case stemmed from a relationship Herenton had with a teacher.)

Those reporters had to walk a fine line. A favorable comment by Herenton in public that got back to editors could mean that reporter would be perceived as biased toward Herenton. The problem many reporters had with walking the tightrope was editors increasingly viewed a reporter’s duty to the paper as a requirement to shank their sources in print to show where their loyalties lay.

The editors were convinced a 2005 recall petition mounted by radio talk show host and blogger Thaddeus Matthews would succeed. They considered it a foregone conclusion that Matthews would gather more than enough signatures on the petitions and do it well before the deadline to file with the Shelby County Election Commission.

The newspaper’s planned coverage moved past the recall drive itself. The editors ordered up a piece on who was likely to run in the recall election that followed. They approached at least two reporters with the task before the effort flagged just enough for the piece to become an article on who might run for city mayor in 2007.

The fact that politicos across the city were still waiting to see if the 2006 county elections would offer any opportunities didn’t cross their minds. Calls to those politicos were met with widespread laughter and wonderment at the eccentric methods afoot at the CA. The petition drive failed and Matthews backed Herenton’s 2007 bid for re-election.

Distance learning

By this past February, CA management signed off on a content-sharing agreement with fellow Scripps paper The Knoxville News Sentinel, as well as The Tennesseean newspaper in Nashville and the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Feb. 5 agreement was already in effect by the time an internal memo from News Sentinel management surfaced in early March in Editor & Publisher.

The CA and the Knoxville newspaper had used such a strategy for years in covering politics. The result was that the CA continued to do without any local political coverage beyond biographical pieces introducing candidates.

Statewide races for governor and the U.S. Senate were covered from Knoxville or by the CA’s Nashville bureau chief, Richard Locker, or in some cases by Bartholomew Sullivan, a former CA reporter who now works for the Scripps News Service’s Washington bureau. That meant candidates for statewide office coming to Memphis were usually covered before they got to the city or after they left.

The agreement was most visible during the 2006 U.S. Senate race between Republican Bob Corker of Chattanooga and Democrat Harold Ford Jr. of Memphis. One of the campaign’s crucial events was a showdown between the two at Memphis International Airport.

Corker had called a press conference there. Ford crashed the event ahead of time and the two faced off in the airport parking lot – a few inches from each other with television cameras and microphones surrounding them.

There was no CA reporter in the press pack. Sullivan covered what became known as the “parking lot debate” from the D.C. bureau.

...

50. GM Employees May Get Shutdown Details This Week -

DETROIT (AP) - Thousands of GM workers could learn as early as Thursday that they will be idle for up to nine weeks this summer as the automaker's plants stop making all but its most popular cars and trucks.

51. AP Sources: UAW Focusing on Talks with Chrysler -

DETROIT (AP) - The United Auto Workers union has placed concession talks with General Motors Corp. on the back burner as it tries to reach a deal with Chrysler LLC before an April 30 government deadline, two people briefed on the negotiations said Thursday.

52. Auto Suppliers to Get $5 Billion in Aid -

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Treasury Department, trying to stabilize the battered auto industry, will provide up to $5 billion in financing to troubled auto parts suppliers who are linked to Detroit's carmakers, officials said Thursday.

53. UAW Reaches Health Care Trust Fund Deal with Ford -

DETROIT (AP) - The United Auto Workers and Ford Motor Co. said Monday they agreed to let the automaker change how it pays for a health care trust fund for retired workers, a deal that could serve as the model for cash-starved General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.

54. Final Holiday Shopping Weekend Keeps Retailers Edgy -

CHICAGO (AP) – The deals were there and, by most accounts, so were the shoppers. But at the close of the final holiday shopping weekend, consumers confessed they were still nervous about buying.

55. White House Readies New Rescue for Auto Industry -

WASHINGTON (AP) - With Congress gridlocked and the economy flailing, the Bush administration declared Friday it would step in and prevent the "precipitous collapse" of the U.S. auto industry and the disastrous economic impact of the hundreds of thousands of job losses sure to follow.

56. UAW to Renegotiate Labor Terms, Modify Jobs Bank -

DETROIT (AP) - United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger said Wednesday that the union is willing to change its contract and will delay billions of dollars in payments to a union-run health care trust in an effort to help the struggling U.S. automakers.

57. Detroit Automakers' Rescue Stalls in Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) - A plan to give troubled U.S. automakers billions of dollars in government-backed loans is on life support, leaving the fate of hundreds of thousands of workers and Detroit's once-venerable car companies hanging in the balance.

58. Election Totals: Better Late Than Never -

Two days after the Nov. 4 elections, the final unofficial totals were finally posted by the Shelby County Election Commission. The long vote count involved absentee ballots whose count was delayed because of problems with an optical scanning machine.

59. Final Unofficial Shelby County Election Results Posted - Two days after the Nov. 4 elections, the final unofficial totals were finally posted by the Shelby County Election Commission Thursday evening. The long vote count involved absentee ballots whose count was delayed because of problems with an optical scanning machine.

The count shows over 400,000 Shelby County voters participated -- a record setting turnout for Shelby County in the most popular election cycle historically with local voters. However, it amounted to a 62 percent voter turnout for Shelby County.

These are the unofficial election results in selected races including the ten charter amendment referenda.

U.S. President

Shelby County results

All 274 precincts reporting

Barack Obama 255,541 64%

John McCain 145,137 36%

U.S. Senate

Shelby County results

All 274 precincts reporting

Lamar Alexander 189,471 51%

Bob Tuke 173,354 47%

Memphis City Council Super District 9 Position 1

All 114 precincts reporting

Kemp Conrad 47,739 42%

Paul Shaffer 37,594 33%

John Willingham 23,070 20%

Arnett Montague III 5,293 5%

Memphis School Board At Large Position 1

All 231 precincts reporting

Freda Williams 83,429 44%

Cynthia Gentry 81,766 43%

Menelik Fombi 22,108 12%

Germantown Board of Aldermen

All 13 precincts reporting

Position 3

Mike Palazzolo 15,022 72%

Donna Chandler Newman 5,842 28%

Position 4

Mark Billingsley 11,117 54%

Frank Uhlhorn 9,375 46%

Position 5

Ernest Chism 10,364 51%

Gary Pruitt 5,316 26%

James A. Danielik 2,550 13%

David J. Spann 2,002 10%

Collierville Mayor

All nine precincts

Stan Joyner 11,891 58%

Brannon Howse 5,130 25%

Tom Allen 3,609 17%

U.S. Cong. 9th District

All 208 precincts reporting

Steve Cohen 198,265 88%

Jake Ford 10,973 5%

Dewey Clark 10,013 4%

Shelby County Charter Amendment No. 364

Five countywide offices become charter offices with no salary petitions for four of five offices.

All 274 precincts reporting

Yes  237,032 68%

No  112,438   32%

Shelby County Charter Amendment No. 365

Term limits of two consecutive four-year terms for those elected sheriff, county clerk, trustee, register and assessor.

All 274 precincts reporting

Yes 276,531 79%

No 75,104 21%

Memphis City Charter Ordinance No. 5232

Provisions for the recall of a City Council member.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 171,489 77%

No 50,210 23%

Memphis City Charter Ordinance No. 5265

City residency requirement for division directors and other city appointees.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 161,205 72%

No 64,013 28%

Referendum No. 1

Term limits of two consecutive four-year terms for those elected to City Council and city mayor post.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 179,844 78%

No 49,852 22%

Referendum No. 2

Staggering City Council terms and moving city elections to even-numbered years in November every two years.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 145,606 72%

No 55,063 28%

Referendum No. 3

No sale of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division without approval by city voters.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 156,570 80%

No 39,116 20%

Referendum No. 4

Any elected or appointed city official indicted or charged with corruption is suspended with pay.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 167,369 75%

No 55,080 25%

Referendum No. 5

Instant runoff voting as an option in school board and City Council district races.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 154,269 71%

No 64,016 29%

Referendum No. 6

Mayoral vacancy process in which council chairman becomes interim mayor.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 188,608 85%

No 33,250 15%

...

60. Final Unofficial Shelby County Election Results Posted -

Two days after the Nov. 4 elections, the final unofficial totals were finally posted by the Shelby County Election Commission this evening. The long vote count involved absentee ballots whose count was delayed because of problems with an optical scanning machine.

The count shows over 400,000 Shelby County voters participated -- a record setting turnout for Shelby County in the most popular election cycle historically with local voters. However, it amounted to a 62 percent voter turnout for Shelby County.

These are the unofficial election results in selected races including the ten charter amendment referenda.

U.S. President

Shelby County results

All 274 precincts reporting

Barack Obama 255,541 64%

John McCain 145,137 36%

U.S. Senate

Shelby County results

All 274 precincts reporting

Lamar Alexander 189,471 51%

Bob Tuke 173,354 47%

Memphis City Council Super District 9 Position 1

All 114 precincts reporting

Kemp Conrad 47,739 42%

Paul Shaffer 37,594 33%

John Willingham 23,070 20%

Arnett Montague III 5,293 5%

Memphis School Board At Large Position 1

All 231 precincts reporting

Freda Williams 83,429 44%

Cynthia Gentry 81,766 43%

Menelik Fombi 22,108 12%

Germantown Board of Aldermen

All 13 precincts reporting

Position 3

Mike Palazzolo 15,022 72%

Donna Chandler Newman 5,842 28%

Position 4

Mark Billingsley 11,117 54%

Frank Uhlhorn 9,375 46%

Position 5

Ernest Chism 10,364 51%

Gary Pruitt  5,316 26%

James A. Danielik 2,550 13%

David J. Spann 2,002 10%

Collierville Mayor

All nine precincts

Stan Joyner 11,891 58%

Brannon Howse 5,130 25%

Tom Allen 3,609 17%

U.S. Cong. 9th District

All 208 precincts reporting

Steve Cohen 198,265 88%

Jake Ford 10,973 5%

Dewey Clark 10,013 4%

Shelby County Charter Amendment No. 364

Five countywide offices become charter offices with no salary petitions for four of five offices.

All 274 precincts reporting

Yes 238,771 68%

No 113,337 32%

Shelby County Charter Amendment No. 365

Term limits of two consecutive four-year terms for those elected sheriff, county clerk, trustee, register and assessor.

All 274 precincts reporting

Yes 278,659 79%

No 75,538 21%

Memphis City Charter Ordinance No. 5232

Provisions for the recall of a City Council member.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 172,834 77%

No 50,437 23%

Memphis City Charter Ordinance No. 5265

City residency requirement for division directors and other city appointees.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 162,344 72%

No 64,475 28%

Referendum No. 1

Term limits of two consecutive four-year terms for those elected to City Council and city mayor post.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 181,235 78%

No 50,099 22%

Referendum No. 2

Staggering City Council terms and moving city elections to even-numbered years in November every two years.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 146,872 73%

No 55,390 27%

Referendum No. 3

No sale of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division without approval by city voters.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 158,022 80%

No 39,296 20%

Referendum No. 4

Any elected or appointed city official indicted or charged with corruption is suspended with pay.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 168,635 75%

No 55,401 25%

Referendum No. 5

Instant runoff voting as an option in school board and City Council district races.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 155,388 71%

No 64,467 29%

Referendum No. 6

Mayoral vacancy process in which council chairman becomes interim mayor.

All 231 precincts reporting

Yes 190,113 85%

No 33,367 15%

...

61. Shelby Goes Obama; Conrad To Council; All 10 Charter Amends Pass -

These are the unofficial election results for Shelby County. The state-wide results in the Presidential election as well as the U.S. Senate races in Tennessee and Mississippi are also included.

The results become official after an audit and certification by the Shelby County Election Commission as well as state election officials.

62. Auto Industry Girds for Another Weak Sales Month -

NEW YORK (AP) - The auto industry is preparing to report yet another month of rapidly slowing sales – possibly the worst in decades – as the same toxic combination of the credit crunch and the careening economy continue to keep consumers away from dealerships.

63. Hottel Appointed Dean At UT College of Dentistry -

Dr. Timothy L. Hottel has been appointed dean for the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry.

Hottel currently serves as executive associate dean and chief financial officer, associate dean for academic and financial affairs, division chief for primary care, professor in the Department of Prosthodontics, and interim chair of the Department of Cariology and Restorative Dentistry at Nova Southeastern University in Ford Lauderdale, Fla.

64. Behind the Scenes -

For television viewers around the world, it began with the host of PBS’ “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” intoning, “Good evening from the Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.”

65. Cohen, Blackburn Lead Local Election Winners -

More than half and possibly as much as 75 percent of Shelby County’s nearly 626,000 voters are expected to turn out for the Nov. 4 election that will be highlighted by the John McCain-Barack Obama battle for the White House.

66. 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.

...

67. Get Ready to Vote Thursday -

Early voter turnout in advance of Thursday’s election was higher in Shelby County than it was four years ago. But it was lower than the total from two years ago.

Early voting ended Saturday evening at 19 locations across the county.

68. Ford's Wife Gives to Cohen's Challenger in Memphis -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr.'s new bride is lending her financial support to the primary challenger of the Democrat who succeeded her husband in Congress.

Federal campaign finance reports show Emily Threlkeld Ford has given Nikki Tinker $3,300 to support her effort to unseat Rep. Steve Cohen in the 9th Congressional District.

69. Questions Remain Unanswered in Ford-Lee Case -

With a federal corruption case pending against him, Joseph Lee walked into the office of Kendall Investigations in Knoxville and met with former FBI special agent Kendall Shull. It was Oct. 16, 2007, and Lee – the former president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division – was there in an effort to clear his name. He had traveled to Knoxville to take a polygraph test at Shull’s office. Lee’s attorney, Robert Spence, said this week he had planned to somehow publicize the results of the polygraph – which Lee passed – to defend his client against federal bribery charges.

70. Cooper Sentenced: Six Months in Jail, Six of House Arrest -

Former Shelby County Board of Commissioners member Joe Cooper was sentenced Wednesday to six months in prison and six months of house arrest for helping drug dealers launder their drug money.

Cooper’s sentence could have been closer to three years under federal sentencing guidelines. But prosecutors recommended a lower sentence because of Cooper’s role as the government’s key witness in the corruption trial of former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. and the guilty plea of former Memphis City Council member Rickey Peete on bribery charges.

71. Rhodes College’s Stuart Receives Distinguished Service Award -

Forrest Stuart, director of financial aid at Rhodes College, recently received the Distinguished Service Award at the spring conference of the Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (TASFAA).

72. Jury Deliberates In Ford Case -

The jury in the corruption trial of former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. deliberated Tuesday for about two hours before breaking for the night.

The panel of 12 got the case Tuesday afternoon, a week and a day after the trial opened in Memphis federal court before U.S. District Judge Hardy Mays. They return to work this morning.

73. Ford Trial’s Nuances Appear Made for TV -

Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Laurenzi told a federal court jury last week that the trial of former City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. would, in part, be about “a corrupt environment” at Memphis City Hall.

74. Cooper’s Foibles on Display During Ford Trial -

Once the jury in the federal corruption trial of former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. finished watching the recordings that are the centerpiece of the case this week, they got to know a lot more about the government informant behind the camera.

75. Jurors Get Closer Look At Ford Recordings -

Jurors in the federal corruption trial of former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. got their first look Wednesday at recordings of Ford taking money from the government’s informant in the case.

76. Cooper Testifying In Ford Trial -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Joe Cooper will continue his testimony Wednesday in the federal corruption trial of former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Sr.

Cooper, who took the witness stand late Tuesday afternoon, is the key government witness in the trial which is expected to last all of this week. When he met with Ford between August and November 2006, Cooper was cooperating with the FBI, recording the conversations and passing money provided by the FBI to Ford.

77. Jury Pool Expanded, Questions Thorough For Coming Ford Trial -

The corruption trial of former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. will begin next month with a jury pool of 105 people. There will be lots of questions for the jury about their backgrounds and political views, but the questions won't be as direct as whether they are Republicans or Democrats or whom they have supported in what races.

78. District Attorney's OfficeAdds Four to Staff -      The Shelby County District Attorney General's Office has added four staff members, including a new criminal investigator and a human resources manager.
     Paul Boyd has been appointed huma

79. 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.

80. Primaries Heat Up as Filing Deadline Passes - The race for the Memphis 9th Congressional District seat will have no Republican contenders.

At Thursday’s deadline for candidates to file in the Aug. 7 state and Congressional primaries, no Republicans had filed for the GOP primary.

81. Primaries Heat Up as Filing Deadline Passes - The race for the Memphis 9th Congressional District seat will have no Republican contenders.

At today’s deadline for candidates to file in the Aug. 7 state and Congressional primaries, no Republicans had filed for the GOP primary.

82. Leatherwood to Challenge Blackburn; Other Races Heating Up Too -

The 9th Congressional District Democratic primary won't be the only challenge to an incumbent congressman whose district includes the Memphis area.

Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood told The Daily News this week that he will challenge 7th District Republican incumbent Marsha Blackburn on the Aug. 7 ballot.

83. County Commission Hears Details of Bass Pro Proposal -

Pyramid developer Greg Ericson got to sit at the same table as city leaders negotiating the Bass Pro Shops development deal Wednesday before Shelby County Commissioners. But the city’s project manager, Robert Lipscomb, consultant Tom Marshall and three commissioners left the room.

84. County Commission Hears Details of Bass Pro Proposal -

Pyramid developer Greg Ericson got to sit at the same table as city leaders negotiating the Bass Pro Shops development deal today before Shelby County Commissioners. But the city’s project manager, Robert Lipscomb, consultant Tom Marshall and three commissioners left the room.

85. Herenton To Take Oath Tuesday -

Mayor Willie Herenton will kick off his fifth term in office Tuesday.

Herenton and all 13 Memphis City Council members elected this year will begin new four-year terms by taking their respective oaths of office at noon at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will be the featured speaker.

86. Council Hands Recall MeasureOver to Voters -      A new measure approved by the Memphis City Council would give voters a way to recall sitting council members.
     The ordinance approved Tuesday follows federal indictments of two members.
87. Moving Day Approaches For Nine Council Members -

Nine Memphis City Council members will begin a transition starting next week. Their pictures will go from one side of the City Council chambers at City Hall to the other side.

The nine are leaving the council in what is the largest turnover of seats in the 40-year history of the 13-member body. Current council members have their pictures on the wall on one side of the chamber. The portraits of former council members line the wall on the other side.

88. Fairgrounds Redevelopment Now In Three Flavors -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton this week unveiled to the City Council three options for redeveloping the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

Herenton told council members the fate of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium will depend on a pending decision from the U.S. Department of Justice about what improvements the city must make to the stadium to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

89. Thompson Indicted for Extortion and Mail Fraud -

A federal grand jury Tuesday indicted former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson on one count of extortion and three counts of mail fraud.

The public corruption charges that name no other defendants came with just as many questions as answers – questions about possible involvement by others. U.S. Attorney David Kustoff said the grand jury probe is continuing but he wouldn’t be more specific.

90. Thompson Indicted for Extortion and Mail Fraud -

A federal grand jury today indicted former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson on one count of extortion and three counts of mail fraud.

The public corruption charges that name no other defendants came with just as many questions as answers – questions about possible involvement by others. U.S. Attorney David Kustoff said the grand jury probe is continuing but he wouldn’t be more specific.

91. Beale Street Funding, Other Issues Raised At Council Meeting -

Memphis City Council members this week marked the 24th anniversary of the opening of the renovated Beale Street entertainment district with an old question: When does the city get money from the district it owns?

92. Wharton Chimes In On School System's Woes With Takeover Idea -

A federal grand jury is investigating several of Memphis City Schools' construction contracts.

Three former board members and one outgoing member just elected to the City Council were called to testify in recent days.

93. Council Hustles On Tying Loose Ends -

Memphis City Council members, most of them leaving office with the New Year, took several steps this week toward shaping the four-year term of their successors as well as the fifth term of Mayor Willie Herenton.

94. Perl Reflects on Latest Best Lawyers Recognition -

Arnold Perl is a recognized name to many Memphians.

He served as chairman of the Memphis Arena Public Building Authority, which was charged with overseeing construction of the $250 million publically funded FedExForum. He also is chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

95. Davis to Run for GovernorDespite Ford Jr.'s Interest -      U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis, D-Tenn., said he's planning a run to become Tennessee's next governor, despite reports of Harold Ford Jr.'s interest in the race.
     "I've made up my mind to run fo

96. Marshall Plows Ahead Despite Impending Retirement From Council -

Only six more public meetings stand between now and the end of this year, when the Memphis City Council faces its biggest member turnover in 40 years.

Voters go to the polls Oct. 4 in the city's municipal election and will choose replacements for a majority of the council body. One of the incumbents who won't be coming back to City Hall next year is Tom Marshall, who's stepping aside after 20 years in office.

97. New Stadium Issue Delayed by Council -

The City Council's Parks Committee Tuesday delayed discussion of a consultant's report on a new or renovated Mid-South Fairgrounds stadium until December. The committee action came with little discussion as the Herenton administration made public the draft report.

98. Council Passes Buck On 'Disgusting' Warehouse Proposal -

A familiar and decidedly unwelcome name confronted City Council members on Tuesday's agenda. And the council reacted by sending the project for a warehouse near Memphis International Airport back to the Land Use Control Board (LUCB).

99. Toothsome Ethics Ordinances to Sharpen by Year-End -

Shelby County government hasn't printed the forms that are a basic part of its new ethics ordinance. Memphis City Council members are still debating what could be the final piece of the city's ethics array.

100. Ford Jr. Tries New Democratic Direction -

Bill Kristol, editor of the prominent right-wing political magazine The Weekly Standard, said during a panel discussion a few days ago on "Fox News Sunday" that Democrats may be in for a drubbing in 2008.