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Editorial Results (free)

1. This week in Memphis history: December 27-January 2 -

2012: Private talks between suburban leaders and Shelby County Commissioners through the attorneys for each groups on suburban school districts were underway during the holidays. The talks soon broke off without an agreement on a system of suburban charter schools.

2. MED Buys East Memphis Land for $3.4 Million -

The Regional Medical Center at Memphis has closed on its $3.4 million purchase of two parcels totaling 54.5 acres of land at Quince Road and Tenn. 385 in East Memphis.

Operating in the transaction as Regional Med Properties LLC, the MED on Nov. 16 paid $3.4 million for 29.5 acres between Quince and 385 from KG Land LLC.

3. CVS/Pharmacy Buys Former Union Ave. United Methodist Land -

CVS 4992 TN LLC, an affiliate of Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS/pharmacy drug store chain, has officially bought Union Avenue United Methodist Church property at 2117 Union Ave., at the southwest corner of Union Avenue and South Cooper Street. CVS paid $2.3 million to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, formerly known as Union Avenue United Methodist Church Inc.

4. Builders’ Floors & Interiors Diversifies During Tough Economy -

When Gwen Christensen opened Builders’ Floors & Interiors in 1997, she did it with a small business loan, a solid base of knowledge about her products and a list of contacts she’d built during 10 years in independent sales.

5. Chandler Follows Family Legacy, Joins HF Law Group -

With three generations of attorneys in the family preceding her, recent Tennessee Bar Association swear-in, Louise Chandler, has some big shoes to fill.

6. One Week Later: Historic Mayoral Era Turns to New Beginnings -

Just more than a week ago, Methodist minister Frank McRae opened a gathering at City Hall that was Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton’s farewell.

McRae talked about what he termed the “passing parade of politicians.”

7. UPDATE: Lowery Appoints Coleman-Davis Deputy City Attorney -  

Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery has appointed his choice to be city attorney to be deputy city attorney until the City Council can act on her nomination.

The naming of Veronica Coleman-Davis to the number two spot is the latest twist in a controvery that began minutes after Lowery took the oath of office Friday and fired City Attorney Elbert Jefferson.

Jefferson then filed suit in Chancery Court against Lowery contesting Lowery's decision to fire him. Chancellor Walter Evans issued a preliminary injunction preventing Jefferson's dismissal at least until a hearing before Evans Wednesday afternoon.

On the Drake & Zeke Show on radio station 98.1 The Max, Lowery said until the council acts, Coleman-Davis, a former U.S. Attorney, will be deputy director. Her appointment to that position is immediate and does not require council approval.

Meanwhile, Jefferson's attorney, Ricky E. Wilkins, told The Daily News her confirmation Tuesday as City Attorney would have to come after a council vote to back Jefferson's firing.

"We will ask the court to continue to keep that injunction in place throughout the tenure of Myron Lowery as mayor pro tempore," Wilkins said. "If Myron is able to get the necessary votes to terminate Mr. Jefferson and to get the votes to replace him with a substitute city attorney ... then that's what the process calls for and I think Mr. Jefferson understands that. But Myron Lowery cannot ignore and violate the city charter to satisfy his own political means."

Jefferson was at City Hall over the weekend, escorted by City Council attorney Allan Wade, according to Lowery.

After taking the oath of office Friday afternoon from U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays, Lowery told reporters he had offered Jefferson a severance and a chance to resign the appointed post. Jefferson refused which apparently surprised Lowery since Jefferson had tendered his resignation to outgoing Mayor Willie Herenton earlier in the month and Herenton refused to accept it.

Lowery met with Jefferson in a City Hall stairwell after the swearing in ceremony. Lowery emerged without Jefferson and told reporters he had fired the attorney. Several sources said later that Jefferson was escorted from the building and his parking pass and other identification taken as he was walked to his car and out of City Hall.

Wilkins termed the forcible exit a "low blow" and a "fairly drastic action."

“The legal department has almost been a black hole for dollars,” Lowery said Friday, minutes after the stairwell meeting. “I think that we spend too much money on attorney fees. I think that our city attorney has allowed this to happen without adequate controls on this. And I’m looking for stronger controls in the city attorney’s office.”

“If the mayor pro tempore doesn’t have the power, who does?” Lowery said. “Of course I do.”

Power play

In addition to Coleman-Davis, Lowery will also take the nomination of former council member Jack Sammons as his Chief Administrative Officer to the council Tuesday.

Herenton CAO Keith McGee had retired effective July 4. But when Herenton moved back his resignation date to July 30, McGee extended his stay on a voluntary basis. McGee is working with Lowery on a transitional basis. Lowery said he had hoped Jefferson would work under the same arrangement.

“He wanted to keep the title and the salary that comes with it. So I had to make a decision,” Lowery said. “I wish he had accepted it. … He’s forced me to take this action.”

Lowery said he wants Coleman Davis to examine past city legal bills and expenses.

“I have heard that several individuals have been hired … in the legal department to fill vacancies who were scheduled to start work Monday. I just found this out,” Lowery told reporters. “I want to make sure that we don’t have cronies of our former legal division director who have been hired.”

Those appointments will be examined.

“I don’t want any friends of the division director receiving dollars or any backroom deals outside the scope of the City Council. You know what I’m talking about,” he told reporters. “That is not going to occur under my administration.”

‘Hard work and enthusiasm’

As Lowery moved into the seventh floor mayor’s office Friday at City Hall, council member Harold Collins moved into the council chairman’s office on the fifth floor as part of the transition in power following Herenton’s resignation. Collins indicated his displeasure with the firing of Jefferson and said he wants Lowery and Jefferson to be at Tuesday's council committee sessions to tell their sides of the story.

“It’s a new day at City Hall,” Lowery told a crowd in the Hall of Mayors the day after Herenton’s farewell address in the same hall. Lowery’s guests at the ceremony were Herenton, former Mayor Dick Hackett and J.O. Patterson Jr., the city’s first African-American mayor who served in the top post for 20 days after the resignation of Mayor Wyeth Chandler in 1982. Patterson was City Council chairman at the time. Like Lowery, Patterson also ran in the special election that followed and lost to Hackett, who lost to Herenton nine years later by 142 votes.

“With new life, new individuals, comes hope and promise,” Lowery said. “As mayor, I will promote a moral philosophy of customer service – customer-driven government. … I’m here also to say that I’m going to promote ethical leadership in government.”

One priority will be a new crime fighting strategy, although Lowery was quick to say he likes the direction the police department and those efforts have taken under current Police Director Larry Godwin. The other immediate priority is a more aggressive city cleanup campaign.

Lowery didn’t refer to Herenton directly in any of his comments, but the contrasts were apparent.

“We will be energetic in city government – more productive There’s a phrase, ‘We need to be workhorses, not showhorses.’” Lowery said. “You will not get a lot of catchy phrases from me. But you will get a lot of hard work and enthusiasm.”

The remark came the day after Herenton’s farewell address and press conference in which Herenton repeatedly invoked what looks to be the campaign slogan “Keep It Real” in his bid for the Democratic congressional nomination in 2010.

“As everyone knows, we’ve lost many people during the past several years. I’m going to say come home to Memphis,” Lowery said.

The remark is in contrast to one of Herenton’s most cited quotes from his 18-year tenure. When asked about citizens moving out of Memphis for the suburbs, Herenton responded by saying he had no problem with that and adding “goodbye.”

...

8. Life After City Hall: The story behind Herenton’s Washington surprise -

You would think that Mayor Willie Herenton’s “resignation” last spring as he thought about trying out for Memphis City Schools superintendent would be difficult to top.

9. Beale, Lee’s Landing Battles Continue -

Once upon a time there was talk of a change in the management of the Beale Street entertainment district. And for a rare moment in November, it seemed that all of the many sides that have some role in the running of Beale Street were about to agree to it.

10. Court Square Condos Face Foreclosure Sale -

A first-run foreclosure notice appeared in Friday’s issue of The Daily News for units 107-302 of the Court Square Condominiums at 107 S. Court Ave.

11. Parkway Buys Three Direct Tire Distributors -

Parkway Properties LLC, whose principal is Walter Mathis of Mathis Tire & Auto Service, has bought three Direct Tire Distributors tire stores for a combined $1.8 million. Parkway bought the stores – at 2615 Frayser Blvd., 5285 Pleasant View Road and 2516 Poplar Ave. – from Jeffrey L. Tyler and Carolyn J. Tyler.

12. Personal Bankruptcy RateRemains High in State -      Several regions in the Southeast continue to see elevated numbers of consumer bankruptcy cases, a phenomenon some experts attribute in part to local culture.
     Bankruptcy numbers over the

13. Downtown Condos Aren't Being Converted Back to Apartments - Yet -

As construction of Downtown condominiums continues to surge - and availability of Downtown apartments remains scarce - the idea that unsold condos could be converted into apartments has crossed a few minds.

14. Open Trustee Position Causes Speculation in Bankruptcy Circles -

Two new judges recently have donned black robes and begun hearing bankruptcy cases in West Tennessee, though one important position in the local bankruptcy establishment remains to be filled.

It's the Chapter 13 trustee job that was vacated in June when George Emerson Jr. left the post to fill one of those two spots on the bankruptcy court bench.

15. Third Quarter Brings Rise in Bankruptcies -

To call this a period of adjustment for the bankruptcy establishment would be an understatement.

First, there's the 512-page Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which went into effect last week. The new law has taken a system that's been around for 27 years and turned it on its head, making it tougher for most citizens to escape their debts.

16. Bankruptcy Changes to Hit at Tough Time -

The waiting room on the sixth floor of 200 Jefferson Ave., known among bankruptcy attorneys as the "bus stop," can be a chaotic place. There, rows of debtors wait to speak with their lawyers and meet with the Bankruptcy Court's trustees - a process that has grown so exponentially over the years that a new bankruptcy judge will be named soon to help with the caseload.

17. Archived Article: Calendar - Calendar of events Jan Calendar of events: June 10-June 16 June 10 The Memphis Bar Association presents "Designated Topics in Bankruptcy," from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 200 Jefferson Ave., sixth floor. Bankruptcy court Chief Judge David...

18. Archived Article: Calendar - Calendar of events Jan Calendar of events: May 6-10 May 7 Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, 6225 Humphreys Blvd., offers free community seminars in the hospitals education classroom as part of the Dr. Sam P. Patterson Library Seminar Series, whic...

19. Archived Article: Memos - Bob Vornbrock has been named president of Thompson & Co Bob Vornbrock has been named president of Thompson & Co. He formerly was chief operating officer. Vornbrock is a graduate of the University of Missouri. Greg Bava has been named to the ...

20. Archived Article - As consumer debt soars, the need for relief under provisions of the United States bankruptcy code continues to grow Bankruptcies down slightly through June By KATHLEEN BURT The Daily News As consumer debt soars, the need for relief under provisions ...

21. Archived Article: Memos - Dr Dr. Bill Poston has been named vice president of clinical integration and quality for Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.s Memphis metropolitan area. He formerly was chief of staff for Baptist Memorial Hospital at its Medical Center and East Memph...

22. Archived Article: Calendar - Nov Nov. 17 The Fayette County Chamber of Commerces West Fayette chapter will hold its Night on the Grow celebration at the Oakland Deposit Bank at 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 465-8690. Nov. 18 The National Association of Wo...

23. Archived Article: 3rd Qtr Bankruptcy Lj - By LAURIE JOHNSON Bankruptcies continue declining trend in 1998 By LAURIE JOHNSON The Daily News The number of Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions filed in the Memphis and Jackson offices of the Western District of Tennessee decreased in t...

24. Archived Article: Memos - Dansherryl Chewe has been appointed account executive for Powertel PCS Memphis region Dansherryl Chewe has been appointed account executive for Powertel PCS Memphis region. She previously spent three years as an account executive with Cellular South...

25. Archived Article: Standout Chandler Nvs - Farewell to the bench Farewell to the bench or Court bids farewell to judge and his dog Long-time public servant Judge Wyeth Chandler announces retirement By NATALIE VANTREASE STRODE The Daily News The Memphis legal community will soon bid farewell ...

26. Archived Article: Ai Database - 5/6 jts AI database Appraisal institute wants national real estate database By JAMES SNYDER The Daily News The Appraisal Institutes board of directors wants to develop a standardized national database for real estate appraisals. The database would b...

27. Archived Article: Bankrupt - 04/17 chg bankrupt First quarter bankruptcies increase 25 percent over 1995 By CAMILLE H. GAMBLE The Daily News Bankruptcy filings were up in the first quarter of 1996 at 5,025 for the Western District of Tennessee, compared to 4,022 filed in the fi...

28. Archived Article: Govt Briefs - 02-23 Govt briefs The Germantown Chamber of Commerce Business Expo will be held on April 18 and will feature 132 exhibitors, an increase of 21 businesses from the year before. The exhibit area has been expanded to include the Germantown Community Ce...