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Editorial Results (free)

1. House Concurs on Gas Tax Senate Version, Sends to Haslam For Signature -

Wrapping up wide-ranging legislation that dominated the opening year of the 110th General Assembly, the House concurred Monday with the Senate’s IMPROVE Act, inserting a $7 million measure to increase property tax breaks for veterans.

2. Last Word: Two Science Marches, Bill Lee Kicks Off and Andrew Young on Ben Hooks -

Rainy Sunday in the city with ponchoed partisans of the Porter-Leath Ragin' Cajun gathering and Africa in April overlapping from the riverfront to Danny Thomas Boulevard. In Germantown, it was a soggy but colorful 5k for the Germantown Municipal School District with shades of blue, orange and of course pink, or was it red?, at different parts of the run.

3. Memphis, Nashville Mayors Praise Passage of Haslam’s Road Funding Bill -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland lauded the Tennessee Legislature for passing the IMPROVE Act, including a combination of fuel tax and fee increases designed to improve transportation funding.

4. Last Word: Data Night at the Forum, Passing Gas and Graceland's Las Vegas Exit -

It’s a $30,000 fine, about $5k more than expected by most. And Grizz players say they will chip in to pay the fine the NBA levied on coach David Fizdale for his epic rant on the officiating in Game 2 of the playoff series between the Grizz and the Spurs.

5. House, Senate Approve IMPROVE Act -

The House and Senate are nearly ready to send the IMPROVE Act to Gov. Bill Haslam, passing it with relatively wide voting margins after months of debate.

Only one adjustment is needed in a measure providing property tax relief for veterans, the disabled and elderly before the measure can be sent to Haslam.

6. View From the Hill: Tearful End for Non-Citizen Tuition Relief Bill -

State Rep. Raumesh Akbari grew so emotional she couldn’t speak. On the verge of tears, the Memphis Democrat started to talk about a high school from her Shelby County district with a large number of undocumented immigrant students.

7. Last Word: 'Take That For Data', Gas Tax Wednesday and Corker in Memphis -

“Take That For Data” may be the rallying cry for the rest of the NBA playoffs around here. And look for an off-the-chart crowd reaction Thursday when Grizz coach David Fizdale takes his place courtside. The Grizz' loss to the Spurs in Game 2 Monday in San Antonio prompted a post-game statistics-laden tirade by Fizdale about officiating of the game that concluded with Fizdale saying “take that for data” –the closest thing to profanity in the entire rant.

8. Effort to Ban Open Alcohol Containers in Cars Dead for Year -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to ban open alcohol bottles or cans in vehicles traveling on Tennessee roads has failed for the year.

Tennessee currently bans drivers from drinking alcohol while at the wheel, but does not extend that prohibition to passengers. That conflicts with federal open container guidelines, which causes about $18 million in federal road money to be redirected toward drunken-driving enforcement.

9. Veterans Want Tax Relief Addressed Separately -

Members of the Legislature’s Veterans Caucus are renewing a call to increase property tax relief statewide for veterans and the elderly in a measure separate from the governor’s IMPROVE Act.

10. Fuel-Tax Bill Short of Votes in the House -

NASHVILLE – Votes aren’t adding up in the House of Representatives for passage of the governor’s gas tax/tax cut legislation.

With floor debate scheduled Wednesday morning, not only is a Republican head count showing lack of support, Democrats aren’t exactly lining up behind the measure. The minority party says it wants concessions on other items from the governor before it can vote for the IMPROVE Act, and some Democrats say they won’t go for a combination of tax cuts for wealthy investors tied to a higher gas tax.

11. Tennessee Joins States Urging Court to Reinstate Travel Ban -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee is joining more than a dozen other states in urging an appeals court to reinstate President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.

State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, a Collierville Republican considering a bid for governor next year, lauded Attorney General Herbert Slatery's office for filing a brief with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

12. Gas Tax, Health Care Complicate Tennessee Governor's Race -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The repeal of former President Barack Obama's health care law was supposed to provide a springboard for U.S. Rep. Diane Black's entry into the Tennessee governor's race.

13. Mistreated GOP Legislators Only Want to Be Heard -

Word has it extra tissue will be placed on the desks of some House members in the coming weeks so they can dry their tears of pain.

It seems a faction of the Republican supermajority just hasn’t gotten a fair hearing – from their own party – on opposition to Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, which contains a dreaded gas and diesel tax increase to rebuild the state’s roads and bridges. It’s the gas tax versus the surplus, which is pretty big at $1 billion in one-time money and another billion in extra recurring money.

14. Harwell Cites Need for Alternative Transportation Funding Plan -

House Speaker Beth Harwell says she believes it’s important to have a transportation funding plan counter to Gov. Bill Haslam’s gas tax/tax cut act after House Republican Caucus members voted to oppose the governor’s idea.

15. Harris: Syrian Air Strikes Should Change State’s Stance on Refugees -

State Sen. Lee Harris is calling on the Legislature to rethink its stance on refugees amid legal action taken against the federal government after President Donald Trump ordered an air strike against Syria.

16. Last Word: Busy Council Day, County Property Tax Cut Call and Gas Tax Vote Nears -

The Lawsons – K.J. and Dedric – are on their way to Kansas after leaving University of Memphis basketball they announced Monday. And Markell Crawford confirmed Monday that he will be transferring too. Crawford is the sixth Tiger player to head for the door since the season’s end. What will Tigers basketball look like by the next season?

17. Harris: Syrian Air Strikes Should Change State’s Stance on Refugees -

State Sen. Lee Harris is calling on the Legislature to rethink its stance on refugees amid legal action taken against the federal government after President Donald Trump ordered an air strike against Syria.

18. Norris, Proponents of Current IMPROVE Act Stand Firm as Alternative Bills Are Devised -

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris gets revved up when he talks about the IMPROVE Act as a tax-cutting and bridge-safety measure. It’s a message he’s been sending for weeks, yet other lawmakers aren’t catching on.

19. IMPROVE Act Proponents Stand Firm as Alternative Bills Are Devised -

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris gets revved up when he talks about the IMPROVE Act as a tax-cutting and bridge-safety measure. It’s a message he’s been sending for weeks, yet other lawmakers aren’t catching on.

20. Task Force Backs 3 De-Annexations, 3 Referendums -

A task force on de-annexation is recommending referendums in three recently annexed areas of Memphis, an automatic de-annexation of three other sparsely populated areas on the city’s borders and keeping a part of Raleigh proposed by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland for de-annexation.

21. De-Annexation Task Force Recommends 3 Referendums, 3 Automatic De-Annexations -

A task force on de-annexation is recommending de-annexation of three recently annexed areas of Memphis, an automatic de-annexation of three other sparsely populated areas on the city’s borders and keep a part of Raleigh proposed by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland for de-annexation in the city of Memphis.

22. Last Word: Lawsons Exit, LaRose Lessons and No Medicaid Expansion This Year -

The Lawson Brothers exit Tigers basketball seeking a release from the University of Memphis. The statement from Dedric and K.J. Lawson was all sweetness and light and apparently about as sincere as one of those interviews where players and coaches declare that if they will just play hard and put more points on the board than the other team then they should win.

23. GOP Happy to ‘Wait and See’ on Medicaid -

Republicans say ho, Democrats say go. In the wake of Trumpcare’s congressional crash, states such as Kansas and North Carolina are joining the majority of the nation in expanding Medicaid rolls.

24. Senate Campaign War Chests Could Swell -

NASHVILLE – Legislation enabling state lawmakers to raise campaign funds during even-year session recesses evolved into a markedly different bill this week – one allowing significant contribution increases for Senate candidates.

25. Conservative State Republicans Want ‘Restart’ on Gas Tax -

Claiming they’re not getting fair treatment by House leadership, a group of irritated Republicans demanded the governor’s gas-tax increase package go back to the starting line.

Rep. Jerry Sexton, a Republican from Bean Station in East Tennessee, said in a press conference Monday, April 3, he had spoken with House Speaker Beth Harwell and was told “we would get a restart.” He said the details haven’t been worked out.

26. Norris: Follow Law in Review of History Teaching Standards -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris is urging a panel reviewing teaching standards for social studies to follow a state law requiring students to learn about the Tennessee Constitution and state and local governments.

27. Last Word: The CA Marks A Year, Bike Lanes and Nicole Miller for Fashion Week -

The city of Memphis is in a two-front legal fight in federal court over alleged surveillance of protesters that landed several dozen of them on the City Hall list – according to each of the two lawsuits filed this past month.

28. IMPROVE Act Moves Closer to Passage -

With hardly a peep of discontent from lawmakers, the governor’s IMPROVE Act containing fuel-tax increases and a host of tax cuts moved out of the House Local Government Committee today.

It heads next to a House Finance committee, where the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Barry Doss, predicts it won’t face a fight.

29. Norris’ Broadband Bill Clears State Senate Hurdle -

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris’ broadband internet access bill is rolling through the General Assembly.

30. Veterans Balk at Proposed Tax Relief Method -

Veterans in the state Legislature are balking at inclusion of a veterans tax relief plan in Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, saying it should be removed to stand on its own.

“The idea that the amendment on the IMPROVE Act for the veterans property tax relief is being done on the backs of veterans is despicable,” said state Rep. Micah Van Huss, a Marine Corps veteran who is spearheading the effort.

31. Turner Seeks Study of Civil Rights Cold Cases -

State Rep. Johnnie Turner can still feel the physical and emotional pain she endured for riding at the front of Memphis city buses while going home from LeMoyne-Owen College during the civil rights movement.

32. Trump: Next Old Hickory or Carnival Barker -

For those who ignore the news – fake or otherwise – Donald Trump won the presidency last November.

While he didn’t capture a majority of the vote, he did win the electoral vote, causing many detractors to call for the elimination of this outdated voting method.

33. Two Memphis Democrats Help Move Amended Fuel-Tax Bill Along -

NASHVILLE – Two Memphis legislators helped move the governor’s IMPROVE Act and fuel-tax increases out of the House Transportation Committee Tuesday, March 21, saying they support a section allowing local governments to raise funds separately for mass transit.

34. State Sen. Mae Beavers Exploring Bid for Tennessee Governor -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Sen. Mae Beavers, the sponsor of a bill seeking to require students to use restrooms and locker rooms of the sex on their birth certificates, says she is exploring a bid for Tennessee governor.

35. Tax Reform Group Supports Amended Fuel-Tax Plan -

NASHVILLE – One of the nation’s most conservative anti-tax groups is supporting a plan by Sen. Mark Norris to offset fuel-tax increases with a reduction in the state’s grocery tax and nix a proposal to tie rates to the Consumer Price Index.

36. Corker To Keynote Dunavant Awards -

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker will be the keynote speaker at the Rotary Club of Memphis East’s annual Dunavant Public Servant Awards.

Co-sponsored by The Daily News, the awards luncheon is 11:30 a.m., April 18, at the Memphis Hilton, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd.

37. Conservative Tax Reform Group Supports Amended Fuel-Tax Plan -

NASHVILLE – One of the nation’s most conservative anti-tax groups is supporting a plan by Sen. Mark Norris to offset fuel-tax increases with a reduction in the state’s grocery tax and nix a proposal to tie rates to the Consumer Price Index.

38. Last Word: James Cotton, A Quiet Jackson Day in Memphis and 'A Football School' -

When you think of the blues and harmonica – James Cotton probably comes to mind – Sonny Boy Williamson too, who taught Cotton how to play.

39. Norris Says Proposed School Voucher Legislation ‘Problematic’ -

NASHVILLE – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris expressed reservations Wednesday, March 15, about legislation allowing tax dollars to be used to send low-income students in struggling public schools to private schools.

40. Tennessee Lawmakers Weigh In on Trump Visit -

NASHVILLE – While state lawmakers recognized the historical significance of President Donald Trump visiting the home of President Andrew Jackson in Hermitage Wednesday, March 15, the review is mixed on comparisons between the two as well as the Jackson legacy.

41. Boyd Opens Memphis Campaign for Governor -

Former Tennessee Economic and Community Development commissioner Randy Boyd brought his newly launched campaign for governor to Memphis Wednesday, March 15, with a pledge to continue the economic development policies of Gov. Bill Haslam – policies, particularly in workforce training, that Boyd played a key role in shaping.

42. Last Word: Milhaus Sells, Voucher Debate Gets Heated and Boyd's Fly Around -

Highland Row isn’t fully open yet and it is already up for sale as part of a real estate portfolio. The owner, Milhaus, based in Indianapolis, is a development, construction and property management company that works in mixed use development. And the portfolio being on the market could turn into a recapitalization.

43. Last Word: Gas Tax Resurrection, More Monitoring and Germantown's $200 M Plan -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's gas tax bill emerged from the workshop effectively on Monday with a sharper cut in the state grocery tax making the complex set of gas tax hike and other tax rollbacks more than revenue neutral.

44. Tennessee Sues Federal Government Over Refugee Program -

NASHVILLE – The state of Tennessee, spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, filed suit against the federal government Monday, March 13, challenging the constitutionality of the Refugee Resettlement Program.

45. Tennessee Sues Federal Government Over Refugee Program -

NASHVILLE – The state of Tennessee, spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, filed suit against the federal government Monday, March 13, challenging the constitutionality of the Refugee Resettlement Program.

46. Norris Presents Amended Fuel-Tax Bill With Larger Sales Tax Cut -

NASHVILLE – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris pushed a revised fuel-tax bill through the Transportation Committee on Monday, March 13, making a sharper cut in the grocery tax to offset phased-in increases at the gas pump.

47. Norris Presents Amended Fuel-Tax Bill With Larger Sales Tax Cut -

NASHVILLE – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris pushed a revised fuel-tax bill through the Transportation Committee on Monday, March 13, making a sharper cut in the grocery tax to offset phased-in increases at the gas pump.

48. How Cool is That? -

COOL ON CAMERA. In an earlier column, I recalled that Meg Ryan once walked by my house when I was on the porch and waved. After all, she and Dennis Quaid lived right down the street.

49. Boyd Officially in Race For Governor in 2018 -

Former Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Randy Boyd officially launched his candidacy for Tennessee Governor Monday, March 6, with an announcement of his campaign team.

50. Slain TBI Agent De'Greaun Frazier To Have Facility Named After Him -

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent De’Greaun ReShun Frazier was only 35 when he was shot and killed in Jackson while working an undercover drug operation.

The Tennessee General Assembly, however, is set to make sure his service to the state lives in perpetuity by putting his name on the new TBI crime lab and consolidated regional headquarters to be built in Madison County.

51. Fitzhugh Talks About Race for Governor Without Formally Committing -

NASHVILLE – House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh hasn’t officially entered the 2018 race for governor, but he has a “gut feeling” it’s a step he should take.

52. Last Word: Building a Bigger Police Force, Old Desk Calendars and Summer School -

Since the Memphis Mayor’s race of 2015 became about how best to build a larger Memphis Police Department, the discussion has always had an element of controversy to it on a larger scale than a head count of who has a badge.

53. Norris Seeks to Curb Senior Abuse With New Laws -

NASHVILLE – Calling elderly abuse a “silent crisis,” state Sen. Mark Norris is leading a legislative effort to stop physical, mental and financial abuse of vulnerable adults with bills to expand protections and increase penalties.

54. Tennessee GOP Leaders Expecting Crowded Field in 2018 Governor’s Race -

Former Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd got two mentions last Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s breakfast forum – one from guest speaker U.S. Rep. David Kustoff and another from chamber president Phil Trenary.

55. Ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to Run for Tennessee Governor -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former Nashville mayor Karl Dean said he's decided to run for governor of Tennessee in 2018.

56. Local Democratic and Republican Partisans Already Looking To 2018 -

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff says former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey was right in describing his 8th Congressional District as the most Republican of the state’s nine congressional districts.

57. Norris Seeks to Curb Senior Abuse With New Laws -

NASHVILLE – Calling elderly abuse a “silent crisis,” state Sen. Mark Norris is leading a legislative effort to stop physical, mental and financial abuse of vulnerable adults with bills to expand protections and increase penalties.

58. Democratic and Republican Partisans Prepare for Next Election -

At least five potential Republican candidates for Governor in 2018 were among the crowd of 400 people at the Saturday, Feb. 25, Lincoln Day Gala of the Shelby County Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry told a group of 150 Democrats at an “Obama Day” event Saturday that they and other Democrats across the state can elect one of their own as governor in 2018.

59. Local Democrats and Republicans Prepare for 2018 Governor's Race -

At least five potential Republican candidates for Tennessee governor in 2018 were among the crowd of 400 people at the Saturday, Feb. 25, Lincoln Day Gala of the Shelby County Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry told a group of 150 Democrats at an “Obama Day” event Saturday that they and other Democrats across the state can elect one of their own as governor in 2018.

60. Tennessee Capitol Protests Lead to Call for Tighter Security -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – After recent protests around the state Capitol in Nashville, some Republicans want a crackdown on demonstrators and tougher security requirements for entering the legislative office complex.

61. View From the Hill: Outsourcing, Rates Worry Park Fans -

Dunlap resident Kathy Gilbert opposes privatization of Fall Creek Falls on a number of fronts.

If a vendor comes in to run the state park, as planned by Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration, she’s worried about the possible loss of jobs or pay and benefits by state employees, the funneling of revenue to private investors and the raising of rates at the state park’s lodge when it’s rebuilt, potentially making it less affordable for families to visit.

62. Last Word: Bell at the Grammys, Old Dominick's Return and Luttrell & Strickland -

Memphis at the Grammys: William Bell was performer, presenter and winner at the Grammys Sunday evening. Gary Clark Jr. joined Bell to perform Bell’s calling card, “Born Under A Bad Sign” and the duo then presented a Grammy to Beyonce. In the non-televised Grammy awards, Bell won for Best Americana album for his Stax effort “This Is Where I Live.”

63. Norris Filing Catch-All Bill for Variations of Proposed IMPROVE Act -

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris is filing legislation for the Haslam administration to catch all transportation tax and revenue-related bills in an effort to “start anew” and minimize confusion.

64. Last Word: Little Chairs in Longview, Police Pay Raise and Tiger Football Schedule -

The toys are in their cubbyholes. No stray Legos yet. The little chairs tucked neatly under little tables. The tall trees with their bare branches are much in need of little eyes inspecting their twisted branches and the shadows they make on the winter ground.

65. Norris Plans White House Trip To Discuss Refugee Resettlement -

NASHVILLE – State Sen. Mark Norris is planning a White House visit to discuss the direction of refugee resettlement despite a federal judge’s ruling blocking President Trump’s immigration and refugee moratorium.

66. Last Word: Travel Ban Protest, Other Trump React and Sierra Club Goes To Court -

Grizz over the Nuggets in Denver Wednesday 119-99. The Tigers play USF in Tampa Thursday.

Another big crowd for a Memphis march, the second in less than two weeks including the Memphis Women’s March. The Wednesday march, focused on President Donald Trump’s immigration travel ban order, was smaller than that, but still sizeable and diverse.

67. View From the Hill: Haslam Plan Tilts Broadband Playing Field -

State Reps. Pat Marsh and Art Swann emerged from a meeting underwhelmed by Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislation to spread broadband internet access across Tennessee.

“I thought there would be a lot more to it,” says Marsh, a Shelbyville Republican, calling the proposal “a drop in the bucket” financially but at least a starting point.

68. Last Word: The Business of Local Sports, Garrison Leaves MATA and Broadband -

Marc Gasol makes the NBA’s Western Conference All Star team as a reserve, the first player in the history of the Grizz to make the All-Star Game three times.

Grizz business operations president Jason Wexler asked about Memphis hosting an NBA All-Star Game one of these days at The Daily News Sports Seminar Thursday at the Brooks. Wexler saying the city doesn’t have enough hotel rooms – the same barrier to drawing bigger conventions and meetings to the city.

69. Governor Proposes Rural Broadband Expansion for Tennessee -

NASHVILLE – State government will provide private companies with millions of dollars in grants and tax credits to extend broadband internet access while allowing electric co-ops to enter the retail broadband business under legislation Sen. Mark Norris is set to sponsor.

70. State Prosecutors Fighting for Funds Threatened by Haslam’s IMPROVE Act -

Tennessee’s district attorney generals are negotiating with the governor’s office to keep $5.6 million for DUI enforcement and prosecution, federal funds they could lose in an unintended consequence of his proposed IMPROVE Act.

71. State DAs Fighting for Funds Threatened by IMPROVE Act -

Tennessee’s district attorney generals are negotiating with the governor’s office to keep $5.6 million for DUI enforcement and prosecution, federal funds they could lose in an unintended consequence of his proposed IMPROVE Act.

72. Last Word: The TVA Well Controversy, Fred Smith Redux and Norris On The Gas Tax -

The new Trader Joe’s in Germantown won’t be alone by the plans the supermarket chain got approved Tuesday night by the Germantown Design Review Commission. The conversion of the old Kroger store on Exeter includes seven other bays as Trader Joe’s goes for a smaller footprint than the size of the original building.

73. Norris Stops Short of Supporting Fuel-Tax Hike -

NASHVILLE – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris is set to tag-team sponsorship of a comprehensive tax plan designed to bolster Tennessee’s transportation fund.

74. View From the Hill: Cooperatives Ready to Fill Broadband Void -

Rural broadband backers such as Misty O’Beirne in Rutherford County can take heart. Legislation to spread high-speed internet into cyberspace deserts is making the right connections.

75. Last Word: Haslam To Talk Gas Tax, Rallings Talks Protesters and Beale Street -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam talks gas tax Wednesday in Nashville. Actually, he will be rolling out his full list of legislative priorities in the capitol. But much of the attention will be on what he proposes in the way of the state’s gas tax – something he’s talked about but not committed a specific position to for the last two years.

76. Haslam to Unveil Tennessee Transportation Plan Wednesday -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to unveil his top legislative priority on Wednesday as state lawmakers await details on his plan to boost transportation funding in Tennessee.

77. State Targets Refugee Program; Lollar to Lead Delegation -

The state Legislature is likely to file a complaint before the end of January challenging the legality of the Refugee Resettlement Program in Tennessee, according to Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris.

78. Editorial: Increase the State Gas Tax And Prevent Poaching -

Lamar Avenue to the Mississippi state line is arguably one of the most significant 5-mile stretches of road in the country.

That’s what state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said seven months ago as he and Tennessee transportation commissioner John Schroer gathered with local leaders by the side of the road to announce all were behind an application for $180 million in federal funding for Lamar.

79. Last Word: Rallings at Rotary, The Weight of Cotton and Ugwueke's Path -

It’s becoming pretty obvious that this is going to be a big year for the issue of crime and violence in our city. It’s also becoming the year that Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings has found his voice in a job that may be the ultimate glass house for politicians.

80. McNally Voted Tennessee Senate Speaker -

Promising to maintain Tennessee’s strong fiscal standing, veteran legislator Randy McNally of Oak Ridge took the gavel Tuesday as Senate speaker, replacing Ron Ramsey, who over the last decade led a Republican majority to power in the Tennessee General Assembly.

81. Boyd Leaving Haslam Administration As He Ponders Gov's Bid -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Randy Boyd is stepping down as commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development as he ponders a bid to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018.

82. Task Force Prepared for Juvenile Justice Legislation -

A General Assembly-led panel is backing legislation to change juvenile sexting laws and adopt measures to stop teens from being held in detention for minor offenses as part of an effort to improve juvenile justice.

83. Fitzhugh Touts Rural Credentials As He Mulls Governor's Bid -

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) – State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh is seriously considering joining the race to succeed term-limited Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018.

84. Trump’s Turn -

If the election of Donald Trump was a mystery, there are even more questions about what will he do once he takes office Jan. 20. The clues may or may not be in the conduct of his campaign.

“Donald Trump campaigned without being tied to the traditional parameters of conservative-liberal dialogue that we’ve come to know over the past 20 or 30 years,” said Memphis attorney John Ryder, who is legal counsel to the Republican National Committee. “The hopeful part about that is that allows him to move past those divisions and enter new territory.”

85. Last Word: Booksellers Options, New Parking Spaces and The Memphis Open -

Somewhere in the back of our minds, I think most of us knew there were probably some circumstances under which Booksellers at Laurelwood might remain open. And as it turns out there are some terms the owner is talking about just past the post-New Year’s shock of work that the store will close in February.

86. Green 1st With Formal Step Toward Tennessee Governor's Race -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican state Sen. Mark Green is the first potential gubernatorial candidate to take a formal step toward entering the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018.

87. Last Word: A Rainbow's Tale, The Two Holiday Peaks and Crosstown High Plans -

I saw it all so clearly on a very cloudy and very rainy Monday in the city. A strong rainbow with bold colors across town from the setting sun on the river. Not some play rainbow that you create with a garden hose or some alleged double rainbow that depends on where you stand. As we were fond of saying in these parts in the 1980s and the 1990s – this was a “world class” rainbow.

88. Lawmakers Address Prosecutors, ASD -

The majority and minority leaders of the Tennessee Senate say there is political pressure to break the link in funding for prosecutors and public defenders.

“I think it takes both efforts,” state Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said on ‘Behind The Headlines,’ the WKNO/Channel 10 program. “I think we need more prosecutors. I think we also need more public defenders.”

89. Last Word: The Bridge Revisited, The Election Year and Lamar Remains Lamar -

One of the biggest stories of 2016 wasn’t planned and the spontaneous nature of the July 10 demonstration that closed the Hernando DeSoto Bridge made it a very unusual story. It was spontaneous and it tapped long held feelings and frustrations. For that reason and others, it is its own story in our continuing review of the year’s biggest stories in Memphis.

90. New Year, New Resolutions for Legislators -

Some Tennesseans recall the days when the state Legislature met every other year and wonder if it should revert to that schedule. Considering the General Assembly pushes most of its work into 3 1/2 months, it might be worth a try.

91. Awards Recognize Highest Ideals of Public Service -

Public service is a worthy legacy, and one that the Rotary Club of Memphis East wants to recognize and encourage in the next generation.

The annual Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Awards recognize one elected official and one non-elected public employee who have exemplified the virtues of former Probate Court Clerk Bobby Dunavant, for whom the award is named.

92. Last Word: Football Comes Back, Snuff on Front Street and Pot Is Short of Seven -

I have a question that some of you may not care for? Is football making a comeback in this basketball town for a more prominent place in the conflicted and diverse hothouse that is Memphis culture?

93. Lawmakers Working to Boost Local Logistics, Transportation Sectors -

Lawmakers representing the Memphis area on both the state and federal levels are taking steps to help the area’s transportation and logistics sectors in 2017 – from a second swipe at a federal grant to redevelop Lamar Avenue to the resubmission of a state bill that would incentivize companies for reducing wait times for truck drivers.

94. The Press Box: Grizzlies Without Conley a Cut Below -

The numbers tell a dispiriting story. When the Grizzlies play basketball without the services of starting point guard Mike Conley, they lose more often than they win.

95. Last Word: The Return of Stubby Clapp, Poplar & Ridgeway for Pedestrians and Mice -

The death toll in the Sevier County-Gatlinburg wildfires is at seven. Authorities believe a fire at The Chimney Tops in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was what started the disaster and had consumed 15,563 acres as of Wednesday evening. At that point, the fire was 10 percent contained.

96. Refugee Lawsuit Proceeds in Spite of Obstacles -

Tennessee is going “full speed ahead” in a challenge of the federal Refugee Resettlement Program despite threats by President-elect Donald Trump to dismantle it or, at the least, stop the flow of refugees from terrorist-linked countries.

97. This Week in Memphis History: Nov. 25-Dec. 1 -

2015: Republican presidential contender John Kasich is in Memphis for a fundraiser at the home of Brad Martin. It is one of two fundraisers that evening – the other is for state Senate Republican leader Mark Norris who is considering a bid for Tennessee governor in 2018.

98. Harwell Learning How to Dodge Challengers -

Beth Harwell has been called a lot of things over the last few years, “trailblazer” chief among them as Tennessee’s first female House speaker. 

Now she’s a “survivor” after eking out a Republican Caucus victory as speaker nominee to continue leading the lower chamber in the 110th General Assembly.

99. State Awards $4 Million For Medical Device Institute -

The state of Tennessee has announced a $4 million grant for TCAT Memphis for the creation of a satellite campus supporting the launch of a new medical device institute.

The grant is part of the state's Drive to 55 program. Gov. Bill Haslam launched the program in 2013 to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025.

100. State Awards $4 Million To TCAT Memphis -

The state of Tennessee has announced a $4 million grant for TCAT Memphis for the creation of a satellite campus supporting the launch of a new medical device institute.

The grant is part of the state’s Drive to 55 program. Gov. Bill Haslam launched the program in 2013 to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025.