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Editorial Results (free)

1. Last Word: Gas Tax Conflict, Redbirds Changes and Hidden Office Space -

The CEO of Memphis-based AutoZone, Bill Rhodes, among the corporate leaders meeting with President Donald Trump recently to urge him to abandon plans for a border tax. This is the tax on goods imported to the U.S. from other countries that U.S. Rep. David Kustoff says also has some opposition among Republicans in D.C.

2. Bills Aimed at Raising Road Project Funding Collide Again This Week -

NASHVILLE – The chairwoman of the House Transportation Subcommittee is defiant in her handling of legislation that could have derailed Gov. Bill Haslam’s fuel-tax plan, a high-profile measure on the panel’s calendar again Wednesday, March 1.

3. New Book From Former AutoZone CEO Offers Public Policy Goals -

AutoZone has national cachet in part for its status as a leading retailer of car parts and accessories. Lately, though, the Memphis-based company has been part of the national discussion as its leadership works toward political ends as much as commercial imperatives.

4. 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.

5. Mississippi Governor Wants Renewed Push for Lottery -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said Thursday that he wants legislators to make a late-session push to enact a lottery that might generate tens of millions of dollars a year in revenue.

6. Some in GOP Chafe at New Building Named After Cordell Hull -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee lawmakers are nearing a move into freshly overhauled offices at the state Capitol complex, but some Republicans are chafing at the building being named after Democrat Cordell Hull.

7. TVA’s Nearly $1B Natural Gas Plant 70 Percent Complete -

The view is breathtaking. The Memphis skyline glints and gleams in the midday sun. The Pyramid casts its own unique light across the distance, and the Hernando DeSoto Bridge superstructure is an elegant silver set of curves to the west, filtered through bare trees. It’s a view you need a hard hat to see from the top of the massive heat recovery steam generator at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Allen Steam Plant, under construction in southwest Memphis.

8. Joe Carr Won't Rule Out Bid for Tennessee Governor -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former state Rep. Joe Carr, who lost Republican primary challenges for congressional seats in the last two election cycles, is mulling a bid for governor next year.

9. Beavers Shuts Down Office As Protesters Gather Outside -

NASHVILLE – The sponsor of two bills aimed at the LGBT community left the Legislative Plaza in a huff Tuesday, Feb. 21, as protesters gathered around her office to object to her “retaliation” in the wake of a short-circuited press conference.

10. County Commission Backs Medical Marijuana, Opposes School Vouchers -

Shelby County Commissioners endorsed state legislation Monday, Feb. 20, that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes, came out against a school voucher bill by state Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown and turned away a social media use policy for county employees.

11. Last Word: Wessman Trouble, Selling 495 Union and An Underground Film Icon -

When Wessman Development came to town last year with the idea of a boutique hotel, the Palm Springs, California company was part of the flood of smaller hotel projects Memphis was seeing and is still seeing. Then the company added another hotel and just this month the redevelopment of a building on Madison west of Second Street as apartments with retail on the ground floor. In a very short period of time, Wessman has had a lot of plans for Memphis.

12. State Lawmakers Confronted Over Anti-LGBT Bills -

NASHVILLE – The unveiling of legislation undercutting same-sex marriage and enforcing transgender bathroom rules turned into a short-circuited press conference and confrontation Wednesday, Feb. 15.

13. Palazzolo Urges Slower Phase-Out of Hall Tax, More Revenue for Local Governments -

Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo wants Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to take his foot off the gas pedal when it comes to phasing out the Hall tax on dividend and investment income. And in a Wednesday, Feb. 8, letter to Haslam, Palazzolo makes a case for local governments getting a greater share of Hall tax revenues as the income tax is phased out.

14. Palazzolo Urges Governor to Keep Hall Tax Phase-Out at 5 Years -

Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo wants Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to take his foot off the gas pedal when it comes to phasing out the Hall state tax on dividend and investment income. And in a letter Wednesday, Feb. 8, to Haslam, Palazzolo makes a case for local governments getting a greater share of Hall tax revenues as the income tax is phased out.

15. View From the Hill: Legislators Feel Free to Work Against Haslam -

Democrats appear delighted about division within Republican ranks concerning Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed fuel-tax increase, detecting a possible chink in the armor.

“How many times does the supermajority have to stab the governor in the back and undermine his core proposals before the people of the state of Tennessee wonder whether they need a different group up here?” asks Mike Stewart, House Minority Caucus chairman.

16. DeBerry, Tate Defend School Voucher Pilot Program -

NASHVILLE – Two Memphis legislators co-sponsoring a Shelby County pilot voucher bill say the measure is one more attempt to give students more options for education.

Rep. John DeBerry and Sen. Reginald Tate, both Democrats, defended their support of the measure sponsored by Germantown Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey the same day the U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. DeVos has been under fire from Democrats for her support of charter schools and vouchers and a perceived lack of knowledge about public education.

17. Last Word: Council Day, Strickland on Immigration and Super Bowl Ad Review -

Just when the Shelby County Commission seems to settle into a rhythm of short, concise meetings, along comes a relatively smallish grant for a free condom distribution program locally. And the commission chambers are packed.

18. Full Text of Gov. Bill Haslam's State of the State Address -

Here is the full text of Gov. Bill Haslam's annual State of the State address as prepared for delivery to a joint convention of the Tennessee General Assembly on Monday.

Speaker Harwell, Lieutenant Governor McNally, Speakers Pro Tem Tracy and Johnson, Members of the 110th General Assembly, Justices, Constitutional Officers, General Slatery, Commissioners, Friends, Guests, fellow Tennesseans, and for the seventh year in a row, the woman voted best first lady in the land, Crissy. My kids even made it this year.

19. Governor Defends Big Proposals for Statewide Infrastructure -

NASHVILLE – Protesters overshadowed Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s State of the State address Monday night, chanting in the Capitol in opposition to a spate of executive orders from President Donald Trump.

20. 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.

21. Last Word: Connecting Downtown, Tranquil Treasure and Gas Tax Complexities -

Temple over the Tigers Wednesday in Philadelphia 77-66. East Carolina at the Forum is coming up Saturday. Grizz and Raptors at the Forum Wednesday evening and the Grizz win 101 – 99. The Grizz are on the road starting Friday against the Trail Blazers.

22. View From the Hill: Haslam Facing Tough Sell on Tax Hikes, Cuts -

An interesting thing happened just a couple of hours before Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled his fuel-tax increase plan amid great fanfare at the State Capitol. 

As the governor started explaining the proposed IMPROVE Act to reporters during a short media briefing, he apparently realized more people were poring over a handout than paying attention. They were trying to get a jump on writing stories while digesting the numbers combined with an array of tax breaks designed to make tax increases more palatable.

23. 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.

24. 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.

25. The Week Ahead: January 24-30 -

Good morning, Memphis! With the big inauguration done, some political decisions are on the horizon closer to home, including the election of a state Democratic Party chairman. Plus, discussions resume on the Memphis Zoo parking reconfiguration. We won’t say size matters, but the dimensions of those spaces is still on the table. Check out details on those plus what else you need to know in The Week Ahead...

26. Five Citizens File Suit Against City and Graceland -

Five citizens denied entry to the annual candlelight vigil outside Graceland last August are suing the city and Elvis Presley Enterprises for racial discrimination and civil rights violations.

The federal lawsuit was filed Wednesday, Jan. 18, by Aaron Lewis, Keedran Franklin, Earle Fisher, Catherine Lewis and Charline Tramel.

27. Last Word: Humes Next, Top ZIPs in Residential and Payback in the Legislature -

Add Dave & Buster’s to the list of "it" retail hot spots. The restaurant-arcade has inked a lease in Cordova by Wolfchase Galeria with plans to open later this year, probably fourth quarter.

28. 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.

29. Reese: Titans on Track to Match Early Success -

Are the Tennessee Titans on the verge of a breakthrough? It seemed as much over the second half of the 2016 season – the meltdown at Jacksonville notwithstanding.

But a man who knows something about building the Titans says the current edition is on the right track under the guidance of general manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Mularkey.

30. Last Word: Charter Schools Views, Capitol Hill Round Up & Explaining The Cold War -

Double trouble Wednesday in Oklahoma. The Grizz lose to the Thunder 103-95 in OKC. They are on their way to Houston for a Friday game before returning home Sunday for the MLK game against the Chicago Bulls at the Forum. Meanwhile Tigers lose to Tulsa Wednesday, also in Oklahoma, 81-71. They are back at the Forum Saturday to play South Florida.

31. Last Word: The Elvis Tradition, Cordova Brewery and Parkside Path -

For about three decades now, there has been a cultural and political tradition around the birthday of Elvis Presley. It used to be a proclamation by the Shelby County Mayor and the Memphis Mayor on the steps of Graceland with a birthday cake.

32. 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.”

33. Tennessee Lawmakers Could Raise, Lower Taxes This Session -

The 110th General Assembly is set to convene on Jan. 10 with unfinished business from previous sessions likely to dominate debate.

Here’s a look at some of the hottest topics expected to arise.

34. Final Goodbye: Roll Call of Some of Those Who Died in 2016 -

Death claimed transcendent political figures in 2016, including Cuba's revolutionary leader and Thailand's longtime king, but also took away royals of a different sort: kings of pop music, from Prince and David Bowie to George Michael.

35. Riding Momentum -

Around this time each year, everyone tends to start fetishizing the blank slate a bit, with its attendant allure of reinvention and that sweeping away of the old order to make way for what comes next.

36. Fixed Costs: Overhead That May Be Costing You Too Much -

Ray’s Take There’s an old cash flow joke about having too much month at the end of the money. It’s usually more a function of spending than earning. For most people there’s a lot more control over the expenditures side of the equation than there is over the income – at least in the short run. So cutting how much you spend on extras sounds great. But how much of your spending can really be reduced or eliminated? Too much “overhead” can result in disaster.

37. Titaned Up: Success Found In Big Moves, Smallest Details -

Most critics of last year’s Tennessee Titans saw unsettled ownership, a revolving door of coaches and a lack of talent at key positions.

Jon Robinson saw weeds.

38. 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.

39. Cordova’s Future LA Fitness Site Sells for $2.4M -

LA Fitness is one step closer to opening a Cordova location.

Insomnia Inc., the company owned by former topless-club operator Steve Cooper, sold two parcels near its former restaurant/nightclub on Fischer Steel Road to Orlando, Florida-based National Retail Properties Inc. for $2.4 million, according to a Dec. 20 warranty deed. The same day as the sale, Fitness International LLC, an affiliate of L.A. Fitness International LLC, signed a lease with National Retail Properties for the property.

40. Memphis Adopts Version of Ceasefire -

A gun and gang violence program pioneered in Boston 20 years ago is coming to Memphis in the wake of a record year for homicides.

What is known nationally as Operation Ceasefire will be called the “Group Violence Initiative” in Memphis, said Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission president Bill Gibbons on the WKNO/Channel 10 program “Behind The Headlines.”

41. What 2017 May Mean for Your Personal Finances -

It's been a tumultuous 2016 – both financially and politically. The year may have left some people wondering, what's next? And, how will it affect me?

Lacking a crystal ball, we asked a few economic experts what they think 2017 may hold in store for Americans' personal finances. Here's their take on what to expect in the year ahead:

42. AutoZone Revs Up Net Income By 8 Percent -

The first significant cold snap of the season is at hand, something that might leave most people resigned to the corresponding inconveniences but nonetheless excites AutoZone chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes.

43. Platform for Property -

Airbnb is revolutionizing the hospitality industry causing legislators worldwide to scramble to regulate it, but the Memphis City Council is gaining state and national attention for its hands-off attitude.

44. 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.

45. Last Word: Ford Rumors, School Plans and Harwell Survives In State House -

If the Friday after Thanksgiving is “Black Friday” what is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving? You know, the day many of us are scurrying about with our hair on fire to get everything done so we can legitimately claim that we will absolutely not be a part of the Black Friday mob whose hair is also alight.

46. Memphis-Area Leaders Unveil Five-Year Crime-Fighting Plan -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is anticipating a “net increase” in the size of the Memphis Police Department a year from now, as officers complete training and the city can begin to address a department he says is “hundreds of officers short.”

47. Six-Point Plan to Help Vols Coach Stick Around Longer -

On that day in December 2012 when Butch Jones was introduced as Tennessee’s head football coach, he told Vol Nation that he had a template for fixing everything.

He said: “The plan is infallible if the players buy in.”

48. Election Fallout: What a Trump Or Clinton Presidency Means for State -

Donald Trump is going to win easily in Tennessee.

Everyone, most of all the campaigns for both Trump and Hillary Clinton, accept this fact, as evidenced by the lack of campaign time spent in the state – and most of the South, for that matter – during this contentious campaign cycle.

49. Cardinals, Matheny Agree to 3-Year Contract Extension -

ST. LOUIS (AP) – St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose team missed the playoffs in 2016 for the first time in his five-year tenure, has agreed to a three-year contract extension.

50. Titans? Win the AFC South? Sure, It’s Possible -

In a remarkable change of course over recent seasons, the Tennessee Titans entered the month of November still relevant in the AFC South race.

And you know what? I believe the Titans are going to remain relevant – and then some. I can make the case that this team, currently 4-4, is going to win the division and make the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

51. Tennessee Promise Draws Criticism Amid Rising Tuition -

MTSU student Emily Webb cobbled together enough money to pay for her first year and a half of expenses. 

But in the last year she had to borrow $5,000 to keep alive her dream of earning a degree from Middle Tennessee State University as tuition and living costs have increased each year.

52. Hutchinson Says He's Looking at Alternate Medical Pot Plan -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday he's looking at an effort to legalize a limited form of marijuana for patients if two medical pot proposals fail in next month's election, but has questions about how the alternate proposal would comply with federal law.

53. Last Word: T-STEM At East High, Casinos Off the Ballot and Dylan Gets A Nobel -

About six years ago, the current cycle of change in public education within Shelby County starting moving. And the changes have been nothing short of historic. Since then at least one piece of a very complex mechanism driving the change has been whirring away. The hope in the last year or so has been that all of this is at a place where some long term plans can start to emerge that are more than reaction to what another cog in the system is doing.

54. Council Approves Hotel In Leader Federal Building -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Oct. 4, a boutique hotel development in the Leader Federal bank building and an adjoining building on Madison Avenue at B.B. King Boulevard by Pardo Elemental Architecture of California. The council also approved a Kroger gas station convenience store on Poplar Avenue east of Kirby Parkway as an outparcel to the Kroger supermarket at that location.

55. Council Approves Hotel In Leader Federal Building -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Oct. 4, a boutique hotel development in the Leader Federal bank building and an adjoining building on Madison Avenue at B.B. King Boulevard by Pardo Elemental Architecture of California. The council also approved a Kroger gas station convenience store on Poplar Avenue east of Kirby Parkway as an outparcel to the Kroger supermarket at that location.

56. Senate Blocks Stopgap Bill to Prevent Shutdown This Weekend -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate on Tuesday stumbled over a must-do bill to prevent the government from shutting down this weekend and to fund the fight against the Zika virus. Democrats, demanding money so Flint, Michigan, can address its lead-contaminated water crisis, overwhelmingly opposed the measure, as did a dozen of the Senate's most conservative members.

57. City Council Approves MATA Funds, Airbnb Tax -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Sept. 20, a set of six resolutions totaling $7.5 million in capital funding for the Memphis Area Transit Authority. The largest of the resolution is $5 million in city funding to buy 11 new buses. The remaining $2.5 million is the local match to federal funding for other MATA needs, including paratransit buses and public transportation infrastructure including technology.

58. AutoZone Grows Quarterly Profit 6.4 Percent -

For 40 straight quarters now, Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone has delivered double-digit earnings per share growth.

The company during its just-ended quarter grew its net income 6.4 percent over the year-ago period to $426.8 million. Earnings per share grew 12.2 percent to $14.30 per share.

59. City Council Approves MATA Funds, Airbnb Tax -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Sept. 20, a set of six resolutions totaling $7.5 million in capital funding for the Memphis Area Transit Authority. The largest of the resolutions is $5 million in city funding to buy 11 new buses. The remaining $2.5 million is the local match to federal funding for other MATA needs, including paratransit buses and public transportation infrastructure including technology.

60. Pot Decriminalization Nears Final Vote -

One of the state’s two largest cities has decriminalized possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana. And the other city set the stage for a final vote on a similar measure next month.

The final vote Tuesday, Sept. 20, by the Metro Nashville Council could be one of several factors influencing the final vote Oct. 4 by the Memphis City Council.

61. Comcast Plans to Launch Wireless Service Next Year -

NEW YORK (AP) – Comcast plans to launch a cellphone service roughly in the middle of next year, although it would be limited to areas of the country where it's a cable provider.

That could potentially offer real competition to carriers like Verizon and AT&T for a subset of the country. Comcast has just over 28 million customers.

62. Tenn. House Expels Durham Amid Sexual Harrassment Allegations -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee House voted Tuesday to expel Republican state Rep. Jeremy Durham following allegations of widespread sexual harassment.

63. As Long as You’re Here, Kick Durham Out -

State lawmakers hit the snooze button in July when prospects were high for a special session to oust Rep. Jeremy Durham over a career of carousing.

64. Election Commission Holding Voter Registration Drives -

The Delta Fair at Agricenter, Goat Days in Millington and the Southern Heritage Classic at the Mid-South Fairgrounds all have something in common in addition to taking place during this short work week.

65. Last Word: Hyde Lake, Global Ministries Exits and Another Big 12 Rumor -

A big day at Shelby Farms Park Thursday as the Heart of the Park renovations were formally opened. And it was also a cause to look back on where the park has come from.

66. Last Word: Heart of the Park, Tigers Opener Preview and Memphis In May Numbers -

“Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh, so mellow. Try to remember the kind of September when grass was green and grain was yellow.”

It would appear this is that kind of September you would otherwise be remembering.

67. Nashville Joins Cities Seeking Major League Soccer Team -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Some Nashville investors and supporters are making a push for Music City to be among the communities awarded expansion franchises by Major League Soccer.

Bill Hagerty, a former state commissioner of economic and community development, and Will Alexander, the son of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, are spearheading the effort called the Nashville MLS Organizing Committee. It includes a bipartisan group of former politicians and leaders of Nashville-area companies.

68. Blue-Collar High School -

For all of the changes in public education Memphis has seen in the past six years, there is at least one more big one still on the way.

And it is coming from the city’s post-recession economic development effort.

69. Red State, Blue Mayors -

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, a Democrat in Tennessee’s sea of red, finds herself adapting to the control Republicans hold over the state Legislature.

70. City Council to Vote On Pinch District Street Closures -

The Memphis City Council votes Tuesday, July 19, on a pair of street/alley closures in the Pinch district as Pinch Partners Investment Co. considers one of two plans for developing the parcels bordering Commerce Avenue and a section of the November 6th Street alley.

71. MSU’s Mullen Defends Simmons At Media Days -

HOOVER, Ala. – In another year and another circumstance, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen might have spent all his time at SEC Media Days answering questions about having to replace Dak Prescott at quarterback.

72. Methodist Exec: 'Can’t Afford to Not Discuss Expanding Medicaid' -

A task force of state lawmakers appointed by Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell has rolled out its plan for an expansion of Medicaid in Tennessee that’s more limited than the one envisioned by Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan.

73. Mayor, DA Discuss Approach To Curb Crime -

Much of the attention in local crime statistics this year goes to the jump in the city’s homicide rate.

But that rate pales in comparison to aggravated assaults.

From January through May, there were 492 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people in Memphis, according to statistics from the Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commission.

74. Last Word: Chips Moman, ServiceMaster Incentives and Crosstown High -

Chips Moman has died. Word of his death Monday at a hospice in Georgia came two years after Moman was honored for his contributions to Memphis music and the city's history.

Those contributions were substantial and for quite a while they were overlooked – even while he was running the definition of a hit factory at American Sound Studios, a non-descript recording studio on Danny Thomas Boulevard at Chelsea Avenue in North Memphis.

75. Financial Stress to Financial Yes -

Every year Americans make $46 billion worth of payday loan transactions, with more than 40 percent of these loans processed online. Payday loans allow borrowers to withdraw cash anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks prior to receiving their paycheck, with the intent to pay it back with interest and fees when they receive their next paycheck.

76. Last Word: ServiceMaster Incentives, Muvico Memories and the Beale Street Cover -

It looks like the conversion of Peabody Place mall to the new headquarters of ServiceMaster is a $33.3 million job. That could be a running total depending on a PILOT amendment to come.

77. Health Care Hindrances: Money and Politics -

Adam Nickas, the new executive director of Tennesseans for a Responsible Future, is looking for a sweeping plan to catch some 280,000 people who fall into a health care coverage gap across the state.

78. Brush With Death Recalled, Part 1 -

I was 50 when I died. April 21, 2002. I can’t forget the date.

A few weeks earlier, I saw an old friend, Cotton, at a memorial service for a mutual friend. In the early 1980s, Cotton and I were in the same golf group. After the service, we reminisced about a golf outing that no one involved could forget.

79. Downtown Memphis Commission Taking Safety Actions -

At its May 26 board meeting, discussions at the Downtown Memphis Commission dove into the death of a teenager who was shot at the corner of Second Street and Peabody Place.

“I feel this personally,” said Terence Patterson, president of the Downtown Memphis Commission. “We’re really focusing on it and making sure we’re doing everything we can, but we have to have collaboration with MPD (Memphis Police Department). But we know that we’ve got to do more.”

80. Balink Chosen to Lead The Exchange Club Family Center -

Jennifer Balink has been named executive director of The Exchange Club Family Center, where she’ll begin her duties July 1. In her new role, Balink aims to secure and direct every available resource toward breaking the cycle of child abuse and family violence in the Memphis community. 

81. Tennessee Law Strips University Diversity Office Funding -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill to strip funding from the diversity office at Tennessee's flagship public university became law without Gov. Bill Haslam's signature on Friday.

Lawmakers had been angered by the University of Tennessee's diversity office recommendations to use gender-neutral pronouns for transgender students and to avoid religious-themed holiday parties. So they voted to remove about $446,000 in state funds for the office and instead use the money to pay for minority scholarships.

82. St. Jude CEO Talks Hospital Culture -

One of the first directives Dr. James Downing got from the board of directors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital upon his appointment as the hospital’s president and CEO in 2014 was blunt, to say the least:

83. State Legislature Closed Door On Progress, Invited Ridicule This Session -

The Tennessee General Assembly spent the last four months selecting a state book, attempting to regulate ingress/egress of bathrooms, and putting guns on college campuses. Given this lamentable priority list, we're not surprised that our House of Representatives chose not to vote on a bill that would have helped young kids realize their dreams, lift families out of poverty, and generate revenue for Tennessee.

84. Poll: Two-Thirds of US Would Struggle to Cover $1,000 Crisis -

NEW YORK (AP) – Two-thirds of Americans would have difficulty coming up with the money to cover a $1,000 emergency, according to an exclusive poll released Thursday, a signal that despite years of recovery from the Great Recession, Americans' financial conditions remain precarious as ever.

85. Last Word: South of Crump, Council Day and Haslam on the Fed's Bathroom Memo -

Neon is coming back to E. H. Crump Boulevard and the momentum of development continues to move further south to the Crump border with South Memphis.

Ghost River Brewing Co. is making plans for a tap room that opens this fall as part of its existing brewery at South Main and Crump.

86. Haves, Have-Nots Get Varied Tax Relief -

Amid the rancor of bathroom and counseling bills, two major pieces of legislation slipped through the General Assembly this session with hardly a peep – elimination of the Hall tax and a partial revitalization of property tax relief for seniors and disabled veterans.

87. Tennessee Leads the Nation in Bankruptcies -

Tennessee has a model program for financial literacy in its public schools. All high school students must pass a personal finance course to graduate, and even kindergartners are learning about money under a new initiative to extend the curriculum to primary school.

88. Last Word: Mall Demo, Defining 'Fringe Element' and Herenton's New Path -

Once upon a time there were three “town centers” planned by the city of Memphis.

City facilities like libraries and police precincts would be the anchors and encourage private retail development in them.

89. They Really Did Say That -

COUNSEL. Have you razed many houses since you’ve worked for the city?  WITNESS. No, sir, but I’ve sure tore down a lot of them.

For the above and some of the following items I am indebted to Bill McFarland, longtime court reporter in and around these parts. The italicized portions of this column represent actual courtroom dialogue, as spoken in a nearby courthouse:

90. CEO: No Guarantee on Delivery of TNReady Tests -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The president of a North Carolina-based testing company said Monday that he can't guarantee all students in Tennessee will receive the test on time.

Measurement Inc. president and CEO Henry "Hank" Scherich said his company is working furiously to get the new TNReady materials to students.

91. Events -

Our Fallen Heroes Foundation will hold its inaugural “A Toast to Our Heroes” fundraiser Wednesday, April 27, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Tower Center atop Clark Tower, 5100 Poplar Ave., 33rd floor. The event will feature a wine tasting, silent auction, wine pull and more. Tickets are $65. Visit ourfallenheroesfoundation.org.

92. Bid to Override Veto Of Bible Bill Fails -

A bid to override Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto of a bill to make Tennessee the first state to designate the Bible as its official book failed in the state House on Wednesday.

Forty-three members voted to re-pass the bill, falling well short of the 50-vote threshold to turn back to the veto.

93. Lawmakers Fail To Conclude Tennessee Legislative Session -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A lengthy debate over a proposed veto override, partisan squabbling and a disagreement over a tax cut have delayed the planned conclusion of the legislative session.

94. Veto Of Bible As Official Tenn. Book Survives Challenge -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee has a state reptile, a state rock and a state song in the moonshine-themed "Rocky Top." For now, though, the Bible will not be its official state book.

95. Last Word: Budget Basics, A Peak At Greensward Mediation and Elvis & Nixon -

Spurs 94 – Grizzlies 68 in game 2 of the NBA playoffs. The TNT post-game show just showed the highlights of the game while Shaq and Charles Barkley talked about how big the women are in San Antonio. I’m not making this up. They didn’t even try to talk about the game. This is just grim.

96. Last Word: When To Heal, Budget Day at City Hall and Cheese Steak Pondering -

After Sunday’s thrashing of the Grizzlies by the Spurs in their 2016 NBA playoff debut, there is a school of thought among Grizz watchers that the sooner this is over the better.
But there are others who would have a more content off season if the Grizz could win just one game in the series as they go down and then proceed back to the cave for some summer healing.
Either way, Game 2 is Tuesday in San Antonio and then FedExForum Friday for Game 3.

97. Commission OKs Arlington School Capital Funding -

Shelby County Commissioners on Monday, April 11, approved $105,374 in capital funding for an Arlington Schools bus parking lot and support building.

The funding is a reallocation of existing funding the commission had approved in 2014.

98. Southern Yankee -

To best understand another man’s baseball passion, you must first understand his baseball pain. So if you hope to truly understand Peter B. Freund, new majority owner of the Memphis Redbirds, you must travel back to his youth.

99. Parkinson: OK to ‘Go A Little Bit Extreme’ to Get Job Done -

With U.S. Marine Corps training, Rep. Antonio Parkinson knows how to grab people’s attention.

He did that earlier this year when he sponsored legislation to kill the Achievement School District, Tennessee’s solution for turning around struggling schools.

100. Last Word: Tubby Fever, School Closings and March Real Estate Numbers -

The Tigers basketball grapevine is nothing but Tubby Smith as of Wednesday when the speculation was joined by torrent of rumors about contact between the Texas Tech coach and the University of Memphis.
Smith has now acknowledged he’s talking with the U of M.
More background on Smith from The Sporting News and Mike DeCourcy, a former sports reporter at The Commercial Appeal, that came out before everything went Tubby here.