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Editorial Results (free)

1. Last Word: EW&F, Midtown Rent Rise and A Closer Look At The Pyramid Deal -

One seemingly ordinary winter’s night in Downtown Memphis, I was going from event to event focused on work – specifically trying to stay on a schedule in which several things I wanted to cover were happening at the same time.
That is usually when you miss the experience that is Memphis on an everyday but definitely not ordinary basis.
So I get in a parking garage elevator and on the next floor David Porter – of Stax Records fame – gets on and he introduces me to his friend, Maurice White – the founder of Earth Wind and Fire. They too are trying to be in several places at the same time.
As they went their way and I went mine, I remember thinking this is quite a special place.
The encounter slowed my stride a bit and took some of the edge off the schedule – noticing for the first time how many people were out on a winter’s night in our city having nothing but a good time made better by all of us going our different ways.
White, who was from Memphis, died Thursday with his band’s music stronger and more relevant than ever.
If you grew up listening to EWF when the songs were new, you know that the bright and funky sound and the positive, affirming, and diverse identity of this music was quite intentional at a time when there was plenty going on that could have pushed it the other way.
If your parents or grandparents grew up listening to EWF, this music is a part of your family’s tradition that calls to mind special occasions and even your own mild surprise the first time you found yourself dancing to it with your children.
And if your folks’ vinyl record collection from back in the day included Earth Wind and Fire, that was one of the ones you listened to when they weren’t around and one of the ones you took with you when you got a place of your own.

2. Rallings Names Police Team -

Interim Memphis Police director Michael Rallings has named deputy chief Mike Ryall as his deputy director and has filled other vacancies in the ranks of deputy chiefs.

Rowena Adams has been named deputy chief over administrative services, while Frank Garrett and Terry Landrum are over uniform patrol. Sharonda Hampton is deputy chief investigative services, Clete Knight is deputy chief special operations, and Jim Harvey is deputy chief information technologies.

3. Last Word: History As Geology, Beyond the Greensward and City Hall's HR Director -

History can be like geology once you get it in something that isn’t in the form of a book.
There are layers on top of layers that you may not ever see or miss until a site is wiped clean for the next present that used to be the future and will eventually become the past.
That’s the case with the city’s historic Medical Center where much has come and gone several times over as our city’s considerable investment in medicine and health approaches the end of its second century.
Health Sciences Park used to be the site of a hospital. You would think something as massive as the tower of Baptist Memorial Hospital’s central campus on Union Avenue would be missed. Yet even those of us who grew up with its presence drive past it every day without a thought of what was once there.
The same with the site of Russwood Park on the north side of Madison Avenue and the old bus barns where Beale used to run further east than it does now.
In recent years, new facilities have arisen as the medical center makes itself over in a kind of economic regeneration without a comprehensive plan.
There is now an effort to come up with a comprehensive plan for the area that is more than different ventures buying or leasing land and making plans for their needs.
Eight of the institutions in the area have hired a consulting firm to develop a master plan that includes not just facilities but residential and retail areas.
It’s a significant step for an area that remains intriguing for those of us trying to remember what was where and how long some of the survivors have been holding out in much different streetscapes than were there when they arrived.
The Masonic lodge at the dead end of Dunlap into Union Avenue is a survivor. It’s where the funerals were held for some of those killed in the 1925 river disaster in which Tom Lee rescued so many others.
The lodge at one time had an earth-shaking pipe organ that I had the rare privilege of hearing at a concert following its restoration in the 1980s – the ancient 1980s.
And I still wonder about the tiny medical textbook storefront and how it endures at a time when students rent books and others use digital versions.
There are still remnants of the porous border between the medical center and the Union Avenue auto row that used to exist and arose around the old Ford plant.

4. Last Word: Rallings Meets the Council, Million Dollar Auditions & A Pinch Plan Emerges -

His second day on the job, the new Memphis Police Director, Michael Rallings, met the Memphis City Council and discovered just what a huge issue police body cameras are – if he didn’t know that already.
His answers to some pointed questions about when police can turn off those cameras and why made this an uneven first encounter.
Council members told him they got an earful from constituents over the weekend in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Johnathan Bratcher in South Memphis. And some of the reaction they got was to reports that a police dispatcher ordered police trying out the body cameras to turn them off as they arrived at the scene of the shooting.
There are three cameras being tested. And one of the officers with them showed up after the shooting, according to police.
Meanwhile, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland still didn’t have a timetable for the roll-out of the cameras but did offer some specifics including hiring by the MPD of 10 new personnel to deal with the handling of what the camera records.
And Strickland’s intention is to pay for it out of the existing MPD budget.

5. Council Probes Police Body Camera Delay -

Memphis City Council members talk Tuesday, Feb. 2, about when police body cameras might be ready for action.

And there will probably be questions at the 11 a.m. executive session about whether a limited test use of the cameras recorded any of last week’s fatal police shooting of Johnathan Bratcher in South Memphis.

6. Sutton Reid Finalist for Reed Awards -

The Memphis ad agency that worked on the 2015 mayoral campaign of Jim Strickland is a finalist for three Reed Awards, given nationally by the political trade publication Campaigns & Elections.

7. Last Word: Out of Time, Brian Collins and Fear of Heights & A Different No Gang Zone -

I have a confession. Hillary Clinton is not happy with me.
I’ve seen the signs in recent weeks but didn’t want to accept the truth.
Then Wednesday evening, as I was about to put this column together, I got an email from the former First Lady and Secretary of State and Democratic presidential contender.
The subject line cut to the chase: “We’re running out of time, Bill.”
The message itself, on a backdrop of Blue State blue read:

8. Sutton Reid Finalist For Reed Awards -

The Memphis ad agency that worked on the 2015 mayoral campaign of Jim Strickland is a finalist for three Reed Awards, given nationally by the political trade publication Campaigns & Elections.

9. Overton Park Conservancy Agrees to Mediation -

The board of the Overton Park Conservancy has agreed to participate in a mediation process with the Memphis Zoo on the park greensward controversy.

The OPC board voted Wednesday, Jan. 20, to be part of the process. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland recommended the mediation during a meeting Tuesday with both sides of the controversy around zoo overflow parking.

10. Last Word: Winter Pre-Game Show, The Zoo Goes To Court And Hotel Fever -

You wouldn’t call this the eye of the storm, would you? We’ll go with calling this the pre-game show for the winter storm that is supposed to show up in Memphis at around 7 a.m. Friday morning. Think Super Bowl pre-game.
There is so much that’s been said in advance of this that whatever happens, it might be hard to live up to the preparation.
Much of the rest of this is like an arms race of sorts.
Consider the equipment list from Memphis International Airport.
10 snow brooms, 12 plow trucks, four de-icing trucks each with 40,000 gallons of deicer, four 2-ton salt spreaders and four tractors to keep the runways clear.
The city of Memphis Public Works division has eight snow plows ready to roll on major thoroughfares if the snow gets within the three-inch mark. A set of 16 salt trucks were to load up at 11 p.m. Thursday evening to begin applying salt and sand when needed, with continual inspections of road conditions. And that includes some pre-treated priority areas.
And then there was this truly unusual announcement from Shelby County Schools: the optional school parent camp-out was suspended Thursday evening because of the weather.
This is the camp out the school system tries its best to discourage each and every year at this time. That includes bar-coded applications and repeatedly emphasizing that 99.9 percent of those with the bar-coded applications get their first choice of optional schools, making the camp-out unnecessary. The applications are handed out over several days and are then time-stamped when they are turned in for consideration.
Nevertheless, the tents go up each year and voices are raised in the debate about whether this is parents who care more or parents who are carried away.
This year, the school system, while emphasizing that it “does not authorize or direct” the camp-out, says the line will resume Sunday at 7 a.m.
The school system also adds: “The current process being managed by parents will be recognized due to potential health and safety risks related to forecasted inclement weather.”
But is there a line to get back in line? And when does that start?

11. Overton Park Conservancy Agrees to Mediation -

The board of the Overton Park Conservancy has agreed to participate in a mediation process with the Memphis Zoo on the park greensward controversy.

The OPC board voted Wednesday, Jan. 20, to be part of the process. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland recommended the mediation during a meeting Tuesday with both sides of the controversy around zoo overflow parking.

12. Last Word: The View Across The Harbor, Crosstown Undercurrents and Bonnaroo -

The fishing puns are overpowering as Bass Pro Shops expresses its interest in redeveloping Mud Island River Park, on the other side of the city harbor from the Pyramid Bass Pro Shops opened at just this past May.
Bass Pro Shops is one of five companies to express interest in Mud Island as part of the process by the Riverfront Development Corporation to go a different way with the park.
The RDC released the names of the companies Thursday.
Earlier this month, we outlined the RVC Outdoor Destinations proposal.
We don’t know nearly as much about what Bass Pro Shops has in mind or the other three firms.
All five now head for what amounts to a second round in which they submit specific plans to a search committee of the RDC including how they will pay for their plans.

13. Ursula Madden: From Broadcast News to Memphis Communications Chief -

She didn’t realize it at the time, but Ursula Madden was training for her career as a local television anchor.

This was when she was a girl, growing up in Portland, Oregon. Little Ursula might have been sent outdoors to play all the time, but her mother had other ideas.

14. Luttrell, Strickland Attend Obama’s State of the Union -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland both attended the Tuesday, Jan. 12, State of the Union address, the final State of the Union address by President Barack Obama

15. Last Word: Secrets In A Small Town, Bullard Bounce and Beale & Mud Island -

Munford! A winning Powerball ticket for the largest jackpot ever was sold in Munford and that warrants a rare exclamation mark.
Possibly two when you consider that small towns are supposed to be places where it is nearly impossible to keep a secret – at least from the other folks in the town.
The fact that it was sold at Naifeh’s, a long-standing Tipton County business institution adds to the story.
The person who bought the ticket in Munford holds one of three winning tickets which comes out to about $582 million for that ticket.
That is roughly the size of the city of Memphis operating budget.
There was a similar mystery underway Thursday in Dyersburg where someone bought a Powerball ticket worth a paltry $2 million. Probably worth an exclamation mark if I wasn’t over the limit and already feeling the unspoken disdain of my reporting brethren who are judging me harshly as you read this.

16. Last Word: Overton Park's Restless Winter, Across The Harahan and Higher Ed -

It may be chilly outside, but it might as well be July on the Overton Park greensward with all of the political heat that is building.
The thermometer spiked when more than two dozen trees donated to the Overton Park Conservancy in 2012 were removed this week by the Memphis Zoo which is preparing for large crowds in March.
That’s when its new Zambezi Hippo River Camp exhibit opens to much anticipation and much fanfare.
That and the New Year’s Eve legal opinion favoring the zoo’s position on its use of the greensward for overflow parking set the stage for a dispute the administration of Mayor Jim Strickland has had to mediate at less than two weeks in office.

17. Luttrell, Strickland To Attend Obama’s State of the Union -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland will both be attending the Tuesday, Jan. 12, State of the Union address, the final State of the Union address by President Barack Obama

18. Tennessee Legislature Opens 2016 Session on Capitol Hill -

The Tennessee General Assembly's 2016 session will be a short one, likely done by early April. The gavels fall in the House and Senate chambers in Nashville at noon Tuesday, Jan. 12, opening the election year session.

19. Last Word: The Crest, OPEB Fever, Armstrong Leaves and An Elvis Warning -

The crest is here and it is not quite 40 feet on the Mississippi River gauge. The projections Thursday evening going into Friday’s crest of the river at Memphis changed a bit from the 40.3 foot level. The crest is 39.8 feet.
No reports of major damage anywhere in Shelby County, according to the Shelby County Office of Prepardness.
But the river’s high water is still a sight to behold.

20. PRSA Honors Armstrong As Top Communicator -

The Memphis chapter of the Public Relations Society of America has named Memphis Police Department director Toney Armstrong as its 2015 Communicator of the Year.

Armstrong will receive the annual award, given since 1976, at a Jan. 14 luncheon at the University Club. Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich and U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton will join him.

21. Last Word: Out With the Old, In With The River -

We end 2015 with an eye on the Mississippi River as the city marks the New Year with three major New Year’s Eve outdoor celebrations – one on Beale Street, another in the newly-awakened Overton Square and yet another in the Broad Avenue Arts District.
Two come with lots of memories of past New Year’s eves – with soon-to-be memories.
Overton Square’s comeback as a theater district has been a big story of the last two years.
But Beale Street at the end of 2015 is an institution that has also seen a lot of change in the last year with the move to a Beale Street Tourism Development Authority at year’s end.
Broad is a different story with a different context. The context is a diversified Memphis whose crowd is likely to be at least slightly more local than the mix in Overton Square and on Beale Street.
It's example could very well show us the path to a New Year's eve with public celebrations from Whitehaven to Frayser.

22. Lowery’s Prayer Breakfast Marks 22nd Year -

Myron Lowery is leaving the Memphis City Council as of New Year’s Day.

But the outgoing council chairman will still be hosting a New Year’s Day Prayer Breakfast Friday, Jan. 1, at 9 a.m. on his first day out of office in 24 years.

23. McKinney Appointed as Shelby County Lobbyist -

Assistant County Attorney David E. McKinney is Shelby County government’s new director of legislative affairs.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell announced McKinney’s appointment Tuesday, Dec. 29, to take effect Jan. 1.

24. Lowery’s Prayer Breakfast Marks 25th Year -

Though Myron Lowery’s 24-year tenure on the Memphis City Council ended Dec. 31, he planned to start 2016 with a familiar tradition: his New Year’s Day Prayer Breakfast.

25. Strickland to Replace Animal Shelter Director -

Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland confirmed Tuesday, Dec. 29, that James Rogers will not be reappointed as director of the Memphis Animal Shelter.

26. Memorable Events of 2015 will Spill Into 2016 -

When you really get down to it, history is a collection of moments, moments that, when they fall one after the other over the long arc of time, eventually form the tapestry representing who we are.

27. McKinney Appointed as New County Government Lobbyist -

Assistant County Attorney David E. McKinney is Shelby County government’s new director of legislative affairs.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell announced McKinney’s appointment Tuesday, Dec. 29, to take effect Jan. 1.

28. Deadly Shooting in Chattanooga Voted Top Story of 2015 -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Chattanooga has been voted the top Tennessee news story of 2015.

Muhammad Abdulazeez, a 24-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, opened fire on a recruiting center and a reserve facility on July 16. The FBI recently described the attack as an act "inspired and motivated by foreign terrorist propaganda."

29. City Leaders to Take Oath On New Year’s Day -

Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland takes the oath of office Jan. 1.

Strickland will be joined in the oath by 13 Memphis City Council members and new City Court clerk Kay Robilio.

30. Last Word: 7 Dead in North Mississippi, City Hall Shuffle Continues, Another UCI Exit -

With first light Christmas Eve in North Mississippi the death toll from the Wednesday storm and tornadoes rose to seven with more than 40 injured, that according to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant who has declared a state of emergency.

31. Council's New Crop -

They ran in the considerable shadow of the most competitive Memphis mayoral race in a generation. The new Memphis City Council that takes office with Mayor-elect Jim Strickland in January isn’t necessarily a generational shift. It doesn’t signify a wholesale ousting by the electorate, either.

32. Departing City Council Members Remembered at Last Session -

Before the Memphis City Council’s final session of 2015 on Tuesday, Dec. 15, the 13 council members got around to something they should have done four years ago: take a group picture in the Hall of Mayors at City Hall.

33. Strickland: Police Director Armstrong Stays, For Now -

The city of Memphis eventually will have a new Memphis Police Department director, but, for now, current director Toney Armstrong will continue to hold the job.

Mayor-elect Jim Strickland announced Friday, Nov. 20, that Armstrong will remain in the job while he searches for a replacement.

34. Strickland: Police Director Armstrong Stays, For Now -

The city of Memphis eventually will have a new Memphis Police Department director, but, for now, current director Toney Armstrong will continue to hold the job.

Mayor-elect Jim Strickland announced Friday, Nov. 20, that Armstrong will remain in the job while he searches for a replacement.

35. Voters Fill in City Hall Blanks In Last Election of Busy 2015 -

The 2015 election season was put to rest last week: A low-turnout set of five Memphis City Council runoff elections filled in the blanks of what will be a different City Hall starting in 2016.

With a 4.8 percent turnout across the turf of five single-member City Council districts, voters in the Thursday, Nov. 19, non-partisan council runoff races defined the new council that takes office in January. The 13-member body will include six new faces.

36. Council OKs Raleigh Springs Mall Conversion, Again -

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 17, approved – for the second time in a year and a half – the plan to turn the Raleigh Springs Mall into a “town center” with a city library branch, new police precinct and the Memphis Police Department’s traffic precinct.

37. Council OKs Raleigh Springs Mall Conversion, Again -

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 17, approved – for the second time in a year and a half – the plan to turn the Raleigh Springs Mall into a “town center” with a city library branch, new police precinct and the Memphis Police Department’s traffic precinct.

38. Last Election of 2015 Decides Five Council Races -

The last election of 2015 in Shelby County will fill in the blanks in a changing of the political guard at City Hall.

Six weeks after Memphis voters ousted incumbent Mayor A C Wharton and replaced him with Jim Strickland and elected two new members to the 13-member City Council – Martavius Jones and Philip Spinosa – voters will decide who gets five more council seats.

39. The Week Ahead: Nov. 9, 2015 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from revenge on the Warriors to crime reduction through urban planning…

It’s still election season in 70 percent of the city, which sounds like a weather forecast – part warning and part advisory.
But the seven-day outlook calls for an increased chance of political engagement this week. Early voting in the set of five Memphis City Council runoff races continues this week at eight satellite locations as well as the Downtown site, 157 Poplar Ave.
The runoff elections in council districts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 will determine the identity of a council that will have at least six, possibly seven new members. Super District council members Philip Spinosa and Martavius Jones, the two confirmed new faces on the council, were elected outright on Oct. 8.

40. Andy Cates: Memphis in ‘Pivotal’ Time -

When more than 100 of the city’s most prominent developers and real estate professionals got together Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the Crescent Club in East Memphis, much of the focus was on a list of more than two dozen real estate projects.

41. Armstrong Ponders Mayoral Transition -

When outgoing Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said last week that Memphis Police Department director Toney Armstrong plans to retire at year’s end, what followed was the best representation of the off-kilter relationship between the mayor’s office and police brass.

42. Caissa Public Strategy Works Behind The Scenes for Clients -

The word public, by its definition, seems to say out in the open.

For Caissa Public Strategy, that’s not how it works. In fact, the Memphis-based firm likes to work in the shadows, so to speak, where the agency helps its clients grow and protect reputations.

43. Nashville and Knoxville Police Oppose TBI Investigations -

The police chiefs of Nashville and Knoxville have come out against a proposed state law that would automatically send fatal police-encounter investigations to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

44. Beale Authority Ready To Issue RFP In November -

Members of the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority board voted Thursday, Oct. 15, to put out a request for proposal Nov. 2 seeking a company to manage the district on a day-to-day basis.

The request, which gives applicants a detailed idea of what is involved, is being fine-tuned from a draft reviewed last week.

45. Mayor-Elect Jim Strickland Names Transition Co-Chairs -

Three business and community leaders are set to lead Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland’s transition team in the 10-week run-up to when he takes office.

Strickland announced Wednesday, Oct. 14, that the co-chairs of the transition team will be Rosie Phillips Bingham, vice president of student affairs at the University of Memphis; Emily Greer, chief administrative officer of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; and Mitch Graves, CEO of HealthChoice LLC.

46. New Mayor in Town -

Jim Strickland has some big decisions to make.

At the top of the list: make sure the toilets are flushing, the lights are coming on at night and the stoplights are flashing red, yellow and green.

47. Memphis Early Voting Turnout Up 76 Percent So Far -

Early voting in the 2015 Memphis elections is running ahead of the pace from four years ago but behind the pace from 2007 and the special mayoral election of 2009.

The early voting period in advance of the Oct. 8 election day runs through Saturday, Oct. 3, at 16 locations across the city.

48. Poll Shows Wharton With Slim Lead in Mayor’s Race -

A new poll by the Commercial Appeal shows the Memphis mayor’s race likely will be decided with the winner getting less than a majority and a critical percentage of voters undecided.

The poll, commissioned by the newspaper and conducted by Mason-Dixon Research, shows Wharton is the choice of 30 percent of 500 likely voters who were polled by telephone.

49. Poll Shows Wharton With Slim Lead in Mayor’s Race -

A new poll by the Commercial Appeal shows the Memphis mayor’s race likely will be decided with the winner getting less than a majority and a critical percentage of voters undecided.

The poll, commissioned by the newspaper and conducted by Mason-Dixon Research, shows Wharton is the choice of 30 percent of 500 likely voters who were polled by telephone.

50. Memphis Chamber Backs Wharton in Mayor’s Race -

The political action committee of the Greater Memphis Chamber is backing Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. for re-election.

Wharton faces a strong challenge in his re-election bid from Memphis City Council members Harold Collins and Jim Strickland. And a key issue in the hard-fought campaign is the city's pace of economic development during Wharton’s tenure.

51. Strickland's Memphis Mayoral Bid Heats Up -

Just hours after he dropped out of the race for Memphis Mayor, James Harvey endorsed mayoral contender Jim Strickland at the opening of Strickland’s Poplar Plaza campaign headquarters.

52. Memphis Mayoral Field Set at 10 -

Shelby County Election Commissioners have certified the Memphis election ballot for Oct. 8.

These are the names to appear on that ballot for the 15 elected offices.

The commission met hours after the noon Thursday, July 23, deadline for candidates to withdraw from the ballot if they wished.

53. Memphis Candidates Prepare To Spend -

How much a candidate raises in an election season attracts a lot of attention, and the second-quarter fundraising numbers for the Oct. 8 Memphis elections are still trickling out.

The reports were due July 10 but some are still arriving at the Shelby County Election Commission website. And in some cases, the reports are incomplete, showing amounts raised but not amounts spend and on hand as of July 1.

54. Filing Deadline Shapes Field in Memphis Elections -

Now that they’ve made the filing deadline for the Oct. 8 Memphis elections, candidates have until Thursday, July 23, to withdraw if they wish before the ballot is set later that day in the 15 city races.

55. Memphis Election Fundraising Deadline Prompts Flurry of Appeals -

For the last week, candidates in the October Memphis elections have had fundraising fever.

The campaign finance reports for the period that ended Tuesday, June 30, are due at the Shelby County Election Commission by July 10. That’s followed by the noon July 16 filing deadline for candidates in the races for Memphis Mayor, City Council and City Court Clerk.

56. Chism Political Picnic Offers Pre-Campaign Snapshot -

Memphis mayoral contender Jim Strickland saw a face he didn’t recognize Saturday, June 13, in the southwest Memphis crowd at former County Commissioner Sidney Chism’s annual political picnic.

57. Wanda Halbert to Run For City Court Clerk -

Memphis City Council member Wanda Halbert will not seek re-election in this year’s city elections and will instead run for City Court Clerk.

Halbert pulled a petition for the challenge of incumbent clerk Thomas Long.

58. Wanda Halbert to Run for City Court Clerk -

Memphis City Council member Wanda Halbert will not seek re-election in this year’s city elections and will instead run for City Court Clerk.

Halbert planned to pull a petition Monday, April 20, for the challenge of incumbent clerk Thomas Long.

59. Halbert Passes on Council Re-election Bid To Go For City Court Clerk -

Memphis City Council member Wanda Halbert will not seek re-election in this year's city elections and will instead run for City Court Clerk.

Halbert plans to pull a petition Monday, April 20, for the challenge of incumbent clerk Thomas Long.

60. Wharton's Way -

City elections in Memphis begin unadorned.

Yard signs don’t bloom until mid- to late summer, when the strategic use of television ads and the much higher cycle of radio advertising kick in.

61. Well-Known Names Host Strickland Fundraiser -

At $1,500 per person or couple, a fundraiser Tuesday, March 24, for the mayoral campaign of Memphis City Council member Jim Strickland is an indication the campaign to the October city ballot is picking up in intensity.

62. Shaffer Joins District 5 Memphis City Council Race -

Local labor leader Paul Shaffer has joined the field of declared candidates for the District 5 seat on the Memphis City Council.

63. Paul Shaffer Joins District 5 Memphis City Council Race -

Local labor leader Paul Shaffer has joined the field of declared candidates for the District 5 seat on the Memphis City Council.

Shafer, leader of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 474, said in a written statement Thursday, March 5, that he intends to run for the council seat on the October ballot.

64. Council Critical of Wharton Debt Restructuring -

First reviews from Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Feb. 17, to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s plan to restructure the city’s debt payments were harsh and skeptical.

Wharton wasn’t present in council committee sessions Tuesday as council member Jim Strickland played audio of Wharton in 2010 telling council members that the restructuring of city debt then was a “plain vanilla” transaction.

65. Commission Delays Vote on Lakeland School Site Funding -

Shelby County commissioners delayed a vote Monday, Feb. 9, on a shift of county capital funds for the Lakeland Schools System to allow the school system to use it to buy land for the new Lakeland Prep grades 6-12 school being planned.

66. Commission Delays Vote on Lakeland School Site Funding -

Shelby County commissioners delayed a vote Monday, Feb. 9, on a shift of county capital funds for the Lakeland Schools System to allow the school system to use it to buy land for the new Lakeland Prep grades 6-12 school being planned.

67. Collins Files Campaign Finance Report -

Memphis City Council member Harold Collins, who is weighing a bid for Memphis mayor this year, has a campaign finance account with a balance of $23,034 as of mid-January.

68. Wharton Tops $200,000 in Campaign Funds -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. reported having more than $200,000 in his re-election campaign account as of Jan. 15.

Wharton reported the amount in a campaign financial disclosure report due at the Shelby County Election Commission this week.

69. Size of Mayoral Field Shadows Race -

Nobody running for election on the Oct. 8 ballot can even pull a qualifying petition to get on the ballot until April, yet February is shaping up as the month when it is determined what kind of challenge and how many challengers incumbent Mayor A C Wharton Jr. will face.

70. Harris Goes to Nashville -

At his last Memphis City Council session, Lee Harris reflected this week on his three years on the council and the group of politicians he joined.

71. City Council Delays Vote on Beale Tourism Authority -

At the first Memphis City Council meeting of 2015, council members delayed for two weeks a vote on a Beale Street Tourism Development Authority to guide future development of the entertainment district through a nine-member appointed board.

72. Council Signals Return to Schools Funding Mediation -

It’s back to mediation Thursday, Jan. 8, in the six-year long schools funding deadlock between the city of Memphis and Shelby County Schools.

That was the next step several Memphis City Council members pointed to after more than an hour behind closed doors at City Hall Tuesday with their attorney as well as city Chief Administrative Officer George Little.

73. Council Approves More Rape Kit Testing Funds -

Memphis City Council members approved on Tuesday, Dec. 16, $1.25 million more in city funding for rape kit testing. The money comes from higher-than-anticipated revenue collections on the city’s tax on mixed drinks.

74. Pickard Exploring City Council Run -

Architect and planner Charles “Chooch” Pickard is undertaking an exploratory campaign for Memphis City Council District 5.

Pickard holds his first event Thursday, Dec. 4, to gauge support.

75. Lowery Named 2015 City Council Chairman -

The longest-serving member of the Memphis City Council will be the 2015 chairman of the 13-member body.

Myron Lowery was elected by the council unanimously and without opposition Tuesday, Nov. 18. He succeeds Jim Strickland in the chairman’s position.

76. Haslam Reaches End of Campaign Trail in Memphis -

On his last campaign event on the last full day of the 2014 campaign season, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was surrounded by whimsy and cookies in a decidedly pink East Memphis shop.

Haslam supporters packed the Whimsy Cookie Company, a boutique cookie bakery on Poplar Avenue Monday, Nov. 3, just before the afternoon rush hour.

77. Council To Review Conflicting Health Insurance Numbers -

City government’s open enrollment period for health insurance begins in October and new details of health insurance benefit cuts approved in June go in the mail later this month. Yet Memphis City Council members meet in a special committee session next week to again review conflicting numbers from actuaries on the coverage.

78. AIA Tennessee Honors ANF’s Pounders -

Memphis architect Louis R. Pounders of ANF Architects has been awarded the William Strickland Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Institute of Architects Tennessee. ANF is formerly Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects.

79. Council Delays Vote on Overton Square Parking Trial -

Memphis City Council members again delayed a final vote Tuesday, July 15, on an ordinance that would set up a trial parking permit zone in the Overton Square area.

The three-week delay to the Aug. 5 council meeting came after homeowners and business owners appeared to still have some differences over the plan, which would allow homeowners to set up a permit parking zone on their streets for residents only.

80. City Council Hears Tentative Plans for Office Building -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration would move the Memphis Police Department, information technology services and six city agencies renting offices on Union Avenue Extended into the Donnelley J. Hill office building if the city goes through with a plan to swap the office building with state government in exchange for parking spaces in the Peabody Place garage.

81. City Council Approves Shady Grove Development -

The Memphis City Council approved Tuesday, May 20, a 22-lot residential planned development at the southeast corner of Shady Grove Road and Interstate 240 by Greenbrier Partners LLC.

82. Council Questions Five-Year Wharton Plan -

It’s usually a quick bottom line for any local government budget proposal – does it mean a property tax hike?

The $596 million operating budget submitted to the Memphis City Council Tuesday, April 15, by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. does not include a property tax hike.

83. City, Schools Agree To Mediation on Funding -

The city of Memphis and Shelby County Schools have agreed to an “official mediation process with a third party mediator” to resolve the $57 million claim and judgment the school system has against the city and the $89 million counterclaim the city is pursuing against the school system for capital funding.

84. Council Unhappy With Budget Plans So Far -

The administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. got a rough reception at the Tuesday, April 1, Memphis City Council session as it set the stage for Wharton’s budget proposal to come in two weeks.

85. Council Weighs Conflicting Liability Numbers, Approves Mall Plan -

Memphis City Council members cleared much of their committee calendar Tuesday, Feb. 4, to talk for four hours about specifics of the city’s pension fund liability crisis.

The discussion with Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson, Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard and consultants from four actuarial firms was aimed at trying to define the specifics of the problem, see if there is agreement on some of the numbers and better explain the differences.

86. Council Weighs Conflicting L:iability Numbers, Approves Mall Plan -

Memphis City Council members cleared much of their committee calendar Tuesday, Feb. 4, to talk for four hours about specifics of the city’s pension fund liability crisis.

The discussion with Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson, Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard and consultants from four actuarial firms was aimed at trying to define the specifics of the problem, see if there is agreement on some of the numbers and better explain the differences.

87. City Council to Dig Into Pension Liability -

The road to a specific solution to the city’s unsustainable pension liability and employee benefits begins Tuesday, March 4, in detailed, technical and complex financial discussions at City Hall that will dominate the committee schedule of the Memphis City Council.

88. Strickland: Shorten Pension Ramp-Up -

The Memphis City Council chairman thinks the city shouldn’t take five or six years to ramp up to an annual pension fund contribution of $100 million but instead do it in two fiscal years.

“I think everyone is in uniform support of fully funding our annual contribution,” council chairman Jim Strickland said on the WKNO-TV program “Behind the Headlines.” “In fact, I don’t think we ought to take six years. I think we ought to take two years. Get it fully funded, whether its $60 million or $100 million.”

89. Council Hires Actuary Consultant -

The Memphis City Council approved hiring its own actuary firm Tuesday, Feb. 18, to review the city’s financial state, namely city government’s unfunded pension liability. The council voted to hire Segal Consulting of Atlanta to advise it as the council prepared for a March 4 committee session in which it will meet with the administration’s actuary and others on the unsustainable trajectory the pension fund is on.

90. Council Tours Pyramid, Weighs City Offices In Two Malls -

Memphis City Council members heard Tuesday, Feb. 18, that the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. wants to move some city government offices into the Soulsville Town Center in South Memphis and is weighing whether to renovate or tear down and build anew on the site of the Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

91. Council Hears More on Police and Fire Budget Decisions -

Memphis City Council member got deeper Tuesday, Feb. 4, into the specifics of Memphis Police and Fire Department budget decisions.

But they didn’t get a clearer picture of what the direction forward will be as they and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. prepare to make some hard decisions about public safety in dealing with the city’s unfunded pension liability.

92. Debt and Liability -

There is rarely a good answer to the question “How much?” in politics.

With issues including the unfunded pension liability, overall debt, and revenue estimates and their validity, City Hall’s overall money problem begins but hardly ends with the question. It won’t be that simple.

93. Harris to Lead City Council Budget Committee -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris will be chairman of the council’s budget committee for 2014.

94. Strickland Suggests Redbirds Ticket Surcharge -

Memphis City Council member Jim Strickland is floating the idea of a Memphis Redbirds ticket surcharge to guarantee a more consistent flow of revenues to pay off the debt from the city’s proposed purchase of AutoZone Park.

95. Council Rules Could Change in 2014 -

Memphis City Council members are already starting to adapt some items in a set of proposed changes in how they conduct business.

The proposal took a bit longer to formulate than originally anticipated.

96. Team Players -

The key players, from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to St. Louis Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr., grabbed the microphone at an invitation-only rally held on the club level of AutoZone Park and made their best pitches.

97. Government to Require Seat Belts on Large Buses -

WASHINGTON (AP) – New tour buses and buses that provide service between cities must be equipped with seat belts starting in late 2016 under a federal rule issued Wednesday, a safety measure sought by accident investigators for nearly a half century.

98. Tax Dead Dilemma -

The brick church at 299 Chelsea Ave. in North Memphis shows up in records at the Shelby County Assessor’s office as “vacant land.”

99. New Council Chairman Could Have New Rules -

The new chairman of the Memphis City Council in 2014 could be overseeing the council under a different set of ground rules.

Jim Strickland was elected chairman by his fellow City Council members Tuesday, Nov. 5, to start his one-year term in January.

100. Strickland Presents Vision for Manchester Bidwell -

The Greater Memphis Chamber’s latest “A Conversation with …” event featured Bill Strickland, president and CEO of Pittsburgh-based Manchester Bidwell Corp., a training facility for children and adults in Pittsburgh.