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Editorial Results (free)

1. Infill Developments Seek Consideration in September Land Use Control Board Meeting -

Three proposed infill developments within the Interstate 240 loop would carve out lots for 35 houses, requiring the demolition of one church building, houses sharing ground with another church and the razing of an old commercial building.

2. Youth Villages' New Board Chair, Jimmy Lackie, Believes in the Process -

A lot has changed since 1984 when James “Jimmy” D. Lackie first became involved with the forerunner to Youth Villages. Spence Wilson, CEO of Kemmons Wilson, Inc., had asked Lackie to assist on a capital campaign at Dogwood Villages. This was two years before Dogwood merged with Memphis Boys Town to create Youth Villages.

3. Former Deputy Governor, Hamilton County Mayor Dies -

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – Claude Ramsey, a former Tennessee lawmaker, deputy governor and Hamilton County mayor, has died. He was 75.

4. Balmoral School PTO Head Indicted for Theft -

The former president of the Balmoral Ridgeway Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization has been indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for theft of more than $1,000.

Tameka Harrison resigned her post with the PTO in May on the last day of school. The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office was already investigating the PTO’s finances after Shelby County School officials notified the comptroller’s office about deficiencies in the account.

5. Morris' Secret Helped Pass Civil Rights Cold Case Laws -

Charlie Morris was known for decades as a political operative who defined a brand of grassroots-style campaigning and political involvement in North Memphis. He and his late wife, Alma, operating out of a barber shop in a Quonset hut off Chelsea Avenue, endorsed candidates and worked for them at the polls – going door-to-door in their neighborhood in what was the most basic kind of political organizing.

6. Balmoral School PTO Pres Indicted for Theft -

The former president of the Balmoral Ridgeway Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization has been indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for theft of more than $1,000.

Tameka Harrison resigned her post with the PTO in May on the last day of school. The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office was already investigating the PTO’s finances after Shelby County School officials notified the comptroller’s office about deficiencies in the account.

7. Medical Marijuana Legislation Moves Ahead -

NASHVILLE – Bolstered by House Speaker Beth Harwell’s tie-breaking vote, Rep. Jeremy Faison’s medical marijuana legislation took an important step Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the General Assembly.

8. Last Word: Filing Deadline, Case & Vance In May and Paul Manafort at the Rivermont -

By our count, when the noon Thursday deadline for candidates in the May county primaries has come and gone, there could be -- could be -- four incumbent county commissioners who are effectively re-elected to their seats for another four-year term. And we already know the commission will have at least seven new faces in September. More interesting is that there are only four sets of primaries – all for countywide offices – that have multiple contenders in each primary. That’s out of 23 offices on the primary ballot.

9. Rotating Forrest Bust Out of Capitol Gains Momentum -

Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s days in the State Capitol could be numbered. Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican, says he could support a move to rotate Forrest’s bust out of the Capitol and make sure Capitol displays are “more reflective of the entire history of Tennessee.”

10. Mystery Surrounds Super Bowl Ads -

In another record-breaking year, with ad costs exceeding $5 million per 30-second spot, big brands are, once again, putting it all on the line. Some will score big and others will be answering to their boards about their multimillion-dollar blunders.

11. Dunavant Awards Will Feature Hardy As Keynote -

As a lifelong Memphian and successful entrepreneur, Carolyn Hardy is all about finding new ways to grow the city.

12. Nomination Deadline For Dunavant Awards Feb. 1 -

Memphis is lucky to have an abundance of residents with a passion for public service and it is time once again to honor their commitment to improving this community.

Each year the Rotary Club of Memphis East recognizes the importance of public service by hosting the Dunavant Public Servant Awards.

13. Dunavant Awards Spotlight Public Servants -

Being a public servant often is thankless job, but each year the Rotary Club of Memphis East recognizes the importance of public service to the community by hosting the Dunavant Public Servant Awards.

14. Final Goodbye: Roll Call of Some Who Died in 2017 -

They made music that inspired legions of fans. Rock 'n' roll founding fathers Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, rockers Tom Petty and Gregg Allman, grunge icon Chris Cornell, country superstar Glen Campbell and jazz great Al Jarreau were among the notable figures who died in 2017, leaving a void in virtually every genre of music.

15. Exonerated Tennessee Man Seeks $1M After 31 Years in Prison -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee man who spent more than 31 years in prison before new DNA evidence led to his rape and burglary conviction being overturned is asking the state for $1 million in damages.

16. Democrats Look to Cooperate on Key Issues -

With the state’s budget projected to be tight and lawmakers lining up to run for re-election in 2018, the coming legislative session isn’t expected to yield many surprises.

But the 110th General Assembly still has a long row to hoe as the session starts Jan. 9 with new legislative offices and committee rooms in the renovated Cordell Hull Building in downtown Nashville.

17. Fall Creek Falls: Sound Plan or Political Payback -

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Now go find a job. That’s the message the state of Tennessee is sending nearly 60 employees at Fall Creek Falls State Park this joyous holiday season.

18. Former Band Director Charged With Theft -

The former band director of Collierville Middle School, Jason Seek, was arrested and charged with theft of property over $60,000 the day before Thanksgiving, according to the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

19. Former Collierville Band Director Charged With Theft -

The former band director of Collierville Middle School, Jason Seek, was arrested and charged with theft of property over $60,000 the day before Thanksgiving, according to the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

20. Wiping Slate Clean: Now Less About Who Can Afford It -

The scales of justice in Tennessee are slowly tipping back toward the poor – and not so poor – helping them regain traction lost to often-minor transgressions.

Change is taking place in court battles and in the Republican-controlled Legislature, believe it or not.

21. Goodin Joins Hagwood Adelman As Memphis Managing Attorney -

Michael T. Goodin has joined Hagwood Adelman Tipton PC as managing attorney of the Memphis office. In that role, he provides legal services to HAT’s clients in matters such as medical malpractice and senior housing litigation for health care providers along the continuum of care, including skilled nursing, assisted living, behavioral health, home health and hospice litigation. In addition, he assists in supervising the attorney and paraprofessional teams.

22. Hartnell: ‘It’s Very Comforting’ to be Back -

Scott Hartnell ran into unexpected difficulty back in 2000 on one of his very first road trips with the Nashville Predators.

It happened during “Rookie Night,” a time-honored tradition in which the team’s first-year players pay for the pricey dinners of their teammates and trainers.

23. Tennessee Open Records Advocates Push for Policy Change -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Open records advocates are pushing for Tennessee agencies to allow citizens to take cellphone photographs of public records.

In January, The Tennessee Office of Open Records Counsel issued a model policy that forbade requestors from making copies of records with personal equipment, following the adoption of a state law requiring government offices to establish written public records policies.

24. ‘Divisive Symbols’: Mississippi Case Offers Hope for Forrest Bust Removal -

State Sen. Lee Harris is encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s request for the state of Mississippi to respond to a lawsuit seeking to remove the Confederate battle flag from its state flag.

25. Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust to Stay in Capitol -

The Tennessee Capitol Commission blocked Gov. Bill Haslam’s request Friday, Sept. 1, to move the embattled Nathan Bedford Forrest bust out of the State Capitol to the Tennessee State Museum.

26. Season 3: Time for QB Mariota To Become a Star -

If Year 1 was a good start and Year 2 was another step in the right direction, what should we expect of Marcus Mariota in Year 3?

How about a playoff berth for the team he quarterbacks.

Granted, there are many other factors in play that will determine the success, failure or return to mediocrity of the Titans in 2017. Has the defensive backfield been successfully retooled? Can the offensive line remain one of the best in the NFL? Will the additions at wide receiver pay the expected dividends?

27. Trump Bashes NAFTA in Midst of Talks to Revamp Trade Deal -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Just a week into talks to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Donald Trump is already threatening to abandon the 23-year-old pact with Canada and Mexico.

28. State Panel Sheds New Light on Racial Atrocities -

State Rep. Johnnie Turner has seen what can happen when old wounds are never allowed to heal.

She’s seen it most recently in clashes between neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and white supremacists and those who resisted their hatred in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counter-protester was killed and 19 were injured when a car was intentionally driven into a group of counter protesters. Two state troopers also died in a helicopter crash that weekend.

29. Rhodes Improvements On Track for Fall -

Rhodes College is readying its new, 55,000-square-foot new science facility to open this fall, one of several construction projects underway on the Rhodes campus.

Robertson Hall will house four biology faculty and two chemistry faculty, along with six teaching labs, five research labs and two classrooms. The facility is named for 1933 Rhodes graduate Lola Robertson and 1929 graduate Charles Robertson Sr. in appreciation of the generosity of Patricia and Charles Robertson Jr.

30. Morris Recalls Brother’s Violent Death and Rage -

“Actually, the truth has never been told,” Charlie Morris said this week as he talked about the violent death of his brother 78 years ago in Arlington. Morris, now 96 years old, had family and friends gathered around him at the Memphis Branch NAACP headquarters Monday, July 3, as he marked the new state law that could reopen the investigation into the death of Jessie Lee Bond and other cold cases from the long arc of the civil rights movement.

31. Rhodes Improvements On Track for Fall -

Rhodes College is readying its new, 55,000-square-foot new science facility to open this fall, one of several construction projects underway on the Rhodes campus.

Robertson Hall will house four biology faculty and two chemistry faculty, along with six teaching labs, five research labs and two classrooms. The facility is named for 1933 Rhodes graduate Lola Robertson and 1929 graduate Charles Robertson Sr. in appreciation of the generosity of Patricia and Charles Robertson Jr.

32. Chamber Names 2017 Young Memphian Winners -

The Greater Memphis Chamber has announced its official 2017 Young Memphians list, which will be featured in the summer issue of Memphis Crossroads Magazine.

Nominations for the Young Memphians award were submitted via the chamber’s website, social media outlets and email. All nominees must be under 40 and a member of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

33. Wide Receiver U? That’s So 20 Years Ago -

At the 2015 SEC Media Days, Tennessee coach Butch Jones referred to his school as “the original Wide Receiver U.”

The reference goes back to the days when the Vols were loaded with fast, talented pass receivers on the perimeter. In a heady stretch from 1982-91, UT had six wide receivers selected in the first round of the NFL draft – Anthony Hancock, Willie Gault, Clyde Duncan, Tim McGee, Anthony Miller and Alvin Harper.

34. Last Word: Food Changes, Tax Breaks and 'The Big Bang' -

Late hours in Washington for another night Wednesday with word of the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special prosecutor in the Trump-Russia investigation. Here is all of the reaction we had as of late Wednesday from our folks in D.C.

35. ASD Loses 29 Employees in ESSA Shift -

The state-run Achievement School District is losing 29 employees including 13 who are involved in running the first schools in Frayser taken over by the district in 2012.

The changes, which include another 16 positions in the central office, are the most significant ever for the ASD, which takes over state schools in the bottom 5 percent in terms of academic achievement.

36. ASD Sheds 29 Employees in ESSA Shift -

The state-run Achievement School District is losing 29 employees including 13 who are involved in the direct running of the first schools in Frayser taken over by the district in 2012.

The changes, which include another 16 positions in the central office, are the most significant change to the district for the bottom 5 percent of public schools in the state in terms of academic achievement.

37. Lawmakers Blast Haslam Administration for Process Toward JLL Contract -

The Tennessee Department of General Services is set to award a statewide contract for facility management services to Jones Lang LaSalle, a company that already handles 10 percent of state office space and estimates a 15.9 percent savings if all higher education institutes participate.

38. From Art to Zumba, Memphis Seniors Taking Steps to Keep Mind & Body Fit -

For people like Bill Wilson, 74, keeping active mentally as well as physically is the key to a healthier life.

39. Lehman-Roberts’ Moore Lauded By Asphalt Industry Group -

Rick Moore, who is retiring as chairman of Lehman-Roberts Co. March 31 after 46 years with the company, has been named the National Asphalt Pavement Association’s Man of the Year. 

40. 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.

41. 'Heartbeat Bill' Put Off a Year -

NASHVILLE – Legislation outlawing abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected is being postponed until 2018, but a House panel voted Wednesday to restrict abortions after the 20th week, a shift from the 24-week period defining “viability.”

42. Last Word: Who Needs To Be Watched, Hopdoddy and Fresh Fed Numbers -

Three Memphis City Council members on Behind The Headlines had quite a bit to say about protesters and lists and police surveillance. Council chairman Berlin Boyd and council members Kemp Conrad and Worth Morgan all say the surveillance question, which is the central issue now that the City Hall list has been pared significantly, is complex because of public postings and protests in public places.

43. 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.

44. Last Word: The Borders of Violence, Guilty Verdict and Blue Suede Security -

Whenever there is a shooting of or near school children, one of the first things that happens once the police have investigated is detailing exactly where the incident happened – specifically whether it was actually on school property or near school property.

45. 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.

46. Rhodes College’s Presidential Transition Reflects Larger Changes in Education -

Rhodes College president Bill Troutt kept it simple last month when he introduced Marjorie Hass as the next president of the liberal arts college.

“You have chosen well,” he told the school’s board of trustees.

47. Haslam Seeks Elusive Comfort Level on Road Funding Increases -

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) – With just over three weeks remaining until he presents his annual Tennessee spending plan to lawmakers, Gov. Bill Haslam is still trying to find what he calls a comfort level with lawmakers on his efforts to boost transportation funding.

48. 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.

49. Last Word: TNReady Scores, Ikea Day and 901REnews -

Snap goes the streak. Cavs over the Grizz in Cleveland Tuesday 103-86. The Cavs are here Wednesday without LeBron James, Kevin Love or Kyrie Irving. For the Grizz, we shall see about Deyonta Davis who came out of Tuesday’s game with a left foot injury.

50. Outsourcing: Savings, But No Specifics -

The Haslam administration is forging ahead with plans to nab a statewide facilities services contractor after an outside analysis backed up a study showing estimated cost savings of more than $35 million a year at Tennessee universities.

51. Enforcement of Arkansas Anti-Begging Law Prohibited By Judge -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – A federal judge is prohibiting Arkansas from enforcing its anti-begging law.

U.S. District Judge Billy Joe Wilson on Tuesday agreed with the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas that the law unconstitutionally restricts freedom of speech.

52. Why is It So Difficult for Tennessee To Oust Indicted Politicians? -

Tennessee is lagging much of the nation when it comes to the ability to remove scoundrels from public office.

And, make no mistake, the Volunteer State has had its fair share of ne’er-do-well politicians who would likely have been thrown out of office if the proper procedures had been in place. 

53. The Week Ahead: October 10-16 -

Happy Monday, Memphis! Get ready for an eclectic mix of fairs, food and festivals to keep you entertained this week. Check out details on those and other need-to-know happenings in The Week Ahead…

54. State Bonds Sell For Record Low Interest Rate -

The state of Tennessee has completed the sale of approximately $366 million of general obligation bonds for the lowest interest ever negotiated in the state’s history, according to the Comptroller’s Office.

55. State Bonds Sell For Record Low Interest Rate -

The state of Tennessee has completed the sale of approximately $366 million of general obligation bonds for the lowest interest ever negotiated in the state’s history, according to the Comptroller’s Office.

56. Arkansas All-American Walk-On Burlsworth Now the Subject of Film -

Black horn-rimmed glasses. Those were offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth’s trademark, and they were prominent even behind the facemask of his Arkansas Razorbacks helmet.

Predictably, trash-talking opponents laughed at him and called him names. He was, with various modifiers, Clark Kent. Or Kurt Rambis, the funny-looking center for the Los Angeles Lakers. Or Drew Carey, the comedian.

57. ASD Financial Control Shifts to Nashville -

A performance audit report on the Achievement School District by Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson released this week is critical of the financial controls in place at the state-run school system for the lowest-performing schools in the state.

58. What Would It Take for Trump to Lose Tennessee Voters? -

Murfreesboro Realtor Larry Sims almost closes his ears when Donald Trump speaks.

“He gets out of bounds. Of course, the press, they love it because they get to exploit his sayings and doings,” says Sims, who traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, as a Trump delegate for the Republican National Convention. 

59. Dermatology Practice Building Arlington Office -

Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Associates, which has offices in Germantown and Olive Branch, is building a new office in Arlington.

The 14,500-square-foot building will house skin cancer treatment services, cosmetic dermatology procedures and spa treatments.

60. Last Word: Mud Island Money, Elvis Mystery and Beyond Barbecue -

It looks like the dry rub will be in order for Memphis in May's barbecue weekend with a shower or two keeping the dust down in Tom Lee Park Wednesday.

If you can see it through the smoke, Mud Island might strike a first-tme observer as a marked contrast to all of the activity in Tom Lee Park that goes right up to the bluff's edge.

61. GOP Fractures Ruin Reagan Day Fundraiser in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Reagan Day fundraisers have been a staple of GOP politics ever since the Great Communicator made a point of promoting the 11th Commandment – thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. But in the conservative suburbs east of Nashville, the event has become too poisonous to be held this year.

62. Dave Thomas Named CEO Of Kemmons Wilson Insurance -

Dave Thomas has joined Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group as chief executive officer. In this role, he’s responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and also is tasked with growing the Memphis-based property and casualty insurance company. Thomas has 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, most recently serving as CEO of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

63. Norris Recounts Path to Majority Status, Dunavant Award -

Good government isn’t a bowl of cherries. There will be controversy even with the best of intentions and with everything done by the numbers. And that applies to those who win awards like state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville.

64. Norris, Geater Named Dunavant Award Recipients -

Tennessee State Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris of Collierville and Lisa Geater, chief of staff to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, are the recipients of the annual Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Awards to be presented in May by the Rotary Club of Memphis East.

65. Election Commission Hires New Elections Coordinator -

Shelby County Election Commissioners voted Friday, April 8, to hire Linda Phillips, a former county clerk in Tippecanoe County, Ind., to be the next Shelby County elections coordinator.

66. A UT Hall of Fame without Neyland? How’s that possible? -

His name is on the football stadium, where a twice-life-size statue of him is displayed between gates 15A and 17.

The roadway that runs between the stadium and the Tennessee River bears his name.

67. National Labor Relations Board Declines VW's Union Challenge -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday declined to take up Volkswagen's challenge of a union vote at its lone U.S. assembly plant in Tennessee.

In a 2-1 decision, the panel refused to consider the German automaker's appeal on the basis that it raised "no substantial issues warranting review."

68. Shelby County Election Commission Hires New Coordinator -

Shelby County Election Commissioners voted Friday, April 8, to hire Linda Phillips, a former county clerk in Tippecanoe County, Ind., to be the next Shelby County elections coordinator.

69. Last Word: Pro Day, Hardwood Patios in C-Y and Memphis' Contested Convention -

It was a windy Pro Day Wednesday at the University of Memphis for Tigers quarterback Paxton Lynch. And if the wind wasn’t for you, you could watch Lynch work out for NFL teams and their representatives on the NFL network.
Don Wade was there to watch in person.

70. Spence Wilson To Keynote Dunavant Awards May 11 -

Spence Wilson, chairman of the board of Kemmons Wilson Companies, is the keynote speaker for the annual Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Awards to be held May 11 at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis.

71. New Haslam Spending Proposed for Roads, TennCare, Schools -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday proposed new spending on Tennessee roads, TennCare and schools.

The annual budget amendment reflects the governor's priorities for spending about $65 million in savings beyond what was originally projected for the budget year beginning July 1.

72. Dodging a Disaster With Volkswagen? -

Next month will mark five years since the first Passat rolled off the assembly line at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant. Most anniversaries are a cause for celebration.

But as Chattanoogans blow out the candles on this particular milestone they’ll be hoping that Volkswagen’s diesel emissions troubles will soon be extinguished, too, and that the new SUV model they’ll start producing this year will help VW emerge from the crisis a better and stronger company than before.

73. Stop Settling for Ordinary -

We live in a world of stiff competition with so much noise competing for consumer attention that it can be painfully difficult for brands to get noticed and stand apart from their competition.

That’s why the lion’s share of brands simply settle for being ordinary. It’s just easier. As football coaching legend Lou Holtz said, “In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.”

74. Sparks Fly In Nashville Over Deannexation -

The Tennessee Legislature’s debate about a proposed deannexation law isn’t a case of Memphis against the rest of the state.

It’s a debate within the Shelby County legislative delegation and with a few exceptions, most of the critics of the measure that would allow referendums to undo annexations that are in some cases 18 years old are Memphis legislators.

75. Tennessee House Approves Deannexation Bill -

The Tennessee House approved a deannexation bill Monday, March 14, in a 68-25 vote after an emotional debate and a tide of amendments that were all voted down on the floor.

Republican state Representative Mike Carter of Hamilton County also disputed Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s claim that the city of Memphis stands to lose approximately $80 million in sales and property tax revenues.

76. Anne Dixon Joins BRIDGES as CFO -

Anne Dixon has joined BRIDGES as vice president of finance and chief financial officer. Dixon, who is a Bridge Builders alumna, is responsible in her new role for financial reporting and analysis to help BRIDGES leadership in performing their responsibilities. 

77. Last Word: Hedgepeth Speaks, Josh Pastner's Future and Big Box Liquor -

Where else is there to begin but the Greensward controversy.
And we start with an email from Memphis City Council member Reid Hedgepeth in what is rapidly becoming a Last Word tradition and institution – the email in full.

78. Bill Would Open Door for Utilities to Expand Broadband -

Legislation to expand broadband access across Tennessee is evolving – by necessity.

State Rep. Kevin Brooks’ bill HB1303 to allow public utilities to provide Internet service outside their footprint is alive, he says, but it is being “argued vehemently.”

79. Reward Posted for Info On Agricenter Sign Vandalism -

A $2,500 reward is being offered for information about the second vandalism of the Agricenter International digital sign on Walnut Grove Road.

The sign was targeted by vandals this week with what appeared to be gunshots evident in the sign.

80. Neil Young, Paul Simon, Modest Mouse Top Beale Street Music Fest Lineup -

Neil Young, Beck, Paul Simon, Train and Modest Mouse are among the headliners for the 2016 Beale Street Music Festival, April 29-May 1, in Tom Lee Park.

81. Tuesday is Final Day Of Early Voting -

Early voting in advance of the March 1 presidential primaries election day could get close to or top 30,000 ballots on Tuesday, Feb. 23, the last day of the early voting period.

Through Saturday, 19,587 citizens had cast early ballots in Shelby County, according to the Shelby County Election Commission.

82. Senate Finance Committee Votes To Add 2 Open Records Jobs -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Senate Finance Committee has voted to approve funding for two new positions in Tennessee government to help clear a backlog of open record questions.

A recent comptroller's audit documented more than 600 open or pending cases where citizens or governments made requests to the Office of Open Records Counsel, which helps people obtain government records.

83. Drones Pose New Contraband, Smuggling Challenge For Prisons -

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Wily inmates and their associates on the outside are deploying drones to deliver drugs, cellphones, and other contraband to prison yards, leaving prison guards and correctional authorities trying to decide how to deal with the new technology.

84. Last Word: TN(not)Ready, Hatiloo Expands and Tax Season Advice -

So what do you do when the test-makers fail the test?

You go back to the old test in the case of the Tennessee Education Department and the TNReady tests.
These were the new tests for the new statewide student achievement standards that replaced Common Core standards.
They can only be taken online.
But the system crashed Monday, which was the day that all of the preparation in the last year was geared toward. That included two tests locally of the on-line capacity and other technical standards necessary to make this go smoothly.
Here is a good account of what happened statewide and locally with a few other stops across the state to take in the scope of how big a failure this was and what failed.

85. Last Word: A Turn Away From Mud Island, Capitol Hill Soap & Collierville Keeps FedEx -

Sometimes you get another story when you are pursuing a different story.

In this case, the quest was a simple one. Get a good basic idea of what the five companies interested in redeveloping Mud Island River Park are telling the Riverfront Development Corp. of their still-forming plans.
While going through the submissions, we had a talk with RDC president Benny Lendermon about the process and the interview moved pretty effortlessly into the Pyramid’s relationship to Mud Island.
It’s a natural follow-up given the history of past efforts to link up the two landmarks on different sides of the city harbor and the decidedly mixed results of those attempts. I might have been charitable there in describing the results as mixed.
That context led to a discussion about how the Pyramid is faring eight months into Bass Pro Shops' long-term lease in the reconfigured Pyramid.
When Lendermon said, “This probably isn’t a politically correct thing to say,” the interview turned topics and we followed it.
The result is, I think, at least something to consider and probably pretty provocative.
Judge for yourself.

86. Impatient Clemmons Anxious for Minority Voice to Be Heard -

Democratic state Rep. John Ray Clemmons is only halfway through his first two-year term representing District 55 in Nashville. But he’s not willing to wait years to speak out or push for change.

87. Tennessee Senate Votes to End Emissions Tests for New Cars -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday to end emissions testing in Tennessee for new cars, brushing aside concerns that relaxing standards might be a bad idea in light of the Volkswagen scandal.

88. The Week Ahead: Jan. 11, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from drones and robot research to the Grizzlies’ annual MLK symposium at the National Civil Rights Museum...

89. Haslam Dismissive of 'Cherry-Picked' UAW Victory -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — While the United Auto Workers is celebrating the end of its losing streak at foreign automakers in the South, Tennessee's Republican Gov. Bill Haslam was dismissive Monday of the significance of what he calls the union's "cherry-picked" win at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

90. Experts Predict Big Tenn. Revenue Growth This Year and Next -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Experts are predicting a large budget surplus in Tennessee in the current year, and more revenue growth in the next.

In presentations made to the State Funding Board on Friday, Robert Currey of the Legislature's Fiscal Review Committee had the most optimistic surplus projection of $422 million for the budget year ending June 30.

91. North Texas Could Never Upset the Vols, Right? -

No way Tennessee’s football team can lose Saturday’s homecoming game against North Texas, one of the worst teams in college football.

Right?

Tennessee (5-4) was a 40.5-point favorite early in the week coming off a 27-24 victory over South Carolina last Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

92. China-based Tile Company to Build $150M Tennessee Plant -

LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) — A China-based ceramic tile company has selected Lebanon, Tennessee, to build its first U.S. manufacturing facility and create 220 new jobs in Wilson County.

Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Body announced this week that Wonderful Group will invest $150 million in the facility.

93. Vote on Loosening Emissions Testing Awaits Tenn. Lawmakers -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are set to vote on loosening vehicle emissions testing requirements as soon as they return in January, undeterred by Volkswagen's recent admission that it had been gaming the tests already in place.

94. Koonce Joins Sedgwick Client Services -

Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. has added K. Max Koonce II as senior vice president of client services for its casualty retail business unit. Koonce, an attorney by trade, comes to Sedgwick from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., where he was senior director of risk management. He simultaneously served as president of Claims Management Inc., Wal-Mart’s wholly owned third-party administrator.

95. VW: 'Nothing Has Changed' at Tennessee Plant Despite Scandal -

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Inside Volkswagen's only U.S. assembly plant there's little hint of the diesel emissions cheating scandal embroiling the German automaker around the world. Sparks fly off robotic welding arms, new versions of the Passat sedan roll off the line and workers install equipment to build a new SUV billed as a key to reviving the company's growth prospects in America.

96. Public Outcry Kills Tennessee Bill to Charge for Public Records -

People of every political stripe across Tennessee are rising in protest to legislation allowing government to charge fees for inspection of public records.

Fisk University student Justin Jones said such a financial imposition would place an “undue burden” on his fellow collegians seeking information from public records as part of research papers and other assignments.

97. Tennessee Hearings Show Most Oppose New Public Records Charges -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Lawmakers are asking taxpayers to weigh in on a proposal to charge people to view public records, and the taxpayers' response so far is clear: No.

The meetings were organized by the state Office of Open Records Counsel at the behest of lawmakers who want to change the current law that allows custodians to charge for copies but not for simply inspecting records.

98. Hearings Scheduled on Proposed Changes to Tennessee Records Laws -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state Office of Open Records Counsel is holding a series of hearings this week about a proposal to make taxpayers pay to inspect public records in Tennessee.

99. Bona Fide -

When the Bona Fide Blues Festival takes a set of stages in Overton Square and the Cooper-Young neighborhood next month, it will mark a return that’s been a long time coming.

But it also will offer something new.

100. Carriage Ride -

Carriage Crossing is experiencing strong leasing activity and rising sales numbers as it prepares for multinational clothing retailer H&M to open its first Memphis-area location this month.

In recent months, the Collierville lifestyle center landed the H&M store, which the Swedish retailer says it plans to open Aug. 13, an Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse and a Hickory Tavern restaurant.