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Editorial Results (free)

1. 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.

2. Last Word: How Do You Get On The List, Sedgwick & Thornwood and Musicals -

Monday was Presidents Day and thus a holiday at City Hall. But for the occupant on City Hall’s top floor it was anything but a holiday. The list Memphis Police made for who has to have a uniformed police officer next to them to go anywhere in City Hall is turning into a controversy over possible surveillance of citizens participating in the last year or so of protests around the city.

3. 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.

4. Last Word: The List and Who Is On It, Lovell's Impact and Fountain Brook Recovers -

A list of 81 people who can’t come to City Hall without a police escort includes a lot of names from the last year of protests and marches in the city. And as the week begins, the list is under review by Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings at the request of Mayor Jim Strickland.

5. Lawmakers File Bills To Protect Memphis Aquifer -

State Sens. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, and Lee Harris, D-Memphis, have filed legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly that would set up a Memphis Sands Aquifer Regional Development Board to protect water supplies in West Tennessee.

6. Sexual Harassment Takes Stage in State Capitol Again -

NASHVILLE – Saying she was a victim of sexual harassment when she entered the Legislature, state Rep. Barbara Cooper is calling on tougher rules to stop inappropriate behavior toward women.

“When I first got here I was violated and disrespected by one or two of the legislators. And of course I did get an apology, but that’s all that was done. And I feel like if we have some strong measures in place, these kinds of things will not continue,” Cooper says.

7. Publicly Advancing -

WHEN PUBLIC GOES PRIVATE, WE HAVE IT BACKWARDS. My kids and I know more about public schools and public school innovation than our brand-new secretary of education and voucher poster girl, Betsy DeVos, and our own state senator and voucher poster boy, Brian Kelsey.

8. Lawmakers File Bills To Protect Memphis Aquifer -

State Sens. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, and Lee Harris, D-Memphis, have filed legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly that would set up a Memphis Sands Aquifer Regional Development Board to protect water supplies in West Tennessee.

9. TVA Drilling Controversy May Change Well Actions -

The controversy over Tennessee Valley Authority drilling water wells into the Memphis aquifer for the new TVA power plant in southwest Memphis is becoming a push for more public notice of such plans and better mapping of the water supply under the city.

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

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

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Last Word: Impasse Flashback, Pot Alliances in Nashville and The Age of Etsy -

The late 1970s – bell bottoms, punk rock, disco, that perpetual haze floating over those lucky enough to get the most expensive concert seats for as much as $10 each on the floor of the Mid-South Coliseum… and yes, the impasse ordinance.

14. 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.

15. Parkinson: Memphis School Voucher Bill ‘Unfair’ -

NASHVILLE – Rep. Antonio Parkinson lashed out Thursday at fellow Shelby County delegation member Sen. Brian Kelsey, calling his pilot voucher bill for Memphis schools “insulting, both personally and professionally.”

16. Last Word: De-Annexation Theories, Clash on School Vouchers and Garth & Trisha -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and his administration come up with some surprises in de-annexation recommendations to the city task force on the issue. The three most recently annexed areas of Memphis were considered likely to be in the recommendations. Although the indication last year was that this would take a lot of discussion before someone actually wrote that on a Power Point presentation at City Hall. Not only did Strickland do that – he also included four other areas.

17. Parkinson: Memphis School Voucher Bill ‘Unfair’ -

NASHVILLE – Rep. Antonio Parkinson lashed out Thursday at fellow Shelby County delegation member Sen. Brian Kelsey, calling his pilot voucher bill for Memphis schools “insulting, both personally and professionally.”

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

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

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

19. State Sens. Harris, Kelsey Critical of TVA Water Wells -

When Odell Johnson goes on business trips he looks forward to seeing water pumping plants in other cities that use surface water for drinking water.

Johnson is the manager for water and engineering operations at Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division. He made the comment Tuesday, Jan. 24, as his tour of the utility’s Sheahan Pumping Station served as a backdrop for the ongoing debate about the Tennessee Valley Authority’s change of plans to cool its new natural gas-fired power plant in southwest Memphis.

20. 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.

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

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

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

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

23. Tennessee Lawmakers Act on Balanced Budget Convention to Curb ‘Crippling’ National Debt -

Saying they can avoid a “runaway” convention for “crazy or radical ideas,” Republican state legislators are filing legislation calling for a convention of states in Nashville to adopt a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

24. 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.

25. Justin Timberlake-Inspired Selfie Bill in Play in Tennessee Legislature -

Pop star Justin Timberlake won’t have to worry about getting into trouble for taking selfies at the voting booth if legislation by a Memphis lawmaker passes.

Democratic state Rep. G.A. Hardaway, a 10-year veteran of the Legislature, was set to file a bill Tuesday, Jan. 10, removing the prohibition on photos at Tennessee voting precincts.

26. Tennessee Acts on Balanced Budget Convention to Curb ‘Crippling’ National Debt -

Saying they can avoid a “runaway” convention for “crazy or radical ideas,” Republican state legislators are filing legislation calling for a convention of states in Nashville to adopt a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

27. Presidential Election Tops Busy Year for Memphis Voters -

2016 was an eventful election year in Shelby County, ending with the most popular voting cycle in Shelby County politics: the U.S. presidential general election in November. Slightly more than 60 percent of the county’s voters cast a ballot either during early voting in October or on the Nov. 8 Election Day.

28. Kelsey Proposes $50M Sales Tax Shift to Memphis -

State Sen. Brian Kelsey of Memphis is proposing a shift in state sales tax revenue that could mean at least $50 million in additional sales tax revenue for the city of Memphis.

29. Last Word: Fred's Post Mortem, Karen Camper on Guns and Pentatonix at Calvary -

Who knew Fred’s could become probably the most complex local business story of the year? More post mortem on the $950 million deal announced this week in which the Memphis-based corporation bought 865 Rite Aid stores from Walgreens and Rite-Aid, who are working toward an acquisition and merger deal of their own.

30. Kelsey Proposes $50M Sales Tax Shift to Memphis -

State Sen. Brian Kelsey of Memphis is proposing a shift in state sales tax revenue that could mean at least $50 million in additional sales tax revenue for the city of Memphis.

31. Nashville, Memphis Respond Differently to Pot Ordinance Opinion -

A legal opinion from the Tennessee attorney general requested by two Shelby County legislators has again put Nashville city leaders in the lead as municipal marijuana ordinances enacted there and in Memphis have taken a turn toward the courts.

32. Fixin’ To Lose -

RED STATES. RED HERRINGS. Earlier this year, I wrote about laws our state Legislature passed in their last session to solve problems that didn’t exist.

Statistically, you and I are much more likely to be struck by lightning while in the next door bathroom stall to a transgender person who just committed voter fraud, or sitting between an outraged counselor or therapist and a same-sex couple carrying concealed weapons in a college chapel pew than we are to fall victim to anything the Legislature has proposed or passed laws to protect us against.

33. Last Word: FedEx Changes, The Blue Cross Exit and Armageddon -

Was that really autumn Monday or was the drop in humidity a prank to get the trees to drop their leaves?

The FedEx shareholder’s meeting Monday included some changes in the management chart at FedEx Corp. – more like some changes in the seating with one retirement by Mike Glenn, whose office is next to company founder Fred Smith.

34. Kustoff Victory Caps TV, Outsider Heavy Congressional Campaign -

Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff claimed the Republican nomination for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional district Thursday, Aug. 4, in a 15-county contest in which the eastern parts of Shelby County played a decisive role.

35. Kustoff Claims 8th GOP Primary, Todd Upset by Lovell, Jenkins Over Newsom -

Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff claimed the Republican nomination for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional district Thursday, Aug. 4, in a 15-county contest in which the eastern parts of Shelby County played a decisive role.

36. Huckabee, Santorum Offer Different Definitions of ‘Outsider’ -

The two Republican presidential contenders who carried Shelby County and took the state in the 2008 and 2012 Tennessee primaries came to Memphis this campaign season to talk about “the outsider.”

37. Crowded Race in 8th District GOP Primary Tops Thursday's Ballot -

Two days before the Thursday, Aug. 4, election day, state Rep. Curry Todd was arrested by Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies for removing a rival’s campaign signs in Collierville.

The arrest Tuesday on a warrant sworn out against Todd for theft is an indication of just how hard fought some of the races are in what is considered a minor election cycle in the shadow of the November presidential general election.

38. Last Word: Curry Todd, Crosstown Brewing and Cursive Comeback -

A word at the top of Last Word about campaign signs and what happens to some of them during a campaign.

There are a couple of sayings – bits of political wisdom by the judgment of some – that are uttered numerous times during every election season.

39. Last Word: Using the ACT, Murmuration and We Grow -

The superintendents of the Bartlett and Germantown school systems say they have a remedy to the testing complaints state education officials are grappling with.

David Stephens and Jason Manuel, of Bartlett and Germantown respectively, tell us on WKNO's Behind The Headlines that they support using the college ACT test for high school students in place of the end-of-course exams.

40. Santorum to Campaign With Kelsey in West Tenn. -

One-time Republican presidential contender and Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is in West Tennessee Tuesday, Aug. 2, to campaign with Republican 8th Congressional District primary contender Brian Kelsey.

41. Dark Money Ads Surface in 8th District Primary -

As Republicans were either at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland or watching it on TV last week, “dark money” entered the crowded Republican primary for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional district.

42. Funds Rolling In for 8th Congressional District Race -

Five of the six major contenders in the Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District raised a total of $1.8 million from Jan. 1 to June 30 going into the critical last month of the campaign.

43. Scramble in the 8th District -

You might call it the calm before the storm. The Aug. 4 election, for which early voting starts July 15, is calmer than usual for the election cycle before a November presidential general election – the only election that more than half of Shelby County voters regularly show up for.

44. Sentencing for Carjackings In Tennessee Rises July 1 -

July 1 marks the implementation of new laws in Tennessee, including legislation that requires any person convicted of carjacking to serve no less than 75 percent of the sentence imposed by the court, less any earned and retained sentence credits.

45. Sentencing for Carjackings In Tennessee Rises July 1 -

July 1 marks the implementation of new laws in Tennessee, including legislation that requires any person convicted of carjacking to serve no less than 75 percent of the sentence imposed by the court, less any earned and retained sentence credits.

46. 8th District Republican Contenders Highlight Differences -

Most of the 13 contenders in the August Republican primary in the 8th Congressional District agree on a lot. They think the country is going in the wrong direction. They believe the policies of a Democratic president are a factor in that, and they support Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

47. Bankers Association Hosting Free Political Forum June 14 -

The Mortgage Bankers Association of Memphis will host a free political forum on June 14 at the Agricenter International Amphitheater.

The purpose of the event is to introduce the public to candidates running for office in the 8th Congressional District so individuals can learn more about each candidate’s position on various issues.

48. Bankers Association Hosting Free Political Forum June 14 -

The Mortgage Bankers Association of Memphis will host a free political forum on June 14 at the Agricenter International Amphitheater.

The purpose of the event is to introduce the public to candidates running for office in the 8th Congressional District so individuals can learn more about each candidate’s position on various issues.

49. Legislature Votes to Reduce, Eventually Eliminate Hall Tax -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Legislature on Friday passed a measure that would reduce and eventually eliminate the Hall tax on investment income.

The Hall tax imposes a general levy of 6 percent on investment income, with some exceptions. Lawmakers agreed to reduce it down to 5 percent before eliminating it completely. They intend to pass future legislation reducing it by 1% each year before eliminating it completely by 2022.

50. Kustoff Opens Congressional Bid With 15 Stops -

Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff began his campaign for Congress Monday, April 11, with stops in Tipton County and Fayette County as well as East Memphis.

51. August Primaries Feature Intra-Party Challenges -

Two years after a disastrous slate of races for countywide offices, there is a move among younger Democratic partisans in Memphis to shake up the Democrats who represent the city in the Tennessee Legislature.

52. 8th Congressional District Primaries Draw 22 Contenders, 13 Republican -

The Republican primary race to fill the 8th District Congressional seat Republican incumbent Stephen Fincher is giving up drew a field of 13 contenders – seven from Shelby County and four from Jackson, Tennessee – at the Thursday, April 7, noon filing deadline for the Aug. 4 ballot.

53. Basar Out in 8th District Race, Luttrell Pulls Petition, Cohen Could Have Easy Ride -

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar has called off his plan to run in the crowded Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District, but Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has pulled his petition to join the same crowded field.

54. Bartlett Judicial Races Shifted To August Ballot -

The two municipal judges in Bartlett learned this week that they have races to run on the August ballot, not the November ballot they were scheduled to run on.

The addition of two races to the Aug. 4 Shelby County ballot comes two weeks before the April 7 filing deadline for the nonpartisan local races as well as the state and federal primary contests.

55. Politics of Deannexation Proposal Grows More Complex -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is heading to Nashville Wednesday, March 16, to talk with legislators about what he considers City Hall’s highest priority in the 2016 session of the Tennessee Legislature – defeating a deannexation proposal.

56. Strickland Makes Defeating Deannexation Bill Top Priority -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is downplaying but not ruling out a move toward local government consolidation as a response to a deannexation proposal in the Tennessee legislature.

57. Strickland Downplays Consolidation Response to Deannexation Bill -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is downplaying a move toward local government consolidation as a response to a deannexation proposal pending in the Tennessee legislature.

58. August Election Ballot Filling Out Ahead of April 7 Deadline -

The presidential contenders have moved on to other states and closed up their Memphis storefronts.

And the excitement of the national campaigns that burst into town all in one weekend just before the March 1 Tennessee primaries has shifted to the same frenetic political activity in other states.

59. Luttrell Exit for Congress Likely Would Not Lead to County Special Election -

There probably won’t be a special election for Shelby County mayor if current mayor Mark Luttrell gets elected to Congress later this year.

60. State Deannexation Bill Clears House Committee -

State legislation that would allow residents in certain sections of cities to self-initiate deannexation referendums has cleared a key hurdle in the Tennessee Legislature.

First introduced in February 2015, the bill moved through the state Senate committee process last year but stalled when the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee deferred it to 2016.

61. Tennessee Deannexation Bill Clears Key House Committee -

State legislation that would allow residents in certain sections of cities to self-initiate deannexation referendums has cleared a key hurdle in the Tennessee Legislature.

First introduced in February 2015, the bill moved through the state Senate committee process last year but stalled when the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee deferred it to 2016.

62. Luttrell Declares for Congressional Bid -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell announced Monday, Feb. 29, that he will be a candidate in the August Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District.

63. Thanks, But Go Save Someone Else -

COMING TO SAVE US IS STARVING US. We recently dodged the state Legislature’s latest effort to save us from ourselves, reaching into Shelby County to raise our poor and pitiful children from the depths of despair – Shelby County Schools.

64. Luttrell Could Impact 2 Races -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell made a few stops between his first thought this month that he might want to run for Congress and going public with those thoughts Tuesday, Feb. 23.

65. Last Word: Presidential Distractions, Dude Perfect and The Kirby Farm House -

When it comes to political surprises, the presidential contenders may be the next group on the ballot locally. But they need to up their game if they are going to hold the attention of Memphis voters.
With three of the Republican contenders on their way to Shelby County this weekend and probably more making plans, the attention Tuesday shifted dramatically to the open 8th District Congressional seat that isn’t on the ballot until the August primaries.

66. Luttrell Weighing Congressional Bid -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is considering a run for Congress and he expects to make his decision in the next week.

67. Senators Say Court Vacancy Is Next President’s Job -

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker told Shelby County Republicans over the weekend that they favor the next president appointing the successor to the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

68. Last Word: Presidents Day In An Election Year, Minority Business and Spring Training -

Presidents Day in a presidential election year.
Consider the political kaleidoscope of a foggy office-bound or home-bound Monday in Memphis with former President George W. Bush on the tube in the late afternoon defending his brother’s presidential campaign without once uttering the word Trump.
No further word of a Trump appearance promised for Memphis and some of Donald Trump’s own statements Monday suggested that by the time Memphis is on his schedule, he might be running as an independent.
Then there is the obsession in one corner of social media with Supreme Court history in rich detail.
And heads were turned Monday evening by the excerpt on the Grammys from the Broadway musical about Alexander Hamilton – a founding father born in the West Indies who established the nation’s financial system and the Federalist party. He never became a president, in part, because the vice president killed him. Hamilton wasn’t the only one who had been talking bad about Aaron Burr. The top of the ticket, President Thomas Jefferson, had decided to dump Burr from the ticket in the next election and Burr was trying to transition to become governor of New York.

69. Roland Passes on 8th District Congressional Bid -

Shelby County Commission chairman Terry Roland will not be running in the Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District in August.

70. Contenders Emerge for Fincher’s Seat -

The line for the 8th Congressional District seat began forming within half an hour of incumbent Stephen Fincher’s announcement Monday, Feb. 1, that he would not seek re-election in the August primaries.

71. Stephen Fincher Won't Seek Re-Election -

U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher announced Monday, Feb. 1, that he will not run for re-election in Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District.

The seventh-generation agribusiness leader from Frog Jump, Tenn., said in an email that he “never intended to become a career politician.”

72. Cutting taxes, school choice, tort reform drive Sen. Kelsey -

State Sen. Brian Kelsey calls himself “a proud conservative who likes to get results.”

73. County Commission Forms OPEB Committee -

Shelby County Commissioners have created an ad hoc committee to talk over the health insurance benefits liability of the former Memphis City Schools system and who is responsible for it.

Commission chairman Terry Roland announced Monday, Jan. 25, he had formed the committee, which includes leaders of the Shelby County Schools system and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell’s administration.

74. The Persecution of Jeremy Durham -

Inhumane and unfair: That’s the only way to describe the “liberal media’s” treatment of state Rep. Jeremy Durham over the last month.

75. Reaves: Memphis Should Pay Share of Schools Liability -

The Shelby County commissioner who sought a legal opinion over who pays $1.1 billion of Shelby County Schools’ benefits liability says he has more questions.

Commissioner David Reaves requested the opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery in December through state Sen. Brian Kelsey.

76. Let’s Not Forget -

BELL. BOWLING. CROWE. GARDENHIRE. KELSEY. NICELY. ROBERTS. AND NORRIS. As the Tennessee General Assembly gets going in 2016, let’s remember how they started 2015 – with the abandonment of common sense and decency and hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans.
The story of what they did bears repeating as a cautionary tale. If we let them do it again, we all bear responsibility.

77. Memphis City Schools Liability Questions Remain -

It’s been overshadowed by City Hall’s liability crisis of the last two years.

But who is ultimately responsible for more than $1 billion in liability for OPEB – other post employment benefits – of employees of the old Memphis City Schools system has been a question Shelby County government leaders have been pondering for some time.

78. Tenn. AG Opinion Raises Questions About $1B Schools Liability Shift -

A legal opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General’s office says the Shelby County Commission has to specifically vote to assume the indebtedness from employees benefits of the old Memphis City Schools system.

79. Events -

Safer Shelby Summit, a roundtable discussion of criminal justice reforms the Tennessee Legislature will consider this year, will be held Thursday, Jan. 7, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Wade Auditorium at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, 1 N. Front St. State Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Brian Kelsey has invited local leaders to participate.

80. Bid to Adjust Tennessee Senate Schedule Leads to Grumbling -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Some state Senate Republicans are grumbling about an effort to have the upper chamber's committees meet on an additional day during the upcoming legislative session, saying the change would allow less time to attend receptions and to prepare for other meetings.

81. Refugees, Regents, Privatization On Tap for New Session -

State Sen. Ken Yager isn’t quite ready for the state of Tennessee to reclaim the Refugee Resettlement Program from Catholic Charities.

82. School Choice Bills to Highlight Next Legislative Session -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Supporters of school choice say they plan to push for proposals that they argue allow parents to play a stronger role in how their children are educated in the legislative session that begins in January.

83. Kelsey Proposes No Parole For Especially Aggravated Burglary -

State Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown will introduce legislation to bar parole for those convicted of especially aggravated burglary.

84. Kelsey Proposes No Parole For Especially Aggravated Burglary -

State Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown will introduce legislation to bar parole for those convicted of especially aggravated burglary.

85. Civil Asset Forfeiture: 'It's a State License to Steal' -

The drugs in Kathy Stiltner’s car were over-the-counter antacids. The $12,000 in cash was from an inheritance. Still, police took the money – quite legally – and are still fighting to keep it, even after the drug charge was dropped.

86. Kasich Makes Fundraising Stops in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said Tuesday that his visit to Tennessee is aimed at avoiding having to scramble for support in the state's March 1 primary if he emerges as a strong contender from the earliest contests.

87. 8 Tennessee Lawmakers Sign on as Marco Rubio Delegates -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio's list of Tennessee delegates includes former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, state House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick and state Sens. Brian Kelsey and Jack Johnson.

88. 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.

89. Haslam: Hall Tax Break Competes With Other Budget Priorities -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam agrees with fellow Republicans' criticism of the Hall income tax on earnings from stocks and bonds in Tennessee, but argues that the state must balance efforts to do away with the levy with other funding needs in areas like education, roads and health care.

90. Ramsey Clear in Push to Politicize Supreme Court -

Republican Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey has a penchant for igniting flames of partisanship, and the retirement of Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade is no exception.

91. Officials: Timing of Tenn. Supreme Court Justice Vote Unclear -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A new judicial amendment to the state constitution has left an open question about when voters will get a chance to decide on a new Supreme Court justice.

Justice Gary Wade is retiring from the Tennessee Supreme Court to become dean of the Duncan School of Law at Lincoln Memorial University, he told WBIR-TV. He leaves the bench in September, just one year into an eight-year judicial term.

92. Tenn. Lawmakers Can't Agree on Mechanism to Reject Judges -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – State lawmakers concluded the legislative session without an agreement on how they would go about exerting their newfound power to reject gubernatorial nominations to fill judicial vacancies.

93. House, Senate Can't Agree on Mechanism to Reject Judges -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state House and Senate have failed to agree on a method for rejecting the governor's nominations for judicial vacancies.

In one of the final acts of this year's legislative session on Wednesday night, the Senate voted 4-1 with 27 abstentions on the measure sponsored by Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown. That means the Legislature won't be able to act on the bill until next year.

94. Parent Trigger Proposal Fails This Session -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal that would make it easier for parents to convert struggling public schools into charter schools has failed this session.

Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown, the sponsor of the measure, asked Monday for the Senate Finance Committee to place the legislation on its calendar for next year. It failed last year, and the year before.

95. Pray Tell -

PRAYING FOR TENNESSEE. This being Easter week, let’s open with a prayer. Aren’t we all Christians – at least all of us who matter – and in Tennessee, the Promised Land?

96. Lee Harris, Brian Kelsey Spend Lunch Hour in Twitter Debate -

State Senators Brian Kelsey and Lee Harris spent their lunch hour Friday, March 27, debating Insure Tennessee, school vouchers and gun rights in a Twitter debate between the two Shelby County legislators – Kelsey a Republican and Harris a Democrat.

97. Understanding Obamacare -

Talk to almost any business owner, whether theirs is a boutique retail operation or sprawling corporate office, and a two-pronged refrain quickly begins to repeat itself: Health care costs are one of the biggest, if not the biggest, slices of our budget.

98. Is ‘Getting Rid of Public Schools’ Legislature’s Goal? -

Are Tennessee’s public schools headed for extinction? Not if it’s up to Memphis teachers.

A group from Shelby County recently packed a House committee meeting room at the Legislative Plaza in an effort to turn back bills they consider damaging to their profession and the future of public education.

99. First At Last -

TENNESSEE. FIRST AT LAST. That’s our new slogan. Time to own it. Some of you, my faithful readers, tell me I should be more positive about our prospects as a state. Look at the circus in Nashville – and remember how much fun I had at the circus as a kid, how hard I laughed at the clowns. Watch our march backwards, our retreat from progress – and think of it as a parade, marvel at how the marchers stay in lockstep with their eyes so firmly closed, applaud their speed and coordination.

100. Bill Requiring Racial Profiling Ban Passes Tennessee Senate -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state Senate approved legislation on Monday that would require all of Tennessee's law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies to ban racial profiling.