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Editorial Results (free)

1. Last Word: Graceland Opens Vigil, Hunt-Phelan For Sale and Southern Heritage -

After two years of making the Elvis candlelight vigil more about who paid and getting people in line, Graceland said Wednesday the vigil will return to being a free event next August – no admission, no buying packages that include the vigil. The timing on this is interesting coming about two weeks after the 2018 edition of the vigil.

2. Leadership Holes in State Legislature -

With apologies to Robert Zimmerman, “the times they are a-changing.”

Unlike Bob Dylan’s 1964 song of rebellion, Capitol Hill isn’t turning into a bed of liberals, although someday the first could be last. In fact, it could turn more conservative this fall before things take a different direction. But leadership down the line in both parties is due for a big turnover.

3. Karl Dean Pledges Commitment to Completing Megasite -

Pointing at the need to bolster distressed West Tennessee counties, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean is pledging to complete the Memphis Regional Megasite and appoint an adviser to oversee the project.

4. It’s Lee’s to Win Unless He Makes a Rookie Mistake -

When Bill Lee drove a tractor through tiny Eagleville last October, hardly anyone noticed. Only a handful of supporters milled around in the parking lot of the Farmers Co-op in southwest Rutherford County that morning where Lee spent a few minutes talking to people inside the store before emerging to ride to another town as part of a statewide tour, a precursor to an RV ride he would take later in the Republican primary race.

5. Last Word: MIM Numbers, Feeding 700 Teenagers and Elvis Week Arrives -

The honored country tradition of the Memphis In May International Festival is one of those things that gets called into question whenever there is some thought about changes to the city’s biggest party. And the keepers of the festival’s flame always defend the tradition against the notion that they should just go straight to the party and not worry about anything profound.

6. Harris Claims County Mayor, Democrats Sweep Other Countywide Offices -

State Sen. Lee Harris easily beat County Trustee David Lenoir to become the next Shelby County mayor in the Thursday, Aug. 2, county general election, leading a Democratic resurgence in county politics.

7. Harris Elected County Mayor, Bonner as Sheriff -

State Sen. Lee Harris easily beat County Trustee David Lenoir to become the next Shelby County mayor in the Thursday, Aug. 2, county general election, leading a Democratic resurgence in county politics.

8. Primaries For Governor Move to Contentious End -

Randy Boyd has heard the saying about a race for elected office being a marathon and not a sprint. And he agrees. The Republican contender for Tennessee governor is also a marathon runner who has run 36 of the races.

9. In His Final Months as Tennessee Governor, Haslam Reflects on His Education Legacy -

While Gov. Bill Haslam entered office as an education-minded leader intent on reforms, much of his administration’s K–12 public school work has focused on holding the line on sweeping policies launched under his predecessor.

10. With Rough GOP Primary, Tennessee Dems See Governor's Race Chance -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — While the Republicans in contention for Tennessee governor spend big to sort out who is most devoted to President Donald Trump, the two leading Democratic hopefuls recently stood side-by-side at a debate and, for an hour, pretty much agreed.

11. Democratic Candidates For Governor at Town Hall Friday -

The Shelby County Democratic Party will host a Democratic Primary Gubernatorial Town Hall Friday July 27, at 6 p.m. at Fairley High School, 4950 Fairley Road.

It will feature Democratic primary candidates for governor, Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh, and will be moderated by Tajuan Scott Stout Mitchell. Candidates will discuss their views on a variety of issues that affect Tennessee.

12. Democratic Candidates For Governor at Town Hall Friday -

The Shelby County Democratic Party will host a Democratic Primary Gubernatorial Town Hall Friday July 27, at 6 p.m. at Fairley High School, 4950 Fairley Road.

13. Turnout Growing With 2 Days to Vote Before Aug. 2 -

With two days left in the early voting period, 63,244 citizens had cast ballots in Shelby County in advance of the Aug. 2 election day. The last day of the early voting period is Saturday, July 28.

14. Tennessee GOP Governor's Race Turns to Spat Over Trump, Immigration -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Loyalty to President Donald Trump tops the Republican checklist in the governor's race in Tennessee, right up there with championing gun rights and low taxes and decrying abortion.

15. 2 Dems Give Final Debate Pitch Before Tennessee Gov Primary -

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Two leading Democratic candidates for Tennessee governor were largely in agreement on the issues during their final debate Sunday night before the Aug. 2 primary.

16. Democrats, Republicans Release Endorsement Ballots -

A group of Democrats including former U.S. representative Harold Ford Sr. is preparing to mail and distribute at the polls 60,000 endorsement ballots at no cost to the Democratic contenders on the ballot.

17. Shelby County Early Voting Tops 4,300 -

A total of 4,324 citizens had voted early through Monday, July 16, the last day of the 14-day voting period confined to five sites. Early voting expanded Tuesday to 22 additional sites across Shelby County.

18. Early Opening -

Early voting in advance of the Aug. 2 Election Day opens Friday, July 13, at five locations across Shelby County. On Tuesday, 22 additional sites will be open through July 28. Between the Shelby County Election Commission and Chancery Court there were three other sets of early-voting locations and hours in a three-week period before Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins signed off Tuesday afternoon on a fourth set.

19. What Do Statewide Candidates Say About Education in Tennessee? -

Gov. Bill Haslam and the General Assembly have invested in education during the last eight years. Has that been a good investment and should it continue? What do the candidates propose for the next four to eight years?

20. Last Word: Kyle Anderson's Apartment Search, Tate vs. Robinson and Finding Capital -

Keedran Franklin, an activist who has been a visible part of the rise in local protests and other actions over the last two years or so is free on bond pending a first court appearance Monday morning after being arrested by Memphis Police on a variety of misdemeanor and felony charges Friday night.

21. Fitzhugh Challenges Dean’s 'Pragmatism' -

Democratic contender for Tennessee governor Craig Fitzhugh is challenging the idea of rival Democrat Karl Dean’s “pragmatic” view of coexisting as governor with Republican supermajorities in the state House and Senate.

22. District 99 State Rep. Ron Lollar Dead at 69 -

State Rep. Ron Lollar, R-Bartlett, who had served Northeast Shelby County in the state Legislature since 2006, died Friday morning in his sleep. He was 69 years old.

Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald, who was at Lollar’s house, was among several people who confirmed the representative’s death in the early morning hours.

23. Diane Black Proud of Unfavorable Ratings With ‘Far Left’ -

Republican contender for Tennessee governor U.S. Rep. Diane Black drew the endorsement of the American Conservative Union as she spoke at the national group’s Memphis forum Monday, July 2, on jobs and the economy.

24. Floodgates Burst On Attacks In Tennessee Gop Governor’s Race -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The floodgates have burst on attack ads in Tennessee's Republican gubernatorial primary.

New TV ads keep hitting the airwaves after U.S. Rep. Diane Black's commercial this week that labeled former state economic development chief Randy Boyd and businessman Bill Lee as moderates. All four leading Republican contenders have touted their conservative credentials throughout the campaign, and now Black and Boyd are trying to pick each other's claims apart.

25. Enthusiasm Not Enough to Turn Tennessee Blue -

Tennessee’s legislative Democrats are eternally optimistic. They don’t have much choice but to look on the bright side with 75-24 and 28-5 deficits in the House and Senate.

So when they put a nearly full slate of candidates on the ticket for November’s general election – about 110 districts – and say they’ve got a good chance of picking up seats, they almost have to be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.

26. Last Word: County Budget Compromise, MEM After 5 Years and Elvis -

There is nothing like the end of a term for those holding elected office. That’s what gets most of the credit for the Shelby County commission’s smooth ending to its budget season Monday. A final reading of the revised county property tax rate of $4.05 still awaits. But the commission went a long way toward locking that in with the approval of everything else at the Monday session.

27. What Do Statewide Candidates Say About Health Care in Tennessee? -

According to Think Tennessee’s State of Our State dashboard, the state ranks near the bottom in the number of adults with heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It also ranks near the bottom of all states for the health of senior citizens, infant mortality, number of adults who smoke, and at the absolute bottom in childhood obesity. Tennesseans are, on the whole, not healthy. What can and should our next political leaders do about it?

28. Last Word: Bird Is The Word, Governors Quartet and Charlie Morris's Secret -

Former Vice President Joe Biden plays the Orpheum Friday evening. Maybe that isn't the right way to put it -- unless there's a drum solo no one is talking about. Free Bird?

I'll take it as further evidence of the new American politics that is evolving and is far from settled at this point. Politicians do paid speaking gigs all the time. And at times it is controversial. But the gigs are usually some kind of speaking fee to make remarks at a corporate function -- not selling individual tickets on line. This is ostensibly to promote Biden's new book and book deals and politicians go way back. But in a lot of cases, those are free events in a book store. When Biden was last here, it was as vice president at the Norfolk Southern intermodal rail yard in Rossville.

29. TBA Gubernatorial Forum Focuses on Criminal Justice Reform -

Four of the major contenders for Tennessee governor told the annual convention of the Tennessee Bar Association Thursday, June 14, that they each favor keeping the state attorney general a position appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

30. Fitzhugh Seeks Opinion On Tyson Foods Complex -

The same day that local elected officials and others broke ground on a new Tyson Foods complex in Humboldt, Tennessee, state House Democratic leader Rep. Craig Fitzhugh sought a legal opinion from the Tennessee attorney general on the regulation of such plants.

31. Fitzhugh Seeks Legal Opinion on Tyson Foods Complex -

The same day that local elected officials and others broke ground on a new Tyson Foods complex in Humboldt, Tennessee, state House Democratic leader Rep. Craig Fitzhugh sought a legal opinion from the Tennessee attorney general on the regulation of such plants.

32. If Only Legislators Could Focus on Important Issues -

A year-old law enabling Tennessee colleges and universities to keep secret the “proprietary” fees they pay money managers for handling risky investments is likely to be reviewed this year.

33. Tennessee Candidate: Florida Students Used as Anti-Gun Props -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican candidate for Tennessee governor Bill Lee is claiming that the "liberal media," teachers unions and the "far-left lobby" have used students who survived the deadly Florida school shooting as "props to push their anti-gun agenda," saying he's sickened by it.

34. Two Shots Didn’t Phase Lawmakers in Jack Daniel’s Case -

When Van Halen front man David Lee Roth opened a bottle of Jack Daniel’s on stage back in the ’80s, the last thing he thought about was taxes and court appeals when he took a big swig of whiskey.

35. What Do Statewide Candidates Say About Rural Tennessee? -

Like most of America, Tennessee’s metropolitan areas have prospered during the last eight years, while the rural areas have lagged in almost every measure. The state has 19 of its 95 counties classified as “distressed.” What can and should we do to give every Tennessean a chance to succeed?

36. Tenn. Legislature Breaks TNReady Gridlock, Adjourns Session -

NASHVILLE – The House and Senate broke gridlock Wednesday night on problems stemming from the results of troubled TNReady testing by passing legislation saying no “adverse action” would be taken against teachers, students or schools for poor test scores.

37. Lawmakers Honor Man Hailed as Hero in Waffle House Attack -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The man who snatched an AR-15 rifle away from a gunman at a Tennessee restaurant told Tennessee lawmakers Tuesday he faced "the true test of a man," drawing a standing ovation during his brief address.

38. Early Vote in Shelby County Primaries Tops 20,000 So Far -

More than 20,000 voters cast ballots early through Saturday, April 21, in advance of the May 1 election, more than half in the Democratic county primaries.

According to the Shelby County Election Commission numbers, 12,001 of the 20,717 early voters cast their ballots in the Democratic primaries and 8,716 voted early in the Republican primaries through the last weekend of the period.

39. Local, State and Federal Election Cycles Blend On Last Weekend of Early Voting -

Candidates in the August and November elections were out on the last weekend of early voting in Shelby County in advance of the May 1 election day for county primaries.

The events were a mix of candidates from all three elections on the calendar in 2018.

40. Effort to Expand Medicaid in Tennessee Fails -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Another effort to expand Tennessee's Medicaid program has failed after the state's Republican-dominated House refused to support an amendment on a bill on insurance coverage for certain cancer patients.

41. What Statewide Candidates Say About Opioid Crisis, Public Safety -

The spread of opioid abuse claimed over 1,600 lives in Tennessee in 2016, and it is getting worse. Methamphetamine abuse, while not getting the headlines, has increased. Gun violence and murder is increasing. What proposals do our candidates have to help Tennesseans address these public safety issues?

42. Candidates for Governor Give Millions to Their Own Campaigns -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee candidates for governor are raising millions of dollars in contributions, but the big money is coming from the contenders themselves.

A state campaign finance disclosure report filed this week shows that Republicans Diane Black and Bill Lee had the most in contributions this quarter – each around $3.3 million.

43. Three Incumbents Unopposed at August Primary Ballot Deadline -

Three incumbent Democratic state House members in the Shelby County delegation to the Tennessee Legislature were effectively re-elected Thursday, April 5, at the noon deadline for candidates in the Aug. 2 state and federal primaries to file their qualifying petitions.

44. Three Incumbents Unopposed at August Primary Ballot Filing Deadline -

Three incumbent Democratic state House members in the Shelby County delegation to the Tennessee Legislature were effectively re-elected Thursday, April 5, at the noon deadline for candidates in the Aug. 2 state and federal primaries to file their qualifying petitions.

45. Lawmakers See Conspiracy In UT Board Alterations -

It’s not that hard to light a fire under some state lawmakers, but the University of Tennessee FOCUS Act raised blood pressure considerably in the House of Representatives before barely passing with 51 votes.

46. What Do Statewide Candidates Say About Infrastructure Investment? -

Is investment in public infrastructure important? And should Tennessee have more dedicated revenue sources to pay for construction and maintenance of infrastructure across the state, or is the existing tax structure – primarily the state tax on fuel, and wheel taxes – sufficient to pay for what Tennessee needs to sustain and grow its economy?

47. Dems Need Viable Candidates to Catch Blue Wave -

Republicans called it the “kickoff” to what they hope will be a great election season.

Democrats are downplaying a lopsided loss in the 14th Senate District special election, saying it won’t represent results later this year in President Donald Trump’s midterm.

48. Dean: ‘It’s Kind of Our Turn’ in Governor’s Race -

Democratic contender for governor Karl Dean is pushing hard the idea that Democrats can win one of the two statewide races on the Tennessee ballot this year.

49. Civil War Re-Enactor Outflanked On Statues, Medicaid Expansion -

When state Rep. Steve McDaniel was a youngster he often read the historical marker at the intersection of Highway 22 and Wildersville Road detailing Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s first West Tennessee raid in the Battle of Parker’s Crossroads.

50. Governor Hopefuls Largely OK With TennCare Work Requirements -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee's candidates for governor said Tuesday that they are largely supportive of proposed TennCare work requirements, but some of them expressed concerns about possible costs and bureaucracy.

51. Governor Hopeful's Group to Manage Minor League Ballclub -

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A company owned by Tennessee candidate for governor Randy Boyd will manage day-to-day operations of another minor league baseball team.

52. Pre-K Expansion Faces Resistance in Push for Sunday Wine Sales -

NASHVILLE – Legislation sending revenue from Sunday wine sales to prekindergarten expansion faces a battle on several fronts when it reaches a committee in early March.

The bill sponsored by state Sen. Lee Harris is designed to take the state tax dollars from the sale of wine on Sundays, if that separate bill passes this session, and divert it to a fund designed to increase access for low-income children to prekindergarten classrooms in Tennessee. The bill is set to be heard March 6 in the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

53. Bredesen: U.S. Senate Win Possible For Democrats -

The last Democrat to win statewide elected office in Tennessee eight years ago acknowledges times have changed.

“The Democratic brand is damaged in Tennessee,” former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said last week in Memphis. “The Republican percentage has stayed the same over the last decade. What’s changed is people have abandoned the Democrats and started calling themselves independents.”

54. Last Word: Closing the Loophole, Skeleton Hotel Update and Jubilee Conversion -

The state legislator who sponsored the most recent version of the law making it much more difficult to remove Confederate monuments acknowledges that the city of Memphis found a legitimate loophole in the 2016 law he crafted. Republican Steve McDaniel, of Parkers Crossroads, tells our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard that he has a bill in the House to close the loophole. But it won't undo what happened here. Although there is still a court fight over that taking shape.

55. Tenn. Governor Candidates Talk Transparency, Medicaid and Megasite -

Five of the seven major contenders in the 2018 Tennessee governor’s race called for more transparency in government but said there are questions about when to disclose information about companies seeking to locate or expand in Tennessee.

56. 9:30 a.m.: Live-Stream the Tennessee Gubernatorial Forum -

The Tennessee Press Association holds a forum Thursday, Feb. 1, in Nashville featuring the announced candidates for Tennessee governor. The live stream – moderated by Eric Barnes, publisher of The Daily News and TPA president – starts at 8:30 a.m., and the forum is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

57. MEGA HYPE -

In physics the larger an atom is, the more polarizing it can become. The same can be said of real estate development. So it’s not surprising that something referred to as a megasite can incite a range of opinions that are as vast as the site itself.

58. Last Word: Risks by Race, ASD Changes in Frayser and Binghampton Style -

African-American children are more likely to die after surgery than white children, according to a new study by researchers at UTHSC and Le Bonheur. The researchers found that in every category that goes into determining the chance of dying, the risk for white children was overestimated and underestimated for black children. And the dynamics of the risk work differently by race. The conclusion is race-specific models on the issue work better than non race specific models.

59. Immigrant Tuition Splits Tennessee Governor's Field in Forum -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Candidates for governor in Tennessee largely agreed on broad issues facing education during the race's first televised forum Tuesday, except for a partisan split on in-state tuition for immigrants whose parents brought or kept them in the country illegally.

60. Medicaid Expansion Splits Tenn. Governor Hopefuls in Health Forum -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A health care forum Friday illustrated the partisan split in the Tennessee governor's race over Medicaid expansion, with Democrats ranking it their top priority and Republicans opposing it or espousing other priorities.

61. Despite Need, Expanding Health Care Not in Cards -

Springfield resident Felicity Palma struggled mightily when she moved to Tennessee from Florida two years ago after suffering health problems and losing her job.

The 47-year-old former social worker became homeless for a period when she came here, and now she finds herself in a health insurance coverage gap as she tries to get treatment for ulcers, sciatica, fibroids and thyroid disease. Debt is piling up on her, too, for the care she does receive.

62. Tennessee House Speaker Proposes Medicaid Work Requirements -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has filed legislation to pursue TennCare work requirements for able-bodied adults without young children.

63. Getting Shovel Ready -

Candidates for various state-level offices up for grabs in the 2018 elections used the Southwest Tennessee Development District’s annual legislative luncheon in Jackson, Tennessee, last week to share their West Tennessee-centric campaign promises.

64. Black Steps Down as US House Budget Chair Amid Governor Bid -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Diane Black announced Wednesday that she is stepping down as House Budget Committee chairwoman, but will remain in Congress as she runs for governor of Tennessee.

65. 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.

66. Haslam Considering Changes to UT Board of Trustees -

Gov. Bill Haslam is considering reducing the number University of Tennessee Board of Trustees members and trimming the number of finalists presented for top leadership positions in the UT system, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally has confirmed.

67. Poll: Tennessee Voters More Moderate Than Some Think -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennesseans are more moderate than their neighbors think they are, and their views of Congress and President Donald Trump have soured some in the past few months, according to a Vanderbilt University poll released Thursday.

68. 4 Governor Candidates Won’t Release Tax Returns -

Four of the seven major candidates for Tennessee governor are declining to release details of their federal income tax returns.

The Tennessean newspaper asked the five Republicans and two Democrats in the race for copies of their federal tax filings. U.S. Rep. Diane Black and fellow Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell provided financial summaries, and Democrat Craig Fitzhugh released his 2016 tax return.

69. 4 Tennessee Governor Candidates Won't Release Tax Returns -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Four of the seven major candidates for Tennessee governor are declining to release details of their federal income tax returns.

The Tennessean newspaper asked the five Republicans and two Democrats in the race for copies of their federal tax filings. U.S. Rep. Diane Black and fellow Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell provided financial summaries, and Democrat Craig Fitzhugh released his 2016 tax return.

70. Despite Massive Turnover, GOP Owns Legislature -

2018 will be a year of change for the Tennessee General Assembly, and 2019 will bring even more, especially in leadership – much depending on the popularity of President Donald Trump.

Not only is the Legislature moving to the Cordell Hull Building, vacating the Legislative Plaza after 45 years or so, a number of legislative faces are changing, too, even before next year’s election.

71. Black Launches Latest Broadside in Tennessee Governor's Race -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Diane Black's gubernatorial campaign is taking aim at Republican rival Randy Boyd, launching a broadside Tuesday at the former member of Gov. Bill Haslam's Cabinet for everything from his running attire to what the congresswoman decries as his moderate record.

72. Democrats Hope Bredesen Run Will Reinvigorate Party -

Tennessee Democrats are canvassing the state to find candidates at every political level, but their next star is a well-known veteran who has people of all political stripes holding their breath.

Phil Bredesen, the former mayor of Nashville and a two-term governor, could alter the landscape of Tennessee politics if he enters the race for U.S. Senate to fill the void by departing Republican Sen. Bob Corker in 2018.

73. Last Word: Bonus For the Head Tiger, Brooks Downtown? and Harris Runs -

A $100,000 bonus from the University of Memphis board of trustees for U of M president David Rudd at Wednesday’s trustees meeting. The bonus is from private funds raised by the university foundation. The board also approved a paid parental leave policy – specifically the funding for that policy. And it reviewed scaled-back plans for the $30 million new rec center for students that will incorporate some of the existing rec center.

74. State Politicians in No Hurry to Fix Health Insurance -

We don’t need no stinkin’ special session on Medicaid expansion.

That’s pretty much the Republican response to House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh’s call for Gov. Bill Haslam to bring lawmakers back to Nashville after the Graham-Cassidy bill failed in Congress.

75. Dean: Economic Development More Difficult in Memphis -

It’s a story that former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean tells just about every place in the state he goes in his campaign to be the state’s next governor.

76. GOP Candidates for Tennessee Governor Uneasy About Gas Tax -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The ink may be dry on a new state law that boosts funding for road projects through Tennessee's first gas tax hike in 28 years, but that doesn't mean all Republicans running for governor are happy with it.

77. ‘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.

78. GOP's Bill Lee Calls for More School Choice in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee is voicing support for more school choice in Tennessee, an issue that has divided lawmakers within his own party.

Debate over the introduction of vouchers to provide parents with public money to pay for private school tuition has roiled the Tennessee General Assembly in recent years. Even limited proposals have been defeated by a bipartisan coalition of urban and rural lawmakers who fear they would siphon money away from public schools.

79. A Million Reasons Not to Jump Into the Tennessee Governor’s Race -

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mae Beavers is banking on the idea wealthy candidates won’t be able to buy voters in 2018.

80. Last Word: The Orange Mound Way, Midtown Apartments and 'I Am A Man' Plaza -

First day of school redux on Tuesday for students in Memphis Catholic Schools and it is a half-day. The first day of classes in most of the county’s other schools Monday went smoothly. Shelby County Schools reports more than 6,000 students registered on the first day of school despite another concerted effort at numerous events to register students in advance. That’s in a school system of approximately 96,000 students.

81. Democrat Craig Fitzhugh Joins Race for Tennessee Governor -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Democrat Craig Fitzhugh is joining the race for Tennessee governor.

82. Last Word: School Days, MLGW Moves Off Beale and Room For Peter Pan To Fly -

The K-12 school year begins Monday for most of Shelby County including the state’s largest public school system right here. Some schools have started earlier and some start later. So remember that in your daily travels going forward even if you don’t have school age children.

83. Boyd Says Luttrell Endorsement is ‘Partnership’ -

Republican contender for Tennessee governor Randy Boyd says his endorsement this week by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is more like a partnership.

84. Luttrell to Join Boyd At Campaign Appearance -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell makes a campaign appearance Wednesday, July 26, with Republican candidate for Tennessee governor Randy Boyd.

85. Dean Touts ‘Middle Of the Road’ Focus For Democrats -

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is making exactly the same observation in his bid for the Democratic nomination for Tennessee governor that Republicans are making on their side of the 2018 race.

86. Legislature Losing Some Powerful, Familiar Members -

A shakeup in leadership is looming for the state Legislature, though it may portend more of a change in personalities than party strength.

In the House, longtime Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, the affable Democrat from Ripley in West Tennessee, is preparing for a 2018 gubernatorial run, a move that would knock him out of his House seat, at least temporarily, and the position as Democratic Caucus leader.

87. Democrat Karl Dean Raises $1.2M for Tennessee Gov's Campaign -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean raised $1.2 million through the first half of the year for his bid for Tennessee governor, the Democrat's campaign announced Thursday.

88. Medicaid Cuts Could Hit Rural Children Hardest -

As Congress fiddles with an Obamacare replacement, one likely to cut billions in Medicaid spending, health care experts warn a decrease in funding could be hard on Tennessee.

During a recent forum in Jackson, Andy Schneider of the Georgetown Center on Children and Families reported that 50 percent of Tennessee’s children in small towns and rural areas are covered by Medicaid, a higher percentage than the rest of the nation, and more than in Tennessee’s urban areas where 39 percent have Medicaid.

89. Green Drops Gubernatorial Bid After Failed Trump Nomination -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican state Sen. Mark Green announced Friday that he will not resume his bid for Tennessee governor after withdrawing from consideration as President Donald Trump's pick for Army secretary.

90. Green Puts Off Public Announcement of Gubernatorial Plans -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican state Sen. Mark Green has made up his mind about whether to rejoin the governor's race in Tennessee, but he doesn't want to make his decision public until later this week.

91. Tennessee House Democrat Announces He Will Retire in 2018 -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee House Democratic lawmaker has announced he will retire next year at the end of this Republican-led General Assembly.

In a letter to supporters Friday, Rep. Joe Pitts of Clarksville said he's retiring to allow another citizen legislator experience the excitement of helping constituents.

92. Haslam Credits Republican Leadership for Budget, Economic Accomplishments -

With the legislative session finished, Gov. Bill Haslam is touting budget accomplishments and a strong economy as the result of Republican leadership.

In a Capitol Hill press conference shortly after the General Assembly adjourned for the year, the governor called passage of a $37 billion budget, the second consecutive one with no new debt, as the Legislature’s most important act.

93. Last Word: Deeper on Beale, End of Session and Johnny Mathis -

Beale Street keeps its cover charge on Saturday nights during its Memphis In May peak. But the district has some complex questions to resolve about its future and who controls that future. If that wasn’t evident before, it became apparent at City Hall Tuesday. It wasn’t the council action on the Beale Street Bucks program that was significant as much as it was the council’s discussion.

94. View From the Hill: Gas Tax Rancor Lingers as Session Coasts to Close -

Remnants of rancor over Republican leadership roiled the House, a reminder of outrage over roguish behavior as representatives reached the finish line.

Alliteration is probably better suited for poetry. But in a case of what could be considered poetic justice, at least for some, this literary device – goofiness maybe – is suitable for legislative action requiring a score card to keep up with the characters and a bit of history to put it all together.

95. House Approves Education Fund Concept, But Senate Action Put on Hold -

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh pushed his K-12 education fund to passage Tuesday, May 9, but the possibility of funding and Senate approval will have to wait until 2018.

Dubbed the “K-12 Block Grant Act,” the measure calls for setting aside $250 million in excess state revenue for interest-generating investment to provide grant money for school systems statewide. Each system could use the funds for state-approved programs such as reading coaches or dual enrollment, items not funded through Tennessee’s Basic Education Program.

96. Tennessee House Abandons Amendments Before Approving State Budget -

Putting a day of acrimony behind it, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $37 billion budget plan on Friday, May 5, stripping away nearly $320 million in amendments placed on it the previous day.

97. Republican In-fighting in Tenn. House Stirs Up Budget Mess -

The House of Representatives adjourned in apparent disarray Thursday, May 4, after arguing over amendments to a $37 billion budget plan, some saying discord stemmed from votes on the governor’s IMPROVE Act.

98. $250M K-12 Education Fund Hits Legislative Hurdle -

NASHVILLE – Legislation by Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh seeking to create a $250 million education fund may have to fit through the eye of a needle to get into Gov. Bill Haslam’s $37 billion budget plan.

99. Last Word: Election Day, Game 6 and School Vouchers Get Rolled -

Intermission in the NBA playoffs as tipoff of Game 6 approaches Thursday evening at the Forum. Look at all of the clouds as the lights dimming and letting you know it’s time to take your seats for the show that is reigniting the local passion for basketball.

100. Proposed $250M K-12 Education Fund Hits Legislative Hurdle -

Legislation by Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh seeking to create a $250 million education fund may have to fit through the eye of a needle to get into Gov. Bill Haslam’s $37 billion budget plan.