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Editorial Results (free)

1. Memphis Democrats Claim Five Leadership Posts -

Memphis Democrats claimed five of the nine leadership positions in the state House Democratic Caucus over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The caucus for the upcoming 2017-2018 legislative session selected Representative Joe Towns as assistant minority leader to returning minority leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley.

2. Lawmakers Working to Boost Local Logistics, Transportation Sectors -

Lawmakers representing the Memphis area on both the state and federal levels are taking steps to help the area’s transportation and logistics sectors in 2017 – from a second swipe at a federal grant to redevelop Lamar Avenue to the resubmission of a state bill that would incentivize companies for reducing wait times for truck drivers.

3. Memphis Democrats Claim Five Leadership Posts -

Memphis Democrats claimed five of the nine leadership positions in the state House Democratic Caucus over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The caucus for the upcoming 2017-2018 legislative session selected Representative Joe Towns as assistant minority leader to returning minority leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley.

4. Tennessee Black Caucus: Don't Cut Civil Rights Milestones -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators on Friday called for a public response to help keep civil rights milestones in Tennessee history from being removed from the social studies standards for public schools.

5. Eden Square Debuts School, Arts Center -

Derwin Sisnett remembered a Christmas from his childhood this weekend. He wanted a Nintendo gaming system and remembers he and his brother searching their home while their parents where elsewhere.

On Christmas Day they discovered their parents had hidden the most cherished present in plain sight.

6. Last Word: After The Fire, Hard Changes at Fred's and Durham Doesn't Go Quietly -

The immediate questions have simple answers. It was a short in an air conditioner cord that caused the fire that killed 9 people – three adults and six children – before dawn Monday morning in South Memphis.

7. Insure Tennessee Advocates on the Road -

The state House’s task force on Insure Tennessee is nearing a June report to federal health regulators on its work. And a Tennessee Hospital Association advocacy group is ramping up its appeal for legislative passage of either the Medicaid expansion alternative or some similar program that might come out of the task force.

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

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

9. Speaker Harwell's Health Care Task Force Holds First Meeting -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Members of a health care task force assigned with proposing alternatives to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee plan on Tuesday stressed their desire to include "circuit breakers" to prevent out-of-control costs.

10. Last Word: The Bible Veto Override Vote, Grizz Nostalgia and Kroger Goes Online -

The Tennessee Legislature hoped to end its 2016 session Wednesday at the end of an eventful day that included a failed attempt to override Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto of the bill that would have made the Bible the official state book.
But into Wednesday evening, the state House was still debating the Hall tax on dividends – specifically further roll backs of it. And the Senate had gone home for the night.
So Thursday looks like a good bet for the adjournment for the year and the formal start of the election season for incumbents.

11. City Council Approves Parkside Development -

The Memphis City Council has approved the concept of Parkside at Shelby Farms Park, a $200 million mixed-use development on the northern border of Shelby Farms Park.

12. Parkside Development Gets Green Light -

Parkside at Shelby Farms Park, a $200 million mixed-use development on the northern border of Shelby Farms featuring three six-story apartment buildings, won the approval Tuesday, April 19, of the Memphis City Council.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. Memphis Lags on State Minority Contracts -

The state of Tennessee did $400 million in business with minority- and women-owned businesses in 2015. It’s a share local minority business and civic leaders judge as a good number, considering the state spends $2.5 billion in contracts a year.

18. Bill Passes That Would Help Felons Get Jobs -

The Tennessee Legislature has passed a bill that may make it easier for some felons who have turned their lives around to find a job.

The bill, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, would allow courts to issue a certificate of employability to convicted felons who have stayed out of trouble. It would also grant some legal protection from lawsuits to employers who hire a felon who has the court-issued certificate.

19. Bill Passes That Would Help Felons Get Jobs -

The Tennessee Legislature has passed a bill that may make it easier for some felons who have turned their lives around to find a job.

The bill, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, would allow courts to issue a certificate of employability to convicted felons who have stayed out of trouble. It would also grant some legal protection from lawsuits to employers who hire a felon who has the court-issued certificate.

20. Harris Files Ford Challenge at Deadline -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris is challenging Democratic state Sen. Ophelia Ford in the August primary for District 29, the Senate seat held by a member of the Ford family since 1975.

21. Wilkins Pulls Petition to Challenge Cohen -

Attorney Ricky E. Wilkins has pulled a qualifying petition to run in the August Democratic primary for the 9th Congressional District.

Wilkins would be challenging U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the primary, something Wilkins began considering last year.

22. Wilkins Pulls Petition to Challenge Cohen -

Attorney Ricky E. Wilkins has pulled a qualifying petition to run in the August Democratic primary for the 9th Congressional District.

Wilkins would be challenging U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the primary, something Wilkins began considering last year.

23. City Schools Chief of Staff Leaves for Chicago Job -

John Barker, chief of staff for Memphis City Schools, is leaving the school system in January to become chief of accountability for Chicago Public Schools.

24. Black Caucus Organization Names New President -

Democratic Rep. Joe Armstrong of Knoxville has been selected to be the president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators for the next two years.

25. Election Commission Certifies Aug. 2 Ballot -

The Shelby County Election Commission has certified the ballot for the Aug. 2 election cycle, which features nonpartisan races for countywide schools board and Millington mayor and aldermen as well as state and congressional primaries.

26. Todd Challenger Drops Out at Withdrawal Deadline -

Add Republican state Rep. Curry Todd to the list of state legislators from Shelby County who are unopposed in the August primaries and the November general elections.

At the Thursday, April 12, deadline for candidates to withdraw from the August ballot, Todd’s lone challenger, Bob Nozigla, dropped out of the Republican primary in District 97.

27. New District Lines Lead to New Races -

“This time I waited to be sure,” Ian Randolph said just before the Thursday, April 5, deadline for candidates to file in the Aug. 2 elections.

28. Cohen-Hart in Congressional Race at Filing Deadline -

The chairman of the countywide school board, Billy Orgel, was effectively elected to his District 7 school board seat without opposition at the Thursday, April 5, filing deadline for candidates on the Aug. 2 primary and general election ballot in Shelby County.

29. Deadline Looms for Complex Aug. Elections -

The August elections were already going to be more complex than usual. There are the changes from this year’s drawing of new district lines for the Tennessee Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives.

30. Camper to Attend White House Leadership Conference -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee Democratic Rep. Karen Camper of Memphis has been selected to attend a leadership conference at the White House.

31. Harwell Stops Payment for Some Legislator Travel -

NASHVILLE – House Speaker Beth Harwell, who donates her own legislative expense payments to charity, has moved to curtail the expense money other state representatives collect for out-of-state traveling.

32. Seven Local Lawmakers Face No Opposition in Aug. -

Seven state legislators from Shelby County will begin new terms of office in January.

They had no opposition at Thursday’s filing deadline for the Aug. 5 state and federal primary elections.

They are District 33 Democratic state Sen. Reginald Tate, District 83 Republican state Rep. Mark White, District 90 Democratic state Rep. John DeBerry, District 92 Democratic state Rep. G.A. Hardaway, District 96 Republican state Rep. Steve McManus, District 97 Republican state Rep. Jim Coley and District 98 Democratic state Rep. Ulysses Jones.

33. Races Open For Two County School Board Seats -

The Aug. 5 elections will feature two races for open seats on the Shelby County school board.

At the noon Thursday filing deadline for the four odd-numbered district seats as well as the state and federal primaries, board member Anne Edmiston did not file for another four-year term. Board member Teresa Price had announced earlier that she would not be running either.

34. UPDATE: Two Open County School Board Seats At Filing Deadline -

The Aug. 5 elections will feature two races for open seats on the Shelby County school board.

At the noon Thursday filing deadline for the four odd-numbered district seats as well as the state and federal primaries, board member Anne Edmiston did not file for another four-year term. Board member Teresa Price had announced earlier that she would not be running either.

35. Filing Deadline Hits for August Primaries -

The stage is set for the county’s most anticipated political showdown in the Aug. 5 state and federal primary elections.

Noon today is the deadline for candidates in the primaries, as well as those vying for nonpartisan seats on the Shelby County school board and the three judicial positions, to file their qualifying petitions for the ballot.

36. Bill Seeks to Criminalize Saggy Pants -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A Democratic lawmaker says legislation that would fine individuals for letting their pants sag is unconstitutional and plans to ask for a state attorney general opinion.

The measure sponsored by state Rep. Joe Towns, a Memphis Democrat, passed the House Criminal Practice and Procedure Subcommittee Wednesday.

37. Guns in Bars Proposal Advanced to Full House Vote -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee handgun permit holders could carry their weapons where alcohol is served under a proposal headed for a full House vote.

The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday advanced on a voice vote the measure to allow handguns at restaurants and bars where alcohol is available until 11 p.m.

38. Whitehaven Makeover Closer to Reality -

Demolition on a Whitehaven apartment complex owned by Elvis Presley Enterprises could begin by the end of this year, said Memphis City Council member Harold Collins.

And the pastor of the Whitehaven church where Collins held a standing-room-only town hall meeting this week indicated land speculators are preparing for the pending $250 million makeover of Graceland into a tourism development zone.

39. Camper Appointed to Serve In Vacant District 87 Seat -      Karen Camper is the newest member of the Shelby County legislative delegation to Nashville. The Memphis City Schools teacher and retired Army intelligence officer was appointed Monday by the Shelby County Board of Commis

40. Wharton Budget Proposal Expected to be $23.5M in the Red -

Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton Jr. told County Commissioners Monday that his upcoming budget proposal will have nearly $23.5 million in red ink.

Wharton’s budget message today was required by the county charter. But Wharton did not present a detailed budget plan. Property Assessor Rita Clark is still preparing critical property tax calculations that will determine how much revenue county government can expect in the fiscal year that begins in July. Those projections including how much revenue a penny in the property tax rate produces are expected in about two weeks.

41. Wharton Budget Proposal Expected to be $23.5M in the Red -

Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton Jr. told County Commissioners today that his upcoming budget proposal will have nearly $23.5 million in red ink.

Wharton’s budget message today was required by the county charter. But Wharton did not present a detailed budget plan. Property Assessor Rita Clark is still preparing critical property tax calculations that will determine how much revenue county government can expect in the fiscal year that begins in July. Those projections including how much revenue a penny in the property tax rate produces are expected in about two weeks.

42. On Letting Go -

Angela Hamblen, director of Camp Good Grief, said one of the annual event's greatest signs of success will come from its summer workers. This year, four of the camp's volunteers are former campers.