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Editorial Results (free)

1. Is There Room for Common-Sense Gun Legislation? -

The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action picks its battles judiciously. Once labeled as a bunch of anti-gun extremists, the group is anything but, spokeswoman Kat McRitchie says.

“We seek common ground. We work with legislators on both sides of the aisle. We’re nonpartisan,” McRitchie explains. “We’re simply looking for common-sense gun solutions, which the majority of Americans support.”

2. Holder, Branch to Keynote April Observances of King Anniversary -

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and author and historian Taylor Branch will be the featured speakers at two days of panel discussions and keynote speeches in April as the National Civil Rights Museum marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 sanitation workers strike and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

3. Touliatos Files In County Mayor’s Race -

Republican contender for Shelby County mayor Joy Touliatos is the first candidate in the race atop the May county primary ballot to file her qualifying petition. Touliatos, who is currently the Juvenile Court clerk, filed with the Shelby County Election Commission just before the Thanksgiving holiday.

4. The Next Four Years -

A week before candidates for the 2018 Shelby County elections could pull qualifying petitions to run, Shelby County Commissioner David Reaves was thinking out loud on Facebook.

“Next four years,” was how it began.

5. Political Opening -

The Shelby County Election Commission is moving its Downtown office Friday, Nov. 17, the same day that candidates can begin pulling qualifying petitions there and at its Shelby Farms offices to run in the 2018 county primaries.

6. 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.

7. Last Word: Rape Kits Deposition, Pre-K Kickoff and Parkside Gets Company -

A retired Memphis Police Lieutenant was deposed Wednesday in East Memphis as part of the ongoing civil lawsuit in Circuit Court over the city’s 12,000 untested rape kits. Cody Wilkerson had been a detective in the police sex crimes unit and said Wednesday in the deposition that police brass, including Col. Marcus Worthy – his supervisor in sex crimes – oversaw cases in which rape kits were routinely shelved and forgotten about.

8. Last Word: The Run, 70 Million Gallons a Day and More Shipping Containers -

This will be another busy week on the political front with more candidates declaring their intentions in advance of Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Republican contender for governor Randy Boyd ends his run across the state Tuesday morning on Mud Island – a variation on Lamar Alexander’s walk across the state in the 1978 Republican primary for Governor that remains a part of the state’s political folklore almost 40 years later.

9. Chism Vows Democratic Primary Battle with Harris for County Mayor -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism kicked off his bid for county mayor last week by vowing to “beat up on” rival Democrat and state Sen. Lee Harris in the May 2018 countywide primary.

10. Last Word: Changes Behind Highland Row, Lee Harris Opens and Ron Olson Moves -

Shelby County Commission chairwoman Heidi Shafer says the commission, through its attorneys, is in ‘the final stages of launching litigation” against big pharma over the opioid problem locally. And in a written statement Thursday she said she believes the litigation “will result in significant recovery for hundreds of millions of dollars that Shelby County has spent trying to heal, save, nurse and otherwise deal with the opioid crisis.” Shafer specifically announced the hiring on a contingency basis of a national law firm.

11. Harris Cites Effects of ‘Trump Approach’ on County Races -

Three weeks into his run for Shelby County mayor on the 2018 ballot, state Sen. Lee Harris told a group of 30 supporters in Victorian Village Wednesday, Nov. 1, that he is running as a response to the “Trump approach.”

12. Mickell Lowery Uses Lessons From Council Race in Commission Bid -

Two years to the month after he conceded defeat in his first political outing, Mickell Lowery is returning to the local political arena – albeit a different part of the arena.

Lowery is running in the May Democratic primary for Shelby County Commission District 8, the seat held by Democrat Walter Bailey, who is term-limited and cannot seek re-election in 2018.

13. Not Worried About Bama? Just Wait Until Kickoff -

Tennessee’s football team will make history Saturday against No. 1-ranked Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC), no matter what happens with the game.

The Vols (3-3, 0-3 SEC) were 34-point underdogs early in the week for the 3:30 EDT game (TV: CBS) in Tuscaloosa. The 34-point spread is the largest ever in the UT-Alabama series.

14. Last Word: Bredesen's Note, Serious Sewer Talks and Protest Vs. Process -

Another lively week in state politics as former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen says he is considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat Bob Corker is giving up. This came Monday in a note to the Associated Press in which Bredesen said he will make his decision quickly about an entry into the Democratic primary.

15. Process vs. Protest: Opinions Differ On How to Remove Monuments -

Protest and the legal process live in the same neighborhood. Sometimes they are next-door neighbors with borders that may be in dispute. At others times they are allies. But there is almost always a tension between the two.

16. Last Word: The Chamber on Forrest, Different Amazon News & More 2018 Dominoes -

The Greater Memphis Chamber rolls out its part of the push by the city administration to get a state waiver for the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue. Next week is the meeting of the Tennessee Historical Commission with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland showing up to make his pitch. That is even though the chairman of the body has told him the commission will not take up a waiver at the meeting.

17. Harris To Run For County Mayor, Leave State Senate -

State Sen. Lee Harris is running for Shelby County mayor starting with the May Democratic primary and will not seek re-election to the Senate.

18. 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.

19. Harris In Race For County Mayor, Exiting State Senate -

State Senator Lee Harris is running for Shelby County Mayor starting with the May Democratic primary and he will not seek re-election to the Senate.

20. Harris In Race For County Mayor, Exiting State Senate -

State Senator Lee Harris is running for Shelby County Mayor starting with the May Democratic primary and he will not seek re-election to the Senate.

21. Harris Talks ‘Radical’ Action on Confederate Monuments to Build Pressure -

City Council attorney Allan Wade says Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s administration and the council are not “in different places” when it comes to removing Confederate monuments from city parks.

22. SNAPSHOT: Law Students, Citizens Protest -

A group of 28 students from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys Law School and citizens gathered around the Jefferson Davis statue in Memphis Park Tuesday, Oct. 3, following a forum by the law school and the Black Law Students Association.

23. U of M Law School Forum Tuesday on Confederate Monuments -

City of Memphis chief legal officer Bruce McMullen and Memphis City Council attorney Allan Wade will talk about the city’s efforts to remove Confederate monuments in city parks Tuesday, Oct. 3, during a panel discussion at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

24. Week Ahead: Oct. 2-9 -

Hey, Memphis! Prepare to rock out this week as the Mempho Music Festival hits Shelby Farms Park and Wilco plays The Orpheum. Plus, Beale Street memorializes one of its own, Memphis legal pros discuss the Confederate monuments issue, and much more in The Week Ahead…

25. Lane Touts Luttrell Endorsement in Sheriff's Race -

Republican contender for Shelby County Sheriff Dale Lane is touting the support of every suburban mayor in the county, current Shelby County Mayor and former sheriff Mark Luttrell, and former county mayor Jim Rout.

26. Last Word: Back From Jury Duty, ASD Changes and Southern Heritage Classic Is Here -

Back from a very short-lived jury duty on a short week for the courts – criminal and civil. Even a slow week at the Criminal Justice Center is a learning experience about not only our criminal justice system but also the Constitutional framework that puts those notices in the U.S. mail and results in several hundred citizens at a time showing up in a jury assembly room after the adventure of trying to find parking Downtown.

27. ‘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.

28. Online Voter Registration Being Offered in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee secretary of state's office says it has begun offering online voter registration.

WPLN-FM reports the office has initiated a "soft launch" of the online system . In the past, residents who moved, had their registrations purged for inactivity or were never registered had to contact county election commissions directly or sign up in person through a state agency.

29. Outsourcing by Any Other Name Still Not So Sweet -

Outsourcing is starting to become a four-letter word in state government.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration told lawmakers during a summer study session it’s giving up on privatization of state parks, including a plan to hire a company to raze the inn at Fall Creek Falls and build a new one, at a cost of more than $22 million, then take over the keys and the profits.

30. TVA Efforts Related To Contamination Continue -

The Tennessee Valley Authority has installed new monitoring wells near shallow coal ash groundwater monitoring wells at its Allen Fossil Plant that recently showed high levels of arsenic, lead and other contaminants.

31. TVA Continues Remediation To Source Contamination -

The Tennessee Valley Authority has installed new monitoring wells near shallow coal ash groundwater monitoring wells at its Allen Fossil Plant that recently showed high levels of arsenic, lead and other contaminants.

32. Last Word: The Old Auto Inspection Station, Beale Field Trip and Re-Democrating -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton has a different version of his 2016 plan to build two youth development centers for juvenile offenders to go to instead of detention at the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville. About a year ago, Herenton had tentative plans for two of the New Path centers in Shelby County that would be centers where the offenders could live.

33. Last Word: ICE Raids, Who's Buying Afton Grove and Malco Powerhouse Plans -

A protest Sunday evening at the Prescott Place Apartments after federal ICE agents – Immigration and Customs Enforcement – took people into custody there and at Emerald Ridge and Corner Park apartments Sunday morning. The group of organizations protesting the federal action – Memphis Coalition of Concerned Citizens, Cosecha and SURJ Memphis -- say Memphis Police assisted in the immigration operation. Memphis Police deny they were involved in any way. No estimate from ICE on how many people were detained.

34. Revival of Ranked Choice Voting Marks Phillips’ Attention to Detail -

The use of Ranked Choice Voting or instant-runoff voting in Memphis elections was a moot point even before Memphis voters approved it in 2008 in a city charter amendment.

The Shelby County Election Commission had concluded before the charter referendum that its voting systems couldn’t accommodate a method of voting that ranked candidates in a single race by a voter’s preference, instead of a voter picking one and only one candidate.

35. Harris Calls for Suspension of TVA Well Permits -

State Sen. Lee Harris wants the county’s Ground Water Control Board to suspend permits for water wells at the site of the new Tennessee Valley Authority plant in southwest Memphis and begin an investigation of high lead and arsenic levels found in area groundwater “as soon as practicable.”

36. 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.

37. Karl Dean Holds Memphis Fundraiser -

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was to be among the speakers at a Thursday, July 13, Memphis fundraiser for the Tennessee Voter Project.

The project is a political action committee formed by state Senate Democratic leader Lee Harris of Memphis to increase voter registration and participation among Democrats.

38. Karl Dean Campaigns At Memphis PAC Fundraiser -

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was to be among the speakers at a Thursday, July 13, Memphis fundraiser for the Tennessee Voter Project.

The project is a political action committee formed by state Senate Democratic leader Lee Harris of Memphis to increase voter registration and participation among Democrats.

39. Harris: Norris Law On Immigration Status Sends Negative Signal -

NASHVILLE – State Sen. Lee Harris is criticizing a new law sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris enabling state judges to consider a convict’s immigration status during sentencing.

40. Last Word: Wahlburgers, CA For Sale and Council Day -

We really go for hot food brands around here – whether its restaurants or supermarkets. And it makes us suckers to some degree. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Memphis without being open to all possibilities and what others see as impossible is just not Memphis. But when it comes to the business of brands sometimes you start to wonder. We may be guilty of putting too much weight on a brand to solve problems that no brand anywhere can solve.

41. Lawmakers: Talk, Action On Crime Don’t Match -

State Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris of Memphis says some of the rhetoric about criminal justice reform – not locking up as many nonviolent offenders for longer sentences – doesn’t match the push for legislation in Nashville.

42. Last Word: Bar-Kays & ConFunkShun, Suburban Politics and Tom Bowen's 5 Years -

The Bar-Kays and ConFunkShun -- there’s a double shot of the deepest funk from the 1970s and 1980s. And they are together again Friday at the Cannon Center for the Juneteenth Urban Music Festival. It is also Larry Dodson’s last hometown show fronting The Bar-Kays.

43. Last Word: Double Berger, The CEO of Baptist and Storm Reflections -

The Overton Park Conservancy raised $1 million by the Monday deadline to move ahead with the Overton Park-Memphis Zoo parking compromise. The conservancy announced Sunday afternoon that it met the goal with hours to spare with more details to come Monday on how this came together.

44. Tennessee Governor Signs Law Enhancing Immigrant Sentences -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee judges will have the authority to enhance sentences for defendants in the country illegally at the time of their crimes, under a bill the governor has signed into law.

45. A New Life Made Possible by a $170 Discount -

A harassment conviction lingered on the record of Memphis resident Brenda A. for 10 years, the high cost of expungement making it difficult to erase the past.

Like many people convicted of misdemeanors and felonies, she paid her court fees and fines, along with probation costs, years ago, but had trouble cobbling together the money to expunge her record, making it hard to land a good job and make a fresh start.

46. Unwilling Private Sector Gives Park Workers a Victory -

Two state parks are celebrating victories in an atmosphere of uncertainty created by the governor’s penchant for privatizing state functions.

Fall Creek Falls drew no bidders for a $20 million plan to hire a vendor who would tear down its inn, construct a new one and take over operations for 10 years. Henry Horton State Park, meanwhile, is set for $10 million in improvements this coming fiscal year, including upgrades to its hospitality facilities, plus a new visitors center, rather than a proposal to raze its inn and not rebuild.

47. Haslam Signs Bill Creating 'In God We Trust' License Plates -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill creating a new Tennessee license plate design featuring the phrase "In God We Trust."

The original version of the bill would have required the phrase to be printed on all license plates issued in the state. But after the state attorney general raised constitutional concerns, sponsors agreed to make the make the new design optional.

48. Bike Summit Features Call for Changes in Push for Bike Ways -

The city’s former bicycle and pedestrian coordinator who put the city on the map nationally for bike lanes and bikeways says bicycle advocates have to think differently.

Kyle Wagenschutz is currently director of local innovation for “People for Bikes” – a Boulder, Colorado advocacy and advisory organization that works with cities nationally.

49. Privatization Opposition Renewed as No Bids Come in for Falls Creek Falls Project -

The lack of bidders for a $20 million inn reconstruction project at Fall Creek Falls could spur legislative hearings this summer on parks funding and privatization amid growing lawmaker concern about the governor’s outsourcing plans.

50. Legislature Passes Slate of Bills, Adjourns -

NASHVILLE – The Legislature wrapped up its business for the year, adjourning Wednesday after taking up a spate of last-minute bills, including postponing a bill increasing the amount of campaign contributions lawmakers could accept.

51. 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.

52. Tennessee Legislature Adjourns After Voting on Last-Minute Bills -

The Legislature wrapped up its business for the year, adjourning Wednesday after taking up a spate of last-minute bills, including postponing a bill increasing the amount of campaign contributions lawmakers could accept.

53. Last Word: Council Day Issues, 'A Man Of Color' and East Memphis 'Novel' -

A busy day at City Hall Tuesday by the City Council agenda and by at least one completely unplanned moment during council budget committee sessions. It was so busy that at the start of Tuesday’s council session, chairman Berlin Boyd couldn’t find his gavel and technical glitches prompted him to ask for a can of WD-40. Throw in a visit to City Hall by civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson and you have our comprehensive same night rundown of how it went and for whom it went.

54. Tennessee Senate Approves $37B Budget -

The state Senate approved a $37 billion budget Monday complete with the governor’s IMPROVE Act package of fuel tax increases and tax reductions.

Senators passed the measure 28-2 and sent it to the governor despite opposition led by Democratic Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis, who argued the body would be breaking the Copeland cap, a law prohibiting the spending of revenue that exceeds the state economy’s growth rate.

55. Tennessee Lawmakers Approve Optional 'In God We Trust' Tags -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The House has given final approval to a bill that would allow Tennessee drivers to choose license plates with the phrase "In God We Trust" on them.

The chamber voted 85-0 to approve the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Sanderson of Kenton on Thursday. The Senate earlier this week approved the measure on a 29-1 vote.

56. Lawmakers Still Seek Answers as Outsourcing Contract Gets Underway -

A majority of Tennessee’s legislators, including several Shelby County lawmakers, are asking the state to hold up on a facilities management outsourcing contract with Jones Lang LaSalle.

Seventy-five of the General Assembly’s 132 members, 17 in the Senate and 58 in the House, have signed a letter to Terry Cowles, director of the Office of Customer Focused Government, asking the office to slow down on outsourcing so it can “study and understand the effect” on public services, the economy and state employees.

57. Last Word: Popovich's Tip, Strickland's Budget and Haslam's Jump Start on Roads -

Game 5 goes to the Spurs in San Antonio 116-103 over the Grizz who are back here Thursday. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is not effusive in his comments to the media, which is fun to watch, but it does make tracking down and veryifying this next story a bit difficult. A credit card receipt showed up on Redditt that appears to show Popovich left a $5,000 tip on an $815.73 bill at McEwen’s Friday night between the two Memphis-based playoff games.

58. Bill Approved to Open Officer-Involved Shooting Death Cases to the Public -

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation Monday, April 24, requiring records about officer-involved shooting deaths be open to the public.

Sponsored by Rep. G.A. Hardaway and Sen. Lee Harris, both Memphis Democrats, the move opens the curtain on Tennessee Bureau of Investigation records, which are exempt from the Tennessee Open Records Act and confidential. Generally they are disclosed to the public only through a court order.

59. University of Memphis, UTHSC May Soon Face Outsourcing Decisions -

Forty-one state lawmakers signed a letter requesting the state put a hold on its outsourcing plans until the General Assembly can scrutinize its effect on state workers and services.

The state is set to sign a contract April 28 with Chicago-based JLL for facilities management work that could be used by universities and departments statewide. Even local government jobs could be doled out to the contractor.

60. Memphis Gets Nod for New Hotel Tax, Nashville Having Pipeline Problems -

The state Senate approved legislation enabling the Memphis City Council to consider an ordinance to create a new hotel/motel tax of no more than an aggregate of 5 percent to go toward the city-owned Memphis Cook Convention Center.

61. Memphis Gets Nod for New Hotel Tax, Nashville Having Pipeline Problems -

The state Senate has approved legislation enabling the Memphis City Council to consider an ordinance to create a new hotel/motel tax of no more than an aggregate of 5 percent to go toward the city-owned Memphis Cook Convention Center.

62. Harris: Syrian Air Strikes Should Change State’s Stance on Refugees -

State Sen. Lee Harris is calling on the Legislature to rethink its stance on refugees amid legal action taken against the federal government after President Donald Trump ordered an air strike against Syria.

63. Last Word: Busy Council Day, County Property Tax Cut Call and Gas Tax Vote Nears -

The Lawsons – K.J. and Dedric – are on their way to Kansas after leaving University of Memphis basketball they announced Monday. And Markell Crawford confirmed Monday that he will be transferring too. Crawford is the sixth Tiger player to head for the door since the season’s end. What will Tigers basketball look like by the next season?

64. Harris: Syrian Air Strikes Should Change State’s Stance on Refugees -

State Sen. Lee Harris is calling on the Legislature to rethink its stance on refugees amid legal action taken against the federal government after President Donald Trump ordered an air strike against Syria.

65. U of M Students, Faculty Do Social Work on the Hill -

The University of Memphis Department of Social Work recently participated in the annual Social Work Day on the Hill.

More than 50 students and six faculty members in bachelor’s and master’s programs traveled to Nashville to gain practical experience in speaking to legislators, building interdisciplinary professional relationships, and advocating for policies primarily related to mental health and child welfare.

66. Tennessee Senate OKs Gun Background Check Exemption Bill -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Senate has passed a bill eliminating background check requirements when gun dealers occasionally sell from their personal firearm collections.

Senators voted 24-3 Thursday on the legislation by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet. The House passed it Monday. Gov. Bill Haslam will decide to sign or veto the bill.

67. U of M Students, Faculty Do Social Work on the Hill -

The University of Memphis Department of Social Work recently participated in the annual Social Work Day on the Hill.

More than 50 students and six faculty members in bachelor’s and master’s programs traveled to Nashville to gain practical experience in speaking to legislators, building interdisciplinary professional relationships, and advocating for policies primarily related to mental health and child welfare.

68. Senate Campaign War Chests Could Swell -

NASHVILLE – Legislation enabling state lawmakers to raise campaign funds during even-year session recesses evolved into a markedly different bill this week – one allowing significant contribution increases for Senate candidates.

69. Senate Passes Less Speedy Rural Broadband Bill -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Senate on Monday passed a bill that could make it easier for rural areas in Tennessee to get access to high-speed internet. However, a last-minute amendment tacked on to the bill would not require the internet to be so speedy.

70. Democrats Put Squeeze on Republicans To Defeat Outsourcing of State Assets -

Legislative Democrats are calling on Republicans to join them in passing a slate of bills to combat Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing plans for everything from state parks to facilities management at universities.

71. Democrats Put Squeeze on Republicans to Defeat Outsourcing -

Legislative Democrats are calling on Republicans to join them in passing a slate of bills to combat Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing plans for everything from state parks to facilities management at universities.

72. 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.

73. Senate Douses Memphis and Nashville Pot Ordinances -

State senators are intent on striking down Memphis and Nashville marijuana laws giving police discretion to hand out citations for possessing small amounts of pot.

Despite opposition from Shelby County and Davidson County legislators, the Senate voted 26-5 Monday to clarify that state law overrides local government regulations involving drugs and similar substances.

74. Bill to Ban Outsourcing Sails Through Committee -

A Senate panel approved legislation Monday prohibiting the outsourcing of jobs at state parks less than a week after the State Building Commission renewed plans for rebuilding and privatizing the inn at Fall Creek Falls.

75. Last Word: Tri-State Inks Move to Midtown, Main and Gayoso and 'Wise Trek' -

The open land across Union Avenue from AutoZone Park remains just that as some of it has changed hands again. Vision Hospitality buying the land that had been the location of the Greyhound bus station at Union and Hernando. Vision Memphis LLC sold to Vision Hospitality of Knoxville for $4 million, according to a warrant deed we reviewed Monday.

76. Inn Construction, Private Management Plan Draw Ire of State Sen. Lee Harris -

State Sen. Lee Harris is criticizing Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision to renew an outsourcing plan for development and operations at Fall Creek Falls State Park, calling it a move to bolster profits for a private company.

77. Bill That Helps Nonviolent Offenders Passes in Legislature -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill that helps nonviolent offenders find employment has passed in the Legislature with bipartisan support.

The primary sponsors of the bill were Shelby County-area lawmakers.

78. Tennessee Senate Passes Bill to Punish Protesters Who Block Streets -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Senate has passed a bill that would punish protesters who block traffic and obstruct emergency vehicles from responding to an emergency.

Under the bill, protesters who block emergency responders would be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $200. The measure was sponsored by Sen. Mike Bell, a Republican from Riceville.

79. Chuck Berry's Influence on Rock ‘n’ Roll Was Incalculable -

Rock n' roll was more than a new kind of music, but a new story to tell, one for kids with transistor radios in their hands and money in their pockets, beginning to raise questions their parents never had the luxury to ask.

80. Last Word: Lakeland Date Set, Silos in South Main and Trespassing in Apartments -

Here comes the Governor’s race with Randy Boyd doing the honors here in Memphis Wednesday at the top of the second day of his fly-around. Boyd’s opening sounds very much like he is running as the heir apparent to Gov. Bill Haslam – although there are no heirs in politics, at least not without an election. He talked a lot about hitting workforce development and job goals of the Haslam administration if he is elected Governor in 2018.

81. Bill to Create Criminal Trespassing at Apartment Complexes Could Face Legal Challenges -

NASHVILLE – Two Memphis lawmakers are pushing legislation designed to clear apartment complexes of trespassers, in some cases to ensure that emergency personnel avoid intimidation and threats when they answer calls dealing with shootings.

82. View From the Hill: Outsourcing Win More About Turf Than Trends -

As Fall Creek Falls folks celebrate a state decision to postpone park privatization, the question is whether public opposition or failure to follow long-standing state protocol led to the plug-pulling.

83. View From the Hill: House Leaders Still Figuring Out Sexual Harassment Policy -

In a case of déjà vu all over again, Democratic state Rep. Bo Mitchell isn’t willing to give Republican House leaders a break on their handling of former Rep. Mark Lovell’s resignation for alleged sexual misconduct.

84. Fall Creek Falls Park Contract Postponed Indefinitely -

NASHVILLE – The state is putting an indefinite hold on a proposed contract for a private company to redevelop and operate Fall Creek Falls State Park.

The Department of General Services is postponing the request for proposals process from vendors for a contract to oversee construction of a new inn at the park and to run its hospitality services after the $22 million project is complete.

85. Harwell: Lovell Investigation Handled Correctly -

NASHVILLE – An investigation into now-former Rep. Mark Lovell started a day after he allegedly had inappropriate contact with a woman and lasted two to three days, House Speaker Beth Harwell says.

86. 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.

87. Harris: House Leaders Took Right Action With Lovell Probe -

NASHVILLE – A Memphis legislator critical of the initial reaction to former Rep. Mark Lovell’s resignation is “somewhat satisfied” with the conclusion of a House investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

88. 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.

89. Thompson Proposes State Certificate of Employability -

The first bill proposed in the Tennessee Legislature by Democratic state Rep. Dwayne Thompson of Cordova would create an alternative to the $450 expungement fee now required by state law to clear the record of those convicted of nonviolent felonies who have not been in trouble for five years after serving their sentences.

90. Thompson Proposes State Certificate of Employability -

The first bill proposed in the Tennessee Legislature by Democratic state Rep. Dwayne Thompson of Cordova would create an alternative to the $450 expungement fee now required by state law to clear the record of those convicted of nonviolent felonies who have not been in trouble for five years after serving their sentences.

91. Last Word: Lovell's Aftermath, West Memphis Tourism and Batter Up -

Political turbulence in the state capitol this week centered on one of the newest members of the Shelby County Delegation leaves the politically-minded among us with a lot to take in when you add the Beltway turbulence of the week in D.C.

92. View From the Hill: Outsourcing, Rates Worry Park Fans -

Dunlap resident Kathy Gilbert opposes privatization of Fall Creek Falls on a number of fronts.

If a vendor comes in to run the state park, as planned by Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration, she’s worried about the possible loss of jobs or pay and benefits by state employees, the funneling of revenue to private investors and the raising of rates at the state park’s lodge when it’s rebuilt, potentially making it less affordable for families to visit.

93. Democrats Want Investigation of Lovell’s Resignation -

NASHVILLE – A day after former Rep. Mark Lovell resigned abruptly, House Majority Chairman Ryan Williams says he asked Lovell to step down, but only if accusations of sexual misconduct against him were true.

94. 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.

95. Flurry of Bills Affecting LGBT Community Filed in State Legislature Before Deadline -

NASHVILLE – Tennessee lawmakers met last Thursday’s legislation-filing deadline with a host of social measures one Memphis representative describes as “wedge bills” because they drive people apart.

96. Bills Affecting LGBT Community Filed Before Deadline -

NASHVILLE – Tennessee lawmakers met last Thursday’s legislation-filing deadline with a host of social measures one Memphis representative describes as “wedge bills” because they drive people apart.

97. 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.

98. 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.

99. View From the Hill: Legislators Feel Free to Work Against Haslam -

Democrats appear delighted about division within Republican ranks concerning Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed fuel-tax increase, detecting a possible chink in the armor.

“How many times does the supermajority have to stab the governor in the back and undermine his core proposals before the people of the state of Tennessee wonder whether they need a different group up here?” asks Mike Stewart, House Minority Caucus chairman.

100. Governor Defends Big Proposals for Statewide Infrastructure -

NASHVILLE – Protesters overshadowed Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s State of the State address Monday night, chanting in the Capitol in opposition to a spate of executive orders from President Donald Trump.