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Editorial Results (free)

1. County Commission Considers Changes To EDGE Near Term's End -

With only one more regularly scheduled meeting left in their four-year term of office, Shelby County commissioners are considering some changes to the joint city-county Economic Development Growth Engine – or EDGE.

2. As Expected, Study Shows Memphis Lags Behind Peer Cities in Economic Development -

Greater Memphis Chamber leaders say they’re moving aggressively to improve economic development efforts after a new study confirmed what they already suspected: that Memphis and Shelby County are at a serious competitive disadvantage to a number of peer communities.

3. McKinney Assumes New Role Joining Greater Memphis Chamber -

David McKinney later this month starts his new job as senior vice president for public policy at the Greater Memphis Chamber.

The 36-year-old attorney succeeds Kelly Rayne, who left earlier this summer to become senior counsel for St. Jude ALSAC.

4. Chamber Taps New Economic Development SVP -

With a new focus on proactive rather than reactive recruitment, the Greater Memphis Chamber has hired Eric Miller as its new senior vice president of economic development. 

With nearly two decades of local and regional economic development experience, Miller was chosen after an extensive national search conducted by the chamber. 

5. Bar Assn. Poll Recommends All Four Appointed Judges -

The Memphis Bar Association poll of the most qualified candidates in the special judicial races on the Aug. 2 ballot recommends all four of the judges appointed to those positions in the interim.

Just over 1,000 attorneys participated in the poll, which asked respondents to pick who is the most qualified among the contenders in those races as well as court clerks on the August ballot.

6. Bar Assn. Poll Recommends All Four Appointed Judges -

The Memphis Bar Association poll of the most qualified candidates in the special judicial races on the Aug. 2 ballot recommends all four of the judges appointed to those positions in the interim.

Just over 1,000 attorneys participated in the poll, which asked respondents to pick who is the most qualified among the contenders in those races as well as court clerks on the August ballot.

7. Last Word: Scooter or Bike, Clapp's Flip and Found Memphis Belle Footage -

If this past weekend is any indication, Bird scooters are a thing in Memphis and they have also had a spillover effect in increasing the use of Explore Bike Share which has about a three-week head start. In many Downtown locations the scooters and bikes are in close proximity to one another. And that was offering some choices to those looking for a quicker way around in the heat. Well dressed wedding parties just a bit early for the ceremony in Court Square -- scooter. Intrepid explorers in t-shirts, cargo shorts and floppy hats regarding the sites to be seen in Memphis as Lewis and Clark -- bike.

8. Last Word: Making Memphis Easier, Strickland on Graceland and Construction Jobs -

Some of the BSMF reviews in from this past weekend are thumbs up for the way Memphis In May has ramped up what you might call its infrastructure around Uber, Lyft and little items like muddy boots for the increasing number of Memphians and visitors who are ready to go no matter what the weather is doing. And they may opt for some other way into Downtown beyond driving a car and finding a parking place and walking, especially when there’s a drop off at the northern end of the music festival. Even a fire hydrant water flow to take the mud off your boots. We can make Memphis easier with less effort than we think at the outset.

9. Strickland: City Given Enough For Entertainment -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says he would support some kind of incentives for the manufacturing facility Graceland wants to open in Whitehaven. But not if it’s linked to a greater share of city and county property tax revenue for a 6,200-seat arena Graceland also wants to build.

10. Drug Epidemic Ensnares 25-Year-Old Pill for Nerve Pain -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The story line sounds familiar: a popular pain drug becomes a new way to get high as prescribing by doctors soars.

But the latest drug raising red flags is not part of the opioid family at the center of the nation's drug epidemic. It's a 25-year-old generic pill long seen as a low risk way to treat seizures, nerve pain and other ailments.

11. Commission Races Feature Basar Upset, Lowery is Newest Commissioner -

The 13-member Shelby County Commission will have eight new faces when all of the votes are counted in the Aug. 2 county general election.

Five of the current incumbent commissioners are term-limited from seeking re-election this year and two other incumbents chose not to seek a second term.

12. Harris, Lenoir to Battle for County Mayor -

Republican David Lenoir and Democrat Lee Harris will meet in the Aug. 2 county general election to decide who will be the next Shelby County mayor. Lenoir and Harris won their respective primaries easily Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

13. Commission Races Feature Basar Upset -

The Shelby County Commission will have eight new faces when all of the votes are counted in the Aug. 2 county general election.

Five of the current incumbent county commissioners are term-limited from seeking re-election this year and two other incumbents chose not to seek a second term on the 13-member body.

14. Lenoir and Harris Advance in County Mayor's Race -

Republican David Lenoir and Democrat Lee Harris will meet in the Aug. 2 county general election to decide who will be the next Shelby County Mayor. Lenoir and Harris won their respective primaries easily Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

15. Last Word: Reading Early Voting Tea Leaves, Corker Qualifies and New Carrot -

This should be the week that the Tennessee Legislature adjourns and state Senators and state Representatives return to their districts to begin campaigning in earnest for the August primaries and the November general election beyond that. The only hold-up to adjournment this week would be any more tremors surrounding education policy, specifically the TNReady test debacle of last week.

16. Local Legislators Continue Efforts to Reform EDGE -

The push to reform the way the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County operates continued Friday, April 20 at a joint subcommittee meeting held by the Shelby County Commission and Memphis City Council.

17. Memphis Expected to Land World Golf Championship Event -

Beginning in 2019, the annual PGA Tour stop in Memphis will be a World Golf Championship event – unless there is a huge surprise at the Thursday, April 12, press conference the PGA has scheduled at the FedEx Event Center at Shelby Farms.

18. FedEx Acquires UK-Based E-Commerce Company -

FedEx Corp. has acquired P2P Mailing Limited, an e-commerce transportation solutions provider based in the United Kingdom, for $130 million.

19. FedEx Acquires UK-Based E-Commerce Company -

FedEx Corp. has acquired P2P Mailing Limited, an e-commerce transportation solutions provider based in the United Kingdom, for $130 million.

20. EDGE May Get Tweaked as Economic Dispute Settles Down -

A March 1 joint session of the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission hosted by chairs Berlin Boyd and Heidi Shafer discussed, among other topics, the current state of economic development in Shelby County, and in particular, the role the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County plays in it.

21. Last Word: Moot Points in Orlando, EDGE Responds and A Mayoral Forum -

The Tigers basketball post season continues to a Friday game with Tulsa the day after the Tigers beat South Florida 79-77 in the AAC tournament in Orlando. But all of this seems to have been rendered a moot point by the all-but-official exit of coach Tubby Smith with Penny Hardaway, and probably much if not all of his staff, waiting in the wings.

22. EDGE Chairman Responds to Chamber Criticism -

A March 1 meeting of City Council and County Commission members who questioned the respective roles of the Greater Memphis Chamber and EDGE in recruiting new jobs to Memphis has prompted another response.

23. Last Word: On The EDGE, Tubby Smith and Timing and TVA Keeps Its Wells Off -

Remember when the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission got together a week ago at Beale Street Landing? Here’s a refresher. Among those watching the discussion was Richard Smith, the chairman of the Greater Memphis Chamber, who responded to the criticism of the local approach to economic development this week with an email to members of both bodies that could prompt some changes to the approach and specifically to EDGE.

24. Smith Pens Email to Local Leaders to Clarify Position on EDGE -

Greater Memphis Chamber chairman Richard Smith penned a lengthy email to Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission members Tuesday evening to clarify “misconceptions amongst the bodies when it comes to economic development in our community.”

25. Last Word: The Ballot, By the River and The 'Good Ship Ineptitude' -

What blooms before spring and after the rains? It is the quest. The quest that must be declared over and over again – in the confidence of homes and the parlors of supporters – across kitchen tables and behind the soundproof doors of conference rooms -- the patios where supporters have gathered and the rented spaces where campaigns are located. Usually with food. Perhaps a corner table or possibly a catered buffet. Maybe just coffee.

26. Soulsville Foundation Adds Board Members, Eyes Future Growth -

The foundation that launched 20 years ago and operates the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Stax Music Academy and the Soulsville Charter School has added a dozen names to its board of directors. An expansion that’s meant to help lift the organization to new heights.

27. Four County Commissioners Unopposed As May Ballot Filing Deadline Approaches -

With a noon deadline Thursday, Feb. 15, to make the May 1 Shelby County primary ballot, four incumbent county commissioners had no opposition filed in their re-election bids.

Five Republican primary races on the ballot for 23 county offices, including the 13 commission seats, were one-candidate affairs with two or more Democrats running in the competing primaries as of Tuesday. Two Democratic primary races were also one-candidate races against a field of multiple Republican contenders in the companion primary.

28. Last Word: Higher Ed Pushback, 50 Years Later and Attack Ads in the Race for Gov. -

The idea that higher education is primarily about getting people into jobs as soon as possible is getting some push back. And it comes several years into an emphasis at the state level on associate degrees and trade certifications. Rhodes College president Marjorie Hass said several times during our talk on “Behind The Headlines” that she isn’t downplaying the importance of trade skills and the education necessary for those skills.

29. Dunavant Awards Will Feature Hardy As Keynote -

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

30. Grizzlies’ Pranica Named TN Sportscaster of the Year -

Memphis Grizzlies television play-by-play announcer Pete Pranica of FOX Sports Southeast was voted the 2017 Tennessee State Sportscaster of the Year, the National Sports Media Association has announced.

31. FedEx Realigns Businesses Under Trade Networks -

FedEx is preparing to realign its specialty logistics and e-commerce solutions in a structure that will beef up its FedEx Trade Networks division.

The new organization, which is effective March 1, will roll in FedEx’s Custom Critical, Cross Border and Supply Chain businesses; FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage; and a new company called FedEx Forward Depots that has responsibility for several areas, including 3-D printing and the company’s packaging lab.

32. FedEx Realigns Specialty Companies Under Trade Networks -

FedEx Corp. has announced that effective March 1, the company will realign its specialty logistics and e-commerce solutions under FedEx Trade Networks Inc. and FTN CEO Richard W. Smith.

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

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

34. December 15-21, 2017: This week in Memphis history -

1970: Elvis Presley takes a commercial flight from Memphis to Washington, D.C., without telling anyone on either end of the trip. At the White House gate, he leaves a note saying he would like to meet with President Richard Nixon. After some phone calls back and forth with White House aides, Presley meets with Nixon in the Oval Office.

35. Haslam: Devising Different Incentives for Border Areas Like Memphis Difficult -

Changing the economic development strategy Tennessee cities use isn’t a new concept. But doing so is easier said than done when bordered by eight states – more than another other state in the union.

36. Last Word: Bredesen's Return, Ford's Exit and Otis Redding 50 Years On -

Former Tennessee Gov. and Nashville mayor Phil Bredesen formally entered the 2018 race for the U.S. Senate Thursday via a YouTube video. AP on Bredesen’s entry and his background. Republican partisans are already assuming Bredesen is the Democratic nominee and Democratic partisans are already assuming U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn is the Republican nominee. And the expectation of such a match up automatically went on the list of midterm races that those on both sides and pundits inbetween will be watching to get a read on national trends.

37. Richard Smith Talks PILOT Reform at Chamber Luncheon -

Richard Smith, president and CEO of FedEx Trade Networks and the incoming chairman of the board for the Greater Memphis Chamber, is calling on industry leaders to reimagine Shelby County's tax incentive programs.

38. Last Word: Bredesen Runs, Germantown Moratorium, Monsanto Fights Dicamba Ban -

The big reveal at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s annual luncheon Wednesday, at least for me – Dale Watson lives in Memphis now. The Americana musician, producer and author was among the performers at the Peabody and he had a bit of trouble getting the group of 700 business and political leaders to sing along with the refrain of one of his most popular tunes – “I Lie When I Drink and I Drink A Lot" -- with at least a dozen video cameras panning the room. But he continued on without audience participation. Other entertainment highlights featured Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland as the voice of Amazon’s Alexa.

39. Diaz Makes Second Bid for County Commission Seat -

Geoff Diaz came to Memphis in 2010 with a lot of political experience and inside knowledge of how the legislative process works.

He moved to Memphis with his wife for her job at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and arrived just after the 2010 midterm congressional primaries. With Charlotte Bergmann as the Republican nominee for the 9th Congressional District seat held by Democratic incumbent Steve Cohen, he immediately signed on as her campaign manager.

40. County Primary Filing Opens With Paperwork Flurry -

A total of 37 prospective candidates in the May 2018 county primaries pulled qualifying petitions last week on the first day of the filing period Friday, Nov. 17.

And the first contenders through the doors at the Shelby County Election Commission in a period that extends to a February deadline confirms a few trends.

41. Chamber Chairman’s Circle Expands Leadership -

As the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle continues to grow, its founding members have decided to restructure its leadership.

Original co-chairs Gary Shorb, Richard Smith, Calvin Anderson, Carolyn Hardy, Spence Wilson Jr., Duncan Williams, Leigh Shockey and Jason Hood voted to install a new leadership structure that will include addition of a chairman, vice chairman and new co-chairs.

42. FedEx Exec Richard Smith Named Chairman of Memphis Chamber -

Richard W. Smith, president and CEO of FedEx Trade Networks and son of FedEx founder Fred Smith, is the new chairman of the board of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

43. Last Word: 2018 Head Start, Tax Reform Bill Votes and Tigers Basketball in Decline -

Can you smell the paper? Friday is the first day that candidates in the 2018 elections can start picking up qualifying petitions for their place on the ballot – in this case the May county primary elections in Shelby County. Here is the scene setter.

44. Smith New Chairman of Greater Memphis Chamber -

Richard W. Smith, president and CEO of FedEx Trade Networks and son of FedEx founder Fred Smith, is the new chairman of the board of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

45. Chamber Chairman’s Circle Expands Leadership -

As the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle continues to grow, its founding members have decided to restructure its leadership.

Original co-chairs Gary Shorb, Richard Smith, Calvin Anderson, Carolyn Hardy, Spence Wilson Jr., Duncan Williams, Leigh Shockey and Jason Hood voted to install a new leadership structure that will include addition of a chairman, vice chairman and new co-chairs.

46. Equifax Calls Executive Stock Sales Days After Breach Legal -

ATLANTA (AP) – Equifax, the credit report company hacked over the summer exposing the personal information of 145 million Americans, said a special committee has determined that none of the four executives who sold shares at the time did anything wrong.

47. Under Pressure From Congress, IRS Suspends Equifax Contract -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The IRS suspended a $7.25 million contract with the credit reporting company Equifax Friday after members of Congress complained the tax agency had awarded a no-bid contract to a company that recently had a massive data beach.

48. Former Equifax CEO Says Response Should Have Been Better -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The former chairman and CEO of Equifax says the challenge of responding to the concerns of tens of millions of consumers in the wake of a massive data breach proved overwhelming, and regrettably, his company made mistakes.

49. Equifax CEO Steps Down in the Wake of Damaging Data Breach -

NEW YORK (AP) – Equifax CEO Richard Smith stepped down Tuesday, less than three weeks after the credit reporting agency disclosed a damaging hack to its computer system that exposed highly sensitive information for about 143 million Americans.

50. Fairgrounds Proposal Coming Into Focus -

Aaron Shafer saw the writing on the wall, so to speak, at the second public gathering toward a redevelopment plan for the Fairgrounds last week.

51. Public Shaming Likely but GOP Wary of New Laws After Equifax -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Prospects are good for a public shaming in the Equifax data breach, but it's unlikely Congress will institute sweeping new regulations after hackers accessed the personal information of an estimated 143 million Americans.

52. Atlanta Retail Investor Makes $29M Purchase -

In this week’s Real Estate Recap, an 18-acre shopping center in the heart of Bartlett sells for $28.8 million, Ulta Beauty prepares to build out its space in Poplar Commons, and Dave & Buster’s continues work on its first Memphis location...

53. Feds Point Fingers as 'Debt Relief' Cos. Prey on Students -

Fraudulent "debt relief" companies are preying on the most vulnerable of the 44 million people with student loans, as federal officials dispute who's to blame and what to do, a NerdWallet investigation has found.

54. 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.

55. Strickland Calls For Review of City Hall Escort List -

Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings is reviewing a list of 81 citizens who cannot come to City Hall without a police escort to wherever they are going in the building after Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland requested the review Saturday, Feb. 18.

56. Strickland Calls For Review of City Hall Escort List -

Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings is reviewing a list of 81 citizens who cannot come to City Hall without a police escort to wherever they are going in the building after Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland requested the review Saturday, Feb. 18.

57. Strickland Calls For Review of City Hall Escort List -

Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings is reviewing a list of 81 citizens who cannot come to City Hall without a police escort to wherever they are going in the building after Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland requested the review Saturday, Feb. 18.

58. Last Word: Wessman Trouble, Selling 495 Union and An Underground Film Icon -

When Wessman Development came to town last year with the idea of a boutique hotel, the Palm Springs, California company was part of the flood of smaller hotel projects Memphis was seeing and is still seeing. Then the company added another hotel and just this month the redevelopment of a building on Madison west of Second Street as apartments with retail on the ground floor. In a very short period of time, Wessman has had a lot of plans for Memphis.

59. Impact of Three-Day RiverArtsFest Felt Year-Round -

RiverArtsFest is gearing up for its 10th annual fine arts festival this weekend Downtown in the South Main Arts District, where more than 20,000 people are expected to attend the three-day event.

Launched in 1989 as Arts in the Park in Overton Park before relocating to the Memphis Botanic Garden in 1992, the fest was revitalized in 2007 as RiverArtsFest and moved to its present location.

60. 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.

61. 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.

62. Zoo and OPC Reach Compromise in Greensward Controversy -

The Memphis Zoo and the Overton Park Conservancy reached agreement Monday, July 18, on a compromise to end the zoo’s overflow parking on the Greensward that fills in some of the blanks left in Mayor Jim Strickland’s proposal and changes some of the terms.

63. The Rest of the August Ballot -

If all goes according to plan on the Aug. 4 election day, Linda Phillips hopes the result is that you don’t see her in any of the reporting on election night.

64. Memphis Bar Poll Ranks Judicial Candidates -

More than 800 local attorneys have weighed in on the judicial races on the Aug. 4 Shelby County ballot.

The Memphis Bar Association Judicial Qualification Poll asks attorneys which candidate is best qualified for a judicial post. The participation ranged between 818 and 873 votes per question.

65. Strickland Unveils Greensward Solution, Zoo Not Happy -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has put forth his plan to end parking on the Overton Park Greensward.

66. Memphis Bar Poll Ranks Judicial Candidates -

More than 800 local attorneys have weighed in on the judicial races on the Aug. 4 Shelby County ballot. The Memphis Bar Association Judicial Qualification Poll asks attorneys which candidate is best qualified for a judicial post.

67. Reader Insists Parking Solution Already Exists for Zoo -

I just read a very well thought out and thorough letter (from Richard Smith, mediator in the Overton Park parking controversy) about the zoo parking issue. I have another way of looking at it.

68. Last Word: Budget Basics, A Peak At Greensward Mediation and Elvis & Nixon -

Spurs 94 – Grizzlies 68 in game 2 of the NBA playoffs. The TNT post-game show just showed the highlights of the game while Shaq and Charles Barkley talked about how big the women are in San Antonio. I’m not making this up. They didn’t even try to talk about the game. This is just grim.

69. Finding a Compromise on the Greensward Issue -

The current debate over the Memphis Zoo’s use of the Greensward for overflow parking is more complex than most realize. Opponents of this usage try to paint a very compelling picture of the Zoo as a massive, profit-driven enterprise which came into Overton Park like an invasive species and has recklessly expanded, gobbling up park land and taking it away from the citizens.

70. Greensward Talks Getting Complex -

A week ago, the board of the Overton Park Conservancy had a visitor at its meeting – Richard Smith, the Memphis Zoo’s representative in the ongoing private mediation talks between the conservancy and the zoo.

71. Election Commission Hires New Elections Coordinator -

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

72. Phillips New County Elections Administrator -

Shelby County Election Commissioners voted Friday, April 8, to hire Linda Phillips, a former county clerk in Tippecanoe County, Indiana to be the next Shelby County Elections Coordinator.

73. Shelby County Election Commission Hires New Coordinator -

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

74. Shelby County Election Commission Hires New Coordinator -

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

75. 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.

76. Elections Chief Finalists Have Political Histories -

The two finalists for the job of Shelby County Elections Administrator each told the Election Commission last week that if they get the job they will have some rebuilding work to do in how local elections are conducted.

77. 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.

78. Greensward Dispute Mediation Begins -

The city-backed mediation effort between the Memphis Zoo and the Overton Park Conservancy begins Tuesday, March 8, following a busy weekend in Overton Park that brought out large crowds for the zoo as well as the park in general.

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

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

80. Hedgepeth Defends Greensward Action, Conservancy Moves to Mediation -

Memphis City Council member Reid Hedgepeth says the body's Tuesday, March 1, vote to give the Memphis Zoo control of part of the Overton Park Greensward was an attempt to “rectify a mistake.”

81. Tuesday is Final Day Of Early Voting -

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

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

82. Last Word: Time and The Greensward, Crosstown High and Race and Sports -

Remember how the schools merger story of about five years ago would change by the hour at times? That story has met its equal in what is becoming the first major challenge of the new Strickland administration at City Hall – the Overton Park Greensward.
So much happened before noon Tuesday on the first day of the short work week that it required waiting for the dust to settle on several fronts.
Here is the latest on a very fluid and volatile situation that could very well change as you are reading this.
Luckily we report at a time when you can change stories on line to keep up with such changes.
Zoos and parks and protests featuring brass bands suggest to a casual observer that this is not very serious as controversies go.
And maybe that was the case about a year and a half ago when a group of high school students decided to block the gravel driveway from the zoo parking lot onto the greensward.
But consider this:
The Memphis Zoo is working toward a March 1 opening of its new exhibit, Zambezi River Hippo Camp, a $22-million attraction that from what we saw just a few months ago will likely draw big crowds to the zoo in the spring.
The zoo was preparing for that starting with the removal of 27 trees from the north end of the greensward.
The best Mayor Jim Strickland could get from both sides – the zoo and Overton Park Conservancy – at his meeting with them Tuesday was a commitment to take his proposal for mediation to their respective boards.
The zoo board has authorized its leaders to file a lawsuit in Chancery Court over the greensward and it’s very likely the zoo would go to court before the March 1 opening because of the crowds on their way.
If the work to come by the zoo in advance of the March 1 opening involves heavy machinery, the reaction is likely to draw a much bigger protest than the ones Memphis Police have so far watched from a distance without making arrests.
As in all pressing political dramas, this controversy has the accelerant of timing.

83. Memphis Chamber Names 2016 Board of Directors -

The Greater Memphis Chamber has announced its 2016 board of directors, which was unanimously approved by the current board of directors.

New board officers include Richard Smith, vice president of global trade services at FedEx Express, who will serve as vice chair; and Douglas Scarboro, vice president and regional executive of the Memphis branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, who will serve as vice chair of finance and treasurer.

84. Memphis Chamber Names 2016 Board of Directors -

The Greater Memphis Chamber has announced its 2016 board of directors, which was unanimously approved by the current board of directors.

New board officers include Richard Smith, vice president of global trade services at FedEx Express, who will serve as vice chair; and Douglas Scarboro, vice president and regional executive of the Memphis branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, who will serve as vice chair of finance and treasurer.

85. Forum Connects Minority Businesses, Econ Opportunities -

This week’s Economic Development Forum is an opportunity for minority and women-owned businesses to connect to opportunities in the Memphis area.

In its eighth year, the forum is presented by the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum and runs Tuesday, Aug. 25 through Thursday, Aug. 27. Some 6,000 to 7,000 attendees are expected over the three-day event held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, said Luke Yancy III, president and CEO of the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum.

86. County Commission Votes on Hiring Attorney in Schools Funding Lawsuit -

Shelby County Commissioners vote Monday, Aug. 24, on hiring an attorney to be the body’s special counsel in a statewide education funding lawsuit.

The commission specifically votes on hiring the law firm of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard and Smith LLP to represent and advise it “on adequate and equitable school funding from the state of Tennessee.”

87. Collierville Referendum Effort On $95M School Falls Short -

There won’t be a special election later this year in Collierville.

An effort to force a referendum on the $95 million bond issue for the new Collierville High School fell short of the 3,281 signatures it needed to take it to the ballot.

88. OneJet Lands in Memphis, Thanks in Part to FedEx -

Mid-South business travelers now have an easy, efficient way to reach several large Midwestern markets.

OneJet, a startup airline catering to business travelers, launched its inaugural Memphis to Indianapolis flight on Monday, June 22.

89. Browne Named RISE Foundation Board Chair -

Terri Browne, chief people officer for Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., has been named board chair of the nonprofit RISE Foundation, which seeks to improve the lives of low-income working Memphians through financial literacy.

90. Legislators Not Moved by Hymns, Reason -

The words of “We Shall Overcome” and “Wade in the Water” resonate through the halls as Insure Tennessee supporters descend on the Legislative Plaza for a key vote on the plan to provide coverage to 280,000 working Tennesseans.

91. Sweet Potato Baby Cooks Up Awards -

Aryen Moore-Alston, executive chef and owner of Sweet Potato Baby, recently received two honors for the boutique catering and baked-goods company she opened in Memphis last year.

Sweet Potato Baby was named a winner of the American Small Business Championship by SCORE, a national organization that mentors entrepreneurs and small-business owners. It was also named to the Greater Memphis Chamber’s “10 to Watch” in 2015 list, which recognized companies and organizations that stood out in 2014 for their leadership in the community.

92. Campbell’s Gamble Finally Pays With Scholarship -

KNOXVILLE – Galen Campbell might get to play a minute here or there as the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team pursues its surprising run toward bubble status for the NCAA tournament.

93. Lasting Legacies -

A FedEx commercial that never made it past the storyboard stage portrayed company founder, chairman and CEO Fred Smith as a child filling out an order form in the back of a comic book for a batch of Sea-Monkeys, sending it off and waiting for the delivery.

94. Millennial Challenge: Do I Rent or Do I Own? -

Mike Smalling is a mortgage loan originator with F&M Mortgage and is a lifer in mortgage lending. He recently penned a book entitled “Your Mortgage Matters,” and the work provides information for those new to home buying, as well as those that have bought and sold numerous homes.

95. Appraisals Trail Amount Middle Tennessee Buyers Willing to Pay -

There are a few hot topics from the real estate world this week, the first being that appraisers seem to have hit the wall on the rampant price inflation.

With less inventory and more sales, sellers are resting in an enviable position inasmuch as buyers are forced to pay whatever is asked, or more, in order to acquire properties.

96. May We Remember -

MAY WE NOTE LEST WE FORGET. The day after Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee died last week, I told my audience that I was going to open my remarks with a question, and I knew I was going to be depressed by the answer.

97. Meritan’s Branch Named Among Top Nurses -

Cindy Branch, Meritan’s associate vice president for health services, has been selected to represent Tennessee as one of the nation’s top 50 home care and hospice nurses by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and the Home Healthcare Nurses Association. Branch, a registered nurse, has oversight of Meritan’s nursing programs, including home health, private duty nursing and medical residential homes. She will be recognized at NACH’s annual meeting in October.

98. Big River Distilling to Start Production Next Month -

A group of founders with long-standing family ties to Memphis, including sons of FedEx founder Fred Smith, is in the process of launching Big River Distilling Co. LLC, a local vodka distillery which will start production next month.

99. Big River Distilling to Start Production Next Month -

A group of founders with long-standing family ties to Memphis, including sons of FedEx founder Fred Smith, is in the process of launching Big River Distilling Co. LLC, Memphis’ first vodka distillery that will start production next month.

100. Hot Yoga Plus Expands in Memphis -

Hot Yoga Plus, a Nashville-based yoga concept, is opening a second Memphis area location.

Hot Yoga Plus, founded by Memphian Susannah Herring, has signed a 2,015-square-foot lease at 9037 Poplar Ave. in Germantown. The new store is expected to open this fall and follows the original Memphis location in Laurelwood.