Editorial Results (free)
1. Williams Hired for Memphis Blight-Fighting Fellowship
- Wednesday, July 06, 2016
The city of Memphis and University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law recently hired Brittany J. Williams as the city’s first Neighborhood Preservation Fellow. In that role, Williams will represent the city in Environmental Court lawsuits against property owners who have vacant, abandoned or dilapidated properties that violate city codes.
2. Brush With Death Recalled, Part 2
- Thursday, June 16, 2016
In February 2002 – when I reconnected with my friend Cotton and reminisced about his indigestion-turned-heart-attack from 20 years earlier – I had nothing to connect that up with. Thus, the memory receded into my personal unconscious.
3. Beer Run
- Thursday, June 02, 2016
Last week I wrote a brief account of my high school football career. And that got me to thinking about other memorable high school experiences. A decade or so ago I wrote a column based on Bill Bryson’s “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” and another book that I was reading at the same time. Both books, I noted, had funny stories about teenage boys stealing alcoholic beverages.
4. May 6-12: This Week in Memphis History
- Saturday, May 07, 2016
1986: Kroger buys 5.7 acres of land for $2.9 million at the southeast corner of Mendenhall Road and Sanderlin Drive from the William B. Clark family. It will be the site of a new Kroger superstore. The Clark family sold an adjacent parcel, where an eight-story Garden Plaza hotel was already under construction, for $2.1 million the previous September.
5. Rudolph: The Hidden Story
- Thursday, April 21, 2016
This column is about Rudolph, the reindeer with the red nose. Or, rather, the literature via which he was created. I heard that it all started in a department store. Could this be true?
After investigation, I can report that Rudolph indeed was the 1939 brain child of a 34-year-old Montgomery Ward copywriter.
6. Finding a Compromise on the Greensward Issue
- Wednesday, April 20, 2016
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.
7. Quotation Anthologist Still Going Strong
- Thursday, March 24, 2016
In October 2008 I wrote a couple of columns that, taken together, set forth a quotation and then endeavored to correctly identify the source thereof. That quotation – “I don’t cry over spilt milk, but a fallen scoop of ice cream is enough to ruin my whole day,” attributed to one Terri Guillemets – may be found throughout cyberspace to this day.
8. The Week Ahead: February 29, 2016
- Monday, February 29, 2016
How was your weekend, Memphis? We know what you’ll be doing Tuesday (voting, of course!), but plenty of nonpolitical happenings grace this week’s calendar too – from a trio of Grizzlies games to a fundraiser supporting fair housing.
9. City Council Approves Colonial Conversion, Vintage Trolley Purchase
- Wednesday, January 20, 2016
One of two golf courses at Colonial Country Club would give way to houses under a planned development approved Tuesday, Jan. 19, by the Memphis City Council.
The council approved a development that would turn the north course at Colonial into either a mix of single-family homes, townhouses and cottages or a mix of housing for senior citizens.
10. Council Members Settle In To New Assignments
- Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Memphis City Council members file the last of the paperwork Tuesday, Jan. 19, from the 2015 elections to put City Hall’s power transition on record.
Meanwhile, the six new members are learning on the job as they chair several committees following assignments by council chairman Kemp Conrad: Martavius Jones is chairman of the council audit committee; Patrice Robinson chairs the Memphis Light Gas and Water Division committee; Jamita Swearengen is chairwoman of the parks and neighborhoods committee; council member Philip Spinosa leads the personnel committee, usually the first committee session of the council day; Frank Colvett chairs the planning and zoning committee, which is the last session of the day before executive session; and Worth Morgan is chairman of the public safety committee.
11. Pound of Poetry: Part 1
- Thursday, November 19, 2015
The year is 1945. An American soldier on the outskirts of Rapallo, Italy, is approached by a gray-bearded gentleman. He asks the soldier to take him to the authorities. Someone recognizes this fellow as the one about whom Washington has been sending cables. Seize him! Don’t let him escape or commit suicide! He’s dangerous! He is, in fact, under indictment for treason. Has been since 1943.
12. Drawing a Blank
- Thursday, October 01, 2015
Nothing. That’s what I’ve got today. It happens.
For a couple of years now, there’s been some connection between the I Swear Crossword and this column in any given week. So, having nothing today is actually appropriate, as I am running a puzzle without a theme. There’s a cutting-edge, in-the-news 15-letter phrase across the center of the puzzle. And a half-dozen or so other lively phrases. But no theme.
13. Mercedes-Benz Hires Heath Elliott as Sales Manager
- Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Heath Elliott has joined Mercedes-Benz of Collierville as general sales manager. In his new role, Elliott will manage the sales of all new and pre-owned cars sold at the dealership, which opened in 2014.
14. Booting Up
- Thursday, August 27, 2015
I don’t remember where I got the quip that is the theme for today’s I Swear Crossword. It’s hardly original. The gist of it is that if you power down for a while, you’ll almost always power back up. It’s a comforting thought. Or is it?
15. Stephen & LeBron: Destined to Cross Paths?
- Thursday, July 02, 2015
When NBA MVP Stephen (pronounced Steff’n) Curry was in high school, he attended a basketball camp sponsored by LeBron James. The first time LeBron saw Steph, though, was in March 2008. James’s Cleveland Cavaliers were playing the Detroit Pistons, a night game. That afternoon LeBron showed up at Ford Field, with 53,000 others.
16. Mark Mosteller Joins Evolve Bank & Trust
- Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Mark E. Mosteller Sr. recently joined Evolve Bank & Trust as executive vice president, accounting and finance.
The new role includes a variety of responsibilities, including management of the accounting and finance department team, accounting internal controls, internal and external financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, taxes and treasury management. Mosteller also works with senior and executive management and the board on accounting, finance and operational issues.
17. Long Live the Pasquins
- Thursday, February 12, 2015
Charlie Hebdo promotes itself as having a viewpoint that reflects “all components of left wing pluralism.” Its business is satire. It skewers Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Muslims. It has twice been attacked by terrorists. The attack in 2011 didn’t kill anyone.
18. Undoing a Do That’s a Don’t
- Thursday, December 04, 2014
I get a laugh now and again for telling what the crossword clues are for the term “comb over.” In light of a recent story from the sports page, I can’t resist writing about the topic. For your edification, of course.
19. Atonement for a Halloween Past
- Thursday, October 30, 2014
‘Twas many and many a year ago when I acquired a genuine witch’s hat. That Halloween I covered my face with clown-white and donned an old choir robe. I was trying to be the funniest witch imaginable.
20. Less Heat, More Light
- Thursday, October 16, 2014
In a 1912 poem, Ezra Pound wrote, “Winter is icumen in.” Pound’s “Ancient Music” parodies a 13th century Anglo-Saxon poem that begins “Sumer is icumen in” (sic). Hardly a novel idea: “Here comes winter.” Happens every year, no? We want to prepare.
21. Williams-Sonoma Growth Highlights DeSoto Push
- Wednesday, October 01, 2014
In 1999, Williams-Sonoma Inc. opened its first DeSoto County distribution center on Polk Lane in Olive Branch.
22. Rail Houses in Art, Elsewhere
- Thursday, August 14, 2014
Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series.
The quest continues for a definition of rail house, a term found in business names across several countries. Most Rail Houses are eateries, or drinkeries, but there’s a rec center, an event venue, a B&B, a brewery or two, office buildings, and more. A typical Rail House is near the tracks, has a train station motif, and may be located in a remodeled railway building.
23. Probe Exposes Flaws Behind HealthCare.gov Rollout
- Thursday, July 31, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — Management failures by the Obama administration set the stage for the computer woes that paralyzed the president's new health care program last fall, nonpartisan investigators said in testimony released Wednesday.
24. Mr. B’s Cross-Examination
- Thursday, July 17, 2014
Several years ago, a Mr. B. testified as an expert witness in a plane crash case. The lawyer cross-examining him worked awfully hard. And provided some entertainment along the way. The issue was whether the pilot should have been warned of bad weather seen earlier by six FAA employees.
25. One and One for the Morrisseys
- Thursday, April 03, 2014
Robin and Darren Morrissey, wife and husband, finished one and one at the 2014 Clinton School Puzzle Festival. That would be first place in crosswords and first place in Sudoku.
26. Damn This Traffic Jam!
- Thursday, January 23, 2014
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
So read an Aug. 13, 2013, email exchange between a couple of New Jersey pols. Why Fort Lee?
Earlier efforts to pluck Democratic endorsements in the Garden State for Gov. Chris Christie’s reelection campaign had failed as to Fort Lee’s mayor, Mark Sokolich. Moreover, the day before, the Democratic state senator who represents Fort Lee had effectively blocked Christie’s reappointment of a Republican state supreme court justice. On Aug. 12, Christie referred to Jersey’s Democratic state senators as “animals.”
27. Ghosts of Holiday Programs Past
- Tuesday, December 24, 2013
It’s that time of year again. Time for holiday programs.
Such as the one recounted by John Irving in “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” The one directed annually by Rev. and Mrs. Wiggin. The one that made Owen mad, because the little kids were “disguised as turtledoves.”In costumes “so absurd that no one knew what these children were supposed to be”! They looked like “science-fiction angels, spectacular life-forms from another galaxy, as if the Wiggins had decided that the Holy Nativity had been attended by beings from faraway planets.”
28. Meadows Appointed to State Dentistry Board
- Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Dr. Dan T. Meadows has been appointed to the Tennessee Board of Dentistry by Gov. Bill Haslam. Meadows, who has a private practice on Walnut Grove Road, will serve as the Rotating Dentist member through June 2016.
- Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Kiwanis Club of Memphis will meet Wednesday, Sept. 18, from noon to 1 p.m. at The University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. William Rodney of Medicos will speak. Cost is $18 for nonmembers.
- Monday, September 16, 2013
FedEx will host the 34th annual fashion show and auction benefiting The Baddour Center on Monday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Registration begins at 10 a.m.; the luncheon and program begin at 11 a.m. Tickets are $40. Visit baddour.org or call 662-366-6930.
31. Divine Inspiration Helps Guide Renaissance’s Allen
- Saturday, September 07, 2013
Brandon Allen, an architect with Renaissance Group, was raised with a pencil and paper in hand, and the blueprint for how to put them to use in a career.
32. Grandparenting 101
- Thursday, September 05, 2013
Susan and I had a crash course in grandparent training a couple of weeks ago, keeping 6-month-old Anna Clary for a weekend. This was an independent-study course, and we gave ourselves passing marks. However, I’m always in search of materials to study for the next phase of grandparenthood.
33. Please, Please Belize! Part 1
- Thursday, April 25, 2013
A decade ago in this space, I told a story about receiving multiple hang-up phone calls between midnight and dawn over a period of several weeks. Via Caller ID and returning some of these calls at later times, I learned the Greyhound Federal Credit Union’s toll-free automated line was one digit off from a toll-free number I’d acquired years earlier. Somehow, I got the issue resolved with Greyhound.
34. A Murphy’s Law Birthday
- Thursday, January 10, 2013
“Turn right in four-tenths of a mile,” Susan said. “I’m looking forward to some light, warmth, TV and Internet access.”
It was Dec. 26, 2012, my 61st birthday. Mother Nature had doused us with a wet, yucky snowfall the night before. The familiar pop of transformers had punctuated the cold winter evening as we watched blue bursts of energy in the distance.
35. EPA Administrator Jackson Announces Resignation
- Friday, December 28, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) – EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the Obama administration's chief environmental watchdog, is stepping down after nearly four years marked by high-profile brawls over global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, new controls on coal-fired plants and several other hot-button issues that affect the nation's economy and people's health.
36. Stranded During Christmas Decorating
- Thursday, December 27, 2012
My understanding of Christmas tree lights, in a word, is nada, zilch, nil. OK, so that’s three words. I plug in a strand. If the bulbs light up, we’re good. If they don’t, I’m lost.
37. Fayette, Marshall Prep for Ambitious Industrial
- Monday, December 17, 2012
With Norfolk Southern Corp.’s Memphis Regional Intermodal Terminal now operational in Rossville and a pair of large-scale industrial manufacturing buildings under way in the area, stakeholders say the future is bright for the region.
38. 6th Circuit Remands Third-Party Access Case
- Monday, December 03, 2012
A federal appeals court has ordered a lower court to reconsider whether Tennessee’s requirements to get on the ballot for third parties and their candidates are unconstitutionally restrictive.
39. Census Data Another Sign Economy has Bottomed Out
- Friday, September 21, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) – Five years after the housing bust, the U.S. economy is showing signs of finally bottoming out.
Americans are on the move again after putting their lives on hold and staying put. More young adults are leaving their parents' homes to take a chance with college or the job market, while once-sharp declines in births are leveling off and poverty is slowing.
40. John or Bill
- Friday, July 20, 2012
A PROPHET IS NOT WITHOUT HONOR, SAVE AROUND HERE. If William Faulkner looked out the window on this cloudy day he would see the still and always green magnolia leaves still and always sad still and always there still and always reminding remanding back still and always back in the sunless indolent superheated moment between a dark brooding now the even darker starker truth of then and the oppressive promise hanging in the coming storm of repeating the moment still and always the same.
41. Baptist Contracts With Software Vendor Epic
- Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. has signed a contract with Epic, a software vendor based out of Verona, Wis., to implement the health care system’s transition to electronic health records.
42. Fueling Up
- Monday, May 28, 2012
If the political ads along these lines haven’t already started by the time this story is printed, don’t worry. They’ll arrive soon enough.
Somewhere out there, a Republican political strategist is cooking up an ad that hits President Barack Obama over the average price at the gas pump these days – which, while it has fallen in recent weeks, is still a lot higher than when the president took office. At press time, the national average for a gallon of regular gas was $3.72 – up from a little less than $2 when George W. Bush left office.
43. Cordova’s Appling Lakes Sells for $26 Million
- Monday, May 28, 2012
1385 Appling Road
Cordova, TN 38016
Sale Total: $26.4 million (27 TIC sellers)
44. ‘Hopefully’ Springs Eternal
- Thursday, May 17, 2012
Near the end of a short essay, “El Dorado,” published in 1881, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “… to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive ….” (Hint: The essay is not about travel at all. It’s about life.)
45. B&N, Microsoft Team Up on Nook, College Businesses
- Tuesday, May 01, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) – Books and bits united Monday as Microsoft provided an infusion of money to help Barnes & Noble compete with top electronic bookseller Amazon. In exchange, Microsoft gets a long-desired foothold in the business of e-books and college textbooks.
46. Gripping Tales Of True Crime
- Thursday, April 19, 2012
During the past 16 months, NPR has featured a couple of creative police-blotter writers in stories filed by Don Gorenstein and Alexandria Gutierrez.
In January 2011, Gorenstein reported on John Nolan, editor of the Rochester (N.H.) Times, who writes up the local police’s doings, and is known to inject puns and rhyme into his work. For example:
47. Quirky is as Quirky Does
- Thursday, February 09, 2012
In a recent “Under Analysis” column Mark Levison wrote that he finds lawyers “interesting, entertaining and quite often a bit quirky.” He then describes some of the quirky lawyers around him.
48. MED Fdtn. Names Brandenburg Director of Development
- Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Joe Brandenburg has joined The MED Foundation as director of development.
Hometown: Connersville, Ind.
Education: B.A., mass communications, Western Kentucky University; master’s in public administration, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
49. Less-Than-Angelic Christmas Programs
- Thursday, December 22, 2011
Again it is the time of year that reminds me of Christmas programs. Such as the one recounted by John Irving in “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” The one directed annually by Rev. and Mrs. Wiggin. The one that made Owen mad because “the smaller children were disguised as turtledoves. The costumes were so absurd that no one knew what these children were supposed to be; they resembled science-fiction angels, spectacular life-forms from another galaxy, as if the Wiggins had decided that the Holy Nativity had been attended by beings from faraway planets.”
50. Baptist Medical Group Acquires 3 Clinics
- Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Baptist Memorial Medical Group, an affiliate of Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp., has acquired three primary-care clinics: Cary M. Finn and Associates, The Light Clinic PC and Memphis Internal Medicine PLLC.
51. Groups Working to Address Minority Care Disparities
- Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Disparities in minority health continue to be a major health care issue in Memphis, but a determined group of health care, academic, government and faith-based entities is working diligently to address those disparities.
- Wednesday, May 25, 2011
A Belgian Beer Dinner will be held Wednesday, May 25, at 7 p.m. at Mesquite Chop House, 88 Union Ave. The dinner will be presented by Steve Barzizza of Southwestern Beverages. For more information, call 527-5337 or visit www.mesquitechophouse.com.
53. Q3 Profit, Sales Up for AutoZone
- Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc. turned in a strong fiscal third quarter, despite concerns about whether higher gas prices and bad weather in parts of the country would lead customers to drive their cars less – and thus need to swap out parts less often.
54. Special Coverage: Mid-South Flooding
- Friday, May 06, 2011
DeWitt Spain Airport Inundated With Water
General DeWitt Spain Airport was inundated with flood waters early Thursday morning. Reports said around midnight, part of a berm washed out as well as part of North Second Street, which had already been closed because of rising water. A broken water main contributed to the high water.
55. Quintessential Pro Se Brie
- Thursday, February 24, 2011
Let’s start by quoting some reader mail:
“I enjoyed ‘That blankety-blank law.’ …I’d like to include it on ... my Web page.” G. Green, Little Rock.
“I enjoyed as much as reading your article, doing your puzzle. Will this be a regular thing?” K. Hudson, Collierville.
56. Cleaborn Homes Tops Council’s Agenda
- Tuesday, January 04, 2011
The first Memphis City Council meeting of 2011 features a light agenda.
Among the items is approval of a $3 million appropriation of federal funding for the redevelopment of the Cleaborn Homes public housing development.
57. Exhibition Delves into American Ethos
- Monday, November 15, 2010
Rural Southern landscapes, poetically charged illustrations and re-created battle scenes compose an extensive perspective on life in the South and American art in the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art’s current exhibition.
58. ArtsMemphis, DU Team Up for Conservation Effort
- Friday, October 15, 2010
At first glance, it seems an unlikely partnership. But in the Mid-South, an initiative that brings together waterfowl enthusiasts and art supporters makes perfect sense.
“Here we have the best hunting grounds in the entire world and also an amazing, unique, vibrant arts community,” said Susan Schadt, president and CEO of ArtsMemphis. “In a lot of ways, we think that conservation and art are two of the best things this area has to offer.”
59. Realtors: Housing Has Nowhere to Go But Up
- Thursday, September 16, 2010
Although the local real estate industry took yet another year-over-year dip in August – as new and existing home sales declined 13 percent from the same month a year ago – Realtors see the light at the end of the tunnel.
60. Architectural Stories
- Wednesday, September 08, 2010
The houses on this year’s Central Gardens Home and Garden Tour chronicle a century of architectural styling.
They begin with traditional designs that borrow from past times and end with a 1967 residence built for the modern age. The 34th annual tour, which features six homes, will be from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
61. MedVet Memphis Builds New Cordova Facility
- Tuesday, August 31, 2010
555 Trinity Creek Cove
Cordova, TN 38018
Permit Amount: $3 million
Permit Date: Applied August 2010
Completion: May 2011 (open Summer 2011)
Owner: MedVet Memphis LLC
Tenant: MedVet Memphis LLC
Contractor: Grinder, Taber & Grinder Inc.
62. BP Oil Spill Provides Opportunities for Change
- Wednesday, July 21, 2010
What great news! After 85 days and millions of gallons of oil spilling into the waters off Louisiana’s coast, the flow has been stopped.
Everyone’s hopeful this or some similar “controlled” condition will last. Time will tell. Assuming it does, those who have been working tirelessly on the containment and recovery of the oil will be able to see light at the end of the tunnel. A final amount of oil will have been spilled and a final amount will eventually be recovered. You know they will not be the same number and they will not be close.
63. Norfolk Southern Almost Ready To Break Ground
- Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Norfolk Southern Corp. is about to clear the final hurdle needed to begin work on its Rossville intermodal terminal, where cargo containers will be transferred between trucks and trains.
64. Realizing Dreams
- Tuesday, July 06, 2010
William Adair’s quad-cab, four-wheel-drive pickup truck is splattered with mud. The office where he parks it out back, a converted country home at the corner of Tenn. 196 and U.S. 72, is littered with maps.
65. Gov’t Bank Auditors Got Big Bonuses Too
- Friday, March 19, 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) – Banks weren’t the only ones giving big bonuses in the boom years before the worst financial crisis in generations. The government also was handing out millions of dollars to bank regulators, rewarding “superior” work even as an avalanche of risky mortgages helped create the meltdown.
66. The Cost of Progress
- Monday, March 08, 2010
The development of Norfolk Southern Corp.’s $112 million intermodal yard on a former cattle ranch in Fayette County has polarized the community for more than a year.
67. Glankler Brown Names Bradley Chief Manager
- Wednesday, March 03, 2010
William R. Bradley Jr. has been named chief manager of Glankler Brown PLLC.
Bradley’s primary practice areas include intellectual property, maintenance and litigation, antitrust counseling and litigation, business litigation, and construction litigation.
68. Norfolk Woes?
- Thursday, February 04, 2010
Norfolk Southern Corp. hasn’t laid down any of the track that will connect its main line to the proposed $112 million intermodal terminal in Rossville, but the company is laying down a foundation to keep the project on target to open in two years.
69. Much Care, Work Goes Into Law School Transformation
- Thursday, January 14, 2010
As the new University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law has come to fruition this winter, it has been difficult not to feel the presence of the building’s former lives.
But none of those lives has remained completely intact in a series of renovations since its 1884 debut as the U.S. Customs House.
70. More Details, Concerns Emerge From Norfolk Southern Deal
- Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Norfolk Southern Corp. has unveiled preliminary environmental data that will serve as the foundation of its proposed intermodal terminal in Fayette County, where cargo containers will be transferred between trucks and trains.
71. Herenton Faces Child Support Issues
- Monday, September 28, 2009
Michael J. Herenton turned 5 over the weekend. It was a difficult transition.
He and his mother, Claudine Marsh, had to move out of their home in the Atlanta area because of flooding.
Meanwhile, Marsh has been talking by phone with her son’s father, former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, about his recent decision to quit his job. Herenton’s last day in office was July 31.
72. UPDATE: Herenton Income To Be Examined In Child Support Petition
- Thursday, September 24, 2009
The mother of a 4-year-old child who is the son of former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton wants to know more about how he makes his money now that he’s out of work.
The petition for contempt and to modify child support filed in Juvenile Court Thursday seeks to change the child support payments for Michael J. Herenton.
73. Jefferson, Boyd in Council Crosshairs
- Friday, September 11, 2009
A resolution will come before the Memphis City Council Tuesday authorizing Memphis Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery to immediately remove City Attorney Elbert Jefferson from office.
74. Update: City Attorney Out Rest Of Week
- Thursday, September 10, 2009
Memphis Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery’s scheduled meeting with City Attorney Elbert Jefferson will have to wait until next week at the earliest.
Jefferson and Lowery had been scheduled to meet Tuesday, but the embattled city attorney called in sick. He also called in sick Wednesday and indicated he would be out for the rest of this week.
Jefferson’s fate appears to be in question after last week’s revelation that he authorized a more than $55,000 payment to the lawyer of former Mayor Willie Herenton shortly before Herenton retired at the end of July. At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Lowery declined to say what he planned to talk about with Jefferson.
Jefferson’s future is also likely to be a hot topic at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Councilman Bill Morrison appears set to introduce a resolution authorizing Lowery to immediately remove Jefferson from office. The draft language of the resolution cites Jefferson’s “approval of a rushed payment of city funds” to Herenton’s attorney “in a private matter” and Jefferson’s failure to notify Lowery and Lowery’s chief administrative officer, Jack Sammons.
The resolution reads, in part:
“Whereas, recent revelations that the current city attorney and chief ethics officer Elbert Jefferson is being investigated by federal authorities about his approval of a rushed payment of $55,000 of city funds to an attorney hired to represent Willie W. Herenton in a private matter; his failure to notify the mayor pro tem and CAO that he had been questioned by the FBI about such actions; and his failure to notify his superiors, Mayor Pro Tem and CAO, that records involving the aforementioned payment were recently subpoenaed by the grand jury, cause great concern about the city attorney’s abilities and judgment.
“Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Memphis City Council urges Mayor Pro Tem Lowery to immediately remove Elbert Jefferson from the Office of City Attorney based on these questionable practices.”
In an interview with The Daily News Tuesday night, Herenton took issue with the description of the payment to Robert Spence as “rushed.”
The word "RUSH" is stamped on a check request Jefferson approved for Spence's payment. But Herenton said many of the contracts he left unsigned or requests unauthorized were rushed by various city division directors.
“In my 17 years, I bet you I've signed hundreds of rushed (requests). But in the newspaper it became 'Herenton's trying to get his legal fees paid,'” Herenton said.
Jefferson was the last of four city attorneys Herenton worked with in his more than 17 years as mayor. Herenton praised Jefferson’s work and said he has become a victim of “ruthless, reckless politics.”
“I have nothing but respect for Elbert,” Herenton said. “It is unfortunate that he finds himself caught up in the political arena, where Mayor Pro Tem Lowery is exercising some vindictiveness.”
Lowery told The Daily News Tuesday night that Jefferson’s recent questioning about the Spence payment by FBI agents backs up Lowery’s actions and comments.
Spence’s work involved representing the former mayor during an investigation whose subject appeared to wander over the past year.
It included Herenton's one-time option to buy the land where the Greyhound bus terminal now stands on Union Avenue. Some recent grand jury testimony focused on money paid to Herenton aide Pete Aviotti by business leaders for Herenton's annual Christmas party.
Spence told The Daily News earlier this week his client has not received a letter from prosecutors or any other type of notification that Herenton is the target of the investigation. Prosecutors sometimes make such a notification, but it is not required.
Jefferson, meanwhile, is not the only person who may be on the hot seat Tuesday before the City Council. Another resolution has been drafted that seeks to vacate Councilman Bill Boyd’s seat.
That resolution, sponsored by Councilman Joe Brown, reads:
“Whereas, it has been reported that council member William Boyd has attempted to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the authority of the mayor of Memphis and the city attorney to settle a lawsuit; and whereas the charter prohibits any council member interfering with the mayor’s administrative powers; and whereas the charter provides that any council member that interferes with the mayor’s administrative powers may be removed from office.
“Now, therefore, be it resolved that the position held by William Boyd, councilman, District 2, be declared vacant for violating the city charter or, alternatively, that the city take such court action necessary to have him removed from office.”
Boyd has filed a motion to intervene in a bitter court fight involving a legal settlement between the city and former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division chief Joseph Lee. In a motion to dismiss the complaint Boyd wants to be part of, Jefferson said the city was appropriately exercising its authority in settling the suit Lee filed.
Boyd disagrees and thinks the more than $426,000 paid to Lee should be recovered by the city.
“The plain language of the charter gives the mayor and city attorney exclusive power and authority to settle lawsuits if the city is a party to such suits,” Jefferson’s motion reads. “This power is not subject to approval of the Memphis City Council or the public.”
Without mentioning Boyd’s request to intervene in the case, Jefferson’s motion to dismiss also cites a section of the city charter that prohibits council members from interfering with the operation of the city’s administrative departments.
The charter goes on to stipulate that the office of any council member found to be in violation of that part of the charter could be vacated....
75. Justin's Empire: Timberlake drives business interests where it all began
- Monday, August 10, 2009
Justin Timberlake might be best known for hit records, dance moves and sold-out concerts, but the 28-year-old entertainer extraordinaire is much more than a singer/dancer/performer. The award-winning, chart-topping Timberlake – or, simply, JT – has become an institution, a brand name that transcends his showbiz persona and carries as much cachet as any living celebrity.
76. Rail Yard Site All But Nailed
- Thursday, July 16, 2009
The land where Norfolk Southern Corp. wants to build an intermodal yard was annexed Monday night by the town of Rossville, paving the way for the railroad’s proposed multimillion-dollar, multi-acre facility.
77. Questions Surround Lee’s Reimbursement
- Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Several court actions continue to surround the city of Memphis’ decision to pay more than $426,000 in attorney’s fees incurred by the former president and CEO of the city-owned utility company.
The city a few days ago filed an amended complaint against Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division in Shelby County Chancery Court that centered around Joseph Lee’s legal expenses.
78. Housing Market Takes Shallow Dip in Q2
- Monday, July 13, 2009
Regina Hubbard is one of the local Realtors who saw the challenge of a down market as an opportunity. Instead of hunkering down or following business-as-usual practices, Hubbard reacted to the housing slump with renewed vigor.
79. SunTrust Exec’s Consulting Role Follows Other Leadership Changes
- Monday, June 29, 2009
William R. Reed Jr., vice chairman of Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc., will retire at the end of August to work as a consultant for the bank with a focus on Memphis.
Reed has entered into a contract with the bank under which he’ll be paid $502,000 over the next two years. He’ll get office space in Memphis and will be expected to promote “the business interests of SunTrust and its affiliates both at the corporate level and, in particular, in the Memphis, Tenn., market,” according to SunTrust.
80. Fayette County Land Closer to Becoming Rail Hub
- Monday, June 22, 2009
Norfolk Southern Corp.’s plan to develop a multimillion-dollar, multi-acre intermodal facility in Fayette County cleared a political hurdle Thursday night, moving the massive project one step closer to reality.
81. Treasury IG: 'Inappropriate' Backdating at Thrifts
- Tuesday, May 26, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Treasury Department's watchdog has uncovered improper backdating of cash infusions at six thrifts including IndyMac, in an investigation that already has prompted the removal of the federal thrift agency's acting director.
82. Norfolk Southern, Fayette Move Closer to Intermodal Marriage
- Friday, May 15, 2009
The South Fayette Alliance on Wednesday night began the process of endorsing a site where the group wants Norfolk Southern Corp. to build its proposed intermodal facility, although it didn’t reach a formal position.
83. Next Stop: Norfolk Southern’s intermodal plans take shape
- Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The freight trains that rumble through Memphis are hard to ignore, especially the ones that parallel or bisect main thoroughfares and disrupt traffic. But even people who don’t cross railroad tracks during their commutes are likely to hear the distant blare of horns at some point during the day as locomotives make their way into and out of the city.
- Thursday, March 19, 2009
The University of Phoenix will host a “Tough Times” workshop today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Memphis campus, 65 Germantown Court, Suite 100. The workshop topics will include resume writing, financial planning and living on a budget. The workshop is free. To register, call 522-6865.
85. Target Investor Plans to Nominate 5 to Board
- Wednesday, March 18, 2009
NEW YORK (AP) - One of Target Corp.'s biggest shareholders said Tuesday that he plans to nominate five candidates to the company's board at its annual shareholders meeting in May, against the discount retailer's wishes.
86. MATA Files Permit for Airport Terminal
- Thursday, March 12, 2009
The Memphis Area Transit Authority has reached another milestone in the development of its South Intermodal Terminal near Memphis International Airport.
Months after clearing structures off the 9-acre site, MATA has filed a $10 million building permit for the 29,000-square-foot facility at 3033 Airways Blvd., at the intersection of Airways and Brooks Road.
87. Bankers, Politicians Discuss State Of Industry
- Wednesday, February 25, 2009
By the end of this month, small groups of bankers, homebuilders and Realtors will have taken turns trekking to Legislative Plaza in Nashville. They all will have faced a legislative committee whose chairman, Germantown resident Paul Stanley, wanted to hear them answer a basic question, each in their own way:
88. Norfolk Southern Rules Out Pidgeon Park
- Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Norfolk Southern Corp. has officially ruled out Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park south of Downtown Memphis for its planned intermodal yard because of logistical reasons, the company confirmed Tuesday.
89. Norfolk Southern Wrangles With Detractors Over Expansion
- Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Economic investment during a recession typically receives a wave of support, but Norfolk Southern Corp.’s tentative plan to develop a massive intermodal yard in Fayette County has been met with a groundswell of resistance.
90. Q3 Home Sales Drop 22 Percent
- Monday, October 13, 2008
The real estate market hasn’t plunged as dramatically as the stock market has, but much like the Dow Jones industrial average, housing has seen better days.
The downward spiral continued in the third quarter of 2008 as residential sales declined 22.3 percent in Shelby County compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to the latest numbers from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.
- Thursday, October 09, 2008
The Center City Development Corp. Streetscape Selection Committee will meet today at 10:30 a.m. in the Center City Commission conference room at 114 N. Main St. The meeting will include proposal reviews for construction services for the Streetscape Phase II project. For more information, call Jay Goff at 575-0582.
92. Slope Gets Steeper
- Monday, July 14, 2008
Of Shelby County’s 33 ZIP codes that registered a home sale in the second quarter of 2008, all but one suffered a decline when compared to the same quarter of 2007, a trend that has been indicative of the area’s recent real estate woes.
93. ‘Not Guilty’ Eclipses Week of Ford Trial Highlights
- Friday, May 23, 2008
Outside the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Hardy Mays Wednesday afternoon, reporters waiting for word of a verdict in the Edmund Ford federal corruption trial reflected on memorable phrases uttered during the court proceedings.
94. While Acquitted Wednesday, Ford Still Awaits Separate Pay-for-Favors Trial
- Thursday, May 22, 2008
Former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford wiped his eyes after a jury of seven women and five men acquitted him Wednesday afternoon on three counts of bribery and three counts of extortion.
The tears soon were replaced with vocal outbursts of joy. When reporters approached him for comment outside the courtroom after the verdict had been read, the former councilman threw his arms forward and boomed: “It’s over.” Speaking to reporters in the plaza area outside the federal building, the ex-councilman raised his arms in thanks.
95. Both Sides Prep For Next Week's Ford Trial
- Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Almost a year and a half after he was arrested and accused of taking money under the table to support a billboard zoning matter, former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford's federal corruption trial will begin next week.
96. Jury Pool Expanded, Questions Thorough For Coming Ford Trial
- Thursday, April 24, 2008
The corruption trial of former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. will begin next month with a jury pool of 105 people. There will be lots of questions for the jury about their backgrounds and political views, but the questions won't be as direct as whether they are Republicans or Democrats or whom they have supported in what races.
- Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The Memphis Rotary Club will meet today at noon in the Memphis Cook Convention Center, 255 N. Main St. Dr. Pat Wall, chancellor of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is the featured speaker. The cost is $18 per person and reservations can be made by contacting Taylor Hughes at 526-1318 or email@example.com.
- Monday, April 14, 2008
The Engineers' Club of Memphis Inc. will meet today at noon at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave. The cost is $12 and no reservations are required. Mike Glasgow, regional engineer at Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association, will speak about "Deep Burial of PVC Gravity Sewer."
99. Anxious Observers Track Old Justine's Decline
- Wednesday, March 05, 2008
It was once a house in the country surrounded by farmland near what used to be Pigeon Roost Road.
The 165-year-old Anderson-Coward house, just off E.H. Crump Boulevard where East Street dead-ends into Coward Place, has enjoyed a charmed life until recently. Most Memphians know it as the old Justine's restaurant, the New Orleans-style French restaurant owned by Justine Smith for 37 years starting in 1958.
100. Edwards, Others to Be Honored at Peabody Tonight
- Friday, February 29, 2008
At age 25, just two years after she graduated from the University of Memphis with a bachelor's degree in journalism, Johanna Edwards signed a six-figure book deal with New York-based Berkley Books, a division of the Penguin Group.