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Editorial Results (free)

1. County Certified Property Tax Rate Comes In At $4.13 -

Shelby County Commissioners set the certified county property tax rate at $4.13 Monday, May 22, a 24-cent drop from the current tax rate of $4.37.

The resolution approved reflects the state-approved estimate of a tax rate that will produce the same amount of revenue for county government as the current tax rate once new property values from the 2017 countywide property reappraisal are factored in.

2. Hardy: EDGE’s MWBE Program Not Working -

The chairwoman of the Greater Memphis Chamber board said first indications are that minority business requirements in tax breaks awarded by the Economic Development Growth Engine – or EDGE – aren’t working.

3. Innova Turns Focus Toward Agriculture Technology -

By 2050, National Geographic Magazine recently warned readers, the world will somehow have to be able to feed 2 billion more people than it does now.

Innovations in agriculture and farming technology are one way of addressing that looming challenge. Which helps explain why now felt like the right time for Memphis-based venture capital firm Innova Memphis to continue expanding the focus of its investment funds into new industry sectors like ag tech.

4. 'War' on Blight -

Attorney Steve Barlow has been working on blight issues for 20 years, which is to say he’s been working for two decades almost exclusively on the maze of rules, regulations and procedures that make blight possible and sustainable.

5. EDGE Approves Trio of Tax Incentives -

The Economic Development Growth Engine board has granted tax incentives for a pair of Presidents Island manufacturing operations and a South Memphis health care company that together will result in the creation of 126 jobs and capital investments topping $140 million.

6. New Documentary Tells Story of Tobey Skate Park -

A new documentary on the 6-year-old Memphis Skate Park at Tobey Park takes a look at skate culture in Memphis and the struggle to get the park to reality after securing a grant that ran out and then securing city capital funding for it.

7. Cyberattack Wave Ebbs, But Experts See Risk of More -

LONDON (AP) – The "ransomware" cyberattack that has hit companies and governments around the world ebbed in intensity on Monday, though experts warned that new versions of the virus could emerge.

8. 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.

9. Last Word: Weekend Sonic Boom, CLERB's Response and Irvin Salky -

Yes, those were the United States Navy Blue Angels buzzing Downtown Thursday afternoon in advance of their appearance at the Memphis Airshow Saturday and Sunday in Millington. That sound you heard after the flyover wasn’t a sonic boom. I don’t think they have those anymore. It was the sound of a really busy weekend following close behind.

10. Soaring Costs -

With more than 800 million passengers zipping through U.S. airports in 2016 and air cargo accounting for more than one-third of the world’s trade by value, the nation has become increasingly dependent on air travel to stay competitive. But what sometimes get lost is the amount of upkeep needed to maintain the infrastructure of these self-contained cities.

11. Tennessee State Park Outsourcing Push Draws No Bidders -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A push by Gov. Bill Haslam's administration to outsource hospitality services at a Tennessee state park has drawn no bidders.

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation spokeswoman Kim Schofinski told the Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/2r5WzL9 ) on Wednesday that no one bid on the proposal at Fall Creek Falls State Park, located on the Upper Cumberland Plateau in Van Buren and Bledsoe counties.

12. Blight Summit to Mark Progress, Challenges -

When the leaders of the city’s anti-blight effort gather at Clayborn Temple for their second annual summit Wednesday, May 17, on the next block south of the church will be an example of work still to be done.

13. House Committee Postpones Action on Short-Term Rentals -

A day after the House targeted Nashville with a tough bill on short-term rentals, the Senate deferred action on legislation blocking the Metro Council from enacting any prohibitions.

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee postponed a bill by Sen. John Stevens until January 2018, ending the debate this year on a measure singling out Davidson County efforts to restrict short-term rentals such as Airbnb.

14. New Bookstore Called Novel Coming to Laurelwood in August -

It didn’t turn out exactly like Emmett Miskell hoped it would, but he nevertheless got what he and other book lovers in Memphis wanted in the end.

Miskell – a White Station High School senior who gathered signatures to try and save the doomed Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis’ largest independent bookstore that closed its doors a few months ago – said he’s thrilled with news that a replacement store of sorts is coming to the same space.

15. Snap's Elusive Task: Evading Facebook's Looming Shadow -

NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook has been bent on copying Snapchat ever since the social media giant tried unsuccessfully in 2013 to buy what was then an ephemeral photo-messaging app.

Now, the company behind Snapchat is bent on becoming more like its bigger rival – at least when it comes to success – by courting new users and with them, advertisers.

16. 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.

17. Commission Chair: Not Enough Votes To Pass Tax Cut -

Shelby County Commission budget chairman Steve Basar doesn’t count seven votes on the commission at this point for a cut in the county property tax rate.

“I don’t think there’s seven votes right now to go lower than the certified tax rate,” Basar said Monday, May 8, following a weekend budget summit among commissioners at Shelby Farms Park.

18. Hamilton Named Development Director At Wolf River Conservancy -

Kelsey Hamilton has been promoted to director of development at the Wolf River Conservancy. Hamilton joined the conservancy in October 2014 as associate director of development.

In her new role, she works to ensure that fundraising goals are met at the conservancy, an accredited land trust that has protected over 16,000 acres of the Wolf River watershed since its founding in 1985. Specifically, she oversees annual giving, membership, corporate giving and events, and works alongside chief development officer Barbara Kabakoff to assist with the capital campaign for the Wolf River Greenway project.

19. Last Word: Railgarten Redux, Raleigh Springs Mall and Forrest Author Speaks -

Railgarten II, Son of Railgarten, Railgarten, Beyond the Board of Adjustment, Railgarten, Enter The City Council … Take your pick of sequel titles. Railgarten goes back to the City Council Tuesday for at least a committee discussion in which the council considers whether it should take back the special use permit it granted the bar-restaurant. This is a follow up to the Board of Adjustment decision last month to delay any action on approving the other annexes of the business for 30 days.

20. Beyond Tax Bottom Line, County Budget Goes Deep -

On a sunny and clear opening weekend for the Memphis In May International Festival, Shelby County commissioners were in a conference room with a lake view at Shelby Farms Park crunching budget numbers.

21. US Jobs Data Show Some Scars From Recession Finally Healing -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A burst of hiring in April provided reassurance for the U.S. economy after a slow start to the year: Job growth returned to a healthy pace. Unemployment hit a decade low. And the number of part-time workers who want full-time jobs reached its lowest point in nine years.

22. Tennessee House Abandons Amendments Before Approving State Budget -

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

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

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

24. Robinson Gives Mariota Weapons for Success -

Just when we think we’ve figured out Titans G.M. Jon Robinson, he reinvents himself.

On the first night of the recent NFL Draft, we assumed Robinson would play it safe, trading the No. 5 overall pick to acquire more draft capital.

25. Boyd: Memphis Public Safety Spending Out of Balance -

Memphis City Council chairman Berlin Boyd says the city budget is lopsided when it comes to its priorities.

And Boyd called Wednesday, May 3, for a shift away from public safety spending – specifically city spending on police – the largest single part of the operating and capital budgets as well as the largest division in city government.

26. Apple’s Growing Cash Stash Spurs Talk of Huge Acquisition -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – As Apple's stash of cash grows, so does the possibility that the world's most valuable company will use some of the money for a huge acquisition that would expand its empire beyond iPhones and other gadgets.

27. New York Firm Pays $23M for 3 Germantown Hotels -

7750 Wolf River Blvd., 9314 Poplar Pike and 9320 Poplar Pike, Germantown, TN 38138 | Sale Amount: $23 million

Sale Date: April 28, 2017

28. Council Moves to Operating Budget Examination -

Memphis City Council members open budget hearings Thursday, May 5, on Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s $680 million operating budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

29. Dream About to Become Reality at Youth Villages -

Earlier this week, Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler presided over the groundbreaking of a $22 million expansion at the Bartlett campus that will result in a 148,000-square-foot center designed to enhance the treatment of the community’s most at-risk and vulnerable youth.

30. Luttrell Shuns Tax Cut In Proposed $1.2B Budget -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has taken a $1.2 billion consolidated county government budget proposal to the Shelby County Commission that would maintain a stable property tax rate but shift a part of the tax rate to establish a capital projects pay-as-you-go fund.

31. Luttrell Proposes $1.2 Billion County Budget with Stable Tax Rate -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has taken a $1.2 billion consolidated county government budget proposal to the Shelby County Commission that would maintain a stable property tax rate but shift a part of the tax rate to establish a capital projects pay-as-you go fund.

32. Council Opens City Hall Budget Season -

With an eye on the clock in the City Council committee room and rap of a gavel, council budget committee chairman Edmund Ford Jr. opened city budget hearings Tuesday, May 2.

“This is going to be kind of boring,” Ford said of the two afternoons spent by the committee on Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s capital budget -- $158.9 million in spending on one-time non-recurring items, mostly construction projects done in several phases over several years.

33. New York Firm Pays $23M For 3 Memphis-Area Hotels -

AR Global Investments, a New York-based asset management firm, has purchased a trio of Germantown hotels for a combined $23 million from Austin, Texas-based Summit Hotel Properties, according to three warranty deeds filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds on April 28.

34. Thompson Securing Funds For Ballet Memphis’ Future -

Amelia Thompson has joined Ballet Memphis as development associate. In her new role, she works on the administrative side of the organization to generate and secure funding for Ballet Memphis’ daily annual operating budget as well as its capital campaigns.

35. The Week Ahead: May 1-7 -

Happy Monday, Memphis! May has arrived, which means it’s time to kick off the Memphis in May International Festival with the always-popular Beale Street Music Festival – and that’s just one of the events music lovers will enjoy this week. Plus, check out where to celebrate Star Wars fans’ favorite holiday and other happenings you need to know about in The Week Ahead... 

36. Economy In Flux -

With apologies to Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” for the professionals who follow economics for a living this is very much the best of times and the worst of times.

The moment is one of abundant optimism and rampant uncertainty. “Directionally,” they like to say, things look positive. And yet so much could still go very, very wrong.

37. MATA Prepares Case for $30M Increase To Fund Bus System Improvements -

Probably by the end of the summer, a group pushing for $30 million in additional funds for the Memphis Area Transit Authority will be making the case to the public to raise that dedicated source of funding.

38. RegionSmart Speakers Tout Importance of 'Lovable' Cities -

Do you love your city? That was author Peter Kageyama’s opening question Thursday, April 27, to his audience at the second annual RegionSmart Summit, hosted by the Mid-South Mayors’ Council.

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

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

40. Germantown Village Square Sells for $29.3 Million -

7670 Poplar Ave.
Germantown, TN 38138

Sale Amount: $29.3 million

Sale Date: April 24, 2017 

Buyer: PEBB Enterprises

41. Activist Investor Gets 2 Fred’s Board Seats -

The yellow sign near the corner of Summer Avenue and White Station reads: Fred’s Pharmacy. It’s a physical representation of the Memphis-based discount retailer repositioning itself away from its retail legacy and doubling down on its health care-related and pharmacy offerings.

42. City of Memphis Budget Could Face Bumpy Road -

Memphis City Council budget hearings begin Tuesday, May 2, at City Hall starting with Mayor Jim Strickland’s $77.8 million capital budget proposal for one-time spending on construction projects and similar expenses that are normally financed with bonds.

43. 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.

44. Strickland Delivers $680 Million Operating Budget to Council -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland delivered a $680 million city government operating budget proposal to the Memphis City Council Tuesday, April 25, with no property tax increase and no use of city reserves to balance it.

45. Germantown Village Square Sells for $29.3 Million -

A Boyle Investment Co. real estate investment fund has sold Germantown Village Square to PEBB Enterprises, a private equity firm based in Boca Raton, Florida, for $29.3 million.

46. Boyle Investment Fund Sells Germantown Village Square for $29.3M -

A Boyle Investment Co. real estate investment fund has sold Germantown Village Square to PEBB Enterprises, a private equity firm based in Boca Raton, Florida, for $29.3 million.

47. Nearing 100 Days, Trump Says His Presidency is 'Different' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – For nearly 100 days, President Donald Trump has rattled Washington and been chastened by its institutions.

He's startled world leaders with his unpredictability and tough talk, but won their praise for a surprise strike on Syria.

48. Third-Party Litigation Financing Grows Into Popular, High-Stakes Trend -

Two decades ago, commercial third-party litigation financing was as small and uncommon as to be “negligible,” in Charles Agee’s words. Maybe $100 million in such funding per year.

49. Target-Date Funds and Taxes -

Ray’s Take Target-date funds are mutual funds that contain a collection of other mutual funds that are designed to invest aggressively at the beginning and, over a long time horizon, move money into progressively more conservative holdings as the target date approaches.

50. EDGE Board Approves Two PILOTs, GMACW Merger -

The Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County on Wednesday, April 19, granted tax abatements for a pair of companies with capital investment plans totaling $34 million and approved a resolution that allows the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce to merge into EDGE.

51. Corker Sees Trump Foreign Policy Evolving, Not Moderating -

U.S. foreign policy should be to “keep the volume up” on North Korea’s progress in developing a nuclear capability and intercontinental ballistic missiles, says U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, “with the acknowledgement that what you could bring in is Russia, China, South Korea and Japan into a conflict.”

52. Memphis Office Market Off to Good Start -

Though small to mid-sized leases comprised the majority of leasing activity, the Memphis area office market got off to a healthy start in 2017, according to Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors’ first quarter Marketbeat report.

53. Nucor Steel, Rice Manufacturer Seek Memphis Incentives -

Two companies have filed applications with the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County for tax incentives that would allow them to expand operations in the Mid-South.

Nucor Steel Memphis and Ebrofrost North America are both seeking PILOTs (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) that would result in a combined investment of $34 million and 31 net new jobs, according to their respective applications.

54. Memphis Basketball Adding More Junior College Players; Bill Self Mum on K.J. Lawson -

With only two returning scholarship players from last season’s team, University of Memphis basketball coach Tubby Smith continues to mine the junior college ranks for players he hopes can contribute immediately.

55. Arkansas' Multiple Execution Plan Appearing to Unravel -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas' already compromised plan to execute eight men by the end of the month appeared to unravel Friday, with a judge blocking the use of a lethal injection drug and the state's highest court granting a stay to one of the first inmates who had been scheduled to die.

56. Oden to Rehab Building Downtown for New HQ -

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. has approved an eight-year PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) for Oden & Associates Inc., a locally owned marketing firm, to turn a vacant 77-year-old warehouse two blocks from the FedExForum into its headquarters.

57. Airport Releases New Strategic Overview -

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority released a new Strategic Overview for the next five years, which serves as a comprehensive plan to implement improvements in all airport operations.

The Strategic Overview, which was last updated in 2015, is broken down into nine categories: physical/terminal, environment, properties/cargo, airfield, communications and reputation, air service, business model/finance, human capital management, and general aviation – each with its own one-, three- and five-year goals.

58. Memphis City Council OKs Sale of Sheraton Hotel -

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday, April 11, approved Host Hotels & Resorts LP’s $67 million sale of the Sheraton Memphis Downtown convention center hotel to LMS Real Estate Investment Management LLC, a newly formed joint venture between Schulte Hospitality Group and Starwood Capital Group.

59. Lack of New Homes is Missing Piece to Memphis' Housing Puzzle -

There is a lot to like about the Memphis housing market right now. With home sales up 13 percent and average sale prices up 5 percent through the first quarter of 2017, things are finally looking up for one of the hardest-hit cities in the nation during last decade’s housing crisis.

60. 100 N. Main Foreclosure Sale Delayed Sixth Time to April 26 -

On a warm Wednesday at high noon, attorney Billy Moss stood on the steps of the Judge D'Army Bailey Courthouse and announced the sale of Memphis' tallest building would be postponed for the sixth, but supposedly last time.

61. Council OKs Sheraton Sale, Weighs Trash Pickup Changes -

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday, April 11, approved Host Hotels & Resorts LP’s $67 million sale of the Sheraton Memphis Downtown convention center hotel to LMS Real Estate Investment Management LLC, a newly formed joint venture between Schulte Hospitality Group and Starwood Capital Group.

62. Mystery of City’s Tallest Building Continues -

On a warm Wednesday at high noon, attorney Billy Moss stood on the steps of the Judge D'Army Bailey Courthouse and announced the sale of Memphis' tallest building would be postponed for the sixth, but supposedly last time.

63. CCRFC OKs Sheraton Deal, Incentive for Oden HQ -

The sale of the 600-room Sheraton Memphis Downtown took a step forward Tuesday, April 11.

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. unanimously approved a request to reassign an existing payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive for the hotel, 250 N. Main St., to a joint venture between Louisville, Kentucky-based Schulte Hospitality Group and Starwood Capital Group.

64. Toyota Announces $1.33 Billion Investment in Kentucky Plant -

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Toyota said Monday it is investing $1.33 billion to retool its sprawling factory in Georgetown, Kentucky, where the company's flagship Camry sedans are built.

No new factory jobs are being added, but Toyota says the upgrades amount to the biggest single investment ever at one of its existing plants in the United States. The retooling also will sustain the existing 8,200 jobs at Toyota's largest plant, where about one-fourth of all Toyota vehicles produced in North America are made, the automaker said.

65. Upsetting the Category -

After years of battling over market share and swapping customers back and forth, many companies lose perspective of their market. They know their market too well, ironically, which cripples their vision of new ways their categories could potentially grow or be disrupted. 

66. Oden to Rehab Building Downtown for New HQ -

Plans to breathe new life into a vacant 77-year-old warehouse two blocks from the FedExForum have been submitted by Oden & Associates Inc., a locally owned marketing firm looking to relocate its headquarters.

67. Airport Releases New Strategic Overview -

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority released a new Strategic Overview for the next five years, which serves as a comprehensive plan to implement improvements in all airport operations.

The Strategic Overview, which was last updated in 2015, is broken down into nine categories: physical/terminal, environment, properties/cargo, airfield, communications and reputation, air service, business model/finance, human capital management, and general aviation – each with its own one-, three- and five-year goals.

68. “Gateway’ Puzzle Begins To Come Together -

Starting last summer, a new ownership group for the city’s largest hotel by room count was undertaking its due diligence largely out of the public eye.

There were some rumblings about the Sheraton Memphis Downtown changing hands three years after a renovation of the 600-room hotel attached to the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

69. Accelerator Programs Keep Memphis Starting Up -

The mantra is “never stop starting.” The constituency it applies to is entrepreneurs in Memphis and those who come here flush with ideas and creativity. And for Memphis’ startup community – from the sixth floor of Start Co.’s 88 Union Ave. hive of activity to the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and points in between – that exhortation to “never stop” is as much a rallying cry as it is a marker highlighting one of the more dynamic and fledgling sectors of the city’s economy.

70. Editorial: Accelerators, Startups And the Fear of Failure -

Opening a business isn’t easy; keeping it open is even more difficult. The extensive education and mentoring available from startup accelerators and incubators helps prepare entrepreneurs for success, but the prep work must end at a certain point. And then the accelerator alumni – like all small-business owners – discover whether their venture will fall or fly.

71. Starting Up -

Scott Vogel is part of a small but scrappy band of entrepreneurs in Memphis focused on building and launching startups. Some have come here from around the country to participate in any of the area’s startup accelerators. They’ve founded everything from innovative medical devices to enterprises built around new twists on old challenges.

72. City's Largest Hotel Changes Hands In Latest 'Gateway' Puzzle Piece -

The largest hotel in the city by room count is changing hands in what is a key part of the city’s effort to remake the Memphis Cook Convention Center as a part of a larger “Gateway project” in the general convention center area.

73. Marketing Firm to Rehab Vacant Downtown Building for New HQ -

Plans to breathe new life into a vacant 77-year-old warehouse two blocks from the FedExForum have been submitted by Oden & Associates Inc., a locally owned marketing firm looking to relocate its headquarters.

74. Last Fed Meeting's Minutes Show Talk of Paring Bond Holdings -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve officials last month discussed the possibility of reducing their enormous portfolio of bond holdings later this year, sooner than many investors have been expecting.

75. Growth Funds for Tax Efficiency -

Ray’s Take When it comes to real return, it’s not what you make, but what you keep after taxes and inflation that counts. 

Being mindful of taxes is more important than ever. Tax-efficiency in taxable portfolios is imperative, whether they’re pre-retirement accumulation accounts or retirement distribution portfolios. It’s incumbent upon investors to understand the tax implications for the various funds in their portfolios to plan the best strategy for their retirement.

76. Davis to Lead Next Phase of Development at Active Implants -

Ted Davis was happy to be able to stay in Memphis when he took over his newest leadership role as president and chief executive officer of medical device company Active Implants Corp.

77. Police Arrest 7 in Wake of St. Petersburg Subway Bombing -

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — As part of a sweeping hunt for any accomplices of the St. Petersburg suicide bomber, investigators Wednesday rounded up seven suspected Islamic State recruiters from the Central Asia region of the former Soviet Union but found no immediate evidence of their involvement in the subway attack.

78. Death Toll in Syria Chemical Attack Rises to 86 -

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the suspected chemical attack in Syria (all times local):

10:30 p.m.

A Syrian monitoring group says the death toll from a suspected chemical weapons attack on the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun has risen to 86.

79. Malco Moving Forward With Downtown Theater -

45 E. G.E. Patterson Ave.
Memphis, TN 38103 

Permit Amount: $5 million

Project Cost: $55 million

Application Date: March 2017

80. US Trade Deficit Drops Sharply to $43.6 Billion in February -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit declined sharply in February as imports from China fell by a record amount and American exports rose for a third straight month.

The deficit fell to $43.6 billion in February, 9.6 percent below January's deficit of $48.2 billion, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Exports rose a tiny 0.2 percent to $192.9 billion. Imports dropped 1.8 percent to $236.4 billion as the flow of Chinese goods tumbled by $8.6 billion, led by a big drop in cell phone imports.

81. Commission Debates Use of $20M Surplus -

The Shelby County Commission delayed a vote Monday, April 3, on a $120 million refinancing of the county’s capital bond debt for two weeks.

Commissioners are specifically eyeing a $20 million surplus in the county’s debt service fund – the fund that pays down the county’s debt.

82. Malco Moving Forward With Downtown Theater -

Malco Theatre’s multimillion-dollar Downtown movie theater has taken another step toward completion.

A $5 million building permit application for the foundation of a new seven-screen movie theater was filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

83. Malco Moving Forward With Downtown Theater -

Malco Theatre’s multimillion-dollar Downtown movie theater has taken another step toward completion.

A $5 million building permit application for the foundation of a new seven-screen movie theater was filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

84. Editorial: Ag Innovation Breaks Stereotypes, Boundaries -

You’ve heard the saying “this isn’t your parents’ fill-in-the-blank.” A better version for agricultural innovation might be “this is not your son’s idea of innovation” – which has a couple of stereotypes.

85. Genetic Code -

While the anachronistic farmer trope may be a common pop-culture perception, these stewards of the land have in fact been on the cutting edge of technology for thousands of years.

And every milestone since the Neolithic period, from the first plows to today’s automated tractors, has allowed farmers to increase their yields and support a perpetually growing population.

86. Last Word: Veep Visit, Women and Baseball and Civil Rights Cold Cases -

Game time at FedExForum for the NCAA South semifinals and Vice President Mike Pence is expected to be here to cheer on the Butler Bulldogs. The Butler mascot – a live bulldog – was already in town Thursday making the rounds. I think March Madness requires that all involved up their mascot game if they get this far. So UCLA, we expect to see a live bear roaming Beale Street. You might be able to work a deal with the zoo on this. But if there’s a cost split make sure you nail down those percentages.

87. Grizzlies Updating FedExForum With Fans’ Enjoyment in Mind -

Every NBA offseason brings questions about the roster for the next season. But regardless of on-court changes for the Grizzlies’ 2017-18 season, FedExForum will be improved with multimillion-dollar upgrades highlighted by a new high-definition scoreboard roughly four times the size of the current board.

88. Hickory Hill Home Depot Site Sells for $15 Million -

3469 Riverdale Road
Memphis, TN 38115 

Sale Amount: $15.7 million

Sale Date: March 3, 2017

Buyer: Spirit Realty Capital

89. Tapping Young Donors -

Amelia Thompson is everything a nonprofit is looking for now and in the future. A 30-year-old Memphian who graduated White Station High School, she has worked with a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. and been a buyer for Macy’s in New York.

90. 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.

91. US Trade Deficit Jumps to 5-Year High of $48.5 Billion -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit jumped in January to the highest level in nearly five years as a flood of mobile phones and other consumer products widened America's trade gap with China. The result underscores the challenges facing President Donald Trump in fulfilling a campaign pledge to reduce America's trade deficits.

92. Last Word: Who Needs To Be Watched, Hopdoddy and Fresh Fed Numbers -

Three Memphis City Council members on Behind The Headlines had quite a bit to say about protesters and lists and police surveillance. Council chairman Berlin Boyd and council members Kemp Conrad and Worth Morgan all say the surveillance question, which is the central issue now that the City Hall list has been pared significantly, is complex because of public postings and protests in public places.

93. Sedgwick Approved For $10.4 Million PILOT -

The Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County approved Sedgwick Claims Management Services’ application for a $10.4 million tax abatement during a special session Friday, Feb. 24.

94. Last Word: Building a Bigger Police Force, Old Desk Calendars and Summer School -

Since the Memphis Mayor’s race of 2015 became about how best to build a larger Memphis Police Department, the discussion has always had an element of controversy to it on a larger scale than a head count of who has a badge.

95. Sedgwick Approved For $10.4 Million PILOT -

The Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County approved Sedgwick Claims Management Services’ application for a $10.4 million tax abatement during a special session Friday, Feb. 24.

96. Sedgwick Approved for $10.4 Million PILOT -

The Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County approved Sedgwick Claims Management Services’ application for a $10.4 million tax abatement during a special session Friday, Feb. 24.

97. Sedgwick to Occupy Thomas & Betts HQ, TNB Shopping Memphis for New Home -

New details are continuing to emerge after Sedgwick Claims Management Services' blockbuster announcement Monday to consolidate and expand its corporate headquarters.

Sedgwick will apply for a 15-year Expansion PILOT that will enable the company to retain 865 jobs, create 130 new jobs, and invest $33 million into their new facility, according to papers filed with the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County.

98. Attorney Harkavy Named To Wyatt’s Executive Committee -

Lee A. Harkavy is one of two attorneys from the Memphis office of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP to be named to the regional law firm’s executive committee. Harkavy is a commercial transactional attorney focused primarily on representing businesses in their external growth endeavors or exit strategies. In that capacity, he advises clients on mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, and capital-raising transactions.

99. Sedgwick Announces $34M Expansion, Will Create 150 New Jobs -

Sedgwick Claims Management has announced plans to expand its corporate headquarters in Memphis, which will result in the creation of 150 local jobs.

The expansion will consolidate Sedgwick’s headquarters into a single campus in Shelby County and locate research and development functions to that site, according to Ted Townsend, chief operating officer for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

100. Networking Helping Propel Women-Owned Businesses To New Heights -

When Memphis middle schoolers and sisters Madison Star and Mallory Iyana went on “Shark Tank” and secured $60,000 and partnerships with both Mark Cuban and Daymond John, they took their place among the ranks of female entrepreneurs who, in large numbers these days, are showing the business world that they are a force to be reckoned with.