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Editorial Results (free)

1. Grand Carousel’s New Home Ready for Construction -

By mid-summer 2017, the historic Memphis Grand Carousel will be spinning in its new home at the Children’s Museum of Memphis.

On April 27, designshop pllc garnered the necessary approvals from the Board of Adjustment to begin work on a 20,000-square-foot addition to the Midtown museum to house the carousel and event rentals. The new building on the northwest corner of the campus will connect to the existing museum and older administration building.

2. Fed Keeps Key Rate Unchanged; No Hint on Timing of Next Hike -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve kept a key interest rate unchanged Wednesday against the backdrop of a slowdown in U.S. and global growth and provided no hint of when its next rate hike may occur.

3. US Consumer Confidence Slips in April -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumers were feeling a little less confident in April, even though the stock market was rebounding from its February lows.

The Conference Board said Tuesday its consumer confidence index dropped to 94.2 this month after rising to 96.1 in March.

4. Commission Approves Houston High Project -

Shelby County Commissioners approved Monday, April 25, the Germantown Municipal School District’s use of $196,521 for a repaving project at Houston High School. The county capital funding is left from HVAC renovations at Dogwood Elementary School.

5. County Commission Delays Vote on Police Body Camera Positions -

Shelby County Commissioners put off a vote Monday, April 25, on funding related to police in-car and body cameras for the District Attorney General’s office.

Commissioners voted 10-1 to send the item back to committee for a discussion that will center on what the larger plan is for more than equipping Memphis Police officers with the cameras.

6. The Week Ahead -

It’s a new week that ends with Music Fest, Memphis! Here’s a roundup of other local happenings you need to know about, from some important government meetings, to corporate earnings reports and a new exhibit set to open at the Memphis Zoo.

7. Before Successes, Loeb Started from Zero – Twice -

Barreling down Madison Avenue in a black corduroy blazer and a pert, pink pocket square, Bob Loeb seems distracted. Then I realize: he’s editing. Move that tree, put a mural there. Tear that down, build that up.

8. EDGE Considering Fast-Track Incentive Program, Diversity Spend Changes -

The Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine has started work on a new tax incentive program that would help Memphis compete with North Mississippi for industrial projects.

At its April 20 meeting, EDGE board chairman Al Bright appointed a committee to evaluate a proposed Fast Track PILOT and hammer out its policies and procedures.

9. $12.6M Building Permit For New Ballet Memphis HQ -

2144 Madison Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104
Permit Amount: $12.6 million

Owner: Ballet Memphis
Tenant: Ballet Memphis
Architect: Archimania
Contractor: Grinder, Taber & Grinder
Details: Ballet Memphis is setting the stage for its Overton Square headquarters as Grinder, Taber & Grinder recently applied for a $12.6 million building permit for new construction.

10. City Budget Season Begins With the Basics -

The Memphis City Council Budget Committee begins its work next week with afternoon sessions that lead to a goal of a June 7 council vote on Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s first budget proposal.

11. Memphis' Startup Accelerators Teaming Up This Summer -

For several years now, Memphis hasn’t been home to a unified hub of startup companies and activities so much as a collection of startup archipelagos, the disparate factions of activity sometimes duplicating the work of other groups.

12. 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.

13. Strickland Defines 'Brilliant at the Basics' $667M Budget Plan -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland took a $667 million operating budget proposal to Memphis City Council members Tuesday, April 19, that keeps the property rate stable at $3.40.

14. Faropoint Purchases Cordova Retail Center -

Israel-based Faropoint Investments has made its second Memphis purchase this year. The real estate investment firm, acting as Germantown Square Retail Co., bought a Cordova shopping center from NPK Cordova LLC for $9.7 million, according to an April 15 warranty deed.

15. First Horizon Reverses Loss in First Quarter -

With its first quarter results, First Tennessee Bank’s parent company is off to the kind of start to the year any large banking organization would love to report – a reversal of losses, abundant capital to deploy and metrics like loans and deposits trending in the right direction.

16. This Week in Memphis History: April 15-21 -

2014: Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong announces he will retire in 2017 and has enrolled in the city’s deferred retirement option plan. The retirement date depends on Memphis Mayor A C Wharton winning re-election in 2015 or Wharton’s successor keeping Armstrong on until retirement.
Wharton loses his re-election bid, and in November 2015, new mayor Jim Strickland names Armstrong interim police director while searching for a replacement. Armstrong left in February to become director of security for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

17. Hopson Includes 6 Charter Schools Among 10 Possible Closures -

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson has 10 schools on a closing list for the 2016-2017 school year and six of them are charter schools.

Hopson and school board members met Wednesday, April 13, to talk over detailed budget options for the first time and Hopson offered more details on what he has in mind for possible school closings.

18. Last Word: Off and Running, Lawson Sticks and Downtown Office Space -

Now that you’ve had time to behold the large field of contenders in the Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District – all 13 – they are on the road campaigning on the way to the Aug. 4 election day.
And it’s quite a road with a lot of different scenery.
Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff is one of the seven contenders in the race from Shelby County. He hit the road Monday for three days of stops in each one of the 15 counties in the district.

19. Hopson Reviewing School Closing Options -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson hadn’t planned on proposing any closures for the 2016-2017 academic year after several consecutive years of closing underutilized and underachieving schools.

20. Last Word: Lipscomb's Successor, MATA School Buses and Roland's Big Breakfast -

Paul Young gets a lot more attention these days than he did when he was the first director of the city-county Office of Sustainability. The attention comes with being the city director of Housing and Community Development where virtually all of the funding comes from the federal government.
That federal funding has changed the face of public housing in the city in the last 25 years. There is only one large public housing project left in the city as a result of the federal funding and its use by Young’s predecessor, Robert Lipscomb.
And what Lipscomb did with the job combined with being the executive director of the Memphis Housing Authority is why a lot of people want to get to know Paul Young these days.
Our centerpiece story by Madeline Faber in Tuesday’s edition makes clear that Young has no desire to wield that kind of power. And it is unlikely anyone in the near future will have the kind of autonomy Lipscomb did.
But beyond that there is still the flow of a lot of federal dollars and Young has some ideas based on his experience in government and finance prior to coming to HCD – everything in government is initials.
It’s a much different experience than Lipscomb’s. Lipscomb coined the phrase “ending public housing as we know it” and at times that slogan wasn’t followed with a lot of detail about what came after public housing was demolished, especially with the first of the projects to fall.
The last public housing project, Foote Homes, will be demolished on Young’s watch which makes his tenure important if more limited than Lipscomb’s tenure.

21. Young Cherishes Role of Rebuilding Memphis Neighborhoods -

“I don’t want to be viewed as the most powerful person in Memphis,” said Paul Young, a Memphis native who became director of Housing and Community Development for the city of Memphis in January.

22. The Week Ahead: April 11-17 -

Let’s get this week started, Memphis! Here’s our roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from New Memphis Institute's popular “Memphis 101” crash course to the music- and culture-filled Africa in April festival.

23. 4 Fed Leaders Face Questions About Their Powerful Jobs -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Janet Yellen was put on the spot about whether she made a mistake in raising interest rates in December. Ben Bernanke was quizzed about what it felt like to be called a traitor by the governor of Texas.

24. Southland Mall Sells In Foreclosure -

1215 E. Shelby Drive
Memphis, TN 38116
Sale Amount: $4.3 million

Sale Date: March 31, 2016
Buyer: 1215 East Shelby Drive Holdings LLC
Seller: Southland Mall Shopping Center LLC
Details: Southland Mall, Memphis’ first enclosed mall when it opened 50 years ago, has sold for $4.3 million in foreclosure.

25. City Ready to Develop Master Plan for Pinch District -

The Pinch District, one of Memphis’ oldest neighborhoods, is getting its time in the spotlight.

The Downtown Memphis Commission, the city of Memphis Division of Housing & Community Development and the city-county Division of Planning & Development are coming together to develop the Pinch’s first master plan in to bring the area up to date with mixed-use buildings and streetscape improvements.

26. Hopson Warns of Budget Cuts Beyond $50 Million -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson says the budget proposal he will take to the SCS board next month includes $50 million in cuts and is still $36 million in the red.

“We’re still down $36 million,” Hopson said Tuesday, March 29, “and at this point, there is nowhere else to cut except in the classroom. The cuts will directly affect schools.”

27. MATA Board Approves Significant Route Changes -

Sixteen bus route changes will take effect in May at the Memphis Area Transit Authority.

The changes, which were approved at the March 29 meeting of the MATA board of commissioners, mark the first significant batch of route changes since MATA CEO Ron Garrison took the position in 2014.

28. Last Word: Encore In D, A Bus Every 10 Minutes and Marc Cohn in Memphis -

Encore in Nashville.
The state Senate’s state and local government committee meets again Wednesday to vote on the de-annexation bill it completed amending Tuesday.

This begins at 2:30 p.m. and we will be providing live Tweets of the action @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols. So join us.
Because there was so much debate and parliamentary swordplay Tuesday, the Wednesday session will probably be pretty matter of fact by comparison.
Here’s our account of how it went down with the committee upping the percentage of voters signatures it takes to get a deannexation call on the ballot. And those who do vote to deannex can add payments for benefits liability to what they would also pay as their share of capital debt. There is also reaction from Greater Memphis Chamber president Phil Trenary.
Trenary had some choice words for Chattanooga state Senator Todd Gardenhire who called out Memphis specifically for what he viewed as trying to make the deannexed pay twice for benefits of city workers.
The looming question is what will the reaction to this be in the House which passed a very different version of this.
The proponents of the bill in the House and Senate have fundamentally different views that appear to be the kind of differences that would take some time to reconcile.

29. County Commission Closes Meeting on Disparity Study -

The Shelby County Commission got its first look Monday, March 28, at a disparity study it commissioned in 2014 to look at how much in county government contracts go to minority businesses.

But the meeting was closed to the public by county attorney Ross Dyer, citing possible litigation over what is a first legal step toward setting goals in county government contracting for minority business.

30. Amended De-Annexation Bill Up for Key State Senate Committee Vote -

A de-annexation bill that takes in the whole state has a key state Senate committee vote set for Wednesday, March 30, after senators made some significant changes to the proposal Tuesday in committee.

31. Lifting Term Limits Referendum Loses Second Round Before County Commission -

For a second time in three weeks, an ordinance to put a referendum on the August ballot to do away with county government term limits failed to get seven votes on the Shelby County Commission.

The vote at the Monday, March 28, commission meeting was 3-5 on the second of three readings with 11 commissioners present and three either not voting or formally abstaining.

32. US Consumer Spending Posts Scant February Increase -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumers barely increased their spending in February and spent less in January than the government had earlier estimated. The pullback led some analysts to downgrade their expectations for the economy's growth during the January-March quarter.

33. Commission Takes Second Vote on Term Limits Referendum -

Shelby County Commissioners take up the second of three readings Monday, March 28, of an ordinance that would ask voters to do away with term limits for the commission, the office of Shelby County Mayor and five other countywide elected positions.

34. Dodging a Disaster With Volkswagen? -

Next month will mark five years since the first Passat rolled off the assembly line at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant. Most anniversaries are a cause for celebration.

But as Chattanoogans blow out the candles on this particular milestone they’ll be hoping that Volkswagen’s diesel emissions troubles will soon be extinguished, too, and that the new SUV model they’ll start producing this year will help VW emerge from the crisis a better and stronger company than before.

35. Last Word: A Trip to Committee, Minority Business Moves and the Issue With Reissues -

So those who support the general concept of de-annexation in the Tennessee state Senate were the most vocal Monday in sending the proposal back to committee for a more intense examination.

There were plenty of Memphians in the Senate chambers Monday despite the rumors that this was on its way back to committee.
Staying put until the deal is done has been a lesson won through bitter experience for some Memphis leaders.
Despite hearing from legislators in other parts of the state who are uneasy about this, the opposition remains a Memphis thing in Nashville.
But the Senate sponsor, Bo Watson, stumped his toe badly on this when he shut down an amendment Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris of Collierville wanted to allow the voluntarily de-annexation of an area Millington recently took into its city limits.
So when the state and local government committee meets at noon Wednesday, it will be round – frankly, I forget which round it is. Just ring the bell and let’s see what happens.

36. Sports Notebook: Pastner Needs Assistant With Coaching History -

The University of Memphis decided to go into the next college basketball season with Josh Pastner returning for an eighth year as the Tigers’ coach, per the announcement released by university present M. David Rudd late last week.

37. The Week Ahead: March 21-27 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from the first Great River Indoor Food Truck Festival to a celebration of late Memphis wrestler Sputnik Monroe.

38. Beale Authority Encounters Familiar Headwinds -

Somewhere near the beginning of the Thursday, March 17, meeting of the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority, Caren Nichol talked about how unique the entertainment district is because of its cultural and historical importance.

39. FedEx CEO Downplays Amazon ‘Industry Disruption’ -

FedEx Corp. founder and CEO Fred Smith never said the word “Amazon,” but the e-commerce giant was clearly on his mind Wednesday.

Smith addressed speculation about “industry disruption” by Amazon from the outset of Memphis-based FedEx’s quarterly earnings conference call. He also defended the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, noting that both of the frontrunners for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations are opposed to it.

40. Council Tallies Damage in 'Day of Bad News' -

Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd summed up City Hall’s attitude Tuesday, March 15, during the council’s executive session. “Today is the day of bad news,” he said after a briefing from Mayor Jim Strickland on the deannexation bill approved the night before by the Tennessee House.
That was followed by more details on the estimated $60 million it will cost to replace the entire radio system for local first responders from the radios to the towers used to transmit their signals.

41. Grimes Joins Barge Waggoner As Transportation Project Manager -

Keafur Grimes has joined Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Inc. as transportation project manager, bringing with him more than 35 years of experience. In his new role, Grimes manages transportation planning and construction projects to meet federal, state and local regulations; ensures that projects meet quality compliance and assurance standards as well as customer needs; and are delivered on time and within budget.

42. Memphis Leaders Taking New Offers for Old Police HQ -

The city of Memphis now has three offers to buy the old Central Police Station at 128 Adams Ave. and renovate it as a hotel. It will likely have even more offers by the time the Memphis City Council decides who, if anyone, to sell the circa-1910 building to at its April 19 meeting.

43. Tri-State Bank Prepares For Big Year -

The way longtime Memphis banking executive Christine Munson sees it, a small community bank has to carve out a clearly defined identity for itself - something that sets it apart from the myriad competitors of similar size, with comparable products and rates - if it wants to be successful.

44. Finances Will Be in Focus at City Council -

The list of financial surprises that Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presented to Memphis City Council members two weeks ago tops council discussions Tuesday, March 15.

45. Last Word: Tiger Drumbeat, Eye on Drones and Shelby County Biggest Home Sale -

Let the coaching drumbeat resume after the Tigers Sunday post-season collapse one game past Tulsa.
A confession here – I am so sports challenged that I thought UConn was a team from Alaska until I saw it spelled out.
In my defense, who associates Huskies with Connecticut?
My point is what happens next isn’t just about basketball. It’s about a change with a good track record of being emotional in the worst way.
It’s linked to how we want to be known for treating people and what they think of us as a result of that.
In those two areas, it’s never just business. It’s always personal.
Josh Pastner’s four predecessors were each very different case studies in this regard.
It could have been any stop in any city with a basketball court and a one-and-done star he could find and recruit to John Calipari. But he still had to hide under a blanket in the back seat of a car on the way to the airport and lie about it long after everyone knew.
Knew about the Kentucky job that is. The mess he left at the university would surface shortly thereafter.
Tic Price was two fast seasons and the proof that the Memphis job isn’t just about what happens on the court and the attendance at games.
Price was clearly excited about coming to Memphis. He clearly understood the importance and heritage of Tigers basketball and valued it. And he wasted no time at all getting lost in the Memphis that is not a part of that all encompassing world.
It was the only job Larry Finch wanted and ultimately the job he couldn’t continue to have. That after ignoring conventional wisdom as a player and coming from Melrose High to Memphis State, bringing a beloved team with him and then picking Memphis again in the ABA over the Lakers in the NBA.
None of that was considered in pushing him out the door and then naming a building after him.
Dana Kirk
wanted to be the hustler John Calipari was. He was certainly impersonal enough about it and he took the team to an era where a post-season NCAA bid was expected and is still expected to this day.
But his impersonality exacted a high cost and he paid most of that cost. Although you could argue the experience for his team that produced some legendary players also made some of them legendary casualties of his emotional distance. It didn’t allow him to go elsewhere because he never figured out that he was being underestimated just as much as the team whose needs he ignored was in the national view of college basketball.
While Calipari dodged big trouble twice, Kirk wasn’t even in Calipari’s league when it came to ducking and timing.
We are past our inferiority complex. That’s what the last NFL drive of the 1990s did for us.
But it’s not necessarily a bad thing that we see the people chosen to occupy these very public positions as a reflection to the world of who we are.

46. Capital One to Let Users Pay Bills Via Amazon's Echo -

NEW YORK (AP) – Capital One has teamed with Amazon to let owners of Amazon's Echo smart speaker system pay their bills and get other account information through voice commands.

Amazon's Echo speakers use a voice-command service called Alexa to help users perform various tasks, such as turning on smart lights, playing music or setting a kitchen timer. The number of so-called "skills" Alexa can perform has been growing since the Echo became widely available last year and now numbers more than 100.

47. City Has Offer On Adams Police Station -

The realty group that proposed a short-lived Hotel Overton for Overton Square in 2015 has offered the city of Memphis $1.1 million for the old Central Police Station building at 128 Adams Ave.

48. Last Word: Mudslide, The Deannexation Storm and Kilzer at Calvary -

Lots of news on a very rainy day including the flooding from the constant rain that closed some schools and cancelled a lot of other events. And then there was a mudslide on Riverside Drive from the bluff overlooking Tom Lee Park and the Mississippi River. The rain has also pushed the Wolf River to the point that it is now over some parts of the greenway in Germantown.

49. City Has Offer On Adams Police Headquarters -

The realty group that proposed a short-lived Hotel Overton for Overton Square in 2015 has offered the city of Memphis $1.1 million for the old Central Police Station building at 128 Adams Avenue.

50. Last Word: Rain & Votes, Setting Madison's Boundaries and The Rise of Renters -

Here comes the rain. Not a Beatles tune but close enough with the word late Tuesday that George Martin – to my mind at least, the closest thing to a fifth Beatle – has died.
Rolling Stone’s story and many links within to their coverage of Martin over the decades.

51. Birth of A Product Company, Part 4 -

Editor’s note: Part four in a four-part series. “After you have a solid business plan and actual market feedback on your product concepts, including revenue,” I continued, “you’ll want to think about raising capital.”

52. Grammy Museum Opens in Mississippi Delta -

CLEVELAND, Miss. (AP) – The second and only official Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles opened Saturday in the Mississippi Delta, cradle of the blues.

Organizers chose Cleveland, Mississippi – two hours north of the state capital Jackson – for the nearly $20 million project and promise one of the most advanced museums in the country. It's a smaller but updated version of its sister museum in California and employs high-definition touchscreens and interactive technology to chronicle American music history from before the first Grammy Awards in 1959 to the present.

53. The Week Ahead: March 7-13 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? In a few short days it’ll be time to “spring forward” – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, check out our weekly roundup of area happenings, from a discussion with local changemakers to the inaugural Memphis Black Restaurant Week…

54. Tri-State Bank Gets Former First Tennessee Exec as CEO -

On the heels of the capital investment it recently secured from First Tennessee Bank, Tri-State Bank of Memphis now has a former First Tennessee executive as its new CEO.

55. Tri-State Bank Gets Former First Tennessee Exec as CEO -

On the heels of the capital investment it recently secured from First Tennessee Bank, Tri-State Bank of Memphis now has a former First Tennessee executive as its new CEO.

56. RVC, Mansion to Give More Specifics on Mud Island Plans -

The CEO of RVC Outdoor Destinations of Memphis says his company is “ready to invest $10 million of our own capital that is currently available and ready to deploy.”

Andy Cates made the assurance in the company’s proposal to the Riverfront Development Corp. that was one of the two finalists picked Monday, Feb. 29, by an RDC committee.

57. Birth of a Product Company, Part 3 -

Editor’s note: Part three of a four-part series. At this point in the dialogue, I felt the need to break down the conversation into helpful actions in two main categories: test marketing and business planning.

58. Mud Island Management Search Narrows to Two -

A committee reviewing proposals to manage the Mud Island River Park has narrowed the field of four contenders down to two.

The Riverfront Development Corp. working committee has narrowed the field to RVC Outdoor Destinations of Memphis and Mansion Entertainment and Media LLC.

59. Last Word: The Moving Election Comes to Town and Missing Early Voters Are Found -

We probably haven’t had this much action with so many presidential candidates in the Memphis area since the 1984 Democratic presidential primary campaign.

Four of the contenders – three Republicans and one Democrat – in Memphis over the weekend looking for votes in advance of Tuesday’s Tennessee primary elections.

60. US Economy Ends 2015 on Better Note, Starts 2016 With a Bang -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy got a double dose of good news Friday. Economic growth in the final three months of 2015 didn't slow as much as previously estimated, and consumers roared back to life in January, spending at the fastest clip in eight months.

61. Birth of a Product Company, Part 2 -

Editor's note: Part two in a four-part series. In the last column I profiled a too-common scenario. A person with passion, drive and talent created a handful of products without considering the many factors of launching a new company in a complex, overcrowded market.

62. Trailblazer -

Carolyn Chism Hardy is a trailblazer, a success story, an advocate for the poor and middle class, and now she’s one of the most influential people in the private sector.

63. MATA Chief: System ‘On Verge Of Collapse’ -

The president and CEO of the Memphis Area Transit Authority said Tuesday, Feb. 16, that the city’s bus system will “collapse” without additional operating funds and city capital funding to buy new buses.

64. Visa Discloses Stake in Dorsey's Company, Square -

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares in the mobile payment services company Square rose sharply Friday after Visa disclosed the details of its ownership stake in the company.

While Visa's stake amounts to about 1 percent of the company, and the stake was established at least 5 years ago, investors interpreted the announcement as a major endorsement of Square by Visa, the world's largest payment processing company.

65. Visa Discloses Stake in Dorsey's Company, Square -

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares in the mobile payment services company Square rose sharply Friday after Visa disclosed the details of its ownership stake in the company.

While Visa's stake amounts to about 1 percent of the company, and the stake was established at least 5 years ago, investors interpreted the announcement as a major endorsement of Square by Visa, the world's largest payment processing company.

66. Medical Center Apartments Sell for $9.7 Million -

810 Washington Ave.
Memphis, TN 38105

Sale Amount: $9.7 million

Sale Date: Jan. 29, 2016

67. Burger King's Next Conquest: Hot Dog King -

NEW YORK (AP) — Burger King is looking for a new crown: Hot Dog King.

The Miami-based chain says it plans to put hot dogs on its menu nationally for the first time starting Feb. 23. It may seem like a jarring addition for those who know the chain for its Whoppers. But Burger King says its ability to flame-grill meat makes hot dogs a natural fit on its menu.

68. Medical District Apartments Sell For $9.7 Million -

An apartment complex in the Memphis Medical Center has sold for $9.7 million.

Blair Tower LLC, an affiliate of Hyde Family Investments LLC, purchased the Blair Tower Apartments from Blair MCAP LLC, according to a Jan. 29 warranty deed.

69. Orders to US Factories Fell Sharply in December -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories fell sharply in December, closing out a year in which demand for American manufactured goods retreated for the first time in six years.

Factory orders dropped 2.9 percent in December, the fourth decline in the past five months, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Orders were down 6.6 percent for the full year, marking the first annual fall since 2009, a year when the country was struggling to emerge from the Great Recession.

70. Medical District Apartments Sell For $9.7 Million -

An apartment complex in the Memphis Medical Center has sold for $9.7 million.

Blair Tower LLC, an affiliate of Hyde Family Investments LLC, purchased the Blair Tower Apartments from Blair MCAP LLC, according to a Jan. 29 warranty deed.

71. EDGE Grants Development Loans to 4 Inner-City Businesses -

Memphis’ inner-city neighborhoods garnered $79,000 in business development loans at the Feb. 3 meeting of the Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine’s finance committee.

72. US Consumer Spending Flat, Savings Rate at 3-Year High -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers kept their spending flat in December and instead boosted their savings rate to the highest level in three years.

Consumer spending was unchanged in December after rising 0.5 percent in November, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Incomes increased 0.3 percent, matching November's gain.

73. Last Word: Groundhog Day's Long Shadow, Minority Percentage & The Value of Sports -

After the January into February weekend we had with its outbreak of spring fever, you might wonder if groundhogs are allowed to change their minds or if shadows that are the result of television lights count as a prediction on the winter’s length.
Or maybe it would be appropriate to have a weather map that includes the Groundhog Day immunity zones – areas where the long shadow of the groundhog does not venture.
Note to television meteorologists: This would in no way interfere with your right to declare large parts of your viewing areas as places of "potentially severe weather" far into the future. But you will need a different color for the Groundhog Immunity Zones.

74. The Week Ahead: Feb. 1, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? The good news is you officially made it through January. Here’s a look at what’s happening this week, from a frigid swim to a FedExForum double-header…

75. Nashville Developer Submits Plans for Downtown Memphis Housing -

Two plans recently filed with the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development will turn empty lots into housing for disadvantaged Memphians.

Nashville developer Elmington Capital Group submitted plans for gated multifamily housing in Downtown's South End.

76. Cutting taxes, school choice, tort reform drive Sen. Kelsey -

State Sen. Brian Kelsey calls himself “a proud conservative who likes to get results.”

77. Fenced Out -

There’s a major problem in Memphis when it comes to minorities: African-Americans make up 63 percent of the population but garner less than 1 percent of total business receipts within Memphis, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.

78. Ford's 2015 Pretax Profit Jumps on Stronger sales -

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Higher sales in most of the world helped Ford Motor Co. achieve a record pretax profit in 2015, but investors remain skittish that the good news won't keep coming.

79. Let’s Hear It for Christine and Patrick! -

This column should be running in late January. Ten years ago, Susan and I flew out to Park City, Utah, for our first (and probably only) Sundance Film Festival. Where “Wordplay,” the award-winning documentary about the crossword puzzle industry, had its world premiere on Jan. 21, 2006.

80. The Week Ahead: Jan. 25, 2016 -

We hope everyone survived Snow Terror ‘16 and is looking forward to a fun, productive week ahead that’s free of milk and bread runs. (Saturday’s high temp is 60 degrees – woohoo!) Here’s your weekly rundown of events and happenings worth paying attention to…

81. First Horizon CEO: 2015 Was a ‘Very Good Year’ -

The top brass at First Tennessee Bank’s parent company kicked off their first quarterly earnings presentation to analysts in 2016 with frequent allusion to some favorite themes.

82. Insider Q&A: Allianz Strategist Hooper on Market Turmoil -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Last year was the stock market's first down year since 2008, and this year has opened with a thud. The market is down 8 percent in the first two weeks of trading, the worst start to a year ever.

83. Last Word: Tri-State's Deal With First Tennessee, Matt Barnes' Fine and The Grind -

It sounds strange to refer to this as a holiday weekend – the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Holidays suggest something different than the rededication to purpose so many of us stress as our definition of this day honoring the memory of a leader whose life made it difficult to imagine what our society would be like without his presence.
That we feel compelled to express the meaning of the day through actions and a recommitment to principles buffeted by reality reflects a hope that we wish to retain as first-hand memories of King’s life fade and his legacy endures.

84. First Tennessee Invests in Tri-State Bank -

As of Dec. 31, Tri-State Bank of Memphis has secured almost $5 million in new capital, an investment fueled in part by an “unprecedented transaction” between it and First Tennessee Bank.

85. Tennessee Startups Chasing Greater Opportunities -

When it comes to launching startup companies, Tennessee is best described as “early stage.”

The less than $200 million in venture capital invested in Tennessee businesses in 2014 is a rounding error compared to the $30 billion invested in California. And when the final tally for 2015 comes out later this month, the disparity won’t be much smaller.

86. Daush Eyes Next Career Chapter -

On one hand, a long journey in the education profession will come to an end this spring for Barbara Daush.

Daush is president of St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School, a role she has served since 1994. She’ll retire at the end of this school year but it’s a short retirement; Daush begins work in fundraising at the University of Mississippi July 5.

87. Haslam: No Gas Tax Push, For Now -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam confirmed Thursday, Jan. 14, that there won’t be a state gas tax hike proposal in this year’s session of the Tennessee Legislature.

But Haslam, who previously said he wasn’t necessarily pushing for such a tax hike as a solution to funding road projects, said that is the most likely future option.

88. Helping Memphis Make the Shift to Startups -

It’s been quite a year! We saw Memphis’ first joint Demo Day with Start Co. and Zeroto510, graduated 18 startups from accelerator programming and hosted several investors and startup enthusiasts from all over the country here for the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. However, on a national scale, our startup community still has plenty of work to do.

89. Ballpark Digest Lauds AutoZone Park Renovations -

Extensive improvements before last baseball season earned AutoZone Park Ballpark Digest's Best Ballpark Renovation Award (over $6 million category) for 2015.

"AutoZone Park has always been one of the leading venues in Minor League Baseball, but there's no doubt it had become a dated facility," said Kevin Reichard, Ballpark Digest publisher. "With the St. Louis Cardinals coming on board as owners, it was clearly important to Cards team leaders and the Redbirds front office that the fan experience be significantly enhanced."

90. FedEx, TNT Merger Nabs Regulatory Approval in Europe -

FedEx Corp. has received the green light to proceed with its $4.8 billion acquisition of Dutch delivery company TNT Express.

91. Last Word: Council Round-Up, One Beale's Third Tower and the Battle Over the ASD -

On a clear day, the song goes, you can see forever.
In Memphis though, it seems that no two politicians will see exactly the same thing or have precisely the same opinion.
On a somewhat sunny but not necessarily clear Tuesday in our fair city there was a lot to see.

92. Mall of Memphis Property Bought by Trucking Company -

113-Acre Former
Mall of Memphis Site
Sale Amount: $3.9 million

Sale Date: Dec. 29, 2015
Buyer: TAG Real Estate Holdings LLC
Seller: Memphis Industrial Properties LLC (Johnson Development Associates Inc.)
Loan Amount: $23 million
Loan Date: Dec. 29, 2015
Lender: Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC
Details: The 113-acre former Mall of Memphis property has a new owner. TAG Real Estate Holdings, an affiliate of Memphis-based TAG Truck Enterprises LLC, paid $3.9 million, or $34,513 an acre, to buy the property from Johnson Development Associates Inc., acting as Memphis Industrial Properties LLC.

93. Tri-State Bank HQ Sale Heightens Speculation -

The northeast corner of Main and Beale streets is more than prime real estate; it’s historic ground with a direct connection to ongoing racial and economic issues.

Tri-State Bank, the city’s 70-year old black-owned bank, and Belz Investco announced Thursday, Dec. 31, that the bank was selling its headquarters, 180 S. Main St., to Belz Investco GP in a $3 million deal.

94. Ballpark Digest Lauds AutoZone Park Renovations -

Extensive improvements before last baseball season earned AutoZone Park Ballpark Digest's Best Ballpark Renovation Award (over $6 million category) for 2015.

"AutoZone Park has always been one of the leading venues in Minor League Baseball, but there's no doubt it had become a dated facility," said Kevin Reichard, Ballpark Digest publisher. "With the St. Louis Cardinals coming on board as owners, it was clearly important to Cards team leaders and the Redbirds front office that the fan experience be significantly enhanced."

95. Market Volatility Causes IPO Market to Stall Out in 2015 -

NEW YORK (AP) – The volatile trading that defined 2015 led to a very choppy market for companies wanting to go public.

The number of U.S. companies that successfully made an initial public offering of stock in 2015 dropped by more than 40 percent compared with 2014, according to a report by IPO research firm Renaissance Capital.

96. Poplar Ave. Car Wash Sells for $2.5 Million -

The Boomerang Carwash at 4831 Poplar Ave. has sold for $2.5 million

Arkansas-based Washpop LLC purchased the property from Bailey’s Tunnel Wash LLC in a Dec. 23 warranty deed. In conjunction with the sale, Washpop filed a five-year, $2.5 million mortgage with First Capital Bank.

97. Poplar Ave. Car Wash Sells for $2.5 Million -

The Boomerang Carwash at 4831 Poplar Ave. has sold for $2.5 million

Arkansas-based Washpop LLC purchased the property from Bailey’s Tunnel Wash LLC in a Dec. 23 warranty deed. In conjunction with the sale, Washpop filed a five-year, $2.5 million mortgage with First Capital Bank.

98. East Memphis Retail Strip Sells for $5.3 Million -

An East Memphis retail center has sold for $5.3 million to an out-of-town group.

Orleans Place Retail Center LLC purchased the property at 1779 Kirby Parkway and 1789 Kirby Parkway from Cohen Orleans Place LLC in a Dec. 28 warranty deed.

99. Under Pressure -

The Urban Child Institute’s research produces data. That data provides guidance for making decisions about how to best help Memphis children age 3 and younger. And The Urban Child Institute’s assets, around $150 million in 2013, offer a means to that end.

100. East Memphis Retail Strip Sells for $5.3 Million -

An East Memphis retail center has sold for $5.3 million to an out-of-town group.

Orleans Place Retail Center LLC purchased the property at 1779 Kirby Parkway and 1789 Kirby Parkway from Cohen Orleans Place LLC in a Dec. 28 warranty deed.