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Editorial Results (free)

1. Strickland Wants Contract, Pay Boost for Memphis' Next Police Director -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland wants to offer the next Memphis Police Department director a multi-year contract for more than the $150,000 the city is currently paying interim police director Michael Rallings.

2. Teachers Wary of Haslam’s Push For Increased Pay -

Pushing a budget with more than $100 million for K-12 teacher pay raises, Gov. Bill Haslam says Tennessee is taking education to new levels by raising standards, linking teacher evaluations to student performance and expanding education options.

3. Monsanto Pays $80 Million to Settle Accounting Charges -

Monsanto will pay an $80 million penalty and several executives will pay smaller amounts to settle federal allegations that the agribusiness giant misstated its earnings by not properly disclosing the costs of a rebate program for its Roundup weed-killer.

4. Ex-Exec of Haslam-Owned Chain Pleads Not Guilty to Fraud -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The former president of the truck stop chain owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to participating in a conspiracy to defraud customers.

5. Feds Find Fiat Chrysler Gear Shifters Can Confuse Drivers -

DETROIT (AP) — Electronic gear shifters on some newer Fiat Chrysler SUVs and cars are so confusing that drivers have exited the vehicles with the engines running and while they are still in gear, causing crashes and serious injuries, U.S. safety investigators have determined.

6. Trust Fund Mentioned as Possible $1.1B Solution on School Benefits Liability -

A trust fund is one possibility that has surfaced early in the formal discussions of the Shelby County School system’s $1.1 billion benefits liability.

The first meeting of the ad hoc committee on the matter last week drew nine of the 13 Shelby County Commissioners, the administration of Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and two of nine Shelby County Schools board members.

7. Growing Freelance Economy Creates Financial, Tax Implications -

Gone are the days of the traditional 9-to-5 office setting dominating the white-collar landscape.

In fact, it’s estimated that a third of the U.S. workforce now freelances in some form. In a 2015 report from nonprofit organization Freelancers Union and Upwork, a company that provides platforms for freelancers to find work, it was revealed that 54 million Americans qualify as freelancers.

8. FedEx Targets $200M in Giving By Decade’s End -

Memphis-based FedEx has decided to approach its corporate giving in a new way, one focused on figuring out how to use its assets to make the biggest possible impact in communities.

The company announced this week it’s planning to invest $200 million in more than 200 communities by the end of the decade, part of a new global giving platform – FedEx Cares – the logistics giant has unveiled.

9. Midtown Memphis Ready for Apartment Building Boom -

It’s been more than a decade since new apartments were built in Midtown, and that’s poised to change in a big way with a wave of new multifamily construction stretching from Binghampton to Crosstown.

10. Minority Leader Harris Confident Even on Wrong Side of Supermajority -

Lee Harris says he ran for state Senate because he felt Memphis could do better on Capitol Hill, defeating Ophelia Ford in 2014.

11. Collaborative Aims to Enhance Memphis Medical District -

In 2016, the Memphis Medical Center will see $1.8 million in upgrades and enhancements aimed at creating a unified, livable district. That’s the annual budget for the newly established Medical District Collaborative, a nonprofit entity made up of the area’s stakeholders and executives.

12. Complex path to higher-ed reform -

Only half a year after taking on the presidency of Motlow State Community College, Anthony Kinkel is trying to keep his eye on the pea.

The task of running one of the state’s fastest-growing community colleges is becoming increasingly complex, and it has nothing to do with thousands more students enrolling to take advantage of free tuition through the Tennessee Promise scholarship program.

13. Stoney River Steakhouse Opens in Saddle Creek -

J. Alexander’s Holdings Inc. has announced the opening of its 11th Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill in the Saddle Creek development in Germantown.

14. MATA ‘Thinking Outside the Bus’ to Overcome Funding Shortfall -

To accommodate for a chronic budget shortfall, the Memphis Area Transit Authority said that it has to start “thinking outside the bus.”

In January, Memphis was announced as one of the pilot partners of a new app that coordinates public transit with private Uber cars.

15. 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.

16. Black-Owned Business Revenue Drops in Memphis -

Bad has turned to worse, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners.

Memphis’ population is majority African-American, but black-owned establishments earn only 0.83 percent of business revenue citywide.

17. 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.

18. Complex Path to Higher-Ed Reform -

Only half a year after taking on the presidency of Motlow State Community College, Anthony Kinkel is trying to keep his eye on the pea.

The task of running one of the state’s fastest-growing community colleges is becoming increasingly complex, and it has nothing to do with thousands more students enrolling to take advantage of free tuition through the Tennessee Promise scholarship program.

19. Medical Startup Trades Texas for Germantown -

David Leon’s medical device startup is the latest addition to a rapidly expanding health care, biotech and life sciences landscape in the Memphis area.

20. Stoney River Steakhouse Opens in Saddle Creek -

J. Alexander’s Holdings Inc. has announced the opening of its 11th Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill in the Saddle Creek development in Germantown.

21. The 5 Applicants for Mud Island Redevelopment -

Each company that applied to redevelop Mud Island River Park has a month to submit its detailed proposal, including specific plans and how they would be financed, to the Riverfront Development Corp.

22. Collierville Board Grants FedEx Tax Break Extension -

The Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen ratified a 20-year tax break for the FedEx World Technology Center during its Monday, Jan. 25, meeting.

FedEx will pay nearly $25.2 million over the period and will save about $75.5 million. As part of the retention PILOT agreement, FedEx will invest $40 million in real property and personal property upgrades.

23. Five Mud Island Proposals Go Public -

A Memphis resort hotel group headed by mortgage banker and hotel manager Paul Westphal is proposing a 500-room resort hotel and spa in Mud Island River Park that would incorporate the island’s River Walk in its lobby.

24. Logistics Startup Exec: Amazon Gunning for FedEx -

The number of voices in the technology world convinced that Amazon has stuck a target on the back of FedEx – as well as its larger competitor, UPS – continues to grow.

The latest is Matthew Hertz, director of operations at package shipment startup Shyp. He took to social networking service LinkedIn in recent days to pen a commentary about why Amazon’s emergence as a significant logistics alternative appears to be a matter of when, not if.

25. Le Bonheur CEO Talks Big Development Projects on Tap -

It’s something of an understatement to say that Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital has big plans for 2016 and beyond.

Walking through several of the big-budget development projects on tap for the hospital over the short and long term, Le Bonheur president and CEO Meri Armour describes this as a consequential moment for the 2,300-employee health care organization. Expansions of service, facilities, treatment and more are all on the way for a hospital built around the fact that inside the 100 mile-radius around Memphis, according to Armour, there are about 1.6 million children.

26. Roberts Elected to Baker Donelson Board -

Kristine Roberts, a shareholder in the Memphis office of the Baker Donelson law firm, has been elected to the firm’s board of directors.

27. Black Caucus Demanding Change To Achievement School District -

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Legislature’s Black Caucus, led by Memphis members, has its sights set squarely on the Achievement School District, either eliminating it or putting it on hold until major improvements are made.

28. 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.

29. Allegiant Chief Operating Officer to Step Down -

LAS VEGAS (AP) – The chief operating officer of Allegiant Air is resigning.

KTNV-TV reports (http://bit.ly/238oYOb) that 52-year-old Steve Harfts is leaving after serving in the position for about a year.

30. Forest Hill Church Sells for $1.3 Million -

A Germantown church has sold for $1.3 million, according to a Jan. 4 warranty deed.

Forest Hill Baptist Church of Germantown Inc. sold the 14.4-acre property at 3645 Forest Hill-Irene Road to Harvest Church of Memphis.

31. OR Nurses Nationwide Donates $175,000 -

Several Memphis entities received 2015 year-end charitable gifts from OR Nurses Nationwide, which has offices in Memphis, Dallas and Houston.

Gifts of $25,000 each were given to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Church Health Center, Baptist College of Health Sciences School of Nursing and Youth Villages. A gift of $20,000 went to the University of Memphis' Loewenberg School of Nursing.

32. Roberts Elected to Baker Donelson Board -

Kristine Roberts, a shareholder in the Memphis office of the Baker Donelson law firm, has been elected to the firm’s board of directors.

33. Snapshots: St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen -

Parishioners and volunteers distribute meals in near-freezing temperatures at the St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen, a St. Mary’s Catholic Church ministry that has been operating continuously in Downtown Memphis since 1870.

...

34. Last Word: Secrets In A Small Town, Bullard Bounce and Beale & Mud Island -

Munford! A winning Powerball ticket for the largest jackpot ever was sold in Munford and that warrants a rare exclamation mark.
Possibly two when you consider that small towns are supposed to be places where it is nearly impossible to keep a secret – at least from the other folks in the town.
The fact that it was sold at Naifeh’s, a long-standing Tipton County business institution adds to the story.
The person who bought the ticket in Munford holds one of three winning tickets which comes out to about $582 million for that ticket.
That is roughly the size of the city of Memphis operating budget.
There was a similar mystery underway Thursday in Dyersburg where someone bought a Powerball ticket worth a paltry $2 million. Probably worth an exclamation mark if I wasn’t over the limit and already feeling the unspoken disdain of my reporting brethren who are judging me harshly as you read this.

35. Strickland Urges Calm in Overton Park Controversy as Protest Planned -

A group opposed to Memphis Zoo overflow parking on the Overton Park Greensward plans to plant a tree Saturday, Jan. 16, on the greensward.

The intended planting by the group Get Off Our Lawn are to protest the zoo’s recent removal of 27 trees planted by the Overton Park Conservancy at the northern end of the green space.

36. Forest Hill Church Sells for $1.3 Million -

A Germantown church has sold for $1.3 million, according to a Jan. 4 warranty deed.

Forest Hill Baptist Church of Germantown Inc. sold the 14.4-acre property at 3645 Forest Hill-Irene Road to Harvest Church of Memphis.

37. Last Word: Overton Park's Restless Winter, Across The Harahan and Higher Ed -

It may be chilly outside, but it might as well be July on the Overton Park greensward with all of the political heat that is building.
The thermometer spiked when more than two dozen trees donated to the Overton Park Conservancy in 2012 were removed this week by the Memphis Zoo which is preparing for large crowds in March.
That’s when its new Zambezi Hippo River Camp exhibit opens to much anticipation and much fanfare.
That and the New Year’s Eve legal opinion favoring the zoo’s position on its use of the greensward for overflow parking set the stage for a dispute the administration of Mayor Jim Strickland has had to mediate at less than two weeks in office.

38. New Memphis COO Doug McGowen Knows Importance of Carrying Out Orders -

From age 13 until he finished college, Doug McGowen was filling in his summers and college breaks with work. Real work. Sweat-on-the-brow work.

He grew up in Meadville, a small town in northwest Pennsylvania. And there he toiled for a small family-owned construction company, doing whatever was asked.

39. Cable News Network Al Jazeera America to Shut Down -

NEW YORK (AP) — Cable news network Al Jazeera America says it is shutting down just 2 1/2 years after its launch.

Al Jazeera America says it will stop operating by April 30. It blames the "economic landscape of the media environment."

40. ServiceMaster CEO Talks Vision, New Corporate Identity -

One of the priorities that ServiceMaster CEO Robert Gillette sees as coming with his job is the need to make sure employees know they’re “part of something special.”

The importance of that implied storytelling took on a physical form this week with the launch of ServiceMaster Experience, a 1,000-square-foot interactive “home on wheels.” Packed inside that truck, which also brandishes a new corporate identity for ServiceMaster, are things like digital kiosks and interactive exhibits that give customers tactile representations of work handled by ServiceMaster’s myriad brands.

41. Last Word: Legislature's Return, Uber Pilot, Minivan Comeback and Bowie's Exit -

The gavel falls in Nashville.
The Tennessee legislature is back in session Tuesday. This is an election year session for the legislature. So it will be short – likely an early April adjournment. But that doesn’t mean the session is without expectations from outside Nashville.

42. Collierville Assisted Living Facility Sells for $17 Million -

601 Wolf River Blvd.
Collierville, TN 38017

Sale Amount: $17 million

Sale Date: Dec. 29, 2015

43. New UCI Board Chair Pledges More Grants, Transparency -

Jill Crocker, new board chairman of The Urban Child Institute, says the organization is essentially starting with a clean slate.

44. Tunica Casino Union Vote Delayed On Worker Pressure Charges -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A vote on unionization by dealers at the MGM Gold Strike Casino in Tunica County has been put off amid charges that MGM Resorts International broke federal law while campaigning against union representation.

45. US Employers Hire at Robust Pace, Defying Global Trends -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is motoring ahead despite slowing global growth that caused upheavals in financial markets around the world this week.

Employers added a robust 292,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate stayed low at 5 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. Job gains in the October-December quarter averaged 284,000, the best three-month increase since last January.

46. OR Nurses Nationwide Donates $175,000 -

Several Memphis entities received 2015 year-end charitable gifts from OR Nurses Nationwide, which has offices in Memphis, Dallas and Houston.

Gifts of $25,000 each were given to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Church Health Center, Baptist College of Health Sciences School of Nursing and Youth Villages. A gift of $20,000 went to the University of Memphis' Loewenberg School of Nursing.

47. Pilot Distribution Center Sells for $11.9 Million -

The 605,000-square-foot Pilot Distribution Center in Southeast Memphis has sold for $11.9 million.

Sealy Strategic Equity Partners LP, working as Sealy Pilot LLC, purchased the industrial warehouse at 4221 Pilot Drive from Pilot Distribution Center Inc. on Dec. 22, according to a warranty deed.

48. Netflix Expands Into 130 More Countries in Surprise Move -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix has already crossed off the biggest item on its New Year's list of resolutions. The Internet video service debuted in 130 countries Wednesday in a surprise move likely to reel in millions of new subscribers.

49. Impacts Minor as River Rises in Mississippi's Delta Region -

TUNICA, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi River still has more than a foot to rise before its predicted crest Saturday at Tunica, but residents and casino officials say the rare winter flood will be a manageable nuisance.

50. Council OKs Strickland's Directors, He Defends Pay Raises -

Memphis City Council members approved Mayor Jim Strickland’s slate of 12 division chiefs and directors Tuesday, Jan. 5, at the first council meeting of 2016. And Strickland defended the pay raises for some of those positions compared to the salaries those appointed positions paid in the Wharton administration.

51. Pilot Distribution Center Sells for $11.9 Million -

The 605,000-square-foot Pilot Distribution Center in Southeast Memphis has sold for $11.9 million.

Sealy Strategic Equity Partners LP, working as Sealy Pilot LLC, purchased the industrial warehouse at 4221 Pilot Drive from Pilot Distribution Center Inc. on Dec. 22, according to a warranty deed.

52. An Emotional Obama Unveils His Plan to Cut Gun Violence -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama, at one point wiping tears from his cheek, unveiled his plan Tuesday to tighten control and enforcement of firearms in the U.S., using his presidential powers in the absence of legal changes he implored Congress to pass.

53. 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.

54. Facebook Glitch Celebrates 46 Years of Online Friendship -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Facebook's making some of its users feel a lot older than they really are.

The social network sent automated messages Thursday inviting some users to celebrate "46 years of friendship on Facebook" with one or more of their online friends.

55. The Good and Bad of Memphis’ Fortune 500 -

During a breakfast meet-and-greet with young professionals earlier this fall at International Paper’s newly opened building on its Poplar Avenue campus, IP chairman and CEO Mark Sutton recalled attending an investor day event during his first month on the job.

56. 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.

57. iBank Tower Sells for $19.2 Million -

The iBank Tower, located at 5050 Poplar Ave., has sold for $19.2 million, and for the first time, the same owner controls both the iBank Tower and the nearby Clark Tower at 5100 Poplar Ave.

58. Steamship Supporters Seek Exemption to Resume Cruises -

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (AP) – Supporters of the Delta Queen say they'll continue working to get Congress to approve an exemption that would allow the historic steamship to resume cruises on the Mississippi River.

59. City Hall Shuffle Moves Into Christmas Eve With 8 Positions Cut -

Memphis-Mayor elect Jim Strickland announced on Christmas Eve that he will eliminate eight positions in the current administration, one of them vacant. And a ninth positon will become a part-time position. Strickland will also follow through on his long-held desire to end the city’s involvement in and funding of the Memphis-Shelby County Music Commission.

60. Sullivan Leaves MHA for Chattanooga Post -

Maura Black Sullivan is leaving as interim director of the Memphis Housing Authority at the end of December to become the chief operating officer of Chattanooga city government.

Chattanooga mayor Andy Berke announced her appointment Thursday, Dec. 17.

61. Midway Point -

A quality, affordable neighborhood for low- to moderate-income Memphians. That’s developer Henry Turley’s ongoing vision for Uptown, a North Memphis neighborhood benefiting from $150 million in redevelopment efforts.

62. Strickland Taps New Deputy COO -

Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland has appointed Patrice Thomas as the city’s deputy chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1.

63. Whitehaven View Apartments Sell for $2.7 Million -

1594 E. Holmes Road
Memphis, TN 38116

Sale Amount: $2.7 million

Sale Date: Dec. 14, 2015

64. Sullivan Leaves MHA for Chattanooga Post -

Maura Black Sullivan is leaving as interim director of the Memphis Housing Authority at the end of December to become the chief operating officer of Chattanooga city government.

Chattanooga mayor Andy Berke announced her appointment Thursday, Dec. 17.

65. FDA Signs Off on Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft -

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has signed off on new spine surgery uses for Medtronic’s Infuse Bone Graft.

Once the company gets final labeling approval from the FDA for its product, Medtronic expects to start marketing the expanded use cases early next year.

66. Sycamore View Hotel Sold for $3.9 Million -

An Extended Stay America hotel at 5885 Shelby Oaks Drive has sold for $3.9 million, according to a Dec. 8 warranty deed.

67. The Paper Source To Join Saddle Creek -

The Paper Source, a gift retailer offering fine paper, custom invitations and announcements and stationery, is the latest store to join the Shops of Saddle Creek.

Set to open summer 2016, the 2,391-square-foot store will be located at Saddle Creek South near Brooks Brothers.

68. Last Word: The Force Reawakens, Methodist Expands and Setting Up 2016 -

Last Word is a new daily online column that offers an overview of what’s happened at the end of shift, so to speak. Picture a dimly lit newsroom in the Downtown night and the last person in the place leaving a memo for the morning shift and you have a pretty good idea of what we are aiming for.

69. Sycamore View Hotel Sold for $3.9 Million -

An Extended Stay America hotel at 5885 Shelby Oaks Drive has sold for $3.9 million, according to a Dec. 8 warranty deed.

70. The Paper Source To Join Saddle Creek -

The Paper Source, a gift retailer offering fine paper, custom invitations and announcements and stationery, is the latest store to join the Shops of Saddle Creek.

Set to open summer 2016, the 2,391-square-foot store will be located at Saddle Creek South near Brooks Brothers.

71. Corker Says Visa Waivers a Bigger Risk Than Refugees -

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says he believes the nation needs to stop admitting Syrian refugees until security problems are solved, but the nation’s “bigger risk” in letting terrorists slip into the country lies with the nation’s Visa Waiver Program.

72. Next Evolution Of Social Media -

This column is the fifth in an 11-part series on the Top Ten 2016 Marketing Trends. Check back for the remainder of the series and a deep dive into each of these trends.

With the New Year almost upon us, it’s time to adjust your marketing strategy to propel your company’s growth in 2016. Reflect on what worked and what didn’t with your 2015 plan, and consider trends on the horizon that could further amplify your results.

73. Proposed Used Car Lot In South City Draws Ire -

An applicant seeking to operate a used car lot at 704 Vance Ave. will go before the Shelby County Board of Adjustment Wednesday, Dec. 16, in what seemingly would be a cut-and-dry affair with the BOA staff recommending conditional approval.

74. The Week Ahead: Dec. 14, 2015 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from the annual AutoZone shareholder convergence Downtown to the new Star Wars movie...

75. FDA Signs Off on Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft -

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has signed off on new spine surgery uses for Medtronic’s Infuse Bone Graft.

Once the company gets final labeling approval from the FDA for its product, Medtronic expects to start marketing the expanded use cases early next year.

76. A List of Mayor-Elect Jim Strickland’s Appointments So Far -

Memphis Mayor elect Jim Strickland still has some appointments to make, but he is methodically filling key positions in his administration ahead of taking office Jan. 1.

77. Scotts LawnService to Merge With TruGreen -

Memphis-based TruGreen Holdings Inc. is merging in a joint venture with the Scotts LawnService division of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. of Marysville, Ohio.

78. Grizzlies’ Footprint Growing Across Region; Redbirds, RiverKings Try to Hit Their Niches -

Decades ago, the St. Louis Cardinals used their vast radio network to extend their brand across the middle of America. Even today, they have more than 130 affiliated stations in eight states.

“The Cardinals did a great job through their radio outreach,” said John Pugliese, Memphis Grizzlies vice president of marketing, communications and broadcast.

79. Scotts LawnService to Merge With TruGreen -

Memphis-based TruGreen Holdings Inc. is merging in a joint venture with the Scotts LawnService division of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. of Marysville, Ohio.

80. Tennessee Lawmakers Discuss Syrian Refugee Vetting Process -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers said Wednesday that they continue to get calls from constituents expressing concern about the vetting process for allowing Syrian refugees into the state and sought assurance from security officials that the program is safe.

81. Shelby County Mortgage Market Up 18 Pct. in November -

When Sam Goff gets phone calls these days from prospective homebuyers wanting to start the mortgage loan process, the conversations tend to start the same way.

82. Shares of DuPont, Dow Soar on Reports of Merger Talks -

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Shares of Dow Chemical and DuPont were trading sharply higher Wednesday amid reports that the two chemical giants are in advanced merger discussions.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the companies were planning to merge and then split into three companies focused on agriculture, specialty chemicals and materials.

83. Wharton Touts Memphis’ Emergence in Exit Interview -

He didn’t win re-election, but A C Wharton says he did change the city’s politics in his six years as mayor.

“It would be the epitome of naivete to say that there are not some folks who still try to thrive politically on dividing us. I guess that will always be,” Mayor Wharton said in a Tuesday, Dec. 8, exit interview with The Daily News. “But by and large, I am convinced that most people are set on saying, ‘Let’s get along.’ It’s tough enough out there with us working together. Imagine what it will look like if we don’t. … I believe we are on our way.”

84. County Commission Ends Year With Nonprofit Grants -

Shelby County Commissioners met for the last time in 2015 Monday, Dec. 7, in an hour-long session void of any arguments about money or attorneys. They focused on a set of grants for local nonprofits instead.

85. AutoZone Profit, Sales Up in Latest Quarter -

Ahead of its annual meeting in Memphis next week, AutoZone’s fiscal first-quarter results for the period ended Nov. 21 showed the car parts retailer working to deliver on its 2016 operating mantra: “Yes, we’ve got it.”

86. Strickland Names 6 Chiefs to Report Directly To Mayor -

Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland rounded out his team of top advisers and division directors with six appointees who will report directly to him – a structural change to how previous mayoral administrations have worked.

87. Levitt Shell Adds $4M In Renovations -

It was a perfect day for sledding in the bowl of the Levitt Shell once the crushed ice was tossed down the slope by a droning spreader.

The boundary by the shell stage was a bit closer than normal as construction crews have already begun preliminary work for the $4 million in renovations and new facilities the Levitt Shell Foundation announced Sunday, Dec. 6. The group already has raised $2 million toward the project.

88. Levitt Shell Modernizes With $4M In Renovations and Additions -

The Levitt Shell will add new sound and light systems and load-in area as well as a gathering place for food and concessions from two adapted trolley cars and have four permanent hilltop spaces with wooden decks for private parties.

89. The Week Ahead: Dec. 7, 2015 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from gift shopping at the Memphis Indie Holiday Market to the latest Beale Street developments ...

90. ZeroTo510 startup SweetBio raises another $900,000 -

One of the most recent companies to participate in the Memphis Bioworks Foundation’s ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator program has raised another $900,000 in venture capital funding.

That new equity financing raised by SweetBio, a medical device startup specializing in wound-healing biomaterials with a dental focus, brings the venture’s total raise to more than $1 million in the past six months.

91. Memphis to Host Back-to-Back Transportation Conferences -

On Thursday, Dec. 10, Memphis’ status as a logistics hub and its future in inner-city transportation will be debated.

The University of Memphis will be hosting two back-to-back free conferences at the FedEx Institute of Technology. The Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute will host its ninth annual conference, dubbed The State of Freight, from 7:30 a.m. to noon, and the newly established University of Memphis Design Collaborative will host the Workforce to Work Transportation Summit from noon to 4:30 p.m.

92. Memphis, North Mississippi Competition Raises Questions -

When leaders of the city-county Economic Development Growth Engine didn’t grant developers a $24 million tax abatement to build an industrial park on the site of the former Mall of Memphis, some saw it as more kindling for competition between the industrial markets of North Mississippi and Southeast Shelby County.

93. Knee-Jerk Outbreak -

A SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS. WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States government has mobilized against a clear threat to the country.

Troops have been sent to identify and capture members of an ersatz government openly operating here in defiance of federal law. This group claims theirs as the only true religion, and that laws be based on it as prescribed in the tome of that religion. They believe no other laws to be valid in the eyes of God, and no rights assigned or any authority recognized if any are based on such godless laws. They seek to prohibit the teaching, or even mention, of any other religion in schools.

94. Versant Inks Office Lease at Germantown Park -

Memphis-based Versant Supply Chain is going corporate with a newly signed anchor tenant lease in the Germantown Park office development near Germantown Parkway and Walnut Grove.

The seven-year commitment is a big move for Versant, which has been operating out of built-in office space at its 4105 Mendenhall Road warehouse.

95. Hard Work Leads to Success For Aunt Key’s Apothecary -

Carla Worth was a single mom of a 2-year-old, working two jobs and going to school.

Busy would be an understatement. But Worth also had a realization: Though she had several employment opportunities, she discovered she was pretty good at cleaning houses. And it worked well with her schedule.

96. Food-Focused Nonprofits Join Under Memphis Tilth Banner -

Meet Memphis Tilth. Four of the city’s food and farming nonprofits, which cover areas ranging from soil health to food justice to produce distribution, are convening under a single banner.

The Memphis Tilth organization can offer a more comprehensive and sustainable approach to building a better local food system by combining the efforts of the Memphis Center for Food and Faith, GrowMemphis, Urban Farms-Memphis and Bring It Food Hub.

97. Fitch Affirms AA Rating On MLGW Bonds -

The New York bond rating agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed its AA+ rating of $460.2 million in electric utility revenue bonds issued by the city of Memphis for Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.

98. Fitch Affirms AA+ Rating on MLGW Bonds -

The New York bond rating agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed its AA+ rating of $460.2 million in electric utility revenue bonds issued by the city of Memphis for Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.

99. 3 Trends for the Holidays -

NEW YORK (AP) — The holiday season is upon us. Here's what shoppers can expect if they're heading out to stores at any point during the holiday shopping season:

NO FIGHTING OVER MUST-HAVE GIFTS

100. Pfizer, Allergan $160B Deal Forms World's Largest Drugmaker -

Pfizer and Allergan are joining in the biggest buyout of the year, a $160 billion stock deal that will create the world's largest drugmaker.

It's also the largest so-called inversion, where an American corporation combines with a company headquartered in a country with a lower corporate tax rate, saving potentially millions each year in U.S. taxes.