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Editorial Results (free)

1. Tennessee Auto Parts Supplier to Lay Off 160 Workers -

DAYTON, Tenn. (AP) – An auto parts supplier says it will lay off 160 people in Tennessee as it moves some business operations to another plant in the Midwest.

International Automotive Components spokesman David Ladd tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press the layoffs at the facility in Dayton, Tennessee will impact 138 permanent employees and 22 temporary workers.

2. Auto Supplier Minth Group to Invest $13M in Tennessee Plant -

LEWISBURG, Tenn. (AP) – Chinese auto supplier Minth Group is investing $13 million in a Tennessee plant, creating 200 jobs.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday announced the plans by Minth to renovate an existing 125,000-square-foot facility in Lewisburg that will serve as a manufacturing facility and distribution warehouse for parts made elsewhere.

3. US Durable Goods Orders Fell for First Time in 5 Months -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods dropped in April for the first time in five months, and a key category that tracks business investment went nowhere for the second straight month.

4. AutoZone Downgraded After Disappointing Q3 -

Analysts downgraded shares of auto parts retail giant AutoZone on Tuesday, May 23, after the company reported a second straight quarter of weaker earnings and sales for its fiscal third quarter.

Raymond James Financial Inc. lowered its rating on AutoZone’s stock from “strong buy” – which it attached to AutoZone back in September 2007 – to “market perform.”

5. Bikesmith Adding New Events, Expanding to Crosstown Concourse -

Jim Steffen is pedaling harder this year. The proprietor of The Bikesmith – an operation that includes a truck that doubles as a mobile bike shop and a retail presence inside a converted auto garage at 509 N. Hollywood St. – is making good on his ambition to do more this year.

6. Ford Recalls 570K Vehicles for Fire Risk, Door Latch Trouble -

DETROIT (AP) – Ford is recalling more than 570,000 vehicles in North America and Europe to fix separate problems that can cause engine fires and doors to fly open unexpectedly.

The recalls will hit the company's bottom line in the first quarter of this year. Ford said in a Wednesday filing with securities regulators that the recalls will cut pretax earnings by $295 million.

7. Intel Drops $15B on Mobileye in Race for a Driverless Future -

DETROIT (AP) – Intel will buy Israel's Mobileye in a deal valued at about $15 billion, instantly propelling the computer chip and technology giant to the forefront of autonomous vehicle technology.

8. AutoZone Reports ‘Challenging’ Q2 Results -

AutoZone’s results for the second quarter represented a bit of a slowdown for the auto parts and accessories retailer, with the company’s CEO using adjectives like “challenging” to describe the three-month period in which earnings and same-store sales were somewhat muted.

9. Last Word: Lovell's Aftermath, West Memphis Tourism and Batter Up -

Political turbulence in the state capitol this week centered on one of the newest members of the Shelby County Delegation leaves the politically-minded among us with a lot to take in when you add the Beltway turbulence of the week in D.C.

10. AutoZone Joins Retail Group Fighting Border Tax -

AutoZone has come out against a tax proposal from U.S. House Republicans that’s been mentioned as one mechanism for financing President Trump’s proposed wall along the country’s southern border.

11. VW to Pay $1.2 Billion or More to US Owners of Big Diesels -

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Volkswagen has agreed to pay at least $1.2 billion in buybacks and compensation to settle claims from U.S. owners of cars with larger diesel engines that the company rigged to cheat on emissions tests.

12. Ford CEO Hopeful That Trump Will Ease Gas Mileage Standards -

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) – Ford Motor Co.'s top executive is hopeful that President Donald Trump could ease government fuel economy requirements and reduce corporate taxes to help the auto industry grow and create jobs.

13. Last Word: Connecting Downtown, Tranquil Treasure and Gas Tax Complexities -

Temple over the Tigers Wednesday in Philadelphia 77-66. East Carolina at the Forum is coming up Saturday. Grizz and Raptors at the Forum Wednesday evening and the Grizz win 101 – 99. The Grizz are on the road starting Friday against the Trail Blazers.

14. Report: Amazon Wants to Take On AutoZone, Other Parts Retailers -

AutoZone earlier this week got a taste of what just a hint – however thinly sourced – of fresh competition from the retail behemoth Amazon can do to investor nerves.

The Memphis-based auto parts company saw its shares shed a little more than 5 percent of their value in a single day the same day other parts retailers were similarly punished by investors. It was apparently on the strength of one news report – a New York Post take on Amazon making a play to move deeper into the auto parts segment.

15. GM to Add or Keep 7,000 US Jobs, Make $1B Factory Investment -

DETROIT (AP) – General Motors plans to invest $1 billion in U.S. factories and add thousands of new white-collar jobs, measures that have been in the works for years but were announced Tuesday after criticism from President-elect Donald Trump.

16. Takata Agrees to Guilty Plea, Will Pay $1B for Hiding Defect -

DETROIT (AP) – Takata Corp. has agreed to plead guilty to a single criminal charge and will pay $1 billion in fines and restitution for a years-long scheme to conceal a deadly defect in its automotive air bag inflators.

17. New Police HQ Renovations To Cost Additional $2M -

The Memphis City Council approved Tuesday, Jan. 3, $2 million extra in capital funding for the renovation of 170 N. Main St., the 13-story building that was once the Donnelley J. Hill State Office Building.

18. Elvis' Home-Away-From-Home Could Be Razed for Car Wash -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – As a teenager growing up in the 1950s, Steve North would look for the pink Cadillac outside a stone house on the outskirts of Nashville. If the car was there, Elvis was in the building.

19. Last Word: Convention Center Hotel, The Crime Discussion and A Gas Tax Hike Plan -

Grizzlies fall to the Clippers 115-106 in Los Angeles. They play Golden State Friday in another West Coast road game.

During the California sojourn, Chandler Parsons turned up on the tabloid TV show TMZ clubbing in the general vicinity of Kendall Jenner after New Year’s Eve with Kate Beckinsale.

20. New Police HQ Renovations To Cost Additional $2 Million -

The Memphis City Council approved Tuesday, Jan. 3, $2 million extra in capital funding for the renovation of 170 N. Main St., the 13-story building that was once the Donnelley J. Hill State Office Building.

21. Rallings, City Council Discuss 'Layered' Approach to Crime -

Memphis City Councilman Philip Spinosa says shopping malls should consider providing some additional security measures instead of relying solely on Memphis Police to quell disturbances at the malls.

22. Great Expectations: Small Businesses Upbeat About 2017 -

NEW YORK (AP) – Donald Trump's election as president has made many small business owners more upbeat about 2017.

Dean Bingham says he's cautiously optimistic because business picked up at his auto repair shop after the election – people who had put off fixing their cars have decided it's time to get them serviced.

23. GM's Main China Venture Fined $29M in Anti-Monopoly Case -

BEIJING (AP) – General Motors Co.'s main joint venture in China was fined $29 million on Friday on charges it suppressed competition by enforcing minimum sales prices for dealers, the latest in a string of penalties against foreign auto brands under the country's anti-monopoly law.

24. AutoZone Revs Up Net Income By 8 Percent -

The first significant cold snap of the season is at hand, something that might leave most people resigned to the corresponding inconveniences but nonetheless excites AutoZone chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes.

25. Last Word: Boca, Poe Killed by Politics and Embedding In The Real Memphis -

BOCA BOWL – As expected, the University of Memphis Tigers football team is going south for the post season. They got and accepted Sunday the formal invitation to play in the Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 20 against Western Kentucky. Ticket information should be forthcoming Monday for those of you who didn’t get enough during the Emerald Coast Classic with the basketball Tigers not too long ago.

26. US Allows GM to Delay Recall to Prove Safety of Air Bags -

DETROIT (AP) – U.S. auto safety regulators are allowing General Motors to delay a large recall of potentially defective air bags, giving the company time to prove that the devices are safe and to possibly avoid a huge financial hit.

27. EDGE Board Approves Fast Track PILOT -

The Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis and Shelby County approved an incentives request from International Distributors USA to relocate from Olive Branch and expand in Memphis.

The Fast Track payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) clears the way for International Distributors to move from its current 165,000-square-foot location in Olive Branch to a 510,310-square-foot facility at 4770 Hickory Hill Road in South Memphis.

28. Last Word: MAA and TraVure, JT Votes Early and Minority Biz Momentum -

Big news overnight for one of several corporate headquarters moves we’ve been watching in the last year. Mid-America Apartments LP is poised to become the anchor of the TraVure mixed-use development on the western side of Germantown.

29. AutoZone Grows Quarterly Profit 6.4 Percent -

For 40 straight quarters now, Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone has delivered double-digit earnings per share growth.

The company during its just-ended quarter grew its net income 6.4 percent over the year-ago period to $426.8 million. Earnings per share grew 12.2 percent to $14.30 per share.

30. Blue-Collar High School -

For all of the changes in public education Memphis has seen in the past six years, there is at least one more big one still on the way.

And it is coming from the city’s post-recession economic development effort.

31. US Consumer Prices, Retail Sales Rose in June -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices rose modestly in June as the costs of gasoline and rent kept climbing, while sales at American retailers registered a healthy gain.

The Labor Department said Friday that consumer prices increased 0.2 percent last month, matching the gain in May. Prices are up 1 percent from a year ago, well below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent inflation target.

32. Last Word: Graduation Day and Our Outrage, An ASD Offer In Raleigh and Fashion -

According to Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson, 15,000 people have watched the several dozen high school graduation ceremonies the school system has streamed live on its website including the 14 graduations held Saturday.

33. AutoZone Third-Quarter Results Miss Expectations -

Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc. knows how to grow its net sales, manage its balance sheet, handle shareholder capital and do a host of other things that have helped it generate an unbroken string of double-digit earnings per share growth the past 39 quarters.

34. Designing Materials for Future Needs -

In 2015 the Obama administration recognized the state’s manufacturing star power when it selected the University of Tennessee as the site for a major national manufacturing initiative – the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).

35. Statewide Demand Outstrips Supply of Qualified Workers -

Tennessee is surging as a major manufacturing state, bouncing back from the Great Recession by attracting billions of dollars in new investment and creating thousands of new – and often very high-paying – advanced manufacturing jobs.

36. 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.

37. AutoZone Hiring 10,000 Employees Nationwide -

AutoZone is going on a hiring spree.

The Memphis-based auto parts retailer plans to hire more than 10,000 full- and part-time employees nationwide through April to add to the staffs of its more than 5,100 stores. It’s especially looking to add workers in markets in Northern California; New York City; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Delaware; Louisville, Ky.; New Orleans, La.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Fort Worth and Midland, Texas.

38. Klondike Wants Plan To Stave Off Gentrification -

With multimillion-dollar investments growing up around it in the Crosstown and Uptown neighborhoods, the Klondike/Smokey City Community Development Corp. is working with the University of Memphis on a grassroots action plan to stave off gentrification.

39. US Trade Gap Widens to $45.7 Billion in January -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit rose in January as American exports fell for a fourth straight month, the Commerce Department said Friday.

The gap between exports and imports climbed to $45.7 billion in January from a revised $44.7 billion in December. Exports of goods and services fell 2.1 percent in January to $176.5 billion, lowest since June 2011. Exports of industrial equipment and supplies were down. American exporters have been hurt by weakness around the world and by a strong dollar that makes U.S. products more expensive overseas.

40. Buffett Says US Economy Weaker Than He Expected But Growing -

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Billionaire Warren Buffett said the U.S. economy appears weaker than he thought it would be as recently as last fall, but that doesn't change his optimistic long-term view of the country's prospects.

41. Stocks Sink in Late Trading; Consumer Stocks Take a Beating -

Stocks fell sharply in late afternoon trading Wednesday as a dismal start to the new year got even worse. The selling was concentrated on some of the biggest winners from last year such as Netflix and Amazon, both of which doubled in value in 2015.

42. Last Word: El Chapo and Memphis, First Filers for August and Origins in Graffiti -

The Mississippi River at Memphis crested and then it rained.
The weekend rain added about two-tenths of an inch by Saturday to Friday’s crest.
But by Sunday, the river had dropped to 39.12 feet, which is still more than five feet above flood stage.

43. Bridgestone Inks Deal to Acquire Pep Boys for $863M -

Pep Boys has agreed to be acquired by Bridgestone for $863 million in cash after the tires and auto service company sweetened its offer following a bid from Carl Icahn's investment firm.

Bridgestone and Pep Boys said late Friday that the new offer amounts to $15.50 for each Pep Boys share, an increase from its previous offer of $15 per share.

44. AutoZone Taps New Senior Vice President -

AutoZone is promoting Rick Smith, its vice president for store operations, to senior vice president of human resources and customer satisfaction in January.

45. US Manufacturing Output Rises for First Time in 3 Months -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing output rose in October for the first time in three months as factories cranked out more steel, cars and computers.

Manufacturing production increased 0.4 percent last month, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday, after slipping 0.1 percent in September.

46. AutoZone Taps New Senior Vice President -

AutoZone is promoting Rick Smith, its vice president for store operations, to senior vice president of human resources and customer satisfaction in January.

47. AutoZone Announces Four Promotions -

AutoZone has made a handful of promotions among the ranks of its senior leadership team.

The Memphis-based auto parts retailer has promoted four to the title of senior vice president, overseeing different aspects of the business:

48. AutoZone Announces Four Promotions -

AutoZone has made a handful of promotions among the ranks of its senior leadership team.

The Memphis-based auto parts retailer has promoted four to the title of senior vice president, overseeing different aspects of the business:

49. AutoZone announces four promotions -

AutoZone has made a handful of promotions among the ranks of its senior leadership team.

The Memphis-based auto parts retailer has promoted four to the title of senior vice president, overseeing different aspects of the business:

50. Analysis: AutoZone Firing on All Cylinders, But Still Room for a Tune-Up in Places -

AutoZone finds itself in a position at the moment that any retailer would surely envy.

One of Memphis’ most successful, industry-leading homegrown companies, it’s also one of the largest auto parts retailers in the country and something of a Wall Street darling with a stock price that’s tended to consistently move up and to the right.

51. Bridgestone Buying Pep Boys For About $835 Million -

Tire and auto service company Bridgestone Corp. is buying auto parts and repair company Pep Boys in for $835 million in a deal that will help Bridgestone gain a more dominant position.

52. Memphis Company BPI Wins Governor’s Award -

A Memphis company has been awarded the Tennessee Governor’s Award for Trade Excellence, which honors companies statewide for engaging in global trade.

BPI Packaging LLC was the winner in the medium-sized company category. Established in 2000, Memphis-based BPI blends, packages and distributes chemical products for consumer and industrial markets for Fortune 500 customers. It’s the largest contract manufacturer for 3M/U.S. and 3M/Singapore for the Meguiar’s line of auto care appearance products.

53. US Consumer Borrowing Climbs to New Record in August -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer borrowing advanced at a solid pace in August, as Americans took out more auto and student loans.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that consumer borrowing rose by $16 billion in August, pushing the total to a fresh record of $3.47 trillion.

54. Mercedes-Benz Hires Heath Elliott as Sales Manager -

Heath Elliott has joined Mercedes-Benz of Collierville as general sales manager. In his new role, Elliott will manage the sales of all new and pre-owned cars sold at the dealership, which opened in 2014.

55. AutoZone Profit Up 7.4 Percent in Fiscal Fourth Quarter -

Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc. has been scoring double-digit earnings-per-share growth every quarter for nine years running, a trend that predates Apple’s introduction of the first iPhone in 2007.

56. Autos, Restaurants Push US Retail Sales Higher in August -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans stepped up their spending on cars, restaurant meals, groceries and clothing in August, suggesting that consumers will help sustain U.S. economic growth despite a broader global slowdown.

57. US Muslims Hope New Billboards Reclaim Islam's Message -

BOSTON (AP) — Dozens of billboards with Muslim themes are sprouting nationwide, proclaiming what organizers say is the true message of Islam and its prophet, Muhammad: peace and justice, not extremism and violent jihad.

58. High-Tech Cars Bring Detroit and Silicon Valley Face to Face -

PALO ALTO, California (AP) — The office has all the trappings of a high-tech startup. There's a giant beanbag in the foyer and erasable, white board walls for brainstorming. Someone's pet dog lounges happily on the sunny balcony.

59. US Trade Gap Widens 7 Percent in June as Imports Jump -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit increased in June as solid consumer spending pulled in more imports, while the strong dollar restrained exports.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday the trade gap jumped 7 percent to $43.8 billion in June, up from $40.9 billion in May. Imports increased 1.2 percent to $232.4 billion, while exports edged lower to $188.6 billion from $188.7 billion.

60. SRVS, AutoZone Honored For Disability Job Efforts -

Memphis-based disability services provider SRVS and auto parts retailer AutoZone have garnered recognition from the Association of People Supporting Employment First for their contributions supporting integrated community employment for people with disabilities.

61. SRVS, AutoZone Honored for Disability Employment Efforts -

Memphis-based disability services provider SRVS and auto parts retailer AutoZone have garnered recognition from the Association of People Supporting Employment First for their contributions supporting integrated community employment for people with disabilities.

62. Top US Auto Safety Regulator Says Chrysler To Face Sanctions -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fiat Chrysler will be punished soon for failing to follow the law in 23 recalls involving more than 11 million vehicles, the nation's top auto safety regulator said Thursday.

63. Spanish Auto Parts Maker Gestamp Expanding in Chattanooga -

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Spanish auto parts maker Gestamp is expanding operations in Chattanooga with a $180 million investment the company says will triple its capacity in the city and create 550 new jobs.

64. Fed Sees Stronger Economy, Leaves Key Rate at Record Low -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy has strengthened since a slump early this year, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday, but it wants to see further gains in the job market and higher inflation before raising interest rates from record lows.

65. AutoZone Among Top 10 Arts-Supporting Businesses -

AutoZone Inc.’s commitment to the arts has earned it a place in Americans for the Arts’ top 10 business partners.

66. Snapshot: Memphis-Based Public Companies -

Here's a look at what's going on at the dozen public companies headquartered in Memphis:

AutoZone Inc.

AutoZone Inc. is one of the largest auto parts retailers and distributors in the U.S., with a store count of 5,476 as of Feb. 14. Since 1998, the company has repurchased $15.7 billion worth of its own shares. At the end of March, AutoZone continued its share buyback program with the authorization to buy back another $750 million in company stock. The company followed that news with plans to pursue a $650 million debt offering to be used for “general corporate purposes.” – Andy Meek

67. AutoZone Reports Quarterly Revenue, Earnings Increase -

AutoZone Inc. reported Tuesday morning a 35th consecutive three-month period of double-digit earnings per share growth.

68. AutoZone Named in Top 10 of Arts-Supporting Businesses -

AutoZone Inc.’s commitment to the arts has earned it a place in Americans for the Arts’ top 10 business partners.

69. Googling on Mobile Devices Surpasses PCs in US for First Time -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Google's influential search engine has hit a tipping point in technology's shift to smartphones. More search requests are now being made on mobile devices than on personal computers in the U.S. and many other parts of the world.

70. AutoZone Executives Talk Up Growth Prospects -

AutoZone chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes doesn’t often participate in investor roadshows.

The meetings between a company’s executives and analysts who cover that company’s stock can serve up insights not always found during the more formal question-and-answer sessions that accompany earnings presentations.

71. 1 Million New Residents: Where Will They Live? -

At least 1 million people are expected to move to the Nashville region over the next 20 years. Already, the early arrivals have begun to dramatically change the landscape of the suburban counties surrounding the city.

72. As Fed Weighs a Rate Hike, US Economy is Looking a Bit Paler -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Just as the Federal Reserve seems to be inching toward an interest rate hike because of the strengthening U.S. job market, its task is getting more complicated:

Several key sectors of the economy are flashing some signs of weakness.

73. Break It Down Towing 100 Percent Orange Mound -

His company is Break It Down Towing, but Antonio Anderson’s home team is, and has always been, Orange Mound.

74. Drive! Consortium Pushes Regional Auto Industry -

Tennessee’s bustling automotive-industry sector is going to get a whole lot busier in the coming months, at least if a large group of businesses, agencies and related parties behind the Drive! for the Future Consortium (Drive!) have anything to say about it.

75. A Robust US Job Market is Expected to Keep Delivering -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Even after the most vigorous three-month hiring spree in 17 years, U.S. employers are showing few signs of letting up.

Job growth for February, to be reported Friday, might not match the furious pace of November through January, when 1 million positions were added. Harsh winter weather likely discouraged some hiring.

76. Auto Industry Slows for Bad Weather, But Stays on Course -

DETROIT (AP) – February threw snowstorms and other roadblocks at the auto industry, but U.S. sales of new cars and trucks are still poised to hit their highest level in more than a decade this year.

77. Auto Parts Supplier to Expand, Add 435 Jobs Over 5 Years -

NEWPORT, Tenn. (AP) – Middle Tennessee auto parts supplier Unipres USA Inc. has announced plans for an expansion that will lead to 435 more jobs over the next five years.

78. Developer Charlie Ryan Focusing on Central-Cooper Intersection -

765 Tanglewood St.
Memphis TN 38104
Sale Amount: $27,000

Sale Date: Feb. 9, 2015
Buyer: Charles S. “Charlie” Ryan
Seller: Cowles Development Company LLC
Details: Developer Charles S. “Charlie” Ryan has acquired a key piece of Midtown property.

79. Napa Auto Parts Store Sells for $1.4 Million -

A Hickory Hill auto parts store has been sold for $1.4 million.

California-based El El Sea LLC, operating in care of Atlanta-based Genuine parts Co., acquired the Napa Auto Parts store at 3505 Ridgeway Road from GP Memphis TN Landlord LLC, according to a Feb. 3 warranty deed.

80. Car Built With 3-D Printer Stirs Industry -

At the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, innovative carmaker Local Motors offered an up close look at the future of automobile manufacturing.

In a microfactory set up on the auto show floor, Local Motors built the latest version of its Strati, a lightweight, two-seat electric car. It took about 40 hours using the latest 3-D printing technology, all while thousands of auto show visitors watched.

81. Hickory Hill Napa Auto Parts Store Sells for $1.4 Million -

A Hickory Hill auto parts store has been sold for $1.4 million.

California-based El El Sea LLC, operating in care of Atlanta-based Genuine parts Co., acquired the Napa Auto Parts store at 3505 Ridgeway Road from GP Memphis TN Landlord LLC, according to a Feb. 3 warranty deed.

82. Debt, Pension Overhang Top City Council Priorities -

UPDATE: Council committee sessions are beginning late Tuesday – at 10:30 a.m. – because of weather-related road conditions, and committees will have a condensed schedule, according to council staff.

83. Hitting the Accelerator -

Five years after the Great Recession rocked the nation and nearly destroyed auto manufacturing in Tennessee, the Midstate’s industry is booming again.

Nissan’s growth is no small part of that, largely because of the company’s confidence in the state of Tennessee and Gov. Bill Haslam, according to José Muñoz, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co. and chairman of Nissan North America, which is headquartered in Franklin.

84. Fed Survey Finds Moderate Economic Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy was growing at a moderate pace in December and early January, helped by gains in sales of autos and other consumer products, increased factory production and a pickup in tourism in various parts of the country, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.

85. City Council Vacancy Draws Seven Applicants -

Seven citizens, including two former Memphis City Council members, applied to fill the open District 7 council seat by a noon Wednesday, Jan. 7, deadline set by the body.

Council members plan to fill the seat, which was vacated by Lee Harris after he was elected to the state Senate, at their Jan. 20 meeting.

86. Council Signals Return to Schools Funding Mediation -

It’s back to mediation Thursday, Jan. 8, in the six-year long schools funding deadlock between the city of Memphis and Shelby County Schools.

That was the next step several Memphis City Council members pointed to after more than an hour behind closed doors at City Hall Tuesday with their attorney as well as city Chief Administrative Officer George Little.

87. Why the US Will Power the World Economy in 2015 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States is back, and ready to drive global growth in 2015.

After long struggling to claw its way out of the Great Recession, the world's biggest economy is on an extended win streak that is edging it closer to full health. But the new year doesn't look quite so bright in other major countries.

88. US Companies Eager to Embrace Cuba Face Hurdles -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Cargill aims to sell more corn and soybeans. MasterCard covets another site for Americans to swipe credit cards. Marriott sees beachfront property that needs hotels.

And outside Orlando, Florida, Danny Howell just knows there would be demand for his classic Chevrolet parts.

89. Blackie’s Body Shop Endures Changing Industry -

Cars are a lot different, and the business of an auto body shop is too, since Delmus “Blackie” Moore opened a body shop on Fourth Street in Downtown Memphis in 1951.

The business of body work is much faster, with less time for the custom work that once was much of Blackie Moore’s stock in trade.

90. AutoZone Net Income Up 9.3 Percent -

AutoZone kicked off its new fiscal year with another quarter of growth, posting increases in same-store sales and earnings per share that are typical of earning announcements from the Memphis-based auto parts retailer.

91. Anixter Moving Memphis Distribution Operations -

A leading supplier of communications and security products, electrical and electronic wire and cable, fasteners and other small components is relocating to a new Memphis distribution center.

Anixter International Inc., which is based in the Chicago area, has leased 100,000 square feet at 4001 Hickory Hill Road inside Memphis Distribution Center. Anixter will be relocating from 4580 S. Mendenhall Road, where DDN is expanding.

92. AutoZone Shares Draw Interest From New Research Firms -

The stock of Memphis-based AutoZone Inc. has picked up new coverage from a handful of investment firms in recent weeks that have assigned a range of ratings to the stock.

93. AutoZone Ordered to Pay $185M Over Pregnant Bias -

A federal jury in San Diego has hit AutoZone with $185 million in punitive damages after finding that the company retaliated against a pregnant manager, eventually demoting and firing her.

U-T San Diego reported Tuesday that the three-woman, five-man jury also awarded Rosario Juarez $872,000 in compensatory damages for lost wages and emotional stress.

94. AutoZone Ordered to Pay $185 Million Over Pregnant Bias -

SAN DIEGO (AP) – A federal jury in San Diego has hit AutoZone with $185 million in punitive damages after finding that the company retaliated against a pregnant manager, eventually demoting and firing her.

95. Auto Parts Manufacturer to Build Sevierville Plant -

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – An automobile parts manufacturer that already has a presence in Morristown is opening a new plant in Sevierville.

The Mountain Press reports Otics USA is investing $69.5 million in the facility and plans to create 117 new jobs there.

96. Shareholder Seeks AutoZone Political Disclosures -

AutoZone’s board of directors is recommending shareholders vote against the motion a shareholder plans to present at the company’s annual meeting in December that would ask the auto parts retailer to provide greater detail on its political spending.

97. Government Ups Air Bag Warning -

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government is now urging owners of nearly 8 million cars and trucks to have the air bags repaired because of potential danger to drivers and passengers. But the effort is being complicated by confusing information and a malfunctioning website.

98. US Agency Warns Car Owners to Get Air Bags Fixed -

DETROIT (AP) — A potential safety crisis over defective air bags widened Monday as the U.S. government issued an urgent plea to more than 4.7 million people to get their cars fixed.

The inflator mechanisms in the air bags can rupture, causing metal fragments to fly out when the bags are deployed in crashes.

99. AutoZone Shares Drop After Fourth-Quarter Results -

AutoZone Inc. shares dropped more than 4 percent Monday afternoon after reporting fourth-quarter revenue that missed Wall Street expectations.

100. AutoZone Tops Fourth-Quarter Profit Expectations -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – AutoZone Inc. on Monday reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $373.7 million.