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Editorial Results (free)

1. RegionSmart Details How to Prevent Erosion of Talent, Population -

During his three terms as mayor of Pittsburgh, Tom Murphy had to assume a great deal of risk in transforming the city’s economy from an industrial to an entrepreneurial base.

2. First Tennessee Bank Honors 50-Year Employee -

First Tennessee Bank has one employee who’s busted the five-year median tenure for U.S. finance sector workers by several decades.

3. Grinding Recovery -

Michael Drury is watching the current U.S. presidential season with a combination of professional detachment and an air of resignation.

Detachment, because part of his job as chief economist at Memphis-based McVean Trading & Investments is to keep abreast of what makes economies around the world tick. Part of that, of course, means at least some degree of focus on the man – or, possibly a few months from now, the woman – who sits astride the dominant global economy.

4. Last Word: Memphis Gets Busy, Elections Future and Past and Dad Rock In C-Y -

While their folks are still getting settled over in the front office at The Commercial Appeal, Gannett announces Monday an $815 million offer to buy Tribune Publishing which would put The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune in the expanding USA Today family.

5. First Tennessee Bank Honors 50-Year Employee -

First Tennessee Bank has one employee who’s busted the five-year median tenure for U.S. finance sector workers by several decades.

6. Memphis Health & Ed Board Can Resume Issuing Bonds -

The Memphis Health, Education and Housing Facility Board is back in business. In a letter sent Wednesday, April 20, Tennessee Housing and Development Agency executive director Ralph Perrey told the Health & Ed board that it may immediately resume issuing bonds.

7. Hagler Launches Solo Practice as Real Estate Sector Picks Up -

Monice Moore Hagler grew up in a real estate family. Her father owned a real estate company and her brothers studied finance and real estate before going on to become brokers.

So of course it only made sense that she pursued a career in social work, where she worked with children on welfare and children who were placed for adoption. She worked closely with special needs adoptions, including older children who were more difficult to adopt.

8. Financial Planning Is More Than Just Asset Management -

Ray’s take: A common confusion when looking for someone to help you make decisions about your financial future is understanding the difference between asset management and financial planning.
The alphabet soup of designations in today’s market can be confusing regarding what, specifically; a particular professional can do for you.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Lawmakers Fail To Conclude Tennessee Legislative Session -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A lengthy debate over a proposed veto override, partisan squabbling and a disagreement over a tax cut have delayed the planned conclusion of the legislative session.

12. $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.

13. State Lifts Memphis Health & Ed Board Bond Moratorium -

The Memphis Health, Education and Housing Facility Board is back in business.

In a letter sent Wednesday, April 20, Tennessee Housing and Development Agency executive director Ralph Perrey told the Health & Ed board that it may immediately resume issuing bonds.

14. LEDIC Founder Buys Metro 67 Apartments -

The Metro 67 Apartments in Downtown Memphis has been sold by a Dallas equity firm to Scott Ledbetter, founder and chairman-emeritus of LEDIC Management Group in Memphis, and members of his family.

15. Business Leaders Sign Letter Opposing Bathroom Law -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The chief executives of Williams-Sonoma, Hilton Worldwide, T-Mobile and dozens of other major corporations have signed a letter asking Tennessee lawmakers to reject a transgender bathroom bill, saying it is discriminatory.

16. Legislators Playing Expensive Game With LGBT Issues -

The silly season is in full swing on Capitol Hill, but the “bathroom bill” and any jokes surrounding it are no laughing matter anymore. It’s getting downright expensive.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said this week the bill dealing with transgender student use of restrooms could cost the state more than $1.2 billion in federal funds for K-12 and higher education.

17. Why Businesses Should Know the SCORE -

Steven Spielberg said, "The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves." And that describes the underlying philosophy of SCORE.

18. Metro 67 Apartments Bought by LEDIC Founder -

The Metro 67 Apartments in Downtown Memphis has been sold by a Dallas equity firm to Scott Ledbetter, founder and chairman-emeritus of LEDIC Management Group in Memphis, and members of his family.

19. Transgender Bathroom Bill Delayed Amid Financial Questions -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The sponsor of a Tennessee transgender bathroom bill told a Senate committee Tuesday that he has to consider a state attorney general's opinion before going forward. The White House called the proposal "mean-spirited."

20. Donahoe Named VP at Avison Young -

Michael Donahoe has joined commercial real estate firm Avison Young as vice president of its Memphis branch. Donahoe’s main focus will be overseeing all of the firm’s landlord leasing projects in Memphis and the surrounding areas. Toronto-based Avison Young opened the Memphis office in December, marking its third location in Tennessee and its 50th nationally. 

21. 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.

22. Roland Starts 2018 Bid for County Mayor -

The 2018 Shelby County general elections are more than two years away. The 2016 county elections that decide races for General Sessions Court Clerk, five of the nine seats on the Shelby County Schools board and two judicial positions are still to come in August.

23. 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.

24. State Halts City Board From Issuing Bonds -

The city of Memphis entity that sold $12 million in municipal bonds on behalf of Global Ministries Foundation has been told it can no longer conduct such business.

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency has temporarily de-authorized the Health, Educational & Housing Facility Board of the city of Memphis to sell bonds. The decision is related to the withdrawal of federal subsidies going to Global Ministries Foundation’s portfolio and a subsequent downgrading of those bonds as well as leadership changes at the Health & Ed Board.

25. State Halts Memphis Health & Ed Board From Doing Business -

The city of Memphis entity that sold $12 million in municipal bonds on behalf of Global Ministries Foundation has been told it can no longer conduct such business.

The Tennessee Housing and Development Agency has temporarily de-authorized the Health, Educational and Housing Facility Board of the city of Memphis to sell bonds. The decision is related to the withdrawal of federal subsidies going to Global Ministries Foundation’s portfolio and a subsequent downgrading of those bonds as well as leadership changes at the Health & Ed Board.

26. United Housing Gets $1.1M Boost From Banks -

United Housing Inc. has gotten a boost from area financial institutions in recent days to the tune of $1.1 million.

27. City Council Debates Idea of De-Annexation Compromises -

A proposal to form a joint city-county group to explore voluntary de-annexation and the city’s footprint goes to the Memphis City Council for a vote in two weeks.

But there is vocal sentiment on the council against the city giving up any of its turf, including the most recently annexed areas of south Cordova and Southwind-Windyke.

28. City Council Sets Stage for Budget Season -

Two weeks before Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presents his first budget proposal to the Memphis City Council, the council and administration are setting the stage for the budget season to come.

29. Editorial: The Ponderosa Box -

Maybe we’ve got this all wrong. Some people have suggested bringing recalcitrant, Memphis-hating legislators from other parts of the state here to our city to show them what’s right about this place. Instead, maybe we should go to them.

30. Can GOP Keep Grasp On Success Ramsey Built? -

As much as Tennessee Republicans want to put a happy face on the departure of Senate Speaker and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, holding it together in the wake of his departure will be an awesome task.

31. 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.

32. New Haslam Spending Proposed for Roads, TennCare, Schools -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday proposed new spending on Tennessee roads, TennCare and schools.

The annual budget amendment reflects the governor's priorities for spending about $65 million in savings beyond what was originally projected for the budget year beginning July 1.

33. GOP Lawmaker Questions Haslam's Secret $30M Development Deal -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A state senator on Tuesday questioned fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to earmark $30 million for an undisclosed economic development project in Tennessee.

34. House Passes Haslam's Shakeup of Tennessee College Boards -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to remove four-year public universities from the Board of Regents system and give them their own boards won approval Thursday in the Tennessee House.

35. Bill to End Tennessee Motorcycle Helmet Law Fails in Senate -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to allow motorcyclists to ride Tennessee roads without safety helmets has been defeated in a Senate committee.

The Finance Committee on Tuesday voted 6-5 against the bill sponsored by Sen. Kerry Roberts. The Springfield Republican argued that ending the helmet law for insured riders who are at least 21 years old would be a boon to tourism in the state.

36. Mural Sets Scene for 107 S. Main Revelopment -

The long-blighted building at 107 S. Main St. is headed for active use and will see the addition of a mural by May 1.

At its March 16 meeting, the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. approved to put $10,000 toward a colorful mural designed by Chicago artist Damon Lamar Reed.

37. Republican Leaders Want McNally to Replace Ramsey -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Leading Senate Republicans are discussing plans to make Sen. Randy McNally of Oak Ridge the new lieutenant governor.

38. Storytelling, The Brain & Work Culture -

I love the quote by the poet Muriel Rukeyser that says, “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Humans live for stories. We learn from stories at home, school, from friends and also very compellingly at work. 

39. Assisting Elderly Parents With Finances -

Ray’s Take Millions of elderly Americans suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other disabilities that make them unable to make decisions about their finances. If this happens to your parent, it could mean that you will need to step up and take control for them.

40. Memphis Investment Firm Preserver Partners Launches Mutual Fund -

For the smaller investors that Memphis-based investment firm Preserver Partners LLC would like to attract to its newly launched mutual fund, one of the selling points is right there in the firm’s name.

41. Bipartisan Skeptics Doubt Haslam’s Outsourcing Plan -

Poor timing and questionable numbers: That’s how legislators are viewing a business justification plan for outsourcing facilities management across Tennessee.

The Office of Customer Focused Government tells state senators, if all departments opt in, the state could save $35.8 million by the second year of a contract under study for building operations and services – without laying off state workers or cutting pay and benefits.

42. ‘I’m the Steak’ Norris Carries Haslam’s Agenda, Except... -

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris refers to himself as a “meat and potatoes” legislator. The four-term Republican senator from Collierville, a self-described policy wonk, is considering a run for governor in 2018. But if the race boils down to charisma, he says the media will have to determine if he has enough to win the top office.

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. Bill to Cap Liquor Store Ownership Sent Back to Subcommittee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to impose limits on how many liquor stores can be owned in Tennessee has been sent back to a House subcommittee.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Curry Todd of Collierville has pitted Republicans against each other over questions about why package stores should be given special protection from competition by big chains.

46. Money is Emotional -

Ray’s Take You know yourself better than anyone else. You know what motivates you. You know what frightens you. But it is probably something very different for your friends.

A lot of personal finance books will tell you the best way to handle your finances from an unemotional perspective; this advice is worthless if it doesn’t work with your personality. You are not a robot and shouldn’t make important decisions like one.

47. House Panel Reverses Course on Tennessee Liquor Store Cap -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A House committee that two weeks ago voted to reject a proposed cap on liquor store ownership in Tennessee reversed course on Tuesday and placed the limits back into the bill headed for a floor vote.

48. Higher-Ed Shuffle Stokes Fears of UT-TSU Merger -

Anthony Joshua, who moved to Nashville from Madison, Wis., to attend Tennessee State University, says he’s worried his historically black institution could be in for serious change – for the worse.

49. Senate OKs Extending Temporary Tennessee Tax Into 4th Decade -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee's "temporary" tax used to pay for roadside cleanup would extend into its fourth decade under a bill advancing in the state Legislature.

The tax on beer and soft drinks was first enacted in 1981, and has been reauthorized every six years since then.

50. Anne Dixon Joins BRIDGES as CFO -

Anne Dixon has joined BRIDGES as vice president of finance and chief financial officer. Dixon, who is a Bridge Builders alumna, is responsible in her new role for financial reporting and analysis to help BRIDGES leadership in performing their responsibilities. 

51. Events -

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. will meet Tuesday, March 8, at 9 a.m. in the Downtown Memphis Commission conference room, 114 N. Main St. Visit downtownmemphiscommission.com.

HireLive will host a sales and marketing career fair Wednesday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 5069 Sanderlin Ave. Email your resume to 11056-36-mh2006@apply.maxhire.net and bring 10-15 resumes to the event. Visit hirelive.com.

52. Events -

Carriage Crossing Restaurant Week will be held through Thursday, March 6-10, in The Shops at Carriage Crossing, 4674 Merchants Park Circle. Diners at participating restaurants (Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s, Firebirds, Hickory Tavern and STIX) can enjoy $40 prix fixe menus that include an appetizer, two entrees and dessert for two. Reservations recommended. Visit shopcarriagecrossing.com to preview menus.

53. State Deannexation Bill Clears House Committee -

State legislation that would allow residents in certain sections of cities to self-initiate deannexation referendums has cleared a key hurdle in the Tennessee Legislature.

First introduced in February 2015, the bill moved through the state Senate committee process last year but stalled when the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee deferred it to 2016.

54. Events -

Carriage Crossing Restaurant Week will be held Sunday through Thursday, March 6-10, in The Shops at Carriage Crossing, 4674 Merchants Park Circle. Diners at participating restaurants (Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s, Firebirds, Hickory Tavern and STIX) can enjoy $40 prix fixe menus that include an appetizer, two entrees and dessert for two. Reservations recommended. Visit shopcarriagecrossing.com to preview menus.

55. Tennessee Deannexation Bill Clears Key House Committee -

State legislation that would allow residents in certain sections of cities to self-initiate deannexation referendums has cleared a key hurdle in the Tennessee Legislature.

First introduced in February 2015, the bill moved through the state Senate committee process last year but stalled when the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee deferred it to 2016.

56. Don’t Panic Over The Market Drop -

Ray’s take: The stock market has had one of the worst starts of the year ever, and the roller coaster shows no sign of letting up. Market naysayers have stolen the spotlight and are further inciting panic with their rhetoric.

57. Liquor Giants a Threat to Dominate Memphis Sales -

In less than four months, Memphians will be able to purchase wine in grocery stores.

Since the Tennessee Legislature passed the resolution in 2014, Memphis liquor stores have been prepping for the July 1 bombshell by adding growler stations, padding shelves with packaged cheese and meat and undergoing hefty store expansions.

58. GOP Divided Over Cap on Liquor Store Ownership in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Efforts to restrict the number of liquor stores that can be owned in Tennessee drew vocal opposition from a Republican lawmaker Monday, who said it is contrary to GOP principles and suggested that supporters may have been "bought and paid for" by lobbying groups.

59. Rare Wins for Democrats on Guns, Outsourcing -

Legislative Democrats got a chance to beat their chests a little bit after a proposal to allow guns in the state Capitol and Legislative Plaza failed, and they hope to do the same with outsourcing.

60. Keel Brings Sense Of Purpose to New St. Jude Role -

Pat Keel started what would turn into a more than 30-year career in health care wanting to be a nurse practitioner – that is until life, as it so often does, intervened.

61. US Bank Earnings Jump 11.9 Percent In 4Q; Loan Losses Up -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The impact of plummeting oil prices has shown up in the financial picture of U.S. banks, whose losses from loans increased for the first time in five and half years, according to new government data.

62. Extra City Funding for MATA Faces Long Odds -

After a year and a half as leader of the Memphis Area Transit Authority, Ron Garrison has emerged with a start on the bus system he wants that won’t cost the city anything more.

63. Senators Say Court Vacancy Is Next President’s Job -

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker told Shelby County Republicans over the weekend that they favor the next president appointing the successor to the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

64. The Week Ahead: Feb. 22, 2016 -

Good morning Memphis. The Monday holidays are gone for a while, we’re afraid, but you’ve got a whole week to finish that work instead of just four days. Here are a few items to look forward to this week, led by the annual announcement of performers who will descend on Memphis this May for the Beale Street Music Festival.

65. St. Jude Chooses Pat Keel As Chief Financial Officer -

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has tapped a new finance chief.

Pat Keel is the hospital’s new CFO and will lead the hospital’s financial strategy and management as St. Jude embarks on a $7 billion, six-year plan for conquering cancer and other childhood diseases.

66. Tennessee General Fund Collections Beat Projections By $400M -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee's general fund tax collections have beaten projections by nearly $400 million through the first half of the budget year.

The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration announced Wednesday that sales taxes exceeded estimates by $218 million since the July 1 start of the budget year, posting a 7.4 percent growth rate compared with the same period last year. Corporate franchise and excise taxes were $141 million more than expected.

67. Senate Finance Committee Votes To Add 2 Open Records Jobs -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Senate Finance Committee has voted to approve funding for two new positions in Tennessee government to help clear a backlog of open record questions.

A recent comptroller's audit documented more than 600 open or pending cases where citizens or governments made requests to the Office of Open Records Counsel, which helps people obtain government records.

68. Debate Rages Over Reasons For Rising Higher-Ed Costs -

When figures are presented detailing a 456 percent increase in tuition and fees at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville over the last 20 years, the result is usually some serious sticker shock.

That’s what happened recently when state Sen. Dolores Gresham presented the Tennessee Tuition Stability Act, a measure designed to rein in tuition growth and make it easier for students and parents to pay for a four-year degree.

69. The Big Uh-Oh: Global Economy Shaky and Cavalry May Not Come -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Eight years after the financial crisis, the world is coming to grips with an unpleasant realization: serious weaknesses still plague the global economy, and emergency help may not be on the way.

70. Tennessee Senate to Vote on Directing AG to Challenge Refugee Program -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A resolution directing Tennessee's attorney general to mount a legal challenge to the federal refugee resettlement program is headed for a vote in the state Senate.

71. St. Jude Names New Chief Financial Officer -

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has tapped a new finance chief.

Pat Keel is the hospital’s new CFO and will lead the hospital’s financial strategy and management as St. Jude embarks on a $7 billion, six-year plan for conquering cancer and other childhood diseases.

72. The Week Ahead: Feb. 12, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from circus clowns to Republican senators…

Both U.S. Senators representing Tennessee will be in Memphis Saturday for the Shelby County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Gala, historically the local party’s largest annual fundraising event.
Sen. Bob Corker is the keynote speaker with Sen. Lamar Alexander as a special guest.
The Lincoln Day gatherings are county-by-county events across the state that can extend far beyond the shadow of Presidents Day: A few of the Lincoln Day dinners have been known to find a place on the calendar in April.
This is the 41st Lincoln Day event in Shelby County, which puts the local event’s origins squarely in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, a low-point for Republican fortunes nationally after the state’s modern Republican party was formed and prospered in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The event always comes with a large helping of local candidates testing the political waters among the dinner tables between podium speeches.
This year, the Shelby County event is sure to feature partisans from the various Republican presidential campaigns because of its place on the February calendar during the early voting period before the March 1 election day.

73. Clinton Rallies 700 in Whitehaven on Second Day of Early Voting -

Former President Bill Clinton rallied the Democratic base in Whitehaven Thursday, Feb. 11, with a standing room only speech of nearly an hour in the gymnasium of Whitehaven High School.

74. The Tipping Point -

Going to Harvard is a big deal no matter who you are. But going to Harvard when you’re a poor kid from Cameroon? That’s a home run. That’s what Gabriel Fotsing did. He grew up in Douala, moved to Houston and taught himself how to apply to college.

75. Murphy Joins Paragon’s Aircraft Lending -

Ronald Murphy has joined Paragon Bank as vice president, aircraft lending. Murphy – who worked at Paragon from 2005 to 2008 as senior vice president, aircraft lending – will originate and service aircraft loans for the bank by developing relationships with dealers, brokers and end users of business aircraft.

76. Last Word: EW&F, Midtown Rent Rise and A Closer Look At The Pyramid Deal -

One seemingly ordinary winter’s night in Downtown Memphis, I was going from event to event focused on work – specifically trying to stay on a schedule in which several things I wanted to cover were happening at the same time.
That is usually when you miss the experience that is Memphis on an everyday but definitely not ordinary basis.
So I get in a parking garage elevator and on the next floor David Porter – of Stax Records fame – gets on and he introduces me to his friend, Maurice White – the founder of Earth Wind and Fire. They too are trying to be in several places at the same time.
As they went their way and I went mine, I remember thinking this is quite a special place.
The encounter slowed my stride a bit and took some of the edge off the schedule – noticing for the first time how many people were out on a winter’s night in our city having nothing but a good time made better by all of us going our different ways.
White, who was from Memphis, died Thursday with his band’s music stronger and more relevant than ever.
If you grew up listening to EWF when the songs were new, you know that the bright and funky sound and the positive, affirming, and diverse identity of this music was quite intentional at a time when there was plenty going on that could have pushed it the other way.
If your parents or grandparents grew up listening to EWF, this music is a part of your family’s tradition that calls to mind special occasions and even your own mild surprise the first time you found yourself dancing to it with your children.
And if your folks’ vinyl record collection from back in the day included Earth Wind and Fire, that was one of the ones you listened to when they weren’t around and one of the ones you took with you when you got a place of your own.

77. 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.

78. 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.

79. Voucher Bill Scheduled for Monday Vote in Tennessee House -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to create a limited school voucher program has been scheduled for a Monday floor vote in the state House.

The measure cleared its last hurdle on a voice vote in the House Calendar Committee on Tuesday after clearing the Finance Committee by a single vote last week.

80. Hinds Joins Martin Tate Law Firm -

Rebecca Hinds has joined Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston P.C. as an associate attorney in the firm’s litigation section. In this role, Hinds represents clients in civil and commercial litigation matters, including business law, transportation liability, construction disputes, breach-of-contract matters and employment law. She also helps commercial clients obtain tax incentives and advises individuals and businesses in the drafting and negotiation of contracts. 

81. 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.

82. Landmark Commits $50K To Soulsville Finance Program -

Landmark Community Bank has committed $50,000 to support the “Money Matters” program at the Soulsville Charter School in south Memphis.

83. Airport Passengers Up 6 Percent in December -

Passengers at Memphis International Airport increased for the sixth consecutive month in December, according to a report at last week’s Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board meeting.

In December 2015, 156,933 local passengers used airport compared to 148,137 passengers in December 2014, a 5.9 percent increase.

84. School Voucher Bill Headed for Floor Vote in Tennessee House -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An effort to create a school voucher program in Tennessee has cleared its last major committee before a full House vote.

The House Finance Committee voted 11-10 Tuesday in favor of the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville. The Senate has already passed its version of the bill, and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said earlier Tuesday that he plans to sign the measure into law if it remains unchanged from its current form.

85. Landmark Commits $50,000 To Soulsville Finance Program -

Landmark Community Bank has committed $50,000 to support the “Money Matters” program at the Soulsville Charter School in south Memphis.

86. 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.

87. Memphis CFO Brian Collins 'Constantly at 50,000 Feet' -

If you think about the city’s chief financial officer at all, you might imagine a robotic figure forever tethered to numbers and a desk, taking a microscopic view of life in search of where to squeeze out a few more dollars here, a few more dollars there.

88. Last Word: A Turn Away From Mud Island, Capitol Hill Soap & Collierville Keeps FedEx -

Sometimes you get another story when you are pursuing a different story.

In this case, the quest was a simple one. Get a good basic idea of what the five companies interested in redeveloping Mud Island River Park are telling the Riverfront Development Corp. of their still-forming plans.
While going through the submissions, we had a talk with RDC president Benny Lendermon about the process and the interview moved pretty effortlessly into the Pyramid’s relationship to Mud Island.
It’s a natural follow-up given the history of past efforts to link up the two landmarks on different sides of the city harbor and the decidedly mixed results of those attempts. I might have been charitable there in describing the results as mixed.
That context led to a discussion about how the Pyramid is faring eight months into Bass Pro Shops' long-term lease in the reconfigured Pyramid.
When Lendermon said, “This probably isn’t a politically correct thing to say,” the interview turned topics and we followed it.
The result is, I think, at least something to consider and probably pretty provocative.
Judge for yourself.

89. Memphis Airport Passengers Up 6 Percent in December -

Passengers at Memphis International Airport increased for the sixth consecutive month in December, according to a report at last week’s Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board meeting.

90. RDC Leader: Pyramid Isn’t Translating to Tourism Elsewhere -

Toward the back of its proposal for Mud Island River Park, executives with The Mansion Entertainment and Media LLC included a few caveats for those judging the five redevelopment applications.

91. 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.

92. Morgan: Permanent Overton Park Fix Will Take Time -

The Memphis City Council member whose district includes Overton Park says there is no immediate permanent fix for the greensward controversy beyond the zoo continuing to park cars there.

“Short term, there’s really nothing that can quickly move that number of cars,” council member Worth Morgan said on the WKNO-TV program “Behind the Headlines.”

93. School Voucher Proposal Clears Key House Panel -

A proposal to provide state vouchers for parents to send their children to private schools in Tennessee has cleared a House committee where the measure has failed in recent years.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville cleared the House Finance Subcommittee on a voice vote on Wednesday.

94. Tennessee Senate Votes to End Emissions Tests for New Cars -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday to end emissions testing in Tennessee for new cars, brushing aside concerns that relaxing standards might be a bad idea in light of the Volkswagen scandal.

95. Equity Crowdfunding: What’s It All About? -

Ray’s Take A new avenue for investing is garnering some media attention. It’s called equity crowdfunding, and it’s a vehicle for small entrepreneurs to expand their businesses.

96. School Voucher Proposal Clears Key Tennessee House Panel -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to provide state vouchers for parents to send their children to private schools in Tennessee has cleared a House committee where the measure has failed in recent years.

97. CCRFC Approves $1.7M For Convention Center Work -

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. approved up to $1.7 million in revenue bonds Tuesday, Jan. 12, for Memphis Cook Convention Center improvements.

98. 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.

99. Council Members Settle In To New Assignments -

Memphis City Council members file the last of the paperwork Tuesday, Jan. 19, from the 2015 elections to put City Hall’s power transition on record.

Meanwhile, the six new members are learning on the job as they chair several committees following assignments by council chairman Kemp Conrad: Martavius Jones is chairman of the council audit committee; Patrice Robinson chairs the Memphis Light Gas and Water Division committee; Jamita Swearengen is chairwoman of the parks and neighborhoods committee; council member Philip Spinosa leads the personnel committee, usually the first committee session of the council day; Frank Colvett chairs the planning and zoning committee, which is the last session of the day before executive session; and Worth Morgan is chairman of the public safety committee.

100. 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.