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Editorial Results (free)

1. 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.

2. Meeting the Demands of a Rapidly Aging Population -

When Gov. Bill Haslam gave his annual State of the State address on February 1, he proposed a $34.8 billion plan providing new spending on colleges and universities, road projects and a large deposit into Tennessee’s emergency budget reserves.

3. Varsity Spirit, ESPN to Build Cheer Venue in Orlando -

Memphis-based Varsity Spirit is teaming up with ESPN Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World Resort to break ground on a new state-of-the-art cheerleading and dance team competition venue.

Varsity Spirit is recognized as a top-tier cheerleading organization.

4. Varsity Spirit, ESPN to Build Cheer Venue in Orlando -

Memphis-based Varsity Spirit is teaming up with ESPN Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World Resort to break ground on a new state-of-the-art cheerleading and dance team competition venue.

Varsity Spirit is recognized as a top-tier cheerleading organization.

5. Life Without Marc? Yes, and Grizz Still Have Something to Play For -

In their first game after learning their franchise player had fractured his right foot and would be lost to the team indefinitely – and yes, perhaps for the rest of the season – the Grizzlies reacted just the way that was needed: They went out to Brooklyn and demolished the hapless Nets before starting their All-Star break.

6. 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.

7. Last Word: The First Surrogate, Parkside at Shelby Farms and Manilow Memories -

Here they come, fresh from Iowa and New Hampshire – first the surrogates and in the next two weeks the Presidential contenders themselves.

The nation’s “first surrogate” – former President Bill Clinton is at Whitehaven High School Thursday evening to rally early voters in the heart of a large reliably Democratic middle class community.
And it is that voter base that was integral to Barack Obama carrying Shelby County in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary even as Hillary Clinton carried the state that year.
As mentioned here Tuesday, the local Bernie Sanders campaign opens its Memphis HQ over the weekend.
Hillary Clinton headquarters in Memphis and Nashville are on the way soon with the Nashville HQ opening Thursday as the former President is in Whitehaven and the candidate is preparing for another television debate Thursday in Milwaukee with Sanders.
And early voting opened Downtown Wednesday.
The first day's turnout Wednesday was 177 early and absentee voters. Combined with another 645 absentee votes cast before the early voting period, that makes 822 early or absentee votes.
Another Republican contender on the ballot in Tennessee is out of the race. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dropped out the day after his dismal finish in New Hampshire. He did not have a slate of delegates on the ballot here.

8. 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.

9. Gasol Just Did What We Really Wanted – Played -

We want our pro athletes tough and, if possible, indestructible. Makes us feel like they’re actually entitled to their millions. It works out well for everyone. Player wins. Team wins. Fans win.

10. McMullen Takes on Public Sector Challenges as City’s Legal Chief -

Bruce McMullen remembers his hometown of Sparta, Georgia, as small, about 3,000 people.

“Life was pretty simple,” he said. “A lot of family, a lot of friends.”

11. Last Word: Early Voting Begins, Marc Gasol's Right Foot and TNReady's Problem -

Trump and Sanders win big in New Hampshire with a Republican scramble for second the only matter to be decided in the nation’s first Presidential primaries. That as the road to Tennessee begins to see some traffic in the distance.
Meanwhile, Marc Gasol goes from a “right mid-foot injury” on the Grizzlies DL to a fractured right foot.

12. Gasol Just Did What We Really Wanted -- Played -

We want our pro athletes tough and, if possible, indestructible.

Makes us feel like they’re actually entitled to their millions.

It works out well for everyone. Player wins. Team wins. Fans win.

13. Memphis Football Schedule Includes 7 Home Games -

Mike Norvell’s first season as University of Memphis head football coach will begin with a Sept. 3 game vs. Southeast Missouri State at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, feature three TV games on the ESPN family of networks, and an Oct. 1 trip to Oxford to play Ole Miss.

14. -

NEWSMAKERS
15. Early Voting Opens in Tennessee Presidential Primaries -

Tennesseans can begin casting their ballots in the presidential primaries on Wednesday, Feb. 10, the day after the votes were counted in New Hampshire on the political road to the summer conventions.

16. Film Fatales: Female Directors Unite to Create Opportunities -

As a child Memphis filmmaker Rachel M. Taylor imagined that she’d grow up and direct a Star Wars-caliber movie. She didn’t realize back then that her ambition would carry her into an industry where the DNA still skews predominantly pale and male.
She just wanted to grab a camera and shoot the kind of geeky, sci-fi flicks she’s always loved – the kind that not enough women are filming these days, to her chagrin.

17. McQueen Defends TNReady Tests Following Delays -

When school systems across the state began logging onto the state of Tennessee’s site for the first wave of TNReady math and language arts achievement tests Monday, Feb. 8, the network that connected all of those local servers was “saturated” doing other things, according to state education officials.

18. Last Word: TN(not)Ready, Hatiloo Expands and Tax Season Advice -

So what do you do when the test-makers fail the test?

You go back to the old test in the case of the Tennessee Education Department and the TNReady tests.
These were the new tests for the new statewide student achievement standards that replaced Common Core standards.
They can only be taken online.
But the system crashed Monday, which was the day that all of the preparation in the last year was geared toward. That included two tests locally of the on-line capacity and other technical standards necessary to make this go smoothly.
Here is a good account of what happened statewide and locally with a few other stops across the state to take in the scope of how big a failure this was and what failed.

19. Roland Passes on 8th Congressional District Run, Sticks With Mayor in 2018 -

Shelby County Commission chairman Terry Roland will not be running in the Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District in August.

20. Louisiana Film Prize Launches Offshoot Competition in Memphis -

Established film festival Louisiana Film Prize is launching its first offshoot in Memphis. Filmmakers who shoot a five- to 15-minute movie within Shelby County can be entered to win $10,000 locally and go on to win $50,000 at the larger competition in Shreveport, Louisiana.

21. Drug Testing for Benefits Yields Few Positive Results -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials say less than 0.2 percent of people who have applied for welfare since July 2014 have failed a drug test mandated for some.

Citing data provided by the Department of Human Services to The Tennessean, the newspaper reports that 65 of 39,121 people applying for Families First cash assistance benefits tested positive for drugs since the law was implemented.

22. Computer Glitches Halt First Day of Student Tests -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's brand new online school assessment test, known as TNReady, has crashed due to computer-networking glitches, forcing officials across the state to halt testing on the first day of its rollout.

23. 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.

24. The Week Ahead: Feb. 8, 2016 -

Guys, there’s an important holiday coming up that forgetting about would mean immense trouble for you. Luckily, City & State is coming to the rescue. Head over to the Broad Avenue retailer on Friday, two days before Valentine’s Day, for “BYOB” (Bring your own Bailey’s).
Bring something like Bailey’s, Irish cream, whisky, whatever, and City & State will add it to any item you order over on the coffee side of the shop. Meanwhile, the shop has also invited the makers behind Paper & Clay and Question the Answer to be on hand with their wares to take some of the pressure off trying to decide what to buy your significant other for Valentine’s Day.

25. Accounting Firm Celebrates Centennial With Service -

The accounting firm of Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year by giving back.

Managing partner John Griesbeck said the firm had the community in mind when planning its centennial celebration. As a result, firm employees will volunteer and give back to several local organizations for 100 days straight starting this spring.

26. Council to Explore Separate Benefits for Cops, Firefighters -

Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday, Feb. 2, to form a task force to explore a separate benefits package for police and firefighters.

The resolution by council member Edmund Ford Jr. is the first move toward a different set of benefits, which would serve as a recruitment tool to bolster the ranks of both departments.

27. Confident Serrano Playing for Future at UT -

Tennessee baseball coach Dave Serrano wasn’t setting the bar too high when he met with the media for his 2016 preseason press conference.

Serrano made that mistake before the 2015 season with talk of reaching an NCAA regional and perhaps Omaha, Nebraska, site of the College World Series.

28. 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.

29. Accounting Firm Celebrates Centennial With Service -

The accounting firm of Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year by giving back.

Managing partner John Griesbeck said the firm had the community in mind when planning its centennial celebration. As a result, firm employees will volunteer and give back to several local organizations for 100 days straight starting this spring.

30. Last Word: History As Geology, Beyond the Greensward and City Hall's HR Director -

History can be like geology once you get it in something that isn’t in the form of a book.
There are layers on top of layers that you may not ever see or miss until a site is wiped clean for the next present that used to be the future and will eventually become the past.
That’s the case with the city’s historic Medical Center where much has come and gone several times over as our city’s considerable investment in medicine and health approaches the end of its second century.
Health Sciences Park used to be the site of a hospital. You would think something as massive as the tower of Baptist Memorial Hospital’s central campus on Union Avenue would be missed. Yet even those of us who grew up with its presence drive past it every day without a thought of what was once there.
The same with the site of Russwood Park on the north side of Madison Avenue and the old bus barns where Beale used to run further east than it does now.
In recent years, new facilities have arisen as the medical center makes itself over in a kind of economic regeneration without a comprehensive plan.
There is now an effort to come up with a comprehensive plan for the area that is more than different ventures buying or leasing land and making plans for their needs.
Eight of the institutions in the area have hired a consulting firm to develop a master plan that includes not just facilities but residential and retail areas.
It’s a significant step for an area that remains intriguing for those of us trying to remember what was where and how long some of the survivors have been holding out in much different streetscapes than were there when they arrived.
The Masonic lodge at the dead end of Dunlap into Union Avenue is a survivor. It’s where the funerals were held for some of those killed in the 1925 river disaster in which Tom Lee rescued so many others.
The lodge at one time had an earth-shaking pipe organ that I had the rare privilege of hearing at a concert following its restoration in the 1980s – the ancient 1980s.
And I still wonder about the tiny medical textbook storefront and how it endures at a time when students rent books and others use digital versions.
There are still remnants of the porous border between the medical center and the Union Avenue auto row that used to exist and arose around the old Ford plant.

31. Harwell: Durham Scandal Won't Affect Gubernatorial Decision -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — House Speaker Beth Harwell said Tuesday that the scandal surrounding a Republican lawmaker who has gone on hiatus amid sexual harassment allegations shouldn't damage her prospects as a serious gubernatorial candidate in Tennessee.

32. Council to Explore Separate Benefits for Cops, Firefighters -

Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday, Feb. 2, to form a task force to explore a separate benefits package for police and firefighters.

The resolution by council member Edmund Ford Jr. is the first move toward a different set of benefits, which would serve as a recruitment tool to bolster the ranks of both departments.

33. Spirited Courtrooms -

Nine or 10 years ago, in a court I know well, something along the following lines was said between a judge and a somewhat aggrieved defendant in traffic court:

Defendant: Judge, the police in this city have harassed me and my family for three years. They stop us three-four times a month, just to check our driver’s licenses. They know about the suspensions from Florida and Georgia. And that this state’s bureaucrats will not issue a license to us.

34. 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.

35. Tenn. Approves Incentives for TV Series Production in Memphis -

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has approved a grant of up to $4.3 million to support production of a TV series that will be shot in Memphis this spring.

The series will be an eight-episode, Memphis-themed scripted drama that Viacom’s CMT network is adapting from the Tony Award-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet.”

36. Last Word: Rallings Meets the Council, Million Dollar Auditions & A Pinch Plan Emerges -

His second day on the job, the new Memphis Police Director, Michael Rallings, met the Memphis City Council and discovered just what a huge issue police body cameras are – if he didn’t know that already.
His answers to some pointed questions about when police can turn off those cameras and why made this an uneven first encounter.
Council members told him they got an earful from constituents over the weekend in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Johnathan Bratcher in South Memphis. And some of the reaction they got was to reports that a police dispatcher ordered police trying out the body cameras to turn them off as they arrived at the scene of the shooting.
There are three cameras being tested. And one of the officers with them showed up after the shooting, according to police.
Meanwhile, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland still didn’t have a timetable for the roll-out of the cameras but did offer some specifics including hiring by the MPD of 10 new personnel to deal with the handling of what the camera records.
And Strickland’s intention is to pay for it out of the existing MPD budget.

37. Tentative Pinch Development Plan About to Emerge -

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Bass Pro Shops have agreed on a tentative and general plan for future development of the Pinch District, according to Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd.

38. -

NEWSMAKERS
39. New Mental Health Court Aims for Intervention -

At any given time, around 525 of the people jailed at 201 Poplar have a persistent mental illness. That’s means 25 percent of the jail’s capacity, and exponential care and liability, are directed to people who commit crimes as a byproduct of illness.

40. Contenders Emerge for Fincher’s Seat -

The line for the 8th Congressional District seat began forming within half an hour of incumbent Stephen Fincher’s announcement Monday, Feb. 1, that he would not seek re-election in the August primaries.

41. Last Word: Post Caucus, Fincher's Exit, 1919 Handwriting and Your Rolodex -

That close (very little light between index finger and thumb) between Clinton and Sanders in Iowa Monday evening.
Both live to fight another day in another state—New Hampshire.
And because it is Iowa – they each get to declare victory as long as they don’t go into a lot of detail about the totals.
This is one of those cases where it is like horsehoes and hand grenades – close does count.

42. Save-A-Lot to Anchor New Sam Cooper Shopping Center -

Southeast Corner of Sam Cooper
Boulevard and Tillman Street
Memphis, TN 38104

Tenant: Save-A-Lot

Size: 16,300 square feet

Tenant’s Agent: Frank Dyer, Loeb Realty Group

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

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

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

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

45. Tenn. Board Seeks Public Censure of Weirich -

The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Responsibility is seeking a public censure of Shelby County District Attorney General Weirich for her conduct as a trial prosecutor in Noura Jackson’s 2009 trial for murder.

46. Bratcher Shooting First Test of Local Pact With TBI -

The first fatal police shooting since local law enforcement and prosecutors adopted a policy of sending such cases to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is being watched closely.

And a quick initial account by the TBI is a change from the agency’s normal posture of not making any comments and abiding strictly by a state law that seals all of its records from the public unless by court order or subpoena.

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

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

48. Memphis QB Great Fletcher Passes Away at Age 72 -

Billy Fletcher, considered one of the top quarterbacks in the history of University of Memphis football, died on Monday, Jan. 25, at the Baptist-Reynolds Hospice House in Collierville at the age of 72.

49. Bertelkamp Made Right Call in Going with the Vols -

Bert Bertelkamp would be the first to tell you he’s pulling for Tennessee when calling basketball games as color commentator for the Vol Network.

And why wouldn’t he?

Bertelkamp is Big Orange to the bone. His father Hank played for the Vols (1951-53), was a team captain and remains a big supporter of UT.

50. 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.

51. Last Word: New Minority Business Numbers, The House Affair and The Heights -

The recently revived discussion on minority business in Memphis is about to go back on the front burner again. Fueling the intensity are new U.S. Census numbers. They show the percentage of business receipts in Memphis produced by black-owned businesses has dropped since the 2007 census numbers showed a 1.08 percent share of those receipts by black-owned businesses. That in a city whose population is 63 percent African-American.
The drop to below one percent is even though the overall receipts in 2012 were higher than they were in 2007.
Madeline Faber is the first to report the new numbers as part of a cover story in our weekly, The Memphis News, that will be on the streets and in the racks Saturday, on-line Friday afternoon.
The numbers are such a telling story and such an important indicator that we broke it out as its own story in advance of the cover story.

52. Memphis Grizzlies Off The Grid As Record Rises -

When the Memphis Grizzlies rolled out to that hot start last season and carried a 39-14 record into the All-Star break, they had created legitimate national buzz – perhaps for the first time ever during the course of an NBA regular season.

53. Harris Passes On Challenging Cohen For House Seat -

A surprise January dalliance by Tennessee Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis with a challenge of U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the August primaries didn’t make it quite to the end of the month.

54. Ramsey Alleges Durham Affair With Ex-Lawmaker -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says state Rep. Jeremy Durham had an affair with another lawmaker, causing her to resign.

55. Last Word: Out of Time, Brian Collins and Fear of Heights & A Different No Gang Zone -

I have a confession. Hillary Clinton is not happy with me.
I’ve seen the signs in recent weeks but didn’t want to accept the truth.
Then Wednesday evening, as I was about to put this column together, I got an email from the former First Lady and Secretary of State and Democratic presidential contender.
The subject line cut to the chase: “We’re running out of time, Bill.”
The message itself, on a backdrop of Blue State blue read:

56. Wal-Mart's Shutdown Creates New Food Deserts -

FAIRFIELD, Ala. (AP) — Wal-Mart's decision to shutter 154 stores across the country means that, starting Thursday, residents without cars in a neighborhood near a historically black college outside Birmingham, Alabama, will have to cross dangerous roadways on foot to get fresh produce and meat. Come Friday, folks in Coal Hill, Arkansas, will need to drive 15 miles to get to the nearest supermarket and pharmacy. Low-income neighbors of Wichita State University in Kansas, too, will be losing quick access to fresh groceries.

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

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

58. 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.

59. SCS Board Authorizes More Discussions On Crosstown High -

Shelby County Schools board members have authorized superintendent Dorsey Hopson to continue discussions about a Crosstown High School.

The board approved a resolution Tuesday, Jan. 26, that also sets some parameters for the talks with the developers of Crosstown Concourse and Christian Brothers University about the collaboration.

60. -

NEWSMAKERS
61. Ark. Unemployment Drops Below 5 Pct., Miss. Jumps -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's unemployment rate jumped in December as the economy didn't generate enough jobs to absorb more people looking for work.

The jobless rate rose to 6.4 percent from 6 percent in November, as the increasing number of job-seekers outstripped the number of new people reporting having a job for the second month in a row. That pushed up the number of unemployed people statewide to almost 83,000, an increase of nearly 6,000

62. Memphis QB Great Fletcher Passes Away at Age 72 -

Billy Fletcher, considered one of the top quarterbacks in the history of University of Memphis football, died on Monday, Jan. 25, at the Baptist-Reynolds Hospice House in Collierville at the age of 72.

63. Last Word: Kroger Disses Clarence Saunders, Mud Island Plans and The Australians -

What is old has become new again. And judging by your reaction to Andy Meek’s story on the Kroger plans for online ordering of groceries, what is old has gone viral as well.
Here are the basics:
You order from a list of items and Kroger fills the order and has it waiting for you to pick up.
When you think about the idea of supermarkets, which originated here in Memphis with Piggly Wiggly, it’s enough to make the Piggly Wiggly founder himself, Clarence Saunders, spin in his grave.
Before he came up with the idea of taking store shelves from behind the counter and putting them out there for you to get your own stuff from them, you would tell your grocer what you wanted and he would write it down on a paper bag and get it for you, wrap it up and present it to you.
Saunders changed all of that as you know if you’ve seen the Pink Palace’s child-sized replica of a Piggly Wiggly store from the start of the 20th century.
A century later, no paper bags and you can still walk among the shelves if you wish.
Perhaps this isn’t that extreme. Maybe this is simply a swing of the pendulum, back toward the middle ground.
Saunders tried to push it even further with his Keedoozle stores that followed Piggly Wiggly. In those stores, the items were lined up in what amounted to vending machines with shoppers releasing an item from the vertical row with a key.
Here Saunders went too far. He mashed the bread.

64. A Month After Raising Rates, Fed Faces Darker Global Economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Since the Federal Reserve raised interest rates from record lows last month, the global picture has darkened. Stock markets have plunged. Oil prices have skidded. China's leaders have struggled to steer the world's second-biggest economy.

65. Last Word: The Big Fizzle, John Jay Hooker's Exit And "A Great Sports Town" -

Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it – isn’t that how the saying goes?
In our case, it might be better to say everybody talks about the television weather coverage but nobody does anything about it.
As we all know now, Memphis dodged the “blizzard” warning artfully and passive-aggressively teased by several television stations who shall go un-named here because they know who they are and you do too.
That’s because they spent much of the day of "the blizzard that wasn’t" whining about the reaction from viewers who complained about the hype and then the promos the stations ran the day of the big fizzle.
We didn’t get much in the way of snow in Memphis, but we got a couple of feet of hype.

66. Sprint Gave Layoff Notices to 829 Overland Park Employees -

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Sprint Corp. says in state filings that it has given layoff notices to 829 employees at its Overland Park campus in the past three months.

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

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

68. Blight Authority of Memphis Convenes to Tackle Problem Properties -

“This is historic,” attorney Steve Barlow said at the inaugural meeting of the Blight Authority of Memphis, held Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Downtown Memphis Commission’s office.

69. Study: Transportation Issues Cost $5.6B in Tenn. -

A new study finds that traffic congestion and road deficiencies in Tennessee cost motorists in the state $5.6 billion a year.

The Washington-based transportation research group Trip conducted the study that calls for boosting investment in Tennessee roads, bridges and transit.

70. In the Game -

Way back in the 1990s, perhaps before the Grizzlies and FedExForum were even a twinkle in anyone’s eye, Chris Wallace came to Memphis and The Pyramid for a preseason NBA game featuring Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

71. Impatient Clemmons Anxious for Minority Voice to Be Heard -

Democratic state Rep. John Ray Clemmons is only halfway through his first two-year term representing District 55 in Nashville. But he’s not willing to wait years to speak out or push for change.

72. Last Word: Winter Pre-Game Show, The Zoo Goes To Court And Hotel Fever -

You wouldn’t call this the eye of the storm, would you? We’ll go with calling this the pre-game show for the winter storm that is supposed to show up in Memphis at around 7 a.m. Friday morning. Think Super Bowl pre-game.
There is so much that’s been said in advance of this that whatever happens, it might be hard to live up to the preparation.
Much of the rest of this is like an arms race of sorts.
Consider the equipment list from Memphis International Airport.
10 snow brooms, 12 plow trucks, four de-icing trucks each with 40,000 gallons of deicer, four 2-ton salt spreaders and four tractors to keep the runways clear.
The city of Memphis Public Works division has eight snow plows ready to roll on major thoroughfares if the snow gets within the three-inch mark. A set of 16 salt trucks were to load up at 11 p.m. Thursday evening to begin applying salt and sand when needed, with continual inspections of road conditions. And that includes some pre-treated priority areas.
And then there was this truly unusual announcement from Shelby County Schools: the optional school parent camp-out was suspended Thursday evening because of the weather.
This is the camp out the school system tries its best to discourage each and every year at this time. That includes bar-coded applications and repeatedly emphasizing that 99.9 percent of those with the bar-coded applications get their first choice of optional schools, making the camp-out unnecessary. The applications are handed out over several days and are then time-stamped when they are turned in for consideration.
Nevertheless, the tents go up each year and voices are raised in the debate about whether this is parents who care more or parents who are carried away.
This year, the school system, while emphasizing that it “does not authorize or direct” the camp-out, says the line will resume Sunday at 7 a.m.
The school system also adds: “The current process being managed by parents will be recognized due to potential health and safety risks related to forecasted inclement weather.”
But is there a line to get back in line? And when does that start?

73. Butch Jones Builds for Championship Run With Staff Tweaks -

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones got serious about taking the next step with his football program not long after his team’s 45-6 victory over Northwestern in the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl.

Jones fired defensive coordinator John Jancek on Jan. 6, and three days later hired his top candidate for the opening, Bob Shoop of Penn State.

74. Last Word: The View Across The Harbor, Crosstown Undercurrents and Bonnaroo -

The fishing puns are overpowering as Bass Pro Shops expresses its interest in redeveloping Mud Island River Park, on the other side of the city harbor from the Pyramid Bass Pro Shops opened at just this past May.
Bass Pro Shops is one of five companies to express interest in Mud Island as part of the process by the Riverfront Development Corporation to go a different way with the park.
The RDC released the names of the companies Thursday.
Earlier this month, we outlined the RVC Outdoor Destinations proposal.
We don’t know nearly as much about what Bass Pro Shops has in mind or the other three firms.
All five now head for what amounts to a second round in which they submit specific plans to a search committee of the RDC including how they will pay for their plans.

75. The Persecution of Jeremy Durham -

Inhumane and unfair: That’s the only way to describe the “liberal media’s” treatment of state Rep. Jeremy Durham over the last month.

76. Crosstown High School Plans Emerge -

As more details emerged this week of a new high school in the mammoth Crosstown Concourse redevelopment, there remained many other details to work out before the August 2017 planned opening.

Crosstown High School, which would use the University of Memphis’ Campus School as a model, has been talked about behind the scenes since Gestalt Community Services pulled out of Concourse last year. SCS board members got their first look at the plan Tuesday, Jan. 19.

77. Study Finds $5.6B Cost of Transportation Issues in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A new study finds that traffic congestion and road deficiencies in Tennessee cost motorists in the state $5.6 billion a year.

The Washington-based transportation research group Trip conducted the study that calls for boosting investment in Tennessee roads, bridges and transit.

78. City Council Approves Colonial Conversion, Vintage Trolley Purchase -

One of two golf courses at Colonial Country Club would give way to houses under a planned development approved Tuesday, Jan. 19, by the Memphis City Council.

The council approved a development that would turn the north course at Colonial into either a mix of single-family homes, townhouses and cottages or a mix of housing for senior citizens.

79. Last Word: Time and The Greensward, Crosstown High and Race and Sports -

Remember how the schools merger story of about five years ago would change by the hour at times? That story has met its equal in what is becoming the first major challenge of the new Strickland administration at City Hall – the Overton Park Greensward.
So much happened before noon Tuesday on the first day of the short work week that it required waiting for the dust to settle on several fronts.
Here is the latest on a very fluid and volatile situation that could very well change as you are reading this.
Luckily we report at a time when you can change stories on line to keep up with such changes.
Zoos and parks and protests featuring brass bands suggest to a casual observer that this is not very serious as controversies go.
And maybe that was the case about a year and a half ago when a group of high school students decided to block the gravel driveway from the zoo parking lot onto the greensward.
But consider this:
The Memphis Zoo is working toward a March 1 opening of its new exhibit, Zambezi River Hippo Camp, a $22-million attraction that from what we saw just a few months ago will likely draw big crowds to the zoo in the spring.
The zoo was preparing for that starting with the removal of 27 trees from the north end of the greensward.
The best Mayor Jim Strickland could get from both sides – the zoo and Overton Park Conservancy – at his meeting with them Tuesday was a commitment to take his proposal for mediation to their respective boards.
The zoo board has authorized its leaders to file a lawsuit in Chancery Court over the greensward and it’s very likely the zoo would go to court before the March 1 opening because of the crowds on their way.
If the work to come by the zoo in advance of the March 1 opening involves heavy machinery, the reaction is likely to draw a much bigger protest than the ones Memphis Police have so far watched from a distance without making arrests.
As in all pressing political dramas, this controversy has the accelerant of timing.

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NEWSMAKERS
81. Sledge Joins Paragon Private Banking Team -

Julia Sledge has joined Paragon Bank as portfolio manager in private banking. Sledge has more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry, holding leadership positions at both Union Planters Bank and Cadence Bank. In her new role, she’ll provide service and support to Paragon’s private banking team.

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

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

83. Faced With Array of Risks, CEOs Increasingly Pessimistic -

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Facing a cocktail of risks from the economic slowdown in China to the rise of the Islamic State group, chief executives around the world are more pessimistic about the global economy than at any time in three years — a development that has the potential to seriously affect their investment and growth plans.

84. 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.

85. Luttrell, Strickland Attend Obama’s State of the Union -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland both attended the Tuesday, Jan. 12, State of the Union address, the final State of the Union address by President Barack Obama

86. 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.

87. 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.

88. School Guide Helps Parents Navigate Choices -

After five years of historic change in Shelby County public education, the traditional labels of “public” and “private” schools don’t adequately describe the range of options available to parents.

89. Michael Delivers State of Juvenile Court Address -

Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael will give a state of the court speech Friday, Jan. 15, at 8:30 a.m.

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

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

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

91. TNReady Scores' Effects on Teacher Evaluations Questioned -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville's school board has joined Knox County Schools in calling for test scores to not be used for teacher evaluations this school year.

The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1PqXUQg ) reports that the Metro Nashville Public Schools Board unanimously voted Tuesday in favor of a resolution that urges state officials to either provide a waiver this year in using TNReady for teacher evaluations or allow districts to use only observation data for teacher evaluations.

92. St. Louis Cardinals Adding Big Video Board at Stadium -

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals could not help but notice the size and the clarity of the video boards at refurbished Wrigley Field during the NL Division Series last fall.

For the upcoming season, their 10th at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals will be adding some of the same wow factor for fans: St. Louis announced details Tuesday of a multimillion-dollar investment in high-definition LED video boards that just might make the stadium feel brand new all over again.

93. Last Word: SOTU React, OPEB Comeback and NFL Nostalgia -

The day after the last State of the Union address by President Barack Obama here's a breakdown of the reaction from our delegation to Washington.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen emphasized Obama's references to criminal justice reform.
"I know he is also committed to criminal justice reform and I hope my colleagues will work together to put meaningful reform on his desk," Cohen said.
Republican U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher tweeted, "We need a plan to keep America safe and make America strong. I did not hear that from the President tonight."
Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander: "If Pres. Obama focuses on what he agrees on with Congress instead of what we disagree on, there's quite a bit we could get done in 2016."
Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker urged the "swift release" of U.S sailors being held overnight by Iran in a border dispute just before the speech.

94. Medicaid Expansion Advocates Greet Returning Tenn. Lawmakers -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Protesters advocating for the passage of Gov. Bill Haslam's Medicaid expansion proposal packed the state Capitol on Tuesday, singing, chanting and waving signs as lawmakers who defeated the measure last year returned for the first day of the legislative session.

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NEWSMAKERS
96. 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.

97. Tennessee Lawmaker Facing Ouster Benefited From '2nd Chance' -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When Republican members of the Tennessee House gather Tuesday to decide whether to oust embattled Rep. Jeremy Durham from his leadership post, it won't be the first time that two-term lawmaker has had to answer for questionable behavior.

98. Grizzlies’ Adams to Have Surgery; Martin Also on Shelf -

Memphis Grizzlies guard Jordan Adams is scheduled to have knee surgery Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Adams, the 22nd overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Grizzlies last season, had played in just two games this season because of knee pain. Adams holds career averages of 3.2 points and 0.9 rebounds in 8.2 minutes in 32 career minutes.

99. Luttrell, Strickland To Attend Obama’s State of the Union -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland will both be attending the Tuesday, Jan. 12, State of the Union address, the final State of the Union address by President Barack Obama

100. Tennessee Legislature Opens 2016 Session on Capitol Hill -

The Tennessee General Assembly's 2016 session will be a short one, likely done by early April. The gavels fall in the House and Senate chambers in Nashville at noon Tuesday, Jan. 12, opening the election year session.