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Editorial Results (free)

1. Unwilling Private Sector Gives Park Workers a Victory -

Two state parks are celebrating victories in an atmosphere of uncertainty created by the governor’s penchant for privatizing state functions.

Fall Creek Falls drew no bidders for a $20 million plan to hire a vendor who would tear down its inn, construct a new one and take over operations for 10 years. Henry Horton State Park, meanwhile, is set for $10 million in improvements this coming fiscal year, including upgrades to its hospitality facilities, plus a new visitors center, rather than a proposal to raze its inn and not rebuild.

2. Tennessee House Abandons Amendments Before Approving State Budget -

Putting a day of acrimony behind it, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $37 billion budget plan on Friday, May 5, stripping away nearly $320 million in amendments placed on it the previous day.

3. Lawmakers Still Seek Answers as Outsourcing Contract Gets Underway -

A majority of Tennessee’s legislators, including several Shelby County lawmakers, are asking the state to hold up on a facilities management outsourcing contract with Jones Lang LaSalle.

Seventy-five of the General Assembly’s 132 members, 17 in the Senate and 58 in the House, have signed a letter to Terry Cowles, director of the Office of Customer Focused Government, asking the office to slow down on outsourcing so it can “study and understand the effect” on public services, the economy and state employees.

4. Butler Snow's Commercial Litigation Group Grows -

The Memphis office of Butler Snow LLP has added three attorneys to its commercial litigation group.

Clifton Lipman, Robert Crawford and Michael Less are the latest attorneys to join the full-service law firm in recent months.

5. Butler Snow Grows Its Commercial Litigation Group -

The Memphis office of Butler Snow LLP has added three attorneys to its commercial litigation group.

Clifton Lipman, Robert Crawford and Michael Less are the latest attorneys to join the full-service law firm in recent months.

6. Royston Joins Planned Parenthood To Lead Volunteer Training Efforts -

Nikeisha Royston recently joined Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region as community manager, a role in which she identifies individuals interested in supporting women’s rights, then trains them to advocate for themselves and others and to be involved in the legislative process.
Royston says volunteers throughout Memphis and the Mid-South use skills learned through the training process to share vital, accurate information about the services provided by Planned Parenthood.

7. Butler Snow Grows Commercial Litigation Group in Memphis -

The Memphis office of Butler Snow LLP has added three attorneys to its commercial litigation group.

Clifton Lipman, Robert Crawford and Michael Less are the latest attorneys to join the full-service law firm in recent months.

8. Lehman-Roberts’ Moore Lauded By Asphalt Industry Group -

Rick Moore, who is retiring as chairman of Lehman-Roberts Co. March 31 after 46 years with the company, has been named the National Asphalt Pavement Association’s Man of the Year. 

9. Tennessee Lawmakers Weigh In on Trump Visit -

NASHVILLE – While state lawmakers recognized the historical significance of President Donald Trump visiting the home of President Andrew Jackson in Hermitage Wednesday, March 15, the review is mixed on comparisons between the two as well as the Jackson legacy.

10. State Democrats Introduce Bill of Rights, Looking For Every Win They Can Get -

NASHVILLE – House Democrats introduced a People’s Bill of Rights in the State Capitol Monday, Feb. 27, a comprehensive legislative package to ensure rights of Tennesseans affecting everything from jobs to criminal justice to education.

11. Norris Seeks to Curb Senior Abuse With New Laws -

NASHVILLE – Calling elderly abuse a “silent crisis,” state Sen. Mark Norris is leading a legislative effort to stop physical, mental and financial abuse of vulnerable adults with bills to expand protections and increase penalties.

12. Local Democratic and Republican Partisans Already Looking To 2018 -

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff says former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey was right in describing his 8th Congressional District as the most Republican of the state’s nine congressional districts.

13. Norris Seeks to Curb Senior Abuse With New Laws -

NASHVILLE – Calling elderly abuse a “silent crisis,” state Sen. Mark Norris is leading a legislative effort to stop physical, mental and financial abuse of vulnerable adults with bills to expand protections and increase penalties.

14. 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.

15. View From the Hill: Legislators Feel Free to Work Against Haslam -

Democrats appear delighted about division within Republican ranks concerning Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed fuel-tax increase, detecting a possible chink in the armor.

“How many times does the supermajority have to stab the governor in the back and undermine his core proposals before the people of the state of Tennessee wonder whether they need a different group up here?” asks Mike Stewart, House Minority Caucus chairman.

16. Full Text of Gov. Bill Haslam's State of the State Address -

Here is the full text of Gov. Bill Haslam's annual State of the State address as prepared for delivery to a joint convention of the Tennessee General Assembly on Monday.

Speaker Harwell, Lieutenant Governor McNally, Speakers Pro Tem Tracy and Johnson, Members of the 110th General Assembly, Justices, Constitutional Officers, General Slatery, Commissioners, Friends, Guests, fellow Tennesseans, and for the seventh year in a row, the woman voted best first lady in the land, Crissy. My kids even made it this year.

17. AP-NORC Poll: Americans of All Stripes Say Fix Health Care -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sylvia Douglas twice voted for President Barack Obama and last year cast a ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton. But when it comes to "Obamacare," she now sounds like President-elect Donald Trump. This makes her chuckle amid the serious choices she faces every month between groceries, electricity and paying a health insurance bill that has jumped by nearly $400.

18. Last Word: Valero Protest Arrests, Anticipating Trump's Impact & Saving Booksellers -

A busy King holiday weekend that reflects what the week as a whole will probably be like at least politically. The weather is anyone’s guess. A group of about 40 people protested at the entrance to the Valero refinery in South Memphis Monday afternoon and a dozen were arrested by Memphis police.

19. Rerouting Regulations -

With every new administration comes some degree of uncertainty when it comes to federal regulations.

But after an especially unpredictable campaign season, all eyes are now on the president-elect to see what he’ll do next. 

20. Trump’s Turn -

If the election of Donald Trump was a mystery, there are even more questions about what will he do once he takes office Jan. 20. The clues may or may not be in the conduct of his campaign.

“Donald Trump campaigned without being tied to the traditional parameters of conservative-liberal dialogue that we’ve come to know over the past 20 or 30 years,” said Memphis attorney John Ryder, who is legal counsel to the Republican National Committee. “The hopeful part about that is that allows him to move past those divisions and enter new territory.”

21. Tennessee Lawmakers Could Raise, Lower Taxes This Session -

The 110th General Assembly is set to convene on Jan. 10 with unfinished business from previous sessions likely to dominate debate.

Here’s a look at some of the hottest topics expected to arise.

22. Final Goodbye: Roll Call of Some of Those Who Died in 2016 -

Death claimed transcendent political figures in 2016, including Cuba's revolutionary leader and Thailand's longtime king, but also took away royals of a different sort: kings of pop music, from Prince and David Bowie to George Michael.

23. 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.

24. Last Word: Ceasefire, Art and Memphis 3.0 and Giving Jazz Its Due In Memphis -

Grizz on the road the day after Christmas in Orlando where they got beat by the Magic 112– 102. They are in Boston Tuesday for the Celtics.

The Tigers are at the Forum Tuesday against SMU

25. Medicare Outpatients Risk Higher Bills for Some Procedures -

WASHINGTON (AP) – You pay less for outpatient treatment than for a hospital admission, right? Not necessarily in the topsy-turvy world of Medicare billing, according to a government report.

26. Elvis Presley Among 5 Chosen for Mississippi Hall Of Fame -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The King of Rock 'n' Roll and four others are being named to the Mississippi Hall of Fame.

The board of the state Department of Archives and History met this month and selected the inductees: Evelyn Gandy, the first woman elected lieutenant governor of the state; Dr. James Hardy, who was a transplant surgeon; former state Rep. Aaron Henry, who was a civil-rights activist; rocker Elvis Presley; and Ida B. Wells, a journalist and women's rights advocate.

27. Outsourcing: Savings, But No Specifics -

The Haslam administration is forging ahead with plans to nab a statewide facilities services contractor after an outside analysis backed up a study showing estimated cost savings of more than $35 million a year at Tennessee universities.

28. SCS Board Mulls Details of Right-Sizing Plan -

Shelby County Schools board members may push a vote on a proposal to close seven schools and build three new ones to February instead of January. A review of the proposal by the SCS board Tuesday, Nov. 29, still keeps in place a vote at the Dec. 6 school board meeting that would start a process of public meetings to gauge the reaction of parents affected by changes.

29. School Board Gets More Specifics on Right-Sizing Proposal -

Shelby County Schools board members think the holiday season may push a vote on a proposal to close seven schools and build three new ones to February instead of January.

A review of the proposal by the SCS board Tuesday, Nov. 29, still keeps in place a vote at the Dec. 6 school board meeting that would start a process of public meetings to gauge the reaction of parents affected by the change.

30. Memphis Infant Mortality Rate Reaches Record Low -

The infant mortality rate in Memphis has hit a record low, marking an important milestone in the city’s fight to improve a key measure of its overall health.

Shelby County, which includes Memphis, last year saw its lowest rate on record of babies who died before their first birthday, the county health department reported Monday. The 2015 rate of 8.2 out of 1,000 live births represents a drop from 9.6 in 2014, and a significant reduction from 2003, when the rate was nearly 15 baby deaths per 1,000 live births.

31. Harwell Learning How to Dodge Challengers -

Beth Harwell has been called a lot of things over the last few years, “trailblazer” chief among them as Tennessee’s first female House speaker. 

Now she’s a “survivor” after eking out a Republican Caucus victory as speaker nominee to continue leading the lower chamber in the 110th General Assembly.

32. Last Word: Chattanooga's Tragedy, Elvis Presley's Memphis and Chandler Parsons -

A grim Monday in Chattanooga where, as we post this, six school children were killed in a school bus crash and the driver of the bus was charged late Monday with reckless driving and vehicular homicide.

33. Fewer Babies Dying in Memphis, But Rate Still Higher Than US -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The infant mortality rate in Memphis has hit a record low, marking an important milestone in the city's fight to improve a key measure of its overall health.

Shelby County, which includes Memphis, last year saw its lowest rate on record of babies who died before their first birthday, the county health department reported Monday. The 2015 rate of 8.2 out of 1,000 live births represents a drop from 9.6 in 2014, and a significant reduction from 2003, when the rate was nearly 15 baby deaths per 1,000 live births.

34. Grizzlies’ New Speaker Series to Enhance Bond With Businesses, Fans -

On the court, the Memphis Grizzlies have a new head coach in David Fizdale and have remixed the roster with a heavier sprinkling of youth.

Change in the NBA is inevitable. And that’s true off the court, too, where business-side and sales employees are always seeking new ways to engage with the community and grow the fan base.

35. City Hall City Leaders Prepare for Pre-Thanksgiving Town Hall on Pinch District Development -

A town hall meeting Nov. 22 on the city’s plan for redevelopment of the Pinch District Downtown should be the last session to gather public input, said the Memphis City Council member whose district includes the Pinch.

36. Election Fallout: What a Trump Or Clinton Presidency Means for State -

Donald Trump is going to win easily in Tennessee.

Everyone, most of all the campaigns for both Trump and Hillary Clinton, accept this fact, as evidenced by the lack of campaign time spent in the state – and most of the South, for that matter – during this contentious campaign cycle.

37. Claims Pushing ACA Marketplace Rates Higher, Some Providers Out -

Memphians with health care insurance through the state’s marketplace exchange or those looking to acquire health care insurance are bracing for rate increases that come on Jan. 1.

Rates for the two remaining insurers with marketplace plans available for the Memphis market next year – Cigna and Humana – are set to increase roughly 45 percent each.

38. Last Word: Early Voting Lines, Bank Moves, and Death of the Hi-Tone Mural -

Dodgers vs. Cubs or Trump vs. Clinton on your Wednesday evening. – We live in a land of choices … and screen within a screen technology.

Before the playoff game and the last of the Presidential debates got rolling there were lines at several of the early voting locations across Shelby County Wednesday on the first day of the early voting period.

39. BCBS Bombshell Leaves Insurance Seekers in Bind -

Nashville resident Jennifer Murray is caught in the snare of uncertainty looming over Tennessee health insurance coverage.

Self-employed as a health care consultant, the single 48-year-old bought individual coverage through BlueCross BlueShield Tennessee’s marketplace plans each year since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2014. The company offered the widest range of physicians, and its insurance was accepted in most places.

40. First TN Bank Focuses On Growth With New Hires -

“Growing the business” is a mantra executives of First Tennessee Bank’s parent company have repeated often in recent weeks.

41. Hawes Takes on New Role At ACE Awareness Foundation -

Kiersten Hawes has been promoted to task force liaison and education coordinator at the Memphis-based ACE Awareness Foundation, which works to inform the community about the negative impact of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. Hawes will also continue to serve as a therapist at Universal Parenting Place’s Knowledge Quest location.
As the task force liaison, Hawes will engage the foundation board and task force in ongoing dialogue to build awareness around ACEs. Operating in a dual role as a therapist and education coordinator, she says, allows her the opportunity to speak to the impact that toxic stress and intergenerational ACEs have on a family system if not mitigated.

42. Businesses Can Expect to Pay More For Insurance Products in 2017 -

Many businesses are feeling the sting of increasing medical insurance costs, while premiums for other types of business insurance have remained stable over the past year. But that’s all likely to change in the next year, as rates are expected to rise.

43. The Week Ahead: October 3-9 -

Well, Memphis, it’s a new month and your Grizzlies return to the court for another season of thrills under a new head coach, David Fizdale. The week starts off with a presidential visit – no, not one of the frontrunners, but a Green Party candidate who will be stumping in Crosstown. Here's what else you need to know in The Week Ahead...

44. Legislator: Marijuana Law Has Problems -

State Rep. William Lamberth balks at the notion Memphis and Nashville are softening the punishment for simple pot possession.

45. Bank of America Memphis Exec: ‘Everything Has Changed’ -

Mike Frick has hit the decade mark this year in his role as Memphis market president for Bank of America.

46. As Long as You’re Here, Kick Durham Out -

State lawmakers hit the snooze button in July when prospects were high for a special session to oust Rep. Jeremy Durham over a career of carousing.

47. The Fading Accuracy of Political Polling -

Joe Carr says he couldn’t believe the deficit when U.S. Rep. Diane Black trounced him in the August election to recapture Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District seat.

48. Democrats Seek Hearings Exchange Rate Increases -

The state’s Democratic Caucus has requested hearings in the House and Senate Commerce and Insurance committees to probe how insurance rates for the 2017 Tennessee Health Care Marketplace could rise so high year to year.

49. Last Word: Big 12 Speculation, Changes at Fred's and Painting Rocks -

Just in time for the first weekend of college football, speculation about a list of finalists for the Big 12 athletic conference realignment and the University of Memphis is reportedly on the list of contenders for a much talked about and highly sought after conference switch.

50. Tennessee Exchange Insurance Rates Soar Higher -

People with health care insurance through the Tennessee Health Insurance Marketplace can expect significant rate hikes starting next year. The Tennessee Department of Insurance recently approved and released final rates for Individual ACA health policies for the calendar year 2017, and the increases were higher than anticipated.

51. SEC Investigation of Global Ministries Adds More Complexity -

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Global Ministries Foundation, according to the court-appointed receiver for the Tulane and Warren Apartment, two complexes owned by GMF.

Word of the SEC probe follows search warrants served at Global Ministries Cordova offices Aug. 3 in a separate investigation by the Inspector General’s office of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

52. SEC Investigation of Global Ministries Foundation Surfaces -

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Global Ministries Foundation, according to the court-appointed receiver for the Tulane and Warren Apartment, two complexes owned by GMF.

Word of the SEC probe follows search warrants served at Global Ministries Cordova offices Aug. 3 in a separate investigation by the Inspector General’s office of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Search warrants in that investigation were also served that same day at the Dexter, Missouri offices of the Gill Group, which appraised GMF property in Memphis and Florida.

53. Poll: Young Americans Overwhelmingly Favor LGBT Rights -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Young people in America overwhelmingly support LGBT rights when it comes to policies on employment, health care and adoption, according to a new survey.

The GenForward survey of Americans ages 18-30 found that support for those policies has increased over the past two years, especially among young whites. But relatively few of these young adults consider rights for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender to be among the top issues facing the United States.

54. Credit Card for Travel – Use Wisely -

Ray’s Take As a general rule, credit card debt is considered a bad thing. But, as with any rule of thumb, there are exceptions.

How about a travel credit card? These can be an asset as long as you take care to research them – and use them wisely. They can be a money saver, stretching your travel dollars and enhancing your travel experience, with the right research and planning.

55. Church Health YMCA Planned for Crosstown -

The YMCA will open its 11th Memphis-area branch in Crosstown Concourse in partnership with the Church Health Center.

“(The Church Health YMCA) is maybe one of the most exciting things we have done, said Keith Johnson, president and CEO of the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South.

56. Last Word: Curry Todd, Crosstown Brewing and Cursive Comeback -

A word at the top of Last Word about campaign signs and what happens to some of them during a campaign.

There are a couple of sayings – bits of political wisdom by the judgment of some – that are uttered numerous times during every election season.

57. Tennessee Joins Effort To Block Anthem-Cigna Deal -

The state of Tennessee is one of the 11 states that have joined with the U.S. Department of Justice to block the merger of health insurance giants Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp.

58. Tennessee Joins Effort To Block Anthem-Cigna Merger -

The state of Tennessee is one of the 11 states that have joined with the U.S. Department of Justice to block the merger of health insurance giants Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp.

59. Task Force’s New Health Plan Promising -

A 3-Star Healthy Task Force appointed to propose a method for catching Tennesseans in a health care coverage gap is taking a politically safe road to reach the same goal as Insure Tennessee.

Yet the route, a TennCare expansion with “triggers” and “circuit breakers,” holds so much uncertainty it’s hard to figure out if the panel will find its destination.

60. Methodist Exec: 'Can’t Afford to Not Discuss Expanding Medicaid' -

A task force of state lawmakers appointed by Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell has rolled out its plan for an expansion of Medicaid in Tennessee that’s more limited than the one envisioned by Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan.

61. Grizzlies Like Draft Results, But Still Need Conley to Run the Show -

Not a lot of films have their world premieres in Memphis. But if it is summer and the Grizzlies have a crucial player becoming a free agent, then it’s time for a Craig Brewer short film.

62. Same Name, No Relation -

THE NAME OF WHAT WE ONCE HOPED TO BE AND WHAT WE’VE ACTUALLY BECOME.

Andy Holt.

The late Andy Holt from Milan, a schoolteacher, a coach, and once the principal of what is now Campus School in Memphis, the national president of the National Education Association and president of the University of Tennessee. His Columbia doctoral dissertation was about the struggle for public support of education in Tennessee.

63. 8th District Republican Contenders Highlight Differences -

Most of the 13 contenders in the August Republican primary in the 8th Congressional District agree on a lot. They think the country is going in the wrong direction. They believe the policies of a Democratic president are a factor in that, and they support Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

64. New For-Profit Medical Schools Springing Up Across US -

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – For-profit medical schools are starting to pop up around the country, promising to create new family doctors for underserved rural regions.

Rural states like Idaho need more general practitioners, with the baby boom generation aging and expanded insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act making health care more accessible. But critics of the new schools question whether companies can properly train the nation's next crop of doctors.

65. Inflation’s Impact on Your Investments -

Ray’s take: Most investors place “safety” or “guarantees” on the list to consider when evaluating any investment. Too many don’t fully consider the risk of going broke safely on that list. That’s what inflation does to you.

66. Elephants Abound -

The old joke goes this way: Every morning on the commuter train to work a man watches another man read his paper, meticulously folding every page to a single column width, then unfolding and refolding as he reads each column top to bottom. Finally, unable to stand it anymore, the first approaches the second and asks, “Why do you do that?” “It keep elephants off the train,” comes the reply.

67. Tennessee Leads the Nation in Bankruptcies -

Tennessee has a model program for financial literacy in its public schools. All high school students must pass a personal finance course to graduate, and even kindergartners are learning about money under a new initiative to extend the curriculum to primary school.

68. Legislative Losers: All Who Disagree With Legislators -

The 109th General Assembly is done – almost – for the year. Here’s a look at the winners and losers.

Winner: State budget

Buoyed by $400 million in surplus revenue from fiscal 2015 and $450 million in projected surpluses for the coming fiscal year, Gov. Bill Haslam spread the wealth in a $34.9 billion budget. 

69. Roster Remix? Grizzlies May Finally Shake Things Up -

As amazing as it was that the Memphis Grizzlies set an NBA record by using 28 players this past season, it’s almost more unbelievable that they had to sign eight different players to 11 separate 10-day contracts.

70. BancorpSouth Adds Universal Banker Model at New Memphis Branch -

When new bank branches are built and opened in Memphis, they increasingly resemble not the traditional branches of yesterday, but something new.

Case in point is BancorpSouth’s new branch at 40 N. Pauline, serving Downtown and Midtown, which opened a few weeks ago. The model it’s built around is the buzzy “universal banker” trend that’s now popular around the city and beyond.

71. Insure Tennessee: In Like A Lion, Out With A Committee -

What started with a roar is ending with a whimper.

On the first day of the 2016 legislative session, dozens of Insure Tennessee supporters rallied, shouted and sang songs outside the House chamber.

72. Report: US Medicine Spending Up 8.5 Percent in 2015 -

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – U.S. spending on prescription drugs rose 8.5 percent last year, slightly less than in 2014, driven mainly by growing use of ultra-expensive new drugs and price hikes on other medicines.

73. Lawmakers Lure Us In With Momentary Sanity, And Then... -

Just when it appears the Tennessee Senate is made up of sensible people – as evidenced by the killing of de-annexation legislation – the body is changing course with a Bible-thumping measure.

74. Last Word: Greensward Truce, Connor Schilling Retires and MEMFix Goes East -

You’ve heard of the mediation process surrounding the long-term use of the Overton Park Greensward by the Memphis Zoo for its overflow parking.
It appears there is now a less formal mediation process underway when it comes to the use of the greensward during the park’s spring peak season which is now underway.

75. 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.

76. Proponents of Insure TN Enlist Billboards in Fight -

An effort to put pressure on the Tennessee General Assembly to consider Insure Tennessee has made its way to billboards across the state, including three in Shelby County.

The billboards are meant to pressure Tennessee Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, to use her “political clout” to send Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal through the House.

77. This week in Memphis history: March 18-24 -

1989: Ratt at the Mid-South Coliseum.

1976: On the front page of The Daily News, Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Millard Oakley approves new forms, rules and rates for insurance companies to use in writing automobile policies to include coverage of CB radios.

78. Bill Calling for Referendum on Insure Tennessee Defeated -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to place Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal before the voters in November has been defeated in a House subcommittee.

The House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee voted Wednesday to study the bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley after the General Assembly adjourns.

79. ‘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.

80. Tennessee Senate Speaker Ramsey Announces He Won't Run Again -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, a leading figure in the Republican takeover of all three branches of Tennessee state government, announced Wednesday that he won't run for re-election.

81. AARP: Price Hikes Doubled Average Drug Price Over 7 Years -

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – The average cost for a year's supply of a prescription drug doubled in just seven years to more than $11,000 – about three-quarters of the average annual Social Security benefit.

82. Doctors: 'Buyer Beware' as Cosmetic Surgery Grows -

If you often look around and feel older than you used to, it might not be you. It might be that everyone else looks younger.

The face of Tennessee is changing – literally – and as an influx of new residents and a booming economy creates a larger affluent class with more disposable income, the business of cosmetic procedures is on the rise.

83. Events -

Teach901 in conjunction with Teacher Town USA will hold a job fair Tuesday, Feb. 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, 800 East Parkway S. More than 30 school operators are hiring for more than 200 available positions for the 2016-2017 academic year. For details and to register, visit teach901.com.

84. 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.

85. Fenced Out -

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

86. County Commission Forms OPEB Committee -

Shelby County Commissioners have created an ad hoc committee to talk over the health insurance benefits liability of the former Memphis City Schools system and who is responsible for it.

Commission chairman Terry Roland announced Monday, Jan. 25, he had formed the committee, which includes leaders of the Shelby County Schools system and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell’s administration.

87. 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.

88. On Deadline -

What do the following phrases have in common: Due date, Editor’s concern, End point, Freelancer’s problem, Time limit, and Zero hour?

Answer: They have all been used as clues in crossword puzzles for the answer DEADLINE.

89. Hughes Promoted at Harris Shelton -

Brett Hughes has been promoted to managing member at Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh PLLC law firm. In his new role, Hughes will provide managerial support to the firm’s three offices. His primary responsibility will be to manage the firm’s administration and committees, particularly on issues that impact client service, as well as the morale, compensation, growth and development of the firm.

90. Reaves: Memphis Should Pay Share of Schools Liability -

The Shelby County commissioner who sought a legal opinion over who pays $1.1 billion of Shelby County Schools’ benefits liability says he has more questions.

Commissioner David Reaves requested the opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery in December through state Sen. Brian Kelsey.

91. Last Word: The Crest, OPEB Fever, Armstrong Leaves and An Elvis Warning -

The crest is here and it is not quite 40 feet on the Mississippi River gauge. The projections Thursday evening going into Friday’s crest of the river at Memphis changed a bit from the 40.3 foot level. The crest is 39.8 feet.
No reports of major damage anywhere in Shelby County, according to the Shelby County Office of Prepardness.
But the river’s high water is still a sight to behold.

92. Let’s Not Forget -

BELL. BOWLING. CROWE. GARDENHIRE. KELSEY. NICELY. ROBERTS. AND NORRIS. As the Tennessee General Assembly gets going in 2016, let’s remember how they started 2015 – with the abandonment of common sense and decency and hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans.
The story of what they did bears repeating as a cautionary tale. If we let them do it again, we all bear responsibility.

93. Luttrell: State Likely to Mandate $1B Liability -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said the state of Tennessee will most likely move to require Shelby County Schools to fully fund its $1.5 billion liability for health insurance and similar employee benefits.

94. Survey: US Progress on Health Insurance Stalled in 2015 -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Going into President Barack Obama's last year in office, progress has stalled on reducing the number of uninsured Americans under his signature health care law, according to a major survey out Thursday.

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

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

96. Sports Execs Tackle Teams’ Economic Impact -

Football fans in Charlotte, N.C., have had a fun season watching the NFL’s Carolina Panthers reel in 15 wins, a near perfect season, and secure the top playoff seed in their conference.

And it could turn out to be quite the edge for the Panthers in their quest to reach the Super Bowl.

97. Refugees, Regents, Privatization On Tap for New Session -

State Sen. Ken Yager isn’t quite ready for the state of Tennessee to reclaim the Refugee Resettlement Program from Catholic Charities.

98. Tenn. AG Sues Chevron Over Petroleum Spill Cleanup Costs -

The Tennessee attorney general is accusing Chevron of a 30-year-long scheme to fraudulently siphon more than $18 million from a cleanup fund that people contribute to every time they fill up at the pump.

99. Legislature Not Playing Santa With Insure Tennessee -

It’s going to take a Christmas miracle for Insure Tennessee to make it into anyone’s stocking this year.

As the 2016 session of the General Assembly approaches in early January, Republicans are showing no support for the plan Gov. Bill Haslam offered for a special session in early 2015.

100. State Urges Caution With Crowdfunding Efforts -

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Consumer Affairs Division is warning Tennesseans about crowdfunding cons and charitable solicitation scams as they become increasingly prevalent during the holiday season.