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Editorial Results (free)

1. State Targets Refugee Program; Lollar to Lead Delegation -

The state Legislature is likely to file a complaint before the end of January challenging the legality of the Refugee Resettlement Program in Tennessee, according to Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris.

2. Editorial: Increase the State Gas Tax And Prevent Poaching -

Lamar Avenue to the Mississippi state line is arguably one of the most significant 5-mile stretches of road in the country.

That’s what state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said seven months ago as he and Tennessee transportation commissioner John Schroer gathered with local leaders by the side of the road to announce all were behind an application for $180 million in federal funding for Lamar.

3. Last Word: Rallings at Rotary, The Weight of Cotton and Ugwueke's Path -

It’s becoming pretty obvious that this is going to be a big year for the issue of crime and violence in our city. It’s also becoming the year that Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings has found his voice in a job that may be the ultimate glass house for politicians.

4. McNally Voted Tennessee Senate Speaker -

Promising to maintain Tennessee’s strong fiscal standing, veteran legislator Randy McNally of Oak Ridge took the gavel Tuesday as Senate speaker, replacing Ron Ramsey, who over the last decade led a Republican majority to power in the Tennessee General Assembly.

5. Task Force Prepared for Juvenile Justice Legislation -

A General Assembly-led panel is backing legislation to change juvenile sexting laws and adopt measures to stop teens from being held in detention for minor offenses as part of an effort to improve juvenile justice.

6. 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.”

7. Reactionaries, Evidence Vie on Medicinal Pot -

Three-year-old Josie Mae Mathis of Greene County used to suffer hundreds of seizures daily from epilepsy and infantile spasms. Aden Vogus, a pre-teen from Brentwood, has seen his seizures all but disappear.

8. Agency Orders TransUnion, Equifax to Pay $23M for False Ads -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal regulators have ordered credit-reporting agencies TransUnion and Equifax to pay about $23 million for falsely advertising that the credit scores they sell consumers are the same ones lenders use to make credit decisions.

9. Arkansas Lawmaker: Modifications Eyed for Medicaid Plan -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The top Republican in Arkansas' Senate says he expects lawmakers to begin modifying the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion even before the future of the federal health law that enabled the expanded insurance program is settled in Washington.

10. Last Word: 2016's Toll, Strickland & Herenton and Downtown Hotel Changes Hands -

The city’s homicide count was at 228 as 2016 came to an end, breaking the old 1993 record.

In a few years maybe there will be a better idea of the larger trend that made 2016 a more violent year. Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings has said gangs were a factor in more homicides but not necessarily most of them – or if they did, it still remained an act between two people who knew each other and being in a gang wasn’t necessarily what set off the violent reaction.

11. Last Word: The Bridge Revisited, The Election Year and Lamar Remains Lamar -

One of the biggest stories of 2016 wasn’t planned and the spontaneous nature of the July 10 demonstration that closed the Hernando DeSoto Bridge made it a very unusual story. It was spontaneous and it tapped long held feelings and frustrations. For that reason and others, it is its own story in our continuing review of the year’s biggest stories in Memphis.

12. Tennessee: 1st Guilty Plea of 16 Indicted in Gang Crackdown -

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say the first of 16 alleged members of the Gangster Disciples street gang who were indicted in May on racketeering charges has pleaded guilty.

13. New Year, New Resolutions for Legislators -

Some Tennesseans recall the days when the state Legislature met every other year and wonder if it should revert to that schedule. Considering the General Assembly pushes most of its work into 3 1/2 months, it might be worth a try.

14. Memphis Residential Real Estate Market Remains Healthy in 2016 -

A strong year in the Memphis-area residential real estate market has the potential to carry over into 2017 and even beyond.

Low inventory and the talk of potential interest rate increases are some of the main factors contributing to a competitive market.

15. Yahoo's Big Breach Helps Usher In an Age of Hacker Anxiety -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Yahoo has become the worst-case example of an unnerving but increasingly common phenomenon – massive hacks that steal secrets and other potentially revealing information from our personal digital accounts, or from big organizations that hold sensitive data on our behalf.

16. Faison’s Folly? Pushing Pot as a Conservative -

By just about any measure, state Rep. Jeremy Faison is a hardcore conservative. But when it comes to the cannabis plant, the East Tennessee legislator is ready to fire up the General Assembly with a move to liberalize the state’s pot law.

17. Last Word: New Rhodes President, Billy Hyman and the Fast Track -

The biggest political betting pool of the post-election season ends Tuesday as President elect Donald Trump said Monday by Twitter that he would name his nominee for Secretary of State Tuesday morning.

18. Council Approves Two Downtown Hotels, Sets Vote on Dairy Expansion -

Memphis City Council members approved two conversions of Downtown buildings into hotels Tuesday, Dec. 6, and set a Jan. 17 date for a public hearing and vote on expansion plans for the Turner Dairy in Overton Square.

19. Council Approves Pair of Downtown Hotels, Sets January Vote on Dairy Expansion -

Memphis City Council members approved two conversions of Downtown buildings as hotels Tuesday, Dec. 6, and set a Jan. 17 date for a public hearing and vote on expansion plans for the Turner Dairy in Overton Square.

20. Money for Trump Tower Security Part of Stopgap Spending Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Lawmakers are tacking on money for security around Trump Tower in New York and funds for health care for retired coal miners to a stopgap spending bill that would avoid a government shutdown at week's end.

21. Last Word: Football Comes Back, Snuff on Front Street and Pot Is Short of Seven -

I have a question that some of you may not care for? Is football making a comeback in this basketball town for a more prominent place in the conflicted and diverse hothouse that is Memphis culture?

22. Trump Taps Former Campaign Rival Carson as Housing Secretary -

NEW YORK (AP) – President-elect Donald Trump, moving closer to filling his Cabinet, chose former campaign rival Ben Carson on Monday to be secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

23. Ex-Lawmaker Hopes Community Support Will Help Probation Bid -

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Church, community and political leaders are expected to appear in federal court next month to show their support for former State Rep. Joe Armstrong as he hopes to avoid prison time for filing a false tax return.

24. Two Hotel Projects Top Council Agenda -

Two Downtown hotels top a planning and development-heavy agenda for the Tuesday, Dec. 2, session of the Memphis City Council.

The council votes on a special use permit for a 68-room luxury hotel at 477 S. Main St., in a building that until recently had been a graduate school for the Memphis College of Art.

25. The Week Ahead: December 5-11 -

Good morning, Memphis! December has arrived, which mean holiday happenings are officially underway – from tours of decked-out historic Collierville homes to shopping all things local at the Holiday Farmer’s Market. Oh, and did we mention Jerry Springer’s in town? Here’s the 411 on this week’s need-to-know events…

26. Lawmakers Working to Boost Local Logistics, Transportation Sectors -

Lawmakers representing the Memphis area on both the state and federal levels are taking steps to help the area’s transportation and logistics sectors in 2017 – from a second swipe at a federal grant to redevelop Lamar Avenue to the resubmission of a state bill that would incentivize companies for reducing wait times for truck drivers.

27. Last Word: The Return of Stubby Clapp, Poplar & Ridgeway for Pedestrians and Mice -

The death toll in the Sevier County-Gatlinburg wildfires is at seven. Authorities believe a fire at The Chimney Tops in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was what started the disaster and had consumed 15,563 acres as of Wednesday evening. At that point, the fire was 10 percent contained.

28. Refugee Lawsuit Proceeds in Spite of Obstacles -

Tennessee is going “full speed ahead” in a challenge of the federal Refugee Resettlement Program despite threats by President-elect Donald Trump to dismantle it or, at the least, stop the flow of refugees from terrorist-linked countries.

29. Last Word: Fires In the East, Corker at Trump Tower and The Toll of the Cure -

As our week here began very windy and very rainy with clouds all day Monday, there was a different kind of overcast day unfolding in East Tennessee. And by the time of this post the National Guard was patrolling parts of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge where wildfires had forced evacuations of both towns – all of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, according to the city manager of Pigeon Forge.

30. 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.

31. Norris, Others Take Next Step After Election -

State Senate Republican leader Mark Norris of Collierville ran for re-election this year the way just about any incumbent prefers to run – unopposed.

32. Kustoff, Cohen Win Seats in Congress And the Rest of Shelby County's Ballot -

Shelby County voters re-elected all but six incumbents seeking re-election on the Nov. 8 election ballot.

And the biggest upset on the local ballot gave Democrats a gain of one seat in the state House delegation from Shelby County.

33. Why is It So Difficult for Tennessee To Oust Indicted Politicians? -

Tennessee is lagging much of the nation when it comes to the ability to remove scoundrels from public office.

And, make no mistake, the Volunteer State has had its fair share of ne’er-do-well politicians who would likely have been thrown out of office if the proper procedures had been in place. 

34. County Has Lowest Voter Turnout in 12 Years -

Voter turnout in Shelby County for the 2016 presidential general election was 59.7 percent, according to unofficial returns posted by the Shelby County Election Commission early Wednesday, Nov. 9. That marks the lowest showing since the 2004 presidential general election, when turnout was 57 percent.

35. Downtown May Get New 12-Story Boutique Hotel -

A plan to redevelop the former Tenoke Building into a hotel may be revived several years after a similar idea for the vacant Downtown office high-rise fell through.

Vibrant Hotels Inc., an affiliate of Batesville, Mississippi-based development company JVD Enterprises, is seeking a special use permit that would allow the conversion of the century-old Tenoke, located at 161 Jefferson Ave., and the adjacent one-story office at 191 Jefferson Ave. into an “upper-brand franchised full-service hotel,” according to an application filed with the city-county Office of Planning and Development in August.

36. Shelby County Vote Count Stalls For Third Presidential Contest -

Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump won Tennessee’s 11 electoral votes Tuesday, Nov. 8, in unofficial statewide election returns while Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried Shelby County in the popular vote.

37. 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.

38. Fund Managers: No, the Election Won't Wreck Your 401(k) -

NEW YORK (AP) – Worried that the election will ruin your 401(k)?

Don't be, fund managers say, no matter who wins the White House. As long as you're a long-term investor willing to ride through whatever market bumps occur after Election Day, and there certainly could be scary ones, presidential elections historically haven't had much impact on stocks over the long term. Other factors, such as how expensive stocks are relative to their earnings and what the Federal Reserve is doing with interest rates, are more important factors for the market than who sits in the White House.

39. Last Word: DOJ Reviews MPD, Big River Crossing Light Shows and Election Notes -

By the spring, we should have the first report from the U.S. Justice Department review of the Memphis Police Department. And we got a better idea Wednesday of what this study involves.

40. 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.

41. 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.

42. Last Word: Mud Island Round 3, Newsmakers Notes and North Midtown -

Cue the organ. You know, the one from those old soap operas or radio dramas. And prepare for the latest episode of Island of Mud. When last we looked in on Mud Island River Park, the city had two finalists to redevelop all or a part of the southern half of the island that is really a peninsula.

43. Council Approves Hotel In Leader Federal Building -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Oct. 4, a boutique hotel development in the Leader Federal bank building and an adjoining building on Madison Avenue at B.B. King Boulevard by Pardo Elemental Architecture of California. The council also approved a Kroger gas station convenience store on Poplar Avenue east of Kirby Parkway as an outparcel to the Kroger supermarket at that location.

44. Last Word: Z Bo and the Second Unit, Gannettized and the Electoral College -

Zach Randolph will not be starting for the Grizz this season as the post-Grit & Grind era enters the “Second Unit” chapter.

It will be interesting to see fan reaction Thursday at the Forum when the Grizz play Atlanta in another pre-season game. Randolph did not start Monday night’s pre-season opener against Orlando either.

45. Council Approves Hotel In Leader Federal Building -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Oct. 4, a boutique hotel development in the Leader Federal bank building and an adjoining building on Madison Avenue at B.B. King Boulevard by Pardo Elemental Architecture of California. The council also approved a Kroger gas station convenience store on Poplar Avenue east of Kirby Parkway as an outparcel to the Kroger supermarket at that location.

46. Two More Boutique Hotels to Arrive Soon -

An out-of-town developer with one hotel planned for the Downtown market has purchased the former Memphis College of Art graduate school at 477 South Main for another hotel.

California-based Wessman Holdings was attracted to Downtown’s growth of boutique hotels and abundance of vacant buildings, said principal John Wessman.

47. Council Final Vote on Pot Ordinance Tuesday -

Memphis City Council members take a third and final vote Tuesday, Oct. 4, on an ordinance that would decriminalize possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana.

The proposal pits some council members who believe the measure will make the city’s problem with illegal drugs worse against council members who see the ordinance as an important statement about making even larger changes to the local criminal justice system.

48. BlueCross Dropping ACA Coverage in Memphis Area -

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is dropping its Affordable Care Act marketplace plan coverage in three major regions of the state, including Memphis, pointing to losses of nearly $500 million on such plans by the end of 2016.

49. Tenn. House Expels Durham Amid Sexual Harrassment Allegations -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee House voted Tuesday to expel Republican state Rep. Jeremy Durham following allegations of widespread sexual harassment.

50. 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.

51. Last Word: Bearwater Progress, Defining Certainty and A Special Session After All -

The older couple have been spotted around town a lot taking in the nightlife.

Former President and First Lady Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have been to The Lookout at the top of the Pyramid this week to take in a sunset on the river. They also found their way to Beale Street one night this week.

52. Thrill-Ride Accidents Spark New Demands for Regulation -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – In some parts of the U.S., the thrill rides that hurl kids upside down, whirl them around or send them shooting down slides are checked out by state inspectors before customers climb on. But in other places, they are not required to get the once-over.

53. Federal Lawsuit Contests Beale Street Cover Charge -

A pro se lawsuit filed in Memphis federal court this month seeks to end the Beale Street Entertainment District’s practice of charging a $10 entry fee for the district after 10 p.m. on Saturdays during the street’s summer peak.

54. Federal Lawsuit Contests Beale Street Cover Charge -

A pro se lawsuit filed in Memphis federal court this month seeks to end the Beale Street Entertainment District’s practice of charging a $10 entry fee for the district after 10 p.m. on Saturdays during the street’s summer peak.

55. Hotel Napoleon Joins Growing List of Unique Downtown Lodging -

A Downtown property’s ample windows, turn-of-the century architecture and an interesting backstory attracted hotel developer Suna Investments to the historic Winchester Building at 179 Madison Ave.

56. Last Word: Candlelight Protest, International Paper Rumors and Ruby Wilson -

Graceland and Black Lives Matter meet again Monday evening, according to the announcement as the weekend began of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens.

The coalition, which includes leaders of the July 10 bridge protest as well as the July 12 protest that briefly blocked traffic on Elvis Presley Boulevard outside Graceland, isn’t too happy with how its meeting with Mayor Jim Strickland went last Thursday.

57. The Week Ahead: August 7-14 -

Happy Monday, Memphis. As many local students return to schools today, fans of The King are starting their pilgrimage to Graceland for the kickoff to Elvis Week. Here’s what else you need to know about this week…

58. Senator Seeks Reconvening of Congress Over Zika Virus -

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the Zika virus in Florida (all Eastern times):

4 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reconvene Congress so lawmakers can pass an emergency spending bill to fight the spread of the Zika virus.

59. Last Word: Convention Bounces, Changing Schools and Blue Collar Changes -

Before the balloons dropped Thursday and a Katy Perry soundtrack brought the Democratic National Convention to an end, state Representative Raumesh Akbari of Memphis spoke at the convention on its final day.

60. Former Leader of Memphis Gang Gets 10-Year Prison Sentence -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say the former leader of a Memphis street gang has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The U.S. attorney's office says 28-year-old James Earl McCracken was sentenced this month by U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. McCracken pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy in December.

61. Bank Building Set To Become Boutique Hotel -

158 Madison Ave.
Memphis, TN 38103

Sale Amount: $1.1 million

Sale Date: June 13, 2016

Buyer: Wessman Holdings

62. Last Word: The Greensward Deal, Pulpit to Protest Call and Leader Federal's HQ -

There is nothing quite like a deadline to produce results.

I’m not talking about this job, although it is more than a coincidence that the closer a deadline gets the more you start to figure out how to write something.

63. Boutique Hotel Planned For Downtown Bank Building -

The former Leader Federal headquarters will be converted into a boutique hotel.

Wessman Holdings, an out-of-town group, purchased the property at 158 Madison Ave. from 158 Madison LLC for $1.1 million, according to a June 13 warranty deed. The five-floor building was built in 1961 and bears more than 62,000 square feet.

64. Pat Summitt Latest Exception to Tennessee Flag-Lowering Rule -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam's order for flags to be flown at half-staff following the death of former University of Tennessee coach Pat Summitt is the latest exception to state protocols that normally reserve the honor for members of the military.

65. Frayser Targeted as Pilot Area for Citywide Fight Against Blight -

Last week, a wrecking team demolished a single-family home in the Washington Heights neighborhood in South Memphis. The effort, organized by United Housing Inc. and backed by the U.S. Department of Treasury, was the first of its kind to take place.

66. U of M Physicist Earns Early Career Research Award -

Xiao Shen, assistant professor of physics and materials science at the University of Memphis, has been named a winner of the 2016 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award by Oak Ridge Associated Universities for his work on novel optical materials.

67. Last Word: Brexit, Grizz Picks in the NBA Draft and the Race for the 8th -

Brexit – British Exit – it is. The end of the European Union in the United Kingdom in Thursday’s referendum there began to make its presence known in financial markets even before the very close vote count was well established.

68. Lamar Avenue Grant Gets State’s Sole Focus -

The Lamar Avenue improvement project waiting for years to get started could be about to emerge from the planning stage to construction.

And if the state gets a $180 million federal grant in August, it could compress the timeline from a decade-long project to four or five years of construction. The state is currently acquiring rights of way.

69. State Applies for $180 Million Lamar Avenue Federal Grant -

The Lamar Avenue road project waiting for years to get started could be about to emerge from the planning stage to construction.

And if the state gets a $180 million federal grant in August, it could compress the timeline from a decade-long project to four or five years of construction. The state is currently acquiring rights of way.

70. Local, State Leaders to Make Lamar Avenue Announcement Tuesday -

The Lamar Avenue road project waiting for years to get started could be about to emerge from the planning stage to construction with a federal grant.

State and local leaders will gather in the heart of the busy freight corridor Tuesday, June 21, for a “major announcement.”

71. U of M Physicist Receives Early Career Research Award -

Xiao Shen, assistant professor of physics and materials science at the University of Memphis, has been named a winner of the 2016 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award by Oak Ridge Associated Universities for his work on novel optical materials.

72. Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules on Equal Internet Access -

WASHINGTON (AP) – In a big win for the Obama administration, a federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the government's "net neutrality" rules that require internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

73. Insure Tennessee Advocates on the Road -

The state House’s task force on Insure Tennessee is nearing a June report to federal health regulators on its work. And a Tennessee Hospital Association advocacy group is ramping up its appeal for legislative passage of either the Medicaid expansion alternative or some similar program that might come out of the task force.

74. Health Care Hindrances: Money and Politics -

Adam Nickas, the new executive director of Tennesseans for a Responsible Future, is looking for a sweeping plan to catch some 280,000 people who fall into a health care coverage gap across the state.

75. Yellen: Economy Improving but Timing of Rate Hike is Unclear -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated Monday that the U.S. economy is improving but remains defined by so many uncertainties that it's unclear when the Fed should resume raising interest rates.

76. Norris Unhappy With Haslam Over Refugee Measure -

The sponsor of a resolution to require the state to sue the federal government over its refugee resettlement program is unhappy with Republican Gov. Bill Haslam for refusing the sign the measure.

Haslam last week allowed the resolution to go into effect without his signature, saying he had concerns about one branch of government telling another what to do. The governor also asked the state attorney general for a legal opinion on whether the Legislature has the power to hire its own attorney to sue over the matter.

77. Legislators Sweating the Small Stuff -

My late father kept a paper weight on his desk at home that read: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Well, we’re sweating the small stuff – from the federal government down to the states – with this harangue over transgender bathrooms.

78. Haves, Have-Nots Get Varied Tax Relief -

Amid the rancor of bathroom and counseling bills, two major pieces of legislation slipped through the General Assembly this session with hardly a peep – elimination of the Hall tax and a partial revitalization of property tax relief for seniors and disabled veterans.

79. Financial Federal Bank Executive Wins Award -

Rick Wood, Financial Federal Bank executive vice president and manager of its commercial/multifamily division, has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Memphis Chapter of the Lambda Alpha International Land Economics Society.

80. Massacre: 1866 and the Battles Over How Memphis History is Told -

At the end of March with much secrecy, Rev. Keith Norman took delivery and responsibility for a large, heavy crate that stayed in his office for the next month.

“Don’t tell anybody, don’t let anybody get it, if they come in and say they work for the park commission or anybody, tell them to show identification,” were the instructions said Norman, who is president of the Memphis Branch NAACP.

81. Financial Federal Bank Executive Wins Award -

Rick Wood, Financial Federal Bank executive vice president and manager of its commercial/multifamily division, has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Memphis Chapter of the Lambda Alpha International Land Economics Society.

82. 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. 

83. Last Word: TNReady Termination, NFL Draft Day and What Drove The Bible Bill -

When students in public schools take tests these days, it is about more than how they are doing and whether they know what is being taught them.

The scores play a significant role in how teachers are evaluated and rated. And both play a role in their careers and how much they will be paid. They play a role in whether the state decides to take over a school or the school system they remain in decides to essentially start over with an Innovation School model.

84. A Look at the Winning And Losing Legislation in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — As the Tennessee General Assembly worked to adjourn for the year on Friday, a look at some of the winning and losing legislation from this year's session.

WINNERS:

85. Tennessee Passes Resolution to Sue Feds Over Refugees -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A resolution that would direct Tennessee to sue the federal government over its refugee resettlement program passed Tuesday in the state Legislature.

The measure was approved in the Senate after lawmakers agreed to a change that would allow a private law firm to file a lawsuit on behalf of Tennessee if the state attorney general refuses to sue. It stipulates that the use of the private firm could not cost taxpayers.

86. Most Political Hopefuls Follow Through in August Elections -

Shelby County election commissioners meet Tuesday, April 19, to set the ballot for the Aug. 4 state and federal primaries and county general elections.

Of 99 qualifying petitions for the ballot pulled in Shelby County, some by the same citizen pondering multiple races, 65 were filed by the April 7 qualifying deadline and four of those 65 petitions had been withdrawn by the April 14 withdrawal deadline.

87. Bill Seeks to Halt Gun Carry Permits for Ex-Police With DUIs -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – State Rep. Curry Todd, a retired Memphis police officer who has pleaded guilty to drunken driving and gun charges, is speaking out against Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to keep retired law enforcement officers with DUI convictions from being able to carry firearms in public.

88. Rapid Transit Option, Route Changes Designed To Make MATA More Relevant -

Budget season is looming, and the Memphis Area Transit Authority is angling for an additional $8 million in operating funds and $5 million in capital improvement dollars to prevent significant cuts to service.

89. August Primaries Feature Intra-Party Challenges -

Two years after a disastrous slate of races for countywide offices, there is a move among younger Democratic partisans in Memphis to shake up the Democrats who represent the city in the Tennessee Legislature.

90. Last Word: Pastner's Georgia Tech Post-Season, Who Filed and Greensward Invitations -

Not so fast with the off-season. There is a Memphis post-season after all.

And the Grizz found it Thursday like a light at the end of a long-tunnel where a lot of people slipped and fell and can’t get up.
The light was Houston flaming out at home to Phoenix without the Grizzlies having to make a basket.
It’s all about the math. Stay in school, young people.

91. 8th Congressional District Primaries Draw 22 Contenders, 13 Republican -

The Republican primary race to fill the 8th District Congressional seat Republican incumbent Stephen Fincher is giving up drew a field of 13 contenders – seven from Shelby County and four from Jackson, Tennessee – at the Thursday, April 7, noon filing deadline for the Aug. 4 ballot.

92. Last Word: Pro Day, Hardwood Patios in C-Y and Memphis' Contested Convention -

It was a windy Pro Day Wednesday at the University of Memphis for Tigers quarterback Paxton Lynch. And if the wind wasn’t for you, you could watch Lynch work out for NFL teams and their representatives on the NFL network.
Don Wade was there to watch in person.

93. Last Word: Monday Vote, Beale's Search and Longview Heights -

Look for the state Senate to vote on the deannexation bill Monday in Nashville. At least that’s the date on the Senate calendar.

That could change as a member of the Shelby County legislative delegation has at last asked the Tennessee Attorney General for a legal opinion on the proposal. But it’s not a straight-up question about whether the proposal is constitutional. It’s a question about the specific characterization of past Memphis annexations as “egregious” – what has come to be the key legal term in this considerable political controversy.

94. ‘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.

95. Grimes Joins Barge Waggoner As Transportation Project Manager -

Keafur Grimes has joined Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Inc. as transportation project manager, bringing with him more than 35 years of experience. In his new role, Grimes manages transportation planning and construction projects to meet federal, state and local regulations; ensures that projects meet quality compliance and assurance standards as well as customer needs; and are delivered on time and within budget.

96. ‘Fearless’ Stewart Embraces Battles With Supermajority -

Democratic state Rep. Mike Stewart lives on the front lines of the Tennessee General Assembly. As chairman of the House Democratic Caucus with 26 members, Stewart could employ a bunker mentality, but instead has chosen to take the fight to the other side of the aisle.

97. Bill Would Open Door for Utilities to Expand Broadband -

Legislation to expand broadband access across Tennessee is evolving – by necessity.

State Rep. Kevin Brooks’ bill HB1303 to allow public utilities to provide Internet service outside their footprint is alive, he says, but it is being “argued vehemently.”

98. CEO Tim Cook Defends Apple's Resistance in FBI iPhone Case -

CUPERTINO, California (AP) – Apple CEO Tim Cook defended his company's opposition to the FBI's iPhone-hacking plan at its annual shareholder meeting, one day after the tech giant formally challenged a court order to help the FBI unlock an encrypted iPhone used by a murderous extremist in San Bernardino, California.

99. Haslam Takes Issue With Lawmakers Ordering Refugee Lawsuit -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday took issue with a move by fellow Republicans in the Legislature to order the state attorney to sue the federal government over the refugee resettlement program in Tennessee.

100. Last Word: 901Fest, First Tennessee Sues Pinnacle and EDGE Responds -

U of M Tigers 73 – UCF Knights 56 at FedExForum and on ESPN Wednesday evening.

As that was underway, Vice President Joe Biden was on his way out of the Memphis area after a visit to the Norfolk Southern intermodal facility in Rossville.
Here’s the basic web story account from Wednesday evening of Biden’s visit which comes on the seventh anniversary of the enactment of the federal stimulus act.
More on the larger themes in the visit and three-city tour by Biden in the print version that hits online Thursday afternoon.