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Editorial Results (free)

1. FDA Reconsiders Training Requirements for Painkillers -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration is reconsidering whether doctors who prescribe painkillers like OxyContin should be required to take safety training courses, according to federal documents.

2. Grinding Recovery -

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

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

3. Dave Joerger: The NBA’s Invisible Man -

Congratulations to Golden State’s Steve Kerr. You can’t say he wasn’t a worthy recipient for NBA Coach of the Year.

4. 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.

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

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

6. 2014 Abortion Amendment Recount Ordered -

Almost two years after Tennessee voters approved an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution limiting abortion access, a federal judge in Nashville has ordered a recount of the vote – not a new vote but a recounting of the 2014 election returns.

7. Last Word: Grizz Aftermath, Mayor-A-Rama and Prince Saves Hendrix -

116-95, Spurs over the Grizzlies is how the NBA second season ends in Memphis. A four-game sweep of a team that now heals and perhaps changes on its way to the fall.

8. Bid to Override Veto Of Bible Bill Fails -

A bid to override Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto of a bill to make Tennessee the first state to designate the Bible as its official book failed in the state House on Wednesday.

Forty-three members voted to re-pass the bill, falling well short of the 50-vote threshold to turn back to the veto.

9. Robots Are Taking Tennessee’s Jobs -

MTSU student Nathan Simpkins found the perfect major when the university started its mechatronics engineering program in 2013, a pursuit practically guaranteeing him a high-paying job in an increasingly automated manufacturing industry.

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

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

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

11. Last Word: The Bible Veto Override Vote, Grizz Nostalgia and Kroger Goes Online -

The Tennessee Legislature hoped to end its 2016 session Wednesday at the end of an eventful day that included a failed attempt to override Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto of the bill that would have made the Bible the official state book.
But into Wednesday evening, the state House was still debating the Hall tax on dividends – specifically further roll backs of it. And the Senate had gone home for the night.
So Thursday looks like a good bet for the adjournment for the year and the formal start of the election season for incumbents.

12. Last Word: Budget Basics, A Peak At Greensward Mediation and Elvis & Nixon -

Spurs 94 – Grizzlies 68 in game 2 of the NBA playoffs. The TNT post-game show just showed the highlights of the game while Shaq and Charles Barkley talked about how big the women are in San Antonio. I’m not making this up. They didn’t even try to talk about the game. This is just grim.

13. Legislature Passes Online Voter Registration Bill -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The General Assembly passed legislation Tuesday that would allow Tennesseans to register to vote online.

The House unanimously passed a bill that the Senate had earlier approved. The measure allows Tennesseans to go online to register to vote or update their registration records. Applicants would be directed to apply on paper if their name, date of birth or other identifying information could not be confirmed with the Department of Safety.

14. Greensward Talks Getting Complex -

A week ago, the board of the Overton Park Conservancy had a visitor at its meeting – Richard Smith, the Memphis Zoo’s representative in the ongoing private mediation talks between the conservancy and the zoo.

15. Last Word: A Dog Named Elvis, Soulville's Change and Highlander Politics -

For those who stopped watching in the fourth quarter, The Grizzlies lost to the Spurs 106-74 in San Antonio Sunday to open the NBA's second season. If you put together the second and fourth quarters it would have been close. But oh the first and third quarters.

16. Bryant Signs Bill Banning Second-Trimester Abortion Method -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's governor has signed into law a ban on a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure, setting the state up for a possible legal challenge.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed the law Friday that outlaws a procedure called "dilation and evacuation" unless it is necessary to prevent a woman's irreversible physical impairment.

17. Mississippi Governor Signs Law Allowing Armed Church Members -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A holstered gun sat on top of a Bible on Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant's desk Friday when he signed a law allowing guns in churches, which he said would help protect worshippers from potential attackers.

18. 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.

19. Middle Tennessee construction can’t meet demand -

When it comes to residential real estate around Middle Tennessee, there are plenty of buyers but not nearly enough sellers, says Heather Benjamin with Reliant Realty’s Benjamin McConnell Group. And new construction just can’t keep up with the demand.

20. Parkinson: OK to ‘Go A Little Bit Extreme’ to Get Job Done -

With U.S. Marine Corps training, Rep. Antonio Parkinson knows how to grab people’s attention.

He did that earlier this year when he sponsored legislation to kill the Achievement School District, Tennessee’s solution for turning around struggling schools.

21. Memphis Gets Proven Commodity in Tubby Smith -

It started immediately, before the hiring was even official. The audible sighs on sports talk radio, the Twitter whining, and the figurative eye-rolling.

Tubby Smith? Really? That old guy?

If they didn’t call him “old” outright, they inferred it in every way imaginable.

22. Business Leaders Sign Letter Opposing Bathroom Law -

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

23. Last Word: Off and Running, Lawson Sticks and Downtown Office Space -

Now that you’ve had time to behold the large field of contenders in the Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District – all 13 – they are on the road campaigning on the way to the Aug. 4 election day.
And it’s quite a road with a lot of different scenery.
Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff is one of the seven contenders in the race from Shelby County. He hit the road Monday for three days of stops in each one of the 15 counties in the district.

24. Last Word: Lipscomb's Successor, MATA School Buses and Roland's Big Breakfast -

Paul Young gets a lot more attention these days than he did when he was the first director of the city-county Office of Sustainability. The attention comes with being the city director of Housing and Community Development where virtually all of the funding comes from the federal government.
That federal funding has changed the face of public housing in the city in the last 25 years. There is only one large public housing project left in the city as a result of the federal funding and its use by Young’s predecessor, Robert Lipscomb.
And what Lipscomb did with the job combined with being the executive director of the Memphis Housing Authority is why a lot of people want to get to know Paul Young these days.
Our centerpiece story by Madeline Faber in Tuesday’s edition makes clear that Young has no desire to wield that kind of power. And it is unlikely anyone in the near future will have the kind of autonomy Lipscomb did.
But beyond that there is still the flow of a lot of federal dollars and Young has some ideas based on his experience in government and finance prior to coming to HCD – everything in government is initials.
It’s a much different experience than Lipscomb’s. Lipscomb coined the phrase “ending public housing as we know it” and at times that slogan wasn’t followed with a lot of detail about what came after public housing was demolished, especially with the first of the projects to fall.
The last public housing project, Foote Homes, will be demolished on Young’s watch which makes his tenure important if more limited than Lipscomb’s tenure.

25. The Daily News Claims 3 First Place TAPME Awards -

The Daily News took top honors in business reporting and editorials in the 2016 Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors Awards.

The awards for reporting in 2015 were announced Saturday, April 9, during a ceremony in Nashville.

26. It’s April – How is Your Year-End Fundraising? -

Have you considered “front loading” your year-end fundraising? Start now. Plan now. Put your systems in place. Mark your calendar. Build your team. Identify your prospective donors. You may think we’re joking, but we’re not.

27. The Week Ahead: April 11-17 -

Let’s get this week started, Memphis! Here’s our roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from New Memphis Institute's popular “Memphis 101” crash course to the music- and culture-filled Africa in April festival.

28. Editorial: Memphis Police Director Search Needs Better Sense of Urgency -

Sixty-one homicides in 90 days, including a March death that was classified as a homicide by police on the other side of April.

This will likely get worse before it gets better because there is no quick fix.

29. 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.

30. House Speaker Exiles Durham Over 'Pattern of Conduct' -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell is taking steps to move the offices and limit the access of state Rep. Jeremy Durham, who is under investigation for sexual harassment.

31. Beyond The Greensward -

If a crowd shows up some place other than the Greensward, is it a busy spring in Overton Park?

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is undergoing renovations in preparation for its 100th anniversary celebration next month.

32. Names of 3 Officers Involved in Man's Shooting Released -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Police have released the names of three officers involved in the shooting death of a Memphis man, but authorities are refusing to say which officer actually fired his weapon.

33. Last Word: A Day In The Park, Fashion Week and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -

The skid is over. The Grizzlies beat the Bulls at home and the post-season possibility drama continues in the land of Griss and the one year and done college home of Derrick Rose.

34. State: Sewage Leak Causing Major Fish Kill in McKellar Lake -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – State officials say a sewage leak has caused a major fish kill in a lake near the Mississippi River in West Tennessee.

Kelly Brockman, a spokeswoman with the Tennessee's Department of Environment and Conservation, said Tuesday that the number of fish killed in McKellar Lake in Memphis is in the thousands.

35. Last Word: Basketball Intervention, Medical Inventory and Memphis in the 1960s -

Five games left for the Grizzlies to win three and then get to play more in the NBA playoffs. And what seemed to be a foregone conclusion is now not such a sure thing based on the Grizz performance in Sunday’s 119-107 loss to the Orlando Magic in Orlando.

36. Federal Officials Monitoring Sewage Spill in Memphis’ Cypress Creek -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – A broken sewage line is dumping up to 50 million gallons of untreated wastewater per day into a Mississippi River tributary in Tennessee, and federal environmental officials said Friday they are monitoring the situation.

37. Federal Officials Monitoring Sewage Spill in Memphis’ Cypress Creek -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – A broken sewage line is dumping up to 50 million gallons of untreated wastewater per day into a Mississippi River tributary in Tennessee, and federal environmental officials said Friday they are monitoring the situation.

38. The Week Ahead: April 4-10 -

Let’s get this week started, Memphis! Here’s our roundup of local happenings you need to know about in the coming days, from an observance of the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination to your first chance to visit Mud Island River Park this season.

39. Amended Senate De-annexation Bill Faces More Debate -

The de-annexation bill whose defeat became City Hall’s top priority in March is off the political frontburner.

But Memphis Democrats in the Tennessee Legislature who opposed the de-annexation by referendum measure expect that this isn’t the end of the concept or the move to make it law.

40. Editorial: The Ponderosa Box -

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

41. Last Word: The Curtain Falls in Nashville, Political Cuneiform and Ramsey Talks -

And in less than a half hour Wednesday, the de-annexation drama that should qualify as the political equivalent of a Netflix binge-watchable television series made just for Memphis was done.

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

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

43. Consultant: Rapid Transit Route Would Be a Boon for MATA -

The Memphis Area Transit Authority is throwing its weight behind a new route that would connect Downtown to the University of Memphis area with a bus every 10 minutes.

Over the past two years, an outside consulting group has been working with MATA on the Midtown Area Connector plan. The aim is to improve connecting service from the inside out by focusing on a main artery in the urban core.

44. Last Word: Back to Nashville, Dentistry & Genomes and Living The Fable -

The Memphis traffic is again heavy on the Interstate to Nashville as the Senate state and local government committee meets Tuesday to pick up where it left off with the still-forming version the upper chamber is crafting of the de-annexation bill.

45. Amendments Cloud Issue of De-Annexation -

Tennessee state senators go back to work Tuesday, March 29, in Nashville on a modified de-annexation bill.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee will be reviewing a set of amendments to their version of the bill, which changed substantially from the House version in a committee session last week.

46. SweetBio Reaches $1 Million in Secondary Funding -

The dust has settled after New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week, and several Memphis startups have returned home as winners.

“It’s like South by Southwest, but for entrepreneurs in the South,” said Kayla Rodriguez, co-founder and chief operating officer of SweetBio, of the week-long event.

47. Last Word: Saturday In The Park, Lipscomb's Successor and Fred's Looks Up -

Quite the Easter weekend on the Overton Park Greensward.
Greensward partisans planned a Saturday Easter Egg hunt, Memphis Zoo parking crews found the eggs and a crowd of several hundred people blocked overflow parking briefly that afternoon.

48. The Week Ahead: March 28-April 3 -

Alright, Memphis, are you sure you found all your Easter eggs? Before you make one more sweep of the yard, check out this week’s roundup of local happenings – from the sweet sounds of “Zelda” to what’s being dubbed a “Mini-MEMFix” in East Memphis…

49. Editorial: Time for Blight Talk to Become Action -

It’s time for the city’s battle against blight to move beyond the byzantine path of legal barriers, grant programs and other hurdles that have defined a slow-moving process so far.

The process is slow-moving even by the standards of local government, where time is often the last consideration.

50. Last Word: A Cleansing Breath, Urban Child Three Months In and Sugar In South Main -

Let’s all take a deep cleansing breath, away from the mounds of pollen that are amassing in the Memphis spring.
And resolve, however in vain it might be, that the word de-annexation will not be used in our presence at least until Monday – Tuesday if possible.

51. Bill to Allow Guns Bans in Ticketed Venues Fails in House -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill seeking to allow Tennessee cities to ban guns from being carried at ticketed events has failed in a House subcommittee.

The Republican-controlled Civil Justice Subcommittee voted 3-2 along party lines on Wednesday to kill the measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. John Ray Clemmons and supported by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.

52. Born Ready? Grizz Players, Brass Given No Choice -

This is not a Grizzlies season to remember. It is a Grizzlies season impossible to forget.

For fans.

For Chris Wallace, who is living the life of “GM, The Bargain Hunter.”

53. De-Annexation Bill Still Alive, Now In Two Versions -

At week’s end in Nashville, a bill to allow de-annexation by referendum was still on the tracks to passage. But there were significant differences in the Senate and House versions as the Tennessee Legislature heads for adjournment for the year in early April.

54. Last Word: The De-Annexation Express, Return of The Curb Market and Different Fuel -

When time ran out Wednesday on the state Senate’s state and local government committee in Nashville, de-annexation legislation was still on the tracks as the Tennessee Legislature draws closer to adjournment for the year.

55. De-Annexation Bill Amended But Still on Path to Passage -

A state Senate committee considering amendments to the de-annexation bill pending in the Tennessee Legislature has amended it to allow for de-annexation by referendum anywhere in the state.

The committee got through two of 13 proposed amendments Wednesday, March 23, and will resume work on the amendments next week.

56. Bill to Require Background Checks for Buying Guns Killed -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A House subcommittee on Wednesday shot down a bill to require background checks for all gun purchases in Tennessee.

Rep. Mike Stewart, the bill's main sponsor, showed off a military-style carbine that he had bought for $750 in cash with no background check. The Nashville Democrat argued that in-person gun sales should be governed by the same rules as buying firearms from retailers.

57. Security Beefed Up Across World After Brussels Attacks -

MOSCOW (AP) – Authorities in Europe and across the world tightened security at airports, railway stations, government buildings and other key sites after deadly attacks Tuesday on the Brussels airport and its subway system.

58. Methodist Makes 'Great Commitment' to Memphis With Expansion -

Methodist University Hospital CEO Jeff Liebman sees the $275 million that Methodist Healthcare is investing into the system’s flagship hospital as a “great commitment” to Memphis.

59. Last Word: A Trip to Committee, Minority Business Moves and the Issue With Reissues -

So those who support the general concept of de-annexation in the Tennessee state Senate were the most vocal Monday in sending the proposal back to committee for a more intense examination.

There were plenty of Memphians in the Senate chambers Monday despite the rumors that this was on its way back to committee.
Staying put until the deal is done has been a lesson won through bitter experience for some Memphis leaders.
Despite hearing from legislators in other parts of the state who are uneasy about this, the opposition remains a Memphis thing in Nashville.
But the Senate sponsor, Bo Watson, stumped his toe badly on this when he shut down an amendment Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris of Collierville wanted to allow the voluntarily de-annexation of an area Millington recently took into its city limits.
So when the state and local government committee meets at noon Wednesday, it will be round – frankly, I forget which round it is. Just ring the bell and let’s see what happens.

60. Millionaires: Raise Our Taxes to Address Poverty, Fix Roads -

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – More than 40 millionaires, including members of the Rockefeller and Disney families, are asking to have their taxes raised to help address poverty and rebuild failing infrastructure.

61. Sports Notebook: Pastner Needs Assistant With Coaching History -

The University of Memphis decided to go into the next college basketball season with Josh Pastner returning for an eighth year as the Tigers’ coach, per the announcement released by university present M. David Rudd late last week.

62. Randolph gets first triple-double in a stunning win over Clippers -

Mike Conley and his sore Achilles were in street clothes on the bench. Zach Randolph, after missing seven straight games with a sore knee, was back in uniform and playing. And playing so well that late in the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies 113-102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, March 19 at FedExForum, Conley had a secret to share.

63. The Week Ahead: March 21-27 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from the first Great River Indoor Food Truck Festival to a celebration of late Memphis wrestler Sputnik Monroe.

64. Council Working to Build Local Manufacturing for Device Industry -

The medical device industry fuels Memphis’ backbone. With a $2.6 billion local economic impact and nearly 17,000 direct and indirect jobs, original equipment manufacturers like Smith & Nephew, Wright Medical Group, Medtronic Spinal & Biologistics and Microport Orthopedics have made the Memphis area their base for products and medical devices.

65. Editorial: We Don’t Need Forgiveness For Past Annexations -

The normal bait and switch and head fake that is par for the course in Nashville is underway again.

That’s why we will dispense with the cautionary statements from the state Senate expressing doubts about the deannexation bill on its way to the upper chamber at press time.

66. Five to Watch -

“You can’t live in Memphis without some kind of side hustle, right?” That’s the way former WMC-TV reporter Lauren Squires Ready sees it. Her side hustle, the passion project she’s been pursuing in her free time separate from all the writing, reporting and live shots as an on-air news personality?

67. 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.

68. Porter-Leath's Early Childhood Academy Highlights Collaboration -

The past six years have brought so many changes in kindergarten through 12th-grade education locally and statewide that it is easy to lose track of how different early childhood instruction is in its preparation of children for the next step in their journey.

69. 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.

70. ‘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.

71. Area Colleges Ramp Up Security in a World of Growing Violence -

Five years ago, a police officer with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center shot and killed a man. The man, who had just pulled out a gun at Regional One Health, was making his way down Dunlap Street to the UTHSC campus.

72. 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.

73. Last Word: Deannexation, Pastner Past the Season and Chewing Gum and Walking -

The much-discussed deannexation bill in the Tennessee Legislature always had the votes Monday evening in the House with Memphis Democrats succeeding only in delaying the outcome in Nashville by about two hours.
The bill passed by a wide margin after a debate that was for the most part Memphis against the rest of the state starting just outside the city limits with Republicans in the Shelby County legislative delegation.
And there is some dispute between the bill’s sponsor from the Chattanooga area and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Strickland puts the potential loss of tax revenue to the city at $80 million. Rep. Mike Carter says it is more like $27 million.

74. Pastner Cites Chain of Command in Speculation About Future -

At a season-ending press conference on Monday, March 14, Josh Pastner said he considered himself the University of Memphis men’s basketball coach going forward “unless I’m told differently by my bosses.” And following that university president M. David Rudd released a statement saying a review of the program would be conducted.

75. Keeping Customer Service up to PAR: Plan, Act, Review -

Delivering quality service is vital to ensuring repeat business from loyal customers. Customer service is fluid, changing not only from industry to industry but also from business to business within each industry. However, whether you’re a restaurant manager or hardware store operator, or you work in the industrial sector, some things never change when it comes to quality service. 

76. Elections Chief Finalists Have Political Histories -

The two finalists for the job of Shelby County Elections Administrator each told the Election Commission last week that if they get the job they will have some rebuilding work to do in how local elections are conducted.

77. The Week Ahead: March 14-20, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from the first look at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s proposed diversity program to a truly Irish celebration of St. Paddy’s Day.

78. ‘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.

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

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

80. House Approves $50 Fine for Driving Slow in the Fast Lane -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state House has passed a bill to create a $50 fine for driving slow in the fast lane on major highways in Tennessee.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Dan Howell of Bradley County would require cars to stay out the left lane of three-lane highways except to pass other vehicles.

81. Last Word: Redbirds Sold, Memphis Burning and When Old Dominick Was Young -

Grizzlies over the Cavaliers 106-103 Monday evening in Cleveland despite the pre-game injury story dominating up to tip-off.

82. State Systems Acquires Columbia Fire Equipment -

Memphis-based State Systems Inc. has acquired Columbia Fire Equipment, a fire safety company that provides extinguishers, alarms and suppression systems in Columbia, Tenn. It is the third acquisition for State Systems in less than a year.

83. Last Word: Hedgepeth Speaks, Josh Pastner's Future and Big Box Liquor -

Where else is there to begin but the Greensward controversy.
And we start with an email from Memphis City Council member Reid Hedgepeth in what is rapidly becoming a Last Word tradition and institution – the email in full.

84. Agricenter President Looks Back on 15-Year Tenure -

Try putting yourself in John Charles Wilson’s dusty work boots for a moment. You’ve served as president of Agricenter International for more than 15 years. In less than six months, you will retire.

85. 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.”

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

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

87. State Systems Acquires Columbia Fire Equipment -

Memphis-based State Systems Inc. has acquired Columbia Fire Equipment, a fire safety company that provides extinguishers, alarms and suppression systems in Columbia, Tenn. It is the third acquisition for State Systems in less than a year.

88. Last Word: Election Day, Luttrell Makes It Six, And About "Executive Sessions" -

Can You Feel It? Tuesday is election day in Memphis and across the state in this presidential election year. And all indications are the turnout locally should be above the 24 percent mark we’ve been at in the last two presidential election years.

89. New Regime Begins Rebuild at NFL Combine -

The sports nation’s eyes are rarely fixed on the Tennessee Titans. The upcoming season will be the franchise’s 20th year in the state of Tennessee, and except for their Super Bowl run in 1999 and a couple of playoff years where they were the No. 1 seed, the Titans haven’t really commanded the full attention of the football world.

90. Once the Paragon of the Sport, Lady Vols Seem to be Fading From the Spotlight -

As the 2015-16 regular season winds down, the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team is navigating uncharted territory, and the winds aren’t favorable.

The Lady Vols began the season ranked No. 4 in the nation by the Associated Press and picked to finish second in the SEC by coaches and media. They had Final Four aspirations. Their roster was loaded.

91. Last Word: Timing and Numbers, Old Dominick Takes Shape and Zip Lines To Spring -

Political opportunity is defined by timing.
Witness a look at the early voting turnout numbers in advance of Tuesday’s election day.

More than half of the more than 43,000 Shelby County voters who cast early ballots voted Monday and Tuesday – the last two days of an early voting period that began Feb. 10 – way back there when Martin O’Malley was the third Democratic presidential contender and Jeb Bush was considered a force to be reckoned with in the Republican primaries.

92. Tennessee Designates Barrett As Official State Rifle -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – While Tennessee lawmakers balked last year at making the Holy Bible the official state book, they showed little hesitance Wednesday in designating an official state rifle.

93. Last Word: Presidential Distractions, Dude Perfect and The Kirby Farm House -

When it comes to political surprises, the presidential contenders may be the next group on the ballot locally. But they need to up their game if they are going to hold the attention of Memphis voters.
With three of the Republican contenders on their way to Shelby County this weekend and probably more making plans, the attention Tuesday shifted dramatically to the open 8th District Congressional seat that isn’t on the ballot until the August primaries.

94. Medical Area Ready For Residential Development -

Every week day, 16,000 people go to work in the two-and-a-half square mile area that is the Memphis Medical Center District.

Add the 8,000 students to the workers at the eight major institutions in the district and you have more than a sell-out crowd for an event at FedExForum in that area every working day.

95. Last Word: Drum Circles and Voting, Lincoln Day and Carolyn Hardy's Clients -

I think I may have stumbled upon a way to increase voter turnout in Memphis.
I would say nationally, but we all know what works in Memphis does not always work elsewhere and what works elsewhere does not always work in Memphis.
It came to me as I was at Overton Park ever so briefly Saturday. It’s part of my weekend run whenever the weather is spring-like or actually spring to see what will happen in the nearly three-year Greensward controversy.
Lots of people having fun and a few kite-flyers coexisting on the greensward with zoo overflow parking but no protest with brass band.
As I filed that away I wondered what happened to that park institution -- the drum circle.
Audubon Park had one too along with the Society for Creative Ananchronism – the folks who dress up like Game of Thrones only they were doing it before the television show.
Anyway, I started hearing the drums in my head as I imagined drum circles outside the early voting places because that's how my mind works in a career spent covering politicians since before I was old enough to vote.
Of course the drums would be outside the 100-foot limits for physical campaigning that state law requires.
But imagine you are in the area of let’s say Agricenter, maybe in Shelby Farms Park, and in the distance you hear drums. Wouldn’t you be curious? If you had the time would you try to find the source? And if you discovered it was outside an early voting place and you were of voting age and registered and if you had not already voted (for you may vote early but not often) would you not vote, once your curiosity had been satisfied?
I thought your answer to all of the above would be a resounding yes.

96. NAWBO’s Dixon Using Experience To Help Other Women in Business -

Dianne Dixon, president of the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, has spent her life and career earning a seat at the table for herself, and now she’s holding the door open for a new generation of women business owners.

97. Trailblazer -

Carolyn Chism Hardy is a trailblazer, a success story, an advocate for the poor and middle class, and now she’s one of the most influential people in the private sector.

98. Last Word: The Trade, Hardaway-Todd Grudge Match and Tomato Aspic -

Jeff Green leaves the Grizzlies for the Clippers and Lance Stephenson leaves the Clippers for the Grizzlies.
That was the trade at the NBA’s Thursday afternoon deadline that caused much of Thursday’s deadline buzz as well as lots of social media reaction.
Some of the reaction was tempered by the other part, a protected lottery pick for the Grizz as well.

99. Democratic Presidential Campaigns Battle for Memphis Voters -

Former local Democratic Party chairman and Shelby County Commissioner Matt Kuhn got right to the point Saturday, Feb. 13, as the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign opened its Memphis headquarters in the Chickasaw Crossing shopping center.

100. 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.