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Editorial Results (free)

1. AutoZone Posts Positive Q1 2018 Results -

A few weeks ahead of its annual meeting here set for Dec. 20, Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc. has kicked off its fiscal 2018 with better-than-expected earnings for the first three months of the year.

2. Trump Signs Proclamation to Scale Back 2 National Monuments -

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – President Donald Trump signed a proclamation Monday to scale back two sprawling national monuments in Utah, pledging to "reverse federal overreach and restore the rights of this land to your citizens."

3. Postal Regulators Move to Let Stamp Prices Jump Higher -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Seeking to bolster the ailing U.S. Postal Service, federal regulators moved on Friday to allow bigger jumps to stamp prices beyond the rate of inflation, a move that could eventually add millions more dollars to companies' shipping rates from prescription drugs to magazine subscriptions.

4. Testimony: Feds Targeted Jimmy Haslam in Phone Call -

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – Federal agents used a Pilot Flying J employee to try to get Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam to make incriminating comments on the telephone, but court testimony suggests Haslam was aware he was making the call at their behest.

5. It's Tax Time for Fund Investors, Even Those Doing Nothing -

NEW YORK (AP) – The end of the year can mean tax headaches for some mutual-fund investors, this year potentially more so than others.

Companies have started to warn investors of distributions they'll make by the end of December. For anyone with a fund outside a tax-advantaged account, these payments can trigger a tax bill, even if they never sold any shares themselves.

6. Hard to Believe: Some Consumers Find Free Health Insurance -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumers are getting the word that taxpayer-subsidized health plans are widely available for next year for no monthly premium or little cost, and marketing companies say they're starting to see an impact on sign-ups.

7. Postal Service: Red Ink for 11th Year in Row as Mail Slumps -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The beleaguered U.S. Postal Service reported a financial loss Tuesday for the 11th straight year, citing declining mail volume and costs of its pension and health care obligations even as it predicted another strong holiday season of package deliveries.

8. Trump Names Former Drug Exec as New Health Secretary -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Turning to an industry he's rebuked, President Donald Trump on Monday picked a former top pharmaceutical and government executive to be his health and human services secretary, overseeing a $1 trillion department responsible for major health insurance programs, medical research, food and drug safety, and public health.

9. Last Word: Mega-Site, New Chandler Real Estate Numbers and Grizz Second Unit -

When the state’s new commissioner of Economic and Community Development met several months ago with local leaders in Arlington, Bob Rolfe said Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam had made it clear that Rolfe’s primary task between then and when Haslam leaves office at the end of 2018 is to find a tenant for the west Tennessee megasite in Haywood County. Toyota-Mazda executives told the state this week that their $1.6 billion electric car plant to be built in the U.S. and create 4,000 jobs will not be considering the megasite and another un-named prospect has also walked away, according to the state.

10. Tennessee Gov. Haslam: Not a Witness in Federal Fraud Case -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said he is not on the list of potential witnesses at the federal fraud trial of former executives and sales representatives at the truck stop chain owned by his family.

11. How Wealthy Would Gain at Expense of Others in GOP Tax Plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Republicans' tax-cut plan springs from a core argument: What's good for big business and the moneyed elite is inevitably good for the economy and everyone else.

12. AutoZone Closing Book on Unusual 2017 Performance -

A new Raymond James analyst report covering the auto parts industry suggests a few slightly concerning trends for retailers like AutoZone Inc., including a decrease in the growth rate of vehicle miles driven and an uptick in gas prices.

13. Events -

The 2018-Model Memphis International Auto Show takes place Friday through Sunday, Oct. 27-29, at Memphis Cook Convention Center, 255 N. Main St. Experience the latest in-car technology, research your next vehicle and test drive more than a dozen vehicles on site. Buy discount e-tickets at memphisautoshow.com.

14. The Latest: Silver Plan Premiums Up Average of 34 Percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the upcoming start of the 2018 sign-up season for the Affordable Care Act (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

An analysis of newly released government data finds that premiums for the most popular health plans under the Affordable Care Act are going up by an average 34 percent next year.

15. Senate Presses Ahead on $36.5B Disaster Relief Package -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Senate Democrat said there's no time to waste as the Senate pressed ahead Monday on a $36.5 billion hurricane relief package that would give Puerto Rico a much-needed infusion of cash.

16. Trump shoots down retirement limit to pay for GOP tax cuts -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump shot down a possible approach for raising revenue to finance tax cuts in politically must-do legislation for the Republicans, promising Monday the popular 401(k) retirement program will be untouched.

17. Last Word: The Bucc Falls, Lakeland Demolition and Crossing The Year Mark -

Late word Sunday that Bernal Smith II, the president and publisher of the New Tri-State Defender, died at his home Sunday. Smith was a part of the reporters roundtables we do from time to time on "Behind The Headlines." He brought back the city's legacy African-American-owned newspaper and in that role over the last seven years was a big voice in the reshaping of Memphis as a media market. He put reporters back on the streets of this city to cover Memphis and its issues in an independent way that make this a much richer and more competitive media market than it has been in quite some time. Editorially, he was a strong voice on numerous issues and he spoke from the experience of growing up in this city. He was 45 years old and here at The Daily News, those of us who came to know him and work with him on the show express our condolences to his family.

18. Uninsured Rate Up to 12.3 Percent Amid ‘Obamacare’ Turmoil -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of U.S. adults without health insurance is up nearly 3.5 million this year, as rising premiums and political turmoil over "Obamacare" undermine coverage gains that drove the nation's uninsured rate to a historic low.

19. Last Word: Alexander on Trump, Gibson Sells and Chandler Home Sales Numbers -

If you tuned out at half-time in Houston Thursday evening, you may need to examine your committment and give me five sets of wind sprints from East Parkway to the fountain at the other end of Tiger Lane. And no drinking the blue water.

20. County Commission Votes on Big Pay Raises -

The pay of 19 Shelby County government elected officials would go up in September 2018 for those elected in the August 2018 county general elections under proposals the county commission considers Monday, Oct. 16, on the first of three readings.

21. State Politicians in No Hurry to Fix Health Insurance -

We don’t need no stinkin’ special session on Medicaid expansion.

That’s pretty much the Republican response to House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh’s call for Gov. Bill Haslam to bring lawmakers back to Nashville after the Graham-Cassidy bill failed in Congress.

22. Trump's Health Secretary Resigns in Travel Flap -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump's health secretary resigned Friday, after his costly travel triggered investigations that overshadowed the administration's agenda and angered his boss. Tom Price's regrets and partial repayment couldn't save his job.

23. Still No Charity Money From Leftover Trump Inaugural Funds -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump's inaugural committee raised an unprecedented $107 million for a ceremony that officials promised would be "workmanlike," and the committee pledged to give leftover funds to charity. Nearly eight months later, the group has helped pay for redecorating at the White House and the vice president's residence in Washington.

24. Equifax Victims May Face Another Hassle in Buying an iPhone -

NEW YORK (AP) – Apple fans who froze their credit after the Equifax data breach may end up with another hassle on their hands if they try to get one of the new iPhones that can cost more than $1,000. People who did so and want to make any big purchase may find the same.

25. International Paper Sells China Foodservice Business -

Memphis-based International Paper announced Thursday, Sept. 7, it has completed the sale of its foodservice business in China to Huhtamaki Group. No dollar figure was mentioned in the two-sentence announcement.

26. Fewer Americans Buying Insurance in Coastal Areas -

PLANTATION, Fla. (AP) – Amanda Spartz nearly did not renew her home's flood insurance policy after her first year in Florida. Two hurricanes came close to the Fort Lauderdale suburbs last year, but they didn't hit and her home isn't in a high-risk flood zone. She figured she could put the $450 annual premium, due next week, to another use.

27. Downtown Partnership Looks to Breathe New Life into an Old Underpass -

There’s no denying that the railroad underpass on G.E. Patterson Avenue has seen better days. However, a proposed partnership between the Downtown Memphis Commission and the South End Improvement Alliance hopes to change that.

28. Postal Service May Get More Freedom To Raise Stamp Prices -

WASHINGTON (AP) – It may be time to stock up on Forever stamps.

Regulators appear likely to accept the financially beleaguered Postal Service's request for more freedom to raise the price of mailing letters. It would be the biggest change in the Postal Service's pricing system in nearly a half-century, allowing stamp prices to rise beyond the rate of inflation.

29. Last Word: Megasite Prospect, Crosstown Opening Plans and New Chandler Numbers -

Tennessee is pursuing the new $1.6 billion assembly plant Toyota and Mazda announced just last week to turn out 300,000 vehicles a year and there is that regional megasite in nearby Haywood County that isn’t being used. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he wants to add the joint facility to the state’s auto industry.

30. Republican US Rep. Diane Black to Run for Tennessee Governor -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black is running for governor in Tennessee.

31. Discovery, Scripps Seek to Tie Up in $12 Billion TV Deal -

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) – Discovery Communications will buy Scripps Networks for close to $12 billion, tying together two powerful stables of TV shows ranging from Animal Planet to the Food Network.

32. Boyd Says Luttrell Endorsement is ‘Partnership’ -

Republican contender for Tennessee governor Randy Boyd says his endorsement this week by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is more like a partnership.

33. Last Word: The Old Auto Inspection Station, Beale Field Trip and Re-Democrating -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton has a different version of his 2016 plan to build two youth development centers for juvenile offenders to go to instead of detention at the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville. About a year ago, Herenton had tentative plans for two of the New Path centers in Shelby County that would be centers where the offenders could live.

34. Haslam Touts IMPROVE Act At Interchange Opening -

It looked like another day at the Interstate 40-240 interchange Wednesday, July 19, from the roof of a building by the state’s tallest interchange.

Inside the building tucked away in a residential area off White Station Road, a bank of video monitors on the wall of the local offices of the Tennessee Department of Transportation showed the same – cars and trucks moving smoothly there and elsewhere on the county’s interstate system.

35. AutoZone’s Engine Starting to Stall -

AutoZone’s stock price is pointed in the opposite direction it’s been accustomed to for years now. Shares of the Memphis-based auto parts retailer are down more than 30 percent since the end of January. Needless to say, that’s an unusual place for the company, which continues to open new stores at a steady clip.

36. Last Word: Marathon County Budget Session, New Chandler Numbers and Confluence -

As we post this edition of Last Word, there is still some confusion about the KC-130 Marine cargo plane that crashed near the Leflore-Sunflower County line in Mississippi Monday evening.

All 16 people on board were killed in the crash.

37. GOP Leaders Add Penalty for Lapsed Coverage to Health Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders added a penalty for people who've let their insurance lapse Monday as party leaders prepared to begin pushing their health care measure through the Senate, despite a rebellion within GOP ranks.

38. Last Word: Bar-Kays & ConFunkShun, Suburban Politics and Tom Bowen's 5 Years -

The Bar-Kays and ConFunkShun -- there’s a double shot of the deepest funk from the 1970s and 1980s. And they are together again Friday at the Cannon Center for the Juneteenth Urban Music Festival. It is also Larry Dodson’s last hometown show fronting The Bar-Kays.

39. Medicaid Cuts Could Hit Rural Children Hardest -

As Congress fiddles with an Obamacare replacement, one likely to cut billions in Medicaid spending, health care experts warn a decrease in funding could be hard on Tennessee.

During a recent forum in Jackson, Andy Schneider of the Georgetown Center on Children and Families reported that 50 percent of Tennessee’s children in small towns and rural areas are covered by Medicaid, a higher percentage than the rest of the nation, and more than in Tennessee’s urban areas where 39 percent have Medicaid.

40. Last Word: Surveillance Suit Settled, New Homes Sales Numbers and No Wind -

One of the two federal court lawsuits alleging illegal police surveillance of protesters by Memphis Police has been dropped. It is the lawsuit filed by “Fight for $15” activists and that campaign’s Mid-South Organizing Committee. It comes with something for both sides. The city still denies illegal surveillance of protesters. And the activists get a settlement letter that states police will not conduct surveillance on three of the activists by name, without probable cause. The lawsuit was dismissed this week by federal judge Sheryl Lipman without prejudice meaning it could be refiled.

41. Retailers Cheer GOP Retreat on Ending Debit Card Fees Limit -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Restaurants, grocers and other businesses celebrated on Thursday as House Republicans backed off efforts to eliminate the cap on fees that banks can charge retailers when customers use a debit card.

42. Wide Receiver U? That’s So 20 Years Ago -

At the 2015 SEC Media Days, Tennessee coach Butch Jones referred to his school as “the original Wide Receiver U.”

The reference goes back to the days when the Vols were loaded with fast, talented pass receivers on the perimeter. In a heady stretch from 1982-91, UT had six wide receivers selected in the first round of the NFL draft – Anthony Hancock, Willie Gault, Clyde Duncan, Tim McGee, Anthony Miller and Alvin Harper.

43. 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.

44. Small Fitness Centers Fight Tax Exemption for Larger Competitors -

Jeff Rose and his wife Nancy sank their entire life savings, more than $500,000, into opening the Orangetheory Fitness center in Lakeland in 2015.

45. Fields Out at Ford; New CEO Hackett Known for Turnarounds -

DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) – Ford is replacing CEO Mark Fields as it struggles to keep its traditional auto-manufacturing business running smoothly while remaking itself as a nimble, high-tech provider of new mobility services.

46. Memphis Zoo Offers Peek at Baby Sloth -

A new two-toed sloth will make a special appearance at the Memphis Zoo Saturday, May 13, during what is being billed as “Baby Day” at the zoo.

The 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. event is a set of talks and educational opportunities throughout the zoo highlighting babies it has welcomed in recent years. It includes talks with zoo staff and keepers who care for the animals.

47. Tennessee State Park Outsourcing Push Draws No Bidders -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A push by Gov. Bill Haslam's administration to outsource hospitality services at a Tennessee state park has drawn no bidders.

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation spokeswoman Kim Schofinski told the Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/2r5WzL9 ) on Wednesday that no one bid on the proposal at Fall Creek Falls State Park, located on the Upper Cumberland Plateau in Van Buren and Bledsoe counties.

48. Memphis Zoo Offers Peek at Baby Sloth -

A new two-toed sloth will make a special appearance at the Memphis Zoo Saturday, May 13, during what is being billed as “Baby Day” at the zoo.

The 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. event is a set of talks and educational opportunities throughout the zoo highlighting babies it has welcomed in recent years. It includes talks with zoo staff and keepers who care for the animals.

49. Postal Service, Citing Losses, Seeks Higher Stamp Prices -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Postal Service is hoping it can soon raise stamp prices by a penny or more.

The postal service on Wednesday reported a quarterly loss of $562 million, despite growth in package delivery, due to continued erosion in the use of first-class mail as well as expensive mandates for its retiree health care obligations. It also attributed losses to a forced reduction in stamp prices last year.

50. Blue Cross Blue Shield Now Willing to Cover Knoxville Area -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee reversed course Tuesday and said it's willing to offer insurance plans under the federal health exchange in the Knoxville area in 2018.

51. Last Word: Council Day Issues, 'A Man Of Color' and East Memphis 'Novel' -

A busy day at City Hall Tuesday by the City Council agenda and by at least one completely unplanned moment during council budget committee sessions. It was so busy that at the start of Tuesday’s council session, chairman Berlin Boyd couldn’t find his gavel and technical glitches prompted him to ask for a can of WD-40. Throw in a visit to City Hall by civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson and you have our comprehensive same night rundown of how it went and for whom it went.

52. Joyful House Republicans Vote to Repeal Reviled 'Obamacare' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Delivering at last, triumphant House Republicans voted Thursday to repeal and replace the "Obamacare" health plan they have reviled for so long, overcoming united Democratic opposition and their own deep divisions to hand a major win to President Donald Trump.

53. IMPROVE Act Addresses Backlogged Shelby County Projects -

Billed as a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to increase state funding to address a backlog of roadway improvement projects in Tennessee, the recently passed IMPROVE Act is one of Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature pieces of legislation.

54. University of Memphis, UTHSC May Soon Face Outsourcing Decisions -

Forty-one state lawmakers signed a letter requesting the state put a hold on its outsourcing plans until the General Assembly can scrutinize its effect on state workers and services.

The state is set to sign a contract April 28 with Chicago-based JLL for facilities management work that could be used by universities and departments statewide. Even local government jobs could be doled out to the contractor.

55. Last Word: Tubby Support, Pot Bill Withers and Changing Indigent Counsel Rules -

Just in time for spring, the near unraveling of the Overton Park-Zoo parking compromise. The Memphis City Council again put together a compromise Tuesday to keep the move to a new expanded parking lot on track and the funding in place by the Memphis Zoo and Overton Park Conservancy.

56. Death Toll in Syria Chemical Attack Rises to 86 -

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the suspected chemical attack in Syria (all times local):

10:30 p.m.

A Syrian monitoring group says the death toll from a suspected chemical weapons attack on the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun has risen to 86.

57. GOP Happy to ‘Wait and See’ on Medicaid -

Republicans say ho, Democrats say go. In the wake of Trumpcare’s congressional crash, states such as Kansas and North Carolina are joining the majority of the nation in expanding Medicaid rolls.

58. Senate Campaign War Chests Could Swell -

NASHVILLE – Legislation enabling state lawmakers to raise campaign funds during even-year session recesses evolved into a markedly different bill this week – one allowing significant contribution increases for Senate candidates.

59. Last Word: Police Presence on MLK Day, 'R on R Crime' and Fashion on Flicker -

I’m going to err on the side of caution and say that the helicopter constantly circling over the National Civil Rights Museum Tuesday during the otherwise solemn observance of the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination could have been one used by one of the television stations. It also could have been a police helicopter and that would fit with the highly visible presence Memphis Police have chosen to take in the last year or so of protest in the city.

60. Oral Chemo Bill Heading for House Vote as Big Pharma Watches -

Despite objections to a pharmaceutical reporting requirement, a House committee passed legislation Tuesday, April 4, designed to make oral chemotherapy medication more affordable.

By a 16-2 vote, the House Insurance and Banking Committee approved legislation sponsored by Rep. William Lamberth prohibiting an insurance provider from requiring a higher insurance co-payment for oral anti-cancer medication than for injected chemotherapy medication. The measure moves next to the Calendar & Rules Committee and then the House floor.

61. Last Word: The Catechism of 1968, Downtown Hotels and Earth Day on Auto Row -

What happened 49 years ago this week in our city began long before the first sanitation worker walked off the job or the first “I Am A Man” sign was made. Maybe it was that long arc that explains the timing of what happened here in late March into the first week of April of 1968. For just about half a century now we have thought and thought again about that chronology, reviewed the details. And what we have is a sort of catechism of moments that if they had happened differently, we can’t help thinking, might have produced a different result.

62. Last Word: A New Chapter, The Kissell Dome and The New Bartlett High School -

Booksellers of Laurelwood is set to return in most of the same location with a smaller footprint and new owners. John Vergos of the Rendezvous and a former Memphis City Council member is among the investors bringing back the East Memphis institution that closed in February. No word on whether the new group will keep the name or go with a new name.

63. Memphis Rep. Towns Attacks Drug Lobby -

Legislation designed to make oral chemotherapy medication more affordable is hitting a snag in the form a financial reporting amendment.

The holdup is raising the ire of state Rep. Joe Towns Jr., who believes the Legislature is running scared of big drug companies.

64. Lawmakers Blast Haslam Administration for Process Toward JLL Contract -

The Tennessee Department of General Services is set to award a statewide contract for facility management services to Jones Lang LaSalle, a company that already handles 10 percent of state office space and estimates a 15.9 percent savings if all higher education institutes participate.

65. Last Word: Basketball Capitol, Gang Fight in Southwest Memphis and Moving Polk -

There is something to be said for hosting a round of the NCAA’s March Madness without having a team in the playoffs. Much to be said against it. But after a weekend of what I think most of us here will call the most compelling of the regionals featured prominently on national television, you really can find very little to complain about. It might even have rekindled the intensity of our civic love of basketball.

66. Trump: Next Old Hickory or Carnival Barker -

For those who ignore the news – fake or otherwise – Donald Trump won the presidency last November.

While he didn’t capture a majority of the vote, he did win the electoral vote, causing many detractors to call for the elimination of this outdated voting method.

67. Tax Reform Group Supports Amended Fuel-Tax Plan -

NASHVILLE – One of the nation’s most conservative anti-tax groups is supporting a plan by Sen. Mark Norris to offset fuel-tax increases with a reduction in the state’s grocery tax and nix a proposal to tie rates to the Consumer Price Index.

68. Conservative Tax Reform Group Supports Amended Fuel-Tax Plan -

NASHVILLE – One of the nation’s most conservative anti-tax groups is supporting a plan by Sen. Mark Norris to offset fuel-tax increases with a reduction in the state’s grocery tax and nix a proposal to tie rates to the Consumer Price Index.

69. Gov't Report: More Than 12M Signed Up For 'Obamacare' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The government says more than 12 million people have signed up for coverage this year under former President Barack Obama's health care law, even as the Republican-led Congress debates its repeal.

70. Norris Presents Amended Fuel-Tax Bill With Larger Sales Tax Cut -

NASHVILLE – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris pushed a revised fuel-tax bill through the Transportation Committee on Monday, March 13, making a sharper cut in the grocery tax to offset phased-in increases at the gas pump.

71. Norris Presents Amended Fuel-Tax Bill With Larger Sales Tax Cut -

NASHVILLE – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris pushed a revised fuel-tax bill through the Transportation Committee on Monday, March 13, making a sharper cut in the grocery tax to offset phased-in increases at the gas pump.

72. Last Word: Voucher Movement, The Battle of Pontotoc and Ch-Chandler Numbers -

Republican state Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown had a very good week in the state capitol this week. His school voucher bill got unanimous votes in House and Senate committee this week despite a tide of opposition from local elected officials and leaders including fellow legislators in the Shelby County delegation and all seven public school districts in Shelby County including the six suburban school systems.

73. House Committee Delays Haslam's Transportation Bill -

NASHVILLE – A split House Transportation Committee slammed the brakes Tuesday on Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, even though it contains a measure to use the sales tax for transportation funding instead of raising fuel taxes.

74. Governor Haslam’s Fuel-Tax Bill Still Alive After Parliamentary Wrangling -

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act and fuel-tax increase plan remains alive after parliamentary moves Wednesday, March 1, in the House Transportation Subcommittee and action that led to the death of a competing bill.

75. Last Word: Building a Bigger Police Force, Old Desk Calendars and Summer School -

Since the Memphis Mayor’s race of 2015 became about how best to build a larger Memphis Police Department, the discussion has always had an element of controversy to it on a larger scale than a head count of who has a badge.

76. Drugmakers Pledge Restraint, But Prices Will Still Soar -

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Several big drugmakers are trying to quell the ongoing furor over high drug prices by revealing more information about their pricing and even pledging to keep a lid on increases.

77. Last Word: The List and Who Is On It, Lovell's Impact and Fountain Brook Recovers -

A list of 81 people who can’t come to City Hall without a police escort includes a lot of names from the last year of protests and marches in the city. And as the week begins, the list is under review by Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings at the request of Mayor Jim Strickland.

78. Commission Debates Support for Medical Marijuana Bill -

The Shelby County Commission takes up medical marijuana Monday, Feb. 20, in what will be the second pot debate it has had in two months.

The item on Monday’s agenda is a resolution that would back a bill in the Tennessee Legislature making marijuana for medical purposes legal in Tennessee. The commission will decide whether to back the bill by Republican state Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby, oppose it or take no stand on it.

79. Evans Brings Precision, Experience To Chairmanship of TVA Board -

Lynn Evans is precise, a trait that comes with being a certified public accountant and the owner of her own accounting and consulting firm. It also works well with her path to becoming the new chairwoman of the Tennessee Valley Authority board.

80. 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.

81. Flying POW-MIA Flag Over State Capitol Would Cost $100K -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – An estimated $100,000 price tag has caused a Republican state senator to revise his proposal to require the POW-MIA flag to be flown over the Tennessee Capitol year-round.

82. Last Word: Lovell's Fall, Critical Focus Debut and Super Lice -

That didn’t last long – the political career of state Representative Mark Lovell. About six weeks into a two-year term of office six months after he upset veteran Republican state Rep. Curry Todd, Lovell resigned Tuesday in Nashville. But the Legislature probably isn’t done with him yet. Even if it turns out the Legislature is done in terms of dealing with him directly, it will probably be talking about him for longer than the six weeks he was a legislator.

83. Last Word: Little Chairs in Longview, Police Pay Raise and Tiger Football Schedule -

The toys are in their cubbyholes. No stray Legos yet. The little chairs tucked neatly under little tables. The tall trees with their bare branches are much in need of little eyes inspecting their twisted branches and the shadows they make on the winter ground.

84. Akbari Pushes to Cut Expungement Fees -

NASHVILLE – With an eye toward helping convicted felons clear their records for a fresh start, state Rep. Raumesh Akbari is sponsoring legislation to cut expungement fees dramatically.

The Memphis Democrat filed a bill in the General Assembly this session to reduce the fee to $180 from $350, though the full price for expungement is $450.

85. Akbari Pushes to Cut Expungement Fees -

NASHVILLE – With an eye toward helping convicted felons clear their records for a fresh start, state Rep. Raumesh Akbari is sponsoring legislation to cut expungement fees dramatically.

86. Last Word: State of the State React, Reverse Logistics and Speed Limiters -

As the work week began, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis joining House Democrats in sponsoring a bill that would bar the use of any federal funds to carry out President Trump’s order barring refugees from seven majority Muslim countries.

87. State Leaders Invite Block Grant Funding -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says a federal block grant to state government for health care under the right terms could allow the state to expand TennCare coverage.

“I think if they would give us that flexibility, we could take care of more people at lower cost. I just fervently believe that we could do that with the state,” Haslam said last week during a visit to Memphis. “But they have to give us the tools to do that with and give us the flexibility. Right now the federal government holds all the keys. … They don’t give us a lot of flexibility on how that works.”

88. View From the Hill: Haslam Facing Tough Sell on Tax Hikes, Cuts -

An interesting thing happened just a couple of hours before Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled his fuel-tax increase plan amid great fanfare at the State Capitol. 

As the governor started explaining the proposed IMPROVE Act to reporters during a short media briefing, he apparently realized more people were poring over a handout than paying attention. They were trying to get a jump on writing stories while digesting the numbers combined with an array of tax breaks designed to make tax increases more palatable.

89. Norris Stops Short of Supporting Fuel-Tax Hike -

NASHVILLE – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris is set to tag-team sponsorship of a comprehensive tax plan designed to bolster Tennessee’s transportation fund.

90. Memphis Rep. Hardaway Proposes $15 Minimum Wage -

NASHVILLE – A debate could be brewing in the General Assembly this session over increasing Tennessee’s minimum wage.

Democratic Rep. G.A. Hardaway of Memphis is pushing legislation to more than double the federal rate of $7.25 per hour, calling low wages more than an economic matter.

91. Last Word: The March & Crowd Estimates and Country Records in Memphis -

Twice now in the last six months, very different protests have drawn thousands of people to the streets in the largest demonstrations we’ve seen since the 1970s – and more importantly, demonstrations that are an entry point for a new generation to many of these issues.

92. Haslam Tax Plan Would Secure Funds for Road, Infrastructure Projects -

NASHVILLE – Memphis legislators are weighing Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to raise fuel taxes and slightly cut the grocery tax, while assessing the impact on local governments of a Hall income tax reduction and a major business tax reduction that is proposed.

93. Memphis Lawmaker: Junk Food Bill Would Bully the Poor -

State Rep. Joe Towns Jr. of Memphis isn’t surprised that Rep. Sheila Butt dropped her bill limiting “junk food” for food stamp recipients.

“She should because she’s lost her damn mind,” Towns, a Memphis Democrat, said Tuesday. “How are you going to put out a bill to tell people what they can and can’t eat?”

94. Last Word: Humes Next, Top ZIPs in Residential and Payback in the Legislature -

Add Dave & Buster’s to the list of "it" retail hot spots. The restaurant-arcade has inked a lease in Cordova by Wolfchase Galeria with plans to open later this year, probably fourth quarter.

95. Robinson’s Success Warrants Any Title He Wants -

In the immediate aftermath of the Tennessee Titans’ turnaround season, Jon Robinson’s title was expanded to executive vice president and general manager.

96. View From the Hill: Taxing Online Sales Not Such an Easy Fix -

Cumberland Transit owner Allen Doty isn’t sure if a rule requiring major out-of-state retailers to collect Tennessee sales taxes will create more equity for his shop.

But Doty, who has been selling everything from bicycles to kayaks and camping gear for 34 years in Nashville, is definitely tired of people shopping in his store for hours, snapping a picture of shoes they like, then going home and buying them online “just to avoid sales tax.”

97. Last Word: Opening Day in Nashville, Parking Pass or Parking Space and Ell Persons -

Lots of formalities Tuesday in Nashville where the 2017 session of the Tennessee Legislature begins. And that’s what this first week back will be about on the floors of the state House and the state Senate. Away from the floors, the real business of speculation and vote counting and drafting language is already well underway.

98. Dobbs Had a Great Run, But Manning is Still No. 1 -

Tennessee senior Joshua Dobbs has created a quarterback controversy. Dobbs finished his college career Dec. 30 when UT beat Nebraska 38-24 in the Music City Bowl in Nashville. He accounted for 409 total yards – 291 passing and 118 yards rushing – and was chosen the game’s MVP.

99. US Auto Sales Near Record Highs in 2016 -

DETROIT (AP) – Demand may be slowing, but U.S. consumers still bought a whole lot of cars and trucks in 2016.

U.S. sales of new vehicles – which set a record of 17.47 million in 2015 – could hit a new high in 2016. Consulting firm LMC Automotive and car-buying site Edmunds.com each predict sales will squeak past the previous record and reach 17.5 million in 2016.

100. Here Come 'Smart Stores' With Robots, Interactive Shelves -

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Tomorrow's retail stores want to take a page from their online rivals by embracing advanced technology – everything from helpful robots to interactive mirrors to shelves embedded with sensors.