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Editorial Results (free)

1. 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.

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. Reese: Titans on Track to Match Early Success -

Are the Tennessee Titans on the verge of a breakthrough? It seemed as much over the second half of the 2016 season – the meltdown at Jacksonville notwithstanding.

But a man who knows something about building the Titans says the current edition is on the right track under the guidance of general manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Mularkey.

4. Last Word: Charter Schools Views, Capitol Hill Round Up & Explaining The Cold War -

Double trouble Wednesday in Oklahoma. The Grizz lose to the Thunder 103-95 in OKC. They are on their way to Houston for a Friday game before returning home Sunday for the MLK game against the Chicago Bulls at the Forum. Meanwhile Tigers lose to Tulsa Wednesday, also in Oklahoma, 81-71. They are back at the Forum Saturday to play South Florida.

5. Last Word: The Elvis Tradition, Cordova Brewery and Parkside Path -

For about three decades now, there has been a cultural and political tradition around the birthday of Elvis Presley. It used to be a proclamation by the Shelby County Mayor and the Memphis Mayor on the steps of Graceland with a birthday cake.

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. Tennessee Lawmakers Could Raise, Lower Taxes This Session -

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

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

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

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

9. Riding Momentum -

Around this time each year, everyone tends to start fetishizing the blank slate a bit, with its attendant allure of reinvention and that sweeping away of the old order to make way for what comes next.

10. Fixed Costs: Overhead That May Be Costing You Too Much -

Ray’s Take There’s an old cash flow joke about having too much month at the end of the money. It’s usually more a function of spending than earning. For most people there’s a lot more control over the expenditures side of the equation than there is over the income – at least in the short run. So cutting how much you spend on extras sounds great. But how much of your spending can really be reduced or eliminated? Too much “overhead” can result in disaster.

11. Titaned Up: Success Found In Big Moves, Smallest Details -

Most critics of last year’s Tennessee Titans saw unsettled ownership, a revolving door of coaches and a lack of talent at key positions.

Jon Robinson saw weeds.

12. Awards Recognize Highest Ideals of Public Service -

Public service is a worthy legacy, and one that the Rotary Club of Memphis East wants to recognize and encourage in the next generation.

The annual Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Awards recognize one elected official and one non-elected public employee who have exemplified the virtues of former Probate Court Clerk Bobby Dunavant, for whom the award is named.

13. Cordova’s Future LA Fitness Site Sells for $2.4M -

LA Fitness is one step closer to opening a Cordova location.

Insomnia Inc., the company owned by former topless-club operator Steve Cooper, sold two parcels near its former restaurant/nightclub on Fischer Steel Road to Orlando, Florida-based National Retail Properties Inc. for $2.4 million, according to a Dec. 20 warranty deed. The same day as the sale, Fitness International LLC, an affiliate of L.A. Fitness International LLC, signed a lease with National Retail Properties for the property.

14. Memphis Adopts Version of Ceasefire -

A gun and gang violence program pioneered in Boston 20 years ago is coming to Memphis in the wake of a record year for homicides.

What is known nationally as Operation Ceasefire will be called the “Group Violence Initiative” in Memphis, said Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission president Bill Gibbons on the WKNO/Channel 10 program “Behind The Headlines.”

15. What 2017 May Mean for Your Personal Finances -

It's been a tumultuous 2016 – both financially and politically. The year may have left some people wondering, what's next? And, how will it affect me?

Lacking a crystal ball, we asked a few economic experts what they think 2017 may hold in store for Americans' personal finances. Here's their take on what to expect in the year ahead:

16. AutoZone Revs Up Net Income By 8 Percent -

The first significant cold snap of the season is at hand, something that might leave most people resigned to the corresponding inconveniences but nonetheless excites AutoZone chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes.

17. Platform for Property -

Airbnb is revolutionizing the hospitality industry causing legislators worldwide to scramble to regulate it, but the Memphis City Council is gaining state and national attention for its hands-off attitude.

18. 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.

19. Last Word: Ford Rumors, School Plans and Harwell Survives In State House -

If the Friday after Thanksgiving is “Black Friday” what is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving? You know, the day many of us are scurrying about with our hair on fire to get everything done so we can legitimately claim that we will absolutely not be a part of the Black Friday mob whose hair is also alight.

20. Memphis-Area Leaders Unveil Five-Year Crime-Fighting Plan -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is anticipating a “net increase” in the size of the Memphis Police Department a year from now, as officers complete training and the city can begin to address a department he says is “hundreds of officers short.”

21. Six-Point Plan to Help Vols Coach Stick Around Longer -

On that day in December 2012 when Butch Jones was introduced as Tennessee’s head football coach, he told Vol Nation that he had a template for fixing everything.

He said: “The plan is infallible if the players buy in.”

22. 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.

23. Cardinals, Matheny Agree to 3-Year Contract Extension -

ST. LOUIS (AP) – St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose team missed the playoffs in 2016 for the first time in his five-year tenure, has agreed to a three-year contract extension.

24. Titans? Win the AFC South? Sure, It’s Possible -

In a remarkable change of course over recent seasons, the Tennessee Titans entered the month of November still relevant in the AFC South race.

And you know what? I believe the Titans are going to remain relevant – and then some. I can make the case that this team, currently 4-4, is going to win the division and make the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

25. Tennessee Promise Draws Criticism Amid Rising Tuition -

MTSU student Emily Webb cobbled together enough money to pay for her first year and a half of expenses. 

But in the last year she had to borrow $5,000 to keep alive her dream of earning a degree from Middle Tennessee State University as tuition and living costs have increased each year.

26. Hutchinson Says He's Looking at Alternate Medical Pot Plan -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday he's looking at an effort to legalize a limited form of marijuana for patients if two medical pot proposals fail in next month's election, but has questions about how the alternate proposal would comply with federal law.

27. Last Word: T-STEM At East High, Casinos Off the Ballot and Dylan Gets A Nobel -

About six years ago, the current cycle of change in public education within Shelby County starting moving. And the changes have been nothing short of historic. Since then at least one piece of a very complex mechanism driving the change has been whirring away. The hope in the last year or so has been that all of this is at a place where some long term plans can start to emerge that are more than reaction to what another cog in the system is doing.

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. Senate Blocks Stopgap Bill to Prevent Shutdown This Weekend -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate on Tuesday stumbled over a must-do bill to prevent the government from shutting down this weekend and to fund the fight against the Zika virus. Democrats, demanding money so Flint, Michigan, can address its lead-contaminated water crisis, overwhelmingly opposed the measure, as did a dozen of the Senate's most conservative members.

31. City Council Approves MATA Funds, Airbnb Tax -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Sept. 20, a set of six resolutions totaling $7.5 million in capital funding for the Memphis Area Transit Authority. The largest of the resolution is $5 million in city funding to buy 11 new buses. The remaining $2.5 million is the local match to federal funding for other MATA needs, including paratransit buses and public transportation infrastructure including technology.

32. AutoZone Grows Quarterly Profit 6.4 Percent -

For 40 straight quarters now, Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone has delivered double-digit earnings per share growth.

The company during its just-ended quarter grew its net income 6.4 percent over the year-ago period to $426.8 million. Earnings per share grew 12.2 percent to $14.30 per share.

33. City Council Approves MATA Funds, Airbnb Tax -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Sept. 20, a set of six resolutions totaling $7.5 million in capital funding for the Memphis Area Transit Authority. The largest of the resolutions is $5 million in city funding to buy 11 new buses. The remaining $2.5 million is the local match to federal funding for other MATA needs, including paratransit buses and public transportation infrastructure including technology.

34. Pot Decriminalization Nears Final Vote -

One of the state’s two largest cities has decriminalized possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana. And the other city set the stage for a final vote on a similar measure next month.

The final vote Tuesday, Sept. 20, by the Metro Nashville Council could be one of several factors influencing the final vote Oct. 4 by the Memphis City Council.

35. Comcast Plans to Launch Wireless Service Next Year -

NEW YORK (AP) – Comcast plans to launch a cellphone service roughly in the middle of next year, although it would be limited to areas of the country where it's a cable provider.

That could potentially offer real competition to carriers like Verizon and AT&T for a subset of the country. Comcast has just over 28 million customers.

36. 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.

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

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

38. Election Commission Holding Voter Registration Drives -

The Delta Fair at Agricenter, Goat Days in Millington and the Southern Heritage Classic at the Mid-South Fairgrounds all have something in common in addition to taking place during this short work week.

39. Last Word: Hyde Lake, Global Ministries Exits and Another Big 12 Rumor -

A big day at Shelby Farms Park Thursday as the Heart of the Park renovations were formally opened. And it was also a cause to look back on where the park has come from.

40. Last Word: Heart of the Park, Tigers Opener Preview and Memphis In May Numbers -

“Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh, so mellow. Try to remember the kind of September when grass was green and grain was yellow.”

It would appear this is that kind of September you would otherwise be remembering.

41. Nashville Joins Cities Seeking Major League Soccer Team -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Some Nashville investors and supporters are making a push for Music City to be among the communities awarded expansion franchises by Major League Soccer.

Bill Hagerty, a former state commissioner of economic and community development, and Will Alexander, the son of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, are spearheading the effort called the Nashville MLS Organizing Committee. It includes a bipartisan group of former politicians and leaders of Nashville-area companies.

42. Blue-Collar High School -

For all of the changes in public education Memphis has seen in the past six years, there is at least one more big one still on the way.

And it is coming from the city’s post-recession economic development effort.

43. Red State, Blue Mayors -

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, a Democrat in Tennessee’s sea of red, finds herself adapting to the control Republicans hold over the state Legislature.

44. City Council to Vote On Pinch District Street Closures -

The Memphis City Council votes Tuesday, July 19, on a pair of street/alley closures in the Pinch district as Pinch Partners Investment Co. considers one of two plans for developing the parcels bordering Commerce Avenue and a section of the November 6th Street alley.

45. MSU’s Mullen Defends Simmons At Media Days -

HOOVER, Ala. – In another year and another circumstance, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen might have spent all his time at SEC Media Days answering questions about having to replace Dak Prescott at quarterback.

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

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

47. Mayor, DA Discuss Approach To Curb Crime -

Much of the attention in local crime statistics this year goes to the jump in the city’s homicide rate.

But that rate pales in comparison to aggravated assaults.

From January through May, there were 492 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people in Memphis, according to statistics from the Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commission.

48. Last Word: Chips Moman, ServiceMaster Incentives and Crosstown High -

Chips Moman has died. Word of his death Monday at a hospice in Georgia came two years after Moman was honored for his contributions to Memphis music and the city's history.

Those contributions were substantial and for quite a while they were overlooked – even while he was running the definition of a hit factory at American Sound Studios, a non-descript recording studio on Danny Thomas Boulevard at Chelsea Avenue in North Memphis.

49. Financial Stress to Financial Yes -

Every year Americans make $46 billion worth of payday loan transactions, with more than 40 percent of these loans processed online. Payday loans allow borrowers to withdraw cash anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks prior to receiving their paycheck, with the intent to pay it back with interest and fees when they receive their next paycheck.

50. Last Word: ServiceMaster Incentives, Muvico Memories and the Beale Street Cover -

It looks like the conversion of Peabody Place mall to the new headquarters of ServiceMaster is a $33.3 million job. That could be a running total depending on a PILOT amendment to come.

51. 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.

52. Brush With Death Recalled, Part 1 -

I was 50 when I died. April 21, 2002. I can’t forget the date.

A few weeks earlier, I saw an old friend, Cotton, at a memorial service for a mutual friend. In the early 1980s, Cotton and I were in the same golf group. After the service, we reminisced about a golf outing that no one involved could forget.

53. Downtown Memphis Commission Taking Safety Actions -

At its May 26 board meeting, discussions at the Downtown Memphis Commission dove into the death of a teenager who was shot at the corner of Second Street and Peabody Place.

“I feel this personally,” said Terence Patterson, president of the Downtown Memphis Commission. “We’re really focusing on it and making sure we’re doing everything we can, but we have to have collaboration with MPD (Memphis Police Department). But we know that we’ve got to do more.”

54. Balink Chosen to Lead The Exchange Club Family Center -

Jennifer Balink has been named executive director of The Exchange Club Family Center, where she’ll begin her duties July 1. In her new role, Balink aims to secure and direct every available resource toward breaking the cycle of child abuse and family violence in the Memphis community. 

55. Tennessee Law Strips University Diversity Office Funding -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill to strip funding from the diversity office at Tennessee's flagship public university became law without Gov. Bill Haslam's signature on Friday.

Lawmakers had been angered by the University of Tennessee's diversity office recommendations to use gender-neutral pronouns for transgender students and to avoid religious-themed holiday parties. So they voted to remove about $446,000 in state funds for the office and instead use the money to pay for minority scholarships.

56. St. Jude CEO Talks Hospital Culture -

One of the first directives Dr. James Downing got from the board of directors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital upon his appointment as the hospital’s president and CEO in 2014 was blunt, to say the least:

57. State Legislature Closed Door On Progress, Invited Ridicule This Session -

The Tennessee General Assembly spent the last four months selecting a state book, attempting to regulate ingress/egress of bathrooms, and putting guns on college campuses. Given this lamentable priority list, we're not surprised that our House of Representatives chose not to vote on a bill that would have helped young kids realize their dreams, lift families out of poverty, and generate revenue for Tennessee.

58. Poll: Two-Thirds of US Would Struggle to Cover $1,000 Crisis -

NEW YORK (AP) – Two-thirds of Americans would have difficulty coming up with the money to cover a $1,000 emergency, according to an exclusive poll released Thursday, a signal that despite years of recovery from the Great Recession, Americans' financial conditions remain precarious as ever.

59. Last Word: South of Crump, Council Day and Haslam on the Fed's Bathroom Memo -

Neon is coming back to E. H. Crump Boulevard and the momentum of development continues to move further south to the Crump border with South Memphis.

Ghost River Brewing Co. is making plans for a tap room that opens this fall as part of its existing brewery at South Main and Crump.

60. 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.

61. Tennessee Leads the Nation in Bankruptcies -

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

62. Last Word: Mall Demo, Defining 'Fringe Element' and Herenton's New Path -

Once upon a time there were three “town centers” planned by the city of Memphis.

City facilities like libraries and police precincts would be the anchors and encourage private retail development in them.

63. They Really Did Say That -

COUNSEL. Have you razed many houses since you’ve worked for the city?  WITNESS. No, sir, but I’ve sure tore down a lot of them.

For the above and some of the following items I am indebted to Bill McFarland, longtime court reporter in and around these parts. The italicized portions of this column represent actual courtroom dialogue, as spoken in a nearby courthouse:

64. CEO: No Guarantee on Delivery of TNReady Tests -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The president of a North Carolina-based testing company said Monday that he can't guarantee all students in Tennessee will receive the test on time.

Measurement Inc. president and CEO Henry "Hank" Scherich said his company is working furiously to get the new TNReady materials to students.

65. Events -

Our Fallen Heroes Foundation will hold its inaugural “A Toast to Our Heroes” fundraiser Wednesday, April 27, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Tower Center atop Clark Tower, 5100 Poplar Ave., 33rd floor. The event will feature a wine tasting, silent auction, wine pull and more. Tickets are $65. Visit ourfallenheroesfoundation.org.

66. 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.

67. Lawmakers Fail To Conclude Tennessee Legislative Session -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A lengthy debate over a proposed veto override, partisan squabbling and a disagreement over a tax cut have delayed the planned conclusion of the legislative session.

68. Veto Of Bible As Official Tenn. Book Survives Challenge -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee has a state reptile, a state rock and a state song in the moonshine-themed "Rocky Top." For now, though, the Bible will not be its official state book.

69. 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.

70. Last Word: When To Heal, Budget Day at City Hall and Cheese Steak Pondering -

After Sunday’s thrashing of the Grizzlies by the Spurs in their 2016 NBA playoff debut, there is a school of thought among Grizz watchers that the sooner this is over the better.
But there are others who would have a more content off season if the Grizz could win just one game in the series as they go down and then proceed back to the cave for some summer healing.
Either way, Game 2 is Tuesday in San Antonio and then FedExForum Friday for Game 3.

71. Commission OKs Arlington School Capital Funding -

Shelby County Commissioners on Monday, April 11, approved $105,374 in capital funding for an Arlington Schools bus parking lot and support building.

The funding is a reallocation of existing funding the commission had approved in 2014.

72. Southern Yankee -

To best understand another man’s baseball passion, you must first understand his baseball pain. So if you hope to truly understand Peter B. Freund, new majority owner of the Memphis Redbirds, you must travel back to his youth.

73. 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.

74. Last Word: Tubby Fever, School Closings and March Real Estate Numbers -

The Tigers basketball grapevine is nothing but Tubby Smith as of Wednesday when the speculation was joined by torrent of rumors about contact between the Texas Tech coach and the University of Memphis.
Smith has now acknowledged he’s talking with the U of M.
More background on Smith from The Sporting News and Mike DeCourcy, a former sports reporter at The Commercial Appeal, that came out before everything went Tubby here.

75. Commission OKs Arlington School Capital Funding -

Shelby County Commissioners on Monday, April 11, approved $105,374 in capital funding for an Arlington Schools bus parking lot and support building.

The funding is a reallocation of existing funding the commission had approved in 2014.

76. Time for Strunk to Become Titans' Most Valuable Player -

Quick question about the Titans: Who has the most to prove?

Is it Mike Mularkey, a two-time loser as a head coach?

Is it Jon Robinson, a first-time general manager?

77. 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.

78. Allergan, Pfizer Call Off Proposed $160B Merger -

Top U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Irish rival Allergan are charting independent futures after scrapping a record $160 billion deal torpedoed by new Treasury Department rules meant to block American companies from moving their corporate addresses overseas – on paper – to avoid U.S. taxes.

79. 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.

80. Settle? No. UT Needs to Defend Itself in Title IX Suit -

Lots of smoke. But is there a fire? That is the issue at the University of Tennessee, where a Title IX lawsuit alleges the university has a “hostile sexual environment” and violates federal laws dealing with student discipline hearings for sexual assault cases, especially those involving student-athletes.

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

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

82. Haslam Remains Opposed to Making Bible Official State Book -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday that he remains opposed to a renewed effort to make the Holy Bible the official state book of Tennessee.

Haslam initially voiced opposition to the measure before it was derailed over constitutional concerns in the state Senate last year, and sent back to committee. The bill is now awaiting a new vote in the upper chamber of the Legislature.

83. Last Word: Encore In D, A Bus Every 10 Minutes and Marc Cohn in Memphis -

Encore in Nashville.
The state Senate’s state and local government committee meets again Wednesday to vote on the de-annexation bill it completed amending Tuesday.

This begins at 2:30 p.m. and we will be providing live Tweets of the action @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols. So join us.
Because there was so much debate and parliamentary swordplay Tuesday, the Wednesday session will probably be pretty matter of fact by comparison.
Here’s our account of how it went down with the committee upping the percentage of voters signatures it takes to get a deannexation call on the ballot. And those who do vote to deannex can add payments for benefits liability to what they would also pay as their share of capital debt. There is also reaction from Greater Memphis Chamber president Phil Trenary.
Trenary had some choice words for Chattanooga state Senator Todd Gardenhire who called out Memphis specifically for what he viewed as trying to make the deannexed pay twice for benefits of city workers.
The looming question is what will the reaction to this be in the House which passed a very different version of this.
The proponents of the bill in the House and Senate have fundamentally different views that appear to be the kind of differences that would take some time to reconcile.

84. Dodging a Disaster With Volkswagen? -

Next month will mark five years since the first Passat rolled off the assembly line at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant. Most anniversaries are a cause for celebration.

But as Chattanoogans blow out the candles on this particular milestone they’ll be hoping that Volkswagen’s diesel emissions troubles will soon be extinguished, too, and that the new SUV model they’ll start producing this year will help VW emerge from the crisis a better and stronger company than before.

85. Cleaning House -

Every neighborhood in Memphis and Shelby County has the right to be free from the negative effects of vacant, abandoned and blighted properties. That’s the battle cry of the Memphis Blight Elimination Charter, a 23-page pledge that will steer policy and programs dedicated to blight eradication.

86. 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.

87. The $10.6 Million Question: Fire Josh Pastner or Keep Him? -

The Hall-of-Fame coach was speaking on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike,” his team sitting on the outside looking in on this year’s NCAA Tournament because of his university’s own imposed ban:

88. Last Word: Putt and 1969, Fred Smith on Amazon and Ramsey's Departure -

George Howard Putt died in prison sometime last year state prison officials disclosed Wednesday -- far from the brief time he spent in Memphis but never far from the carnage he left behind in the Memphis of 1969.
The bodies of the first two of the five people killed by Putt between Aug. 14 and Sept. 11, 1969 were discovered just days after the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles by the Manson family dominated national news coverage. Less than a year earlier the Boston Strangler movie was in theaters, creating a sensation about the murders committed by serial killer Albert DeSalvo in Boston just a few years earlier.
Bernalyn and Roy Dumas were strangled by Putt in their home in Cooper-Young and Putt mutilated her body in a way that police homicide detectives still wouldn’t talk about decades later. The bodies were found in separate rooms.
Even with no details other than the names of the victims, the city was quickly spooked by the double murder. So when the body of Leila Jackson was found short of two weeks later, the city’s reaction was a palpable fear in which anyone unknown was to be avoided. Memphians didn’t tarry after work. They went home and bolted the doors.
It got worse as more victims turned up with little in common other than four of the five were women. They were of varying ages. Some were strangled and some were stabbed.
Just about any magazine rack of the day include true crime magazines that by the late 1960s were beginning to look very dated in their lurid noir-like covers teasing the most sensational crime narratives of the day.
They were an intentional contrast to the cover images of youth in bright colors in natural settings in other magazines heralding a new future and youth culture.
The murders in a Southern city, whose 1969 conservatism is hard to describe nearly 50 years later, quickly grabbed the covers of the true crime magazines. And the images they offered spoke to the scenic reality where Putt roamed even as the murders continued.
Apartment buildings and boarding houses were the settings for some of the murders but not all.
Glenda Sue Harden
was last seen walking to her car parked on the Cobblestones from the insurance office she worked at nearby. Her body was found in Martin Luther King/Riverside Park hidden under a piece of plywood.
At one of the murder scenes, police found an ice pick stuck in the side of the building with a stocking tied around it.
Putt’s last victim, in an apartment building on Bellevue, screamed as she was stabbed repeatedly and others in the building gave chase with police close behind, arresting Putt near the new and unopened section of the interstate that runs west of Bellevue.
Putt tried to force his way into another apartment nearby but the women inside kept him on the other side of the door.
The killer that panicked an entire city was a skinny utterly forgettable guy in his 20s with sideburns and glasses who appeared to have rarely roamed beyond a community of neighborhood bars, boarding houses and old apartment buildings in the Midtown and Medical Center areas.
It turns out he came to Memphis after walking away from a prison farm in Mississippi and into a Memphis that was slowly but surely changing. And the world that Putt encountered would soon vanish in large part.
Overton Square’s incarnation was about a year away. A new bridge was about to be built across the Mississippi River as part of Interstate 40 which was to go through Overton Park just south of the north-south leg of the interstate where Putt was captured.
Originally sentenced to death, Putt’s sentence was commuted when the U.S. Supreme Court banned the death penalty in the early 1970s.
He was serving a 497-year sentence when he died at the Turney Center Wednesday in Only, Tennessee.
Putt never sought parole and never gave any explanation for why he killed five people in less than a month and his apparently random selection of victims.

89. ‘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.

90. CDC Guidelines Aim to Curb Painkiller Prescribing -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin.

91. 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.

92. August Election Ballot Filling Out Ahead of April 7 Deadline -

The presidential contenders have moved on to other states and closed up their Memphis storefronts.

And the excitement of the national campaigns that burst into town all in one weekend just before the March 1 Tennessee primaries has shifted to the same frenetic political activity in other states.

93. St. Louis Cardinals Sell Majority Stake in Memphis Redbirds -

Less than two years ago, the St. Louis Cardinals finalized their purchase of their Triple-A affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds. Now, the Cardinals, pending full approval from the Pacific Coast League, have announced on Monday, March 7, that they have reached an agreement to sell a majority interest in the Redbirds to Peter B. Freund, the Principal Owner of Trinity Baseball Holdings.

94. 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.

95. House Defeats Bill to Allow Skunks as Pets in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to allow skunks to be kept as pets in Tennessee has fallen short in the state House amid concerns about spreading rabies.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby received 44 votes on Monday. Bills need a constitutional majority of 50 votes to pass the chamber.

96. Last Word: Carson Cancels, Haslam Endorses, Bank Numbers and Kobe's Exit -

Presidential campaigns and the security concerns that come with them aren’t something that comes up a lot in terms of press coverage in this election cycle.
But it has come up leading into what will be a busy weekend locally and in the region among the presidential contenders.
Republican candidate Ben Carson was scheduled to attend both Sunday services at Highpoint Church in East Memphis.
Leaders of the church emphasized it was a non-political event in which Carson would talk about his personal story and his faith but would not make a political pitch.
This is not unprecedented.
In 2008, Republican contender Mike Huckabee attended an ordination ceremony for two ministers at Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova – an event that was billed also as a nonpolitical event.
And so the reporters who came to cover the candidate who would win the Tennessee Republican primary days later watched not from the sanctuary but from the room where Bellevue’s video and audio feeds are coordinated. Huckabee talked politics with reporters after the service as he made a run for some barbecue to-go from Corky’s on his way to another city on the campaign trail.

97. 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.

98. Cohen Urges Memphis Clinton Supporters To Speak No Ill of Sanders -

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen told a group of 70 supporters of Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton that they should avoid attacking Bernie Sanders, her rival for the Democratic nomination.

99. Cohen Urges Clinton Supporters To Speak No Ill Of Sanders -

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen told a group of 70 supporters of Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton that they should avoid attacking Bernie Sanders, her rival for the Democratic nomination.

100. 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.