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Editorial Results (free)

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.”

12. 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. 

13. 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.

14. 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:

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21. 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:

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. 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.

31. 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.

32. 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.

33. 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.

34. 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?

35. 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.

36. 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.

37. 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.

38. 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.

39. 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.

40. 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.

41. 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.

42. 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.

43. 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.

44. 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.

45. 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:

46. 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.

47. ‘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.

48. 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.

49. 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.

50. 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.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. 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.

54. 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.

55. 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.

56. 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.

57. 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.

58. 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.

59. Early Voting Opens With More Than 800 Ballots -

Absentee and early voting in Shelby County in advance of the March 1 presidential primary election day topped 800 ballots by the end of the first day of the period.

Most of the early votes – 645 of 822 – were absentee ballots at area nursing homes cast before the Wednesday, Feb. 10, first day of the voting period.

60. Early Voting Opens With More Than 800 Ballots -

Absentee and early voting in Shelby County in advance of the March 1 presidential primary election day topped 800 ballots by the end of the first day of the period.

Most of the early votes – 645 of 822 – were absentee ballots at area nursing homes cast before the Wednesday, Feb. 10, first day of the voting period.

61. Last Word: The First Surrogate, Parkside at Shelby Farms and Manilow Memories -

Here they come, fresh from Iowa and New Hampshire – first the surrogates and in the next two weeks the Presidential contenders themselves.

The nation’s “first surrogate” – former President Bill Clinton is at Whitehaven High School Thursday evening to rally early voters in the heart of a large reliably Democratic middle class community.
And it is that voter base that was integral to Barack Obama carrying Shelby County in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary even as Hillary Clinton carried the state that year.
As mentioned here Tuesday, the local Bernie Sanders campaign opens its Memphis HQ over the weekend.
Hillary Clinton headquarters in Memphis and Nashville are on the way soon with the Nashville HQ opening Thursday as the former President is in Whitehaven and the candidate is preparing for another television debate Thursday in Milwaukee with Sanders.
And early voting opened Downtown Wednesday.
The first day's turnout Wednesday was 177 early and absentee voters. Combined with another 645 absentee votes cast before the early voting period, that makes 822 early or absentee votes.
Another Republican contender on the ballot in Tennessee is out of the race. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dropped out the day after his dismal finish in New Hampshire. He did not have a slate of delegates on the ballot here.

62. International Paper Beats Expectations in Q4 Earnings -

International Paper Co. posted net earnings of $938 million for 2015, a 40 percent increase from the $555 million in 2014.

63. International Paper Beats Expectations in Q4 Earnings -

International Paper Co. posted net earnings of $938 million for 2015, a 40 percent increase from the $555 million in 2014.

64. Last Word: Rallings Meets the Council, Million Dollar Auditions & A Pinch Plan Emerges -

His second day on the job, the new Memphis Police Director, Michael Rallings, met the Memphis City Council and discovered just what a huge issue police body cameras are – if he didn’t know that already.
His answers to some pointed questions about when police can turn off those cameras and why made this an uneven first encounter.
Council members told him they got an earful from constituents over the weekend in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Johnathan Bratcher in South Memphis. And some of the reaction they got was to reports that a police dispatcher ordered police trying out the body cameras to turn them off as they arrived at the scene of the shooting.
There are three cameras being tested. And one of the officers with them showed up after the shooting, according to police.
Meanwhile, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland still didn’t have a timetable for the roll-out of the cameras but did offer some specifics including hiring by the MPD of 10 new personnel to deal with the handling of what the camera records.
And Strickland’s intention is to pay for it out of the existing MPD budget.

65. Hinds Joins Martin Tate Law Firm -

Rebecca Hinds has joined Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston P.C. as an associate attorney in the firm’s litigation section. In this role, Hinds represents clients in civil and commercial litigation matters, including business law, transportation liability, construction disputes, breach-of-contract matters and employment law. She also helps commercial clients obtain tax incentives and advises individuals and businesses in the drafting and negotiation of contracts. 

66. Last Word: Post Caucus, Fincher's Exit, 1919 Handwriting and Your Rolodex -

That close (very little light between index finger and thumb) between Clinton and Sanders in Iowa Monday evening.
Both live to fight another day in another state—New Hampshire.
And because it is Iowa – they each get to declare victory as long as they don’t go into a lot of detail about the totals.
This is one of those cases where it is like horsehoes and hand grenades – close does count.

67. Impatient Clemmons Anxious for Minority Voice to Be Heard -

Democratic state Rep. John Ray Clemmons is only halfway through his first two-year term representing District 55 in Nashville. But he’s not willing to wait years to speak out or push for change.

68. Get Used to it: Big Drops for Stocks are Back Again -

NEW YORK (AP) — Yes, this is scary. Stock prices plunged again Friday and are down 8 percent in just two weeks, an unprecedented slide for a start of a year.

The vicious drops feel even more unsettling because they're such a departure from the placid and strong returns that investors had been enjoying for years. Like vacationers returning from a warm beach to a slushy commute to work, the shock of change is making something already painful even more so.

69. Former Governor, Senator Bumpers Remembered at Service -

Former U.S. Senator and Arkansas governor Dale Bumpers was remembered Sunday by former President Bill Clinton and others for his public service, his wit and his role in ending the segregation of the school in his small western Arkansas hometown.

70. Tennessee Legislature Opens 2016 Session on Capitol Hill -

The Tennessee General Assembly's 2016 session will be a short one, likely done by early April. The gavels fall in the House and Senate chambers in Nashville at noon Tuesday, Jan. 12, opening the election year session.

71. Last Word: El Chapo and Memphis, First Filers for August and Origins in Graffiti -

The Mississippi River at Memphis crested and then it rained.
The weekend rain added about two-tenths of an inch by Saturday to Friday’s crest.
But by Sunday, the river had dropped to 39.12 feet, which is still more than five feet above flood stage.

72. The Week Ahead: Jan. 11, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from drones and robot research to the Grizzlies’ annual MLK symposium at the National Civil Rights Museum...

73. Memphis Legislators Sound Off On State-Run School District -

Armed with a Vanderbilt University study showing Shelby County schools that were taken over by the state’s Achievement School District are showing little to no improvement, Memphis legislators are nearly ready to kill the experiment.

74. After a Year of Triumphs and Defeats, Haslam Looks Ahead -

Eight days into 2015, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam formally set a special session of the Tennessee legislature for February on his Insure Tennessee plan, a Medicaid expansion Haslam negotiated with the Obama administration.

75. Legislature Not Playing Santa With Insure Tennessee -

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

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

76. City Council Votes On Graceland, Liberty Bowl -

The Memphis City Council approved the Graceland West planned development Tuesday, Dec. 15, the third phase of Graceland’s expansion to a 120-acre campus on both sides of Elvis Presley Boulevard.

77. City Council Votes On Graceland, Liberty Bowl -

The Memphis City Council approved the Graceland West planned development Tuesday, Dec. 15, the third phase of Graceland’s expansion to a 120-acre campus on both sides of Elvis Presley Boulevard.

78. Howard Stern Announces 5-Year Deal With Sirius XM -

NEW YORK (AP) — Much has changed for Howard Stern and SiriusXM since their first deal a decade ago — except for their desire to stay in business together.

The company announced Tuesday its third five-year deal to keep Stern's radio show at SiriusXM, together with a longer-term video arrangement that will allow fans to see as well as hear his program and have access to 30 years of career highlights.

79. This week in Memphis history: December 11-17 -

2014: Gov. Bill Haslam announces Tennessee will expand its Medicaid program under a proposal similar to one used by the state of Arkansas. Haslam dubs it Insure Tennessee and calls a special session of the Tennessee Legislature in January 2015 for what he anticipates will be quick passage of the program. Instead, legislators defeat the program and quickly adjourn the special session.

80. Haslam Dismissive of 'Cherry-Picked' UAW Victory -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — While the United Auto Workers is celebrating the end of its losing streak at foreign automakers in the South, Tennessee's Republican Gov. Bill Haslam was dismissive Monday of the significance of what he calls the union's "cherry-picked" win at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

81. Obama Signs 5-Year Infrastructure Spending Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A 5-year, $305-billion bill to address the nation's aging and congested transportation systems was signed into law Friday by President Barack Obama, who said it will put Americans to work and provide states with the federal help they need to commit to long-term projects.

82. Civil Asset Forfeiture: 'It's a State License to Steal' -

The drugs in Kathy Stiltner’s car were over-the-counter antacids. The $12,000 in cash was from an inheritance. Still, police took the money – quite legally – and are still fighting to keep it, even after the drug charge was dropped.

83. Terminix Acquires Alterra Pest Control -

Terminix has acquired the assets of Alterra Pest Control, a three-year-old company that in a short time has grown to become one of the 15 largest residential pest control companies in the U.S.

The acquisition was announced Wednesday, Nov. 11. Alterra, which has 22 branches in 15 states, will continue to use its name.

84. Terminix Acquires Alterra Pest Control -

Terminix has acquired the assets of Alterra Pest Control, a three-year-old company that in a short time has grown to become one of the 15 largest residential pest control companies in the U.S.

The acquisition was announced Wednesday, Nov. 11. Alterra, which has 22 branches in 15 states, will continue to use its name.

85. Time for Tuition Equality in Tennessee -

Tennessee has a unique opportunity to help the state economy and support education. Passage of the “Tuition Equality” bill in the upcoming state legislative session will provide a critical chance to educate thousands of Tennessee youth and narrow the skills gap that exists for Tennessee employers.

86. Terminix Acquires Alterra -

Terminix has acquired the assets of Alterra Pest Control, a three-year-old company that in a short time has grown to become one of the 15 largest residential pest control companies in the U.S.

87. Achievement School District Names New Leader -

Malika Anderson, a deputy superintendent of the state-run Achievement School District, is the district's new leader.

Anderson’s appointment was announced Tuesday, Nov. 3, in Nashville by Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen.

88. Ramsey Springs to Haslam's Aid on Tennessee Outsourcing Talk -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is dismissing rising concerns among fellow Republicans about Gov. Bill Haslam's efforts to privatize elements of state government as a result of complaints from "squeaky wheels" in their districts.

89. Bipartisan Brakes for Governor Haslam’s Privatization Push -

Plans to put Tennessee’s real estate and government operations in the hands of private business are much further along than Gov. Bill Haslam would like people to think.

A master of downplaying big issues, Haslam says he’s simply looking for ways to make government run more efficiently and save money.

90. Haslam Defends Recommendation for Advisers to Avoid Email -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam is defending a practice among his outsourcing advisers to avoid email correspondence to prevent information getting out to the public.

The Republican governor told reporters after an economic development conference this week that it's a standard practice of "sharing some wisdom" with new employees who have come to government from the private sector that all of their correspondence is subject to Tennessee's open records laws.

91. New Mayor in Town -

Jim Strickland has some big decisions to make.

At the top of the list: make sure the toilets are flushing, the lights are coming on at night and the stoplights are flashing red, yellow and green.

92. Senate Approves Temporary Spending Bill; House to Follow -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A temporary funding measure aiming to keep the government open past a midnight deadline sailed through the Senate on Wednesday and was expected to make its way shortly through a divided House and on to President Barack Obama.

93. Hopson Calls Off Hillcrest-Whitehaven Merger For Now -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson is calling off a plan to merge Hillcrest High School into Whitehaven High School and turn Hillcrest into a ninth grade academy.

Hopson told school board members Tuesday, Sept. 29, that the school system will wait to see if the state-run Achievement School District matches Hillcrest with a charter school operator and takes it into the ASD next school year.

94. Little Rock Officials Weigh Renaming Confederate Boulevard -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Though only a short stretch of Little Rock's Confederate Boulevard remains, to some it is a glaring reminder of the city's checkered racial past.

City officials are expected to consider a petition Thursday to rename the boulevard's last few blocks after one of the area's first black property owners. Coincidentally, the planning commission's vote comes 58 years to the day that 1,200 troops arrived to escort nine black students to their first day of class during the integration of Central High School.

95. AutoZone Profit Up 7.4 Percent in Fiscal Fourth Quarter -

Memphis-based auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc. has been scoring double-digit earnings-per-share growth every quarter for nine years running, a trend that predates Apple’s introduction of the first iPhone in 2007.

96. Six Memphis Schools Eyed for Possible State Takeover -

Six Memphis schools are on the state-run Achievement School District’s short list for possible takeover in the 2016-17 school year.

ASD leaders released the list Thursday, Sept. 10, following a series of Shelby County Schools meetings several weeks ago with parents of those schools’ students.

97. NCRM Highlights Teacher Effectiveness Initiative -

It’s not the kind of history you normally see at the National Civil Rights Museum, even with the museum’s 2014 technological update and expanded exhibits.

A temporary exhibit on display through Oct. 4 reviews Shelby County Schools’ historic shift in teacher effectiveness training that began in 2009.

98. Pastner, Always True to Self, Is Still Doing Things His Way -

Expectations. That’s the word that drives all sports narratives. Remember the record of Josh Pastner’s first University of Memphis team, the ragtag bunch that was left over after John Calipari exited for Kentucky?

99. Six Memphis Schools Eyed for Possible State Takeover -

Six Memphis schools are on the state-run Achievement School District’s short list for possible takeover in the 2016-17 school year.

ASD leaders released the list Thursday, Sept. 10, following a series of Shelby County Schools meetings several weeks ago with parents of those schools’ students.

100. University of Memphis Secures $24 Million for Athletic Facilities Upgrades -

At a Wednesday, Aug. 19, press conference on its campus, the University of Memphis took the next step in its athletic capital campaign in announcing it had 60 percent of the needed funds for new football and men’s basketball practice facilities and that ground will be broken on each this fall.