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Editorial Results (free)

1. ‘Good Locker Room’ Doesn’t Happen by Accident -

The first time I heard the term “good locker room” in relation to an NFL team, I figured it had something to do with TVs, air conditioning and nearby shower accommodations.

As usual, I was wrong.

2. Last Word: 'Take That For Data', Gas Tax Wednesday and Corker in Memphis -

“Take That For Data” may be the rallying cry for the rest of the NBA playoffs around here. And look for an off-the-chart crowd reaction Thursday when Grizz coach David Fizdale takes his place courtside. The Grizz' loss to the Spurs in Game 2 Monday in San Antonio prompted a post-game statistics-laden tirade by Fizdale about officiating of the game that concluded with Fizdale saying “take that for data” –the closest thing to profanity in the entire rant.

3. Vols Defensive Coordinator Shoop Looks to Improve Team’s Defense -

The most unexpected development during Tennessee’s 2016 football season wasn’t three straight losses in October or the disappearing act at Vanderbilt.

It was the utter collapse of the Vols’ defense.

4. Tennessee Titans Have Rarely Found Success With Drafted SEC Players -

The NFL Draft is fast approaching, which raises an interesting question: Is this the year the Titans finally shop locally and target Southeastern Conference talent?

If history is any indicator, the answer: No.

5. NSA Mid-South to Hold Walk To Honor Murdered Marine -

Naval Support Activity Mid-South has announced it will hold the fourth annual Lance Cpl. Suzanne Collins Lantern Procession on Thursday, April 6, as part of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

6. Can Top Recruiting Class, Loyalty Save Warlick’s Job With Lady Vols? -

It looks like Butch Jones isn’t the only University of Tennessee coach on the hot seat. The Lady Vols’ second-round exit from the NCAA Tournament increased the scrutiny and pressure on Holly Warlick. After five seasons and no trips to the Women’s Final Four, the clock is ticking.

7. Another Quarterback Battle Brewing at Tennessee -

The time has come to write a new chapter of Tennessee Vols football. Which quarterback is going to write it? With spring practice unfolding, it looks like a two-man race between junior Quinten Dormady and redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano – not necessarily in that order.

8. Last Word: James Cotton, A Quiet Jackson Day in Memphis and 'A Football School' -

When you think of the blues and harmonica – James Cotton probably comes to mind – Sonny Boy Williamson too, who taught Cotton how to play.

9. Football Staff Shakeups Rarely Save Coaching Jobs, History Has Shown -

Phillip Fulmer was notorious during his glory years as Tennessee’s football coach for maintaining staff stability.

Some of his assistant coaches were mediocre recruiters. So, what? Fulmer figured he could take up the slack. It was more important to him that the staff have year-to-year continuity.

10. 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.

11. What a Strange Twist of Events in Hiring of Currie -

John Currie is the new athletics director at the University of Tennessee. Has it sunk in yet? Currie, previously the athletic director at Kansas State, was introduced last week by new UT chancellor Beverly Davenport during a ceremony featuring fans, boosters, coaches and, of course, former Tennessee and NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

12. New AD Bad News for Struggling Vol Coaches -

The hiring of John Currie as the University of Tennessee’s athletics director conveys a number of messages. One of them: Butch Jones is officially on the clock.

Based on Currie’s history at UT, as well as his eight-year track record as Kansas State’s athletics director, it’s safe to say he isn’t afraid to pull the trigger when it comes to coaches – for better or worse.

13. Last Word: Changes on EP Boulevard, March Madness at Rhodes and Cheffies -

I don’t think it worked out this way on purpose – but the $45 million, 200,000 square foot entertainment complex “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” opens the same day that episode two of “Sun Records” airs on CMT.

14. Titans Still Rebuilding After Years of Bad Draft Picks -

When wide receiver Kendall Wright was a healthy scratch for the Titans’ final game of the season, it further underscored why this franchise is still struggling to gain altitude in the NFL.

15. Dobbs Makes His Stand to Join NFL Roster -

Josh Dobbs has spent the last four years preparing for a future in aerospace engineering. For now, though, that career is still on the runway. First, he’s hoping to take flight in the NFL. After establishing himself as one of the most productive quarterbacks in University of Tennessee history, Dobbs isn’t ready to give up on football. It remains to be seen if football is ready to give up on him.

16. Free Agent Frenzy? That’s Not Robinson’s Style -

Upon his arrival as the Tennessee Titans’ general manager in January 2016, Jon Robinson made an immediate impact with the trade for DeMarco Murray and his wheeling/dealing approach to the draft.

17. Rudd Praises Board as ‘Historic’ Step for U of M -

NASHVILLE – Calling the appointment of a board of trustees a “historic” and “essential” step for the University of Memphis, president M. David Rudd says the autonomous board will enable the university to control its own destiny.

18. Last Word: MATA and the TBI, Fieldstone Gets Bigger and Wedge Bills -

Since Gannett bought The Commercial Appeal there has been a lot of speculation about what would remain of the Memphis operation in a newspaper chain known for consolidating not just in-house parts of the publishing process but the reporting side too. The biggest question in the air was the fate of the large printing presses at the CA. And Monday evening, there was an answer.

19. Immigration Attorney Cites Anxiety Over Next Steps in Federal Immigration Rules -

An experienced Memphis immigration attorney says his advice to anyone who thinks they may be affected by the Trump administration immigration travel ban is “get back in” the U.S. even though the order’s enforcement remains on hold.

20. 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.

21. Scott the Recruiter Must Now Be Scott the Offensive Coordinator -

When it comes to offense, Butch Jones thinks he knows what’s best for the Tennessee Vols.

And he’s willing to bet his job on it.

By elevating Larry Scott from tight ends coach/special teams coordinator to offensive coordinator, Jones is staying the course. And it’s his own course.

22. Events -

Shelby County Real Estate Road Show, co-sponsored by Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir and Chandler Reports, will be held Thursday, Feb. 9, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, 6393 Poplar Ave. Learn about the county’s tax sale process and anti-blight initiative, as well as how to bid on commercial, industrial and residential properties through the Civic Source online system. Cost is free. Register at eventbrite.com or email kwhitaker@shelbycountytrustee.com.

23. Last Word: Impasse Flashback, Pot Alliances in Nashville and The Age of Etsy -

The late 1970s – bell bottoms, punk rock, disco, that perpetual haze floating over those lucky enough to get the most expensive concert seats for as much as $10 each on the floor of the Mid-South Coliseum… and yes, the impasse ordinance.

24. Events -

Talk Shoppe will meet Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in NovaCopy’s conference room, 7251 Appling Farms Parkway. Leadership development coach Shelley Baur will present “Creating Honest Conversations to Build Better Relationships.” Cost is free. Visit talkshoppe.com.

25. Planned Parenthood Vote Draws On Political Divide -

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar looked out at the audience in the commission’s chambers Monday, Feb. 6, and saw something the commission only sees once or twice a year – a standing room-only crowd with every seat taken and most there for a single issue.

26. Workplace Implications of Trump’s Immigration Ban -

On Jan. 30, President Trump signed a controversial executive order focusing on immigration issues. Titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals,” the order placed an immediate freeze on all entry for individuals from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Sudan for at least 90 days. 

27. Events -

Shen Yun Performing Arts will perform in Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 7-8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 N. Main St. The performance explores traditional Chinese culture and legends through a blend of classical dance and orchestral music. Tickets start at $70. Visit shenyun.com or call 888-974-3698.

28. The Week Ahead: February 7-13 -

There’s a lot to love this week, Memphis! The 41st annual Memphis Open tennis tournament begins Saturday at The Racquet Club of Memphis. That same morning historic Elmwood Cemetery hosts a “Love on the Rocks” walking tour featuring tragic and humorous tales of love gone wrong. And if you love the Grizzlies, they are playing the not-so-loved San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors this week. 

29. Hart’s Tenure as AD Has Been Mostly Good for Vols -

While we wait – and wait and wait and wait – for the University of Tennessee to hire its next athletics director, let’s ponder the man who soon will walk out the door.

Dave Hart is leaving the UT athletics department better than he found it. He got things back on solid financial footing. He brought a measure of stability.

30. Protests Define New Interest In Activism -

Usually when the Shelby County Commission’s committee room is filled, it is with those from various county government divisions making presentations during budget season. Or it might be filled with representatives from several organizations seeking or getting county grants.

31. Slow Pace of AD Hire Typical of How UT Works -

About the University of Tennessee’s athletics director search: What’s your hurry? It only took a little over five months after Dave Hart’s retirement announcement to start the process of hiring a search firm and finalizing a committee that will oversee the selection process. The last thing you want to do is rush things, right?

32. What are the Odds? Blackburn is Still the Favorite -

Tennessee has its search firm and its search committee is in place to find the replacement for Dave Hart as the university’s athletic director.

Hart announced last August he would retire June 30, and with Tennessee undergoing a transition in its chancellor’s position, the search for Hart’s replacement was put on the back burner.

33. NBA Writer Sees Gasol, Conley as All-Stars -

At espn.com, senior writer Zach Lowe has made his All-Star reserve picks and he has deemed both point guard Mike Conley and center Marc Gasol worthy of representing the Grizzlies on the Western Conference team.

34. Saban Dominance Bad for SEC? Not Buying It -

I keep reading that Nick Saban is ruining SEC football because his Alabama program is so dominant.

And I just don’t get it.

The misguided Saban-as-Satan logic goes this way:

35. Pro Athletes Have Platform to Discuss Race -

After touring the National Civil Rights Museum Saturday, Jan. 14, before a forum on race and sports, journalist and commentator Marc Spears had an immediate thought as the panel discussed whether racism is becoming institutionalized in America.

36. 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.

37. NAACP Panel Hears Differing Local Views On Charter Schools -

It took awhile for an NAACP panel holding hearings on charter schools and their impact on education to wade into the complexity of charters in Memphis.

The panel for the national civil rights organization heard Tuesday, Jan. 10, that charters have become an effort to privatize schools the way prisons were privatized in the 1990s. They also heard that charters don’t “cherry-pick” the best students but help equalize access to a better education. And the seven members of the panel heard that charters have a place, but that there should be more thought given to where they fit long term, and their financial impact on public school districts.

38. Grizzlies’ MLK Game Changed, but Mission Remains the Same -

While the NBA moved the Grizzlies’ 15th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Game to Sunday night, Jan. 15, the game against the Chicago Bulls will be televised on ESPN and the team will use Monday to offer service to the community.

39. Last Word: Booksellers Options, New Parking Spaces and The Memphis Open -

Somewhere in the back of our minds, I think most of us knew there were probably some circumstances under which Booksellers at Laurelwood might remain open. And as it turns out there are some terms the owner is talking about just past the post-New Year’s shock of work that the store will close in February.

40. Jones Picks Bad Time to Lead UT Football Program -

There was a time in University of Tennessee football history when a nine-win season and a victory over Nebraska in a bowl would guarantee a coach something just this side of a lifetime contract.

But not right now.

41. 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.

42. Strunk has Provided Long-Missing Ownership Stability -

Since becoming controlling owner of the Titans in March 2015, it has become customary for Amy Adams Strunk to spend a half-hour or so on the sideline visiting with coaches and players prior to games.

43. Presidential Election Tops Busy Year for Memphis Voters -

2016 was an eventful election year in Shelby County, ending with the most popular voting cycle in Shelby County politics: the U.S. presidential general election in November. Slightly more than 60 percent of the county’s voters cast a ballot either during early voting in October or on the Nov. 8 Election Day.

44. Arrests, Metal Barriers, Lawsuits All Played Role in Greensward Parking Compromise -

Spring at City Hall is budget season and it can be stormy for a new mayor, not to mention a city council with six new members. But that wasn’t the case in 2016.

The real spring political storm was the Overton Park Greensward – specifically overflow parking from the Memphis Zoo on the greenspace south of the zoo.

45. Nonprofits Raised Value In 2016 In Many Ways -

In any given year, charitable giving might rise or fall. But when the Chronical of Philanthropy analyzed the giving of the country’s 50 largest cities via Internal Revenue Service data, it captured a larger sample size: 2006 through 2012.

46. Dobbs’ Change of Heart a Great Gift to Vol Fans -

In the spirit of the holiday season, Joshua Dobbs is the gift that keeps on giving. Despite all the disappointments of 2016 for Tennessee football, it would be a mistake not to appreciate Dobbs for what he is: a scholar, an athlete, a leader, a role model and a winner.

47. Minority Contract Percentages Get Approval -

Shelby County Commissioners gave final approval Monday, Dec. 19, to a resolution that sets specific percentages for specific minority and other groups for getting a share of county government contracts.

48. County Commission Approves Specific Minority Contract Percentages -

Shelby County Commissioners gave final approval Monday, Dec. 19, to a resolution that sets specific percentages for specific minority and other groups for getting a share of county government contracts.

49. Last Word: Epping Way, Conley's Return and 'Ascend' -

What is the encore after a year that has included the opening of Big River Crossing, the eastward expansion of the Shelby Farms Greenline across Germantown Parkway to the old town part of Cordova and the opening of Shelby Farms Park’s Heart of the Park renovation? Two words: Epping Way.

50. Long Offseason Ahead for Jones -

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones has plenty of winning to do next year. For starters, UT (8-4, 4-4 SEC) needs to win the Dec. 30 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville against Nebraska (9-3, 6-3 Big Ten).

51. With Fed Expected to Hike, Attention Turns to What It Says -

WASHINGTON (AP) – There isn't much doubt about what the Federal Reserve will do when its latest policy meeting ends Wednesday: It's all but certain to raise its benchmark interest rate – its first increase in a year.

52. Last Word: St. Jude Dollar Amounts, Fred's On The Move and The Treble Clef -

Grizz over the Trailblazers 88 – 86 Thursday evening at the Forum. At the end of the first half, Grizz coach David Fizdale had to be restrained by players on the way off the court after a technical was called on him. And welcome to Memphis, Toney Douglas. We love what you are doing with the fourth quarter.

53. I Was Wrong. Mularkey is the Right Coach for Titans -

In light of the Tennessee Titans’ 6-6 record and continuing relevance in the NFL playoff picture, I offer those three little words that are so hard to say:

“I was wrong.”

And here’s three more:

54. Outsourcing: Savings, But No Specifics -

The Haslam administration is forging ahead with plans to nab a statewide facilities services contractor after an outside analysis backed up a study showing estimated cost savings of more than $35 million a year at Tennessee universities.

55. Last Word: Fire Recovery, Justice Department Work Begins and Rocky Top Angst -

The death toll in the East Tennessee wildfires goes to 10 Thursday as the recovery effort moves beyond a search for those missing. The count of buildings burned in Sevier County is estimated at more than 700 – 300 just in Gatlinburg. And 47 people are injured by the latest count. The count of those who died in the fires includes confirmation that Jon and Janet Summer of Memphis are among the dead recovered so far.

56. Something Missing in Jones’ ‘Infallible’ System -

By now, Tennessee fans have taken enough deep breaths to come to grips with losing to Vanderbilt. They don’t like it, mind you, but they’ve accepted it. As for Butch Jones, what now?

I’ll leave it to others to gauge the heat of Jones’ seat as we weave through the postseason and into next year. Suffice it to say, the honeymoon is over.

57. US Home Prices Surpass Pre-Recession Peak Amid Healthy Sales -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices have fully recovered from their steep plunge during the housing bust and Great Recession, according to a private measure.

The Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index , released Tuesday, is slightly above the peak it set in July 2006, after rising 5.5 percent in September from a year earlier. The milestone comes after more than four years of steady gains.

58. OK Vols Fans, Do You Really Want Alabama Again? -

Be honest, Vols fans: Do you really want a rematch with Alabama in the SEC Championship game?

It’s a fair question given the current events in this strange college football season. Tennessee will be favored in its final two games, while SEC East leader Florida faces a significant challenge at LSU on Saturday.

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

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

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

60. Last Word: The Long Count, Bigger Than Boutiques and God's View of the NBA -

It's Veterans Day with the annual Downtown parade starting at 10 a.m. Friday and a wreath-laying ceremony an hour later at the Doughboy Statue in Overton Park.

The long local vote count since Tuesday is still underway as Thursday becomes Friday. It should wrap up Friday with the provisional ballot count completed.

61. 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.”

62. County Has Lowest Voter Turnout in 12 Years -

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

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

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

64. Last Word: An Early Voting Challenge, Raleigh Settlement and Rocky Top Tumult -

Early voting in Shelby County ended with some lines Thursday at several of the 21 sites. We should have the final turnout numbers Friday morning and you can get the totals first @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols.

65. Council Rejects 2 Car Lots, Amends DROP Freeze for C-Suite -

Starting a used car lot used to be a lot simpler. In fact it was considered a right – “development by right” – until a change in recent years in the local Unified Development Code.

66. Council Rejects 2 Car Lots, Amends DROP Freeze for C-Suite -

Starting a used car lot used to be a lot simpler. In fact it was considered a right – “development by right” until a change in recent years in the local Unified Development Code.

Now the car lots require a special use permit from the Memphis City Council. And it’s a hard sell.

67. SEC Dominance Firmly Planted in the West -

Based on the eye test as well as what has transpired on the field, I think it’s pretty safe to say Alabama is the best team in the SEC.

Who’s No. 2? I’ll take Texas A&M, which actually led the Crimson Tide 14-13 early in the second half last weekend before ultimately falling 33-14.

68. Agape Able to Expand Mission of Helping Families With Building Donation -

Rex Jones, CEO and president of Hope Christian Community Foundation, describes what they do in the simplest of terms:

69. First TN Bank Focuses On Growth With New Hires -

“Growing the business” is a mantra executives of First Tennessee Bank’s parent company have repeated often in recent weeks.

70. As Always, Vols’ Season Comes Down to Alabama -

Halfway through a heart-stopping season, how strong is the pulse for the Cardiac Vols?

Once-beaten and physically battered, what does Tennessee have left in the tank as it faces top-ranked Alabama and the lesser challenges that lie ahead?

71. Fourth Bluff Momentum Grows With $5 Million Grant -

They’ve been called the “things between things” in Downtown Memphis.

In the earliest plans for the city of Memphis, they were part of the Promenade – a section of public land that includes the city’s first public library, the river view behind what is now the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, and Memphis Park and Mississippi River Park below it on the other side of Riverside Drive.

72. Coach Cliché Strikes the Right Note for Tennessee -

Coach Cliché tells us it was just another game. Coach Cliché tells us the next game is always bigger than the last one. And, yes, Coach Cliché tells us you build things brick by brick.

73. Nothing Else Counts for Jones if He Can’t Top Gators -

Since his arrival at Tennessee in December 2012, Butch Jones often has spoken about the importance of getting the Vols back up and running in their biggest rivalry games.

Easier said than done. Jones has yet to beat either of UT’s two biggest rivals – Florida and Alabama.

74. With Economic Outlook Hazy, Fed Likely to Leave Rates Alone -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Again and again in recent months, the Federal Reserve has signaled that it's edging closer to resuming the interest-rate hikes it began in December.

It just doesn't seem to be there quite yet.

75. 8-8 Mediocrity Sounds Good to Titans Fans -

On an August morning in 1999, the Tennessee Titans coaching staff and front office personnel awoke to this headline in the local newspaper:

Playoffs or Pink Slips.

It got their attention. Things were quite tense before, during and after practice on that particular day.

76. Events -

Memphis Office of Youth Services and Southern Heritage Classic will host the Classic College Fair GPS on Friday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Pipkin Building on Tiger Lane. Attendance is free for attendees to learn about more than 80 regional colleges, universities and career opportunities. Visit cityofmemphisyouth.org.

77. Looks Like 10-2, SEC Title Game, Orange Bowl for UT -

Editor’s note: Nashville sports correspondent Dave Link has been accurate in predicting season outcomes for the Tennessee Vols in recent years. His 2016 season predictions, released just before press time, culminates with an SEC Championship appearance. Here’s his take on the season…

78. Yellen, in Speech Friday, Could Send Signal About Next Hike -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The job market is humming, and so are the U.S. financial markets, with major stock indexes near record highs.

All that would normally trigger a green light for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates – especially when they're barely above all-time lows. Yet the Fed, still casting a wary eye on the economy, has yet to signal that it will resume raising rates soon.

79. Enjoy The Hype, Vol Fans. It’s Been A Long Time -

The temptation here is to throw a couple of buckets of cold water on the great expectations for the Tennessee Vols this season.

But you know what? Enjoy the hype, UT fans. Any fan base that was subjected to three years of Derek Dooley deserves this moment.

80. Collierville, Millington Mayoral Races Top Suburban Ballots in November -

The mayors of Collierville and Millington are running for re-election on the November ballot and as the noon Thursday, Aug. 18, filing deadline approaches for the Bartlett, Germantown, Collierville and Millington municipal ballots the two mayors have challengers.

81. Rule Change Has Coaches Debating How Often to Retweet -

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A new NCAA rule change is catching some recruits by surprise while causing coaches to debate how much time they should spend on social media.

Under the change that took effect last week, athletic department staff members are allowed to retweet or show their approval of social media posts made by recruits. The policy change has been nicknamed "Click, Don't Type" because coaches still aren't allowed to add any sort of comment to a recruit's post.

82. Safe to Scorching: SEC Coaches Feel the Burn -

There are two kinds of football coaches in the Southeastern Conference: those that have gotten fired and those that haven’t gotten fired – yet.

This is a conference in a constant state of flux for football. The average tenure at their current schools of the 14 SEC coaches is 3.57 years. That’s right: Just making it through a full four-year recruiting cycle is tough.

83. Do Titans Finally Have Their Offensive Line? -

New Tennessee Titans coach Mike Mularkey’s stated desire to play “exotic smashmouth” football – especially on offense – requires a good offensive line. But if there’s one thing the Titans have not had in recent years it’s a good offensive line.

84. Commission Sets Tax Rate, Debate Remains -

Shelby County Commissioners made it official Wednesday, July 27, keeping the county property tax rate the same – at $4.37 per $100 of assessed value.

But the vote didn’t end the debate among commissioners about the future trajectory of the tax rate.

85. Vols Turnaround Rests on QB Dobbs -

Over the summer, Peyton Manning spoke with Josh Dobbs about the essence of a senior season for a college quarterback.

The conversation, Dobbs says, boiled down to one succinct piece of advice:

86. Last Word: A Robust 2nd Quarter, Marshall and Union and the Code Crew -

Last Word is more like First Word because of a blink of the computer overnight at around 11 p.m. that left us able to create and report but not to post. But not to worry, we will resume our night owl habits Sunday into Monday after this brief reminder of the way things used to be when the deadline was when the presses stopped.

87. Will Mariota’s Second Season Resemble Luck or RG3? -

The Tennessee Titans’ offensive playbook has been rewritten. The verbiage for calling plays has been edited. The line has been revamped with three new starters.

Why? The team’s ownership and coaches desperately want to get the most out of quarterback prodigy Marcus Mariota.

88. Pat Summitt Remembered for Achievements On, Off Court -

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pat Summitt was remembered as a loving mother, a loyal friend and a tireless fighter as well as a champion coach Thursday in a public ceremony honoring the person who built the Tennessee women's basketball dynasty.

89. Early Voting Opens For The Aug. 4 Election -

Early voting opens Friday, July 15, in advance of the Aug. 4 election day in Shelby County and across Tennessee.

The first day of early voting will be at a single location, the Shelby County Office Building, 157 Poplar Ave., but expands to 21 satellite locations across Shelby County on Monday.

90. Elkington Promoted At ABO Marketing -

Jamie Elkington has been promoted to director of communications at ABO Marketing & Communications. In this position, she will direct and implement public relations plans for the nonprofit and business organizations the firm serves.

91. Former Mayor A C Wharton Joins Board at Trezevant -

Trezevant recently announced that it has named A C Wharton, Jr. to its board of directors. Wharton is the former mayor of both the city of Memphis and Shelby County. An attorney by trade, he has also served in a number of leadership roles, including as director of Memphis Area Legal Services, chief public defender for Shelby County and chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

92. The Rest of the August Ballot -

If all goes according to plan on the Aug. 4 election day, Linda Phillips hopes the result is that you don’t see her in any of the reporting on election night.

93. Long-Term Issues Push County Budget To Deadline -

It’s not the basics that are keeping Shelby County Commissioners from a majority vote on school funding in the new operating budget.

It is the broader questions and budget assumptions some commissioners want to change in the process.

94. Shelby County Budget Delay Centers on $3.5 Million for Schools -

Most of the declarations Monday, June 20, before the Shelby County Commission delayed final votes on local schools funding to next week came from the audience.

“For too long we’ve bled, died, cried and pled for education,” former Memphis City Council and Memphis City Schools board member TaJuan Stout-Mitchell told the commission.

95. County Schools Funding Compromise to Be Tested -

Fragile is probably the best way to describe the compromise that emerged this week from county commissioners to fully fund the Shelby County Schools budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The plan that closes a $27.4 million gap between what the school system wants and what Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell proposed in April had eight votes on the 13-member commission in Wednesday, June 15, committee sessions.

96. Shelby County Schools Wraps Up a Calmer, But Still Eventful, Year -

Given the last six years of historic change in public education locally, you could be forgiven if you thought of Friday’s half day of classes for Shelby County Schools as the end of an idyllic school year.

97. Council Committee Probes Grant Requests -

Memphis City Council Budget Committee Chairman Edmund Ford Jr. likens it to the television show “Shark Tank.”

Instead of entrepreneurs, leaders of nonprofits made their pitches to the budget committee Tuesday, May 24, for grants from the council as part of the budget process.

98. SCS Budget Quest About More Than Dollar Figures -

When the Shelby County Commission meets next week to look over the budget proposal approved Monday, May 16, by the Shelby County Schools board, there will be a debate that goes beyond the bottom line dollar figures and line items.

99. Pieces of Schools Budget Begin to Fall Into Place -

Shelby County Commissioners on Monday, May 9, approved $33 million in capital funding among the county’s seven public school systems for the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

Shelby County Schools’ share of the funding, based on average daily attendance, is 78 percent, or $26 million. That’s what SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson requested last month of the commission.

100. Dave Thomas Named CEO Of Kemmons Wilson Insurance -

Dave Thomas has joined Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group as chief executive officer. In this role, he’s responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and also is tasked with growing the Memphis-based property and casualty insurance company. Thomas has 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, most recently serving as CEO of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp.