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Editorial Results (free)

1. Last Word: The Chamber on Forrest, Different Amazon News & More 2018 Dominoes -

The Greater Memphis Chamber rolls out its part of the push by the city administration to get a state waiver for the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue. Next week is the meeting of the Tennessee Historical Commission with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland showing up to make his pitch. That is even though the chairman of the body has told him the commission will not take up a waiver at the meeting.

2. Lane Touts Luttrell Endorsement in Sheriff's Race -

Republican contender for Shelby County Sheriff Dale Lane is touting the support of every suburban mayor in the county, current Shelby County Mayor and former sheriff Mark Luttrell, and former county mayor Jim Rout.

3. ‘Divisive Symbols’: Mississippi Case Offers Hope for Forrest Bust Removal -

State Sen. Lee Harris is encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s request for the state of Mississippi to respond to a lawsuit seeking to remove the Confederate battle flag from its state flag.

4. Outsourcing by Any Other Name Still Not So Sweet -

Outsourcing is starting to become a four-letter word in state government.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration told lawmakers during a summer study session it’s giving up on privatization of state parks, including a plan to hire a company to raze the inn at Fall Creek Falls and build a new one, at a cost of more than $22 million, then take over the keys and the profits.

5. Last Word: ICE Raids, Who's Buying Afton Grove and Malco Powerhouse Plans -

A protest Sunday evening at the Prescott Place Apartments after federal ICE agents – Immigration and Customs Enforcement – took people into custody there and at Emerald Ridge and Corner Park apartments Sunday morning. The group of organizations protesting the federal action – Memphis Coalition of Concerned Citizens, Cosecha and SURJ Memphis -- say Memphis Police assisted in the immigration operation. Memphis Police deny they were involved in any way. No estimate from ICE on how many people were detained.

6. Revival of Ranked Choice Voting Marks Phillips’ Attention to Detail -

The use of Ranked Choice Voting or instant-runoff voting in Memphis elections was a moot point even before Memphis voters approved it in 2008 in a city charter amendment.

The Shelby County Election Commission had concluded before the charter referendum that its voting systems couldn’t accommodate a method of voting that ranked candidates in a single race by a voter’s preference, instead of a voter picking one and only one candidate.

7. Last Word: Harold Ford Jr. on Change, Tourism Turns a Corner and Sim at UTHSC -

Very different outlooks along party lines still in our delegation to Washington over the Senate’s version of Trumpcare.

On the day the Congressional Budget Office estimated the proposal would end health insurance coverage for 22 million Americans, Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s reaction:

8. Last Word: Wahlburgers, CA For Sale and Council Day -

We really go for hot food brands around here – whether its restaurants or supermarkets. And it makes us suckers to some degree. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Memphis without being open to all possibilities and what others see as impossible is just not Memphis. But when it comes to the business of brands sometimes you start to wonder. We may be guilty of putting too much weight on a brand to solve problems that no brand anywhere can solve.

9. Lawmakers: Talk, Action On Crime Don’t Match -

State Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris of Memphis says some of the rhetoric about criminal justice reform – not locking up as many nonviolent offenders for longer sentences – doesn’t match the push for legislation in Nashville.

10. The Week Ahead: June 19-25 -

Hello, Memphis! Summer officially arrives in our Central time zone at 11:24 p.m. on Tuesday, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Well, we know what summer in Memphis means – a heapin’ helpin’ of humidity. Stay cool with all these hot happenings in The Week Ahead...

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

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

12. Century Mark -

During a visit to Memphis in April, Andrew Young was talking with reporters about his lengthy public history – being part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s inner circle, a congressman, mayor of Atlanta, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. It was as he talked about King’s death in Memphis that Young, without any prompting, talked about a trio of Memphis attorneys – Benjamin Hooks, Russell Sugarmon and A. W. Willis – that were the key to his and King’s efforts to get things done in Memphis and the surrounding region.

13. For St. Jude and Golf Fans, FedEx St. Jude Classic is Thriving -

Perspective can be too easy of a word. It can get thrown around casually, especially in big-time sports settings. But at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, “perspective” isn’t just a clichéd line for a moment in time.

14. Last Word: Double Berger, The CEO of Baptist and Storm Reflections -

The Overton Park Conservancy raised $1 million by the Monday deadline to move ahead with the Overton Park-Memphis Zoo parking compromise. The conservancy announced Sunday afternoon that it met the goal with hours to spare with more details to come Monday on how this came together.

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

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

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

16. Unwilling Private Sector Gives Park Workers a Victory -

Two state parks are celebrating victories in an atmosphere of uncertainty created by the governor’s penchant for privatizing state functions.

Fall Creek Falls drew no bidders for a $20 million plan to hire a vendor who would tear down its inn, construct a new one and take over operations for 10 years. Henry Horton State Park, meanwhile, is set for $10 million in improvements this coming fiscal year, including upgrades to its hospitality facilities, plus a new visitors center, rather than a proposal to raze its inn and not rebuild.

17. Bike Summit Features Call for Changes in Push for Bike Ways -

The city’s former bicycle and pedestrian coordinator who put the city on the map nationally for bike lanes and bikeways says bicycle advocates have to think differently.

Kyle Wagenschutz is currently director of local innovation for “People for Bikes” – a Boulder, Colorado advocacy and advisory organization that works with cities nationally.

18. Unhealthy Motives -

WE DON’T CARE ABOUT HEALTH CARE. WE CARE ABOUT INSURANCE. Like casinos, the insurance business is a bet, you know, like a roll of the dice. And like casinos, the house always wins. An army of actuaries hedges every bet. If you buy life insurance, they’re going to charge you enough to make money before you die. They win. If you buy health insurance, they’re going to charge you enough to make money if you get sick. They win.

19. Privatization Opposition Renewed as No Bids Come in for Falls Creek Falls Project -

The lack of bidders for a $20 million inn reconstruction project at Fall Creek Falls could spur legislative hearings this summer on parks funding and privatization amid growing lawmaker concern about the governor’s outsourcing plans.

20. Legislature Passes Slate of Bills, Adjourns -

NASHVILLE – The Legislature wrapped up its business for the year, adjourning Wednesday after taking up a spate of last-minute bills, including postponing a bill increasing the amount of campaign contributions lawmakers could accept.

21. Tennessee Legislature Adjourns After Voting on Last-Minute Bills -

The Legislature wrapped up its business for the year, adjourning Wednesday after taking up a spate of last-minute bills, including postponing a bill increasing the amount of campaign contributions lawmakers could accept.

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

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

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

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

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

24. Memphis Gets Nod for New Hotel Tax, Nashville Having Pipeline Problems -

The state Senate approved legislation enabling the Memphis City Council to consider an ordinance to create a new hotel/motel tax of no more than an aggregate of 5 percent to go toward the city-owned Memphis Cook Convention Center.

25. Memphis Gets Nod for New Hotel Tax, Nashville Having Pipeline Problems -

The state Senate has approved legislation enabling the Memphis City Council to consider an ordinance to create a new hotel/motel tax of no more than an aggregate of 5 percent to go toward the city-owned Memphis Cook Convention Center.

26. U of M Students, Faculty Do Social Work on the Hill -

The University of Memphis Department of Social Work recently participated in the annual Social Work Day on the Hill.

More than 50 students and six faculty members in bachelor’s and master’s programs traveled to Nashville to gain practical experience in speaking to legislators, building interdisciplinary professional relationships, and advocating for policies primarily related to mental health and child welfare.

27. U of M Students, Faculty Do Social Work on the Hill -

The University of Memphis Department of Social Work recently participated in the annual Social Work Day on the Hill.

More than 50 students and six faculty members in bachelor’s and master’s programs traveled to Nashville to gain practical experience in speaking to legislators, building interdisciplinary professional relationships, and advocating for policies primarily related to mental health and child welfare.

28. Senate Campaign War Chests Could Swell -

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

29. Democrats Put Squeeze on Republicans To Defeat Outsourcing of State Assets -

Legislative Democrats are calling on Republicans to join them in passing a slate of bills to combat Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing plans for everything from state parks to facilities management at universities.

30. Democrats Put Squeeze on Republicans to Defeat Outsourcing -

Legislative Democrats are calling on Republicans to join them in passing a slate of bills to combat Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing plans for everything from state parks to facilities management at universities.

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

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

32. Bill to Ban Outsourcing Sails Through Committee -

A Senate panel approved legislation Monday prohibiting the outsourcing of jobs at state parks less than a week after the State Building Commission renewed plans for rebuilding and privatizing the inn at Fall Creek Falls.

33. Inn Construction, Private Management Plan Draw Ire of State Sen. Lee Harris -

State Sen. Lee Harris is criticizing Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision to renew an outsourcing plan for development and operations at Fall Creek Falls State Park, calling it a move to bolster profits for a private company.

34. Bill to Create Criminal Trespassing at Apartment Complexes Could Face Legal Challenges -

NASHVILLE – Two Memphis lawmakers are pushing legislation designed to clear apartment complexes of trespassers, in some cases to ensure that emergency personnel avoid intimidation and threats when they answer calls dealing with shootings.

35. View From the Hill: Outsourcing Win More About Turf Than Trends -

As Fall Creek Falls folks celebrate a state decision to postpone park privatization, the question is whether public opposition or failure to follow long-standing state protocol led to the plug-pulling.

36. View From the Hill: House Leaders Still Figuring Out Sexual Harassment Policy -

In a case of déjà vu all over again, Democratic state Rep. Bo Mitchell isn’t willing to give Republican House leaders a break on their handling of former Rep. Mark Lovell’s resignation for alleged sexual misconduct.

37. Fall Creek Falls Park Contract Postponed Indefinitely -

NASHVILLE – The state is putting an indefinite hold on a proposed contract for a private company to redevelop and operate Fall Creek Falls State Park.

The Department of General Services is postponing the request for proposals process from vendors for a contract to oversee construction of a new inn at the park and to run its hospitality services after the $22 million project is complete.

38. Last Word: How Do You Get On The List, Sedgwick & Thornwood and Musicals -

Monday was Presidents Day and thus a holiday at City Hall. But for the occupant on City Hall’s top floor it was anything but a holiday. The list Memphis Police made for who has to have a uniformed police officer next to them to go anywhere in City Hall is turning into a controversy over possible surveillance of citizens participating in the last year or so of protests around the city.

39. View From the Hill: Outsourcing, Rates Worry Park Fans -

Dunlap resident Kathy Gilbert opposes privatization of Fall Creek Falls on a number of fronts.

If a vendor comes in to run the state park, as planned by Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration, she’s worried about the possible loss of jobs or pay and benefits by state employees, the funneling of revenue to private investors and the raising of rates at the state park’s lodge when it’s rebuilt, potentially making it less affordable for families to visit.

40. Flurry of Bills Affecting LGBT Community Filed in State Legislature Before Deadline -

NASHVILLE – Tennessee lawmakers met last Thursday’s legislation-filing deadline with a host of social measures one Memphis representative describes as “wedge bills” because they drive people apart.

41. Bills Affecting LGBT Community Filed Before Deadline -

NASHVILLE – Tennessee lawmakers met last Thursday’s legislation-filing deadline with a host of social measures one Memphis representative describes as “wedge bills” because they drive people apart.

42. TVA Drilling Controversy May Change Well Actions -

The controversy over Tennessee Valley Authority drilling water wells into the Memphis aquifer for the new TVA power plant in southwest Memphis is becoming a push for more public notice of such plans and better mapping of the water supply under the city.

43. 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.

44. View From the Hill: Legislators Feel Free to Work Against Haslam -

Democrats appear delighted about division within Republican ranks concerning Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed fuel-tax increase, detecting a possible chink in the armor.

“How many times does the supermajority have to stab the governor in the back and undermine his core proposals before the people of the state of Tennessee wonder whether they need a different group up here?” asks Mike Stewart, House Minority Caucus chairman.

45. Governor Defends Big Proposals for Statewide Infrastructure -

NASHVILLE – Protesters overshadowed Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s State of the State address Monday night, chanting in the Capitol in opposition to a spate of executive orders from President Donald Trump.

46. State Sens. Harris, Kelsey Critical of TVA Water Wells -

When Odell Johnson goes on business trips he looks forward to seeing water pumping plants in other cities that use surface water for drinking water.

Johnson is the manager for water and engineering operations at Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division. He made the comment Tuesday, Jan. 24, as his tour of the utility’s Sheahan Pumping Station served as a backdrop for the ongoing debate about the Tennessee Valley Authority’s change of plans to cool its new natural gas-fired power plant in southwest Memphis.

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

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

48. 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.

49. Last Word: A Rainbow's Tale, The Two Holiday Peaks and Crosstown High Plans -

I saw it all so clearly on a very cloudy and very rainy Monday in the city. A strong rainbow with bold colors across town from the setting sun on the river. Not some play rainbow that you create with a garden hose or some alleged double rainbow that depends on where you stand. As we were fond of saying in these parts in the 1980s and the 1990s – this was a “world class” rainbow.

50. Lawmakers Address Prosecutors, ASD -

The majority and minority leaders of the Tennessee Senate say there is political pressure to break the link in funding for prosecutors and public defenders.

“I think it takes both efforts,” state Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said on ‘Behind The Headlines,’ the WKNO/Channel 10 program. “I think we need more prosecutors. I think we also need more public defenders.”

51. 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.

52. New Year, New Resolutions for Legislators -

Some Tennesseans recall the days when the state Legislature met every other year and wonder if it should revert to that schedule. Considering the General Assembly pushes most of its work into 3 1/2 months, it might be worth a try.

53. Diversity and Inclusion -

Nonprofits are ahead of the game when it comes to diversity. Is that true? We may tell ourselves that, but diversity – and most importantly inclusion – requires we take an honest look at our organizations. 

54. Events -

Snowy Nights in My Big Backyard will be held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3 (along with Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 16-23) from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road. Bring the family to play in the “snow,” sip hot cocoa or spiced tea, create a winter craft, and enjoy music, lights and more throughout My Big Backyard. Tickets are $8 for members and $10 for nonmembers. Visit memphisbotanicgarden.com.

55. Kirk-Ivy Named 2016 Mississippi Commercial Realtor -

Bambi K. Kirk-Ivy, a commercial Realtor and marketing director at Olive Branch-based Utley Properties, recently was recognized as the 2016 Mississippi Commercial Realtor of the Year at the annual Mississippi Realtors Convention and Expo.
As a landlord representative for all of Utley’s properties, most of Kirk-Ivy’s work has been in retail; however, she says the company is now focusing on light industrial-type flex spaces consisting of office, showroom and warehouse uses.
In 2017, she also will serve as the northern district director on the Mississippi Commercial Association of Realtors board of directors. 

56. After The Vote -

If you stood in certain places during the last days of the 2016 campaign in Memphis you could see the 2018 elections even if you couldn’t see Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s national victory over Democratic contender Hillary Clinton.

57. Grizzlies, Fizdale Learning More Than One Way to Win -

Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay and teammate Gary Harris had trapped the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley as he received an inbounds pass with less than 11 seconds left in the game. Harris stripped the ball from Conley – perhaps fouling him, though there was no foul call – and passed the ball ahead.

58. Election Day Ends Contentious Presidential Contest -

In a contentious national campaign for president that has tested the boundaries of what is considered proper political discourse and what should be public, local Democratic and Republican partisans have mostly been spectators as the 2016 presidential campaign comes to an end Tuesday, Nov. 8.

59. Memphis Legislators Challenge Tennessee Law Banning Polling Place Selfies -

On the last day of early voting in Shelby County Thursday, Nov. 3, Democratic state Rep. G. A. Hardaway walked into the early voting site at Glenview Community Center in South Memphis.

Once he was at a voting machine, Hardaway took a selfie of himself with his smartphone, admittedly in violation of the state law prohibiting “the use of mobile electronic or communication devices at polling places.”

60. Local Politicos Shift Focus to 2018 Given Expected Presidential Results -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism threw a masquerade party two nights before Halloween on an excursion boat.

61. Wind Ensemble to Perform At Halloween Film Screening -

In celebration of Halloween, the University of Memphis Wind Ensemble will perform the music for a special screening of the classic 1931 movie “Frankenstein” Monday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rose Theatre.

62. State Rep. Feels Heat From Staffer’s Firing -

Like sands through the hour glass, these are the days of our Legislature’s lives.

When General Assembly candidates run for office, they talk of high ideals such as reforming education, creating jobs, saving tax dollars and stifling sexual offenders, even restricting abortion, adopting a state rifle or making the Holy Bible Tennessee’s state book.

63. What’s Worse Than Dating A Gator? Another Loss -

If you’re a Tennessee fan hurting from the 11-game losing streak against Florida, put yourself in Corey Vereen’s shoes.

UT’s senior defensive end is from Winter Garden, Florida, and he’s 0-for-3 against his buddies back home. That’s not the worst part for Vereen.

64. 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.

65. 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…

66. Study Leads to Broader Call for Business Ties -

Rodney Strong, CEO of the Atlanta law and public policy firm Griffin and Strong that authored city government’s latest disparity study on minority contracting, didn’t come to talk about the study last week when he spoke to a room of 40 African-American civic and business leaders.

67. Once QB Country, SEC Now Has Only A Few Proven Players at the Position -

At SEC Media Days this summer in Hoover, Ala., the 14 head coaches brought along more starting offensive linemen (5) than starting quarterbacks (3). Such is the state of the most high profile position in the Southeastern Conference at the beginning of the 2016 college football season.

68. Defining Transparency -

When Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland was finally ready to tell the public who he was appointing as Memphis’ next police director – the culmination of one of the most consequential decisions he’s faced so far during his more than seven months in office – the first word of that choice didn't come via a news outlet. Nor did the mayor call a press conference, at least not immediately.

69. Last Word: One Beale Delay, Memphis Banks and The Other Anniversary -

Changing the city’s skyline comes with some challenges. That’s a reflection of ever-changing economic conditions and the terrain by the Mississippi River on which the city’s skyline is built.

70. Les Passees ‘Stock Exchange’ Enters 30th Year -

During World War I, members of Les Passees Inc. made bandages and did knitting for soldiers. Today the oldest women’s volunteer organization in Memphis is about to celebrate the 30th year of its “Stock Exchange” upscale consignment shop.

71. Too Big To Ignore: The SEC and Its Ever-Growing Football Media Days -

HOOVER, Ala. – The SEC football preseason always has been loud. More than 30 years ago, the noise came via the Skywriters Tour and the rattle and roar of a DC-3 propeller plane carrying rumpled, hardworking – and often hard-drinking – sports writers to the 10 Southeastern Conference campuses for essentially unfettered access to the league’s coaches and players.

72. Scramble in the 8th District -

You might call it the calm before the storm. The Aug. 4 election, for which early voting starts July 15, is calmer than usual for the election cycle before a November presidential general election – the only election that more than half of Shelby County voters regularly show up for.

73. Symbols of War Keep Dragging Us Down -

More than 150 years ago, we fought our nation’s most bloody war, a conflagration that claimed 620,000 lives, almost as many as were killed in all other American war efforts combined.

Despite the horror of it all, we just can’t seem to learn a lesson, possibly because of Southern hardheadedness, and a century and a half later, we seem doomed to an eternal task: pushing Sisyphus’ rock to the top of a hill only to have it chase us back to the bottom.

74. Outsourcing Savings Estimates Strain ‘Credulity’ -

Terry Cowles flashes a photo of ceiling lamp fixtures on the screen and tells state legislators a vendor’s state Capitol team used its electrical training to remove, repair and reinstall fixtures, saving taxpayers $15,500.

75. 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.

76. Former Tiger Charles Harris Joins U of M Scholarship Fund -

Former University of Memphis football player Charles Harris has returned to his alma mater as an athletic development coordinator for the Tiger Scholarship Fund.

77. Legislators Playing Expensive Game With LGBT Issues -

The silly season is in full swing on Capitol Hill, but the “bathroom bill” and any jokes surrounding it are no laughing matter anymore. It’s getting downright expensive.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said this week the bill dealing with transgender student use of restrooms could cost the state more than $1.2 billion in federal funds for K-12 and higher education.

78. Last Word: Pastner's Georgia Tech Post-Season, Who Filed and Greensward Invitations -

Not so fast with the off-season. There is a Memphis post-season after all.

And the Grizz found it Thursday like a light at the end of a long-tunnel where a lot of people slipped and fell and can’t get up.
The light was Houston flaming out at home to Phoenix without the Grizzlies having to make a basket.
It’s all about the math. Stay in school, young people.

79. Amendments Cloud Issue of De-Annexation -

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

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

80. Opposers Fight De-Annexation Another Day -

When the state Senate’s State and Local Government Committee convenes at noon Wednesday, March 21, in Nashville, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and his administration will have been working Capital Hill for about a day and a half.

81. Harris, Towns Hope to Delay Monday De-Annexation Vote -

Memphis Democrats in the Tennessee Legislature are hoping to delay a scheduled Monday, March 21, state Senate floor vote on a deannexation bill that cleared the state House a week ago.

“This train is moving very fast,” Democratic Sen. Lee Harris said Friday, March 18. “The city of Memphis has never made a significant presentation about the city of Memphis’ finances to the relevant committees or to the Senate members,” he added. “Minimally, we need to send this back to committee so that we can have some airing out of what the facts are and what the known consequences are. … Minimally, if you are going to devastate a city, you should know exactly what that means and what you are doing.”

82. Last Word: Monday Vote, Beale's Search and Longview Heights -

Look for the state Senate to vote on the deannexation bill Monday in Nashville. At least that’s the date on the Senate calendar.

That could change as a member of the Shelby County legislative delegation has at last asked the Tennessee Attorney General for a legal opinion on the proposal. But it’s not a straight-up question about whether the proposal is constitutional. It’s a question about the specific characterization of past Memphis annexations as “egregious” – what has come to be the key legal term in this considerable political controversy.

83. Bipartisan Skeptics Doubt Haslam’s Outsourcing Plan -

Poor timing and questionable numbers: That’s how legislators are viewing a business justification plan for outsourcing facilities management across Tennessee.

The Office of Customer Focused Government tells state senators, if all departments opt in, the state could save $35.8 million by the second year of a contract under study for building operations and services – without laying off state workers or cutting pay and benefits.

84. Rare Wins for Democrats on Guns, Outsourcing -

Legislative Democrats got a chance to beat their chests a little bit after a proposal to allow guns in the state Capitol and Legislative Plaza failed, and they hope to do the same with outsourcing.

85. Teachers Wary of Haslam’s Push For Increased Pay -

Pushing a budget with more than $100 million for K-12 teacher pay raises, Gov. Bill Haslam says Tennessee is taking education to new levels by raising standards, linking teacher evaluations to student performance and expanding education options.

86. Last Word: History As Geology, Beyond the Greensward and City Hall's HR Director -

History can be like geology once you get it in something that isn’t in the form of a book.
There are layers on top of layers that you may not ever see or miss until a site is wiped clean for the next present that used to be the future and will eventually become the past.
That’s the case with the city’s historic Medical Center where much has come and gone several times over as our city’s considerable investment in medicine and health approaches the end of its second century.
Health Sciences Park used to be the site of a hospital. You would think something as massive as the tower of Baptist Memorial Hospital’s central campus on Union Avenue would be missed. Yet even those of us who grew up with its presence drive past it every day without a thought of what was once there.
The same with the site of Russwood Park on the north side of Madison Avenue and the old bus barns where Beale used to run further east than it does now.
In recent years, new facilities have arisen as the medical center makes itself over in a kind of economic regeneration without a comprehensive plan.
There is now an effort to come up with a comprehensive plan for the area that is more than different ventures buying or leasing land and making plans for their needs.
Eight of the institutions in the area have hired a consulting firm to develop a master plan that includes not just facilities but residential and retail areas.
It’s a significant step for an area that remains intriguing for those of us trying to remember what was where and how long some of the survivors have been holding out in much different streetscapes than were there when they arrived.
The Masonic lodge at the dead end of Dunlap into Union Avenue is a survivor. It’s where the funerals were held for some of those killed in the 1925 river disaster in which Tom Lee rescued so many others.
The lodge at one time had an earth-shaking pipe organ that I had the rare privilege of hearing at a concert following its restoration in the 1980s – the ancient 1980s.
And I still wonder about the tiny medical textbook storefront and how it endures at a time when students rent books and others use digital versions.
There are still remnants of the porous border between the medical center and the Union Avenue auto row that used to exist and arose around the old Ford plant.

87. Minority Leader Harris Confident Even on Wrong Side of Supermajority -

Lee Harris says he ran for state Senate because he felt Memphis could do better on Capitol Hill, defeating Ophelia Ford in 2014.

88. Last Word: New Minority Business Numbers, The House Affair and The Heights -

The recently revived discussion on minority business in Memphis is about to go back on the front burner again. Fueling the intensity are new U.S. Census numbers. They show the percentage of business receipts in Memphis produced by black-owned businesses has dropped since the 2007 census numbers showed a 1.08 percent share of those receipts by black-owned businesses. That in a city whose population is 63 percent African-American.
The drop to below one percent is even though the overall receipts in 2012 were higher than they were in 2007.
Madeline Faber is the first to report the new numbers as part of a cover story in our weekly, The Memphis News, that will be on the streets and in the racks Saturday, on-line Friday afternoon.
The numbers are such a telling story and such an important indicator that we broke it out as its own story in advance of the cover story.

89. Last Word: Kroger Disses Clarence Saunders, Mud Island Plans and The Australians -

What is old has become new again. And judging by your reaction to Andy Meek’s story on the Kroger plans for online ordering of groceries, what is old has gone viral as well.
Here are the basics:
You order from a list of items and Kroger fills the order and has it waiting for you to pick up.
When you think about the idea of supermarkets, which originated here in Memphis with Piggly Wiggly, it’s enough to make the Piggly Wiggly founder himself, Clarence Saunders, spin in his grave.
Before he came up with the idea of taking store shelves from behind the counter and putting them out there for you to get your own stuff from them, you would tell your grocer what you wanted and he would write it down on a paper bag and get it for you, wrap it up and present it to you.
Saunders changed all of that as you know if you’ve seen the Pink Palace’s child-sized replica of a Piggly Wiggly store from the start of the 20th century.
A century later, no paper bags and you can still walk among the shelves if you wish.
Perhaps this isn’t that extreme. Maybe this is simply a swing of the pendulum, back toward the middle ground.
Saunders tried to push it even further with his Keedoozle stores that followed Piggly Wiggly. In those stores, the items were lined up in what amounted to vending machines with shoppers releasing an item from the vertical row with a key.
Here Saunders went too far. He mashed the bread.

90. 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.

91. The Week Ahead: Jan. 18, 2016 -

How was your weekend Memphis? Here are some local events to keep on your radar this week, from a full slate of MLK activities to a David Bowie tribute to a Marco Rubio fundraiser…

92. After First Meeting, Personality of New Council Emerges -

The judgments began early for the new Memphis City Council, which met for the first time Tuesday, Jan. 5, at City Hall.

State Sen. Lee Harris, on hand to be honored as a former city council member, called the group the “Kumbaya Council,” as it approved 13 appointees by Mayor Jim Strickland, 11 of them with unanimous votes.

93. Last Word: The River, The New Mayor and Explaining Boll Weevils -

Hello, 2016. What’s your hurry?

First things first – the Mississippi River at our doorstep is above flood stage. But the crest is now predicted to come Friday and will be just over 40 feet – lower than predicted last week.
We will be posting web stories on the forecasts and other announcement from the county’s Office of Preparedness each evening to work with their schedule for summarizing where we are.
Floods are a slower moving cause for concern because we know what is happening upriver from us where the river is narrower. But this is also the Mississippi River, which is the definition of unpredictable.

94. Refugees, Regents, Privatization On Tap for New Session -

State Sen. Ken Yager isn’t quite ready for the state of Tennessee to reclaim the Refugee Resettlement Program from Catholic Charities.

95. Last Word: Recovery in North Mississippi, Opera in 2016 and Uptown North of Chelsea -

It’s been a holiday season of challenged hopes and muted emotions in our corner of the world.
The beginning of the series of storms and tornadoes they spawned killed eight people in North Mississippi where recovery is still a fact of life in this last week of 2015.
This will be a week of funerals and damage assessments for federal disaster aid throughout our region.
And you will hear more stories of escapes and new beginnings after losing everything of any material value.
But even in our spared city, our thoughts will return instinctively to the young lives taken so suddenly and so close to the family gatherings in which our youngest give so much more in the way of hope than they will realize at this tender age.

96. Northwestern Defense Tough, But Give Edge to UT -

There’s nothing like spending the Christmas holidays in Florida, and Tennessee’s football team will savor every minute of it for the second consecutive year.

The Vols (8-4) board a flight Saturday morning to Tampa, Fla., where they will spend almost a week before the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl against Northwestern (10-2).

97. Last Word: More Medical Expansions, Norris & Harris and Christmas In Hell's Kitchen -

Last Word is a new daily online column that offers an overview of what’s happened at the end of shift, so to speak. Picture a dimly lit newsroom in the Downtown night and the last person in the place leaving a memo for the morning shift and you have a pretty good idea of what we are aiming for.

98. Council's New Crop -

They ran in the considerable shadow of the most competitive Memphis mayoral race in a generation. The new Memphis City Council that takes office with Mayor-elect Jim Strickland in January isn’t necessarily a generational shift. It doesn’t signify a wholesale ousting by the electorate, either.

99. College Football Notebook: Memphis Coaching Search a Waiting Game -

As this is being written, the University of Memphis coaching search is a game of wait and see. Athletic director Tom Bowen & Co. apparently remain fixed on Missouri defensive coordinator Barry Odom, who served in the same position for three seasons at Memphis before going to Missouri before the 2015 season.

100. SRVS Program Helps People With Disabilities and Employers Who Hire Them -

Mike Harris is production manager at American Stairways Inc. on Lamar Avenue. He has a warehouse full of employees and, just saying it like it is, some are happier to be there than others.