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Editorial Results (free)

1. Last Word: Trader Joe's, Bredesen at Rhodes and Haslam on Memphis -

Here comes Trader Joe’s with a Friday opening in Germantown after lots of mystery and delays and changes for what is a pretty simple concept. For so many of us, this has been a long-hoped for goal. It’s kind of up there with smuggling in Coors beer from the west in the 70s before it became available everywhere and Coors had a brewery here.

2. Edmund Ford Jr. Sticks to Council, Commission Seats As He Pursues Transit Fee -

Edmund Ford Jr. is pushing for a dedicated revenue stream for the Memphis Area Transit Authority and road projects while holding seats on the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission.

And it could take him through the 90 days he has before he must give up the council seat, Ford said this week.

3. Last Word: Selling Local Soccer, Football's Arrival and Luttrell's Vetoes -

So the United Soccer League Memphis franchise is to be called Memphis FC 901. The branding was launched as the Labor Day weekend began with a video that is part Rogues nostalgia, soccer at school memories and a liberal dose of Grit ‘n’ Grind rhetoric from another sports franchise just down the street from AutoZone Park. The combination is another example of sports carrying the banner for the promotion of Memphis in general.

4. Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, New County Commissioners Sworn In -

New Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and the 13 members of the Shelby County Commission were sworn in together – to show unity between the two bodies of government – Thursday afternoon at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.

5. Last Word: Southgate Signs, Suburban Deadline and Kingsbury Allegations -

Seven months after it closed, the Kroger supermarket at the Southgate shopping center reopened Wednesday as a CashSaver grocery store in what has to be a blueprint for future efforts but is also nonetheless something that is not easily replicated. Showing the way on this has been The Works Inc. at its store at the South Memphis Farmers Market. We wrote about this earlier this year just as the Southgate solution began to take shape.

6. Last Word: Hotel on the Mall, The Twist in Council Day and Rallings on Surveillance -

At this point, the second convention center hotel is a bit like the Pyramid was at one point. Before the first dirt was turned on the Pyramid in the late 1980s, there was the discussion about where it should go and there were a lot of ideas on that covering a lot of territory – so much so that then-Shelby County Mayor Bill Morris had a model of a pretty generic looking Pyramid on his desk that had some lego wheels attached to it.

7. Harris Claims County Mayor, Democrats Sweep Other Countywide Offices -

State Sen. Lee Harris easily beat County Trustee David Lenoir to become the next Shelby County mayor in the Thursday, Aug. 2, county general election, leading a Democratic resurgence in county politics.

8. Harris Elected County Mayor, Bonner as Sheriff -

State Sen. Lee Harris easily beat County Trustee David Lenoir to become the next Shelby County mayor in the Thursday, Aug. 2, county general election, leading a Democratic resurgence in county politics.

9. Moves to Abolish IRV and City Runoff Provision Remain on November Ballot -

After intense lobbying by advocates of instant runoff voting, Memphis city council members doubled down Tuesday, July 24, on their decision to put a referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot that would do away with the current city charter provision calling for instant-runoff voting.

10. Democrats, Republicans Release Endorsement Ballots -

A group of Democrats including former U.S. representative Harold Ford Sr. is preparing to mail and distribute at the polls 60,000 endorsement ballots at no cost to the Democratic contenders on the ballot.

11. Early Opening -

Early voting in advance of the Aug. 2 Election Day opens Friday, July 13, at five locations across Shelby County. On Tuesday, 22 additional sites will be open through July 28. Between the Shelby County Election Commission and Chancery Court there were three other sets of early-voting locations and hours in a three-week period before Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins signed off Tuesday afternoon on a fourth set.

12. Early-Voting Challenge Touches On Other Issues of Open Government -

The local Democratic Party’s political and legal challenge of early-voting sites and hours is also part of a larger challenge of how decisions are made in city and county government.

In one of the two Chancery Court lawsuits over early voting filed Friday, July 6, former city council member Myron Lowery and Shelby County Democratic Party chairman Corey Strong claim the election commission violated the state’s open-meetings law by meeting in secret to plan the addition of more sites for the July early-voting period.

13. Bar Assn. Poll Recommends All Four Appointed Judges -

The Memphis Bar Association poll of the most qualified candidates in the special judicial races on the Aug. 2 ballot recommends all four of the judges appointed to those positions in the interim.

Just over 1,000 attorneys participated in the poll, which asked respondents to pick who is the most qualified among the contenders in those races as well as court clerks on the August ballot.

14. Bar Assn. Poll Recommends All Four Appointed Judges -

The Memphis Bar Association poll of the most qualified candidates in the special judicial races on the Aug. 2 ballot recommends all four of the judges appointed to those positions in the interim.

Just over 1,000 attorneys participated in the poll, which asked respondents to pick who is the most qualified among the contenders in those races as well as court clerks on the August ballot.

15. Council Gives Administration Nod, Honors 1968 Workers -

The painted image of the late Henry Loeb was mostly ignored Tuesday, May 22, at City Hall as the Memphis City Council honored surviving city sanitation workers from 1968 with its 25th annual Humanitarian of the Year Awards.

16. Last Word: A New Council Member, Law Without Signature and Corker Down Under -

The Memphis City Council should be back up to full strength by the time Tuesday becomes Wednesday. Filling the Super District 9 seat left vacant by the resignation earlier this month of Philip Spinosa to join the leadership of the Greater Memphis Chamber is on the council’s agenda Tuesday afternoon – the last item on the agenda. But the council usually skips around.

17. Last Word: BSMF Notes, Political Dominoes and The Teacher Pipeline -

Yes, it rained. There was even hail for a brief period. None of that appeared to make a dent in the run of the Beale Street Music Festival. We are still waiting on exact box office numbers. The park was sold out – Ticketfly and at the gate -- early Sunday evening. It wasn’t a sellout Friday and Saturday but ticket supplies were tight for Tom Lee Park with the festival estimating there were thousands more people Saturday than there were Friday. Much to be said for a lineup this year that managed to strike a balance between hipster, cutting edge nobody-knows-about-this-yet new and used-to-be-big-not-so-long-ago nostalgia.

18. Spinosa Takes Job With Chamber, Resigns from Council -

Philip Spinosa, Jr. has resigned from the Memphis City Council and was named the new senior vice president of the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle.

Spinosa will be taking over for Shea Flinn, who announced he would be vacating his position in March. Much like Spinosa, Flinn left his post on the council in 2015 to join the chamber.

19. Harris, Lenoir to Battle for County Mayor -

Republican David Lenoir and Democrat Lee Harris will meet in the Aug. 2 county general election to decide who will be the next Shelby County mayor. Lenoir and Harris won their respective primaries easily Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

20. Lenoir and Harris Advance in County Mayor's Race -

Republican David Lenoir and Democrat Lee Harris will meet in the Aug. 2 county general election to decide who will be the next Shelby County Mayor. Lenoir and Harris won their respective primaries easily Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

21. Four County Commissioners Unopposed As May Ballot Filing Deadline Approaches -

With a noon deadline Thursday, Feb. 15, to make the May 1 Shelby County primary ballot, four incumbent county commissioners had no opposition filed in their re-election bids.

Five Republican primary races on the ballot for 23 county offices, including the 13 commission seats, were one-candidate affairs with two or more Democrats running in the competing primaries as of Tuesday. Two Democratic primary races were also one-candidate races against a field of multiple Republican contenders in the companion primary.

22. The Metrics Mayor -

At times in the last two years, political supporters of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland have been worried. They agree with what got him elected, his “brilliant at the basics” philosophy that makes basic services and fundamental play-it-safe financial strategies the priority at City Hall.

23. Council Debate on MLGW Rates Reveals Trust Issues -

It began after the Tom Lee storm last Memorial Day weekend – a burst of sudden, intense winds that knocked out power to 188,000 homes and businesses as well as toppling the circa-1950s obelisk memorial to Tom Lee Downtown.

24. Last Word: Eureka Education, Confederate Monuments in Court and Dillon Brooks -

Supermarkets are hard. That is the tag line in every discussion about getting a supermarket or grocery store for a given part of town that doesn’t have one. And once a new supermarket goes up somewhere else, there is inevitably word that a competitor or two is going to build nearby. The discussion always includes the mandatory recitation of the 3 to 4 percent profit margin stores operate on, which even knowledgeable critics of the decisions about where to locate and not to locate stores acknowledge is accurate.

25. Younger Candidates Weighing New Political Moves -

George Monger listened to his critics and his backers late last year as he contemplated another run for office 11 years after his first try.

26. Committee Outlines MLGW Proposals to Hike Rates -

Memphis City Council members paved the way Tuesday, Dec. 5, for a vote in two weeks on proposed increases to Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division electric, gas and water rates in the new year.

A council committee is recommending the following:

27. Committee Outlines MLGW Rate Hike Recommendations -

Memphis City Council members paved the way Tuesday, Dec. 5, for a vote in two weeks on proposed increases to Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division electric, gas and water rates in the new year.

A council committee is recommending the following:

28. Extension of Council Term Limits Proposed -

Earlier this year some Memphis City Council members and Shelby County Commissioners began talking about changing the limits of two consecutive terms in office that each legislative body has in place.

29. Boyd Re-Elected As City Council Chairman -

The Memphis City Council re-elected Berlin Boyd as chairman of the body for 2018. He was elected to another one-year term Tuesday, Nov. 7, without opposition. Council member Frank Colvett was elected vice chairman over council member Janis Fullilove, who is currently vice chairman.

30. Boyd Re-Elected As City Council Chairman -

The Memphis City Council re-elected Berlin Boyd as chairman of the body for 2018. He was elected to another one-year term Tuesday, Nov. 7, without opposition. Council member Frank Colvett was elected vice chairman over council member Janis Fullilove, who is currently vice chairman.

31. Council Funds Beale Crowd Consultant, Abolishes $5 Cover -

Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday, Nov. 7, to approve $50,000 in funding for a crowd control consultant for the Beale Street entertainment district and to end the $5 cover charge for entry into the district on spring and summer Saturday nights after 10 p.m.

32. Council Vote Puts Overton Gateway Compromise To Test -

Memphis City Council members will put a tentative compromise on the proposed Overton Gateway development to the test Tuesday, July 25.

The council is scheduled to vote on the multifamily apartment project to be built by Makowsky Ringel Greenberg that encompasses both sides of Sam Cooper Boulevard at East Parkway.

33. Last Word: Budget Books and Line Items, Top of the Road List and Silencers -

The comforting thud of reams of bound printed paper hitting a wooden table top. The sound of pages turning as Power Points are read aloud. Yes, fellow citizens of the republic, it is budget season in Shelby County. The gavel fell on Memphis City Council budget hearings Tuesday at City Hall. And Wednesday morning Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell takes his budget proposal to the County Commission. A note about the city budget deliberations. Tuesday’s opening session saw the return of council member Janis Fullilove to City Hall after being out for a while due to an extended illness.

34. Council Opens City Hall Budget Season -

With an eye on the clock in the City Council committee room and rap of a gavel, council budget committee chairman Edmund Ford Jr. opened city budget hearings Tuesday, May 2.

“This is going to be kind of boring,” Ford said of the two afternoons spent by the committee on Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s capital budget -- $158.9 million in spending on one-time non-recurring items, mostly construction projects done in several phases over several years.

35. Rallings: Escort List Has Mistakes But Name Selection Isn’t Political -

Mistakes were made in putting together the list of 81 citizens who require a police escort at City Hall, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said this week.

“We’ll continue to review the list. It’s a work in progress,” Rallings said after a committee session with Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Feb. 21. “We admit there are some errors on the list.”

36. Council Waits on Answers About City Hall List -

Memphis City Council members had protesters outside City Hall and in council chambers Tuesday, Feb. 21, on different causes.

City employees opposed to proposed changes in the city’s impasse ordinance carried signs in council chambers reading “You Think Crime Is High Now Repeal Impasse.”

37. DMC Explores Long-Term Planning for Beale -

The leader of the Downtown Memphis Commission wants to start working toward a long-term approach to day-to-day management of the Beale Street entertainment district.

That’s what DMC president Terence Patterson told Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the council’s second discussion in three weeks about Beale Street.

38. Rewrite of City Impasse Ordinance Draws Fire from Unions -

The unions representing city of Memphis employees gave a rough reception Tuesday, Feb. 7, to a proposal to revamp the city’s impasse proceedings for stalled contract talks between the unions and the city administration.

39. Body Count -

A day at a time, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has been writing the names of those who have been murdered in a notebook he keeps with him since he became mayor in January 2016.

When five people, two of them 15 years old, died violently the weekend that much of the world’s attention was on protest marches and the new administration in Washington, Strickland was getting updates on the latest surge in violence.

40. Last Word: Convention Center Hotel, The Crime Discussion and A Gas Tax Hike Plan -

Grizzlies fall to the Clippers 115-106 in Los Angeles. They play Golden State Friday in another West Coast road game.

During the California sojourn, Chandler Parsons turned up on the tabloid TV show TMZ clubbing in the general vicinity of Kendall Jenner after New Year’s Eve with Kate Beckinsale.

41. Crime Issue Shows Complexity After Record Homicide Tally -

When the subject is crime in Memphis, it never stays in one place for very long. Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton’s conclusion that the city’s problem with violent crime is a black problem drew criticism Tuesday, Jan. 3, from Memphis City Council member Janis Fullilove.

42. Strickland Surprised by Record Homicide Rate, Defends ‘Brilliant at the Basics’ -

At the last Memphis City Council meeting of 2016, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland dropped by to give high marks for cooperation between his office and the council.

43. Airbnb Regulations Stripped of ‘Red Tape’ -

For several weeks, the coming of a city ordinance regulating Airbnbs looked like the model of how to achieve political compromise and consensus with the City Council brokering the process.

During the six-week process council member Edmund Ford Jr. worked with the hotel-motel industry and the short-term rental alliance to find common points and then worked through differences with them. Council member Berlin Boyd reviewed the provisions in his council committee as a neutral party both sides could go to as well.

44. Pot Vote Seen as Foothold in Memphis Criminal Justice Changes -

There were two gateway debates in Memphis City Council chambers Tuesday, Oct. 4, as it debated and then approved an ordinance that gives Memphis Police the discretion to write a ticket with a $50 fine for possession of a half ounce or less of marijuana.

45. Council Passes Pot Ordinance 7-6 -

The Memphis City Council gave final approval Tuesday, Oct. 4, to an ordinance that gives Memphis Police the discretion to write a ticket with a $50 fine for possession of a half ounce or less of marijuana.

46. Council Sets Stage for Final Pot Ordinance Vote -

With no debate, Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Sept. 20, the second of three readings of an ordinance that would allow police officers to write a ticket with a $50 fine for possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana.

47. City Council Pot Ordinance Passes Its First Reading -

The Memphis City Council is one step closer to decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, passing an ordinance on its first of three readings at the body’s Tuesday, Sept. 6, meeting.

Councilman Berlin Boyd is the sponsor of the ordinance, which would allow Memphis police the option of writing a ticket with a $50 fine for possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana. Boyd has amended the ruling to increase fines for multiple offenders and exempt juveniles from its provisions.

48. City Council Pot Ordinance Passes Its First Reading -

The Memphis City Council is one step closer to decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, passing an ordinance on its first of three readings at the body’s Tuesday, Sept. 6, meeting.

Councilman Berlin Boyd is the sponsor of the ordinance, which would allow Memphis police the option of writing a ticket with a $50 fine for possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana. Boyd has amended the ruling to increase fines for multiple offenders and exempt juveniles from its provisions.

49. Memphis City Council's Pot Debate Fires Up Larger Issues -

The Memphis City Council’s move to decriminalize possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana started with a mix of long-running themes about mass incarceration, the best use of police resources and the message the ordinance would send about drug use.

50. 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.

51. City Sells Old Police Building to NCE Realty -

The company that had the only bid Tuesday, May 17, on the old Central Police Building at 128 Adams Avenue still has to close on the deal with the city of Memphis.

52. Rallings Fields Council Questions On Police Hiring, Director’s Job -

Interim Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings says he has plenty of time to apply for the job on a permanent basis.

For now, Rallings told Memphis City Council members he is focused on getting a $256.3 million budget approved as part of the overall $667 million city government operating budget, dropping crime numbers and raising the number of police on the force.

53. New City Council Learns Ways of Budget Season Quickly -

There are 3,000 miles of street curbs in Memphis. Figures like this are the basic elements of budget season at City Hall.

They are how 13 Memphis City Council members – seven of them four months into their first four-year term of office – wrap their heads around an $85.3 million capital budget proposal and a $667 million operating budget proposal.

54. MWBE Taskforce Searching for Concrete Plan -

The Memphis City Council is the latest group to address the disparity of business secured by women- and minority-owned businesses in the city and county.

On March 14, the MWBE Taskforce held its inaugural meeting. Organized by council member Janis Fullilove, it will propose realistic and and sustainable approaches that the city could take to increase the participation of MWBEs.

55. Council Rejects Hotel At Jackson and Front -

Memphis City Council members rejected a hotel with retail Tuesday, March 1, on the northeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Front Street, across from The Pyramid in the Pinch District, that was first proposed last year.

56. Last Word: Laurelwood Changes, Greensward Aftermath and Broadband Problems -

East Memphis Proper is about to look a lot different. Nordstrom Rack is opening a Memphis store and it will be built where the Sears store stands now in the Laurelwood shopping center.
Sears closes in mid-April and the 1958 structure will be demolished for a new retail center to be called Poplar Commons.
Nordstrom Rack is 33,000 square feet of a 135,000 square foot shopping center.
Out parcels tend to be the changing face of commercial development on Poplar Avenue.
There are some notable exceptions like the nearby Oak Court Mall which was a significant change of scenery from what was once the Siena College campus.
Further west on Poplar, the Poplar Plaza shopping center – the city’s first suburban shopping center – is still recognizable in its original form if you know what used to be there.

57. Council Rejects Hotel at Jackson and Front -

Memphis City Council members rejected a hotel with retail Tuesday, March 1, on the northeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Front Street, across from The Pyramid in the Pinch District, that was first proposed last year.

58. City Council Comment Limits Raise Questions -

Most Memphis City Council members don’t want to stop comments from the public during council sessions. But several do want a better explanation of how the comments work, what their role is and what kind of comments won’t be tolerated.

59. City Council Punts Minority Business Issue to Panel -

Memphis City Council members debated at length Tuesday, Feb. 16, whether or not to form a committee to explore the lack of minority business growth locally.

And the debate mirrors a larger debate across the city’s political and business communities about the way forward on the long-standing issue of minority business growth in a city where the minority is the majority of the population but not of the business receipts.

60. Last Word: Tiger Turmoil, Choosing Hotels and Grasshopper In The Committee Room -

When there is turmoil in the world of University of Memphis sports, it is almost impossible to hide and the turmoil inevitably surfaces toward a much faster end game than the city’s mercurial and lively politics. And then there is the period of mourning and regret -- unless the coach's name is John Calipari.
So consider these events all in the space of an overcast Tuesday afternoon.
University of Memphis cheerleaders in Overton Square and on Highland Avenue, near the campus, waving pompoms and signs urging Memphians on the drive home to support Tigers basketball.
Just before the rush hour, the university’s athletic department put out a statement that may have been intended to quell speculation about the future of Tigers basketball coach Josh Pastner but which was so enigmatic that it probably did just the opposite.
You be the judge:
“We continue to receive inquiries concerning the future of Tiger basketball.
Tom Bowen
, UofM Athletic Director, the athletic senior leadership team and the Office of the President will conduct a post-season review of the men’s basketball program, as is customary with all UofM sports teams.
We urge Tiger Nation to support this team through the end of the basketball season with special attention given to the final three home games at FedExForum.”
And late Tuesday evening, the Memphis Rebounders sent an email appeal urging a strong turnout for the Wednesday UCF game at FedExForum which is also on ESPN.
“If business or family obligations prevent you from attending, please give the tickets to family, friends or me,” wrote Harold Byrd of the Rebounders, “as we have multiple requests from many who can’t afford season tickets.”

61. Details of Bass Pro-St. Jude Pinch Plan Near -

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Bass Pro Shops have agreed on a tentative and general plan for future development of the Pinch District, according to Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd.

62. City Council Approves Colonial Conversion, Vintage Trolley Purchase -

One of two golf courses at Colonial Country Club would give way to houses under a planned development approved Tuesday, Jan. 19, by the Memphis City Council.

The council approved a development that would turn the north course at Colonial into either a mix of single-family homes, townhouses and cottages or a mix of housing for senior citizens.

63. Council Members Settle In To New Assignments -

Memphis City Council members file the last of the paperwork Tuesday, Jan. 19, from the 2015 elections to put City Hall’s power transition on record.

Meanwhile, the six new members are learning on the job as they chair several committees following assignments by council chairman Kemp Conrad: Martavius Jones is chairman of the council audit committee; Patrice Robinson chairs the Memphis Light Gas and Water Division committee; Jamita Swearengen is chairwoman of the parks and neighborhoods committee; council member Philip Spinosa leads the personnel committee, usually the first committee session of the council day; Frank Colvett chairs the planning and zoning committee, which is the last session of the day before executive session; and Worth Morgan is chairman of the public safety committee.

64. Crime-Ridden, Neglected Apartments Come Under Fire -

Several Memphis apartment complexes with long records of neglect and crime issues are the targets of a renewed political and bureaucratic push to improve conditions.

The efforts are a new front in the recent city movement to tackle Memphis’ blight problem. And it’s a front that invites skepticism.

65. Memphis Council Approves Recycling Cart Loan Effort -

The city of Memphis could close the gap in outfitting its households with new and larger recycling carts if a no-interest loan comes through.

The Memphis City Council approved Tuesday, Jan. 5, the plan by the Public Works division to pursue the $5.2 million loan that would allow the city to buy 105,000 recycling carts.

66. Memphis Council Approves Recycling Cart Loan Effort -

The city of Memphis could close the gap in outfitting its households with new and larger recycling carts if a no-interest loan comes through.

The Memphis City Council approved Tuesday, Jan. 5, the plan by the Public Works division to pursue the $5.2 million loan that would allow the city to buy 105,000 recycling carts.

67. 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.

68. Council OKs Strickland's Directors, He Defends Pay Raises -

Memphis City Council members approved Mayor Jim Strickland’s slate of 12 division chiefs and directors Tuesday, Jan. 5, at the first council meeting of 2016. And Strickland defended the pay raises for some of those positions compared to the salaries those appointed positions paid in the Wharton administration.

69. Council’s First Meeting of 2016 Includes 2015 Leftovers -

Memphis City Council members begin their first council day of the year Tuesday, Jan. 5, with a slate of a dozen appointments by Mayor Jim Strickland.

70. 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.

71. Memphis City Council Runs Smart Meter Gauntlet -

The Memphis City Council may have six lame ducks on it. But in its last month together, the group of 13 isn’t coasting to the end of its term.

The council approved Tuesday, Dec. 1, a $240 million, five-year contract between Memphis Light Gas and Water Division and Elster Solutions LLC to outfit most of the city with smart meters.

72. Voters Fill in City Hall Blanks In Last Election of Busy 2015 -

The 2015 election season was put to rest last week: A low-turnout set of five Memphis City Council runoff elections filled in the blanks of what will be a different City Hall starting in 2016.

With a 4.8 percent turnout across the turf of five single-member City Council districts, voters in the Thursday, Nov. 19, non-partisan council runoff races defined the new council that takes office in January. The 13-member body will include six new faces.

73. Council Runoff Elections: Morgan Tops Springer, Boyd Over Anderson -

With a scant 4.8 percent turnout, Memphis voters filled in the blanks at City Hall Thursday, Nov. 19, by electing four new members to the Memphis City Council and returning an appointed incumbent.

Thursday’s winners join new council members Martavius Jones and Philip Spinosa in taking office January 1, making six new faces on the 13-member council.

74. Memphis City Council Heads For Rocky End Of Term -

With only two meetings left, Memphis City Council members are on their way toward what looks to be a rocky end of their four-year term of office together.

And the council’s annual election of a new chairman Tuesday, Nov. 17, for the coming calendar year didn’t help matters.

75. Council Delays Central Station and Graceland West Votes -

Memphis City Council members delayed approval Tuesday, Nov. 17, of the lease agreement and financing of the Central Station redevelopment project for two weeks. And it also delayed a vote on the Graceland West renovation and expansion.

76. Armstrong Ponders Mayoral Transition -

When outgoing Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said last week that Memphis Police Department director Toney Armstrong plans to retire at year’s end, what followed was the best representation of the off-kilter relationship between the mayor’s office and police brass.

77. Shelby County Election Commission Changes Preparations Following Tabulation Issues -

The 2015 Memphis elections are in the books as the Shelby County Election Commission certified the results Friday, Oct. 28.

But the commission has resolved to test tabulation computer programming earlier, starting with the Nov. 19 city council runoff elections.

78. City Council Approves Hotel-Retail Development Near Shelby Show Place Arena -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Oct. 20, plans to develop one of the few open parcels of land along Germantown Parkway as either a hotel with retail or two retail strips.

The Germantown Market planned development by the Debra Loskovitz Spousal Trust is on the east side of Germantown Parkway, south of Timber Creek Drive next to the Shelby Show Place Arena.

79. Five City Council Races Destined for Runoffs -

The identity of the Memphis City Council that will take office in January with six new members was still in flux at the end of a very long and frustrating Oct. 8 election night.

The races for four of those six open seats and the seat now held by an appointee to the council are going to a Nov. 19 runoff election – one week before Thanksgiving.

80. Election Day Beckons In Hard-Fought Memphis Mayor’s Race -

The most competitive Memphis mayor’s race in 24 years goes to the city’s 403,227 voters Thursday, Oct. 8, along with races for all 13 seats on the Memphis City Council and the race for City Court clerk.

81. Lipscomb’s Exit Prompts Delay in EDGE Merger -

A move to merge two Memphis economic development agencies has intersected with the exit of Robert Lipscomb as the city’s Housing and Community Development director.

82. Memphis Mayoral Endorsements Split -

The first wave of endorsements in the 2015 Memphis elections finds no mayoral contender with a sweep, one of the four major contenders without an endorsement so far and two of the big three municipal unions backing different mayoral candidates.

83. Council Candidates Offer Advice, With Verbal Jabs, at NAACP Forum -

There have been fewer forums this year for Memphis City Council contenders on the Oct. 8 ballot as the 2015 campaign season has focused on mayoral events.

So when the Memphis branch NAACP held its regular forum for council candidates Sunday, Aug. 23, at First Baptist Church on Broad Avenue, 27 candidates in 11 of the 13 council races turned out – about a quarter of the crowd of 100 in the church sanctuary.

84. Memphis Chamber Backs Wharton in Mayor’s Race -

The political action committee of the Greater Memphis Chamber is backing Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. for re-election.

Wharton faces a strong challenge in his re-election bid from Memphis City Council members Harold Collins and Jim Strickland. And a key issue in the hard-fought campaign is the city's pace of economic development during Wharton’s tenure.

85. Memphis Mayoral Field Set at 10 -

Shelby County Election Commissioners have certified the Memphis election ballot for Oct. 8.

These are the names to appear on that ballot for the 15 elected offices.

The commission met hours after the noon Thursday, July 23, deadline for candidates to withdraw from the ballot if they wished.

86. Memphis Candidates Prepare To Spend -

How much a candidate raises in an election season attracts a lot of attention, and the second-quarter fundraising numbers for the Oct. 8 Memphis elections are still trickling out.

The reports were due July 10 but some are still arriving at the Shelby County Election Commission website. And in some cases, the reports are incomplete, showing amounts raised but not amounts spend and on hand as of July 1.

87. Council Approves Moratorium on Pinch Building Permits -

Memphis City Council members approved a 120-day moratorium Tuesday, July 7, on new building permits in the Pinch District as they also approved a planned development Downtown.

The moratorium proposed by councilman Berlin Boyd allows the council to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis during the four-month period. During that time, the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development will come up with suggested guidelines for future development of the district bordering The Pyramid.

88. Forrest Vote Signals Change in General’s Legacy -

When the city of Memphis voted to rename Forrest Park and two other Confederate-themed parks in Downtown Memphis two years ago, City Council member Bill Boyd criticized the move and extolled Nathan Bedford Forrest’s virtues.

89. Council Approves Pinch Moratorium, Delays Vote On Civilian Police Review Board -

Memphis City Council members approved a 120-day moratorium Tuesday, July 7, on new building permits in the Pinch district as they also approved a planned development in the Downtown district.

The moratorium proposed by council member Berlin Boyd allows the council to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis during the four-month period. During the fourth months, the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development will come up with some suggested guidelines for future development of the district that borders the reactivated Pyramid.

90. Council Approves Pinch Moratorium, Delays Vote On Civilian Police Review Board -

Memphis City Council members approved a 120-day moratorium Tuesday, July 7, on new building permits in the Pinch district as they also approved a planned development in the Downtown district.

The moratorium proposed by council member Berlin Boyd allows the council to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis during the four-month period. During the fourth months, the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development will come up with some suggested guidelines for future development of the district that borders the reactivated Pyramid.

91. Council Approves Pinch Moratorium, Delays Vote On Civilian Police Review Board -

Memphis City Council members approved a 120-day moratorium Tuesday, July 7, on new building permits in the Pinch district as they also approved a planned development in the Downtown district.

The moratorium proposed by council member Berlin Boyd allows the council to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis during the four-month period. During the fourth months, the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development will come up with some suggested guidelines for future development of the district that borders the reactivated Pyramid.

92. Memphis Ends Budget Season, But the Arguments Aren't Over -

The end of the budget season at City Hall can be a festive occasion.

Weeks of line-item detail and swapping one amount with another in the budget, as well as the pressure of revenue and other projections that amount to moving targets in the fiscal year, give way to approved operating and capital budgets as well as a property tax rate.

93. Chism Political Picnic Offers Pre-Campaign Snapshot -

Memphis mayoral contender Jim Strickland saw a face he didn’t recognize Saturday, June 13, in the southwest Memphis crowd at former County Commissioner Sidney Chism’s annual political picnic.

94. New Questions About Southbrook Mall Renovation -

Late last year, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was pushing a town center-type conversion of Whitehaven’s Southbrook Mall.

But Memphis City Council members questioned Tuesday, May 5, whether the Wharton administration’s plan for a town center at the Southbrook Mall site in Whitehaven was set up to fail once the funding reached the mall’s nonprofit board.

95. Council Begins Hearings on Operating Budget -

The Memphis City Council is down a member as its budget committee begins hearings Tuesday, May 5, on the $656.5 million operating budget proposal of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

Council member Shea Flinn resigned Thursday effective immediately to take a position as vice president at the Greater Memphis Chamber in charge of the Chairman’s Circle.

96. Wanda Halbert to Run for City Court Clerk -

Memphis City Council member Wanda Halbert will not seek re-election in this year’s city elections and will instead run for City Court Clerk.

Halbert planned to pull a petition Monday, April 20, for the challenge of incumbent clerk Thomas Long.

97. Halbert Passes on Council Re-election Bid To Go For City Court Clerk -

Memphis City Council member Wanda Halbert will not seek re-election in this year's city elections and will instead run for City Court Clerk.

Halbert plans to pull a petition Monday, April 20, for the challenge of incumbent clerk Thomas Long.

98. Council OKs Beale Street Tourism Authority -

The Memphis City Council approved on third and final reading Tuesday, March 3, an ordinance to create a Beale Street Tourism Development Authority to guide future development in the entertainment district and hire a day-to-day manager of the district between Second and Fourth Streets.

99. Southbrook Project Resurfaces Again -

The owners of Southbrook Mall got $1.5 million in improvements from City Hall this week. But it wasn’t the $1.5 million the owners of the Whitehaven mall wanted in 2012, when the city contemplated giving them that sum to fix the roof and make repairs to the mall’s heating and air conditioning system.

100. Council OKs Beale Authority, Votes Down Cemetery -

The Memphis City Council approved on third and final reading Tuesday, March 3, an ordinance to create a Beale Street Tourism Development Authority to guide future development in the entertainment district and hire a day-to-day manager of the district between Second and Fourth Streets.