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Editorial Results (free)

1. Cates Wants Detail on Downtown Agreements -

From Mud Island River Park across the Memphis harbor to The Pyramid and further east to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – there are a lot of connections as the areas head toward a new incarnation.

2. 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.

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

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

4. Council Probes Police Body Camera Delay -

Memphis City Council members talk Tuesday, Feb. 2, about when police body cameras might be ready for action.

And there will probably be questions at the 11 a.m. executive session about whether a limited test use of the cameras recorded any of last week’s fatal police shooting of Johnathan Bratcher in South Memphis.

5. Last Word: Winter Pre-Game Show, The Zoo Goes To Court And Hotel Fever -

You wouldn’t call this the eye of the storm, would you? We’ll go with calling this the pre-game show for the winter storm that is supposed to show up in Memphis at around 7 a.m. Friday morning. Think Super Bowl pre-game.
There is so much that’s been said in advance of this that whatever happens, it might be hard to live up to the preparation.
Much of the rest of this is like an arms race of sorts.
Consider the equipment list from Memphis International Airport.
10 snow brooms, 12 plow trucks, four de-icing trucks each with 40,000 gallons of deicer, four 2-ton salt spreaders and four tractors to keep the runways clear.
The city of Memphis Public Works division has eight snow plows ready to roll on major thoroughfares if the snow gets within the three-inch mark. A set of 16 salt trucks were to load up at 11 p.m. Thursday evening to begin applying salt and sand when needed, with continual inspections of road conditions. And that includes some pre-treated priority areas.
And then there was this truly unusual announcement from Shelby County Schools: the optional school parent camp-out was suspended Thursday evening because of the weather.
This is the camp out the school system tries its best to discourage each and every year at this time. That includes bar-coded applications and repeatedly emphasizing that 99.9 percent of those with the bar-coded applications get their first choice of optional schools, making the camp-out unnecessary. The applications are handed out over several days and are then time-stamped when they are turned in for consideration.
Nevertheless, the tents go up each year and voices are raised in the debate about whether this is parents who care more or parents who are carried away.
This year, the school system, while emphasizing that it “does not authorize or direct” the camp-out, says the line will resume Sunday at 7 a.m.
The school system also adds: “The current process being managed by parents will be recognized due to potential health and safety risks related to forecasted inclement weather.”
But is there a line to get back in line? And when does that start?

6. Strickland Names Interim Memphis Police Director -

Mayor Jim Strickland has chosen an interim Memphis Police director from inside the ranks, naming his pick two weeks to the day after current director Toney Armstrong announced he’s retiring from the role.

7. Last Word: The View Across The Harbor, Crosstown Undercurrents and Bonnaroo -

The fishing puns are overpowering as Bass Pro Shops expresses its interest in redeveloping Mud Island River Park, on the other side of the city harbor from the Pyramid Bass Pro Shops opened at just this past May.
Bass Pro Shops is one of five companies to express interest in Mud Island as part of the process by the Riverfront Development Corporation to go a different way with the park.
The RDC released the names of the companies Thursday.
Earlier this month, we outlined the RVC Outdoor Destinations proposal.
We don’t know nearly as much about what Bass Pro Shops has in mind or the other three firms.
All five now head for what amounts to a second round in which they submit specific plans to a search committee of the RDC including how they will pay for their plans.

8. Ursula Madden: From Broadcast News to Memphis Communications Chief -

She didn’t realize it at the time, but Ursula Madden was training for her career as a local television anchor.

This was when she was a girl, growing up in Portland, Oregon. Little Ursula might have been sent outdoors to play all the time, but her mother had other ideas.

9. Last Word: Time and The Greensward, Crosstown High and Race and Sports -

Remember how the schools merger story of about five years ago would change by the hour at times? That story has met its equal in what is becoming the first major challenge of the new Strickland administration at City Hall – the Overton Park Greensward.
So much happened before noon Tuesday on the first day of the short work week that it required waiting for the dust to settle on several fronts.
Here is the latest on a very fluid and volatile situation that could very well change as you are reading this.
Luckily we report at a time when you can change stories on line to keep up with such changes.
Zoos and parks and protests featuring brass bands suggest to a casual observer that this is not very serious as controversies go.
And maybe that was the case about a year and a half ago when a group of high school students decided to block the gravel driveway from the zoo parking lot onto the greensward.
But consider this:
The Memphis Zoo is working toward a March 1 opening of its new exhibit, Zambezi River Hippo Camp, a $22-million attraction that from what we saw just a few months ago will likely draw big crowds to the zoo in the spring.
The zoo was preparing for that starting with the removal of 27 trees from the north end of the greensward.
The best Mayor Jim Strickland could get from both sides – the zoo and Overton Park Conservancy – at his meeting with them Tuesday was a commitment to take his proposal for mediation to their respective boards.
The zoo board has authorized its leaders to file a lawsuit in Chancery Court over the greensward and it’s very likely the zoo would go to court before the March 1 opening because of the crowds on their way.
If the work to come by the zoo in advance of the March 1 opening involves heavy machinery, the reaction is likely to draw a much bigger protest than the ones Memphis Police have so far watched from a distance without making arrests.
As in all pressing political dramas, this controversy has the accelerant of timing.

10. Overton Park Conservancy Hires Trio of Firms For Park Traffic Study -

The Overton Park Conservancy has hired a trio of firms led by the design firm Looney Ricks Kiss to recommend solutions to the park’s traffic flow and parking problems.

Working with LRK on the study, agreed to by the conservancy and all of the park’s institutions including the Memphis Zoo, are greenway and trail consultants Alta Planning + Design and engineering consultants Kimley-Horn and Associates.

11. Last Word: Tri-State's Deal With First Tennessee, Matt Barnes' Fine and The Grind -

It sounds strange to refer to this as a holiday weekend – the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Holidays suggest something different than the rededication to purpose so many of us stress as our definition of this day honoring the memory of a leader whose life made it difficult to imagine what our society would be like without his presence.
That we feel compelled to express the meaning of the day through actions and a recommitment to principles buffeted by reality reflects a hope that we wish to retain as first-hand memories of King’s life fade and his legacy endures.

12. Strickland Postpones Police Body Camera Rollout -

The much-delayed implementation of body cameras for the Memphis Police Department's 2,000 officers is being pushed back again.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has indefinitely postponed the roll out of police body cameras citing a rush starting last year to get the cameras up and running without considering the back end of the process including record-keeping.

13. 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.

14. Last Word: Legislature's Return, Uber Pilot, Minivan Comeback and Bowie's Exit -

The gavel falls in Nashville.
The Tennessee legislature is back in session Tuesday. This is an election year session for the legislature. So it will be short – likely an early April adjournment. But that doesn’t mean the session is without expectations from outside Nashville.

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

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

16. 'Undefeated’ Courtney to Speak at Tigers Baseball Banquet -

The University of Memphis baseball program has never been shy about swinging for the fences when booking speakers for its annual Meet the Tigers Banquet. Past speakers include Hall-of-Famer George Brett, best-selling author John Grisham, and pitcher Jim Morris, who inspired the movie “The Rookie.”

17. Memphis City Schools Liability Questions Remain -

It’s been overshadowed by City Hall’s liability crisis of the last two years.

But who is ultimately responsible for more than $1 billion in liability for OPEB – other post employment benefits – of employees of the old Memphis City Schools system has been a question Shelby County government leaders have been pondering for some time.

18. ‘Undefeated’ Courtney to Speak at Tigers Baseball Banquet -

The University of Memphis baseball program has never been shy about swinging for the fences when booking speakers for its annual Meet the Tigers Banquet. Past speakers include Hall-of-Famer George Brett, best-selling author John Grisham, and pitcher Jim Morris, who inspired the movie “The Rookie.”

19. 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.

20. Last Word: Council Round-Up, One Beale's Third Tower and the Battle Over the ASD -

On a clear day, the song goes, you can see forever.
In Memphis though, it seems that no two politicians will see exactly the same thing or have precisely the same opinion.
On a somewhat sunny but not necessarily clear Tuesday in our fair city there was a lot to see.

21. 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.

22. Strickland Pushes Change Theme Beyond Campaign Borders -

Change as a political force is usually defined by the length of a campaign season.

Once the votes are counted, it’s taken as a verdict on how much or how little voters wanted change in a short span of time.

23. Strickland Takes Office, Doubles Down on Change Theme -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland took office New Year’s Day with a pledge to immediately begin to “target and remove” street gang leaders and equip police with the ability to immediately issue domestic violence orders of protection.

24. Last Word: Out With the Old, In With The River -

We end 2015 with an eye on the Mississippi River as the city marks the New Year with three major New Year’s Eve outdoor celebrations – one on Beale Street, another in the newly-awakened Overton Square and yet another in the Broad Avenue Arts District.
Two come with lots of memories of past New Year’s eves – with soon-to-be memories.
Overton Square’s comeback as a theater district has been a big story of the last two years.
But Beale Street at the end of 2015 is an institution that has also seen a lot of change in the last year with the move to a Beale Street Tourism Development Authority at year’s end.
Broad is a different story with a different context. The context is a diversified Memphis whose crowd is likely to be at least slightly more local than the mix in Overton Square and on Beale Street.
It's example could very well show us the path to a New Year's eve with public celebrations from Whitehaven to Frayser.

25. Strickland Takes Office Promising Change -

Things move quickly once it is decided the incumbent mayor will not be returning to City Hall.

The political spotlight shifts quickly to the new mayor who has about two months and two weeks to make some important decisions about his inner circle, set some priorities and figure out what needs to wait for more deliberation.

26. Deadly Shooting in Chattanooga Voted Top Story of 2015 -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Chattanooga has been voted the top Tennessee news story of 2015.

Muhammad Abdulazeez, a 24-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, opened fire on a recruiting center and a reserve facility on July 16. The FBI recently described the attack as an act "inspired and motivated by foreign terrorist propaganda."

27. City Hall Shuffle Moves Into Christmas Eve With 8 Positions Cut -

Memphis-Mayor elect Jim Strickland announced on Christmas Eve that he will eliminate eight positions in the current administration, one of them vacant. And a ninth positon will become a part-time position. Strickland will also follow through on his long-held desire to end the city’s involvement in and funding of the Memphis-Shelby County Music Commission.

28. Last Word: 7 Dead in North Mississippi, City Hall Shuffle Continues, Another UCI Exit -

With first light Christmas Eve in North Mississippi the death toll from the Wednesday storm and tornadoes rose to seven with more than 40 injured, that according to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant who has declared a state of emergency.

29. Strickland Taps New Deputy COO -

Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland has appointed Patrice Thomas as the city’s deputy chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1.

30. Last Word: The Short Work Week, New Council and Alexander On Voters -

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.

31. 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.

32. Last Word: The Force Reawakens, Methodist Expands and Setting Up 2016 -

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.

33. Strickland Gets Ideas From Transition Groups -

Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland spent most of Wednesday, Dec. 16, with his transition team ending one phase of his move from the city council to the mayor’s office.

34. Departing City Council Members Remembered at Last Session -

Before the Memphis City Council’s final session of 2015 on Tuesday, Dec. 15, the 13 council members got around to something they should have done four years ago: take a group picture in the Hall of Mayors at City Hall.

35. Current City Council Marks End of Term -

Memphis City Council members mark the end of an eight-year era Tuesday, Dec. 15, when the body holds its last meeting of 2015.

It is also the last session of the current council’s four-year term of office. With the end of the term, six of the 13 members will be leaving office.

36. The Week Ahead: Dec. 14, 2015 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from the annual AutoZone shareholder convergence Downtown to the new Star Wars movie...

37. A List of Mayor-Elect Jim Strickland’s Appointments So Far -

Memphis Mayor elect Jim Strickland still has some appointments to make, but he is methodically filling key positions in his administration ahead of taking office Jan. 1.

38. Snapshot: Ballet Memphis ‘In the Mix’ at Chamber Luncheon -

Ballet Memphis’ Rafael Ferreras and Crystal Brothers performed Wednesday, Dec. 9, for more than 1,000 business and community leaders at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s annual chairman’s luncheon – an event at which Carolyn Hardy officially took the reins as chamber chairman.

39. Strickland Taps Ursula Madden as Communications Chief -

Ursula Madden is leaving the anchor's desk at WMC Action News 5 and heading to City Hall.

Madden, an anchor for the station's 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. broadcasts, is joining the administration of Memphis mayor-Elect Jim Strickland as chief communications officer.

40. The Week Ahead: Dec. 7, 2015 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from gift shopping at the Memphis Indie Holiday Market to the latest Beale Street developments ...

41. City Council to Vote on Idlewild Gate, Water Rate Hike -

A gate across Idlewild Street between two competing supermarket projects in Midtown tops the Memphis City Council’s next-to-last meeting of the year.

The council is to vote Tuesday, Dec. 1, on a resolution that would close Idlewild south of Union Avenue to vehicular traffic and install a gate. The reason, according to the resolution, is to prevent motorists coming from Union Avenue and the two developments from cutting through the residential area.

42. The Week Ahead: Nov. 30, 2015 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from snow and sledding at the Levitt Shell to orientation for members of the new Memphis City Council...

43. 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.

44. Last Election of 2015 Decides Five Council Races -

The last election of 2015 in Shelby County will fill in the blanks in a changing of the political guard at City Hall.

Six weeks after Memphis voters ousted incumbent Mayor A C Wharton and replaced him with Jim Strickland and elected two new members to the 13-member City Council – Martavius Jones and Philip Spinosa – voters will decide who gets five more council seats.

45. Strickland Vows to Grow Memphis’ Minority Contract Percentage -

Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland says the next month may be the most important of his administration, even though he won’t take office until Jan. 1.

46. Andy Cates: Memphis in ‘Pivotal’ Time -

When more than 100 of the city’s most prominent developers and real estate professionals got together Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the Crescent Club in East Memphis, much of the focus was on a list of more than two dozen real estate projects.

47. 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.

48. Wharton’s Transition Reveals Lighter Mood -

The incumbent’s advantage in Memphis politics often keeps playing out after all of the votes are counted – even if the winner isn’t the incumbent.

A version of that is happening now as Memphis Mayor A C Wharton serves out the rest of his term after losing a re-election bid to challenger Jim Strickland in the Oct. 8 city elections.

49. Strickland: Expect Smaller Memphis City Hall Administration -

Several city division directors under outgoing Memphis Mayor A C Wharton have told Mayor-elect Jim Strickland they do not intend to seek reappointment in the new administration.

50. Strickland Names 26 to Eight Transition Committees -

Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland announced Wednesday, Oct. 21, that he has named 26 people to eight committees that are the structure of his transition committee.

The transition committee members were chosen by Strickland along with the three co-chairs of the transition committee.

51. Videographer to Release Stanford Documentary -

One night several years ago, while he was watching Alex Gibney’s film, “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” Houston-based videographer Dave Henry got an idea.

52. Fallon, Richards to Attend Memphis Music Hall of Fame Induction -

Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards will be among the attendees at this weekend’s Memphis Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.

53. Fallon, Richards to Attend Music Hall Of Fame Induction in Memphis -

Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards will be among the attendees at this weekend’s Memphis Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Downtown Cannon Center on Saturday, Oct. 17.

54. College Football Notebook: For Once, Vols on Right Side of Comeback -

After three times blowing double-digit leads this season, the University of Tennessee Volunteers rallied from a 21-point deficit to upset Georgia 38-31 on Saturday, Oct. 9.

It was a history-making day for quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who threw for 312 yards and rushed for 118 yards, marking the second time in Tennessee history a player had more than 300 yards passing and more than 100 yards rushing. (Dobbs did it for the first time in program history against South Carolina in 2014.) Dobbs also accounted for five touchdowns: three passing and two rushing.

55. Memphis Mayoral Transition Begins -

The transition at City Hall begins this week from Mayor A C Wharton to Mayor-elect Jim Strickland.

Strickland won’t take office until January.

56. Strickland Upsets Wharton In Memphis Mayor's Race -

Not even close. Mayoral challenger Jim Strickland rolled up a wide margin over incumbent Mayor A C Wharton in the early-vote totals in advance of the Oct. 8 election day count.

And based on that and other election indicators, Wharton conceded the election shortly after 10 p.m. to Strickland after the vote count was long delayed by computer glitches.

57. Taser Contract Controversy Endures As Election Day Nears -

As the city of Memphis closed in on buying body cameras and other associated technology for its police department, the inner circle around Memphis Mayor A C Wharton was concerned.

They were concerned that Taser International, the camera supplier the city had picked, wasn’t getting close to the goal the city had set of at least 10 percent participation by minority- and women-owned business enterprises – MWBEs – in the total project spend.

58. Editorial: Memphis’ Direction and Your Choices for Mayor -

Fhe Oct. 8 Memphis mayor’s race is about where the city is and where it is going.

A C Wharton’s six-year mayoral tenure has been a mixed bag. There's been a genuine effort to change the nature of local government but also a wandering focus in which slogans are a kind of political fodder.

59. The Field -

The most competitive race for Memphis mayor in 24 years is in the hands of Memphis voters who will determine whether it will be as close as recent polls suggest it could be.

Early voting in advance of the Oct. 8 election day opened Friday, Sept. 18, with all 13 Memphis City Council seats on the ballot as well as the race for the City Court Clerk’s office.

60. Memphis Mayor's Race Poised For Close Finish -

A political summer dominated by the campaign for Memphis mayor begins turning toward fall Friday, Sept. 18, with the opening of the early voting period in advance of the Oct. 8 election day.

All 16 early voting sites are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 3.

61. ULI Panel Tackles Soulsville’s Dilemma as Shadyac Reveals Concept -

Local shareholders and national development leaders got deep in the heart of Soulsville USA this week with an all-day deliberation on how to bring placemaking to one of Memphis’ struggling historical areas.

62. Is Chad Kelly Ole Miss’ Long-Term QB Solution? -

OXFORD, Miss. – Like a lot of places around the SEC this summer – Alabama, Georgia, LSU – the preseason conversation here has been all about quarterbacks. Which explains why five days before Ole Miss was to open the season on Saturday, Sept. 5 vs. Tennessee-Martin, junior center Robert Conyers was asked to weigh in on the topic.

63. Musical Space -

It took a while – four years, in fact – for the Memphis Music Hall of Fame to finally get a space of its own. But it’s preparing to celebrate that physical space at 126 Beale St., adjacent to the Hard Rock Café, with a grand opening ceremony Friday, Aug. 21.

64. Campaign Strategies Shift As Mayoral Debates Begin -

It’s been a scrap from the start.

But with the first televised debate in the 2015 race for Memphis Mayor Monday, Aug. 10, more citizens got a first-hand look at what the top contenders have agreed is a milestone political race.

65. First Mayoral TV Debate Features Aggressive Contenders -

The first televised debate of the 2015 race of Memphis Mayor Monday, Aug. 10, saw incumbent Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and city council member Jim Strickland clash repeatedly while fellow council member and mayoral challenger Harold Collins said Strickland and Wharton were “acting like Tom and Jerry.”

66. Strickland Files for Mayor One Week From Deadline -

A week before the filing deadline for candidates on Memphis’ October ballot, city councilman Jim Strickland filed his qualifying petition for mayor and said he has a campaign war chest of approximately $400,000.

67. Memphis City Council Delays Budget Votes Until June 23 -

Memphis City Council members put off final budget votes Tuesday, June 16, after trying for several hours to rearrange Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.'s budget proposal.

But council members, already skeptical about the administration’s line items and dollar figures, became increasingly frustrated as their calculations of available funding didn’t match the administration’s math.

68. 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.

69. Tenn. Sports Hall of Fame Inducting 11 New Members -

Former Memphis and NFL wide receiver Isaac Bruce is among 11 new members of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame being inducted Saturday night.

70. Hard City Budget Decisions Come Down to Impasse Pay Raises -

The dollar figures being added to and subtracted from the city of Memphis budget for the coming fiscal year are relatively small this budget season at City Hall.

They amounted to less than $1 million as the Memphis City Council’s budget committee held its next-to-last session Tuesday, May 26. The recommended changes are to Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s $656.5 million operating budget proposal presented in April.

71. 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.

72. Wharton Traces City’s Path in Financial Crisis -

City Hall’s budget season in this Memphis election year will be about more than the dollar figures and line items in Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s budget proposal.

It will be about different versions of how the city got into its ongoing financial crisis.

73. Pinnacle Awards Honor Commercial Real Estate Standouts -

The local commercial real estate community gathered at the Memphis Botanic Garden Thursday, April 9, for the 14th annual Pinnacle Awards. Every year, the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Commercial Council honors its members based on their transactional volume, merit and community activity.

74. Wharton's Way -

City elections in Memphis begin unadorned.

Yard signs don’t bloom until mid- to late summer, when the strategic use of television ads and the much higher cycle of radio advertising kick in.

75. Big Leap From Hollywood Hustle to Nolensville ‘Barn’ -

The step-grandmother of Clark Gable’s granddaughter leans back in her chair inside the Mennonite furniture store and holds up a foot.

“Look. I’m wearing orange socks. I must be eccentric,” says Linda Roberts as a gray, misty day chases me from Nolensville Road into the worn building tucked against Mill Creek.

76. Sammons Gets Good Look at Mayor-Council Relationship -

There was a moment Tuesday, April 7, at City Hall when outgoing chief administrative officer George Little paused in the middle of his grilling by the council to look over at incoming CAO Jack Sammons and smile.

77. Sammons Nomination Approved By Testy Council -

With an 11-0 vote, the Memphis City Council approved Tuesday, April 7, the return of former council member Jack Sammons to City Hall as the city’s new chief administrative officer.

78. Lowery Won’t Seek Re-Election -

Memphis City Council chairman Myron Lowery, the longest-serving member of the council, won’t be running for re-election on the October ballot.

79. City Debt Restructure Isn’t the End of Finance Debate -

The table was rectangular, not round. There was no green felt and nobody had a deck of cards. But when 10 Memphis City Council members, Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Tennessee comptroller Justin Wilson gathered in the council’s committee room Tuesday, March 17, there were lots of comparisons to a poker game. And lots of money was at stake.

80. Flinn Rumor Could Impact Multiple City Council Races -

Even before Shea Flinn gave a “no comment” last week to a persistent rumor that he would resign from the Memphis City Council, there were potential candidates eyeing his super district seat.

81. Flinn Rumor Could Impact Multiple City Council Races -

Even before Shea Flinn gave a “no comment” last week to a persistent rumor that he would resign from the Memphis City Council, there were potential candidates eyeing his super district seat.

With no qualifying petitions issued for the October ballot until next month, there is stealthy speculation about who is running for council and which seats may be sought.

82. Financial Debate Looms at City Hall -

With Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to present his budget proposal to the City Council in May, some on the council started to set the table this week for an election year challenge of Wharton’s methods for righting the city’s financial condition.

83. Council Delays Financial Votes, Approves Beale Street Authority -

Memphis City Council members approved a $4.5 million advance Tuesday, March 3, for the Memphis Area Transit Authority to get past a cash flow problem.

But the council delayed for two weeks a vote on a larger mid-fiscal year budget adjustment for city government in general.

84. Williams Says Mayoral Bid Based On Change -

Saying there is a pulse in the city for change, Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams announced Monday, Feb. 23, he will run for Memphis mayor in the October city elections.

85. City Requests Fairgrounds Review by ULI Experts -

The upcoming review of the Fairgrounds redevelopment concept by a group of Urban Land Institute experts will move quickly and could be a political wild card.

The city’s request last week for a review by Urban Land Institute’s Advisory Services goes to a part of the planning and land use nonprofit that has been specializing in such political hot potatoes since 1948.

86. Alternative Ending -

The city of Memphis secured $6.7 million in federal funding last week to improve and rehab public housing.

Meanwhile, the city’s application for a much larger federal grant to demolish the city’s last large public housing development was making the rounds at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

87. Americans Striving to Find Their Place in a Global Sport -

He was supposed to be the next Andy Roddick, the next great American tennis player. That’s what they said about Ryan Harrison.

88. Wharton Administration Willing to Explore Coliseum Renovation -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is willing to explore a renovation of the Mid-South Coliseum, but he doesn’t want to delay getting state approval for a Tourism Development Zone to finance an amateur sports tournament complex at the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

89. Mayor’s Race Parses Political Records -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. will probably continue to include the comeback of Overton Square in an election year roll call of economic development accomplishments even after being called out for his opposition to the city-funded Overton Square parking garage.

90. Wharton Defends, Touts Record at State of the City -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. defended and touted Thursday, Jan. 29, his administration’s pursuit of the economic development projects that his challengers in the October city elections will likely use to make their case.

91. Tax Breaks for Ikea Prompt Calls for Changes -

When the board of the Economic Development Growth Engine approved a $9.5 million, 11-year tax abatement incentive last week for the new Ikea furniture store planned for Cordova, the decision set in motion the next wave in an already robust political discussion about such incentives.

92. Harris Goes to Nashville -

At his last Memphis City Council session, Lee Harris reflected this week on his three years on the council and the group of politicians he joined.

93. Council Signals Return to Schools Funding Mediation -

It’s back to mediation Thursday, Jan. 8, in the six-year long schools funding deadlock between the city of Memphis and Shelby County Schools.

That was the next step several Memphis City Council members pointed to after more than an hour behind closed doors at City Hall Tuesday with their attorney as well as city Chief Administrative Officer George Little.

94. City Council Year Begins With Challenges -

The Tuesday, Jan. 6, session of the Memphis City Council is the first council meeting of 2015 and with it the debut of council member Myron Lowery as council chairman for the next year, succeeding Jim Strickland in the leadership position.

95. County Sees New Faces, New Directions -

There was a lot of moving around in Shelby County government in 2014, much of it the literal kind as the Vasco Smith County Administration Building was remodeled.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell got new offices in the renovation and the Shelby County Commission chambers got an upgrade as well with the commission offices and committee room moving from the fourth floor to the sixth floor.

96. Council Approves More Rape Kit Testing Funds -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Dec. 16, $1.5 million more in city funding for rape kit testing. The money comes from higher-than-anticipated revenue collections on the city’s tax on mixed drinks.

97. Appraisals, Inspections Getting More Complex -

As if things were not crazy enough in Nashville real estate – with inspectors now writing 50-page reports with scores of photographs, underwriters overwriting and overriding, new disclosures and disclaimers proliferating the transaction – appraisers are requiring more and more documentation.

98. Council Approves More Rape Kit Testing Funds -

Memphis City Council members approved on Tuesday, Dec. 16, $1.25 million more in city funding for rape kit testing. The money comes from higher-than-anticipated revenue collections on the city’s tax on mixed drinks.

99. City Council Approves Pension Changes -

Memphis City Council members put to rest Tuesday, Dec. 16, at least the City Hall portion of the debate about city employee benefits and the liability of those benefits by approving changes to the city’s pension plan.

100. City Council to Consider Pension Alternative -

Memphis City Council members again have final votes pending Tuesday, Dec. 16, on several possible sets of changes to the city’s pension plan.

The last meeting of 2014 for the council again finds the body poised to make final decisions on the last in a set of two changes this year to the benefits city employees and retirees receive.