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Editorial Results (free)

1. 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.

2. The Week Ahead: May 2-8 -

So, you think this is the “off-week” of the Memphis In May International Festival – the gap between the Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. But, while Tom Lee Park gets a breather, there are plenty of cultural experiences to soak up across Memphis. Here's our weekly roundup of local happenings you need to know about...

3. Overton Greensward Overcast Weekend Offers Temporary Interlude -

For a few hours Saturday morning, April 30, in Overton Park there was no one on the Greensward – no cars, no zoo crew, no protesters, no yoga class, no dogs or dog walkers. On an overcast day, there wasn't even a shadow to be cast.

4. Council Members Express Impatience with Minority Contracting Complexity -

Some Memphis City Council members want to challenge City Hall’s existing minority business system as its minority business effort is being streamlined.

The possible challenge includes questioning the idea of percentage goals in contracting based on a complex formula that includes multipliers.

5. Last Word: Prince, Violent Crime Numbers, and a Parkside Post Script -

Prince. It’s hard to think of a musician with a more complete knowledge of music as a social and cultural force and the ability to let that force inhabit his music and what he wanted to accomplish.
It is that knowledge and its use from obscurity to the pinnacle of fame and acclaim to his own journey for personal fulfillment that, to me, defines what has been lost.
Music mattered to Prince unlike it had ever mattered before. All of the influences analyzed and synthesized by someone born in rock and roll’s first wave pushed forward in a sound that combined rock and roll and rhythm and blues and funk with purpose and confidence.
It wasn’t a denial or downplaying of any of those music categories – all were present sonically and culturally. No juggling or quick changes.
That was his talent and it’s hard to think of anyone who has been as knowledgeable, intentional and successful -- commercially and artistically – in that combination.
Prince is remembered here for not only playing the city’s largest arenas but for his legendary after shows on Beale Street that brought an entertainment insider cachet the district has rarely seen since its early 1980s reopening.
His was an intensity and sense of purpose rarely seen and possessed in such a way in the 60 years since rock and roll started in this very city, kicked off by both Rocket 88 and That’s Alright Mama.
So why couldn’t the city’s rock radio stations do more than talk about Prince into commercial breaks after another Nickelback rock block and actually play some of his music to acknowledge such a huge genre crossing artist?
Not cool.

6. Strickland in New Seat for Budget Give-and-Take -

When Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland finished his budget address to the Memphis City Council Tuesday, April 19, council member Edmund Ford had a film clip he wanted Strickland and the rest of the council to watch.

7. Last Word: The Bible Veto Override Vote, Grizz Nostalgia and Kroger Goes Online -

The Tennessee Legislature hoped to end its 2016 session Wednesday at the end of an eventful day that included a failed attempt to override Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto of the bill that would have made the Bible the official state book.
But into Wednesday evening, the state House was still debating the Hall tax on dividends – specifically further roll backs of it. And the Senate had gone home for the night.
So Thursday looks like a good bet for the adjournment for the year and the formal start of the election season for incumbents.

8. Last Word: Budget Basics, A Peak At Greensward Mediation and Elvis & Nixon -

Spurs 94 – Grizzlies 68 in game 2 of the NBA playoffs. The TNT post-game show just showed the highlights of the game while Shaq and Charles Barkley talked about how big the women are in San Antonio. I’m not making this up. They didn’t even try to talk about the game. This is just grim.

9. Strickland’s First Budget Includes Police Raise -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presents his first budget proposal Tuesday, April 19, to the Memphis City Council just four months after taking office as mayor.

10. The Week Ahead: April 18-24 -

Let’s get this week started, Memphis! Here’s our roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from the dreaded federal income tax filing day, to the scheduled end of the Tennessee Legislature for this session, to a couple of big round-ball games at FedExForum beginning Friday.

11. 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.

12. Last Word: Lipscomb's Successor, MATA School Buses and Roland's Big Breakfast -

Paul Young gets a lot more attention these days than he did when he was the first director of the city-county Office of Sustainability. The attention comes with being the city director of Housing and Community Development where virtually all of the funding comes from the federal government.
That federal funding has changed the face of public housing in the city in the last 25 years. There is only one large public housing project left in the city as a result of the federal funding and its use by Young’s predecessor, Robert Lipscomb.
And what Lipscomb did with the job combined with being the executive director of the Memphis Housing Authority is why a lot of people want to get to know Paul Young these days.
Our centerpiece story by Madeline Faber in Tuesday’s edition makes clear that Young has no desire to wield that kind of power. And it is unlikely anyone in the near future will have the kind of autonomy Lipscomb did.
But beyond that there is still the flow of a lot of federal dollars and Young has some ideas based on his experience in government and finance prior to coming to HCD – everything in government is initials.
It’s a much different experience than Lipscomb’s. Lipscomb coined the phrase “ending public housing as we know it” and at times that slogan wasn’t followed with a lot of detail about what came after public housing was demolished, especially with the first of the projects to fall.
The last public housing project, Foote Homes, will be demolished on Young’s watch which makes his tenure important if more limited than Lipscomb’s tenure.

13. Roland Starts 2018 Bid for County Mayor -

The 2018 Shelby County general elections are more than two years away. The 2016 county elections that decide races for General Sessions Court Clerk, five of the nine seats on the Shelby County Schools board and two judicial positions are still to come in August.

14. 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.

15. Last Word: Policing The Greensward, A Rural Oasis and Gene Chips -

The city of Memphis had 88 police staff and other city employees working an Overton Park detail Saturday and another 33 working Sunday on the same detail, according to the Strickland administration’s accounting on Monday.

16. Conrad Call for De-Annexation Talks Draws Favorable Reviews -

Memphis City Council Chairman Kemp Conrad wants to open talks with county commissioners on possible voluntary de-annexations.

And County Commission Chairman Terry Roland said he is open to the idea.

17. City Council Sets Stage for Budget Season -

Two weeks before Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presents his first budget proposal to the Memphis City Council, the council and administration are setting the stage for the budget season to come.

18. Amended Senate De-annexation Bill Faces More Debate -

The de-annexation bill whose defeat became City Hall’s top priority in March is off the political frontburner.

But Memphis Democrats in the Tennessee Legislature who opposed the de-annexation by referendum measure expect that this isn’t the end of the concept or the move to make it law.

19. Memphis Presence Helps Turn Tide on Controversial Legislation -

The Tennessee Legislature’s de-annexation debate is over for now. But the bill’s effect on the Memphis-Capitol Hill relationship has left a larger political imprint than the proposal.

That’s saying a lot considering the proposal dealt with the possibility of territory and citizens rearranging the city’s boundaries to put them and the taxes they pay outside the city limits.

20. Memphis Leaders Pleased With 'Reprieve' on De-Annexation Bill -

The de-annexation by referendum legislation pending in the Tennessee Legislature was sent to a summer study committee Wednesday, March 30, in the state Senate, effectively killing the proposal for the legislative session.

21. 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.

22. Last Word: The De-Annexation Express, Return of The Curb Market and Different Fuel -

When time ran out Wednesday on the state Senate’s state and local government committee in Nashville, de-annexation legislation was still on the tracks as the Tennessee Legislature draws closer to adjournment for the year.

23. Memphis Fights Back: Senate Poised To Do Real Damage via De-Annexation -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland makes a persuasive argument against de-annexation legislation now being considered by the state Legislature, providing a long list of figures to show it would devastate the Bluff City.

24. 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.”

25. County Commission Questions City Figures on Deannexation -

Some Shelby County Commissioners are skeptical about City Hall’s estimate of how much city government would lose in revenue if a deannexation bill in the Tennessee Legislature becomes law.

The commission’s discussion at Wednesday, March 16, committee sessions came as Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland was in Nashville to lobby against the bill in the state Senate.

26. Potential Revenue Loss Stirs Deannexation Options -

As a potentially damaging deannexation bill moves to the state Senate for a possible vote soon, city officials are considering options to combat the expected loss of revenue should the bill pass.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland estimates the state deannexation law could cost City Hall $27.7 million on the low end but as much as $80 million if all Memphis annexations dating back to 1998 were negated by voters in those areas.

27. Council Tallies Damage in 'Day of Bad News' -

Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd summed up City Hall’s attitude Tuesday, March 15, during the council’s executive session. “Today is the day of bad news,” he said after a briefing from Mayor Jim Strickland on the deannexation bill approved the night before by the Tennessee House.
That was followed by more details on the estimated $60 million it will cost to replace the entire radio system for local first responders from the radios to the towers used to transmit their signals.

28. RDC Hints at Beale Landing Expansion for River Cruises -

It takes $2.25 million a year to cover the bond payments on what it cost to build Beale Street Landing – $43 million.

And the overnight cruise boats that currently dock at the landing generate $4.7 million in local taxes each year.

29. Last Word: Deannexation, Pastner Past the Season and Chewing Gum and Walking -

The much-discussed deannexation bill in the Tennessee Legislature always had the votes Monday evening in the House with Memphis Democrats succeeding only in delaying the outcome in Nashville by about two hours.
The bill passed by a wide margin after a debate that was for the most part Memphis against the rest of the state starting just outside the city limits with Republicans in the Shelby County legislative delegation.
And there is some dispute between the bill’s sponsor from the Chattanooga area and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Strickland puts the potential loss of tax revenue to the city at $80 million. Rep. Mike Carter says it is more like $27 million.

30. Finances Will Be in Focus at City Council -

The list of financial surprises that Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presented to Memphis City Council members two weeks ago tops council discussions Tuesday, March 15.

31. Politics of Deannexation Proposal Grows More Complex -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is heading to Nashville Wednesday, March 16, to talk with legislators about what he considers City Hall’s highest priority in the 2016 session of the Tennessee Legislature – defeating a deannexation proposal.

32. The Week Ahead: March 14-20, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly roundup of local happenings you need to know about, from the first look at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s proposed diversity program to a truly Irish celebration of St. Paddy’s Day.

33. Last Word: Mudslide, The Deannexation Storm and Kilzer at Calvary -

Lots of news on a very rainy day including the flooding from the constant rain that closed some schools and cancelled a lot of other events. And then there was a mudslide on Riverside Drive from the bluff overlooking Tom Lee Park and the Mississippi River. The rain has also pushed the Wolf River to the point that it is now over some parts of the greenway in Germantown.

34. Strickland Makes Defeating Deannexation Bill Top Priority -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is downplaying but not ruling out a move toward local government consolidation as a response to a deannexation proposal in the Tennessee legislature.

35. Strickland Downplays Consolidation Response to Deannexation Bill -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is downplaying a move toward local government consolidation as a response to a deannexation proposal pending in the Tennessee legislature.

36. Last Word: Cubits Anyone, The G-Word and The TV News Crime Block -

How long is a cubit? After a day in which many of you got about four to five inches of rain and more to come Thursday, it seems an appropriate and timely question.
And yes, there is a cubit conversion chart on line for converting that and other really old units of measurement no longer in use like the mina, drachma or the synodic month.
So the average cubit, which is supposed to be the length of a forearm, is 18 inches or a foot and a half. That’s 0.4572 of a meter, which might as well be an ancient unit of measurement.
Someone had to say it.
According to biblehub.com – I’m not making up websites – the book of Genesis sets God’s instructions to Noah as an arc with the dimensions of 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits tall. And it was to be made out of gopher wood and covered inside and out with pitch.
The New Living Translation and Holman Christian Standard Bibles convert that to an arc 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

37. Last Word: Redbirds Sold, Memphis Burning and When Old Dominick Was Young -

Grizzlies over the Cavaliers 106-103 Monday evening in Cleveland despite the pre-game injury story dominating up to tip-off.

38. Last Word: Trump, Clinton and Stanton, The Greensward Vote and Cover Letters -

This will be a relatively short edition of Last Word given the crush of an exceptional Tuesday in which a day at City Hall was more exciting than the state’s presidential primaries.

39. City Council to Discuss Greensward Controversy -

The next setting for the Overton Park Greensward controversy isn’t the park. It is City Hall.

Memphis City Council members have an executive session “discussion of Overton Park” on their committee list at 1:45 p.m. for Tuesday, March 1.

40. Overton Park Greensward Controversy Moves To City Hall Tuesday -

The next setting for the Overton Park greensward controversy isn’t the park. It is City Hall.

Memphis City Council members have an executive session “discussion of Overton Park” on their committee list for Tuesday, March 1.

41. Duke Takes Reins at Friends for Life -

Longtime nonprofit administrator Diane Duke recently took the helm of Friends for Life as its new executive director. In her new role, the Los Angeles native leads and oversees an organization that’s helping those affected by HIV/AIDS through the provision of education, housing, food, transportation and healthy life skills training.

42. Extra City Funding for MATA Faces Long Odds -

After a year and a half as leader of the Memphis Area Transit Authority, Ron Garrison has emerged with a start on the bus system he wants that won’t cost the city anything more.

43. Trailblazer -

Carolyn Chism Hardy is a trailblazer, a success story, an advocate for the poor and middle class, and now she’s one of the most influential people in the private sector.

44. I-Team Veteran Takes Reins Of Innovate Memphis -

Two years ago, when Justin Entzminger found a job that combined his background in entrepreneurship with his dedication to the public realm, he jumped at the chance to join the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team.

45. Last Word: Presidents Day In An Election Year, Minority Business and Spring Training -

Presidents Day in a presidential election year.
Consider the political kaleidoscope of a foggy office-bound or home-bound Monday in Memphis with former President George W. Bush on the tube in the late afternoon defending his brother’s presidential campaign without once uttering the word Trump.
No further word of a Trump appearance promised for Memphis and some of Donald Trump’s own statements Monday suggested that by the time Memphis is on his schedule, he might be running as an independent.
Then there is the obsession in one corner of social media with Supreme Court history in rich detail.
And heads were turned Monday evening by the excerpt on the Grammys from the Broadway musical about Alexander Hamilton – a founding father born in the West Indies who established the nation’s financial system and the Federalist party. He never became a president, in part, because the vice president killed him. Hamilton wasn’t the only one who had been talking bad about Aaron Burr. The top of the ticket, President Thomas Jefferson, had decided to dump Burr from the ticket in the next election and Burr was trying to transition to become governor of New York.

46. Memphis City Council to Get Police Body Camera Update -

Memphis City Council members are to get a timeline Tuesday, Feb. 16, on the roll out of police body cameras from Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland as well as some idea of the additional cost.

47. Massey to Lead Memphis' Consolidated Minority Business Office -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is combining the two city offices overseeing minority business efforts into one agency.

48. Last Word: Leaving Warren and Tulane, New Police Brass and Losing Housing -

Post Super Bowl edition of Last Word: Broncos 24 – Panthers 10 – Lady Gaga’s National Anthem kudos – Coldplay/Bruno Mars/Beyonce ambitious halftime extravaganza got lost in spots by bad sound.

49. 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.

50. 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.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. 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?

54. 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.

55. 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.

56. 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.

57. 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.

58. 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.

59. 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.

60. 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.

61. 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.

62. 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.

63. 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...

64. '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.”

65. 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.

66. ‘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.”

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. 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.

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. 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.

71. 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.

72. 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.

73. 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.

74. 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."

75. 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.

76. 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.

77. 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.

78. 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.

79. 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.

80. 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.

81. 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.

82. 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.

83. 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.

84. 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...

85. 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.

86. 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.

87. 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.

88. 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 ...

89. 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.

90. 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...

91. 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.

92. 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.

93. 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.

94. 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.

95. 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.

96. 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.

97. 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.

98. 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.

99. 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.

100. 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.