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Editorial Results (free)

1. Last Word: Gun Group Endorsements, Kirby Complexities and Purple Haze Closes -

Two races on the Nov. 6 ballot within the Shelby County legislative delegation to Nashville getting some attention as our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard takes a look at “gun sense” ratings from the group Moms Demand Action, which has called for stricter gun laws.

2. 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.

3. Last Word: Suburban Elections, Charter Changes and Aretha Franklin -

Almost there for the November ballot with Thursday’s qualifying deadline for the contenders in the five sets of elections in five of the six suburban towns and cities. Three mayor’s races – all contested -- in Germantown, Lakeland and Bartlett. 11 races decided at the deadline with candidates running unopposed. Something of a surprise in one of the Millington alderman races.

4. Last Word: Bigger Goodlett, Collierville's Dilemma and Ronnie Grisanti's at Regalia -

Shelby County Schools officials breaking ground Monday evening on the new Goodlett Elementary School to open a year from now on the grounds of the current Goodlett Elementary at 3001 S. Goodlett. The bigger Goodlett will allow for nearby Knight Road Elementary to close and its students to attend the new Goodlett. GOODLETT.

5. Last Word: DEB Comes to Memphis, Collierville's New School and Lamar Avenue -

At the end of an eventful week on several fronts, two of those fronts met Saturday evening in Memphis Park. The park, cleared of all remaining Confederate monuments and markers earlier in the week, was the site of the first Le Diner en Blanc in the city. This is an event that takes place in other cities with the Paris DEB 30 years old and still running.

6. Building Diversity -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has been looking for a good deal on cars. “City Hall, as you can imagine, buys a lot of vehicles,” he told a group of 300 gathered Wednesday, June 27, at the city’s third annual symposium promoting a larger share of city contracts for local, minority- and women-owned businesses.

7. Bredesen to push for TVA to help expand broadband access -

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen said Tuesday he would push to get the Tennessee Valley Authority to help expand broadband internet access to rural areas if elected.

8. City Minority Business Effort Goes For One-on-One Talks -

The business of awarding city government contracts is a very formal process with information given out about a contract up for bid at a specific time with so many days to respond in writing.

City Hall’s move to award more of those contracts to local, minority- and women-owned businesses will place business owners new to the government contracting process across the table from city division directors on Wednesday, June 27.

9. Last Word: Bike Second Line Protest, Loeb's Portrait and SCS Budget Notes -

“Get on your bikes and ride.” The local bike share program begins Wednesday at 60 different Explore Bike Share stations at different points around town. The bike rental program is considered a milestone in the city’s bicycle culture. And like all milestones there has to be a ceremony. This effort to make it easier to mix bikes into your daily journeys will kick off Wednesday morning in Court Square at 9:30 a.m.

10. Mayor Strickland Takes Third Budget Proposal to City Council -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland takes his third budget proposal to the Memphis City Council Tuesday, April 24, opening City Hall’s budget season with what is expected to be a budget that keeps the city property tax rate stable.

11. MLK 50 Years Later -

Bernard Lafayette remembers being in Memphis April 3, 1968, and a dejected Martin Luther King Jr. being roused from his room at the Lorraine Motel to speak at Mason Temple on a rainy night.

12. Last Word: SCS Plans For $15, IRIS Matinees and The Hard Hit Fund -

“From a financial standpoint, we need our fans back and we need them back now.” University of Memphis president David Rudd breaking the university’s silence on the basketball coaching change that was made formal Tuesday with the announcement that Penny Hardaway is indeed the new coach. And Hardaway had a lot to say that Tigers fans and Memphians wanted to hear.

13. Strickland Unveils Pre-K Funding Plan Without Tax Hike or Referendum -

The city has a plan to provide $6 million of the $16 million needed to fully fund prekindergarten in Memphis for 8,500 children starting when a federal grant that currently funds 1,000 of the existing 7,000 seats runs out in 2019.

14. A Look Back At UT’s History In NCAA Tourney -

Basketball coach Rick Barnes was fired by Texas in late March of 2015 when he refused to fire members of his coaching staff.

15. Group Wants Probe of TVA's Jets, Luxury Helicopter -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A clean-energy advocacy group called for an investigation Tuesday after finding that the Tennessee Valley Authority bought two corporate jets, a Mercedes-Benz luxury helicopter and another plane in recent years.

16. Trump Plan Would Study Sale of TVA’s Assets -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The infrastructure plan outlined by President Donald Trump on Monday suggests studying whether the nation's largest public utility should sell its transmission assets, which Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander called "a looney idea" with "zero chance of becoming law."

17. Digest -

Memphis Toys R Us

To Remain Open

A representative with Toys R Us has confirmed to The Daily News that the retailer’s Memphis location, at 7676 Polo Ground Blvd., won’t close after all.

18. Fairgrounds Project May Get More Acreage -

More than 12 acres of land next to the Mid-South Fairgrounds could open up with the move of the Shelby County Schools central office as the city embarks on a redevelopment of the Fairgrounds and surrounding area.

19. SCS Looking To Move Out of Central Offices Near Fairgrounds -

Shelby County Schools is in the due diligence phase of a relocation out of its long-time central office near the Mid-South Fairgrounds. And it comes as the city is pursuing a redevelopment of the fairgrounds and areas around it.

20. Parkinson’s Grade-Changing Bill Faces Opposition From Education Association -

NASHVILLE – With a grade-changing scandal at Trezevant High rocking Shelby County Schools, Rep. Antonio Parkinson is pushing legislation designed to put a harsh “deterrent” on illicit transcript changes: criminal prosecution.

21. Monuments Moment Spans Generational Lines -

Van Turner Sr. celebrated his 73rd birthday Wednesday, Dec. 20, as his son, county commissioner Van Turner Jr., was somewhere near the epicenter of the most significant chapter of the city’s long-running controversy over Confederate monuments.

22. Last Word: Game Day, Corker at Southwind on Taxes and Trump and Hotel Stats -

The game is on rain or shine at the Liberty Bowl Thursday. And the start of the Tigers football season could be a very soggy start with remnants of Hurricane Harvey arriving. So while tailgating on Tiger Lane may involve umbrellas, none are allowed in the Liberty Bowl itself. Ponchos it is for your face time on CBS Thursday evening.

23. Latino & Local -

Mauricio Calvo has heard the saying “all politics is local” in the course of making and maintaining connections through the Latino Memphis organization he leads. But prior to this year, political connections for the organization were more about getting needed services and building long-term relationships over time.

24. Judge to Decide Terms of Injunction in TVA Lawsuit -

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A federal judge is expected to rule on the terms of an injunction that regulates how the Tennessee Valley Authority removes trees along right of ways while TVA works on an Environmental Impact Statement.

25. Winds of Change -

Humans have been harnessing the power of the wind since the first Egyptians began to use sails to move their boats along the Nile. More than 7,000 years later, wind power capacity in the U.S. alone has surpassed 82 gigawatts, or enough energy to power 20 million homes, making it the largest renewable generation capacity in the country.

26. Last Word: Sessions Visit, Election Day and Beale Street's Journey -

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Memphis Thursday to talk about crime in a city whose record homicide count in 2016 Sessions has recently mentioned. Sessions is in town to talk with local, state and federal prosecutors and law enforcement. When the Attorney General comes to town, he or she is usually coming with policy talking points from the White House.

27. Jackson Visits City Hall In Push for Career Education -

At the top of the Tuesday, May 9, Memphis City Council session, the council heard from civil rights leader and two-time presidential contender Rev. Jesse Jackson.

28. Jackson Visits City Hall In Push for Career Education -

At the top of the Tuesday, May 9, Memphis City Council session, the council heard from civil rights leader and two-time presidential contender Rev. Jesse Jackson.

29. Last Word: Three Gs React, More CA Changes and the Forrest Controversy Defined -

The day after Germantown leaders offered his school system $25 million for Germantown Elementary, Middle and High Schools, SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson was fielding calls from parents of students at the schools – the “three Gs” as they are known.

30. Strickland: City Already Funds Schools Many Ways -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says a coalition calling for city government to provide $10 million for local education through nonprofit groups has to take into account “a $50 million challenge” the city faces in its finances over the coming years.

31. Last Word: 'Ono Poke and the Ghost of The Luau, Council Day and $3 Concerts -

The ghost of the Luau lives on. Loeb has a new tenant for the Shops of Chickasaw Gardens called ‘Ono Poke that features Hawaiian cuisine. And the restaurant will be just about on the other side of Poplar Avenue from where the Luau used to stand with its large concrete Easter Island head, Polynesian dishes and Hawaii Five-O era architecture – not the remake, the real Five-O and the real McGarrett.

32. Last Word: Milhaus Sells, Voucher Debate Gets Heated and Boyd's Fly Around -

Highland Row isn’t fully open yet and it is already up for sale as part of a real estate portfolio. The owner, Milhaus, based in Indianapolis, is a development, construction and property management company that works in mixed use development. And the portfolio being on the market could turn into a recapitalization.

33. Dunbar Elementary Gets Reprieve, But Carnes Closing -

Dunbar Elementary School will remain open next August, while Carnes Elementary will close its doors forever at the end of the current school year.

The Shelby County Schools board voted unanimously Tuesday, Jan. 31, to close Carnes after SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson withdrew his recommendation to close Dunbar.

34. Hopson Says Violence Shows 'Desperation and a Lack of Hope' -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson wants the school system to find a way to combat violence outside the borders of school campuses as well as within.

Hopson expressed concern Tuesday, Jan. 31, about violent crime in the city after a spike in January in which there were five homicides in one weekend across the city. Two of the five people who died were each 15-years old and both Shelby County Schools students.

35. Last Word: Trezevant Football and The Past, Change by Trial and Instagram -

Almost a year ago Trezevant High School was the state football champion in their division – the Frayser school’s first ever football championship. And for those with long memories of the city’s colorful history of high school athletics, there was some vindication in that.

36. Last Word: Busy Council Day, Crosstown High and Local Democratic Post Mortem -

There aren’t any terms yet. But it would appear that there is enough common ground between the owners of Wiseacre Brewing and the administration of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland to take what amounts to a letter of intent on the Mid-South Coliseum to the City Council Tuesday.

37. The Week Ahead: June 27-July 3 -

It's been a long time coming, but Friday is the kickoff for wine sales in grocery stores. While you're getting your corkscrews ready, check out what else is going on this week – from a deadline in the greensward mediation process to a special superhero stop at St. Jude...

38. Last Word: Delayed Reaction, UTHSC Simulates and Ali Takes On The Fords -

If you like to unplug on the weekends, you probably got plugged back in sooner than expected Sunday to the violent rampage Downtown Saturday evening. It ended with a Memphis Police officer dead – run over at Beale and B.B. King – allegedly by a suspect in the shootings of three people on Downtown’s northern end – two of them in critical condition – less than a half hour earlier.

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

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

40. Last Word: GMF Aftermath, Cop Counts and Budgets and Richardson Towers' Fall -

More on the move by Bank of New York to have a receiver appointed for the Warren and Tulane Apartments currently owned by Global Ministries Foundation.

GMF CEO Rev. Richard Hamlet responded Wednesday to the filing in Memphis federal court saying he agrees that a receiver for the property is a good idea. But he doesn’t agree – and in fact, strongly disagrees with the claims and reasoning behind the bank’s call for the receiver.

41. The Week Ahead -

It’s a new week that ends with Music Fest, Memphis! Here’s a roundup of other local happenings you need to know about, from some important government meetings, to corporate earnings reports and a new exhibit set to open at the Memphis Zoo.

42. 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.

43. Last Word: Tubby Fever, School Closings and March Real Estate Numbers -

The Tigers basketball grapevine is nothing but Tubby Smith as of Wednesday when the speculation was joined by torrent of rumors about contact between the Texas Tech coach and the University of Memphis.
Smith has now acknowledged he’s talking with the U of M.
More background on Smith from The Sporting News and Mike DeCourcy, a former sports reporter at The Commercial Appeal, that came out before everything went Tubby here.

44. Reaves: Memphis Should Pay Share of Schools Liability -

The Shelby County commissioner who sought a legal opinion over who pays $1.1 billion of Shelby County Schools’ benefits liability says he has more questions.

Commissioner David Reaves requested the opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery in December through state Sen. Brian Kelsey.

45. Last Word: The Crest, OPEB Fever, Armstrong Leaves and An Elvis Warning -

The crest is here and it is not quite 40 feet on the Mississippi River gauge. The projections Thursday evening going into Friday’s crest of the river at Memphis changed a bit from the 40.3 foot level. The crest is 39.8 feet.
No reports of major damage anywhere in Shelby County, according to the Shelby County Office of Prepardness.
But the river’s high water is still a sight to behold.

46. 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.

47. Tenn. AG Opinion Raises Questions About $1B Schools Liability Shift -

A legal opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General’s office says the Shelby County Commission has to specifically vote to assume the indebtedness from employees benefits of the old Memphis City Schools system.

48. All Men’s Day Of Prayer Is Saturday -

The Memphis District Laymen are calling all men of faith to gather and pray for Memphis during the third annual All Men’s Day of Prayer.

The 2015 theme is “A State of Emergency Exists.” Several city officials and community leaders will address the men of Memphis and how they can help individually and collectively.

49. 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.

50. 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.

51. Political Back Pages -

Even in the best of times, the relationship between any Memphis mayor and any group of 13 on the Memphis City Council is adversarial. That has been the intent of the structure of city government since the mayor-council form of government took effect in 1968.

52. Shelby County Schools To Apply For Head Start Funding -

Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson said Monday, Oct. 14, the school system will apply for $23 million in federal Head Start funding that now goes to Shelby County government.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said Monday, Oct. 14, Porter-Leath children’s service will also make a bid for the Head Start contract county government now operates.

53. Pre-Kindergarten Expansion in Funding Limbo -

The idea of a city sales tax hike to fund an expansion of pre-kindergarten classrooms in Memphis schools may have been buried this week.

It happened as the City Council fielded a proposal from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. for a 15-cent property tax hike on top of the 25-cent increase in the tax rate as the recertified city property tax rate.

54. City, MCS Weigh Funding Options -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. had done everything right in putting forward his plan for paying the Memphis City Schools $55 million over eight years.

Last month he began setting the stage for the eight-year time frame as subtly as possible. He went to the Memphis City Council Tuesday to say the plan was indeed an eight-year plan and plugged in the numbers – $5 million up front and then installments of about $6 million each over eight years.

55. Council Hears Wharton’s MCS Funding Plan -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. pitched the general outline of an eight-year $55 million payout to Memphis City Schools to City Council members Tuesday afternoon.

And the idea of taking the plan to the city schools board and then back to the council was soon thereafter complicated by an alternate plan from council member Shea Flinn that would offer the school system a lump sum payment for half that.

56. Council Hears Wharton’s MCS Funding Plan -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. pitched the general outline of an eight-year $55 million payout to Memphis City Schools to City Council members Tuesday afternoon.

And the idea of taking the plan to the city schools board and then back to the council was soon thereafter complicated by an alternate plan from council member Shea Flinn that would offer the school system a lump sum payment for half that.

57. School Funding Debate Marches On -

The city of Memphis is pursuing a last appeal in the Memphis school funding court case, and the City Council this week came up with a plan to provide $50 million in court-ordered funding to the school system.

58. Appeals Court Ruling Raises More School Funding Issues -

In the 19 months since the Memphis City Council voted to cut funding to the Memphis public school system, much has changed beyond the borders of the legal issue it raised and the lawsuit it prompted.

59. Tn Appeals Court Rules MCS Owed $50 Million By City -

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled the city of Memphis owes the Memphis school system $50 million in funding by the end of June.

The ruling filed today in Jackson, Tenn. affirms an earlier decision by Chancellor Kenny Armstrong and is likely to be appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court or the city could ask the Appeals Court to take a second look at its decision.

60. UPDATE: Appeals Court Backs MCS In Funding Lawsuit -

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled the city of Memphis owes the Memphis school system $50 million in funding by the end of June.

The ruling filed today in Jackson, Tenn. affirms an earlier decision by Chancellor Kenny Armstrong and is likely to be appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court or the city could ask the Appeals Court to take a second look at its decision.

61. Wharton Considers City Division Cuts To Aid MCS -

There probably will be fewer divisions in city government sometime early next year.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. raised that possibility this week as he and City Council members discussed a framework for coming up with $50 million for the Memphis City Schools.

62. Council Wrenched by School Funding -

Around this time last year, Memphis City Council members axed $66 million from the city school system’s 2008-2009 budget request.

Council members hoped the unprecedented move would start to free the body from an expense they’ve long viewed as a financial albatross.

Yet as the first full week of city budget hearings drew to a close this week, it was clear council members continue wrestling with how to shape this year’s city budget because of Memphis City Schools’ unresolved situation.

Last year the big question was how much to cut. This year the question is how much to put back into the budget.

Addition and subtraction

That question does not refer to the council restoring its funding to MCS.

Instead, council members want to be prepared to absorb the financial blow if they lose a related court appeal.

Shelby County Chancellor Kenny Armstrong ruled earlier this year the council needs to give the school district $57 million it should have received for the 2008-2009 school year.

The city doesn’t have to pay that money unless it loses its appeal. Dr. Timothy Webb, the state commissioner of education, sent a letter to MCS general counsel Dorsey Hopson Thursday that read: "The Department fully expects MCS to prevail in the City's appeal of the Chancellor's decision."

Meanwhile, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton recently presented a budget plan for the coming fiscal year that included no financial contingency for returning the money.

The school funding issue is such a sticky legal and financial morass that it’s taken council members several days of lengthy discussions even to get an idea of how large a shock absorber they should build into the budget.

“The budget presented by the administration is truly not balanced and the City Council must now finish making the hard decisions that are required to prevent a massive tax increase of up to $57 million,” reads a resolution councilman Kemp Conrad brought to the council’s Monday night budget hearing.

Icky and sticky

Armstrong’s order was clear about the $57 million due to MCS for last year. That replenished amount also would conceivably be the new baseline for the 2009-2010 school year.

In the worst-case scenario, it would appear as much as $114 million would have to be paid to MCS for last year and the coming school year, although virtually no council members expect the expense to get that large.

“We may cut expenses and still have to raise taxes,” said councilman Shea Flinn. “We might not be able to cut our way out of this.”

Earlier this week, the council asked the city administration for new versions of the city operating budget, with varying levels of cuts to accommodate as much as $57 million. Then the council’s budget committee scrapped its schedule for Wednesday night’s budget hearing to grapple exclusively with the still-unresolved MCS funding and budget questions.

During more than two hours of discussion, council members warmed to the possibility of sending out two property tax bills this year. One would be the usual tax bill, and the smaller one would raise money for MCS.

City finance director Roland McElrath is to report back to the council on the cost of issuing a second tax bill. No date is set for his report.

Tough choices

Meanwhile, council members will continue combing through the city’s proposed operating budget, studying one city division after another to look for savings.

“As grueling as it may sound, we need to look at every division’s budget,” said council member Wanda Halbert.

Several council members said the body needs to do what families are being forced to do because of the economy: make tough choices about what they can do without.

“In my mind, we either cut expenses in the budget or we raise taxes on the citizens of Memphis,” said council member Jim Strickland. “To me, that’s an easy choice. We need to slug it out and go through every single division’s budget.”

...

63. School Board Pleads for Funding – Again -

Since Friday, members of the Memphis City Schools Board of Education and the Memphis City Council have continued haggling over the council’s decision earlier this month to withhold more than $70 million from the school district’s budget.

64. Archived Article: Newsmakers - Smith & Nephew Announces New Division and Promotions

Smith & Nephew Announces New Division, Promotions

Steve Hirsch was named president of Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics, a new division of the company opening in Europe. The following ...