The Charlotte Hornets have acquired veteran swingman Courtney Lee from the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade that will help bolster the team's perimeter shooting and defense after losing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to a shoulder injury.
47. Teachers Wary of Haslam’s Push For Increased Pay - Thursday, February 11, 2016
Pushing a budget with more than $100 million for K-12 teacher pay raises, Gov. Bill Haslam says Tennessee is taking education to new levels by raising standards, linking teacher evaluations to student performance and expanding education options.48. Last Word: History As Geology, Beyond the Greensward and City Hall's HR Director - Thursday, February 04, 2016
History can be like geology once you get it in something that isn’t in the form of a book.49. Minority Leader Harris Confident Even on Wrong Side of Supermajority - Thursday, February 04, 2016
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.
Lee Harris says he ran for state Senate because he felt Memphis could do better on Capitol Hill, defeating Ophelia Ford in 2014.50. Last Word: New Minority Business Numbers, The House Affair and The Heights - Friday, January 29, 2016
The recently revived discussion on minority business in Memphis is about to go back on the front burner again. Fueling the intensity are new U.S. Census numbers. They show the percentage of business receipts in Memphis produced by black-owned businesses has dropped since the 2007 census numbers showed a 1.08 percent share of those receipts by black-owned businesses. That in a city whose population is 63 percent African-American.51. Harris Passes On Challenging Cohen For House Seat - Friday, January 29, 2016
The drop to below one percent is even though the overall receipts in 2012 were higher than they were in 2007.
Madeline Faber is the first to report the new numbers as part of a cover story in our weekly, The Memphis News, that will be on the streets and in the racks Saturday, on-line Friday afternoon.
The numbers are such a telling story and such an important indicator that we broke it out as its own story in advance of the cover story.
A surprise January dalliance by Tennessee Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis with a challenge of U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the August primaries didn’t make it quite to the end of the month.52. Last Word: Kroger Disses Clarence Saunders, Mud Island Plans and The Australians - Tuesday, January 26, 2016
What is old has become new again. And judging by your reaction to Andy Meek’s story on the Kroger plans for online ordering of groceries, what is old has gone viral as well.53. Impatient Clemmons Anxious for Minority Voice to Be Heard - Saturday, January 23, 2016
Here are the basics:
You order from a list of items and Kroger fills the order and has it waiting for you to pick up.
When you think about the idea of supermarkets, which originated here in Memphis with Piggly Wiggly, it’s enough to make the Piggly Wiggly founder himself, Clarence Saunders, spin in his grave.
Before he came up with the idea of taking store shelves from behind the counter and putting them out there for you to get your own stuff from them, you would tell your grocer what you wanted and he would write it down on a paper bag and get it for you, wrap it up and present it to you.
Saunders changed all of that as you know if you’ve seen the Pink Palace’s child-sized replica of a Piggly Wiggly store from the start of the 20th century.
A century later, no paper bags and you can still walk among the shelves if you wish.
Perhaps this isn’t that extreme. Maybe this is simply a swing of the pendulum, back toward the middle ground.
Saunders tried to push it even further with his Keedoozle stores that followed Piggly Wiggly. In those stores, the items were lined up in what amounted to vending machines with shoppers releasing an item from the vertical row with a key.
Here Saunders went too far. He mashed the bread.
Democratic state Rep. John Ray Clemmons is only halfway through his first two-year term representing District 55 in Nashville. But he’s not willing to wait years to speak out or push for change.54. Cohen, Ford Pull Petitions For August Primaries - Thursday, January 21, 2016
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen has pulled a qualifying petition to run for another term in Congress starting with the Aug. 4 Democratic primary.55. Tennessee Legislature Opens 2016 Session on Capitol Hill - Tuesday, January 12, 2016
The Tennessee General Assembly's 2016 session will be a short one, likely done by early April. The gavels fall in the House and Senate chambers in Nashville at noon Tuesday, Jan. 12, opening the election year session.56. Candidates Already Gearing Up For August Elections - Friday, January 08, 2016
The ballot for the March 1 Tennessee presidential primaries and county primaries for General Sessions Court Clerk was set while many voters were focused on the holidays and preparations for the new city leaders taking office in January.57. After First Meeting, Personality of New Council Emerges - Thursday, January 07, 2016
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.58. Last Word: The River, The New Mayor and Explaining Boll Weevils - Monday, January 04, 2016
Hello, 2016. What’s your hurry?
First things first – the Mississippi River at our doorstep is above flood stage. But the crest is now predicted to come Friday and will be just over 40 feet – lower than predicted last week.59. Harris Weighs Cohen Challenge - Monday, January 04, 2016
We will be posting web stories on the forecasts and other announcement from the county’s Office of Preparedness each evening to work with their schedule for summarizing where we are.
Floods are a slower moving cause for concern because we know what is happening upriver from us where the river is narrower. But this is also the Mississippi River, which is the definition of unpredictable.
Tennessee state Senate Democratic leader Lee Harris is considering a challenge of U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the August Democratic Congressional primary.60. Refugees, Regents, Privatization On Tap for New Session - Friday, January 01, 2016
State Sen. Ken Yager isn’t quite ready for the state of Tennessee to reclaim the Refugee Resettlement Program from Catholic Charities.61. After a Year of Triumphs and Defeats, Haslam Looks Ahead - Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Eight days into 2015, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam formally set a special session of the Tennessee legislature for February on his Insure Tennessee plan, a Medicaid expansion Haslam negotiated with the Obama administration.62. Last Word: Recovery in North Mississippi, Opera in 2016 and Uptown North of Chelsea - Monday, December 28, 2015
It’s been a holiday season of challenged hopes and muted emotions in our corner of the world.63. Last Word: More Medical Expansions, Norris & Harris and Christmas In Hell's Kitchen - Tuesday, December 22, 2015
The beginning of the series of storms and tornadoes they spawned killed eight people in North Mississippi where recovery is still a fact of life in this last week of 2015.
This will be a week of funerals and damage assessments for federal disaster aid throughout our region.
And you will hear more stories of escapes and new beginnings after losing everything of any material value.
But even in our spared city, our thoughts will return instinctively to the young lives taken so suddenly and so close to the family gatherings in which our youngest give so much more in the way of hope than they will realize at this tender age.
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. 64. Norris: Gas Tax Proposal Not Happening in 2016 - Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Don’t look for a gas tax hike in the 2016 session of the Tennessee legislature, says the state Senate majority leader.
“We’re not going to do a gas tax in 2016,” Rep. Mark Norris of Collierville said on the WKNO-TV program “Behind The Headlines.” “We are going to have to address it soon enough and these conversations are very important.”65. Council's New Crop - Saturday, December 19, 2015
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.66. Voters Fill in City Hall Blanks In Last Election of Busy 2015 - Monday, November 23, 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.67. Dangerous Time to Play Emotionally Charged Missouri - Saturday, November 21, 2015
Tennessee’s football team may be headed into a perfect storm Saturday night at Missouri.
It’s been an emotional whirlwind the last two weeks for the Tigers (5-5, 1-5 SEC), and they will have plenty of motivation against the Vols (6-4, 3-3).68. Events - Saturday, November 21, 2015
Mid-South Ice House will be open for its Holiday Season from Friday, Nov. 27, through Jan. 5 at 10705 Ridgeway Industrial Drive in Olive Branch. Special events include a “Frozen” Friday Skate, a Star Wars Skate, a Grinchmas Skate and more. Visit midsouthicehouse.com for a schedule.69. Council Runoff Elections: Morgan Tops Springer, Boyd Over Anderson - Friday, November 20, 2015
With a scant 4.8 percent turnout, Memphis voters filled in the blanks at City Hall Thursday, Nov. 19, by electing four new members to the Memphis City Council and returning an appointed incumbent.
Thursday’s winners join new council members Martavius Jones and Philip Spinosa in taking office January 1, making six new faces on the 13-member council.70. Last Election of 2015 Decides Five Council Races - Thursday, November 19, 2015
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.71. Bipartisan Brakes for Governor Haslam’s Privatization Push - Thursday, October 29, 2015
Plans to put Tennessee’s real estate and government operations in the hands of private business are much further along than Gov. Bill Haslam would like people to think.
A master of downplaying big issues, Haslam says he’s simply looking for ways to make government run more efficiently and save money.72. Attorney Rob Ratton Joins Fisher & Phillips - Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Robert W. Ratton has joined Fisher & Phillips LLP’s Memphis office as of counsel, a role in which he represents employers in a wide range of employment law matters and supports clients with internal investigations and compliance issues. Ratton most recently served as a staff attorney at TruGreen LP.73. Five City Council Races Destined for Runoffs - Friday, October 09, 2015
The identity of the Memphis City Council that will take office in January with six new members was still in flux at the end of a very long and frustrating Oct. 8 election night.
The races for four of those six open seats and the seat now held by an appointee to the council are going to a Nov. 19 runoff election – one week before Thanksgiving.74. Tennessee Dems Introduce Bill to Allow Gun Ban at Sports, Music Venues - Wednesday, September 02, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two Democrats are introducing legislation to allow all firearms to be banned at major sports and music venues.
Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris of Memphis and state Rep. John Ray Clemmons of Nashville say their bill would create an exemption to the new state law that bans local governments from prohibiting people with handgun carry permits to be armed in parks.75. Democrats Criticize Haslam for Exploring More Outsourcing - Thursday, August 20, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Democrats claimed on Tuesday that Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is displaying hostility toward state workers by looking to outsource the management of more government functions to the private sector, but Haslam dismissed the allegation as politics.76. Lucas Named CIO at Regional One - Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Jackie Lucas has joined Regional One Health as senior vice president and chief information officer. In her new role, Lucas is responsible for information technology and telecommunications for the organization.77. Scott Sharpe Named CAO Of District Attorney General’s Office - Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Scott Sharpe recently was named chief administrative officer of the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office following the departure of longtime CAO Priscilla Campbell.78. Attorney General: Private Groups Can't Ban Guns in Parks - Monday, August 03, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An attorney general's opinion says private organizations can't prevent licensed handgun permit holders from taking weapons into events the groups operate at public parks.79. Memphis Mayoral Field Set at 10 - Friday, July 24, 2015
Shelby County Election Commissioners have certified the Memphis election ballot for Oct. 8.
These are the names to appear on that ballot for the 15 elected offices.
The commission met hours after the noon Thursday, July 23, deadline for candidates to withdraw from the ballot if they wished.80. Southern Heritage Defined Differently Across Tennessee - Thursday, July 02, 2015
Tennessee’s loyalty was divided in the Civil War, and 150 years later, little is changed as the debate over Confederate symbols arises in the wake of the racist-fueled South Carolina church massacre.81. React: Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling - Friday, June 26, 2015
A divided U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. Here is a roundup of local reaction to the landmark ruling.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam:82. Harris Pushes For Insure Tennessee Comeback - Wednesday, May 27, 2015
State Senate Democratic leader Lee Harris of Memphis will be on the campaign trail this summer.
Harris and other Democratic leaders in the majority Republican Tennessee legislature will campaign across the state this summer for the comeback of the Insure Tennessee proposal in the 2016 legislative session.83. Time to Produce - Friday, May 22, 2015
MEMPHIS: THE SEQUEL. “People who make movies – people like Francis Ford Coppola and Milos Forman and Sydney Pollack, and our own Craig Brewer and Willy Bearden – and people like me who write and produce TV spots and videos all have something in common. We know just how damn good Memphis looks through a lens, we know how deep the local talent pool is for actors and crew, we know how wide the choice is for great locations.84. Council Vacancy Draws Eight Applicants - Friday, May 15, 2015
Eight citizens have applied for a vacancy on the Memphis City Council, some with no intention of serving beyond the end of 2015 and others with plans to seek a full, four-year term in the October elections.85. Council Begins Hearings on Operating Budget - Tuesday, May 05, 2015
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.86. Lee Harris, Brian Kelsey Spend Lunch Hour in Twitter Debate - Monday, March 30, 2015
State Senators Brian Kelsey and Lee Harris spent their lunch hour Friday, March 27, debating Insure Tennessee, school vouchers and gun rights in a Twitter debate between the two Shelby County legislators – Kelsey a Republican and Harris a Democrat.87. Planning Meeting for MEMfix Pinch Scheduled for Friday - Friday, March 27, 2015
A planning meeting for the MEMfix event focusing on the Pinch District will be held Friday, March 27.
The one-hour event will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Memphis Room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Downtown. Livable Memphis and the Downtown Neighborhood Association are hosting the planning session, which will feature State Sen. Lee Harris as a special guest.88. Cool Catt - Thursday, March 26, 2015
The Honorable George Rose Smith is depicted in a John Deering wall-mounted bronze relief at the Central Arkansas Library System’s main branch. He’s in his robe, seated in front of a giant crossword grid. The inscription reads: “Wordsmith Extraordinaire – New York Times Crossword Puzzle Author – Arkansas Supreme Court Justice 1949-1987.”89. Bill Would Allow Guns in Off-Campus Areas - Wednesday, March 25, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal that would allow guns in off-campus areas used by schools has passed the Senate.
The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mark Green of Clarksville was approved 26-5 on Monday.90. Flinn Signals Exit From City Council - Wednesday, March 18, 2015
In the political mathematics of an election year, another seat on the Memphis City Council just opened up – sort of.
Council member Shea Flinn went a bit further Wednesday, March 18, than his “no comment” the week before to persistent rumors he might resign from the council and take a job with the Greater Memphis Chamber.91. Harris’ Bill Faces Opposition From Memphis City Council Members - Thursday, February 26, 2015
Legislation by Sen. Lee Harris requiring local governments to hold a referendum before they take on “extraordinary” debt could run into opposition from his own City Council and municipal leaders across Tennessee.92. Local Elections Ramp Up With Gumbo Fest - Tuesday, February 10, 2015
There were so many contenders for the District 5 seat on the Memphis City Council at the Sunday, Feb. 8, Tennessee Equality Project Gumbo Contest that they occasionally went for the same voter’s hand in the crowd of several hundred.93. Smith Enters Race for Council District 7 - Monday, February 09, 2015
Thurston Smith, a manager at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Center, announced Thursday, Feb. 5, that he will be running for the District 7 Memphis City Council seat in the October city elections.
Smith told supporters at a gathering on Mud Island after setting the stage for the bid over several months with an exploratory campaign.94. Traffic Camera Revenue Could Fund Scholarships - Saturday, February 07, 2015
Democratic state Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis has filed legislation that would use revenue from municipal red light cameras to send students to college.95. Bill Would Use Traffic Camera Revenue to Fund Scholarships - Friday, February 06, 2015
Democratic state Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis has filed legislation that would use revenue from municipal red light cameras to send students to college.96. 100 North Main Seeks Historic Designation - Friday, January 30, 2015
An effort to redevelop a Downtown skyscraper may have received a boost this week. A state board is recommending that the tower at 100 N. Main St. be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a move that could allow the owner to seek tax credits and grants to redevelop the building.97. 100 N. Main Recommended for Historic Register, Pinch Decision Delayed - Wednesday, January 28, 2015
A state board is recommending that the skyscraper at 100 N. Main St. Downtown be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a move that could allow the owner to seek tax credits and grants to redevelop the building.98. Haslam on Statewide Tour to Tout Insure Tennessee - Friday, January 23, 2015
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he isn’t counting votes in the Tennessee legislature just yet for his Insure Tennessee Medicaid expansion proposal.
At least he’s not counting hard votes for the upcoming Feb. 2 special legislative session as he holds a series of nine public forums across the state.99. Boyd Gets Encore as City Council Member - Thursday, January 22, 2015
After serving less than a year on the Memphis City Council in 2011, Berlin Boyd is back on the council and working toward a longer stay.
Boyd was the pick of the other 12 council members Tuesday, Jan. 20, to fill the District 7 vacancy created when Lee Harris resigned to take his seat in the state Senate.100. Council Approves Schools Deal, Appoints Boyd - Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Two weeks after they ignored a proposed $43.1 million settlement of the six-year old schools funding legal standoff, Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Jan. 20, approved a $41.8 million settlement with Shelby County Schools.