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Editorial Results (free)

1. Local Democrats and Republicans Prepare for 2018 Governor's Race -

At least five potential Republican candidates for Tennessee Governor in 2018 were among the crowd of 400 people at the Saturday, Feb. 25, Lincoln Day Gala of the Shelby County Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry told a group of 150 Democrats at an “Obama Day” event Saturday that they and other Democrats across the state can elect one of their own as governor in 2018.

2. Harwell: Lovell Investigation Handled Correctly -

NASHVILLE – An investigation into now-former Rep. Mark Lovell started a day after he allegedly had inappropriate contact with a woman and lasted two to three days, House Speaker Beth Harwell says.

3. Last Word: How Do You Get On The List, Sedgwick & Thornwood and Musicals -

Monday was Presidents Day and thus a holiday at City Hall. But for the occupant on City Hall’s top floor it was anything but a holiday. The list Memphis Police made for who has to have a uniformed police officer next to them to go anywhere in City Hall is turning into a controversy over possible surveillance of citizens participating in the last year or so of protests around the city.

4. Harris: House Leaders Took Right Action With Lovell Probe -

NASHVILLE – A Memphis legislator critical of the initial reaction to former Rep. Mark Lovell’s resignation is “somewhat satisfied” with the conclusion of a House investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

5. Lawmakers File Bills To Protect Memphis Aquifer -

State Sens. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, and Lee Harris, D-Memphis, have filed legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly that would set up a Memphis Sands Aquifer Regional Development Board to protect water supplies in West Tennessee.

6. Thompson Proposes State Certificate of Employability -

The first bill proposed in the Tennessee Legislature by Democratic state Rep. Dwayne Thompson of Cordova would create an alternative to the $450 expungement fee now required by state law to clear the record of those convicted of nonviolent felonies who have not been in trouble for five years after serving their sentences.

7. The Week Ahead: February 20-26 -

Enjoying that spring-like weather, Memphis? It’s another week of politics and music in the Bluff City, highlighted by the anticipated announcement Wednesday of acts that will be playing the Beale Street Music Festival in May. Here are some other highlights:

8. Thompson Proposes State Certificate of Employability -

The first bill proposed in the Tennessee Legislature by Democratic state Rep. Dwayne Thompson of Cordova would create an alternative to the $450 expungement fee now required by state law to clear the record of those convicted of nonviolent felonies who have not been in trouble for five years after serving their sentences.

9. Last Word: Lovell's Aftermath, West Memphis Tourism and Batter Up -

Political turbulence in the state capitol this week centered on one of the newest members of the Shelby County Delegation leaves the politically-minded among us with a lot to take in when you add the Beltway turbulence of the week in D.C.

10. Democrats Want Investigation of Lovell’s Resignation -

NASHVILLE – A day after former Rep. Mark Lovell resigned abruptly, House Majority Chairman Ryan Williams says he asked Lovell to step down, but only if accusations of sexual misconduct against him were true.

11. Last Word: Lovell's Fall, Critical Focus Debut and Super Lice -

That didn’t last long – the political career of state Representative Mark Lovell. About six weeks into a two-year term of office six months after he upset veteran Republican state Rep. Curry Todd, Lovell resigned Tuesday in Nashville. But the Legislature probably isn’t done with him yet. Even if it turns out the Legislature is done in terms of dealing with him directly, it will probably be talking about him for longer than the six weeks he was a legislator.

12. Lawmakers File Bills To Protect Memphis Aquifer -

State Sens. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, and Lee Harris, D-Memphis, have filed legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly that would set up a Memphis Sands Aquifer Regional Development Board to protect water supplies in West Tennessee.

13. Flurry of Bills Affecting LGBT Community Filed in State Legislature Before Deadline -

NASHVILLE – Tennessee lawmakers met last Thursday’s legislation-filing deadline with a host of social measures one Memphis representative describes as “wedge bills” because they drive people apart.

14. Bills Affecting LGBT Community Filed Before Deadline -

NASHVILLE – Tennessee lawmakers met last Thursday’s legislation-filing deadline with a host of social measures one Memphis representative describes as “wedge bills” because they drive people apart.

15. TVA Drilling Controversy May Change Well Actions -

The controversy over Tennessee Valley Authority drilling water wells into the Memphis aquifer for the new TVA power plant in southwest Memphis is becoming a push for more public notice of such plans and better mapping of the water supply under the city.

16. Last Word: Little Chairs in Longview, Police Pay Raise and Tiger Football Schedule -

The toys are in their cubbyholes. No stray Legos yet. The little chairs tucked neatly under little tables. The tall trees with their bare branches are much in need of little eyes inspecting their twisted branches and the shadows they make on the winter ground.

17. Memphis Housing Market Continues Growth in January -

The Memphis and Shelby County housing market got off to a good start in 2017 with a 28 percent increase in total home sales for the area and the largest number of new-home permits since the housing market crash. 

18. View From the Hill: Legislators Feel Free to Work Against Haslam -

Democrats appear delighted about division within Republican ranks concerning Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed fuel-tax increase, detecting a possible chink in the armor.

“How many times does the supermajority have to stab the governor in the back and undermine his core proposals before the people of the state of Tennessee wonder whether they need a different group up here?” asks Mike Stewart, House Minority Caucus chairman.

19. Connecting People at Heart of Plans For $12M Friendship Park -

Heartsong Church and the Memphis Islamic Center, neighbors in Cordova, are shattering notions of hatred and divisiveness seen elsewhere in the world with plans to develop a $12 million Friendship Park connecting their two properties.

20. Governor Defends Big Proposals for Statewide Infrastructure -

NASHVILLE – Protesters overshadowed Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s State of the State address Monday night, chanting in the Capitol in opposition to a spate of executive orders from President Donald Trump.

21. Last Word: The March & Crowd Estimates and Country Records in Memphis -

Twice now in the last six months, very different protests have drawn thousands of people to the streets in the largest demonstrations we’ve seen since the 1970s – and more importantly, demonstrations that are an entry point for a new generation to many of these issues.

22. Memphian One of Two Females Appointed to Key Clerk Roles in Legislature -

They don’t get much press, but they are making history for women working with the General Assembly.

Murfreesboro resident Tammy Letzler is the first female to serve as chief clerk of either house of the General Assembly, following the trailblazing path of House Speaker Beth Harwell. And Memphis native Kim Cox is serving this session as assistant chief clerk, making her the first African-American female to take that role.

23. McNally Voted Tennessee Senate Speaker -

Promising to maintain Tennessee’s strong fiscal standing, veteran legislator Randy McNally of Oak Ridge took the gavel Tuesday as Senate speaker, replacing Ron Ramsey, who over the last decade led a Republican majority to power in the Tennessee General Assembly.

24. Letzler Becomes First Female Chief Clerk of Tennessee House -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell has named Tammy Letzler as the first female chief clerk in Tennessee history.

25. Trump’s Turn -

If the election of Donald Trump was a mystery, there are even more questions about what will he do once he takes office Jan. 20. The clues may or may not be in the conduct of his campaign.

“Donald Trump campaigned without being tied to the traditional parameters of conservative-liberal dialogue that we’ve come to know over the past 20 or 30 years,” said Memphis attorney John Ryder, who is legal counsel to the Republican National Committee. “The hopeful part about that is that allows him to move past those divisions and enter new territory.”

26. Tennessee Lawmakers Could Raise, Lower Taxes This Session -

The 110th General Assembly is set to convene on Jan. 10 with unfinished business from previous sessions likely to dominate debate.

Here’s a look at some of the hottest topics expected to arise.

27. Lawmakers Address Prosecutors, ASD -

The majority and minority leaders of the Tennessee Senate say there is political pressure to break the link in funding for prosecutors and public defenders.

“I think it takes both efforts,” state Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said on ‘Behind The Headlines,’ the WKNO/Channel 10 program. “I think we need more prosecutors. I think we also need more public defenders.”

28. Final Goodbye: Roll Call of Some of Those Who Died in 2016 -

Death claimed transcendent political figures in 2016, including Cuba's revolutionary leader and Thailand's longtime king, but also took away royals of a different sort: kings of pop music, from Prince and David Bowie to George Michael.

29. Riding Momentum -

Around this time each year, everyone tends to start fetishizing the blank slate a bit, with its attendant allure of reinvention and that sweeping away of the old order to make way for what comes next.

30. New Year, New Resolutions for Legislators -

Some Tennesseans recall the days when the state Legislature met every other year and wonder if it should revert to that schedule. Considering the General Assembly pushes most of its work into 3 1/2 months, it might be worth a try.

31. Last Word: Electoral College Day, North Cordova Comes Back and Roy Harrover -

What was that? Someone left the door to spring ajar Saturday just to blow things around some. Put a little tropical hint in your Christmas season.

Most of us had that moment Saturday when you might have bundled up to go out and discovered you didn’t need a coat … at that point in a very windy day. Maybe you even went Christmas shopping in the spring-like weather just to watch the trappings of Christmas blowing in the wind.

32. Shelby County Home Sales Rise 30 Percent in November -

November was a strong month for home sales in Shelby County. November sales increased 30 percent, with 1,424 sales compared to 1,093 a year ago, according to Market Trend data compiled by real estate information company Chandler Reports.

33. Outsourcing: Savings, But No Specifics -

The Haslam administration is forging ahead with plans to nab a statewide facilities services contractor after an outside analysis backed up a study showing estimated cost savings of more than $35 million a year at Tennessee universities.

34. After The Vote -

If you stood in certain places during the last days of the 2016 campaign in Memphis you could see the 2018 elections even if you couldn’t see Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s national victory over Democratic contender Hillary Clinton.

35. Election Day Ends Contentious Presidential Contest -

In a contentious national campaign for president that has tested the boundaries of what is considered proper political discourse and what should be public, local Democratic and Republican partisans have mostly been spectators as the 2016 presidential campaign comes to an end Tuesday, Nov. 8.

36. Last Word: The Day After Big River, Freedom Awards Shift and Tubby & Fiz -

Once the ribbons were cut, the speeches made and all of the players on both sides of the river were thanked, Sunday was the day those who put the Big River Crossing project in motion waited for to see what the public’s verdict would be on the boardwalk crossing the Mississippi River.

37. Impact of Three-Day RiverArtsFest Felt Year-Round -

RiverArtsFest is gearing up for its 10th annual fine arts festival this weekend Downtown in the South Main Arts District, where more than 20,000 people are expected to attend the three-day event.

Launched in 1989 as Arts in the Park in Overton Park before relocating to the Memphis Botanic Garden in 1992, the fest was revitalized in 2007 as RiverArtsFest and moved to its present location.

38. Elvis Auction Going Live At Guest House -

The latest auction of Elvis Presley-related memorabilia hosted by Graceland went online Tuesday, Oct. 11. And it will move to a live auction setting as one of the first events in the 464-seat theater at the Guest House at Graceland hotel-resort during its opening weekend.

39. State Rep. Feels Heat From Staffer’s Firing -

Like sands through the hour glass, these are the days of our Legislature’s lives.

When General Assembly candidates run for office, they talk of high ideals such as reforming education, creating jobs, saving tax dollars and stifling sexual offenders, even restricting abortion, adopting a state rifle or making the Holy Bible Tennessee’s state book.

40. Elvis Auction Going Live At Guest House -

The latest auction of Elvis Presley-related memorabilia hosted by Graceland went online Tuesday, Oct. 11. And it will move to a live auction setting as one of the first events in the 464-seat theater at the Guest House at Graceland hotel-resort during its opening weekend.

41. Prominent Voucher Advocate Takes Harwell, Dean on Trip -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A prominent school voucher advocate in Tennessee paid for a private plane to take public officials including potential Republican and Democratic candidates for governor to North Carolina on a private school tour.

42. As Long as You’re Here, Kick Durham Out -

State lawmakers hit the snooze button in July when prospects were high for a special session to oust Rep. Jeremy Durham over a career of carousing.

43. Study Leads to Broader Call for Business Ties -

Rodney Strong, CEO of the Atlanta law and public policy firm Griffin and Strong that authored city government’s latest disparity study on minority contracting, didn’t come to talk about the study last week when he spoke to a room of 40 African-American civic and business leaders.

44. Baker Donelson Shareholder Klein Named President of American Bar -

Attorney and Baker Donelson senior managing shareholder Linda A. Klein is the new president of the American Bar Association.

Klein, who is in the law firm’s Atlanta office, was chosen as ABA president-elect in 2015. Her one-year term began at the end of the ABA’s annual meeting in San Francisco.

45. Baker Donelson Atlanta Shareholder Is New ABA President -

Attorney and Baker Donelson senior managing shareholder Linda A. Klein is the new president of the American Bar Association.

Klein, who is in the law firm’s Atlanta office, was chosen as ABA president-elect in 2015. Her one-year term began at the end of the ABA’s annual meeting in San Francisco.

46. Secret Chapter of 9/11 Inquiry Released After 13-Year Wait -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly declassified pages from a congressional report into 9/11 released Friday have reignited speculation that some of the hijackers had links to Saudis, including government officials — allegations that were never substantiated by later U.S. investigations into the terrorist attacks.

47. Last Word: Regrouping, Freedom Awards and The View From Another Bridge -

It will be a year come Sunday – a year since Darrius Stewart, a passenger in a car pulled over by Memphis Police in Hickory Hill was shot and killed by Officer Conner Schilling.

48. Scramble in the 8th District -

You might call it the calm before the storm. The Aug. 4 election, for which early voting starts July 15, is calmer than usual for the election cycle before a November presidential general election – the only election that more than half of Shelby County voters regularly show up for.

49. Symbols of War Keep Dragging Us Down -

More than 150 years ago, we fought our nation’s most bloody war, a conflagration that claimed 620,000 lives, almost as many as were killed in all other American war efforts combined.

Despite the horror of it all, we just can’t seem to learn a lesson, possibly because of Southern hardheadedness, and a century and a half later, we seem doomed to an eternal task: pushing Sisyphus’ rock to the top of a hill only to have it chase us back to the bottom.

50. American Studio Hit-Maker Moman Dies -

He found the old South Memphis movie theater that became Stax Records. He recorded more than 100 hit records for numerous record labels in a 10-year period in a nondescript building at Danny Thomas Boulevard and Chelsea Avenue.

51. Harris' White House Trip Rejected by State GOP Officials -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Over the last two years, Tennessee state senators have been reimbursed for out-of-state travel for meetings from Florida to Alaska, and on topics ranging from school vouchers to the dangers of radical Islam.

52. The Week Ahead: May 9-15 -

Alright, Memphis, grab your calendars! Whether you want to book it over to the Ruby Bridges Reading Festival or just baste in the scent of barbecue, there’s plenty to do this week. Here’s our roundup...

53. Legislature Votes to Strip Funding From UT Diversity Office -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State lawmakers voted to send a message that they don't agree with the sexually open and progressive views of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion on the University of Tennessee campus. So the Legislature on Thursday passed a bill stripping it of state funds — a total of nearly $337,000. The money will be used to fund minority scholarships instead.

54. University of Memphis Alumna’s Book Sheds Light on Jackie O -

For about three decades, Tina Santi Flaherty and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis lived in the same New York City apartment building. “I wasn’t friends with Jackie,” Flaherty said. “But I’d see her in the lobby and we had a nod-and-smile acquaintance.”

55. 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.

56. Jesse Jackson Calls for Passion to Continue Dr. King's Work -

He was 26 years old in 1968 when he was a guest at the Lorraine Motel with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and one of the younger members of King’s inner circle.

57. 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.

58. 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.

59. Last Word: Back to Nashville, Dentistry & Genomes and Living The Fable -

The Memphis traffic is again heavy on the Interstate to Nashville as the Senate state and local government committee meets Tuesday to pick up where it left off with the still-forming version the upper chamber is crafting of the de-annexation bill.

60. 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.

61. Opposers Fight De-Annexation Another Day -

When the state Senate’s State and Local Government Committee convenes at noon Wednesday, March 21, in Nashville, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and his administration will have been working Capital Hill for about a day and a half.

62. 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.”

63. Harris Seeks Legal Opinion on Deannexation Bill, Senate Vote Set For Monday -

State Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis has requested a legal opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General’s office on the deannexation bill the Senate could vote on Monday, March 21.

64. Bipartisan Skeptics Doubt Haslam’s Outsourcing Plan -

Poor timing and questionable numbers: That’s how legislators are viewing a business justification plan for outsourcing facilities management across Tennessee.

The Office of Customer Focused Government tells state senators, if all departments opt in, the state could save $35.8 million by the second year of a contract under study for building operations and services – without laying off state workers or cutting pay and benefits.

65. Cordova Apartments Sell for $31.1 Million -

555 Wood Arbor Parkway
Memphis, TN 38018
Sale Amount: $31.1 million

Sale Date: March 2, 2016
Buyer: CEAI Grove LLC
Seller: Trinity 464 LLC
Loan Amount: $4.2 million
Borrower: CEAI Grove LLC
Lender: CBRE Multifamily Capital Inc.
Details: The Grove at Trinity Point apartments have sold for $31.1 million.

66. 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.

67. Last Word: Hedgepeth Speaks, Josh Pastner's Future and Big Box Liquor -

Where else is there to begin but the Greensward controversy.
And we start with an email from Memphis City Council member Reid Hedgepeth in what is rapidly becoming a Last Word tradition and institution – the email in full.

68. Last Word: Timing and Numbers, Old Dominick Takes Shape and Zip Lines To Spring -

Political opportunity is defined by timing.
Witness a look at the early voting turnout numbers in advance of Tuesday’s election day.

More than half of the more than 43,000 Shelby County voters who cast early ballots voted Monday and Tuesday – the last two days of an early voting period that began Feb. 10 – way back there when Martin O’Malley was the third Democratic presidential contender and Jeb Bush was considered a force to be reckoned with in the Republican primaries.

69. Rare Wins for Democrats on Guns, Outsourcing -

Legislative Democrats got a chance to beat their chests a little bit after a proposal to allow guns in the state Capitol and Legislative Plaza failed, and they hope to do the same with outsourcing.

70. Work Begins On Brewery Development -

502 Tennessee St.
Memphis, TN 38103

Permit Amount: $4.5 million

Application Date: Feb. 18, 2016

Tenant: Brewery Master Tenant LLC

Architect: LRK Architects

Contractor: Montgomery Martin Contractors

71. Refinancing Deal Approved For James Lee House -

At its Feb. 17 meeting, the Center City Development Corp. approved refinancing of the James Lee House, lowering the operators’ monthly payments by $8,000.

72. Refinancing Approved for James Lee House -

At its Feb. 17 meeting, the Center City Development Corp. approved refinancing of the James Lee House, lowering the operators’ monthly payments by $8,000.

73. The Week Ahead: Feb. 12, 2016 -

How was your weekend, Memphis? Here’s our weekly rundown of local happenings you need to know about, from circus clowns to Republican senators…

Both U.S. Senators representing Tennessee will be in Memphis Saturday for the Shelby County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Gala, historically the local party’s largest annual fundraising event.
Sen. Bob Corker is the keynote speaker with Sen. Lamar Alexander as a special guest.
The Lincoln Day gatherings are county-by-county events across the state that can extend far beyond the shadow of Presidents Day: A few of the Lincoln Day dinners have been known to find a place on the calendar in April.
This is the 41st Lincoln Day event in Shelby County, which puts the local event’s origins squarely in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, a low-point for Republican fortunes nationally after the state’s modern Republican party was formed and prospered in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The event always comes with a large helping of local candidates testing the political waters among the dinner tables between podium speeches.
This year, the Shelby County event is sure to feature partisans from the various Republican presidential campaigns because of its place on the February calendar during the early voting period before the March 1 election day.

74. Holiday Art Sale Returns To Memphis College of Art -

The annual Holiday Bazaar art sale returns to Memphis College of Art this fall.

The 66th Annual Holiday Bazaar is set to take place Nov. 18-19 in Rust Hall, at 1930 Poplar Ave. in Overton Park.

75. Holiday Art Sale Returns To Memphis College of Art -

The annual Holiday Bazaar art sale returns to Memphis College of Art this fall.

The 66th Annual Holiday Bazaar is set to take place Nov. 18-19 in Rust Hall, at 1930 Poplar Ave. in Overton Park.

76. 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.

77. 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.

78. Last Word: New Minority Business Numbers, The House Affair and The Heights -

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.
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.

79. Last Word: Kroger Disses Clarence Saunders, Mud Island Plans and The Australians -

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.
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.

80. Impatient Clemmons Anxious for Minority Voice to Be Heard -

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.

81. Tennessee Legislature Opens 2016 Session on Capitol Hill -

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.

82. Candidates Already Gearing Up For August Elections -

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.

83. Arkansas Governor: Remove Robert E. Lee From King Holiday -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday that he wants lawmakers to end the state's practice of commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day.

84. Refugees, Regents, Privatization On Tap for New Session -

State Sen. Ken Yager isn’t quite ready for the state of Tennessee to reclaim the Refugee Resettlement Program from Catholic Charities.

85. After a Year of Triumphs and Defeats, Haslam Looks Ahead -

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.

86. Memphis Business Community Shows Giving is 365 Days a Year -

Parties, family gatherings, checking off lists, decorations – it’s no wonder the holidays add a whole extra layer of stress during December.

But in Memphis, where there are so many needs that are only magnified during the holidays, it’s a time that the business community steps out to help the city’s vast nonprofit community provide a little extra Christmas spirit.

87. Events -

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.

88. The Sporting Life of David Climer -

I’m blaming Rudy Kalis. As the years passed in a long career as a sports writer, I always swore I’d never be the oldest guy at the press conference. As long as Rudy was in the house as sports anchor for WSMV-TV, I was safe. Then he got a morning gig at Channel 4.

89. Events -

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.

90. 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.

91. Killing Keystone XL, Obama Says Pipeline Not in US Interests -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama killed a Canadian energy giant's application to build the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, declaring the proposed project wouldn't serve U.S. national interests and would have undercut America's global leadership on climate change. The decision capped a seven-year saga that spiraled into one of the biggest environmental flashpoints of Obama's presidency.

92. Small Shops, Big Business -

Reese Witherspoon’s flagship boutique, Draper James, opened last week in the 12South area, and the reception was all Nashville.

Musical performances by Lee Ann Womack and Ruby Amanfu kept guests like Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Sheryl Crow, Mayor Megan Barry, Kacey Musgraves and Lily Aldridge entertained while they shopped (perhaps for the holidays?) and milled around the store’s back parking lot, which was transformed into a charming, Southern-style party.

93. Bipartisan Brakes for Governor Haslam’s Privatization Push -

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.

94. Three Tennessee Appeals Judges Finalists for Supreme Court Vacancy -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Three state appeals judges appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam were selected Tuesday as finalists to fill a vacancy on the Tennessee Supreme Court.

The Governor's Council for Judicial Appointments interviewed nine applicants during a public hearing before narrowing the field to three and sending the names to the Republican governor.

95. Attorney Rob Ratton Joins Fisher & Phillips -

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.

96. Metro Nashville’s Local-Hire Rule Gets Battered On Many Fronts -

The ink wasn’t dry on standards for Metro Nashville’s local-hire charter amendment when new Mayor Megan Barry put the measure on hold – despite sizable support in the August election.

97. US Home Sales Slide in August After 3 Months of Solid Gains -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales slid in August by the most since January as tight supplies and rising prices discouraged potential buyers.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes fell 4.8 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million, the lowest level since April. That's down from 5.58 million in July, which was the highest in more than eight years.

98. Civil Rights Museum Names 2015 Freedom Awards Recipients -

Ava DuVernay, the director of the movie “Selma,” Freedom Rider Joan Trumpauer Mulholland and Ruby Bridges-Hall, who as a 6-year-old integrated schools in New Orleans, are the recipients of the 2015 National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Awards.

99. Ramsey Clear in Push to Politicize Supreme Court -

Republican Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey has a penchant for igniting flames of partisanship, and the retirement of Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade is no exception.

100. Questions Abound Amid Tennessee Supreme Court Vacancy -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – When Gary Wade was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2006, the self-described "mountain boy from the Smokies" planned to serve the eight-year term and retire from his distinguished judicial career.