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Editorial Results (free)

1. 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.

2. Young Cherishes Role of Rebuilding Memphis Neighborhoods -

“I don’t want to be viewed as the most powerful person in Memphis,” said Paul Young, a Memphis native who became director of Housing and Community Development for the city of Memphis in January.

3. Last Word: Saturday In The Park, Lipscomb's Successor and Fred's Looks Up -

Quite the Easter weekend on the Overton Park Greensward.
Greensward partisans planned a Saturday Easter Egg hunt, Memphis Zoo parking crews found the eggs and a crowd of several hundred people blocked overflow parking briefly that afternoon.

4. Cleaning House -

Every neighborhood in Memphis and Shelby County has the right to be free from the negative effects of vacant, abandoned and blighted properties. That’s the battle cry of the Memphis Blight Elimination Charter, a 23-page pledge that will steer policy and programs dedicated to blight eradication.

5. Klondike Wants Plan To Stave Off Gentrification -

With multimillion-dollar investments growing up around it in the Crosstown and Uptown neighborhoods, the Klondike/Smokey City Community Development Corp. is working with the University of Memphis on a grassroots action plan to stave off gentrification.

6. 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.

7. Sullivan Leaves MHA for Chattanooga Post -

Maura Black Sullivan is leaving as interim director of the Memphis Housing Authority at the end of December to become the chief operating officer of Chattanooga city government.

Chattanooga mayor Andy Berke announced her appointment Thursday, Dec. 17.

8. Young Named City HCD Director By Strickland -

Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland has named Paul Young as the director of the city’s division of Housing and Community Development.

9. Sullivan Leaves MHA for Chattanooga Post -

Maura Black Sullivan is leaving as interim director of the Memphis Housing Authority at the end of December to become the chief operating officer of Chattanooga city government.

Chattanooga mayor Andy Berke announced her appointment Thursday, Dec. 17.

10. 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.

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

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

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

12. Council Stirs Raleigh Springs Mall Project -

The city’s Raleigh Springs Mall project moved just a bit at the last Memphis City Council meeting before Thursday’s city elections.

At its Tuesday, Oct. 6, meeting, the council approved a resolution that sets the stage for a public hearing on the Memphis Housing Authority’s plan to convert the mall into a “town center.”

13. Roundhouse Revival 2 Features Mayoral Trash Talk -

On the last day of the Mid-South Fair Sunday, Oct. 4, several hundred people gathered at the Mid-South Fairgrounds to listen to live music, watch roller derby, buy souvenirs, cheer on a wrestling exhibition or two and, of course, eat.

14. Wharton’s Accomplishments Weighted With Controversy -

It’s a set of events just about any incumbent would envy during a re-election bid.

Overnight riverboat cruises on the Mississippi River picked up just as Beale Street Landing opened in mid-2014. In late April, the long-dormant Pyramid reopened as a Bass Pro Shops megastore with a hotel and other attractions.

15. Last-Minute Negotiations Secure $30 Million Foote Homes Grant -

The Foote Homes public housing development is still standing with word Monday, Sept. 28, that the city of Memphis has secured a $30 million federal grant to convert it to a mixed-use, mixed-income development.

16. Lipscomb Remains on Suspension From MHA -

The Memphis Housing Authority board made no change Thursday, Sept. 24, to the status of Robert Lipscomb, its suspended executive director.

17. Memphis Nabs $30 Million South City Grant After Last-Minute Negotiations -

The Foote Homes public housing development is still standing with word Monday, Sept. 28, that the city of Memphis has secured a $30 million federal grant to convert it to a mixed-use, mixed-income development.

18. Lipscomb Remains on Suspension From MHA -

The Memphis Housing Authority board made no change Thursday, Sept. 24, to the status of Robert Lipscomb, its suspended executive director.

19. Council Approves New MHA Board Member -

The Memphis City Council Tuesday, Sept. 15, approved the appointment of Laura Harris to the Memphis Housing Authority board. The item was added to the agenda to have Harris on the MHA board in time for a Wednesday, Sept. 16, meeting.

20. Mayoral Contenders Break New Ground In Last TV Debate -

Even after numerous debates, including three on television, it turns out the four major candidates for Memphis mayor did have a few new things to say during the last televised debate of the 2015 election year.

21. In Wake of Lipscomb Scandal, MHA Board Addition OK’d -

The Memphis City Council Tuesday, Sept. 15, approved the appointment of Laura Harris to the Memphis Housing Authority board. The item was added to the agenda to have Harris on the MHA board in time for a Wednesday, Sept. 16, meeting.

22. Council Approves DROP Freeze To Bolster Police Ranks -

Memphis City Council members gave final approval Tuesday, Sept. 15, to a freeze on the city’s deferred retirement program in an effort to bolster police ranks and keep the force from dropping below 2,000 officers.

23. Council Approves DROP Freeze To Bolster Police Ranks -

Memphis City Council members gave final approval Tuesday, Sept. 15, to a freeze on the city’s deferred retirement program in an effort to bolster police ranks and keep the force from dropping below 2,000 officers.

24. Lipscomb’s Exit Prompts Delay in EDGE Merger -

A move to merge two Memphis economic development agencies has intersected with the exit of Robert Lipscomb as the city’s Housing and Community Development director.

25. Shifting Memphis Media Market, Like Every Other, In Flux -

Lauren Lee never picks up a newspaper. Which isn’t much of a surprise because she’s 33 years old, works in marketing, and has the technological savvy and finger dexterity to operate a smartphone.

26. Robert Lipscomb Investigation Intensifies -

Memphis City Hall was rocked this week with news that implicated one of its top officials in numerous sexual abuse allegations.

A single complaint, lodged last week by a Seattle resident against former city Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb, snowballed to as many as eight other, similar allegations as of Thursday, Sept. 3.

27. Robert Lipscomb Investigation Intensifies -

Memphis City Hall was rocked this week with news that implicated one of its top officials in numerous sexual abuse allegations.

A single complaint, lodged last week by a Seattle resident against former city Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb, snowballed to as many as eight other, similar allegations as of Thursday, Sept. 3.

28. City Defends 2010 Police Response to First Lipscomb Allegation -

The Memphis Police Department took seriously a 2010 complaint of sexual abuse against the city’s director of Housing and Community Development, city chief administrative officer Jack Sammons said Wednesday, Sept. 2, after reviewing five-year-old emails.

29. MHA Board Suspends Lipscomb, Sammons Defends Police 2010 Response -

UPDATE: The Memphis Housing Authority board suspended Robert Lipscomb Wednesday, Sept. 2, as executive director of the agency.

MHA named the city’s deputy chief administrative officer, Maura Black Sullivan, as the interim director.

30. More Lipscomb Accusers Begin to Come Forward -

Shortly after Memphis Mayor A C Wharton ended a City Hall press conference Monday, Aug. 31, about a single allegation of sexual misconduct against Robert Lipscomb, Wharton and Memphis Police Department director Toney Armstrong began fielding calls from others who claimed sexual abuse by the ousted Housing and Community Development director.

31. More Lipscomb Accusers Begin to Come Forward -

Shortly after Memphis Mayor A C Wharton ended a City Hall press conference Monday, Aug. 31, about a single allegation of sexual misconduct against Robert Lipscomb, Wharton and Memphis Police Department director Toney Armstrong began fielding calls from others who claimed sexual abuse by the ousted Housing and Community Development director.

32. Lipscomb Resigns As HCD Director Following More Allegations -

Less than 24 hours after word of his suspension following an allegation of sexual misconduct, city of Memphis Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb resigned the post Monday, Aug. 31.

33. More Details on Lipscomb’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. confirmed Monday, Aug. 31, that allegations of sexual misconduct were made in a Seattle criminal complaint against city Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb.

34. Lipscomb Suspended Over Seattle Sexual Allegations -

Robert Lipscomb, the city’s Housing and Community Development director, was relieved of duty Sunday, Aug. 30, by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton following a criminal complaint filed last week in Seattle, Washington alleging a past improper sexual relationship with a man who was a minor at the time.

35. Memphis’ Town Center Trio Concept Takes Double Hit -

Two of the three town centers envisioned by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton are going in different directions with a recent court ruling and an auction.

The city of Memphis lost its bid to acquire the Raleigh Springs Mall by eminent domain as The New Towne Center at Soulsville was sold at auction Thursday, Aug. 27.

36. Fairgrounds’ Future -

It’s hard to imagine that a 65,000-seat stadium could be overlooked. Perhaps it’s because the Liberty Bowl wasn’t in the center of the Mid-South Fairgrounds when the stadium was built in 1965; it was on the eastern side of 155 acres of city-owned land, with a rail spur running along its eastern boundary.

37. I Choose Memphis: Kenneth Burnett -

“I Choose Memphis” spotlights Memphians who are passionate about calling this community home. New Memphis Institute provides the profiles.

Name: Kenneth Burnett

38. LeMoyne-Owen Change Latest for Memphis Higher Ed -

Andrea Miller is the latest of three new higher education leaders in Memphis in just more than a year.

39. LeMoyne-Owen Taps New President -

Andrea Miller is the new president of LeMoyne-Owen College and will be the first woman to lead the Memphis institution.

40. LeMoyne-Owen College Taps New President -

Andrea Miller is the new president of LeMoyne-Owen College and will be the first woman to lead the Memphis institution.

41. ULI Fairgrounds Panel Has Busy Schedule -

A team of eight out-of-town planning experts has a busy week ahead as it wades into the simmering local debate about plans to recast the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

And the first hard copy of something the Urban Land Institute-assembled group is likely to get are the comments from four town hall meetings held in different parts of Memphis over two evenings last week.

42. Memphis Gets Greenlight to Relocate Police -

Now it’s all about closing the deal.

With no debate or discussion, the Memphis City Council approved Tuesday, May 19, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s proposal to buy the 13-story Donnelley J. Hill state office building at 170 N. Main St., just a stone’s throw from City Hall.

43. Lipscomb-Area Jewelers Dazzle Both Sides of Granny White -

When the blonde left-fielder skidded across the outfield grass attempting in vain to catch a tricky hit, she likely didn’t know she was “visiting” – belly down – a well-fertilized, close-cropped living memorial to the man who spread love of Lipscomb from his jewelry store a couple hundred yards away.

44. At Long Last -

It’s taken the city of Memphis 10 years to reel in Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid, and business owners in the nearby Pinch District hope it will be a catalytic force they’ve been waiting for.

45. Pyramid Promises -

It took about 25 years for an elevator ride to reach the top of The Pyramid.

That’s how long several generations of political leaders – three county mayors and three Memphis mayors as well as a changing group of city council members over seven elections – have been seeking a Pyramid with a ride to the apex.

46. Midtown Momentum -

Kroger Co., buoyed by the Crosstown Concourse development and increased investment in Midtown as a whole, has purchased properties associated with the long-dormant Washington Bottoms project at Poplar Avenue and Cleveland Street.

47. Council Remains Critical of City Plans for State Office Building -

The city of Memphis’ information technology department recently signed a new lease for office space at Pembroke Square Downtown.

The city inked the 20,595-square-foot lease as the administration of Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is trying to win council approval to buy the Donnelley J. Hill state office building for $1.5 million.

48. City Hall Budget Season Begins -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton takes an operating budget proposal of more than $622 million to the Memphis City Council Tuesday, April 21.

The proposed budget will be larger than the current fiscal year’s budget, reflecting Wharton’s belief that the city has enough of its fiscal crisis behind it at this point to slowly begin reinvesting in areas such as public safety and street paving.

49. Memphis Moves Closer to Downtown Building Purchase -

The state of Tennessee may have moved out, but the city of Memphis could be moving in.

The city has a tentative deal to buy the Donnelley J. Hill state office building near City Hall for $1.5 million.

50. Heritage Trail Redevelopment Plan Resurfaces -

A long-delayed city plan to remake a large swath of Downtown’s southern end appears to be making a comeback.

Memphis Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb said Tuesday that the city expects to receive good news on the Heritage Trail development plan sometime this year.

51. Universal Life Building Developers Acquire Key Public Financing -

Developers of the Universal Life Building have received approval for two key pieces of financing and a commitment from the city of Memphis to lease about half of the building.

Self-Tucker Properties LLC won approval Tuesday, April 14, for a nine-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement from the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. to renovate the building for office use. Architects Jimmie Tucker and Juan Self, principals of Self-Tucker Architects, also gained approval for $2 million in Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds for the project.

52. Foote Homes Targeted by Federal Jobs Training Grant -

With a HUD official in town last week bearing word of a $3 million job training grant for public housing residents, city leaders remained focused on what Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. calls “the big one.”

53. Tanger Outlets to Open Southaven Mall in November -

What is now a field near Interstate 55 and Church Road in Southaven, Miss., soon will become an outlet-shopping destination.

The 310,000-square-foot Tanger Factory Outlets Centers Inc. shopping center should be ready for shoppers by Nov. 19, just in time for Christmas.

54. Holding On -

The national outlook for traditional enclosed malls is bleak. No new enclosed mall has been built in the U.S. since 2006. More than 24 have closed since 2010, and an additional 60 are teetering on the edge, according to data from Green Street Advisors. Around 15 percent of malls nationwide are expected to close in the next decade.

55. Coliseum Group Weighs Previtalization -

The group that wants to see the city renovate and reopen the Mid-South Coliseum is exploring something similar to the “previtalization” events of last year at the Tennessee Brewery.

“We’re not the only ones who want to do a previtalizing event in the Coliseum,” said Marvin Stockwell, of the Coliseum Coalition, on the WKNO TV program Behind The Headlines. “If an investor comes forward, great. If it doesn’t, we’ve given it a proper send off. You want to at least give citizens a chance to be in that space.”

56. Restless Winter -

For most of its 103-year life as city property, the Mid-South Fairgrounds has been a place where Memphians remember why they came there in the past, as local leaders have periodically pushed to remake its landscape and in turn create more memories going forward.

57. Southbrook Project Resurfaces Again -

The owners of Southbrook Mall got $1.5 million in improvements from City Hall this week. But it wasn’t the $1.5 million the owners of the Whitehaven mall wanted in 2012, when the city contemplated giving them that sum to fix the roof and make repairs to the mall’s heating and air conditioning system.

58. Sweetie Pie’s Approached as Possible Mall Tenant -

Sweetie Pie’s, the St. Louis soul food institution in a standoff with its Beale Street landlord, has been approached by the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. as a tenant for one of two malls the administration wants to convert to “town centers.”

59. Economic Development Secrets Hard to Keep -

The most difficult secrets to keep at City Hall are those dealing with economic development – the clandestine discussions between city and business leaders and companies considering moving to or expanding in Memphis.

60. City Requests Fairgrounds Review by ULI Experts -

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

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

61. City Wants Urban Land Institute to Review of Fairgrounds -

City Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb wants the Urban Land Institute to “review, evaluate and issue recommendations” on the Wharton administration’s Fairgrounds redevelopment plan after leading a set of public hearings and discussions that would take place over a five-day period.

62. Sweetie Pie’s Could be Tenant at Raleigh Springs Mall -

Sweetie Pie’s, the St. Louis soul food institution in a standoff with its Beale Street landlord, has been approached by the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. as a tenant for one of two malls the administration wants to convert to “town centers.”

63. Raleigh Springs Mall Tests Town Center Concept -

The idea that a declining shopping mall can be redeveloped and reinvigorated as a “town center” with local government offices as a catalyst for private developers appears to be on its way to a meeting with reality.

64. Sweetie Pie’s Approached as Mall Tenant -

Sweetie Pie’s, the St. Louis soul food institution in a standoff with its Beale Street landlord, has been approached by the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. as a tenant for one of two malls the administration wants to convert to “town centers.”

65. Alternative Ending -

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

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

66. Wharton Calls for Outside Fairgrounds Review -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. told the Memphis Rotary Club Tuesday, Feb. 10, that the ambitious recasting of the Mid-South Fairgrounds – a project that is solely a City Hall creation at this point -- is going to get a second look from outside consultants.

67. Wharton Not Giving Up on Fairgrounds Plan -

Nashville is a more turbulent place than usual these days, especially Capitol Hill. So Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and his administration probably won’t tempt the turbulence there by taking their plan for a Tourism Development Zone to finance a Mid-South Fairgrounds renovation to the Tennessee Building Commission later this month.

68. Wharton Administration Willing to Explore Coliseum Renovation -

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

69. Commissioners Watching What’s Next for Fairgrounds Plan -

It’s not on the Monday, Jan. 26, agenda of the Shelby County Commission, but commissioners are watching the political dominoes that are lining up en route to some kind of move by the city of Memphis toward a Fairgrounds Tourism Development Zone.

70. Council Approves Schools Deal, Appoints Boyd -

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.

71. Strings Come With Fairgrounds Zone -

Shelby County Commissioners could take up an endorsement Monday, Jan. 12, of the city’s proposed Tourism Development Zone for redevelopment of the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

But at this point, the backing has a lot of strings attached. And those strings involve two issues related to local schools funding.

72. A Tale of Two Projects -

At 7.7 miles, it takes about 12 minutes to make the drive between the Mid-South Fairgrounds and Graceland.

However, the political fortunes of each couldn’t be more different.

A financing plan for a long-delayed expansion of the Graceland campus to develop all 120 acres owned by Elvis Presley Enterprises and amassed since the mid-1990s cleared the Shelby County Commission this week and the Memphis City Council a week before.

73. Graceland Plan Clears Main Local Hurdles -

Elvis Presley Enterprises attempted to secure private financing of its plan for a 450-room resort hotel and a remake of its plaza area, but those attempts failed, said Graceland’s bond counsel, because it is difficult for borrowers to get conventional financing for a hotel project.

74. Commission Approves Graceland Plan, Delays Fairgrounds TDZ -

Shelby County Commissioners approved the Graceland economic impact plan Monday, Dec. 8, the last local hurdle for a plan that includes the construction of a 450-room hotel and a later phase transforming the Graceland Plaza area across Elvis Presley Boulevard from the Graceland mansion.

75. Wharton Says Southbrook Mall Qualifies for Federal Bonds -

The proposed renovation of Southbrook Mall is lurching back to life after months off the political radar screen.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced Thursday, Nov. 20, that a renovation of the mall could be financed with up to $2.1 million in federal bonds through the Memphis Green Communities Program.

76. Wharton Says Southbrook Mall Qualifies For Federal Bonds -

The proposed renovation of Southbrook Mall lurched back to life Thursday, Nov. 20, after months off the political radar screen.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced Thursday a renovation of the mall could be financed with up to $2.1 million in federal bonds through the Memphis Green Communities Program.

77. Stepherson Named Chair-Elect of Grocers Association -

Randy Stepherson has been named 2014-2015 chairman-elect of the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association board of directors. Stepherson is president of Stepherson Inc., the family- and employee-owned parent company of Superlo Foods, which has five Memphis-area locations, and Stepherson’s.

78. City Mulls Plan to Buy Former State Building -

It would be cheaper and more efficient for the city of Memphis to lease and then buy the vacant Donnelley J. Hill state office building across Main Street from Memphis City Hall than to continue leasing multiple properties spread across town, consultants and city officials told City Council members Tuesday.

79. Council Hears Tentative Plans for Office Building -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration would move the Memphis Police Department, information technology services and six city agencies renting offices on Union Avenue Extended into the Donnelley J. Hill office building if the city goes through with a plan to swap the office building with state government in exchange for parking spaces in the Peabody Place garage.

80. City Council Hears Tentative Plans for Office Building -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration would move the Memphis Police Department, information technology services and six city agencies renting offices on Union Avenue Extended into the Donnelley J. Hill office building if the city goes through with a plan to swap the office building with state government in exchange for parking spaces in the Peabody Place garage.

81. Southbrook Mall Concept Goes to Public Hearings -

As city Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb began talking in the gym of the Whitehaven Community Center last week, he could see the Pepper Tree Apartments on the other side of Graceland Drive.

82. Out With the Old -

A small group of people gathered last week in the front room of a new Southwest Memphis housing development for senior citizens.

The scene marked the ending of one era in public housing and the start of another as the doors opened to the newest facility in the nearly 20-year makeover of public housing.

83. Raleigh Springs Mall Owners Question City’s Plans -

The owners of the Raleigh Springs Mall had been talking with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration until late last year about the city’s desire to see a revitalized mall possibly with city government offices.

84. Southbrook Mall Plans Simmer -

If the city is going to spend money on a renovation of the Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven, it should be part of a larger plan for Whitehaven and tie in to the aerotropolis concept.

That’s what city Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb said Tuesday, April 15, as he outlined a $6.5 million plan for turning the mall into a “town center” that includes some city government offices and private retail.

85. Wharton Outlines $596 Million Budget Plan -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. warned Tuesday, April 15, that “half measures” in converting city employees to a defined contributions benefits plan would not restore the city’s financial health and resolve an unfunded pension liability of hundreds of millions of dollars.

86. Tour Shows Work Progressing in Pyramid -

The opening date for Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid is still tentative.

But it appears to now be in December depending on who you talked with this week as the outdoors retailer offered a look inside The Pyramid.

87. Three Town Center Concepts Take Shape -

The city of Memphis would move government offices into two shopping malls and the Soulsville Town Center under tentative “conceptual” plans Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. took Tuesday, Feb. 18, to the Memphis City Council.

88. Council Tours Pyramid, Weighs City Offices In Two Malls -

Memphis City Council members heard Tuesday, Feb. 18, that the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. wants to move some city government offices into the Soulsville Town Center in South Memphis and is weighing whether to renovate or tear down and build anew on the site of the Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

89. City Delays Fairgrounds Zone Application Vote -

The city of Memphis won’t be going to the Tennessee Building Commission in Nashville this week for approval of a Tourism Development Zone for the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

The administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. decided to delay the proposal last week as it reviewed the fairgrounds renovation financing plan with Memphis City Council members.

90. Heritage Trail Financing Plans Change -

The city of Memphis is making changes in its plans to finance two housing developments that are part of the broader Heritage Trail plan for redevelopment of the area south of FedExForum and into South Memphis.

91. City, County Differ on Fairgrounds Zone -

The city of Memphis and Shelby County governments have a difference of opinion about tax revenue and education funding.

It is over where the sales tax revenue would go within a tourism development zone the city wants to use to finance the redevelopment of the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

92. Billingsley Is Newest County Commissioner As "Tax Dead" Program Advances -

Former Germantown alderman Mark Billingsley is the newest Shelby County Commissioner.

On the second ballot Monday, Jan. 13, commissioners appointed Billingsley to fill the vacancy created by the resignation this month of Wyatt Bunker, who became mayor of Lakeland last year.

93. Plans in Works for Dormant Midtown Project -

City officials are working on plans to kick-start the dormant Washington Bottoms project at Poplar Avenue and Cleveland Street in Midtown.

Memphis Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb confirmed that he is working on the effort but said he was not yet able to release detailed information on the project.

94. Debt and Liability -

There is rarely a good answer to the question “How much?” in politics.

With issues including the unfunded pension liability, overall debt, and revenue estimates and their validity, City Hall’s overall money problem begins but hardly ends with the question. It won’t be that simple.

95. Council Opens Unfunded Liability Plan Talks With Questions -

Memphis City Council members again rejected Tuesday, Dec. 17, an increase in the city’s monthly solid waste fee and affirmed a 2.1 percent hike in the Memphis Light Gas and Water Division water rate hike.

96. Bad Blood -

December was already going to be a busy month at City Hall for the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

He would be bringing a plan to provide $15 million in city financing for the $180 million Crosstown revitalization project and rolling out its fix to address the Tennessee Comptroller’s vocal concerns about the city’s unfunded pension liability.

97. Pay Raises, Germantown Schools Deal Top Commission Agenda -

Shelby County Commissioners won’t be voting on anything having to do with the proposed sale of AutoZone Park when they meet Monday, Dec. 16.

The resolution involving their piece of the original terms of financing for the ballpark in 1998 was pulled from the agenda of the last meeting of 2013 at the request of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. last week.

98. Crosstown Effort Shines as Development Example -

Construction documents for the $180 million revitalization of the Crosstown building were scheduled to be finished Friday, Dec. 6, with the project moving toward closing and construction in the next months.

99. Council’s Ire at Wharton Timing Grows -

It is a political constant in life at City Hall for Memphis City Council members to complain that they get critical information much too late in the decision-making process and then are pressured by the mayor to make a decision then and there.

100. Crosstown Funding Mix of Local, State and Federal -

The $15 million in funding Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration put together as the last piece of financing for the Sears Crosstown building redevelopment is not just a combination of state and federal grant money.