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Editorial Results (free)

1. Memphis, Nashville Mayors Praise Passage of Haslam’s Road Funding Bill -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland lauded the Tennessee Legislature for passing the IMPROVE Act, including a combination of fuel tax and fee increases designed to improve transportation funding.

2. Memphis Gets Nod for New Hotel Tax, Nashville Having Pipeline Problems -

The state Senate approved legislation enabling the Memphis City Council to consider an ordinance to create a new hotel/motel tax of no more than an aggregate of 5 percent to go toward the city-owned Memphis Cook Convention Center.

3. Memphis Gets Nod for New Hotel Tax, Nashville Having Pipeline Problems -

The state Senate has approved legislation enabling the Memphis City Council to consider an ordinance to create a new hotel/motel tax of no more than an aggregate of 5 percent to go toward the city-owned Memphis Cook Convention Center.

4. Fuel-Tax Bill Short of Votes in the House -

NASHVILLE – Votes aren’t adding up in the House of Representatives for passage of the governor’s gas tax/tax cut legislation.

With floor debate scheduled Wednesday morning, not only is a Republican head count showing lack of support, Democrats aren’t exactly lining up behind the measure. The minority party says it wants concessions on other items from the governor before it can vote for the IMPROVE Act, and some Democrats say they won’t go for a combination of tax cuts for wealthy investors tied to a higher gas tax.

5. View From the Hill: A Disjointed Stash of Marijuana Bills -

This year’s marijuana bills are a mixed bag.

Rep. Jeremy Faison is sending his medical marijuana legislation to a task force, as opposed to “summer study,” typically considered the trash heap for unwanted bills.

6. Senate Douses Memphis and Nashville Pot Ordinances -

State senators are intent on striking down Memphis and Nashville marijuana laws giving police discretion to hand out citations for possessing small amounts of pot.

Despite opposition from Shelby County and Davidson County legislators, the Senate voted 26-5 Monday to clarify that state law overrides local government regulations involving drugs and similar substances.

7. Haslam Commits State to DUI Prosecution Funding -

NASHVILLE – The governor’s office is promising $5.6 million in yearly funding and grants to maintain DUI enforcement prosecution across the state, money that would have been jeopardized by passage of an open container law.

8. Sexual Harassment Takes Stage in State Capitol Again -

NASHVILLE – Saying she was a victim of sexual harassment when she entered the Legislature, state Rep. Barbara Cooper is calling on tougher rules to stop inappropriate behavior toward women.

“When I first got here I was violated and disrespected by one or two of the legislators. And of course I did get an apology, but that’s all that was done. And I feel like if we have some strong measures in place, these kinds of things will not continue,” Cooper says.

9. Sara Kyle, Clemmons Push Alternative Fuel-Tax Bill -

NASHVILLE – State Sen. Sara Kyle of Memphis and Nashville Rep. John Ray Clemmons are pushing a plan to raise fuel taxes for transportation funding, similarly to Gov. Bill Haslam’s, but also to give local governments more options for bringing in their own money for mass transit.

10. Akbari Pushes to Cut Expungement Fees -

NASHVILLE – With an eye toward helping convicted felons clear their records for a fresh start, state Rep. Raumesh Akbari is sponsoring legislation to cut expungement fees dramatically.

The Memphis Democrat filed a bill in the General Assembly this session to reduce the fee to $180 from $350, though the full price for expungement is $450.

11. Akbari Pushes to Cut Expungement Fees -

NASHVILLE – With an eye toward helping convicted felons clear their records for a fresh start, state Rep. Raumesh Akbari is sponsoring legislation to cut expungement fees dramatically.

12. State Prosecutors Fighting for Funds Threatened by Haslam’s IMPROVE Act -

Tennessee’s district attorney generals are negotiating with the governor’s office to keep $5.6 million for DUI enforcement and prosecution, federal funds they could lose in an unintended consequence of his proposed IMPROVE Act.

13. State DAs Fighting for Funds Threatened by IMPROVE Act -

Tennessee’s district attorney generals are negotiating with the governor’s office to keep $5.6 million for DUI enforcement and prosecution, federal funds they could lose in an unintended consequence of his proposed IMPROVE Act.

14. 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.

15. Growth Accelerates Need for Tennessee Road Projects -

Tennessee’s lieutenant governor-in-waiting predicts Gov. Bill Haslam will propose a modest fuel-tax increase in early 2017 to bolster the state’s road and bridge construction program.

Republican Sen. Randy McNally of Oak Ridge, the Senate’s outgoing Budget Committee chairman and likely next Senate speaker, says his “reading of the tea leaves” projects Haslam asking legislators to raise gas and diesel taxes but equalize the rates, which are separated by 3 cents per gallon.

16. Harwell Learning How to Dodge Challengers -

Beth Harwell has been called a lot of things over the last few years, “trailblazer” chief among them as Tennessee’s first female House speaker. 

Now she’s a “survivor” after eking out a Republican Caucus victory as speaker nominee to continue leading the lower chamber in the 110th General Assembly.

17. Broke and Broken: Democrats Lose More Ground in State Legislature -

Tennessee House Democrats will have to start calling themselves the “Fighting 25,” down from the “Fighting 26,” after dropping a district in the battle to regain relevance statewide.

18. Why is It So Difficult for Tennessee To Oust Indicted Politicians? -

Tennessee is lagging much of the nation when it comes to the ability to remove scoundrels from public office.

And, make no mistake, the Volunteer State has had its fair share of ne’er-do-well politicians who would likely have been thrown out of office if the proper procedures had been in place. 

19. Spivey: Harwell Shots Not About Durham -

Fallout from Jeremy Durham’s House expulsion keeps piling up. In the latest brouhaha, outgoing Rep. Billy Spivey is calling for an investigation into a report of alleged abuse by House Chief Clerk Joe McCord involving a female staff member working in the office of House Speaker Beth Harwell.

20. Legislator: Marijuana Law Has Problems -

State Rep. William Lamberth balks at the notion Memphis and Nashville are softening the punishment for simple pot possession.

21. The Crooked Path to Durham’s Ouster -

State Rep. Kevin Brooks set the tone for Jeremy Durham’s ouster in prayer, of all places. Quoting from Luke, the Cleveland Republican opened the recent extraordinary session of the General Assembly saying, “Heavenly Father, you’re very clear in your word when you say that every valley will be filled, every mountain and hill brought low and the crooked places made straight and the rough places made smooth.

22. The World at your Doorstep -

There is nothing you can’t get delivered these days. If you can imagine owning it, it’s only a matter of time before it can be in your possession, brought to your front door within minutes, hours or days from the first moment you even conjured the thought of having it.

23. Matlock the ‘Truth,’ ‘Justice’ Candidate For Tennessee House Speaker -

Republican state Rep. Jimmy Matlock insists his quest for the House Speaker’s post is not a challenge of Beth Harwell’s leadership.

But it’s clear he sees a need for change.

24. Red State, Blue Mayors -

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, a Democrat in Tennessee’s sea of red, finds herself adapting to the control Republicans hold over the state Legislature.

25. The Horse Race That (Thankfully) Never Happened -

There I was, cranking out another story, minding my own business, of course, when the phone rang.

“Newsroom, Sam Stockard,” I said. It was sometime in 1987, long before newsrooms became information centers.

26. Robots Are Taking Tennessee’s Jobs -

MTSU student Nathan Simpkins found the perfect major when the university started its mechatronics engineering program in 2013, a pursuit practically guaranteeing him a high-paying job in an increasingly automated manufacturing industry.

27. ‘Fearless’ Stewart Embraces Battles With Supermajority -

Democratic state Rep. Mike Stewart lives on the front lines of the Tennessee General Assembly. As chairman of the House Democratic Caucus with 26 members, Stewart could employ a bunker mentality, but instead has chosen to take the fight to the other side of the aisle.

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. Civil Asset Forfeiture: 'It's a State License to Steal' -

The drugs in Kathy Stiltner’s car were over-the-counter antacids. The $12,000 in cash was from an inheritance. Still, police took the money – quite legally – and are still fighting to keep it, even after the drug charge was dropped.

31. Tennessee’s Landlords Find Hidden Costs of Privatization -

Murfreesboro businessman Tom Hyde felt the sting of Tennessee’s privatization practices two years ago when a representative of Jones Lang Lasalle notified him he would have to pay the company a commission as part of his next lease agreement.

32. 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.

33. Stones’ Nashville Connections Go Way Back -

While Brad Paisley lives what he calls “a bucket list item” by singing while playing his guitar in typically showy fashion as the opening act for The Rolling Stones, the most important guitarist in rock ‘n’ roll history and a man idolized by Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood will be sitting in his house on Blueberry Hill in the hills of northern Davidson County.

34. An ‘Epiphany’ for Legislators on In-State Tuition -

Tina Sharma grew up in Tennessee, graduated from Martin Luther King High School in Nashville and enrolled at Belmont University. She calls the Volunteer State home.

35. What Better Place for an NRA Convention? -

When the National Rifle Association announced that it would hold its 2015 convention in Nashville, the timing was propitious.

In 2010, gun sales and handgun permits were booming, and Tennessee had just enacted a controversial and contested new “guns in bars” law that allowed people with handgun permits to carry concealed firearms into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

36. Jones, Vols Make Honor Roll With Recruiting Class -

KNOXVILLE – Butch Jones has done it again.

Tennessee’s football coach has created a national buzz with his 2015 recruiting class.

UT finished with the No. 4 class in the nation as rated by 247Sports and ended up ranked No. 5 by Rivals when the Feb. 4 national signing day was over.

37. Batch Gets Bigger With Storefront, Fourth City -

Batch is gonna need a bigger box.

The Nashville-based foodie subscription service, which curates amazing mini-collections of locally-made edibles and packs them up and ships them all over the U.S. and Canada, has added a fourth city – Austin – and a permanent storefront at the Nashville Farmers Market.

38. Batch Subscription Service Expands, Adds Gifts -

The Batch subscription service that sends a surprise collection of local goods each month to subscribers’ doorsteps expanded to Memphis at the beginning of this year after launching first in Nashville.

39. Batch Memphis Launches Gift Service -

The three Nashville friends who started Batch Nashville, which delivers a surprise batch of local goods each month to subscribers’ doorsteps, are bringing the service to Memphis.

Nashville entrepreneur Sam Davidson said the group behind Batch Nashville had been looking to bring the model to another city in the state and looked for one “that had a growing sense of local pride, as well as a national brand.”

40. Shakin’ Up Beale -

The newest addition to Beale Street is a Memphis music legend. Jerry Lee Lewis, the last living member of the Sun Records’ “Million Dollar Quartet,” is lending his name and personal items to a nightspot at 310 Beale St.

41. Smaller, Greener Homes New Focus for Builders -

The characteristics, features and sizes of new homes are evolving, according to a recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders that delves into what is anticipated for the industry by the year 2015.

42. 36 Tenn. Counties Lack Web Site, Survey Finds -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - More than a third of Tennessee counties don't have their own Web site, according to a survey by a nonprofit conservative group.

The Sam Adams Alliance reviewed county Web sites in 36 states, assessing whether they offered information about budgets, upcoming meetings, elected and administrative officials, audits, zoning, contracts, lobbying, public records and taxes.

43. City Housing Begins $9M Westwood Property -

General contractor City Housing LLC has begun site work on the $9 million Austin Park Place, a 71-unit, low-income rental community in Westwood along the west side of Horn Lake Road between Raines Road and Shelby Drive.

44. Despite Housing Downturn, Plans Unveiled for 600-lot Development in Arlington -

At a time when builders are scaling back nationally because of sagging home sales and the slowing economy, an ambitious subdivision in Arlington is about to take shape.

The $24 million, 326-acre Villages at White Oak is an expansive residential, retail and office development just north of Interstate 40 near the Shelby-Fayette county line.

45. Sam Davidson NamedPresident of FaxonGillis -      Jerry Gillis, president and CEO of FaxonGillis Homes, announced Tuesday that Sam Davidson has moved into the roles of president and chief operating officer at FaxonGillis. Davidson has been in the homebuilding industry f

46.       CBU Business School to Honor Buckman -

Christian Brothers University's School of Business honors Memphis businessman/entrepreneur Robert Buckman at the school's annual Founders Dinner Saturday. Buckman is president and chairman of the board of The Applied Knowledge Group Inc. He also serves as chairman of the executive committee of the board of directors of Bulab Holdings Inc., parent company of Buckman Laboratories.

47. Archived Article: Real Focus - Habitat, home builders construct valuable relationships

Habitat, home builders construct valuable relationships

By STACEY WIEDOWER

The Daily News

Theyre accustomed to wielding hammers, hoisting roof joists and coordinating subcontractor ...