News - Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Main Street Journal Website

News - Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deployment: Three thousand soldiers of East Tennessee’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment go to Camp Shelby in MS before deploying to Iraq. More on their deployment from Fox13. And, almost 200 soldiers from the 1171st Transportation Company of the TN National Guard is also deploying; more on the unit’s deployment from NWTN In Dyersburg, ten soldiers with the 168th Military Police Battalion received the Bronze Star. (via the Dyersburg State Gazette)

Ranking Memphis: Forbes has rated Memphis 35th in affordability of 100 American cities.

H1N1 Virus: The Memphis City Schools began a campaign of swine flu inoculations yesterday. More on the vaccine from Fox13, WMC and the Commercial Appeal.

Shelby County Commission: Still no replacement commissioner for the now-resigned Joe Ford. Developer Harold Buehler got his 140 properties. And Commissioner Matt Kuhn got engaged!

Red Light Traffic Cameras: Police Director Larry Godwin alters City red light policy when 2100 of 2800 tickets issued via RLTC were thrown out. Despite a rising tide of problems and defections from these plans, Millington voted to install them.

Center City Revenue Finance Corporation: At today’s meeting they will consider amendments to two PILOTs among other issues.

Trustmark: The Jackson, MS, bank hopes to pay back some TARP funds soon, if the government approves.

Memphis Area Home Builders Association: The 2010 Vesta Designer Showcase of Homes will be in Neshoba Grove Subdivision in Germantown.

The Wharton Administration: Mayor A C Wharton clarifies what police and city policy are on homelessness and panhandling Downtown. Reaction from the homeless and their spokespeople. More on the whole story from WMC and the Commercial Appeal.

Wharton also issued an executive order outlining new ethical standards for City employees. Much more from WMC, WREG.

Business: Security company CDA Inc. has renewed its Beale Street lease. The New York Stock Exchange has notified Verso Paper it has achieved complaince with certain standards. Old Time Pottery is liquidating its Memphis store and will lay off employees.

From the Commecial Appeal, What to Do and People in Business.

FedEx: They have raised their 2Q guidance in anticipation of higher-than-expected earnings. More from the Commercial Appeal.

Tennessee: We are the only State to cap enrollment in its Federally-paid insurance program.

Elvis Presley Enterprises: The majority owner of Graceland, Robert Sillerman, and the EP business domain is facing a large mortgage default and another financial loss that may affect his plans for the Whitehaven neighborhood. Planning is underway for the King’s 75th birthday celebration.

Urban Land Institute: Thursday’s presentation by Dean Schwanke, Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2010, looks to be a gloomy, gloomy session.

Arkansas: Three cities in Crittenden County — Jericho, Turrell and Jennetteare being investigated by a State District Prosecutor. More from Eyewitness News. Police officers in West Memphis are now wearing shoulder-mounted webcams.

Russell Wiseman: The Arlington mayor whose Facebook comment sparked a media kerfuffle has now apologised. The Fox13 Insiders opine. More from WMC, Eyewitness News. The City of Arlington also released a clarifying statement.

Lucy Opry: The local bluegrass music institution is stopping monthly shows, a victim of the economy.

NEW! Main Street Journal December Issue: Senior Writer Michael Roy Hollihan looks at the many task forces, transition teams and other commissions and wonders: How Many Mayors Are We Electing?

The Table of Contents is here.

Christmas & the Holiday Season: The Madonna Learning Center’s annual Christmas production opens tonight. WREG would like your Santa and children pictures. Memphis Heritage is offering a number of items for holiday sale.

Charter Schools: Education activist group Center for Education Reform gives the State’s charter school laws a “D” rating.

Unemployment: If you need an extension of your unemployment benefits, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development can help you. If you are looking for a job, the health care sector is the place to go. And, The Conference Board’s national Employment Trends Index was up for the 4th straight month, a good sign of recovery.

Second Chance Program: Although the program has placed 1000 first-time offenders successfully into jobs, a handful of questionable or failed people are being focused on.

Politics: House Speaker Kent Williams will not be invited back into the State Republican Party; more from the Tennessee Examiner and some background. Governor Phil Bredesen talks secondary education reform and the Eighth Congressional District race; more from Tom Humphrey in the Knoxville News-Sentinel and the Commercial Appeal. The TN Democratic Party has chosen Dave Garrison as its new treasurer.

The TN Center for Policy Research says that health care reform as currently envisioned by Congress could add as much as $1.4 billion to the State’s already too-small budget.

State Senator Doug Jackson will not run for John Tanner’s 8th District seat.

A poll released by Democratic gubernatorial contender Jim Kyle actually shows Mike McWherter in the lead. Following a weekend story talking about the Republican gubernatorial candidates’ financial pictures, Bill Gibbons and Zach Wamp are calling for greater disclosure from Bill Haslam about his Pilot Oil business. The Flyer’s Jackson Baker looks at the new Democratic field.

Fred Thompson is writing his memoir.

Harold Ford Jr: He has been named to an internet-industry lobbying group, Broadband for America. He’s already done an ad.

St Jude Memphis Marathon: The woman who died Saturday has been identified as Molly Trauernicht. More from Eyewitness News and the CA. Doctors recommend a check-up before doing any kind of marathon or heavy exercise.

The top four runners in the Marathon were disqualified due to a mistake by organisers.

Mississippi: The State budget session was held behind closed doors.

Bartlett: The man who was injured in the City’s Christmas parade, Sam Leeper, has now died. More from WMC, Eyewitness News and the CA.

Memphis Zoo: They are starting a live, acoustic music event, Thursdays Unplugged to help promote the Teton Trek exhibit.

Crime: Is high unemployment behind the upsurge in home burglaries?

DeSoto County: The County Chancery Clerk’s office also has citizens’ personal information, including SSNs, on their website! Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corp. and Alliance Healthcare System have filed an emergency request for a public hearing about the proposed Olive Branch Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare hospital. The County school board has approved five million dollars in construction bonds. The Civic Center presented a half-million dollar check to the County Board of Supervisors.

Leaves: The City has opened its first leaf dropoff site.

Picture of the Day

A map of malaria in the southern US in 1870, from the Library of Congress via boingboing. Note that Memphis is not as bad as the counties just east of us! The yellow fever outbreak of 1878 caused the city to lose enough people it also lost its charter. Both malaria and yellow fever are mosquito-borne diseases.

Opinion and Blogs

Divers and Sundry: Sunday was the Feast of St Nicholas.

Doug Johnson at Work: 2009 ends on a sour note and Comcast loses another customer.

Bring me penguin dust: Three strikes and you’re out of the wedding and my Facebook. The waiting-for-the-engagement-anticipation is the hardest part.

Brain Release Valve: Dolphins. An interesting map showing the origin and spread of three major diseases.

Blue Collar Republican: Thoughts on Russell Wiseman and his Facebook comment.

Bigger Than Your Head: It’s the wine of the week! Also, it’s the third anniversary of Fredric’s blog.

Barefoot in Memphis: The hardest decision he’s ever made is also hard for his wife.

16 Balls in the Air: Comfort cannot be rushed. Music calms the savage, even light-sabered, breast.

Adventures in Merriness: Mary takes a big leap and goes carless in Memphis.

Downtown Memphis Blog: A recommendation for Little Italy on Union. Thoughts on Arlington mayor Russell Wiseman. And, he likes Sam’s hotdog downtown.

Fertile Ground: A picture-filled recap of last weekend’s Rock-n-Romp.

From the Rainbows: The next step in selling the house is the Inspector’s Report, which was sobering.

I Love Memphis: Sounds like she had an interesting weekend. A massive list of Memphis holiday presents!

Memphis City Watch: Is a consolidated Memphis a good idea now? Changing our lifestyle is still a good idea, global climate change or not.

Midtown Stomp: A big thumbs up for Liquid Memory: Why Wine Matters by Jonathan Nossiter.

Oval Soul Journey: A piece from her scanner series of self-portraits. Odd but interesting? When you run out of blogging topics … go randon and go to Google!

Squeaky Wheel Seeks Grease: She’s a Lady Gaga fan.

Smart City Memphis: Why, exactly, are we building I-269? Imagination should be the first part of any community planning. Some information on Project Green Fork.

sharp stick in the eye: A holiday to-do list extravaganza! Confronting the Q-Tip thing.

Just A Girl in the World: She apparently won’t be seeing Mr November again.

I’ll be the one in heels: Help her win the PowerPoint Karaoke video challenge. Finding a use for teenagers during Christmastime.

Commercial Appeal: Good news for President Obama on unemployment. Calling out Republican governor’s candidate Bill Haslam on not disclosing his Pilot Oil income.

Chick Chat: The shadow of the Ku Klux Klan can still overwhelm moments of personal success. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Gilmour Girl Goes Memphis: A report from the St Jude Memphis Half-Marathon.