News - Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Now There Are Two: US Rep. Bart Gordon To Retire: Following fellow Blue Dog John Tanner’s announcement he won’t seek re-election to Congress, now the 6th District’s Gordon is retiring; more political/blog links and even more. Gordon had $1.1 million in his campaign fund. Democratic leadership waves off any import. More on the retirement from the Daily News and the Commercial Appeal.
The TN Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester issued a statement, and TN Republican Party’s Chris Devaney issued a statement. One of Gordon’s Republican 2010 opponents, Lou Ann Zelenik, responds. State Senator Jim Tracy announces his candidacy for Gordon’s seat; Tracy was even ahead in one poll. More on Tracy from the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Kerry Roberts also announces. And State Senator Bill Ketron may be running. Even more possible names. As may a member of Governor Bredesen’s administration, Bill Mason.
Cook’s Political Report now calls his former district “Likely Republican”. The Flyer’s Jackson Baker surveys the immediate aftermath. Nashville’s City Paper claims it was redistricting in 2010 and fears of a “nasty campaign” that led to Gordon’s decision.
Consolidation: A new group, co-headed by Cordovan Brian Stephens, Rebuild Government, is hoping to foster non-partisan discussion of the issue to take to the Metro Charter Commission later next year. More in the Commercial Appeal.
Jobs, Not Jails: The local opposition to the police/government effort to remove the homeless and panhandlers from Downtown has organised itself. A protest is planned for today. More from WREG’s Mike Matthews.
H1N1 Virus: States are now reporting swine flu is waning.
Memphis Animal Shelter: More on the adoptable dog that was euthanised and the City’s reaction.
The MED: Local congregations of many faiths are asking their members to write to local officials and ask them to keep sufficient funding for the regional trauma hospital to stay open.
Aerotropolis: With funding approved and a new design unveiled, work on revamping Plough Boulevard will begin shortly. The new ATC tower at Memphis International Airport was topped with a flag and a Christmas tree.
Business: Memphis-based Aerospace Products International was selected to be distributor for Aeronautical Systems Engineering products. GE Aviation will expand its Batesville plant, adding 350 jobs; the Commercial Appeal has more. More on the GTx layoffs. Nike is planning a returns center that will employ up to 450. FedEx and UPS are gearing up for the final holiday shipping rush.
DeSoto County: DeSoto Sheriff Bill Rasco, and the Southaven Police, will not be reimbursed for extra security provided to the Mid-South Fair. Police presence has been beefed up in County schools. Horn Lake has rescheduled its Christmas parade for this Saturday evening. The owner of the strip mall in Southaven damaged by a Friday fire will move some tenants around and then quickly rebuild. Southaven may begin charging an annual fee for “bandit signs”.
Tennessee: Ever wonder how judges are judged? It’s the Court of the Judiciary and its proceedings are secret, unlike your trial. November tax collections were just below projections; the press release. More on revenues from the Business Journal, the Daily News. But, unemployment claims for November trended downward! (PDF document) State-owned vehicles in all governmental departments but one have failed to meet government mandates for reducing petroleum dependency.
TVA: They will reduce residential rates by an average $1 to $3 per month beginning next year.
NEW! Main Street Journal December Issue: We asked a number of Memphis and Shelby County leaders What A C Wharton Means for Memphis. Michael Roy Hollihan wonders: How Many Mayors Are We Electing?
The Table of Contents is here.
Christmas & the Holiday Season: An anonymous donor dropped a valuable gold coin into a Salvation Army kettle in Clarksville. (via MWTN Today.com) More than 20 barbers gave free haircuts at Lester Elementary. Mental health advice for the holidays.
Memphis City Council: At today’s meeting, they are scheduled to approve Mayor A C Wharton’s pick for CAO, George Little. The meeting agenda, courtesy of the Daily News. They will also be briefed on the school funding lawsuit and potential options for making the $57 million payment.
Memphis Child Advocacy Center: Talking to kids about sexual abuse.
Politics: US Rep. Marsha Blackburn has appointed Anthony Hulen as her new chief of staff. The last Democratic challenger has dropped out of the race for the US 3rd District. (Republican Zach Wamp is giving it up to run for Governor.)
Mississippi: Federal legislators have mananged to bring $150 million to the State in the latest Federal spending bill; more from WREG. After reports of problems at the Tunica County Humane Society, volunteers are flocking to help. Bad weather ruined crops and tight credit is also hurting N. MS farmers.
Germantown: The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a new fire station, even though it will cost substantially more than projected.
Media: How do newspapers and television news find their experts for comment? A libel case brought against the Commercial Appeal by an athlete, Kevin Millen, that an Appeals Court denied, is also upheld by the Supreme Court.
Employment: The Federal government’s extension of the COBRA insurance subsidy is due to expire soon.
Memphis Police Department: Bidding for the contract to sell and service one piece ankle bracelets for repeat offenders on probation is due to end this week. The Daily News looks at the program.
Downtown: As the U of M’s Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law nears its opening date, finding sufficient parking is the subject of planning and finding the money to pay.
ArtsMemphis: They won a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, to “develop its audience”.
Collierville: A proposed “water conservation surcharge” is proving more complicated than expected and so has has been delayed a year.
Survey Says: A Mid-South survey finds job security trumps better pay for local workers.
West Tennessee: The uplifting tale of the wayward vine inside the Dyersburg Union Mission. A report from the end-of-year meeting of the Dyersburg Municipal-Regional Planning Commission. (stories via the Dyersburg State Gazette)
Arkansas: For the first time, the West Memphis Police Department has an assigned US Marshall to help with cross-jurisdiction fugitives. Nearly 29% of Arkansans are considered “obese”. The new Hewlett-Packard plant in Conway is opening. The State Lottery is proving more lucrative than expected.
Picture of the Day
|Beautifully textured modern shot (notice the SUV!) of Beale Street, from Zack Jennings. © 2009.|
Opinion and Blogs
what would you ax it? Dave returns to the “Oh dear God, why?” taste tests with a special HOLIDAY OVERLOAD edition!
Weeden Arts Watch: Congratulations, John and Lyle.
Whitebread on Patrol: A Bill Dance fishing show blooper reel. It’s like a real-life SuperDave Osborne. “I thought I had it in reverse!”
A Right Perspective: Enjoy your family feasts and get-togethers for the memories they’ll generate. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Cathryn Stout: True love takes real work and devotion. (via the Commercial Appeal)
The Tale of a Southern Belle: Beautiful holiday cards and the Post Office’s cold realities.
Not High Maintenance, Just High Mileage: The Master’s project is in, and a list of some favorite running accessories.
Urf! Devon Hollahan went missing in Germany last month and you can help the family learn what happened to him.
The Suggs: Hadley is seven months old now and crawling around. She looks like a happy infant.
MemphisConnect: MPACT helped out the Ronald McDonald House. Paramedic and EMT Disaster Training courses, via MERI.
Rock-n-Romp: The next show of the kids’n'grownups rock “concerts” is in January.
Mediaverse: Thoughts on the new digital-only supplement to the Commercial Appeal.
(Lang Wiseman) Random Thoughts: Your quote for the day.
a field guide to urban memphis: She recommends a pretty diverse reading list.
AlphaPatriot: Have you heard about the Obamavilles?
artbutcher: Of chicken wings and college art.
Cliff Heegel, PhD: Ten general physical skills you should be aware of.
Doug Johnson at Work: He loves them Buicks.
The Conservative Zone: Thoughts on facts, “Truth” and the health care reform debate.