News - Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Main Street Journal Website

News - Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas & the Holiday Season: You can track Santa on his rounds Christmas Eve thanks to NORAD. Via Paul Ryburn, which Downtown restauarants will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And from MemphisConnect, a list of Christmas Eve services.

If you’ve had too much to drink, AAA Auto Club South will arrange a tow and a ride home for you. More from WMC.

A variety of local youth agencies and airlines combined to give a group of kids a memorable “flight” to Santa’s world. Dentist Ken Barrett took his entire office staff to buy their own Christmas presents from him. Even atheists enjoy the holiday season! Sadly, more kids this year are asking Santa for food and coats. Memphis man gives away $1600 dollars in gas to lucky drivers. Teen Brent Rainer, after helping two dozen families last Thanksgiving, is doing it again for Christmas.

Thieves are now targeting packages left outside by delivery services.

Shelby County: According to the TN Infrastructure Alliance the County has 589 projects totalling $4.5 billion that need attention. Interim County Mayor Joe Ford is teaming up with Sheriff Mark Luttrell to expand and find more funding for the drug court.

Second Amendment: State Attorney General Robert Cooper will appeal a Davidson County Chancery Court ruling that overturned the “gun carry in restaurants” law.

DeSoto County: Plans for the new visitor’s center and the head/entrance to the new greenway are being finalised.

Tire Redemption Program: After just three days, the program is suspended as its first round of funds was spent. There are other problems. More from Fox13, WMC, Eyewitness News.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference: Two high-ranking officials have been removed in an internal investigation.

Politics: A reminder that early voting starts today for the State House District 83, to replace Brian Kelsey, who is now a State Senator.

Fox13’s Les Smith talks with Johnnie Turner about running for her husband’s seat in the Legislature.

Memphis Fire Department: Local pet-lovers are trying to get the department to buy (or accept donated) oxygen masks and equipment for pets caught in fires.

Tennessee: The Department of Revenue refuses to release the names of tax-delinquent businesses it has identified; over 400 have been found in Memphis alone. There were 17 mass layoff events in November. The American Petroleum Institute is suing the State over new regulations on pre-blended fuels. The City of Clarksville will no longer fund the nativity scene after pressure from the ACLU. A number of insurance companies want to raise rates on state drivers. State employees donated hundreds of pre-paid phone cards to soldiers serving in Iraq.

Redbox DVD Rental Kiosks: The Better Business Bureau has sent out warnings and lowered the rating of the company that runs the movie rental kiosks found in Mid-South stores after complaints about credit card charges.

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.

Joe Saino: The Memphis Watchdog: In a special to the Main Street Journal, Joe offers some suggestions of things to cut in the City budget before we go raising property taxes to cover the MCS settlement payment.

Holiday Closures: Collierville & Germantown; waste pickup for Memphis & Bartlett and again; comprehensive Shelby County list.

The MED: The State is planning another round of budget cuts which may impact The MED.

Memphis City Schools: The Board of Education is waiting for the City Council to finalise plans before deciding their own budget actions. More on the seven newly-approved charter schools.

Memphis Police Department: More on the department’s policy change on first DUI arrests for officers. A police officer who was court-ordered to be reinstated is still out of a job, at the City Attorney’s insistence. In a related story, local bail bonding companies are now requiring much lower bonds.

Collierville: Brooks Park, named after Tom Brooks, the town’s former alderman and vice-mayor, was dedicated Tuesday.

FedEx: They have launched an international ad campaign.

Business: A look at how the local logistics sector has weathered the recession.

From the Daily News, People in Business; and the same from the Commercial Appeal.

Delta Air Lines: They have at last signed a seven year lease extension with Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson Airport.

Center City Commission: A search committee convenes next month to find a replacement for retiring president Jeff Sanford.

Financial: The stock for First Horizon National rose 40% in value this year. The Consulting Services Group is suing Morgan Keegan to recover losses stemming from several RMK funds.

Salvation Army: They have reached this year’s fundraising goal in their Red Kettle Campaign! More in the Commercial Appeal.

MLG&W: More on the utility’s search for a collections agency to pursue delinquent accounts.

Public Television: The state’s six largest public television stations have named Lt Gov. Ron Ramsey as Legislator of the Year. The award was presented by WKNO.

Survey Says: November new home sales were up over 7%.

New Madrid Fault: More small earthquakes around SE Missouri serve to remind that we do live on a fault zone.

Arkansas: A funeral home worker in Forrest City has been accused of commercial “body snatching”.

Picture of the Day

A spectacular Shelby Farms sunset, from Sean Davis. © 2009. His professional website is here.

Opinion and Blogs

Squeaky Wheel Seeks Grease: Blogging on her honeymoon?

Persian Pit Bull: Meeting and partying with the new neighbors.

(Lang Wiseman) Random Thoughts: A flow chart to help you win every college football argument.

I Love Memphis: Scratch another item off the scavenger hunt list.

Complacencies of the Peignoir: How our traditions and secrets bind us and how the changes renew us.

Brain Release Valve: A suggestion for targetted tax shelters to encourage development in “rough” parts of Memphis.

Boy In The ‘Hood The Spickler family Christmas video.

Barefoot in Memphis: Thoughts on “Christ” and “mas”.

at home she feels like a tourist: Thoughts on FLDS and polygamy and tourism.

16 Balls in the Air: The true meaning of Christmas. Sorta.

Air Traffic Mike’s: On read beans (Here’s the recipe.) and toilet repair. A lot is going on in this post.

Adventures in Merriness: Reflections on a god 2009.

55-40 Memphis: Childhood dreams and respect … or not. He now knows what a “plantation liberal” looks like.

Commercial Appeal: An “appropriate honor” for the late Dr Vasco Smith. Calling for unspecified changes to the Lottery’s scholarship payout.

Geoff Calkins: Old holiday classics with new 2009 lyrics. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Bigger Than Your Head: The wine of the week.