News - Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Main Street Journal Website

News - Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year: The Main Street Journal wishes all its readers a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season. We are taking the next week off and will return on Monday, January 4. Be happy, be well, and be with family and friends!

Santa: You can track Santa’s progress on his rounds tonight, thanks to NORAD.

Shelby County: Interim Mayor Joe Ford has announced he’s setting up more task forces.

Driving Safety: Please keep these statistics in mind if you do any drinking outside the home this holiday weekend.

Liberty Bowl: It’s now a sell-out!

Millington: A house fire leads to power outage.

Arkansas: The police chief of troubled Turrell, Greg Martin, has been charged with two felonies; “aggravated assault” says Eyewitness News. One hundred-fifty Air Force members get to come home for Christmas!

Second Amendment: A man carries a perfectly legal pistol into a Nashville park in a thoroughly provocative display and … draws public fear serious police interest. More on the State appeal of the Davidson County Chancery Court’s “guns in restaurants” ruling. Remember one of the basic rules of gun safety: treat all guns as though they are loaded.

Tire Redemption Program: Hopes that the cash-short tire bounty program might return next year.

The Holidays: The Dyersburg Kiwanis Club packaged over 450 boxes of food for the needy. Similar stories about the Dyersburg Civitans Club and the Masonic Lodge. (via the Dyersburg State Gazette)

Politics: Another interview, this by the Tri-State Defender, with Johnnie Turner on running for the District 85 seat left by her late husband, Larry Turner. Anti-tanning activists hope a tanning-booth tax will discourage their use?

The State’s new wine shipping law is still too restrictive for most wine retailers. After gaining legislative approval for a “biofuels initiative” in East TN, that will only produce 5% of planned output of a different biofuel and only with public money (not private), Governor Phil Bredesen’s hoped-for private partnership is looking less likely. State “abstinence-only” sex ed programs will no longer received Federal funds. (via NWTN Today)

Lt Gov. and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Ramsey has joined the movement to have the State Attorney General see if TN can drop out or otherwise nullify it. More, including other States’ AGs, from the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Mississippi: A poll by Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life finds MS is the most religious state.

Starry Nights: This year’s return of the holiday favorite is doing pretty well.

Shopping: Lots of last-minute shoppers out there. More on last minute shoppers. No surprise, in tight times people turn to pawn shops.

Collierville: A list of the appointments to the town’s boards and commissions. A look at the Collierville Animal Shelter’s “Pilots N Paws” program. (stories via the Collierville Independent)

Survey Says: From the Associated Press, the Top Ten Tennessee stories of 2009. FedEx exec Mitch Jackson is ranked 27 of 100 in Ethisphere magazine’s list of influential business ethics types. A survey at ranked Gibson Guitar as the worst place to work.

Renewal Place: This Salvation Army program helps hundreds of homeless and drug-addicted women get a new start at life.

Wiles-Smith Drugs: This Midtown landmark may be forced to close thanks to three break-ins since this past Summer. More from WMC, Fox13, Eyewitness News and the Commercial Appeal.

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.

Holiday Notices: A calendar of Memphis Kwanzaa events. 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. Collierville & Germantown; waste pickup for Memphis & Bartlett and again; comprehensive Shelby County list of holiday closures.

The Wharton Administration: Mayor A C Wharton got a special conference call with Vice-President Joe Biden and the head of the economic stimulus effort for the Obama adminstration. The mayor’s transition team made private recommendations on a range of government efforts; the report will be made public next month.

H1N1 Virus: Over 120,000 doses of the recalled vaccine were distributed across the state. More in the Commercial Appeal.

Homeless: The Department of Housing and Urban Development is sent $4.7 million in grants to Memphis, that will fund nearly two dozen programs.

Unemployment: Shelby County’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of one percent to 10.0% in November. More from the Business Journal, the Daily News. In somewhat related news, the US Census Bureau is still hiring part-time, temporary workers!

DeSoto County: The county’s unemployment rate is 6.7%. Next year’s Mississippi Urban Forest Council annual conference is coming to Horn Lake. Third-party logistics is becoming an important business sector for the county.

Shelby County Criminal Court: Three finalist-applicants were interviewed for former judge D’Army Bailey’s seat.

Morgan Keegan: They respond to the civil lawsuit filed by Consulting Services Group over the RMK fund debacle. More from the Commercial Appeal.

The MED Foundation: Visit their website and you’ll help raise money to keep The MED open! Also, WMC goes inside The MED, in a special report.

Memphis City Schools: Caldwell and Guthrie Elementary schools would be merged in a plan that is meeting resistance.

Business: Following their IPO, Dollar General is now riding a wave of analyst recommendations. And O’Charley’s stock has rallied strongly after tanking earlier this month. Wright Medical Group expects to spend $4 million in moving its French distribution unit. Three Harbor Town businesses have teamed up to cross-market what they call the “Triangle of Health”. Medtronic is readying a new spinal fusion device. The Quebecor World plant in Olive Branch closed down two days before Christmas.

A professional interview with C. Suzanne Landers of The Landers Firm, in the Daily News.

People in Business, from the Commercial Appeal.

Memphis Area Home Builders Association: Tommy Byrnes will be their 2010 president.

Southeast Community Capital Corporation: They are celebrating their 10th anniversary this month. They are the number one community development lender in Tennessee to small businesses.

Comcast: They have settled a lawsuit brought against their cable internet division for a class settlement of $16 million. See if you qualify here. They were charged with “throttling” the internet access of some customers who used peer-to-peer file transfer.

Real Estate: Home sales in the South exploded as first-time home buyers sought to use the home tax credit, but new-home sales were slow nationwide. The owner of the Kirby Gate shopping center took out a multi-million dollar loan against the property. Absent one large sale, Shelby County’s November commercial sales were still very slow.

Tennessee: A $1.8 million Federal grant will help the State to map its current broadband access and plan for future broadband internet actions; more in the Business Journal. Beginning January 1, a new law will require a “bittering agent” in all radiator fluids sold in the state. The state’s population grew about 1% over 2008. West TN will be excluded from an experiment being run elsewhere in TN involving using beet juice as a road de-icer. (story via NWTN Today)

Picture of the Day

Holiday ornaments, from Notes from Memphis by Michelle the Memphistanista. © 2009.

Opinion and Blogs

I Love Memphis: The breakfast brackets rolls along. This round: Beignet Cafe vs. Bagel Company of Memphis. Also, Memphis stand-up and improv comedy.

Haaaaave You Read My Blog? Merry Christmas!

Complacencies of the Peignoir: Simple advice: If you want to be happy, be happy!

joelarkins: He says goodbye and shuts down his blog.

Just A Girl in the World: In which Mr Barely Legal fails many tests, but she’s still seeing him!

Lean Left: The worst Christmas song ever.

sharp stick in the eye: Joyeux Noel! And, whole wheat beer bread.

River City Mud Company: A respectful nod to City Councilman Harold Collins.

Radio Sweethearts: On names and name changing.

Pretty in Pink Megan: After years in the grunge “underground” plaid and flannel are now stylish!

One Half Amazing! Predictions on social media marketing for 2010.

Notes from Memphis: Last minute Christmas gifts.

The Tale of a Southern Belle: Win your own Snuggie!

Air Traffic Mike’s: Christmas tree traditions.

Smart City Memphis: How County Commissioners may have put one over on the citizens of Shelby County. Is Memphis ready for the Mondragon Model? Remember David Kushma, once with the Commercial Appeal? Well, this is what he’s doing now.

The Conservative Zone: What is a collaborator? And, a soldier’s Christmas.

Matthew Trisler: He’s moved his blog over from The Spacebase.

Commercial Appeal: Money spent in funding the drug court comes back in many other, less tangible, ways.

Wendi C. Thomas: This mysterious Santa defies efforts to identify her. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Because I Said So: Thoughts on turning Christmas lists into realities. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Ask Myron: “Pretty soon, it’s gonna be Christmas year ’round.” (via the Tri-State Defender)

George E. Hardin: Thoughts on the passing of years and decades. (via the Tri-State Defender)

Joseph Williams: On the terrible pressures for success on young black men. (via the Tri-State Defender)

John Branston: On the numbers in health insurance. (via the Flyer)

Urf! Merry Christmas! And so, another circle of life completes itself.