News - Monday, May 17, 2010
Downtown: The Center City Commission has chosen a new president and CEO in Memphian Paul Morris. He was a member of Mayor Wharton’s transition team. A short profile, from the Daily News.
The VA Medical Center is hoping to add two parking garages.
Memphis City Schools: Shelby County graduation rate is 96%; City of Memphis is 62%. Friday’s announcement of forced forloughs and layoffs has angered the unions and many others; more from Eyewitness News. Critics say we can’t afford the budget cuts. A story on the newest graduating class of the re-epened Douglass High School that’s also about the new NCLB standards. A report from the “All About the Children” rally in support of students; more from WMC, WREG.
Overton Square: Work on the “zoning overlay” for the Square is proceeding.
Millington: Mother Nature hasn’t smiled on the town’s new Farmers Market.
Memphis in May Barbecue Cooking Contest: Yazoo’s Delta Q were the Grand Champions. Performance Smokers won for Best Booth. The complete list of winners. It’s not all pork and party, there’s some business conducted as well. Meet a few of the competing teams. Web-enabled grilling? KosherQ. A first time for everything — drug dealers busted.
Metro Charter Commission: The public is beginning to pay attention and it’s slowing down the commission’s work.
Tennesee: Assaults on law enforcement officers are down. Also, hate crimes were down strongly in 2009. The State will get $6.1 million from the USDA for wetlands conservation. An interesting, if slightly technical, article on trade secrets law in TN. A list of 2010 Memorial Day activities around the State. Governor Bredesen is in China to drum up business for TN.
Flood Recovery: Thousands of acres of lost crops is the second disaster wave of the rains and flooding. A Federal forum back in November may have helped with Tennessee’s response to the disaster. The Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross needs money and donations urgently; more from Fox13. Inside the cleanup of the Grand Ole Opry House. More than $92 million in FEMA relief has been approved. Animal shelters are being overwhelmed with displaced family pets. South Main Street in Dyersburg has reopened. Hundreds still living in emergency shelters.
University of Tennessee Health Science Center: The vice-chancellor of finance and operations, Tony Ferrara, was set on his career path by a career-day speaker.
“100 Things in 100 Days”: This campaign is part of the broader community effort to increase college graduation rates by just 1%.
Politics: The State House has turned down the Senate’s proposal to cut the Career Ladder pay supplement for teachers. More on the budget debate, from the Knoxville News-Sentinel. House Democratic Leader Gary Odom wants to provide certain tax exemptions to families hit with storm damage; more. Fox13. The Senate is taking a five-day break on budget talks.
Financial: Simon Leopold of Morgan Keegan has been named the top earnings estimator in a survey of brokerage analysts.
Girls Inc.: They will be the local administrators of a program, Infant Mortality Public Awareness Campaign (IMPAC), to combat high infant mortality.
Real Estate: CB Richard Ellis has opened a new land services division in Memphis. New home building permits reached triple digits last month! The national 30-year fixed mortgage rate is back down to 5%.
Governor’s Race: More on the popularity of former Republican candidate Bill Gibbons’ ideas on crime fighting — like Bill Haslam’s visit! State Representative Beth Harwell has endorsed Haslam. Lt Gov Ron Ramsey explains who will and won’t get the boot if he becomes governor. Also, Ramsey’s constitutional ban on fund-raising expired on Saturday and he got right to work. Where the four major candidates stand on the flooding and recovery of Middle Tennessee, and Federal assistance. (PDF document)
Main Street Journal May 2010 Issue: Jonathan Devin on the gender-swapped production of Julius Caesar from the Tennessee Shakespeare Company. Table of Contents is here. Editor and publisher Jonathan Lindberg hopes you remembered: On Voting.
Family Action Council of Tennessee: Coming up on June 8, learn how to impact your community politically with Christian, pro-family values. (DOC format document)
The Wharton Administration: At a meeting with the Mayor’s Institute on City Design (last month) Mayor A C Wharton presented Overton Square as a problem he needed help solving. He also insists the Bass Pro Shops / Pyramid deal is moving forward. Former City Councilman Jack Sammons has been nominated by Wharton to head the Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority Board. Wharton’s spending a lot of time and money on the road.
Shelby County Clerk’s Office: A total of four indictments have now been handed down lately in the ongoing investigation, including former chief administrative officer Charlie Nichols. More from the Daily News; WREG and again.
Memphis v. Nashville: Questions about the veracity of the police crime stats in the wake of the departure of Police Chief Ronal Serpas.
Mississippi: Six counties in north MS have received Federal disaster declarations. The Mascot Selection Committee for the University of Mississippi is running focus groups. Governor Haley Barbour announced two new tourism “trails”. Governor Barbour says MS will join a number of other states in opting out of a high-risk insurance pool in the health care reform bill. He also vetoed compensatory pay for State troopers.
Memphis Animal Shelter: Promises to crack down on employees don’t seem to have been carried out.
Youth Ambassadors Program: The former Summer Youth Program has been significantly revised and rebranded to instead teach four competencies to teens.
Family Service Center: The family-violence non-profit received a one million dollar grant from the Plough Foundation.
Business: Fiskars will open a new distribution center in Southaven, bringing 100 jobs. After a crippling FDA ruling, GTx has rebounded well. In just the first quarter of the year, International Paper has spent $690,000 on lobbying. Danielle Williams, wife of Walter T. Williams, will have her trial for laundering millions her husband allegedly embezzled from Verso Paper, next month. (via the DeSoto Times Tribune)
FedEx: The Commercial Appeal looks at the FAA reauthorization bill and the pro-union organising language that might damage their package delivery business. They also look at the political battle over its passage.
New Madrid Earthquakes: A new US Geological Survey study suggests the 1811 - 1812 earthquakes weren’t as strong as has been said.
DeSoto County: The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation is gathering signatures to place a measure on the ballot to control eminent domain usage. (via the DeSoto Times Tribune) “Weedy lots” will not be tolerated in Olive Branch.
Survey Says: Delta Air Lines is the stingiest airline in rewarding frequent flyers.
West Tennessee: More on the casket and human remains found in a bluff collapse near Randolph. (via the Covington Leader; free reg. required)
Picture of the Day
|The little-spoken of dark side of the BBQ Fest is Nightmare Pig, from fancycwabs by Randall Cooper. © 2010. Used under a Creative Commons license. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcooper/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)|
Opinion and Blogs
MAKE IT HAPPEN: Her cat Presley has been missing for days now and her heart is breaking. Can you help?
John Branston: Shelby County has too many elections. (via the Flyer)
Jason Holleman: Nashville needs to adopt a damaged home buyout plan for the recovery. (via the Tennessean)
Tennessean: Planning for the next great disaster, like the flooding that hit Tennessee, should start now.
Jackson Sun: Don’t let legislator-felons keep their State-paid health insurance.
Commercial Appeal: For the sake of lucrative Beale Street, close the Plush Club. They call for closing public “amenities” rather than raising taxes. The decline of the Mid-South Fair had nothing to do with the tenure of manager Jim Rout? Criticism of the Humanitarian Outreach Development Group. The failure of safety and regulatory measures in the Gulf oil spil disaster requires … investigation and more regulation?
Richard Locker: All the gubernatorial canddates err on the side of “secrecy” and non-disclosure on the part of government. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Otis L. Sanford: Everything but an actual endorsement of Republican Mark Luttrell for County mayor. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Chris Peck: A call for more government-level interventions to “fix” the city. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Lee Harris: Ignorant consumers need more, and more complex, governement regulations to protect them. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Amy Howell: Here’s a new buzz word for you: “trust agent”. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Tom Pease: Nothing happens in business until someone sells something. (via the Daily News)
Memphis News: If the City is going to perform background checks anyway, why not at the outset — on the application?
Jan Knight: The tales of two troubled young men. (via the DeSoto Times Tribune)
The Chockley Blogs: The family goes Wii bowling. And, tons of photos from a beautiful day at Dragon Park.
Smart City Memphis: An interesting insight into the proposed County charter school.
Mediaverse: He sides, very narrowly, with Willie Herenton on the debates.
Andrew Earles: The writer’s life sometimes involves physical injury.
Commontaries: Questions the media aren’t asking about the Plush Club eviction.
Cute Stew: These are her current crushes.
Dining With Monkeys: Guest blogger Sophorn McRae, of No Rococo fame, takes her family to Sweet Grass and you get an extensive, photo-filled review.
From the Rainbows: They’ve been trying to sell the house and reality has crashed in on them.
Just A Girl in the World: Another incident where a blog post has “real life” consequences, in this case pretty severe.
Left Wing Cracker: Some thoughts on the Ninth Congressional District Democratic primary race.
Whitebread on Patrol: For you science fiction fans, your funny graphic of the day.
The MakeShift Revolution: She has changed her mind about the BBQ contest over the years.
Wendi C. Thomas: She has a dream of “intentional diversity”. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Geoff Calkins: A personal story of kidney donation. (via the Commercial Appeal)