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Former Governor Ned McWherter: The popular two-term governor passed away on Monday, from cancer. A statement from Governor Bill Haslam. House Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh called him “a mentor”. The family released this obituary. The State House held a brief tribute. More reports from the Nashville City Paper, Pith in the Wind, the Tennessean, the Associated Press, the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Fox13 and the Commercial Appeal. Reactions from politicians, and more reactions.
School Merger Lawsuit: District judge Hardy Mays said, two weeks ago, ““My experience is courts are terrible places to make public policy” and the litigants in the merger lawsuit took his suggestion! Settlement talks might begin soon, with a deadline of April 14, minus any guidelines from Mays. More from WMC, WREG and the CA.
Main Street Journal Second Thoughts: You hear so often about “activist judges” it’s refreshing to see one judge work so hard to have the parties involved resolve their differences without his interference.
Memphis City Schools: A secretary at Trezevant High School, Cassandra Howard, has been indicted on one count of theft of property over $10,000; more.
Tennessee Farmers Market Forum: This annual event will be held this Saturday at the Agricenter, a West TN first. The rising popularity of farmers markets here in recent years is part of the reason. The Memphis Farmers Market is the local partner.
Business: Memphis is suddenly a franchise attractor for a variety of retail chains. More on the new Tennessee Flea Market on Winchester. The athletic club industry is rebuilding itself.
Delta Air Lines: The Airline Quality Rating measures what airlines get wrong and Delta’s AQR is improving.
Monogram Foods: They are one of five finalists for Inc. magazine’s Next Economy Hero contest.
DeSoto County: Developers hope for a mid-April groundbreaking for Towne Square in Horn Lake. The Board of Supervisors will soon let bids for the new County jail. And the County school board agreed to replace half the special eduation bus fleet.
Animal Neglect: The number of horse abuse (mainly neglect) is on the rise.
NEW! Online Exclusive: Our Tea Party correspondent, Ed “Doc” Holliday asks of the Democrats in Congress, is Federal spending Extreme or Obscene?
County Commissioner Chris Thomas: Commissioner Thomas gives his unfiltered thoughts on the Unified school board and the merger with Memphis City Schools, wondering, So Many Questions, So Few Answers.
Roxana Saberi in Memphis: Occasional contributor Mick Wright was at the appearance of the Iranian-Japanese-American author who spent spent 100 days in an Iranian jail on trumped-up charges. He sent us this report on her life, her new book (Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran) and her experiences.
Online Exclusive: Main Street Journal financial columnist Chuck Bates suggests that President Obama focus on the real bullies of the world.
National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention: Various officials with the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, the City of Memphis, Shelby County government, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office, the Memphis Police Department and Memphis City Schools are in Washington to present the successful Memphis Youth Violence Prevention Plan. More in the Commercial Appeal.
Shelby County Commission: Efforts to restrict employee paid leave for in-office charity donations fell short of the needed votes yesterday. Commissioners voted a weak resolution to stop future commissioners–like, say, Terry Roland–from “leaking” legal “secrets” in the future.
State Education Reform: Background on the effort to expand the number of charter schools, from WPLN. In an effort to win over more House legislators, the Senate may vote to allow teachers’ representatives (outside of unions) a voice in negotiations as part of the tenure and collective bargaining legislative package. This Tennessean story uses anecdotal evidence from a single MTSU professor to argue that teacher morale is at “rock bottom” because of reform efforts in Nashville.
Memphis v. Nashville: Nearly 40% of Metro teachers quit within five years. While Nashville’s Hispanic population has more than doubled since the last Census, does that translate into political power? Belmont University is applying to become one of the 2012 Presidential debate locations.
Memphis City Council: At today’s meeting they will have their first official meeting with Toney Armstrong, Mayor A C Wharton’s choice to replace retiring Director Larry Godwin. They are also expected to decide the question of more, smaller Fire Department vehicles or old-style large trucks. The Council’s agenda is here.
The Haslam Administration: When Democrats accuse Governor Bill Haslam of not creating jobs, he points out his tort reform legislation will make the State more attractive to new business.
Politics: East TN Senator Stacey Campfield is proposing that ballots allow multiple-party endorsements for candidates–which would favor smaller, third parties–as part of the process of making State ballots third-party friendly. AT&T argues that the State shouldn’t subsidise rural phone companies and landlines but, maybe, broadband. The Knoxville News-Sentinel’s Tom Humphrey shines some light on lesser-noticed legislation. The TN Health Care Campaign is fighting against the “scary” TN Health Care Compact. Labor and activist groups used the Martin Luther King holiday to agitate against efforts to reform collective bargaining.
Arkansas: Tax revenues for March beat forecasts
Blight: Legislation in Nashville would give local communities the ability to prioritise liens against neglected properties over everything except property taxes.
2011 Memphis Giving Guide: If you want to help but aren’t sure where to volunteer your time or donate your money, this free Memphis Giving Guide, from the Main Street Journal, can help you find the Christ-led ministries effecting social change in Memphis. (11 MB PDF document; right-click and save)
Online Exclusive: What, Exactly, Did Loeb Announce? Main Street Journal Publisher and Editor in Chief Jonathan Lindberg wonders what was the big deal in the Loeb Properties announcement about Overton Square?
Picture of the Day
|Spring’s bounty (and yes, those are the eggs’ natural color!) from Midtown Chicks. © 2011.|
Opinion and Blogs
Joe Spake’s Daily Buzz: Interesting links from interesting people, via Joe.
The Worldly Investor: Energising the markets … how? (via the Daily News)
Smart Stuff 4 Work: The genesis of World War Two’s B-17 Flying Fortress bomber still has lessons for today. (via the Daily News)
Dierdre Arnold: The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home, is honest in showing how slavery made his wealthy life possible. (via the Tennessean)
Steve Anderson: Nashville’s police chief argues that their policy of filling out full incident reports on every report of domestic violence should be the State’s standard policy. (via the Tennessean)
Knoxville Metro Pulse: Are US Senator Bob Corker and Governor Haslam not “far, far, far right enough” for conservatives?
Joe Sullivan: State legislators who oppose how President Obama is achieving health care reform should find a different way to implement it? (via the Metro Pulse)
Gene Policinski: The Phelps family and Westboro Baptist Church are perfect and difficult examples of why free speech is so fundamental and important to America. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)
Robert Booker: Karaoke is an addiction, he claims. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)
Mollie Merry Campbell: We must not cut foreign aid to sub-Saharan Africa. (via the Commercial Appeal)