Main Street Journal - Thursday, January 12, 2012

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After the markets closed yesterday, Raymond James Financial announced they were buying Morgan Keegan. No word on moves or terminations/layoffs yet except a promise to “maintain a large presence in Memphis”. Morgan Keegan CEO John Carson will move to James as a president. As part of the acquisition, MK will pay Regions Financial $250 million on top of the already $930 million purchase. The Raymond James website. More from WMC, WREG and the Commercial Appeal.

Haley Barbour: The former MS governor pardoned (or gave clemency to) over 200 convicts in his last days in office and now is coming under bipartisan fire for his actions. MS Attorney General Jim Hood has intervened to stop the whole thing. A judge has halted many releases as they violate the State constitution and State law. Reports from WMC, Desoto Times Tribune and the Commercial Appeal.

Reaction to some individual releases: Joseph Ozment and again What happened in MS cannot happen in Tennessee.

Barbour will be joining the firm Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada.

Shelby County Commission: Commissioner Terry Roland got into a tense discusson with other commissioners–all Republican–at an Arlington Chamber of Commerce event.

State Redistricting: TN Democrats are “concerned” and advocating “going slow” on redistricting. Bradley County will likely stay split through redistricting. The TN League of Women Voters are critical of redistricting. More on State Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle losing his district. The focus now turns to the State Senate. Reactions from East Tennessee legislators.

Transition Planning Commission: More on the expressed discontent from the audience at this week’s open meeting in Collierville.

Governor Bill Haslam: More on Tuesday’s new legislative agenda and his call for reduced taxation. He has filed a bill to shield more information used in economic development grants. The Nasville Scene lampoons Haslam’s proposed grocer tax cut.

Mayor A C Wharton: Fox13 interviews the mayor on redistricting and Electrolux. His State of the City address.

Memphis City Schools: Today’s teacher meeting has been postponed, after the email inviting “low performing teachers” identified them en masse.

Federal Reserve Beige Book: The Fed’s report on economic sector activity says the Mid-South (Eighth District) “grew at a modest pace”. Link to executive summary.

Business: Distributors Holding Corporation has bought a former nightclub on Front Street, on Cotton Row, to convert to office space.

The Daily News reports Today’s Events. The Business Journal carries People on the Move. And the Commercial Appeal has both People in Business and What to Do.

Electrolux: A closed door meeting for Memphis mayor A C Wharton Jr and Shelby County mayor Mark Luttrell with executives over their commitment to minority hiring in construction.

Yarnell’s: A bankruptcy judge has signed off on the sale of the company and its various assets to Schulze & Burch Biscuit. More from WMC.

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NEW ARTICLE! Rick Santorum and the Tea Party? Our Tea Party contributor, Ed “Doc” Holliday went to New Hampshire for the nation’s first primary vote and argues that that, now, Rick Santorum might be the last hope for the Tea Party movement in national politics.

Internet Exclusive: Who Runs the World? Memphis Urban League president and political candidate Tomeka Hart notes that while women are making progress in politics there still aren’t enough women in office.

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General Sessions Court: The current Court Clerk, Otis Jackson, suspended while he’s indicted on four charges of official misconduct, is still running for re-election.

Lamar Avenue: TDOT is finalising the environmental report and readying expansion of Highway 78.

Memphis Police Department: Officer Sean Fritz faces two counts of computer fraud and one of making false statements for illegally accessing the FBI’s National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) database. More from Fox13, ABC24, WMC and WREG and the Commercial Appeal.

The “Boot and Tow” program has its first full-time officer, Josh Lombard.

Downtown: The new management is changing A. Schwab’s, but not letting go of its eclectic past. The Downtown Memphis Commission admits that the lunch hour is the peak of visitors; they still hope to change that.

Overton Square: Bob Loeb, of Overton Square’s owners and developers, Loeb Properties, spoke to the Rotary Club luncheon about their plans for the Square.

Tennessee: The State Supreme Court has ended its study and adopted a new code of conduct for all State attorneys; more from the Tennessean. Federal money, to the tune of $2.8 million, will fund repairing bridges and roads damaged in last Springs flooding. Human trafficking is on the rise, says the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

DeSoto County: Southaven mayor Greg Davis also has charged receipts to the Chamber of Commerce, according to a Commercial Appeal investigation. The daily Bulletin Board, also from the CA.

Republican Presidential Primaries: Governor Bill Haslam has formally endorsed Mitt Romney for president, according to a Romney campaign announcement. More in the Tennessean and the Commercial Appeal.

Education Reform: The teacher’s union is lashing out at Governor Bill Haslam’s plan to abolish teacher pay schedules. The TEA’s statement.

Urban Land Institue: They have put online an interactive map of the Mid-South Greensways (trail, parks, open spaces, etc) for the public to study. (You will need to install the Google Earth plugin on your browser.)

Land Use Control Board: They meeting today at 10AM.

Launch Medical: They are investing $4.8 million to triple their manufacturing space in Bartlett. More from the Business Journal. The State’s press release.

Emerge Memphis: President Gwin Scott is resigning of the “start-up incubator”. More from the Daily News and the Commercial Appeal.

Will There Be a Brokered Convention? Regular Main Street Journal contributor Chuck Bates, on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, looks at the Republican field and wonders, “Are we headed to a brokered convention?”

Picture of the Day

Is it art? Cheesecake? A mystery crochet project? From Hustle and Sew. © 2012.


Joe Spake’s Daily Buzz: The rest of the day’s news, from all sorts of eclectic places.

Knoxville News-Sentinel: Responsible pet care should be a requirement for pet ownership. The scandal in the Knox County Trustee’s office weakens trust in government.

Commercial Appeal: A call for an outside review of the principal-teacher review portion of the teacher evaluation process.

Wendi C. Thomas: Ignore the crowd and their fears and just plow ahead regardless. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Rays of Wisdom: Art and collectibes aren’t the best investments. (via the Daily News)

I Swear: Don’t “beg the question” if you’re unsure of the answer. (via the Daily News)

John Branston: He jumped the gun on Sears Crosstown but shares some interesting talk and ideas he’s heard. (via the Flyer)

Tennessean: Unlike the Democrats, they expect Republicans to be considerate in redistricting.

Ina Hughs: The Republican presidential primaries are more like a sitcom than a drama. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)