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Keep Doing What You’re Doing
State Redistricting: The drive to finish redistricting by Friday is slowing down even as the State House approved the GOP House plan, 67-25; they also approved new congressional maps by 68-25. More from the Tennessean. The plan will cause two black Democrats from Chattanooga to run against each other. And another Democrat will try today to prevent Bradley County from being split between the Third and Fourth Congressional Districts; more on the Fourth District. Some Democrats did get spared. The Flyer’s Jackson Baker summarises the situation. The League of Women Voters are angry. More reports from WMC, Fox13. Shelby County and Memphis aren’t the only major urban area split by redistricting–so is Knoxville.
Morgan Keegan: Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly says cuts are inevitable and growth may be minor for the new Morgan Keegan. But they won’t be coming soon. Many more details of the sale from the Daily News. And more reports from WREG.
Lamar Avenue: More on the proposal to widen Highway 78.
Mayor A C Wharton: At a luncheon the other day, he expressed concerns about the uncertainties of the various redistricting plans and the losses to the City.
Knoxville: The president and CEO of the Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation, Gloria Ray, earns over $400,000 in salary.
Republican Presidential Primaries: The Flyer’s Jackson Baker travelled to New Hampshire and brought back a feature article on the race.
Mississippi: In the wake of the Barbour pardoning ruckus, new governor Phil Bryant and the Legislature are considering changes to how they are awarded. WREG had questions about the pardons months ago, involving the murderer of Walter Johnson. Sisters Gladys and Jamie Scott were disappointed they didn’t get pardons. AG Jim Hood got a temporary injunction, though this only stopped some pardons.
Politics: Are Republicans flip-flopping if they now support a cut in the grocery tax? A proposed law requiring the transgendered to use the public restroom matching their birth gender has lost its State Senate sponsor, Bo Watson. The House sponsor, Rep. Richard Floyd, theatened to “stomp” any transgendered people in the “wrong” bathroom. The TN Firearms Association is warning its members that the current General Assembly GOP leadership is a bigger threat to to gun rights than the former Democratic leaders.
Memphis International Airport: Even as Delta flight cutbacks start this month, a new carrier is moving in–US Airways.
Redbirds: People who go to AutoZone Park will see games in HD with the installation of a 20 ton video scoreboard, with literally 1.4 million pixels.
DeSoto County: The USDA is closing two offices in Hernando as a cost-cutting measure.
Collierville: The Town may give a 10-year PILOT to Strike King, a fishing lure manufacturer, to bring them to town.
Land Use Control Board: The board approved the renaming of a stretch of Linden Avenue downtown to Dr Martin Luther King Avenue. It was unanimous. More from WREG, WMC, Fox13. They also approved the Union Mission’s expansion plans.
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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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Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner: Revelations of Baumgartner’s drug abuse and other judical misconduct have now tainted the four convictions of Knox County’s most heinous recent crimes–the torture slayings of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.
MLG&W: An audit of the Plus-1 program, which goes to benefit MIFA’s aid program for the elderly and recently unemployed, pointed to problems that have now been addressed.
Downtown: As part of the rehabbing of the Pyramid, the Lonestar Industries building is coming down and with it a piece of Memphis signage history will too. Vacant storefronts are being converted into temporary art space. ABC24 reporter Cameron Harper got a rare trip inside the Pyramid as remodelling work for Bass Pro Shops in underway.
Achievement School District: Governor Bill Haslam was in town for a two-day event put on by the ASD that encourages local charter schools to take over other low-performing schools.
Germantown High School: More trouble at the school as a student’s tweet about a gun for sale led to two suspensions.
Amy Weirich: The Daily News does a professional profile of the Shelby County District Attorney.
West Tenessee: The full effects of closing the Goodyear plant in Union City probably aren’t known yet.
Tennessee: Tax revenues were up in December, over $120 million above budgeted estimates; the majority of that was in business tax collections. The fatality rate for the entire state for all of 2011 was at its lowest level in fifty years; more from the Chattanooga Time Free Press. Grants to companies to move to Tennessee are transparent, except for the secret parts.
Nashville: Five conventions on the calendar for the Music City Center this year are marked “confidential” to the public. Two conventions have already cancelled because of fears the center may not be built in time. Davidson County schools will be closed today, due to snow!
Business: More on Tennessee’s international trade-boosting program, TNTrade. Their website. Food Lion is closing 25 stores in Middle and East Tennessee, taking 1100 jobs. The solar company founded by former governor Phil Bredesen and some other members of his administration has been awarded a contract to build a $90 million array in Georgia.
Mitsubishi Electric Power Products: The building permit application has been filed on their new manufacturing plant in Rivergate Industrial Park.
FedEx: Mitch Jackson, a vice president of Environmental Affairs & Sustainability, has been named a Thought Leader by Trust Across America.
Canadian National: The Port of Memphis has given them a 10-year option to build a $300 million logistics park in Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park.
Electrolux: More on the local governmental effort to hold the company to language, not actually in print, to respect local hiriing and minotiry hiring guidelines and requests. Electrolux will present their numbers to the City Council. The two mayors are defending the deal. More from Fox13.
Arkansas: A small, bi-partisan group of legislators are asking the Arkansas Municipal League to reconsider their support for a severance tax hike.
Foreclosures: Almost five in seven of the state’s foreclosures happened in Shelby County in 2011.
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
|The stained glass windows from the 19th Century Club building, from Joe Spake. © 2012. Used with permission.|
FUNdraising: How to create a culture of fundraising. (via the Daily News)
Frank Cagle: Despite keeping the Federal government in mind, State redistricting may still run afoul of the Voting Rights Act. (via the Knoxville Metro Pulse)
Frank Sullivan: Changing the law to get blighted properties back into useful condition and on the property tax collection ledger. (via the Knoxville Metro Pulse)
Bernal E. Smith II: Memphis owes the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King much more than it’s giving. (via the Tri-State Defender)
Joe Spake’s Daily Buzz: The rest of the day’s news, from all sorts of eclectic places.
Memphasis: This farewell is for Bob. (via the Daily News)
On Our Way to Wealthy: Companies get what they can negotiate. (via the Tri-State Defender)
Commercial Appeal: Former governor Haley Barbour’s pardon uproar isn’t at all connected to, nor does it resemble, Tennessee’s Seventies Blanton scandal, but they’ll be happy to remind you of it in this context! And they’re OK with Tony Thompson’s hiring by the Unified school district, but….
Charles Wadzinski: Public airwaves demand public standards of decency. (via the Tennessean)
Gail Kerr: The return of the Legislature is met with the usual low expectations. (via the Tennessean)