Main Street Journal - Monday, January 16, 2012

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Meet the New Boss,
Not the Old Boss

Although non-application process candidate and former mayor George Harvell was tipped by some, former Alderman Linda Carter was chosen Friday by the Board of Aldermen as the new interim mayor of Millington. More from Fox13, ABC24, WREG, WMC. A look at the legacy of former mayor Richard Hodges; more.

Memphis City Schools: After Friday’s shooting at Central High School, parents are now worried about student safety coming to and from school. More from WMC, WREG. The Memphis Police are working with Memphis school security.

Memphis City Council: Chairman Bill Morrison added discussion of minority hiring requirements and financial incentives to tomorrow’s City Council meeting. The agenda is here. The Council’s website is here, with links to live-streaming.

State Redistricting: Some last-minute surprises in Nashville. State Senator Jim Kyle has a district once again, but shares it with State Senator Beverly Marrero now; more from Fox13. Democratic State Senator Andy Berke, getting his concessions, agreed to back the plans. Fourth District Congressman Scott DesJarlais’ district is severely changed; more. All three plans (County, State and Congressional) are passed and now await Governor Bill Haslam’s signature. Redistricting is final, until the court challenges start. General reports from TN Report, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tennessean, the Knoxville News-Sentinel and again and again. Shelby County is losing influence.

Unified Shelby County Schools: The Transition Planning Commission and the six County munipalities are waiting for Tuesday to hear from the Southern Educational Strategies on opening municipal school districts. (Wrong group named earlier. Fixed.) They are also studying school districts around the country to glean lessons for Memphis.

Shelby County Commission: The judge hearing the County’s redistricting squabble, Arnold Goldin, made it clear he doesn’t want to get involved in drawing district lines.

Morgan Keegan: A long and detailed Daily News overview of where the situation stands in the acquisition by Raymond James Financial. RJF website. The official statement from RJF. Memphis is “wary” of what may still happen.

Crime: Despite decreasing crime, residents still fear burglaries … in Jackson, TN.

Tennessee: Two former State Parole Board employees have been convicted on charges of bribery and official misconduct; more.

Occupy: A formal complaint has now been filed against Occupy Memphis, where there have been violent incidents with the homeless. The Occupy Murfreesboro group, down to fewer than a dozen is switching strategies, to “part-time protesting”. The Hamilton County Commission has filed suit in Federal Court to force Occupy Chattanooga to move from public land.

Memphis Animal Shelter: The case of who kidnapped Kapone and took him to Senatobia is growing cold, although questioning Demetria Hogan, the last known person to see him, is not mentioned.

Chattanooga: Comcast and AT&T customers are getting a rate increase.

EmergeMemphis: Post-announcemnet, the Commercial Appeal again profiles ex-president Gwin Scott about where he may go and what he may do.

West Memphis 3: The movie news site has an interview with Damien Echols, in New Zealand, where he’s working with Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy) on a WM3 documentary.

DeSoto County: The amount of money owed to the State by Southaven mayor Greg Davis was reduced by $10,000. And now a deal Davis struck to lease a County firehouse may cost the County millions. Davis will get to keep his pension. Three former County jailers, fired in 2004, won a court appeal. A Commercial Appeal Board of Aldermen profile of Gary Higdon. The Olive Branch Arts Council hopes to spruce up the town and the Old Towne. The County Bulletin Board for Sunday and Monday.

Real Estate: Local realtors expect 2012 to be more of the same in terms of sales, even though 4Q new home sales saw a slight uptick. A 6% dip, though, for sales in December. Fourth quarter mortagages remain unchanged. In DeSoto County, seeing some light.

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NEW ARTICLE! The Political Silly Season: Our political and financial contributor, Chuck Bates, is already growing tired of outrageous political ads and he’s still got to survive until November!

Internet Exclusive: 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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State Education: In the Quality Counts annual ranking, from Education Week, Tennessee scored a C+, or 77.7%. Direct link to report. Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman indicated to Shelby County he’d like to have monthly update meetings. Tennessee’s teachers don’t like the idea of larger class sizes. Governor Haslam wants simplify and streamline civil service grievance appeal procedures for terminated employees. Next year’s Common Core Standards will again, raise standards for student … and teachers. Fox 13’s Ernie Freeman talks Haslam’s plans with Rev Kenneth Whalum Jr and Dr Clayton Smith.

Rev Martin Luther King Holiday: Today’s holiday closings, County closings and holiday events, from the Commercial Appeal and DeSoto County closings. More events from Fox13. The US Interior Department will correct the truncated quote on the new MLK monument in Washington DC. Volunteerism is the theme of this holiday spirit. Was King a towering legend or a flawed man? His short life was a lesson for others.

City of Memphis: The Community Enhancement Division is the subject of an internal investigation and three top-level employees were placed on administrative leave. Mayor A C Wharton began testing out some of the theme of his Bloomberg Philanthropy-funded rhetoric. (See this Main Street Journal article.)

Local Media: The Commercial Appeal and the Knoxville News-Sentinel have entered into an agreement with Tampa Bay’s PolitiFact to create a TN-branded version, PolitiFact Tennessee. Their first target: a statement by Representative Steve Cohen.

Mississippi Pardons: All but ten of those pardoned were little danger to the community at all, said former governor Haley Barbour though some will be returned to prison over procedural issues. Governor Haley Barbour is going to work with a law firm (Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens and Cannada) with Memphis ties. He is defending his actions as a Christian. Top State officials will meet today to discuss their next options.

Manufacturers Council of the Greater Memphis Chamber: Trying to get the word out that Memphis also makes things, not just distributes them.

Business: The Daily News’ Small Business Spotlight shines this week on Ron Archer Auto Care. Thompson Wireless and We’re Wireless merged to form one of the largest Memphis-area AT&T retailers.

From the Commercial Appeal, What to Do for Sunday and Monday; People in Business for Sunday and Monday; Property Transfers. The Business Journal covers People on the Move. And the Daily News has Today’s Events.

Airlines: Led by Delta Air Lines, the first fare hike of 2012 is in place. Later this month, watch for posted fares to suddenly rise as the airlines are required to also list additional fees, charges and taxes.

Dollar Tree: Do Memphis-area stores sell Sunday Commercial Appeals for a dollar, too?

Mississippi: The State’s USDA Rural Development office is moving to their office in Senatobia in Tate County. Mutual transfer agreements between school districts is headed to the State Supreme Court.

Nashville: Teacher union leaders are upset with the school superintendent, Dr Jesse Register, after he voids their memoranda of understanding. Despite being a “priority”, the city’s Federal courthouse is still a distant plan. Mayor Karl Dean is shuffling his top-level staff. Downtown Nashville is waiting for retailers to move in.

Bartlett: The firing of Scott Baker is spurring a review of the Town’s employee policy and procedures.

Politics: A study notes that attractive politicians get more press coverage than unattractive one. The MS Democratic Trust is a new group ormed to reinvigorate the party. More from the Clarion-Ledger. The city manager of Mount Pleasant, Michelle Williams, has asked the City Chaplain to cease prayers on City time. So-called anti-gay legislation will be the next furor in the General Assembly.

Picture of the Day

Maddie had an … interesting date at the Herpetarium, from Facebook by Drew Smith. © 2012. Used with permission. Follow the link to see some of the other fascinating animals she got to meet!

Opinion and Blogs

Mediaverse: Richard has mixed though positive reactions to the Commercial Appeal’s PolitiFact Tennessee venture.

LeftWingCracker: A metaphorical plea to end Democrat on Democrat violence.

vibinc: Watching the sausage being made.

I’ll be the one in heels: Goodbye, Pa. And now, what comes next?

Small Business Advocate: Ten basic rules to guide your year. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Jack McElroy: The Editor of the Knoxville News-Sentinel explains the new Politifact Tennessee they will be sharing with the Commercial Appeal, in more detail than the CA. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Georgianna Vines: State redistricting is having effects all down Tennessee politics. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Spencer Wiggins: A day of service, and not shopping or leisure is a fitting tribute to Dr King. (via the Tennessean)

Keltner Locke: Everyone benefits with improved race relations. (via the Tennessean)

Tennessan: Are all the memorials enough to encompass Rev Martin Luther King’s message?

Kyle Veazey: Look around the stands at a Grizzles game and all you see is Memphis. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Wendi C. Thomas: The Rev. Martin Luther King’s legacy is larger than “quibbles”. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Andre K. Fowlkes: How does your business handle objectionable or even offensive clients? (via the Commercial Appeal)

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

Bill Minor: He believes that, for the past sixty years, the Mississippi House has been a “no-party legislative body”. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

Jackson Sun: Waiting for Governor Haslam’s Statewide crime fighting effort to reach down to the local level.

Tom Bohs: Audiobooks are a poor substitute for the real thing and potentially dangerous. (via the Jackson Sun)

Smart Stuff 4 Work: The lesson of the Plimsoll Line in instructive even today. (via the Daily News)

Giving Back: This week, highlighting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Memphis. (via the Daily News)

Commercial Appeal:: Clearly they are on the side of using more government monies to stimulate business growth. Kudos to Hernando on setting health as a community goal. Those “fearful” of a school merger are afraid of one thing this editorial doesn’t mention. It’s a new chapter for Morgan Keegan. As a nation built on word, Rev Martin Luther Kiing’s are as important as Jefferson’s or Lincoln’s, Roosevelt’s or Reagan’s.

Keel Hunt: Once again, equating former TN governor Ray Blanton’s selling of pardons with MS governor Haley Barbour’s granting 200 pardons and early releases . (via the Commercial Appeal)

Chris Peck: He explains what PolitiFact and the Truth-O-Meter is and how his paper will deploy it. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Otis L. Sanford: No doubt, had this been a Democratic governor, he would have praised his “brave stand” in more unalloyed terms. (via the Commercial Appeal)