Mayor A C Wharton: At today’s State of the City address, he will lay out a wide-ranging and ambitious plan for the next 100 days. The City is “exploring” privatising sanitation.
Transition Planning Commission: The public is finding that the commission is not always able to answer their questions about the future of the Unified Shelby Schools district. Even as the TPC is refocusing itself, the County’s private schools are depending on a solid public school structure to help them out in the near term. There are many “moving parts” in the new Unified Shelby school district; the Daily News explains some of them. Who owns the school buildings?
West Memphis Three: Defense attorneys for Damien Echols have turned up three new witnesses who implicate Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the victims, as the killer. More from WREG and ABC24 and Fox13. Did a 1996 documentary save the WM3’s lives?
Suburban School Districts: Why there are discrepancies between the towns’ original cost estimates and Southern Educational Strategies’ numbers. The Daily News links to all the suburban reports. And how the suburbs will all have to face the “higher taxes” option. The Collierville Independent looks at school feasibilty and resident reaction.
Right to Life: Sunday was their annual “Stand for Life” rally at the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center.
Nashville: Federal stimulus funds are running out so Metro Public Health Department employees are now being laid off. Metro Councilman Darren Jernigan is running as a Democrat for the State House, District 60; more from the Tennessean. It’s unclear what the cost to taxpayers will be for Dolly Parton’s themepark.
Memphis City Schools: As the new head of Child Nutrition for city schools, Tony Geraci is responsible for feeding over 100,000 children three times a day. Superintendent Dr Kriner Cash insists there are no harmful levels of mold at Whitehaven High School.
Republican Presidential Primaries: Mitt Romney has picked up the endorsement of Speaker of the House Beth Harwell.
Politics: The Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, the regulatory body of TN law enforcement, hasn’t been posting its meetings properly. The TN Democratic Party’s Latino Summit, was the party’s first ever convocation of Latinos and they blasted “extremist Republican views”. The town of Bluff City earns more from speed cameras than it does from taxes. Governor Bill Haslam pitched his legislative agenda in East Tennessee recently. “Occasional spats” between Haslam and Lt Gov Ron Ramsey don’t bother most legislators.
Air Safety: The NTSB has laid responsibility for the fatal crash of a Medical Center Air Ambulance Service helicopter in 2009.
DeSoto County: Three DeSoto County State Representatives have gotten seats on the House Education Committee, giving the County some important leverage. The study committee on student solicitation (ie. after-school fundraising) has finally produced some policy changes. Second phase, the public input phase, of the I-69 “trade corridor study” is about to get underway and officials really do want to hear from you! The County Board of Supervisors refinanced about $22 million in general obligation bonds as a cost-saving move. Big rains this Fall and Winter are dumping millions of extra gallons into the Southaven and Hernando water treatment systems.
State Redistricting Fallout: State Senator Bill Ketron still hasn’t declared his intentions in the US Fourth Congressional District.
HOPE Scholarships: Some legislators have proposed halving the scholarships.
Real Estate: Shelby County residential building permits fell in 2011.
Mississippi: Expected strong bad weather Sunday has canceled plans for the inaugural parade for new governor Phil Bryant. Bryant has already cut the salaries of his staff by about 10%. Dozens of pardons issued by former governor Haley Barbour are being challenged because of non-compliance or irregularities by various agencies, the State or even the press. Some of the controversial pardons are “a redemption” for some criminals. And now an attorney for four of the pardonees is saying that AG Jim Hood was involved in the pardons early on, even as he was fighting them. More from the Clarion-Ledger, WMC and Fox13.
Memphis Police Department: Officer Quattarra Gardner was arrested for shoplifting from Macy’s.
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Southaven Mayor Greg Davis: The Commercial Appeal presents a detailed report on how Davis was able to get away with his behavior for so long. More on his stipend cut from the Desoto Times Tribune, ABC24. Davis still owes the State $62,000.
Memphis Animal Shelter: A protest was held Sunday over the shelter’s euthanasia policy, which means 7 of 10 animals are put down. The City has still not found anyone interested in taking the shelter private.
Pyramid: A steel and conrete wall is being installed under the building to add protections against earthquakes.
Second Amendment: Using material given to them by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a New York gun control group, the Tennessean crafts a gun control article! State Representative Frank Nicely’s humorous but pointed warning to New Yorkers about gun rights is provoking some backlash. The “threat” explained.
Business: The Small Business Spotlight shines this week on the National College of Business and Technology. Memphis Bioworks will install a 2.3 acre solar array atop the parking garage at the UT-Baptist Research Park site on Union Avenue. Lagging demand, and not “excessive” government regulation, are what’s holding back the economcy, says the Tennessean. Memphis entrepreneurs have “scrappiness”.
Southwest Airlines: They confirmed they will be taking over all AirTrans routes, effectively entering the Memphis market and competing with Delta. More from the Daily News. The list of AirTran flights to be changed over, from WREG. More from ABC24 and again.
Electrolux: To compensate for the environmental degradation caused by new plant construction, they are planting 1500 trees and “restoring wetlands” near…Collierville. Now that the political storm over local and minority hiring is calming, the company has to actually follow through.
FedEx: The shipping giant was featured on the NBC Nightly News in a story about the associated businesses that spring up around it in Memphis.
Chattanooga: Mayor Ron Littlefield will hold a press conference this afternoon addressing the gang problem.
Local Media: The Commercial Appeal discovered the number of SmartSource coupon inserts, provided by New America Corporation, had dropped by 20,000. So, public sale copies of the paper may not contain them any more. They also introduce the awkwardly named “Haslam-O-Meter”, which will “measure” the “truthfulness” of campaign pledges.
Knoxville: Knox County mayor Tim Burchett was the featured speaker at an anti-abortion rally on Sunday.
Picture of the Day
|A Loeb’s Laundry truck, circa 1910, from Shorpy, submitted by cnik70. © 2012. Used with permission.|
Oh Dear God Why: Dave is back in the lab with a new test subject–canned beef.
John Branston: Some random thoughts on suburban schools. (via the Flyer)
Tom Humphrey: PACs are like people too” he says. “It can do anything it wants with its money.” (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)
Knoxville News-Sentinel: Knox Countians will have “the opportunity to reshape their government” with the upcoming charter review.
Gail Kerr: Dolly Parton’s new Nashville theme park isn’t Opryland but at least it’s something. (via the Tennessean)
A. J. McCall: Online retailers are getting free financial incentives compared to brick’n'mortar retailers. (via the Tennessean)
Julieanna Huddle: Using the “victimisation model” to deal with bullying. (via the Tennessean)
Sally Pace: tnAchieves helps kids maneuver the college admission process. (via the Daily News)
Smart Stuff 4 Work: Cookies, history and business. (via the Daily News)
Eric Barnes: The publisher of a daily newspaper argues in favor of public notices staying in papers. (via the Daily News)
Bill Minor: Is Mississippi about to enter an era of split governor - Lt governor agendas? (via the Desoto Times Tribune)
Small Business Advocate: International business also requires you consider a lot of extra variables. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Andre K. Fowlkes: Are you readying yourself for the job you have, or the one you want? (via the Commercial Appeal)
Joe Spake’s Daily Buzz: The rest of the day’s news, from all sorts of eclectic places.
Jackson Sun: Can the Jackson-Madison County Board of Education be so incredibly clueless with regard to business community support?
Tom Bohs: For their failure to innovate the Board of Education should be fired en masse. (via the Jackson Sun)
Mike Burch: Governments constantly chip away at our freedoms, and we must always be vigilant. (via the Nashville City Paper)
Tennessean: Anti-bullying programs will (somehow) stop bullying.
Commercial Appeal: The County Commission seems more like a pro-wrestling match these days. Will Southaven’s aldermen fail their due diligence with Mayor Greg Davis? They analyse the suburban school situation through the viewpoint of people committed to consolidating schools. The “toxic combination of love and guns” in Memphis? Iran v. Barbie.
Geoff Calkins: Is there such a thing in Memphis as “basketball overload”? (via the Commercial Appeal)
Wendi C. Thomas: Once the golden boy, she now calls Southaven mayor Greg Davis a naughty name. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Chris Peck: Memphis isn’t (and shouldn’t think of itself as) a Third World city. (It’s more like Detroit.) (via the Commercial Appeal)
Otis L. Sanford: Another editorialist bewails the “rancor” of the County Commission. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Barry Chase: Yesterday was the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. (via the Commercial Appeal)