Main Street Journal - Tuesday, March 6, 2012

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Photo Credit: WMC
The Stakes Go Higher

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director Mark Gwyn announced Monday that new charges have been filed against Millington’s former mayor Richard Hodges. Previous charges have been replaced with three felony charges of bribery. Business owner Marlin Roberts, of Transmission Doctors, has also been hit with bribery and drug charges. The SCAG press release. More details from WREG and the Commercial Appeal.

There will be a job fair/employment workshop for military personnel and veterans today through Thursday.

Primary Day! Today is the day for primary races and the Republican presidential primary. Shelby County Election Commission website. Have trouble voting today? The ACLU wants to know. And Fox13 says to make sure your vote counts. Preparing for Super Tuesday. The Commercial Appeal predicts low turnout today–maybe 7%.

Memphis City Council: They will discuss assessing a previously approved 18 cent property tax hike. More from WMC. Meeting agenda and Council website (which offers livestreaming).

Republican Presidential Primary: Regular church-goers favor by six-to-one candidate Rick Santorum, says an MTSU poll. More on the role of religion. Three State Represetatives come out in support of Newt Gingrich. A look at the race as a whole, from and the final stretch from the CA. Last minute visits from the candidates. Reports on Rick Santorum’s visit to Memphis Sunday from the Flyer and Fox13. A trio of ads airing in Tennessee, from Slate. The race might now be too close to call; more from the Knoxville News-Sentinel, WMC. How the delegates are chosen. US Senator Bob Corker weighs in on Super Tuesday and “attacks on the free enterprise system”.

Teachers: More on the State’s making teachers’ performance scores public later this year.

Tennessee: The new $200 million Whirlpool plant in Cleveland is finished.

Lottery/HOPE Scholarships: The State says that lottery revenues are growing but some legislators still want to make changes. Democrats are appealing to Governor Bill Haslam to block further changes; more. One proposed change would make it easier for home-schooled students to get scholarships.

Business: Memphis realtors are reporting rising home sales.

From the Commercial Appeal, What to Do and People in Business. The Daily News notes Today’s Events. And the Business Journal covers People on the Move.

Pinnacle Airlines: Even as they are struggling to avoid bankruptcy, their CFO, Ted Christie, is leaving to become the CFO of Spirit Airlines. More from the Daily News and the Commercial Appeal.

AutoZone: Trying to extricate itself from controversy, they insist they do not adverstise on the Rush Limbaugh radio show. It was “never sanctioned”.

ServiceMaster: Operating revenue jumped almost 11% and revenues rose slightly.

Arkansas: More on the dead pit bulls found in Crittenden County. The State Police are rolling out a new campaign against teen drunken driving.

Cooper-Young: The Daily News looks at the ongoing sucess of the neighborhood.

Wolfchase Galleria: Three new stores are coming to the regional mall. More in the Commercial Appeal.

Nashville: The Metro Council is considering banning all smoking on public right-of-ways outside of hospitals. Advocates of property rights are battling urban planners over the historic Wynnewood and Cragfont estates. The director of the Davidson County Hill Detention Center, Kevin Cox, was arrested on DUI and weapons charges.

Cotton: The nation of India has banned all exports, to conserve their supply for domestic use, and so prices are spiking. China is their number one customer.

Gasoline: Prices continue to rise, heading toward $3.80/gallon nationally, and the local average is $3.56/gallon (via

Tell your friends you read it here:

NEW! ONLINE EXCLUSIVE! The Main Street Journal proudly welcomes Andria K. Brown to our ranks. She’ll be writing Southpaw and in Being Memphisotan she introduces herself.

Internet Exclusive: Farewell, Andrew Breitbart: Mick Wright pens a remembrance of the “iconoclastic provocateur”, the man who showed us the way.

Internet Exclusive: Bloomberg’s Money, Part III: Our Second Amendment contributor Craig Harper continues his series, looking at the use of Bloomberg Philanthropy money in Memphis. In Part III, he notes it’s all going according to plan.

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis: The group Concerned Citizens of Southaven were out yesterday gathering signatures to convince Governor Phil Bryant to oust mayor Davis. Alderman Ronnie Hale and mayor Davis comment. Alderman Greg Guy doubts Davis’ intentions. Davis himself speaks out and denies the double-charging. More on the “double dipping” that Davis is accused of. A change in how the public can speak at Board meetings has citizens angry. Concerned Citizens Facebook page.

Memphis Police Department: Police Director Toney Armstrong is expected to announce major changes in how police resources are deployed. Details are scarce about a fight that broke out inside Minglewood Hall on Saturday, that reportedly involved a police officer and the owner of Newby’s. Residents of Smith Ridge Road in Frayser are furious that police broke up an “out of control” block party. They dispute the police account.

Teachers: More on the bill to allow teachers more leeway in using force to discipline in the classroom.

Mo’ Money Taxes: Turns out, they are behind on the rent at some locations.

Memphis Animal Shelter: New video has surfaced of alleged animal abuse at the shelter. The YesBiscuit! blog where some of these videos are posted. New interim director James Rogers feels his inexperience with animal shelters is a plus.

Mississippi: Some citizens want certifications for mid-wives. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum will campaign in Mississippi ahead of the State’s primary on March 13. The State actually owns very little of Mississippi and even less of DeSoto County.

Shelby County Commission: Commissioner Steve Mulroy wants the Commission to approve a resolution expressing their opposition to State efforts to disallow local ordinances on “living wages” and “prevailing wages”.

Germantown: The Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously voted for the resolution to have the community vote on May 10 to create a municipal school district, and they also voted for the sales tax increase to fund it.

DeSoto County: The CA profiles County schools’ Administrator of the Year Amanda Samples. The County’s Board of Supervisors voted to get a private bill through the Legislature allowing local cops to use radar. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will hold a rally on Thursday. The County Bulletin Board from the CA.

Politics: House Speaker Beth Harwell says further efforts to cut taxes are unlikely this session. The National Rifle Association is opposing efforts by Republicans to work out a compromise in the Legislature over the bill to allow carry in parking lots. State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is sending two zoning bills to “Summer study” to work out a compromise between State and local governments. There is a push for a bill to do away with the statute of limitations for most sex crimes involving children.

Changing of the Guard: Another Democrat, State Representative Eddie Bass, who had considered running as a Republican, will retire instead. And former State Senator Rosalind Kurita, who had her 2008 election win taken from her by the Democratic State Executive Committee, now works for the State Department of Health.

Chattanooga: Estimates for Friday’s storm damage in Hamilton County are around $16.5 million. One tornado had a measured speed of 165 mph. The TEMA report on the storm outbreak.

R. Allen Stanford: The jury appears to be partially deadlocked but the judge wants them to keep trying.

Magna Bank: Tom Stewart joins them as the new head of their small business lending division.

Internet Exclusive: Comparing Economic Plans: Our economic contributor Chuck Bates looks at the tax plans of the four Republican presidential candidates and President Barack Obama to see which offers the great, most beneficial change.

Picture of the Day

El Ranchito de Las Colinas in Irving, TX, from JJoe Photography by Johnny. © 2012. Used with permission.

Opinion and Blogs

Thoroughly Modern Medusa: Take a quick tour of their newly finished, remodeled dreamhouse. She’s a writer, dangit, and she’s got the award to prove it.

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

Giving Back: He shares more reader responses to his question, “What does Memphis mean to you?” (via the Daily News)

The Worldly Investor: Money supply and inflation. (via the Daily News)

Mitch McCracken: Honoring Willie Mitchell, the “architect” of Memphis music. (via the Daily News)

Dodd Galbreath: He questions the way Governor Bill Haslam is running the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.(via the Tennessean)

Tom Humphrey: Governor Bill Haslam’s use of “flags” marks the real nature of his pro-business agenda. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Fox13 Insiders: Ben Ferguson and Joseph Kyles discuss today’s Super Tuesday voting and Rush Limbaugh’s controversy over Sandra Fluke.

Commercial Appeal: The City of Memphis shouldn’t pay for Liberty Bowl upgrades, it should be the tenants. Kudos to Chris Golden of the Bartlett PD.

Jim Boyd: A member of the Transition Planning Commission says they clearly heard and understood the community in their recent listening tour. (via the Commercial Appeal)

The Daddler and Me: She had a minor mishap while running with her dog the other morning. Dealing with the aftermath isn’t fun, either.

Yeah, and another thing: She re-opening her old photoblog.

Walls of the City: You don’t see this very often.

Vegan Crunk: It’s freezer clean-out time! Cooking with gluten-free seitan.

Time Flies: … when you’re having fun at Lester Elementary. Vacation time on Marco Island.

The Soundcheck and the Fury: The “sublime ruckus”.

The Intersection of Madness and Reality: Why are Republicans suppressing the votes of dead people?

Taming Insanity: How the world works, when you’re two. How to keep up your blog when you’ve had a baby.

Steve’s Nude Memphis Blog: He’s been overwhelmed of late.

Smart City Memphis: Why does Memphis keep falling for civic bad deals, one after the next? Some government ideas are good and some are bad, they say. Guess which are which?

sharp stick in the eye: Thoughts on books, book clubs and making your own baby food.

polar donkey: Early voting participation by Democrats and Republicans, in handy map format.