Main Street Journal - Friday, March 16, 2012

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It Can Happen Anywhere

The principal of West Memphis High School, Jon Collins, in West Memphis, AR, is calling for increased police presence near his school, before and after classes, following a shooting near the school.

Transition Planning Commission: Board member David Pickler is suggesting an additional one-year delay in the merger timeline, to facilitate “quality community debate over the plan”.

MSC Deputy Superintendent Irving Hamer: The outside investigation report recommended that Hamer get help for his drinking problem. Hamer has a number of reform plans in process that he must prepare for hand-off. Parents with kids in City schools are concerned about their safety.

Shelby County Commission: The Flyer’s Jackson Baker attempts to explain the devolving mess that is redistricting.

Mayor A C Wharton: He was absent at a Washington DC event where President Barack Obama created, by executive order, the Strong Cities, Strong Communities program. Wharton had to catch a connecting flight.

Election Reform: Despite a notable lack of problems with Super Tuesday’s primaries, but for one or two very high-profile cases where voters decided not to use provisional ballots, the TN Democratic Party is calling for a “top to bottom review” of the State’s election process to see “the state elections chief held accountable”.

Allergies: The early Spring allergy season is also colliding with the late flu season.

Mo’ Money Taxes: The home of co-founder Derrick Robinson was recently foreclosed on. An update on the legal situation for the company.

McKellar Lake: The group Livings Lands and Waters, a volunteer group, is cleaning up the banks of the trash-choked lake. LL&W website.

Politics: State Speaker of the House Beth Harwell says the attempt to repeal voter ID reform will be ended soon. The Commercial Appeal has a strange pro-repeal spin. More on the story from the Knoxville News-Sentinel, the Associated Press. Efforts to block local living-wage and and prevailing-wage laws appear to be stalled. Governor Bill Haslam wants recipients of unemployment benefits to prove they are searching for jobs. The State House voted to condemn the UN’s Agenda 21, citing its “insidious nature”. Representative Frank Nicely has decided to run for the State Senate.

Elvis Presley Boulevard: Whitehaven residents feel the upcoming rehab is long overdue.

DeSoto County: The Commercial Appeal has the Community Bulletin Board. A rash of burglaries last weekend are now being connected to an interstate ring; more from WREG.

Congressman Jim Cooper: He was surprised to be asked to address a Senate committee meeting but even more surprised by the reaction to his “No Budget, No Pay” proposal. It’s gaining momentum in Congress.

MLG&W: Good news for customers–the early Spring has meant big savings on utility bills. More from Fox13, WREG.

Orpheum Theatre: They have named 10 new members to the board of directors. Orpheum website.

Mississippi: The four northern counties that are also part of the Memphis metropolitan area saw dramatic decreases in their unemployment rates. The State Senate approved a plan to make it easier to fire State employees. Will a bill working its way through the Legislature effectively ban abortion in the State after six weeks? State budget cuts will mean cuts to the library systems. CNN is reporting that at least two of the men who received pardons from ex-governor Haley Barbour also received special treatment.

Tell your friends you read it here:

BREAKING! INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! Commissioner Roland Demands an Apology! On Tuesday of this week, Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland released a letter to the president and CEO of Scripps demanding that Commercial Appeal columnist Wendi C. Thomas apologise to the suburban communities.

Online Exclusive! Presidential Economic Plans, Part II: Financial contributor Chuck Bates continues his examination of the economic plans of the four Republican presidential candidates. You can read part one here.

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

Unemployment: The metro jobless rate rose to 9.4% for January! In Memphis proper, the rate is now 10.6%.

Saint Patrick’s Day: Tennessee State Troopers will be out in force for the holiday weekend.

The Eternal Elections: While 2012 is definitely shaping up as an anti-incumbent election year, just how anti-incumbent will it be? Are voter ID reforms just an effort by Republicans to suppress the vote?

Dutch Treat Luncheon: The featured speaker this Saturday is Shelby County School Board member David Pickler. Event starts at noon.

Pink Slime: More on the meat substitute now being used in some schools. More from WMC.

Youth Villages: The Flyer documents the successful transitions of most of their young people.

Millington: In order to meet State minimum requirements for a municipal school district, the town will have to annex the community of Lucy. Despite the challenges, citizens are still excited about starting a new school system.

Memphis International Airport: Delta Air Lines expects continued shrinkage but may not give up its assigned gates. Revenues outstrip expenses at the airport, seven-to-one Airport officials will mark the one-year anniversary of the flooding at DeWitt Spain Airport..

Business: Would a Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s-type grocery store succeed in Midtown?

In the Daily News, Inked and Today’s Events. In the Commercial Appeal, it’s What to Do and People in Business.

Delta Air Lines: They have been improving their on-time arrivals percentages.

Nucor: First quarter earnings will fall for them, in part due to excess inventory from competitors. More in the Daily News.

Arkansas: Republican State Representative Rick Crawford, a freshman elected on an anti-tax platform, is proposing a millionaire’s surtax. A State judge has dismissed the felony theft conviction of former representative Fred Smith but Democrats are still trying to keep him off the ballot!

Memphis Police Department: The officer being reprimanded for having sex in a police cruiser was Dion Anthony. The police officer who shot a dog that was attacking a little girl, Michael Roseberry, with his “personal gun”, got a written reprimand. Roseberry is still being hailed as a hero. Tiffany Callicutt was pulled over for broken tail lights…and then it got really weird.

TVA: A small parcel of land in Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park is being considered as a gas-fired plant location.

Downtown: City leaders are apparently not happy with the “Triangle Noir” name for that part of Downtown. Will this be the new generation’s “Festival Island”? Businesses are moving into South Main.

Memphis Animal Shelter: The good news is the euthanasia rate is down a third, but the bad news….

Real Estate: The trend for February was back to a “rising tide” of foreclosures. Foreclosures across the state spiked. More in the Commercial Appeal.

Picture of the Day

StrawFungi and Puppycorns have a certain loving, whimsical charm. Be sure to read the attached quote, from Beeswax by Joel Priddy. © 2012. Used wtih permission.


Jack Neely: East Tennessee votes differently than the rest of the state, so why did it vote for Rick Santorum so solidly? (via the Knoxville Metro Pulse)

Rick Lassiter: Property rights trump gun rights at hosptals and medical centers, he argues. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Ina Hughs: Rick Santorum’s comment about not needing a college education baffles this Republican. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Greg Johnson: Being a Christian student group at Vanderbilt University is to live in an Orwellian nightmare. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Knoxville News-Sentinel: “Investments” are vital to improving Knox County schools.

Tennessean: Government has no place in sex education. except these exceptions….

Danny B. Crockarell: Many fear teaching religion in schools is the introduction of theocracy. (via the Tennessean)

Richard Schiffman: “Religious literacy” should be a part of public school education. (via the Tennessean)

Chattanooga Free Press: After a surprisingly smooth Super Tuesday, the effort to repeal new voter ID laws is unneeded.

Chattanooga Times: Super Tuesday shows that the GOP is still sharply divided.

Commercial Appeal: Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr Kriner Cash should dismiss Irving Hamer immediately. Good luck to the Memphis Tigers.

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

My Turn: It’s time for Memphis to stop fighting the Civil War. (via WMC)

Memphasis:–read it and take its message to heart. (via the Daily News)

FUNdraising: What’s expected of you when you sit on a non-profit’s board of directors (via the Daily News)

John Branston: Is the Harahan Bridge Pedestrian Trail a bridge too far for Memphis? Attendance figures at Liberty Bowl events have been inflated by 100,000, nearly fifty percent! (via the Flyer)

Letter From the Editor: Them and They versus We and Us. (via the Flyer)

Flyer: County Commissioner Henri Brooks is accused of “racially volatile argument”. Oh really? (via the Flyer)

The Rant: Did Rush Limbaugh really cost “the GOP any chance they might have had to win the presidential election”? (via the Flyer)

Shep Wilbun: Was the dismal turnout among African-Americans in Tuesday’s primaries simple disinterest, a sign of something wrong with the local Democratic Party or something more sinister? (via the Tri-State Defender)

Money Matters: Consider your disability coverage before you have to rely on it! (via the Tri-State Defender)

Jackson Sun: For the sake of our future, the State of Tennessee must invest in higher education.