Main Street Journal - Thursday, March 29, 2012

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Photo Credit: Candace McCowan/WREG
Rally Chases Off Martin Supporters

Direct Action Incorporated held a planned Trayvon Martin rally yesterday at the National Civil Rights Museum. Organiser Kennith Van Buren exhorted the crowd of dozens with, “If Trayvon had killed a white man, he’d be in jail right now.” and other statements the crowd found offensive. They quickly melted away. The Commercial Appeal calls it “clashing agendas”.

Municipal School Districts: A bill to lift the ban on municipal districts has passed out of both State Senate and House Education Committees. Even so, the planned May referenda will likely still not happen. An in-depth analysis of the hurly-burly of the committee meeting. More from Fox13 and the Commercial Appeal.

Tennessee: Too many black bears means either allowing more hunting to reduce numbers or trying other schemes to separate humans and bears.

Demographics: The number of children born since 2007 has plunged 8%. A poor economy is blamed.

Nashville: Metro Nashville schools will get a $100,000 grant from a national charter school organisation. Mayor Karl Deanwants to go to a 10-year vesting for pensions.

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals: They will meet at the FexEx Institute of Technology today to discuss lean supply chains.

Business: Memphis leads the nation in March job growth for managerial hiring. Average pay in Shelby County rose 4.8% last year.

The Commercial Appeal has your People in Business and What to Do. The Business Journal reports People on the Move. And the Daily News covers Today’s Events.

McKesson: More on Vice-President Doug Pace and his comments on his company’s by-passing Memphis when it came time to expand. Security, slow responses and diversity plans were the main reasons.

Mitsubishi Electric Power: A year away from opening, they already have their first order.

MLG&W: Three employees have been terminated for reconnecting power for residents who were disconnected for non-payment.

FedEx: The FedEx employee’s credit union is about to open in the Nonconnah Corporate Center. FedEx CEO Frederick Smith is telling “Washington” to get its act together and start solving problems.

Shelby County Courts: The Circuit and Chancery Courts will soon go paperless.

DeSoto County: The lawyer for Southaven mayor Greg Davis is calling his arrest Tuesday on two misdemeanors “a waste of time”. Davis says he’s had the blue lights on his vehicle for 15 years. ABC24 caught him walking into the DeSoto County Jail. Citizens are upset he can be arrested over traffic violations but not the audit he’s being investigated for. Davis is out on bond and a court date was set.

The County’s Greenway is seen by planners and supporters as a “unifying theme”.

Collierville: The town will begin repaving thirty-one miles of road.

Financial: An analyst has upgraded shares of First Horizon National seeing loan stabilization and profitability. Regions Bank has set a goal of providing one billion dollars of mortgage relief.

Battle of Shiloh: The sesquicentennial celebration is this weekend. Also known as the Battle of Pittsburgh Landing (east of Memphis in Hardin County). The Wikipedia entry on the battle. 100,000 soldiers under Major General Ulysses S. Grant (Union) and Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard (Confederate) met for three days. There were 20,000 casualties. The Civil War Trust site on the battle. More in the Commercial Appeal.

Mississippi: The State’s January unemployment rate of 9.5% is the lowest since 2009. A new version of the charter school bill would allow a majority of Counties to opt out. Governor Phil Bryant is still pushing his immigration enforcement bill, even as citizens are fighting it. Another bill would allow the sale of 8% beer; more from WREG. Citizens want to change the governor’s pardon power. An unidentified poll labels MS the most religious state.

Memphis Police Department: Criminals are stealing cell phones from citizens.

Tell your friends you read it here:

NEW! INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! First-time contributor B. R. Kuhn shares a harrowing tale of mental illness to illustrate the health care model TennCare should be funding. An important story.

UPDATED! INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! Memphis Bus Riders Union: They have a new warning about scammers using their name. A group of Memphis bus riders are tired of feeling left out of the decision-making process at MATA.

Internet Exclusive! Our tea party contributor, Ed “Doc” Holliday is still out on the primary trail. He asks, “What now, Republicans?” and sees possibilities between now and November.

Taxes: The first of four public tax clinics to help delinquent property tax owners is this Saturday. The IRS notes that Tax Day is coming soon!

August Elections: The filing deadline for the “more complex than usual” election is April 5.

Americans Elect is a non-partisan group that hopes to get on the presidential ballot this year, to nominate someone outside of the Democratic/Republican axis. Their press release and website.

Unified School Board: They decided to close Lakeview, Graceland, and Georgia Avenue Elementary. More from WREG. Last night, the USB met with representatives of the suburban communities.

Achievement School District: At the first public meeting with Frayser parents to introduce them to the changes coming with their kids’ school being run by the State.

City of Memphis: While the City may have eliminated its wrecker division, the employees are still at it, and union leaders are upset.

Shelby County Clerk’s Office: An internal audit found mostly minor problems, but still one supervisor was reprimanded.

Governor Bill Haslam: Democrats protesting his civil service reforms boycotted his Wednesday morning breakfast meeting.

Local Film Industry: A lack of financial incentives to fiilm producers and an income tax to create large pools of money are blamed for “strangling” the Hollywood of the South.

Mild Weather: A mild Winter means fleas and ticks are out in abundance. One Central Gardens home was infested with 40-60,000 bees! More in the Commercial Appeal.

Politics: The “ticket brokering” bill has been sent back to a study group. The State House unanimously passed a bill to increase the scope of cash business grants; more from WPLN, the Knoxville News-Sentinel and the Commercial Appeal. A House Subcommittee has approved “medical marijuana”; more from WMC. Immigrant rights groups are opposing the charter school bill that severely limits immigrants working in charter schools. A bizarre bill to tax strippers and adult businesses to make up for reducing the tax on coinage, bullion and investment income has been killed. “Saggy pants” may get pulled up in full House vote. One Memphis salon owner is fighting the bill that would force spas to hire physicians to give laser cosmetic procedures.

The State Senate is getting involved in the non-discrimination policies of private universities (specifically, Vanderbilt) The bill is SB3597. It would allow groups to require members to share certain beliefs. The Catholic grroup at the heart of the dispute has left the Vandy campus.

An odd amendment to the Senate version of the “prayer at the flagpole” bill, which is headed to Governor Bill Haslam for his signature. More from the Associated Press.

Second Amendment: The amended “guns in trunks” bill is headed for a floor vote. More from the Chattanooga Times Free Press. There’s also a companion bill to prevent discrimination based on gun ownership. More from the Associated Press.

Blight: The owner of the Executive Inn was hit with fine of $24,000 for not maintaining the property. Constant gunfire is frightening the residents of Berclair and crime is taking its toll in another. One neighborhood in southwest Memphis has been flood-damaged since May of last year and the homes still sit, rotting.

Motorcycle Safety: March has been a dangerous month for motorcyclists.

Southpaw: Memphis columnist Andria K. Brown wonders why do we expect politicians to be more than politicans with our most intimate and personal issues?

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.

Picture of the Day

“And who are you?” says the raccoon in his chimney, from Facebook by Joe Larkins. © 2012. Used with permission.


The Fox13 Insiders: They tackle the issues of the day.

Gail Kerr: For the sake of a lot of family farms and small businesses, the “death tax” should be repealed. (via the Tennessean)

Claire Smrekar: She encourages the Department of Defense Education Activity as one one model of teacher reform to consider. (via the Tennessean)

I Swear: He answers some viewer mail. “Viewer”? (via the Daily News)

Rays of Wisdom: Being mortgage-free is not the same as being home-free. (via the Daily News)

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

Bill Kirby: The 10 biggest mistakes when leaving your job. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Because I Said So: His kids are ready to survive most any dystopian science fictional future. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Commercial Appeal: They chastise Southaven’s Greg Davis for acting like a cop. Kudos to Harding Academy’s Kevin “Speedy” Starks.

John Branston: Snapshots of the Memphis economy. (via the Flyer)