Main Street Journal - Friday, March 30, 2012

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One Passes; One Fails

Bad news for Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr Kriner Cash as Transition Planning Commission member Christine Richards introduced a resolution, intended to mollify the suburban members of the TPC and supporters of municipal school districts, that would have assured that Shelby County Schools Superintendent John Aitken got the Unified School district superintendent’s job. She later withdrew it.

They are studying the Denver school system’s handling of a distributed, decentralised and autonomous system.

Representative Curry Todd: He is one of four people the City of Memphis is recalling disability payments from because of questions about the status of their disability.

DeSoto County: The DeSoto Business Expo is in two weeks!

Municipal School Districts: The Daily News documents the legislative sausage-making that went into both State Senate and House Education Committees approving bills that would lift the State ban on creating MSDs this year. And the Flyer’s Jackson Baker shows how we got here, from there. A poll by Berje Yacoubian shows that while the suburban communities would support their own school systems they are less willing to pay for them.

Bartlett mayor Keith McDonald and Mike Wissman of Arlington traveled to Nashville to meet with legislators about transferring school buildings, should the suburbs create MSDs.

Memphis City Schools: The Plough Foundation has awarded a $1.7 million grant to the Memphis Talent Dividend College Attainment Initiative, to increase adult post-graduation rates via the “Graduate Memphis” program. More from the Commercial Appeal.

Three Cordova Middle School students were sent home after drinking vodka-and-lemonade at school. One was suspended; an ambulance was called. More from ABC24 and the Commercial Appeal. A group of Whitehaven High School students had a fight broken up when Quinton Guy fired his gun on the school’s property; more from WREG. And a fight at Georgia Avenue Elementary dragged in students and parents.

Clean Water Act: The City is sitting down, “behind closed doors”, with State and Federal regulators to get Memphis into compliance with wastewater regulations. Based on comparable cities, it will be very, very expenssive.

Abortion: The bill requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at neighboring hospitals in order to perform abortions has passed the State House. Eight Democrats voted with the Republican majority. Abortion supporters are still opposed. More from the Associated Press and the Commercial Appeal.

Politics: Introducing “source of income” as a new source for discrimination? Reaction to the bill. Legislators are considering allowing local school board members to vote via video phone and you won’t believe their rationales for and against! The State Senate unanimously approved the bill to keep teacher evaluations secret. The House OK’d a bill that would force cities to make sure their red-light-traffic-camera contracts meet current State law, even if they were signed previously. The House also killed the “stripper tax” bill; more from the Nashville City Paper. The press release from rights activists opposed to limiting immigrant teachers in charter schools.

Both bills for the law that would allow students to express religious opinions without discrimination are headed to floor votes.

US Postal Service: Another step in their radical restructuring is to offer retirement incentives to 150,000 workers.

Nashville: Metro government, responding to brick-and-mortar restaurants, will soon enact a host of regualtions limiting locations food trucks can sell their foods. Davidson County’s unemployment rate for February fell to 7.0%.

Memphis Police Department: They have been increasing their presence near interstate loops to catch speeders.

Mississippi: Religious leaders from many faiths are speaking up against the immigration bill. Legislators now are leaning to making changes to the State’s worker compensation system.

City of Memphis: There will be a groundbreaking at Cleaborne Homes today, to mark the start of its renovation.

University of Memphis: Three graduate programs are ranked among the nation’s top twenty.

Mega-Millions Lottery: Remember when West Tennesseans had to had to travel to Missouri to buy lottery tickerts? Dreams of the “big win” has Memphians “excited”; “mania”, Mid-South “frenzy”. Folks travel from Mississippi to buy tickets. What would you do with $540 million?

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.

Unemployment: The Memphis MSA rate fell to 9.2% in February. For Memphis specifically, it was 10.4%. Department of Labor and Workforce Development website. The lastest report. (PDF document)

Presidential Elections: Representatives for the group Americans Elect, which hopes to offer a non-major party presidential candidate in November, turned in their petition to get a line on the ballot.

Blight: More on the National Association of Realtors’ $25,000 “Game Changer” grant to Memphis to remove blighted properties.

Downtown: Judge Larry Potter has told the owners of 118 Madison Avenue to expect fees and fines if the year-old dilapidated building isn’t repaired.

Trayvon Martin: The Tri-State Defender reports on Monday’s rally and protest.

The MED: Under the quiet leadership of Dr Reginald Coopwood, the hospital’s bottom line has gone from a $20 million deficit to a $17 million profit!

Grizzlies: Owner Michael Heisley is confident contracts will keep the team in Memphis, but wants the “fans to show the league this is a good market”. Heisley continues to reiterate his determination to keep the team in Memphis.

Second Amendment: Lt Gov Ron Ramsey doesn’t like the amended “guns in trunks” bill that limits it, saying it “goes too far”.

Delta Regional Authority: Several government agencies are coming together to fund the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator–a grant-funding program to help boost jobs.

Arkansas: The AR Supreme Court has struck down the law banning sexual relationships between teachers and adult students.

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis: Citizens and Aldermen are concerned with Davis’ use of police blue lights. The man who Davis pulled over on Wednesday, Nick Cune, details the experience. Davis was charged with two misdemeanors. He says he “won’t stop doing his job”.

Business: Memphis construction contracts fell by 7% in February. Signs of economic recovery in Tipton County.

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

Mitsubishi Electric Power Products: Construction is still on track for an April 2013 opening. The company is making two, separate $50,000 grants to local agencies to foster good will.

Best Buy: The company is closing 50 stores to try a new concept. No word if one of the five Memphis stores will close. More from WMC and the Commercial Appeal.

AutoZone: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing the company, accusing them of disability discrimination against an employee.

Pinnacle Air Lines: The company has named a new “principal accounting officer”, Anthony McDuffie.

Memphis International Airport: Airport authorities are cheered by news that US Airways will inaugurate three non-stop flights to Washington, DC, predicting lower fares and more flights.

Mo Money Taxes: A financial software analyst says the biggest reason for problems with refunds is shoddy tax form preparation work.

Ernest Withers: The family of the legendary photographer are speaking out on the eve of a court appearance today that may void an agreement to split his photographic inheritance.

Weather: This has been the warmest March on record; April will also be above average. The nice weather may also lead to more motorcycle fatalities.

Battle of Shiloh: More on this weekend’s re-enactment of the historic Civil War battle. See yesterday’s post for much more.

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

It is most definitely Spring, from Mollie Fontaine by Tammy Trosclair. © 2012. Used with permission.

Opinion and Blogs

Pretty in Pink: Some new fashion favorites. Comfy casual.

Time Flies: Vacationing in Hong Kong, Shanghai and China. Just keep scrolling….

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

Yeah, and another thing: She shame-facedly admits to having a Pinterest site and solicits ideas for a theme nite.

Thoroughly Modern Medusa: Always, always, always back up your computer.

This Classical Life: A defense of cities. Some random and interesting links.

The Soundcheck and the Fury: Here’s an excerpt from his “most rejected short story”. It’s actually pretty good!

The MakeShift Revolution: Meet (and become) a mompreneur.

The Daddler and Me: Call her Flo-Jo. Dealing with sadness about young men and death.

The Intersection of Madness and Reality: You’ve heard of Trayvon Martin but have you heard about Anna Brown?

The Chubby Vegetarian: You don’t have to wait for Summer to enjoy grilled peach ice cream. Yep, you read that right. Additionally, grilled watermelon.

Smart City Memphis: Mempis cartoonist Bill Day and Florida. Should Memphis follow the Nashville plan?

sharp stick in the eye: Thoughts about her daughter at 3AM. Not that kind of Rifle collection.

What is a Carbunkle Trumpet? You will not believe it–he’s running marathons this year. Go Carbunkle! Someone had what looks like an excellent vacation in Belize.

Sid Salter: Not all hard college lessons are learned in classrooms. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

Robert Lee Long: He responds to Bill Maher’s portrayal of Mississippi. “[M]ost of our citizenry possess a full set of teeth,” he notes. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

Commercial Appeal: It takes a “strong lease contract” to keep the Grizzlies in Memphis, but we should supplement that, for security’s sake, with “support” and local advisory boards? The paper’s Memphis-centric view of the County continues….

Gary R. Gunderson and Teresa Cutts: A pro-Obamacare editorial that focuses on the “benefits” and avoids the coming costs. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Memphasis: Memphis has some beautiful statues, if you would but notice them. (via the Daily News)

FUNdraising: Planning and auditing can both prevent and help with problems. (via the Daily News)

Angela Woods: The Girls Scouts celebrate 100 years, as relevant as ever. (via the Daily News)

Jack Neely: A tale of competing Downtown festivals, in this case in Chattanooga and Knoxville. (via the Knoxville Metro Pulse)

Flyer: Is there anything the Shelby County Commission won’t argue about? Don’t answer that.

Joe Saino: Analysing the costs of dividing up school buildings and OPEBs, if the suburban communities form their own school districts. (via the Flyer)

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