Main Street Journal - Monday, April 2, 2012

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What Remains For Memphis?

As the Memphis City Council begins serious budget talks for 2013 later this month, a lot of issues have already been decided or taken off the table! What options remain? City Council website; the schedule for budget hearings.

Trayvon Martin: Another rally was held this past Saturday, attended by DeAunta Farrow’s mother. Farrow was killed by West Memphis police 4 years ago.

Transition Planning Commission: Who has the momentum now–the TPC or the suburban school districts? The timeline of events leading up to the final August 2013 merger of City and County schools.

Beale Street Landing: The Business Journal gives you an exclusive inside look.

Rev Jesse Jackson: He will visit Whitehaven High School while in town for the anniversary of the Rev Martin Luther King’s assassination.

Talent Dividend College Attainment Initiative: More on the Plough Foundation’s grant of $1.7 million to Graduate Memphis, which is dedicated to helping adult students get their post-secondary degrees.

Municipal School Districts: Two bills, one in the State House to lift the State-wide ban in MSDs and one in the Senate to put the referenda on MSDs back on the ballot in May, are scheduled for debate this week. More on the Berje Yacoubian poll purporting to show the suburban communities want their own schools but don’t want to pay for them.

Teacher Evaluations: A public forum will hear 20 pre-selected people, chosen by SCORE on the fairness of teacher evaluatons.

Morgan Keegan: The first negative fallout from the Raymond James Financial merger as 68 MK Memphis employees had their last day Friday. Company-wide, the total job loss is 218. The company is dropping all coverage formerly done by its Equity Research department.

Governor Bill Haslam: He is expected to release a list of “edits” to his budget this morning. The Wall Street Journal published an editorial last week, calling Haslam the main obstacle to “death tax” reform and Haslam wrote a Letter to the Editor begging to differ. Haslam is open to changes in judicial selection, but not direct elections. From the Knoxville News-Sentinel, a list of the bills he signed into law last week.

Politics: There will be no wine sales in grocery stores this year. And a statement from the Grocers & Convenience Store Association.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports on two completely different bills. One was the amended abortion bill, that passed the State House. Congressman Marsha Blackburn warns that expansion of “privacy rights” could hurt online businesses.

Tennessee Democrats held their annual Jackson Day Dinner on Saturday. It was notable for the complaints about their treatment by the Republican majority in the General Assembly.

Mississippi: After 18 months of rehab, bald eagle Mississippi will fly again; more. Governor Phil Bryant named four to the College Board. Officials for Tunica County want $50 million for economic development for their County. Supporters of the inventory tax don’t want to lose the millions in taxes collected they can give out.

Jerry Lee Lewis: The rockabilly legend, at age 76, is getting married for the 7th time…to his cousin’s ex-wife! Someone should write a song about that….

Hotel Chisca: The building may be nearing a “make or break point”, says Downtown Memphis Commission head Paul Morris .

Arkansas: The State’s unemployment rate is still 7.6%.

Tornadoes: The National Weather Service will soon test out a new, tiered series of descriptive warnings like “Mass devastation” and “Unsurvivable”, to get people to pay more attention to warnings.

Republican Presidential Primaries: The Newt Gingrich campaign has asked the TN GOP to not seat State Senator Stacey Campfield with them. He was the Gingrich campaign’s co-director until he abruptly swithched to Rick Santorum. Campfield can attend the convention with either candidate’s delegates. The Tennessean has the final division of delegates for the three winning candidates from Super Tuesday.

Tennessee: Applications are being accepted for the elk hunting season permit lottery. Demand is increasing for storm damage-related services in Middle Tennessee.

Nashville: Nashville International will soon offer seasonal non-stop flights to Cancun and Jamaica, via Sunwing Airlines. More on the upcoming food truck regulations; Tennessean story. The City’s longest-serving fire chief, Steve Halford, will soon retire; more.

Roller Derby: This past weekend was the 2012 Tennessee Roller Derby Championship here in Memphis.

Tell your friends you read it here:

NEW! INTERNET EXCLUSIVE! What Is “Stand Your Ground”? Regular contributor Craig Harper looks at Tennessee’s “Stand Your Ground” law, telling you what it is and what it covers. Clear and factual information.

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.

Millington: Mixed reaction from residents of Lucy to being annexed by Millington for the purpose of filling a municipal school district.

Memphis Belle: A progress report on the restoration now going on at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office: They say they will stop accepting prisoners being held on 48-hour detentions in the County Jail. More from WREG.

Mega-Millions: Three winners of the $640 million lottery have been identified, though not publicly. The Tennessee Lottery website. The winning combination was 02-04-23-38-46, and Mega Ball 23.

Levitt Shell: The 2012 concert series kicks off next month, with a newly expanded seven-week lineup. Shell website. More from WMC.

Demographics: Census estimates say that more people are leaving the county than moving in, but more local births than death means growth, of a sort. Most who left simply moved one county over.

Sovereign Citizens: A Raleigh-Bartlett man, Devitoe Farmer, has been charged with three counts of theft of government property for “using fraudulent ‘quit-claim’ deeds to essentially steal foreclosed properties”.

DeSoto County: This Friday is the deadline for registering for the latest round of the Federal Conservation Reserve Program. Coming up later this month is the annual Countywide Spring Cleanup and the week before that is Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup in Horn Lake. The Board of Supervisors will meet tonight to disucss roads and bridges. More on the Excel by 5 program, for preschool children; website. The school board meets tonight to discuss the abstinence-only recommendation for sex education from the advisory committee. From the CA, the County Bulletin Board for April 1.

The Desoto Time Tribune notes that no other mayor in the County acts like a cop, only Southaven’s Greg Davis.

Memphis Police Department: The force has written almost 5000 speeding tickets in March, along I-240. Officers who sustained pyschological injury (PTSD) from the shooting of a fellow officer last year, aren’t recognised by the City as “injured”.

Battle of Shiloh: The sesquicentennial marking of one of America’s bloodiest battles continues. Wikipedia entry here and an excellent; comprehensive entry at the Civil War Trust.

Health Care Reform: Even though it was challenged on passage, it may be repealed, and many provisions still haven’t been put into effect, the Affordable Care Act has still had a huge effect in Memphis’ health care industry.

Aerotropolis: The Commercial Appeal raises the alarms on the gaps between what’s planned, what’s happening and what we can afford to do with the area around the airport.

Business: According to a Gallup survey, Memphis is one of the top 3 cities for new hires…in 2011! More from ABC24, WMC. For most of Memphis, expansion of the small business market is seens as key to the business real estate market. Upscale department stores like Macy’s and Dillard’s still have a lot of life left in them.

From the Daily News, it’s Today’s Events. The Business Journal covers People on the Move. From the Commercial Appeal, What to Do for Sunday; People in Business for Sunday; and Property Transfers.

Pinnacle Airlines: On Sunday, April 1, the company declared Chapter 11 bankrupty. They seek greater frexibility in their reorganisation plan. The press release.

Medtronic: They have resolved a class action lawsuit by agreeing to pay $85 million in settlement. But they explicitly denied any “misrepresentations or omissions”.

American Paper Optics: Their “Get on the Shelf” campaign is aimed at getting the company’s products on Wal-Mart’s shelves.

Memphis Botanic Garden: They have announced the 2012 lineup for their “Live in the Garden” concert series. Botanic Garden website.

West Memphis 3: Jason Baldwin, recently released from prison on an Alford plea, spoke to the law symposium at the University of Memphis Law School. More from WREG.

Germantown: Citizens held a rally to show their support for a municipal school district.

Regions Financial: They are trying to reach new customers with a suite of new product offerings, including broader check-cashing and other non-traditional services.

American Queen: The riverboat made its first test cruise last week, preparing for full cruises later this month.

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.

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

The Passion Play at ChristView Christian Church in Southaven, from the Facebook page by Pastor Jeremy Harper. © 2012.

Opinion and Blogs

Biking in Memphis: A list of some of the fun and competitive biking events coming up in April.

Living Loud in Midtown: Mudbugs, BBQ nachos and another list of upcoming April/May events to check out! A review of the new Double J Smokehouse: “Other BBQ joints in Memphis should be afraid”.

Mr Brame’s Blog: His March reading list and some thoughts on the books.

Sassy Molassy: A white person’s guide to recognising privilege.

Sandra Cannon: A former teacher says public debate isn’t what it used to be. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Tom Humphrey: Has this session of the General Assembly been obsessed with sex? (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Knoxville News-Sentinel: When the Supreme Court releases their opinion on Obamacare’s constitutionality this Summer, State officials need to be prepared to act.

TN Speaker of the House Beth Harwell: She touts the General Assembly’s progress on reducing the “death tax”. (via the Tennessean)

Tennessean: They plug the deficit reduction budget of US Representative Jim Cooper that also perserves social spending.

Bill Minor: Doesn’t matter if health care reform is unconstitutional, lots of people want it! (via the Desoto Times Tribune)

Chattanooga Free Press: Once again, media pundits, the “stand your ground” law had nothing to do with the death of Trayvon Martin.

Chattanooga Times: The Legislature should not get ahead of the economic recovery, and the attendant increase in tax revenues, in spending decisions.

John Branston: Random thoughts before an Easter vacation. (via the Flyer)

Andrea Fenise: She and her style team were once again on Good Morning Memphis. Watch the behind the scenes video.

Smart Stuff 4 Work: Don’t be afraid, sometimes, to try other paths to your destinations. (via the Daily News)

Jane Clark: Prepare to have your health care forced back upon you by “strong governance models”. (via the Daily News)

Frederic Koeppel: A changing dining scene for most people is leading to the end of the “five star” rating system. (via the Daily News)

Memphis News: Our health care system is increasingly too difficult and too expensive for many to use.

Geoff Calkins: It is yet another new day for the U of M Tigers football team. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Wendi C. Thomas: Oddly, so much of what she paints as wrong is also the meat and potatoes of what she does for her living. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Otis L. Sanford: He decries the political “hyperbole” surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin even as he himself exploits it. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Chris Peck: He profiles A Step Ahead and its founder, former judge Claudia Haltom. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Mark Luttrell and A C Wharton Our mayors “celebrate sustainability” for its many intangible benefits and reasonable costs. (via the Commercial Appeal)

Commercial Appeal: They welcome Graduate Memphis. The first sentence in this editorial is simply not true, the second one gets closer to the truth. The central problem is money, which we don’t have, and they don’t offer solutions to. Rather odd reasons why Congress is at such terrible loggerheads. Kudos to Hernando and the Excel By 5 program.

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