Photo Credit: WREG.com
Couldn’t Ask For Better
Memphis City Council: Councilman Jim Strickland has counter-proposed his own budget that offers a lower tax rate and many cuts to City divisions.
Charter Schools: The fast-growing Gestalt Community Schools group got a record-setting cash donation of $3.5 million to help them grow better.
Municipal School Districts: Opponents of MSDs say that, until a community attempts to start a district, Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays hasn’t ruled they are legal or illegal yet.
General Sessions Court: Clerk Rick Rout was suspended from his job for a second time on what he insists were politically motivated charges.
Shelby County Unified School Board: The Daily News profiles board chairman Bobby Orgel.
HOPE Scholarships: US Congressman Steve Cohen is working with State Democratic legislators to protect the scholarships he helped to birth.
DeSoto County: Reports from Saturday’s salute to law enforcement’s “fallen heroes” from the Commercial Appeal, the Desoto Times Tribune, WMC. Despite making in-person visits to the EPA and Washington, DC, they ruled that DeSoto will remain part of Shelby County’s “non-attainment” pollution umbrella; an appeal is planned now. The Board of Supervisors has let out the contract for the Autumn Woods drainage project. The Traveling Vietnam Wall exhibit is being prepared, as is the community, for its visit later this week. Planning officials believe the County needs its own river port. The DeSoto County Administration Building will soon have terrazo flooring. Horn Lake has to figure out how to refund almost $100,000 in wrongly collected expired tourism sales tax! And Hernando’s Board of Aldermen approved a variety of infrastructure projects.
US Senate: Actress-turned-candidate Park Overall has a new movie coming out. She will be challenging Senator Bob Corker for his seat this Fall, as the Democratic candidate. Corker, meanwhile, delivered this weekend’s Republican weekly address, “bashing” President Barack Obama and the Democrats.
Ramesses and His Bricks: The University of Memphis has agreed to provide an inventory of all the bricks donated by the public and allow donors to pick up those they want back. The remainder will be turned into part of the U of M’s Ramesses display.
Politics: Critics (that is, Democrats) “bemoan” the additional passage of “social” legislation. State Representative Dale Ford, caught voting last week for an absent fellow legislator, explains himself and the Legislature’s practices. The TN Report looks at the upcoming primary battles in August. Governor Bill Haslam is the likeliest beneficiary of a repeal of the gift tax. A classic example of the clash between politics and policy.
The Last Days of Nashville: The Daily News looks at the bills that were passed and those that failed in the Legislature this year. A lot got done this session, but social issues stole the show, and the media.
Memphis Police Department: As part of National Police Week, they commemorated fallen officers on Sunday.
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Internet Exclusive: Southpaw: As she argues rather persuasively in this week’s column, our musical heritage in Memphis is both our blessing and our curse.
Exclusive: Conservatives Cannot Afford To Be Silent and Republicans Cannot Afford To Let Them is the message in this month’s column from our political/financial contributor Chuck Bates. It’s do or die.
Exclusive: Our Tea Party contributor, Ed “Doc” Holliday has a monumental post likening the 2012 election campaign to the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War! And President Barack Obama is…General Robert E. Lee?
University of Memphis: They graduated their largest class ever this year: 2321 students.
Second Amendment: How the TN Firearms Association almost succeeded but ulimately failed to pass “carry in parking lots”.
Downtown: The Downtown Memphis Commission is pushing the lessors of the Stearick Building to do a feasibility study of a mixed-used residential rehab of the building.
Disability Access: One man, Shelton Reece, was finally able to convince the City of Memphis to repair the railroad crossing at Southern Avenue and Highland Street.
Transition Planning Commission: Commission member Tommy Hart has been arrested and charged with embezzlement over missing money from a bowling prize. Five bowling leagues were involved.
Education: As college costs continue to soar, requiring massive loans to finance, vocational and technical schools are growing more and more attractive.
Blight: The City’s Division of Public Works has changed tactics and will now fight blight 25-square blocks at a time. The old Celebration Station is being rehabbed to become the True Authority Church. A “rainforest concept” landscape design at the Shelby Couny Driver Services Center is so ugly that the design is being scrapped just one year into its three-year grow-in period.
Tennessee: As more counties roll out forward-looking infrared radar license plate readers (FLIR), the debate on police ethical issues continues.
Business: Be very, very skeptical of any door-to-door salesmen. Memphis top five BBQ restaurants, as ranked by the Business Journal. A University of Tennessee study sees a gleaming future for solar industries in the state.
Whole Foods: Rather than open a new store, Whole Foods will expand their sole Memphis store.
Smith & Nephew: First quarter net profit grew at a healthy 3%. They called it a “good first quarter”.
Nashville: The City Paper talks with Mayor Karl Dean about the issues most affecting the city. A vote to raise the property tax could be a tough one for some on the Metro Council. A property tax hike would be the city’s fifth in fifteen years. Dean has already cut the tax increase by five cents for some to avoid triggering a voter referendum. If you’re in the city today, Vice-President Joe Biden’s visit will have traffic screwed up. Changing who controls the TN State Fair is dividing backers.
Mississippi: The State House ultimately approved the redistricting map and then went home, ending the session. Lt governor Tate Reeves kept his promise, in a way, and this year there will be no bond bill.
Arkansas: State Senator Stephanie Flowers is dropping her lawsuit against the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the City of Pine Bluff and others after she reached a settlement with the parties involved. The terms are confidential, but no money will reportedly be involved.
World Trade Club: The group manager of international marketing with Norfolk Southern Corporation, Christopher Luebbers, will be the featured speaker on May15.
Real Estate: New “short sale” regulations mean a deal that went from 113 days to 306 will now be given just 30 days.
Picture of the Day
|A beautiful shot of the old Hotel Gayoso (now the Gayoso Apartments) from 1910, from Shorpy by the Detroit Publishing Company. © 2012. Used with permission. Be sure to click through to look a very-high resolution picture, and all its details.|
Joe Sullivan: Now that the recession is over in Knox County, it’s time to fully fund the ambitious plans of the County school system. (via the Knoxville Metro Pulse)
Frank Cagle: A focus on tax and economic issues, and not the gun rights issue, fueled this sessions controversy. (via the Knoxville Metro Pulse)
Fox13 Insiders: Humorist Ron Hart talks the issues of the day. (via Fox 13)
Knoxville News-Sentinel: Support for legislation that would forgive the tax bill of soldiers who have their debts forgiven due to line-of-duty death.
Rachel Wise: Complaining online can produce varied results. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)
Tom Humphrey: Governor Haslam was wise to wait until the last day of the Legislature to veto the Vandy “all comers” law. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)
Reverend Steven D. Martin: Evangelical Christians cannot allow our government to justify the use of torture. (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel)
Gail Kerr: Nashville Mayor Karl Dean will have a tough time selling a tax increase that she believes is necessary. (via the Tennessean)
Bruce Wood: He proposes a $5 surcharge on waste to fund job creation in recycling. (via the Tennessean)
Bill Freeman: A Democratic Party officer and activist believes the TN GOP complains too much, after being out of power for the past fifteen decades! (via the Tennessean)
Tennessean: They support a “modest” property tax hike for “lean” Metro Nashville.
Tom Bohs: A history of power struggles on the Jackson-Madison County Board of Education. (via the Jackson Sun)
Memphis News: Memphis in May symbolises our city.
Joe Spake’s Daily Buzz: The rest of the day’s news, from all sorts of eclectic places.
Smart Stuff 4 Work: He analogises the body’s energy system to a Whac-A-Mole game. (via the Daily News)
John Whitehead: Turning American into a surveillance state, one drone at a time. (via the Desoto Times Tribune)
Andre K. Fowlkes: Creating a bridge for talented minorities to learn entrepreneurship. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Wendi C. Thomas: A plea for more library money inside an article on book sales. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Otis L. Sanford: In this article, he never mentions asking Memphis to cut spending, instead asking businesses for more money, even if the city give it to them. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Chris Peck: He doesn’t seem to think much of pet owners and even less of “no kill” shelters. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Stephen C. Bush and C. Dawn Deaner: A “state constitutional obligation” to free State public defense means we have to pay for it as well. (via the Commercial Appeal)
Commercial Appeal: Add “public infrastructure” to the long, long list of things government should take care of. No surprise, they give a poor-to-mixed grade to the Legislature. They don’t believe that the County sheriff’s use of unmanned aerial drones is a real privacy concern.