Debates this week ... and early voting!

The final chance to see the gubernatorial candidates debate on TV is tonight, with WMC-TV Channel 5 deserving kudos for showing a live debate in prime time at Belmont College in Nashville between the three Republicans and Democrat Mike McWherter. It starts at 7.

At least two other televised debates hit this week, with WREG-TV Channel 3 using its "Live at Nine" show for debates Wednesday and Thursday morning. Sheriff candidates Randy Wade and Bill Oldham go first on Wednesday at 9 a.m. and county mayoral candidates Mark Luttrell and interim mayor Joe Ford go Thursday at 9 a.m.

And last but certainly not least, early voting begins Friday at the Shelby County Election Commission at 157 POPLAR AVE., SUITE 121, going from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Early voting expands to 20 satellite locations around the county next Monday, July 19.

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As the process for merging Shelby County's schools accelerates into action, we'll provide bonus coverage here at, with a particular focus on the 21-member transition team and the 23-member unified school board. Comment early and often. If you have any tips or suggestions you wish to share, contact Zack McMillin at or 529-2564.

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