- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Winning cities in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ data contest

NEW YORK (AP) - Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, announced the first eight winners Wednesday in a competition that will provide 100 mid-sized U.S. cities with $42 million worth of expert help to make data more accessible and useful to citizens and officials. The first winners are:

-Chattanooga, Tennessee

-Jackson, Mississippi

- Kansas City, Missouri

- Louisville, Kentucky

- Mesa, Arizona


8 cities win open-data contest from ex-NYC mayor Bloomberg

NEW YORK (AP) - Jackson, Mississippi, and Mesa, Arizona, aim to make troves of data about city operations available online for the first time. Tulsa, Oklahoma, plans to make its data releases more useful for the public. Seattle wants to use contract data to help ensure vendors deliver on their promises.

They’re among the first eight winners, set to be announced Wednesday, in a $42 million, 100-city data-use contest sponsored by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s foundation. Winners so far also include Chattanooga, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; and New Orleans.

Winners of the “What Works Cities” competition get expert help to make data publicly accessible, incorporate it better into decision-making and evaluate programs.

“Making better use of data is one of the best opportunities cities have to solve problems and deliver better results for their citizens,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

Unveiled in April, “What Works Cities” is the latest in a series of Bloomberg Philanthropies competitions promoting innovation in city government. It’s open to U.S. cities of 100,000 to 1 million people. Over 110 have applied so far, and applications are still being taken. More winners will be chosen through 2017.

The New York-based foundation said it doesn’t break down what percentage of the $42 million total goes to each city.


Friends: Slain officer was strong, but avoided confrontation

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Slain police officer Sean Bolton’s physical strength and powerful, melon-sized hands served him well in tight situations, like when he subdued two suspects at one time. Still, friends say he avoided confrontation whenever possible, and dedicated his life to protecting others.

Bolton, 33, was shot multiple times and killed Saturday night during a struggle with an ex-convict, police said. Bolton had interrupted a drug deal in a neighborhood in Memphis, a city long listed as one of America’s most violent, and was confronted by Tremaine Wilbourn, a 29-year-old convicted armed bank robber, police said.

After a two-day manhunt, Wilbourn turned himself in to authorities to face a first-degree murder charge. He has a court appearance Wednesday.

Friends say Bolton overcame a financially troubled childhood - during which he sometimes had no bed and slept on the floor. He attended the University of Memphis and served in the Marines in Iraq. He enjoyed handing out school supplies and candy to children because he knew what it was like to grow up with so little.

Bolton was a loyal but shy guy who never married. When his best friend died, he took in his distraught mother. He liked to lift weights, read world history books and watch Police Academy movies.

“Sean is a very smart guy, incredibly intelligent … He knew that it was a dangerous job,” said longtime friend Stephen Clements, who used to live in Memphis but now resides in Nashville. “But he was also a great guy and he knew that his talents could be best used helping protect others. I don’t know that he ever lost any sleep or was worried about things being dangerous out there.”


Famed country producer Billy Sherrill dies at age 78

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Country record producer and songwriter Billy Sherrill, who helped create the smooth “countrypolitan” sound of the 1960s and ‘70s, has died. He was 78.

Sherrill’s son-in-law, George Lale, said he died Tuesday in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sherrill’s production style incorporated over-dubbing, strings and background vocals into country music to encourage crossover success for artists like Tammy Wynette, George Jones and Charlie Rich. He produced hits like, “Stand By Your Man,” which he co-wrote with Wynette, “The Most Beautiful Girl,” ”Behind Closed Doors,” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

He worked at Sun Records in Nashville, and then joined the CBS record label in 1964. He won a Grammy Award for co-writing “Almost Persuaded,” in 1966. He also worked with Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, Johnny Paycheck and Elvis Costello.


A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Sherrill worked at Sun Records in Memphis.

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