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VOL. TMN-6 | NO. 21 | Saturday, May 18, 2013
Weekly Issue

Under the Microscope

Drug discount program used by local hospitals facing scrutiny

A little-known federal program widely used in Memphis to provide hospitals and health centers that treat the nation’s most vulnerable patients with hefty discounts on outpatient drugs is under scrutiny from Congress, regulators and the pharmaceutical industry.

Editorial: School System Can’t Settle for Status Quo

When schools across Shelby County open on Aug. 5, the consolidation of the city and county public school systems will remain a work in progress.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

This week in Memphis history: May 17-23

2012: Construction began on Greenbrier Apartments at South Front Street and East Nettleton Avenue, a $2.5 million, three-story development with 25 apartment units and underground parking.

Club 152 on Beale Closed as Nuisance

Club 152 in the Beale Street entertainment district was closed Thursday, May 16, as a public nuisance.

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Past Due

Study details library usage, sparks call for more funding

In the last five years, the 600 computers in the Memphis Public Library & Information Center were used 1.2 million times.

Luttrell Proposes Tax Hike for Schools

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is proposing a $4.38 county property tax rate including a 6-cent tax hike above the higher certified tax rate for the new fiscal year that begins July 1.

ZeroTo510 Accelerator Launches New Season

Dr. Steve Bares, president and executive director of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, is clear-eyed and unequivocal about what success looks like for the startup accelerator program his foundation operates and which launched its new season this week.

Airport Passes $127.3 Million 2014 Budget

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority on Thursday approved a $127.3 million budget that slightly lowers the overall amount airlines pay at Memphis International Airport even after Delta Air Lines drastically reduced the number of flights it operates.

West Nile Warning

County sees earliest ever occurrence of mosquitoes infected with virus

As summer approaches, Memphians who enjoy being outdoors in the evening might want to consider taking protective measures.

Profitable Year Has Paragon Upbeat

Executives with Paragon National Bank laid out for shareholders this week a set of strategic objectives for 2013 that included making continued progress toward wringing problem assets out of the bank and improving the bank’s earnings power.

River Infrastructure Fee Tough Sell in DC

U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher told a group of business owners and others who work on the Mississippi River that the political environment in Washington is changing.

Drugstore Corridor

Walgreens bringing another store to East Memphis

Walgreen Co. is building a new store on Poplar Avenue in East Memphis amid some of the most important and valuable commercial real estate in the city.

TruGreen Sags ServiceMaster Earnings

The ServiceMaster Co. saw operating revenue and operating income decline during the first three months of 2013.

Screwpulp Aims to Make Publishing Simpler

With a name like Screwpulp, it’s not hard to figure out how the founders of the startup feel about the current state of the publishing industry.

Hospital Billings Vary Widely in Memphis

Government data released for the first time last week showed that hospitals across the nation bill Medicare widely different amounts for the same procedures.

Grocery Gadgetry

Technology helps Kroger cut customer wait times

Kroger’s Memphis-area shoppers might not have noticed, but the supermarket chain is paying more attention to them these days.

City Enticing FBI to Move Downtown

City leaders are attempting to bring the FBI Downtown. The FBI is searching for a significant amount of office space, and local leaders, including U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, are urging the law enforcement agency to locate Downtown.

Property Tax Complicates Sales Tax Considerations

Whether it is a tax hike or a tax rate hike, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s proposed 28-cent increase in the city property tax rate has complicated the idea of a half-percent city sales tax hike to go on the ballot later this year if the property tax hike sticks.

Workforce Investment Network Director Looks to Broaden Program

The new director of the local Workforce Investment Network program wants to take the employment-training program a step further by broadening its impact and continuing to work closely with employers.

City Third Worst in US for Asthma Sufferers

A recent study by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America placed Memphis No. 3 on a list of the most challenging places in the U.S. to live in with the chronic disease. In 2012, Memphis ranked No. 1.

SPORTS

Grizz Claw Into Conference Finals

His team had just overcome a 17-point first-half deficit and beaten Oklahoma City in overtime to win Game 4 and take a commanding 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series. So someone asked Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins if he was impressed.

Grizz Win With Tony Being Tony

Had things turned out differently, we would know too well Rule 12, Section V, item a, from the NBA rulebook:

MEMPHIS STANDOUT

Word Finds Passion With Vaco, Women’s Alliance

In her six years as a CPA, Ginna Word has seen the industry from both sides of a spreadsheet, as an auditor for Deloitte & Touche, and as a corporate, in-house accountant for The ServiceMaster Co.

MEMPHIS LAW TALK

Medlock Takes Talents From Soccer Field to Courtroom

After graduating from Germantown High School, Steven Medlock left Memphis for the bluegrass of Western Kentucky University.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Brimhall Named Bartlett Entrepreneur of Year

Terry Brimhall, founder and president of Brimhall Foods Co. Inc., has been named entrepreneur of the year by the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce.

REAL ESTATE RECAP

Oakhaven Warehouse Sells After Foreclosure

4120 Air Trans Road, Memphis, TN 38118

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Two Bo’s, One Town

THANK YOU, Z’BO AND C’BO. AND THANK YOU, MICHAEL. Last week, my son reminded me to write a column about the Grizzlies. So I did. This week, a good friend commenting on that column reminded me of why I write them in the first place, and then wrote one for me.

Changing the Fiber of Your Nonprofit

A capital campaign – or any other quantum leap in your fundraising – will pull at every fiber of your nonprofit. These are not “business as usual” activities. If you want to grow from one level of donated revenue to another you have to do things differently. It’s no different than a business seeking to enter a new market or release a new product. New, more and different thinking, actions and people are required for new, more and different results.

Talk About Money Before Taking Vows

Ray’s Take You’re blissfully in love and happily engaged to your soul mate. The future looks idyllic. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean your fiancé is your ideal financial mate. In fact, a study by professors from The Wharton School and Northwestern University revealed financial opposites tend to be attracted to each other, and those marriages often face significant challenges. With some honest and open discussion in advance, that doesn’t have to happen to you.

Stuff to Know About an Atlanta Burger Joint

ATLANTA – On a weekend trip to this, the city where we honeymooned four decades ago, Susan and I find ourselves in a place touting the “best burgers in Atlanta.” On its menu is the “Fat Elvis,” a half-pound of meat “slathered with a King-sized helpin’ of smooth peanut butter, bacon and fried bananas.” Neither of us opts in for this.

More Tips on Selling the Business

I’d like to offer a counterpoint to a recent Daily News column that I presented a slanted view of the process used by investors to acquire the business of an entrepreneur (April 19, Selling the Business: Games Buyers Play).

Employ Both Push and Pull Marketing

The future of push vs. pull marketing is a hot debate. With social media continually on the rise, there’s a trend to disregard push marketing in its entirety. That’s a mistake. Not only is there a place for both, limiting yourself to one over the other will inhibit your ability for profitable growth.

How High Can We Go?

Total stock market returns combine dividends with a change in earnings and a change in multiples. Right now, the dividend yield on the S&P 500 is 2 percent. The earnings estimate for the S&P 500, for year-end 2014 as projected by Standard and Poor’s, approximates $120, as trailing earnings equal $100 per share.

Forming the Second Wave

Most businesses start with vigor and willpower. Truly breakthrough businesses launch and fly with such an impassioned sense of mission that it changes the market and the communities where their offices are located.

A Fond Farewell for Now

Hard to believe, but almost three years has passed since I wrote the first “Giving Back” column in 2010. Credit goes to James Overstreet, associate publisher of The Daily News, who pulled me aside one day and asked if I had ever thought about sharing my ideas and some of our Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club philanthropic efforts with a broader audience. What started as an idea to share helpful tips, quickly evolved into a pipeline for positive stories, a spotlight for local nonprofits, and an avenue to provide easy ways to get more engaged in our community.

Strategy for Very Familiar Questions

OK, I was trying to be somewhat nice in the title. This article is really about answering those questions that you have heard hundreds or perhaps thousands of times. Questions that make you think, “If I have to answer that question one more time, I might just go crazy!”

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 63 269 16,682
MORTGAGES 85 313 21,745
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 56 4,322
BUILDING PERMITS 0 209 39,587
BANKRUPTCIES 65 287 15,829
BUSINESS LICENSES 16 67 5,558
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 126 413 23,986
MARRIAGE LICENSES 22 94 5,129

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The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.