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VOL. TMN-7 | NO. 39 | Saturday, September 20, 2014
Weekly Issue

‘Cutting Edge’

Opera Memphis seeks new ways to expand, educate local audience

The first thing to understand about the task that Opera Memphis general director Ned Canty feels is before him is that he’s not leading a music organization that competes only with other music outlets and venues for audiences’ attention.

Editorial: Growing Rape Kit Backlog Raises More Concern

The backlog gets bigger. And with the recent news that 196 rape kits dating back to 1976 have been found by Memphis Police, questions never fully answered about the rape kit backlog that surfaced about a year ago become more urgent.

EMPHASIS Education

Old School, New Day

Fairview Junior High School becomes Maxine Smith STEAM Academy

Vasco Smith remembers working the polls at Fairview Junior High School in the 1960s as a child. His job was simple – to hand out campaign literature and not stray within the 100-foot limit by law between poll workers and the polling place in the gymnasium.

Teacher Surplus Count Drops to Only Four

Every school year the first estimates come in high in the count of how many school teachers will be surplused – declared excess because of the number of students that are counted at the start of the school year and then reassigned based on the final student head count.

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EVENTS

The Bridge, Memphis’ first street newspaper, will hold its “Under One Roof” fall fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the McCallum Ballroom at Rhodes College, 2000 North Parkway. The event will give community members and vendors of The Bridge a chance to mingle and enjoy a meal, and an auction will feature works by artists with experiences of homelessness. Tickets are $50. Visit thememphisbridge.com/fallfundraiser for details.

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Education Secretary Praises Local Schools Leaders

Sustainability is a term associated with environmental efforts, though innovation is a much more popular term across causes from economic development to education reform.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

This week in Memphis history: September 19-25

2004: Roy Jones Jr. and Glen Johnson fought for the IBF light heavyweight championship at FedExForum. Johnson, the defending champion, knocked out Jones, the former champion, in the ninth round.

Sprouts Confirms Lakeland, Germantown Stores in 2015

Sprouts Farmers Market, one of the fastest-growing grocery chains in the country and the first new grocer to enter the Memphis area in several years, will open a second location in Germantown.

Haslam Swears In Judges, Gets Flu Shot in Memphis

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam swore in a new Tennessee Supreme Court justice and two state Appeals Court judges during a busy Friday, Sept. 19, visit to Memphis that also included getting a flu shot.

Debt of Gratitude

Memphis company thankful for drivers as shortage grows

Robert Wright began working as a truck driver for Intermodal Cartage Co. in March 2006, making runs to cities across the Southeast.

Airport Authority Approves RedRover Contract

Memphis International Airport should have a new team of storytellers on board.

Marx-Bensdorf Expands in East Memphis

A prominent Memphis realty company has expanded its presence in East Memphis. Marx-Bensdorf Realtors has grown in the office building at 5860 Ridgeway Loop Blvd. by 526 square feet, bringing its total to 4,653 square feet.

Community Advocates Seek Crime Solutions

In mid-August, Memphis Police brass realized they had a crime problem in different parts of the city.

Little Sees ‘Acceptance’ in City Insurance Drama

City Chief Administrative Officer George Little says he hopes the city’s long debate about health insurance coverage changes will mean a shorter discussion about proposed pension changes to come.

FedEx Profits Surge Above Wall Street Estimates

FedEx said fiscal first-quarter profits surged to $606 million, driven by gains in its freight, ground and express operations and a share buyback program.

City Employees Return to Court Over Benefits

The basic elements of an overhaul of city health insurance and pension benefits got some changes this week at the Memphis City Council. And it looks like the council might put off a vote on pension benefit changes originally set for a vote in October.

Seeking Long-Term Outcomes

Memphis Athletic Ministries builds ‘holistic person’

Long-term outcomes, such as improved high school graduation rates and reduced dropout rates, are the ultimate objectives of the Memphis Athletic Ministries’ still-young Academic Diligence program.

GiVE 365 Awards $62,600 in Grants

A community’s needs are infinite, yet the resources available to provide help are finite.

Memphis Police Discover More Rape Kits

Memphis Police have found in recent weeks 196 more rape kits in previously unsearched areas where police store evidence, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong told Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Sept. 16.

RiverFit Brings Activity to Tom Lee Park

Riverfront Development Corp. President Benny Lendermon, while advocating for the creation of Beale Street Landing, once referred to Tom Lee Park as one of the worst parks in the country.

First South Launches More Secure Cards

First South Financial is preparing to roll out credit cards embedded with new chip technology that offer users more protection than the standard piece of plastic today.

Ball Targets Carr's Tea Party Supporters

Gordon Ball, the Democratic challenger to Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, is basing his uphill challenge of Alexander on his specific definition of being a moderate Democrat and where that intersects with tea party followers.

Device Library

University of Memphis library stores gadgets, along with books

The idea of a library might connote the image of some erudite sanctum, one of books, stuffiness, silence and readers lost in thought.

Raising Concerns Over Education Coverage

With just one person reporting on schools in a metropolitan area of more than 1.3 million people, The Commercial Appeal is forging ahead with a relationship with a nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to covering education.

Latino Political Profile Continues Rise

When Latino Memphis held its first annual Leadership Luncheon last week in East Memphis, the ballroom at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis included political and business leaders among the group of 800 people.

Legal Issues Await Mob Attack Investigation

Memphis police could make more arrests in the Poplar Plaza mob attack, but investigators believe they have the teenagers who started the riot on the parking lot of the Kroger supermarket Saturday, Sept. 6, that injured three people.

SPORTS

Tigers Hope to ‘Grind’ Win Against MTSU

It’s a big game. Big enough that the University of Memphis got the Grizzlies’ Tony Allen – “The Grindfather” – to do a short video urging fans to come out for the football game this Saturday, Sept. 20, against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders.

Athletes Behaving Badly

Make us laugh. That’s all we ask. Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston gets cited for stealing $32 worth of crab legs from a Publix: That’s funny.

Which Titans Team Will Show Up at Cincinnati?

You only get one chance to make a first impression, as the old saying goes.

Jones’ Wide Net Gathers Old Friends, Top Prospects

Butch Jones was sitting in the office of Knoxville’s South-Doyle High School athletic director and football coach Clark Duncan during a visit to see recruit Jocquez Bruce last winter.

Prep Coaches, Players Sold on Jones the Recruiter

Nothing surprises Murfreesboro Blackman High School football coach Philip Shadowens when it comes to college recruiting.

NEWSMAKERS

Meritan’s Branch Named Among Top Nurses

Cindy Branch, Meritan’s associate vice president for health services, has been selected to represent Tennessee as one of the nation’s top 50 home care and hospice nurses by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and the Home Healthcare Nurses Association. Branch, a registered nurse, has oversight of Meritan’s nursing programs, including home health, private duty nursing and medical residential homes. She will be recognized at NACH’s annual meeting in October.

REAL ESTATE RECAP

Harold Ford Funeral Home Files Construction Loan

1670 Sycamore View Road, Memphis, TN 38134, Loan Amount: $2.6 million -
The Harold Ford Funeral Chapel at 1670 Sycamore View Road in Northeast Memphis has filed a $2.6 million construction loan on the property.

SMALL BUSINESS

Vaco Memphis Expands, Emphasizes Risk Solutions

Somebody else’s problem provides your business an opportunity. That’s just the way things work and for much of Vaco Memphis’ 10 years, their focus was on offering recruiting and consulting services in areas that included technology, accounting, finance, logistics and administration.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

100 Percent Sure

IF A PROGRAM IS 100 PERCENT SUCCESSFUL, GET WITH THE PROGRAM. I wrote something three years ago when President Obama visited Booker T. Washington High School. In light of recent events, I’d like to visit those words again.

Are You Sharing Too Much?

When it comes to job seeking, sometimes less is more. Everything we do – from the clothes we wear to our resumes to our social media accounts – says something about us. These things are pieces of our personal brands.

Target Date Mutual Funds – Should You Go With the Flow?

Ray's take: Target date funds take their name from the year in which an investor plans to retire or stop contributing to savings and is increasingly the default choice for 401K plan contributions.

Clueing THEA

THEA crops up in crosswords occasionally. In an easy puzzle, it’ll be clued as “Ellington’s ‘Take ___ Train’.” Or “Mr. T’s ‘___ Team’.” In more challenging grids, THEA’s clues include “Actress Gill,” “German author von Harbou,” or “Mother of Eos.” Snobby solvers don’t like any of these clues; thus, they don’t like THEA. That’s about to change. Henceforth, a new clue for THEA will be available. I predict a change of attitude toward the answer.

Five Top Sales Negotiation Mistakes

More than 75 percent of the sales reps I’ve coached through the years cite price as their number one objection. Given the state of our economy for the last several years, it’s no wonder. And even though our economy is beginning to rebound, the side effect of a recession is the bargainer’s mindset that it creates in the market.

Government for the Prosperity of the People

The reporting out of the US on China is uniformly downbeat. By applying our western perspectives, China appears inhumane, politically oppressive, over-indebted and fragile.

Five Out-of-the-Box Interview Questions

If you need to hire a fundraising professional, you are in good company. This is one of the hardest positions to fill. It is even harder to retain a talented fundraiser.

Tennessee Steps Up the Fight Against Blight

While the national economy is still rebounding from the 2008 housing crisis, foreclosures, vacant homes and blighted properties are a lingering issue many markets throughout the country have to address.

Allow Innovation to Expand Business Model

As your innovation efforts begin to move from the ideation to the testing phase, or the co-creation with consumers or customers, outlandish and disruptive concepts present themselves. As messy as children arriving, they show up, saying, "Feed me, let me scream at the top of my lungs, I’m uncivilized,” all without speaking.

8 Ways to Protect Your Online Identity

Each year, millions of Americans are victims of data breaches. Credit card fraud alone has affected 41 percent of consumers over the last five years, according to Aite Group's 2014 Global Consumer Fraud Survey.

TENNESSEE LEDGER
Nashville Edition

Road to Better Mass Transit

Nashville’s new transit chief talks bus service

Picking a new transit chief is critical for a city in transition.

Singing Mechanic’s Life Much Like the Songs He Sings

The Singing Mechanic – “I’ve got that name. Nobody else can use it,” says Billy Devereaux – sits by his worn, 1,200-square-foot, two-room cottage and looks down at Boots, his Dutch Shepherd.

Offer Too Much for That Dream House? Let the Inspector Bail You Out

While real estate rambles along on its record-setting pace, there are bumps all over the road leading to culmination of the transactions.

Knoxville Edition

Technology Key to Knoxville’s Improving Economy

Multiple industry sectors have always been a strength for the Knoxville job market, and that deep bench is helping the area once again as state and national economies improve.

Anderson County Gets in on Increased Auto Activity

Chattanooga and Middle Tennessee may grab more headlines when automotive plants expand operations, but Clinton is no stranger to good news in that regard.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 109 433 13,330
MORTGAGES 114 591 17,349
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 11 93 3,391
BUILDING PERMITS 0 366 30,930
BANKRUPTCIES 76 352 12,695
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 108 4,597
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 77 564 19,457
MARRIAGE LICENSES 29 151 4,060

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