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VOL. TMN-6 | NO. 8 | Saturday, February 16, 2013
Weekly Issue

Startup Ground Zero

Memphis center of action for entrepreneurs, investors

For three days over the past week, Memphis was effectively ground zero for technologists, startup founders, investors and entrepreneurs from near and far.

Hagerty Outlines Changes Made in Past Two Years

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty says 2013 will see the administration of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam advance basic changes the administration made in the previous two years.

Seminar Highlights Women and Biz

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, considered one of the most powerful women in business in the U.S., has a new book coming out next month on issues women face in the workplace.

Changeover

New name doesn’t diminish spirit of annual tennis tournament

It was almost 40 years ago, but Nancy Smith remembers the one year the men’s pro tennis tournament was held at the Mid-South Coliseum; her father had box seats. But even more memorable is that not long after the tournament moved to The Racquet Club of Memphis, a young and unknown Czech player came to town and, in that far simpler time, stayed at her parents’ house.

Lot of Love Remains for Tennis Tourney

The U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships at the Racquet Club of Memphis serves as a reminder of the city’s unique sports mix and how much that mix says about our civic aspirations.

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Going With the Flow

American Queen returns to Memphis with new look

When the world’s largest steamboat returns to Beale Street Landing on March 9, it will have a different look than it did almost a year ago when it came up the river from New Orleans to dock at its Memphis home port for the first time.

Judge and Mayoral Contender Otis Higgs Dies

Shelby County Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs, whose two bids to become Memphis Mayor in the 1970s were important chapters in the city’s political and racial history, died Friday, Feb. 15, at the age of 75.

Hart To Explore Schools Merger Delay

Countywide school board member Tomeka Hart will offer a resolution at a school board meeting Monday, Feb. 18 that could call for a one year delay in the scheduled July 1 merger of the city and county school systems.

Green Line Marketing Doubles Office

Green Line Marketing Group has outgrown its East Memphis office space due to its expanded staff and client roster.

New Chassis Pool Co-Op Launches in Memphis

The trucker-formed North American Chassis Pool Cooperative – the first of its kind – is launching its pilot program in Memphis this year.

For Love of Money

Valentine's Day means big business for some

The staples of a great Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart – flowers, candy and delicious food – equal big business for local establishments specializing in romantic fare.

School Budget Debate Far From Over

The countywide school board’s $145 million “ask” is on its way to the Shelby County Commission.

Tennessee Judicial System Awaits Changes

Tennessee’s judicial system is in the midst of a makeover. This week, Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey announced the launch of the state’s first judicial redistricting process in nearly 30 years. It follows the state’s recent legislative redistricting process that occurred a little more than a year ago and was led by the General Assembly’s Republican majority.

Southwest Executive Hints at Airline’s Plan for Memphis

The Traffic Club of Memphis’ February luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 12, featured Wally Devereaux, director of sales and marketing for the Cargo Management Group of Southwest Airlines.

Hopson Seeks $57 Million Owed Schools

Interim Memphis City Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson hopes to meet with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. next week about $57 million.

Arena Transformation

City prep of The Pyramid for Bass Pro Shops nears completion

As the city of Memphis is nearing completion of its preparation of The Pyramid for Bass Pro Shops, the Springfield, Mo.-based retailer is slated to start its part of the project in March.

Year of Change for Smith & Nephew

On the heels of laying off 63 employees in Memphis and as it grapples with challenging business conditions locally and worldwide, London-based medical device maker Smith & Nephew sees a bright spot in the Bluff City: the new Centre for Innovation.

County Commission Debates Schools Merger

Shelby County Commissioners marked the two-year anniversary Monday, Feb. 11, of the federal lawsuit over schools consolidation and municipal school districts with a running debate across several items about the upcoming schools merger.

Soul Fish to Open in Wolf Camera Spot on Poplar

Soul Fish Café has selected a prime piece of real estate in East Memphis for its third location.

Cost Increase

Pricing jumps while homebuilder permit numbers stagnate

New housing permits were unchanged in January year over year, but pricing saw a healthy increase.

Memphis Investment Firm at Odds With Dell

Following Memphis-based Southeastern Asset Management’s public opposition to Dell Inc.’s proposed $24.4 billion buyout, the Texas-based tech company is trying to reassure shareholders that the deal will be beneficial.

Suburban Districts Back in Federal Court

The faded red kick ball that is the issue of metropolitan school districts in the Shelby County suburbs is now back in Memphis federal court after about two-and-a-half months of private mediation talks.

Strickland, Carson Named Dunavant Award Winners

Memphis City Council member Jim Strickland and Shelby County Jury Commissioner Clyde ‘Kit’ Carson have been named the winners of the 2013 Bobby Dunavant Public Service Awards.

Expert: Memphis Has Big Story to Tell

Memphis area commercial real estate brokers were not only brought up to speed on the latest numbers and trends Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Commercial Property Forecast Summit – they were also briefed on how to tweak their marketing strategy to recruit business by a former executive with the Federal Reserve.

FTN Financial Grows With New Offices, Hires

First Tennessee Bank’s capital markets subsidiary has been on a tear lately. FTN Financial has grown on several fronts, including with the addition of a public finance department as it expands into the general market municipal bond sector and with the opening of new offices as part of that expansion. The company also has opened additional new offices around the country and added employees in other areas to handle general growth.

SPORTS

Chemistry Slowly Building for New-Look Grizzlies

They showed up in matching blue and white-striped Grizzlies sweat suits, looking like they had walked into FedExForum from the 1980s. It was, without a word being spoken, the first message delivered by Grizzlies chairman Robert Pera and CEO Jason Levien in a Feb. 12 press conference aimed at advancing the narrative of unity – within the team and within the community.

Comments, Victories Becoming Broken Record

So Josh Pastner’s latest post-game conference is just about to start, this one after a 93-71 victory over Central Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 13, a game the Tigers led by as many as 34 points.

REAL ESTATE RECAP

Memphis Marriott Sells for $12.4 Million in Foreclosure

2625 Thousand Oaks BlvdMemphis, TN 38118

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Phillips Joins Spirco as Manager, Vice President

Mike Phillips has joined Spirco Manufacturing as general manager and vice president of operations. In his new role, Phillips will oversee all divisions of the metal-building manufacturer and direct its organizational needs.

MEMPHIS LAW TALK

Grida Uses Special Skills for Community Work

Nicole Grida, associate with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC, learned the value of extracurricular activities while in high school in Hellertown, Pa.

MEMPHIS STANDOUT

Potter Promotes Grizzlies With Memphis Flair

Although he didn’t know it at the time, Jason Potter got his first taste of event promotion while studying business at Indiana University.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Are You 100 Percent Sure of Beliefs?

Here’s a statement that is worth pondering: Among a group of people, the most successful person is usually the person whose beliefs correspond most closely with reality.

Million Calorie Reduction Match

This week let us discuss a nonprofit organization, Healthy Memphis Common Table, whose mission is to mobilize Greater Memphis to achieve excellent health for all, along with one of their programs aimed at addressing obesity, the Million Calorie Reduction Match.

Strong January Portends Positive Year

As Goes January … Many market observers state that as goes January, so goes the rest of the year. Mathematically, 1/12th of the year has now passed and the S&P 500 has tacked on 5 percent. Fast-forwarding through the statistical modeling, a strong January predicts a strong annual return precisely because of the positive lead January passes to February. This head start advances the probability of positive returns. Furthermore, a sizable head start increases the odds of success even more. If January is slightly positive, the odds of a positive year are 67 percent. If January is up 5 percent, the odds jump to 79 percent. So a 5 percent positive January has a high probability of correlating with a year of positive equity returns. We cannot rest in that, however, as a 4 percent loss from this point still fulfills the criteria. Better check the vitals.

Do’s and Don’ts of Online PR

The digital age is a double-edged sword for those pitching content in hopes of landing the coveted story. On one hand, it’s never been easier to communicate with reporters, but on the other there’s so much clutter that breaking through all of the noise competing with your story has grown quite challenging.

Can Big Data Pay Off Big?

Perhaps one of the most exciting advances in this decade is the emergence of big data, a collection of data sets so large they cannot be processed with standard database management programs. The analytics that companies glean from this data yield quantitative insight into business strategy that was previously unavailable. The world’s technological per-capita capacity to store information has roughly doubled every 40 months since the 1980s.

Is College Really Worth the Cost?

Ray’s Take The struggle recent graduates have had finding jobs has many people wondering if college is still worth the expense. According to some reports, it is. Consider this recent finding by the Lumina Foundation and Georgetown University’s Center on Education: The unemployment rate for college graduates is 6.8 percent, but it’s nearly 24 percent for those with only a high school diploma.

Still Knee High

Few columns have drawn as much feedback as the one I wrote in May 2011 about the PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection I had in my left knee – the knee that was on the list for replacement.

Give Up These 40 Things for Lent

40 THINGS TO DO WITHOUT. Lent has begun – a season of reflection and sacrifice for believers seeking spiritual strength, a season bridging the gray gloom of winter and the green promise of spring for those seeking renewal, a season of waffles and chicken hash for those seeking comfort in the caloric basement of Calvary Church – 40 days of all of that for me.

Let’s Make Public Notices Available to Everyone

The issue of whether local governments should post public notices on their own internet website is a question that was discussed more than once in the Senate State and Local Government Committee during the 107th General Assembly.

Honoring a Pair Of Fundraising History Makers

Lights, camera, action. In 1980 the United Negro College Fund launched the Parade of Stars telethon. It became a nationwide fundraising program raising millions of dollars for generations of students, and support for historically black colleges and universities. It became the largest one-day African-American special event in the country. It changed black history – and American history – creating an acknowledged culture of fundraising in the African-American community. America’s largest corporations became engaged. Small churches, teachers, sororities and fraternities became engaged. Donors and volunteers from across the country organized to support UNCF and celebrate black philanthropy.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 81 217 5,290
MORTGAGES 94 276 6,985
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 22 72 1,628
BUILDING PERMITS 384 712 12,691
BANKRUPTCIES 66 241 5,541
BUSINESS LICENSES 27 85 2,146
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 52 234 7,292
MARRIAGE LICENSES 10 53 1,511

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