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VOL. TMN-6 | NO. 26 | Saturday, June 22, 2013
Weekly Issue

Five Years in the Life

The fifth anniversary of The Memphis News

Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines has just merged with more than 150 flights a day at Memphis International Airport shifting to the Delta brand. And Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, said Memphis would be an integral hub with more traffic.

Editorial: Memphis News Has Much More to Share

The last five years, starting with our first edition on June 18, 2008, has been a dramatic story arc on numerous fronts that indicate two things in particular about our community. Memphis is changing and the direction of that change depends on what we do far more than what chance creates.

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

This week in Memphis history: June 21-27

2008: On the cover of The Memphis News, a story on the pasts of and connections between City Council member Rickey Peete and former Shelby County Commissioner Joe Cooper that ended with Peete pleading guilty to federal corruption charges and Cooper wearing a wire and recording conversations in which he paid Peete for his council vote on a billboard project. The story quoted from prosecution documents outlining the crime. “During this conversation, Peete said, ‘I’m going to do what’s right for the community. ... It looks OK to me,’ and then Peete showed Cooper a note written on a piece of paper. The note instructed Cooper to place the ‘paperwork’ (money) in the bathroom.”

FedEx Fourth-Quarter Profit Slumps 45 Percent

FedEx Corp. on Wednesday, June 19, reported fourth-quarter profit dropped 45 percent amid tepid economic growth and customers that chose less expensive and slower international shipping services.

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

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Summer of Cloar

Six art museums honor beloved Memphis artist

Stanton Thomas remembers his first encounter with Carroll Cloar’s art. It was eight years ago as Thomas, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art’s curator, was about to interview for the job he now has.

Square Planners Focus on Pedestrians

Overton Square planners are focusing on “the spaces between” and making the area more comfortable for pedestrians while increasing density and expecting more traffic in the arts, theater and retail district.

BankTennessee Breaks Ground In Middle Tennessee

Collierville-based BankTennessee is breaking ground on a new site in Lebanon, Tenn., later this month that will serve as the bank’s Middle Tennessee headquarters.

Cox: Airport Could See More Competition

Airports that once served as major hubs won’t likely regain their previous level of flight service, and if they do, it could take decades, Larry Cox, president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority told members of the board and airport officials.

Presidents Island Useable Space Could Double

If the Memphis and Shelby County Port Commission can win a sizeable grant from the federal government, work to build railroad capacity on Presidents Island – which would eventually allow for the future development of up to 1,500 acres there – could begin in August.

Suburbs Ready for Start of Early Voting

Early voting will be a bit earlier than usual for the municipal school district referendums in Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities.

Maintaining Citizenship

Medtronic Spine employees put being good corporate citizens to practice

For the fifth straight year, Memphis-based Medtronic Spine employees are spending the month of June volunteering at more than a dozen locations in the area.

City Budget Woes Affect 400 Employees

The numbers at play so far in the Memphis City Council’s long budget season are big.

A Year Later: ZeroTo510 Companies Still Going

Charleson Bell thought he and his associates had a solid business model for the startup they launched last year called BioNanovations, which is developing devices that use bionanotechnology for quickly diagnosing bacterial infections.

Data Point to Improving Housing Market

The average number of days a home in the Memphis area stayed on the market for the month of May dipped to a seven-year low for that month, providing more evidence of a housing market in recovery.

Sticking to Niche

RKA Construction finds early success with custom building as specialty

Chris Clark got into the contracting and construction business in 1975, learning the trades as he worked on them. Ryan Anderson graduated from Auburn University in 2007 with a building science degree.

Mortgage Activity Sees Small Increase

Mortgage activity was a bit lackluster in Shelby County last month compared to the same time in 2012, judging by the latest data.

Commission Approves Schools Budget

Two weeks out from the formal start of the merger of Shelby County’s two public school systems, critics of the merger on the Shelby County Commission portrayed it as about the Memphis City Schools’ or the Shelby County Schools’ way of doing things.

Eureka Encourages Girls to Explore STEM Fields

A small group of girls huddled around a car-like robot with long sensors as they worked on making sure the car will be able to complete a programmed route at an exhibition next week.

Multiple Reasons Forced Trail to Lose Funding

Bureaucratic snafus, a lack of city funds and the transformation of The Pyramid into a Bass Pro Shops store led the city to lose a $316,680 federal grant for a riverfront bike and pedestrian system.

Schools Payroll Systems to Remain Separate

A week after announcing a change in when Shelby County Schools teachers get paid in the schools merger that begins July 1, interim schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson changed course. The change keeps teachers from the two systems on different pay schedules for the first year of the merger.

Fresh Start

Revival food truck returns to the streets with new owner

Years ago, after leaving the 9-to-5 of the corporate world, Cathy McKee decided she wanted to get more serious about cooking.

Boyle Honors Past at 80th Anniversary Celebration

If it seems like the Boyle family has played a key role in Memphis since the city was founded, it’s because it has.

NewME Accelerator Event Coming to Town

In the last 16 years, the number of firms owned by minorities and women has grown, but they still lag behind all firms in terms of revenue and employment, according to a report commissioned by American Express OPEN.

Educators Stress Consistency Amid Change

Three educators who have led schools inside and outside the conventional public school system locally say consistency at the school level will be important in a school year that will see a lot of change.

Bedrock Eats and Sweets Offers Healthy Choices

A new healthy eating outlet has launched in Memphis that aims to provide pre-made, healthy whole-food meals and food mixed with a dose of convenience.

SPORTS

NBA Playoffs Serve as Reminder: Players More Valuable Than Coaches

Game 6 of the NBA Finals was a lot of things, including epic and unbelievable and an instant classic. But it was also something else: a vivid reminder that players matter more than coaches.

Wacha Handling Latest Example Of Pitcher Care

A few days ago, when the St. Louis Cardinals optioned young Michael Wacha back to Memphis, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny did not utter some of baseball’s most frightening names.

MEMPHIS STANDOUT

Propelling City Forward Bloodworth’s Design Goal

As he grew up in Memphis, Russell E. “Rusty” Bloodworth was fascinated by art, design and the use of space.

MEMPHIS LAW TALK

Ebelhar Finds Rewards In Move From Classroom

Jay Ebelhar was recently elected shareholder of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Blank Joins WKNO-FM As News Director

Christopher Blank has joined WKNO-FM, the Mid-South affiliate of National Public Radio, as news director. Blank, who has produced feature stories for the station since 2011, will oversee local news production for “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”

REAL ESTATE RECAP

James Lee House Owner Files Construction Loan

690 Adams Ave., Memphis, TN 38105, Loan Amount: $1 million -
The new ownership group of the historic James Lee House at 690 Adams Ave. in Victorian Village has filed a $1 million construction loan for renovations of the property.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

The Ghost Of Claude Rains

SHOCKED, SHOCKED. You know who Claude Rains was, don’t you? Played Captain Renault in the 1942 classic “Casablanca”?

Three Critical Ingredients for Innovation

Our firm, the Southern Growth Studio, helps many companies with innovation. We help with projects labeled as innovation and we also consult on how companies set up the processes, framework, and governance for successful innovation.

Investing In House To Sell

Ray’s Take Finally and thankfully, the housing market seems to be making a bit of a comeback. Those years of drought actually created a pretty significant pent-up demand. However, homebuyers still expect more for their money. Exactly what that means varies: some want the biggest house possible and are willing to upgrade. Others want a move-in-ready home. The truth is even people willing to upgrade are more easily sold on a house that already looks great.

Old Ads Still Funny

Cleaning off a shelf, I came across the 2005 issue of “Uncle John’s Fast-Acting, Long-Lasting Bathroom Reader.” This series, by the way, has been around for a quarter-century now, and I’m long overdue to order the 2012 issue: the “Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader.”

How to Murder A Brand

Seventeen short months after former Apple retailer extraordinaire was tapped as CEO of J.C. Penney, Ron Johnson was fired in spectacular fashion for a 55 percent drop in stock and sales declines as high as 20 percent in a single quarter. This certainly wasn’t the legacy he intended to leave for this outdated brand struggling to connect with its “next generation” of customer.

King Kong Versus Godzilla

Among attentive investors the recent bout of market volatility has reprised fears of country, currency, economic decline and general market collapse. When global macro-market events occur, large trading positions that have been spooling quickly unspool, leading to jarring movements like those we are witnessing in Japan. These environments become a bit of a predator’s ball, as short-term traders feast on volatility, which only amplifies volatility further.

Issues to Weigh for Fundraising Annual Goal

We were recently asked what we thought about setting a fundraising goal for fiscal year 2014 by simply adding 10 percent to the 2013 goal. Good question. And of course we had questions of our own. The first of which was “did the nonprofit meet its 2013 goal?” The answer – and the reasons why – will be important to take into consideration when setting a goal for 2014.

The Power of Curiosity and Sociability

Two organizations – the Miami-based One Laptop Per Child Association and the Cambridge, Mass.-based One Laptop Per Child Foundation – are nonprofit entities set up to oversee the creation of affordable educational devices for use in the developing world.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 32 344 10,222
MORTGAGES 52 452 13,327
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 30 106 2,644
BUILDING PERMITS 0 783 24,307
BANKRUPTCIES 60 359 9,892
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 133 3,736
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 76 595 14,558
MARRIAGE LICENSES 23 104 3,167

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