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VOL. TMN-8 | NO. 23 | Saturday, May 30, 2015
Weekly Issue

Backsplash

A look at Tunica’s economy two decades after its first casino

In the beginning, there was Splash – the first legal casino in Tunica County following the Mississippi Legislature’s passage of the 1990 law legalizing “dockside” casinos in the state.

Downtown Memphis Pioneer Gene Carlisle Dies

Downtown developer Gene Carlisle has died.

Editorial: Tunica's Bet, 20 Years Later

Tunica and its casinos represent a cautionary tale.

EMPHASIS Public Companies

Small-Town Shift

Fred’s strategies evolve amid new leadership

Fred’s Inc. CEO Jerry A. Shore has been thinking bigger and smaller simultaneously.

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EVENTS

Wolf River Conservancy will host a discussion and Q&A on the future of Wolf River Greenway Tuesday, June 2, at 6:30 p.m. in Sara’s Place at Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road. Chuck Flink of Alta Planning & Design will discuss the greenway’s impact, design and immediate plans for the next seven phases. Free for WRC and MBG members; $4 for nonmembers. RSVP to education@wolfriver.org.

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Stock-Buyback Programs Hit Record Pace

If this was a poker game, it could be said that American companies are doubling down – repurchasing their own stock at a record pace instead of betting on new, outside investments.

Snapshot: Memphis-Based Public Companies

Here's a look at what's going on at the dozen public companies headquartered in Memphis:

THE MEMPHIS NEWS ALMANAC

This week in Memphis history: May 29-June 4

1970: The “Shower of Stars” benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is held at the Mid-South Coliseum with Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, and hospital founder Danny Thomas and his daughter, Marlo Thomas. A year later, the bill includes Sinatra, Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Tennessee Ernie Ford and Vikki Carr.

TruGreen Selects East Memphis for New Headquarters

TruGreen is moving more than 300 Memphis-area employees and its corporate headquarters to a 65,000-square-foot space at the Forum II office building in East Memphis, the company announced Friday.

100 N. Main Could Lose Utilities

The owner of the city’s tallest office building has until the end of the month to pay at least the past-due portion of the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division bill on the property before potentially facing cutoff.

New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty in Memphis in FedEx Fraud Case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty in Tennessee to defrauding FedEx Corp. of an estimated hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Farewell to the King

Memphis turns out en masse to say goodbye to B.B. King

There is a real temptation to sum up the passing of B.B. King by writing that his death marks the end of an era in entertainment.

Hopson, Barbic Look Ahead to New School Year

Dorsey Hopson and Chris Barbic are comparing notes on the new school year that begins in August, the first in three years in which the structure of public education in Shelby County essentially will remain the same.

Germantown Schools To Look At New Elementary School

The Germantown Municipal School District is going to explore building a new elementary school and several options for adding onto an existing middle schools.

Conn’s Acquires Site for Third Memphis-Area Location

A Texas-based retailer has acquired a fully leased shopping center in Southaven and will build a new store on an outparcel of the existing retail center.

Coliseum Fans Push for Roundhouse Reconsideration

The city’s effort to either restart or reconfigure its plan for the Mid-South Fairgrounds began Saturday, May 23, on the steps of the south entrance to the Mid-South Coliseum.

Paragon Bank Reports Highlights, Decisive Turn at Annual Shareholders Meeting

2014 proved a milestone year for Paragon Bank: The now 10-year-old institution saw a few decisive changes, the bank’s leadership reported at its annual shareholders meeting in recent days.

More Giving

Community Foundation of Greater Memphis has record fiscal year

The most dedicated donors to the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis give with their hearts and their minds, striking a balance between real-time needs and the financial realities of any given moment.

Homebuilders Enjoying Steady Start to 2015

The Shelby County homebuilding industry surged ahead in April with builders pulling more permits and selling more new homes at higher prices, a positive start to the peak building season.

Christian Brothers Students Help Secure Tax Refunds

As an outgrowth of a new Christian Brothers University course on poverty in America, a group of IRS-certified students brought some major relief to a few hundred Memphis-area families this tax season.

Hard City Budget Decisions Come Down to Impasse Pay Raises

The dollar figures being added to and subtracted from the city of Memphis budget for the coming fiscal year are relatively small this budget season at City Hall.

Shelby County Schools Hires Lawyer in State Funding Dispute

The Shelby County Schools system moved a step closer Tuesday, May 26, to joining a school funding lawsuit against the state of Tennessee.

Budding Business

Sprouts aims to provide ‘high-touch shopping experience’

When you enter the freshly opened Sprouts Farmers Market store in Lakeland, look up.

Harrison Letter Offers New View of Beatles at Stax Story

A second postscript to a nearly 50-year old letter from George Harrison is shedding new light on an intriguing plan by the Beatles to record at Stax Records in South Memphis.

Harris Pushes For Insure Tennessee Comeback

State Senate Democratic leader Lee Harris of Memphis will be on the campaign trail this summer.

Oak Park Apartments Demolition Latest in Blight Campaign

The group of Memphis leaders and Glenview-area homeowners standing in a parking lot last week surrounded by the shells of two two-story apartment buildings and the charred foundation of a third paused for a moment.

New Dirt on Overton Park Greensward Stirs Pot

When Felipe Olvera saw a city public works crew with several pieces of heavy machinery on the Overton Park greensward Thursday, May 21, he was asked several questions by zoo personnel and the work crews.

SPORTS

Next Step: Returning Grizzlies Have to Be Better

The possible return or exit of All-NBA First Team center Marc Gasol won’t be known for a while. So for our purposes today, let’s assume Gasol takes the mostly likely free agent path and signs a two-year deal with the Grizzlies that allows him to opt out after next season.

Grizzlies’ Kosta Koufos a Free Agent and Target of Other Teams

Far behind the headlines of All-NBA First Team center Marc Gasol’s impending free agency is this 7-foot, 265-pound fact: Backup Kosta Koufos is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Life’s Unfair to the SEC. Right, Nick?

There’s a lot of injustice in sports these days.

Clarksville Star Can’t Wait to Be Part of Lady Vols

Haley Bearden will watch every pitch this weekend as the University of Tennessee softball team pursues its ultimate goal in the NCAA Women’s College World Series.

SMALL BUSINESS

Absolute Recovery Services Enjoys Solid Growth in Short Time

Jason Burnett has worked his way through several different collections firms specializing in everything from retail to bank to medical debt.

NEWSMAKERS

Deloitte Promotes Vince DeGutis

Vince DeGutis, a partner in Deloitte Tax LLP, has been named Deloitte’s Memphis managing partner.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Corporate Speak

WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE. Corporate speak – the art of saying very little with a great many words in order that something very little might appear to be very great, or that something very grave might be buried under so many words that there is little chance of digging it out – continues to thrive, its practitioners legion, its impact so significant that since the Supreme Court declared a corporation to be an actual person, corporate speak, is now, officially, the language of actual people.

Talent Takes the Wheel

As the economy continues to improve, employers are beginning to think of what they can do to attract and retain the best talent. In fact, I was just asked for tips on this very topic by a local employer.

Heirloom Jewelry and Your Heirs

Ray's take: One of the most contentious issues when distributing an estate can be the division of heirlooms. It would help to know which family heirloom holds special meaning to which heir. An item that you think is the most important may not be the most important to others.

Anson VII Has Arrived

My great-great-great-great grandfather Elijah Fleming had eight kids and no middle name.

Budget Required for Money Management

What is a budget? Does inflation impact my standard of living?

6 Tips for Selling to Millennials

Roughly 75 million strong, millennials are on a course to soon surpass their baby boomer parents as our nation’s largest living generation. This generation, also known as Gen Y, was born between 1981 and the early 2000s, and they are beginning to wield great influence in their professional roles.

Do Not Fear What You Should be Afraid Of

There are factors conspiring in the market’s industrial kitchen right now that might lead to a fit of indigestion for investors. This week we will look at the three main ingredients and discuss how to medicate.

Take a Break From Facebook

I recently took a hiatus from Facebook. Once I was removed from my newsfeed’s constant updates, I was able to better focus on the dozens of other things that require my attention throughout the day.

Job Search Advice: Care Enough to Prepare

So, you want a job? We’ve been on a hiring frenzy at the Studio. Sadly, the drudgery of the interview process has wasted too much time and energy.

Waiting for a Windfall

You’ve written the perfect proposal. You submitted it on time. Perhaps you carefully reviewed the guidelines and found that your organization is a perfect match for what the foundation is seeking to achieve through its grantmaking. Or maybe a program officer reached out and personally asked your organization to submit.

TENNESSEE LEDGER

Ramsey Uses ‘System’ to Reshape State’s Political Landscape

Senate Speaker and Lieutenant Gov. Ron Ramsey laughs at the notion he’s changed since being elected to the Legislature 23 years ago, that he’s lost touch with the common man or become “arrogant” as lieutenant governor of Tennessee.

Ramsey: No Medicaid Expansion Until 2017

The Tennessee legislative session ended in late April, giving itself a little more than two and a-half months to handle the state’s business. That’s plenty of time, according to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

Swinging Church? Courts to Have Last Laugh

It’s official: No sex clubs are allowed outside of industrial areas or within 1,000 feet of a home, church or school in Metro Nashville.

Finding Dream House Becomes a Nightmare

As has been documented, there are more buyers than sellers these days, hence more demand than supply.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 105 291 7,063
MORTGAGES 98 358 9,638
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 18 61 2,051
BUILDING PERMITS 227 690 16,428
BANKRUPTCIES 60 260 6,319
BUSINESS LICENSES 20 88 2,686
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 123 380 8,848
MARRIAGE LICENSES 22 135 2,132

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