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VOL. TMN-11 | NO. 25 | Saturday, June 23, 2018
Weekly Issue

Where the Jobs Are

How Memphis schools are rethinking career and technical education

Out of more than 15,000 Shelby County Schools students who took some kind of career and technical education, or CTE, courses in the 2015-2016 academic year, only 1 percent – roughly 150 – completed those classes to get some kind of work certification.

Grizzlies Use No. 4 Overall Pick on Michigan State's Jaren Jackson Jr.

The Memphis Grizzlies used their No. 4 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft to select Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and fans who came to FedExForum for a watch party reacted with a mix of cheers and boos.


Editorial: End of Immigration Policy is Restoration Of Law and Morality

This isn’t over. A simple and heartrending edict to separate families at the U.S.-Mexico border will prove to be anything but simple for the White House and Republicans in Congress to reel back in.

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The Mid-South Transplant Foundation Ride for Life is Sunday, June 24, at 7 a.m. starting at Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery, 5668 Poplar Ave. The ride is a 25-mile noncompetitive bike tour through East Memphis and Midtown designed to promote awareness about organ and tissue donation. Kids can also participate in a 1-mile fun ride. Visit midsouthtransplantrfl.racesonline.com for details and registration.

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EMPHASIS Architects & Engineers

Looney Ricks Kiss: Memphis-Grown Urbanism Spurs World-Class Design

Crosstown Concourse, a gem of mixed-use urbanism and historic redevelopment, has recently been honored with a spate of awards for its design and innovation. These include the grand prize at the Congress for the New Urbanism’s Charter Awards, and the 2018 TN Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award. Additionally, Crosstown received the 2018 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest level of LEED certification available.

Firm Uses Video Game Engine to Help Clients Better Understand Their Projects

Almost anyone who spends time around young children is probably familiar with Minecraft, the popular game where users can create sometime mythic pixilated worlds one block at a time. But not many people saw the future of architecture in the game’s software.


June 22-28, 2018: This week in Memphis history

1993: Memphis premiere at the Orpheum of the movie “The Firm” with director Sydney Pollack in attendance. After the premiere, Pollack acknowledges that he feels some pressure for the film, starring Tom Cruise and based on a John Grisham novel, to be a success given the box office failure of his previous film “Havana.” The movie departs from the novel in its ending with a legal resolution that keeps Cruise’s character on the right side of the law. The movie’s ending is crafted with the help of Memphis attorney, former Tennessee Attorney General and U.S. Attorney Mike Cody.


Tennesseans Struggle to Get and Stay Healthy

Despite having some of the best health care companies in world, the people who live and work in Tennessee are not healthy.

What Do Statewide Candidates Say About Health Care in Tennessee?

According to Think Tennessee’s State of Our State dashboard, the state ranks near the bottom in the number of adults with heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It also ranks near the bottom of all states for the health of senior citizens, infant mortality, number of adults who smoke, and at the absolute bottom in childhood obesity. Tennesseans are, on the whole, not healthy. What can and should our next political leaders do about it?


Testing a New Line

Security consultant experiments with Beale Street crowds

Beale Street will be trying out new security measures this month as a task force reviewing the entertainment district continues to work on a better plan for the spring and summer weekend peak nights.


Binghampton Apartments, Parkside TIF Get EDGE Greenlight

Several hundred new apartments, a South Memphis grocery store and a new TIF district were all given the green light by the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County during a busy Wednesday, June 20, board meeting. 


Month-old Bike-Share Program Exceeding Expectations in Memphis

And we’re rollin’! The new bicycle-sharing system introduced a month ago is exceeding expectations and fueling hopes that Memphis is on a revolutionary pathway to improve health and community connectivity.


Methodist Kicks Off Centennial Celebration

This weekend Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare begins its next 100 years helping people in the Mid-South with their healthcare needs. The hospital is celebrating with events like a book launch on Friday and “The Party of the Century” with special guest Magic Johnson on Saturday.


Council Approves 13-Year Contract with MRPP

Memphis City Council members gave the Memphis River Parks Partnership a 13-year contract to manage and operate the city’s riverside parks Tuesday, June 19, with a 10-year renewal option.

Corker and Alexander Immigration Policy Reactions Differ As Trump Makes Changes

As President Donald Trump announced Wednesday, June 20, that he would reverse his administration's policy on separating children from parents who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally or seeking asylum, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee was among the Republican lawmakers sitting around the table with Trump.

County Commission Leaves Only Tax Rate Undone In Budget Season

Shelby County commissioners took final action Monday, June 18, on every item in its budget season except a final approval of a $4.05 county property tax rate.


Parkside Proposal

Parkside developers seeking TIF for Shelby Farms Parkway

The developers of the proposed Parkside at Shelby Farms project have applied for a tax-increment financing (TIF) designation to fund nearly $72 million in public infrastructure improvements to the area, including the construction of Shelby Farms Parkway.


FedEx Q4 Profits Beat Wall Street Estimates

Memphis-based FedEx Corp. posted a solid growth during its fiscal fourth quarter and full year, with company executives saying the shipping giant can adjust if looming tariffs disrupt trade patterns with China.

MEM Grows Five Years After Delta De-Hub

Five years after Delta Air Lines de-hubbed Memphis International Airport, the airport’s transition to most of its customers being origin and destination passengers has had mixed results in other ways.

Bird Scooter Deal on Cutting Edge of Memphis’ ‘Demand Economy’

Standing beside two electric scooters in Court Square last week, Memphis City Council member Kemp Conrad quoted Sun Tzu, author of the ancient Chinese military strategy tome “The Art of War.” “Opportunities are multiplied as they are seen,” he said in quoting the favorite military tactician of 21st-century American business leaders.


Lifeline for Debt

Bye Student Loan Debt founder looks to expand reach

Student loans are a big topic these days with an even bigger and growing price tag for most families in America. Thanks to a young engineer with a financial mind, there may be a place for students and their families to go before they find themselves drowning in debt.


Poe Man’s Dream Entrepreneurial Camp Giving Kids Big Ideas

Logan McNeil, 15, wants to open his own restaurant someday. Diamond Jones, 17, wants to have her own fashion business, even if it’s just selling T-shirts, and her 14-year-old brother, Jordan Jones, believes his future is as a funeral home owner.


Morris' Secret Helped Pass Civil Rights Cold Case Laws

Charlie Morris was known for decades as a political operative who defined a brand of grassroots-style campaigning and political involvement in North Memphis. He and his late wife, Alma, operating out of a barber shop in a Quonset hut off Chelsea Avenue, endorsed candidates and worked for them at the polls – going door-to-door in their neighborhood in what was the most basic kind of political organizing.


TBA Gubernatorial Forum Focuses on Criminal Justice Reform

Four of the major contenders for Tennessee governor told the annual convention of the Tennessee Bar Association Thursday, June 14, that they each favor keeping the state attorney general a position appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court.


Fred's Prepares to Sell Retail Pharmacy Business

Memphis-based Fred’s Inc. wants to sell its retail pharmacies, which would effectively reverse much, if not all, of its efforts to shed its discount-store identity in a transition to personal health care. Fred’s has hired an adviser to talk with potential buyers of its retail pharmacy business, company leaders announced Thursday, June 14, as it reported quarterly financial results to analysts.


Heritage Helped Drive Acosta Up Corporate Ranks

Growing up in Memphis, Julie Acosta, Senior Web Analyst at AutoZone, wasn’t always a fan of her strong Brazilian heritage. Like most young kids, she wanted to be like everyone else. It wasn’t until high school that she came into her own, embracing her roots and eventually allowing them to help guide her career choices.


Good Vibrations

The first game in the next University of Memphis college basketball season is still more than four months away. But what’s four months when you’ve been waiting four years, or maybe even longer, for Tiger basketball to feel whole again?

Jones Finds New Way to ‘Give My All’ to UT

They walked around the mall in a zombie-like trance, still trying to process what they’d just been told.

5 Questions to Ponder Before Titans’ Camp

In a little more than a month, the Titans will take the field for their first training camp under head coach Mike Vrabel.

Next Inning for Jason Motte? Teaching Players at U of M

With former St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte joining the University of Memphis baseball program as director of player development, a review is in order.


Rumor. Speculation. Gossip. Yes, there is all of that heading into the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 21, at the Barclays Center in New York. So take your pick from the following: The Memphis Grizzlies will hold on to their No. 4 overall pick. Or they will trade up. Or they will trade down.

Tiger Hoops Sees Boost In Season Ticket Sales

Mark Cockerell saw his fill of University of Memphis basketball last season – and admitted it wasn’t on his nickel. “Went to almost all the games with tickets I got at work,” said Cockerell, who works for FedEx. “There were always lots of unused tickets floating around.”

Bain Capital Buying Varsity Brands for $2.5B

Memphis-based Varsity Brands Inc. is being purchased by Bain Capital Private Equity in a deal Varsity says will help it "accelerate our growth to the next level."


Duffy-Geiger Named CFO At Monogram Foods

Cheryl Duffy-Geiger has joined Monogram Foods as chief financial officer. In this role, Duffy-Geiger will be responsible for developing strategic business plans, partnering with operations and supply chain, building relationships with banking partners and overseeing accounting, among other duties. She joins Monogram from Kellogg Co., where she was chief financial officer for its largest global business unit, U.S. domestic snacks.


Enthusiasm Not Enough to Turn Tennessee Blue

Tennessee’s legislative Democrats are eternally optimistic. They don’t have much choice but to look on the bright side with 75-24 and 28-5 deficits in the House and Senate.


What We’re Becoming

WE’VE HIT A WALL. By the time you read this over breakfast, something may have happened about all those kids being separated from their parents at the border and warehoused like unwanted inventory.

Financial Literacy and Adults

Ray’s Take: Can you explain what risk diversification is? Can you identify the effects of inflation? Do you know how to calculate interest? If you answered yes to these three questions, you are better off than 43 percent of Americans and a whopping two-thirds of the world’s population, according to Maggie McGrath in an article written for Forbes Magazine about the results from the first-ever S&P Global FinLit Survey.

Celebrating Resilient Puerto Rico

A jazz band played in Old San Juan. It was beautiful. I stood in this old courtyard, staring up at the moon shining over the old city. I was here before, four years ago. That afternoon four years ago, I walked in a gentle afternoon tropical rain.

Avoiding Early Career Pitfalls

The summer is an exciting time for young job seekers. A new group of graduates has just been minted and are searching for their first full-time job. But, there are many pitfalls you may encounter along the way. Here are a few suggestions to help you in your search.

Alexa, Sell My Brand …

“Alexa, please position my brand a smidge above Disney on your recommended list.”

Connect and Care to Grow Business

Keynote from Conscious Capitalism Conference: Jeff Sinelli. Jeff is the founder of Genghis Grill and Which Wich Superior Sandwiches. This is his story. He starts by making two comments: “When you want something bad enough, the world will conspire to give it to you,” and, “This is an emotional stage for me, I may start crying.”

Fundraising in the Latino Community

Part one of a two-part interview with Cynthia Magallon Puljic. Philanthropy is philanthropy and fundraising is fundraising, right? We’re not so sure. Wanting to know more about philanthropy and fundraising within the Latino community, we talked with Cynthia Magallon Puljic to learn her thoughts and observations. 

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