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VOL. 126 | NO. 128 | Friday, July 1, 2011

Daily Digest

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Goodwill Files $1.2M Permit to Overhaul Stage Store

Goodwill Memphis Inc. has filed a $1.2 million permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for its store at 6899 U.S. 64 in Bartlett (also known as 6899 Stage Road).

The description of planned work include a new façade, interior finish upgrades, a new workshop area, additional dock doors, a upgrade to landscaping and parking lot resurfacing.

Chris Woods Construction Co. Inc. is listed as the contractor on the permit; no architect is listed. A call to Memphis Goodwill Industries was not immediately returned.

Memphis Goodwill Industries was the recipient of a two-part $300,000 grant from The Plough Foundation to support Goodwill’s Community Workforce program, which provides vocational training to individuals with disabilities and other obstacles to employment.

The second half of the grant was awarded in June.

Also, Memphis Goodwill on June 23 announced it is participating in the Dell Reconnect Program, a drop-off program for consumers who want to recycle any brand of unwanted computer equipment.

Memphis Goodwill’s territory includes six counties surrounding Memphis, plus five in Arkansas and 17 in Mississippi.

In 2010, Memphis Goodwill’s store at 6899 Stage Road generated more than $3 million in sales, placing it in the top 5 percent of all Goodwill stores across the country.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

City Layoffs Begin as Part of Budget Cuts

The city of Memphis has begun notifying 125 city employees who will be laid off during the first month of the fiscal year that begins Friday, July 1.

The Wharton administration had set the number of employees who would lose their jobs at 125 early in budget deliberations by the city council.

A $5,000 death benefit for the spouses of city employees is also cancelled with the start of the new fiscal year.

And the city still plans to make 12 paid holidays unpaid furlough days for city employees that amount to a 4.6 percent pay cut.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. had been talking with leaders of the Memphis Firefighters Association about an alternative to the furloughs for firefighters.

Wharton said he was willing to talk with other union leaders as well about alternative measures that would produce the same amount of savings without the unpaid days.

– Bill Dries

Thomas Seeks No. 2 County Commission Post

Shelby County Commissioner Chris Thomas is running for the No. 2 position on the commission, chairman pro tempore.

Commissioners will pick a chairman and chairman pro tempore to begin a one-year term in September.

Current chairman Sidney Chism is seeking another one-year term, and commissioner Mike Carpenter, who is now chairman pro tempore, is also running for chairman.

Commissioner Henri Brooks has already indicated she will run for chairman pro tempore.

In recent years, the commission has made a practice of rotating the chairmanship with the chairman pro tempore considered to be next in line for the job.

It’s not a requirement nor a written rule.

Commissioner Deidre Malone went for a second term as chairman in late 2009 but lost the bid to then-chairman pro tempore Joyce Avery.

Avery went on to serve as interim Shelby County Mayor in A C Wharton Jr.’s transition from county mayor to city mayor.

– Bill Dries

Yarnell's Ceases Operations Throughout Mid-South

Yarnell’s Premium Ice Cream ceased operations Thursday, June 30, after the company’s board of directors voted Wednesday, June 29, to end production indefinitely.

The privately owned, Searcy, Ark.-based company told its 200 employees Thursday the employees would be paid through every day worked but not beyond that.

“This has been an extremely tough year for the ice cream industry in general, and particularly to regional, independent manufacturers like ourselves,” Yarnell’s CEO Christina Yarnell said in a release. “We have examined many possible avenues to keep the company afloat – actively marketing the company to investors and strategic buyers – the majority of whom are undergoing the same financial distress we are. However, we’ve been unable to obtain additional financing from our lenders or locate a buyer, and have come to the difficult decision that the appropriate course of action is to shut our doors.”

Yarnell’s was founded in 1932 by Christina’s great-grandfather, Ray, and has involved four generations of the Yarnell family.

About 75 percent of Yarnell’s employees work at the Searcy headquarters, with the rest of the employee base located through the state and in Tennessee and Mississippi. A small team will remain working for the company to finalize operations, with completion expected by Aug. 27.

Sales of ice cream and related products have steadily declined over the past five years across the U.S.

To compensate for declining ice cream sales, larger manufacturers continue to jockey for retailers’ shelf space through price competition. This, along with steadily increasing commodity prices (cream, sugar, fuel, etc.) has resulted in significant financial damage to regional ice cream manufacturers such as Yarnell’s.

– Sarah Baker

Diocese's Autism Program Celebrates Milestone

The ANGEL Program, which serves children diagnosed with autism, is celebrating its first year at Holy Rosary Catholic School, 4841 Park Ave. in East Memphis.

The ANGEL program, which stands for Autism Intervention and Guidance for Early Learners, serves students ages 3 to 7 through a variety of structured intervention approaches to address the range of needs unique to children with autism.

The program’s goal is to successfully include children with autism in mainstream classroom settings. The hope is that by the time students reach kindergarten age, they’ll be able to transition to their school of choice.

In the past few years, the Catholic Diocese of Memphis has experienced a growing need to serve children with autism. After much planning and an attempt to implement the program on a diocesan level, Memphis Catholic Schools superintendent Dr. Mary McDonald asked Holy Rosary to take on the task of bringing the ANGEL program to life.

The program is led by Jessica Carnell, who has more than seven years of experience as an intensive applied behavior analysis therapist working in home, community and school settings with young children diagnosed with autism.

Carnell holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Memphis and is now completing her master’s degree in special education/applied behavior analysis, working toward becoming a board-certified behavior analyst.

To learn more about the ANGEL program, e-mail jessica.carnell@hr.cdom.org.

– Aisling Maki

Malco Theatres Announces Deals

Malco Theatres has announced a few major promotions involving 3-D films as well as the popular Harry Potter franchise.

The locally owned and operated theater chain is reducing the price of tickets to 3-D movies for the summer.

Now, they’ll cost the same as a regular movie plus $1, instead of the larger surcharge it has previously cost to see 3-D films at Malco.

That will be just in time for a major 3-D release coming later this month: “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.”

Speaking of Harry Potter, Malco is also offering a deal timed with the release of the final movie in the “Harry Potter” series.

Tickets will go on sale soon for a Harry Potter Film Fest Marathon starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 14, the day before the new film is released. Malco patrons will be able to watch all seven “Harry Potter” films back-to-back for virtually 24 hours of all things Potter.

Malco said Thursday morning that details on that marathon are coming soon. Check www.malco.com, or the company’s Facebook page or Twitter feed for more information.

– Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 28 290 16,197
MORTGAGES 33 165 10,087
BUILDING PERMITS 184 608 38,544
BANKRUPTCIES 33 125 7,597