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VOL. 127 | NO. 24 | Monday, February 6, 2012

Daily Digest

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$4M Permit Application Filed for Soulsville Charter School

The Soulsville Foundation has filed a $4 million building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for a 15,000-square-foot, one-story, multipurpose building for The Soulsville Charter School.

The building is the school's final one and the school is still raising money for its construction, said Tim Sampson, Soulsville Foundation's director of communications.

The Soulsville Charter School is a tuition-free public charter school on College Street near the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in the Soulsville, USA, neighborhood. It opened in 2005 with 60 middle-school students and added one grade a year, now serving 480 students.

The school celebrated its 10th anniversary in September and two months later announced it had received a $42,500 grant from the Comcast Foundation to build a media lab with computers, lab tables and power wires.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

ServiceMaster to Hire 6,700 for Peak Season

The ServiceMaster Co. plans to hire 6,700 new and seasonal field employees across the country in anticipation of the Memphis-based service provider’s peak season.

Most of the jobs will be in field operations and customer call centers for Terminix, TruGreen and American Home Shield. The call centers are based in Memphis, Tampa, Fla., Dallas, Atlanta and Caroll, Iowa.

Earlier this month, ServiceMaster announced it was hiring more than 700 new employees. The latest jobs announcement includes those 700 positions.

ServiceMaster is taking applications at www.servicemaster.com and the applications are divided by brand, location and function.

– Bill Dries

CBU Event Series Honors Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, Christian Brothers University Thursday, Feb. 16, will host “Race and Politics in America” with political analysts Ben Ferguson and Joseph Kyles.

The free event is open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Spain Auditorium on the CBU campus, 650 East Parkway S.

Ferguson has appeared on shows such as “Larry King Live” and “The O’Reilly Factor,” and is a current contributor to Memphis’ Fox 13 News.

Kyles serves as executive producer and host of the Memphis-based weekly community talk radio show “Rainbow Push Live” on WLOK-AM 1340. He regularly contributes commentaries on matters of policy, public concerns and politics for Fox 13.

Other Black History Month events at CBU include a showing of “The Help” on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. in Spain Auditorium; Black History Trivia Night on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in Maurelian Lounge; and Tribute to Black History Month, in which the CBU community and guests commemorate black history through music, on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. in the University Theater.

CBU will also host “The Underground Railroad: Would You Break the Law in the Name of Justice?” a panel discussion of CBU faculty, staff and students facilitated by Dr. Herbert Lester of the Southern Leadership Conference, on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 12:15 p.m. in Sabbatini Lounge.

– Aisling Maki

Indie Memphis Film Festival Announces Dates, New Venue

The Indie Memphis Film Festival has announced the dates for this year’s festival, as well as the addition of a new venue at which to show films.

The festival, which marks its 15th anniversary this year, will run from Nov. 1 to Nov. 4. The Circuit Playhouse joins festival venues that include Playhouse on the Square, Malco’s Studio on the Square and the Dorothy K. Hohenberg Auditorium at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

Memphis-based investment banking firm Duncan-Williams Inc. returns this year as presenting sponsor of the festival. This year’s follows a stellar 2011 for the festival: It set a new record of 8,000 attendees, welcomed Duncan-Williams as presenting sponsor, won a second $10,000 festival grant from the Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In addition, two of its films capturee Oscar nominations.

– Andy Meek

YMCA Announces Board Members

YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South has installed its 2012 metropolitan board of directors.

Sandra Bailey of Methodist Extended Care Hospital will serve as board chair; Ted Ferris of the Greater Memphis Chamber will serve as secretary; and Perry Green of Waddell and Associates Inc. will serve as treasurer.

The board also includes Amy Weirich, Mauricio Calvo, Paul Jordan, Stuart Chamblin III, Rudy S. Walker, Kim Hackney, Tony Bologna, Roscoe Bufkin, J. Dabney Collier III, Charles Burnett, Erin Carter, Clay Cox, Chris Ford, Leigh Fox, Perry Green, Terry Grigsby, Monice Hagler, Chad Harris, Chris Heckler, Chris Henderson, Boomer Leopold, Kathy Mooney, Christine Munson, Trena Packer Street, Michael Rixter, James H. Stock Jr. and Cary Vaughn.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Peabody Hotel Gets New 'Duckmaster'

The Peabody hotel has a new “duckmaster” to lead the five North American mallards on their daily trek at the hotel.

Twenty-five-year-old Anthony Petrina succeeds Jason Sensat, who left to join the ministry full time.

Petrina, who had worked at the hotel’s Capriccio Grill since 2010, will escort the ducks at 11 a.m. from their rooftop home to a marble fountain at the center of the hotel’s grand lobby, then lead them back at 5 p.m. He also will be responsible for the care and well-being of the ducks.

The daily march has been a tradition at the 464-room luxury hotel for more than 70 years.

– The Associated Press

Obama Pushes for Veterans Jobs Programs

In an effort to cut the unemployment rate among veterans, President Barack Obama is calling for a new conservation program that would put veterans to work rebuilding trails, roads and levees on public lands.

The president also will seek more grant money for programs that allow local communities to hire more police officers and firefighters.

The efforts, which Obama first announced in his State of the Union address last week, are particularly geared to those veterans who served after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a group experiencing an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, versus 8.7 percent for non-veterans, according to the government’s jobs report for January.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the Civilian Conservation Corps that operated during the 1930s could be viewed as a model for what the administration will try to accomplish through its “Veterans Jobs Corps.” He said that the administration will propose spending $1 billion over five years that would be used to put an estimated 20,000 veterans to work restoring habitat and eradicating invasive species, among other activities.

Communities that hire veterans to work as police and firefighters will be given preference in the grants competition. Obama will also seek to increase spending for the grants programs. He is proposing an additional $4 billion for the Community Oriented Policing Services program, or COPS. He will propose an additional $1 billion for the firefighter grants.

The administration will also propose a training program designed to help veterans wanting to start their own small businesses.

– The Associated Press

Unemployment Drops After Jan. Hiring Burst

In the most impressive surge for the job market since early last year, the United States added 243,000 jobs in January, far more than economists expected. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest in three years.

Hiring accelerated across the economy and up and down the pay scale. The high-salary professional services industry added 70,000 jobs, the most in 10 months. Manufacturing added 50,000, the most in a year.

The 243,000 jobs added far exceeded the estimate by economists of 155,000, according to FactSet, a provider of financial data. Other economist estimates were even lower.

It was the most jobs created since April of last year, when 251,000 jobs were created.

– The Associated Press

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