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VOL. 128 | NO. 127 | Monday, July 1, 2013

Daily Digest

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Influence1 Foundation Buys Bishop Byrne

The Memphis-based Influence1 Foundation, best known for operating the City University charter schools, has paid $1.1 million for Bishop Byrne High School at 1475 E. Shelby Drive in Whitehaven.

The foundation bought the recently closed high school in a June 21 special warranty deed from The Catholic Diocese of Memphis, by and through the Rev. J. Terry Steib, the local diocese’s bishop.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property shows the school as being owned by the diocese’s former bishop, the Rev. Carroll T. Dozier.

Because the school has been run by the Catholic diocese and was exempt from property taxes, no dwelling details are available, but it does occupy 13.9 acres along the south side of East Shelby Drive between Elvis Presley Boulevard and Interstate 55.

Influence1 is “organized exclusively for purposes to include educational management, community engagement and economic development,” according to the organization’s website.

Details on the Influence1 Foundation’s plans for the property were not immediately known.

The Memphis Catholic Diocese announced in January it would close Bishop Byrne after the school year that just ended.

Memphis Catholic Schools superintendent Janet Donato announced the closing Jan. 24 while also announcing plans to attract many of the 170 students from Bishop Byrne to Memphis Catholic Middle and High School in Midtown.

Bishop Byrne opened as a grade 9-12 high school in 1965 when Whitehaven was still part of unincorporated Shelby County.

The high school grew to several hundred students as Whitehaven grew. The school also benefited from an early ‘70s consolidation of Catholic schools and racial integration efforts that incorporated students from the old Father Bertrand High School.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Wright Appointed Criminal Court Judge

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Memphis attorney Glenn Wright Criminal Court judge.

Haslam announced the appointment Friday, June 28, to fill the vacancy created by the February death of Judge Otis Higgs.

Wright ran for Criminal Court judge Division 3 in the August 2010 elections but lost to Bobby Carter.

He also considered a run for district attorney general in the 2011 Democratic primary but dropped out of the race before the filing deadline.

Wright has been an assistant district attorney as well as assistant public defender before going into private practice in 1992.

He is a graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and also earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis.

– Bill Dries

Daniels Promoted at Memphis Chamber

A personnel shift is underway at the Greater Memphis Chamber. Amy Daniels was recently promoted to senior vice president of communications, special events and member services for the Chamber.

Previously, she served as vice president of communications and programming.

Daniels has been with the Chamber for 17 years, working her way up to senior vice president.

In her new role, she will oversee the communications, special events and membership staff. Daniels will use her award-winning success and expertise to form a more streamlined strategy for all three teams. Daniels has worked to communicate the Chamber’s role in bringing jobs, investment and community development to Memphis, which includes being lead on the most recent annual Chairman’s Luncheons. Daniels has a Bachelor of Science degree in English literature and a minor in political science and French from Christian Brothers University.

– Amos Maki

American Medical Response to Provide EMS Services

Emergency medical services in Shelby County, Arlington, Lakeland and Millington will be provided by a new partnership between American Medical Response and Shelby County government beginning Monday, July 1.

American Medical Response has purchased $2.5 million in new ambulances through local dealers and also made significant investments in new technology like cardiac monitors and patient care monitoring systems to improve care.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Carter Malone Group CEO Wins BENNY Award

Deidre Malone, president and CEO of The Carter Malone Group LLC, has won a BENNY Award for the public relations agency she leads.

Malone, a sponsor of the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Memphis chapter, was recognized for her achievement by the Black Business Association of Memphis, which presented her with the Black Entrepreneurship Networking Needs You (BENNY) honor.

In 2003, Malone left her career as a marketing executive at ALSAC/St. Jude – the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – to launch her agency. She serves on the board of directors for the Memphis Housing Authority, Levitt Shell, Circles of Success Learning Academy, Philanthropic Black Women of Memphis and Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, and is a graduate of Leadership Memphis. She also served two terms on the Shelby County Commission.

– Andy Meek

First Lady Crissy Haslam Names New Chief of Staff

Tennessee first lady Crissy Haslam has named a new chief of staff.

Haslam’s office announced that current staffer Rachel Lundeen has been promoted to the top job following the departure of Christi Gibbs.

Gibbs has been hired as the executive director of next year’s National Governors Association meeting in Nashville.

Before joining the first lady’s office, Lundeen worked on Bill Haslam’s gubernatorial campaign and his transition team.

Lundeen said Thursday that she looks forward to working on the first lady’s and governor’s education initiatives and managing the governor’s mansion.

Lundeen holds a law degree and a master’s in public policy.

– The Associated Press

US Consumer Sentiment Stays Near 6-Year High

A measure of U.S. consumer confidence stayed near a six-year high in June as higher home prices boosted household wealth. The survey shows Americans remain upbeat about the economy, despite wild gyrations in the stock market.

The University of Michigan said Friday that its final reading of consumer sentiment in June was 84.1. That’s an improvement from a preliminary reading of 82.7 issued on June 14. And it is just slightly below May’s final reading of 84.5, which was the highest since July 2007.

Rising household wealth was the main reason consumers stayed optimistic. Households with income above $75,000, those more likely to own homes and stocks, reported the biggest gain.

Consumers’ confidence is closely watched because their spending accounts for 70 percent of economic growth.

The University of Michigan polls roughly 500 people throughout the month and issues two readings.

The slight improvement from the preliminary survey suggests consumers were unfazed by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s June 19 comments about the Fed’s bond purchases. Bernanke said the Fed could start to slow its bond buying by the end of the year and end it next year, if the economy continues to strengthen. The bond purchases have kept long-term interest rates low.

Stocks fell sharply in the days after Bernanke’s comments and interest rates jumped.

Americans seem to agree with the Fed’s view that the economy is slowly improving. A measure of their expectations for future growth rose to an eight-month high.

Employers have been adding jobs at stable pace, while the unemployment rate has slowly fallen to a still-high 7.6 percent. Higher home sales and prices have driven a steady housing recovery. And on Tuesday the Conference Board said the improved job market helped lift its survey of consumer confidence to the highest level in 5 1/2 years, a point echoed by Friday’s Michigan consumer sentiment survey.

The survey also found that rising mortgage rates and home prices may be spurring more Americans to buy homes. The proportion of Americans who said it is a good time to buy because rates and prices will be higher in the future reached post-recession highs this month.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 76 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 83 131 1,047
BUILDING PERMITS 190 277 3,028