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VOL. 128 | NO. 94 | Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Daily Digest

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Owner Files $1.7 Million Loan on Arlington Center

The new owner of the 13,658-square-foot retail center at 9915 U.S. 64 in Arlington has filed a $1.7 million loan on the property.

HGG Investments LLC filed the deed of trust May 6 through First Citizens National Bank. The financing was in conjunction with HGG Investments obtaining the property in a quitclaim deed from Robert E. Harris, Beverley R. Harris, Becky J. Graybill and Andrew P.P. Golay.

All four signed both the quitclaim deed and the trust deed as members of HGG Investments, which shows a Brush Prairie, Wash., address.

Built in 2005, the Class A retail shopping center sits on 1.5 acres at the southeast corner of U.S. 64 and North Houston Levee Road.

The Shelby County Register of Deeds and the Shelby County Assessor of Property, whose 2013 appraisal is $2.1 million, list the property’s address as 9915 Highway 64.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

New ZeroTo510 Teams Chosen for 2013 Cohort

The ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator program has chosen the six new teams that will participate in the program’s 2013 cohort.

They include AIS Inc., a local team led by a biomedical engineering student from the University of Memphis. It’s building a leadless, single surgery GPS- and Bluetooth-enabled hybrid cardioverter defibrillator.

Better Walk is led by a team of biomedical engineering students from Georgia Tech that’s making a redesigned crutch that eliminates a common crutch complaint – the discomfort in the underarm due to axillary nerve damage.

Cuff-Gard is led by a nurse from West Memphis and has designed a disposable skin barrier to protect and extend the life of blood pressure machine cuffs.

Health and Bliss is led by a team from Baltimore and is attempting to revolutionize the way people detect strep throat by introducing a self-contained screening test.

Mobilizer has a device that’s modeled after a wheeled walker but includes shelves and attachments that help carry around other things like IV drips and oxygen tanks, and SurgiLight is led by a team that’s designed an LED light for use in surgeries.

The companies will go through a mentorship-driven, 12-week program of instruction and hands-on activities. Each company will get $50,000 in initial seed capital from co-investors Innova and MB Venture Partners.

The 12-week program will culminate in Demo Day on Aug. 8, when the participants will pitch to a group of investors. Finalists could receive as much as $100,000 in additional capital and the opportunity to further develop their businesses in Phase II of the program. And, there’s the potential for additional funding from investors.

– Andy Meek

Leadership Memphis Hosts Education Experts

Marjorie Cohen, senior associate for education with the National League of Cities, will be the featured speaker at the quarterly meeting of Memphis Talent Dividend this week.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 16, at the Leadership Memphis Gallery, 363 S. Main St.

Cohen is a leading education policy adviser for municipalities. Her work focuses on the importance of early childhood education as well as post-secondary education policy issues, and she’s currently involved in a national initiative on post-secondary success for low-income adults.

Also speaking will be Jose Cabrales and Margarita Benitez, representatives from Excelencia in Education, a policy group that advises municipal and institutional advocates of public policy that supports higher educational achievement, especially for Latino students, including college attainment.

– Andy Meek

Del-Nat Tire Volunteers Collect Discarded Tires

Del-Nat Tire Corp. hopes to turn an eyesore into things of beauty.

A volunteer team from the Memphis-based company on Saturday collected 832 discarded tires, which it plans to transform into living trees.

Del-Nat is donating $1 toward the purchase of trees for each tire collected during the cleanup effort, which took place around the 700 block of Peebles in South Memphis. The Memphis City Beautiful Commission and Shelby County government assisted in the effort, which Del-Nat called “Tires for Trees.”

“We feel this is a perfect way for Del-Nat to contribute to our community – helping to beautify our city, and combating a health hazard by eliminating places inside discarded tires where mosquitoes can breed,” said Jim Mayfield, president of Del-Nat, an independent provider of automobile, agriculture and commercial truck tires and tubes. “You could say we’re completing the cycle, from delivering new tires to properly disposing the used ones.”

The collected tires will be recycled by Pittsburgh-based Liberty Tire Recycling. The donated trees will be planted during the fall in areas selected by Memphis City Beautiful.

– Amos Maki

Mumford Sentenced in Teacher Exam Fraud

Clarence Mumford Sr., a one-time assistant principal in Memphis City Schools, was sentenced Monday, May 13, to seven years in prison for organizing and running a cheating ring on teacher tests.

Mumford was sentenced by Memphis federal Judge John Fowlkes following his guilty plea to 21 counts in the cheating scandal including conspiracy.

From 1995 to late 2011, Mumford helped teachers pass the PRAXIS exams required for certification in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi by having someone else take the exam for them.

The long-running scheme began to unravel when a proctor at one of the exam sites noticed someone who had taken the exam at an earlier session taking it again at a later session that same day.

The scheme involved more than 50 teachers in the three-state area who paid Mumford varying amounts of around $1,000 to $2,000 per test to have someone take the test in their name.

The seven-year sentence was within the sentencing guidelines recommended by pre-sentencing officials and accepted by all sides in the case.

However, Coleman Garrett, Mumford’s attorney, urged Fowlkes to go below the guidelines and give Mumford a two-year prison sentence. He cited Mumford’s poor health as well as that of his wife and his adult daughter, whom Mumford is also caring for.

Garrett also cited Mumford’s three decades as a teacher including being an assistant principal at Humes Middle School. He likened Mumford’s situation to that of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

Paterno was fired by the university following allegations of sexual assault and abuse by one of Paterno’s assistants that Paterno was told about but did not report to authorities.

Garrett argued in a filing before Monday’s sentencing hearing that like Paterno, Mumford “should not have his entire body of work defined by the allegations in the indictment in this case.”

– Bill Dries

Haslam Vetoes ‘Ag Gag’ Bill

Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday vetoed a bill that would require images documenting animal abuse be turned over to law enforcement within 48 hours, saying his main concern is its constitutionality.

State Attorney General Bob Cooper last week said in a legal opinion that the measure would be “constitutionally suspect” because it could violate Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination and for placing burdens on news collection.

Haslam said the opinion is among at least three reasons he’s vetoing the bill.

“First, the Attorney General says the law is constitutionally suspect,” the Republican governor said in a news release. “Second, it appears to repeal parts of Tennessee’s Shield Law without saying so. If that is the case, it should say so. Third, there are concerns from some district attorneys that the act actually makes it more difficult to prosecute animal cruelty cases, which would be an unintended consequence.”

A number of groups and celebrities have spoken out against the proposal they have dubbed the “ag gag” bill. They say the bill is designed to prevent whistleblowers from collecting evidence of ongoing patterns of abuse.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee was among the groups that lauded Haslam’s decision.

The veto is Haslam’s second since he took office in 2011.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396