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VOL. 129 | NO. 153 | Thursday, August 7, 2014

Daily Digest

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Madonna Learning Center Files $3.5 Million Loan

Madonna Learning Center, a school for children and young adults with special needs, has filed a $3.5 million loan on its 7007 Poplar Ave. location in Germantown, which is undergoing an expansion.

The organization filed the deed of trust, assignment of rents and leases, security agreement and fixture filing July 24 through First Tennessee Bank NA.

John Mattingly signed the deed as board member of Madonna Learning Center, which “provides a nurturing faith-based educational and social environment that empowers young and adult students with special needs to reach their full potential while offering support to their families,” according to its website.

Built in 1964, the 1,974-square-foot facility sits on 4.7 acres along the south side of Poplar Avenue between Kirby Parkway and New Riverdale Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $1.5 million.

Madonna Learning Center held a groundbreaking ceremony in May to celebrate the start of construction and renovation to buildings and facilities on its campus. The ceremony officially launched the public phase of the school’s $10 million capital campaign, called “Transforming Lives. Building a Brighter Future. The Campaign for Madonna Learning Center.”

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Wright Medical Sees Second-Quarter Loss

Though Wright Medical Group’s sales increased for the second straight quarter, the company reported a net loss of $53.6 million, or $1.08 per share, in the second quarter.

That compares with a loss of $15.5 million, or 34 cents per share, during the second quarter of 2013.

For 2014, the company’s total net loss is now more than $83.8 million.

The second quarter of 2014 did, however, bring a 19 percent increase in sales, which totaled $72.4 million. For the year, sales stand at $143.4 million.

After selling off its knee and hip divisions in 2013, Wright Medical has focused this year on foot and ankle products, including its new Infinity ankle.

Wright Medical CEO Robert Palmisano said in a statement that the company is confident there will be a strong acceleration in the second half of the year.

– Don Wade

Overton Square Parking Permit Trial Approved

Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Aug. 5, approved a residential parking permit zone in the Overton Square area on a one-year trial basis. The trial program is a way of resolving parking problems that have come with the revitalization of the Overton Square area. Some homeowners have complained that they can’t park near their homes because of the side street traffic, specifically around Restaurant Iris and Second Line on Monroe Avenue.

The ordinance approved Tuesday allows 75 percent of the homeowners on a street to petition the council for permits that would allow only them to park on their street. If the council approves, the designation comes with signs marking the area for permit parking only. The permits would cost $50 each, although the council could waive the fee.

Kelly English, owner of Restaurant Iris and Second Line, opposes the permits, saying it could hurt his business. But the council heard from numerous homeowners on Monroe by the restaurants who favored the proposal.

In other action, the council approved a special use permit for the Exchange Building on Court Square that would convert the apartment building to a gradual blend of apartments and hotel rooms.

The council also appropriated $750,000 for renovations to the Pink Palace Planetarium and $104,000 for improvements to Denver Park in Frayser.

– Bill Dries

American Snuff Certified for Sustainability

American Snuff Co. has been awarded the Tennessee Green Star Partnership Three-Star Certification, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s highest award for sustainable business practices.

American Snuff Co. is the first Memphis-based company and only the 13th in the state to hold the award. The Tennessee Green Star Partnership is TDEC’s environmental leadership program and seeks to recognize organizations that are committed to sustainable practices and continuous improvement throughout their entire operation.

ASC Memphis is the second Reynolds American subsidiary to receive state-level recognition for their outstanding sustainability efforts.

– Andy Meek

PILOT Incentives Go Before City Council

The incentives used to attract companies to the city and county or retain existing jobs got a hearing before a Memphis City Council committee Tuesday, Aug. 5.

In the ultra-competitive world of economic development, incentives can tip the scales in favor of Memphis and Shelby County, said Reid Dulburger, president and CEO of the city-county Economic Development and Growth Engine.

The payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive program has come under fire for years from critics who contend it is corporate welfare that erodes the local tax base.

But Dulburger said the PILOT program helps the city and county overcome obstacles, such as the highest combined tax rate in the state.

“When it comes down to the eleventh hour, we try to use our incentives to overcome these shortcomings,” Dulburger said. “The most important card we have to play is the PILOT.”

The debate over incentives exploded after the City Council voted in June to slash some benefits to city workers and retirees, igniting a backlash of criticism over the PILOT program and other incentives.

The PILOT program works by abating taxes – 85 percent on the city side this year, before dropping to 75 percent in 2016, and 75 percent on the county side – for real and personal property improvements. Companies pay the full amount of taxes on the pre-developed land.

Critics have claimed that companies who don’t live up to their promises regarding job creation and capital investment levels face no penalties. But Dulburger said 15 companies have had their PILOTs terminated and 22 companies have had their PILOT term reduced.

The council committee took no action Tuesday. Another hearing is scheduled for Aug. 19.

– Amos Maki

Southern Airways Plans SEC Football Flights

Southern Airways has released its schedule for the 2014 season of SEC football flights, concentrated around the games of five key teams within Southern’s standard route map.

The schedule includes five University of Alabama games, 10 Auburn University games, all 12 University of Mississippi games, four University of Arkansas games and four University of Florida games.

In addition, starting in October, Southern will resume nonstop flights between Memphis (Olive Branch) and Knoxville, ideal for University of Tennessee home games.

Southern’s SEC flights will depart from three primary locations: Destin, Fla.; Memphis (Olive

Branch); and Oxford, Miss. Most game-day flights arrive two hours before kickoff and depart 2 hours after the end of the game.

Game-day flights must be booked via Southern’s call center, open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 800-329-0485. All SEC charter fares are round-trip and begin at $298 per person for certain games. Visit iFlySouthern.com/Packages/Sports for more information.

– Don Wade

Street Basketball Qualifier Coming to Memphis

A one-on-one street basketball tournament is coming to Halle Park for the 2014 Red Bull King of the Rock USA Qualifier.

The Memphis qualifier will follow one-on-one street basketball rules in a single-elimination tournament. Only two- and three-pointers count in each five-minute game, while five fouls equal an automatic loss. The competition is open to amateurs and pros alike; however, players must be at least 16 years old to participate. Registration is first come, first served.

The Memphis qualifier first-place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a paid trip to the Red Bull King of the Rock World Finals to be held Sept. 6 in the prison exercise yards of Samasana Island, Taiwan.

Registration for the Memphis qualifier begins at noon, and games begin at 1 p.m. There is no registration fee. The event takes place at Halle Park – The Precinct, at 2634 Mt. Moriah Road.

– Don Wade

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