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VOL. 129 | NO. 29 | Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Daily Digest

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Orpheum Files Permit for Performing Arts Center

The Orpheum Theatre Memphis has filed a $10.2 million permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for its Centre for Performing Arts.

The $14.5 million, two-story facility, which will offer advanced performing arts education programs, will rise at 225 S. Main St., adjacent to the Orpheum Theatre Downtown.

Grinder, Taber & Grinder Inc. is listed as general contractor. The Crump Firm is architect for the project, whose original plans called for a three-story, 50,000-square-foot facility to help alleviate The Orpheum’s overcrowding while also offering a variety of programs.

The Orpheum’s campus expansion was “re-energized” early last year due to an unanticipated lack of donor dollars.

The Memphis Development Foundation, the organization that operates The Orpheum, in May 2012 closed on its $1.2 million purchase of the 0.87-acre parking lot immediately to the south of the 85-year-old theater at 203 S. Main St. from Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Daily News staff

Overton Square Lands New Restaurant

A new farm-to-table burger restaurant is slated to open in Overton Square in May.

The restaurant by Ben McLean, which is called Belly Acres, will occupy 3,894 square feet at 202 Trimble Place in Overton Square, on the east side of the new Tower Courtyard with a patio overlooking the area.

McLean, who has previously worked with Huey’s, Soul Fish and Alchemy, is also assisting in the opening of Lettuce Eat in Germantown.

Belly Acres will source ingredients locally and offer a wide range of burger options, from carnivorous fare to vegetarian and gluten-free items. McLean plans to work with at least three local farms to provide the restaurant’s ingredient supply.

He said Belly Acres will have a funky vibe attractive to children and adults.

Barry Maynard of Trezevant Realty Corp. represented the tenant in the transaction.

– Amos Maki

Memphis Child Advocacy Center Names New Director

Virginia Stallworth has been named executive director of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. She succeeds Nancy Williams, who held the post for 20 years.

Stallworth had been the agency’s associate director and managed the organization’s development activities. She directed multiple fundraising campaigns.

In 2011, Stallworth played a lead role in a child sexual prevention initiative.

– Don Wade

Joyful Heart Foundation to Help With Rape Kit Backlog

Leaders of the Joyful Heart Foundation were in Memphis Tuesday, Feb. 11, to talk with Memphis City Council members and plan to announce Wednesday their involvement in helping the city clear a backlog of 12,000 rape kits of DNA evidence taken from rape and sexual assault victims.

The organization was founded in 2004 by actress Mariska Hargitay to help survivors of sexual assault heal.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong last year revealed the 30-year backlog of rape kits, which are now being tested and processed in groups of 400.

Meanwhile, the city has been sued in federal court by a rape victim whose kit is among those in the backlog. The lawsuit, filed in December in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, alleges violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. It also alleges that Memphis police didn’t process the rape kits because they didn’t regard the crime as a priority.

The city’s only response so far has been a Dec. 31 motion to dismiss the lawsuit, citing the one-year statute of limitations of pursuing personal injury claims.

– Bill Dries

UTHSC Appoints Chair of Radiation Oncology

Dr. Matthew T. Ballo has been named chair of the newly formed Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Ballo, previously a professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, began his duties in January.

Ballo has published 66 peer-reviewed research articles. He is member of the editorial review board and guest editor of Breast Diseases: a Yearbook Quarterly.

– Don Wade

Lady Tigers Offering Free Entry for Wearing Pink

The University of Memphis women’s basketball team and the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals will square off in a Play 4Kay pink game for breast care awareness Sunday, Feb. 16, at 2:30 p.m.

Fans wearing pink will receive free admission to the game, which will be held in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Tickets are also available to guarantee fans a reserved seat.

The first 1,500 fans will receive a free T-shirt and pink pompoms. Outside the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, a pink fire truck in support of breast cancer awareness through Pink Heals Memphis/Mid-South) will be parked on campus. At halftime, the Tigers will recognize all breast cancer survivors in attendance.

The game will air on ESPNU as part of its coverage of the Play 4Kay women’s basketball initiative.

– Don Wade

Verizon Wireless Taps New Regional President

Verizon Wireless has named Kristi Crum as the new president of its South Central Region, which includes West Tennessee and North Mississippi.

She’ll be responsible for strategic development and growth of the region’s business, retail, indirect, finance and operations functions.

She began her career in the wireless industry in 2001 as an analyst with Alltel, which Verizon Wireless acquired in 2009. Since then, she’s served in leadership positions in emerging communication products, consumer data products and retail sales for Verizon Wireless.

– Andy Meek

Tennessee Below National Average in AP Scoring

A new report shows over the last decade more students are taking Advanced Placement courses in Tennessee.

But the College Board report released on Tuesday shows the state is below the national average of students in the class of 2013 who scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam. The national average was 20 percent, where Tennessee was 10 percent.

A 3, 4, or 5 are the scores typically accepted by colleges for credit and placement.

Over the past decade, the report said the number of students who graduate from high school having taken rigorous AP courses, like world history and physics, has nearly doubled.

The report also showed the improvement states have made over the last decade in students scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam. Tennessee went from 7.7 percent in 2003 to 10.1 last year.

– The Associated Press

Wholesale Stockpiles Rise 0.3 Percent in December

U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in December at the slowest pace since last summer, another sign that the economy lost some momentum at the end of 2013.

Wholesalers boosted stockpiles by 0.3 percent in December from November, the smallest gain since July, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Sales growth slowed to 0.5 percent December after healthy gains of 1 percent in November and 1.1 percent in October.

Rising stockpiles boost economic growth because they reflect expanding production at factories. Bigger inventories accounted for more than 40 percent of economic growth in the July through September period last year when gross domestic product increased at a robust 4.1 percent annual pace.

The surge in stockpiles slowed in the last three months of 2013, and overall growth fell back to a still-healthy 3.2 percent.

After the December increase, inventories at the wholesale level stood at a seasonally adjusted $517.9 billion, up 4 percent from a year earlier.

The government tracks inventories held by wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers. A report covering all inventory levels comes out Thursday.

At the wholesale level, inventories of computer equipment rose by 5.3 percent after a healthy 3.6 percent gain in November. Automotive stockpiles rose 0.6 percent after dropping in November. Overall, inventories of long-lasting durable goods rose 1.3 percent in December. But non-durable goods stockpiles fell 1.3 percent, pulled down by a 5.2 percent drop in inventories of farm products.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 157 157 10,093
MORTGAGES 161 161 11,107
BUILDING PERMITS 229 229 22,402
BANKRUPTCIES 54 54 6,365