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VOL. 129 | NO. 144 | Friday, July 25, 2014

Daily Digest

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D. Canale Affiliate Buys Property for Distillery

An affiliate of D. Canale & Co. has bought the Downtown property where it will develop a spirits distillery and public tasting room.

Dominick Properties LLC, which is related to the longtime Memphis food and beverage wholesaler D. Canale, paid $785,000 for the 54,297-square-foot warehouse at 301 S. Front St. from 301 South Front Street GP.

The sale closed July 10, but the Shelby County Register of Deeds didn’t process the warranty deed until this week.

Dubbed the Old Dominick Distillery, the property will be used as the production and bottling facility for a portfolio of ultra-premium distilled spirits. The distillery will begin operating late next summer and will be open to the public in fall 2015, as The Daily News has previously reported.

Built in 1920, the warehouse D. Canale bought sits on slightly more than an acre along the west side of South Front Street between Pontotoc and Vance avenues. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $670,900.

The project will require 20 to 35 full- and part-time employees. The distillery and tasting room facility is being designed by LRK Inc. and built by Archer Custom Builders. Thoroughbred Spirits Group has been retained as the company’s spirits consultant.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Proposal Surfaces for Ashlar Hall

Ashlar Hall could get new life as a help center for military veterans, according to a recent report.

A team that includes Jerome Hardaway, owner and operator of Frago, a nonprofit startup that takes an active approach to veteran transition, is exploring turning the vacant Midtown mansion into a facility offering veteran-based transition classes, according to a post at Choose 901.

Hardaway and others are hosting a clean-up effort at Ashlar Hall Saturday, July 26, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Multiple organizations have expressed interest in redeveloping Ashlar Hall, the stately but decaying mansion at 1397 Central Ave.

The nonprofit Urban Renaissance Initiative, whose founder, Ken Medlin, acquired the property rights from Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges in 2013, has expressed interest in turning it into a facility to help military veterans. In May, the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention said it was dropping plans to use Ashlar Hall as a center for the arts, citing disagreements with Medlin.

Ashlar Hall, which was built in 1897 and served as the home of real estate developer Robert Brinkley Snowden, has turned into a dilapidated eyesore.

The city of Memphis and Environmental Court have been working to find a new owner that could make the repairs necessary to bring the 11,114-square-foot building into compliance.

– Amos Maki

Heritage Trail Project Receives Arts Grant

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a $150,000 grant to the city’s Heritage Trail project for planning, design and public art.

Heritage Trail is the city’s ambitious project to redevelop a large area south of FedExForum and into South Memphis. It includes the proposed demolition of Foote Homes, the last of the city’s large public housing developments.

The city’s application for federal funding for that part of the project didn’t make the final cut earlier this year. And the city has been reworking its financing plan for the project as well.

The arts grant announced Thursday, July 24, by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, is from the Our Town grant program. It is to be used to develop landmarks within the Heritage Trail area, including Mason Temple Church of God In Christ, the South Memphis church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his last speech.

– Bill Dries

Shelby County Honored for Employee Health

Shelby County’s government has been named a recipient of the Healthier Tennessee Workplace Award.

Healthier Tennessee is a nonprofit associated with Gov. Bill Haslam’s office. The agency promotes healthy workplace conditions at businesses across the state.

Shelby County was specifically recognized for the creation of the Total Health Wellness initiative, a program focusing on employee lifestyles and health habits.

During the past several months, government employees have participated in 5K races, volleyball games, various running and walking events, attended cooking classes promoting healthier preparation of foods and have had healthier food choices at government facilities.

Shelby County government will receive a certificate of recognition from Haslam and will be featured in Healthier Tennessee promotions to encourage more businesses to participate.

– The Associated Press

Memphis Athletics Director Named to NCAA Council

University of Memphis athletics director Tom Bowen has been appointed to the NCAA Division I Leadership Council.

Bowen was voted to represent the American Athletic Conference on the council by his fellow athletic directors from the conference.

Bowen, who has been athletics director for two years at Memphis, also sits on the College Football Playoff organization’s Athletic Directors Advisory Council.

The NCAA Leadership Council is composed of athletics directors, faculty athletic representatives and conference commissioners from every Division I conference. It serves as an advisory body to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.

The council, which meets four times a year, identifies and examines the structure and governance of the NCAA and helps form the agenda for future legislative actions. The group also oversees a number of NCAA committees, including the Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee, the Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Committee, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Committee on Women’s Athletics and all NCAA cabinets.

– Don Wade

Tunica Roadhouse Announces New Concert Dates

Tunica Roadhouse Casino & Hotel has announced two new dates for its free concert series.

The second in the series, featuring the band Cowboy Mouth, will take place on Aug. 2. The third, featuring FireHouse, will take place on Sept. 6.

Fuel was the first band in the concert series and performed on July 5.

Tunica Roadhouse announced the launch of the concert series a few weeks ago, at the same time it announced the giveaway of a jet ski every Saturday in July.

– Andy Meek

Tennesseans to Share $10 Million in Refunds

More than 336,000 Tennessee residents will split $10 million in refunds from health insurance companies because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

The Tennessean reported the refunds will average $53 per family and came about because of the medical loss ratio rule in the law. That provision requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of insurance premiums on patient care and quality improvement efforts. The refunds are for premiums paid in 2013.

For 2012, refunds to Tennesseans totaled $5.6 million.

The actual total for refunds in Tennessee is $10,037,932.

“The 80/20 rule is bringing transparency and competition to the insurance market, ensuring that consumers are continuing to receive value for their premium dollars,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

– The Associated Press

Mississippi Sales Tax Holiday Starts Friday

Mississippi merchants and shoppers are gearing up for the fifth annual back-to-school sales tax holiday.

Mississippi’s sales tax holiday starts Friday, July 25, at 12:01 a.m. and ends Saturday, July 26, at midnight. For retailers, it is one of their busiest times of the year.

As in previous years, shoppers can save 7 percent on certain clothes and shoes that cost $100 or less per item. While individual items can’t cost more than $100 each to qualify for the tax break, shoppers have no limits on how much they can spend

Qualified items include clothes, coats and shoes that aren’t for special activities.

School supplies, book bags, most accessories and computers aren’t included in the annual tax holiday.

Accessories such as jewelry, handbags, wallets, watches, backpacks, and similar items do not qualify.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 128 339 21,916
MORTGAGES 76 240 16,657
BANKRUPTCIES 36 136 6,853