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VOL. 7 | NO. 42 | Saturday, October 11, 2014

Daily Digest

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Local Girl Scouts to Pilot STEM Program

Girl Scouts Heart of the South was selected as one of five councils in the country to pilot a national program and has received a $20,000 grant from Girl Scouts of the USA and Techbridge to introduce girls to the wonders of engineering and science.

“Engineer Your Journey,” funded by Noyce Foundation, engages girls in hands-on, fun, learning-by-doing activities that increase their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, grow their confidence in their STEM abilities, and build their leadership and STEM skills.

“Engineer Your Journey” provides age-appropriate activities about STEM careers and corresponds with the Girl Scout Journey curriculum for girls in grades 4-5, 9-10 and 11-12. The grant will provide hands-on activity kits, books and resources for 100 girls in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and eastern Arkansas. Girls who complete the program will have the opportunity to visit local attractions to see how engineering is in action in their everyday lives.

“Engineer Your Journey” is open to Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts. Anyone interested in introducing engineering to girls through this program may contact Lori Gilmore at EYJ@girlscoutshs.org.

CTI Flight School Wins FAA Approval

The Federal Aviation Administration has granted approval for CTI Professional Flight Training’s Millington satellite location to offer a structured Part 141 flight training syllabus to its students.

CTI Professional Flight Training has been training professional pilots at its Fort Lauderdale, Fla., location for more than 25 years and recently expanded its operation to a base at Millington Regional Jetport.

“The Millington location offers many opportunities for flight training that are not available at most schools, including near 24-hour controlled tower operations, a variety of approaches, and most importantly, room to grow into a full campus-style training experience,” said Alan Mullen, president and CEO of CTI Professional Flight Training, in a statement.

CTI Professional Flight Training has already begun accepting delivery on 20 new fully equipped training aircraft and has broken ground on a complete renovation of one of the airport’s existing historic hangars. Upcoming plans also include onsite dorms, dining and recreation facilities.

For more information, visit ctipft.com.

Woods to Head Workforce Investment Network

Shelby County Schools board member Kevin Woods is the new director of the Workforce Investment Network for the Memphis area.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced Woods’ appointment Monday, Oct. 6.

Woods has been director of career development and education services at New Horizons Computer Learning Center. His one-year term as chairman of the Shelby County Schools board ended this month, and he continues to serve on the nine-member board.

Woods succeeds Naomi Earp, who became WIN director in May of 2013.

The program is fueled by federal funding that is passed through state government to the local level. The Memphis WIN office oversees and funds workforce training and retraining programs in Shelby and Fayette counties.

Brook Chase Apartments Sells for $31.1 million

The 280-unit Brook Chase Apartments community in Germantown has been sold for $31.1 million.

Brook Chase Apartments Partnership LLC, an affiliate of Germantown-based Sentinel Real Estate Corp., sold the complex to G & I VIII Brook Chase LLC, an affiliate of New York City-based DRA Advisors LLC, according to an Oct. 3 special warranty deed. G & I VIII Brook Chase LLC also filed a $22.1 million loan with CBRE Capital

Located at 7865 Grove Court West, near Germantown Road and Wolf River Boulevard, the community was built by Schaedle Worthington in two phases from 1993 - 1995. The community consists of 39 two-story buildings and a clubhouse situated on 46.5 acres of land. The apartment buildings total 308,488 net rentable square feet, with an average unit size of 1,102 square feet. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal for the community is $24.1 million.

Germantown Collection Sells for $13 Million

Germantown Collection, a 55,373-square-foot retail center at 7820 Poplar Ave., sold for $13 million on Oct. 3 to Germantown Collection Property LLC, an entity affiliated with Wicker Park Capital Management LLC and Bayer Properties LLC.

Germantown Collection Property LLC purchased Germantown Collection from Principal Real Estate Investors LLC, who acquired the property in 2011. Johnny Lamberson and Terry Radford, both of CB Richard Ellis Memphis, represented the seller in the transaction.

Built in 1987, Germantown Collection features an array of national retailers, including Chili’s, Panera Bread, Jimmy John’s, Pure Barre and Massage Envy. Earlier this year, Whole Foods broke ground on its second Memphis-area location on Poplar directly across from the center.

RVC Signs On to Sponsor Shelby Farms Greenline

RVC Outdoor Destinations has signed on as a sponsor of the Shelby Farms Greenline, adding a $10,000 contribution to operations and maintenance of the greenline as well as a new totem at the park’s main entrance on Mullins Station Road.

RVC is a Memphis-based business that owns and operates outdoor vacation properties providing customizable outdoor vacations that allow customers to choose options from yurts to cabins and cottages for their lodging.

McNeill Files Loans for Medical Office Park

McNeill Commercial Real Estate, operating as Wolf River Kimbrough Partners, has filed two loans totaling $4 million for a planned medical office park.

McNeill filed for the loans with Financial Federal, according to two Oct. 1 commercial deeds of trust. Spence Ray of McNeill signed both deeds of trust.

McNeill is planning two medical office buildings – a 12,000-square-foot building and a 10,000-square-foot building – on the southeast corner of Wolf River Boulevard and Kimbrough Road.

Wolf River Kimbrough acquired the 2.7-acre site in January for $851,851 from Catherine O. Wilcheck and Agnes O. Brooks, according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal of the site is $205,100.

Earlier in September, McNeill, operating as Neshoba Exeter Real Estate Partners, purchased two properties at the northeast corner of Neshoba Road and South Germantown Road for $6.6 million for a mixed-use project that will include condominiums, 60,000 square feet of retail space and a Hampton Inn & Suites.

Methodist Germantown Names ER Director

Dr. Cassandra Howard has been named the medical director for the emergency department at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital.

Howard graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and completed her residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Howard is a member of the United States Air Force Flight Surgeons, National Guard Association of the United States and State of Tennessee, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, American College of Physicians, American Society of Internal Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is a 2014 graduate of the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Physician Leadership Academy.

Howard is an Air Force flight surgeon. She holds the rank of colonel and is currently the commander of the 164th Medical Group, Tennessee Air National Guard, Memphis IAP.

Mississippi Renews Claims Memphis is Stealing Water

Mississippi officials are renewing allegations that Memphis is stealing water from the state.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused in 2010 to consider a similar claim.

The Commercial Appeal reports that Mississippi is seeking at least $615 million in damages. That's less than half the previous claim of $1.3 billion.

Mississippi alleges that Memphis' wells have created "cones of depression" in the water table that suck water from Mississippi into Tennessee. It estimates that Memphis has "forcibly" taken 252 billion gallons of water since 1985.

Memphis, its city-owned utility system and the state of Tennessee filed responses last month. They say Mississippi's claims contradict science and legal precedent. They also say the aquifer is an interstate resource to which no state can claim ownership without formal apportionment.

Developers Seek Permit for The Annex Lofts

Developers are preparing to move forward with The Annex Lofts project Downtown.

Vince Smith Jr., who is teaming up with Robert Mallory, applied for a $1.6 million building permit through the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to begin converting the 38,776-square-foot space at 345 S. Front St. into 23 apartments. The Annex Lofts will also include an interior courtyard and basement parking.

Poe Engineering is the engineer for The Annex Lofts, and the Renaissance Group is serving as the architect.

The adjacent Printer’s Alley Lofts at 347 S. Front consists of 30 apartments, nine townhouses and some commercial space.

Smith, Mallory and developer John Dicken Jr. are also planning a $17.8 million mixed-use development nearby. For more information on that project, read today’s Inked column on page 1.

Investigation Urged in Crittenden Hospital's Closure

A nonprofit's president wants a special grand jury called to determine if any crimes took place in connection with the closure of an Arkansas hospital.

Last month, Crittenden Regional Hospital in West Memphis closed after CEO Gene Cashman said it couldn't pay more than $30 million in debt. Employees have filed two lawsuits have been against the facility, claiming administrators withheld money from their paychecks for insurance but didn't pay their premiums this year.

Hubert W. Bass, head of the private Crittenden County Justice Commission, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the lawsuits mention criminal activity, including fraud and misappropriation of funds, but no criminal investigation is ongoing. He said he's asked a judge to impanel a grand jury to look into the matter.

"This isn't a witch hunt," Bass said. "We just want to know the facts. We will go where the facts take us. If there is criminal wrongdoing, we'll get some closure. If not, we can put our trust back into the community."

Joerger to Host Benefit Grizz Preview Dinner

Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach Dave Joerger will host the “Grizzlies Season Preview Dinner with Dave Joerger” Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Colonial Country Club in Cordova. This marks Joerger’s second event benefiting the National Junior Tennis & Learning on the heels of last year’s inaugural “Taste for Tennis.”

Event guests will be able to mix and mingle with Joerger and his assistant coaches during a meet-and-greet cocktail hour starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the scheduled program at 7 p.m.

Grizzlies TV play-by-play announcer Pete Pranica will host a silent auction that will include sports memorabilia, Joerger’s personal tickets to a Grizzlies home game, a golf outing at Colonial Country Club with Grizzlies assistant coaches, a pair of courtside seats to a Grizzlies home game, and a chance for up to 15 people to play on the Grizzlies practice court, among other items. Entertainment will be provided by The Bill Hurd Quartet jazz ensemble.

Tickets for the event are $100 in advance and $125 at the door. Visit grizzlies.com for more information.

For more than a decade, Tennis Memphis has impacted the lives of Memphis youth through its NJTL Tennis Summer Camps, and with year-round youth development programming at municipal tennis centers and schools in the Memphis area. NJTL was envisioned and founded by tennis icon Arthur Ashe as a way to make tennis available to underserved youth.

California Developer to Build Apartments Near University of Memphis

A California developer is moving forward with an $8 million apartment complex near the University of Memphis.

Rael Development Corp. has pulled a $6.6 million building permit through the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for a 64-unit, four-story apartment building at 3595 Southern Ave. Linkous Construction Co. is the general contractor.

This is Rael's second project in the U of M area following the 74-unit Gather at Southern project.

Women’s Foundation Names Officers, Board Members

The board of directors of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis has announced its 2014-15 executive committee, new officers and incoming board members. The following women were elected and will serve in their respective capacities for a three-year term.

New officers include: Gale Jones Carson, director of corporate communications, Memphis Light, Gas and Water, serving as marketing and communications chair; Sharon R. Ryan, senior vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary, International Paper, serving as policies and procedures chair; and Gretchen Wollert McLennon, programs director, Hyde Family Foundations, serving as board development and nominations chair.

The following women have also been appointed to serve as members of the WFGM 2014-2015 board of directors: Kim Alexander, vice president of human resources, FedEx Express; and Gina Myers, senior wealth adviser, United Capital Private Wealth Counseling.

Acura of Memphis Owner Buys Dealership, Land

The owner of Acura of Memphis has paid $12.4 million for the East Memphis dealership and 25 acres of land.

Umansky Properties AOM LLC – led by Danny Umansky of Umansky Auto Group, which includes Acura of Memphis, Acura of Jackson, Tenn., and Wolfchase Hyundai – bought the properties in an Oct. 1 warranty deed from Tameron Properties Memphis LLC.

Built in 2007, the 55,434-square-foot auto dealership sits on 10.4 acres on Ridgeway Road near Tenn. 385. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $5.4 million.

Umansky Properties AOM also bought 10 acres of vacant land just north of the dealership. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $8,100. Another parcel covers 4.7 acres with a 2014 appraisal of $1.5 million.

In conjunction with the recent purchase, Umansky Properties AOM filed a $12.1 million deed of trust through SunTrust Bank.

Medtronic Adjusts Deal Over Inversion Rules

Medical device maker Medtronic is switching to $16 billion in financing to complete its purchase of Ireland-based competitor Covidien a few weeks after federal regulators issued rules designed to curb overseas acquisitions that cut tax U.S. tax bills.

The Minneapolis company says it will use financing instead of cash from its foreign subsidiaries to help close the nearly $43 billion deal it announced in June. A company spokesman says the change was in response to the new rules from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Medtronic Inc. plans to buy Covidien Plc in a cash-and-stock deal, and the combined company will have executive offices in Dublin, where it will benefit from Ireland's lower corporate tax rates.

These deals, known as inversions, have had some in Washington calling for action to prevent lost tax revenue.

Relevant Roasters Coffee Now at Miss Cordelia’s

Relevant Roasters, Memphis’ newest specialty coffee brand, is now available on the shelves of Miss Cordelia’s in Harbor Town.

“The roaster is on full speed, and we are ready to fill the shelves with bags of coffee that is fresh, flavorful and memorable,” said Relevant Roasters owner Jimmy Lewis in a statement.

Relevant Roasters (facebook.com/RelevantRoasters) opened on the corner of Broad Avenue and Tillman Street in mid-September. Since completing his first batches of coffee, Lewis has hosted open houses for sampling and distributed to wholesalers and retailers, including Tart Coffee Shop & Bakery and now Miss Cordelia’s.

“We felt it was time to give customers a taste of what they’ve heard so much about,” said Russell Smith, general manager of Miss Cordelia’s, in a statement. “It is our commitment to offer our customers the highest quality in products, and we have found such quality in a bag of Relevant Roasters coffee.”

Tigers QB Paxton Lynch Honored by Sportswriters

University of Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch has been named the Offensive Player of the Week by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association for his play in last week’s 41-14 win over Cincinnati.

Lynch completed 18-of-25 passes for a career-high 311 yards and two touchdowns while also running for 45 yards and two more scores in the conference-opening win over the preseason conference favorite Bearcats. The Deltona, Fla., native engineered an offense that amassed 610 yards of total offense, the third-most in a single game in school history.

The sophomore tossed touchdown passes of nine and 29 yards in the first quarter and his 10-yard touchdown run late in the period put the Tigers ahead, 24-7. Lynch added a 10-yard scoring run late in the third quarter for the final points of the game.

Honored twice by the TSWA as the Offensive Player of the Week (UCLA, Cincinnati), Lynch is completing 62 percent of his passes for 1,158 yards with seven touchdowns. He has also run for five scores.

UTHSC Professor Awarded Alcohol Study Grant

Anna Bukiya, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a $393,750 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health, to study how alcohol consumption during pregnancy alters development of the fetal brain.

The award will be distributed over a two-year period.

Drinking while pregnant may lead to the birth of a child with a range of physical, behavioral and cognitive abnormalities, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The disorder represents the leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities, and its mechanisms are poorly understood.

Many studies focus on the consequences of maternal drinking on fetal neuronal cells in the brain. In contrast, this collaborative effort among the UTHSC Departments of Pharmacology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Comparative Medicine seeks to determine the effects of alcohol fetal cerebral circulation and function of fetal cerebral arteries.

Tennessee Agency Sends Inaccurate Medicaid Letters

Officials with a state agency that's been sending inaccurate letters to Tennesseans informing them they don't qualify for Medicaid say they're addressing the issue.

The Tennessean reports the letter sent this year were automatically generated by an outdated computer system when someone applies to the Department of Human Services for food stamps.

The computer makes eligibility determinations according to old income guidelines, not the new ones set by the federal health care law. And the letters are coming from an agency that as of Jan. 1 was supposed to stop making Medicaid eligibility determinations for TennCare, Tennessee's version of Medicaid.

Devin Stone, a communications officer for DHS, says the agency is aware of the issue.

Chris Coleman, a lawyer with the Tennessee Justice Center who is suing the heads of DHS and TennCare, said the letters are causing harm. The suit accuses the agencies of violating federal law by creating barriers to people seeking enrollment.

"These are totally false notices that are apparently auto-generated with the food stamp notice," Coleman said. "Individuals receiving these notices may never have applied for TennCare, and they certainly have not been found ineligible."

TennCare is relying on the old DHS computer because a new $35.7 million system it is building is a year behind schedule. The DHS computer was supposed to have been replaced, but DHS halted work on that project in 2013 after years of missed deadlines and design defects.

Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Memphis

The U.S. Small Business Administration opens a disaster loan outreach center Wednesday, Oct. 8, near Shelby Farms Park.

The loans are for flooding damage on Sept. 11 in the Memphis area.

The new outreach center, 1075 Mullins Station Road, offers applications for loans to rebuild and repair damage done by the sudden torrent of rain. A similar office opened last week in Southaven.

Those interested in the loans can also visit disasterloan.sba.gov/ela to apply online.

Hickory Hill Warehouse Sells for $1.6 Million

ARCP Acquisitions LLC has paid $1.6 million for the 14,650-square-foot warehouse at 4517 S. Mendenhall Road in Hickory Hill, marking the second time the property has sold in three months.

ARCP Acquisitions purchased the property Sept. 24 from an affiliate of Charlotte, N.C.-based real estate development firm The Keith Corp. The selling entity, TKC CLXXIX LLC, bought the property for $1.4 million in a June 24 special warranty deed.

Built in 1995, the Class B industrial facility sits on 7.6 acres along the west side of South Mendenhall Road just north of its intersection with East Shelby Drive. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $676,400.

Federal Budget Deficit Falls to $486 Billion

The federal government's budget deficit has fallen to $486 billion, the smallest pool of red ink of President Barack Obama's six-year span in office, a new report said Wednesday.

The Congressional Budget Office's latest estimate shows better results than earlier projections by both CBO and the White House budget office.

It comes as Congress has mostly paused in its wrangling over the deficit in the run-up to the midterm elections next month.

Obama inherited a trillion-dollar-plus deficit after the 2008 financial crisis but that red-ink figure has improved in recent years as the economy has recovered. Last year's deficit registered at $680 billion.

The government registered deficits exceeding $1 trillion during Obama's first term, but the recovering economy has boosted revenues while Republican-imposed curbs on agency operating budgets have combined to shrink the deficit.

The Treasury Department and the White House budget office will issue an official report on the budget in the next week or so, but their findings are likely to mirror CBO's data, which is based on the daily cash flow that Treasury reports.

The good news may be temporary. CBO and budget hawks warn that the retirement of the Baby Boom generation will balloon deficits in coming years unless Washington can bridge its divides and curb the growth of expensive programs like Medicare.

US Service Firms Grow at Healthy Clip

U.S. service firms expanded at a healthy pace in September, although it was slightly below the record pace set in August.

The Institute for Supply Management reported Friday that its service index dipped to 58.6 last month, down from a reading of 59.6 in August which had been the strongest level recorded since the measure was introduced in January 2008.

Hiring at service firms, where most Americans work, rose for a seventh straight month.

The service sector index covers about 80 percent of the private sector economy. The index tracks new orders, business activity, employment and supplier delivery delays.

Corporate Deals Set to Hit Pre-Crisis Level

In a year that's been awash with multibillion dollar corporate deals, the number and value of mergers and acquisitions is set to grow further, reaching pre-crisis levels over the coming 12 months, consulting firm EY said Monday.

In its biannual Global Capital confidence barometer, EY said global M&A is on course to return to 2006 levels in the next year thanks to improvements in market conditions. Companies started getting reluctant to do deals in 2007 when the credit crunch really started. The following year's global financial crisis and subsequent recession saw M&A activity come to a near standstill.

However, the appetite for deal-making has picked up over the past couple of years as the world economy has recovered and stock markets, particularly in the U.S., have bounced back on growing confidence about the future. This year has seen a flurry of big announcements, particularly in the U.S., including AT&T's $48.5 billion takeover offer for DirecTV and Facebook's $19 billion bid for WhatsApp.

EY's survey found that 40 percent of companies anticipate pursuing acquisitions in the next 12 months. That's the highest level in three years.

It said the deals will not be confined to big names. In fact, some of the biggest activity will likely come from smaller firms seeking to strengthen their core businesses – it expects a big pick-up in deals valued at $250 million and under.

The survey is based on interviews with more than 1,600 senior executives in over 60 countries.

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