Arizona REIT Buys Three Properties for $6.4 Million

An Arizona-based real estate investment trust has snatched up three Memphis-area car wash facilities for $6.4 million.

Store Master Funding VII LLC, an affiliate of Scottsdale-based STORE Capital, acquired the properties at 1565 N. Germantown Road, 5795 Raleigh Lagrange Road and 4234 Hacks Cross Road from Little Rock, Ark.-based Baileys Tunnel Wash LLC, according to three March 16 warranty deeds.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s combined appraisal for the three properties is $3.6 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Chickasaw Country Club Clerk Sentenced in $736,000 Theft

A former clerk at the Chickasaw Country Club was sentenced Wednesday, April 1, to 18 months in prison for stealing $736,000 from the club.

Sue M. Winfrey pleaded guilty in January to a single count of wire fraud for submitting fraudulent payroll data to Paychex of New York, which processed the country club’s payroll.

Winfrey was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes. The sentence includes two years of supervised release and $486,000 in restitution to the country club as well as $250,000 to Traveler’s Indemnity Co.

– Bill Dries

Laurelwood Brings Back Outdoor Concert Series

Laurelwood Shopping Center is bringing back its outdoor concert series, Laurelwood Unplugged.

The free, family-friendly live music event will take place in the shopping center’s courtyard from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday night in April. On the docket this season are acts whose genres range from bluegrass to folk.

First up is American Fiction on April 2, followed by Mason Jar Fireflies April 9. After that will be River Bluff Clan April 16, then Vanessa and Scott Sudbury April 23, with the Side Street Steppers closing things out April 30.

– Andy Meek

International Paper Sells Carolina Brand

Memphis-based International Paper Co. is selling its Carolina brand printing paper business to MeadWestvaco Corp. as it converts the Riegelwood, N.C., mill that makes the Carolina products.

MeadWestvaco and International Paper announced their agreement Tuesday, March 31, but disclosed no terms of the deal which both sides expect to close by the end of April.

Carolina products include the paper used for annual reports, book covers, brochures, signs and greeting cards.

The deal doesn’t include the Riegelwood factory which International Paper is converting to do nothing but fluff and softwood pulp production.

With Carolina leaving the IP fold, the company plans to focus its coated paperboard products in food service and packaging markets.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Farmers Market Kicks Off New Season

The Memphis Farmers Market opens its 2015 season Saturday, April 4.

The Downtown market also announced it has promoted Allison Cook to MFM executive director. Cook previously served as market director and has been with the organization since 2012.

Jim Keras Subaru is the market’s season sponsor, Orion Federal Credit Union is the special events sponsor and Bluff City Coffee is the coffee cart sponsor.

The Memphis Farmers Market 5K, the Crop Hop, is scheduled for June 19.

MFM is open on Saturdays through the middle of November from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is located under the pavilion at Central Station on South Front Street in Downtown Memphis.

– Daily News staff

Art Fights Blight With Public Art Project Near Midtown

Students from the Memphis College of Art completed a public art project near Midtown.

The project was made possible by a grant from ArtsZone, a collaboration between AutoZone and ArtsMemphis to support public art projects in underserved areas of the city.

The Memphis College of Art was one of 17 organizations funded through this collaboration.

At Memphis College of Art, the ArtsZone grant funded scholarships for five students from Shelby County. The scholarship offers students opportunities for professional development and equips them with skills and experiences for the future.

Freshmen Ashley Wells, Madison Petri and Jacob Lambert, sophomore Sylvester Fair, and senior Glen Chase Hunter were named 2015 ArtsZone Scholars.

Under the direction of MCA assistant professor Cat Normoyle and project assistants Bailey Brocato and Annie Kominek, the students painted a mural to beautify the Chelsea floodwall located at the corner of North Evergreen Street and Chelsea Avenue, just north of Midtown Memphis. The mural is part of a larger, ongoing art project with other local artists that will evolve over the next two years.

The mural is designed to add beauty and enhance the area for nearby residents and others who pass by the site. Eventually the floodwall will be covered with 70 panels, each measuring six feet tall by 20 feet long.

“The students were excited to participate in a project that improves an otherwise blighted neighborhood in their hometown,” Normoyle said in a statement. “Blighted areas in Memphis exacerbate problems like crime and pollution.”

“The Chelsea Floodwall mural centers on the theme of revival,” she said. “As artists, we believe in the power of art to lift people’s spirits, to transform lives and neighborhoods.”

– Amos Maki

NexAir Acquires Georgia Welding Supply Company

NexAir has announced an acquisition that doubles the Memphis-based company’s existing footprint in Georgia.

The atmospheric gas and welding supply distributor acquired the assets, branches and operations of M&A Welding Supply Co., which is a distributor for welding and safety supplies with locations in Calhoun, Cartersville, Douglasville and Jasper, Ga.

All 15 M&A employees will join nexAir’s Georgia’s operations. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The transaction closed in late March and nexAir assumed M&A operations as of April 1. It will spend April converting the M&A to nexAir branches.

“We are excited to continue servicing the welding industry in northwest Georgia as part of the nexAir team,” said Larry Pogue, President of M&A Welding Supply Co., in a statement.

NexAir CEO Kevin McEniry said welding is a growing and strategic segment of the company’s portfolio.

“As an important segment of our customers’ business strategies, we are happy to bring some of the most advanced welding equipment and supplies in the country to both current and new customers,” McEniry said.

– Daily News staff

Tennessee GOP Senator Gives Protester Obscene Response

A state senator who has drawn the ire of supporters of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal called a protester an obscene name.

According to a YouTube video of the exchange at the legislative office complex on Tuesday, the protester repeatedly demanded of Chattanooga Republican Todd Gardenhire whether he would give up his state health insurance after contributing to the defeat of the measure to extend health insurance to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the video was taken by Trae Haggard of East Ridge, who was on the Hill to demonstrate in support of Insure Tennessee. Haggard says he was “shocked” by Gardenhire’s profane response.

Gardenhire says he was upset because he had been followed into a restroom by the protester.

– The Associated Press