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VOL. 130 | NO. 163 | Friday, August 21, 2015

Daily Digest

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PILOT Decision Delayed For Mall of Memphis Site

The board of the Economic Development Growth Engine delayed a vote Wednesday, Aug. 19, on a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes application from the developers of the old Mall of Memphis site.

Huntington Industrial Partners and Johnson Development Associates were seeking a $24 million property tax abatement to develop what they said would be the first speculative industrial site built in Memphis in the last eight years.

The proposal is a combination of five buildings over several years with uses ranging from warehousing to office space.

The EDGE analysis of the applications notes that the board usually doesn’t grant tax breaks for speculative development.

Because of questions from the staff and the EDGE board, EDGE president Reid Dulberger pulled the item from Wednesday’s agenda.

The EDGE board approved a set of new policies effective in January that create four new tax incentives, including PILOTs for jobs, small-business expansion, destination retail and a “community builders.”

The board also approved PILOTs for Solae LLC and State Systems Inc., two Memphis businesses that are expanding and had been considering moving to Fayette County.

– Bill Dries

Weirich Gets TBI Report On Darrius Stewart Shooting

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation delivered a 600-page report Thursday, Aug. 20, to Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich on the July 17 fatal shooting of Darrius Stewart by a Memphis police officer.

Weirich did not disclose any details of the report as she announced its arrival Thursday. But she termed it “thorough and exhaustive” and she asked for “patience” as she and her office determine if they will seek charges against officer Connor Schilling in the incident.

“I will begin the process of reviewing that report and making a determination under the laws of the state of Tennessee whether criminal charges are warranted,” she said. “I ask for patience from the community.”

Weirich turned the investigation over to the TBI days after the Hickory Hill shooting.

“More than anything, it is our responsibility to make sure that justice is done in this case and every case that this office handled,” Weirich added.

The decision to hand the case to the TBI drew criticism immediately because of state laws that specifically forbid the agency from releasing any information to the public.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Memphis Police Department director Toney Armstrong concurred in Weirich’s decision even though they also expressed hope that the details of the investigation could be made public.

“It is my hope that at the appropriate time under the appropriate circumstances and again, pursuant to the laws of the state of Tennessee, that some if not all of this report may be made available to the public,” Weirich said Thursday.

Weirich said her office could decide that further investigation is warranted. She has no timetable for when her review might be completed.

– Bill Dries

Iowa Energy to Hold Open Tryout Oct. 10 in Memphis

Want to play in the league just below the NBA?

The Memphis Grizzlies’ NBA Development League affiliate, the Iowa Energy, will hold their annual open player tryouts for the upcoming 2015-16 season on Saturday, Oct. 10.

The tryouts will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hyde Gym on the Memphis University School campus, 6191 Park Ave. Doors will open for registration at 9 a.m.

“Open tryouts have always been a major component of our process,” said Grizzlies director of minor league operations Chris Makris. “Last season, three open-tryout players made the Iowa Energy’s 10-man opening night roster.”

Players who participate in the open tryouts will be observed and evaluated by members of the Memphis Grizzlies and Iowa Energy basketball operations staffs.

Information about the tryouts, registration forms and payment options and instructions are available online at grizzlies.com.

– Don Wade

Cohen Announces Grants For Porter-Leath, Memphis Health

Porter-Leath and the Memphis Health Center are getting federal funding boosts.

Porter-Leath was awarded $1.1 million for its Early Head Start programs, which provide early, comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families. The program offers home- and center-based services.

The Memphis Health Center got $541,667 to open a new access point in the Whitehaven community.

The new access point will provide health care services to Whitehaven citizens. The nonprofit Memphis Health Center provides primary and preventative health and dental services to uninsured, underinsured or medically underserved populations of Shelby and Fayette counties. It currently operates centers at 360 E.H. Crump Blvd. in South Memphis; 4940 Tenn. 57 in Rossville; and 915 E. McLemore Ave. in the Soulsville neighborhood.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen announced the Porter-Leath grant Tuesday, Aug. 18, and the Memphis Health Center grant Thursday, Aug. 20.

– Daily News staff

Hollis Price Middle College Makes Newsweek Rankings

Hollis F. Price Middle College High School made the recent Newsweek ranking of the nation’s top 10 high schools “beating the odds.”

The rankings – from Newsweek and Westat, a research firm that developed the rankings’ methodology – include a list of America’s Top High Schools, which identifies 500 public high schools nationwide that excel at preparing students for college. They also include “Beating the Odds,” a list of 500 public high schools doing an exceptional job of preparing students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Hollis Price, which is part of the Shelby County Schools system, was eighth on that list.

The school is at 807 Walker Ave. on the campus of LeMoyne-Owen College and is part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Early College High School initiative.

Teenagers attending the school can earn up to two years of college credit toward a bachelor’s degree while they earn high school diplomas. The college campus location is part of preparing students for the transition into higher education.

Hollis Price is one of two middle colleges in the Shelby County Schools system. The other is Middle College High School at 750 East Parkway S., which also is home to the Maxine Smith STEAM Academy for middle school students. That campus is linked to nearby Christian Brothers University.

– Bill Dries

Chamber Names SoundCheck Executive Committee

A new group of executive committee members have been announced for the second year of SoundCheck, the Young Professional Council of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

The new members include chair Trey Carter of OCTI Training; vice chair Anna Cardona of ETFC Architects; Thomas Holmes of NexStar Broadcasting; Schuyler Dalton of Roots Memphis Farm Academy; Frankie Dakin of the New Memphis Institute; Teddy Gorman of Gorham/Schaffler Inc.; and Brittney Rowe of Paragon Bank.

SoundCheck launched in July 2014 and has grown to more than 200 members. Highlights from the past year include connecting members with opportunities to interact in new ways with the business community, including through seven Greater Memphis Chamber Chairman’s Circle members hosting SoundCheck participants at their offices for open discussions.

– Andy Meek

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 87 87 7,836
MORTGAGES 108 108 9,307
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 8 1,366
BUILDING PERMITS 130 130 16,737
BANKRUPTCIES 55 55 5,461
BUSINESS LICENSES 32 32 2,980
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 47 47 3,297
MARRIAGE LICENSES 37 37 1,725

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