VOL. 130 | NO. 240 | Thursday, December 10, 2015
AutoZone, SouthernSun, Loeb Donate to Artspace Lofts
The Artspace South Main Artist Lofts development has three new supporters and made significant strides in its fundraising goal this week.
SouthernSun Asset Management and Loeb Properties Inc. each donated $10,000 to fund the affordable housing development, and AutoZone made a “major contribution” in line with donations made by The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Pyramid Peak Foundation, the city of Memphis, Downtown Memphis Commission, Ford Foundation and the Hyde Family Foundations.
The three gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar by an anonymous foundation that issued a $500,000 challenge grant for the project in September.
The 58-unit development is set to break ground in April. When complete, the complex at 138 St. Paul Ave. will be the only affordable housing development intended for artists and creatives in the greater Memphis area.
– Madeline Faber
St. Jude Taps New Head Of International Outreach
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has tapped Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo to lead its International Outreach Program.
The appointment comes as the institution broadens its global footprint through enhanced programs and collaborations. Rodriguez-Galindo also will chair the newly created Department of Global Pediatric Medicine and hold the Four Stars of Chicago Endowed Chair in International Pediatric Research.
He first came to St. Jude in 1994 as a postdoctoral fellow and served as a clinical researcher and faculty member for more than a decade. He returns to St. Jude from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital, where he was director of the Pediatric Solid Tumor Program, medical director of the Clinical and Translational Investigations Program, and director of the Global Health Initiative in Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders.
The St. Jude International Outreach Program now includes 24 partner sites in 17 countries.
– Andy Meek
MAA Board Hikes Dividend 6.5 Percent
MAA’s board of directors has approved a 6.5 percent hike in the company’s dividend for fiscal year 2016, the dividend’s sixth consecutive annual increase.
The quarterly reward to shareholders will grow from 77 cents to 82 cents per share of common stock and will be effective for quarterly dividends payable after Jan. 1. The increase also raises the annualized dividend payout to $3.28 per share of common stock, up 20 cents.
The MAA board made the dividend announcement in advance of MAA’s next quarterly earnings set for Feb. 3. MAA chairman and CEO Eric Bolton said the increase demonstrates the board’s confidence in the company’s performance and its ability to generate cash flow and produce value for shareholders.
“MAA’s dividend has grown by more than 25 percent over the past five years, and today’s announcement reflects MAA’s commitment to providing a consistent and growing dividend to our shareholders,” Bolton said.
The quarterly common dividend of 82 cents per share is payable on Jan. 29 to shareholders of record on Jan. 15.
MAA is a self-administered real estate investment trust and member of the S&P MidCap 400 index. MAA currently owns or has ownership interest in apartment communities throughout the Southeast and Southwest.
– Andy Meek
Stanton Has Potential Challenger for Clerk
General Sessions Court Clerk Ed Stanton has a possible challenger in the March 1 Democratic primary for clerk.
William M. Stovall pulled a qualifying petition Dec. 4 in the Democratic primary. But he had not filed the petition as of late Tuesday, Dec. 8, with the Shelby County Election Commission, according to the election commission’s website.
The filing deadline for the only countywide partisan race on the 2016 Shelby County ballot is Thursday at noon. The withdrawal deadline is one week later.
The primaries for clerk share the March 1 ballot with the Tennessee presidential primaries.
Stanton has filed for re-election starting with the Democratic primary on March 1. Richard Morton, an employee of the Shelby County Probate Court Clerk’s office, has filed in the companion Republican primary and so far is unopposed.
The winners of the primaries advance to the August county general election.
– Bill Dries
Wholesale Car Dealer Pleads To Federal Fraud Charges
A Collierville man who owned ADLM Automotive Inc. of Mississippi has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in a pair of schemes that swindled his victims out of $2.2 million over a two-year period.
Anthony Davis, 44, admitted in the Tuesday, Dec. 8, guilty plea that he used his ADLM Automotive business as the basis for a complex scheme in which investors would pay a share of a car’s purchase price. Davis would then sell the cars, and whoever bought the cars would make monthly payments that went to his investors, according to Davis.
That’s not what happened. Prosecutors estimate he defrauded investors of $1.8 million between December 2012 and October 2014.
During that same period, Davis was creating bogus credit profiles using stolen Social Security numbers, and the profiles and the information were used to get financing to buy other cars. Prosecutors estimate losses to those defrauded in that scheme at $457,000.
Davis is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge John Fowlkes in March.
– Bill Dries
FedEx Institute of Technology Invests In Cybersecurity
As part of the University of Memphis’ push to develop strong research competencies in cybersecurity, the FedEx Institute of Technology has made research awards totaling $190,000 for 12 interdisciplinary projects in this area.
The 21 recipients involved include researchers from 11 academic departments in seven colleges and schools across the university, and the awards address a broad scope of cybersecurity areas such as protecting the power grid, citizen privacy, health care security and social engineering dimensions of cybersecurity.
The researchers received their awards Dec. 3 at the Cybersecurity Lightning Talks, where project leaders presented an overview of their research to the campus community and the public. They were designated as Cybersecurity Research Fellows of the FedEx Institute of Technology.
– Andy Meek
New Ballet Ensemble Receives NEA Grant
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award of $15,000 to New Ballet Ensemble & School.
The grant will go toward support of NBE’s continued work helping children and families at Dunbar Elementary School in the Orange Mound community.
The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu said: “The arts are part of our everyday lives – no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from New Ballet offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”
New Ballet Ensemble’s community partnerships in Orange Mound are centered on their “family resource center” inside Dunbar Elementary School. Launched earlier this year with the support of ArtsMemphis, the center allows parents and guardians of NBE students to build their computer proficiencies, attend finance and GED workshops, and find assistance in drafting resumes, filling out job applications, and developing other job-readiness skills.
This Art Works grants represents approximately one-fifth of the budget required to fully expand the program, according to NBE.
“New Ballet has enjoyed strong relationships with Orange Mound for years,” said NBE’s founder, CEO and artistic director Katie Smythe. “We are so grateful to be able to join with the NEA as part of the ongoing renaissance of this historically significant neighborhood.
– Don Wade