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VOL. 130 | NO. 250 | Thursday, December 24, 2015

Daily Digest

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Varsity Brands Acquires Texas-Based Company

Memphis-based Varsity Brands has acquired Allgoods LLC of Grand Prairie, Texas, an apparel school fundraising company.

Allgoods operates under various brand names, the best known being its flagship Faircloth.

Through customized clothing, Allgoods has generated $38 million in funds for athletic and school-based organizations since 2006.

Allgoods will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Varsity Brands, according the Wednesday, Dec. 23, announcement of the acquisition. The company will maintain its Grand Prairie headquarters and a set of satellite facilities, including 200,000 square feet of distribution and manufacturing space.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Varsity Brands is a set of businesses that market fundraising programs and products to schools, including colleges and universities, as well as churches and professional organizations.

The portfolio includes Herff Jones, BSN Sports and Varsity Spirit.

Varsity Brands is owned by Charlesbank Capital Partners, a Boston private equity firm, and Partners Group, a private markets investment management firm.

– Bill Dries

Airport Passengers Increase 16 Percent in November

November marked the fifth consecutive month that the Memphis International Airport saw increases in origin-and-destination traffic.

There were 167,107 total enplanements, up 16 percent from 144,507 travelers in November 2014. Year-to-date, the airport has seen 833,638 enplanements. In the same period last year, there were 745,564.

At a Dec. 17 meeting of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, CFO Forrest Artz said that the increased traffic is attributed to new services, market competition between carriers and the addition of low-cost carrier Allegiant.

– Madeline Faber

Luttrell Appoints Kneeland Deputy County Fire Chief

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has appointed Glen Kneeland as the Shelby County Fire Department’s deputy fire chief.

Kneeland comes to the No. 2 job to county fire chief Alvin Benson at county fire from being a division chief. He has been a county firefighter since 1988 and is a founding member of the department’s special operations rescue team.

Kneeland succeeds deputy chief Dale H. Burress who retires at the end of this month.

– Bill Dries

U of M Athletes Again Average 3.0 GPA

For the 10th consecutive semester, student-athletes at the University of Memphis posted a departmental GPA of at least 3.0, finishing the fall of 2015 with a 3.00 GPA.

Fifteen of the program’s 17 teams posted a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Tiger men’s tennis team led all men’s sports with a 3.5 GPA, while women’s soccer led the women’s teams with a 3.74 GPA.

“This is a result of the culture here in our athletic department that we have been creating since 2012,” U of M director of athletics Tom Bowen said in a statement. “Our goals are still not fully attained, but this demonstrates that our student-athletes know our standards and expectations and that they share in our desire to be the best.”

First-year Tigers also had a strong showing in the classroom. Sixty-six of the Tigers’ 100 freshmen student-athletes posted a GPA of 3.0 or higher and 41 of them also earned a spot on the Dean’s List with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. The freshman class posted a cumulative 3.14 GPA for the fall semester.

Across all sports, 207 out of the program’s 366 student-athletes finished with a 3.0 or higher GPA (56 percent), while 118 (or 32 percent) finished the fall as a Dean’s List member with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Twenty-eight Tigers posted a perfect 4.0 GPA this fall.

Academic success was not the only highlight for Memphis student-athletes. It was also announced that Memphis finished in the top 25 in the country in the NCAA Team Works Competition. Memphis finished 23rd overall in the competition and 18th against other NCAA Division I institutions. In all, Tigers’ student-athletes logged over 1,200 hours of community service in the past four months, including visits to the Ronald McDonald House and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, participating in events with the Special Olympics and the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis & The Mid-South, and groups like Memphis Athletic Ministries, the City of Memphis Athletic Department, Habitat for Humanity, various churches and local elementary, middle and high schools.

– Don Wade

Starry 4K Run/Walk At Shelby Farms Returns

Shelby Farms Park Conservancy has announced the return of the Starry 4K Run/Walk.

The Monday, Dec. 28, race is a way to experience the park’s new Starry Nights light show. This event will be the last chance to experience Orion Starry Nights in 2015.

Pre-registered participants will receive a long-sleeved glow-in-the-dark t-shirt. The race is family-friendly and open to all ages.

Online registration fee (includes t-shirt) is $25, and race day registration is $30. Visit shelbyfarmspark.org for more information.

All proceeds benefit Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, the nonprofit that manages and operates Shelby Farms Park and Greenline.

– Don Wade

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