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VOL. 130 | NO. 30 | Friday, February 13, 2015

Daily Digest

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Airport Authority Seeks Four Building Permits

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority is beefing up seismic protections at several properties.

The Airport Authority has applied to the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for four building permits totaling $1 million for seismic improvements at 2865 Rudder Road, 4100 Louis Carruthers Road, 2756 Winchester Road and 4376 Airways Blvd.

Chris Woods Construction Co. Inc. is listed as the general contractor on all four permit applications.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Running Pony, Sullivan Branding Win Regional Emmy Awards for Tigers Football

Memphis creative groups Running Pony and Sullivan Branding have won second straight regional Emmy awards for work they produced for the University of Memphis Tigers football team.

The two companies’ “Watercooler Guys” ads for Memphis Football from the 2013 season garnered the entities Emmy awards for a second year for the campaign.

While the first year of the campaign featured actors around a water cooler discussing upcoming Tigers games, the 2013 campaign also featured members of the Memphis football team and head coach Justin Fuente, whose role was that of a co-worker, Dustin Fountain.

Running Pony and Sullivan Branding received their awards at the 29th annual Mid-South Regional Emmy Awards, which were held recently at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.

Awards were given in 74 categories covering almost 800 entries received.

In addition to the back-to-back Emmy awards for the “Watercooler Guys” campaign, Running Pony also won a Regional Emmy in 2014 for the Tiger Football intro video, “A Storm is Coming,” which featured the Tigers and Mighty Sound of the South marching band playing in a violent rainstorm.

“I cross paths with people every day in Memphis who have a drive and passion for what they do,” said Tom Bowen, the University of Memphis’ Director of Athletics. “We have been able to team with creative professionals who share those qualities. We appreciate their efforts in selling the Memphis Athletics brand.”

– Don Wade

Digital Billboard Debuts On Convention Center

A digital LED display screen on the west wall of the Memphis Cook Convention Center was turned on Wednesday, Feb. 12, with a ceremonial flip of the switch.

The screen, 39 feet by 14 feet 6 inches, is visible to eastbound traffic on the Hernando DeSoto Bridge and has been a goal of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau for three years.

The total display area of 52 and a half feet by 38 feet and 8 inches includes the Memphis Cook Convention Center logo as well as two static panels below the LED screen.

The displays include tourism websites and a welcome to Memphis with the red guitar logo that was a part of the neon sign once visible from the bridge atop the Lone Star Industries cement company silos.

The silos were demolished on the south side of The Pyramid after the city bought the harbor-side property as part of the preparations for Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid, which is scheduled to open in May.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau, which includes a subsidiary that manages and operates the convention center, will also use the space to promote convention center and other civic events and sell some limited time on the board to recoup the estimated $400,000 expense of the project.

The project includes an LED sign at Main and Poplar as well as a third LED marquee sign at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.

– Bill Dries

HealthNet Credit Union Has 60th Anniversary

HealthNet Federal Credit Union will celebrate its 60th anniversary at its annual meeting Feb. 25 at Baptist Memorial Hospital - Memphis.

HealthNet was founded in 1955 to serve the financial needs of Baptist Memorial Hospital employees. Today, it has assets approaching $50 million and more than 6,700 members, and it provides financial services in addition to Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. employees also to many medical groups and hospitals throughout the Memphis area.

The credit union has four locations, including its main office on Chickering Lane in Cordova.

– Andy Meek

Kellogg Cuts Sales Forecast As Cereal Continues Decline

Kellogg said Thursday that its cereal unit suffered another quarterly sales decline, and the company cut its long-term revenue forecast.

The maker of Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts and Special K said it now expects core revenue to rise between 1 to 3 percent over the long-term, down from the previous forecast of 3 to 4 percent.

In its flagship North American division, sales for the breakfast foods segment fell 7.7 percent for the period ending Jan. 3. Kellogg Co., based in Battle Creek, Michigan, has been struggling to grow cereal sales as Americans increasingly reach for alternative like Greek yogurt and breakfast sandwiches.

CEO John Bryant has also conceded that Special K in particular has been hurt by changing attitudes toward health and dieting, with people showing more interest in overall ingredients, rather than just calories.

Bryant called 2014 a “disappointing” year.

To improve results, the company has been slashing costs under a program called Project K.

The European and Asia Pacific units each saw sales fall by 1.2 percent. In Latin America, comparable sales rose 7.2 percent.

For the quarter, Kellogg was also hit with mark-to-market adjustment of $822 million, driven by changes interest rates had on its pension plans. The company said it lost $293 million, or 82 cents per share.

Excluding one-time items, it earned 86 cents per share, which was still short of the 92 cents per share analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue was $3.51 billion, also falling short of the $3.65 billion Wall Street expected.

For the year, the company reported profit of $632 million, or $1.75 per share. Revenue was reported as $14.58 billion.

– Associated Press

Facebook Allows Your Account To Stay Active After You Die

Facebook is giving more options to decide what happens to users’ accounts after they die.

The world’s biggest online social network said Thursday it will now let users pick someone who can manage their account after they pass away. Previously, the accounts were “memorialized” after death, or locked so that no one could log in.

Beginning in the U.S., Facebook says users can choose a “legacy contact” to post on their page after they die, respond to new friend requests and update their profile picture and cover photo. Users can also have their accounts deleted instead. Facebook also ensures that the account of a user who died doesn’t show up as a “suggested friend” or in other ways that could upset the person’s loved ones.

– Associated Press

Cheaper Gas Lowers Retail Sales; Spending Up Elsewhere

U.S. retail sales fell sharply last month as gas prices plummeted and auto sales slowed. But excluding those volatile categories, Americans stepped up their spending a bit.

Retail sales dropped 0.8 percent in January, the Commerce Department said Thursday, following a 0.9 percent decline in December. The dollar value of gas station sales plunged 9.3 percent, the largest drop in six years. Auto dealer sales also fell for the second straight month.

Outside those categories, sales ticked up 0.2 percent after a flat reading in December.

The modest gain suggests Americans are still cautious about spending their windfall from lower gas prices, which economists expect will save the typical family $750 this year. Cheaper gas and strong hiring have sent consumer confidence to seven-year highs, a sign spending should pick up soon.

Economists were disappointed by the weak showing, but most expect spending to pick up soon.

Consumers did spend more last month at electronics, building materials and general merchandise stores. Restaurants and bars notched another month of solid business. Restaurant sales have jumped 11.3 percent in the past year.

Gas prices nationwide fell for 123 straight days to nearly a six-year low of $2.03 a gallon in January.

– Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 101 603 9,602
MORTGAGES 92 538 10,616
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 3 40 1,289
BUILDING PERMITS 215 1,282 20,958
BANKRUPTCIES 51 408 6,108
BUSINESS LICENSES 20 154 3,939
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 31 124 2,892
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 111 2,021