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VOL. 8 | NO. 9 | Saturday, February 21, 2015

Daily Digest

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Medical Company Opening New Division in Memphis

MedComp Sciences, a Louisiana-based diagnostic laboratory, is planning to launch a pharmacognetic laboratory division, MedComp Gx, in Memphis next month.

The company says MedComp Gx pharmacogenetic analysis “will provide patients easy to read and interpret information based on their genetically driven response to numerous medications.”

Dr. Jason Walker, MedComp Gx lead geneticist, says that looking at a patient’s DNA affords the ability to predict individual performance of many commonly prescribed medications, thus limiting the need for a trial and error approach to drug selection and dosing.

– Andy Meek

Ryan Acquires Strategic Midtown Property

Developer Charles S. “Charlie” Ryan has acquired a key piece of Midtown property.

Ryan purchased the lot at 765 Tanglewood St., which is located just southwest of the intersection of Central Avenue and Cooper Street, from Cowles Development Company LLC for $27,000, according to a Feb. 9 warranty deed.

Ryan has been focused on the Central-Cooper intersection for several years and has held several rounds of discussions with property owners around the Midtown intersection about acquiring property.

Ryan owns the property at 752 S. Cooper St. where Aldo’s Pizza Pies has a location. Last year, Ryan acquired the Toad Hall Antiques property at the southwest corner of Central and Cooper for $460,000. Ryan has approached Haizlip Studio adjacent to the Toad Hall space and held discussions with the owners of the Albert Cook Plumbing Co.

In November, Ryan declined to go into specifics about his efforts but did say a mixed-use project in that area would make sense.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Johnson & Johnson Exec Named GTx Chairman

Memphis-based GTx has a new chairman – Dr. Robert Wills, who’s joining effective March 2 after retiring from Johnson & Johnson.

The new leadership comes as GTx is looking to expand its clinical development efforts. As executive chairman, Wills will support GTx CEO Marc Hanover in leading the company’s clinical trials and business development activities, as well as the company’s external communications with shareholders, investors and analysts.

At Johnson & Johnson, Wills served as vice president, alliance manager and was responsible for managing strategic alliances for the pharmaceutical group worldwide since 2002.

– Andy Meek

VIA Productions Unveils New Service Platform

Memphis-based VIA Productions has announced the release of its service platform Spothub by VIA, which streamlines production workflow from concept to delivery by using the company’s proprietary platform.

VIA says Spothub is a “one-stop shop to view creative, customize messaging, and deliver content.” Creative agencies, franchises, and buying groups, the company says, are attracted to the platform because it provides quality control and brand singularity, streamlining every step of the process. Other organizations use Spothub because of its automated delivery system, and all spots are delivered using VIA’s in-house HD delivery system.

Since its launch in the third quarter, Spothub has caught the attention of companies like Ashley Furniture HomeStore, the furniture retailer which is implementing Spothub through its agency, McCann Erickson in New York.

– Andy Meek

BlueCross Minority Scholarship Deadline Nears

A diversity scholarship for minority students pursuing careers in health care has been increased from $5,000 to $10,000.

The BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee Diversity Scholarship program is in its third year with three of the $10,000 scholarships to be awarded through the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust and the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives.

Each scholarship is awarded in two increments of $5,000 over two semesters.

Applications are due by Feb. 28 with the applications and more information at the community diversity page at bcbst.com.

– Bill Dries

Medtronic Earnings Top Wall Street Forecasts

Medtronic Inc. on Tuesday reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $977 million.

The Minneapolis-based company said it had profit of 98 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $1.01 per share.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 97 cents per share.

The medical device company posted revenue of $4.32 billion in the period, which also beat Street forecasts. Analysts expected $4.26 billion, according to Zacks.

Medtronic shares have climbed 4 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has increased roughly 2 percent. The stock has increased 32 percent in the last 12 months.

– Associated Press

Cohen Announces Funding for HIV Treatment

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen says Shelby County is receiving more than $5.6 million in federal funds to help care for people living with HIV.

Cohen said Wednesday that the funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

The program helps local governments provide HIV-related services to more than a half-million people who do not have sufficient health care coverage or financial resources for coping with the disease.

In a statement, Cohen says the HIV and AIDS epidemic continues to plague the 9th Congressional District. He says thousands of Memphis residents are living with the illnesses.

– Associated Press

Napa Auto Parts Store Sells for $1.4 Million

A Hickory Hill auto parts store has been sold for $1.4 million.

California-based El El Sea LLC, operating in care of Atlanta-based Genuine parts Co., acquired the Napa Auto Parts store at 3505 Ridgeway Road from GP Memphis TN Landlord LLC, according to a Feb. 3 warranty deed.

The 9,230-square-foot store just north of Ridgeway and Winchester Road was built in 1996. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $742,400.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

FedEx Seeks Permit for Renovations

FedEx is making some improvements at its world headquarters campus.

The Memphis-based company is seeking a $555,924 building permit from the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for “interior tenant renovations of existing commercial building space” at 3145 Players Club Parkway.

Memphis-based Linkous Construction co. Inc. is listed as the general contractor.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Sweetie Pie’s Approached as Possible Mall Tenant

Sweetie Pie’s, the St. Louis soul food institution in a standoff with its Beale Street landlord, has been approached by the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. as a tenant for one of two malls the administration wants to convert to “town centers.”

City Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb told Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Feb. 17, that the administration has talked with Sweetie Pie’s about opening in either Raleigh Springs Mall or Southbrook Mall.

The brief mention of the possibility came as council members prepared to vote later Tuesday on allocating existing city capital funding of $23.7 million in addition to $7.5 million in funding the council moved to the project in November 2013.

The administration’s plan for both malls is to use the relocation of city government facilities to the malls to serve as a catalyst for private investment.

The city plans to relocate the Old Allen police precinct, the traffic precinct and the Raleigh branch library to the Raleigh Springs Mall property.

Sweetie Pie’s announced in April 2014 it would open a Memphis location at Fourth and Beale Street in the entertainment district. But since then, the restaurant has been locked in a standoff with Central Foods Inc., which has a long-term lease on the property, with the city attempting to mediate the dispute to get the restaurant open at the long-dormant corner.

– Bill Dries

Airport Authority Plans Seismic Upgrades

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

Global Ministries Buys Riverdale Site for $1.3M

Cordova-based Global Ministries Foundation has bought an 18-acre property at 3999 Riverdale Road from Union University Foundation LLC for $1.3 million, according to a Feb. 9 warranty deed.

The site contains an 8,739-square-foot, 2.5-story school building constructed in 1968, according to the Shelby County Assessor, whose 2014 appraisal of the property was $2.9 million.

The site is part of a larger property given to the Union University Foundation in 2007.

In conjunction with the purchase, Global Ministries Foundation filed a $1.3 million trust deed through First Tennessee Bank NA. Foundation president Richard Hamlet and secretary Natalie Metcalf signed on behalf of the organization.

Global Ministries Fellowship supports ministry programs on five continents that build churches, educate children, combat hunger and perform other humanitarian deeds. The organization also owns affordable multifamily housing developments in the U.S.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Health Care Enrollments Reach 44,000 in Memphis

A little more than 44,000 people in the Memphis metro, including parts of Mississippi and Arkansas, chose a health plan or were re-enrolled in a plan through the HealthCare.gov platform by Feb. 15, when the second year of open enrollment came to a close.

That’s according to new figures the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services released Wednesday. About 11.4 million people enrolled nationally, including a little more than 229,000 in Tennessee.

Nationally, a little more than 1.5 million applications were submitted during week 13 of the open enrollment period, from Feb. 7 through Feb. 15.

– Andy Meek

Shaq’s Mother to Speak at HopeWorks Event

Memphis-based HopeWorks Inc. will host its seventh annual Morning of Hope breakfast and fundraising event Saturday, March 28 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Woodland Hills Event Center in Cordova. Lucille O’Neal, motivational speaker and mother of former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, will be the keynote speaker.

O’Neal is involved with numerous youth-oriented and community projects, such as the Orlando Chapter of the United Negro College Fund, the Reading is Fundamental Program and Scholastic America, to name a few. She has faced challenges, such as poverty, abuse and addiction. Her book Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go is a prime example that it is never too late for a new beginning.

“Lucille O’Neal’s story serves as beacon of hope for people who are challenged by barriers in life, and her success is a representation of what each HopeWorks graduate can achieve,” said Ron Wade, executive director of HopeWorks. “She has prevailed through a number of tough situations, and I believe that her message will inspire and encourage our students and guests for years to come.”

The event will feature a gourmet breakfast. Tickets are $60 each or $600 per table of 10 and may be purchased online by visiting www.WhyHopeWorks.org or by calling 901-272-3700, ext. 104. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, and the deadline for all ticket purchases is March 21.

– Don Wade

Calvary Lenten Series, Waffle Shop Return

Calvary Episcopal Church has announced the lineup for the 92nd Lenten Preaching Series and Waffle Shop, offered Tuesdays through Fridays through March 27.

Calvary’s Waffle Shop will be open Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., serving up all traditional favorites, including homemade waffles, salads and daily specials. In addition, Calvary will offer takeout orders and preordered and prepaid “Lunches to Go.” Lunches to Go orders may be placed in the Great Hall from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Prepaid orders will be bagged and ready for pick up in the Great Hall after the service.

This year’s Preaching Series features national and local spiritual leaders from a variety of backgrounds and religions, including Rev. Tony Campolo, Rev. Becca Stevens and Rev. Doug Bailey, among others. The series begins each Tuesday through Friday at 12:05 p.m. and will be finished by 12:40 p.m.

Waffle Shop After Dark will be offered every Wednesday during Lent, with the Waffle Shop open from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and the speaker beginning at 6:30 p.m..

For more information and a schedule of speakers, visit calvarymemphis.org/lps or call 901-525-6602.

– Don Wade

‘Blue Stream’ Task Force to Focus on Water Sources

A 45-member task force on the city’s water assets – the Mississippi River as a transportation corridor and the Memphis Sands aquifer as the source of the city’s drinking water as well as a source of water for commerce and industry – will begin working in March.

The smaller 14-member executive committee met at City Hall last week including Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. for an organizational session.

The larger task force is to send the executive committee recommendations for policy and other action on transportation, economic development and environmental concerns related to the river and the underground water supply.

– Bill Dries

Fred’s Offering Free Blood Pressure Screenings

February is American Heart Month, and to help raise awareness and show support, fred’s Pharmacy is providing free blood pressure screenings and donating up to $50,000 to the American Heart Association.

The Memphis-based company, which operates 361 pharmacies in 15 states in the South, will offer free blood pressure screenings at all its pharmacies during February. To encourage participation, fred’s also will donate $1.00 to the American Heart Association for each screening performed.

In addition to the free screenings and financial donation, fred’s Super Dollar is collaborating with the American Heart Association to host www.freds.toolsfortheheart.org. The site features a “My Life Check” assessment that evaluates individual health needs, helps participants understand their current level of cardiovascular health, encourages them to move closer to personal health goals, and offers steps to improve overall health and quality of life.

– Andy Meek

Local Democrats Hold Leadership Conventions

Shelby County Democrats meet twice in convention sessions next month to elect a local party executive committee that will in turn elect a new chairman.

The March 14 convention at First Baptist Church on Broad Avenue is a set of caucuses by ward and precinct to select delegates to the March 28 convention, also at the church.

The later session is where the party elects an executive committee of 29, based on voter turnout in the November elections in Shelby County.

Incumbent Brian Carson is not seeking another term as the local party chairman. He is instead running in this year’s election for the District 7 Memphis City Council seat.

Shelby County Republicans will use a similar convention process to select their executive committee and a new party chairman. Republican leaders have not yet announced the dates for their conventions.

Justin Joy is not seeking another term as local Republican chairman.

The leaders of both local parties serve a one-year term of office but are routinely re-elected by their executive committees to a second year between the party conventions, which are held every two years.

– Bill Dries

Kroger to Remodel Cordova Store

Kroger is preparing to make significant improvements to a Cordova store.

The grocery giant has applied to the city-county Office of construction Code Enforcement for a $460,000 building permit to “remodel” the store at 1230 N. Houston Levee Road.

Kroger has invested heavily in the Memphis area. The grocery chain has poured a little over $50 million into Memphis-area stores over the last three years and will invest north of an additional $50 million over the next three years.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Memphis Grizzlies Win Two Emmy Awards

Following a franchise-best eight Emmy nominations by The Nashville/Mid-South Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Memphis Grizzlies have won two Emmy awards at the 29th Annual Mid-South Emmy Awards.

The Grizzlies and director of broadcast marketing and original programming Pat Stage claimed two Emmy awards in the categories of best Editor/Program for their Grizzlies Films Editing composite and best Editor/Short Form for their in-arena material, broadcast teases and commercials.

These honors now distinguish Stage with six career Emmy awards after 22 total nominations.

Stage was also nominated for best Commercial Campaign for the Grizzlies’ “Greater Memphis” Commercials, best Promo Spot/Sports for “Greater Memphis Trailer,” best Sports Program/Feature for “Marc Gasol-The Return” and best Writer/Short Form for “Greater Memphis Promo.”

Grizzlies senior videographer and editor Nick Modisett was nominated for best Photographer/Program for his photography composite. Grizzlies director of broadcast production Scott Zachry, SportSouth’s Randy Stephens, Rohan Backfisch and Tom Huet were nominated for best Sporting Event/Game for their work on the broadcast of Memphis’ win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of the NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2014. The game was called by Grizzlies’ play-by-play announcer Pete Pranica, television analyst Brevin Knight and sideline reporter Rob Fischer.

In addition to his Emmy nomination for best Sporting Event/Game, Pranica was also nominated for State Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

– Don Wade

Two Tigers Athletes Win AAC Honors

Redshirt sophomore guard Mooriah Rowser was named to the American Athletic Conference honor roll after tying a career-high with 24 points in the recenty road win at Houston for Memphis. Rowser also added a career-high five steals in Memphis’ third conference road win of the season.

This is Rowser’s second week on the weekly honor roll. On the season, Rowser is the Tigers’ second-leading scorer with 10.1 points per game and is second on the team with 14 three-point field goals made.

After a masterful pitching performance in the series finale against Oral Roberts last Saturday, Memphis senior right-handed pitcher Dylan Toscano was named to the baseball American Athletic Conference Honor Roll.

The Franklin, Tenn., native pitched six innings of one-hit, shutout baseball to help lift the Tigers to their first win of the season. He allowed d one walk and struck out five.

– Don Wade

Education Commissioner Begins Statewide Tour

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candace McQueen plans to connect with at least 10,000 teachers by the end of the calendar year.

The commissioner kicked off a statewide tour in her hometown of Clarksville last Friday. She visited three schools, two of which she attended growing up.

During her visits, McQueen spent time with teachers, students and administrators, listening to stories of their successes and challenges.

A former educator and teacher of teachers, McQueen says she never feels far from the classroom.

McQueen was sworn in to office last month. Previously, she served on Lipscomb University's executive leadership team as senior vice president and as dean of the College of Education.

– Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 91 293 13,051
MORTGAGES 58 168 8,171
BUILDING PERMITS 99 744 30,678
BANKRUPTCIES 34 156 6,220