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VOL. 130 | NO. 128 | Thursday, July 2, 2015

Daily Digest

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GTx Stock Performance Pleases Analysts

Memphis-based biopharmaceutical company GTx is making investors and analysts happier these days.

A recent Zacks Equity Research note said it was "pretty encouraging" that estimates for GTx's stock have moved higher in recent weeks, with the analyst sentiment rising in tandem with a 37 percent stock price gain over the past month. Shares were up 2 cents to $1.49 during afternoon trading Wednesday, July 1.

News also has come at a steady clip out of GTx this year. The company in March, for example, announcing it has entered into an exclusive license agreement with the University of Tennessee Research Foundation to develop the foundation’s proprietary selective androgen receptor degrader technology.

The company also named former Johnson & Johnson executive Rob Wills as GTx's new executive chairman recently. He joined the GTx board effective March 2.

– Andy Meek

Grizzlies Make Qualifying Offer to Nick Calathes

The Memphis Grizzlies have extended a qualifying offer to guard Nick Calathes. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

By extending a qualifying offer to Calathes prior to the June 30 deadline, Memphis holds the right to match any offer sheet he may sign with another team after becoming a restricted free agent on July 1.

Calathes averaged 4.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.09 steals in 14.4 minutes in 58 games (zero starts) for Memphis last season. The 26-year-old posted a 92.2 defensive rating, leading all NBA players who appeared in at least 55 contests.

Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (45th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft following a two-year career at the University of Florida, Calathes owns NBA career averages of 4.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.00 steals in 15.6 minutes in 129 games in two seasons, both with the Grizzlies.

– Don Wade

 

University of Memphis To Relaunch GoTigersGo.com

The University of Memphis Athletic Department is relaunching its website, GoTigersGo.com, to provide a user-friendly experience across all platforms – including smartphones and tablets.

The updated site includes media walls on each sport page where previews, recaps and features can be found along with digital content such as photo galleries and video. A social wall encompasses both Instagram and Twitter, including content provided by fans.

Imagery of Memphis’ athletic facilities is featured throughout the site via sliders as is additional sport-centric material available on each athletic program’s main page.

The site will still offer links to schedules, rosters, news and ticket information.

As the new site comes online and with the beginning of fall sports seasons, users will have access to enhanced student-athlete and coaching staff biographies, improved displays of sport statistics and additional schedule content, and new video and photography elements.

– Don Wade

Timberlake Buys Property in Williamson County

A newspaper reports that pop music star and actor Justin Timberlake has purchased about 126 acres of land in Williamson County.

According to The Tennessean, Timberlake paid $4 million for the land on Old Highway 96 in the Leiper's Fork community through an entity with his Los Angeles-based certified public accountant as the trustee.

The newspaper reports that preservationist Aubrey Preston was the seller. Preston is known for leading efforts to preserve the historic Studio A building on Nashville's Music Row.

Sonia Muckle, a spokeswoman for Timberlake, declined to comment to the newspaper.

Timberlake told The Tennessean in 2013 that he has friends in the Williamson County area and that he spends more time in Nashville than people realize.

"I admire this town a lot. They take care of their own," the Memphis native said. "There's not a lot of places in the world, much less America, that do that. It's just a great place."

Celebrities Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, Alan Jackson, Michael McDonald and Trisha Yearwood also own property in Williamson County.

– The Associated Press

Chelsea Floodwall Focus of Public Art Festival

More than 70 artists will display public art being painted along the Chelsea Greenline west of North Evergreen Street during a daylong festival July 18.

The festival is being organized by Paint Memphis with assistance from the UrbanArt Commission.

The gathering will include food trucks and family-friendly activities along the Chelsea Greenline’s floodwall, which stretches about a third of a mile. The goal is to promote the floodwall as a canvas for graffiti artists, with Paint Memphis serving as a monitor of the art and keeping the area free of litter.

The floodwall will get a primer coat of paint with 35 gallons of paint and paint sprayers donated by The Home Depot, a festival sponsor. Home Depot employees will also volunteer time to help paint the wall.

The UrbanArt Commission and the Greater Memphis Greenline got the permission of the city of Memphis and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the artwork.

The concept of graffiti on public walls is known in other cities as “permission walls.”

“Giving these artists a palette, time and materials can help them to find a safe and legal space to showcase their talents,” said Karen Golightly, a coordinator of the Paint Memphis event. “Graffiti is the most prominent form of public art.”

– Bill Dries

US Probing Possible Airline Collusion to Keep Fares High

The U.S. government is investigating possible collusion between major airlines to limit available seats, which keeps airfares high, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press.

The civil antitrust investigation by the Justice Department appears to focus on whether airlines illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes and extra seats.

A letter received Tuesday by major U.S. carriers demands copies of all communications the airlines had with each other, Wall Street analysts and major shareholders about their plans for passenger-carrying capacity.

Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce confirmed Wednesday that the department was investigating potential "unlawful coordination" among some airlines. She declined to comment further, including about which airlines are being investigated.

Thanks to a series of mergers starting in 2008, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United now control more than 80 percent of the seats in the domestic travel market. During that period, they have eliminated unprofitable flights, filled a higher percentage of seats on planes and made a very public effort to slow growth in order to command higher airfares.

It worked. The average domestic airfare rose 13 percent from 2009 to 2014, when adjusted for inflation, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. And that doesn't include the billions of dollars airlines collect from new fees: $25 each way to check a bag and $200 to change a domestic reservation. During the past 12 months, the airlines took in $3.6 billion in bag fees and another $3 billion in reservation change fees.

All of that has led to record profits for the industry. In the past two years, U.S. airlines earned a combined $19.7 billion.

This year could lead to even higher profits thanks to a massive drop in the price airlines pay for jet fuel, their single highest expense. In April, U.S. airlines paid $1.94 a gallon, down 34 percent from the year before.

– The Associated Press

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