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VOL. 130 | NO. 147 | Thursday, July 30, 2015

Daily Digest

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Whole Foods Germantown Announces Opening Date

Whole Foods Market will open its 41,000-square-foot Germantown store Aug. 18. The store, at 7825 Poplar Ave., will be the Memphis area’s second and Tennessee’s sixth Whole Foods location.

And for those that can’t wait until Aug. 18, Whole Foods is hosting a sneak preview event for the new store. Participants can “taste their way through each department” and learn about the Austin, Texas-based grocer’s sustainability initiatives, according to a company statement.

The preview event is Aug. 14 and 15; online registration is required to secure a spot on a 45-minute tour between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. A suggested $5 donation will benefit Wolf River Conservancy and Mid-South Food Bank.

In addition to its typical natural and organic food selections, the new Whole Foods Germantown will have a community gathering space and a children’s play area.

– Daily News staff

High-End Car Salesman Sentenced for Fraud

A luxury automobile salesman has been sentenced to 80 months for “operating a scheme that defrauded individuals of more than $2 million,” according to the office of the U.S. Attorney for West Tennessee.

From October 2010 to September 2013, according to an indictment, Michael Brown offered upscale automobiles for sale through his business, Valkry Corp. But once customers paid him, the money was used for personal benefit, and vehicle orders weren’t fulfilled, a pattern that continued for nearly three years.

The indictment says victims included Macau-based international luxury automobile dealership M Super Car, England-based KIS Cars LTD and former NBA star Julius “Dr. J” Erving.

In February, Erving wired Brown a little more than $250,000 to buy a 2015 Rolls Royce Wraith. The indictment said Brown didn’t fulfill Erving’s order or provide him a refund.

The FBI investigated the case. U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson sentenced Brown Tuesday, July 28.

– Andy Meek

Kroger Launching New Concept in Hernando

The new Kroger Co. store in Hernando will be the first in the Memphis area to offer clothing, shoes, bed and bath supplies and home goods.

The new store is using Kroger’s Marketplace design, which expands on the traditional grocery store concept by offering clothing and other household goods. It will replace and be built on the site of the existing Kroger at 2380 Mount Pleasant.

Kroger expects to break ground on the 122,000-square-foot store Aug. 7. The new store, which will include a Starbucks, will be the largest Memphis-area Kroger.

Tim Brown, president of Kroger’s Delta Division, said the new store is part the Cincinnati-based grocer’s promise to invest more than $100 million in the Mid-South.

– Amos Maki

Regional Forensic Center Hosts Investigators

The West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center hosted an information and training session with investigators from three local law enforcement agencies Wednesday, July 29 as part of a new effort to strengthen relationships with area agencies that handle death cases.

Detectives from the Bartlett, Collierville and Millington Police Departments met with administrators and staff from the forensic center to talk about procedures and practices to improve efficiency in death investigations. A similar session was held last month with investigators from the Germantown Police Department, and investigative squads from other law enforcement entities will be invited to the center in the future.

Managed by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center since July 2014, the center houses the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s Office, which oversees death investigation services for 20 counties west of the Tennessee River.

– Andy Meek

Trustmark Corp. Reports Second-Quarter Profit

Trustmark Corp., the parent company of Trustmark Bank, has reported a second-quarter profit of $30.6 million, which represents diluted earnings per share of 45 cents.

Trustmark’s board also has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 23 cents per share payable Sept. 15.

Among the quarterly highlights, revenue totaled $142.5 million, up almost 8 percent from the prior quarter. The bank also expanded its mortgage-production capabilities by adding mortgage producers in Alabama and Florida markets.

Deposits were relatively stable, at almost $10 million for the quarter.

– Andy Meek

Plough Donates $50,000 To Memphis Recovery Centers

Memphis Recovery Centers has received a $50,000 contribution from the Plough Foundation.

Over the course of one year, MRC was challenged to raise $50,000 from other donor sources in order to receive the matching contribution from Memphis-based Plough.

Located at 219 N. Montgomery St. in Memphis, MRC provides substance abuse treatment for adolescents and adults in the greater Mid-South region. The organization also assists patients with co-occurring mental health issues. It’s one of the few treatment facilities in the region to offer residential programs for adolescents.

“We are very fortunate to have an organization that not only commits to a very generous financial contribution, but also motivated our team to push our message out to the public in the interest of meeting the grant challenge,” said Mike McLoughlin, MRC’s president and CEO, in a statement.

MRC plans to allocate the Plough funding to a scholarship program that will provide residential addiction treatment, including on-campus school education, to youth whose families could not afford it otherwise.

– Don Wade

Guardsmark Sold to Universal Protection Service

Memphis-based Guardsmark LLC has been acquired by Universal Protection Service to form the largest U.S.-owned security company.

As part of the deal, which was announced Monday, July 28, Guardsmark founder, CEO and chairman Ira A. Lipman becomes vice chairman of Universal’s board.

Other terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Lipman founded Guardsmark in 1963 and has been the driving force behind the company’s expansion to serve more than 400 cities. The growth has primarily been organic, without Guardsmark acquiring other security companies.

Universal Protection Service is a division of Santa Ana, Calif.-based Universal Services of America. Founded in 1965, Universal has more than 100 locations in the U.S. as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Once the companies are merged they will employ an estimated 60,000 people in the U.S. and Canada.

Guardmark was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the negotiations. Universal was advised by Credit Suisse.

– Bill Dries

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173