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VOL. 130 | NO. 115 | Monday, June 15, 2015

Daily Digest

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FedEx Records $2.2 Billion Pension Accounting Charge

FedEx Corp. will take a $2.2 billion charge as it changes pension accounting methods.

The Memphis-based company, which said the changes will provide a more timely view of the pension plan’s performance, will record the estimated $2.2 billion non-cash, pretax charge for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.

The accounting change, announced Friday, June 12, will have no effect on employees’ pension benefits or the funding requirements for any FedEx pension plans or FedEx cash flows.

The company said that the new accounting method will make the plan’s operating performance “easier to understand and more transparent” by immediately recognizing gains and losses in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, rather than amortizing them over many years.

“Adopting the mark-to-market approach will align our accounting to provide greater transparency by removing certain legacy pension costs from segment operating results and recognizing them in a year-end adjustment,” said Alan B. Graf Jr., executive vice president and chief financial officer of FedEx, in a statement. “This change has no operational or cash-flow impact and, importantly, does not affect benefits for plan participants. In addition, the funded status of our principal plan remains very strong.”

FedEx also has agreed to pay $228 million to settle two lawsuits over how the company classified employees at FedEx Ground.

The Memphis-based company is settling the two California-based lawsuits over how FedEx Ground classified its employees as contractors and not full FedEx employees, which the employees claimed caused a loss of wages and benefits.

“This settlement resolves claims dating back to 2000 that concern a model FedEx Ground no longer operates,” said Christine Richards, general counsel for FedEx, in a statement.

FedEx will take a one-time, after-tax charge against earnings of $133 million, or $0.47 per share, in the fiscal fourth quarter that ended May 31.

– Amos Maki

Memphis Music Attractions Take 3 of Top 5 Spots in Poll

The results of USA Today 10Best’s latest poll have confirmed something Memphians already know: Memphis rocks.

Three local attractions – Graceland, Sun Studio and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music – were among the 20 nominees up for “Best Musical Attraction.” After four weeks of voting, all three made it into the top five, with Graceland winning by a landslide, according to the results released Friday, June 12.

Sun Studio finished at No. 2, while Stax came in at No. 5.

Tennessee had five of the top 10 attractions. The two other Tennessee attractions to claim top spots: Nashville’s Grand Old Opry (No. 4) and Pigeon Forge’s Dollywood (No. 6).

Also finishing in the top 10 were the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland (No. 3), Motown Museum in Detroit (No. 7), EMP Museum in Seattle (No. 8), Joshua Tree National Park in California (No. 9) and Hansa Studios in Berlin (No. 10).

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, which also included Abbey Road in London and the Apollo Theater in New York.

– Daily News staff

Reptile, Exotic Animal Expo Coming to Memphis Area

A nationwide promoter of reptile and exotic animal expos will bring its blend of vendors, breeders and educators back to the Memphis area for two events.

Repticon Memphis showcases thousands of reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, spiders and small exotic animals. The event will be held at the The Landers Center in Southaven, Miss., on July 11 and 12 and again on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Repticon offers family entertainment, suitable for all ages and for a very diverse range of enthusiasts, according to a press release announcing the expo.

Seminars by industry experts will educate and entertain throughout the event. Many of the seminars feature live animals with an opportunity for guests to interact with them. Top breeders and vendors will offer animals, merchandise, cages, supplies and live and frozen feeders as well as expert advice.

Visit www.repticon.com/memphis.html for more information.

– Daily News staff

Meals on Wheels America Gives MIFA $2,500 Grant

MIFA has received a $2,500 grant from Meals on Wheels America for its participation in the 13th Annual March for Meals campaign.

Subaru of America Inc. made this year’s grants possible through its seventh annual “Share the Love” event. During the event, Subaru donated $250 to the owner’s choice of participating charities for every new vehicle purchased or leased.

Throughout the month of March, Memphis politicians, businesses, and volunteers participated to raise funds and awareness of area senior hunger and isolation. City, county, and suburban mayors served hot lunches at MIFA’s congregate nutrition sites. Ben McLean, owner of the Overton Square-based restaurant Belly Acres, marched for senior meals in a virtual step-a-thon during the entire month. McLean invited the public to join him by tracking their steps and soliciting pledges in support of MIFA. And, in a unique spin on Meals on Wheels, volunteers created a “Meals on Heels” route delivering meals while jogging midtown streets.

In total, $370,250 is being granted to 258 local Meals on Wheels programs and to two Meals on Wheels America-affiliated state associations based on their March for Meals efforts. MIFA won a Silver Award, placing the MIFA March for Meals campaign among the top 20 in the nation. The award funds will go directly to food costs.

One of MIFA’s largest programs, Meals on Wheels’ annual budget is about $2.7 million. With the help of up to 100 volunteers each weekday, MIFA provides over 1,200 hot, nutritious lunches for seniors in their homes and at congregate meal sites.

Nearly 3,700 Shelby County seniors are food insecure.

– Don Wade

Chaka Khan To Replace Aretha Franklin at Live at the Garden

Chaka Khan is replacing Aretha Franklin as the kick-off performer June 26 for this year’s Live at the Garden concert series.

Live at the Garden recently learned Franklin would not be able to make her scheduled appearance June 26, so organizers quickly regrouped and settled on Khan as a replacement. Her career spans some four decades, starting in the 1970s as the lead singer of funk band Rufus.

In a statement about the switch, Live at the Garden co-director Sherry May said that while the team was disappointed Franklin won’t join this year’s lineup, this year marks the first appearance at the event by Khan, someone who’d been on officials’ “wish list” several times before.

– Andy Meek

Collierville Town Meeting Tuesday on Proposed High School

A community meeting on the proposed new Collierville High School is Tuesday, June 16, at Collierville United Methodist Church, 454 W. Poplar Ave.

The meeting by the Collierville Schools system starts at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

The Collierville Schools system is proposing a comprehensive high school be built for the suburban school system at an estimated cost of $99 million.

The town’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a 20-cent property tax hike on the second of three readings to partially finance the school. The remainder of the financing would come from the half cent on the city’s sales tax rate that was added by voters in 2013 to provide the minimum amount of local funding under state law.

The final vote on the property tax hike is June 22.

– Bill Dries

Old Covington Pike Closed for Drainage Repairs

Old Covington Pike has been closed to traffic indefinitely at Austin Peay Highway as Shelby County road crews make storm drainage repairs.

A drainage pipe is being replaced in addition to road repairs with a detour route on Pleasant Ridge Road.

There was no word at press time on when the road would reopen.

– Bill Dries

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 51 334 9,936
MORTGAGES 41 330 10,946
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 12 1,301
BUILDING PERMITS 348 1,216 22,173
BANKRUPTCIES 43 348 6,311
BUSINESS LICENSES 30 142 4,081
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 19 127 3,019
MARRIAGE LICENSES 20 105 2,126