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VOL. 130 | NO. 51 | Monday, March 16, 2015

Daily Digest

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Security Firm to Expand With Small Arms Range

A Memphis-based personal security and protection firm is expanding.

ASTAPP, which stands for Advance Security Training and Personal Protection, has applied for a $15,000 building permit to the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to build an indoor small arms range at 2999 Directors Row Drive in Memphis.

The project involves building two walls “to contain small arms fire in an indoor range.” A back wall will “separate the shooters from the public and reduce noise level.”

Samuel E. Hines Jr. is listed as the owner and Fisher & Arnold Inc. is listed as the architect.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Amos Maki

University of Memphis to Honor Distinguished Alumni

Hilliard Crews, Wink Martindale and Diane Vescovo are among the individuals receiving 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards from the University of Memphis Alumni Association.

The U of M will present the awards at an April 11 gala.

Crews will receive the Legacy of Visionary Leadership award, Martindale the Lifetime Achievement award and Vescovo, the J. Millard Smith Illustrious Service to the Association award.

Crews, who graduated in 1971, is chair of Shelby Group International Inc., which manufactures and distributes industrial gloves, safety glasses and safety garments worldwide. He is an avid U of M supporter and one of the founders of the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship.

Martindale is a 1957 graduate known for his career as a radio and television host and producer.

Vescovo, who received a law degree in 1980, is a magistrate judge for U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee. She has served on the U of M’s Board of Visitors and on the National Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Andrew Bailey, a 2000 graduate, will be honored as Outstanding Young Alumnus.

Bailey is a marketing principal with FedEx Services who served as president of the Student Government Association in 1999 and earned the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award for creating a week of volunteerism.

Michael Cook, Pitt Hyde and Dave North also will be recognized as honorary alumni.

Cook is founder, CEO and CIO of SouthernSun Asset Management. Hyde is founder of AutoZone and of Hyde Family Foundations. North is president and CEO of Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc.

– Jane A. Donahoe

Potter Rules Against Dismissal of Billboard Lawsuit

General Sessions Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging three inner-city billboards in residential areas.

Potter ruled Thursday, March 12, denying the motion filed by Clear Channel Outdoors, the billboard company that owns two of the three billboards.

Residents in each of the neighborhoods are challenging the billboards as illegal, saying they went up after a Unified Development Code for Memphis and Shelby County banned billboards in residential areas.

The billboard companies contend the billboards were exempted from the ban or grandfathered in because they were in place before the UDC took effect.

Potter’s ruling sets up a future hearing on the central issue which will be a dispute over whether the date the billboards were erected relies on records kept by local code enforcement officials or whether it can include other evidence.

Attorneys for the residents claim they have proof the billboards were erected at dates later than those indicated in code enforcement records.

– Bill Dries

Report: Memphis Touted as Top City for Millennials

A new national real estate report gives Memphis high marks for offering “the right live/work/play environment” for millennials.

The just-released annual report from Cushman & Wakefield said the top markets for that category include Memphis, Brooklyn, Portland, Ore., and Nashville.

Cushman & Wakefield is a privately held commercial real estate firm.

– Andy Meek

Average Airfares Falling at Memphis International

Thanks to the entrance of low-cost carriers, the average domestic airfare at Memphis International Airport dropped, according to figures released by the Department of Transportation.

The average airfare in Memphis continues to trend downward, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Memphis International experienced a 4.7 percent decrease in average fares in third quarter 2014, the fourth-largest decrease in the nation.

Nationwide, average fares increased by 1.6 percent.

The figures illustrate a downward trend in Memphis airfares since Delta Air Lines reduced its operations at Memphis International.

The airport’s average airfare for the third quarter was $456.63, compared to $487.24 in third-quarter 2013 and $499.16 in third-quarter 2012.

“We realize that we aren’t there yet, but these figures show that airline fares are trending in the right direction,” said Scott Brockman, President and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, in a statement. “In addition, since the third quarter of 2014, we’ve added more flights, more competition and another low-cost airline in Allegiant Air.

“We hope that these developments and our relentless pursuit of frequent and affordable air service will continue to push average fares down.”

– Amos Maki

Tennessee Secretary of State Hires Reporter as Spokesman

Secretary of State Tre Hargett has named television reporter Adam Ghassemi as his new spokesman.

Ghassemi, who most recently worked for WTVF in Nashville, succeeds Blake Fontenay, who was originally hired to be a spokesman for Hargett, Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard.

Wilson has since hired former WZTV-TV reporter John Dunn to be his communications directors, while Lillard has brought on former WTVF marketing consultant Shelli King to be his spokeswoman.

Fontenay, a former reporter for The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis, is moving to the Tennessee State Library and Archives. He will serve as spokesman and coordinator for the Tri-Star Chronicles project, which will record the life stories of Tennesseans who made a key impact on the state’s history.

– The Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 157 157 10,093
MORTGAGES 161 161 11,107
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 1,301
BUILDING PERMITS 229 229 22,402
BANKRUPTCIES 54 54 6,365
BUSINESS LICENSES 18 18 4,099
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 29 29 3,048
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 21 2,147