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VOL. 130 | NO. 56 | Monday, March 23, 2015

Daily Digest

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Raleigh Sleep Inn Hotel Sells for $1.5 Million

AIS Hospitality Inc. has acquired a Sleep Inn hotel for $1.5 million.

AIS Hospitality acquired the 70-room hotel at 2855 Old Austin Peay Highway in Memphis from Anavil LLC, according to a March 16 warranty deed. The purchase price breaks down to $21,428 per room.

Built in 1999, the hotel totals 31,295 square feet. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $1 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Tony Allen Karaoke Event to Benefit Juvenile Nonprofit

Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen will host his fan-favorite event “Tony Allen Karaoke Night” at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis on Tuesday, March 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event is a benefit for Juvenile Intervention and Faith-Based Follow-Up, a program that provides intervention services for more than 750 court-referred youth. JIFF’s program objectives include offering alternatives to youth involved with the juvenile justice system and promoting academic success to those youth and their families.

Allen will be on-hand to meet and greet fans and sing karaoke for a good cause. Admission to the fundraiser is $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 5-12. Admission is free for kids under five. Appetizers are included in the price of admission. All proceeds benefit JIFF.

Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM ESPN Radio and TV Analyst for Grizzlies Live will serve as a special guest judge. WMC Action News 5’s Joe Birch will help emcee the event alongside JIFF representatives.

Fans can sign up to sing once they arrive at the Holiday Inn (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) or by calling 901-522-8502 to reserve a ticket. The highest-scoring contestant will get to perform with Allen to conclude the event.

– Don Wade

Embassy Suites Memphis Begins $7 Million Renovation

The 220-suite Embassy Suites hotel in Memphis has begun a $7 million renovation, expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2015 with a new lobby, atrium, guest rooms and boardroom. Frank Grisanti’s Restaurant, located on the property, also will undergo a major upgrade.

The original lobby atrium is being transformed into more of a social lobby where guests can spend time outside their rooms. The atrium refresh will reflect Embassy Suites’ vision of modern, interactive living spaces. Guest rooms also will be updated, but the hotel will remain open to guests.

Located in East Memphis, the hotel is owned by a partnership led by Chicago-based Lodging Capital Partners LLC and managed by Hilton Worldwide.

Located at 1022 South Shady Grove Road, the hotel currently features 3,000 square feet of meeting space, but will be adding an additional boardroom with the renovation.

– Don Wade

Tennessee Unemployment Falls to 6.6 Percent in February

Tennessee’s unemployment rate ticked down slightly in February, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The preliminary unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent in February, down from January’s revised rate of 6.7 percent.

The national unemployment rate fell from 5.7 percent to 5.5 percent.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in February 2014 while the national rate was 6.7 percent.

– Amos Maki

Tennis Memphis Nets Grant From National Foundation

Tennis Memphis Inc., the nonprofit that manages and programs City Of Memphis municipal tennis courts, has received a $20,000 grant from the United States Tennis Association Foundation as part of its National Junior Tennis & Learning capacity building program.

NJTL was founded in 1969 by tennis icon Arthur Ashe as a way to make tennis and its positive effects available to underserved children. The USTA capacity building program is a three-year commitment from USTA Foundation to 26 select NJTL chapters, chosen from more than 500 affiliates around the country. The program is designed to assist NJTL chapters to realize their full potential in the communities in which they serve, through grants and technical assistance.

Tennis Memphis, founded in 2002, is one of the nation’s largest NJTL chapters, offering year-round youth tennis programs, as well as training in life skills and academic excellence. Thousands of Memphis area youth are impacted every year through activities at tennis and community centers, Shelby County Schools, Boys & Girls Clubs and a seven-week annual Tennis Summer Camp, held at 23 locations throughout the city and county.

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger, an avid tennis player, is a member of the Tennis Memphis board of directors. Additional information about Tennis Memphis and its NJTL and adult programs can be found at tennismemphis.org.

– Don Wade

Two New Elvis Exhibits Now Open at Graceland

Two new exhibits featuring more than 125 Elvis Presley-related items have opened at Graceland in Memphis.

Elvis Presley Enterprises says the exhibits opened Thursday, March 19, at Graceland, the tourist attraction centered on the former home of Presley, who died on Aug. 16, 1977, at age 42.

An exhibit called “I Shot Elvis” includes images taken of the singer by fans and professional photographers. The exhibit, which will be in place through February 2017, also showcases artifacts seen in the photographs.

The “Elvis: ‘That’s the Way It Is’ at 45” exhibit features a documentary film covering Presley’s Summer Festival in Las Vegas during August 1970. The exhibit, which will be in place until February 2016, includes stage costumes, guitars, jumpsuits, contracts and memorabilia.

– The Associated Press

University of Memphis Law School to Host Agriculture Law Conference

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law will host the 2nd Annual Mid-South Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference April 17.

The series of panel discussions and events runs from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The topics include an update on agricultural and environmental law and a discussion of provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill passed by Congress. Other topics on the agenda are farm succession issues, including estate planning, and legal issues involving gas pipeline and energy transmission line easements.

– Bill Dries

New System Expected to Reduce Driver License Waits

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security says a new driver license system is expected to reduce long waits at service centers across the state.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the update is the first for Tennessee’s driver service system in three decades.

The system has a single Web-based screen aimed at allowing quicker evaluations of applications. Online services also have been expanded. The new system gives people several options that include paying reinstatement fees and scheduling road skills tests online before traveling to a service center.

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said in a statement Thursday announcing the system that he expects it to “help us improve service and reduce wait times” at centers.

– The Associated Press

Main Street Communities Created 1,565 Jobs in 2014

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development says Tennessee Main Street communities generated more than $95 million last year and created more than 1,500 jobs.

Tennessee Main Street provides technical assistance and training for communities in developing solutions to make downtowns safe and appealing.

The communities also created 171 new businesses.

There are currently 28 designated Main Street communities across Tennessee, and the program is currently working with six communities. For more information, visit www.tennesseemainstreet.org.

– The Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 81 277 20,909
MORTGAGES 85 329 24,074
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 9 48 3,095
BUILDING PERMITS 219 672 43,265
BANKRUPTCIES 64 238 13,418
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 56 6,678
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 12 94 7,883
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 59 4,702