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VOL. 130 | NO. 91 | Monday, May 11, 2015

Daily Digest

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Delta Slashing 130 Jobs at Memphis International

A Delta Air Lines Inc. subsidiary is laying off 130 employees at Memphis International Airport.

DAL Global Services, which provides ground handling, maintenance and cargo handling for Delta at Memphis International, will begin the layoffs May 14, according to a notice filed with the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The state department said the layoffs would affect employees at the company’s facility at 2491 Winchester Road. The employees at the facility are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, according to the state.

Earlier this year, Delta laid off 84 employees after the airline cut non-stop flights to New Orleans, Dallas/Fort Worth, Pittsburgh and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

– Amos Maki

LeMoyne-Owen Leadership Search Down to Two Finalists

A search committee looking for the next president of LeMoyne-Owen College has recommended two finalists to succeed outgoing president Johnnie B. Watson.

The finalists being considered by the board of Memphis’ historically black college are Russ Wigginton, vice president of external programs at Rhodes College and Andrea Lewis Miller, chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College.

The LOC board of trustees is expected to decide between Wigginton and Miller later this month.

Watson’s retirement as the 11th president of LeMoyne-Owen is effective June 30. Watson has been president of the college since 2008.

The leadership change is one of two to come this summer in local higher education.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is considering four finalists to be the next president of Southwest Tennessee Community College. Regents chancellor John Morgan will recommend one of the four to the board for a vote. A successor to outgoing president Nate Essex is expected by July.

The finalists for that position are: Kenyatta K. Lovett, assistant vice chancellor at the Board of Regents; Anthony G. Kinkel, president of Wichita Area Technical College of Kansas; Tracy D. Hall, vice president at St. Louis Community College; and Edythe M. Abdullah, special adviser to the president of the University of North Florida.

Essex has been president since the merger of Shelby State Community College and State Technical Institute formed Southwest in 2001.

A year ago this month, David Rudd was selected by the Regents as president of the University of Memphis, the city’s largest higher education institution, succeeding interim president Brad Martin who served for a year after the retirement of Shirley Raines.

– Bill Dries

Magna Bank Reports First-Quarter Earnings

Magna Bank reported a first-quarter profit of $1.4 million, a 33 percent improvement over the first quarter of 2014.

Among the highlights for the quarter, net loans grew at an annualized rate of 9.2 percent, and deposits grew at an annualized rate of 14 percent. Magna chairman and CEO Kirk Bailey said some of the increases can be attributed to an overall “improving financial environment.”

They’re also the result of a focus on customer service and “our creation and marketing of highly competitive deposit products for our customers,” he said in a statement about the quarter, which was followed in April by the announcement that Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners is acquiring Magna.

Bailey will continue to lead the Memphis operations of the combined firm. The merger is subject to regulatory approval as well as to approval from Magna shareholders, and it’s projected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

– Andy Meek

Tigers’ Tucker Tubbs Makes Capital One Academic Squad

University of Memphis senior first baseman Tucker Tubbs has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America have announced.

The Tigers leading power hitter, Tubbs has a .328 batting average with 14 doubles, 14 home runs and 49 RBI. Earlier this season, the Collierville High School product hit a home run in six consecutive games; that’s just two games shy of the NCAA record. He was named one of six Louisville Slugger national players of the week after the streak of consecutive games with a home run.

His 14 home runs rank eighth nationally, while his RBI total, slugging percentage and total bases rank in the nation’s top 40.

In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Tubbs has compiled a 3.87 grade point average in accounting and will receive his degree this spring.

– Don Wade

Brewville @ DeNeuville Fundraiser To Be Held June 6

DeNeuville Learning Center will hold its Second Annual Brewville @ DeNeuville fundraiser, which will feature a local homebrew competition with five winning categories, on June 6.

General admission opens at 5 p.m. and includes food, local craft beer from Memphis Made, live music by South Side Supper Club and contests. Kevin Cerrito, co-host of the “I Love Memphis” podcast and MemphiSport, will emcee the event.

All proceeds benefit DeNeuville Learning Center, which provides education and support services to women and families of the Mid-South. Brewville will take place at the learning center, at 190 Cooper St.

– Don Wade

St. Louis Zoo Welcomes 850-Pound Bear, Via FedEx

Sometimes, shipping an 850-pound beast can be a real bear.

The St. Louis Zoo on Friday announced the arrival of its latest resident, a 2-year-old male polar bear named Kali that was orphaned as a cub. The bear was shipped in by FedEx plane and truck ahead of its scheduled June 6 debut at the zoo’s new Polar Bear Point Exhibit.

The zoo said Kali was resting comfortably and would remain in quarantine for about a month, which is a standard practice that allows an animal to become acclimated to its new digs.

Kali spent the past two years at the Buffalo zoo after he was orphaned in Alaska’s wilderness when a hunter unknowingly killed his mother, unaware she had a cub.

Kali’s latest adventure came Tuesday, when FexEx — having over the years handled everything from endangered sea turtles to seals and pandas — stepped in with air and ground transportation to get a bear halfway across the country.

Kali caught a three-hour flight on a FedEx Express 767 jet from Rochester, New York, to Memphis, secured in a specially designed, half-ton aluminum crate while monitored by a veterinarian and two attendants, the company said in its blog.

The crate was placed behind the cockpit wall, allowing a Buffalo zoo representative and Steve Bircher, the St. Louis Zoo’s curator of mammals and carnivores, to monitor and hydrate him and “basically talk to him,” said Susan Gallagher, the St. Louis zoo’s spokeswoman.

At Memphis, FedEx said, the bear was wheeled to a waiting company truck, its drivers trained in handling sensitive shipments. Attendants who followed in a vehicle frequently checked Kali’s condition, providing water along the way during the five-hour drive in which the bear was in a cargo area kept at 55 degrees.

– The Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 64 87 1,429
MORTGAGES 39 60 1,107
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 6 196
BUILDING PERMITS 92 209 3,265
BANKRUPTCIES 42 84 837
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 23 352
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0