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VOL. 8 | NO. 20 | Saturday, May 9, 2015

Daily Digest

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Carlisle Corp. Files Plan For One Beale

The Carlisle Corp.’s planned development for its One Beale project at Riverside Drive and Beale Street includes an “assembly/performance hall and convention center” as well as a lounge or nightclub with more than 125 seats.

The details of the $150 million project are in the One Beale application to the local Office of Planning and Development filed April 27 by SR Consulting LLC.

Carlisle previously had stated its intent to have some kind of meeting space. But late Monday said the convention center category on the planned development application best fit its plans for the meeting space.

However, Carlisle representatives said the space would not amount to a convention center in its scale.

Carlisle Corp. also is seeking to raise the maximum building height to 450 feet for the twin tower complex with initial plans for 20,000 square feet of office space; another 40,000 square feet of retail and meeting space, including a 6,500 square foot restaurant; 280 apartments; and a 300-room hotel.

The 3.21-acre site includes not only the land at Beale and Riverside long owned by Carlisle but also a parcel of land on the eastern side of Wagner Place south of Beale.

The application is due before the Land Use Control Board on June 11.

– Bill Dries

Two People Emerge For Airport Chairman Post

A three-member committee of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority is recommending two candidates to replace outgoing chairman Jack Sammons.

Sammons, who joined the airport authority board in 2010, is leaving the chairman’s role to serve as Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s chief administrative officer beginning May 8.

The airport authority’s nominating committee – Jim Keras, Darrell K. Thomas and Pamela Z. Clary – recommended the board choose between Pace Cooper and J.W. Gibson II, the only two board members who have expressed interest in the post.

The full airport authority board will vote on the matter May 21.

Keras nominated Cooper, chief executive of the Cooper Cos. hotel group, while Thomas nominated Gibson, chief executive of the Gibson Cos. Clary declined to have the final say on the recommendation, leaving the full board to choose between Gibson and Cooper.

Keras said he recommended Cooper because he is currently the board’s second-longest serving member behind Keras himself. Cooper is 2 1/2 years into his seven-year board term.

“I think it’s about experience,” said Keras. “To me, it makes logical sense for (Cooper) to step up and be chairman.”

Thomas said he nominated Gibson because Gibson had expressed an interest in the post and he wanted the board to have a robust discussion about who would serve as the next chairman, just the fourth in the board’s history.

“However this comes out, I’m fine with it,” said Thomas.

But it’s not that simple. Board members can nominate and vote for anyone they want, including themselves. And with Sammons’ departure the board will be down to six members instead of seven, meaning there could be a tie, at which point Cooper, now serving as vice chairman of the board, would effectively serve as chairman.

The new chairman will serve until December 2016, when the current chairman’s term ends. Four of the board’s current six members have 12 months or less experience serving on the body.

The new chairman will be selected as Memphis International Airport seeks to rebuild service following the loss of the former Delta Air Lines Inc. hub and pursues a multi-phase, $114 million concourse modernization plan.

– Amos Maki

Wunderlich Acquires Dallas Investment Firm

Memphis-based Wunderlich Investment Co. has reached a deal to acquire Dallas-based independent investment advisory firm Fiduciary Financial Services of the Southwest.

With more than $400 million in assets under management, Fiduciary Financial will operate as a subsidiary of Wunderlich. Paul Welch will continue as chairman of the investment strategy committee and portfolio manager. And all associates will continue to serve clients in their current capacities.

Fiduciary Financial will remain based in Dallas.

Wunderlich Investment is the parent company of Wunderlich Securities Inc., a full-service broker dealer based in Memphis. It operates 33 offices in 18 states with more than 600 employees.

– Andy Meek

Dustin Johnson Commits To FedEx St. Jude Classic

Dustin Johnson has committed to play in the FedEx St. Jude Classic, to be held the week of June 8-14 at TPC Southwind.

Johnson, the world’s No. 8-ranked golfer, won the 2012 FESJC as he made final-round birdies on holes 16 and 17. Currently, Johnson ranks third on the PGA Tour money list and ranks fifth in FedExCup points.

“Dustin is a great addition to our field,” said FESJC tournament director Phil Cannon. “He is a marquee player in every sense of the word. He packs a lot of star power.”

This will be the fourth straight year that Johnson has played in Memphis’s PGA Tour stop. Phil Mickelson and defending champion Ben Crane also have committed to this year’s tournament.

– Don Wade

Methodist Le Bonheur Affirms Succession Plan

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare president and chief operating officer Michael Ugwueke will succeed current Methodist CEO Gary Shorb.

Shorb has no immediate retirement plans, but the Methodist board has now acknowledged its succession plan, adding that Shorb intends to give a one-year notice once he makes the decision to retire.

Ugwueke has been a member of the Methodist leadership team since 2007 and was named COO two years ago. He became president and COO in 2014.

In a statement, Shorb said the health care organization wanted to ensure “a seamless handoff planned at the CEO level.”

Ugwueke has a bachelor’s degree from Shaw University, a master’s of public health from Emory University and a doctor of health administration from the University of South Carolina. His 29-year career has seen him in planning and leadership roles at health care organizations in Atlanta, Sarasota, Fla., Washington, D.C. and the Chicago area.

“I would like to thank the board for their confidence in me, and Gary for his mentorship and guidance over the last eight years,” Ugwueke said in the statement.

– Andy Meek

Juvenile Justice Forum Set For May 16 in Frayser

The Juvenile Justice Consortium of Memphis and Shelby County is holding a public forum May 16 in Frayser to hear from parents and juveniles about their experiences with Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court.

The session at the Ed Rice Community Center, 2907 N. Watkins St., is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The establishment of a 14-member consortium is one of the requirements of the settlement agreement Shelby County government and the court entered into with the U.S. Justice Department.

The settlement followed a scathing Justice Department report that was critical of the court for failures in due process standards as well as disproportionately harsher punishments for African-American juveniles as well as their transfer for trial as adults.

– Bill Dries

Orpheum Unveils Summer Movie Lineup

There’s a little something for everyone on The Orpheum Theatre’s 2015 Summer Music Series Lineup, from Marty McFly to Cher Horowitz.

The Orpheum released its summer schedule for the Orion Federal Credit Union-sponsored series, which runs from June 4 to August 28.

The Downtown theater will show a wide range of popular titles including “Back to the Future,” “Clueless,” “Airplane!,” “Top Gun,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Gone with the Wind.” It also plans a sing-along showing of “The Sound of Music” as well as a family matinee showing of “Space Jam” in partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Tickets to the movies, held on most Thursdays and Fridays throughout the summer, are available for purchase now. Visit orpheum-memphis.com for the full schedule and additional details.

– Daily News staff

Simply Fashion, Dots Stores Closing

Simply Fashion and Dots stores nationwide are closing, and going-out-of-business sales are starting Thursday.

Simply Fashion, a discount retailer of women’s clothing, accessories and footwear, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month. The privately held company currently runs about 243 stores under the Simply Fashion and Dots names.

Simply Fashion operates nine stores in the Memphis market. The Memphis area previously counted four Dots locations, all of which closed last year.

Liquidators Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Merchant Resources are managing the closings.

The company says all merchandise will be discounted, and store furniture, equipment and fixtures will be for sale. Gift cards will be honored.

Simply Fashion, which was founded in 1987, is based in Birmingham, Alabama.

– The Associated Press

Investors Buy Poplar Starbucks for $1.6M

Tennessee investors have acquired a Starbucks location at 3388 Poplar Ave. in the University of Memphis area for $1.6 million.

Brentwood, Tenn.-based JAK PEN LLC bought the Starbucks building from Georgia-based Poplar 3388 GP, according to an April 24 warranty deed. In 1999, Poplar 3388 GP bought the property from Taco Bell of AM Inc. for $420,000.

The 1,896-square-foot building sits on less than half an acre at the northwest corner of Poplar and Prescott Street.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $427,400.

– Amos Maki

Source: The Daily News & Chandler Reports

EPA: Le Bonheur Asthma Program Tops in US

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital’s CHAMPS Program has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as a leading national model for asthma care.

The program focuses on high-risk children with asthma served through TennCare. The CHAMPS program – which stands for Changing High-Risk Asthma in Memphis through Partnership – has developed a high-risk asthma registry and also uses a team of community health workers, respiratory therapists, physicians and social workers to provide asthma education.

The program’s recognition comes during Asthma Awareness Month, with the Le Bonheur program being honored with the 2015 National Environmental Leadership Award from the EPA.

It was recognized along with the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative in Baltimore as “as the two leading asthma management programs for comprehensive, in-home interventions and innovative asthma education to improve the lives of people with asthma in underserved communities,” according to a statement.

– Andy Meek

Southern Launches MEM-New Orleans Route

Southern Airways will launch a nonstop flight between Memphis and New Orleans.

The airline decided to start the route due to the “overwhelming requests” from Memphians, according to a company statement. It fills a void left when Delta Air Lines dropped its Memphis to New Orleans flights last year.

Tickets are now available for the Southern Airways route that launches May 26.

Memphis-New Orleans flights will operate five days each week and will use Lakefront Airport in New Orleans.

In addition to non-stop flights from Memphis to New Orleans – and Memphis to Destin – passengers also will be able to connect through these hubs to Atlanta’s DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

– Amos Maki

Teens Still Critical After Resort Poisoning

Two Delaware teenagers are still in critical condition more than six weeks after a banned pesticide was sprayed at the Caribbean resort where they were staying, their family said Monday.

Sean and Ryan Esmond and their parents fell ill after an applicator working for Terminix used the pesticide methyl bromide at the resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The teens are hospitalized in Philadelphia. Their father and mother, Stephen Esmond and Theresa Devine, continue to undergo therapy, said the statement, which provided the first update on the family’s medical condition in a month.

“The Esmond Family thanks the nation for its outpouring of support and concern for the family’s recovery from this unthinkable tragedy of pesticide poisoning during their family vacation,” the statement said.

The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and authorities in the Virgin Islands are investigating.

The EPA said in April that its probe had found the toxic pesticide was used at the Sirenusa Condominium Resort in St. John several times in the past, and may have improperly been used in Puerto Rico. The agency banned the chemical for residential use in 1984.

Stephen Esmond is head of a private middle school in Wilmington, Delaware, and Devine is a dentist in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Terminix is owned by ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc., which is based in Memphis.

ServiceMaster CEO Rob Gillette said in an April 28 earnings conference call with analysts that the company is coopering in the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal investigation of the incident. It also is conducting an internal investigation. Gillette said ServiceMaster has already set aside $3 million in the current quarter due to the incident. The amount is the equivalent of the liability insurance involved for such an occurrence.

– The Associated Press

Martin Tapped As American CFO

Stacy Martin is leaving her executive position in the University of Memphis athletics department to become chief financial officer of the American Athletic Conference, AAC commissioner Mike Aresco announced.

Most recently Martin was executive senior associate athletic director for finance and administration at the U of M, one of The American’s 11 member schools. Martin joined Memphis in 2012 and worked closely with the conference office through its rebranding process prior to the 2013-14 academic year.

Before joining the staff at Memphis, Martin served as assistant athletic director for business at Kansas State.

– Don Wade

Six UTHSC Projects Nab $1.9M in Grants

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis has been awarded almost $1.9 million in federal grant funding for six different research projects.

The way it breaks down:

• $645,184 comes from the National Eye Institute for the “Nanoplatform and Modeling of the Subretinal and RPE Microenvironment in AMD” project;

• $327,600 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for the “Cholesterol control of alcohol-induced cerebral artery constriction” project;

• $280,133 from the National Institute on Aging to help answer the question: “Is HSF1 the key in mediating Hsp90 inhibitor effect in AD?”;

• $250,000 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for the “Hospital Responses to Medicare Readmission Penalties” project;

• $225,000 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for the “Real-time differences in sensorimotor integration for speech perception between stuttering and non-stuttering populations” project;

• and $157,500 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the “Group A Streptococcal Vaccine Containing Immunogenic Peptides of Streptolysin S” project.

– Andy Meek

Council OKs Graceland Tourism Surcharge

Memphis City Council members approved on third and final reading a 5 percent Graceland tourism surcharge on all items bought on the 120-acre Graceland campus.

The revenue stream will go toward financing the three-phase Graceland expansion project including the construction of a $90 million, 450-room hotel north of the mansion.

Meanwhile, Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden told council members the two jets once owned by Elvis Presley and available for tours for more than 30 years aren’t likely to move as Graceland closes on a deal to buy them.

“Chances are they will sit there for another 33 years,” he said in response to a question from the council.

“And everything else has been a lot of smoke and a period of time when we couldn’t come to terms,” he added of the contract negotiations with OKC Partners, the company that owned the planes and had a contract with Graceland to include the display as part of certain Graceland tour packages.

And the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. delayed a vote Tuesday on $241,571 in funding for a water detention basin on the campus of Memphis Catholic High School in Midtown. Several council members questioned the project’s priority ahead of projects to ease flooding in Frayser and Whitehaven, two areas the city engineer’s office and public works division are studying for future measures.

In council committee session Tuesday, council members recommended the city’s $1.5 million purchase of the Donnelly J. Hill State Office Building.

The committee action sets the stage for a vote by the full council in two weeks on the deal that Wharton’s administration is proposing. The voice vote to recommend came after much council debate and discussion.

– Bill Dries

State Systems Acquires Mississippi Company

State Systems Inc. has acquired Ver-Max Inc., a Corinth, Miss.-based fire protection company.

The move is the fifth acquisition in nearly 10 years for State Systems, a Memphis-based total protection business.

The acquisition further bolsters State Systems’ reach into North Mississippi. Ver-Max has about 500 active customer accounts within a 50-mile radius of Corinth.

Terms of the deal, which closed May 1, were not disclosed. All Ver-Max employees will join State Systems’ existing North Mississippi team.

“This was a natural move for our company and one that enables our footprint to continue growing beyond the Mid-South,” said Bob McBride, president and CEO of State Systems, in a statement.

With the acquisition, State Systems – a privately owned company known for its fire protection equipment, prevention training and cleaning services – now employs 117 people.

– Daily News staff

Youth Fund Kicks Off With MLGW Partnership

The city of Memphis’ summer jobs program and its Memphis Ambassadors Program are seeking private donations to expand through regular contributions via the monthly Memphis Light Gas and Water Division bill.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and MLGW president Jerry Collins announced the Invest In Memphis Youth Fund Wednesday, May 6. Wharton reminded those present that the MPLOY summer jobs program had 7,882 applications from teenagers and young adults for the 1,000 jobs offered.

Starting this month, MLGW ratepayers can fill out a card that allows the utility to add a recurring dollar amount contribution to each monthly bill. The commitment cards will be included with the next monthly bill.

The money from that and from private donations outside the billing process will specifically fund scholarships in both programs.

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis will administer the fund.

Wharton said both programs are “here to stay” because the problems underlying their creation are “the new norm” in America. “It would be my suggestion to all of us in leadership positions that we adopt this just as we plan for storms, snow, ice,” Wharton said.

“I was looking for a way to institutionalize a way for every resident, every citizen to say, ‘I can help.’”

– Bill Dries

Cowork Memphis To Host Revenue Building Class

Cowork Memphis and startup partner The unFunnel.com will host a revenue building class May 19 at Cowork Memphis, 902 S. Cooper.

The event, “Digital Revenue Engine 2.0: Triple Your Revenue in any Market,” is aimed at small business owners and entrepreneurs and will teach participants how to raise their revenue by increasing the number of customers, the average transaction value per customer and the number of transactions per customer.

– Andy Meek

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 86 393 21,159
MORTGAGES 94 424 24,785
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 93 8,703
BUILDING PERMITS 173 1,010 43,347
BANKRUPTCIES 52 292 14,194
BUSINESS LICENSES 15 90 6,491
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 28 167 13,678
MARRIAGE LICENSES 12 89 5,158

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