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VOL. 8 | NO. 48 | Saturday, November 21, 2015

Daily Digest

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THDA Makes $1 Million Habitat Challenge Grant

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency will contribute $1 million in matching funds to Habitat for Humanity’s fundraising drive for the 2016 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in North Memphis.

THDA executive director Ralph Perrey announced the challenge grant – which will match the first $1 million in private donations to the project – on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Perrey said he hopes the challenge grant “will open people’s eyes to the size and scope of what Habitat for Humanity has planned for the Bearwater Park neighborhood and the Memphis area next year.”

The Carters announced the Memphis work project during a visit to the city in early November to work on a Habitat house in Uptown.

The Aug. 21-27 project includes the construction of 21 new homes; 33 beautification projects that include painting and minor repairs to existing homes; and 45 Aging in Place projects to repair and renovate the homes of low-income senior citizens.

The THDA grant, approved by the agency’s board, comes from revenue generated by single-family home loans to middle- and moderate-income families.

Nonprofit group Oasis of Hope is donating land at 1010 N. Third St. for the new Habitat homes.

– Bill Dries

BPI Packaging Buys 291K Warehouse in Olive Branch

BPI Packaging LLC has expanded its footprint with the purchase of a 291,000-square-foot building in Olive Branch, Miss.

With the addition, Memphis-based BPI plans to add 100 new employees over the next two years and 50 employees by year five.

The warehouse at 10136 Magnolia Drive will house operations for BPI’s coatings solutions business.

BPI will continue to operate out of its 215,000-square-foot space at 4050 New Getwell Road.

Matt Weathersby, principal with Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors, represented BPI in the sale. He said that his team “searched the entire Memphis MSA for a manufacturing building with rail capabilities,” and the Mississippi location provided the best opportunity with easy access to five Class I railroads.

Weathersby represented BPI with CW/CA president and CEO Larry Jensen and associate Luke Jensen. CW/CA vice president Landon Williams represented the seller.

– Madeline Faber

Council OKs Raleigh Springs Mall Conversion, Again

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 17, approved – for the second time in a year and a half – the plan to turn the Raleigh Springs Mall into a “town center” with a city library branch, new police precinct and the Memphis Police Department’s traffic precinct.

The second approval followed a public hearing that was also a repeat of an earlier process, all of it voided when Circuit Court Judge James Russell rejected the city’s attempt to take several parcels of the mall property by eminent domain. Russell ruled the city’s move was premature.

The city has refiled its motion to take the parcels that constitute the mall itself as well as the anchor stores by eminent domain. The city has already bought other properties in the mall footprint.

Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland has said he will determine whether his administration will pursue the mall conversion after he takes office Jan. 1.

In other planning and development matters, the council brought back to life plans for retail on the northeast corner of Summer Avenue and Graham Street that it rejected earlier this year.

The August rejection was brought back up for reconsideration Tuesday after developers dropped plans for a laundromat, which prompted opposition from neighbors this summer.

Council members are scheduled to vote on the amended item at their Dec. 1 meeting.

The council also approved the Massey Green 14-lot single family development at West Massey Road and Massey Estates Cove, and a rental car service facility on the west side of Airways Boulevard in the airport buyout area.

And the council approved a Cambria Hotel and Suites between 267 Union Ave. and 285 Union Ave. on what is now open land. The hotel will be a four-story structure with 161 rooms.

– Bill Dries

Jimmy Kimmel Joins St. Jude Campaign

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has a new participant this year for its annual “Thanks and Giving” campaign.

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel joins a group of celebrities, media and more than 70 of the nation’s leading national brands asking consumers to support St. Jude while they shop this November and December.

Along with Kimmel, returning celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Sofia Vergara and others join St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital National Outreach director Marlo Thomas to star in national television spots and a star-studded movie trailer. The ads ask people to help transform the holiday season into a time of giving thanks by raising funds and awareness for the ongoing battle to end childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

The campaign’s national television spots air on network and cable television channels, as well as online, in both English and Spanish. The movie trailer appears in theaters nationwide and in Puerto Rico, including at Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Theatres, Cinemark USA, Carmike Cinemas, Malco Theatres and other cinemas.

All of the spots, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, will debut online in late November.

– Andy Meek

Commissioners Override Veto Of Legal Counsel Resolution

With a vote to spare Wednesday, Nov. 18, Shelby County commissioners overrode county Mayor Mark Luttrell’s veto of their resolution to hire their own legal counsel.

The 9-3 veto override vote during a special meeting of the body followed a debate about whether the commission can and should hire its own attorney.

Luttrell and county attorney Ross Dyer contend the county charter bars the commission from doing what the Memphis City Council did in the mid-1990s.

Commissioners who favor the veto override argue that having legal counsel separate from the county attorney’s office is legal and necessary for the independence of the body. The county attorney is appointed by the mayor.

“This is about making sure we can keep the balance of power and the legislative branch can act independently,” commissioner Heidi Shafer said.

Commissioner Mark Billingsley argued that the position was not well-defined and the job should have been posted. He also expressed doubts about hiring former Shelby County Commissioner Julian Bolton for the position.

“What you do is risk putting a 14th county commissioner on the body,” he said. “If you do that, you are basically asking a fish not to swim.”

Luttrell could take the issue to Chancery Court in a lawsuit against the commission.

– Bill Dries

Study: Medical Devices Bear $2.7B Impact in Shelby County

A new study released by the Greater Memphis Medical Device Council finds that the medical device industry makes up nearly 4 percent of the total GDP of Shelby County.

According to the study, the county’s medical device industry accounts for $2.7 billion in economic impact; 16,823 direct and indirect jobs; $1.2 billion in wages and more than $46 million in local property taxes.

Also, medical device manufacturing jobs in Shelby County had an average wage of $88,660, which is 66 percent higher than the county’s average wage.

“What we hope these details will shed light on is, despite minimal investment in medical device manufacturing workforce development, the industry provides some of the best career opportunities in our community,” said Gene Baker, GMMDC Chairman, and Smith & Nephew vice president.

An Economic Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County grant funded the study, which used data surveyed from 50-area medical device companies and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Younger and Associates prepared the report.

– Madeline Faber

Trolleys Will Stage a South Main Comeback

Memphis trolleys are on track to return to South Main. U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen announced Thursday, Nov. 12, that the Memphis Area Transit Authority had received a $2.6 million federal grant to purchase three new electric rail trolleys.

The money is coming from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program.

MATA spokesperson Alison Burton said the trolleys are tentatively scheduled to be back in operation by the spring, although that date could change depending on how long the procurement process takes.

At its Oct. 26 meeting, the MATA board approved the purchase of another refurbished trolley, for a total of four. The new trolleys could comprise a combination of historic exteriors and newer parts, according to Burton.

The buses MATA currently is running along Downtown Memphis’ trolley line will be integrated into its regular fleet once the trolleys are operational.

In a statement, Cohen said the trolleys would “play an important role in driving economic development downtown and along South Main.”

“CMAQ funds are a perfect fit to begin restoring rail trolley service in Memphis,” MATA CEO Ron Garrison said in the statement. “The funds will allow MATA to expedite the return of our iconic trolleys with the purchase new rail cars.”

Garrison added that the new vehicles would ease MATA’s long-term operations and maintenance costs.

Cohen added: “Long live the trolleys!”

– Jane A. Donahoe

Verso Paper Considers Bankruptcy Reorganization

Memphis-based Verso Corp. is considering bankruptcy reorganization as one of several restructuring options, company executives announced Monday, Nov. 16.

“We anticipate we will not have sufficient resources to fund our most significant future cash obligations and therefore, we believe that there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern in the absence of a restructuring of our balance sheet,” the paper company said in a Monday press release announcing third quarter 2015 earnings.

Verso makes printing and specialty papers and pulp for the North American market.

“As a result of our cash flow and liquidity concerns, we have begun evaluating potential restructuring alternatives,” the release continued.

Those options include talking with creditors about restructuring what the company owes and raising funds through selling mills.

In the third quarter, Verso idled its Wickliffe mill indefinitely and reduced capacity at its Androscoggin mill.

Both of those mills are specifically mentioned as possibly up for sale.

“Our potential restructuring could occur in a consensual, out of court manner or through a court supervised Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding,” the company added. “While we intend to actively pursue a potential restructuring and potential asset sales, there can be no assurance that any of these activities will occur on terms acceptable to us or at all.”

Verso’s net sales of $782 million in the quarter were up 123 percent compared to the $350 million in net sales a year ago. But adding in Verso’s recent acquisition of rival NewPage, the net sales figures declined.

Verso executives say that reflects a decline in U.S. demand for coated papers and an increase in offshort imports.

There is also an oversupply of the paper products Verso produces.

– Bill Dries

Dunavant Adds Fort Worth Warehouse

Dunavant is expanding its distribution footprint with a new warehouse in Fort Worth, Texas.

The 148,000-square-foot, temperature-controlled space is in addition to the existing Dunavant Dallas container drayage terminal.

The warehouse at 900 Terminal Road in Fort Worth initially will be used for cotton storage. In addition to the commodities industry, Dunavant also distributes in the automotive aftermarket; chemical, food and beverage; paper and packaging; and retail segments.

“Additional warehousing services in Fort Worth will further enable us to provide dedicated services to our existing and potential customers alike,” said Richard McDuffie, COO of Memphis-based Dunavant. “We are eager to build on our success in the Fort Worth market as current services continue to grow in volume.”

Dean Bay, director of warehousing and distribution, will lead the new Texas warehouse.

– Madeline Faber

Tigers’ Alan Cross Semifinalist For Top Walk-On Award

University of Memphis tight end Alan Cross has been selected as one of 10 semifinalists for the 2015 Burlsworth Trophy.

The award, named for 1994 Arkansas walk-on Brandon Burlsworth, is given to the nation’s most outstanding football player who began his career as a walk-on.

Cross originally walked on at Memphis as a long snapper, but converted to tight end and now has 40 starts at that position. After seeing solid playing time in each of his first two seasons and being named to the 2012 Conference USA All-Freshman Team, Cross came on even more in his junior year. He finished the season with 28 catches for 343 yards and was chosen 2014 AAC All-Conference First Team. He is currently the all-time touchdown leader for tight ends at Memphis and is on the Mackey Award Midseason Watch List.

Burlsworth, whose life is the subject of the upcoming major motion picture “Greater,” walked on to the Arkansas Razorbacks squad in 1994, worked his way to being a three-year starter and was eventually named an All-American in 1998.

He was selected as the 63rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft, but died in a car accident 11 days later. The Burlsworth Foundation was created in his memory and supports the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children who have limited opportunities.

– Don Wade

After 156 Years in Memphis, Oak Hall to Open in Nashville

Upscale local retailer Oak Hall is opening a new store in Nashville.

The store is the brand’s first expansion outside of Memphis, where it has operated since 1859.

The Nashville shop will open in 2,000 square feet in March, and will expand to encompass 10,000 square feet in 2017. It will be located in the Hill Center development in Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood.

The Levy family, who owns and operates Oak Hall, also owns and operates a Vineyard Vines store in Nashville’s Hill Center, as well as Vineyard Vines locations in Memphis and Birmingham.

– Jane A. Donahoe

Carolyn Blackett Takes Leave of Absence

Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Carolyn Wade Blackett is taking a leave of absence.

Blackett was off the bench Monday, Nov. 16. Her attorney cited medical reasons for the leave.

Her absence comes as Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich has requested that Blackett be recused from hearing any cases prosecuted by her office. That request would encompass almost every case on Blackett’s docket, except for ones that might be handled by a special prosecutor.

The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct also is investigating two complaints that Blackett acted improperly as a judge.

Blackett, through her attorney’s response to the complaints, alleges the prosecutor’s office is behind the ethics complaints. The DA’s office denies that.

– Bill Dries

Magna Bank Formally Takes Pinnacle Name

Monday, Nov. 16, marked the first day of business for the institution formerly known as Magna Bank, which unveiled new signage Monday morning reflecting its ownership by Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners.

Pinnacle held client appreciation events at its five Memphis offices that no longer carry the Magna banner. The conversion is an outgrowth of Magna’s Sept. 1 merger with Pinnacle.

“When we founded Pinnacle in 2000, we dreamed about operating in the urban markets of Tennessee, and now it’s a reality,” said Pinnacle president and CEO Terry Turner, who was in town to mark the occasion.

Magna customers are now part of a bank with 42 offices in 13 counties across the state and assets of $5.5 billion.

– Andy Meek

Start Co. Accepting Accelerators Applications

Start Co. is gearing up for its sixth round of accelerators and is currently accepting applications from startup founders looking to jumpstart their companies.

After the applications close March 1, entrepreneurs will begin a 100-day startup bootcamp at one of Start Co.’s three programs. Seed Hatchery focuses on enterprise technology, Upstart features women-led tech businesses, and Sky High deals with community-based innovation.

Participating entrepreneurs will receive $25,000 in seed capital provided by the Start Co. Angels and Innova Memphis as well as mentorship, weekly training sessions, business development and cohort reporting sessions.

This year, teams will be considered by a new venture fund designated for those part of the Global Accelerator Network.

– Madeline Faber

U of M Autism Research Gets $3.2M Federal Grant

University of Memphis researchers have been awarded a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a study on early vocal development and predictions of autism.

The U of M School of Communication Sciences and Disorders will partner with Emory University and the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta on the project to examine early signs of delayed vocal development as a possible indicator of autism or other developmental disabilities.

Dr. Kim Oller, holder of the Plough Chair of Excellence in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, is the principal investigator for the University of Memphis, working with Dr. Eugene Buder, an associate professor, and Gordon Ramsay, the principal investigator at the Marcus Autism Center.

– Bill Dries

Belz Investco Sells Southridge Warehouse

Belz Investco GP has sold its warehouse in the Southridge Industrial Park for $16.5 million. The 640,000-square-foot warehouse at 4296 Southridge Blvd. is Belz’s last holding in the industrial park.

SK Realty Management, acting as Southridge Owner LP, purchased the building in a Nov. 10 warranty deed. Sam Kirschenbaum, founder of SK Realty, signed as affiant.

The warehouse is fully leased to Technicolor, a global provider of advanced video services.

In June, Atlanta-based MDH Partners bought out most of Belz’s industrial portfolio with 20 major industrial facilities totaling more than 9 million square feet.

– Madeline Faber

White House Highlights Memphis Tech Job Training

As it expands its TechHire initiative in Baltimore this week, the Obama administration, including the U.S. Labor Department, also is highlighting ongoing efforts in several other cities, including Memphis.

TechHire is an effort to train and place workers in tech jobs, and the Baltimore announcement will expand it with a $100 million grant competition.

The larger effort to fill an estimated 5.5 million tech jobs nationally began in March. It included a Memphis program to offer training for non-violent offenders in local jails and prisons in PC repair, networking and application development.

Seedco also is providing soft-skills training along with the tech-skill training provided by the Tennessee College of Applied Technology.

– Bill Dries

World Tennis Day Linked With St. Jude Ball Kid Program

Youth wanting to try out to be “ball kids” at the 2016 Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster will get their opportunity in the coming weeks.

Tryouts will be held at The Racquet Club of Memphis from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22, and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6.

The Road to World Tennis Day, a GF Sports international tennis platform, starts with the Advantage St. Jude Ball Kid program as the tournament celebrates 40 years. The program offers youth 12 years and older a chance to apply for and audition for ball kids spots.

Kids also get a possible chance to compete in a fundraising competition to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; the grand prize for raising the most money is a trip to New York City to be a ball kid at the 9th Annual 2016 BNP Paribas Showdown on World Tennis Day, March 8, at Madison Square Garden. Serena Williams is among the players involved in the event.

Ball kid selections will be made by Dec. 10. The Memphis Open will be held Feb. 6-14 at The Racquet Club.

– Don Wade

AutoZone Taps New Senior Vice President

AutoZone is promoting Rick Smith, its vice president for store operations, to senior vice president of human resources and customer satisfaction in January.

That promotion comes as Mike Womack, AutoZone’s senior vice president for human resources and customer satisfaction, has decided to leave the company at the end of of the year and return to his home state of Ohio.

“Rick has over 30 years of experience as a proven leader within AutoZone,” AutoZone chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes said in a statement. “We are very excited and fortunate to have Rick move back to Memphis and be part of our Executive Committee.”

AutoZone sells auto and light truck parts, chemicals and accessories through about 5,600 stores in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil.

– Andy Meek

Memphis Distributor Doubles HQ, Signs New Lease

DYK Automotive, a national aftermarket automobile parts and accessories distributor, will nearly double its current 150,000-square-foot headquarters at 4500 Malone Road.

Kemp Conrad with Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors LLC brokered the lease renewal and 316,666-square-foot expansion, and Tim Mashburn with Colliers represented the property owner.

The deal indicates that the local industrial sector’s dynamite year is going out with a bang.

“Our region is on track for one of the best years in recent history,” Conrad said. “We currently are tracking demand for approximately 25 users looking in the market for warehouse space greater than 100,000 square feet, half of which are looking for more than 500,000 square feet. In general, we are seeing a flight to quality, with a significant percentage of these deals involving Class A accommodations.”

The warehouse at 4500 Malone in the Shelby Air Park totals 475,000 square feet.

– Madeline Faber

FedEx Joins US Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes Council

FedEx has signed on to a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.

The Memphis-based shipping giant became the newest member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Veteran Employment Advisory Council, a group of more than 35 large employers spanning all industries and sectors.

In addition to providing private-sector insights to Hiring Our Heroes leadership, FedEx has committed $150,000 to sponsor hiring events and programming across the country, including $50,000 in transportation support, making FedEx the official shipping service for HOH.

“FedEx’s commitment and input will allow Hiring Our Heroes to continue hosting free events and programs, as well as sharing valuable resources with veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses,” said Eric Eversole, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of Hiring Our Heroes, in a statement. “We look forward to working together to get these talented men and women hired.”

More than 28,200 veterans and military spouses have obtained jobs through Hiring Our Heroes events, and more than 2,000 businesses of all sizes have pledged to hire 707,000 heroes as part of the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign. Of those commitments, 500,000 hires have been confirmed.

– Daily News staff

Hard Rock Acquires Elvis Presley Piano

Hard Rock International has acquired its 80,000th piece of memorabilia: Elvis Presley’s 24-karat gold leaf grand piano.

The piano will join Hard Rock's collection of pieces that include handwritten lyrics, clothing and instruments from new and legendary music stars like Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, The Beatles, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Jimi Hendrix and more.

Presley's grand piano was played by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll inside a music room at Graceland. Presley originally bought the piano for his mother in 1955. It was placed into storage after his mother's death until Priscilla Presley decided to adorn the piano in 24-karat gold-leaf finish as a gift for the couple's first wedding anniversary.

– Andy Meek

Zoo Lights Return – With A 100 Percent Chance of Snow

The SunTrust Zoo Lights come on Friday, Nov. 20, and will light up the Memphis Zoo on select nights through Dec. 30. Best of all, there will be “snow” each night in the Courtyard and at Santa’s workshop.

The display opens Friday at 5 p.m. with the lighting of the Great Tree on the Avenue of the Animals at the zoo, 2000 Prentiss Place. Thousands of holiday lights will be on from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. each night Zoo Lights is open. Other highlights include a 90-foot LED ferris wheel, live reindeer and the North Pole express train.

And ice skating is back at the Memphis Zoo for the sixth year; the rink is open daily Saturday, Nov. 21, through Dec. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and during SunTrust Zoo Lights nights from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. beginning Friday. A $6 skate rental fee applies that is not included with general admission or Zoo Lights admission.

Tickets for Zoo Lights are $6 for members and $8 for nonmembers, and some other activities have fees. Visit memphiszoo.org for the full Zoo Lights calendar and other special events details.

– Don Wade

Paragon Bank Reports Strong Third-Quarter Results

Paragon Bank saw record revenues in the third quarter, as well as the highest total loans in the bank’s history and an improved net interest margin, the bank announced this week. The strong quarterly performance stems from a 57 percent drop in nonperforming assets, which are at their lowest levels since 2007, and the continued progress of Paragon's Atlanta-based Small Business Capital Group. Due to increases in Small Business Administration income, mortgage income and solutions product income, core non-interest income for the first three quarters of 2015 increased 82.3 percent over the same period in 2014 to $910,000. Among highlights for the third quarter: • Total revenue for the quarter was $3.3 million, an increase of 3.1 percent over the second quarter of 2015 and 11.8 percent over third quarter 2014. • Nonperforming assets dropped 57 percent during the third quarter, from $5.7 million to $2.5 million. The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets also dropped from 1.94 percent on June 30 to 0.84 percent on Sept. 30. • Gross loans increased $5.4 million, or 9.2 percent, during the third quarter to reach $237.5 million. Total deposits also increased 8 percent as of Sept. 30, while core deposits have increased 3.3 percent. – Andy Meek Gus's Fried Chicken Named

Regional Finalist in Competition Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken has been named as a regional finalist for the Best Bite Award in the inaugural US Foods Food Fanatics Awards. Memphis-based Gus’s was chosen from nearly 1,000 entries and recognized for its 24-hour-marinated, hot and spicy fried chicken. The Food Fanatics Awards are designed to honor people in the food and restaurant business who have an “epic love for the industry.” After receiving nearly 1,000 submissions, the entries were narrowed by regions for all six creative categories: Best Bite, Culinary Genius, Big Heart, Hero, Epic Turnaround and Top Crew. Criteria for evaluation included food fanaticism, creativity and positive participation in the food service and restaurant industry.

– Andy Meek

TVA Kicks Off Natural Gas Plant with $6.5M Permit

The Tennessee Valley Authority has begun work on its natural gas plant near the site of the former coal-burning Allen Fossil Plant.

On Nov. 17, Kiewit Construction applied for a $5 million building permit for an office building and a $1.4 million permit for a trailer build-out.

The combined-cycle natural gas plant at 2480 Hennington Ave. should be operable by 2018 with a 1,000 megawatt-per-hour generation capacity.

The U.S. government-owned utility supplies power to about 9 million people in seven states. TVA’s largest customer is Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.

– Madeline Faber

Agape Child & Family Services Receives $25,000 Grant

Memphis-based Agape Child & Family Services has been given $25,000 to assist with its Families in Transition (FIT) program.

The grant, which was given to the nonprofit through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program, will help Agape serve homeless women and their children by providing housing, food and other support services.

“These families face circumstances which can tear them apart,” said David Jordan, executive director of Agape, which launched its FIT program in 2001 to serve homeless pregnant and/or parenting women and their children.

In addition to providing housing and food, the FIT program helps mothers and their families through its Life Skills classes.

The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities. Agape Child & Family Services is a Christian-based, nonprofit committed to providing children and families with healthy homes.

– Don Wade

U of M Sets Up Relief Fund For 6 Tigers Athletes

On Sept. 30, the apartment of University of Memphis basketball players Trahson Burrell and Markel Crawford caught fire. Not only was that apartment destroyed, another two apartments housing four Tiger football players – Taylor Fallin, Tevin Jones, Ryan Mack and Greg McKillion – sustained substantial water damage.

The university has set up two fundraising accounts at the Bank of Bartlett. One is titled “The University of Memphis for the benefit of Trashon Burrell and Markel Crawford.” The other account is “The University of Memphis for the benefit of Taylor Fallin, Tevin Jones, Ryan Mack and Greg McKillion.”

Donations can be made at the Bank of Bartlett. The university also reminds fans and boosters that the NCAA prohibits donations made directly to student-athletes, including but not limited to cash, clothing, discounted furniture, and/or tangible goods.

– Don Wade

Mid-South Lions Receive $25K for Vision Program

Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service Inc.’s Vision for Tennesseans program is getting a boost from the Walmart Foundation.

A $25,000 contribution from the foundation’s Tennessee State Giving Program will work to provide sight and vision services to underprivileged Tennesseans.

The nonprofit Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service aims to enhance the lives of indigent sight- and hearing-impaired individuals by providing light, sound and hope through partnerships among Lions Clubs, medical professionals and facilities throughout the Mid-South. The program has provided services to more than 30,000 individuals since its founding in 1942.

“Without Walmart we would not be able to provide these services,” said Matt Webber, president of Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service, in a statement. “Without their support, many patients would have to go on the waiting list and likely not receive services when they are needed most. It is incredible what Walmart does to help our community.”

– Daily News staff

Metal Museum Hosts Holiday Events

This weekend will kick off the holiday season at the Metal Museum. Running from Saturday, Nov. 21, to Jan. 3, the Museum Holiday Store will feature one-of-a-kind gifts and ornaments made by Metal Museum artists.

A reception for the unveiling of the museum’s limited edition holiday ornament will be Sunday, Nov. 22, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The store will be open for extended shopping hours on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

All events will take place at 374 Metal Museum Drive.

– Madeline Faber

PROPERTY SALES 51 180 16,377
MORTGAGES 21 57 10,144
BUILDING PERMITS 103 665 39,209
BANKRUPTCIES 31 107 7,704