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VOL. 130 | NO. 232 | Monday, November 30, 2015

Daily Digest

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Memphis School Guide To Debut New Version

A new version of the Memphis School Guide will be unveiled Wednesday, Dec. 2, at a reception in the South Main Historic Arts District.

The guide is an online and print resource for parents and families about school options. It includes information on 370 local schools at MemphisSchoolGuide.org.

The new and revised guide is making its debut at the halfway point in the school year, which is a time when parents and school leaders begin making decisions about options for the next academic year.

The updated print guide, called the Memphis School Guide Navigator, is a version of the online guide for parents who do not have online or digital access.

The navigator is sponsored by SchoolSeed, Tennessee Charter School Center, Memphis Association of Independent Schools, Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, Stand for Children Tennessee and StudentsFirst Tennessee.

Wednesday’s reception is at Leadership Memphis, 365 S. Main St., from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

– Bill Dries

Visible Music College Endowment Reaches $2.5M

Thanks to an anonymous donor, Visible Music College now has a $2.5 million endowment at the Hope Christian Community Foundation, which the college will use to support $200,000 in scholarships annually for students at the Memphis campus.

The endowment comes at a time when the college’s original Memphis campus is celebrating 15 years and looking ahead, with plans in motion for dedicated on-campus student housing. And the news of the endowment follows the sale of 409 S. Main, a property donated to Visible Music College early in 2015.

The $1.2 million in revenue from the sale will help the college fund the $4 million capital campaign for the completion of its downtown Memphis campus with the addition of artist-friendly student studios.

Visible Music College president and founder Ken Steorts said the endowment helps “ensure the security of the scholarship program for the 85 percent of our students who utilize it every year to get here from 50 states and 20 countries, and of course from right here in Memphis.”

– Andy Meek

Lifeblood ‘Bears for Le Bonheur’ Drive Kicks Off Dec. 1

For the next two weeks, Lifeblood donors won’t just be saving lives; they’ll also be giving cuddly comfort to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital patients.

Lifeblood is kicking off the holidays with its third annual “Bears for Le Bonheur” program from Tuesday, Dec. 1, through Dec. 15. For each donor who gives blood or platelets, Lifeblood will give a stuffed bear to a Le Bonheur patient.

Donations may be made at any of Lifeblood’s five neighborhood centers or mobile blood drives, and donors will have an opportunity to sign a tag that will accompany the stuffed bears delivered to patients.

“Together with our donors, we are hoping to reach hundreds of children being treated at Le Bonheur with stuffed animals,” says Jennifer Balink, Lifeblood’s vice president of donor relations, in a statement. “Many patients at Le Bonheur use blood donated by our local donors, and this is just one more way we can bring a little cheer to children during their hospital stay this holiday season.”

Lifeblood, the Memphis region’s only nonprofit volunteer blood center, supplies more than 100,000 units of blood and blood components to area hospitals for patient transfusions each year. However, donations typically drop off during the winter months as donors take time off work and are traveling.

Since “Bears for Le Bonheur” began in 2013, Lifeblood has donated more than 2,000 stuffed animals to Le Bonheur patients. For more information – including a list of mobile blood drives and neighborhood donor centers – or to schedule an appointment, visit lifeblood.org or call 888-LIFEBLOOD.

– Daily News staff

Study Could Lead to New Obesity Treatments

A study led by Dr. Joan C. Han, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and founding director of the UT-Le Bonheur Pediatric Obesity Program, could lead to new approaches for the prevention and treatment of obesity based on individual genetic characteristics.

The study, funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health and published in the online issue of the journal “Cell Reports,” identified a natural variation in the brain-derived neurotropic factor gene. Previously linked to obesity, that gene is known to influence the feeling of fullness, thereby regulating appetite.

The genetic variation reduces levels of BDNF, blocking feelings of fullness, and thus may lead to obesity.

The investigators analyzed brain tissue samples from cadavers to identify the variation. They then studied BDNF in four groups of people enrolled in national clinical research studies.

The results confirmed the variation is linked to obesity, and occurs across the population, but tends to occur more frequently in African Americans and Hispanics.

The study authors suggest that boosting BDNF levels may serve as a therapy for those with the genetic variation.

– Andy Meek

Memphis Zoo SunTrust Zoo Lights Nominated Among Nation’s Best

The Memphis Zoo’s SunTrust Zoo Lights has been nominated by USA Today and 10Best as one of the best holiday zoo light displays in the country.

Online public voting will determine the winners in the contest. To vote, visit www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-zoo-lights/zoo-lights-at-the-memphis-zoo-memphis.

The rules stipulate participants can vote once per day until Dec. 21. The winner will be announced Christmas Day on 10Best and later in USA Today.

– Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270