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VOL. 130 | NO. 174 | Monday, September 7, 2015

Daily Digest

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‘Graceland West’ to Cover 46 Acres

With construction underway on its $90 million resort hotel north of Graceland, Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. has filed paperwork for its plan for the plaza area across Elvis Presley Boulevard from the mansion itself.

The Aug. 28 application with the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Planning and Development covers 46 acres on the west side of Elvis Presley Boulevard under the name Graceland West.

A cover letter from Glankler Brown member Hunter Humphreys, representing Graceland, said the development will include a car museum, two restaurants, a soundstage, retail and a museum to be called “Elvis the Entertainer.”

“The property will include major landscaping features and other improvements which will greatly improve the appearance of this area, while minimizing the effect of this development on surrounding residential neighborhoods,” Humphreys wrote.

A plan included with the application shows two jets now on display in the plaza would be under a canopy but remain at their current location.

There would be ornamental metal fences along the Elvis Presley Boulevard and Craft Road borders of the planned development and two “future warehouses on the western part of the property.”

Graceland executives have talked about a plaza renovation as the third phase of a large-scale redevelopment of the mansion’s surrounding area. It already includes an archives building that opened earlier this year and the 450-room resort hotel that is under construction.

Last month, EPE set an opening date for the Guest House at Graceland of Oct. 27, 2016. That also will mark the formal closing of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel. Elvis Presley Enterprises intends to demolish that hotel. No future use for that land is shown on the plan submitted with the application.

– Bill Dries

James Newsom is New Shelby County Chancellor

Memphis attorney James Newsom III is the newest Shelby County Chancery Court judge.

Newsom’s appointment by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was announced Thursday, Sept. 3.

He fills the vacancy from the April death of Chancellor Oscar C. “Bo” Carr III.

A judicial selection commission took applications and interviewed all who applied. Haslam selected Newsom from the commission’s list of three finalists.

Newsom, 61, has been a member of the law firm Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh PLLC and served as a special master of Chancery Court.

– Bill Dries

University of Memphis Launches Effort to Recruit Nation’s Top Students

The University of Memphis is targeting students nationally in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes in a new recruitment effort: “Talented 10 Percent.”

The admissions program is part of the university’s goal to increase degree completion rates and generate new scholarship and innovation.

The effort will tout the school’s Carnegie Foundation classification as a research university with high activity. The university is the only Tennessee Board of Regents institution with the classification. It also has the largest honors program in the state.

Visit www.memphis.edu/talented10 for more information.

– Bill Dries

Poll Shows Wharton With Slim Lead in Mayor’s Race

A new poll by the Commercial Appeal shows the Memphis mayor’s race likely will be decided with the winner getting less than a majority and a critical percentage of voters undecided.

The poll, commissioned by the newspaper and conducted by Mason-Dixon Research, shows Wharton is the choice of 30 percent of 500 likely voters who were polled by telephone.

Memphis City Council member Jim Strickland snagged 25 percent and fellow council member Harold Collins and Memphis Police Association president Mike Williams each had 12 percent.

Another 15 percent said they were undecided five weeks before the Oct. 8 election day and 2 1/2 before the early voting period opens.

The poll has a margin of error of 4 to 5 percentage points. The likely voters were polled over three days from Monday, Aug. 31, through Wednesday, Sept. 2.

There is no runoff provision in the citywide race. In other words, whoever gets the most votes wins.

– Bill Dries

Colliers Tapped to Lease BankTennessee Building

The BankTennessee building in Downtown Memphis has a new management and leasing company.

Colliers International has been tapped to market and lease the 30,000-square-foot building at 30 N. Second St. It currently houses BankTennessee’s Downtown branch as well as the Daniel Law Firm, Memphis Bar Association and other legal professionals.

The fourth floor currently is available for lease and features a shared executive space with loft-like suites.

The structure was built in 1905 as the original home of the Commercial Appeal. WMC, one of Memphis’ first radio stations, occupied the top floor from 1923 to 1941. Dubbed the Welcome Wagon Building for five decades, it was purchased by BankTennessee in 2013.

– Daily News staff

Toyota Donates Camrys to Covington TCAT Center

Toyota Motor Manufacturing has donated two Camry sedans to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Covington.

Students will use the cars as training tools to learn about servicing and maintaining automobiles.

The cars were built at a Georgetown, Ky., plant; one is a hybrid model.

The Toyota Camry has been the nation’s top-selling car for 13 years. Youlanda Jones, TCAT Covington’s director, said the donation will help students work on the same type of equipment they will encounter in the field.

The donation announcement was coordinated with Toyota Bodine in Jackson, Tenn., where aluminum castings for the Camry’s engine blocks and transmission casings are manufactured.

Automotive technology is one of the programs offered at the Covington center, one of 27 such centers across the state.

– Bill Dries

Overstreet to Receive University of Memphis Journalism Award

The Daily News Publishing Co. executive editor James Overstreet will receive the Charles E. Thornton award from the University of Memphis Journalism Alumni Club.

The two other Thornton award winners are Mike Pennington, journalist and communications counselor with PenNotes LLC, who is receiving the award posthumously, and Otis Sanford, the U of M’s Hardin Chair of Excellence in Managerial Journalism and political commentator for WREG-TV. Prior to his position at the U of M, Sanford was the Commercial Appeal’s managing editor.

Overstreet is a 1992 U of M graduate, and Pennington is a 1972 graduate.

The three men will receive the awards Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave.

Two others will be recognized at the event. Amanda Mauck, digital marketing manager for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and a 2014 U of M journalism grad, will receive the Outstanding Young Alumna award. Aidan Porter, a current journalism student, will recieve the Emerging Young Journalist award.

– Daily News staff

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 52 151
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751
BANKRUPTCIES 37 157 618
BUSINESS LICENSES 12 77 276
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0