VOL. 9 | NO. 15 | Saturday, April 9, 2016
Munford Signs Multi-Year Contract With Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies announced that the team has signed guard Xavier Munford to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.
Munford has appeared in 10 games (zero starts) with the Grizzlies and has averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 14.2 minutes after signing with the team to the first of two 10-day contracts on March 16.
The 23-year-old played 41 games (37 starts) for the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam, averaging 20.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.00 steals in 33.7 minutes, and was recognized as a 2016 D-League All-Star.
Undrafted in the 2014 Draft, Munford averaged 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 35.5 minutes in 61 games (all starts) in his final two collegiate seasons at the University of Rhode Island. The New Jersey native led the Rams in scoring in each of his two years with the program.
– Don Wade
Wastewater Leak Stopped, McKellar Cleanup Continues
The boat ramp on McKellar Lake at theA bypass around a raw sewage leak into Cypress Creek and McKellar Lake was up and running Thursday, April 7, according to the city of Memphis.
The bypass ends a leak in the main wastewater line to the T.E. Maxson Wastewater Treatment Plant that was discovered March 31 and triggered a large fish kill of more than 10,000 in McKellar Lake.
“Now that the spill is stopped, our next focus will be to repair the damaged pipe and work with the state to evaluate and collaborate on any long-term remediation needs,” Mayor Jim Strickland said in a written statement.
The permanent repairs are expected to take three to four months. The cost of the repairs and related work is covered by the city’s sewer fund with none of the funding coming from the city’s general fund.
The city’s estimate is that the break in the line sent 50 million gallons of raw wastewater a day into the Creek and from there into the lake.
State environmental officials and Shelby County Health Department officials have closed the creek and the lake to any kind of use or contact.
The city is hiring an environmental consultant to advise the Public Works Division on the clean-up.
Tests on the water show E. coli bacterial levels in the Cypress that are 300 times above the acceptable levels for recreational use of streams and levels in McKellar that are 580 times the same standard for lakes.
The tests will continue.
– Bill Dries
Memphis, ASU Agree To 4-Year Football Series
The University of Memphis and Arkansas State will begin a four-year series in football starting in 2020.
Memphis will host ASU in 2020 and 2022 and will play in Jonesboro in 2021 and 2023. Memphis and Arkansas State have squared off 58 times, and Memphis leads the overall series 29-24-5, including a 31-7 win in Memphis in the series’ last meeting in 2013.
Memphis also announced Monday that the Tigers will play a home-and-home series against South Alabama (2018 and 2019) and will open the 2018 season against Mercer.
The addition of the Mercer contest gives Memphis seven home games (three non-conference and four American Athletic Conference games) in each of the next three seasons (2016, 2017 and 2018).
Non-conference opponents this season include Southeast Missouri State on Sept. 3 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium; Kansas on Sept. 17 at the Liberty Bowl; Bowling Green on Sept. 24 at the Liberty Bowl; and at Ole Miss on Oct. 1.
The 2017 non-conference schedule is highlighted by a visit from UCLA on Sept. 16.
– Don Wade
Grizz Guard Mike Conley Reportedly Out for Season
Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley most likely will not return to the court this season, sources told ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Conley, who has been sidelined with Achilles tendinitis in his left foot, has continued to wear a walking boot. Former Grizzlies backup point guard Mario Chalmers ruptured his Achilles this year, and with Conley a free agent at season’s end and the Grizzlies presumably wanting to sign him to a long-term contract, Conley’s return represented an unnecessary risk for both parties.
Conley, 28, was averaging 15.3 points and 6.1 assists this season.
The Grizzlies carried a six-game losing streak into their Tuesday, April 5, game at FedExForum against Chicago. They are trying to hang on to a playoff spot, and subpar play at point guard has been a factor during the skid. They still held a narrow lead over Portland for the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference going into Tuesday’s game, but if they were to lose their last five games they could still miss the playoffs.
– Don Wade
Lenoir Delays County Collection of City Taxes
Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir has delayed his office’s plans to begin collecting current city of Memphis taxes effective July 1.
Lenoir and city chief financial officer Brian Collins told Memphis City Council members Tuesday, April 5, that the planned July 1 start is being postponed because of problems converting the city’s system to the trustee’s system. Lenoir said more testing and planning is needed to ensure there isn’t a “hiccup” in the city’s revenue flow.
He also said the trustee’s vendor on the project wanted a delay in the roll-out.
The trustee’s office currently collects delinquent city taxes under a 2013 contract.
“We will not convert on July 1 as we originally anticipated,” Lenoir said. “It’s way too risky for us. It’s way too risky for the city.”
No new date for the conversion was set Tuesday.
“The conversion of city and county data is an enormous undertaking,” Lenoir added. “We are continuing to move forward to complete this project as soon as possible.”
– Bill Dries
More MEMShops Coming to Film Row
Communities Unlimited, program manager for MEMShop, is seeking applications for three businesses looking to locate on Film Row in Downtown Memphis.
As a business incubator, MEMShop provides subsidized rent and financial planning and marketing assistance for participating small business owners. Innovate Memphis will provide funding for the program.
This will be the second round of MEMShop-backed businesses in Film Row, which is an underutilized strip of Second Street a few blocks away from bustling South Main.
The deadline to apply is April 30. For more details, visit memshops.weebly.com.
– Madeline Faber
Ira Sachs Will Keynote MCA Commencement
Indie filmmaker Ira Sachs will be the 2016 commencement speaker during the Memphis College of Art commencement ceremony next month.
The event is set for May 14 at 10 a.m. on the south lawn of Rust Hall, 1930 Poplar Ave.
Sachs has directed numerous films, winning awards and accolades in film festivals around the world. Two of his movies were filmed in Memphis:L“The Delta” and “Forty Shades of Blue,” which was awarded the Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize in 2005.
His work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Sachs was born in Memphis in 1965, and graduated from Central High School in 1983. As a child, he attended Saturday school classes at the Memphis Academy of Arts - now Memphis College of Art - when President Ted Rust, a close family friend, directed the college.
– Andy Meek
Carrie Underwood At FedExForum Nov. 13
Seven-time Grammy winner and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year nominee Carrie Underwood has extended The Storyteller Tour – Stories in the Round, which will bring her back to FedExForum on Nov. 13.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 8, at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com and the FedExForum Box Office by phone at 800-745-3000.
There also will be an exclusive FedExForum presale Thursday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. available to current Memphis Grizzlies’ MVP season ticket holders, Grizzlies e-news subscribers and recipients of FedExForum Event Alert e-mails, or by connecting with FedExForum and the Grizzlies on Facebook and Twitter.
– Don Wade
Beale Street Merchants Roll Out Seasonal Fast Pass
The Beale Street Merchants Association has begun pre-sales of a seasonal all-access pass geared toward frequent patrons of the entertainment district.
The Beale Street Fast Pass, which costs $150, offers the cardholder and one guest a range of benefits from April 15 to Oct. 1. Among the features: free cover and the ability to skip club entry lines at participating venues; discounted parking in the 250 Peabody Place garage; immediate access to Beale after a security check-in; red-carpeted entrance at Third Street and Beale; and special incentives at participating venues throughout the season.
The Beale Street Merchants Association tested out the concept with a New Year’s Eve Fast Pass, and BSMA president Sandy Robertson said that after the success and positive feedback of that program, the association knew that Beale patrons were ready for a special package to call their own.
For more information on the Fast Pass, visit bealestreet.com.
– Kate Simone
Memphis Country Club Purchases Vacant Lot
The Memphis Country Club has purchased a half-acre lot from New Olivet Baptist Church. The parcel at 3120 E. Southern Ave. went for $1.5 million.
The land is on the eastern side of Terrell Pace, and the New Olivet church is on the western side at 3084 E. Southern. The Memphis Country Club, at 600 Goodwyn St., is a stone’s throw away from the lot.
The lot was most recently appraised at $92,000.
– Madeline Faber
Art Students Paint Greenline Mural
Memphis College of Art’s 2016 ArtsZone Scholars spent the past weekend painting a mural on part of the Greater Memphis Greenline, located at the corner of Marble Avenue and Danny Thomas Boulevard.
Lead artist and MCA assistant professor Cat Normoyle directed the project for the third consecutive year. This year’s design was inspired by local geography and nature, expressed through abstract shapes and vibrant colors. The project was made possible by a grant from ArtsZone, a collaboration between AutoZone and ArtsMemphis to support public art projects in underserved areas of the city.
AutoZone’s funding for Memphis College of Art provided scholarships for five students from Shelby County: Dominique Carr, Elizabeth Hefner, Tomica Lake, Jacob Lambert and Cortez Totton.
– Andy Meek
Grizzlies ‘Garage Sale’ to Benefit St. Jude
The Memphis Grizzlies are having “Grizz’s Garage Sale” – a one-day-only sale with 15 seasons of T-shirts, hats, photos, furniture, autographed memorabilia, promotional giveaways and more up for grabs, with all proceeds to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Grizz’s Garage Sale” will be held on April 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at FedExForum, 191 Beale St. MVP season ticket holders can begin shopping an hour earlier. Parking will be free on the day of the event in the Toyota Parking Garage.
Select T-shirts will start as low as $1, and more than 6,000 items will be available.
Grizz fans that can’t make it to FedExForum for the sale will still have a chance to support St. Jude by purchasing select, rare memorabilia – including the Player’s Lounge pool table – via online auctions by visiting garagesale.e.gesture.com or texting “garage sale” to 52182.
Additional ways to support St. Jude this season include the ongoing “Grizz Assists for St. Jude” program spearheaded by Grizzlies players and St. Jude Ambassadors Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. The campaign is operated on the PLEDGE IT platform to place a dollar amount on each recorded Grizzlies team assist during games through April 5, resulting in an overall performance-based donation.
Campaign supporters are asked to pledge any customizable amount of their preference. The total of all pledges made per assist will then be applied directly to the total amount of team assists to create one donation to St. Jude. Fans can visit pledgeit.org/grizzlies to register their pledges.
– Don Wade
Remission 5K at MUS Raises More than $60,000
The second annual Race to Remission 5K at Memphis University School April 2 drew 500 people and raised more than $60,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The event was spearheaded by MUS seniors Grayson Lee and Daniel Tancredi. It was started in honor of three teen cancer patients, including an MUS student.
Richard Shadyac, president and CEO of ALSAC, St. Jude’s fundraising arm, participated in the race, which took in the East Memphis campus as well as the surrounding neighborhood.
– Bill Dries
Exchange Club Annual Auction Raises $168,000
The Exchange Club Family Center, an area nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of child abuse and domestic violence, has announced its Hands of Hope Auction Party held on Feb. 27 at the University Club of Memphis raised $168,000.
More than 500 guests were in attendance. Money raised will support the organization’s programs.
During the event, former Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Ruby Wharton announced that the center’s building on Union Avenue will be renamed in honor of Barbara King.
King has been has been the executive director of the center for the last 22 years and is retiring in June.
“This year’s event was one of the best yet, and we’re forever grateful to the dedication and generosity of our staff, volunteers and guests,” King said. “The money raised will allow the Center to continue its mission.”
– Don Wade
First Tennessee Launches $50M Community Fund
First Tennessee has launched a $50 million Community Development Fund that the bank says will award up to $3 million annually in grants to community and nonprofit organizations serving low- to moderate-income people and neighborhoods.
The grants are in addition to the $5 million in grants that nonprofits traditionally get from the First Tennessee Foundation each year.
Community Development Fund grants will be distributed each year to nonprofits and community organizations in First Tennessee markets including Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville and the Tri-Cities in Tennessee; as well as Winston-Salem, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; and Richmond, Va.
The bank says projects eligible for funding include those that promote financial literacy, support affordable housing for low- to moderate-income residents or provide down-payment assistance to low- to moderate-income homebuyers.
– Andy Meek
Palmer Home for Children Expanding in Hernando
On Tuesday, April 12, Palmer Home for Children will break ground on a $10 million expansion of its Hernando, Miss., campus to include three new cottages and a wellness center.
With campuses in Columbus and Hernando, Palmer Home provides residential care for children while introducing the love of God through service. Operating in Columbus since 1895, the organization expanded its reach to DeSoto County in 2003.
The plan for a second location was born out of discussions at Palmer Home’s centennial celebration, as a strategic move that would provide an answer to the organization’s growing waiting list of children.
“We wanted to stay in Mississippi,” said vice president of rescue Robert Farris, “because we loved the freedom we have here as a faith-based organization. But the move towards DeSoto County and Memphis was intentional, as we already had an excellent support network of donors and advocates in place.”
Currently, the Hernando campus is situated on a 150-acre lot that houses three cottages, a chapel and staff office space. The children of Palmer Home live in these cottages with caregivers who function as house-parents, and up to eight other children in a setting designed to mirror the feel of a traditional family home.
The expansion will add three additional cottages, doubling the housing capacity of the campus. It is a much-needed development, as the waiting list for children continues to grow. A second addition will include the Hugh Francis Wellness Center that will boast a gymnasium and pool for campus use, as well as a counseling suite and an educational center to better meet the needs of children in Palmer Home’s care.
Palmer Home’s mission is rescue and restoration for children in need.
– Daily News staff
Omni Prep Academy Buys New Location
Omni Prep Academy has purchased the Raleigh Presbyterian Church across from the Raleigh Springs Mall.
In a February 26 warranty deed, JTP Ventures LLC and SLS Ventures LLC sold the property to Omni Schools, Inc. The 39,312-square-foot building at 3385 Austin Peay Highway went for $1.3 million.
The charter school’s current campus is also in Raleigh at 3333 Old Brownsfield Road, just north of the church.
Last September, Shelby County Schools and the Tennessee Board of Education both rejected Omni Prep’s application to open a Frayser high school, citing that the existing campus was too low-performing to warrant an expansion.
In conjunction with the sale, Omni Prep took out a $1.2 million mortgage with Regions Bank. The loan matures July 26, 2019.
– Madeline Faber
Indie Memphis Festival Announces Addition, Honor
The Indie Memphis Film Festival is welcoming a new staff member, in addition to plaudits from an industry publication.
The festival, set for Nov.1-7, has been named one of MovieMaker Magazine's 2016 "50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" – the fourth time it's received that honor.
Meanwhile, the festival is adding Brandon Harris, a New York City-based contributing editor for Filmmaker Magazine, to its senior staff. He's joining the Indie Memphis team as festival programmer.
Focusing mainly on both the festival’s feature narrative and documentary competition sections, Harris will consult on the festival’s other programs, host discussions with guests and bring his understanding of the contemporary American indie scene to bear on the festival.
– Andy Meek
Arts Grant Workshop To Be Held April 12
A free grant workshop for organizations seeking funding for artistic and cultural projects that benefit the community will be held Tuesday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Hattiloo Theatre, 37 S. Cooper St.
The annual Arts Build Communities grants will range from $500 to $2,500 and are available to state-recognized nonprofit organizations or government entities in Shelby, Fayette, Lauderdale and Tipton counties. Recipients must provide a dollar-for-dollar match toward the proposed project seeking funding.
Arts Build Communities is funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered by ArtsMemphis in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission. ABC grants offer financial support for projects in arts disciplines such as dance, music, theater, visual and design arts, and more.
“ABC grants help to enhance and support the quality and diversity of programming that the Memphis-area arts community offers. These grants are particularly vital to smaller and younger arts organizations,” said Parke Kennedy, ArtsMemphis Donor Relations & Grants Manager.
Applications are available at tn.gov and must be submitted by July 1.
– Daily News staff
Simon Upgrades Lighting In Wolfchase Parking Lot
Wolfchase Galleria's owner is upgrading the mall's current parking lot lighting.
The Simon property group said the enhancements began in March and will impact all parking lots at the mall. The traditional 1000-watt halide lights in each parking lot will be replaced with state-of-the-art LED lights to help facilitate the management of traffic and parking.
The mall says the improvements will not only create a brighter atmosphere outside the center, it will also "ensure that all parking spots for visitors and employees are well-lit."
Simon is currently upgrading the lighting systems to LED lights at more than 26 locations. The project at Wolfchase is expected to be complete by early May.
– Andy Meek
Heart, REO Speedwagon Back for Live at the Garden
REO Speedwagon and Heart return this summer to the Live at the Garden concert series at The Memphis Botanic Garden.
The five-show lineup announced Wednesday, April 6, also includes Gregg Allman, country star Billy Currington and singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow
Heart and REO Speedwagon have played the 16-year-old concert series before.
The dates for the shows are:
• June 10 – Heart
• June 26 – Gregg Allman
• July 29 – Billy Currington
• Aug. 25 – REO Speedwagon
• Sept. 23 – Sheryl Crow
The outdoor venue has a capacity of 6,750. Season lawn passes are on sale now for $200 plus fees. Individual tickets go on sale April 25.
– Bill Dries
Subaru Raises Nearly $17K for MIFA Meals on Wheels
A partnership between MIFA and Jim Keras Subaru has resulted in a $5,000 grant to MIFA from Meals on Wheels America and an $11,880 donation from Jim Keras Subaru for participation in Subaru’s “Share the Love” event.
Meals on Wheels America, the national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country, awarded MIFA the $5,000 grant for its creative involvement in Subaru’s national Share the Love Event. This year’s grants, given to 139 local Meals on Wheels organizations, were made possible by Subaru of America Inc.
During Share the Love, Jim Keras Subaru held several pet food drives for MIFA’s Meals on Wheels clients because MIFA volunteers noticed that seniors were saving a portion of each meal to share with their companion animals. The donated pet food helps these seniors keep their pets and still receive the nutrition they need to remain independent.
Also, for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased between Nov. 19 and Jan. 2, Subaru donated $250 to the purchaser’s choice of participating charity – two of which were Meals on Wheels America and MIFA.
The total award funds, nearly $17,000, will go directly to food costs for meals. One of MIFA’s largest programs, Meals on Wheels’ annual budget is about $4 million. With the help of as many as 100 volunteers each weekday, MIFA provides more than 1,800 hot, nutritious lunches for seniors in their homes and at congregate nutrition sites.
– Don Wade
Student Architecture Camp Returns in June
The Architecture+Design Summer Program for Memphis-area high school students is returning in June for a 13th year.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Architecture at the University of Memphis and AIA Memphis, the day camp was developed for students interested in learning more about the art, science, and practice of design.
The program is structured around a variety of activities, including an introduction to architectural and structural concepts, computer applications, model building and freehand drawing. Local architects, engineers, landscape architects and other design professionals serve as guest lecturers, and the program also includes trips to construction projects, visits to architectural offices and a walking tour of historic sites.
The camp will be held weekdays June 6-18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of Memphis Department of Architecture. Space is limited and scholarships are available. Visit aiamemphis.org for details.
– Daily News staff
STEM Academy Application Deadline Extended
Funded by a special grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents, the University of Memphis will offer a residential summer session June 5-17 to let underrepresented high school students explore STEM fields – the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics – helping them to envision studying those subjects in college.
The deadline has been extended to April 18, and space is limited.
The STEM Academy is open to students who will be high school sophomores and juniors this fall. Chosen from the Shelby County Schools, the students will live on campus in U of M residence halls during the two-week session. Housing, meals and all activities will be paid for by the grant.
To be selected, students must have successfully completed Algebra I. They also must have finished the ninth grade and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. A letter of recommendation is required from a teacher or staff member at an applicant’s high school.
For more information on how to apply, contact Fredricka Cowley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Angiline Powell at email@example.com.
– Don Wade
Attorney Greg Siskind Pens Immigration Handbook
Immigration attorney Greg Siskind, founding partner of Memphis law firm Siskind Susser P.C., has released his fifth book, titled “The Physician Immigration Handbook, A Guide to the U.S. Immigration System for International Medical Graduates, Recruiters, and Employers.”
Physician immigration is perhaps the most complicated area of U.S. immigration law, according to Siskind, and the book aims to explain the visa process in a way that is easy to follow and understand.
The handbook walks international medical graduates through the visa process, from training to post-training work, then on to permanent residency – the so-called “green card” process – and ultimately to U.S. citizenship. It also delves into employment issues, such as layoffs, mergers, and acquisitions, while also discussing special benefits available to foreign physicians in the U.S. military.
Nearly 10,000 international medical graduates (IMGs) receive certification yearly from the U.S. Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates, Siskind said.
Print copies of the book are $19.95, while e-books are $9.95. Visit visalaw.com/mdbook for more information.
– Kate Simone
Waste Pro Inks Deals With Germantown, Gallaway
The city of Germantown as well as Gallaway in Fayette County have signed five-year contracts with Waste Pro to provide solid waste collection, disposal and recycling services to residential customers.
Waste Pro will service commercial customers in surrounding areas as well.
The Longwood, Fla.-based company has partnered with Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division to fuel six compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks that will be used to service Tennessee customers, according to a release. Waste Pro says it has invested more than $100 million in transitioning heavy waste collection trucks from its diesel fleet to cleaner-burning CNG.
Service began April 1 in Gallaway and will begin July 1 for Germantown. Those services will be based out of Waste Pro’s Southaven, Miss., operations at 2187 Stateline Road. More than 15,000 homes are covered in the contracts.
“Tennessee is an important center of industrial development,” said Waste Pro president and CEO John Jennings in a statement.
Waste Pro operates in nine Southeast states serving more than 2 million residential and 40,000 commercial customers.
– Daily News staff