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VOL. 131 | NO. 168 | Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Daily Digest

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Southern Airways Announces Two New Regional Routes

On Sept. 26, Southern Airways will launch nonstop service between Memphis International Airport to Nashville and Jackson, Miss.

The flights between MEM and Nashville International Airport will operate daily, with the exception on Saturday. The addition restores service between MEM and Nashville’s BNA for the first time since 2013. Information about flights to Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport was not available at press time.

Southern Airways will use a 10-seat Cessna Caravan for the flights, which will arrive and depart from the Signature Flight Support executive terminal at 2488 Winchester Road, across from the main MEM building.

“We believe that many business travelers will rejoice at the return of nonstop service to Nashville,” said Pace Cooper, chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board of commissioners, in a statement. “It’s essential that the reinvention of MEM includes service to both large metro markets and key regional airports. Adding Nashville and Jackson to our lineup helps to achieve that latter goal.”

– Madeline Faber

MATA Set to Unveil Service Route Changes

This week, the Memphis Area Transit Authority will outline a set of proposed service route changes, including eight new routes.

The transit authority will unveil the proposals during a listening session Thursday, Aug. 25, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Airways Transit Center, 3033 Airways Blvd.

If approved by the MATA board, the proposals would take effect in December.

The changes also include minor timing adjustments to 11 existing routes, increased frequencies or span of service for 10 existing routes, routing adjustments to 14 routes and a single discontinued route that would be replaced by the other changes.

The adjustments to be discussed at the session open to the public represent $500,000 of changes to service.

– Bill Dries

Grizzlies, Pinnacle Financial Announce Partnership

The Memphis Grizzlies and Pinnacle Financial Partners have announced a new multiyear partnership, making Pinnacle the official bank of the Memphis Grizzlies and FedExForum.

The partnership will introduce Grizzlies Banking – which includes a dedicated product suite of co-branded debit and credit cards offered by Pinnacle. Grizzlies Banking with Pinnacle will launch prior to the 2016-17 season tip-off; more information is available at grizzliesbanking.com.

Along with Grizzlies Banking, the partnership will provide exclusive naming rights to the newly-dubbed Pinnacle Level concourse and seating area of FedExForum (formerly known as the Club Level). A final cornerstone of the partnership is the presenting rights to the Grizzlies television broadcasts live on FOX Sports Southeast. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tennessee-based Pinnacle Financial Partners broke into the Memphis market in 2015 when it acquired Magna Bank. In late July the company signed on as the first tenant in Boyle Investment Co.’s long-awaited Ridgeway Center office building. Plans call for Pinnacle to move its Memphis headquarters into an anchor space in the building, which the company expects to do sometime in 2017.

– Don Wade

Landmark Bank Reports Improved Mid-Year Earnings

Through the first half of 2016, Collierville-based Landmark Community Bank reported improved earnings with net income of $4 million as of June 30, a 21.6 percent increase over the same period in 2015.

Return on average equity for the six-month period ended June 30 was also 11.54 percent compared to 11.31 percent for the same period in 2015, while return on average assets was unchanged at a little less than 1 percent for both six-month periods in 2016 and 2015.

The bank’s mid-year filing with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shows loan and deposit volumes improved during the first six months of 2016, while the bank’s efficiency ratio continued to hover near peer lows.

As of June 30, the bank reported assets of nearly $862 million and deposits of just over $681 million. Since the 2015 mid-year report, Landmark’s net loan origination has increased by nearly $120 million and deposits by approximately $73 million.

For the first six months of 2016, net loan origination increased $54 million and deposits increased $16 million.

– Andy Meek

Business Owner Faces Prison For Failure to Pay Taxes

A Germantown resident and business owner has been sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay more than $10 million in restitution for failing to pay employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to court documents, Larry Thornton, 67, was the majority owner, president and CEO of Software Earnings Inc., a Memphis company that produced and installed check processing. He was also the 100 percent owner, CEO and president of First Touch Payment Solutions LLC, a Memphis company that provided merchant services for credit card processing.

Starting in the second quarter of 2007, Thornton caused SEI to stop paying the taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks and caused SEI to stop timely filing required quarterly federal tax returns with the IRS. In the first quarter of 2010, he caused First Touch to stop paying its federal employment taxes and file its quarterly tax returns.

Between 2007 and 2011, Thornton collected more than $6.8 million in employment taxes that he failed to pay to the IRS. He also failed to pay his companies’ matching share of FICA taxes during those years. During that time period, two of Thornton’s full-time accountants resigned due to his unwillingness to comply with the tax obligations.

During the same years in which Thornton failed to comply with his employment tax obligations, he spent more than $6.2 million from the business bank accounts on personal expenses, including house and condominium payments; vehicle, yacht and motorcycle loan payments; personal travel; and startup funding for his wife’s beauty boutique.

According to court documents, he also failed to file personal and corporate income tax returns.

As part of the guilty plea, Thornton admitted that his illegal conduct caused a tax loss of more than $8.9 million to the IRS. In addition to the prison term, he was ordered to serve two years of supervised release. Thornton also was ordered to pay $10.8 million in restitution to the IRS.

– Daily News staff

Recording Academy’s Hornyak To Be Honored by U of M

Jon Hornyak, executive director of the Memphis Chapter of The Recording Academy, will receive the University of Memphis College of Communication and Fine Arts’ 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award in the Creative and Performing Arts.

Hornyak moved to Memphis to attend then-Memphis State University. He joined The Recording Academy in April 1994 as the first full-time executive director of the Memphis chapter and continues to serve in that position, working to provide educational programs for the entire music community and expanding the region served by the chapter to Louisiana and St. Louis.

Hornyak directed the documentation of the region’s rich music heritage in more than 50 comprehensive filmed interviews with musical icons for the GRAMMY Living Histories program, some of which were featured in the award-winning 2002 documentary “Sounds of Memphis,” for which he served as executive producer. In 2013, he organized “And The GRAMMY Goes To Memphis,” a year-long exhibit at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Memphis chapter.

His background includes working as a touring and studio musician; owning a sound and lighting company; and serving as producer, engineer, studio owner and artist manager. He’s also founder of the Memphis Ukulele Band.

Hornyak will be honored Sept. 16 at 11:30 a.m. at Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous, 52 S. Second St. Visit memphis.edu/ccfa to purchase tickets.

– Don Wade

FedEx Declares Quarterly Dividend

FedEx Corp. has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.40 per share on FedEx Corp. common stock. The dividend is payable on Oct. 3 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 12.

– Madeline Faber

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