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VOL. 131 | NO. 19 | Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Daily Digest

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Stoney River Steakhouse Opens in Saddle Creek

J. Alexander’s Holdings Inc. has announced the opening of its 11th Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill in the Saddle Creek development in Germantown.

The new Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill at 7515 Poplar Ave. includes 7,875 square feet with seating for up to 250 guests and will employ an operating staff of about 100 full- and part-time professionals.

The menu will have an emphasis on hand-cut steaks, including a coffee-cured filet, bone-in ribeye and classic New York strip steak, and entrees ranging from pasta and chicken to shrimp and salmon.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., including a Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stoney River’s full-service bar will feature cocktails and more than 30 wines by the glass and more than 120 different bottles.

– Andy Meek

Memphis Sends 12,000 Bottles of Water To Flint

The city of Memphis, Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division and FedEx Corp. are sending 12,000 bottle of Memphis water to a food bank in Flint, Michigan.

The donation – announced Tuesday, Jan. 26 – is being coordinated by The New Tri-State Defender newspaper. It follows a lead contamination crisis in Flint’s water supply.

FedEx Corp. is transporting the water to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, which is distributing the water to Flint residents.

New Tri-State Defender publisher Bernal Smith approached city leaders about the effort.

“I would hope that if Memphis was suffering like Flint, other cities would reach out to us as well,” Smith said in a written statement.

– Bill Dries

Dallas Medical Device Startup Moves to Germantown

A Dallas-based medical device startup has moved its operations to Germantown, into the EPIcenter organization’s new collaborative work and business space.

Trocar Sweep LLC is focused on the development of proprietary general surgery devices with broad application. Trocar CEO David Leon said local assets like the ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator, Memphis Bioworks, EPIcenter and Innova venture capital firm makes Memphis “an obvious choice to start and grow our company.”

– Andy Meek

Memphis Airport Passengers Up 6 Percent in December

Passengers at Memphis International Airport increased for the sixth consecutive month in December, according to a report at last week’s Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board meeting.

In December 2015, 156,933 local passengers used airport compared to 148,137 passengers in December 2014, a 5.9 percent increase.

The number of total passengers from July to December rose 10.8 percent compared to the same period in 2014. Combined load factors continued to exceed 80 percent in December, added Forrest Artz, the airport authority’s vice president of finance and CFO.

At the same meeting, MSCAA president and CEO Scott Brockman announced that Memphis International will roll out a global entry program office by the end of February. The offering from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will allow frequent international travelers fast-track entry. The office will be located next to the TSA Precheck office in the connector between the B and C ticket lobbies.

In other airport news, American Airlines is upsizing its aircraft for its service to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The larger 63-seat CRJ700s and 80-seat E175s will add 25 percent more capacity as well as a first-class seating option. The new jets will begin serving daily flights in April.

– Madeline Faber

Overton Park Conservancy Sets First Public Hearing

The first public meeting in Overton Park’s traffic and parking study is Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

The 6 p.m. session includes a presentation on the guiding principles for the process and then public comments.

A trio of consulting firms led by Looney Ricks Kiss is conducting the study, agreed to by all of the park’s entities and institutions as well as the conservancy.

The second public meeting will be Feb. 18, also at the Brooks at 6 p.m. It will include some tentative design concepts for public review.

– Bill Dries

Domino’s Pizza Raises Record Amount for St. Jude

Domino’s Pizza raised $5.4 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the 2015 St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign.

2015 marked the first year of the pizza company’s commitment to raise $35 million in eight years.

The 2015 St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign was the fourth straight record-setting campaign for Domino’s. Once again, Domino’s matched all customer contributions dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $250,000.

Since naming St. Jude its national charitable partner in 2004, Domino’s has raised more than $30.5 million for the hospital. The funds raised in 2015 will apply to Domino’s $35 million commitment.

– Andy Meek

International Blues Challenge Underway in Memphis

Musicians from around the world are flocking to Memphis this week for The Blues Foundation’s 32nd International Blues Challenge.

The event – which runs Tuesday through Saturday, Jan. 26-30 – is the world’s largest gathering of blues acts, according to the Memphis-based foundation, and represents an international search by the foundation and its affiliated organizations for solo/duo acts and blues bands ready to take the international stage.

Last year, 257 acts entered the competition, and the foundation said it’s expecting at least that many this year.

Beale Street is ground zero for most of the events, with clubs on and around Beale hosting daily showcases, jam sessions and other events, as well as the competition quarterfinals on Wednesday and Thursday and the semifinals on Friday. The blues challenge moves to The Orpheum Theatre on Saturday for the finals and a silent auction.

Performances aren’t the only things on tap during the IBC. Among the other events, a note on the Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame will be dedicated to Little Laura Dukes outside Alfred’s on Friday at 11 a.m. For a full schedule of events, visit blues.org.

– Kate Simone

Memphis QB Great Fletcher Passes Away at Age 72

Billy Fletcher, considered one of the top quarterbacks in the history of University of Memphis football, died on Monday, Jan. 25, at the Baptist-Reynolds Hospice House in Collierville at the age of 72.

A Memphis native, Fletcher was a standout prep quarterback at South Side High School prior to signing a scholarship with Ole Miss in 1962. After one season with the Rebels, Fletcher transferred to then-Memphis State University and played for three years under former head coach Billy J. Murphy.

As a junior, Fletcher led the team in rushing with 367 yards and in scoring with 49 points. He threw for 921 yards and seven touchdowns, returned 16 kickoffs for 389 yards and booted a school record 50-yard field goal against West Texas. In total, Fletcher broke nine records during his junior season.

In his final campaign, the first season that the Tigers played in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (previously named Memphis Memorial Stadium), the multi-threat quarterback threw for 1,239 yards and 13 touchdowns, rushed for 556 yards and six scores and kicked 24 PATs. He became the first Memphis quarterback to pass for more than 1,000 yards in a season, and by the end of the 1965 season, had set 15 Memphis football records.

In 1965 against nationally ranked Mississippi State, Fletcher led the Tigers to a 33-13 win over the undefeated Bulldogs and for his play was named the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated National Back of the Week.

Fletcher was drafted by the Denver Broncos, then of the old American Football League (AFL), and after a stint in pro football returned to Memphis to start a career in the metal supply business.

He was inducted into the M Club Hall of Fame in 1985, received the Hall of Fame’s Billy J. Murphy Award in 1996, was named to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, and was inducted into the All-American Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 2002.

– Don Wade

PROPERTY SALES 92 480 7,835
MORTGAGES 115 551 8,785
BUILDING PERMITS 325 1,167 17,068
BANKRUPTCIES 39 311 5,159