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VOL. 131 | NO. 20 | Thursday, January 28, 2016

Daily Digest

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Verso Has Agreement With Creditors on Reorganization

The day after Verso Corp. filed for bankruptcy reorganization in Delaware, the Memphis-based printing and specialty paper producer said it had reached an agreement with its creditors on the company’s reorganization.

Verso executives announced Wed., Jan. 27, the agreement with creditors holding a majority of the principal amount of virtually all of the tranches of funded debt of Verso and its subsidiaries.

Verso also has agreement, subject to bankruptcy court approval, of its debtor-in-possession financing package. That package is up to $600 million, which is key to the restructuring of the company’s finances while allowing Verso to continue to operate on a day-to-day basis.

– Bill Dries

Landmark Commits $50,000 To Soulsville Finance Program

Landmark Community Bank has committed $50,000 to support the “Money Matters” program at the Soulsville Charter School in south Memphis.

The program began as a lower-level elective and is now a mandatory prerequisite course for seniors, with students creating a personal financial plan while learning about money and budgeting; credit, interest and other banking concepts; investing and entrepreneurship, among other things.

“We saw the results that Soulsville is delivering and asked what we could to do help,” said Landmark President and CEO Jake Farrell in a release about the news. “The program has exceeded our expectations, both in substance and in outcomes, and that will have a big impact on these students’ lives as they enter college and then the workforce.”

Landmark is a Collierville-based bank with seven branches in the Memphis and Nashville metro areas.

– Andy Meek

Sutton Reid Finalist For Reed Awards

The Memphis ad agency that worked on the 2015 mayoral campaign of Jim Strickland is a finalist for three Reed Awards, given nationally by the political trade publication Campaigns & Elections.

Sutton Reid Advertising is nominated in two television categories and one radio category with the winners to be announced Feb. 18 at the awards ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina.

The “Friday Night Lights” TV commercial is a finalist for Best Television for Local, County or Judicial Candidate and Most Effective Comparative Television Ad.

The “Good News” radio ad is a finalist for the Best Radio Ad in the mayoral candidate category. Both ads were created by firm principal Steven Reid.

The 2016 nominations mark the third year Sutton Reid has been a finalist in the radio category.

The Reed Awards are named in honor of Stanley Foster Reed, founder of Campaign and Elections.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Optometry Student To Lead National Group

Southern College of Optometry student Erick Henderson is the 2016-17 president of the American Optometric Student Association.

He got the nod during the organization’s annual board of trustees meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this month.

Henderson is the 49th student to serve as president of the AOSA. With his term beginning in March, Henderson’s duties as president will include working with the executive council and the executive director to advise the board of trustees, appoint committee chairpersons and national liaisons, and facilitate the development of programs to benefit the association and its members. Henderson will also represent AOSA at affiliated meetings and serve as national liaison to the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

Representing more than 6,700 students, AOSA membership encompasses 95 percent of all optometry students.

Another SCO student, Hunter Chapman, served as the 2015-16 AOSA president.

– Andy Meek

FedEx Authorizes Buyback Of 25 Million Shares

FedEx Corp. has authorized a new share buyback program of up to 25 million shares of the company’s common stock.

Since fiscal year 2014, FedEx has returned nearly $8 billion to shareowners through the repurchase of more than 57 million shares, FedEx CEO Fred Smith said in a release.

No time limit was set for the completion of the buyback program.

The prior buyback authorization announced in September 2014 for 15 million shares has been completed and there are 272 million common shares outstanding as of Jan. 25, 2016.

“Our profit and cash flow performance is strong, and we will continue to fund substantial investments in the business,” Smith said.

– Madeline Faber

Memphis Doctors Take Part In New Leadership Lab

Eight Memphis doctors are among 29 statewide participating in the Tennessee Medical Association’s inaugural Physician Leadership Lab, a training program to help them become quality leaders in team-based health care settings.

The multi-month lab, which focuses on the “lean healthcare” model and includes a mix of webinars and in-person classes, is a partnership between the TMA and the Tennessee Medical Education Fund Inc.

As part of the course, each participant will implement an improvement project in his or her own practice using the skills learned in the lab.

The inaugural class – including Memphis participants Drs. Lanetta Anderson, Brian Fowler, Aleksander Jankov, Marsha Lee, Basil Paulus, Joseph Sturdivant, Jeshenna Watkins and Benny Weksler – will graduate in July.

– Kate Simone

Memphis Gang Member Arrested For Threats

The Multi-Agency Gang Unit arrested a reputed gang member Monday, Jan. 25, after he allegedly posted a threatening message with a video on the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Cody Davis, a member of the Concrete Cartel gang, according to the sheriff’s office, was in jail Monday on a $2 million bond after he was arrested based on a tip from a confidential informant.

The Sheriff’s office says Davis posted a message saying in part, “Ya’ll killin my black brothas so Ima kill some black uniforms.”

The video showed him pointing two handguns at a camera.

The gang unit arrested Davis at his mother’s house after his mother initially said he wasn’t there. She was charged with false reporting.

– Bill Dries

McEnroe, Roddick Part of Tennis Event in Southaven

The PowerShares Series, featuring former professional tennis players age 30 and over, will come to the Landers Center in Southaven on April 22 and include John McEnroe and Andy Roddick.

Roddick will play a semifinal match at 7 p.m. against Mark Philippoussis and at 7:45 p.m. McEnroe will play a semifinal match against Jim Courier. The winners meet in the finals at 8:30 p.m.

All four players have won the annual ATP World Tour event held at The Racquet Club of Memphis. Roddick won the event three times, Philippoussis twice and Courier and McEnroe once each.

Roddick won the PowerShares Series points title in 2015. The April 22 event in Southaven is part of a 12-city tour; visit powershareseries.com for more information.

– Don Wade

New Pizza Restaurant Coming to Memphis

Dallas-based fast-casual pizza chain Pie Five Pizza Co. is coming to Memphis, with plans to open up to seven locations in the area.

The brand is known for “fresh, custom, artisan pizzas served in under 5 minutes. Customers customize their own pizzas, which bake in 145 seconds.

There are four crusts to choose from, including a gluten-free option, as well as seven sauces and 28 toppings.

Pie Five is a subsidiary of RAVE Restaurant Group Inc., which owns, franchises and supplies more than 300 Pie Five and Pizza Inn restaurants domestically and internationally.

– Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396