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VOL. 131 | NO. 3 | Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Daily Digest

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NexAir Expands With Merger and Acquisition

Memphis-based nexAir, one of the largest distributors of atmospheric gasses and welding supplies in the U.S., has kicked off 2016 with a big expansion of its footprint.

The company is merging 23 Praxair Distribution Southeast LLC (PDSE) branches in Florida and southeast Georgia into its operation. That Praxair entity is also becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of nexAir, and the current nexAir management team will lead the overall venture.

PDSE was formed in 1997 as a joint venture between Praxair Distribution Inc. (PDI) and the George W. Fowler Co., an industrial gas distributor in Florida owned by the William B. Porter family. The family is taking up an ownership interest in nexAir with the closing of the just-announced transaction.

Meanwhile, nexAir has also acquired two Praxair Distribution Inc. branches in eastern Georgia.

As a result of the deals, nexAir will grow to have annual sales of more than $200 million and 67 locations, adding coverage throughout the state of Florida. Its existing senior management team will also continue to lead the combined business.

“PDSE and its predecessors have a long tradition of strong operations, solid customer relationships, and an outstanding group of dedicated employees in Florida and southern Georgia,” said nexair CEO Kevin McEniry. “We look forward to making these PDI and PDSE team members and customers part of our family.”

– Andy Meek

Rhodes Colleges Hires New Football Coach

Jim Ryan, who has served as the defensive coordinator at Washington University (St. Louis) the past four years, has been named head football coach at Rhodes College.

Ryan recently earned the NCAA Division III Assistant Coach of the Year award from the American Football Coaches Association. Ryan replaces Dan Gritti, who served as the Lynx head coach from 2011-15.

Ryan was named Washington University’s defensive coordinator in 2012 and helped lead the Bears to University Athletic Association (UAA) titles in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Ryan’s 2013 Bear defense ranked 5th nationally and Washington University played in the 2013 NCAA Division III national playoffs.

Ryan earned his B.A. in kinesiology from Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2000. He has also served on the football staffs at Illinois College, Colorado College, North Alabama and Delta State. Ryan just completed his 8th year on the Washington University staff.

– Don Wade

Mounted Shooting Contest Comes to Agricenter

On Saturday, Jan. 9, Agricenter International will be the site of a Mounted Shooting competition dubbed “Shoot Out at the Showplace.”

Described as a combination of barrel racing and precision shooting, the competition will feature 15-year-old Ethan Wilkinson – the current National High Point Champion Cowboy.

The Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, which was founded in 1995, now has about 13,000 members and more than 100 clubs in four countries.

The event is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Agricenter, 7777 Walnut Grove Road. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $12 for kids ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under are admitted free.

Visit worldofmountedshooting.com/tickets for tickets.

– Don Wade

Swiney is New Tennessee Court of Appeals Chief Judge

Judge D. Michael Swiney of Knoxville is the new chief judge of the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Swiney was selected for a one-year term by the panel of a dozen judges on the appeals court, which hears civil case appeals.

As chief judge, Swiney will assign appellate judges to cases, ensure appeals move through the group in a timely manner and take on other administrative duties.

Swiney has been on the appeals court since his 1999 appointment by then-Gov. Don Sundquist.

– Bill Dries

Farmers Market Workshops Offered for Tenn. Farmers

Farmers interesting in selling products at farmers markets will have a chance to learn more about marketing at workshops in Tennessee this winter.

In addition to marketing, other topics will include social media and email, grants and microloans, recordkeeping, requirements for basic types of food that can be made and sold at farmers markets and an overview of new food safety regulations.

To attend, preregister five days in advance online at https://tiny.utk.edu/FMBOOT2016 .

The fee is $20, and lunch will be provided.

Workshops will be held Jan. 28 in White Pine, Jan. 29 in Athens, Feb. 22 in Lebanon, Feb. 24 in Winchester, March 2 in Trenton and March 3 in Centerville.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 101 603 9,602
MORTGAGES 92 538 10,616
BUILDING PERMITS 215 1,282 20,958
BANKRUPTCIES 51 408 6,108