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VOL. 9 | NO. 27 | Saturday, July 2, 2016

Daily Digest

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Nonprofit for School Equity To Start Operations

The Campaign for School Equity (CSE), a new nonprofit organization focused on addressing academic achievement disparities between low-income and affluent students in Tennessee, will soon begin operations.

The mission of CSE is to expand high-quality school options throughout Tennessee by empowering and leveraging the support of faith leaders, parents, students and community members on school-choice initiatives and policies.

CSE’s work will be centered on educating, informing and convening a robust and diverse coalition of residents to advocate on behalf of students and improve equity in education.

The organization is also preparing to introduce programming for leadership development, and planning to release a comprehensive report on the state of schools in Tennessee later this year.

Mendell Grinter is the founder and executive director of the Campaign for School Equity. Gritner, 25, is the former Tennessee director of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). Earlier this year, Dr. Howard Fuller, BAEO founder, announced that after 17 years, BAEO would discontinue its formal operations to launch a Social Innovation Challenge that would help determine the organization’s future endeavors.

Grinter said his motivation to start and lead the Campaign for School Equity is an urgent need to continue to identify and work in partnership with education advocates to ensure that the needs of students are met.

“The educational landscape across the state of Tennessee is changing consistently and rapidly,” Grinter said. “We know that students and parents still need help with staying updated on school performance, navigating school options, and understanding how to make the best educational choices.”

Effective July 1, Grinter and his team were to begin work on recruiting members in Memphis and Nashville to help fulfill the mission of CSE.

In the coming weeks, the organization will release more information on its specific priorities for the 2016-2017 school year. To learn more, go to www.campaignforschoolequity.org.

– Don Wade

Commission Ends Year With Grants Fund Balance

Shelby County Commissioners ended the fiscal year Thursday, June 30, with more than $36,000 left in a fund of $1.3 million it set aside a year ago for grants to local nonprofits.

Commissioners approved five grants totaling $18,000 at their special meeting Wednesday, June 29, on the budget for the new fiscal year that starts July 1.

That leaves a balance of $36,750 in the fund, which will carry over into the new fiscal year.

The $1.3 million fund is replenished with the same amount in the new fiscal year – $100,000 to each commissioner to make grants.

All grants proposed must be approved by the full commission.

The approach was a new one for county government after years of debates between commissioners and the county administration about who got selected for the grants. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, at one point, proposed eliminating the grants entirely to tighten the county’s belt financially.

Memphis City Council members considered a similar grant fund, but the council ultimately rejected the idea.

– Bill Dries

BancorpSouth to Settle Lending Complaint

Two federal agencies – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Justice – have brought an action against BancorpSouth requiring it to pay $10.6 million to address discriminatory mortgage lending practices.

The complaint filed by the CFPB and DOJ alleges that BancorpSouth engaged in discriminatory practices that harmed African-Americans and other minorities and included illegally redlining in Memphis; denying certain African-Americans mortgage loans more often than similarly situated non-Hispanic white applicants; charging African-American customers for certain mortgage loans more than non-Hispanic white borrowers with similar loan qualifications; and implementing an explicitly discriminatory loan denial policy.

If the proposed consent order is approved by a court, BancorpSouth will pay $4 million in direct loan subsidies in minority neighborhoods in Memphis; at least $800,000 for community programs, advertising, outreach, and credit repair; $2.78 million to African-American consumers who were unlawfully denied or overcharged for loans; and a $3 million penalty.

BancorpSouth, headquartered in Tupelo, Miss., operates branches in eight states and as of March 31, 2016, had total assets of $13.9 billion.

This is the CFPB’s first use of testing – the agency’s version of “mystery shopping” – to support an allegation of discrimination. Among other requirements of the settlement, BancorpSouth must expand its physicial presence.

“In addition to a branch that BancorpSouth recently opened in a majority-minority neighborhood in Memphis,” the CFPB says, “BancorpSouth must open one new branch or loan production office in a high-minority neighborhood in Memphis.”

– Andy Meek

First Tennessee Bank Announces Promotions

First Tennessee Bank has promoted veteran Duncan Galbreath and Jake Adams to be manager of commercial banking in Memphis and business banking manager for the Mid-South region, respectively.

During his two decades of banking experience, Galbreath has worked as a credit analyst, business banking relationship manager and commercial relationship manager. Previously, he served as manager of the business banking division.

Adams began his banking career as a credit analyst. He has been a relationship manager in business banking for nearly a decade and is a participant of First Tennessee’s Emerging Leaders Program.

– Andy Meek

TDOT Suspends Road Work Fourth of July Weekend

There’s some good news for motorists who will be driving through the flyover of interstates 40 and 240 in Memphis this weekend.

The state Transportation Department is shutting down road construction projects for the busy Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Construction-related lane closures will be suspended on interstates and state highways through 6 a.m. on Tuesday, TDOT announced.

Suspending roadwork will help travelers reach their destinations safely and with fewer delays, Transportation Commissioner John Schroer said. Some long-term lane closures will remain in place, and increased fines will still apply for speeding in areas where workers are present.

The AAA Auto Club projects that nearly 43 million people will be traveling over the holiday weekend, which would be a new Fourth of July travel record.

TDOT estimates more than 744,000 traveling motorists will be on Tennessee roads during the weekend.

– Associated Press

Arlington Chosen For State Veterans Home

A site in Arlington in Shelby County will be the location of the future West Tennessee State Veterans Home, state officials announced on Wednesday, June 29.

Tennessee Department of Veterans Services officials say the planned facility will include 144 beds and is expected to cost $70 million.

Officials say construction of the project is contingent on the availability of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs State Home Construction Grants Program. Federal funding is required to pay for 65 percent of construction costs, with the remaining 35 percent coming from combined state and local funds.

There are currently Tennessee State Veterans Homes in Murfreesboro, Humboldt, Knoxville and Clarksville.

– Associated Press

E’s 24-Hour Cafe Planned for Whitehaven

Whitehaven is getting an E’s 24-Hour Cafe.

Contractor Dan Walker Associates Inc. recently filed a $226,000 building permit for new construction at 4458 Elvis Presley Blvd. Eric Tushek Enterprises is listed as the building owner. The property formerly housed a 1,000-square-foot Church’s Chicken restaurant.

E’s has three other Memphis locations at 1308 Union Ave., 4969 Park Ave. and 3139 Poplar Ave.

– Madeline Faber

Frontier Cuts MEM to ATL, Increases Flights to Denver

Frontier Airlines will cut its three-day-per-week flight between Memphis International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Low-cost carrier Frontier announced the flight in January with service beginning in April. The flight will cease on Sept. 4.

Memphis is one of 12 cities that will lose Frontier’s Atlanta service. The airline cited low passenger demand as the deciding factor to end the service in Memphis, according to a statement from the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

Frontier will add a daily flight between Memphis and the Denver International Airport beginning Aug. 12. The flight currently runs four times weekly.

The Denver flight traditionally has been popular, with occupancy as high as 89 percent at MEM, according to the MSCAA. The return of daily service to Denver will actually increase Frontier’s total number of available seats due to its use of larger Airbus A320 aircraft.

– Madeline Faber

Kosten Foundation Funding Pancreatic Cancer Research

The Kosten Foundation for pancreatic cancer support has announced a $200,000 grant to establish the Dermon II Family and Herb Kosten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

The fund is dedicated to research around pancreatic cancer. Since the Kosten Foundation was established in 2003, they’ve provided regular donations to the UTHSC pancreatic cancer research team while working with them to help educate the general public about pancreatic cancer, the research team’s medical advances, and support and advocacy opportunities for those affected by pancreatic cancer.

The Kosten Foundation also holds support group meetings at the Cordova Library, 8457 Trinity Road, the second Saturday of every month for those affected by pancreatic cancer.

– Andy Meek

Redbirds’ Reyes Chosen For All-Star Futures Game

Memphis Redbirds right-handed pitcher Alex Reyes, the top prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals organization and seventh-ranked in baseball, was selected to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which will be played in San Diego during All-Star festivities.

Reyes, who moved to the Dominican Republic while in high school to live with his grandmother and train and established residency near San Cristobal, is a part of the World Team roster and will go up against the U.S. Team on Sunday, July 10, at 6 p.m. on MLB Network. He is part of a World Team that includes players from 11 countries and territories outside the United States.

An undrafted free agent, Reyes is in his fourth season as part of the Cardinals organization and first at the Triple-A level. He was named the Cardinals Minor League Co-Pitcher of the Year in 2015 after striking out 151 in 101.1 innings between three levels and holding opponents to a .197 batting average.

In 62 professional starts through Monday, June 27, Reyes was 20-18 with a 3.27 ERA and had fanned 404 in 300.0 innings.

– Don Wade

Memphis Food & Wine Fest Scheduled for October

A culinary festival launching this fall will showcase some of Memphis’ top chefs alongside acclaimed regional and national chefs.

Set for Oct. 15, the Memphis Food & Wine Festival will feature cuisine from 28 chefs with accolades ranging from Michelin Starred Chefs and Master Chefs to James Beard winners. The lineup also will include 36 well-known wineries and live local music.

The festival, which will be held in the Live Garden at Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road, was created by a handful of Memphians passionate about food, wine and the community.

“Some of us are in the restaurant business, some of us are in the wine business, and all of us are in the business of promoting Memphis and giving back to our city, said River Oaks master chef Jose Gutierrez.

FedEx is sponsoring the event, which will benefit the FedExFamilyHouse at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Single tickets are initially $200, with the price increasing to $250 on Sept. 15. Reserved tables also are available. Visit memphisfoodwinefestival.org for tickets and more information.

– Daily News staff

Jefferson Square Apts. See $1.5M in Repairs

The Jefferson Square apartments at 741 Adams Ave. will see a renovation. A and B Construction Co. Inc. recently filed a building permit application with the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Construction Code Enforcement for $1.5 million in exterior repairs. The Memphis Housing Authority is listed as owner and tenant on the permit application.

The 208-unit high-rise is located at the corner of Adams and Jefferson across from the Shelby County Health Department.

– Madeline Faber

U of M Athletics Nears 901 Campaign Goal

The University of Memphis Athletic Department is close to reaching the finish line of its 901 Campaign, which launched in September 2014 with the goal of adding 901 new members to the Tiger Scholarship Fund. As of Tuesday, June 28, the university was 45 donors shy of accomplishing that goal.

The Tiger Scholarship Fund, which is nearing completion of its 2015-2016 fundraising effort, is responsible for annual fundraising support that covers the cost of scholarships and related expenses for the university’s nearly 400 student-athletes, totaling nearly $8 million a year.

New members may join the 901 Campaign by donating at memphis.edu/tsf. Each new donor receives a new member package, and a special prize will be awarded to the 901st new donor.

– Don Wade

Guitarist Scotty Moore Dies at 84

Scotty Moore, the pioneering rock guitarist whose sharp, graceful style helped Elvis Presley shape his revolutionary sound and inspired a generation of musicians that included Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Bruce Springsteen, died Tuesday. He was 84.

Moore died at his home in Nashville, said biographer and friend James L. Dickerson, who confirmed the death through a family friend.

“As a musician, I consider him one of the co-founders of rock ‘n’ roll because of the guitar licks that he invented,” Dickerson said, calling Moore an icon.

Presley’s ex-wife Priscilla Presley echoed that sentiment in a statement Tuesday night: “Elvis loved Scotty dearly and treasured those amazing years together, both in the studio and on the road. Scotty was an amazing musician and a legend in his own right. The incredible music that Scotty and Elvis made together will live forever and influence generations to come.”

Moore, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was the last survivor of a combo that included Presley, bassist Bill Black and producer Sam Phillips.

– The Associated Press

Tennessee Wine, Gun Laws Go Into Effect July 1

Starting on Friday, consumers will be able to buy wine in Tennessee supermarkets, professors and staff will be able to be armed on the campuses of public colleges and universities and drivers will be subject to stricter penalties for texting on the road.

Many bills passed by lawmakers this year took effect upon being signed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, but others were linked to the start of the new budget year on July 1.

The campus carry bill was the result of heavy negations between gun-rights advocates and higher education officials who opposed allowing more weapons on campus.

The law keeps gun bans in place for stadiums or gymnasiums while school-sponsored events are in progress; meetings where disciplinary issues are being discussed; and day care centers on campus.

– The Associated Press

Memphis Bar Poll Ranks Judicial Candidates

More than 800 local attorneys have weighed in on the judicial races on the Aug. 4 Shelby County ballot.

The Memphis Bar Association Judicial Qualification Poll asks attorneys which candidate is best qualified for a judicial post. The participation ranged between 818 and 873 votes per question.

The participating attorneys ranked Circuit Court Judge Valerie Smith as best qualified over challenger Michael G. Floyd in Division 3 of the civil court, with 86.6 percent of the choices.

Chancellor Jim Newsom tallied 82.1 percent of the choices in Chancery Court Part III over challengers Joe Jenkins and David Ferguson, in that order.

The attorneys also ranked incumbent General Sessions Court Clerk Ed Stanton as best qualified by 54 percent to 23.1 percent for Republican challenger Richard Morton. Another 21.7 percent of the attorneys in that race had no opinion, which was more than the 1.2 percent who judged independent candidate William Chism to be best qualified.

No-opinion selections can mean an attorney isn’t in a particular court a lot.

Most of the attorneys responding to the poll, 43.1 percent, said they had no opinion about who is best qualified in the race for Bartlett Municipal Court Division 1. Another 40 percent said incumbent Judge Tim Francavilla is best qualified and 17 percent said his challenger, Henry Miller, is.

The Division 1 race is one of two Bartlett Municipal Court judicial races on the ballot. In the other, incumbent Judge Dan Brown is running unopposed.

In the seven state appellate court retention races on the August ballot, including three Tennessee Supreme Court positions, more than two-thirds of the attorneys said each of the incumbent judges were qualified to be retained.

– Bill Dries

Grizz Decline $9.4M Option On Lance Stephenson

As expected, the Memphis Grizzlies have declined guard Lance Stephenson’s $9.4 million for the 2016-17 season, according to The Vertical. But Stephenson still could return to the team on a restructured deal.

Acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers last season, Stephenson, 25, provided an athletic spark for a Grizzlies team beset by injuries. He averaged 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists over 26 games while shooting 35.5 percent from 3-point range.

While Stephenson gave the Grizzlies that rare player who could create his own shot, he also careened out of control from time to time. The Grizzlies are believed to still have interest in Stephenson, who now becomes a free agent. A long-term deal at less money per season remains a possibility.

His career scoring average in four-plus NBA seasons is 8.8 points per game and he is a career 30.8 percent shooter from distance.

– Don Wade

Turner Construction Names Memphis Business Manager

Turner Construction has promoted Andy Davis to business manager of the company’s Memphis office.

In his new role, Davis will oversee day-to-day operations and establish short- and long-range goals for the office, with a focus on the West Tennessee, Mississippi and Eastern Arkansas markets.

The promotion brings Davis to Memphis from Nashville, where he most recently served as project executive for Turner. Davis began his career with Turner in 1997 as a part-time intern while completing his degree at Middle Tennessee State University.

He's gone on to play a key role in many of the company’s health care projects across the Southeast, and over the last 11 years he has also been heavily involved in several key projects in Memphis, which started with Memphis Mental Health Institute and currently includes the $280 million Methodist University Hospital expansion.

– Andy Meek

Tennessee to Get $570M In Volkswagen Settlement

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, along with the Division of Consumer Affairs, announced Tuesday, June 28, a settlement requiring Volkswagen to pay more than $570 million for violating state laws prohibiting unfair or deceptive trade practices by marketing, selling and leasing diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed “defeat device” software.

This agreement is part of a series of state and federal settlements that will provide cash payments to affected consumers and require Volkswagen to buy back or modify certain VW and Audi 2.0-liter diesel vehicles. Additionally, the settlement prohibits Volkswagen from engaging in future unfair or deceptive practices in its dealings with consumers and regulators.

The coordinated settlements resolve consumer protection claims raised by a multistate coalition of state attorneys general against Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America, Inc. – collectively referred to as Volkswagen. They also resolve actions against Volkswagen brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, California and car owners in private class-action suits.

The investigation confirmed that Volkswagen sold more than 570,000 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the U.S. equipped with “defeat device” software intended to circumvent emissions standards for certain air pollutants; actively concealed the existence of the devices from regulators and the public; and made false statements to consumers in their marketing and advertising, misrepresenting the cars as environmentally friendly.

Volkswagen will reportedly spend up to $14.7 billion to settle these violations, according to the EPA.

Under the settlements, Volkswagen is required to implement a restitution and recall program for more than 475,000 owners and lessees of 2.0-liter diesel Jetta, Golf, Beetle and Passat vehicles from model years 2009 through 2015, including 11,448 vehicles in Tennessee.

Once the consumer program is approved by the court, affected Volkswagen owners will receive restitution payment of at least $5,100 and a choice between a buyback of the vehicle (based on its pre-scandal value) or a modification to reduce emissions, provided that Volkswagen can develop a modification acceptable to regulators.

– Daily News staff

New Site Helps Tennesseans Evaluate College Programs

High school students and adults seeking higher education and businesses looking to boost their workforce have a new tool in LaunchMyCareerTN.org.

Tennessee is among the first states in the nation to offer the new college selection tool, with the Greater Memphis Chamber among six Tennessee chambers to receive a grant from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to promote the new program.

Launch My Career TN offers information about jobs that are in demand in Tennessee, the degree or certificate that will help students prepare for these jobs, and how projected earnings compare to the investment required for a degree program.

The website was developed with the the American Institutes for Research’s College Measures, Gallup and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation with funding from USA Funds.

“Memphis is full of young people who will benefit from a career tool like this, connecting them to the information that will help them find the right fit for their continued education or job opportunities,” Greater Memphis Chamber president and CEO Phil Trenary said in a statement. “This will also help our businesses who will be able to better connect with a qualified workforce, a top priority for the chamber.”

– Madeline Faber

Sentencing for Carjackings In Tennessee Rises July 1

July 1 marks the implementation of new laws in Tennessee, including legislation that requires any person convicted of carjacking to serve no less than 75 percent of the sentence imposed by the court, less any earned and retained sentence credits.

Previously, offenders convicted of carjacking could serve as little as 30 percent of their sentence before being released on parole, according to a release from state Sen. Brian Kelsey, a co-sponsor of the law.

The law was passed amid a spate of carjackings in the Memphis area over the past year.

Carjacking is defined as the intentional or knowing taking of a motor vehicle from the possession of another by use of a deadly weapon or by force or intimidation and is a Class B felony. According to statistics from the Tennessee Department of Corrections, the average person convicted of carjacking currently serves less than five years in jail.

Kelsey also co-sponsored Gov. Bill Haslam’s Public Safety Act, which addresses Tennessee’s violent crime rate by establishing mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of three or more charges of aggravated burglary, especially aggravated burglary or drug trafficking.

– Daily News staff

Joe Brown Barred From Practicing Law in Tenn.

Attorney and former Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Joe Brown – perhaps best known as the host of the syndicated “Judge Joe Brown” show – has been placed on disability inactive status by the Tennessee Supreme Court and barred from practicing law in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility petitioned the court to declare Brown incapacitated. It is unclear whether Brown then asked to be transferred to disability inactive status or the court reached its own conclusion that such status was necessary.

The Tennessee Supreme Court rule governing such proceedings says the board can petition when it believes an attorney is “incapacitated from continuing the practice of law by reason of mental infirmity or illness or because of addiction to drugs or intoxicants.” Another rule makes any information about the investigation of the complaints confidential.

Before the “Judge Joe Brown” show began in the late 1990s, Brown was a defense attorney in Memphis and was elected Shelby County Criminal Court judge. After the show ended, he ran as the Democratic nominee for Shelby County District Attorney General in 2014, losing to incumbent Republican Amy Weirich.

Brown, who is also an attorney in California, could return to active status in Tennessee by petitioning the state Supreme Court for reinstatement. He would have to show evidence that the disability no longer exists and he is fit to resume practicing law.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Grizzlies Claim Guard Wroten Off Waivers

Guard Tony Wroten, whom the Grizzlies drafted in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, is returning to the team. According to a report from espn.com, Memphis claimed Wroten off waivers on Sunday, June 26.

The New York Knicks had released Wroten several days earlier. By picking up Wroten, the Grizzlies add depth to their backcourt as point guard Mike Conley enters free agency on July 1. The Grizzlies picked combo guard Wade Baldwin of Vanderbilt 17th overall in last week’s NBA Draft.

In 72 games during the 2013-14 season, Wroten averaged 13.0 points and 3.0 assists with Philadelphia. He averaged 16.9 points and 5.2 assists in 30 games the following season for the 76ers. He played in just eight games with the Sixers last year. He also suffered a partially torn ACL in January 2015.

Wroten, 23, was the 25th overall pick in the 2012 Draft. Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace was actively involved in that draft, but had been pushed aside during the Jason Levien era of the Grizzlies’ front office at the point Memphis let Wroten go.

– Don Wade

10th Rock for Love Set for September

This September, the Church Health Center will celebrate the 10th anniversary of a festival that’s become one of the nonprofit’s biggest annual fundraisers as well as one of the city’s most beloved music bashes.

The 10th annual Rock for Love festival kicks off Sept. 2 at the Hi-Tone with an all-star revue-style celebration of music recorded in Memphis.

Graham Winchester will lead the charge, co-curating along with event founder J.D. Reager. The night will feature multiple acts covering hits and rarities cut in studios like Sun, Stax, Ardent, Easley, Royal and American.

Saturday night, Sept. 3, the action shifts to Otherlands Coffee, where The Dead Soldiers will play an acoustic set to headline an evening that will spotlight folk, acoustic and singer-songwriter styles.

The weekend will close on Sunday, Sept. 4, at The Levitt Shell, with a lineup of Memphis favorites, including Amy LaVere, Jack Oblivian & The Sheiks and Star & Micey.

In 2015, Rock for Love raised $50,000 for the Church Health Center. It has raised more than $250,000 since its founding.

– Andy Meek

Local Soda Memfizz Sees Commercial Expansion

Memfizz, a homemade probiotic soda, has hit the shelves of several Midtown and Downtown restaurants.

More than a year ago, Steve Cantor started brewing the soda through a fermentation process using water kefir grains. Otherlands coffee bar has sold the soda for months, and a recent expansion brings Memfizz to the Curb Market, Miss Cordelia’s Grocery and the Dixon Gallery & Gardens, with nearly a dozen more venues on the way

– Madeline Faber

AT&T Brings Faster Speeds To Tennessee Businesses

AT&T says it’s bringing gigabit internet speeds to even more businesses in 22 Tennessee communities, including Collierville, Cordova, Germantown and Memphis.

With AT&T Business Fiber, according to the telecom giant, more businesses can download and upload up to 1 gigabit per second. With speeds that fast, a business could download a two-hour high-definition video in less than a minute and download 8,000 word processing documents in one second.

AT&T has aggressively expanded its fiber footprint over the past few years, both to consumers and businesses. It’s expanded coverage to reach more than 1 million incremental business customer locations in the U.S., with more than 28,500 of those in Tennessee.

– Andy Meek

Tigers Alumni Game Draws 2 Dozen Former Players

The second annual Blue-Gray University of Memphis alumni basketball game brought in more than two dozen former Tigers at Elma Roane Fieldhouse.

The Gray Team (older players) won the game 125-119. Former players Jeremy Hunt and Willie Kemp organized the game. A portion of the proceeds were to be distributed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Kidney Foundation.

Playing with a running clock and minimal officiating, the game featured plenty of slam dunks and 3-point shooting.

Former Tigers Elliot Perry and Andre Turner coached the Blue Team while past Tigers Detric Golden and Marcus Moody guided the Gray.

Shawn Taggart led the Gray squad in scoring with 35 points, while Geron Johnson led the Blue with 33 points.

– Don Wade

Shelby Co. Unemployment Dips to 4.4 Percent

Shelby County’s unemployment rate decreased again in May, coming in at 4.4 percent, according to preliminary figures from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. That’s a slight dip from April’s revised rate of 4.5 percent and was significantly lower than the 6.7 percent in May 2015.

Memphis saw its unemployment rate drop as well. The city’s 4.8 percent preliminary rate in May was down one-tenth of a percent point from April; a year ago, Memphis unemployment stood at 7.4 percent.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan unemployment rate in May – 2.9 percent, remaining the same from the previous month. Knox County came in at 3.2 percent in May, also holding steady from the previous month.

Statewide, the preliminary unemployment rate for May was 4.1 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for May was 4.7 percent, down from 5.0 percent in April.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

– Daily News staff

Agricenter Fundraiser Brings in $65,000

Agricenter International’s second annual Feast on the Farm fundraiser netted the organization more than $50,000 for its educational programs, which are offered free to students

The June 17 event drew some 350 people and raised more than $65,000 in gross income.

The evening featured produce from the Agricenter farmer’s market and food prepared by local chefs. Annually, more than 4,000 students are educated at the Agricenter about agriculture and the origins of food.

– Don Wade

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751