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VOL. 9 | NO. 26 | Saturday, June 25, 2016

Daily Digest

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Second Annual TigerAlumni Game June 25

Former University of Memphis Tiger players Willie Kemp and Jeremy Hunt are hosting the second annual Blue vs. Gray Memphis Tigers Alumni Game, which will feature 26 former players at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 25.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at GoTigersGoTix.com or by calling 901-678-2331. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The National Kidney Foundation and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Doors open for the event at 5 p.m.

Those scheduled to attend include Andre Allen, Antonio Barton, Will Barton, Will Coleman, Chris Crawford, Joey Dorsey, Detric Golden, John Grice, Ferrakohn Hall, Penny Hardaway, Pierre Henderson-Niles, Jeremy Hunt, Jimmie "Snap" Hunter, Geron Johnson, Willie Kemp, Doneal Mack, Chris Massie, Elliot Perry, D.J. Stephens, Shawn Taggart, Adonis Thomas, Andre Turner, Elliot Williams and Wesley Witherspoon.

– Don Wade

Kicker Jake Elliott Earns All-America Third Team

University of Memphis senior place-kicker Jake Elliott has been named to the Athlon Sports All-America Third Team.

Elliott returns to Memphis this fall after finishing last season as a finalist for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, and as the two-time, defending American Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Year.

In 2015, Elliott, a three-time AAC first team honoree, tied the Memphis record for most field goals in a season (23), a record he now shares with Joe Allison, the first-ever Lou Groza award winner. He was 23-for-28 on field goal attempts in 2015 and was 63-for-63 on point after attempts (PATs). He ranked ninth in the NCAA in scoring last year with 10.0 ppg, the third-highest scoring kicker behind Boise State's Tyler Rausa (10.3 ppg) and Oregon's Aidan Schneider (10.2 ppg).

At the end of last year, Elliott was voted to his third consecutive American Athletic All-Conference first team, one of just two players in league history to earn first-team honors in all three seasons. Elliott was also named first team All-America by USA Today and second team All-America by both the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Foundation.

For his career, Elliott ranks third in Memphis history in career scoring with 324 career points, trailing only Stephen Gostkowski, now a member of the New England Patriots (369 points), and DeAngelo Williams, now a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers (362 points).

Elliott is one of two AAC players named to Athlon's preseason All-America team, joining Houston quarterback Greg Ward, who was a fourth team honoree on the list.

– Don Wade

Jazz Concert to Kick Off WUMR Summer Radiothon

WUMR, the University of Memphis’ all-jazz radio station, will host its Jazz in June Radiothon June 26-July 3. During the summer fundraiser, U-92 FM asks for help from “The Jazz Lover Family” to help fund operating expenses at the station.

WUMR will kick off the radiothon with a concert at the New Daisy Theatre Sunday, June 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

The featured musicians are Dual Drive members Gary Goin and Pat Register, whose latest release is The Memphis Project. Guest vocalist for the concert is Kevin Whalum.

Goin is the leader of the Memphis Grizzlies’ house band. He is also guitarist for Kirk Whalum’s band and an in-demand studio guitarist.

Register is a local saxophonist and founding member of the group VooDoo Village, and has also recorded several albums of his own.

Wendy Moten, a local favorite now living in Nashville, also will perform. She has had a busy career, including more than 15 years as an opening act for the Julio Iglesias World Tour. For more information and for tickets, contact Malvin Massey at 901-678-3176 or mmassey@memphis.edu.

– Don Wade

Chef Shuttle Delivery Partners With St. Jude

Restaurant delivery service Chef Shuttle has partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Between Monday, June 27, and Sunday, July 3, Chef Shuttle will donate $5 from every order to St. Jude as part of a Chef Shuttle Cares promotion.

In the coming weeks, Chef Shuttle will offer free delivery to St. Jude from Bangkok Alley, Hard Rock Café, Carol’s Cheesecake, Kooky Canuck, Cozy Corner BBQ, Pita Pit, Encore Café, Gigi’s Cupcakes, South of Beale and Strano’s Sicilian Kitchen and Bar.

– Madeline Faber

Deadline to Register to Vote is July 5

The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 4 election is Tuesday, July 5.

Voter registration applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. that day, and mail-in applications must be postmarked by that date.

Every Election Day, people walk into the operations center at the Shelby County Election Commission and want to register so they can vote in that day’s election.

“We want everyone who is eligible to vote to cast a ballot in every election,” said Linda Phillips, the new election commission administrator.

By law, people must be registered to vote 30 days prior to an election.

“Because the last day to register falls on a national holiday (Fourth of July), this time people have an extra day to register,” Phillips said.

People can register to vote at the Downtown commission office at 150 Washington Ave., and the operations center at 980 Nixon Drive, near Shelby Farms. Online voter registration is available at http://sos.tn.gov/elections, or at www.shelbyvote.com.

Anyone who registers online must vote the first time in person and is not eligible to receive an absentee ballot.

“If you are planning a trip around election time, or going away to school, please register in person so we can honor your request for an absentee ballot,” Phillips said.

Request forms for absentee ballots are available under the “Voter Information” tab at www.shelbyvote.com.

– Daily News staff

The Kitchen Restaurant at Shelby Farms Hiring

The Kitchen Restaurant is hiring full and part-time staff for its upcoming restaurant at Shelby Farms Park.

The farm-to-table restaurant opens later this year in a 5,000-square-foot space overlooking the expanded Patriot Lake, part of Shelby Farms’ $70 million Heart of the Park expansion.

The Kitchen Restaurant Group will host hiring fairs at Bounty on Broad, located at 2519 Broad Ave. The sessions are open to the public and resumes are required.

The dates and times are:

• June 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• June 29 from 9 a.m. to noon
• July 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• July 6 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Kitchen Next Door’s 4,500-square-foot location at Crosstown Concourse opens in 2017.

– Madeline Faber

Pinnacle Adds Senior VP at Memphis Headquarters

Pinnacle Financial Partners has added another professional to its growing Memphis ranks.

Lee Rudd has joined Pinnacle as a senior vice president and financial adviser, based at Pinnacle’s Memphis headquarters at 6525 N. Quail Hollow Road.

Rudd brings 24 years of financial services experience in the Memphis market and comes most recently from SunTrust Bank, where he served as a client adviser in the company’s commercial banking group.

Prior roles included division manager of the Premier Banking group at BancorpSouth, and at First Tennessee Bank, where he served in several capacities over his eight years at the company, including senior vice president of the private banking group and treasury sales officer for the West Tennessee market.

– Andy Meek

First State-Backed Blight Demolition Completed

The first demolition sponsored by the state’s Blight Elimination Program took place June 22.

Memphis-based United Housing Inc. sent a wrecking crew to 1370 Mississippi Blvd. to demolish an abandoned home and make way for a green space.

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency announced the forgivable loan program last August.

Under the BEP, qualified nonprofits can access a pool of $6 million in state and federal funds to acquire abandoned homes out of foreclosure, demolish the homes and transform the property into a community park or other publicly beneficial function.

– Madeline Faber

FedEx Posts $70 Million Loss, Gives Cautious Outlook

Memphis-based FedEx Corp. lost $70 million in the latest quarter because of large pension and acquisition items, and the delivery giant gave a cautious outlook for the next 12 months.

The company’s fiscal fourth-quarter results, released Tuesday afternoon, still beat Wall Street expectations, as FedEx and other delivery companies continue to benefit from the growth in online shopping.

FedEx plans capital spending of $5.1 billion in the fiscal year that just started. FedEx will use the money to expand its ground network and buy more aircraft.

FedEx said it expects earnings excluding one-time items in the new fiscal year to be between $11.75 and $12.25 per share. The midpoint of that range is less than the $12.17 per share that analysts were expecting, according to a FactSet survey.

Still, the midpoint of the company’s forecast suggests an 11 percent increase in full-year adjusted profit. CEO Fred Smith said on a call with investors that FedEx will increase profit margins and earnings per share over the next several years assuming that economic growth is moderate.

FedEx’s fiscal fourth quarter loss amounted to 26 cents per share and compared with a year-earlier loss of $895 million, or $3.16 per share. Results were dragged down by accounting for the changing value of pension assets and liabilities and by costs related to the acquisition of Dutch delivery company TNT Express.

Without those and other charges, FedEx said it would have earned $3.30 per share compared with $2.66 per share a year earlier. Thirteen analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected $3.26 per share.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based company had revenue of $12.98 billion, beating the Zacks survey forecast of $12.83 billion.

Operating profit rose in both the express and ground-shipping segments, partly due to higher prices.

– The Associated Press

Judicial Commission Taking Circuit Court Applications

A state commission is taking applications through July 7 at noon for an upcoming vacancy in Shelby County Circuit Court.

Circuit Court Judge Donna Fields is retiring effective Sept. 1, two years into her current eighty-year term of office. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will appoint her successor until the office can go on the next general election ballot.

The trial court vacancy commission will submit a list of three finalists for the appointment.

The applicants must be licensed attorneys, at least 30 years old, a resident of Tennessee for five years and live in Shelby County.

Applications can be found at tncourts.gov, the website for the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The vacancy commission will interview all qualified applicants in sessions open to the public on Aug. 8 in Memphis.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Ranks No. 3 for Small-Biz Friendliness

Memphis has ranked No. 3 in the nation for its healthy small business environment.

The city received an A+ grade from home services provider Thumbtack in its fifth annual Small Business Friendliness Survey.

The rating is based on more than 12,000 responses from small-business owners regarding training experience, health and safety, zoning, environmental rules and tax regulations.

“Skilled professionals say the most important factor affecting their success and ability to start, grow and sustain a thriving business is regulation that is straightforward and easy to follow - not overly simplistic fixes like lower tax rates,” stated Thumbtack in the survey released Wednesday, June 22.

Memphis improved significantly year-over-year, having received a C+ grade in 2015. The city's strong performance in training experience and zoning drove the high grade.

In Memphis, 66 percent of small businesses said that “helpful” training programs were available, and only 16 percent of Memphis small businesses called zoning regulations “unfriendly.”

Memphis weakest performance was in the environmental sector, with only 36 percent of respondents calling environmental regulation “friendly.”

Memphis ranked No. 3 for business friendliness out of 78 cities. San Antonio, Texas, topped the list, and Nashville came in at No. 2.

– Madeline Faber

Lifeblood Issues Appeal for Blood Donations

Lifeblood has issued an emergency appeal for all blood types, especially Rh negative types – A-negative, B-negative, AB-negative and O-negative.

The organization, which provides blood to Memphis-area hospitals, said blood donations have plummeted since Memorial Day, with its reserves currently at less than a one-day supply.

Since it takes 24 to 36 hours to test and process each donation before it can be released for a patient, blood is being transfused as fast as Lifeblood can provide it to hospitals.

Donors with Rh negative blood types are asked to inquire with a Lifeblood staff member about doubling their impact by donating double red cells.

Volunteer donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 115 pounds and be in good health. All donors 16-22 years old must meet certain height and weight requirements, and 16-year-olds must have parental permission.

Lifeblood operates five donor centers: 1045 Madison Ave. in Midtown; 7505 U.S. 64, suite 109, in Bartlett; 2095 Exeter Road, suite 75, in Germantown; 4702 Spottswood Ave. in East Memphis; and 1055 Goodman Road E., suite J, in Southaven.

Appointments are highly recommended and can be scheduled at lifeblood.org.

– Daily News staff

Ikea Appoints Manager for Future Memphis Store

A seasoned Ikea employee has been appointed manager of the Memphis store, which is set to open late this fall.

Trisha Bevering is moving to Memphis from her most recent assignment as the interior design manager of Ikea East Palo Alto in California’s San Francisco Bay area.

Bevering joined Ikea in 1995, working in the home-furnishing chain’s Seattle-area store for eight years.

She then moved to the Netherlands on temporary assignment to help design Ikea’s Dutch service office.

Bevering returned to the U.S. to run her own interior design business before rejoining Ikea in 2005.

She served as the interior design manager for Ikea Bolingbrook, located near Chicago, for four years before taking the same role at the East Palo Alto store.

“Trisha’s management experience and background in IKEA commerciality and sales more than qualify her to manage the future IKEA Memphis,” Ikea U.S. president Lars Petersson said in a statement.

The 271,000-square-foot Ikea Memphis store is expected to create 225 jobs. Hiring opportunities for candidates will be available this summer, according to the company.

– Daily News staff

A3 Freight Payment Named Top Logistics IT Provider

Memphis-based A3 Freight Payment has been named a Top 100 Logistics IT Provider for 2016 by Inbound Logistics magazine.

The companies named on this list are “providers whose solutions are central to solving transportation, logistics, and supply chain challenges, and whose customer successes are well-documented,” according to the editors of Inbound Logistics magazine.

This marks the first year that A3 Freight Payment has been named to the list.

A3 Freight Payment serves the freight invoice audit and payment needs of large volume shippers in the industrial, automotive, retail and pharmaceuticals sectors, among others.

– Don Wade

Lettuce Eat Rebrands as Wild Beet Salad Co.

Local salad and wrap restaurant Lettuce Eat has rebranded in advance of opening its second location.

Now known as Wild Beet Salad Co., the restaurant will open an East Memphis restaurant in late summer.

Owner Kelcie Hamm had to change the name for legal reasons. Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You has the rights to use the word lettuce as a verb.

Hamm is making the most of the rebrand with a new website and menu items, including, of course, a wild beet salsa. When the website is completed, customers will be able to order lunch and dinner online.

The original Lettuce Eat opened at 6641 Poplar Ave. in 2014. The second Wild Beet Salad Co. location will open at 4715 Poplar Ave. in Knickerbocker Plaza.

– Madeline Faber

Thomas & Betts Donates $50,000 to Apprenticeship Program

Memphis-based Thomas & Betts Corp. has pledged $50,000 to the Memphis Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee.

The funds, to be paid over the next 10 years, will go toward the development of classrooms and laboratories in the Memphis Electrical JATC’s new 20,000-square-foot facility on Shelby Oaks Drive.

The Memphis Electrical JATC is a five-year apprenticeship program that has provided both classroom and on-the-job training over the last 70 years for apprentices pursuing a career in the electrical industry. The program is jointly sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 474 and the Memphis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association.

“T&B values its community and close partnership with the Memphis Electrical JATC,” David Kendall, industry affairs director at T&B, said in a statement. “We understand the value the apprenticeship program provides, and truly hope that our donation can go towards enriching the students’ classroom and laboratory experience.”

Thomas & Betts, a member of the ABB Group, is a leading manufacturer of both medium- and low-voltage products.

– Daily News staff

Major Violent Crime Rate Up in Memphis, Shelby Co.

Memphis’ major violent crime rate rose 7.5 percent during the first five months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, and the countywide rate was 9.1 percent higher than a year ago, according to Operation: Safe Community statistics released Tuesday, June 21.

Murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery are the four categories that make up the major violent crime percentages.

The 10.4 murders per 100,000 population through the end of May in Memphis marked a 65.9 percent increase from a year ago. Aggravated assaults were up 5.8 percent and robberies by 14.8 percent. Reported rapes were the only one of the four categories that saw a decrease from last year, down 17.5 percent in Memphis.

Countywide, including the city of Memphis, the percentages for the four categories were similar, also with a drop in reported rapes.

Weapons violations – a separate category from the violent crime and property crime numbers – rose 12.6 percent in Memphis compared to January-May 2015; countywide, they were up 11.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Memphis’ major property crime rate was down 4 percent from a year ago, although motor vehicle thefts, one of the three categories of major property crimes, were up 8.7 percent from the first five months of last year.

Countywide, major property crime was down 6.2 percent from a year ago, also with an increase in motor vehicles thefts – 4.3 percent.

The Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission compiles the statistics for Operation: Safe Community, a coalition of local law enforcement and criminal justice leaders.

The group has measured crime statistics since 2006, with that year serving as the baseline.

Compared with the 2006 baseline, major violent crime in Memphis and Shelby County is down – 11.2 percent in Memphis and 14.3 percent countywide – compared to the first five months of 2006. Major property crime compared to 2006 is down 37.2 percent in Memphis and 40.1 percent countywide.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Housing Market Ranked Among Healthiest

For the third consecutive quarter, Memphis has made the top ten in a national list of the healthiest housing markets.

In the second-quarter 2016 Health of Housing Markets report published by Nationwide, the Memphis metropolitan statistical area came in at No. 4 in a ranking of 400 housing markets, and is projected to be one of the most sustainable markets over the next year.

The Q2 report weighed employment, demographics, home prices and the mortgage market using data from the first quarter of 2016.

Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa., topped the Q2 ranking. Saginaw, Mich., and Lansing-East Lansing, Mich., also ranked above Memphis.

– Madeline Faber

Commission OKs Raleigh Land For Wolf River Trail

Five acres of land in Raleigh has been donated by Shelby County government to the city of Memphis for use as a trailhead on the Wolf River Greenway.

Shelby County commissioners on Monday, June 20, approved the donation of the two tax-delinquent parcels south of Raleigh Lagrange Road and east of Old Austin Peay Highway.

The land east of the Creekwood Villages Apartments and west of Kennedy Park is to be used as part of the park and a trailhead where the Greenway follows the northernmost point of the Wolf River in Shelby County.

The trailhead is to be a major feature of the Greenway, with the Wolf River Conservancy acquiring land on the other side of the Wolf River in the old Epping Forest subdivision as well.

In other action Monday, commissioners approved three grants totaling $13,750 for local nonprofits. The money is drawn from a $1.3 million fund that allocated $100,000 to each commissioner to use with approval of the full commission. The latest grants leave a balance of $54,750 in the fund.

– Bill Dries

City Hires Neighborhood Preservation Fellow

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and the city of Memphis have hired Brittany Williams as city’s first Neighborhood Preservation fellow.

In her new role, Brittany Williams will draft and file lawsuits and assist in case handling and management for Neighborhood Preservation Act cases and other Environmental Court cases filed by the city. She will represent the city in litigation against owners of blighted property and will work with students enrolled in the University of Memphis Neighborhood Preservation Clinic.

Williams will hold the position through the end of 2017. The city of Memphis provided the law school with a $150,000 in funding to create the fellowship with proceeds from its Vacant Property Registry.

Williams is a graduate of the University of Memphis law school and previously worked as a law clerk with local blight-fighting firm Brewer & Barlow PLC.

– Madeline Faber

Resurrection Relocates Residency Program

Resurrection Health has relocated its residency program to Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett.

The obstetrics practice will also relocate, bringing most of Resurrection Health’s hospital services under one roof for the first time.

The move to Saint Francis-Bartlett gives residents the opportunity to gain experience in a learning environment that includes more than 40,000 emergency room visits annually; a large intensive care unit; a chest pain center accredited by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care; and a primary stroke center, which was recognized with an Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.

The move will also open up opportunities for Resurrection Health to treat underserved populations in rural areas of West Tennessee in addition to the urban population currently under care.

Meanwhile, Resurrection Health’s residency program – Resurrection Family Medicine – will welcome eight first-year residents in July. That will give the provider a total of 23 residents and 12 physician faculty members, plus non-medical staff.

The residents, who recorded a 100 percent board pass rate, will be the only residents stationed in Saint Francis-Bartlett.

Before the move, Resurrection Health’s residents were based at Delta Medical Center, while its obstetrics practice was at Regional One Health.

In addition to surgery, obstetrics and emergency medicine services provided at Saint Francis-Bartlett, Resurrection Family Medicine residents will continue to practice pediatric medicine and pediatric emergency care at the Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children's Hospital.

They will also continue to practice critical care medicine at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis.

– Andy Meek

Database Expert Kline to Speak in Memphis

Database expert and software industry veteran Kevin Kline is set to speak at the FedEx Institute of Technology next month.

The FedEx Institute and its newest community partner, Memphis PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server), are hosting the talk July 12 at 5 p.m. in room 227 of the FedEx Institute, 365 Innovation Drive.

Kline currently serves as director of engineering services at SQL Sentry, a leading vendor of database and business intelligence tools. A Microsoft SQL Server MVP since 2004, Kline is a founding board member and former president of PASS. He has written or co-written 11 books, including the best-selling “SQL in a Nutshell,” and contributes monthly columns to SQL Server Pro and DBTA magazines.

Kline is a noted trainer and thought leader on IT leadership skills, database management technology and practices, and SQL Server performance tuning and optimization. He is a top-rated speaker at conferences such as Microsoft TechEd, the PASS Summit, DevTeach, Oracle OpenWorld and SQL Connections.

– Don Wade

Crye-Leike Opening Office in Gallatin

Crye-Leike is opening a branch office in Gallatin, Tenn., marking its 20th location in Middle Tennessee.

The new Crye-Leike office will be in a 2,352-square-foot remodeled house that has been zoned for office use. The lease agreement begins July 1.

“We felt the timing is right to add an office in Gallatin because of the area’s surge in residential growth and jobs,” CEO Harold Crye said in a statement.

Between 2010 and 2015, Gallatin’s population grew 14 percent, said James Fenton, executive director of the Gallatin Economic & Community Development Agency. Additionally, business relocations and expansions have brought more than 2,000 jobs to Gallatin within the last 30 months.

The Gallatin office joins two other Sumner County Crye-Leike offices, located in Hendersonville and Goodlettsville.

– Madeline Faber

U of M Physicist Earns Early Career Research Award

Xiao Shen, assistant professor of physics and materials science at the University of Memphis, has been named a winner of the 2016 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award by Oak Ridge Associated Universities for his work on novel optical materials.

The competitive $5,000 matching award is given annually to select faculty during the first two years of their initial university appointment to support promising new lines of research and promote collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers. Shen was one of 35 recipients selected from 132 candidates nominated by ORAU members. He is the second U of M faculty member to receive this award.

Shen’s research focuses on theory and computation of a range of materials for electronics, optoelectronics and energy. His Powe Award project will explore structural and optical properties of a novel two-dimensional material with practical applications for advanced electronic devices. He will collaborate with Matthew Chisholm, group leader of the Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

This one-year award will help Shen further his research and support future proposals to federal agencies such as the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Shen earned his doctorate in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and completed a postdoctoral research appointment at Vanderbilt University prior to joining the U of M faculty last August.

– Don Wade

Liberty Bowl Gives Award to Archie Manning

Archie Manning has received the Liberty Bowl's Distinguished Citizen Award, an honor the organization considers its most prestigious recognition.

Manning received the award Sunday, June 19, while serving as guest of honor at the kickoff event of the Liberty Bowl Golf Classic, which benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Manning, a College Football Hall of Famer, is the first former Liberty Bowl player to receive the award. Manning threw for 141 yards and two touchdowns to lead Mississippi to a 34-17 victory over Virginia Tech in the 1968 Liberty Bowl.

Manning has received numerous awards for community service both during his playing career and since his retirement.

– The Associated Press

Tenn. Unemployment Down, Wages Up in May

Tennessee’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in May, according to preliminary figures from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. That’s two-tenths of a percentage point lower than the April revised rate of 4.3 percent. A year ago, unemployment stood at 5.8 percent.

The state unemployment rate was lower than the national average of 4.7 percent in May.

Nonfarm employment decreased by 13,400 jobs from April to May, with the largest decreases occurring in government, leisure/hospitality and professional/business services. Over the past year, however, nonfarm employment increased by 60,900 jobs, with the largest increases being in education/health services, trade/transportation/utilities, and manufacturing.

While the unemployment rate dropped, the average hourly wage Tennesseans earned in May rose slightly from the same time a year ago.

Across all occupations statewide, the average wage increased 30 cents an hour, from $19.55 to $19.85, new statistics from the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development show.

The increase in the state’s average hourly wage represents a yearly income of $41,296. The latest wage and employment estimates show average hourly wages ranging from $9.60 in food preparation and serving occupations to $44.85 in legal occupations.

– Daily News staff

Redbirds Manager Will Coach for PCL All-Stars

Memphis Redbirds manager Mike Shildt, a Charlotte, N.C., native, will return home to help lead the Pacific Coast League All-Stars in the Triple-A All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte July 13.

The game will be televised on MLB Network beginning at 6 p.m. Shildt will be joined by Wally Backman of the Las Vegas 51s, who will be the manager for the PCL squad, and El Paso Chihuahua’s pitching coach Bronswell Patrick.

The 29th annual game pits the PCL All-Stars against the all-stars of the International League, who will be led by Chris Tremie, Stu Cliburn and Andy Tomberlin.

Shildt guided Memphis to 73 wins and a second-place finish in his first season at the helm of the Redbirds in 2015, and recently earned his 100th win as Redbird skipper. Shildt previously coached at UNC Charlotte and UNC Asheville, his alma mater, and his mother, Lib, formerly handled public relations for the Double-A Charlotte O’s.

– Don Wade

UTHSC Researchers Win $1 Million Grant

Researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center have received a $1 million grant to study a genetic therapy that one day may offer a way to slow or reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Mike McDonald, an associate professor in the Departments of Neurology and Anatomy and Neurobiology, and Dr. Francesca-Fang Liao, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, received the grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to test the therapy in mice.

The therapy involves the injection of a viral vector in the leg muscle. The vector, or carrier, contains DNA to generate a mutant erythropoietin, which is a naturally occurring protein that is known to be neuro-protective, meaning it can protect neurons from damage in conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Chronic use of the protein has the effect of raising hematocrit, the concentration of red blood cells, to unhealthy levels. But what the UTHSC doctors are studying is a mutant version that does not raise the hematocrit.

– Andy Meek

Report Faults Tenn. Courts gor Lack of Diversity

A new report faults Tennessee's court system for not adequately representing the diversity of the state's population.

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy ranks Tennessee 45th out of 51 state court jurisdictions for gender and racial diversity.

The report says that the state's judiciaries are 60 percent less diverse on average than the state population.

According to the report, white males make up 36 percent of the state population, but account for 74 percent of judges.

While women make up 51 percent of the population, only 20 percent of judges in Tennessee are female.

And the report says that minorities make up 26 percent of Tennessee's population, but just 9 percent of judges are people of color.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 37 37 2,656
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,804
BUILDING PERMITS 132 132 5,833
BANKRUPTCIES 61 61 1,054