International Paper Buys Madrid Newsprint Mill

Memphis-based International Paper has bought a newsprint mill in Madrid, Spain, with plans to convert the plant to produce recycled containerboard.

The binding agreement with Holmen Paper was announced Wednesday, March 16. Under the terms of the deal, International Paper would purchase the mill, as well as associated recycling operations and a 50 percent ownership interest in a cogeneration facility.

IP expects its investment, including the purchase price and conversion costs, to total $167.5 million (150 million euros), the company said Wednesday.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to regulatory approvals. The mill would then be converted during the second half of 2017 for a capacity of 380,000 metric tons.

– Bill Dries

Greenline Construction to Affect Germantown Parkway Traffic

On the first day of spring, Sunday, March 20, construction will begin on the Shelby Farms Greenline crossing of Germantown Parkway.

Work crews will begin northbound and southbound lane shifts, which are necessary to build the median shelter that will allow those using the greenline to cross the busy parkway with a wait in the middle.

The temporary lane closures in both directions begin at 7 a.m. Sunday morning and will remain in place for about a month.

The greenline is being extended from its current terminus on Mullins Station Road near the Shelby County Corrections Center eastward to the old Cordova Train Station, which is east of the Germantown Parkway crossing.

– Bill Dries

West Cancer Center Taps New COO

West Cancer Center has named Candace Wilder as chief operating officer.

As COO, she’s responsible for leading strategic planning for clinical operations throughout the region, customer service initiatives, breast center operations and outreach, and the surgical oncology teams for the system. Wilder previously served as vice president of operations for West Cancer Center.

Wilder joined West Cancer Center in 2012 as director of West Clinic’s Comprehensive Breast Center, where she managed staffing and operations for the two breast center locations.

– Andy Meek

City Council Approves Columbarium Permit

The Memphis City Council approved a special permit Tuesday, March 15, for a memorial garden with mausoleums, crypts and a columbarium at the Serenity Columbarium and Memorial Garden at 1622 Sycamore View Road northwest of Shelby Oaks Drive.

The council also approved a pair of hotels on Union Avenue’s south side on the block between Hernando and Fourth streets by developer Nitinkumar Patel.

One is a 115-room Holiday Inn Express at 235 Union Ave., and the other is a 143-room Hilton Garden Inn at 195 Union.

And the council approved a rezoning of land at Prescott and Raines roads just north of Delta Wholesale Liquors Inc. The business is turning the land into a parking lot for its employees.

The council delayed setting a date Tuesday for the public hearing and council vote on the Parkside at Shelby Farms Park planned development, a set of three six-story apartment buildings on the northern border of Shelby Farms Park.

– Bill Dries

Le Bonheur Wins Magnet Designation

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital has received the Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, putting it among only 7 percent of hospitals in the country to have earned the distinction.

The ANCC Magnet Recognition Program designates health care organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing practice, adherence to national standards for improving patient care, leadership and sensitivity to cultural and ethnic diversity. Hospitals undergo an evaluation that includes a document submission and an on-site evaluation of patient care and outcomes. Magnet hospitals must also provide an annual status report on their progress and must undergo re-evaluation every four years to retain the designation.

– Andy Meek

Guest House at Graceland Names VP of Sales

Michael Pramshafer has been named the vice president of sales and marketing for the Guest House at Graceland hotel and resort.

Pramshafer comes to the post from working in the Las Vegas hotel industry for 20 years. He has been vice president of sales at SLS Las Vegas as well as West Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa and headed up convention sales and marketing at Tropicana Resort & Casino.

The 450-room Guest House is currently under construction with an opening date of Oct. 27.

– Bill Dries

Community Mortgage Corp. Opens New Oxford Branch

Community Mortgage Corp. has opened a new branch location in Oxford, Miss.

The new branch is located just off the Oxford downtown square, at 400 S. Lamar Blvd.

The office is a full-service mortgage lender, providing traditional home mortgages, loans for condominiums and second homes, mortgages for investor-owned properties, as well as loans for new and existing construction projects. Additionally, all FHA, VA and USDA loan products will be offered alongside Mississippi Housing and first-time buyer loan programs.

Community Mortgage has been a Memphis-based lender for 28 years and has served clients for 25 years in the North Mississippi and Chattanooga markets.

– Andy Meek

Grizzlies Sign Another Player to a 10-Day Contract

The injury-depleted Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Xavier Munford to a 10-day contract as a call-up from the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam and pursuant to the NBA’s hardship roster rules.

The 6-foot-3 Munford is a 2016 D-League All-Star, ranking sixth among qualifying players in assists per game and 11th in scoring average.

The 23-year-old has played 89 career games (53 starts) over two seasons with the Jam and averaged 15.2 points (.475 FG/.366 3P/.796 FT), 3.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 27.3 minutes. He helped guide Bakersfield to the D-League Playoffs in 2015 and averaged 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.33 steals in 38.0 minutes over three postseason games.

Not selected in the 2014 NBA Draft, Munford transferred to the University of Rhode Island as a junior and completed his collegiate career with averages of 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 35.5 minutes in 61 games (all starts) over two seasons. The New Jersey native led the Rams in scoring in each of his two years with the program.

– Don Wade