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VOL. 9 | NO. 13 | Saturday, March 26, 2016

Daily Digest

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Crye-Leike Sales Near Pre-Recession Volume

Tennessee-based Crye-Leike saw $5.7 billion in sales for 2015, marking the second-highest sales performance in the company’s 39-year history.

The real estate brokerage firm hit its high water mark in 2006 with $6.1 billion in sales.

The 2015 sales volume marked a 7.3 percent increase over the previous year’s volume of $5.4 billion. 2015 saw 31,826 closings, which is an increase of 3.9 percent over 2014.

In a report from Crye-Leike, leadership attributed the company’s growth to increased investment in web and mobile-based brokerage services.

Crye-Leike’s West Tennessee region reported year-end sales volume of $1.4 billion, up 8.6 percent from 2014 figures. Year-end closings came in at 7,114 and increased 2.2 percent over 2014.

– Madeline Faber

Hooks Donation Benefits Institute for Social Change

The estate of civil rights leaders Benjamin L. Hooks and Frances Hooks has donated $273,000 to the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis.

The donation was announced Friday, March 18, and follows the January death of Frances Hooks. Benjamin Hooks died in 2010.

The institute was created in 1996 by Benjamin Hooks – an attorney, Criminal Court judge, national NAACP executive director and Federal Communications Commissioner – along with the political science department and College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Memphis..

With federal and state funding as well as private donations, the institute teaches, studies and promotes civil rights and social change.

– Bill Dries

Midtown Market Project Moving Forward

The mixed-use Midtown Market project being planned at the southwest corner of McLean Boulevard and Union Avenue is moving forward.

In a March 11 warranty deed, Nevada-based Tennvada Holdings sold the Artisan Hotel, at 1837 Union Ave., for $1.3 million, and the Towery Office Building, at 1835 Union Ave., for $870,000.

Georgia-based HRP Union-McLean LLC purchased both of the abandoned properties.

Marietta, Ga.-based Harbor Retail Partners and Memphis-based Belz Enterprises have plans to raze the buildings and construct a $43 million apartment complex anchored by a national gourmet grocery store.

Since Belz announced the project last October, it has garnered a 15-year property tax freeze from the Downtown Memphis Commission and a $4 million Section 108 guaranteed loan through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

– Madeline Faber

Nike Starts Building Out New Warehouse on Lamar

Nike Inc. has a new home on Lamar Avenue.

A $1.5 million building permit application recently filed with the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Construction Code Enforcement lists “install industrial storage racks” for a warehouse at 5155 Lamar Ave.

This is a new facility for sports shoes and apparel giant Nike, which also has a distribution center on Winchester and a factory in Frayser. According to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, the Class A warehouse was built in 2002 and bears 706,802 square feet.

– Madeline Faber

Methodist Germantown Program Wins Certification

Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital has received certification for its cardiovascular rehabilitation program by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

The association is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients with cardiovascular problems including heart attack, coronary artery bypass graft surgery and congestive heart failure.

AACVPR-certified programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available.

Methodist Germantown was recognized for its commitment to improving the quality of life by enhancing standards of care. To earn certification, Methodist Germantown’s cardiovascular rehabilitation program participated in an application process that requires extensive documentation of the program’s practices.

– Andy Meek

Tennessee Unemployment Dips To 4.9 Pct. in February

Tennessee’s unemployment rate edged down to 4.9 percent in February, according to preliminary figures from the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development. The February rate marks a five-tenths of a percentage point decrease from the January revised rate of 5.4 percent.

The U.S. preliminary rate for February was 4.9 percent, unchanged from the previous month.

Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate has decreased from 6.0 percent to 4.9 percent, while the national rate declined from 5.5 percent to 4.9 percent.

Total nonfarm employment in Tennessee decreased 1,600 jobs from January to February, with the largest decreases being reported in professional/business services, arts/entertainment/recreation and government.

Over the year, however, nonfarm employment increased 89,300 jobs, with the largest increases occurring in trade/transportation/utilities, professional/business services and education/health services.

– Daily News staff

Saint Francis-Memphis CEO David Archer to Retire

Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis CEO David Archer is preparing to leave the hospital in May after 19 years, a departure that will also cap a 30-year career with Saint Francis’ owner, Tenet Healthcare Corp.

Tenet has already launched a nationwide search for a successor for Archer, who’s been the CEO at Saint Francis-Memphis since 1997 and CEO of the hospital’s Memphis market since February 2006.

During his tenure, the health care system has grown to include Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett, an ambulatory surgery center, heart and vascular center and the physician practice entity, Saint Francis Medical Partners.

“It’s been a privilege to serve an organization that leads the way in healthcare and it has meant so much to work for a hospital that provides the highest quality of care for my community,” Archer said in a statement about his departure. “After three decades with Tenet and 19 years as Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis’ CEO, it’s time to transfer the reins to a new generation of leadership.”

Tenet Southern Region CEO Garry Gause said Archer has been a key member of the hospital’s administrative team as a result of his commitment to things like “exceptional care for patients” as well as a collaborative relationship with doctors, staff, patients and the community.

Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis is a 519-bed, full-service hospital located at 5959 Park Ave.

– Andy Meek

Delta Medical Center Shortens ER Hours

Delta Medical Center’s emergency department will be moving away from 24-hour service next month.

Starting April 18, the new hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The facility, which has 243 beds, estimates that about 80 percent of patients admitted to the department aren’t presenting with emergency needs and could otherwise be served at urgent care centers or clinics.

Behavioral health admissions through the emergency room have continued to increase, according to Delta officials. Because of that, Delta says it will continue around-the-clock admission services for those presenting with mental health or addiction issues.

– Andy Meek

Former City Attorney Founds Hagler Law Group

Monice Hagler, a longtime Memphis lawyer who served as city attorney during the administrations of Mayors Dick Hackett and Willie Herenton, has founded a new law practice.

The Hagler Law Group PLLC is focused on real estate-related economic development as well as small- and minority-business development.

Hagler, a native Memphian, also has served during her career as lead counsel on the development of the city’s first major tax increment financing district and as counsel for redevelopment of major mixed-use developments, overseeing acquisition, redevelopment, multifamily financing and ultimately homeownership sales for such projects including Uptown Memphis, University Place, Legends Park and McKinley Park.

– Andy Meek

New Design Studio Opens Downtown

Ami Austin, principal designer and president of Ami Austin Interior Design, has opened a new design studio Downtown.

P & B Design Source, her new design, furniture and accessory studio, is at 667 Union Ave. It will provide a resource of commercial and residential interior products for the interior design trade and the general consumer public. Austin also will be providing interior design consultations and planning at the studio for her clientele.

P & B Design Source is an independent business and subsidiary under the auspices of Ami Austin Interior Design and is located in the Kerns-Wilcheck building.

P & B Design Source will offer access to a range of furnishings, lighting, tile, area rugs, fabric, fine linen, artwork, architectural elements, flooring and accessories from the nation’s top-branded product lines and collections. The studio also will showcase a new bespoke line of merchandise personally designed by Austin under the brand name Parker Lauren by Ami Austin.

Support services will be offered to designers for a fee, upon request. The studio’s staff will be available to assist designers with selecting finishes from granite to marble; procuring all or select products for interiors; and providing design consultations to augment designers’ talents upon request.

– Andy Meek

FedEx Relaunches CrossBorder Division

Memphis-based FedEx Corp. announced Tuesday, March 22, the relaunch of its e-commerce services division FedEx CrossBorder.

CrossBorder, formerly known as Bongo International, is a subsidiary of FedEx Trade Networks, the freight forwarding arm of the corporation.

The company works with retailers on such online parts of the sale process as payment processing, multicurrency pricing and credit card fraud protection.

CrossBorder vice president Chip Hull said only a third of U.S.-based global e-commerce sites accept foreign currency.

The CrossBorder services offer a checkout system that accepts 80 currencies with 15 payment options and includes multiple delivery options on the same platform.

– Bill Dries

Major Violent Crime Spikes 24.5 Percent Countywide

Shelby County’s major violent crime rate over the first two months of 2016 was up 24.5 percent compared to the first two months of 2015, while Memphis’ rate rose 22.2 percent over the same period.

The Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission statistics for major violent crime released Tuesday, March 22, cover the categories of murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery.

The countywide homicide rate of 2.7 per 100,000 population led the violent crime spike, representing a 47.1 percent increase in that category alone compared to the first two months of 2015.

The city homicide rate of 3.8 per 100,000 population was also a 47.1 percent increase compared to homicides in Memphis for the first two months of 2015.

Interim Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings termed the violent crime increase “unacceptable.”

“Deploying officers into areas that have been deemed ‘high crime’ areas might help defuse some situations,” he said in a written statement. “But that will not solve the problem entirely.

"We can even hire more officers to help with the call load, but without community involvement we cannot change the direction we are going,” Rallings continued.

The countywide domestic violence crime rate was up 1.7 percent from the first two months of 2015 and down 1.1 percent in the city from a year ago.

The major property crime rate as measured by the crime commission for the first two months of 2016 was down 4 percent countywide compared to January and February of 2015 and was down 1.8 percent in Memphis compared to the same period last year.

The crime statistics are a part of Operation: Safe Community, a coalition of leaders in the criminal justice system who began pursuing a common strategy in fighting crime in 2006. Operation: Safe Community included the Blue CRUSH method of massing police response by statistical hot spots in different parts of the city.

With 2006 as the first year baseline of countywide and citywide crime statistics, the major violent crime rate for January and February is down 7.4 percent countywide and down 4.1 percent in Memphis. The major property crime rate compared to 2006 is down 40.7 percent countywide and down 37.8 percent in the city.

– Bill Dries

Election Commission Certifies March Results

Shelby County Election commissioners certified Monday, March 21, the results of the March 1 presidential primaries and the countywide primaries for General Sessions Court Clerk in Shelby County.

In the Republican presidential primary, Donald Trump carried Shelby County with rival Ted Cruz a close second, followed by Marco Rubio. Trump carried the state by a wider margin.

In the Democratic presidential primary, Hillary Clinton carried Shelby County by a wide margin over rival Bernie Sanders and took the state as well.

In the Democratic primary for clerk, incumbent Ed Stanton beat challenger William Stovall. Stanton meets Republican challenger Richard Morton on the August county general election ballot.

Morton ran unopposed in the March Republican primary for clerk.

Meanwhile, Linda Phillips, a finalist for the position of Shelby County Elections Administrator, was in Memphis on Monday, March 21, to talk with the five election commissioners.

Phillips is a former county clerk in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. The clerk’s position in Indiana including the duties of an elections administrator and is an elected position.

The Shelby County Elections Administrator’s position is appointed by the election commission, which also is considering former Shelby County Commissioner Chris Thomas for the job but has set no date for selecting someone for the position.

– Bill Dries

Fred’s Reports Q4 Loss, Chairman to Step Down

Memphis-based Fred’s Inc. announced Wednesday, March 23, that Michael J. Hayes will step down as chairman of its board of directors on April 15.

The news came the same day Fred’s reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $3.9 million, or 11 cents per share, falling short of Wall Street forecasts.

The board appointed Thomas H. Tashjian, age 61 and a director of the company since 2001, as the company's new chairman. Hayes will remain on the board as chairman emeritus.

“The past 18 to 24 months have been the most challenging of my career, as the company and its board of directors recognized the need to refocus the company, rebuild its management structure, rework our bank agreements, and execute our largest acquisition to date: Reeves-Sain Drugs and EntrustRx,” Hayes, 74, said in a statement. “Because of the tireless work of (CEO) Jerry Shore and the board of directors, we now have in place a successful, experienced and energetic management team, focused on driving deeper into health care, and also stronger general merchandising departments.

“What is now needed is an energetic chairman that has both the vision and skill set to keep this momentum going, and I believe Tom Tashjian is the right person to do this, and now is the right time.”

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 7 cents per share for the fiscal fourth quarter, ended Jan. 30.

The average of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was earnings of 9 cents per share. A year ago, earnings were 2 cents per share.

Quarterly revenue totaled $554.6 million, a 10 percent increase from the $504.4 million in the year-ago period.

The company reported its loss for the year narrowed for $7.4 million, or 20 cents per share, compared to a loss of $28.9 million, or 80 cents per share, for fiscal 2014.

– Kate Simone

Memphis Retailer Oak HallExpands Into Nashville

Memphis-based family-owned retail clothier Oak Hall has opened the first phase of its expansion to Nashville in the Green Hills’ Hill Center development.

The business’ 2,000-square-foot space features men’s clothing, furnishings, sportswear and women’s ready-to-wear collections. In the fall of 2017, Oak Hall will start construction on the next phase, expanding the store to 10,000 square feet.

Current in-store brands include Ermenegildo Zegna, Canali, Samuelsohn, Peter Millar, Hiltl, Eton, Barbour, Faherty, AG, Rag and Bone, Rebecca Taylor and Vince.

Oak Hall was founded in 1859 as one of the first ready-to-wear menswear stores in the country. It’s currently run by fifth-generation Bill and Bob Levy and sixth-generation Will Levy.

– Andy Meek

Memphis Gets Fourth Satellite Dialysis Center

Satellite Healthcare is preparing to open its fourth Memphis dialysis center, Satellite Healthcare Chickasaw Gardens, at 2980 Poplar Ave.

The new center – built in partnership with University Clinical Health, a not-for-profit provider of kidney diagnostic and treatment services – joins the company’s other Memphis locations: Satellite Healthcare Pace Road, Satellite Healthcare South Germantown and Satellite Healthcare Poplar Avenue.

Satellite, a not-for-profit and the sixth-largest provider of patient-centered dialysis and kidney disease services, joined forces with University Clinical Health to help address a growing need for dialysis services in Memphis because of its predominately African-American population, a demographic disproportionately affected by chronic kidney disease.

– Daily News staff

Another Broken Egg Preparing Second Location

Another Broken Egg is opening a second location at 65 S. Highland St. A permit application recently filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement lists “existing restaurant renovation” with Another Broken Egg as tenant. The building currently houses El Porton.

Dan Walker & Associates is the contractor for the $369,000 project.

The brunch restaurant opened its first Memphis location at 6063 Park Ave. in the spring of 2015.

– Madeline Faber

New Mobile Stroke Unit Introduced in Memphis

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine this week introduced a mobile stroke unit.

The device can conduct and produce advance quality imaging for stroke diagnosis and noninvasive CT-angiography with a Siemens SOMATOM Scope CT scanner. The college said it’s the first time CT capabilities of this magnitude have been available in a mobile setting, and that it creates the ability to diagnose and launch treatment, including tissue plasminogen activator treatment and the potent blood pressure drug nicardipine, within the critical first-hour timeframe.

The sophistication of the college’s new mobile stroke unit – weighing in at more than 14 tons – also means a patient will be prepped to go straight to the catheterization laboratory, Neuro Intensive Care Unit or Hospital Stroke Unit, bypassing the stop in the emergency department entirely.

The UT Mobile Stroke Unit will be operated by University Clinical Health, a subsidiary of the UT College of Medicine’s faculty practice plan. The unit is funded through a public-private collaboration for which more than $3 million has been raised, which will enable operation for up to three years.

The unit will operate 12 hours a day, one week on and one week off, beginning in late April.

– Andy Meek

ALSAC Buys Warehouse Built in 1965 For $6 Million

ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness arm of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has purchased a North Memphis warehouse for $6 million.

Michael Nussbaum and Joyce Nussbaum sold the property at 483 N. Manasses St. to ALSAC in a March 17 warranty deed.

According to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, the warehouse bears 175,625 square feet situated on 11.5 acres and was built in 1965. It was most recently appraised at $1.4 million.

– Madeline Faber

Mississippi River Commission to Dock in Memphis

The Mississippi River Commission will conduct its annual high-water inspection trip along the Mississippi River on April 11-15.

The MRC will dock at Beale Street Landing on April 12 to host a public input meeting with Memphis stakeholders, partners and residents.

At the meeting, the MRC will review Mississippi River projects and seek input on matters affecting water resources, infrastructure needs in the valley, environmental issues, navigation and flood control.

– Madeline Faber

Memphis Bar Opens Summer Law Internships

The Memphis Bar Association is taking applications through Friday, April 1, for its Summer Law Intern Program for minority high school students.

Those selected will shadow attorneys in their workplace from court to depositions for a 60-hour internship from June 6 to July 1. The time will also include group activities among the interns to compare experiences.

Applicants must be minority high school students in good standing and beginning their junior or senior year in August. They must live and attend school in Shelby County. Those who have been interns in the program before are not eligible.

Applications are available for download on the MBA website at memphisbar.org or by contacting the bar association at 901-527-3573, ext. 116.

The deadline to apply is April 1 at 5 p.m.

– Bill Dries

First Tennessee Offers New Business Tech Solutions

First Tennessee Bank is now offering a technology suite of hardware and software offerings to small businesses, aiming to help those businesses capture customer data from sales transactions rather than having to rely on intuition.

The bank is offering Clover hardware and its intelligence software and apps through a new alliance with First Data, a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions. With Clover comes the Clover App Market, one of the fastest-growing point-of-sale app markets, with more than 125 apps designed to help business owners with daily tasks.

First Tennessee West Tennessee president Bruce Hopkins says Clover is essentially like a smartphone for small businesses. That hardware would also replace clunky credit card swipe machines that many businesses use today.

Products in the Clover family First Tennessee will offer include Clover Station, a countertop point-of-sale and business management solution; Clover Mobile, a portable system that enables transactions on the go, whether a business owner is accepting payments tableside or in a register line; Clover Mini, an all-in-one solution to streamline operations; and Clover Go, an EMV card reader for businesses with mobile workforces or entrepreneurs.

– Andy Meek

Boys & Girls Clubs to Host 45th Steak n’ Burger Dinner

The Boys & Girls Clubs Steak n’ Burger Dinner – a tradition that brings Memphis leaders and Boys & Girls Clubs members together for a meal, conversation and inspiration – is returning for its 45th year.

This year’s guest speaker is former NBA star and Memphis Tigers standout Penny Hardaway, who himself is an alumnus of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis. Hardaway attended the Ira Samelson Jr. Club, where, the club points out, “people still remember seeing a sixth-grader in the gym who could dunk on a 10-foot goal.”

The May 3 event begins with VIP reception at 6 p.m. followed by the Steak n’ Burger Dinner at 7 p.m. at Minglewood Hall, 1555 Madison Ave.

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available at bgcm.org.

– Kate Simone

Commercial Drone Expo at University of Memphis

The University of Memphis and the FedEx Institute of Technology will present a Commercial Drone Expo to be held at the U of M campus on April 9. The event will highlight the commercial applications of drone technology, showcase the uses for the general public and facilitate a dialogue on the positive applications of this emerging technology.

The FedEx Institute of Technology, as a national leader in innovative research and the commercialization of technologies, seeks the best in the industry to participate in the 2016 Drone Expo in an effort to foster the community of UAV commercialization.

The Expo is open to the public and to anyone regardless of their background in the technology.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and includes lunch and a keynote address from Dr. Peter Fuhr, Distinguished Scientist of Energy & Environmental Sciences, and Technology Director for the Unmanned Aerial Systems Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Registration for the Commercial Drone Expo is $50; students are free. Visit memphis.edu/fedex/droneexpo for more information, including details on becoming a sponsor.

– Don Wade

Southaven Chamber Buys New Headquarters

The Southaven Chamber of Commerce is moving to a new property at 500 Stateline Road.

The Chamber has co-located with the city of Southaven for nearly 20 years and now will own and operate its own building less than a mile away.

Carmen Kyle, executive director for the Southaven Chamber, said that an increase in membership led to a need for larger, more versatile space.

The 3,600-square-foot building will house a renovated conference room, business center and patio.

Jim Brown with Brown Properties represented the chamber in the purchase, and Arthur Malkin of Malkin Management & Investment Co. represented the seller.

F&F Construction is contracted for the building renovations.

The Chamber expects to move by May 23.

– Madeline Faber

New State Process Targets Unemployment Fraud

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development believes a recently implemented measure to prevent unemployment-benefits fraud could save the state millions of dollars in the first few months.

The department began using LexisNexis InstantID in its unemployment insurance claims process on Dec. 15. The program uses identity analytics that combine billions of public records and advanced linking technology to generate a knowledge-based quiz, designed so only the true applicant would be able to answer the questions.

In the past three months, more than 75,000 people have gone through the verification process, with 80 percent passing. Of the 20 percent who failed, fewer than half actually made contact with the department to correct any issues.

There’s a possibility, the department asserts, that those failing the verification process but not making contact could could have been attempting to file fraudulent claims.

If that is the case, the potential cost savings for Tennessee’s trust fund could be as high as $48.6 million in the first few months of operation.

Unemployment insurance fraud is when individuals knowingly collect benefits based on false information. This may occur when an individual continues to work, but reports they are unemployed, or when someone files a claim using a different identity.

– Kate Simone

UT-Martin Defeats Lady Tigers in WNIT First Round

The University of Memphis women’s basketball team did what the men’s team could not do this year: reach the postseason.

But their time there was short-lived as they lost 79-73 to UT Martin in a first-round WNIT game on Thursday, March 17, at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.

The Tigers rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit to take the lead midway through the fourth period, but was unable to hang on.

Memphis completes its 2015-16 season with an 18-13 overall record. The Tigers placed fourth in the American Athletic Conference regular-season standings with a 12-6 league mark.

UT Martin improved to 22-9 overall and advances to play Western Kentucky in the WNIT second round.

Asianna Fuqua-Bey led three Tigers in double figures with a game-high tying 19 points. She added a game-best 13 rebounds for her 10th career double-double. Brianna Wright and Ariel Hearn each added 17 points. Hearn also grabbed eight rebounds and handed out four assists.

Fuqua-Bey finishes her career as one of seven players in program history with 900 points (987) and 800 rebounds (823). Hearn's total numbers wrap up at 1,945 points, 538 rebounds and 441 assists.

– Don Wade

Redbirds Begin 2016 Single-Ticket Sales

The Memphis Redbirds have begun selling tickets for individual games in the 2016 season.

Fans can purchase tickets via the team’s online purchase system atmemphisredbirds.com/tickets, over the phone at 901-721-6000, or in person at the AutoZone Park box office, 200 Union Ave.

Opening Night is Tuesday, April 7. Each Tuesday is a King Cotton $1 Hot Dog Night, Thursdays are College Nights, Saturdays are fireworks, and Prairie Farms Ice Cream is featured on Sundays. Gildan Triple-A National Championship tickets are also available to purchase.

The Redbirds also offer two discounted tickets to each active or retired military personnel that purchase tickets at the AutoZone Park box office with a valid ID.

Box office hours for the 2016 season are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For a complete 2016 schedule, visit memphisredbirds.com/promotions or stop by the Redbirds box office.

– Don Wade

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 51 334 9,936
MORTGAGES 41 330 10,946
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 12 1,301
BUILDING PERMITS 348 1,216 22,173
BANKRUPTCIES 43 348 6,311
BUSINESS LICENSES 30 142 4,081
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 19 127 3,019
MARRIAGE LICENSES 20 105 2,126