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VOL. 131 | NO. 46 | Friday, March 4, 2016

Daily Digest

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Tri-State Bank Gets Former First Tennessee Exec as CEO

On the heels of the capital investment it recently secured from First Tennessee Bank, Tri-State Bank of Memphis now has a former First Tennessee executive as its new CEO.

Christine Munson, formerly executive vice president and head of corporate banking for First Tennessee and its parent First Horizon National Corp., is Tri-State’s new chief executive.

Her hire is the latest in a flurry of major announcements from Tri-State in recent weeks. Since the end of 2015, the bank has also sold its main branch and headquarters at S. Main & Beale St. as well as acquired capital investment from Belz Investco and First Tennessee Bank.

– Andy Meek

GTx Results Show Narrowing Loss

Memphis-based biopharmaceutical company GTx Inc. is currently enrolling patients in three clinical trials – two trials evaluating its product enobosarm as a potential treatment for women with advanced breast cancer, and another trial studying enobosarm as a potential treatment for stress urinary incontinence in postmenopausal women.

That’s according to the company’s fourth-quarter and year-end results released Thursday, March 3.

GTx executive chairman Dr. Robert Wills said about the results that in 2015 the company continued to make important progress across its “pipeline assets.”

Among the company’s operating results: As of Dec. 31, cash and short-term investments were $29.3 million, compared to $49.3 million on Dec. 31, 2014. Research and development expenses for the quarter ended Dec. 31 were $3.9 million, up from $3.3 million for the same period of 2014.

Research and development expenses for full year 2015 were $13.6 million, compared to $20.9 million for 2014.

General and administrative expenses for the fourth quarter were essentially flat over the prior year – $2.1 million, compared to $2.2 million for the same period of 2014. General and administrative expenses for 2015 were $8.2 million, compared to $9.5 million for 2014.

The company narrowed its loss for the just-ended quarter – $3.2 million, compared to a net loss of $14.5 million for the same period in 2014. That was also the same trend for the full year.

The net loss for 2015 was $18.7 million, compared to a net loss of $39.4 million for 2014.

– Andy Meek

Grizzlies Re-Sign Center Ryan Hollins

The Memphis Grizzlies, in an effort to bolster their ailing front line, have re-signed veteran center Ryan Hollins through the rest of the season.

With center Marc Gasol out the remainder of the season after having foot surgery and big man Brandan Wright sidelined indefinitely with a sprained MCL, the Grizzlies were looking to be shore up the front court.

To create space on the roster, the Grizzlies waived little-used forward James Ennis; he had been acquired in last November’s trade with Miami that also brought in backup point guard Mario Chalmers.

In 19 games with Memphis and the Washington Wizards this season Hollins, 31, had averaged 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.8 minutes.

– Don Wade

Tennessee Deannexation Bill Clears Key House Committee

State legislation that would allow residents in certain sections of cities to self-initiate deannexation referendums has cleared a key hurdle in the Tennessee Legislature.

First introduced in February 2015, the bill moved through the state Senate committee process last year but stalled when the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee deferred it to 2016.

The bill states: “Any incorporated municipality, whether incorporated by general or special act, may contract its limits within any given territory; provided, that it is approved by a majority of the qualified voters.”

If a majority of voters fail to approve the referendum, no further election could be held on the issue for 36 months.

Republican state Sen. Brian Kelsey, who co-sponsored the Senate bill, said he’s pleased the legislation is moving forward in the House.

“This legislation will bring much needed economic growth to neighborhoods like Cordova and Southwind.”

The proposal faces stiff opposition from municipal leaders who argue a deannexation measure would destabilize the financial planning of cities and towns across the state.

The bill is pending final action on the Senate floor, and the House version now moves to the floor of the House of Representatives for final consideration.

If the bill is delayed or defeated in either chamber, it starts over again in both houses of the Legislature.

– Kate Simone

MIFA Participating in 14th Annual March for Meals

MIFA will be part of the 14th annual March for Meals, a monthlong, nationwide celebration of Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels serves homebound and vulnerable seniors who rely on it as a vital safety net.

“With the help of over 100 volunteers, MIFA’s Meals on Wheels program delivers about 1,800 meals to homebound elderly and seniors at congregate nutrition sites each weekday,” said MIFA executive director Sally Jones Heinz in a statement. “This critical service keeps seniors living independently, healthier at home, and feeling more connected to the community.”

During Community Champions Week, set for March 14-18, Memphis-area government officials will serve meals at MIFA’s congregate sites across the city.

Also in March, MIFA will inaugurate Meals on Two Wheels, a midtown bicycle delivery by the Urban Bicycle Ministry. Last March, MIFA launched its Meals on Heels initiative with a jogging group that delivered meals while running a route.

Nearly 3,700 older adults in Shelby County are food insecure, which means they have limited physical and economic access to sufficient and nutritious food in order to live actively and healthily.

Meals on Wheels America has led the annual awareness campaign since 2002 in an effort to fill the gap between seniors served and those in need that is widening due to increased demand with a rapidly aging population combined with declining public and private resources, and rising food, transportation and operational costs.

– Don Wade

LL&W Returns to Memphis for Alternative Spring Break

Living Lands & Waters is returning to Memphis for its sixth year of hosting Alternative Spring Break on McKellar Lake. Since 2011, the organization has hosted 630 college students from 67 different schools across 22 states, and removed more than 640,000 pounds of trash through the spring break program.

“It’s one of the crew’s favorite events of the year,” said LL&W project coordinator Kate Runge in a statement. We reach some of our biggest trash numbers, and honestly have a blast.”

The organization strives to ensure students enjoy the cleanup – pumping music through a boat-mounted sound system, for example – and Runge said LL&W is “putting an even bigger emphasis on making the events this year fun.”

So far this year, students from Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and California have committed to the program, which spans three different one-week sessions.

The first week – which kicks off this Sunday, March 6 – is completely booked. However, spots still are available for weeks two and three (March 13-17 and March 20-24).

Participation itself is free, and LL&W provides a discounted lodging option, plus Sunday dinner and lunch each day. Costs to keep in mind are transportation, lodging, and some dinners.

In addition to the weeklong student cleanups, LL&W is hosting community cleanups along McKellar Lake on three Saturdays – March 5, 12 and 19 – from 9 a.m. to noon. According to LL&W, 185 local volunteers have signed up for those events.

For more information on both the student and community cleanups, visit livinglandsandwaters.org.

– Kate Simone

East Memphis Medical Office Sells for $1.2 Million

A medical office building at the corner of White Station Road and Poplar Avenue has sold for $1.2 million. In a warranty deed signed Feb, 29, Tennessee-based 5210 LLC sold the property at 5210 Poplar to Tennessee-based Banc3 Holdings Inc.

The 13,414-square-foot, Class C office building was built in 1979 and was most recently appraised at $1.3 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

– Madeline Faber

PROPERTY SALES 81 201 16,108
MORTGAGES 40 104 10,026
BUILDING PERMITS 130 336 38,272
BANKRUPTCIES 28 56 7,528