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VOL. 131 | NO. 94 | Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Daily Digest

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American Residential Services Acquires Atlanta-Area Firm

Memphis-based American Residential Services has acquired the assets of Atlanta-area firm Allgood Plumbing, Electric, Heating & Cooling.

Allgood joins ARS’ network of 65 company-owned, locally managed service locations across 22 states.

“We are very pleased to have Allgood join our family,” said Don Karnes, CEO of ARS. “With this acquisition, ARS expands its presence in Atlanta, which includes our ARS/Universal HVAC operations and our Rescue Rooter plumbing operations.”

– Madeline Faber

Hearst Foundations Award $100K for U of M Students

The University of Memphis has received a $100,000 grant from The Hearst Foundations for the First Scholars program, which focuses on increasing the graduation rate for first-generation college students.

Nationally, only 36 percent of first-generation students complete a bachelor’s degree within six years of enrollment, compared with 60 percent of their peers whose parents are college graduates.

Students selected to participate in the four-year First Scholars program benefit from peer mentoring, personalized academic and social support, and a $5,000 annual scholarship. The grant from The Hearst Foundations will fund scholarships for 10 new participants for two years.

“First Scholars is a remarkably effective program that addresses a critical need at the university,” said U of M president M. David Rudd in a statement. “Students who are the first in their family to attend college face numerous obstacles to success, and often lack the experience and support they need to overcome those obstacles.”

Forty-two percent of full-time undergraduates at the University of Memphis are first-generation, compared with about 20 percent of full-time undergraduates nationally at four-year institutions. “The data show that students who participate in First Scholars are being provided with the tools they need to achieve at a high level and earn their degrees,” added Rudd. “The Hearst Foundations commitment will ensure that more students find success.”

Launched with a grant from the Suder Foundation, the First Scholars program has reached a landmark year with the first cohort of participants who arrived on campus in fall 2012 set to graduate in 2016. The program has demonstrated success with a four-year graduation rate of 42 percent, which is more than three times the rate for all first-generation students at the U of M, and an overall retention rate of 86 percent. The cumulative GPA for all participants is 3.19.

– Daily News staff

Student Housing Tower Near U of M Moves Forward

A student housing tower near the University of Memphis has taken a step forward nearly two years after a development on that site was first announced.

Montgomery Martin Contractors recently applied for a $15.5 million building permit for 3557 Mynders Ave. at the southwest corner of Brister Street.

The application lists 908 Group as the property owner and The Nine as the tenant.

According to the Shelby County Assessor, the property at 3557 Mynders is a six-unit apartment building owned by Legacy Property Group. It bears 2,835 square feet and was built in 1960.

A website for 908 Group says that the to-be-built property will be a 142-unit, 468-bed student housing community with pedestrian access to the University of Memphis. Apartments will range from one to four bedrooms.

Amenities will include a swimming pool, fitness center, clubhouse and community cafe.

This will be the 908 Group’s first development in Memphis. It also has apartment communities in Knoxville, Louisville and St. Petersburg, Fla.

The websites states that The Nine is slated for Fall 2017 delivery. BDG Architects will design the building.

– Madeline Faber

Kroger Delta Division Hiring Nearly 500

Kroger Delta Division is interviewing for almost 500 positions later this week.

Interviews will be held Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for 470 positions at all 104 stores in the division, which encompasses Memphis. Prospective employees must first complete an application, which is available online at jobs.kroger.com, and business attire is recommended for the interviews which will take place at all area stores.

Available opportunities include positions in the floral, deli, produce and meat departments, as well as cashiers, baggers and day and night stock crew. In certain stores, wine and ClickList opportunities also will be available.

– Andy Meek

Volunteers Needed For Crossroads Hospice

Crossroads Hospice has put out the call for volunteers to provide comfort and companionship to terminally ill patients and their families in their homes as well as assisted-living and nursing facilities.

Volunteers also can help Crossroads staff in the office, including planning a “gift of a day,” which asks a patient to describe a perfect day and then makes it a reality.

Students who are 16 years or older and are interested in hospice volunteering can donate as little as 45 minutes a week, which can help them fulfill community service hour requirements while building social skills and self-confidence.

Volunteers share their favorite activities, such as reading, card games, playing music, or arts and crafts. They can bring their pets to visit patients, or run errands and provide respite for family members.

“We call our volunteers ‘ultimate givers’ because they selflessly give extra love and comfort to terminally ill patients and their families,” volunteer coordinator Joycelyn Robinson said in a statement.

For more information or to sign up as an “Ultimate Giver,” contact Robinson or Angela Arnold at 816-333-9200 or email joycelyn.robinson@crossroadshospice.com or angela.arnold@crossroadshospice.com.

Before becoming a Crossroads Hospice “Ultimate Giver,” participants must complete an application, TB skin test, and training session led by members of the Crossroads team. Potential volunteers must wait a minimum of one year after the death of an immediate family member or loved one before applying.

The mission of Crossroads Hospice is to provide unique, comprehensive and compassionate hospice services to persons experiencing a life-limiting illness and to their caregivers. Visitcrossroadshospice.com for more information.

– Don Wade

Pieces of Schools Budget Begin to Fall Into Place

Shelby County Commissioners on Monday, May 9, approved $33 million in capital funding among the county’s seven public school systems for the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

Shelby County Schools’ share of the funding, based on average daily attendance, is 78 percent, or $26 million. That’s what SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson requested last month of the commission.

The funding in the current fiscal year is one of a series of moves, along with possibly closing two high schools and an adult education center next academic year, designed to close an estimated $86 million budget funding gap.

SCS is still preparing its budget proposal for the commission’s approval. What happens between now and when it submits its budget will determine what the ask to county government looks like.

The school system has an estimated $476.4 million in critical deferred maintenance needs at school buildings over the next five fiscal years.

The list is prioritized as requested by the commission as it explores funding for schools.

The list isn’t something the school system is seeking full funding of, but a list to choose from on a case-by-case basis.

The county budget proposal the commission is also considering included an additional $16 million from the county wheel tax that would go toward school system renovations and repairs.

The schools already get the other half -- $16 million – of wheel tax revenue for operations.

Commissioner Eddie Jones questioned why SCS officials couldn’t use their share of both halves of the wheel tax revenue for operations.

They could, county chief administrative officer Harvey Kennedy said, but the administration is recommending a 50-50 split.

Commissioner David Reaves, who chairs the commission’s education committee, countered that the school system doesn’t need $32 million more for operations if it uses some of its reserve funds.

SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson has said the school system could tap into some reserve funds but doesn’t want to get near the $36 million it has used in the current fiscal year to close the gap between revenue and expenditures.

– Bill Dries

PROPERTY SALES 61 61 6,453
MORTGAGES 46 46 4,081
BUILDING PERMITS 113 113 15,474
BANKRUPTCIES 19 19 3,289