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VOL. 9 | NO. 21 | Saturday, May 21, 2016

Daily Digest

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FedEx Will Acquire TNT Express May 25

FedEx Corp.’s $4.8 billion takeover of Dutch shipping company TNT Express will close May 25.

The logistics companies jointly announced Wednesday, May 18, that 88.4 percent of TNT shareholders have accepted the offer, which comes in at 8 euros (around $9 U.S.) in cash per share.

The majority’s approval renders the deal unconditional.

“May 25, 2016, will be a profound moment in the history of these two great companies. Together, we will transform the global transportation industry, connecting even more people and possibilities around the world,” said FedEx Express president and CEO David Bronczek in a statement.

The acquisition will cap an approval process that took over a well over a year. The companies had to gain approvals from regulatory bodies in the European Union, Brazil, China and the U.S.

One of the biggest hurdles was clearing an antitrust investigation leveraged by the European Union.

– Madeline Faber

Church Health Center President Steps Down

Antony Sheehan has stepped down as president of the Church Health Center.

Marvin Stockwell, a spokesman for the faith-based health care organization, said "it came down to a difference in philosophy" between Sheehan and founder Dr. Scott Morris about how to carry out the organization's mission forward, without elaborating.

Sheehan is still an adviser to the organization and will remain in Memphis with his family. No details about his next steps were immediately available.

Sheehan joined the Church Health Center in 2013.

– Andy Meek

Methodist Agrees To ADA-Related Settlement

Methodist University Hospital has agreed to shore up its procedures around communicating with patients who are deaf or who have hearing disabilities as part of a settlement of allegations it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

That’s according to the office of U.S. Attorney for West Tennessee Ed Stanton, which announced the settlement Monday, May 16.

Details of the settlement show that someone with a hearing impairment presented herself to the hospital’s emergency room and initially wrote notes to communicate with staff.

Emergency room personnel, though, didn’t request an interpreter for the patient. When she didn’t respond to her name being called, Stanton’s office says, the hospital thought the patient had left the ER.

An interpreter never arrived at the hospital to assist the patient, and in all, that patient spent nine hours in the Methodist University ER, according to Stanton’s office.

Under the settlement agreement with Methodist Healthcare, the hospital will improve its procedures for identifying and tracking the needs of hearing-impaired patients and its procedures for using interpreters. Methodist will also pay $8,000 in damages to the person who filed the complaint.

– Andy Meek

Pearson Education to Score Tenn. Achievement Tests

After terminating its contract with Measurement Inc. in April, the Tennessee Department of Education has hired Pearson Education of New York City to score student assessments for the 2015-16 academic year, state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced Monday, May 16.

The emergency procurement is for the most recent assessments only. The state continues looking for a testing vendor to pick up the pieces of the TNReady effort in a separate contracting process.

McQueen announced in April the state was terminating its contract with Measurement Inc. after the company missed a series of deadlines to send paper copies of the TNReady tests to school districts across the state. That followed the February failure of Measurement Inc.’s online testing platform, which was to be the only way of taking the tests.

This was the first year of TNReady assessments replacing the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP, tests. The TNReady tests were to set a new baseline of student achievement standards in the current school year.

That will be the case for high school students, because those schools received most of their testing material, although they got it late. But by late April all of the state’s school districts were still waiting on some of the material for grades 3-8. And that was when McQueen made the decision to suspend any further testing in those grades.

For those students, the school year that begins in August will be the baseline for measuring their achievement and growth.

The tests also impact how teachers are evaluated and how school systems and individual schools are ranked.

– Bill Dries

Adler Named Principal of Lakeland Middle

The Lakeland School System has tapped a Shelby County Schools vice principal to be leader of the new Lakeland Middle Preparatory School.

Bolton High vice principal Matt Adler will be principal of the new Lakeland school, whose construction begins next week north of U.S. 70 and east of Canada Road.

Lakeland Middle is scheduled to open in August 2017.

Adler begins working for the Lakeland School System in six weeks to start planning for the opening the grades 5-8 school.

At Bolton, Adler has been coordinator of the school’s International Baccalaureate program. He is also a master teacher and taught standard, honors and AP chemistry when he was head of Bolton’s science department.

– Bill Dries

White House Taps Memphis as a ‘Summer Impact Hub’

Memphis’ youth job efforts got a boost Monday, May 16, when the White House named the city one of 16 Summer Impact Hubs. The new designation is part of an interagency effort to provide $21 million in tailored support to 16 communities to upgrade and expand jobs, learning, meals and violence-reduction programs for youth this summer and year-round.

Through the program, Memphis will receive a federal “Summer Ambassador,” who will spend the spring and summer partnering with the Office of Youth Services to meet the city’s goals by leveraging federal resources, breaking down agency silos, and building new local and national partnerships. Specifically, the ambassador will focus on the Memphis Ambassadors Program (MAP) and the MPLOY Youth Summer Experience program.

Ike Griffith, the director of the Memphis Office of Youth Services, has already started working with ambassador Dr. Cheri Hoffman.

Efforts in the 16 Summer Impact Hubs are being supported by more than a dozen federal agencies.

– Daily News staff

New Daisy Planning 74th Birthday Bash

The New Daisy Theatre is celebrating its 74th birthday in a few weeks and is inviting the public to celebrate it with George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic.

That event will be held at the New Daisy on June 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $40.

For the next three weeks, the New Daisy will also share archival content, show reviews, photos, trivia and more through its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The venue also wants to hear from patrons with stories, photos and memories and is issuing an open call to bands who’ve played the New Daisy stage to submit photos to be used for a collage.

Those can be sent to marketing@newdaisy.com.

Partners Steve Adelman and J.W. Gibson took over the location at 330 Beale St. 18 months ago, updating and upgrading everything from the custom state of the art sound and lighting systems to the retiled bathroom floors and spaces in between.

– Andy Meek

Crye-Leike Grows Franchise Team

Memphis-based Crye-Leike Realtors has expanded its franchise sales team. Hank Hogue has been named director of franchise sales for Crye-Leike. He previously served as principal and managing broker of Crye-Leike’s Cordova branch.

In his role, Hogue will develop new franchise relationships in and around the company’s nine-state market region. Crye-Leike has 29 franchise offices nationwide, with regional offices in Brentwood, Tenn., and Cordova, along with 84 corporate-owned branch offices.

– Madeline Faber

FedEx Giving $1M Gift to LeMoyne-Owen

FedEx Corp. says it is giving a $1 million gift to LeMoyne-Owen College for information techology upgrades.

FedEx senior vice president Shannon A. Brown announced the gift at LeMoyne-Owen’s commencement ceremonies Saturday in Memphis.

College chief information officer John Ruffin says in a statement that the gift will help improve the automation and streamlining of admissions, financial aid and other business operations.

In addition to the gift, FedEx announced it also will establish a $100,000 endowed scholarship to provide tuition assistance to LeMoyne-Owen students who maintain a 3.0 grade-point average.

– The Associated Press

Morris Auction Group Expands into Florida

Memphis-based Morris Auction Group is expanding into Destin, Fla. On Tuesday, May 17, it opened its Luxury Estates Auction Co. branch, which will provide real estate auction and marketing services for luxury homes and estates in the Florida area. Morris also works with homes in Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama.

“This decision was the right one for our growing company,” said Chris Camp, co-founder, owner and auctioneer of Luxury Estates Auction Co. in a statement. “With our excellent track record in this field, we are excited to see what the auction method of real estate can do for the evolution of traditional real estate strategies.”

– Madeline Faber

U of M Study Abroad Adviser Awarded Fulbright Grant

Jonathan Holland, Study Abroad adviser for the University of Memphis, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to participate in the International Education Administrators’ 2016 Seminar in Japan. Holland is a two-time Fulbright recipient; he taught English and American studies in Ukraine during the 2010-2011 academic year through the Fulbright program.

The IEA seminar is designed to help U.S. international education professionals and senior higher education officials create empowering connections with the societal, cultural and higher education systems of other countries. Grant recipients participate in a two-week group seminar designed to familiarize U.S. higher education administrators with Japan’s higher education system, society and culture. The goal of the program is to enhance the ability of international education administrators to serve international students and prospective study abroad students.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship of the international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

– Don Wade

Huey’s Participating in National Burger Day

Patrons of Huey's will get the chance to win a free burger on May 28 in celebration of National Burger Day.

As usual on that day, all Huey burgers will be presented with a frill pick in the middle of the bun. However, all day on National Burger Day, customers can be surprised with a gold frill pick in lieu of the standard colors. Guests who order a Huey burger that comes out with the special gold pick will get their meal free.

Gold frill picks will be given at random and will be up to the discretion of the kitchen staff working behind the scenes that day.

This is the first time Huey’s has participated in a giveaway contest on National Burger Day. All eight locations will have a certain amount of gold picks and will randomly select burgers throughout their business hours.

– Andy Meek

Haslam Names New TEMA Director

Gov. Bill Haslam has named Ohio emergency operations administrator Patrick Sheehan as the new director of Tennessee's disaster response agency.

Sheehan takes over as director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency from David Purkey, who remains assistant commissioner for homeland in the state Department of Safety after previously serving in both roles.

Haslam called Sheehan the top candidate in a nationwide search to fill the TEMA vacancy. Sheehan joined the Ohio Emergency Management Agency in 2004, as part of the finance staff.

Sheehan graduated from Kennesaw State University and pursued graduate studies in business and public administration at Ohio State University and Capital University. He was also a chemical operations specialist in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Sheehan is scheduled to start his new TEMA job on June 15.

– The Associated Press

US Industrial Production Highest Since November '14

U.S. industrial production in April posted the biggest increase since November 2014 as utility output surged, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday.

Industrial output – which includes factories, mines and utilities – rose 0.7 percent from March. It had dropped the previous two months.

Fueling the improvement was utility production, which surged 5.8 percent in April. It was the biggest jump since February 2007. Demand for electricity and natural gas returned to more normal levels after unusually mild March weather.

Factory output rebounded 0.3 percent, the most since January, helped by a solid increase in auto and machinery production. The dollar, which surged in 2014 and 2015, has been falling against major currencies since January. A lower dollar provides some relief to factories by making their goods less expensive in foreign markets.

Mining production dropped 2.3 percent, marking the eighth straight decline as energy companies reduced oil and gas drilling. Coal producers have also cut back in the face of lower-price competition from natural gas.

Overall, American industry remains slack. Factories were operating at 75.3 percent of capacity last month, up slightly from March but well below their long-run average of 78.5 percent.

The industrial weakness reflects a sluggish economy. The U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of just 0.5 percent from January through March, decelerating from an already-lackluster 1.4 percent rate the last three months of 2015. The job market has remained resilient despite the weak growth. But employers added just 160,000 jobs in April, the fewest since September.

– The Associated Press

Elvis Presley Enterprises Readying for Expansion

Elvis Presley Enterprises has applied for three building permits totaling $21.6 million for its Graceland West expansion.

The largest permit, at $18.1 million, is designated for core and shell construction at 1064 Craft Road. The other permits for $2.3 million at 1116 Craft Road and $1.1 million at 1126 Craft Road also are for core and shell work without any specific indication.

The Memphis City Council and the Office of Planning and Development have approved plans for the 46-acre Graceland West development located at the northwest corner of Elvis Presley Boulevard and Craft Road. The plaza will include a car museum, a new shelter for Elvis’ two jets, two restaurants, a soundstage, retail and a museum to be called Elvis the Entertainer.

In March, Elvis Presley Enterprises filed for a $6.8 building permit for new construction at 1116 Craft Road.

Hnedak Bobo Group is the architect.

Graceland executives have talked about a plaza renovation as the third phase of a large-scale redevelopment of the area surrounding the Graceland mansion. It already includes an archives building that opened in 2015 and the 450-room Guest House at Graceland resort hotel that will open Oct. 27.

Oct. 27 also will mark the formal closing of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel. Elvis Presley Enterprises intends to demolish that hotel. No future use for that land has been made known.

– Madeline Faber

2 Memphis Nonprofits Get $100K From First Tennessee

A pair of Memphis nonprofits has received $100,000 each in community grant funds from First Tennessee Bank.

The $100,000 to Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, or MIFA, is part of a 5-year commitment of $100,000 annually through 2020. The funds are to support MIFA’s continued efforts to provide meals and assistance to low-income families and elderly residents throughout the Memphis region.

Part of the 2016 First Tennessee Community Development Grant funds awarded to MIFA are also for direct support of the Vision 2020 project, which has a goal of reducing poverty in the 38126 ZIP code.

United Housing has also picked up $100,000 in First Tennessee Community Grant funds, which will be directed to funding of down-payment assistance, closing-cost assistance and financial support for homebuyers throughout West Tennessee.

– Andy Meek

Global Ministries’ Bonds Downgraded for 2nd Time

For the second time this year, S&P Global Ratings has downgraded bonds used to support Global Ministries Foundation’s apartment projects.

On May 3, S&P Global Ratings, formerly known as Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, lowered its investment rating on 23 multifamily bonds issued on behalf of GMF. S&P removed all 23 ratings from CreditWatch, where the bonds had been placed in February, with negative implications.

Memphis-based Goodwill Village, Madison Towers and Serenity Towers are included the downgrade.

Serenity Towers saw the greatest change in its downgrade from A- investment grade to BBB. Madison Towers and Goodwill Village both slipped from BB+ to BB.

All three bonds were issued by the Memphis Health, Educational & Housing Facility Board, a semi-governmental entity that recently has come under scrutiny.

In February, the rating entity downgraded two bonds used to support Global Ministries’ purchase of the Memphis-based Warren and Tulane apartments, from A- to CCC.

In April, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency temporarily deauthorized the Memphis Health & Ed Board from doing business. THDA lifted that moratorium two weeks later after the board appointed a new interim director, Martin Edwards.

– Madeline Faber

Minglewood Books Oct. 22 Loreena McKennitt Show

Canadian musician and singer Loreena McKennitt’s fall tour will include a Memphis stop at Minglewood Hall.

McKennitt is booked for an Oct. 22 show at the Midtown hall as part of a 22-city tour of the South and Midwest. She is known for her blend of Celtic and world music, along with folk music and poetry based on her travels around the world and the history of the places she travels.

The fall tour marks 25 years since the release of her album “The Visit,” which was a commercial breakthrough for McKennitt.

Tickets for the Minglewood date go on sale Friday, May 20.

– Bill Dries

Tigers’ Kyser on Watch List for Rimington Trophy

University of Memphis sophomore center Drew Kyser has been named to the Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List.

The Rimington Trophy is presented each year to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I-A college football.

Kyser stepped in as a true freshman last season at center, playing in all 13 games, with 12 starts. After starting in the season opener against Missouri State, Kyser backed up 2015 Rimington Trophy watch list candidate Gabe Kuhn in a road win at Kansas in the second game of the year, then started at center for the remainder of the 2015 season, allowing Kuhn to move to guard.

Kyser, a native of Opelika, Ala., blocked last season for a Memphis offense that set a single season school record with 6,330 yards of total offense and that ranked 19th in the NCAA in total offense (486.9 ypg). Memphis’ offensive line also helped the team rank 13th in pass efficiency (158.23) and 11th in scoring offense (40.2 ppg).

Kyser is one of four starters returning to the offensive line from last season. The Tigers’ lone loss on the offensive line from last year was senior Taylor Fallin, who signed a free agent deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2.6 million for the cystic fibrosis community.

– Don Wade

Hertz, Duncan-Williams Promote Red Nose Day

Employees in the Forum office complex in East Memphis are sporting red noses for a good cause.

The Hertz Investment Group and Duncan-Williams Inc. launched an initiative spanning the East Memphis campus, encouraging workers to participate in Red Nose Day, a nationwide fundraiser on Thursday, May 26, to help disadvantaged children at home and abroad.

Employees are asked to post selfies wearing their red noses – available at Walgreens and rednoseday.org – and to donate $1 for each person in the photo. The initiative will be capped off with a campuswide photo on May 26.

– Daily News staff

Tennessee Congressman Diagnosed With Cancer

Longtime U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. says he’s been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Duncan told the Knoxville News Sentinel that the cancer was found six or seven months ago during a routine exam. He said doctors have decided no treatment is necessary at this stage after tests showed the cancer is isolated.

The Knoxville Republican said he doesn’t feel sick and hasn’t missed work other than for medical appointments.

Duncan said he took the diagnosis seriously because his father died of prostate cancer in 1988. Former U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Sr. was 69 at the time of his death, a year older than his son is now.

The congressman was elected to succeed his father in Tennessee’s 2nd Congressional District during a special election in 1988. He is running for another two-year term in November.

– The Associated Press

Memphis Police Partner With NextDoor Network

Memphis Police and the city of Memphis are partnering with NextDoor, the social media network, to better communicate with residents.

Mayor Jim Strickland and interim Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings announced the partnership Thursday, May 19, at City Hall.

Police will communicate online with homeowners and residents on the various NextDoor networks with advisories and other information.

It’s a partnership police in other cities and towns have used.

The information shared can range from information about recent incidents to traffic advisories to general tips.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Grizzlies Back in Las Vegas Summer League

The NBA announced that the Memphis Grizzlies will be one of 24 teams participating in the Samsung NBA Summer League 2016 in Las Vegas. The event will run from July 8-18 at the Thomas & Mack Center and COX Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

This marks Memphis’ seventh appearance at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (2007-10, 2012-13, 2016). The Grizzlies competed each of the past two years at the Orlando Pro Summer League, reaching the finals both times and winning the championship last summer.

Twenty-three teams and a team of NBA Development League select players will participate in a tournament-style format to crown this year’s Samsung NBA Summer League Champion.

Along with the Grizzlies, the NBA Summer League 2016 in Las Vegas includes the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA D-League Select, New Orleans Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.

Teams will compete in three preliminary games beginning on July 8 before being seeded in a tournament that leads to the Championship Game on July 18.

Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games.

A complete schedule of games and broadcast information will be released at a later date.

– Don Wade

U of M Athletes Score Highest GPA in History

The University of Memphis Athletic Department closed the books on the spring semester and the 2015-16 academic year with a number of accomplishments, including a program-wide 3.114 GPA, the highest GPA for the athletic department in program history.

The spring 2016 semester marked the 11th consecutive semester with a department GPA of 3.0 or above.

The freshman class was a big part of the spring semester accomplishment, posting a GPA of 3.01. A total of 206 athletes (or 60 percent) posted a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and 126 (or 36 percent) made the Dean’s List with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Sixty-one freshmen (57 percent) had a GPA of 3.0 or higher this spring, while 37 made the Dean’s List.

In total, 37 Memphis student-athletes posted a perfect 4.0 GPA in the spring.

Across 17 sports, 14 athletic teams had a team GPA of 3.0 or higher, led by men’s cross country with a 3.64, and women’s golf with a 3.68.

– Don Wade

Two Original Casino Execs Return to Tunica Market

Matt Earnheart and Andre Jackson, two casino executives who started their careers in the Tunica market, have returned to Tunica in senior executive capacities at Caesars Entertainment properties Horseshoe Tunica and Tunica Roadhouse.

A Tunica native, Earnheart joined Caesarsin October of 2006, where he worked as a regional senior database marketing analyst, database marketing manager, and director of regional marketing. Now vice president of marketing, Earnheart oversees operations for marketing, casino marketing, entertainment, special events, and bus group operations at both Caesars Tunica locations.

Earnheart earned his B.B.A. in marketing and his MBA from Mississippi State University.

Jackson is the new director of Hotel Operations, and will control the two hotels’ day-to-day operations including front office, front services, valet and housekeeping.

Jackson earned his bachelors of Hotel and Restaurant Management from the Conrad Hilton College University of Houston. He has been recognized as a Caesars Chairman’s Award winner for Diversity and a “40 under the age of 40 top leaders in the country” by Global Gaming Magazine. He started as a front office supervisor at the Grand Casino in Tunica and most recently served as the assistant director of hotel operations at the Flamingo Las Vegas.

– Daily News staff

Multifamily Rents Increase Significantly in First Quarter

Memphis area market rents increased an annualized 4.7 percent during the first quarter of the year, reaching $795, according to a first-quarter report from ARA Memphis, a Newmark company.

It is the largest increase in rents for a first quarter in more than a decade and a half. A mild winter and an improving job market were considered likely factors in the significant increase, the report noted. The Memphis unemployment rate dropped below the national rate in March, the first time it has done so since 1999.

Class A & B multifamily properties saw average rents increase 4.1 percent to $891.

All construction categories except New Construction showed rent increases. 1990s Construction had the largest increase, jumping 7.0 percent to $921. 2000s Construction followed with an increase of 6.7percent to $1,015. Old Construction was $624, an increase of 5.7 percent and 1980s Construction was $711, an increase of 1.1 percent.

New Construction decreased 3.0 percent to $1,210, possibly impacted by the addition of several new properties to the survey, according to ARA Memphis.

Effective Rents showed a similar pattern, with increases in 1990s Construction (5.5 percent), 2000s Construction (2.9 percent), Old Construction (2.6 percent), and 1980s Construction (2.4 percent). Even New Construction effective rents showed an increase of 1.5 percent.

Overall effective rents increased 3.4 percent, climbing to $786. Effective rents for Class A & B properties averaged $881, an increase of 4.1 percent.

– Daily News staff

Tenants Named for New Germantown Parkway Strip

A $10 million Germantown Parkway development will bring six new tenants to the area.

Dunkin’ Donuts signed a 2,000-square-foot lease for the five-acre shopping center between Fischer Steel and Moriarty roads. Pizza Rev will take a 2,400-square-foot space and Aspen Dental will take 3,500 square feet.

Hardee’s signed a 43,560-square-foot ground lease.

Memphis-based Marketplace Development is developing the retail strip center that is being leased by The Shopping Center Group. Several other deals are pending on the two remaining lots, the Shopping Center Group said.

– Madeline Faber

Mickelson to Forfeit Nearly $1M in SEC Case

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson has agreed to forfeit nearly $1 million that the Securities and Exchange Commission said was unfairly earned on a tip from an insider trading scheme conducted by a former corporate director and a professional gambler.

Federal prosecutors announced criminal charges Thursday against a gambler named William Walters and the former director of Dean Foods,Thomas Davis, alleging that the pair used inside information about the company to make millions of dollars in illicit stock trades between 2008 and 2012.

In 2012, the SEC says, Walters called Mickelson, who owed him money, and urged him to trade Dean Foods stock. The SEC says Mickelson did so the next day and made a profit of $931,000.

The golfer was not charged criminally in the case. As a relief defendant, Mickelson hasn't been accused of participating in the insider trading, but only of profiting from the scheme.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396