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VOL. 131 | NO. 226 | Friday, November 11, 2016

Daily Digest

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Audit: TNInvestco Program Not Producing Much ROI

A performance audit from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has found the state of Tennessee has only recovered $5.3 million of its initial $200 million investment in the TNInvestco program.

The TNInvestco program, which is a few years old now, is a public-private venture capital program intended to help startup companies create jobs and for the state to eventually receive a return on its investment.

As of Dec. 31, 2015, though, the state had only received 2.6 percent of the initial investment.

Startups from Memphis accelerator programs such as ZeroTo510 and Upstart Memphis, have participated in TNInvestco.

The TNInvestco program will continue until 2021, and the state should recoup more of its investment.

The state doesn’t think it will get a return nearing $200 million, though, according to the audit.

The audit also found that in some years the department didn’t accurately report TNInvestco jobs created and retained, including jobs held by women and minority employees.

– Andy Meek

Tigers’ Dedric Lawson On Naismith Trophy List

University of Memphis sophomore forward Dedric Lawson has been selected as one of 50 student-athletes named to the Naismith Trophy watch list. The 50-person list is selected by a national panel of voters by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Subsequent cuts will trim the field to 30 players on Feb. 9, to 10 semifinalists on March 1, and then four finalists will be announced on March 19.

The award will be presented at the Naismith Awards banquet during the Final Four.

Lawson also has been selected to the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year watch list, and the Lute Olson Player of the Year watch list.

Last season, Lawson averaged a team-best 15.8 points and American Athletic Conference-best 9.3 rebounds per game. He also dished out 84 assists while blocking 55 shots.

He was the only player in the country last year to average at least 15 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 blocked shots per game, and the first to do it since 2012-13.

The Tigers open up play in the 2016-17 regular season on Monday, Nov. 14, when the program hosts the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in a 7 p.m. tip at FedExForum.

– Don Wade

State Launches #GoOpen Initiative for Educators

Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen announced Thursday, Nov. 10, the launch of a new statewide #GoOpen initiative, giving Tennessee school districts and educators access to high-quality, openly licensed educational resources in schools.

As a #GoOpen state recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, Tennessee will provide educators access to a large collection of digital teaching and professional development resources that can be easily used without obtaining restrictive commercial licenses, and will develop a statewide repository of openly licensed resources.

Participating in #GoOpen will allow Tennessee educators to collaborate and share resources with each other, regardless of geographical area.

“Tennessee is excited to join the #GoOpen movement to improve learning outcomes for our students by providing educators with high-quality educational resources,” McQueen said in a statement. “Tennessee is committed to personalizing instruction for all students, and the role of digital content through #GoOpen is an important part of our strategy.”

Twelve school districts across the country have been identified as #GoOpen Ambassador Districts. The Ambassador Districts have gained experience using the resources in place of traditional instructional materials and are mentoring #GoOpen Launch Districts. Two of the ambassador districts are Tullahoma City Schools and Bristol City Schools in Tennessee.

“The #GoOpen initiative provides a tremendous opportunity for Tennessee schools and districts,” Tullahoma City Schools director Dan Lawson said. “I am thrilled that our state is embracing a leadership role in the #GoOpen movement. Our active involvement as a state will provide access to exceptional open educational resources – regardless of where a school is located or their budget.”

Tennessee has an existing strategy to embrace digital content.

The state Department of Education recently launched a pilot program which makes high-quality, editable content for Algebra I and Integrated Math available to educators.

The pilot is the state’s first attempt to embrace openly licensed material and is a natural precursor to participation in #GoOpen.

– Daily News staff

Fred’s Offering Military Discount on Veterans Day

Fred’s Pharmacy will honor the more than 1 million people serving in the U.S. armed forces and more than 20 million veterans by offering a 15 percent discount on purchases on Veterans Day Friday, Nov. 11.

“We owe our freedom to these brave men and women who work and live in our local communities,” said John Foley, executive vice president, store operations, of Memphis-based fred’s Inc. “This is just another way we can honor and support our valued military members in our local communities.”

Veterans, active duty armed forces personnel, reservists and their immediate family members can visit any fred’s Pharmacy location and show any document of proof of military service and valid ID upon checkout to receive their 15 percent discount.

Certain exclusions may apply, such as gift cards, phone cards, beer (where available) and prescriptions.

For more information on the Veterans Day discount, visit fredsinc.com/veterans-day.

The effort mirrors other fred’s Pharmacy initiatives that target those who put themselves in danger in service to their county and communities.

Its annual Hero Hats program, in honor of those who died in the 9/11 attacks, raises funds chain-wide for local first responders and emergency medical technician teams. The 14th annual Hero Hats program raised more than $230,000 in 2016.

Since that program began in 2002, fred’s Pharmacy has raised more than $2 million for Hero Hats.

Fred’s Inc. and subsidiaries operate in 15 states in the southeastern United States with 304 full-service pharmacy departments located within fred’s stores, including four franchised locations. Fred’s Inc. has 57 Xpress pharmacy locations, three specialty pharmacy locations and more than 650 discount general merchandise stores chain-wide.

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 91 293 13,051
MORTGAGES 58 168 8,171
BUILDING PERMITS 99 744 30,678
BANKRUPTCIES 34 156 6,220