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VOL. 131 | NO. 200 | Thursday, October 6, 2016

Daily Digest

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Grant Homes Buys Land for Germantown Subdivision

A new subdivision is planned for Germantown.

Grant Homes, acting as Wilsons Crossing Partners LLC, has purchased a 23.5 acres of vacant land at 9450 Poplar Ave. from Germantown Baptist Church Inc. in an Oct. 3 warranty deed.

The parcel is adjacent but separate from Germantown Baptist Church’s worship facility.

In conjunction with the sale, Wilsons Crossing Partners filed a $3.4 million construction loan with Metropolitan Bank. The four-year loan is intended for development of a single-family subdivision.

– Madeline Faber

Commercial Appeal Sees More Changes This Week

The Commercial Appeal saw a few changes this week, both behind the scenes and in its print and digital products.

Earlier this week, the paper was designed in the newspaper’s building at 495 Union Ave. for the last time. That work is being handled now at a so-called design studio in Nashville owned by the CA’s new corporate parent, the media conglomerate Gannett.

And on Tuesday, Oct. 4, a new standardized Gannett web design went live on the CA’s website.

Meanwhile, the paper also has seen a handful of departures in recent days.

Two longtime editors – Gary Robinson and Russ Fly – retired this week, with their last day being Monday, Oct. 3, according to the Memphis Newspaper Guild. Two designers also departed – one being laid off while another transferred to Nashville.

That follows two advertising designers being laid off in August. In addition, the guild has been told another five people are being laid off in November from the paper’s business office – the rationale being that Gannett is looking to centralize tasks like finance and bookkeeping across its newspaper properties as much as possible.

– Andy Meek

Council Approves Hotel In Leader Federal Building

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Oct. 4, a boutique hotel development in the Leader Federal bank building and an adjoining building on Madison Avenue at B.B. King Boulevard by Pardo Elemental Architecture of California. The council also approved a Kroger gas station convenience store on Poplar Avenue east of Kirby Parkway as an outparcel to the Kroger supermarket at that location.

The council approved second reading of an Airbnb short-term rental fee, a freeze of the city’s deferred retirement option program and a ban on panhandling at intersections and on median strips.

Third and final reading of each of the ordinances is set for the council’s Oct. 18 meeting.

The council also approved on final reading an ordinance that permits the use of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division street light fees to fund SkyCop cameras in neighborhoods.

Council member Martavius Jones unsuccessfully tried to amend the ordinance to prevent the MLGW fees from being used in the operation of SkyCop cameras already bought with private funds raised by neighborhood groups and businesses.

The streetlight fees are a way to expand the use of the cameras as an anti-crime measure in neighborhoods and areas where residents cannot afford to finance the cameras themselves.

Jones argued it was not “equitable” for police to pay to monitor and maintain the cameras bought with private funds when all taxpayers don’t benefit from those cameras.

“Someone who is not benefitting from it should not be paying for it,” he said.

But council member Patrice Robinson said the cameras – publicly or privately financed – benefit all citizens.

“I believe that we are going to pretty quickly make sure that our communities are all heard,” Robinson said. “Cameras, I don’t care where they are in a community, benefit everybody. People who come in and do wrong … they impact the whole city because they don’t just go to that neighborhood.”

Jones’ amendment failed in a committee vote and he did not attempt to resurrect if before the full council.

– Bill Dries

Trezevant Football Returns Following TSSAA Ruling

Shelby County Schools officials took a step back Tuesday, Oct. 4, from their original decision on the Trezevant High School football program, saying the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association has found no violation by the football team.

SCS officials are still working on their investigation into a changing of grades of some football players discovered and reported by the school’s principal last week in a routine academic audit.

The Tuesday update by the school system also said Trezevant will play out the remainder of its schedule, with last week’s game being the only one forfeited by the team.

Last week, the school system said all previous games and the Sept. 29 game would be forfeited.

– Bill Dries

PRSA Memphis Announces 2016 VOX Awards Ceremony

The Memphis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America has announced details of its 2016 VOX Awards, its annual event recognizing outstanding work by Memphis public relations professionals and practitioners.

The “Through the Looking Glass” themed awards ceremony will be held Oct. 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Visible Music College, 200 Madison Ave.

“This year’s VOX marks 23 years of celebrating and showcasing the best in the industry,” said Elizabeth Cawein, 2016 PRSA Memphis president, in a statement. “For the first time, we will recognize outstanding contributions made by individuals with new Star awards.”

The three PR Star awards – Rising Star, PR Star and Executive of the Year – will honor professionals making outstanding contributions at different stages in their careers.

VOX entries are judged by a panel of judges from another PRSA chapter and tailored to meet the criteria of Accreditation in Public Relations national standards. Star awards were judged by a peer review of PRSA members from an out-of-state chapter.

“I’m always impressed with the caliber of submissions from our Memphis chapter,” said Diana Fedinec, PRSA Memphis VOX Chair, in a statement. “It was extremely competitive, especially since we launched a new online application process. It bolstered our number of submissions and geographic outreach.”

In addition to the awards ceremony, the evening will feature live entertainment from DJ Metrio “Truck” Robinson, appetizers and desserts from Ferdinand’s and Off the Square catering, and wine and beer.

Amy Speropoulous, host of “Local Memphis Live” will emcee the event.

Membership in PRSA is not required to attend, and sponsorships are still available.

Discount tickets can be purchased through Oct. 17 at the VOX website,


– Daily News staff

Baseball Tigers to Host MLB International Academy Team

The University of Memphis baseball team’s fall schedule will include a game Monday, Oct. 10, against an MLB International Academy team at FedExPark on the university’s Park Avenue campus. The game starts at 2:30 p.m., and admission is free.

Memphis returns a core of players, but did lose six seniors as well as two juniors who were selected in this year’s MLB Draft.

The Tigers will have six seniors in 2017: Andy Bowman, Chris Carrier, Ryan Garner, Brandon Grudzielanek, Zach Schritenthal and Trent Turner.

Carrier and Schritenthal will be going into their fourth season as members of the Tigers.

Carrier, an outfielder, has a career batting average of .261 in 115 games played with 65 RBI and 67 runs scored. The Tigers’ primary third baseman since 2014, Schritenthal has a .264 career batting average in 154 games played with 64 RBI and 78 runs scored.

The roster will also consist of nine juniors, including returning starting pitchers Connor Alexander and Colton Hathcock. Three of the juniors are transfers from junior college – Taylor Bobo, Kyle O’Keefe and Tyler Webb – and Brett Harrison joins the Tigers from North Dakota.

Memphis also returns eight sophomores who earned significant playing time as freshmen last season. Ten true freshmen and two redshirt freshmen will make up the remainder of the roster.

The Tigers open the 2017 regular season against Tennessee with a three-game series at FedExPark that gets started on Feb. 17. The Tigers will play 32 games at FedExPark and two games Downtown at AutoZone Park in 2017.

– Don Wade

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