VOL. 9 | NO. 37 | Saturday, September 10, 2016
Parkway Village Getting New Charter School
The Parkway Village neighborhood will see a new charter school. Memphis School of Excellence recently filed a $2 million building permit to convert two buildings at 4921 Winchester Road to educational use.
The largest building on the site is a 35,000-square-foot warehouse that was built in 1985.
Memphis School of Excellence opened in 2010 at 4450 S. Mendenhall Road.
– Madeline Faber
Shipt On-Demand Grocery Service Coming to Memphis
An on-demand grocery delivery service is preparing to expand to Memphis.
Shipt, which launched in 2014 in Birmingham, Ala., has been running sponsored Facebook posts seeking shoppers for its service here.
"Shipt is expanding to Memphis and we are recruiting shoppers now!" reads a recent Facebook post from the company.
The way it works: according to Shipt's website, users sign up for a membership and access the service through either the web or an app for iOS or Android devices. The user selects what groceries they want – which are fetched from area groceries like, in some Shipt markets, Publix – then choose delivery options and pay, all through the app.
The service offers same-day delivery, as soon as one hour after placing an order.
– Andy Meek
City's Fourth Bluff Project Gets $5 Million Grant
A new national effort to counter the growing economic and social fragmentation in U.S. cities has awarded Memphis’ Fourth Bluff project a $5 million grant.
The effort, called Reimagining the Civic Commons, is a partnership of four national foundations that seeks to foster civic engagement, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability by revitalizing and connecting parks, libraries, community centers and other public spaces.
Along the riverfront, the historic Cossitt Library, Memphis Park and Mississippi River Park will be revitalized and transformed into places where Memphians from all neighborhoods and backgrounds can come together.
“Memphis is honored to have been selected and join this cohort of great cities,” Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement. “Creating opportunity in a civic commons for people to share experiences with people different from themselves grows a sense of community, engagement, and understanding between all Memphians.”
Memphis was one of four cities selected for the grant; the others are Chicago, Detroit and Akron, Ohio. The $5 million grant for Memphis will be matched by local private and public sources.
“The Mississippi River was Memphis’ first great place and our riverfront has always been a vital part of our economy and culture,” said Maria Fuhrmann, city of Memphis grants coordinator and a member of the Memphis Civic Commons team.
The Fourth Bluff project will activate these assets over the next three years with a variety of events, activities, prototypes, enhanced connectivity, signage and public art.
The four national foundations spearheading this initiative are The JPB Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.
As part of the grant, the Memphis team will participate in the national Civic Commons Learning Network, which will host cross-city learning opportunities, provide tools, and grow the resources needed to reknit communities across the country through investments in public spaces.
Go to www.CivicCommons.us for more on each city’s plan.
– Daily News staff
Perfect Attendance Bike Program Enters 4th Year
The Bikes for Perfect Attendance program, an initiative led by Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich’s office, has returned for a fourth year.
Sponsors so far this year are the Hyde Family Foundation and Wal-Mart, and leaders of the program say more sponsors are needed.
Last school year, 255 students had perfect attendance at the 14 Shelby County Schools that participate in the Truancy Reduction Program. Bicycles were presented to the students in June, and unclaimed bikes were returned to Wal-Mart for a store credit this year.
During the 2005-2006 academic year, a DA’s office review of crime and truancy statistics showed that one-quarter of juvenile crime in Memphis occurred during school hours away from campuses.
The Truancy Reduction Program was created in response the next school year to identify at-risk students with excessive unexcused absences and to provide assistance to students, parents and faculty to reduce truancy rates. Since that time, truancy rates have declined each year at participating schools.
The voluntary program matches truant students with trained mentors from the community who work with them and emphasize the importance of daily school attendance. The truancy mentors are recruited from businesses, churches, colleges and volunteer organizations to make weekly contact with the student and work with them for at least one year. A mentor advocate from the SCDAG’s Office also is involved.
To become a mentor, contact the Truancy Reduction Program coordinator Megan Pietrowski at 901-222-1395, or apply at www.scdag.com/images/mentoring/MentorApplication.pdf.
– Daily News staff
UTHSC Professor Awarded $1.67M Grant
Dr. Linda Myers of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center has received a $1.67 million grant for research into autoimmune arthritis.
Myers, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the UTHSC College of Medicine, hopes her work will lead to the development of new therapeutic approaches.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disorder of unknown origin, but characterized by autoimmunity. There currently is no cure for the condition, and the therapies available have significant side effects.
The project funding is from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, and will be distributed over five years.
– Andy Meek
St. Louis Cardinals To Play Redbirds in March 30 Game
The St. Louis Cardinals will play the Memphis Redbirds, their Triple-A club, in a March 30, 2017, exhibition game at AutoZone Park. The 2017 season will mark the 20th year of the teams’ affiliation.
"We are thrilled to have the St. Louis Cardinals conclude their spring training in Downtown Memphis next year," Redbirds principal owner Peter Freund said in a statement. "Having the Cardinals as our partner is at the core of everything we do, and we couldn't be more excited to host them at AutoZone Park."
A total of 33 members of St. Louis’ current 40-man roster spent time in Memphis during their careers, including Cardinals Minor League Players of the Year Stephen Piscotty (2015), Marco Gonzales (2014), Kolten Wong (2013) and Lance Lynn (2009). A total of 15 Redbirds were called up to St. Louis during the course of the 2016 season.
The Cardinals and Redbirds have played eight times since the clubs began a player development contract in 1998. The Cardinals are 5-2-1 against the Redbirds and winners of five-straight since 2004, including most recently in 2015 with an 8-1 win in front of 9,827 fans at AutoZone Park.
The Redbirds have two ticket packages currently available, which represent the first chances to secure a ticket to the “Battle of the Birds.” One package is $55 and the other is $75. Promo items to choose from include the replica 1926 World Series ring, the replica 1946 World Series ring, the replica 2006 World Series trophy, the Adam Wainwright bobblehead and the Stephen Piscotty bobblehead.
For more information on “Battle of the Birds,” visit www.memphisredbirds.com/battleofthebirds.
– Don Wade
TVA Plans New Line To Millington Solar Farm
The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking the public for input about its plan to build a new Millington transmission line.
TVA is proposing to build the 4.5- to 5.0-mile line from its existing Shelby Substation to Silicon Ranch Millington LLC’s new solar facility. The line would be built on steel poles on a 100-foot-wide right of way. Several routes are under consideration.
Public input can be submitted at an open house from 3 p. m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Baker Community Center Auditorium, 7942 Church St. Detailed maps showing the different routes will be available.
– Daily News staff
City Council Pot Ordinance Passes Its First Reading
The Memphis City Council is one step closer to decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, passing an ordinance on its first of three readings at the body’s Tuesday, Sept. 6, meeting.
Councilman Berlin Boyd is the sponsor of the ordinance, which would allow Memphis police the option of writing a ticket with a $50 fine for possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana. Boyd has amended the ruling to increase fines for multiple offenders and exempt juveniles from its provisions.
In a committee discussion about the ordinance, Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said the ordinance wouldn’t have much bearing on Memphis law enforcement. She said that her office prosecuted only 300 cases last year that were solely related to marijuana. Most cases are related to other charges, like illegal gun possession, she said.
In other business, Wiseacre Brewing Co.’s bid to lease the Mid-South Coliseum became official when the council approved the minutes from its Aug. 23 session.
Council members approved Wiseacre’s proposed Coliseum lease two weeks ago. The agreement begins with a four- to six-month due diligence period in which Wiseacre will determine whether locating a brewery in the Coliseum is feasible. Wiseacre puts down a refundable $25,000 deposit during that time. If the idea is feasible, the agreement moves to a 30-year lease at $25,000 a month. Under the deal, the city also will get 30 percent of any sublease payments above $25,000 from other tenants brought in by Wiseacre.
The brewery still has 180 days to back out of the deal as part of the due diligence period.
Just before formally accepting Wiseacre’s lease Tuesday, the council opened the floor to any alternate proposals in an executive session. The only one came from Brian Saulsberry with The DSG Group, who presented an updated version of the plan he pitched at the Aug. 23 meeting.
Saulsberry’s original proposal, which called for turning the Coliseum into a sporting and entertainment arena and youth development center, was met with skepticism from council members, who were unimpressed by his financial credentials and questioned the feasibility of the plan.
In Tuesday’s presentation, Saulsberry toned down his projections for revenue generated by bowling and presented a letter of intent from Baltimore-based Allied Athletic Group LLC promising to loan Saulsberry $25 million for the project. Still, council members doubted that the redevelopment project would work.
“How can you do all of these things and then still bring in a profit for your business and the people that are part of your group?” councilwoman Janis Fullilove said at Tuesday’s meeting.
– Madeline Faber
Yancy to Retire From MMBC Continuum
One of the most influential advocates for minority businesses in Memphis is retiring from that economic development role.
Luke Yancy III, who has been president and CEO of the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum for 16 years, will retire in September 2017 to pursue other interests, according to the MMBC Continuum board of directors.
Yancy has served as the leader of the nonprofit economic development organization since July 2000. The board plans to hire a firm to do a national search for Yancy’s replacement.
“We hate to see Luke go, but respect his decision to pursue other personal and professional interests,” board chairman Fred L. Davis said in a release. “The organization has experienced tremendous growth under his visionary leadership.”
During Yancy’s tenure, the MMBC Continuum transitioned from a certification-focused organization to a multifaceted entity focused on growing scalable minority- and women-owned businesses that have the greatest opportunity of boosting the economy and creating jobs. The number of scalable minority employer firms with multimillion-dollar contracts grew from zero to more than 100 firms while Yancy was leading the organization. Since 2008, minority businesses have been conservatively awarded more than $1.7 billion in contracts through programs of the agency.
Training and development services have grown and a Working Capital Loan Fund for certified M/WBEs was created under Yancy’s leadership. He has forged local, regional, national and global strategic partnerships to benefit the agency and its members, including the acquisition of one of 32 Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Centers under the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Yancy, a former commercial banker, retired as president of AmSouth Bank’s West Region prior to joining the MMBC Continuum.
– Daily News staff
Crosstown High Delays Opening, Seeks Leaders
Crosstown High School organizers are looking for a principal and an executive director to lead the school when it opens in August 2018.
The search for those leaders comes after the proposed school’s second application to operate as a charter school was approved by the Shelby County Schools board on Aug. 23.
Those organizing the new school hoped Crosstown High would open in the fall of 2017, but the timetable has changed, according to Meg Crosby, chair of the Crosstown High board of directors’ search committee.
“This extra year will allow us time to recruit outstanding leaders and teachers, continue to learn from successful, innovative high schools throughout the country, finish designing and building a 21st-century learning space, establish meaningful partnerships with businesses and nonprofits inside and outside Crosstown Concourse, and continue to solicit the input of community members to ensure that XTH is the school that our students need,” Crosby said in a release.
The high school plans to open with approximately 125 ninth-grade students.
In addition to a principal and executive director – the job descriptions can be found at crosstownhigh.org/xth-help-wanted – Crosby said Crosstown High leaders have been encouraged by inquiries from teachers who may be interested in teaching there.
– Daily News staff
Saddle Creek Adding Trio of New Tenants
Three new tenants have been announced for the Saddle Creek shopping center in Germantown. Allen Edmonds, a manufacturer of men’s footwear and accessories, will open late this year. The store will be located between Indigo and Brooks Brothers in Saddle Creek South.
Southern Avenue Co., a home interiors store, will also open late this year. The 2,000-square-foot store will be located in Saddle Creek South next to Lily Rain. The store will feature a large gift selection and a wedding registry.
Victoria’s Secret will open in an 8,060-square-foot store in early 2017. The lingerie and beauty provider has three other Memphis-area stores, at Carriage Crossing, Wolfchase Galleria and the Oak Court Mall.
– Madeline Faber
Grizzlies to Stay Home For Training Camp
The Memphis Grizzlies will remain in the Bluff City for their preseason training camp from Sept. 27 through Oct. 2.
This marks the 10th time since relocating from Vancouver in 2001 that the Grizzlies have held their training camp in Memphis. The team also has hosted camp in Barcelona, Spain (2003), Malaga, Spain (2007), Birmingham, Ala. (2009), Nashville (2013), San Diego (2014) and Santa Barbara, Calif. (2015).
On Oct. 1 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Grizzlies will host a Blue White Scrimmage in place of the annual open practice at FedExForum. This full-team scrimmage will offer a first look at newcomers Chandler Parsons, 2016 draftees Wade Baldwin IV and Deyonta Davis, plus fan favorites Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen. Led by new head coach David Fizdale, the scrimmage will also include entertainment by the Grizz Girls, Claw Crew and more, plus fan giveaways.
The scrimmage is free to the public, and parking is available in the Toyota parking garage. Fans in attendance will receive a voucher for two complimentary tickets to a Grizzlies 2016-17 preseason matchup.
In addition, the Grizzlies Foundation will make a donation on behalf of scrimmage attendees to the Police Athletic League in support of its community-based youth programming.
Coming off a franchise-record sixth consecutive playoff appearance, the Grizzlies will tip off the 2016-17 regular season hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at FedExForum.
– Don Wade
Kroger Set to Open First Memphis-Area Marketplace
Kroger is set to open its first Marketplace store in Mississippi and the Memphis metro area.
The current Kroger store in Hernando will be replaced by the new Marketplace design, which will feature expanded grocery areas, home fashion and design, bed and bath, kitchen and small appliances, apparel and shoes, Baby World and the city’s first Starbucks.
The new store is opening Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Kroger Delta Division president Scot Hendricks said the Hernando opening “falls in line with our Kroger promise to invest over $100 million in the Mid-South area.”
– Andy Meek
Redbirds Finish Season With Road Win
The Memphis Redbirds (65-77) finished the 2016 season with a 7-6 win at Round Rock over the Express (Triple-A Rangers) on Monday, Sept. 5, to win the season series against the Express for the first time since 2010.
The Redbirds played 47 one-run games this season, which were their most since 48 in 2008.
Memphis finished the season suiting up 59 different players, which is a franchise record. Of the 59, 25 made their Triple-A debuts, including 13 pitchers and five catchers.
The Redbirds and AutoZone Park host the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game on Sept. 20. The 2017 season opener is April 6, and the home opener is April 11.
For tickets to the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game, visit memphisredbirds.com/nationalchampionship or call 901-721-6000.
– Don Wade
State Systems Expands With Acquisition in Conway, Ark.
Memphis-based total protection company State Systems Inc. has acquired Dunk Fire and Security’s Conway, Arkansas, operations.
Founded in 2005 by Ken and Rose Dunk, Dunk Fire and Security offers fire sprinkler and alarm systems in the greater Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas markets. The company is headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas.
Effective immediately, State Systems will absorb the 16 Conway employees and assets and will begin servicing customers in Conway and surrounding areas. Ken Dunk continues to own and operate Dunk Fire and Security’s Springdale-based business.
The deal marks State Systems’ second acquisition in 2016 and fourth in the past 18 months.
“This acquisition allows us to grow our presence in the greater Little Rock area and bring new services to our customers there,” said State Systems CEO Bob McBride in a statement. “We look forward to continued success in this region as we meet the fire protection and prevention needs of local businesses.”
– Daily News staff
Market Street Sells Interest In Mobile Home Parks
Less than a month after purchasing a collection of mobile home communities, Memphis Communities LLC has sold a partial interest in the three properties for $2 million.
In an Aug. 19 warranty deed, Memphis Communities, an affiliate of Market Street Capital Inc., sold an 8.4 percent interest to 25 West LLC and an 8.4 percent interest to Kirk Avenue L.P.
Memphis Communities purchased the Pecan Circle Mobile Home Community, at 4359 Raleigh Millington Road, Redwood Estates Mobile Home Community, at 1640 Via Roma Drive in Frayser, and Shady Oaks Mobile Home Community, at 7860 Raleigh Millington Road in Millington, for a combined $9.8 million on Aug. 9.
– Madeline Faber
Hooks Institute Selects National Book Winner
The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis has selected “Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press” by James McGrath Morris as the winner of its National Book Award for 2015. The award recognizes publications that best advance an understanding of the American civil rights movement and its legacy.
Morris’ biography excavates the story of Ethel Payne, a journalist whose work for the Chicago Defender during her multi-decade career provided a lens to thousands of African-American readers into the action of the civil rights movement and beyond. Covering the school desegregation crisis in Little Rock, interviewing black troops in Vietnam or quizzing multiple presidents during her years at the White House, Payne’s career demonstrated the role journalists could play both in helping to build a movement by informing the public, and in furthering that movement by putting pointed questions to those in power.
The Hooks Institute received 20 nominations for the book award.
In addition to “Eye on the Struggle,” the other finalists were: “Demolition Means Progress: Flint Michigan and the Fate of the American Metropolis,” by Dr. Andrew Highsmith; “Prefiguring Postblackness: Cultural Memory, Drama and the African American Freedom Struggle of the 1960s,” by Dr. Carol Bunch Davis; “Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America,” by Wil Haygood; and “What Can and Can’t be Said: Race, Uplift, and Monument Building in the Contemporary South,” by Dr. Dell Upton.
The 2015 National Book Award presentation, including a lecture by winning author James McGrath Morris, will be held on Nov. 15 at the U of M.
Visit memphis.edu/benhooks/events/index.php for updates on the event.
– Don Wade
Tennessee Lottery Rides Record-Breaking Start
Officials with the Tennessee Education Lottery say it’s continuing its record-breaking start in the fiscal year that started July 1.
A news release from the lottery said sales for July and August are 9.3 percent ahead of the same period last year and the highest for each of those months since lottery tickets first went on sale in 2004.
Instant ticket sales and large Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are fueling the sales increase.
The release says the lottery has raised more than $3.8 billion for education programs since beginning. Those programs include college grants and scholarships, after-school programs and the Tennessee Promise initiative. Player prizes have totaled more than $10 billion, with retailers earning more than $978 million in commissions.
– The Associated Press
Baptist Explores Merger With Miss. Health System
Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. has begun talks with Jackson, Miss.-based Mississippi Baptist Health Systems about how the two organizations can work together, talks that Baptist said Thursday could lead to a merger or combination of some kind in the future.
Baptist characterized the current discussion as “conceptual” in nature, adding that if some form of a combination does result, it would create one of the largest Baptist health systems in the country. Among the reasons for a potential combination, Baptist said both organizations enjoy similar cultures and a “parallel external brand position,” in addition to both being known as “Baptist” in their respective communities.
Mississippi Baptist encompasses a handful of medical center locations as well as related health care services and programs mostly focused on central Mississippi.
It employs more than 3,700 health care professionals and manages 21,500 admissions and 194,000 clinic visits annually. It will also see over 100,000 emergency department patients this year.
Baptist in Memphis, meanwhile, comprises 17 affiliate hospitals in the Memphis area, along with a multispecialty physician group with more than 500 doctors. It also includes home, hospice and psychiatric care; a network of surgery, rehabilitation and other outpatient centers; and an education system highlighted by the Baptist College of Health Sciences.
Baptist has a staff of more than 14,000. Baptist and Crittenden County, Ark., officials are breaking ground this month on a new hospital that Baptist will operate, and in October, Calhoun Health Services, a hospital and nursing home in Calhoun City, Miss., will become affiliated with Baptist and be known as Baptist Memorial Hospital-Calhoun and Baptist Nursing Home-Calhoun.
In 2017, Baptist Memorial will open a $300 million hospital in Oxford, Miss.
– Andy Meek
Dermatology Practice Breaks Ground in Arlington
Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Associates has broken ground on its newest clinic and medical spa in Arlington at 5349 Airline Road.
The new clinic and medical spa is scheduled to be completed in late summer 2017.
It will offer services in general dermatology, cosmetic services, Mohs micrographic surgery, medical spa services and hair restoration.
The project is being designed by Ledford Engineering Planning, LLC and will be built by Chris Woods Construction Company Inc.
The Arlington facility will be the third location for Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Associates.
Its two existing clinics are located in Germantown and Olive Branch.
– Andy Meek