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VOL. 10 | NO. 15 | Saturday, April 8, 2017

Daily Digest

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Collierville Ordinance Targets Refuse on Trails

The town of Collierville has a new ordinance aimed at stopping residents from dropping leaves and other refuse on greenbelt trails.

The ordinance approved last month by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen gives residents a first-time warning via a door hanger if town crews find residential debris on public land. The second offense comes with a $50 fine for every day the debris is left on the public space.

The new rule applies to streets, sidewalks and parks, but is aimed at leaves and brush on public trails in the town.

Collierville’s Solid Waste Collection Division collects brush on regularly scheduled dates, with the brush being separated from other objects left on the curb, including bagged leaves and grass. With the brush separated, the town can take it directly to a mulching facility for recycling.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Civil Rights Sites Would Benefit From Bill

Mason Temple Church of God in Christ and the National Civil Rights Museum would get technical assistance toward preservation and interpretation from the National Park Service under a bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander.

The establishment of an African-American Civil Rights Network by Alexander’s bill would connect those and other landmarks across the country as part of a national network.

The park service would form partnerships with the sites, but there would be no ownership changes.

The National Civil Rights Museum is built on the site of the Lorraine Motel, the motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968 while in Memphis for a sanitation workers strike.

– Bill Dries

Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services Awarded Grant

The Margarette J. Sather Animal Welfare Fund, a fund administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, announced it has awarded a grant to Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services totaling $15,820 to help low-income pet owners spay and neuter their animals.

The fund has consistently supported Mid-South Spay & Neuter since 1997. Over the past 20 years, the fund has granted approximately $245,000 to eight Mid-South organizations, including Friends of the Memphis Animal Shelter and Mewtopia Cat Rescue.

Margarette J. Sather was professor emerita at Christian Brothers University and recipient of numerous awards for excellence in teaching liberal arts and humanities. Dismayed by the fate of many homeless animals, she became an avid advocate of spaying and neutering. The fund was established following her death in 1996.

Executive director of Mid-South Spay & Neuter Brittany Pace is thankful for the continued support and generosity of the Margarette J. Sather Animal Welfare Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.

“With this past year’s grant, we used the funds to offer discounted surgeries to low-income pet owners at our clinic,” Pace said. “By spaying and neutering 247 cats and dogs, Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services was able to make a meaningful impact toward reducing the overpopulation of animals in our community.”

A portion of the grant is also earmarked again this year to be used specifically for the spaying and neutering of court-case pets referred to the clinic by vouchers from Friends of the Memphis Animal Shelter.

– Don Wade

U of M Students, Faculty Do Social Work on the Hill

The University of Memphis Department of Social Work recently participated in the annual Social Work Day on the Hill.

More than 50 students and six faculty members in bachelor’s and master’s programs traveled to Nashville to gain practical experience in speaking to legislators, building interdisciplinary professional relationships, and advocating for policies primarily related to mental health and child welfare.

Students found Social Work Day on the Hill to be an important element in understanding the legislative process.

“As social workers, if we want to be involved in policy change or influence policy, we have to understand the inner workings of government,” said student Abram Lyons, winner of the National Association of Social Workers’ Student of the Year Award. “Social Work Day on the Hill puts us directly in contact with that process. We can sit in on subcommittee hearings and votes, and just experience the legislative process.”

Other students noted that social workers need to be able to act in the best interest of their clients, not just on the individual level but on a larger scale.

Among the legislators students and faculty spoke to were Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris; state Sen. Sarah Kyle; and state Reps. Johnnie Turner, John DeBerry, Dwayne Thompson and G.A. Hardaway, all representing Shelby County.

Social work student Lauren Robinson had one of the most memorable experiences.

“I was asked to testify as an expert witness in the Civil Justice Subcommittee in favor of Rep. Hardaway’s bill, which would require a child safety training curriculum to be offered by specific agencies that employ licensed professionals who work with children,” she said. “He asked me to return to testify in front of the full Civil Justice Committee. The bill was voted through that committee, and is now in Finance, Ways & Means. I never would have imagined that (Social Work Day on the Hill) would have afforded me this experience.”

– Don Wade

U of M To Host STEM Academy in June

Funded by a special grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents, the University of Memphis will offer a residential STEM summer session June 4-16.

The grant enables underrepresented high school students to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields so that they envision studying those subjects in college. The STEM Academy is open to students who will be high school sophomores and juniors in fall 2017.

Chosen from Shelby County Schools, the students will live on campus at U of M residence halls during the two-week session. Housing, meals and all activities will be paid for by the grant.

To be selected, students must have successfully completed Algebra I. They also must have finished the ninth grade and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. A letter of recommendation is required from a teacher or staff member at an applicant's high school.

The application is online and can be found by googling Student Application STEM Academy 2017. The deadline for submission is April 28.

– Don Wade

Regions Bank Files Permit For Lakeland Branch

Regions Bank has filed an $800,000 building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the construction of a new branch in Lakeland.

The permit shows the facility will have a drive-thru when constructed at 2957 Canada Road in Lakeland.

It would become Regions’ first branch in the suburb town east of Memphis.

– Patrick Lantrip

Varsity Spirit Raises $4.2M for St. Jude

For the sixth consecutive year, members of 10 U.S. high school cheerleading and dance squads who raised the most funds for the "Team Up For St. Jude Spirited By Varsity" campaign were invited to visit the hospital.

To date, the partnership has raised more than $4.2 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital so it can continue to research, treat and defeat childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

The teams ate dinner at a local restaurant, held a special arts and crafts session at the St. Jude Target House, toured the world-renowned hospital and attended a recognition lunch where each team was honored for their participation. The teams also performed a routine for the patients and visitors at the hospital.

Varsity Spirit, the leader in instructional cheerleading and dance team camps, competitions and apparel, first teamed up with St. Jude in 2011 to challenge its 350,000 cheerleading and dance team camp attendees, along with all Varsity Spirit employees, to help raise money for the hospital.

During Varsity Spirit summer camps, all incoming participants are asked to bring five addresses of family and friends to send donation letters on behalf of St. Jude.

"The funds raised for St. Jude illustrate the power that cheerleaders and dancers have to make a difference in the lives of others," said Nicole Lauchaire, vice president of corporate marketing and communications at Varsity Spirit. "These athletes do more than just lead their schools; they are leaders in their communities as well. We're incredibly proud of the work they've done to raise not only dollars, but awareness for St. Jude."

Top fundraisers in 2016 included:

• Tuerlings Catholic High School in Lafayette, Louisiana

• Dutchtown High School in Geismar, Louisiana

• Brookwood School in Thomasville, Georgia

• Presbyterian Christian High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

• Vanderbilt Catholic High School in Houma, Louisiana

• Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, Texas

• Cleveland High School in Cleveland, Mississippi

• Neville High School in Monroe, Louisiana

• Our Lady of Mercy School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

• Madison Central High School in Madison, Mississippi.

You can join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on

Facebook (facebook.com/stjude) and following on Twitter (@stjude).

– Daily News staff

Lawson Brothers Leaving University of Memphis

Brothers Dedric and K.J. Lawson announced Wednesday, April 5, their intention to transfer from the University of Memphis basketball program.

In a prepared statement released to local media, the Lawsons said they were requesting their release from the U of M. They thanked coach Tubby Smith, who just completed his first season here, and the university for the opportunity to play in their hometown; they were recruited by former coach Josh Pastner. Their father, Keelon Lawson, got a job on staff at that time and remained on staff under Smith.

“We were born and raised in Memphis, love the city with all our hearts; however we must do what is best for our future, our dreams, and our family, Brothers Dedric and K.J. Lawson on Wednesday announced their intention to transfer from the University of Memphis basketball program. And while they said all the right things in the initial statement they released, that changed soon afterward.

In a prepared statement released to local media, the Lawsons said they were requesting their release from the U of M. They thanked coach Tubby Smith, who just completed his first season here, and the university for the opportunity to play in their hometown; they were recruited by former coach Josh Pastner. Their father, Keelon Lawson, got a job on staff at that time and remained on staff under Smith.

“We were born and raised in Memphis, love the city with all our hearts; however we must do what is best for our future, our dreams, and our family, so we plan to transfer from the university,” the statement said.

The statement, which was signed by Dedric and K.J., went on to say that they enjoyed their time here but the time had come to “explore some new opportunities.” By NCAA rule, they will have to sit out a year before being eligible. There had been much speculation that Dedric would declare for this summer’s NBA Draft.

A while later, K.J. Lawson struck a different tone in a twitter post: “I know I deserved more I just never said it two middle fingers as I make a exit, yeah … Did I lose you?”

A short time later, that Twitter account was deleted.

Smith, in statement issued by the university, said he did meet with both players and their parents Wednesday morning. He said he was “surprised and disappointed in the decision” to transfer.

There are two younger Lawsons still in high school and regarded as strong Division 1 prospects. They almost assuredly are not Memphis recruiting targets now and there already has been a feeling of dissatisfaction among the fan base about Smith’s recruiting to this point.

In addition, rising redshirt senior Markel Crawford will be eligible to play immediately if he were to leave as a graduate transfer. His future here was of concern before the news from the Lawsons.

Memphis finished this past season with a 19-13 record and 9-9 mark in the American Athletic Conference. The Tigers lost in the first round of the AAC Tournament to UCF, 84-54, and had lost their last regular season game at SMU, 103-62.

Dedric Lawson led Memphis with a 19.9 point scoring average and grabbed a team-best 9.9 rebounds per game. K.J. Lawson was third in scoring with a 12.3 average and second in rebounding with an 8.1 average.

Smith, at the conclusion of his statement, said that he and his staff are “completely committed to building a strong program that is in line with the storied history of Memphis basketball.”

– Don Wade

Mud Island Opens Season on Saturday

The Mud Island River Park opens for the season Saturday, April 8, at 10 a.m. Admission to the park is free with an admission for the 18-gallery Mississippi River Museum.

Opening day will feature the “Mud Island Games,” family games that feature oversized versions of Snakes and Ladders and Jenga. There will also be a Twister tournament.

On the park’s 2017 schedule is an April 16 Easter Sunday observance on the island, a Memphis in May International Festival exhibit starting May 1 at the river museum and a June 8 concert by Norah Jones at the amphitheater.

– Bill Dries

Grizzlies Playoff Tickets On Sale Saturday, April 8

The Memphis Grizzlies announced that tickets for the first two home games of the First Round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs will go on sale on Saturday, April 8, at 10 a.m. The Grizzlies 2017 Playoffs are presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners.

Authentic playoff tickets for those first two home games are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, the FedExForum Box Office, by calling 1-800-4-NBA-TIX, or going online to Grizzlies.com or ticketmaster.com.

For Grizzlies MVPs, a playoff presale opportunity will begin on Friday, April 7, at 10 a.m. For added security, an email will be delivered to the account holders on Thursday, April 6, containing a presale password. There will be a limit of eight tickets per game, per purchase. In order to provide the most secure access to tickets, each password is linked to the individual account and is good for one-time use.

For non-Grizzlies MVPs, a presale opportunity will be available starting at noon on Friday, April 7, to Grizzlies’ e-news subscribers and recipients of the FedExForum Event Alert email communications, or by connection with FedExForum and the Grizzlies on Twitter (@FedExForum & @memgrizz), or by ‘liking’ FedExForum and the Grizzlies on Facebook.

Dates and times of home playoff games for the Grizzlies, who are making their franchise-record seventh consecutive NBA Playoffs appearance, will be announced following the end of the 2016-17 regular season. Entering this season, only the San Antonio Spurs (19 straight), and Atlanta Hawks (nine) had longer active postseason streaks than Memphis.

– Don Wade

Shops of Wolflake Sells for $4.8 Million

A Germantown Parkway shopping center near Wolfchase Galleria has switched hands for nearly $5 million, according to a warranty deed filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds March 31.

Called the Shops of Wolflake, the Bartlett shopping center is located between St. Francis Hospital-Bartlett and the Wolfchase mall and is anchored by Eat Well Sushi and Grill.

According to the deed, Faropoint Ventures LLC, an investment company doing business as Wolflake Retail Center LLC, sold the property to WFL Retail LLC, a local investment group, for $4.8 million.

Adir Levitas, CEO of Israel-based Faropoint Investments, signed the deed as chief manager of Faropoint Ventures.

Brian Califf with NAI Saig represented the seller in the transaction.

Built in 2001, the Class B retail property sits on 4.6 acres along the west side of North Germantown Road between U.S. 64 and Stage Hills Boulevard. The property was last appraised for $3.8 million in 2016, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

The sale is the latest investment by the Middle East company in the Greater Memphis area.

In December 2016, Faropoint, acting as Poplar-Avalon Retail Center LLC, purchased a Midtown shopping center from Sigo Partners LLC for $5 million.

That parcel, which is located near the intersection of Poplar Avenue and Avalon Street, shares a lot with Home Depot.

Faropoint also owns more than 500,000 square feet of office and retail space in the Mid-South, including the 77,000-square-foot Champion Hills Office Park at 3725 Champion Hill Drive, Orleans Place in East Memphis and now the 55,000-square-foot Shops of Wolflake.

– Patrick Lantrip

Hickory Hill Industrial Park Warehouse Sells for $1.6M

A 102,500-square-foot warehouse in Hickory Hill Industrial Park has sold for $1.6 million, according to paperwork filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

Libra Properties LLC purchased the warehouse, located at 5837 Distribution Drive, from C L I Incorporated, according to the March 31 deed.

Jershyang Lee, acting as president, signed the deed on behalf of C L I Incorporated.

In conjunction with the purchase, Libra Properties took out a $1.8 million mortgage on the property through BancorpSouth.

Di Huang signed the deed of trust as a managing member of Libra Properties.

The Class B warehouse, which was built in 1976, sits on 5.6 acres near the intersection of Hickory Hill Road and Distribution Drive. It was last appraised for $1.3 million in 2016, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

– Patrick Lantrip

Mercedes-Benz Collierville Wins ‘Best of the Best’

Mercedes-Benz of Collierville has been recognized by the luxury automobile brand as a “Best of the Best” for 2016, placing it among the top echelon of Mercedes-Benz dealerships nationally.

The “Best of the Best” program recognizes dealers based on exemplary performance in sales, service and parts as well as excellence in operations and customer experience. The top 15 percent of dealers nationally earned “Best of the Best” honors.

The Higginbotham family constructed and opened Mercedes-Benz of Collierville in 2014. The 41,000-square-foot facility is located at 4651 S. Houston Levee Road near the Carriage Crossing lifestyle center.

– Andy Meek

Sprouts to Open Store In East Memphis in Q3

Sprouts Farmers Market is bringing another store to the Memphis area as part of a wave of new store openings – 11 new stores total are planned for the second half of 2017.

A company spokesman confirmed Sprouts is opening a 28,000-square-foot store "early in the third quarter" at 576 S. Perkins Road. It's part of a total of 32 stores opening across the country this year.

Sprouts already has local stores at 9050 U.S. 64 and at 3150 Village Shops Drive in Germantown.

The Perkins Road site was formerly home to a Kroger store and a Seessel’s grocery store before that.

– Andy Meek

Malco's Rebranded Cinema In Wolfchase Opens April 13

Malco is reopening its eight-screen, 30,000-square-foot Wolfchase Cinema April 13 and rebranding it as the Wolfchase Cinema Grill.

The theater closed in January to undergo extensive renovations, including upgrading all auditoriums with luxury seating and retrofitting the lobby with a sleek, modern concession area.

The Cinema Grill will offer an expanded dining menu to include gourmet quick-casual selections as well as a bar with beer and wine.

– Andy Meek

FTN Financial Completes Acquisition of Houston Firm

FTN Financial, the capital markets division of First Tennessee Bank, has completed its acquisition of Houston-based Coastal Securities Inc., a leader in the trading, securitization and analysis of Small Business Administration loans.

Coastal Securities also trades U.S. Department of Agriculture loans and fixed-income products and provides municipal underwriting and advisory services to clients.

When the deal was announced in October, FTN Financial president Mike Kisber said that it will, among other things, help establish an additional major product sector for FTN Financial thanks to Coastal’s government-guaranteed loan products.

Combined with FTN’s existing SBA trading activities, FTN says the acquisition will also help increase revenue and product diversification.

– Andy Meek

Judicial Independence Focus of Law Symposium

The Cecil C. Humphreys University of Memphis Law School Symposium will examine the concept of judicial independence.

The daylong symposium Friday, April 7, is titled “The Fragile Fortress” and will feature four federal judges, four legal scholars, a former U.S. attorney general and the chief justice of the Costa Rican Supreme Court.

The symposium sessions at the law school, 1 N. Front St., will feature former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, who served in the administration of President George W. Bush. Mukasey will talk specifically about political criticism of judges and their rulings.

Federal Appeals Court Judge Bernice Donald of Memphis will speak on judicial independence among the different levels of the courts.

U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan of Florida’s Middle District will speak on the impact threats of violence have on judicial independence.

Senior Federal Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. of New York will talk about judicial sentencing discretion and the sentencing standards set by Congress.

U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor of the northern district of Alabama will explore how impeachment and “court-packing” affect judicial independence.

Justin Walker, a professor of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, will explore whether judges should make their papers public when they retire.

And Patrick Walsh of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center will discuss the use of covert intelligence in federal criminal cases.

The symposium has been approved for continuing legal education credit in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.

The annual event is sponsored by the Federal Bar Association’s Memphis-Mid-South Chapter; Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop P.C.; and the Association for Women Attorneys. For more information, visit memphislawsymposium.com.

– Bill Dries

ArtsMemphis Announces Finalists for $10K Award

ArtsMemphis will present its seventh annual Emmett O’Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration at a ceremony this Thursday, April 6, at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. The Emmett is given each year to a local artist who has demonstrated creative and civic leadership within the Memphis arts community. The winner receives a $10,000 cash award.

The award is named in honor of Emmett O’Ryan, an avid art collector who was a founding board member of Metropolitan Bank. The winning artist is selected by a committee composed of Metropolitan Bank associates, members of ArtsMemphis’ Artist Advisory Council and representatives of O’Ryan’s family.

The three finalists are: Carl Moore, a local visual artist best known for his vivid, high-contrast paintings; Maritza Davila, a highly regarded printmaker who teaches at Memphis College of Art; and Jennifer Sargent, an award-winning fiber artist.

– Don Wade

Bohannon to Lead Cumulus Media-Memphis

Cumulus Media has appointed radio broadcasting executive Morgan Bohannon to vice president/market manager for Cumulus Media’s four-station group in Memphis.

Bohannon, a Memphis native, joins Cumulus from iHeartMedia-Memphis, where he was most recently area president. He served iHeartMedia/Clear Channel Radio in various capacities and markets for over 20 years, and was previously market manager for iHeartMedia-Memphis; director of sales for iHeartMedia in Greenville, S.C.; and regional vice president for Clear Channel Radio in Charlotte, N.C.

Bohannon is board chairman for The First Tee of Memphis and Junior Achievement of the Mid-South and is a member of the board of directors of The Consortium MMT.

– Don Wade

Local Trucking Company Buys Land for New Office

JIT-EX, a locally owned for-hire trucking fleet, has bought three parcels of land in Whitehaven from Estes Express Lines for $2.4 million, according to paperwork filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

A representative with JIT-EX confirmed that the location will be the company’s new headquarters but declined to comment on when the move will take place.

The sale includes three parcels totaling 13.6 acres, according to the paperwork. One of the parcels contains a 14,520-square-foot prefab warehouse while another has an 11,490-square-foot office building that was built in 1968, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

The three parcels were last appraised for a combined $1.4 million in 2016.

Angela J. Maidment, vice president of corporate real estate Virginia-based Estes Express Lines, signed the warranty deed on behalf of the seller.

In conjunction with the purchase, JIT-EX took out a $2.3 million mortgage on the property though BancorpSouth, according to additional documents filed the same day.

Bobby Watts, acting as president, signed the deed of trust on behalf of JIT-EX.

Watts and his partner, John Michael, founded JIT-EX, which stands for Just in Time Express, in 2001 with one truck. The company has grown to include a fleet of 65 power units, 225 trailers, a 40-door crossdock terminal and more than 100 employees, according to its website.

– Patrick Lantrip

Regions Bank Redesigns East Memphis Branch

Regions Bank has unveiled the company’s reimagined bank branch at 6200 Poplar Ave. at the company’s West Tennessee headquarters.

The branch is the latest to reflect Regions’ new design and other innovations. Among other things – no teller line. The open design of the branch means customers are instead welcomed by Regions’ universal bankers, employees who can handle a larger number of tasks and customer needs.

The branch also offers DepositSmart ATM service, which can accept deposits and cash checks for customers at any time. And the branch offers Regions Video Banking in the lobby, along with Video Banking ATMs in the drive-thru facility adjacent to the headquarters building.

– Andy Meek

Memphis Seeks Input On Road, Bike Lane Projects

The city of Memphis’ Engineering Division has launched an online public input survey regarding the design proposals for 10 street repaving projects outlined at its March 27 open house.

The 10 proposals include these street segments:

• North Highland Street – Summer Avenue to Walnut Grove Road

• Riverside Drive – Jefferson Avenue to Beale Street

• North Perkins Street – Summer Avenue to Walnut Grove Road

• Hickory Hill Road – Mt. Moriah Road to Winchester Road

• Knight Arnold Road – Hickory Hill Road to Ridgeway Road

• Riverdale Road – Winchester Road to Shelby Drive

• Cooper Street – Washington Avenue to Central Avenue

• Getwell Road – Park Avenue to I-240.

• Airways Boulevard – Shelby Drive to the Mississippi state line

• Mendenhall Road – Knight Arnold Road to Mt. Moriah Road

All of the proposed designs except Getwell include bike lanes.

The online survey, as well as the public comment period, will close April 17. Visit surveymonkey.com/r/STPGROUPS56 to take the survey, and visit bikepedmemphis.com for more information.

– Daily News staff

Engineering Firm Building Memphis Location

Aecom Technology Corp. has filed a $2.3 million building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code enforcement for “new construction” at 3610 Paul Lowry Road in Pidgeon Industrial Park.

The Los Angeles, California-based company provides design, consulting, construction and management services.

With more than 95,000 employees globally, Aecom has offices on six continents including an office in Nashville.

Aecom reported $17.4 billion of revenue during the 2016 fiscal year.

– Patrick Lantrip

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Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 95 253 13,695
MORTGAGES 96 261 15,827
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 21 2,160
BUILDING PERMITS 250 500 28,258
BANKRUPTCIES 57 178 8,828
BUSINESS LICENSES 31 85 4,650
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 60 5,453
MARRIAGE LICENSES 9 57 2,951

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