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VOL. 132 | NO. 158 | Thursday, August 10, 2017

Daily Digest

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FedEx Express Job Fair To Be Held Aug. 12

FedEx Express is hosting a job fair at the Memphis World Hub Saturday, Aug. 12, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2874 Business Park Drive, Building D.

The Memphis-based shipping giant is seeking to fill 800 permanent part-time positions with hourly rates starting at $12.62 and a guaranteed minimum of 17.5 hours a week. The positions also come with medical coverage options.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, be able to lift 75 pounds, and are subject to a background check and drug screening.

– Patrick Lantrip

Grizzlies Release Preseason Schedule

The Memphis Grizzlies will tip off its five-game 2017 preseason schedule at FedExForum against the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2.

Following the home preseason opener, the Grizzlies will travel to play the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Wells Fargo Arena and the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, Oct. 9. Memphis will conclude the exhibition slate with two home contests against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, Oct. 11, and New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, Oct. 13. Both games start at 7 p.m.

The NBA and Grizzlies’ regular season schedules will be announced in the next few days.

– Don Wade

City Council Approves Beale Hotel, Parking

The Memphis City Council approved Tuesday, Aug. 8, plans for a five-story, 101-room hotel and a five-level 103-space parking deck in the block of Beale Street between Fourth Street and Danny Thomas Boulevard. Original plans called for a six-story hotel building, but that was later changed.

The hotel by KNM Development Group is to be a Vib by Best Western aimed at attracting millennial travelers. The hotel and the parking deck behind it would be built on open land at 404 Beale St., directly across from Church Park.

Attorney Charles Carpenter, whose law office is next to the hotel site in the historic building that formerly housed Solvent Bank, had some concerns about the impact of construction and pilings specifically on his building. But developers said those differences were quickly resolved.

In other action, the council approved the hiring of an independent actuary to review the city’s health care plan as the administration considers a new health plan and contract for city employees.

The administration projects a $12 million savings as a result of fewer claims by city employees.

Councilman Edmund Ford Jr. pushed for the independent actuary, citing the council’s obligation to act should the savings turn out to be a deficit.

The previous council hired independent actuaries to examine administration estimates of the liability in the city’s health care benefits package that prompted the state of Tennessee to require the city to fully fund the liability over a five-year period that continues to this day.

In that case, the actuaries hired by the council came up with different numbers than the administration of then-Mayor A C Wharton.

The cost of the actuary would come from the city’s health care fund and by a preliminary estimate would be “tens of thousands of dollars,” according to city chief financial officer Brian Collins.

By the terms of Ford’s resolution, the actuary firm is to be hired and working by Aug. 22.

About six weeks into the new fiscal year, the council approved $6.5 million for street paving projects across the city. With the funding resolution, City Hall marks a return to a cycle of paving streets once every 25 years.

Just two years ago, the city was on a 40-year paving cycle.

The council again delayed a vote on a proposed convenience store with gas pumps at South Parkway and Interstate 240 by Spire Enterprises.

– Bill Dries

Hooks Institute Lands $20K To Support HAAMI Program

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute at the University of Memphis has received a $20,000 grant from the SunTrust Foundation to support the Hooks African-American Male Initiative (HAAMI).

The institute launched HAAMI in 2016 to increase the retention and graduation rates of black male students at the University of Memphis. Current data shows that for first-time, full-time students who graduated within a four-year period, black males have an average graduation rate of 10.6 percent, significantly less than all other groups. The Hooks Institute’s efforts with HAAMI are intended to help create prosperity for African-American males, which in turn helps to collectively benefit the lives of all Memphians and create positive social change.

The SunTrust Foundation grant will provide general operating support for the HAAMI program as well as personal finance education, which will benefit students during their course of study and beyond graduation.

“We are incredibly grateful to SunTrust Foundation for their ongoing, generous support of the Hooks Institute and our HAAMI program,” said Hooks Institute executive director Daphene R. McFerren in a statement. “This funding will allow us to expand the program to include more students in the 2017-2018 academic year, as well as increase our focus on personal finance, which is so critically important.”

– Don Wade

Shakespeare Co. Partners With Germantown Schools

Tennessee Shakespeare Company and the Germantown Municipal School District a partnering on a multi-year education initiative that will bring an immersive Shakespeare curriculum to all fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders.

Starting this school year, fifth- and seventh-grade students in the Germantown school district will participate in an introductory, immersive “playshop” to prepare them for experiencing a full performance of TSC’s self-created production “Shakes, Rattle, and Roll.” The show pays tribute to local heritage, linking the signature music of Memphis to the works of Shakespeare that could have inspired them.

Germantown ninth-graders, meanwhile, will take part in TSC’s Romeo and Juliet Project, a four-part interactive residency that launched at Germantown High School seven years ago and has expanded to many Shelby County schools. The program, which transforms classrooms into playing spaces to change students’ expectations and reception of the material, begins with three sessions that engage the students in playing three different parts of the play and wraps up with a live, intimate performance of “Romeo and Juliet.”

Funding for the first year of the partnership between TSC and the Germantown Municipal School District is being provided by Milton T. Schaeffer and Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Tennessee Shakespeare Company actors and teachers will join Germantown leaders at the Aug. 19 opening of the new facility at Riverdale School, 7391 Neshoba Road. The school will be open for tours from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. During that time, TSC will be performing excerpts from “Shakes, Rattle, and Roll” in the outdoor amphitheater. Company members will also engage students in a participatory playshop similar to the series that will be offered in Germantown schools.

– Daily News staff

Flooring Company to Close Tennessee Plant, Lay Off 215

A flooring company will close a Tennessee plant this year, resulting in 215 layoffs.

The Jackson Sun reports that Armstrong Flooring notified employees Monday that the Jackson plant will close later this year, although no specific date has been released. Armstrong Flooring communications manager Stephen Trapnell says the plant is not equipped to manufacture the products that meet current customer demand.

Trapnell says severance package discussions will take place over the next few days, and employees can apply for positions at other Armstrong locations.

The company says it will determine the future of the 81-acre facility after production is completed.

Jackson Chamber president and CEO Kyle Spurgeon and Mayor Jimmy Harris say the decision doesn’t presage a closure trend, pointing to manufacturing industries that have recently expanded their workforce.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225