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VOL. 132 | NO. 161 | Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Daily Digest

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Redbirds Clinch Playoff Berth

The Memphis Redbirds captured the Pacific Coast League American Southern Division title with a 12-7 win over the Nashville Sounds (Athletics) Sunday night, Aug. 13, in Nashville.

The playoff trip will be Memphis’ fifth in franchise history, alongside 2000, 2009, 2010 and 2014. The Redbirds went on to win the PCL Championship in both 2000 and 2009.

Memphis improves to 80-41 with the win, a season-high 39 games over .500; the team is three wins from tying the 2000 club for the most wins in franchise history at 83.

The Redbirds are winning the division by 22.5 games, and since divisions were established in the PCL in 1963, only two teams have won their division by 20 or more games (1970 Spokane Indians, 26.0 games; 1981 Albuquerque Dukes, 25.0 games).

In Sunday’s victory, Alex Mejia was 4-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored, and Rangel Ravelo and Patrick Wisdom each had three hits. All of Wisdom’s hits were doubles, and he drove in two runs. Ravelo homered, as did Tyler O’Neill. Memphis had eight extra-base hits in the game.

The Sounds come to Memphis to start a four-game series that starts Tuesday, Aug. 15, and runs through Friday. Memphis also plays New Orleans (Marlins) on this upcoming eight-game homestand.

The playoffs will begin at AutoZone Park on Wednesday, Sept. 6, and Thursday, Sept. 7. Playoff tickets, available at memphisredbirds.com/playoffs, are on sale now. Fans can see all four potential home playoff games for the price of two, and there will be $2 beers all playoffs long. The first 5,000 fans at the games on Sept. 6 and 7 will receive a free new-logo Redbirds hat.

– Don Wade

Local Leaders React To Charlottesville Violence

Violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend drew more than 100 people to Health Sciences Park Saturday, where they gathered around the statue of Confederate general, slave trader and Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest.

It was part of local reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, which started with a torchlight parade at the University of Virginia by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

Protesters and counter-protesters clashed, and one person was killed and more than a dozen injured when a driver drove his vehicle into a crowd.

The torchlight procession was the first of several protests the groups planned following the city of Charlottesville’s decision to take down a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Here is some of the reaction from local political leaders following the Charlottesville violence:

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland: “What happened in Charlottesville this weekend is the result of hatred, pure and simple. I condemn it. White supremacists, the KKK and Nazis have no place in our city or any city. I’m also glad to see more people joining our cause to remove the Confederate statues in our city. We continue to work toward the day this is possible.”

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell: “The horrible events in Charlottesville Saturday coupled with the tragedy in Charleston at Emanuel AME two years ago compelled me to pause and reflect before speaking and writing. The foundation for both was prejudice and hostility. The assailant in Charleston stated his objective was racial warfare and in response the congregation of the mother church prayed for the sinner. Similarly the objective of the assailants Saturday was to create conflict which they successfully did. Our response as a nation should be an appeal to our greater good as with Emanuel, we cannot survive if our sins of the past; racial prejudice and disharmony are allowed to resurface. Pray that America will heal.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, speaking to the crowd at Health Sciences Park: “This puts Memphis, Tennessee, as a city that cares about what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia today. I am truly afraid of what is happening to our nation. It starts with Donald Trump. It ends with Donald Trump.”

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff, R-Germantown: “As Americans, we must stand united against all forms of hate and prejudice. Violence like this has no place in our country. Praying for all those affected by the horrific violence in Charlottesville.”

– Bill Dries

GTx Reports $6.4M Loss, Secures $15 Million Loan

Memphis-based biopharmaceutical company GTx Inc. saw a net loss of $6.4 million for the second quarter, compared to $6.1 million during the same period in 2016, the company reported Monday, Aug. 14.

For the six months ended June 30, the net loss was $12.7 million, compared to $3.9 million over the same span in 2016.

In a quarterly update released with the results, GTx disclosed it has secured a loan of up to $15 million, covering a term of nine months, from AutoZone founder J.R. “Pitt” Hyde III, who is the largest GTx shareholder and the lead director on its board, along with another large shareholder, The Pyramid Peak Foundation.

The company also reported cash and short-term investments on hand of $11.4 million, compared to $21.9 million on Dec. 31.

Among other highlights, research and development expenses for the quarter ended June 30 were essentially flat compared to the same period in 2016, $4.4 million compared to $4.1 million last year. The same for general and administrative expenses, which stood at $2 million for both comparable periods.

– Andy Meek

Memphis Airport to Replace Baggage Carousel

Memphis International Airport has filed a $2.8 million building permit application with construction officials to install a new baggage carousel.

ANF was listed as the project’s architect, while A & B Construction Co. was listed as the contractor.

This marks the second project A & B has undertaken with the airport in recent months.

In February, A & B Construction Co. sought a building permit to construct a temporary maintenance facility at 4121 Runway Road.

Memphis International Airport is in the middle of a $214 million, multiyear plan to completely overhaul its B Concourse, where almost all of the airport’s operations will be consolidated upon completion.

– Patrick Lantrip

U of M Ranks in Top Quarter For Charitable Support

The University of Memphis is ranked in the top quarter of higher education institutions for total charitable support, according to the Council for Aid to Education, an independent organization specializing in educational assessments.

Each year, CAE gathers data about charitable support through the Voluntary Support of Education survey, an authoritative national source of data on charitable giving to higher education and private K-12 institutions. The U of M is ranked 225 out of 971 higher-education institutions, both private and public, in the most recent survey.

“The generosity of alumni and friends not only directly benefits our students, but it helps the U of M fulfill our vision of becoming one of the nation’s top metropolitan research universities by providing much needed support across our campuses,” University of Memphis president M. David Rudd said in a statement.

CAE has managed the VSE survey since 1957. The survey yields hundreds of variables related to fundraising in public and private colleges and universities and a small number of precollege institutions. The data is used to estimate national trends and for benchmarking by individual institutions.

– Daily News staff

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