VOL. 132 | NO. 256 | Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Citing US Tax Reform Bill, First Horizon Pledges Bonuses
First Tennessee Bank’s parent company has joined other major U.S. employers like AT&T and Comcast in pledging bonuses for employees in the wake of the recent tax reform legislation passed by Congress.
Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp. will pay $1,000 bonuses in January. First Horizon chairman and CEO Bryan Jordan said the decision comes at the culmination of “an exceptional year” for the financial services institution, which also saw the completion of its merger with Capital Bank – the largest merger in the now-$40 billion Memphis company’s history.
“And as a result of this outstanding performance and because of recent tax reform efforts that we believe will benefit First Horizon, we are happy to offer bonuses to our people who work hard every day to maintain First Horizon’s reputation as one of the best companies to work for and one of the most trusted banks in the country,” Jordan said in a statement about the bonuses.
First Horizon joins companies like TV broadcaster Sinclair, which likewise in recent days pledged one-time $1,000 bonuses to employees.
– Andy Meek
Memphis Baseball Senior On AAC Preseason Team
University of Memphis senior outfielder Tyler Webb has been named to the Preseason American Athletic Conference team. The all-conference teams were released in conjunction with the league’s preseason poll; Memphis was picked to finish seventh in 2018.
Webb was the Tigers’ second-leading hitter last season, with a .305 batting average, 65 hits, 16 doubles and 43 runs scored. Webb started 52 games, including 50 games as the Tigers’ center fielder, and batted leadoff in 29 games.
A Prosper, Texas, native, Webb had 16 multiple-hit games, including a pair of four-hit games during the year.
One of his four-hit performances came in the Tigers’ win over Ole Miss at AutoZone Park. In the Tigers win over Murray State, Webb had four hits and a career-high five RBI.
Webb came to Memphis last season after an All-American career at Galveston College, where he batted .426 with 83 hits, 15 doubles, 34 RBI and 54 runs scored in 2016.
This marks the third consecutive season for Memphis to have an outfielder on the preseason all-conference team.
Last season, Chris Carrier received preseason honors; after the season, he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs. Two seasons ago, Darien Tubbs was named the preseason Player of the Year and ended the season by being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Memphis opens the 2017 regular season at FedExPark against Western Kentucky, Feb. 16-18. The Tigers will play 31 total home games, including three games at AutoZone Park against Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
– Don Wade
Civil Rights Museum Opens Exhibit of Protest Art
The National Civil Rights Museum has opened a new exhibit of fine art depicting civil rights protests. “From the Vault: Art In Action” features pieces from the museum’s collections vault, including many it has never displayed, that represent a common theme: resistance and action through demonstrations and collective marching.
The exhibit includes works such as Jennalyn Krulish’s “Women’s March,” Elmer F. Blalock’s “Garbage Force,” George Ivers’ “Bloody Sunday,” Lonnie Robinson’s “King: Love, Peace, Justice,” Jesse Kunerth’s “MLK Jr.,” and Walter Andrade’s “The Dreamer.”
The National Civil Rights Museum reports less than 1 percent of its artifacts are on display and its collections storage is full of art and objects never seen by the public. The museum says exhibits like “From the Vault: Art In Action” allow it to bring collected pieces to light for a rare interpretive experience and help tell the story of American civil rights history from the perspective artists inspired by the movement and the activism of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In addition, the museum has launched a “From the Vault” blog that highlights objects in its collection. The blog gives an inside story behind the art and artifacts from collectors and everyday people who saw value in preserving the past and entrusting it to the museum.
“From the Vault: Art in Action” is on display until Jan. 29 and is included with museum admission. For more information, visit civilrightsmuseum.org.
– Daily News staff
Cobb Files in Democratic Primary for Sheriff
The 2014 Democratic nominee for Shelby County sheriff, Bennie Cobb, has filed his qualifying petition to run for sheriff in the May county primaries.
Cobb, a retired supervisor in the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, faces chief sheriff’s deputy Floyd Bonner in the Democratic primary. Dale Lane, director of the county Office of Preparedness, already filed to run in the Republican primary for sheriff.
Incumbent Republican sheriff Bill Oldham is serving his second term in office, turning back Cobb’s challenge in 2014, and is term-limited.
Also filing with the Shelby County Election Commission the week before Christmas was Harold C. Smith, an assistant principal at Crump Elementary School, in the Democratic primary for Juvenile Court clerk.
Incumbent Republican clerk Joy Touliatos is running in the 2018 Republican primary for Shelby County mayor.
So far, the Republican primary for clerk includes Robert Hill, director of governmental and legislative affairs in the trustee’s office, and Bartlett alderman Bobby Simmons.
Candidates pulling qualifying petitions just before the Christmas break were:
• Donna Creson in the Republican primary for Shelby County clerk. Republican incumbent clerk Wayne Mashburn is term-limited and is running for county register.
• Attorney J.B. Smiley in the Democratic primary for County Commission District 8, the seat currently held by Democrat Walter Bailey, who is term-limited.
• Vontyna Durham, a substitute teacher for Shelby County Schools, who is running in the Democratic primary for County Commission District 10 in a challenge of Democratic incumbent Reginald Milton.
The filing deadline for those running on the May county primary ballot is Feb. 15 at noon.
– Bill Dries
Memphis Habitat Receives State Grant for 3 Homes
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis is receiving $46,500 in state grant funding toward three homes built this fall in the Oakhaven neighborhood.
The funding comes as part of a $500,000 grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency to Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee. Memphis Habitat and other local Habitat organizations across Tennessee will apply the grant toward the construction of 30 new homes for families in need of decent, affordable housing.
“This THDA grant provides us with a solid foundation to jumpstart our larger fundraising efforts, which will reach $2.8 million from individuals, churches, foundations and businesses to complete these builds,” Colleen Dudley, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee, said in a statement.
Local Habitat chapters could apply for $15,500 per house in THDA funding from the grant. When construction is complete in June, more than 100 adults and children will be living in the 30 high-quality, energy-efficient homes built in part from this funding.
“We share Habitat’s mission and its passion for creating new homeownership opportunities to Tennessee families, so it’s a very natural partnership,” said THDA executive director Ralph M. Perrey. “We’re always confident that Habitat is going to put our funding to good use, and I’m sure more than a few THDA staffers will be among the volunteers at build sites across the state.”
In addition to supporting Habitat for Humanity with grant funding, THDA provides training to Habitat staff and other support to help more Tennesseans seek affordable homeownership opportunities. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage that, in turn, helps fund future Habitat homes.
Funding for the $500,000 THDA grant came from the Tennessee Housing Trust Fund (THTF), which receives no state tax dollars but is instead funded by revenue from THDA’s mortgage loan program. Since 2006, THDA has provided more than $75 million in THTF grants.
Habitat for Humanity was founded as a grassroots effort in 1976 in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization came to Tennessee in 1978 and has grown to being ranked the fourth-largest builder of Habitat for Humanity homes in the country.
– Daily News staff