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VOL. 10 | NO. 50 | Saturday, December 9, 2017

Daily Digest

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Morgan Stanley Fires Ford Amid Harassment Claim

Former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. has been fired from Morgan Stanley following a company investigation into allegations he harassed, intimidated and forcibly grabbed a co-worker, according to Huffington Post.

The HuffPo story says Morgan Stanley has confirmed Ford’s dismissal “for conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies.”

The online publication also cites two interviews with the woman who accused Ford in the incident that she says happened several years ago. She also produced emails from Ford that ended with her asking him to stop contacting her and Ford apologizing and agreeing not to.

Ford denied any incident happened.

“In regard to news today. This simply did not happen,” Ford tweeted. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In her account, the woman, who is not identified in the story, said she and Ford were meeting for business reasons when the incident took place. She said a security guard from a building came to her aid in the physical altercation. She also contacted two women the night of the incident and confided in them about what happened, according to the story.

Ford, who was the congressman representing the all-Shelby County 9th District from 1997 to 2006, moved to New York City after a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2006. He worked for Merrill Lynch and started at Morgan Stanley in 2011 as a managing partner.

Ford also has been a political analyst on NBC/MSNBC.

– Bill Dries

Methodist Buys UCI Building in Medical District

Methodist Healthcare Memphis Hospitals has purchased a 69,280-square-foot building in the Medical District for $3.1 million, according to a Dec. 5 warranty deed.

In the sale, Methodist purchased the Class B office building from the Urban Child Institute, a local nonprofit that moved into a fourth-floor suite in Crosstown Concourse.

Gary Shorb, UCI’s executive director who previously served as CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, signed the deed of sale on behalf of his new organization.

Built in 1975 and sitting on 2.3 acres near the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Neely Street, the property was appraised for $5.3 million this year by the Shelby County Assessor.

– Patrick Lantrip

Crosstown Concourse On Prestigious Award List

Crosstown Concourse has made a shortlist of 15 outstanding adaptive reuse projects from across the world and is the only U.S. project on the list chosen by panel of judges from The Architectural Review.

The 15 projects chosen for the AR New into Old awards were selected by esteemed British architects Michael and Patty Hopkins; Lyndon Neri, co-founder of Neri & Hu; and Timothy Brittain-Catlin, deputy chairman of the Twentieth Century Society.

The Architectural Review has long touted creative reuse projects, and the subject has created significant new interest because of the carbon implications of retrofitting rather than replacing structures.

The new AR award celebrates the successful adaptation of original architecture to contemporary functions as well as the varied remodeling strategies, such as innovative insertions, that make imaginative reuse possible.

Crosstown Concourse is the mixed-use, urban village created inside the 1.5 million-square-foot former Sears Crosstown in Memphis that has residences, medical/health tenants, traditional retail, arts and education uses. It was designed by Memphis-based Looney Ricks Kiss Architects and included collaboration with many Memphis leaders and agencies.

The winning project, along with any highly commended projects and finalists, will be announced and published in The Architectural Review’s December/January issue at the end of the year.

AR Awards commend and celebrate design excellence and innovation. The Architectural Review’s New into Old awards program seeks out transformative, leading-edge projects from around the world.

– Daily News staff

Sedgwick Acquiring London-Based Claims Firm

Memphis-based Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. has made an acquisition that expands the company’s international footprint.

The company has signed an agreement to acquire London-based loss adjuster and claims management firm Cunningham Lindsey, which helps businesses, insurance companies, brokers and policyholders around the world. The company employs 6,000 people in 600 offices across 60 countries.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

The Cunningham Lindsey group will complement the services provided by Sedgwick and its subsidiary Vericlaim. Cunningham Lindsey provides services addressing all aspects of the risk management life cycle, including pre- and post-loss, specialties in loss adjusting, third-party claims administration, global account management, forensic engineering, and restoration and repair consulting, among others.

The acquisition also enhances Sedgwick’s status as the leading global provider of innovative risk and benefit solutions. When the transaction closes, Sedgwick CMS will employ more than 20,000.

The transaction is still subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

– Andy Meek

Bredesen Joins Senate Race To Succeed Bob Corker

Former Gov. Phil Bredesen, the last Democrat to win a statewide election in Tennessee, touted his problem-fixing credentials on Thursday, Dec. 7, in announcing his bid to succeed Republican Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate.

Bredesen was a successful health care entrepreneur before winning election to two terms each as Nashville mayor and Tennessee governor. He won every county in the state during his second run for governor in 2006, even after cutting thousands of adults from the state's Medicaid program to help stem exploding costs.

"I have the right kind of experience and the actual track record that it will take to start working across party lines to fix the mess in Washington and bring common sense back to our government," Bredesen said in a video posted on his campaign website.

Democrats are hopeful that Bredesen can again buck the Republican trend in Tennessee, a state that famously denied favorite son Al Gore the presidency in 2000 by voting for Republican George W. Bush.

Bredesen won the Nashville mayor's job in 1991, defeating incumbent Bill Boner. He narrowly won the 2002 governor's race to succeed Republican Gov. Don Sundquist.

Once in office, Bredesen stemmed the escalating costs of TennCare by cutting 170,000 adults from the program and reducing benefits to thousands more.

"I have never been through anything like that in my life," Bredesen said in a 2006 interview with The Associated Press. "I didn't run for office to tell people that they no longer have health care."

While those cuts didn't hurt Bredesen's re-election bid – he ended up carrying all 95 counties – they did become an issue when he was under consideration to become former President Barack Obama's secretary of health and human services in 2011. That job ended up going to then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

"Too many people can't afford health insurance," Bredesen said in Thursday's video. "The Affordable Care Act needs fixing."

Bredesen said in the video that his time as governor was marked by having to cope with "out of control" costs at TennCare and then with the meltdown of the Great Recession.

"With a lot of hard choices, we managed our way through all of that," he said. "We didn't just get through it, we prospered."

Bredesen noted that Tennessee achieved top bond ratings while bringing in major investments to Tennessee. They included Volkswagen’s decision to build its first U.S. plant in decades in Chattanooga and Nissan moving its North American headquarters to the Nashville area.

– The Associated Press

Moody’s Assigns A1 Rating To Rhodes College Bonds

Rhodes College has received good news regarding its bond ratings.

Moody’s Investors Service recently announced its assignment of an A1 rating to the college’s proposed approximately $33 million Educational Facilities Revenue Refunding Bonds Series 2017, to be issued through The Health, Educational and Housing Facility Board of Shelby County. The bonds will have a final maturity in 2040.

The college’s fiscal outlook also is stable, according to Moody’s, a leading provider of credit ratings, research and risk analysis.

“I am very pleased the ratings agencies recognized the financial strength of Rhodes,” Marjorie Hass, president of the college, said in a release. “We will continue to build on that foundation of strength as we plan for the future.”

Moody’s cited a number of factors that contributed to the rating: “The A1 rating incorporates the college’s very good strategic positioning reflected by prudent financial management resulting in consistently healthy operating cash flow. Steady donor support enhances already strong financial reserves. The rating also incorporates projections for stable enrollment as the college continues to leverage its market position as a Southern liberal arts school in an urban setting.”

Rhodes also received an A+ rating from Standard and Poor’s (S&P), another top credit ratings firm.

The college’s strong bond rating “is reflective of the culture of fiscal discipline instilled by our board of trustees and carried out effectively” by former college president William E. Troutt and continued by Hass, Kyle Webb, vice president for finance and business affairs, said.

“We are pleased that the rating has affirmed our financial health and stability,” Webb said.

– Daily News staff

Authorities Arrest, Charge Suspect in Wright’s Murder

More than seven years after former University of Memphis and Memphis Grizzlies basketball star Lorenzen Wright was shot to death, authorities announced Tuesday, Dec. 5, they have charged a suspect with first-degree murder.

The murder charge returned by the Shelby County grand jury against Billy R. Turner, 46, of Collierville was announced Tuesday by Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich.

Wright was last seen alive in July 2010; Germantown Police got a 911 call from his cellphone early the next morning that included the sounds of gunshots.

Wright’s body was found days later in a field near Hacks Cross and Winchester roads. He had been shot multiple times.

Weirich offered no information about how Turner allegedly knew Wright or evidence against him.

The case is being prosecuted by chief prosecutor Paul Hagerman and assistant district attorney Colin Campbell, both of whom are with the Multi-Agency Gang Prosecution Unit.

Weirich also confirmed that police last month found what they believe is the murder weapon in a lake near Walnut, Mississippi.

– Bill Dries

Nyala at Memphis Zoo Gives Birth to 11-Pound Calf

A nyala at the Memphis Zoo’s Zambezi River Hippo Camp gave birth to an 11-pound calf, the zoo announced Friday, Dec. 1.

The calf, which the zoo has named Maggie, and its mother are reported doing well and can be seen in the hippo camp exhibit.

Nyala are a form of antelope with females having no horns and a short, striped coat.

Maggie is the first nyala calf to be born in the hippo camp exhibit since it opened in April 2016. Since January, more than 330 babies have been born at the zoo.

– Bill Dries

Committee Outlines MLGW Proposals to Hike Rates

Memphis City Council members paved the way Tuesday, Dec. 5, for a vote in two weeks on proposed increases to Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division electric, gas and water rates in the new year.

A council committee is recommending the following:

• Electric rates increasing by 2.3 percent each of the next three years. For the first year, the average monthly residential increase would be $2.62.

• Gas rates increasing 4.5 percent each of the next two years. The average monthly residential increase the first year would be $1.62.

• Water rates increasing 1 percent next year for a monthly residential average of 18 cents.

The water rate increase revenue would go toward better mapping of the Memphis aquifer, and specifically identifying holes or gaps in the clay layer that protects the source of the city’s water supply. The gas and electric rate revenue would go toward maintaining 90 operating days of cash on hand for the utility.

Greater Memphis Chamber vice president Kelly Rayne said MLGW business customers wanted two weeks to consider and weigh in on the rate hikes.

“The thing we hear over and over is they want stability,” she said, citing a recent wastewater fee hike. “They didn’t have the opportunity to plan for it. That was just six months ago, and now it’s happening again with the utility increases. It’s a big deal.”

That was a sentiment several council members echoed for residential customers. The impact played a role in the council committee recommending fee hikes over several years for gas and electric rates instead of all at once.

Council member Patrice Robinson said she wants the electric rate increase to go toward a more reliable system that isn’t prone to sudden outages, which she counts as the subject of most of the complaints she gets about MLGW.

She said customers can negate the impact of the rate hikes.

“If you can’t afford $4.42 a month,” Robinson said, referring to the first-year average residential increase of all three rate hikes combined – “you can cut back on kilowatt hours ... or you can not buy half an order of hot wings or you can save not going to McDonald’s once a month.”

“Oh, come on,” council member Janis Fullilove replied.

Meanwhile, as expected, council members delayed a vote Tuesday on a proposed expansion of a Frayser landfill for construction material until Dec. 19, its last meeting of the year. Councilman Frank Colvett said Memphis Wrecking, the company seeking the expansion of the landfill onto land next to Whitney Achievement Elementary School, is seeking alternative sites and might drop the proposal if it finds another location.

– Bill Dries

Atlanta Investors Buy Collierville Hotel

Atlanta-based Noble Investment Group has purchased the Hampton Inn at 1280 W. Poplar Ave. in Collierville for $6.5 million, according to a Dec.1 warranty deed.

Noble, doing business as HIMC LLC, bought the property from Memphis-based Crews Development, which was doing business as SGR LLC.

Jason Crews, acting as chief manager, signed the deed on behalf of the sellers.

In conjunction with the acquisition, the new owners took out a $7.3 million mortgage with State Bank and Trust Co. that was signed by Noble Investment Group principal Benjamin Brunt and matures in November 2021.

Located on West Poplar east of Shea Road, the 44,724-square-foot hotel was built in 1997 and sits on 3.6 acres.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property most recently appraised it at $4.6 million.

– Patrick Lantrip

U of M Expands Toy Drive This Holiday Season

The University of Memphis athletics department has announced that the annual Tiger Toy Drive will be expanded to include partnerships with the city of Memphis, CW30 and iHeart Radio.

The partnership with Mayor Jim Strickland and the city of Memphis has been a long-standing effort to provide toys for those in need in the Memphis area. However, this year, the Tigers welcome two community leaders to help in the drive: CW30 and iHeart Radio.

The Tiger Toy Drive will be Dec. 9-20, with all collected toys being handed out to local families on Dec. 22. The community is encouraged to participate in this toy drive by dropping off new, unopened toys at the Tigers ticket office on Normal Street during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Donations also can be dropped off at FedExForum during three men’s basketball home games: Saturday, Dec. 9, vs. Bryant; Tuesday, Dec. 12, vs. Albany; and Dec. 20 vs. Siena. For each toy donated, Memphis will provide a voucher for a free ticket to a Memphis men’s basketball game.

Boxes will be located at the entrances of FedExForum, and the ticket vouchers will be given out at each of these locations.

– Don Wade

Jernigan Capital Finances Facility Near Boston

Memphis-based Jernigan Capital Inc., a real estate investment trust that provides debt and equity capital for self-storage facilities, has closed a $8.7 million investment in a proposed multistory, climate-controlled, 719-unit facility in Salem, New Hampshire, a suburb of Boston.

The proposed facility will be a ground-up, three-story project with 74,625 rentable square feet in a city that sits on the border of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Construction is expected to begin in first quarter 2018 and be completed in the fourth quarter.

The proposed project is being developed by Northwood, New Hampshire-based 603 Storage and marks the first co-investment by 603 Storage and Jernigan Capital.

– Andy Meek

FedEx on List of Best Workplaces for Diversity

FedEx Corp. has recently been named to the 2017 Best Workplaces for Diversity list by global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and Fortune.

The Memphis-based shipping giant was ranked 13th on the list, which factored in more than 50 elements, including professional development, behaviors linked to innovation, leadership confidence and consistent treatment among employees of different backgrounds.

“At FedEx, our team members are our greatest asset, and fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment in which we can all thrive has always been a priority for us,” Judy Edge, FedEx’s corporate vice president of human resources, said in a release. “We are honored to be named one of the 2017 best workplaces for diversity and are committed to embracing and celebrating the differences and unique talents of our team members across the globe.”

Rankings for the Best Workplaces for Diversity list were based on more than 440,000 employee surveys from organizations in a wide range of industries across the United States, and accounted for the share of women, people of color, baby boomers and LGBTQ individuals in the workplace, among other factors.

The full list of the 2017 Best Workplaces for Diversity can be found at greatplacetowork.com.

– Patrick Lantrip

Dixie Cafe Closing All Locations, 2 in Memphis

Dixie Cafe has abruptly announced the closure of all 17 restaurants in the chain, including two in the Memphis area.

The Southern-style home-cooking restaurant company, based in Little Rock, has restaurants at 2861 Bartlett Blvd. in Bartlett and 4699 Poplar Ave. in Memphis. Its restaurants extend across Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma, and the company has been in business for 35 years.

The closures are effective Thursday, Dec. 7.

In a statement about the news, CEO Allan Roberts cited a tough operating environment for restaurant companies like his, along with other factors, including declining sales.

– Andy Meek

Shelby County Commission Rejects Jail Food Contract

Shelby County commissioners on Monday, Dec. 4, voted down a $4.4 million five-year contract with Aramark Correctional Services LLC for food service at the Shelby County jail through the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

The commission delayed a vote on the contract in November after the newly appointed chief diversity officer to the commission, former county commissioner Shep Wilbun, said Aramark had failed to meet goals for locally owned and minority-owned business participation in the contract.

Aramark’s attorney, John Farris, denies that is the case and said again Monday that Aramark made a “good faith effort.”

“We have complied with the county’s requirements,” he said. “We submitted a valid proposal.”

Commissioner Eddie Jones said what Aramark called locally owned and minority firms weren’t certified as such.

“How can you have a good faith effort if all of your people are not qualified?” he asked. “I cannot support this because I’m not going to vote to create a law and turn around and knowingly vote to violate the very law I created.”

The sheriff’s office and county administration have an agreement with Aramark to continue food service to the jail through the end of February.

Also on Monday, the commission approved third and final reading of an ordinance creating a Binghampton Redevelopment Trust Fund to hold the property tax revenues from a tax increment financing district in the area that would run for 30 years and generate $26 million in city and county property tax increment over that period to finance blight elimination, including proposals for affordable housing.

The TIF district will be overseen by the city-county Community Redevelopment Agency.

The commission also gave final approval Monday to a hike in air emission fees that businesses pay. The fee per ton of emissions goes from $48 to $53. And the annual major source permit fee for non-automobile emission goes from $1,000 to $1,500.

– Bill Dries

Brad Martin Retires From First Horizon Board

R. Brad Martin, chairman of RBM Venture Co., has retired from the board of directors of First Horizon National Corp., the parent company of First Tennessee Bank.

Martin, a member of First Horizon’s board since 1994, is former CEO and chairman of the board of Saks Inc. He is a director at two other public companies, Chesapeake Energy Corp. and FedEx Corp.

“I have been privileged to serve in this capacity for over 20 years and have great admiration for the heritage, values, leadership and team of First Horizon and First Tennessee,” Martin said in a statement about his departure from the board. “I have no doubt that the future of First Horizon is a very bright one, and I will continue to be a significant investor and cheerleader for this wonderful enterprise.”

– Andy Meek

Memphis Football Coach Gets Leadership Forum Nod

University of Memphis quarterbacks and tight ends coach Kenny Dillingham has been selected to the American Football Coaches Association’s 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute that will take place Jan. 7 at the 2018 AFCA Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dillingham was selected from a pool of 138 applicants and will attend the one-day institute, which features a series of lectures focused on topics specifically tailored to emphasize leadership in the coaching profession, ethics, influential responsibilities, career progression and family balance.

“Kenny is one of the best young coaches I’ve ever been around,” Tigers head coach Mike Norvell said. “He has a terrific offense mind, is a wonderful teacher of the game and is a relentless recruiter. He has an incredible future in front of him. …”

Dillingham is completing his first season as a full-time assistant coach for the University of Memphis, but is in his second season as a member of the Tigers coaching staff after joining the program as a graduate assistant coach in 2016.

On the recruiting front, Dillingham helped Memphis sign two of the highest-ranked recruiting classes in school history, even while not being able to travel as a recruiter in 2016 as a graduate assistant. Even with the travel restrictions, Dillingham was named the second-best recruiter in the American Athletic Conference by 247sports.com.

Dillingham began his coaching career in Arizona as a coach in the Athletes in Training program from 2008 to 2010.

– Don Wade

US Service Sector Grows At Slower Rate in November

U.S. services companies expanded at a slower pace in November, an unsurprising downshift after having grown in October at the fastest rate in a dozen years.

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday, Dec. 5, that its services index slipped last month to 57.4 from 60.1 in October. Any reading above 50 signals expansion. The services sector has reported growth for 95 consecutive months, a positive sign for the overall U.S. economy.

Anthony Nieves, chair of ISM's non-manufacturing business committee survey, said that growth in recent months reflects an improved global economy and increasing consumer confidence.

Companies may see an additional boost from the corporate tax cuts being pushed by President Donald Trump and the Republican congressional majorities, said Katherine Judge, an economist at TD Bank. The Senate and House are beginning to reconcile the differences in their two tax bills for final passage.

More than 70 percent of U.S. jobs comes from the service sector, so the signs of continued expansion point to steady gains for the broader economy in the coming months.

– The Associated Press

THDA: Local Foreclosures Dropping But Still High

Though the number of Shelby County homes in foreclosure has dropped by more than half since the end of 2014, the county still has Tennessee’s highest delinquency rate for home loan payments and is tied for the highest foreclosure rate, according to new research from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

The report, which analyzed data from the second quarter of 2017, found around 600 homes in foreclosure throughout Shelby County, down more than 50 percent from the roughly 1,300 homes in foreclosure at the beginning of 2015.

“We’re only seeing about one-sixth of the foreclosures in Shelby County that we saw at the height of the housing crisis, which was particularly devastating to Memphis homeowners,” THDA research analyst Joe Speer said in a release.

However, Shelby County had a 74 percent higher foreclosure rate than the statewide average, tying it with Cocke County for the highest foreclosure rate among the 51 Tennessee counties with more than 2,000 active home loans. Shelby County’s delinquency rate was the highest in the state and 72 percent higher than the statewide average.

Additionally, three Shelby County ZIP codes – Southeast Shelby County’s 38125, Frayser’s 38127 and Raleigh’s 38128 – were in the top five in terms of total foreclosures in the second quarter.

Statewide, the number of foreclosures stood below 2,500 at the end of the second quarter, down from more than 5,000 at the start of 2015.

“Throughout 2016, our state’s foreclosure and delinquency numbers held relatively stable and even inched upward a bit in the first quarter of this year, so the foreclosure decline seen here is a real success,” Speer said.

Both Tennessee and Shelby County reached peak foreclosures totals in January 2011, with more than 16,000 and 3,800, respectively.

– Patrick Lantrip

Toyota Boshoku To Expand in Jackson

Automotive components manufacturer Toyota Boshoku Tennessee LLC is planning to create more than 100 new jobs in West Tennessee by expanding its operations in Jackson.

With this $31 million expansion, Toyota Boshoku will add 143,000 square feet to its current facility in Jackson and will consolidate its welding operations and add new equipment to its Madison County location, resulting in 139 new jobs.

“Tennessee is known for its strength in the automotive sector and it is because of companies like Toyota Boshoku that the automotive industry in Tennessee continues to grow and excel,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said in a release.

Toyota Boshoku America Inc. serves as the Western Hemisphere arm of its Kariya, Japan-based parent company and employs more than 11,000 people in 18 locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

“The support from the city of Jackson and Madison County has been greatly appreciated since 2001,” said Toyota Boshoku Tennessee President Kimihiko Sumino.

– Patrick Lantrip

UTHSC Campus Going Smoke-Free

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center will become a tobacco- and smoke-free campus effective Jan. 1.

The school is prohibiting the use of, advertising, sale and free sampling of tobacco products on university property, facilities, grounds and controlled venues 24 hours a day, year-round.

The new policy will span 55 acres of the campus, including sidewalks and parking lots adjacent to university buildings and property. In addition, smoking and tobacco use, along with the use of e-cigarettes, will be prohibited in personal vehicles while on university property.

Because UTHSC is a research institution, tobacco products or tobacco use may be permitted under controlled circumstances for research purposes with prior approval from the dean or director of the facility where the research is conducted. University Health Services will offer cessation programs, support groups, and nicotine replacement therapy for those who smoke or use tobacco products.

– Andy Meek

Museum Store Reopens At Brooks Museum of Art

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art has partnered with local restaurateur and retailer Lisa Toro – co-owner of City & State and The Liquor Store – on the redesign and relaunch of the Brooks Museum Store.

The Brooks Museum Store will add new selections each month to the fully redesigned, 350-square-foot space on the museum’s ground floor.

Admission to the museum is not required to visit the store. Current Brooks members will receive a 10 percent discount on any purchases made in the store and at Cafe Brooks by Paradox.

The city of Memphis and the Brooks agreed to begin to work toward a relocated Brooks Museum on the west side of Front Street between Union and Monroe avenues. A city fire station and parking garage currently occupy that prime riverside real estate on 2 acres owned by the city.

– Andy Meek

Grizzlies Owner Pera Faces Decision on Buy/Sell Clause

A buy-sell provision in the agreement between Memphis Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera and minority owners Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus was exercised last week, according to a report from The Athletic.

Pera purchased the Grizzlies in 2012 from Michael Heisley for $377 million. When Kaplan and Straus entered the deal as minority stakeholders, a clause was inserted in the agreement that would allow them as soon as late October 2017 to set a new valuation for the franchise.

Once the buy-sell provision is triggered, Pera has to decide whether to buy out Kaplan and/or Straus to maintain his controlling interest in the team or cash out at the set price and leave the ownership group.

According to multiple media reports, the parties now have 60 to 90 days to negotiate. The value of NBA teams has spiked, with both the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers selling for around $2 billion.

As of February, Forbes had the Grizzlies valued at $790 million – or more than double what Pera paid for it in 2012.

– Don Wade

Redbirds’ Clapp is Minor League Manager of Year

Memphis Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp has been named the Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year, joining a group of skippers to earn the award that includes Buck Showalter, Terry Francona, Grady Little, and Ryne Sandberg, among others, dating back to 1989.

Clapp, also the 2017 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year, is the first St. Louis Cardinals minor league manager to receive the Baseball America honor.

A former Redbirds and Cardinals players, Clapp in his first year as Memphis manager steered the club to its third PCL championship (2000, 2009, 2017) and a 97-win season, combining the regular season and the postseason.

The Redbirds went 91-50 in the regular season, setting a franchise record for victories and becoming the first PCL team since Tucson in 2006 to win 90 games in the regular season.

The Redbirds’ success came while using 62 different players, including 14 making their Triple-A debuts, with 22 different players also playing for St. Louis and nine making their Major League debuts.

The Redbirds won a franchise-record 11 straight games from April 28-May 8 and also won 12 straight home games from July 3-27 and seven straight road games from May 2-8.

– Don Wade

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