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VOL. 132 | NO. 23 | Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Daily Digest

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Johnson Road Park Dropped As Germantown School Site

The Germantown Municipal Schools board has dropped the idea of building a new elementary school in Johnson Park.

Meeting Monday, Jan. 30, the board narrowed its choices to three sites. One is on the north side of Poplar Avenue between Kimbrough and Oakleigh. The second is at Forest Hill-Irene Road and Poplar Pike, and the third is a parcel of land south of that.

The vote sets up negotiations with the land owners.

Germantown schools superintendent Jason Manuel says the system has approximately 500 more elementary students than it has room for currently.

An expansion of Riverview Elementary is underway now to eliminate 22 portable classrooms that have been used for years at the school.

Meanwhile, the Germantown school board also voted to end a shared services pact with the five other suburban school systems at the end of the current academic year, with the exception of transportation and a career and technical education coordinator.

The shared services pact among the suburban school systems was a critical element in getting each ready to open for classes in the 2014-2015 school year.

At the time, there was a lot of debate whether all the functions beyond basic classroom education should be by common agreement among the school systems.

All of the school systems and their leaders eventually concluded it was in their best interest, at least on an initial basis. However, some had said there would come a time when they probably would go their own way and establish separate systems for functions such as payroll and food services.

– Bill Dries

Poplar Plaza Kroger To Get Starbucks

Kroger has filed a building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for more renovations to its Poplar Plaza location, which includes a new Starbucks kiosk.

The $295,000 permit calls for renovations to the seating area with the addition of a full-service Starbucks kiosk at the 3444 Plaza Ave. Kroger in the Poplar Plaza Shopping Center near the intersection of Poplar Avenue and Highland Street.

The changes come about four years after Kroger built an entirely new, 81,500-square-foot building within Poplar Plaza to replace its former store there. Poplar Plaza’s owner, Finard Properties, had to reconfigure the layout of several tenants to accommodate construction of the supermarket, which is the largest in the Memphis area. After it opened, the old Kroger in the center was razed for a parking lot.

The Poplar Plaza replacement was part of $100 million in store improvements Kroger’s Delta Division began in 2013. Most recently, the supermarket chain undertook a similar project at its Midtown store, building a 74,000-square-foot location at 1761 Union Ave. on the site of the original store’s parking lot.

– Patrick Lantrip

Temple Israel Announces Crosstown Expansion

In a letter that went out to its congregation over the weekend, Temple Israel announced plans to expand into the Crosstown Concourse this summer.

Officials said the new Crosstown campus won’t be a second synagogue, but will instead enhance the Temple’s community outreach programs.

“We believe that Temple will thrive in Crosstown and that you, the members, will be truly amazed by the collaboration in the years ahead,” Temple Israel president Elkan Scheidt said in the email. “Crosstown’s creativity, innovation, and social-action focus aligns seamlessly with Temple and Reform Judaism’s inclusive philosophy.”

Temple Israel formed a preliminary Crosstown committee, which included Cara Greenstein, Alex Shindler, Daniel Kiel, Meggan Kiel, Bruce Landau, Susanne Landau, Joanna Lipman, Josh Lipman, Liz Rudnick and Elton Parker to discuss the move before deciding to sign a lease for a 1,200-square-foot “Midtown Living Room” in the Concourse.

“By offering countless programming and Tikkun Olam opportunities, Temple Israel Crosstown will bring the celebrated Temple Israel spirit of 38120 to 38104,” the announcement went on to say. “It will also become a new member gateway for unaffiliated Downtown/Midtown Jews and newcomers to Memphis.”

Tikkun Olam, which means “repairing the broken world” in Hebrew, is a socially conscious concept that promotes community outreach.

The email outlined some of the programs Temple Israel could offer in Crosstown, such as partnerships with their Crosstown neighbors, lunch and learns, baby-and-me classes, Hebrew tutoring and Women of Reformed Judaism-Sisterhood knitting for the Manna House.

Temple Israel, which is located at 1376 E. Massey Road, was founded in 1854 as the first permanent Jewish house of worship in Tennessee and now serves 1,500 member families in the Memphis area.

– Patrick Lantrip

Terminix to Hold Job Fair Wednesday

Terminix is filling more than 90 full-time job openings at its Memphis call center with a Wednesday, Feb. 1, job fair at its company offices.

The hiring event runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 6399 Shelby View Drive.

The jobs pay $13 an hour, based on experience, with the jobs starting over the next three months. Applicants should bring multiple copies of a resume and wear professional attire. Those who cannot attend can get more information and apply at careers.servicemaster.com.

– Bill Dries

TVA Reports Profitable First Quarter 2017

The Tennessee Valley Authority continued strong performance in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 after reporting the highest net income in its history for fiscal year 2016.

TVA reported net income of $102 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up $139 million from the same period in the prior year, on higher sales of electricity.

Sales in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 were up 2.3 billion kilowatt-hours, or 7 percent, over the same period in 2016. Normal weather so far this year resulted in the higher sales. Last year, the Tennessee Valley experienced some of the mildest temperatures in over five decades during the same time period.

Revenues increased almost 12 percent, or $266 million, for the first quarter, compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2016.

Total operating expenses were up by $65 million, or about 3 percent, from the same period in 2016.

“Unlike last year, when we had an abundance of rainfall, the extended drought conditions that carried over from summer limited power production from TVA’s dams. This resulted in increased use of higher-cost generation sources and higher fuel prices,” TVA president and CEO Bill Johnson said in a statement.

TVA has reduced operations and maintenance expense by a sustainable $800 million over the past several years, which has helped the bottom line and also resulted in lower power rates. According to Johnson, the additional income will go right back into the TVA power system.

Nearly $3 billion is being invested in the power system across environmental, regulatory, capacity expansion and maintenance projects in 2017. Several of the projects will provide TVA with more flexibility in meeting power demand in the future. These include the Paradise combined-cycle natural gas facility in Kentucky, and the Allen gas plant in Memphis.

– Daily News staff

St. Jude Names New Department Chair

Dr. Stephen Gottschalk has been named chair of the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

He will join St. Jude in August, and in his new role he’ll be responsible for management of the department’s clinical, research and educational activities.

Gottschalk comes to St. Jude from the Center of Cell and Gene Therapy and Texas Children’s Cancer Center, which he joined in 2001. He has served as director of Texas Children’s Cancer Center Basic and Translational Research Division since 2012, and he’s also a professor in the Pediatrics and Immunology departments at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

In addition to developing innovative strategies to treat different types of cancer, he also holds several memberships in professional societies, including the American Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, the American Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation and the American Society of Hematology.

St. Jude is home to one of the largest pediatric bone marrow transplantation programs in the world and has pioneered bone marrow transplantation for leukemia patients who do not have matched donors or who have a chemotherapy-resistant form of this cancer.

– Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 81 201 16,108
MORTGAGES 40 104 10,026
BUILDING PERMITS 130 336 38,272
BANKRUPTCIES 28 56 7,528