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VOL. 132 | NO. 26 | Monday, February 6, 2017

Daily Digest

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International Paper Reports Lower Earnings for Year

Memphis-based International Paper Co. reported net annual earnings of $904 million, or $2.18 per share, for 2016, compared to net earnings of $938 million, or $2.23 per share, for 2015.

IP’s fourth-quarter numbers showed earnings of $218 million, a $40 million increase over $178 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.

International Paper chairman and CEO Mark Sutton attributed the drop in annual earnings to “margin pressure” – or larger outside forces causing company costs to rise or its revenues to fall.

“We enter the new year with an improving economic climate and several catalysts which we expect to improve profitability across International Paper,” Sutton said.

– Bill Dries

Dedric Lawson Finalist for Karl Malone Award

University of Memphis sophomore forward Dedric Lawson has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year, an award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It is in its third year of recognizing the top power forwards in Division I men's college basketball.

"Karl Malone is recognized as a fierce competitor who delivered every time he set foot on the court, at both the collegiate and professional level," said John L. Doleva, president and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

At the time of the announcement, Lawson stood second in the American Athletic Conference in scoring, averaging 19.0 points per game, while leading the conference in rebounds with 10.1 per game. He is the only player in the AAC to average a double-double this season, and is one of three players across NCAA Division I basketball to average 19 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Lawson also led the team with 53 blocked shots and was second on the team with 76 assists, and third with 26 steals. He had made 47 percent (149-of-317) of his shots from the field, and made 72.3 percent of his free throws (99-of-137).

Karl Malone attended Louisiana Tech University due to its proximity to his hometown of Summerfield, Louisiana. He led the Bulldogs to a Sweet 16 appearance. Malone achieved great success during his 19 seasons in the NBA as a 14-time NBA All-Star (1988-98, 2000-02), 11-time All-NBA First Team player (1989-99) and a member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He also won two Olympic gold medals (1992, 1996) and is a 2010 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

In March, five finalists will be presented to Malone and the Hall of Fame's selection committee for the 2017 award. The winner will be presented at ESPN's College Basketball Awards, presented by Wendy's, live from The Novo by Microsoft in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 7.

Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award include Georges Niang, Iowa State (2016) and Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (2015). For more information on the 2017 Karl Malone Award, go to www.HoophallAwards.com.

– Don Wade

Downtown Hotel Moves Closer To Reality with Building Permit

A new boutique hotel slated to open on South Main is taking a big step forward.

Montgomery Martin Contractors filed a $5.3 million permit for renovations to the former Memphis College of Art graduate school at 477 S. Main St.

Wessman Development LLC is listed as both the owner and tenant on the permit.

In September 2016, California-based Wessman Holdings bought the five-story building with plans to convert it into an Arrive Hotel, which is a boutique “lifestyle” brand targeting millennials.

In December, the Memphis City Council approved a special-use permit for the hotel.

A mile north, Wessman is converting the two-story former Leader Federal Bank building at 158 Madison Ave. into a national-brand boutique hotel.

Both projects are slated to open in 2018.

– Patrick Lantrip

Airport Files Permit For Temporary Maintenance Facility

A & B Construction Co. filed a $381,843 building permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for alterations at 4121 Runway Road.

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority is listed as both the owner and tenant and ANF Architects is listed as the architect on the permit.

On Jan. 20, the airport authority’s board of commissioners approved A & B Construction Co.’s contract for a temporary airfield maintenance facility.

“In order to occupy those while we build a new airfield maintenance facility, we need to ready these facilities,” MSCAA president and CEO Scott Brockman said at the time.

Four companies bid for the job, but only two met the airport’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program requirements – Chris Woods Construction Co. and A & B Construction, the latter of which submitted the winning bid of $1.65 million.

– Patrick Lantrip

Two More Crosstown Tenants File Building Permits

With the Crosstown Concourse’s grand opening just a few months away, two more organizations have filed permits for tenant infill.

Grinder, Taber & Grinder Inc. filed two building permits with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement totaling $1 million.

Locally owned grocery store The Curb Market and nonprofit education center Tech901 were listed as the tenants in the $550,000 and $450,000 permits, respectively.

Both permits list 1350 Concourse Ave. as the address.

The Crosstown Concourse’s grand opening will be held May 13.

– Patrick Lantrip

City, THDA to Announce $60M Down Payment Assistance

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Tennessee Housing Development Agency director Ralph Perrey will announce a $60 million down payment assistance program Monday, Feb. 6, in Frayser.

The program is designed to boost home sales and stabilize home values in neighborhoods hit hard by the national economic downturn.

Strickland and Perrey will announce the program in a residential area of Frayser that was among the areas where the foreclosure crisis hit the hardest.

– Bill Dries

Animal League, Humane Society Partner on Spay in the City

In honor of World Spay Day on Feb. 28, the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County and presenting sponsor Germantown Animal Welfare League announce Spay in the City, a new month-long event to raise awareness about the importance of controlling the pet overpopulation problem by spaying and neutering pets.

The Germantown Animal Welfare League recently relinquished its 501(c)3 status, and as its last charitable contribution to animal welfare, donated all funds to the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County. In addition to Spay in the City, the donation will sponsor HSMSC’s laboratory, including a micro-hematocrit machine, an IV infusion pump, and a pulse/oxygen monitor. Remaining funds from the donation will go toward general operations and medical supplies. The newly renamed Germantown Animal Welfare League Laboratory will be dedicated to medically helping injured, neglected and abused animals.

“Germantown Animal Welfare League is proud to support the Spay in the City event and to partner with HSMSC,” says GAWL vice president and secretary Judy Shore. “Our mission statement has been to promote the welfare and well-being of animals and help those who cannot help themselves. We feel there is no greater need in Memphis and Shelby County than to help control the pet population and correspondingly reduce the number of animals in our local shelters.”

Throughout February, Project STOP (Solving the Overpopulation Problem) will coordinate various educational events, as well as a low-cost vaccine clinic on Feb. 18. Project STOP concentrates on assisting Memphis and Shelby County residents who receive government assistance (such as food stamps, Social Security, disability, etc.) to make spaying and neutering affordable and accessible. Currently, Project STOP operates Fido Fixers Memphis, a mobile spay/neuter clinic, and holds low-cost vaccination clinics 2-3 times per year. In 2016, nearly 1,500 surgeries were performed in the mobile unit, and more than 1,200 of those were for pet owners on assistance or for other 501(c)3 rescue organizations.

If you would like to support HSMSC, shirts to promote this special cause are available during the month of February for a $35 donation, with proceeds covering the costs of one spay/neuter. Visit the Humane Society at 935 Farm Road to purchase one.

– Daily News staff

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