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VOL. 132 | NO. 145 | Monday, July 24, 2017

Daily Digest

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Cardinals Trade Marco Gonzales, Promote Carson Kelly

The St. Louis Cardinals continued to shake up their roster with moves on Friday, July 21. First, they traded 2013 first-round draft pick Marco Gonzales to the Seattle Mariners for minor-league outfielder Tyler O’Neill. They also promoted their top position-player prospect, catcher Carson Kelly, from Triple-A Memphis in time for Friday afternoon’s game at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs.

Gonzales missed the 2016 season because of an elbow surgery. He had made one start for the Cardinals this year and was 6-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 11 starts for the Redbirds. O’Neill, the No. 2 prospect in the Mariners’ organization, was to report to Memphis.

Kelly had a career-best 10 home runs for Memphis and was chosen to play in the Triple-A All-Star Game.

– Don Wade

Violent Crime Up Locally Almost 10 Percent

Major violent crime in Memphis and countywide was up almost 10 percent for the first six months of 2017 compared to the first half of 2016, the Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission reported Friday, July 21.

Major violent crime as a general category was up 9.9 percent for Memphis and 9.3 percent countywide even as the rate of murders – one of four specific categories that make up the general category – dropped 12.2 percent citywide and 14.9 percent countywide from a year ago.

The increase in violent crime was driven instead by a 14.5 percent increase in aggravated assaults in the city compared to the first half of 2016. Aggravated assaults rose 13.4 percent countywide year over year.

Major property crime citywide was up 10.6 percent from a year ago at this time, 9.4 percent countywide. The increase there was driven by a 37.2 percent increase in motor vehicle theft citywide, 34.6 percent countywide.

“None of us involved in meeting this challenge find the current situation acceptable,” said commission president Bill Gibbons, who is also executive director of the University of Memphis Public Safety Institute. “We must stay focused on continuing to implement steps that can have a positive impact on the level of crime and have a healthy sense of urgency about it.”

Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said his officers will “continue to work diligently to implement and evaluate our crime fighting strategies.”

Rallings added that the spike in car thefts is the result of more motorists leaving their cars running while they run errands. “That invites theft,” he said in a written statement.

– Bill Dries

Steel Company Buys Southeast Memphis Industrial Facility

Steel fabrication and construction company Edwards Steel Solutions has acquired a 207,995-square-foot industrial building at 1700 Third St. in a $1.1 million deal.

Greg deWitt, vice president at Avison Young, represented the buyer, while Bruce Young with Memphis Commercial & Industrial Real Estate represented the seller, B&C LLC.

Located on nearly 9 acres in Southeast Memphis, Edwards Steel Solutions will occupy roughly 86 percent of the site to fabricate steel that will be mainly used in the construction of multifamily housing.

Currently the site features 13 exterior dock doors, 17- to 24-foot ceiling heights, and 40 parking spaces, but Edwards Steel plans to overhaul the sprinkler systems, lighting and office portion of the facility.

– Patrick Lantrip

Enplanements Up in June at Memphis International

Without the extra day and lacking one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, enplanements in June at Memphis International Airport are typically less than that of May. However, data presented at the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority’s July 20 meeting showed this year was an exception.

Enplanements for the month rose to 197,389, which is almost 2,000 more passengers than the previous month’s mark of 195,398. This figure also represents a 5.4 percent year-over-year increase from June 2016 when 187,164 passengers were enplaned.

Additionally, total enplanements for the year are up 3.3 percent through this time last year.

In other news, the MSCAA board approved contracts or contract extensions for PFM Financial Advisors LLC, AT&T and M-B Companies Inc.

– Patrick Lantrip

CBU Named College of Distinction

Christian Brothers University (CBU) named as one of the nation’s Colleges of Distinction by the online organization of the same name.

The annual process of selecting the nation’s Colleges of Distinction requires that institutions adhere to four distinctions — engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes. The process includes a review of each institution’s freshman experience, as well as its general education program, strategic plan, alumni success, satisfaction measures and more.

This year, CBU also earned the exceptional honor of being among only 27 colleges or universities in the nation to receive recognition in all four of Colleges of Distinction’s academic categories – the university’s business, engineering, education and nursing programs were all formally commended for excellence and value.

– Don Wade

UTHSC Researcher Wins Grant to Fight Strep Throat

Dr. James Dale, the Gene H. Stollerman Professor of Medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has won a $3.9 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The funding will be used to develop a safe, broadly effective, and affordable vaccine to prevent strep throat and its complications.

Dale, together with a University of Tennessee lab in Knoxville and researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is developing a new approach to design and develop the vaccine.

Ultimately aiming to tackle the global morbidity and mortality caused by Group A streptococcal (GAS) invasive infections and their complications, Dale and his team are using the new funding to develop a universal vaccine that could have a major impact on the health of millions of people worldwide.

Dale hypothesizes that immunity to GAS infections is the result of both type-specific and cross-protective antibodies. He further proposes that a new approach employing computational predictions of peptide structures will result in the development of a vaccine leading to broadly protective immunity in populations around the world.

Dale said even a partially effective vaccine would have “a significant impact on global health.”

The project is a continuation of more than 30 years of ongoing research done by Dale, who has been with UTHSC since the 1980s, and his team. The project is slated to continue through 2022.

– Andy Meek

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