VOL. 132 | NO. 148 | Thursday, July 27, 2017
Haslam Taps Memphian As THDA Board Chair
Gov. Bill Haslam has named Memphis-area homebuilder Kim Grant Brown chair of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency board of directors.
Brown, who was appointed to the THDA board in December 2015, is the first woman to serve as its chair. She led her first board meeting Tuesday, July 25.
Brown is a third-generation homebuilder who manages her own construction company and has a partnership with her family’s real estate firm, Grant & Co. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she served as the president of the West Tennessee Home Builders Association for 2014, the first woman and youngest person to do so.
“I have enjoyed my time on the THDA Board of Directors already, and I’m grateful to the governor for giving me this additional opportunity,” Brown said in a statement. “THDA’s work in helping families achieve their dreams follows my family’s traditions and business focus.”
THDA was created by the state Legislature in 1973 to provide loans, grants, tax credits and other financing opportunities to encourage the construction, repair and preservation of affordable housing and to help ensure the housing market meets the needs of every Tennessean, regardless of income, disability or age.
– Daily News staff
SCO Opens FocalPoint Telemedicine Clinic
Southern College of Optometry has opened FocalPoint, the first facility of its kind in the United States to offer completely paperless telemedicine via a service called EyecareLive.
FocalPoint’s 8,000-square-foot clinic has four doctors and offers several technological advances for eye health along with exclusive eyewear lines. The clinic also provides clinical instruction space for the college’s students.
“FocalPoint brings to life the vision for a hybrid clinic delivering ‘Care Anywhere,’” said Dr. Moshe Mendelson, co-founder and chief medical officer of EyecareLive, in a statement. “The paperless facility allows patients to digitally check in, manage their records and follow up with doctors on the telemedicine platform.”
Along with increasing patient access, FocalPoint is one of 12 locations in the U.S. to offer customizable eyewear through Hoya’s Yuniku system, which uses 3-D scanning and 3-D printing to create eyewear that uniquely fits individual facial characteristics.
The new clinic shares space with Church Health Eye Care, allowing for integrated care to serve patients across varying demographics and socio-economic profiles, according to SCO.
“Having several health care disciplines under one roof allows Southern College of Optometry to better integrate patient care and education,” said Dr. James Venable, vice president of clinical programs at SCO. “The concept of interprofessional health care education is spreading, and SCO is at the forefront of this movement.”
– Daily News staff
Big River Crossing to Hold Half-Marathon, 5K
Big River Crossing will mark its first anniversary this fall with the Big River Crossing Half Marathon and 5K, benefiting the Peer Power Foundation.
Set for Oct. 21, the half-marathon will be the first to allow participants to cross the Arkansas-Tennessee state line via the Big River Crossing, a pedestrian bridge above the Mississippi River. Half-marathon runners also will traverse the Big River Trail’s Loop, a 7-mile, paved path through the Arkansas floodplains that is scheduled to open to the public by the end of the summer.
In addition to the half-marathon, the race day will feature a 5K through Downtown Memphis, though the 5K runners will not cross the bridge. Both races will start at Tom Lee Park, with the 5K at 8 a.m. and the half-marathon at 8:30 a.m.
The race will benefit Peer Power Foundation, a Memphis-based nonprofit that recruits and trains high-performing high school and college students to tutor and mentor their peers.
At roughly a mile long, Big River Crossing is the country’s longest active bike-pedestrian rail bridge and the longest public pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi River. Visit bigrivercrossing.com for more details about the race.
– Don Wade
UrbanArt Commission to See Tighter City Guidelines
Memphis City Council chairman Berlin Boyd put his move to abolish the UrbanArt Commission on hold Tuesday, July 25, in favor of tighter oversight of the UAC’s public art program, which totals 1 percent of city expenditures on capital projects.
Boyd held up the city’s annual funding of the commission and talked of moving the public art program to the city’s Parks and Neighborhoods Division instead. But Parks and Neighborhoods Director Maria Munoz Blanco outlined two plans: The city could transfer the program to her department, or it could implement tighter controls and more accountability measures, including the use of more local artists.
Boyd said he was willing to see how the city oversight of UAC developed and worked. Councilman Worth Morgan said he would move to restore $650,000 in city funding to the commission once the new rules are in place.
In other matters Tuesday, council members approved plans for a used car lot at 2514 Mount Moriah Road, the site of the old Platinum Plus strip club. The council also delayed to the first meeting in August a vote on a convenience store with gas pumps on South Parkway at Interstate 240. And it set an Aug. 8 public hearing and vote on the KNM Development Group LLC hotel proposed for 404 Beale St.
Council members also approved $565,000 in capital funding for the city’s build-out of its space in the Universal Life Insurance Building, located at Danny Thomas Boulevard and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. The renovated building with Egyptian-style architectural flourishes is to be a location of the city’s minority business development offices.
And the council approved on third and final reading an ordinance that reduces the fee for having a boot removed from cars illegally parked on private lots from $125 to $50. It also sets a time limit on boot companies to come and remove the boot once a car owner finds the device on his or her vehicle.
– Bill Dries
L’École Culinaire-Memphis Taps New Campus Director
L’École Culinaire-Memphis, which offers training in culinary skills, has chosen Ken Hause to be its new campus director.
Hause brings more than 13 years of experience in higher education leadership, with more than a decade in culinary education as president of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Las Vegas, and as campus director for the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado.
In a statement about his appointment, Hause said many of L’Ecole’s students have gone on to achieve acclaim in regional and national restaurant properties, and added, “I am passionate about continuing to provide our students with a world-class culinary education.”
– Andy Meek
Tigers’ Men’s Tennis Earns Academic Honor
The University of Memphis men’s tennis team has earned its 13th Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic Team honor for having a team GPA of 3.2 or higher. Memphis also had four players honored as ITA Scholar-Athletes for posting a GPA of 3.5 or higher during the past academic year.
This is a second ITA Scholar-Athlete honor for Shakeel Manji, Chris Patzanovsky and Felix Rauch and is the first academic honor from the ITA for rising senior Andrew Watson.
Manji is a rising senior at Memphis who teamed with Turner Voges for a doubles title at the Louisville Fall Invitational last year and was last named an ITA Scholar-Athlete in 2015 as a freshman.
Patzanovsky and Felix are both rising juniors at Memphis. Patzanovsky presented at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research hosted by the University of Memphis last spring. His project was titled “Conceptual Improvement in Understanding Physics: Integrating Computer Simulation Package PhET.” The physics major also was named an ITA Scholar-Athlete as a freshman.
Rauch played six singles and three doubles for a majority of a spring season that saw Memphis go 15-9 and qualify for the NCAA tournament for a fifth time in six seasons. Like Patzanovsky, Rauch was an ITA Scholar-Athlete as a freshman.
Watson, who played one doubles and two singles for Memphis for a majority of the season, finishing the year ranked 104 in the country in singles and 68 in the country in doubles with teammate Kai Lemke. Watson was 19-9 in singles as a junior and was 9-9 at one doubles with Lemke, including seven matches against nationally ranked opponents.
– Don Wade