VOL. 10 | NO. 25 | Saturday, June 17, 2017
Memphis Charter Schools Get $5M in State Grants
Ten Memphis charter schools are getting a $5 million block of grants from the Tennessee Department of Education.
Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the grants Thursday, June 15, from a pool of $19 million in federal funding the state was awarded last fall specifically to expand the number and availability of charter schools to students.
The money is financial assistance for planning, program design and the roll out of new schools.
“These grants will allow more families the opportunity to have high-quality educational choice for their children,” McQueen said in a written statement.
These schools are new ventures by existing charter school operators in the city or new charter operators to the city.
The schools awarded the grants are:
• Artesian-Southwest Early College High School (9–12)
• Gateway University (9–12)
• Legacy Leadership Academy (6–9)
• Memphis School of Excellence Elementary (K–5)
• Kaleidoscope School of Memphis (6–8)
• Promise Academy (K–5)
• Memphis Delta Preparatory Charter School (K–5)
• Memphis STEM Academy (6–8)
• Memphis Business Academy Hickory Hill Elementary School (K–5)
• Memphis Business Academy Hickory Hill Middle School (6–8)
– Bill Dries
Alexander Seeks to Extend ACA Cost-Sharing Payments
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee called Thursday, June 15, for the White House to extend temporary cost-sharing payments under the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act “at least through 2018 – and probably should go ahead and do it through 2019.”
“These payments help to avoid the real possibility that millions of Americans will literally have zero options for insurance in the individual market in 2018,” Alexander said in a written statement. “Republicans will need to temporarily support some things we would not normally support over the longer term – and I would hope Democrats would do that as well.”
The call by Alexander was also made last week by House Ways and Means committee chairman Kevin Brady. Alexander said the action by President Donald Trump could come through legislation, administrative action or a combination of the two.
The Senate is drafting its own version of the American Health Care Act, a Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act.
– Bill Dries
ArchInc Rebrands, Becomes Woman-Owned Biz
Architecture, Incorporated has rebranded as ArchInc – one of several changes that also includes the 23-year-old becoming a woman-owned small business.
Valentina Cochran, who has been with ArchInc for 13 years, is now the president and majority shareholder for the firm, which opens it up for opportunities to compete for minority business contracts.
In addition, Charles “Chooch” Pickard has joined the organization as a new partner. Pickard, who has two decades of experience in preservation efforts, was an intern at ArchInc for two summers 22 years ago.
Pickard joins founding partners Joey Hagan and David Schuermann, along with Cochran, at the firm.
– Bill Dries
Dixon Hosting Art Camp For Two Weeks in June
The Dixon Gallery and Gardens is offering a free summer art camp for first- through eighth-grade students who attend Shelby County Schools in neighborhoods near the Dixon.
The camp’s main goal is connecting neighborhood families, students and schools with the local museum through art. For the third year in a row, the camp will take place in facilities of the University of Memphis.
The 2017 Dixon Art Camp will have two sessions during the weeks of June 19-23 and June 26-30. More than 100 students are registered for camp this year.
First- through third-graders will learn about painting; fourth- and fifth-graders will delve into sculpture; and sixth through eighth-graders will tackle printmaking.
Thanks to community partnerships, field trips, supplies and much of the transportation for the camp are free.
Museum and art educators, local artists and a team of Overton High School art students will manage the activities and camp schedule.
An art show for all camp attendees and their families will be held Friday, June 30, at 2 p.m. in the University of Memphis Art Department building.
– Daily News staff
Kresge Foundation Awards $1.3 Million in Grants
The Kresge Foundation has announced that 10 local organizations will receive a total of $1.3 million in grant support to boost opportunity for Memphis residents.
The grants range in size from $25,000 to $150,000 per year and are expected to provide support over 12-24 months.
Kresge prioritized organizations working in the areas of community development, creative place-making, health or human services that focus on equitable outcomes for Memphis residents with low incomes; show evidence of local community support and collaboration with partners; and are multidisciplinary in approach.
The grant awardees and funding targets include:
• BLDG Memphis (formerly the Community Development Council of Greater Memphis) – For stabilizing and reinvigorating neighborhoods across the city of Memphis by identifying areas for strategic blight interventions with the aim of transforming these spaces into community assets.
• Historic Broad Avenue Arts Association – For developing a strategic action plan to leverage opportunities for inclusive development in the Binghampton neighborhood.
• AARP Foundation – For implementing a food prescriptions program in which Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients at community health centers and hospitals will receive incentive vouchers for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables in partnership with Kroger grocery stores, farmers’ markets and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Insecurity Nutrition Initiative.
• Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. – For launching intensive analysis, policy reform and practical training to address the widespread problem of unhealthy housing conditions in Memphis.
• United Way of the Mid-South – To support “Driving the Dream,” an effort to network human-serving organizations so their collective efforts are person-centered and provide comprehensive support.
• Klondike Smokey City CDC – For piloting a youth apprenticeship and artisan development program that will address youth unemployment and blight using arts, culture and design approaches.
• Knowledge Quest – To develop an operating strategy, architectural master plan and greenhouse for the Green Leaf Learning Farm, an urban micro-farm, to increase opportunities for families and children through sustainable agriculture.
• The Works Inc. CDC – For revitalizing commercial corridors in South Memphis.
• Leadership Memphis – To establish Plant the Parkways, to build and enhance public space in the core city through neighborhood and communitywide volunteer support.
• Memphis Library Foundation – To restore the Cornelia Crenshaw and Randolph branch library facades and public spaces in neighborhoods through a community-engaged design approach.
Since 2013, Kresge has made investments in Memphis totaling more than $2.5 million.
– Daily News staff
Gov. Bill Haslam Requests Federal Disaster Assistance
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam sent a request for federal disaster assistance to President Donald Trump Wednesday, June 14, to help Shelby County and 11 other Tennessee counties affected by strong storms May 27 and 28.
“I believe we have demonstrated to federal officials the need for assistance exists and if granted will lessen some of the financial burden on local governments and utilities that have stretched their resources in storm response and recovery efforts,” Haslam said in a statement.
Haslam is specifically asking Trump for individual assistance in Shelby County that would allow homeowners and business owners to request federal assistance once they have demonstrated eligibility.
Numerous local homes and businesses were damaged by trees that lost large limbs or were uprooted by straight-line winds during the storm.
– Bill Dries
Castle & Cooke Mortgage Opens Cordova Office
Castle & Cooke Mortgage, one of the leading independent mortgage lenders in the U.S., has opened a Memphis-area branch in Cordova.
Castle & Cooke Mortgage regional manager Glenn Hodge said it marks a step in building market share in Tennessee. The Cordova branch is led by 24-year mortgage industry veteran John Brawner. The branch is located at 46 Timber Creek Drive.
– Andy Meek
Renasant Bank to Build Midtown Branch
The parent companies of Renasant Bank and Metropolitan Bank, which are in the process of merging, have announced plans to build a new Midtown Memphis bank branch at 2046 Union Ave.
It’s expected to open during the fourth quarter, after the two banks complete their merger on July 1. It originally was going to be a Metropolitan branch location but will now carry the Renasant banner.
The branch will offer consumer and business banking, private banking and mortgage origination, among other services.
– Andy Meek
‘Moonlighting’ Music Event To Benefit St. Jude
The Tin Roof on Beale is hosting a multi-band show next month to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The “Moonlighting for the Cure” show is July 15 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 315 Beale St. Each act on the bill – such as The Mighty Electric St. Jude Band and Accidental Field Trip, among others – features a St. Jude employee who “moonlights” as a musician.
Admission is by donation only, and all proceeds benefit St. Jude
– Andy Meek
Agency Earns $15K Grant For Senior Pet Owners
Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services has received a $15,000 grant to help offset surgery costs for spay and neuter surgeries for senior citizen pet owners. The grant is from the H.W. Durham Foundation, which has supported MSNS since 2010.
With 5,235 surgeries performed in 2016, MSNS will use the funds to increase those numbers this year by expanding efforts within the senior citizen populations of Memphis. This grant allows MSNS to lower the spay/neuter cost to $20 per pet for owners who are 60 or older. Pet owners must show proof of age to qualify.
“With last year’s grant, we were able to offer discounted spay and neuter surgeries to 229 dogs and cats in our clinic,” Brittany Pace, executive director of MSNS, said in a release. “This fund allows MSNS to help senior citizens in our community become more responsible pet owners while staying within their budget.”
Pace, who praised the generosity of the foundation, said appointments are required and can be made by calling 901-324-3202. The clinic, located at 854 Goodman St., operates Tuesday through Friday.
– Daily News staff
Methodist South Completes ER Renovation, Expansion
Methodist South Hospital at 1300 Wesley Drive has completed its roughly $7.8 million emergency room renovation and expansion.
Renovations include larger patient rooms that allow more sunlight in, specialized rooms for infectious diseases and the study and treatment of obesity as well as additional rooms for patients to wait for results to help improve patient flow through the emergency room.
The renovation adds almost 13,000 square feet to the emergency room area. There’s also an expanded waiting area for patients and families, as well as artwork reflecting Memphis’ heritage.
– Andy Meek
Artist, Foundry Chosen For Johnny Cash Statue
A planned statue of Johnny Cash in the Cooper-Young Historic District has taken another step forward with the selection of an artist and foundry to create the monument.
Legacy Memphis Inc., the nonprofit that has been planning and raising funds for the Cash statue, has a contractual agreement with artist Mike McCarthy and the Lugar Bronze Foundry.
McCarthy has been a Cooper-Young resident for 18 years. While better known for his films and graphic novel work, McCarthy studied under sculptor John McIntyre at the Memphis Art Academy (now the Memphis College of Art), according to Legacy Memphis.
Larry and Andrea Lugar established their bronze foundry in 1991 in Eads, Tennessee, and have created many Memphis statues, such as Elvis on Beale Street and both Little Milton and Bobby Blue Bland on South Main Street. Lugar will be casting the bronze sculpture.
Cooper-Young was chosen because it’s where Johnny Cash, guitarist Luther Perkins, and bassist Marshall Grant first performed in December 1954 at the former Galloway United Methodist Church.
Legacy Memphis, which is dedicated to erecting statues and monuments to Memphis’ musical and cultural icons is working with the Cooper-Young Community Association, the Cooper-Young Business Association and the fundraising platform ioby.org toward their first neighborhood statue project. Phase 1 fundraising is now complete, and Phase 2 funds are now being sought for site preparation and landscaping.
– Daily News staff
Commission OKs Funding For Old Forensic Center
Shelby County Commissioners approved a $4 million contract with Jaycon Development Corp. Monday, June 12, for the renovation of 1060 Madison Ave., which served as the county forensic center until 2012 and is slated to become the new location of the Rape Crisis Center and the Crime Victims Center.
The commission approved a $2.3 million contract with Damon-Marcus Co. for an HVAC retrofit and a replacement at Agricenter International.
And there is another $2 million for construction of the West Tennessee Veterans Home Project, a $30.1 million project with federal funding paying 65 percent of the cost, and the state another 35 percent. The $2 million in county capital funding approved Monday is part of $10.5 million local match, with the rest coming from private donors and corporations.
A $344,000 contract with Castle Black Inc. approved Monday is for design and construction of a new 21,000-square-foot office and storage building at the new county cemetery on Raleigh-Millington Road. The 43-acre cemetery and the accompanying building should go into use in the spring of 2018 as the existing county cemetery on Ellis Road reaches capacity, said public works director Tom Needham.
And the commission approved up to $540,000 for post-booking jail diversion services for the mentally ill through Alliance Healthcare Services Inc. as part of the Jericho Project. Jericho coordinates supervised community release options in Shelby County Criminal Court.
– Bill Dries
GTx Reports Positive Data From Phase 2 Drug Trial
GTx Inc. is reporting positive results from the first group of patients in its ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of enobosarm in postmenopausal women with stress urinary incontinence, or SUI.
The Memphis-based biopharmaceutical company released preliminary data Monday, June 12, that showed each of the first seven women treated with enobosarm showed a clinically significant reduction in incontinence episodes per day. In addition, the results were sustained beyond the 12-week treatment period, with patients showing a continued reduction in incontinence episodes for up to five months.
The ongoing trial is testing 3 mg of enobosarm in postmenopausal women who have demonstrated SUI symptoms for more than six months, with 3 to 15 reported episodes per day and a positive bladder stress test.
“What caught our attention was the fact that the first seven patients dosed in this study saw impressive positive results. We subsequently added two additional clinical trial sites, and we look forward to presenting data from additional patients from this study at the ICS (International Continence Society) meeting in September,” said GTx executive chairman Robert J. Wills. “We believe SUI represents a near-term commercial opportunity in a potentially large population of women whose treatment options are currently limited to non-pharmacologic or invasive treatments.”
An abstract titled “Kegels In A Bottle,” summarizing clinical data from the first seven patients completing 12 weeks of treatment, is available on the ICS website.
– Daily News staff
WMC to Air Tigers’ Sept. 23 Game vs. Southern Illinois
The University of Memphis non-conference football game on September 23 against Southern Illinois has been picked up by Raycom and will air on WMC in Memphis at 7 p.m.
This is the eighth game of the 12-game regular season that has been picked up for television. The game will also stream on ESPN3 for fans outside of the Memphis viewing area and will be carried on KFVS-CVS in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Memphis will have seven other televised games, including home games against Louisiana-Monroe (Aug. 31), UCLA (Sept. 16) and Tulane (Oct. 27), and away games vs. UCF (Sept. 9), UConn (Oct. 6), Houston (Oct. 19) and Tulsa (Nov. 3).
Season tickets are on sale now; visit gotigersgo.com/footballtickets for details.
– Don Wade
Cohen Wants Investigation Of Eric Trump Foundation
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis called Monday, June 12, for a U.S. Justice Department investigation of fundraising by the Eric Trump Foundation for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The request follows a report in Forbes magazine this month that the foundation formerly headed by President Donald Trump’s second son paid the president’s private business for use of a golf course that was the setting for charitable events the foundation held to raise money for St. Jude. Eric Trump stepped down from the foundation in December, saying it was a voluntary decision during his father’s presidency to avoid the appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest.
The foundation has since been restructured and renamed, and is under new leadership.
“The report suggests that donors may have been misled, the event may have been used as a pass through to convert charitable donations to the Donald J. Trump Foundation into revenue for Donald Trump’s private businesses,” Cohen wrote in the letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “The event may have been used as a vehicle to profit Donald Trump’s private businesses. I urge you to investigate to determine whether federal laws have been violated.”
Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced last week his office will investigate the allegations in the Forbes report.
– Bill Dries
DCA Wins National ADDY For Loflin Yard Campaign
Local creative communications consulting firm DCA has won a national ADDY award from the American Advertising Federation for its work on Loflin Yard’s integrated marketing campaign.
The American Advertising Awards is the advertising industry’s largest competition, attracting more than 40,000 entries each year.
DCA created the brand identity in April 2016 for Loflin Yard, a one-acre assortment of features including the 6,000 square-foot Coach House barn; the Safe House, which offers food, a wine wall and barrel-aged cocktails; and an undeveloped green space cut through by the Gayoso Bayou.
– Andy Meek
Former U of M Golfer Qualifies for Women’s Open
Former University of Memphis women’s golfer and current LPGA tour member Marissa Steen carded a 2-under 142 at a sectional qualifier at Woodlands Country Club in Texas to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, to be held July 13-16 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
This is the second time Steen has qualified for the US Women’s Open, also qualifying in 2014.
Steen shot a 154 over two rounds and missed the cut in that first Open appearance, played at Pinehurst Resort Course No. 2 in North Carolina. Steen had nine top 10 finishes on the Symetra Tour last year and earned her way back to the LPGA Tour for a second time in 2017.
Through June 8, she was ranked 132 on the Race to the CME Globe standings and had made the cut in five of 10 events on the season, including a tie for 30th at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
The lone Memphis graduate to play on the LPGA Tour, Steen is one of 25 qualifiers from sectionals to qualify for the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open.
– Don Wade
Memphis Basketball to Play Wichita in AAC Schedule
The American Athletic Conference has announced the home conference schedule for the Memphis Tigers in 2017-2018 will bring nine schools to FedExForum, including newest AAC member Wichita State.
“As the American Athletic Conference grows in stature across the country, I am excited about the opponents that will be coming to FedExForum this season,” U of M athletic director Tom Bowen said in a statement. “Our loyal season ticket holders and fans will have a chance to see national brands and rivaly match-ups.”
In addition to renewing the long-standing rivalry with Wichita State, the Tigers home conference schedule will also feature Houston, UConn, Cincinnati, UCF, East Carolina, Tulsa, Tulane and USF.
Each team will play seven of its 11 opponents twice, and its four remaining opponents once each. Houston and Wichita State are the two home-only opponents for Memphis, while SMU and Temple are the two road-only opponents.
– Don Wade
Carnival Memphis Gives $300K to Children Charities
Carnival Memphis recently presented a $300,000 donation to its children’s charities, which this year includes Church Health, The Erika Center at Bodine School and Knowledge Quest.
Carnival started the Children’s Charity Initiative in 1999 and now has raised and donated more than $2.5 million with matching funds for local organizations that help children in our community.
This year’s donation more than doubled last year’s record $126,000.
– Don Wade
ZeroTo510 Again Named Among Top Accelerators
Memphis’ ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator program has, for the third consecutive year, has been given a Silver ranking by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project, a designation that sets ZeroTo510 as one of the top 25 accelerators in the country.
According to the project, the rankings are meant to “encourage a larger conversation” about such programs. They’re also meant to offer guidance for entrepreneurs who are considering going through an accelerator and “who are wondering how they differ on performance across various categories.”
Dr. Steve Bares, executive director of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, called the designation a prestigious recognition for ZeroTo510, one that “reinforces that over its first five years, ZeroTo510 has built up an expertise and a national reputation in the commercialization of medical technologies including accelerating 24 companies and mobilizing over $12 million of seed investment.”
– Andy Meek
Community Foundation Grants $162M in Fiscal 2017
The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis granted $161.6 million to nonprofits in fiscal 2017, up nearly 13 percent from $143.4 million a year ago. More than 80 percent of the grants out of the foundation stay local.
“Grants today are close to five times what they were just six years ago,” said Community Foundation president Robert Fockler in a statement. “We saw this increased activity from across our donor base, spurred by specific opportunities to invest this year in public education, the arts and parks and greenways projects.”
Other milestones from fiscal 2017 include:
• Gifts of $102.5 million received from Foundation donors
• 43 new funds totaling more than $6.8 million
• 7,039 grants to 1,886 different nonprofit organizations
• Total historical grants made to nonprofit organizations: $1.1 billion
The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is the largest grant-maker, public or private, in the region, according to Fockler. The Grantsmanship Center reports that, based on the most recent numbers available, it is the top giving foundation in the state of Tennessee.
Founded in 1969, CFGM is a collection of more than 900 charitable funds established by individuals, families and organizations. Donor-advised funds are set up by individuals, families and organizations and managed by the foundation. The donor decides how to allocate the funds.
– Don Wade
TSWA Tabs Norvell College Football's Coach of Year
University of Memphis head coach Mike Norvell has been voted the College Football Coach of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association. Norvell will be honored during the annual TSWA Hall of Fame dinner and awards banquet set for July 13 at Cumberland University.
The Tigers won eight games under Norvell in his first year, the most by a first-year coach in program history. Memphis ranked in the Top 25 in eight NCAA statistical categories and set a school single-season record with 34 touchdown passes. The Tigers ranked second in school history in total offense (6,028 yards), total TDs (63) and scoring (505).
Memphis also ranked fifth nationally in turnovers gained (29) and 17th in turnover margin while returning three kicks for touchdowns for the youngest head coach in FBS. The Tigers started the season 3-0 and won three of their last four games, including a 48-44 victory over 18th-ranked Houston, to finish the regular season.
The TSWA is comprised of writers, editors and college sports information directors across the state.
– Don Wade
Mark Norris to Co-Chair Juvenile Justice Task Force
State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville will co-chair a state Juvenile Justice Task Force along with Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell.
The goal of the 19-member Ad Hoc Tennessee Blue Ribbon Task Force is to recommend changes to the system statewide that could take the form of legislation in the 2018 session of the General Assembly.
Norris was a leader of the Juvenile Justice Realignment Task Force that recommended legislation for the 2017 session.
The group includes Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael; Dr. Altha Stewart, director of the Center for Health in Justice Involved Youth at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center; state Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown; and state Rep. Karen Camper of Memphis.
– Bill Dries