VOL. 132 | NO. 54 | Thursday, March 16, 2017
Local Violent Crime Rate Falls, Property Crime Spikes
The violent crime rate in Memphis and across Shelby County continues to decrease, according to the latest year-to-date figures from the Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission. However, major property crimes, both in the city and countywide, increased by double digits over the same period.
The monthly report, which is based on preliminary data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Incident Based Reporting System, shows the major violent crime rate for January and February combined dipped 2.8 percent in Memphis compared to the first two months of 2016. Countywide, violent crime dropped 2.9 percent from a year ago.
Major violent crimes include murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults, and the crime rate tracks the number of incidents per 100,000 residents.
Meanwhile, the crime commission’s year-to-date figures show major property crimes rose 14.6 percent in Memphis and 12.7 percent in all of Shelby County compared to a year ago. The major property crimes category includes burglaries, vehicle thefts and other felony thefts.
The spike’s major feature was a year-over-year spike in auto thefts – up 59 percent in Shelby County and 56 percent in Memphis for the year-to-date period.
Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said leaving vehicles running while unattended contributed to the spike.
“It is not only illegal by city ordinance, but also leaves you vulnerable to being a property crime vicitm,” Rallings said in a written statement.
The city’s murder rate dropped 33 percent from a year ago and the countywide murder rate dropped by the same percentage.
“The drop in major violent crime is encouraging,” said Bill Gibbons, president of the Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission and executive director of the Public Safety Institute at the University of Memphis. “This is an area where we all agree steady progress is essential.”
– Bill Dries
Grizzlies’ Davis Headed Back to D-League
The Memphis Grizzlies assigned center Deyonta Davis to the Iowa Energy, the Grizzlies’ NBA Development League affiliate, on Wednesday, March 15.
Davis has appeared in six games (five starts) for the Energy this season and averaged 10 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.17 blocks in 23.7 minutes.
The 20-year-old has come off the bench in all 29 of his appearances for the Grizzlies during his rookie season and averaged 1.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 6.6 minutes.
A native of Muskegon, Michigan, Davis was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the second round (31st overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft following his freshman season at Michigan State University. His rights were then traded to the Grizzlies on draft night along with the rights to Rade Zagorac (35th) for a future first round draft pick.
– Don Wade
The Seam Expanding, Moving Headquarters
The Seam, a commodities trading and agribusiness software provider, is expanding its Memphis-area operations and moving to Southwind, the company announced Wednesday, March 15.
The company plans to open its new headquarters, located at 3400 Players Club Parkway in Southwind Office Plaza, with a ribbon cutting and open house on April 5.
The transition follows The Seam’s announcement in January that it is working with IBM and cotton industry leaders to create a blockchain-based ecosystem for global trading and field-to-fabric supply chain innovations.
“Our company continues to evolve, as technology increasingly becomes a vital part of our business strategy, and we’re excited to make this move to a modern campus,” said The Seam chairman and CEO Mark Pryor in a written statement. “To truly be successful in software, you have to understand the business problem through close collaboration. The new facility has breakout rooms and a training/classroom space that will allow us to host customers and industry partners here in Memphis on a regular basis.”
The Seam was founded by leading global agribusiness companies and specializes in commodity trading and management systems.
In December 2000, it began operating the world’s first completely online, anonymous exchange for cotton trading.
Since then, The Seam has leveraged its software and application development expertise to expand into other commodity segments, including peanuts and grains, and has cleared or processed more than $8 billion through its platforms, according to the company.
– Daily News staff
Tigers’ Alexander Makes AAC Weekly Honor Roll
University of Memphis pitcher Connor Alexander (Tipton-Rosemark Academy) has been named to the American Athletic Conference Weekly Honor Roll for the second time this season.
Alexander was dominant for 7 1/3 innings against Southern Illinois last weekend, allowing just one unearned run on four hits.
The junior right-hander had faced the minimum through six innings before getting into a little trouble in the seventh. Alexander would have been out of the jam if not for a two-out error that allowed a run to score.
Over his last three starts, Alexander has allowed just four earned runs in 19 2/3 innings pitched. He has struck out 18 and walked just three.
– Don Wade
Grizzlies Make Deal With Comcast Business
The Memphis Grizzlies have signed an agreement with Comcast Business that will bring a three-gigabit fiber connection to FedExForum.
Comcast Business will furnish the infrastructure to support “a host of emerging technology applications that add to the experience of attending games and events at the arena, including complimentary Wi-Fi access,” according to the cable provider, which also will supply internet and cloud-based communications services for the team’s front office.
John Walker, the Grizzlies’ executive vice president of business operations, said the agreement will allow fans to enjoy games in more innovative ways.
“This positions FedExForum as a technologically advanced arena and will dramatically improve the overall fan experience,” Walker said in a release.
In 2016, Comcast Business completed a multimillion-dollar network investment across greater Memphis, capable of delivering up to 10-gigabit speeds to local businesses.
In recent years, the company has signed deals to provide networking and communications services at several major sporting teams’ venues, including the Atlanta Braves, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers.
– Daily News staff