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VOL. 132 | NO. 55 | Friday, March 17, 2017

Daily Digest

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Special Election Set For May 25 in Lakeland

Voters in Lakeland go to the polls May 25 to fill a vacancy on the city’s board of commissioners.

The Shelby County Election Commission set the date for the election on Wednesday, March 15, with early voting running May 5-20.

Contenders for the commission seat vacated by Michele Dial earlier this month can begin picking up qualifying petitions, with a noon April 13 filing deadline.

The nonpartisan election is the third special election in 2017 – the special primary and general elections for state House District 95 are set for April 27 and June 15, respectively, following the February resignation of Republican state Rep. Mark Lovell.

The only regularly scheduled election in 2017 is a set of alderman races in Arlington.

– Bill Dries

Grizzlies Seek Assist(ance) In Hoops for St. Jude Campaign

The Memphis Grizzlies, led by St. Jude ambassadors Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, will campaign for Hoops for St. Jude throughout March in order to raise awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through the Grizz Assists for St. Jude campaign.

The campaign runs from March 15-31 through the PLEDGE IT platform – supporters are asked to place a dollar amount on each recorded Grizzlies team assist during games through March 31, resulting in an overall performance-based donation.

Currently, the Grizzlies are averaging more than 20 assists per game. Conley and Gasol tipped off the campaign with some friendly competition, pledging to each donate $25 per team assist recorded. Campaign supporters are asked to pledge 10 cents, 50 cents, $1, $5 or another amount and can pledge under Team Mike or Team Marc.

The total of all pledges made per assist will then be applied directly to the total amount of team assists to create one donation to St. Jude.

Fans can register their pledges at https://pledgeit.org/grizzlies. Fans who wish to pledge under Team Mike may do so at https://pledgeit.org/grizzlies/@mike-conley while Team Marc fans can pledge at https://pledgeit.org/grizzlies/@marc-gasol.

After each game, supporters will receive an email updating them on their current amount owed, with the opportunity to edit or cancel the pledge.

For those fans attending a home game during the Grizzlies Hoops for St. Jude Challenge, they can test their shooting skills outside of Section 228 on the Terrace Level of FedExForum and pay $5 to participate in two rounds of shooting. The nightly high scorer from the remaining home games in March will receive an autographed basketball from either Mike Conley or Marc Gasol.

Fans can also join the Grizzlies in supporting St. Jude by participating in auctions during all home games throughout the month, featuring items like a suite in FedExForum for the first home game in the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs; two floor seats to the first two playoff home games; autographed jerseys and more.

Fans can participate in the Grizzlies’ online auctions by registering at https://e.gesture.com/events/59t/ or by texting “Grizz17” to 52182.

The online auctions will be held during three home games: March 18 (vs. San Antonio), March 29 (vs. Indiana) and March 31 (vs. Dallas).

– Don Wade

Net Loss Widens For GTx in Fourth Quarter

GTx Inc. reported a fourth-quarter loss of $6.9 million, or 44 cents per share, more than twice the loss of $3.2 million from the same period in 2015.

For the year, the Memphis-based pharmaceutical company reported a net loss of $17.7 million, or $1.22 per share, down from an $18.7 million loss for all of 2015.

Research and development expenses for the quarter grew to $4.6 million, compared to $3.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Similarly, full-year expenses for research and development were $17.2 million, up 26 percent from $13.6 million the previous year.

General and administrative expenses rose 9 percent to $2.3 million year-over-year in the fourth quarter, and rose by 6 percent for the full year to $8.7 million.

GTx has two clinical trials working to bring enobosarm to market as a treatment for women with advanced breast cancer, and another clinical trial with enobosarm as a potential treatment for stress urinary incontinence in postmenopausal women.

One of the enobosarm cancer trials is in Stage 2 and performing well, according to a company release. The other cancer trial could move to Stage 2 in the second quarter of 2017 if the clinical data warrants continuing to enroll patients.

Top-line results for the proof-of-concept clinical trial of enobosarm for incontinence are expected in the third quarter of 2017.

– Daily News staff

Verso Corp. Reports Drop in Q4 Sales

Memphis-based Verso Paper reported a 15 percent drop in net sales for the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.

The earnings numbers reported Wednesday, March 15, include net sales of $646 million compared with $756 million a year ago.

That $646 million in revenue exceeded the estimated $638.4 million analysts were expecting.

The earnings statement is the first for CEO B. Christopher DiSantis, who became head of the company in January.

In November, the company announced it will move its headquarters from Memphis to Miamisburg, Ohio, part of an office consolidation effort as the company works to reduce its overhead expenses by 10 percent annually. The strategic plan, including the move out of Memphis, was to begin this month.

Verso filed for bankruptcy reorganization a year ago after reaching an agreement with creditors on the reorganization plan. It included a financing package of up to $600 million to allow the company to continue to operate day to day in the turnaround of the company.

“With a refreshed capital structure, strong free cash flow and potential opportunities for value creation, Verso is well positioned to compete and win in the global marketplace,” DiSantis said in a written statement. “Our aim is high and our determination unmatched as we continue to deliver the high quality products and services our customers expect, strive to further improve our safety performance, improve operating efficiency and drive out cost in every aspect of our business.”

– Bill Dries

Beale Street Music Fest One of World’s Best

The Beale Street Music Festival has been named to the 2017 List of the World’s 300 Best Festivals by Everfest.

With only 105 North American festivals on the prestigious global list, the Beale Street Music Festival is joined by such major festivals as Burning Man, Coachella, Lollapalooza and SXSW among others.

The annual listing of the Best 300 Festivals in the World covers broadly diverse events such as Glastonbury (U.K.), Oktoberfest (Germany), Rosklide Festival (Denmark), Fuji Rock Festival (Japan), Rock in Rio (Brazil), and Running of the Bulls (Spain).

“It is an honor for our Beale Street Music Festival to be rated among the best festivals and events in the world, for the second year in a row,” said Memphis in May International Festival president and CEO James L. Holt in a statement. “Our dedicated staff and volunteers work hard producing a world-class event for Memphians and global visitors every year and this is a testament to their great work.”

Everfest is an online site that is all things festivals, bringing music lovers around the world together and offering discounts and other specials through a premium service offering.

– Daily News staff

Leave Your Car Home Event Slated March 22

A group of local leaders will host an event Wednesday, March 22, to explore how Memphis can secure dedicated funding that grows and improves the city’s transportation system.

The event, part of the “How To Leave Your Car at Home” series, will be facilitated by Suzanne Carlson of Innovate Memphis, Memphis Area Transit Authority commissioner Andre Gibson, Smart City Memphis’ Tom Jones and John Paul Shaffer of the Community Development Council of Greater Memphis. They will share their thoughts on moving Memphis transit forward.

The event will be held Downtown from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Loflin Yard, 7 W. Carolina Ave.

Registration is free but required as space is limited.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Those who arrive by transit, bike, or walking will receive a complimentary drink ticket.

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 97 418 8,253
MORTGAGES 112 508 9,293
BUILDING PERMITS 194 1,059 18,126
BANKRUPTCIES 46 208 5,367