VOL. 132 | NO. 104 | Thursday, May 25, 2017
Sessions Visiting Memphis to Discuss Crime Initiatives
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions visits Memphis Thursday, May 25, to talk with local, state and federal law enforcement officials about the Trump administration’s crime-fighting initiatives.
The Downtown speech comes the same month that Sessions announced he has directed federal prosecutors to pursue more serious charges and longer sentences to combat an increase in violent crime in major U.S. cities. Sessions specifically mentioned Memphis’ recording-breaking homicide count of 228 murders in 2016.
He also said drug crimes are behind the spike in violent crime.
– Bill Dries
Agape Launches $6 Million Fundraising Campaign
Agape Child & Family Services has launched a $6 million campaign called “Love Your Neighborhood” that aims to fund its growth through 2020.
The faith-based nonprofit agency, which is dedicated to providing children and families in Memphis with healthy homes, recently was awarded a state contract to extend its services to thousands more Memphians in under-resourced communities.
“The theme Love Your Neighborhood speaks to our desire to engage local businesses, organizations and individuals to support children and families right here in Memphis,” Agape president and CEO David Jordan said in a statement.
The funds raised will be used to provide, expand and deepen services in areas such as Frayser, Raleigh, Hickory Hill and Whitehaven over the next several years. Specific fundraising goals include:
- $3.3 million for site-based services, school-based initiatives and workforce readiness programs in under-resourced communities.
- $1 million for homeless services.
- $900,000 for facilities.
- $500,000 for volunteer recruitment and training.
- $300,000 for foster care, adoption and counseling services.
“We are hopeful that the Love Your Neighborhood campaign will help us continue our critical work in support of local families in crisis,” said Agape board member and campaign chair Hamp Holcomb. “We feel confident that the support we receive from current and new supporters will help us transform the city of Memphis the only way it can be done – one family at a time.”
– Daily News staff
Fogelman Awarded 15 New Management Contracts
Memphis-based Fogelman Management Group has recently been awarded management of 15 multifamily communities totaling more than 5,000 units in five states, the company announced Wednesday, May 24.
The new contracts include management of two Memphis properties – the 148-unit Tennessee Brewery and 300-unit Legends of Wolfchase – along with three Nashville communities totaling 1,167 units. Outside of Tennessee, the new additions include three Atlanta, Georgia, properties totaling 967 units; a 239-unit property in Charlotte, North Carolina; a 294-unit community in Charleston, South Carolina; and five Florida properties totaling 2,175 units.
With these recent additions, Fogelman is now managing more than 28,000 apartment homes, valued at more than $3 billion and located within 12 states and 24 cities across the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest regions of the country.
“As our total unit count continues to increase and is now above 28,000 units, we continue to execute our strategy of gaining market share and efficiencies in these major growth markets in the Southeast,” Fogelman Management Group CEO Mark Fogelman said in a statement. “Each of these new properties represents the expansion of long-term relationships we have had with these clients and joint venture partners, many we have worked with for the past 10 to 15 years.”
– Daily News staff
Lakeland Voters to Elect New Commissioner
Lakeland voters go to the polls Thursday, May 25, to elect a new city commissioner. Polls for four precincts at three locations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the special election to fill a vacancy on the Lakeland commission created with the March resignation of Michelle Dial.
The election features a three-person race for the commission among Maurice Denbow, Billy Rodgers and Wesley Wright.
Early voting drew 427 ballots through the May 20 deadline.
Follow the election returns @tdnpols, twitter.com/tdnpols, after the polls close at 7 p.m.
The decision in the Lakeland election is followed by Friday’s opening of the early voting period in the general election for state House District 95 in Collierville, Germantown and Eads. Election day in that special election is June 15.
– Bill Dries
Medical District Collaborative Releases First Annual Report
Last February, eight anchor institutions with stakes in the medical district launched the Memphis Medical District Collaborative with the goal of developing vibrant and walkable mixed-use neighborhoods in the area.
A little over a year later, the MMDC has released its first annual neighborhood report, which highlights the district’s evolving demographics and ongoing developments, such as Edge Alley and the recently announced plans for a second City & State location. (Read more about City & State’s plan on page 1 of today’s edition.)
The 40-page report includes detailed information on the Memphis Medical District’s 10,000 residents, 33,000 employees and 1,170 acres of real estate.
The report also contains a recap of the nonprofit organization’s efforts to reduce blight in the area.
Downtown the full report here.
– Patrick Lantrip
Target to Pay States $18.5M to Settle 2013 Data Branch
The state of Tennessee is set to receive $311,616 as part of an $18.5 million multistate settlement with Target Corp. over the retailer’s 2013 data breach.
Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia are participating in the agreement, which represents the largest ever multistate data breach settlement, according to Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, who announced the deal Wednesday, May 24.
The settlement resolves the states’ investigation, led by Connecticut and Illinois, which found that cyber attackers used credentials stolen from a third-party vendor to get into Target’s gateway system and access a customer service database in November 2013.
The cyber-attack exposed contact information for more than 60 million customers, along with payment information – including card numbers, expiration dates, verification codes and encrypted debit PINs – for 41 million customers.
An estimated 770,000 Tennesseans were impacted by the attack.
In addition to the monetary payout, the settlement agreement requires Target to take several security measures, including hiring an independent firm to conduct a security assessment, implementing a comprehensive information security program and maintaining appropriate data encryption policies, among other things.
“Customers need to know their personal information is secure when they shop,” Slatery said in a statement. “For companies, protecting their customer data should be as important to the transaction as the sale itself. The key to this settlement is taking steps to prevent future cyber-attacks.”
– Daily News staff
Memphis Professor Co-Authors Paper on Sunflower Genome
The scientific journal Nature has published a paper co-authored by Jennifer Mandel, assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Memphis.
“The Sunflower Genome Provides Insights Into Oil Metabolism, Flowering and Asterid Evolution” was published on Nature’s website Monday, May 22.
The genome will assist future research programs using genetic diversity to improve crop resilience and oil production while considering agricultural limitations and human nutritional needs.
The sunflower is a global oil crop that shows promise for climate change adaption because it can maintain stable yields across a wide variety of environmental conditions, including drought. However, assembling the sunflower genome has until recently been difficult, because it mostly consists of highly similar, related sequences.
Mandel’s lab is collaborating with the Smithsonian Institute and the University of Hawaii to sequence another member of the sunflower family, Centrapalus, an African oil seed species. The project will provide critical data for evolutionary studies and be useful for agricultural applications, according to the U of M.
Read the full article here.
– Don Wade