VOL. 132 | NO. 225 | Monday, November 13, 2017
Gubernatorial Candidate Bemoans Memphis Megasite Elimination
Diane Black, a Republican candidate for Tennessee governor from Gallatin, used a disappointing economic announcement from Toyota Motor Corp. Thursday to try and win some political points.
Black expressed her disappointment when Toyota-Mazda confirmed that the Memphis Regional Megasite in Brownsville, Tennessee, was eliminated as a possible location for its new $1.6 billion electric car plant.
"Some may campaign on making Tennessee a business-friendly state, but they are overlooking their failures to make Tennessee a business-ready state,” Black’s communication director, Chris Hartline, said in a release. “The state has had years to make the Memphis Regional Megasite 'shovel ready,' and has come up short once again. Losing Toyota-Mazda is a tremendous, inexcusable loss for our state. We have to take action and stop leaving West Tennessee behind."
On Thursday, Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe confirmed to The Jackson Sun that the Memphis megasite was eliminated from consideration by both Toyota-Mazda and a separate “undisclosed tenant” due to the fact that the site is not "shovel-ready."
Since purchasing the Haywood County megasite in 2009, the state of Tennessee has invested $140 million into the site that current Gov. Bill Haslam cited as his top economic development priority before leaving office next year.
– Patrick Lantrip
Junior Achievement Teachers, Supporters, Volunteers Honored
Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South held its annual meeting at its Kemmons Wilson Entrepreneurial Training Center, where it recognized local teachers, volunteers and supporters for their participation and partnership in the nonprofit's educational programs.
Guests heard from keynote speaker and Shelby County Schools chief of staff Dr. Sharon Griffin, who provided an update on the school system to attendees. Griffin also imparted the importance of community support, and answered questions from audience members.
The meeting also served as a platform for the organization's board of directors to review the year's successes and strategic plans for growth in 2018 and beyond.
JA volunteers Skip Betts and Steve French were each named Junior Achievement's Volunteer of the Year; Ravyn Jones, a guidance counselor from Kate Bond Middle School, was named Junior Achievement's Teacher of the Year; and AT&T was recognized as Junior Achievement's Company of the Year.
“We are humbled by the support area businesses and individuals provide through donations and volunteerism,” said Larry Colbert, president and CEO of Junior Achievement. “Their investment in our organization directly impacts the success of our community's next generation.”
Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South is a not-for-profit organization financed by businesses, foundations and individuals. JA’s purpose is to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise, business and economics to improve the quality of their lives. For more information on Junior Achievement, visit www.jamemphis.org or call 901-366-7800.
– Don Wade
RISE Foundation Gala Raises $125,000
The RISE Foundation's annual gala, "An Evening of Change," raised $125,000 to support the nonprofit in its mission of transforming the lives of low-income Memphians through financial literacy education.
Although the gala has been held for four consecutive years, this year’s achieved a record in donations for RISE.
The mission of RISE is to help break the cycle of poverty through programs that teach low-wage earners about saving, budgeting, building credit and much more. The nonprofit also sets young people on the path to success through financial education and a focus on academic achievement, and teaches senior citizens how to budget and avoid becoming victims of fraud and scams.
This year's gala was held this fall at the FedEx Event Center at Shelby Farms Park.
Visit www.risememphis.org for more information.
– Don Wade
FedEx’s Trees for Troops Initiative to Hit Milestone
Memphis-based FedEx Corp.’s annual Trees for Troops Initiative is poised to surpass a milestone.
Now in its 13th year, Trees for Troops, a partnership with the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation that delivers farm-grown Christmas trees to domestic and international U.S. military bases, is set to deliver its 200,000th tree this year.
“The Trees for Troops program is about more than just delivering trees – we are delivering a piece of the Christmas spirit to our U.S. military and their families,” Mike Ducker, president and CEO of FedEx Freight, said in a release. “To be able to say we’ve helped bring more than 200,000 trees to so many of our heroes is an honor, and it shows our appreciation for the sacrifice these men and women and their families have made for our country.”
Trees for Troops is part of the larger FedEx Cares Delivering for Good global giving initiative, in which FedEx plans on investing $200 million in more than 200 global communities by 2020.
– Patrick Lantrip
Sewer project prompts lanes closures
The city of Memphis Sewer Assessment and Rehabilitation Program team will begin inspecting Downtown sewer lines on Monday, Nov. 13, at 9:30 a.m.
This work will impact Downtown traffic on Front Street near Jackson Avenue. Front Street will be reduced to one lane both ways between AW Willis and Winchester Avenue (at the Memphis Cook Convention Center). This work is estimated to be completed Friday, Nov. 17, at 7 a.m. On Monday morning, Nov. 20, the crew will resume sewer inspection work in the same area on Front Street. This work is estimated to be completed on Thursday morning, Nov. 23.
Drivers who normally use this section of Front Street from AW Willis to Winchester are advised to use an alternate route. Delays should be expected.
– Bill Dries