VOL. 10 | NO. 48 | Saturday, November 25, 2017
Tyson Announces $300M Facility in Tennessee
Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods has announced it will create more than 1,500 jobs and invest more than $300 million into a new facility in Humboldt, Tennessee, about 85 miles northeast of Memphis.
The deal marks the single largest investment in Gibson County’s history, according to state leaders.
“I want to thank Tyson Foods for choosing Humboldt as the location for its new operations and for creating 1,500 new jobs in Gibson County,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said in a release announcing the deal. “The new facility will be Tyson’s fifth location in Tennessee, and it means a great deal that a company of this magnitude continues to grow its footprint in our state.”
As one of the world’s largest food processing companies, Tyson produces chicken, beef and pork, and prepared foods under the Tyson, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee, Ball Park, Wright, Aidells and State Fair brands.
Tyson will locate its new tray pack facility on the Select Tennessee Certified Gibson County Industrial Park North site, which will include a hatchery, processing facility and feed mill.
The industrial park has been seeking a tenant for about 20 years, Gibson County mayor Tom Witherspoon said. Tyson’s facility is scheduled to be open by 2019.
“We’re grateful for the invitation to become part of Humboldt and Gibson County,” said Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry for Tyson Foods. “The location is attractive to us because of the strong support we’ve received from state and local leaders, the existing industrial park and availability of labor, as well as access to feed grains produced in the region.”
Tyson employs approximately 5,000 workers in Tennessee. The announcement marks the second major economic development project Tyson has begun in the state this year. In August, the company announced an $84 million expansion of operations in Union City. That project is expected to create about 300 jobs.
– Patrick Lantrip/The Associated Press
Destination XL Commits $12 Million to St. Jude
Men’s apparel retailer Destination XL Group, Inc. has made a $12 million commitment over the next 10 years to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The commitment will include having the name “DXL Men’s Apparel” attached to the Light Microscopy Center at the hospital. The center is a shared resource that gives all St. Jude scientists equal access to the most cutting-edge tools available.
This is the 13th year the DXL Group has supported St. Jude through fundraising for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer. It's also supporting the 2017 St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign. To date, the DXL Group has raised almost $9 million for St. Jude.
– Andy Meek
Madison Hotel Temporarily Closing Hospitality Services
The Madison Hotel, an upscale, high-rise hotel in Downtown Memphis, has informed state officials that it will be temporarily shutting down its food and catering services, which will affect 33 workers.
The hotel’s owner, Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group, plans to shut down eighty3 and the Twilight Sky Terrace on Jan. 15 while the hotel renovates and rebrands its food services, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN notice, filed with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The notice did not say if the affected workers would be permanently displaced or rehired when the renovations are completed sometime “early next year.”
Multiple calls to Aparium were not returned by press time.
Originally built in 1905, the nearly 80,000-square-foot hotel located at 79 Madison Ave. was acquired by Aparium in July 2016 in a quitclaim deed from Wilmont Hotel LP.
No purchase price was listed on the deed, but Aparium filed a $16 million loan through PFP Holding Co. IV LLC in conjunction with the transaction.
The Shelby County Assessor appraised the hotel at $14.7 million this year.
Founded in 2011, Aparium bills itself as a sophisticated hotel chain that combines “the business acumen of large hospitality companies with the charm of boutique hotels, bringing the disparate forces together in bustling, smaller markets,” according to the company’s website.
– Patrick Lantrip
Animal Health Company To Open Southaven Facility
An animal health care company has announced a new DeSoto County distribution center, carrying a $1.7 million investment and the creation of 27 jobs.
Henry Schein Animal Health announced in a news release this week that it will begin operations in a 50,000-square-foot facility in Southaven in December.
Henry Schein Animal Health offers products and solutions to more than 29,000 veterinary professionals. Gov. Phil Bryant said northern Mississippi’s transportation network and location is advantageous to companies with distribution needs.
Henry Schein Animal Health’s North America president, Fran Dirksmeier, says the new distribution center is the result of extensive planning and collaboration with the Mississippi Development Authority.
The development authority is providing assistance through the Jobs Tax Credit program, and DeSoto County is providing ad valorem and Free Port Warehouse tax exemptions.
– The Associated Press
Overton Students Visit D.C., Hold Vigil for DREAM Act
Two Overton High School students were part of a mass demonstration this week in Washington, D.C., to bring attention to the DREAM Act in hopes that U.S. congressmen will take notice.
Eddy Gonzalez and Silvia Vazquez, Family Career and Community Leaders of America students at Overton High, were part of a candlelight vigil Tuesday night, Nov. 21, upon their return. They worked collaboratively with the Memphis Youth Association and Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition to organize the candlelight vigil behind City Hall.
Their efforts are designed to bring attention to the DREAM Act – Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors – and impact the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which was terminated by the Trump administration earlier this year and leaves the future of immigrant families and 800,000 DACA recipients in limbo unless Congress acts and passes a new DREAM Act before the end of the year.
As one of the people directly affected by these changes, Silvia Vazquez shared her story with many, including legislative aides.
“DACA wasn’t the solution we needed, but it was a help,” Vazquez said in a press release. “Now that it has ended, the place I’ve lived in since the age of 1 and I know as home, is trying to remove me as well as 800,000 other DACA recipients and many more immigrants, such as my parents. The clean DREAM Act is the solution that could give people like me a pathway to citizenship and help us accomplish our dreams.”
– Daily News staff
Lenox Park Offices Sell for $5.3 Million
Lenox Park A and Lenox Park B, a pair of Southeast Memphis office buildings topping 100,000 square feet each, have sold for a combined $5.3 million, according to a Friday, Nov. 17, deed filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds.
Bethesda, Maryland-based CWCapital Asset Management, doing business as 6625 Lenox Park Boulevard Holdings LLC, sold the four-story offices at 6625 Lenox Park Blvd. and 3175 Lenox Park Blvd. to a buyer working as two limited liability companies: Lenox Park A LLC and Lenox Park B LLC.
The two Class A properties are part of the Lenox Park office complex, located near the Kirby Parkway exit of Tenn. 385.
The 6625 Lenox Park building was built in 1997 and sits on 6.7 acres. It was last appraised for $4.5 million by the Shelby County Register in 2017. And 3175 Lenox Park sits on $7.8 acres and was built in 1996. It was last appraised for $6.7 million.
CWCapital bought the buildings for $6.1 million in 2014 following a foreclosure.
– Patrick Lantrip
Tigers Defeat UNO 63-52, Rivers Scores 18 Points
Forward Jimario Rivers scored a career-high 18 points and the University of Memphis led wire-to-wire in a 63-52 win over New Orleans Tuesday at FedExForum.
The Tigers are 2-1 and next play Northern Kentucky at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, at FedExForum.
Rivers finished a career-best 8-of-11 shooting, with seven rebounds and three assists. His previous career high was 16 points against UConn last season.
Rivers started the game with a dunk. The Tigers and Privateers were tied twice in the opening minutes but Memphis never trailed. Memphis led by as many as 17 points in the second half.
The Tigers turned the ball over just four times in the first half and held New Orleans to just 16 points. The last time Memphis held a team to a first-half total that low was against Western Illinois in the 2014-15 season.
Jeremiah Martin finished with 15 points and was a perfect 8-of-8 on free throws. Kyvon Davenport scored in double figures for his third straight game, with 10 points.
Malik Rhodes had a team-high four assists, along with six points.
– Don Wade
Beale Street Music Fest Tickets on Sale Friday
Though the 2018 Beale Street Music Festival lineup hasn’t been announced yet, fans of the annual event can start getting in festival mode on Black Friday.
Tickets for next year’s festival, which runs May 4-6, go on sale Friday, Nov. 24, at ticketfly.com. Because the lineup won’t be released until February, BSMF organizers are offering a deep discount to buy during the pre-sale, with a limited number of three-day passes available for $105. Once those sell out, a second group of passes will be made available for $115. With the cost of a three-day pass eventually hitting $165, fans are encouraged to buy tickets now.
“The Beale Street Music Festival is known for the wide variety of top talent who come to play, and it’s known for having some of the lowest prices in the country on three-day passes, which makes an affordable and unforgettable experience for our ticket buyers,” James L. Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May, said in a release.
VIP passes are also available, offering exclusive seating on raised, covered platforms close to each stage; VIP-only bars for beer and wine; and access to air-conditioned “comfort station” restrooms. Three-day VIP passes are $595 and are also available at ticketfly.com.
– Daily News staff
Trio of Tigers Honored For Recent Play
Senior University of Memphis quarterback Riley Ferguson was one of eight quarterbacks named a Manning Award Star of the Week and senior wide receiver Anthony Miller accepted his invitation to the Senior Bowl. The 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl will be played Jan. 27 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
Ferguson and sophomore Darrell Henderson were also named to the American Athletic Conference weekly honor roll for their accomplishments in a West Division-clinching win against SMU Saturday, Nov. 18.
This is Ferguson’s second week as a Manning Award Star of the Week this season. He rushed for a career-high three touchdowns and added two passing touchdowns against SMU. Ferguson was 21-for-27 for 320 yards, his fifth 300-plus yard passing game this season.
Henderson finished with a career-best 278 all-purpose yards in the win over SMU, rushing 10 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns.
As teams have decided to kick away from sophomore kick returner Tony Pollard, Henderson fielded a career-high four kickoff returns against SMU, finishing with 116 return yards, including a 64-yard return. He also caught one pass for 15 yards. He needs just 77 yards to pass the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time in his Memphis career.
Miller, a Christian Brothers graduate and Burlsworth Trophy finalist, will leave Memphis with single-game, single-season and career records in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Miller is also the only Tiger receiver in school history to have multiple 1,000-yard receiving seasons and enters the Tigers’ regular season finale against East Carolina Saturday, Nov. 25, with 1,068 yards this season on 75 catches with 13 touchdowns; his 13 receiving touchdowns rank second in the country.
– Don Wade
Tickets for ‘Wicked’ Go On Sale Next Month
Tickets for the hit Broadway show “Wicked,” which returns to the Orpheum March 7-25, will go on sale next month.
The musical is based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire. Tickets will be available starting Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. for purchase at orpheum-memphis.com, the Orpheum box office and through Ticketmaster.
The Orpheum’s 2017-2018 Broadway season is sponsored by Memphis Area Honda Dealers and SunTrust Bank.
Orpheum Theatre Group president and CEO Brett Batterson said “Wicked” is one of the only shows to play more than 100 performances at The Orpheum.
– Andy Meek
More Tennesseans to Travel This Thanksgiving Holiday
AAA projected 1.16 million Tennesseans would travel 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.2 percent increase over last year.
That compares favorably with a national projection of 50.9 million Americans traveling this holiday, a 3.3 percent increase compared to 2016, according to AAA.
The national average would be the highest since 2014, according to AAA, even though average gasoline prices will be higher.
The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22, to Sunday, Nov. 26.
Meanwhile, 36,919 Tennesseans were forecast to take a flight, the most since 2006 and a 4 percent increase year over year, AAA reports, the largest increase among the three major transportation modes. The number of Tennesseans taking a train, bus or going on cruises is expected to hit 15,029.
The average gas price for regular unleaded fuel in Tennessee spiked 8 to 10 cents a gallon this month to an average of $2.31, which compares to an average of $1.94 per gallon on Thanksgiving 2016, $1.88 in 2015, and $2.59 in 2014.
The average U.S. price per gallon is $2.54, according to AAA, up from $2.14 on Thanksgiving Day in 2016 and $2.05 in 2015, but lower than $2.80 in 2014.
– Daily News staff
Paragon Bank Announces Third-Quarter Results
Paragon Bank recorded near-record revenue in the third quarter, increasing $128,000 over the second quarter to reach $4.7 million.
Among other results from the quarter:
• Gross loans increased $8.5 million, or 11.5 percent, on an annualized basis, to $305.8 million – the highest level in Paragon’s history.
• Net income for the quarter was about $550,000. Net income through Sept. 30 was more than 17 percent higher than on Sept. 30, 2016.
• Total deposits have increased about $9 million through the first three quarters of 2017, and total revenue increased $128,000, or 3 percent, over the second quarter.
• Paragon plans to launch a new website this year. The redesigned site will have a modern design, improved navigation and new search functionality, including a newsroom with Paragon news as well as financial information and resources.
– Andy Meek
Trinity Sports Honored By Baseball Digest
Baseball Digest has selected Trinity Sports Holdings, the majority stakeholder in the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds and the short-season Class A Williamsport (Pennsylvania) Crosscutters, as its 2017 Organization of the Year following successful seasons by both teams.
“A true honor,” Peter B. Freund, the principal owner of Trinity Sports Holdings, told Baseball Digest.
The Redbirds were successful on the field, winning the Pacific Coast League championship. Fan favorite Stubby Clapp returned as field manager and the Redbirds also enjoyed an 8 percent increase in attendance. The team rolled out the “authentic Memphis” rebrand that included new caps and uniforms, returned Rendezvous barbecue to the ballpark, and added the Miracle Gro Rooftop Garden to the third level.
Meanwhile, the Crosscutters’ BB&T Ballpark at Bowman Field played host in August to the Little League Classic, a regular-season matchup between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals, the latter being the Redbirds’ parent club. The game aired nationally on ESPN.
Major League Baseball has committed to return to Williamsport to play the 2018 Little League Classic.
“It was one of those magical years for the overall umbrella organization,” Redbirds president and general manager Craig Unger told The Daily News.
– Don Wade
Memphis Baseball Releases 2018 Schedule
The University of Memphis baseball team will open its 2018 schedule with a weekend home series at FedExPark vs. Western Kentucky on Feb. 16-18. In total, the Tigers will have 31 home games.
Memphis will play three games at AutoZone Park next season. The first will be March 27 vs. the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Tigers also will play games there vs. Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
The Tigers will travel to Sevierville, Tennessee, for the inaugural Tri-State Classic March 2-4. Memphis will face three in-state foes: Middle Tennessee State, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and East Tennessee State. The games will be played at Smokies Park, home of the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, the Tennessee Smokies.
The complete schedule is not yet available but will be soon be posted at gotigersgo.com. The American Athletic Conference Tournament again will be held in Clearwater, Florida, at the end of May.
– Don Wade
Tigers DB Hall Named To CoSIDA District Team
University of Memphis sophomore Austin Hall has been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team and will now appear on the CoSIDA Academic All-America ballot.
Hall, who is a junior in the classroom, carries a 3.45 GPA in criminal justice and is the Tigers’ leading tackler with 66 total tackles.
Named the Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week once this season and an American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week once, Hall is tied for the team lead with two fumble recoveries, while his three interceptions is second on the team. The Collierville native has played in 20 career games, including nine straight starts after missing the last two games of last season due to injury.
This is the third straight season that Memphis has had an academic all-district honoree. In 2015, Charles Harris earned academic all-district honors. Last year, Jake Elliott and Daniel Montiel were named Academic All-Americans after making the all-district team.
– Don Wade
Yellen to Step Down From Federal Reserve Board
Janet Yellen is submitting her resignation from the Federal Reserve board to President Donald Trump, announcing that she will leave the board when her successor Jerome Powell is sworn is as Fed chairman.
Yellen says that she will “do my utmost” to make sure that there is a smooth transition to Powell, who was tapped by Trump on Nov. 2 to become the next Fed leader after the president decided not to offer Yellen a second term.
Powell’s Senate confirmation hearing is scheduled for next week.
Yellen’s four-year term as Fed chair ends on Feb. 3. But she could have chosen to remain on the seven-member Fed board. Her term as a board member would not have ended until January 2024.
Yellen's decision gives Trump in his first year in office the chance to fill five positions on the Fed's seven-member board, in addition to picking Powell to be the next chairman.
– The Associated Press
EDGE Approves Master Plan for Port of Memphis
The Memphis & Shelby County Port Commission and Economic Development Growth Engine board have awarded a $327,500 contract to the Pickering Firm to develop a comprehensive master plan for the Port of Memphis.
According to the contract, the study area will include all river-fronted industries from Mississippi River mile 725 to 741 on the Tennessee side of the river, including Presidents Island and the Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Area, but excluding the downtown tourist waterfront zone between the Interstate 55 and Interstate 40 bridges.
Pickering will partner with Moffatt & Nichol, Younger & Associates, Carter Malone Group, Tioga Environmental and Geotechnology to complete the master plan.
The plan will offer recommendation for a wide array of topics, including facility expansions, property redevelopment, economic impact and target tenant identification.
– Patrick Lantrip
Survey: US Businesses Vulnerable to Disaster
Most U.S. small businesses aren’t prepared to cope with a disaster, severe weather or the absence of most of their workers. That’s the finding of a survey released last week by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife.
The survey of 1,000 owners or operators of small companies found that nearly two-thirds have no plans in place to deal with a natural disaster or severe weather that could disrupt their businesses. Only half have plans to prevent theft or thwart intruders and 47 percent have a plan to fight a hacking or other internet invasion.
Nearly a quarter of the businesses have no plans in place to deal with any of these possibilities.
The survey was conducted between Sept. 18 and Oct. 16, after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit the Gulf Coast and Florida, damaging, destroying or at the least closing many companies. While the survey was being conducted, dozens of wildfires destroyed homes and businesses in California.
The survey also found that only a third of small businesses are prepared to operate with a significant number of their staffs unavailable.
– The Associated Press
Airport Business Diversity Development Report Issued
The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has released its first annual Business Diversity Development report. According to the report, disadvantaged, minority and women business enterprises were awarded 27 percent of the $46 million spent in the areas of construction, professional services, and goods and services contracts.
Of the 27 percent spent with D/M/WBEs, 95 percent was awarded to local businesses.
In addition, MSCAA spent 60 percent of the $46 million with businesses located in the Memphis metropolitan statistical area.
Other initiatives detailed in the report include last year’s launch of B2GNow, an online portal that helps streamline reporting requirements by allowing vendors to manage their own records and submit contract payment details online.
The report also lists areas identified for potential growth for D/M/WBEs, including pavement joint resealing, fuel management, professional services, legal services and financial management.
Future plans and goals were also identified, including:
• A new online process to be launched in January that will decrease certification times.
• Creating a mentoring program for MSCAA’s joint pavement sealing contract.
• Creating a shelter market program to boost the amount of direct spending.
The report can be downloaded at https://goo.gl/XnEXwe
– Daily News staff
Airport Board Approves Trio of Resolutions
The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority approved a trio of resolutions at its Thursday, Nov. 16, meeting.
The first resolution was a purchase agreement with Epoke North America Inc. to buy an Epoke S3800 Sirius AST material spreader for $101,131 to assist with future deicing operations.
The second resolution was a lease agreement for Helicopters Inc. to operate as a special fixed-base operator at the Spain DeWitt Airport.
Per the terms of the agreement, the flight and aircraft sales company will occupy 4,200 square feet at 2745 N. Second St. for five years at a rental rate of $710 per month, in addition to a minimum of $250 or 3 percent of their FBO earning.
The third was an approval agreement with Eaton Cooper Crouse-Hinds LLC to upgrade the airfield lighting system’s control panel and software that is not to exceed $110,750.
– Patrick Lantrip
Habitat ReStore Closes Temporarily for Refresh
The Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis ReStore has closed to shoppers through Jan. 12 to refresh the store and conduct volunteer and staff training.
The home improvement outlet, which is operated by and benefits Memphis Habitat, sells furniture, appliances, building materials, home decor and more.
The donation center is remaining open while ReStore is closed, except for an extended Thanksgiving break that runs through Nov. 30.
Donations can be dropped off Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., or donors can schedule a free pickup of large items by calling 901-737-8673 or visiting memphisrestore.com.
– Daily News staff
TDEC Removes Radioactive Waste Data From Website
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has removed data from its website about the amount of low-level radioactive waste going into landfills.
The information had been open to the public for years before the department said it is confidential, The Tennessean reports.
A 2007 state law cites the Atomic Energy Act and an agreement with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission on what information to keep confidential, department spokesman Eric Ward said. However, commission spokesman David McIntyre said he knows of no law or rule that makes confidential the location and quantity of waste.
Ward said in a Nov. 17 email the department “is working toward a solution,” and it intends “to have the authority to soon begin providing that information again.”
Low-level radioactive waste includes contaminated materials from commercial reactors, such as lab supplies, machine parts, power plant equipment and debris from decommissioned nuclear plants.
Tennessee has more radioactive waste processors than any other state in the nation, according to the department.
The processors can treat radioactive waste before it is disposed in landfills as low-level waste.
The waste deposited in landfills does not pose a danger to public health or the environment, according to the department.
– The Associated Press