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VOL. 132 | NO. 209 | Friday, October 20, 2017

Daily Digest

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Memphis Airport Partners With Aira for Blind Travelers

Memphis International Airport has partnered with San Diego, California-based technology company Aira to help blind and visually impaired passengers navigate the airport.

Aira is a subscription-based service for blind people in which they receive detailed information about their surroundings from a trained professional who can see their whereabouts through a pair of wearable smart glasses.

Because the subscription rates are based on the number of minutes used, much like a cellphone data plan, the airport chose to partner with Aira to provide free and unlimited usage for blind or visually impaired individuals, according to Scott Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

The Aira partnership with MEM is the first of its kind in any airport worldwide.

“I could not be more proud of the fact that we are not only going to be the first airport in the United States to do this, but we are going to be the first in the world,” Brockman said. “If we really want to provide a positively memorable travel experience for everyone, then I think we should be the first in the world.”

– Patrick Lantrip

Komen’s 25th Annual Race for Cure Oct. 28

On Saturday, Oct. 28, Susan G. Komen Memphis-MidSouth will hold its 25th annual Race for the Cure, which is Komen MidSouth’s largest and most-well-known platform for public donations and fundraising for breast cancer.

The morning race will be routed through Downtown Memphis with riverfront views, including one of Big River Crossing, which will glow pink the evening before to mark the occasion.

Race for the Cure has partnered with other Downtown special events to offer participants wearing the 2017 race bib a free ticket to the Greater Memphis Auto Dealers Association Car Show from Oct. 27-29 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, as well as free admission to RiverArtsFest Oct. 27-29 on South Main Street.

In addition, race organizers have assembled a package of benefits for each participant that includes a Race for the Cure T-shirt, entry to the post-race expo at AutoZone Park, coupons to Papa Johns, and more.

Recently, Susan G. Komen Memphis-MidSouth announced its expansion from 21 to 37 counties across West Tennessee and North Mississippi. Citizens from all new affiliate counties are invited to participate in the race, as well as those from West Memphis, Arkansas, and other neighboring cities and towns.

On the day of the race, registration will open at 7 a.m. at AutoZone Park and a slate of events will follow at 8 a.m., including a sponsor presentation, music from DJ Luis Lerma, and stretching and warm-ups led by the Grizz Girls.

The certified 5K and Family Fun 1-mile walk begin at 9 a.m., followed by timed runner winner presentations at 9:45 a.m., survivor recognition and entertainment by The Bouffants at 10:15 a.m. and a survivor brunch at 10:45 a.m.

Komen funding is dedicated to providing local breast cancer health care, education and support programs for area women and men who are underserved, uninsured or underinsured, as well as helping to fund groundbreaking research in the field.

As of Oct. 18, Susan G. Komen Memphis-MidSouth had raised $300,000 toward its $1 million goal.

Visit komenmemphis.org to register, donate or form a team for the Memphis-MidSouth Race for the Cure.

– Don Wade

Tigers Hoops Passes Go on Sale Oct. 20

The University of Memphis will offer the Tigers Hoops Pass this season and they go on sale, Friday, Oct. 20, at 8:30 a.m.

This mobile season pass is $99 and includes a seat for each of the Tigers’ 20 home basketball games, including the exhibition game Nov. 2.

This is a nontraditional season ticket, as there are no set seat locations for each of the games. Instead, the mobile pass provides a different seat location for each of the games, with at least two games guaranteed to be in lower-bowl seats in FedExForum.

The Tigers Hoops Pass can be purchased by calling 901-678-2331, at gotigersgotix.com, or by visiting the athletic ticket office, located in the Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame.

Only 500 of the passes will be sold.

Fans can buy up to eight Tigers Hoops Passes; all passes purchased together will be seated together.

At least 12 hours before the tipoff of each home game, pass holders will receive a message with their seat locations for that specific game. Pass holders then use their mobile device for entry into the game, complete with seat assignments.

Passes will be delivered via the new Official Memphis Tigers app, now available in the Apple iTunes store. A Tigers Hoops Pass feature will be added to the app, and the tickets will be delivered there.

Visit gotigersgo.com/tigershoopspass for more information.

The Official Memphis Tigers app is available for free on Apple iTunes by searching for Official Memphis Tigers. The Android version will be available soon.

– Don Wade

Valero Refinery in Memphis Wins Top State Safety Award

The Valero Memphis Refinery in South Memphis has been chosen to receive the Volunteer STAR (Safety Through Accountability and Recognition) Award, the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development has announced.

“Valero Memphis Refinery has met the evaluation standards required to receive this award by proving their ability to uphold an excellent safety record,” Burns Phillips, commissioner of the Department of Labor & Workforce Development, said in a release. “It is evident that Valero is extremely dedicated to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.”

The Valero facility is located at 2385 Riverport Road.

The Volunteer STAR award is the state’s highest honor for workplace safety and health, and is a nationally recognized program. The Volunteer STAR is patterned after the Occupational Health & Safety Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program and recognizes the best of the best in the area of safety and health programming and performance.

“This is a wonderful day for the Valero Memphis Refinery, and many years in the making,” Joe Gorder, Valero’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. “It is the result of lots of hard work and commitment, and I want to congratulate Josh Tulino and his team, as well as recognize his predecessor Mark Skobel for all he did to get us to this point.”

The Valero Memphis Refinery produces unleaded gasoline, kerosene, naphtha, jet fuel, ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), heavy fuel oils, and other distillates. It has 315 employees and 210 contractors at its Memphis facility. This is the first time the refinery has received the Volunteer STAR award.

“Safety is the foundation of our success at Valero,” Gorder said. “It’s about executing our safety procedures and checking on each other in the field to ensure we’re safe. The Memphis refinery has done that, and more, resulting in fewer incidents and now OSHA’s highest plant-safety recognition.”

–Daily News staff

Tennessee SBA Loans Hit $285M in Fiscal 2017

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs placed $285 million into the hands of Tennessee small businesses during fiscal year 2017, which began Oct. 1, 2016, and concluded on Sept. 30.

Throughout the year, 498 loans were approved through the SBA’s flagship 7(a) program for $275.8 million. An additional 17 loans for $8.4 million were approved through SBA’s 504 fixed-asset financing program and microloan intermediaries approved 34 loans for $734,427.

“Thanks to our lending partners, Tennessee entrepreneurs received much needed financing to start, operate, and grow their small businesses,” said

LaTanya Channel, SBA Tennessee district director. “Our lenders are vital to SBA’s mission of providing small businesses with greater access to capital throughout Tennessee.”

U.S. Bank was Tennessee’s top 7(a) lender in FY 2017 ranked by number of loans, with 66 loans approved for more than $13.5 million. Celtic Bank Corp. was second, with 32 loans approved for $8 million.

Areawide Development Corp. and Brightbridge Inc. tied for the state’s top Certified Development Company, each approving six 504 loans – Areawide Development’s loan volume was $3.3 million; Brightbridge’s volume was $2.8 million.

Pathway Lending was Tennessee’s top microloan intermediary, approving 30 loans worth $661,300.

Visit sba.gov/tn for more information.

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 81 277 20,909
MORTGAGES 85 329 24,074
BUILDING PERMITS 219 672 43,265
BANKRUPTCIES 64 238 13,418