VOL. 10 | NO. 39 | Saturday, September 23, 2017
GPAC Plans New Open-Air Performance Venue
The Germantown Performing Arts Center has announced plans to develop a new 1.5-acre open-air performance center that will be located due north of its current location at 1801 Exeter Rd.
Dubbed The Grove at GPAC, the center hopes the new venue will attract new audiences by providing an alternative option for performances.
Local architectural firm archimania was tapped to handle the project’s design work that will focus on conservation, sustainability and reduction of impact on the environment, and will include a covered stage with a high-definition, permanent video wall.
“There will be an outdoor bar and seating area, several VIP areas and a covered, hardscaped area in front of the stage for VIP seating, dancing or an orchestra,” GPAC’s executive director Paul Chandler said in a release. “With capacity for 1,200 to 2,000, the space will be suitable for both ticketed and free events, with food truck spaces and electrical outlets, plenty of parking and access for sound and production equipment delivery.”
Chandler said he envisions using The Grove for festivals, national and regional touring shows, local artist showcases, concert movies and films, simulcast concerts from indoors, performances by other users, and outdoor receptions and events.
– Patrick Lantrip
Frontier Airlines Offers Nonstop Service to Orlando
Frontier Airlines is expanding service at Memphis International Airport, announcing Wednesday, Sept. 20, that it will offer three nonstop flights weekly to Orlando, Florida, beginning Nov. 2.
The service will run on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with Frontier using a 186-seat Airbus 320 aircraft for the flights.
Pace Cooper, chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board, said MEM is excited to offer another option to the most popular destination originating out of Memphis. He is also excited that Frontier is expanding service at Memphis International.
Frontier joins Southwest Airlines in offering nonstop service between Memphis and Orlando International. Allegiant Airlines has direct flights between Memphis and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) in nearby Sanford, Florida.
The Orlando route is Frontier's sixth out of Memphis, joining Baltimore, Maryland; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and Tampa, Florida.
The three weekly flights will depart from Memphis International at 4:05 p.m. and arrive in Orlando at 7 p.m.
Returning flights will leave Orlando International Airport (MCO) at 2:30 p.m. on the three days.
Tickets are on sale at www.flyfrontier.com.
– Daily News staff
UTHSC, Southern Research Partner for New Drugs
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Southern Research have formed a partnership to advance research that could lead to new drugs that address unmet medical needs.
The collaborative program links the drug discovery and development expertise of Birmingham, Alabama-based Southern Research with UTHSC’s four-campus research network, according to a news release.
The new UTHSC/SR Collaborative Research Network Award in Drug Discovery and Development represents an extension of a program launched by Dr. Steven Goodman, vice chancellor for research at UTHSC, in 2016.
The CORNET Awards are designed to provide seed money to support new collaborative research teams and their projects. To date, the program has provided more than $1.1 million in funding to university research teams.
Under the new program, UTHSC scientists can apply for funding to advance their research.
Research projects receiving funding from the UTHSC/SR CORNET Award can take advantage of the shared resources of SR and UTHSC to facilitate drug discovery and development efforts aimed at any disease.
– Andy Meek
Memphis International Hosting Job Fair Oct. 18
Memphis International Airport will host a job fair on Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its Project Center, 4225 Airways Blvd.
The job fair will feature at least 17 employers who work in or with the airport, including FedEx Express, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, Transportation Security Administration and several retail operations.
“Our previous job fair in April drew hundreds of attendees, which sent us a strong message that many in our community are interested in employment at MEM,” Scott Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, said in a release.
Prospective employees will be able fill out applications, learn more about career opportunities and possibly participate in onsite interviews.
– Patrick Lantrip
Charge Dropped Against One Monument Protester
A misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against one of six people arrested Aug. 19 during a protest around the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in Health Sciences Park has been dropped.
The charge against Scott Prather was dismissed Thursday, Sept. 21, by General Sessions Criminal Court Judge Ronald Lucchesi because of a “defective warrant.”
Prather’s attorney, Jason Ballenger, argued the complaint affidavit by a police officer charging Prather was insufficient to pursue the charge.
In the affidavit, Prather was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly “refusing to step aside while police were attempting to arrest others.”
Police began making arrests when some of the protesters began climbing the statue to cover it in a large sheet.
A misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against Robert Brown, who was one of two men charged with trying to climb and cover the statue, was dismissed in court in the immediate aftermath of the protest.
The other man, Donald Warden, still faces a misdemeanor charge of “desecration of a venerated object.”
Two others, Jarrell Williams and Patrick Ghant, remain charged with disorderly conduct. And Mia Jordan is charged with obstructing a roadway during a march on Union Avenue that began after the initial arrests.
– Bill Dries
Grizz Broadcast Schedule Has 4 National TV Games
The Memphis Grizzlies are scheduled to make four national television appearances during the upcoming season (one preseason and three regular season).
The 16th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Game will be broadcast on TNT, and three contests will be on ESPN, including a preseason tilt on Wednesday, Oct. 11, against the Houston Rockets at 8:30 p.m. at FedExForum.
The Grizzlies also announced that FOX Sports Southeast will televise 85 games during the 2017-18 season, including three preseason contests and a record 82 regular-season games.
FOX Sports Southeast’s coverage will begin with the Grizzlies’ first preseason matchup on Monday, Oct. 2, against the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m. at FedExForum. Regular-season coverage tips off Wednesday, Oct. 18, when the Grizzlies host Tony Allen and the New Orleans Pelicans at 7 p.m.
Games will be available on FOX Sports GO (FoxSportsGo.com), a free app that provides live streaming video of Memphis Grizzlies games through select programming distributors, as well as other FOX Sports programming. Fans can download the mobile app for free from the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store and Windows Store.
In addition, the Grizzlies’ flagship station, 92.9 FM ESPN Radio, is back and will carry all five Grizzlies preseason games and all 82 regular season games, featuring play-by-play broadcaster Eric Hasseltine and analysts Hank McDowell, Elliot Perry and Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace. Coverage begins with the pregame show 30 minutes before tipoff.
Play-by-play broadcaster Pete Pranica returns for his 14th season as television voice of the Grizzlies, joined for the eighth season by analyst Brevin Knight and for the 11th season by sideline reporter Rob Fischer.
Grizzlies game telecasts on FOX Sports Southeast will reach more than 5.9 million households throughout Tennessee and Kentucky, as well as parts of Alabama and Mississippi.
– Don Wade
Airport to Construct Car Rental Facility
Memphis International Airport is set to begin construction on an on-site car rental maintenance facility.
Chris Woods Construction Co. filed six building permit applications totaling $25.6 million with the Office of Construction Code Enforcement to construct the new facility on behalf of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.
The Memphis-based construction company’s $25.6 million bid was one of several contracts the MSCAA board approved Aug. 19 at its monthly meeting.
– Patrick Lantrip
Massachusetts Investor Buys Warehouse on Delp
Wellesley, Massachusetts-based Trident Capital Group has purchased a 150,000-square-foot industrial facility in the airport submarket for $3.5 million.
Trident, doing business as TCG 4290 Delp LLC, bought the warehouse at 4290 Delp St. from a group of investors comprised of three individual entities, according to a warranty deed filed with the Shelby County Register Sept. 19. Ronald Baumgarten with RNB Interests controlled 55 percent of the selling entity, while Brett Baumgarten with BRB Interests and Brett Keeshin with BAK Interests controlled 22.5 percent each.
Built in 1973, the one-story warehouse sits on a 9.4-acre parcel on the southeast corner of Delp Street and Pilot Drive. The Shelby County Assessor’s 2017 property appraisal is $2.6 million.
In conjunction with the purchase, Trident took out a $2.3 million mortgage with Aetna Life Insurance Company. Peter Walter signed the deed of trust on behalf of Trident.
Founded in 2008, Trident Capital Group was formed to acquire, manage and redevelop industrial properties in primary and select secondary markets.
– Patrick Lantrip
Council Delays Downtown Advance, Approves Another
Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Sept. 19, delayed for two weeks a vote on a $10 million advance to start renovation design work on the Memphis Cook Convention Center, seeking more specific information. City chief operating officer Doug McGowen said he would provide the council with a timeline and specific work to be done.
The council approved Tuesday another $11.5 million advance to get work started on the Bicentennial Gateway project in the nine-block area between the Pyramid and the campus of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is next to the convention center area and is designed to work with the convention center improvements.
The two advances come from surplus Tourism Development Zone funds the city has collected from sales taxes as well as possibly city reserve funds.
Council members confirmed the nomination of retired FedEx Corp. executive Mike Rodriguez as the city’s new chief information officer.
With much more reluctance, the council in a separate vote confirmed two nonvoting advisory members to the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division board who live in Shelby County but outside Memphis. The appointment of Kevin Young and Dwain Kicklighter is part of a compromise with Tennessee legislators that city attorney Allen Wade described as a choice between appointing two nonvoting members or having the Tennessee General Assembly likely pass a law next year that would put voting members from outside the city in a position of power on the utility board.
– Bill Dries
FedEx to Increase Shipping Rates Jan. 1
Memphis-based FedEx Corp. plans to increase rates for its FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight subsidiaries, effective Jan. 1.
FedEx Express rates will increase by an average of 4.9 percent for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services, while FedEx One Rate pricing will increase by an average of 3.5 percent.
FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx Freight shipping rates will increase by an average of 4.9 percent, according to the company.
In addition, the company plans to add a surcharge to certain FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipments that are billed to a third party, effective Jan. 22.
Also beginning Jan. 22, FedEx SmartPost will apply dimensional weight pricing; the non-machinable surcharge will change; and FedEx Freight will implement an over length surcharge of $85 per shipment, which will be applied to shipments with dimensions between 8 and 12 feet.
The January increases follow changes to FedEx’s holiday shipping charges. The company announced in August it won’t charge extra for peak-season residential deliveries unless the package requires extra handling. However, surcharges will be added to packages shipped between Nov. 20 and Dec. 24 that need special handling, are oversized or are unauthorized.
– Patrick Lantrip
Zach Randolph Sentenced To Community Service
Former Memphis Grizzly and two-time NBA All-Star Zach Randolph has been sentenced to 150 hours of community service after being charged with marijuana possession and resisting arrest last month in Los Angeles.
Randolph, who played eight seasons in Memphis, signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Sacramento Kings this summer. He was arrested Aug. 9 following an incident at a housing project in Watts. Initially, he had been charged with a felony for the amount of marijuana he was accused of possessing. The charges were lowered to misdemeanor status before Randolph received the sentence.
It’s not clear at this point if the NBA will suspend or fine Randolph.
– Don Wade
Chamber Seeks Candidates For Ascend Program
The Greater Memphis Chamber has opened the applications process for its Ascend Memphis Business Development Program’s second class, which will launch in 2018.
The Ascend Program, which launched last December, pairs members of the chamber’s Chairman’s Circle (leaders) with small, local, minority or woman-owned businesses (members) for the purpose of growing their business. The pairs meet monthly for a year working toward taking the member businesses to the next level.
This program is part of a larger effort of the Supplier Diversity Collaborative, an initiative to grow minority- and women-owned businesses. The collaborative’s supplier diversity plan focuses on certification, connections and development.
The first class will wrap up this December, and the program will track the members’ progress for an additional year.
Applications are available at memphischamber.com, and the deadline to apply is Sept. 30. Companies do not have to be a chamber member to apply.
– Daily News staff