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VOL. 132 | NO. 192 | Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Daily Digest

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Vibrant to Begin Work on Downtown Hotel

Mississippi-based Vibrant Hotels Inc. has filed an $8 million building permit application to begin construction on its 155-room hotel in the Tenoke Building at Jefferson Avenue and B.B. King Boulevard.

The application calls for the demolition of an existing structure; site improvements; and the additions of a swimming pool, restaurant, kitchen, signage, penthouse level and “top area bar.”

JiJi Construction is listed as the contractor, while Design Studio @ MNT and PSE Design were tapped to handle the design work.

Vibrant, an affiliate of Batesville, Mississippi-based development company JVD Enterprises, received Memphis City Council approval in December to redevelop the 12-story Tenoke Building, 161 Jefferson Ave., into an Aloft Hotel, a boutique brand owned by Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide. Development plans also call for the partial demolition of an adjacent one-story office building to provide for the hotel’s canopy check-in area and corner signage.

– Patrick Lantrip

Frontier Airlines Adding Memphis-Philadelphia Route

For the second time in less than a week, Frontier Airlines has announced new service out of Memphis.

The low-cost carrier is set to add four seasonal weekly nonstop flights between Memphis International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport starting April 9, Memphis airport leaders announced Tuesday, Sept. 26.

The new route will run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and will use a 186-seat Airbus 320 aircraft. Flights will leave Memphis at 1:34 p.m. and arrive in Philadelphia at 5:06 p.m., while the return flights will depart Philadelphia at 5:56 p.m. and arrive in Memphis at 7:55 p.m.

The seasonal Philadelphia route follows Frontier’s Wednesday, Sept. 20, announcement that it will offer three weekly nonstop flights to Orlando, Florida, starting Nov. 2. The service to Orlando International Airport will run on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The airline also offers Memphis service to its Denver, Colorado, hub and Las Vegas, Nevada.

– Patrick Lantrip

ShowPlace Arena Receives $85,000 Government Grant

The Shelby County Commission has voted to award an $85,000 Community Enhancement Grant to Agricenter International for a capital improvement project to install steps at ShowPlace Arena and finish paving the parking lot.

Agricenter International, a nonprofit dedicated to agricultural research, education and conservation, has a $524 million annual economic impact and hosts more than 1.3 million visitors annually.

ShowPlace Arena, run by Agricenter, averages 212 event days and draws more than 200,000 visitors annually. Equestrian shows, fairs, circuses and rodeos all use the arena, which also hosts trade shows, concerts and graduations.

– Don Wade

Hooks Institute to Hold Oct. 5 Open House, Panel

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis will lead a community conversation about defending diversity, social justice and human rights in today’s America at its annual open house on Oct. 5. At the event, the Hooks Institute will release the 2017 Hooks Institute Policy Papers, “Bending the Arc Toward Justice: Including the Excluded.”

The open house will be held in the University Center Bluff Room, 499 University St., room 304. A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by a panel discussion led by the authors of the policy papers.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available in the Zach Curlin Street garage.

The 2017 Hooks Institute Policy Papers use national conversations about critical civil and human rights issues as a starting point to discuss, and propose solutions to, contemporary issues of race, class, public policy and social justice.

The papers include: “Immigrants in Small Cities: Opportunities and Challenges” by Michael R. Duke (U of M Department of Anthropology); “Welfare Dependency and Extractive Economies: Lessons Learned from Pine Ridge” by Peter A. Kindle (Department of Social Work, University of South Dakota); “Prioritizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Lives in the Era of Resistance and Prejudicial Rhetoric” by Idia B. Thurston (U of M Department of Psychology); and “Memphis and Islam: Integrating Muslims and Islam into the Community Fabric” by Nabil A. Bayakly (U of M Department of World Language and Literature).

– Don Wade

Farm Road to Close for Mempho Festival

Farm Road into Shelby Farms Park will close to through traffic at Walnut Grove and Mullins Station roads during certain hours Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7, for the inaugural Mempho Music Festival.

All traffic entering Farm Road at Walnut Grove will be directed to a general admission parking lot on the west side of Farm Road for the festival only.

The hours for the closure to through traffic on Farm Road are Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. to Oct. 7 at 2 a.m., and from Oct. 7 at 9 a.m. to Oct. 8 at 2 a.m.

– Bill Dries

Fitch Affirms ‘A’ Rating On Airport Revenue Bonds

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority’s ‘A’ rating on the authority’s outstanding $282 million general airport revenue bonds. The airport authority’s outlook remained stable.

Fitch cited a number of factors that contributed to the rating, including Memphis International Airport’s nearly 100 percent origin-and-destination traffic base, carrier diversification, sound financial operations and the presence of FedEx’s massive cargo operations.

The ratings agency also cited the airport’s enplanement growth of 13.4 percent over the past two years, growing to 2.04 million in fiscal year 2017.

“Our finance staff has worked tirelessly to maintain the airport authority’s solid financial foundation, and in doing so, has helped position our airport for a very bright future,” MSCAA president and CEO Scott Brockman said in a statement.

The Airport Authority has retired almost $300 million in long-term debt over the last 11 years and also maintains strong credit ratings from Moody’s Investor Service (A3/Stable) and Standard and Poor’s (A-/Stable).

– Daily News staff

Memphis College of Art Hosting Portfolio Day Oct. 14

Memphis College of Art is holding its National Portfolio Day, an event that’s free and open to any prospective art student at the high school or college level, on Oct. 14.

Nineteen colleges and universities will be represented at the event, and prospective art students will get to meet with officials from art colleges across the United States and Canada. National Portfolio Day brings together students and college representatives who review artwork, offer critique, discuss college plans and share information about their schools.

There are 38 National Portfolio Day events in the U.S. and Canada. The Memphis event – at Rust Hall, 1930 Poplar Ave. – is set for welcome and tours from 10 a.m. to noon, and then portfolio reviews will be held from noon till 4 p.m. Food trucks will also be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

– Andy Meek

TeamLogic IT Owner Discusses Malware at Webroot Event

Drayton Mayers, owner of Memphis-based TeamLogic IT, recently attended a cybersecurity conference at Webroot’s corporate headquarters in Colorado to discuss the future of the industry given the scope of recent data breaches and continuing threats.

New malware specimens for the first quarter of 2017 topped 1.8 million, or 858 new threats an hour, up 72 percent from Q1 2016, according to industry estimates.

“There is no question there are a lot of evil geniuses out there,” said Mayers, whose firm provides information technology services, solutions and support for midsized companies in the Memphis area. “The numbers of new malware specimens is staggering.”

Webroot provides anti-virus and malware protection in the same bundle, he added, using fewer system resources to operate more efficiently and effectively.

“We use a variety of partners to protect our clients,” Mayers said. “Webroot, which is cloud-based and behavior-driven, plays a key role in our defense strategies.”

– Daily News staff

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 79 321 2,586
MORTGAGES 90 426 3,033
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 37 527
BUILDING PERMITS 153 796 6,864
BANKRUPTCIES 37 213 2,000
BUSINESS LICENSES 22 152 1,311
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 23 100 730
MARRIAGE LICENSES 15 58 432