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VOL. 133 | NO. 164 | Monday, August 20, 2018

Daily Digest

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Slider Inn Plans Include ‘Slider Out’ Downtown

Slider Inn’s plans to transform an old auto service garage on South Main Street Downtown into its second location also include an outdoor event space - Slider Out.

Co-owner Aldo Dean received approval for a one-to-one matching $60,000 exterior improvement grant from the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Center City Development Corp. board last week to turn the greenspace with bocce ball court at the northeast corner of South Main and Talbot into an outdoor event space.

Dean plans to transform the small neighborhood park into a multi-use outdoor event space, similar to Loflin Yard or Railgarten, to showcase and cater to musical acts, weddings, private parties and meetings.

“Let’s say the Super Bowl is playing and it’s a nice day,” Dean said. “We’ll put the screen out there and bring chairs out on the turf.”

Project architect Archimania designed an airy, vertical metal fence to create a semi-private/public space, which will enable Slider Inn to serve alcohol, Dean said.

Plans include two to three feet of grass that will be outside of the fence along South Main Street, so neighbors can continue to walk their dogs.

“One day it might be a private event for a wedding. The next, people are welcome to come and eat at the food truck with or without their dog,” Dean said.

Slider Inn also plans to activate the space with free community events such as outdoor movies.

- Special to the Daily News

OUTMemphis Names Interim Executive Director

As OUTMemphis continues its search for a new executive director, the LGBTQ support and advocacy organization’s board chairman, Jonathan M. Ealy, will serve that role in the interim.

This spring, Will Batts, OUTMemphis’ first full-time staff member and executive director for 10 years, announced he was moving to Houston with his family when his husband Curtis accepted a job offer there.

In addition to his role on the OUTMemphis board, Ealy is the director of special events and venue director of Opera Memphis and the Clark Opera Memphis Center.

“OUTMemphis is poised for exponential growth and potential, thanks to Will Batts and this team of professional, dedicated, passionate individuals,” Ealy said in a press release.

This year, OUTMemphis plans to break ground on its shipping container-constructed Metamorphosis Youth Emergency Center, a drop-in center and emergency shelter focused on temporary housing for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, at 2055 Southern Ave.

“OUTMemphis is known in the Mid-South for innovative HIV and sexual health services, critical supportive services for transgender adults and youth, and for the network of safe, peer-led social groups that allow LGBTQ people in this region to have a space that feels like home. OUTMemphis is on an upward trajectory, and I look forward to supporting the staff as they provide and implement programs and services vital to not only the city, but to all of the Mid-South,” Ealy said.

In the search for a permanent executive director, interested candidates are encouraged to apply by sending applications and questions about the position to careers@lgbtcenters.org with “OUTMemphis Executive Director Search” as the subject line.

- Special to the Daily News

Redbirds Playoff Tickets on Sale

With the magic number to secure a second straight division championship and playoff berth counting down, the Memphis Redbirds have begun selling tickets for the Pacific Coast League Playoffs at AutoZone Park.

The Redbirds would play their first home playoff game on Friday, Sept. 7, which is Game 3 of the first round. Games would also be played at AutoZone Park on Saturday, Sept. 8 (Game 4) and Sunday, Sept. 9th (Game 5) if necessary.

If the Redbirds advance past the first round, the best-of-five PCL Championship Series would be contested at AutoZone Park on Friday, Sept. 14 (Game 3), Saturday, Sept. 15 (Game 4, if necessary), and Sunday, Sept. 16 (Game 5, if necessary).

Each playoff game features $2 beers in the Plaza before the game, with postgame fireworks scheduled for both Saturday Game 4s. Sunday’s Game 5s are also Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sundays with free ice cream for kids 12 and under.

For each round, fans can purchase a package that includes a ticket and cookout at Game 3, plus free tickets to Game 4 and Game 5. The Game 3 cookout menu is all-you-can-eat hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, assorted cookies, Coca-Cola products, and bottled water.

Individual game tickets for the playoffs start at $10 and can be purchased at www.memphisredbirds.com/playoffs. More information on the playoffs, as well as the policy for unplayed games, can also be found at www.memphisredbirds.com/playoffs.

- Don Wade

Grizzlies Sign Former Tiger Markel Crawford

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Markel Crawford and added him to the team’s training camp roster.

Crawford, a former University of Memphis player, appeared in seven games (one start) for the Grizzlies during NBA Summer League 2018 in Las Vegas and averaged 9.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 18.4 minutes while shooting 53.1 percent from the field and 45.8 percent from three-point range. The 23-year-old Memphis native also saw action in three games as a reserve during the 2018 Utah Jazz Summer League and averaged 5.7 points in 12.8 minutes.

Unselected in the 2018 NBA Draft, Crawford started 25 of his 32 games last season as a redshirt senior at Ole Miss and averaged 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.19 steals in 30.9 minutes. He previously played for the Tigers following his career at Melrose High School.

- Don Wade

TN Promise Needs More than 1,200 Local Volunteers

While thousands of students across the state are applying for TN Promise, tnAchieves, the organization that operates the program in 83 counties is recruiting 9,000 volunteers to serve as mentors.

Although TN Promise is a financial aid program, one critical component often overlooked is the volunteer mentor program. Mentors work with a small group of three to seven students as they transition from high school to college. Mentors send reminders of important deadlines, serve as a trusted college resource and, most importantly, encourage students to reach their full potential. All mentors complete a one-hour training in person or online, and attend two, one-hour meetings with their students over the course of the year.

Shelby County needs 1,260 mentors and currently only 119 have applied.

Other counties in west Tennessee that need mentors are:

Lake County: 10

Lauderdale County: 46

McNairy County: 47

Obion County: 50

“While TN Promise funding is important, our mentors represent the heart of our program,” said tnAchieves Executive Director Krissy DeAlejandro. “Providing a complete wraparound support system for our students, both financially and emotionally, is the key to their success. It is also part of the broader culture change that we are working on in Tennessee.”

Current tnAchieves mentors indicate that they only spend about one hour per month in their volunteer role. “It is a small time commitment but we know the impact mentors are having on their students is significant,” said tnAchieves Deputy Director of Partnerships Graham Thomas. “Anyone in the community that has one hour a month, thinks education is important and wants to work with students can make a lasting impact both locally and for our state with this program.”

TN Promise provides every high school senior the opportunity to attend a community or technical college tuition free. The scholarship application is available for students beginning their senior year of high school at www.tnpromise.gov.

To learn more about the tnAchieves mentor program or to apply, visit www.tnachieves.org.

-Special to the Daily News

Startup Founders from Four Industries Target Investor Dollars

Biodegradable birth control implants, a lawn sensor that automates lawn service once grass reaches the owner’s desired height, a smart device that attaches to rodent traps, a scalable STEM education kit and a total ankle replacement product.

These are just a few of the innovations that were apart of the 100-day 2018 Summer of Acceleration accelerator program in Memphis. It culminated with Demo Day, which was held Thursday, Aug. 16 at the Orpheum’s Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education.

Hosted by Epicenter, Start Co., Memphis Bioworks and ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc., during Demo Day, 10 startup leaders gave three to five minute pitches to the Memphis community and included key details such as customer acquisitions, funding mechanisms and partnerships.

New to the Summer of Acceleration this year was ServiceMaster and Start Co.’s first-ever Launch Delta Homes Services Accelerator cohort, which incubated home service disruptor startups. Other Summer of Acceleration industry verticals were Memphis Bioworks Foundation’s ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator, Epicenter (which hosted a logistics startup) and Sky High, a social innovation accelerator focused on education.

Founders of the 10 teams who pitched this year at Demo Day hailed from places including Memphis, India, Ireland, Austin and Atlanta. Seventy percent of teams were led by women or people of color.

“We strive to make our community as diverse and dynamic as Memphis,” said Start. Co chief of staff Katie Milligan.

Since 2015, more than 60 companies have taken part in the Summer of Acceleration.

During the Summer of Acceleration, which began on May 7, those in the accelerators received programming from both Start Co. and their respective accelerator, as well as networking with mentors, industry partners and maybe most importantly, investors.

A week prior to the start of the program, Memphis was a stop on AOL co-founder Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest seed fund tour, which highlights and invests in local startups in each city.

“We’re building a community of innovators, entrepreneurs and supporters, who are growing a startup community that is bringing economic vibrancy into Memphis that will last beyond our lifetimes,” Milligan said at Demo Day.

-Special to the Daily News

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