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VOL. 133 | NO. 10 | Friday, January 12, 2018

Daily Digest

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Northwest Co. Seeks 10-Year PILOT for Distribution Facility

The Northwest Co., an industry leader in manufacturing “branded home textiles,” is seeking a 10-year tax abatement from the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County to open a distribution facility in southeast Memphis.

Northwest is planning to invest more than $25 million in a 700,000-square-foot distribution facility with office space that will create 25 permanent jobs averaging $34,250 per year and 150 part-time and seasonal jobs that would be equivalent to 75 full-time jobs averaging $29,000, according to the Roslyn, New York-based company’s Fast Track PILOT application.

If approved, Northwest would save $4.9 million during the course of the decade-long payment-in-lieu-of-taxes plan, while generating $5.1 million in local tax revenues for a 1.03 cost-to-benefit ratio.

The EDGE board will review Northwest’s request Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Northwest Co. is known for producing throw blankets and other household products that are branded with sports and entertainment properties. It has 175 employees in five countries worldwide.

– Patrick Lantrip

U.S. News: U of M Online Programs Among Best

The University of Memphis has five online academic programs ranked in the Top 150 in the country by U.S. News & World Report, including nursing, which is ranked 15th nationally after climbing 86 spots in the rankings.

The U of M’s five online programs in the Top 150 include: nursing, No. 15; criminal justice (graduate), No. 51; MBA, No. 89; bachelor’s programs, No. 125; and education (graduate), No. 150.

“The launch of U of M Global has increased visibility, led to growth, and has provided a strategic vehicle to share the great work being done on our campus,” said university president M. David Rudd.

Last year, the University of Memphis had only one online program ranked nationally: nursing at No. 101.

The university also has 19 on-ground graduate programs ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

Four of them were ranked in the Top 100: audiology (No. 17), rehabilitation counseling (No. 21), speech-language pathology (No. 24) and health care management (No. 47).

– Don Wade

Agricenter Seeking Input For New Master Plan

Agricenter International will gather public input for its strategic business plan and conceptual master plan on Jan. 29 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Ducks Unlimited’s headquarters, 1 Waterfowl Way, on the Agricenter campus.

The master plan will serve as the Agricenter’s guide for the next 20 years of growth and is funded by a local anonymous foundation, FedEx Corp., the Shelby County Commission, Agricenter International, Helena Chemical and Asgrow.

The organization’s long-range goals are to serve as a hub for agricultural networking and innovation, showcase food and fiber as a pathway to increased educational and career opportunities, and promote the efficacy and commercialization of new agricultural technologies and practices.

The plan is anticipated to be completed by May.

– Patrick Lantrip

St. Louis Fed Memphis Branch Makes Board Appointments

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has announced a set of changes to its Memphis Branch board of directors, effective Jan. 1.

Eric D. Robertson, president of Community LIFT Corp. in Memphis, has been appointed board chairman. Robertson initially was appointed to the St. Louis Fed board in 2016.

Michael E. Cary, president and CEO of Carroll Bank and Trust in Huntingdon, Tennessee, and David T. Cochran Jr., partner with CoCo Planting Co. in Avon, Mississippi, have been reappointed to three-year terms on the board.

Michael Ugwueke, president and CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, has been appointed to a three-year term on the board.

Also serving on the board are Carolyn Hardy, president and CEO of Chism Hardy Investments LLC in Collierville; J. Brice Fletcher, chairman of First National Bank of Eastern Arkansas in Forrest City; and Julianne Goodwin, owner of Express Employment Professionals in Tupelo, Mississippi.

– Andy Meek

Immigration Services Office To Naturalize 100 People

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will administer the Oath of Allegiance to 100 people who will become America’s newest citizens on Friday, Jan. 12, at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave.

The special naturalization ceremony is being held in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is being celebrated on Monday, Jan. 15.

The keynote speaker is Keenon McCloy, director of Memphis Public Libraries.

The 100 citizenship candidates hail from 36 countries.

The ceremony begins at 11 a.m.

– Daily News staff

Chosen 2018 Community Book Is ‘The Underground Railroad’

Memphis Reads has selected the “The Underground Railroad” by New York writer Colson Whitehead as its 2018 community read book.

“The Underground Railroad” is a story about two slaves in the 1800s, Cora and Caesar, who flee their Georgia plantations by following the Underground Railroad – a series of subway tunnels and tracks running beneath portions of the southeastern United States.

“The Underground Railroad” won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.

Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, the novel is both a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and a 2016 selection on Oprah’s Book Club list.

Whitehead is also the author of the novels “The Noble Hustle,” “Zone One,” “Sag Harbor,” “The Intuitionist,” “John Henry Days” and “Apex Hides the Hurt,” and one collection of essays, “The Colossus of New York.”

His reviews, essays and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper’s and Granta.

“We are so honored to celebrate and study this important and eminently timely work of literature,” said Karen B. Golightly, director of Memphis Reads and an associate professor of English at Christian Brothers University. “Colson’s story is a profoundly prescient and moving depiction of the historical American South that, while fictionalized, contains innumerable lessons for us right here and now. We’re looking forward to his visits to Memphis and encourage everyone throughout our community to join us on this journey.”

Memphis Reads will culminate with several public readings, book signings and other events featuring Whitehead. He will appear at CBU on Sept. 5 and at Rhodes College on Sept. 6. Information on other event dates, times and venues will be forthcoming.

– Daily News staff

TruGreen Seeking to Hire Workers Before Spring

Memphis-based TruGreen, the nation’s leading lawn care company, is actively searching for qualified candidates to fill 15,000 positions nationwide.

In preparation for its busy spring season, TruGreen is accepting applications for a variety of seasonal and full-time positions, including sales, lawn specialists, management, finance, IT, customer service and call center representatives, the company announced.

TruGreen offers competitive benefits including holidays, paid time off, medical, dental, vision and prescription benefit plans, and 401(k) participation. The company also offers an incentive and reward trip each year for qualifying exceptional employees.

TruGreen also rewards local branches that achieve the highest customer count in their region with a donation of $2,000 to a charity of the team’s choice. In 2016, TruGreen donated more than $130,000 to nonprofits through this program.

Those interested can apply for positions and coordinate interviews online at jobs.trugreen.com.

TruGreen is the nation’s largest lawn care company, serving more than 2.3 million residential and commercial customers across the U.S.

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 81 201 16,108
MORTGAGES 40 104 10,026
BUILDING PERMITS 130 336 38,272
BANKRUPTCIES 28 56 7,528