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VOL. 133 | NO. 19 | Thursday, January 25, 2018

Daily Digest

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Toys R Us Closing Store in Memphis

New Jersey-based Toys R Us will be closing 182 stores nationwide, including its 7676 Polo Ground Blvd. location in Memphis, as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, according to court documents filed Tuesday, Jan. 23.

In the court filings, Toys R Us said that over the past several years, the company has faced “a challenging commercial environment exacerbated by increased competition from traditional competitors and a shift in consumer preferences away from shopping at brick and mortar stores to online retail channels,” which left the company with a significant number of stores operating at suboptimal levels.

The toy retail giant, which at one time was itself considered a major disrupter in the world of retail, filed for bankruptcy in September 2017, citing $5 billion in debt.

The decision to close the 182 stores was made after “an extensive store-by-store performance analysis” in an effort to right-size the company’s brick-and-mortar presence, according to the court filings.

Toys R Us was founded in 1948 by Charles P. Lazarus, and operates roughly 1,600 stores worldwide, including more than 850 in the U.S.

Nashville’s 5731 Nolensville Road location and Little Rock’s 2616 S. Shackleford Road location will also close as a part of the restructuring.

The store closings are expected to begin in February and wrap up by mid-April.

– Patrick Lantrip

Caldwell and Miller File for August Ballot

District 88 state Rep. Larry Miller and Shelby County Schools board member Chris Caldwell have filed for re-election on the August ballot.

Miller is running in the Democratic primary on the August county ballot. He has a potential primary challenger in Orrden Williams.

In the nonpartisan school board race, Caldwell has potential challengers in Michael Scruggs and Katherine Ayers.

Juliette Eskridge has pulled a petition to run in the August Democratic primary for state House District 91, joining London Lamar in the primary for the seat Democrat Raumesh Akbari is giving up to run for the state Senate.

Bret Williams pulled a petition in the Democratic primary for state House District 90, challenging incumbent Democrat John DeBerry. DeBerry has another potential challenger in Torrey Harris.

And Temika Gipson has pulled in the Democratic primary for Circuit Court Clerk, the only Democrat so far. Republicans Tom Leatherwood, Michael Finney and John Edward Lackey Jr. are the likely contenders for the position Republican incumbent Jimmy Moore is leaving. Leatherwood and Finney have filed petitions.

Gipson has also pulled in the Democratic primary for criminal court clerk where Heidi Kuhn has also pulled a petition. Incumbent Republican Richard DeSaussure has filed for re-election.

The deadline to file for the May county primaries is noon Feb. 15.

The deadline to file for the August state and federal primaries and county nonpartisan elections is noon April 5.

– Bill Dries

Teach901 Hosting First Educator Job Fair of 2018

Teach901 will host its first Educator Job Fair of the year on Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the fourth floor of Crosstown Concourse’s Central Atrium, 1350 Concourse Ave.

Teach901 job fairs connect education job seekers with recruiters from public, charter and parochial schools in Memphis. Both new and experienced teachers are encouraged to attend. Recent college graduates and seniors who graduate in May are also invited to network.

Visit teach901.com/hiring-events for more information and to register.

– Daily News staff

Soup Sunday on Feb. 25 To Benefit Youth Villages

Youth Villages’ 29th annual Soup Sunday will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 25 at FedExForum.

Soup Sunday features a wide assortment of mouthwatering soups, seafood gumbos, unique specialty items, fresh breads and delicious desserts from nearly 50 of the Memphis area’s best restaurants and caterers, including Celtic Crossing Irish Pub & Restaurant, Hard Rock Café Memphis, Huey’s Restaurant and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

General admission tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and under.

VIP Souper Party tickets are $75 for adults and $30 for children. VIP Souper Party tickets for couples are available exclusively at soupsunday.org for $110.

For additional information, call 901-251-4827 or go to www.soupsunday.org.

– Don Wade

Overton Park Entities Launch Pedestrian Safety Campaign

The Overton Park Conservancy and Memphis College of Art have launched a new pedestrian safety campaign in the park, with new signs and an animated video created by MCA students.

Junior animation student Esme Perkins created a short film about pedestrian safety in and around Overton Park. The film had full support of all of the park partners, including the Memphis Zoo, Levitt Shell, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and The Links at Overton Park.

The film will be shared by the park partners, and also played on two LED screens at Levitt Shell during their concert season.

Junior graphic design student Oziel Juarez designed signs being placed throughout the park and on Poplar Avenue. His strong and simple “HEY!” theme, with its eye-catching bright colors, forces drivers and pedestrians to focus and pay attention.

“The well-being of our students is our No. 1 priority,” Memphis College of Art president Laura Hine said in a release. “We wanted our talented students to help others. Esme and Oziel have done an outstanding job, and remind us of the power of art and design to effect change in our communities.”

– Daily News staff

American Job Center Hosts Career Day for Graduates

The American Job Center – Tennessee (AJC) in Memphis will hold a College Graduate Career Day on Thursday, Jan. 25, at its Hickory Hill location in Memphis.

Various workshops will run from 9 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.

“This is an exciting time for a young person getting ready to graduate from college or technical school,” Burns Phillips, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, said in a release. “We want them to know about the free resources the state has available to help them find that first job.”

Students who attend the event can learn about the state’s job website, Jobs4TN.gov, which has more than 100,000 current openings. They can also attend workshops focusing on creating eye-catching resumes, making a great impression during job interviews, and the best way to network toward a new job. Students can also obtain personalized labor market information that will help them make informed decisions about their career development.

“Tennessee currently has a very competitive job market,” Phillips said. “We want to prepare every graduating student to go out and make a lasting impression during job interviews, so employers will take notice and the student can find that all important first job out of college.”

Students can meet one-on-one with an AJC career specialist any time during the day. Scheduled workshops include:

• American Job Center Services Overview: 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

• How to Optimize Jobs4TN.gov: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

• How to Create the Best Resume: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Job Interview Best Practices: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

• Networking Towards Your First Job: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Registration is not required to attend, but seats are limited for each workshop.

These services are also open to recent graduates or anyone who is currently searching for a new job. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptop or tablet, but they not necessary to participate in the workshops.

The AJC is located at 4240 Hickory Hill Road and is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

– Daily News staff

Discount Tire Opens Second Memphis Store

Discount Tire, the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer, has opned its second store in Memphis at 7649 U.S. 64 near the intersection of Appling Road.

It is the Scottsdale, Arizona-based tire retailer’s 23rd store in Tennessee.

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 21 82 6,474
MORTGAGES 7 53 4,088
BUILDING PERMITS 240 353 15,714
BANKRUPTCIES 38 58 3,328