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VOL. 11 | NO. 4 | Saturday, January 27, 2018

Daily Digest

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Trader Joe’s Files Permit For Germantown Store

It looks like the Memphis area is finally getting a Trader Joe’s.

A $750,000 building permit application that lists Trader Joe’s as a tenant has been filed with the Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

The permit application, which simply reads “tenant buildout,” is for the popular store’s on-again-off-again location at 2130 Exeter Road in Germantown.

Savannah, Georgia-based Wicker Park Capital Management, doing business as 2130 Exeter Road Holdings, acquired the site from previous owner Robert H. Schwab for $8.1 million in December.

After originally being announced in the fall of 2015, speculation began on whether or not the store would materialize in June 2016 when a Trader Joe’s spokesperson announced the store’s opening would be pushed back from the third quarter of 2016 to sometime in 2017.

In December 2016, a representative with Trader Joe’s told The Daily News the project would likely be pushed back again, this time until 2018.

In May 2017, The Daily News reported that Centennial American Properties, the developers of the planned Trader Joe's location, pulled out as the project's developer, leaving the future of the project in question yet again.

New plans for the Exeter Road site under the current development team surfaced in November, but there was no mention of any specific tenant at the time.

– Patrick Lantrip

Primary Care Specialists Joins Regional One Network

Primary Care Specialists has joined the Regional One Health family and its two physicians and six nurse practitioners are now part of UT Regional One Physicians.

“The acquisition of Primary Care Specialists is another indicator of our progress at Regional One Health and a positive for patients as we increase access to care,” said Reginald Coopwood, M.D., president and CEO of Regional One Health. “Adding a primary care practice in the Midtown area gives more health care options as we cover from Downtown to East Memphis.”

Primary Care Specialists is the fifth primary care site at Regional One Health, adding a central location to the current sites in Downtown, North Memphis, South Memphis and East Memphis. The office is located in the Chickasaw Oaks Plaza at 3109 Walnut Grove Road.

Primary Care Specialists will continue to provide care for the whole family, including well-woman care, pediatrics, family and internal medicine, minor medical procedures and urgent care.

The practice is led by Drs. Jeffrey Warren and Bradford Pendley.

Warren earned his doctor of medicine degree from Duke University School of Medicine and is board certified in family practice. In addition to family practice, Warren has been trained and certified in emergency medicine.

Pendley earned his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Pendley is board certified in internal medicine.

“The Primary Care Specialists providers are leaders in the area of family medicine, and we are excited to bring them into our practice,” said Randy Sites, executive director of UT Regional One Physicians. “Their experience and expertise is a strong complement to the more than 200 providers of UT Regional One Physicians.”

With this new affiliation, Primary Care Specialists patients will have increased access to medical specialties provided by UT Regional One Physicians, as well as to the outpatient and inpatient services at Regional One Health.

– Daily News staff

FHN Raises Dividend, Approves Purchase Program

First Tennessee Bank’s parent company is getting the new year started in part by increasing its common stock dividend by 33 percent.

The board of First Horizon National Corp. has approved a quarterly cash dividend payment of 12 cents per share payable on April 2. The per-share quarterly cash dividend in 2017 was 9 cents, which means the increase raises the regular annual common dividend rate from 36 to 48 cents per share.

The board of directors has also approved payment of a quarterly cash dividend of $1,550 per share on the company’s Series A preferred stock. The dividend is payable on April 10.

In other action, the board approved a new $250 million common share purchase program that expires on Jan. 31, 2020.

Purchases will be made in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions and will be subject to market conditions, accumulation of excess equity, capital management, and legal and regulatory restrictions. The new program is not tied to any compensation plan, and replaces an older general share purchase program.

The board terminated the older program that was three years old had about $190 million remaining in available share purchase authority. It had been scheduled to expire on Jan. 31.

– Andy Meek

New Gallery Opens In East Memphis

Art-Body-Soul, a new gallery and studio, opens this month at 1024 S. Yates Road.

The business is a product of owner Madeleine Newkirk, an artist and self-health facilitator who is introducing a variety of complementary and alternative self-healing methods that enhanced her well-being.

Art-Body-Soul offers painting classes, yoga, meditation, massages and more.

It will also start hosting local artists in the spring at “Friday Nights in the Gallery,” an evening for art shows, guest speakers, workshops, dancing events and more.

Classes and individual sessions will range from $15 to $250. Corporate and group experiences also are available. Go to www.artbodysoulstudio.com for more details.

– Andy Meek

Staxtacular Jan. 27 Benefits Soulsville Foundation

The Soulsville Foundation, in partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies, is bringing basketball and music together for the Soulsville Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser, Staxtacular 2018 presented by SunTrust.

The event is Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E. McLemore Ave.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Mario Chalmers and Paije Speights will co-host this year’s party. Former Grizzlies forward and Staxtacular co-founder Shane Battier will be in attendance along with other Grizzlies guests. Now in its 13th year, Staxtacular has raised more than $1 million for the Stax Music Academy.

Tickets are $175 per person and may be purchased at the Stax Museum or by calling 901-261-6336.

This year, guests will be able to mingle with Chalmers, Battier and other Grizzlies guests; dance to live music by the Stax Music Academy, Stax Music Academy Alumni Band and special DJs; bid in online and silent auctions; sample from the open bars and enjoy Southern cuisine with a twist; and try the coffee & espresso bar. Complimentary valet parking is available.

All proceeds benefit the Stax Music Academy, which inspires young people and enhances their academic, cognitive, performance and leadership skills.

– Don Wade

Memphis Greenspace Plans Upgrades to City Parks

Memphis Greenspace Inc. has announced a spring activation strategy for its current park portfolio of Memphis Park and Health Sciences Park.

“For a majority of our population, these parks were not inviting, and we want them to be for our entire community,” said Van Turner, president of Memphis Greenspace. “We’ve taken a significant and critical first step by removing Confederate statues, and now we are moving forward with our intention to reinvent the parks as a valuable asset for communities and the city as a whole.”

Memphis Greenspace will first tackle infrastructure by cleaning up walkways, adding seating and trash cans, and establishing desirable wayfinding and security measures.

Community partners such as the Downtown Memphis Commission, Memphis Medical District Collaborative and The Fourth Bluff (Kresge Foundation) have been invaluable in setting the foundation for the future of these parks, Turner said.

MMDC, for example, is working to install streetscape improvements along Manassas Street, including an artistic crosswalk designed by local artists Cat and Nick Peña, to lead Medical District residents, employees, students and visitors to Health Sciences Park. The DMC has confirmed a spring music series and weekly meditative arts programming – including yoga and tai chi – at Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park beginning in March.

Memphis Greenspace is a Tennessee nonprofit corporation with a mission to start, strengthen and support neighborhood and community involvement surrounding park-based recreation.

The organization is accepting financial contributions toward maintenance and operations of both Health Sciences and Memphis parks through its fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis. To donate, visit cfgm.org/greenspace or call 901-722-0038.

– Daily News staff

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 bankruptcy 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

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

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

H&M to Open In Wolfchase Galleria

Fashion retailer H&M is planning to open its third Memphis-area location in Wolfchase Galleria.

Hennes and Mauritz Inc. says the 22,000-square-foot store will open this fall and will offer ladies’, men’s and teen fashions, as well as separate store-within-a-store sections for accessories. The Wolfchase Galleria location also will carry the H&M Kids collection for newborns to 14-year-olds.

“H&M has experienced a warm welcome from customers and fans in Tennessee and is happy to continue to expand its store and employee count in the state,” the company said in a statement.

The global retailer, which is based in Stockholm, Sweden, is known for selling high fashion at low prices.

H&M opened its first Memphis-area store in Carriage Crossing in 2015. That was followed by a location in Tanger Outlets Southaven the following year. It currently operates 521 stores in the U.S., employing roughly 16,000. It did not say how many the Wolfchase store would employ.

– Daily News staff

Mempops Opening Third Location in Collierville

Collierville residents will be getting a sweet treat soon as Mempops has announced a new location at 3670 Houston Levee Road.

“We have been bringing the Mempops mobile fleet out to events and festivals in Collierville for years and people just kept asking us to open up a shop out here,” operations director J.C. Youngblood said in a release. “The timing was finally right and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our flavorful reach.”

This will be the third brick-and-mortar store in as many years for the popular gourmet popsicle makers.

While no grand opening date is set, plans are already underway to meet the demand for catering and special events requests, the release indicated.

“If you had asked me a few years ago if we would be opening our third store in three years, I would have said you were nuts,” said owner Chris Taylor, who founded Mempops in 2015. “We are incredibly grateful for the support and love we have received thus far. Let’s keep it going.”

– Patrick Lantrip

Children’s Museum Hosts Fundraiser on Feb. 3

The Children’s Museum of Memphis’ annual fundraising event – Cirque de CMOM – is coming up on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. at the museum.

This year’s event theme is Over the Top Under the Big Top and will highlight the restored 1909 Dentzel carousel.

Individual ticket prices are $150 and can be purchased online at CMOM.com. All proceeds benefit The Children’s Museum of Memphis, its exhibits and educational programs.

The event will include food, music, dancing and silent and online auctions.

For tickets to Cirque de CMOM or for more information, call the museum at 901-458-2678. Or go to cmom.com/cirque-du-cmom-2018 for a list of this year’s sponsors and more details.

– Don Wade

Explore Bike Share Names Operations Director

Explore Bike Share has named Rajah Brown as its operations director.

Brown comes to the post from creating programming for the Mayor’s Safe Summer Initiative and before that worked with Memphis Athletic Ministries for a decade.

With Brown’s hiring, a lead technician and four other bike technicians will be hired as the bike share program continues to staff up toward a spring opening.

Volunteers are also being recruited for the buildout of the bikes and stations to be placed in Orange Mound, Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, South Memphis and Binghampton.

– Bill Dries

Harris, Clemmons File Net Neutrality Bill

In the wake of the FCC’s recent vote to end net neutrality, state Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis and Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, have introduced the “Tennessee Net Neutrality and Internet Consumer Protection Act” to enact and enforce net neutrality rules at the state level.

State legislators in at least four other states have introduced similar legislation in recent months.

Harris said the internet is almost a public utility in this day and age, and everyone deserves equal and open access to it.

“This move by the Trump administration hurts consumers, innovators, and our small businesses,” Harris said in a release. “The legislation we have filed will ensure that Tennessee stays on the path of creative entrepreneurship.”

Clemmons said the state law would “protect consumers, ensure equal access to information, foster opportunity for innovation, and ensure a level playing field for our startup community,” adding that a free and open internet “is crucial to growing our economy statewide."

– Daily News staff

Diana Krall Plans Memphis Show

The Orpheum Theatre will present “An Evening with Diana Krall,” a concert set for June 30 at the performing venue at 203 S. Main St. featuring the pianist.

Krall’s Memphis stop on her “Turn Up The Quiet” world tour will feature material from her new album “Turn Up The Quiet,” which has earned praise from outlets such as People magazine and Mojo Magazine.

Tickets range from $62.50 to $118.

– Andy Meek

Hearing Set on Peabody Avenue Improvements

The city of Memphis will take public input on plans to make streetscape improvements along Peabody Avenue from Bellevue Boulevard to Cooper Street.

The hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 6, by the city engineering division is in advance of a resurfacing of Peabody in the summer financed with city capital funds.

The 6 p.m. public meeting at Idlewild Elementary School, 1950 Linden Ave., will include an overview of what the city plans to do, an opportunity for questions and answers, comments and an open house.

Engineering division staff will present and seek public input on proposed designs that include bike lanes and traffic calming configurations. The city will also present how Peabody could act as a critical piece of a longer corridor that effectively extends the Shelby Farms Greenline to Downtown.

The meeting’s agenda:

• 6-6:20 p.m., overview of presentation

• 6:20-6:30 p.m., facilitated Q&A

• 6:30-7 p.m., open house

– Bill Dries

Orgel, Caldwell Prepare For School Board Races

Incumbent Shelby County Schools board members Billy Orgel and Chris Caldwell have pulled qualifying petitions to seek re-election to the nonpartisan positions in the August elections.

Caldwell faces a challenge in District 1 from Michael Scruggs, a motivational speaker, and Katherine Ayers, who have each pulled a petition for the race.

Orgel, in District 8, faces a challenge from Jerry Alan Cunningham.

Meanwhile, incumbent Republican state Rep. Mark White has pulled a petition for re-election to his District 83 seat.

The filing deadline for the August state and federal primaries and nonpartisan county races is at noon on April 5.

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

– Bill Dries

Morgan Stanley Denies Firing Ford for Misconduct

Morgan Stanley executives denied Monday, Jan. 22, that the financial giant fired former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. for sexual misconduct.

The company also denied that it received any “internal allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct involving him either before or after his separation became public.”

“As previously stated, his separation was based on corporate policy,” the statement read.

The Huffington Post reported in December that Ford, the U.S. representative for Memphis from 1997 to 2007, had been fired after a Morgan Stanley investigation into an allegation that he harassed, intimidated and forcibly grabbed a woman during a meeting over dinner in New York City.

The story quoted Morgan Stanley as saying Ford was fired “for conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies.”

But the company said Monday the reason was not sexual misconduct.

“The press has reported that Mr. Ford was terminated for sexual misconduct. He was not,” the statement read.

The New York Times reported earlier this month that the company did investigate the allegation and concluded it was his word against his accuser and that there was not enough proof of sexual abuse or misconduct. But the Times reported the company decided to fire Ford anyway for other issues, including the use of his company expense account as well as the recent departure of a Morgan Stanley executive whom Ford was allied with.

The story also indicated that Ford had hired attorneys who were marshalling a defense to his termination and the sexual harassment allegation.

Ford reacted to the New York Times report by claiming vindication.

“I am gratified to learn that Morgan Stanley now acknowledges what I always knew, that I did not engage in any acts of sexual misconduct or harassment,” he said earlier this month, first by email and later on Twitter. “I only wish for the sake of my good name and reputation that they had admitted the truth five weeks ago.”

– Bill Dries

U of M Recruitment Center To Open in Wilder Tower

The University of Memphis will soon begin renovation on the 12th floor of Wilder Tower, transforming it into a recruitment center for prospective students and offering 360-degree views of the campus and the city beyond.

The center will offer an information area for students and their families who are touring the campus. There will be a presentation area for 100 people in a lecture-style space with smart classroom capabilities – including monitors and surround sound – where students can get an introduction to the campus and the academic programs offered. A workspace with computers will be available for campus tour guides. Counselors and other staff members will have a small area where they can hold conversations in a quiet setting.

“This beautiful space will also be utilized for recruitment receptions and alumni events and will enable us to give prospective students a full overview of university academic offerings,” said William Akey, vice provost for enrollment services, in a written statement. “We now have the ‘wow’ factor for our tour program that we have dreamed of for years.”

The project is in the designer selection phase. The overall project is expected to be completed in spring 2019.

– Don Wade

Memphis Public Libraries Get Digital Literacy Grant

Memphis Public Libraries is one of 52 public libraries across the state receiving digital literacy and broadband adoption grants from the state of Tennessee.

The library system’s Training Opportunities for the Public, or TOP, grant is specifically for training classes to improve digital literacy. The grants are a result of the state’s Broadband Accessibility Act.

The money is specifically for training classes in basic computer skills, how to apply for jobs, applications for small businesses and online learning.

– Bill Dries

Jernigan Capital Launches Preferred Stock Offering

Memphis-based Jernigan Capital Inc. has launched a public offering of Series B preferred stock.

The company – which provides debt and equity capital to private developers, owners and operators of self-storage facilities – said it expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase additional shares of Series B preferred stock.

Jernigan Capital is planning to use the net proceeds from the offering to fund an investment in bridge financing related to five self-storage facilities in the Miami, Florida, metro area.

Raymond James & Associates Inc. and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. B. Riley FBR Inc., BMO Capital Markets Corp. and KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. are acting as co-managers.

– Andy Meek

Audit Shows TennCare Paid $2.7M for Dead Patients

A federal audit estimates Tennessee’s Medicaid program overpaid managed care organizations by $2.7 million over seven years for patients who were already dead.

A December audit by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services inspector general says TennCare should recover the money and return a $1.8 million federal share.

TennCare Deputy Commissioner Wendy Long responded that the state has recouped a significant portion of the money through a software change, will recover the rest and will return the federal share. She said TennCare is working to understand why its death list differed from what auditors had.

TennCare spokeswoman Sarah Tanksley said the cases represent a small number of unique circumstances and TennCare paid $30 billion-plus to managed care organizations in that timeframe.

– The Associated Press

FedEx, International Paper Make ‘Most Admired' List

A pair of Memphis-based companies, FedEx Corp. and International Paper Co., have been ranked among the most-admired in the world.

Fortune magazine's annual World’s Most Admired Companies report, which was released on Friday, Jan. 19, ranks FedEx at No. 9. This marks the 18th consecutive year that FedEx has ranked among the top 20, with 14 of those years ranking among the top 10.

“FedEx is honored to have been recognized again among the world’s most admired companies,” FedEx chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith said in a release. “This honor reflects the outstanding dedication and performance of our more than 400,000 FedEx team members worldwide.”

Meanwhile, International Paper ranked No. 3 in the Packaging, Containers industry category. IP has earned the honor 15 out of the past 16 years.

"Our mission is to improve people's lives, the planet and our company's performance by transforming renewable resources into products people depend on every day," said Mark Sutton, chairman and chief executive officer. "I want to thank our 52,000 global team members for achieving this well-deserved recognition."

The rankings were based on a survey of 3,900 executives, directors and securities analysts.

– Patrick Lantrip

Graceland to Debut Camp, HBO Documentary

Graceland has a performing arts camp for children 6 to 15 slated for July.

The camp, July 18-22, is one of several events planned by Elvis Presley Enterprises for the spring and summer, including a new documentary that airs on HBO starting April 14.

The camp will include a program and curriculum that includes acting, music and dance taught by local and Broadway professionals.

The set of workshops will take place on the Graceland soundstage and the theater at Guest House at Graceland. The soundstage is part of the Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment complex across Elvis Presley Boulevard from the Whitehaven mansion.

It will use soundstages built for the “Sun Records” television series that were unveiled at the complex during festivities surrounding the late entertainer’s birthday earlier this month.

The family events will include movies, pool parties and city tours.

Meanwhile, The HBO documentary, “Elvis Presley: The Searcher” will include 20 new primary source interviews in a scope spanning two films and three hours.

The documentary will get a promotional push in March during the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. A panel discussion at SXSW will feature those involved in the making of the documentary, including Presley’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley; Stax music producer and songwriter David Porter; film producer Jon Landau; John Jackson of Sony Music; and film director Thom Zimny.

– Bill Dries

Lepone Tapped as New Deputy District Attorney

Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court Magistrate Ray Lepone will become deputy district attorney general for Shelby County effective Feb. 16, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich announced Friday, Jan. 19.

Lepone succeeds Jennifer Nichols in the post following her appointment by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam as Criminal Court Judge Division 10.

Lepone has been a Juvenile Court magistrate since May 2016. Prior to that he was an assistant district attorney who served as the chief prosecutor on the Multi-Agency Gang Unit’s prosecution team.

As deputy, Lepone will oversee the day-to-day operation of the prosecutor’s office, which has a staff of 225, including attorneys, investigators, coordinators and support staff.

– Bill Dries

Average Airfare at MEM Continues to Drop

The average airfare at Memphis International Airport fell to $379 for the third quarter of 2017.

The airfare decline marks a $16 drop year over year and a $26 drop from second quarter 2017, according to data released by the federal Department of Transportation.

This figure also represent a $181 inflation-adjusted drop from the airport’s high-water mark in 2012, when it was still operating as a Delta Air Lines hub.

The airport also experienced a 4.9 percent increase in passengers in 2017 when compared to the 2016 totals, which represents nearly 200,000 additional passengers, the data shows.

More than 4 million total passengers traversed Memphis International Airport in 2017.

“Passenger growth coupled with falling fares is a tremendous combination for Memphis,” Pace Cooper, chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board of commissioners, said in a statement.

– Patrick Lantrip

Football Practice Facility at Memphis Moving Forward

The University of Memphis Athletics Department has released updated information on the football facility project, to be built on the Park Avenue campus.

Turner Construction Co. has been named general contractor, and the initial construction meeting has been held to discuss timeline, budget and details of the project.

“You’re looking at about a 14-month process to build the first phase with the coaches’ offices, academics center, dining hall and football-only medicine center,” deputy athletic director Mark Alnutt told The Daily News.

The completion of Phase I of the project will be in the spring of 2019. Pre-construction work begins this month with public utilities, tree removal and ground testing in preparation for demolition.

The collaborative design process of Phase II is being completed and will be presented to the Tennessee State Building Commission in the coming weeks. The building commission’s website will have additional details of the approved project elements.

– Don Wade

PROPERTY SALES 91 293 13,051
MORTGAGES 58 168 8,171
BUILDING PERMITS 99 744 30,678
BANKRUPTCIES 34 156 6,220