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VOL. 133 | NO. 139 | Friday, July 13, 2018

Daily Digest

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Big River Trail Plans for Expansion

After receiving a $1.2 million Walton Family Foundation grant, Arkansas’ riverside trail system atop the Mississippi River levee system plans to expand.

Big River Trail’s 30-mile expansion will extend from the southern end of the levee trail in Marianna through Downtown Helena and westward to the Arkansas Delta Heritage Trail.

The new route is expected to open by the end of 2019 and offer cycling, camping, hiking, fishing and dining experiences under the canopy of the Ozark National Forest.

Big River Trail begins at Big River Crossing, which connects Memphis and West Memphis.

From Oct. 22, 2016, to June 24 of this year, Big River Crossing saw total traffic of 385,785. There were 321,447 pedestrians and 64,428 cyclists total. Seventy-five percent of that was from Big River Crossing East, with 246,177 pedestrians and 40,618 cyclists. Big River Crossing West saw 25 percent of the total traffic with 75,270 pedestrians and 23,810 cyclists.

In the second quarter of 2018 alone (through June 24), Big River Crossing has seen total traffic of 57,060, with 42,759 of that coming from Big River Crossing East and 14,301 of that coming from Big River Crossing West.

– Daily News staff

Cash Saver Secures $100K Loan From EDGE

The Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County has awarded a $100,000 low-interest loan to Castle Retail Group for its new Cash Saver location in South Memphis.

The EDGE Economic Development Finance Committee on Wednesday, July 11, approved the seven-year loan at a 2 percent interest rate in order to complete the financing on the $1.1 million supermarket.

The new Cash Saver location will be in the 31,000-square-foot space left vacant when Kroger left the Southgate Shopping Center. Earlier this month, the landlords of the shopping center were awarded a 15-year Community Builder PILOT to help stabilize the retail center.

Castle Retail Group president Rick James, who operates three other Cash Saver locations, anticipates an August grand opening date for the new store.

– Patrick Lantrip

Simmonds Named President Of Tenn. Sports Hall of Fame

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame has announced the appointment of John E. Simmonds as board president and Harold Graeter as vice president and president-elect. Simmonds has more than 40 years’ experience in the financial industry as a regulator, president and CEO with completion of more than 20 successful mergers.

Simmonds served as vice president of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame from 2016 to 2018. He will serve as the Hall’s president through 2020.

Tabbed as the new vice president and president-elect is Graeter, who is the associate executive director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. He has been a board member since 2009 and was voted vice president by the board of directors on June 16.

– Don Wade

Public Defender Investigator Indicted on Drug Charges

An investigator for West Tennessee’s Public Defender’s Office has been arrested and charged with buying marijuana.

Brent Chunn, an investigator for the Tipton County Public Defender’s Office, was allegedly involved in the purchase of marijuana from January 2017 to January 2018 from an individual known by law enforcement to be a drug dealer, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The TBI began an investigation on Feb. 13 at the request of the 25th District Attorney.

Chunn was charged Tuesday, July 10, with 28 counts of simple possession or casual exchange of a Schedule VI drug and one count of tampering with evidence. He was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Tipton County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

The case will be prosecuted by pro tem District Attorney General Jody Pickens with the 26th Judicial District.

– Daily News staff

Somavac Medical Device Receives FDA Clearance

Memphis-based Somavac Medical Solutions Inc. recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave clearance to its 100 Sustained Vacuum System.

The wearable closed suction device applies a sustained vacuum to a closed wound after surgery to effectively remove fluid and reduce the risk of fluid buildup under the skin. The device is indicated for use in surgeries which lead to large surgical flaps requiring drains, including abdominal surgery, mastectomy, cosmetic surgery, hernia surgery and orthopedic procedures.

“This FDA clearance represents a critical milestone for Somavac and provides a meaningful advancement in post-surgical care, offering patients the opportunity to recover with dignity at home after major surgeries,” said CEO Esra Roan in a release. “We are excited about receiving our clearance from the FDA for this device so that our technology can begin to improve patients’ recovery after surgeries.”

The creators designed the device to replace the legacy technology of using suction bulbs with surgical drains.

Somavac was launched in 2016, when it entered Memphis-based medical device accelerator Zeroto510. Investors in the company include Innova Memphis, MB Venture Partners – both based in Memphis – as well as a group of angel investors.

– Daily News staff

Memphis Cancer Specialist Reveals Drug Study Results

Dr. Lee Schwartzberg, executive director of the West Cancer Center, was the lead investigator in a recent cancer treatment study entitled “Elfapegrastim is Safe and Effective in Reducing Severe Neutropenia in Patients Receiving Myelosuppressive Chemotherapy in a Phase III Randomized, Controlled Trial Compared to Pegfilgrastim.”

The study focused on neutropenia, a side effect of chemotherapy resulting in an abnormally low amount of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell.

Neutrophils specifically help destroy harmful bacteria and fungi that can be a serious health concern in cancer patients. The drug Eflapegrastim showed a significant increase in patients’ neutrophil count compared to Pegfilgrastim, the current treatment for neutropenia.

“The ADVANCE study affirms the efficacy and safety of this drug that was observed in the Phase III study,” Schwartzberg, said in a release. “If approved (by the FDA), this drug would be a welcomed addition to supportive care treatment options for cancer patients receiving myelosuppressive cytotoxic chemotherapy.”

Eflapegrastim continues to undergo evaluation in other clinical trials.

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 79 321 2,586
MORTGAGES 90 426 3,033
BUILDING PERMITS 153 796 6,864
BANKRUPTCIES 37 213 2,000