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VOL. 133 | NO. 118 | Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Daily Digest

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Memphis Seminary President To Resign July 31

Memphis Theological Seminary president Dr. Jay Earheart-Brown recently announced his intention to resign his post effective July 31 after serving in the position for more than 13 years.

The MTS board of trustees plans to name an interim president by the first of August. The interim president will serve while a search is undertaken for the next full-time president.

Earheart-Brown has led MTS through difficult times during his tenure, according to the seminary, including times of recession, declining enrollments in seminaries across the country and rapidly changing expectations related to online and hybrid course delivery methods.

While all those trends have impacted MTS, the seminary is poised to show increased enrollment for the first time in six years, and a new hybrid-online Master of Divinity degree has been approved. MTS also has many loyal donors supporting it through the Ministry for the Real World Campaign. During this fiscal year, 38 percent of the seminary alumni have made contributions to support the institution, which is well above the national average.

Earheart-Brown plans to seek a call as pastor at Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

“It has been the privilege of my life to serve as president of my alma mater,” he said, “but I am very happy to have a chance to return to my first love – pastoral ministry.”

MTS was founded in 1852 in McKenzie, Tennessee. In 1964, the seminary moved to Memphis. For more information, go to memphisseminary.edu.

– Don Wade

New Loan Fund Launches For Women-, Minority-Owned Biz

A $15 million small-business loan fund announced Monday, June 11, is aimed at improving access to capital for minority- and women-owned businesses in the Memphis area.

The loan fund is a partnership between Pathway Lending, a nonprofit regional community development financial institution, and Epicenter, the nonprofit entrepreneurial hub organization. Pinnacle Financial Partners, First Tennessee and Regions Bank are providing the initial capitalization of the Memphis Small Business Opportunity Loan Fund.

Pathway Lending will be the administrator with the fund being based in Epicenter’s headquarters in Cooper-Young.

The loans will range from $5,000 to $1 million for growth and are aimed at businesses that may not yet qualify for a conventional bank business loan. The fund also includes technical assistance and business advice.

“This fund is a flexible and affordable way to support entrepreneurs and business owners – particularly in communities of color – with capital at a critical time in their growth,” Epicenter president and CEO Leslie Lynn Smith said in a written statement.

The fund is having two informational sessions, both at Epicenter headquarters, 902 S. Cooper St.

The June 25 session is at 5:30 p.m. and the June 27 session is at 8 a.m.

– Bill Dries

Amazon, Whole Foods Expand Prime Discount

Amazon is expanding its Prime benefit at Whole Foods Market in 10 more states, including Tennessee and Mississippi.

Beginning Wednesday, June 13, Prime members will receive an additional 10 percent off hundreds of sale items throughout Whole Foods Market stores, plus deep discounts on select popular products.

“We’re excited that Prime savings will be available at nearly half of our Whole Foods Market stores this week, giving more Prime members access to great deals just in time for summer,” A.C. Gallo, Whole Foods’ president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Based on the positive customer feedback and successes we’ve seen over the past month, we’re accelerating our timeline to expand these savings to all of our U.S. stores.”

Prime member savings are also available at Whole Foods Market 365 stores nationwide. The deals will be prominently featured in store, and customers can learn about many of the offers on the Whole Foods app.

To use the discount, customers can either log into the Whole Foods app with their Amazon account and scan the Prime code at checkout or use their mobile phone number at the register.

Amazon plans to roll out the Prime discount to all stores this summer. Visit amazon.com/primesavings for a map of stores currently offering the discount.

– Daily News staff

Balmoral School PTO Pres Indicted for Theft

The former president of the Balmoral Ridgeway Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization has been indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for theft of more than $1,000.

Tameka Harrison resigned her post with the PTO in May on the last day of school. The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office was already investigating the PTO’s finances after Shelby County School officials notified the comptroller’s office about deficiencies in the account.

In a January interview with state investigators, Harrison admitted, according to the comptroller’s office, taking money from the organization. The PTO records indicated she had paid back $203.22 but had taken an additional $2,283.72.

Harrison withdrew as much as $450 from an ATM at one time and rang up purchases for herself at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Amazon.com as well as purchasing a one-year membership at the Memphis Zoo with a debit card that she alone had custody of.

Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson said Monday the PTO should take some additional safeguards in the future.

“This organization should take some basic steps such as maintaining bank deposit slips, reconciling the PTO’s bank account and not letting one person collect and deposit all funds,” he said in a written statement.

– Bill Dries

Tchulahoma Road To Close for Widening

Tchulahoma Road between Holmes and Stateline roads will close to through traffic starting Monday, June 18, as construction crews widen the northbound lane to add a second northbound lane in the future. The work also includes a new traffic signal and installation of an underground storm water culvert across the road.

The work is expected to take four to six weeks with Tchulahoma between Holmes and Aquarius Avenue remaining open to two-way traffic along with the stretch between Stateline Road and the residential driveways to the north.

A detour using Stateline, Swinnea Road and Holmes will also be marked.

– Bill Dries

All-American Finish For U of M Runner

University of Memphis senior runner Martina Rodriguez Sala closed her collegiate career with a second team All-American finish in the finals of the 1500-meter run this weekend. Rodriguez Sala finished 12th in 4:22.08, closing her career by advancing all the way through the regional rounds and the national semifinals to the finals.

Oregon’s Jessica Hull won the event on her home track in 4:08.75.

Rodriguez Sala caps her collegiate career as a three-time American Athletic Conference champion and is the program’s first track event All-America honoree since Maya Williamson earned second team honors in 2015. Rodriguez Sala and junior Ashley Pryke earned All-America honors at this year’s NCAA Championships to complete the 2017-18 track and field season.

– Don Wade

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