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VOL. 133 | NO. 121 | Monday, June 18, 2018

Daily Digest

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Motte Joins Univ. of Memphis Baseball Staff

Former Major League Baseball player Jason Motte, who won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals, has joined the University of Memphis baseball staff as the director of player development.

“(Motte’s) knowledge of the game, his impact on people, and the positive influence he will have on our players are all things that make this a great staff addition,” Memphis head coach Daron Schoenrock said in a statement. “After observing Jason’s rise from minor league catcher to nine-year major league veteran and World Series Champion closer, he has the work ethic and diligence to make in immediate impact.”

Motte pitched for nine seasons in the MLB, recording a 3.30 career ERA, with a 27-15 record and 60 saves. A member of the Cardinals from 2008 to 2014, Motte helped the franchise win the 2011 World Series. In 2012, he led the National League with 42 saves. He also played for the Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves.

A native of Port Huron, Michigan, Motte attended Valley Central High School in Montgomery, New York, and later attended Iona College. Drafted as a catcher by the Cardinals in the 2003 MLB Draft, Motte transitioned to the mound in 2006.

Motte has already been around the University of Memphis baseball program for several years, spending the offseason training at FedExPark and in the Babe Howard Training Facility.

Along with his wife, Caitlin, the couple created the Motte Foundation in 2010, raising money for cancer research while providing comfort and care for those affected, either directly or indirectly, by cancers of all kinds.

– Don Wade

Madonna Learning Center Gets IT Makeover

Madonna Learning Center will get a $30,000 makeover of its office technology with a grant from Unistar-Sparco Computers Inc.

More than 25 businesses in the area applied. Madonna’s grant comes as the nonprofit prepares to make its 50th anniversary in 2019. Work on the technology upgrade is expected to start this week.

“Madonna Learning Center won not just because of their need for a completely new IT system, but also because they are a nonprofit doing a social service to Memphis and the community,” said Soo-Tsong Lim, CEO and president of Sparco.

The learning center is a private, faith-based school for children and young adults with disabilities. The school’s annual enrollment is 58 children and young adults.

– Bill Dries

Grizzlies’ Selden to Be Instructor at Americas Team Camp

The NBA announced that Memphis Grizzlies guard/forward Wayne Selden Jr. will headline the fifth Americas Team Camp presented by Nike, which will be held Monday through Thursday, June 18-21, at The NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico City, Mexico.

The camp will bring together the top high school age male and female players from across Latin America and Canada to learn directly from current and former NBA players and coaches, including Selden, Raul Neto (Utah Jazz, Brazil), former NBA players Horatio Llamas (Mexico) and Brian Cardinal (USA and a former Grizzly), and former WNBA players Ebony Hoffman (USA) and Michele Van Gorp (USA).

Selden will be among the players and coaches leading the campers through a variety of activities on and off the court, including movement efficiency, positional skill development, shooting and skills competitions, 5-on-5 games, and daily life skills seminars focusing on health, leadership and communication. One boy and one girl will be named Americas Team Camp MVPs at the conclusion of the camp.

The NBA Academy Latin America, an elite basketball training center in Mexico City for the top male and female prospects from throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America, opened last winter. Since October 2016, NBA Academies have been launched in Canberra, Australia; Jinan, Urumqi and Zhuji, China; Delhi NCR, India; Mexico City, Mexico; and Thies, Senegal.

Current NBA coaches Jim Moran (Portland Trail Blazers), Ed Pinckney (Minnesota Timberwolves), Shawn Respert (Chicago Bulls) and Wes Unseld Jr. (Denver Nuggets) will also serve as Americas Team Camp 2018 coaches.

– Don Wade

Nidec Motor Co. To Expand In Lexington

Nidec Motor Co. will expand its electric motor plant in Lexington, Tennessee, with an $18 million project, the company announced Friday, June 15.

The expansion will create 301 new jobs in Henderson County.

With the expansion, Nidec will add new motors to its product line and well as expand production of its existing product line. The motors made at Nidec are used in the industrial, residential and commercial markets.

“This is a big deal for Lexington and one of the largest economic development announcements we’ve had here since 2011,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said Friday.

– Bill Dries

Tennessee Unemployment Rate Ticks Up to 3.5 Percent

Tennessee posted a 3.5 percent unemployment rate for May, a slight increase from the 3.4 percent rate statewide in April, according to the latest figures from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The state added another 7,800 non-farm jobs in April and May, the department said Thursday, June 14.

Most of those new jobs – 4,200 – were in professional and business services.

The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted to eliminate the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from an economic time series.

– Bill Dries

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