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VOL. 133 | NO. 89 | Thursday, May 3, 2018

Daily Digest

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Air Canada Adds Second Memphis-Toronto Flight

Air Canada has added a second nonstop flight between Memphis International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The new flight, announced Tuesday, May 1, will depart at 6 a.m. and arrive in Toronto at 9:25 a.m.

Since Toronto is a U.S. customs preclearance site, the expanded service offers greater one-stop access to more than 160 Canadian and other international destinations.

“Air Canada’s Memphis-Toronto service has been extremely well-received by our passengers,” Pace Cooper, chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board of commissioners, said in a release. “This second frequency boldly shows that Air Canada is responding to the strong demand of the Memphis market, and more importantly, it opens up Toronto as a gateway city through which Memphis passengers will be able to achieve very convenient one-stop service to Asia, Europe and the Middle East.”

Tuesday’s announcement fell on the one-year anniversary of Air Canada’s return to Memphis International.

“There has been a strong response from Memphis and the surrounding community to Air Canada’s service and consequently we are pleased to expand it by adding a second flight,” said Lisa Pierce, Air Canada’s senior director of U.S. sales and market development. “Apart from visiting Canada, many customers are connecting onward through our Toronto global hub and the timing of this second flight starting this spring will make it even more convenient for people flying from Memphis to connect onward to our extensive Asian network.”

Air Canada’s Toronto-Memphis service will be operated using a 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200.

– Patrick Lantrip

South Korean Appliance Co. Opening Plant in West Tenn.

Dong-A Hwa Sung Co, a South Korean maker of home appliance and automotive parts, is opening its first U.S. plant in Martin, Tennessee.

Company executives and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced the location Tuesday, May 1.

The West Tennessee plant is a $13 million investment and is expected to create 220 jobs.

“South Korea continues to be a strong partner to Tennessee, with South Korean companies pledging to invest more than $1 billion in capital and create more than 4,000 jobs in our state since 2011,” said Bob Rolfe, Tennessee commissioner of economic and community development.

Dong-A Hwa Sung makes rubber and plastic components used in home appliances and auto building. Its automotive customers include Hyundai/Kia, Nissan and GM. The home appliance manufacturers it serves include LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics.

The announcement Tuesday did not include what, if any, state or local incentives are involved.

– Bill Dries

First Tennessee to Lay Off 58 in Greeneville

First Tennessee Bank is laying off a few dozen employees in Greene County, Tennessee, a move that’s related to the bank’s merger with Capital Bank Financial Corp.

The layoffs come as First Tennessee has consolidated operations at the locations that remain in Greene County after First Tennessee and Capital Bank jointly agreed to divest two branches.

A WARN notice was filed with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development announcing 58 layoffs. Those come at 100 N. Main, which was a Capital Bank branch that’s being converted to a First Tennessee location.

The First Horizon merger with Capital Bank was finalized Nov. 30. It created the fourth-largest regional bank in the Southeast based on asset size, giving the combined entity $40 billion in assets, $32 billion in deposits, $27 billion in loans and more than 300 branches in Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas and Virginia.

– Andy Meek

GPAC Renames Black Box Theater

Germantown Performing Arts Center has renamed its black box theater the Watkins Studio Theater to honor longtime supporters and Germantown residents Jeanette and William H. Watkins Jr.

William Watkins Jr. has served on the GPAC board, and together the couple and their family have supported GPAC and community arts education for more than 20 years.

Along with the name change, the facility’s lobby and entrance area will receive significant enhancements, with capital upgrades scheduled this summer, including modernized wall finishes, seating, restrooms and signage.

The Watkins Studio Theater, located in the northwest corner of the GPAC facility, will be the home of the Jazz in the Box series and GPAC’s education programs, including the music education program, the child-friendly Peanut Butter and Jam concert series, the GPAC Youth Symphony Program, pre-concert conversations with both the IRIS Orchestra and Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and other classes and events.

The 2018-19 Jazz in the Box series kicks off Sept. 21 with the Johnny O’Neal Trio.

– Daily News staff

Memphis Men’s Tennis Earns No. 2 Seed in NCAAs

Following a historic regular season, the No. 20 University of Memphis men’s tennis team will make its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in seven years.

The Tigers drew an at-large bid as a No. 2 seed and will travel to Starkville, Mississippi, to face South Alabama in the opening round May 11 at 10 a.m. The winner between the Tigers and Jaguars will play the winner between host Mississippi State and Tennessee Tech in the second round on May 12 at 1 p.m.

“We have some experience in the NCAA Tournament,” said head coach Paul Goebel. “So I’m excited to see how we can do.”

Memphis (18-5, 5-0) capped the regular season with 17 wins to tie the most regular-season victories since 2012. The 2012 team earned the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance, which was also in Starkville. Memphis made the Round of 16 in 2013 and advanced to the second round in 2014. After missing the 2015 NCAA Tournament, the Tigers returned to the field in 2016 and 2017.

The Tigers, who earned the highest ranking in program history at No. 16 earlier this season, went 10-4 against the nation’s current Top 50. Nine teams the Tigers saw on their regular season schedule also heard their names called Tuesday afternoon, including Oklahoma State and Dartmouth, who the Tigers defeated at home, and Harvard and San Diego, who the Tigers took down on neutral-site courts.

Memphis is 3-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and seeks its first tourney win since 2014. The Tigers hold a 5-4 advantage against South Alabama in the all-time series, with Memphis claiming victories in the last three meetings.

– Don Wade

MEM Hosts High School Visual Arts Competition

Memphis International Airport will host an exhibition as part of its 11th annual High School Visual Arts Competition and announce the winners of the art and photography contests on Thursday, May 3, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The competition is in the Concourse B ticketing lobby and all participating students, their families and the public are invited to attend.

The exhibition is part of the airport’s “Arts in the Airport” program. All Shelby County public high schools were invited to participate. The airport received 193 paintings and 118 photography submissions from 14 different schools. Of these, 45 painting finalists were chosen to have their work displayed in the airport. All the photography entries also will be displayed.

The top six entries in each category will earn cash and prizes ranging from $75 to $400. One winner will earn a scholarship from HMS Host, which operates several restaurants at the Memphis airport. The top three entries will be announced at the conclusion of Thursday’s event. Winners are selected by a panel of judges that includes local artists and photographers along with representatives from the Memphis College of Art, University of Memphis, the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery and Dixon Gallery and Gardens.

Thursday night’s event will also feature food provided by the airport’s food and beverage tenants.

Students are provided art supplies by the airport’s community foundation for the contest, and the finalists’ pieces are displayed throughout the airport for one year. Most pieces are available for purchase by the public, and all proceeds go to the student artist. Some airport retailers may also sell items that feature students’ artwork, with proceeds from those sales going to help purchase art supplies for the contest.

– Bill Dries

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