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VOL. 133 | NO. 177 | Thursday, September 6, 2018

Daily Digest

Special to The Daily News

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Wright Medical Confirms Expansion, Mum on Details

Wright Medical Group on Tuesday, Sept. 4, confirmed the company’s plans to enlarge its manufacturing facility near Memphis.

“Wright Medical is in the early stages of planning an expansion to its manufacturing facility in Arlington,’’ Julie Dewey, chief communications officer, said in an email response to questions from The Memphis Daily News.

“We anticipate that this project will retain existing jobs and create new, quality local jobs,’’ she said.

But the medical-device maker did not reveal how many jobs would be added, the reason for the expansion or the size of the project.

“Expansion is to accommodate our current and expected future growth needs,” Dewey wrote. “No other details available at this time.’’

Wright Medical applied last week for a building permit that estimates the cost of new construction at 11576 Memphis Arlington Road to be $9 million.

The company makes orthopedic implants for small joints and extremities in Arlington.

About 250 people work at the facility. The company moved its corporate headquarters from Arlington to 10233 Cherry Road in East Memphis four years ago.

- Special to The Daily News

Memphis Native Teams Up With Lebron James on Women’s Shoe

National Basketball Association star Lebron James is releasing his first women’s basketball shoe, with the help of a Memphis native.

The collaboration is between Harlem’s Fashion Row and James. According to Nike, the HFR x Lebron 16 is the first LeBron signature shoe to be reimagined by female designers.

Brandice Daniel moved to New York from Memphis in 2005. Two years later she created Harlem’s Fashion Row, a company to highlight multicultural fashion designers.

Nike global basketball footwear designer, Meline Khatachourian, and James’ longtime footwear designer, Jason Petrie, led the design process alongside the three designers that Daniel tapped: Kimberly Goldson, Felisha Noel and Undra Celeste Duncan.

The shoe made its official debut at the Harlem Fashion Row Showcase Gala on Tuesday, Sept. 4. It will be released on Friday, Sept. 7, in limited quantities as an exclusive on Nike’s SNKRS app in North America and on nike.com.

- Special to the Daily News

Wages Increase Across Tennessee

Tennesseans had a little more take-home pay last year, according to the latest data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).

The median wage earned for all occupations in Tennessee increased by about 3 percent between May of 2016 and May of 2017 to $33,870.

“It’s always a positive to see wages increase, by any amount,” TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips said in a press release. “The state’s economy is thriving and more money in a person’s paycheck is going to help that continue.”

Health care practitioners and technical occupations made up nearly 9.2 percent of Tennessee’s jobs, combined.

Annual median wages for health care practitioners and technical occupations varied within the state from $60,200 in Memphis to $46,360 in Morristown.

Statistics show the median annual wage for someone with a bachelor’s degree was $60,830, nearly twice that of someone with only a high school diploma at $33,550.

“For nearly eight years governor Haslam has championed education in the state of Tennessee, and this is why, it is the pathway to a better life for our citizens,” Phillips said. “The governor's Drive to 55 initiative, with the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs, helps make a post-secondary education a reality for nearly anyone looking to better their lives with a degree or certificate.”

- Special to The Daily News

Memphis Airport Partners In Federal Drone Program

Successful drone demonstrations were recently conducted by Memphis International Airport partners participating in a new U.S. Department of Transportation drone program. The operations were conducted at Agricenter International and included simulated runway and perimeter security inspections, as well as safety and backup procedures for drone operations.

In May, the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA) was selected as one of 10 lead applicants by the U.S. Department of Transportation to participate in the Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration Pilot Program (UAS IPP). The goal of the UAS IPP is to conduct advanced drone operations in selected airspaces to generate data and knowledge for future UAS policymaking. The UAS IPP will be conducted over the next two to three years.

The airport authority’s partners include the city of Memphis, Memphis Fire Department, Memphis Police Department, Agricenter International, the University of Memphis, the Tennessee Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics, GE subsidiaries AirXOS and Avitas, Intel, Flirtey, 901Drones and ForeverReady Productions.

Drone operations were coordinated by 901Drones and the Memphis Fire Department, and representatives from other partner organizations attended the demonstration.

The focus of the Memphis IPP program will be on aircraft inspections, security monitoring of the ramp, and security/perimeter fence surveillance at Memphis International Airport.

More information about this program is available here or by emailing MEMUAS@flymemphis.com.

- Special to The Daily News

Berry Brooks’ Expedition Films Posted by Tom Leatherwood

Back in a time when the wilds of Africa were not a click away on our televisions or the internet, local resident Berry Brooks thrilled Memphians with his African safari stories and films.

Born in 1902, he attended Washington and Lee University, and entered the cotton business in 1922 working as a $25-a-month clerk. Brooks started his own company in 1929, where he made his fortune in the cotton business.

Many Memphians will remember his animal trophy exhibits at the Pink Palace Museum. Recently, the Shelby County Register's Office received the film Brooks shot on those trips. Register of Deeds, Tom Leatherwood, had the films converted to digital and now these amateur color films are available on the Shelby County Register of Deeds website in the Archives Exhibits section under Berry Brooks’ Expedition Films here.

A good introduction to Brooks is a 1957 film in which he is interviewed and his background is examined. The interview took place at Epping Forest Manor, his estate, and is also where you can view the epic 1963 snowfall in Memphis.

Brooks’ primary adventures were often to Africa, but he also visited other locales such as Puerto Rico, British Columbia, Honduras, and even Vietnam. Viewers can watch as the African Maasai tribesmen pierce the neck of a cow to drink its blood or see a lion with her cubs devour a zebra.

Brooks hunted big cats, traveling to Vietnam where he killed a tiger and also a lion on one of his many African safaris. At one point he was attempting to collect elephant tusks over 120lbs a piece, and has footage of the guides measuring a pair of them. On one of his many trips he filmed a group of tribesmen killing a crocodile. He also visited India, where he filmed a mongoose attacking a cobra.

Brooks’ wife and daughter accompanied him on some of his trips, often posing with trophies that one of them had taken.

“The Berry Brooks films are an intriguing snapshot in time of one of Shelby County’s leading citizens, enjoying his passion of big game hunting and world travel,” Leatherwood said. “It’s the legacy the Brooks family gifted to all of us, and worth preserving.”

- Special to The Daily News

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