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VOL. 11 | NO. 36 | Saturday, September 8, 2018

Daily Digest

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New Aldi Grocery Store Planned for Berclair Area

Dirt work has started in preparation for construction of a new Aldi discount grocery at 4720 Summer Ave., where an Admiral Benbow Inn once stood before being demolished.

Aldi already has a presence in the same Berclair neighborhood. An Aldi operates a half-mile west, at 4508 Summer, inside a shopping center. That existing store eventually will close, company officials told The Memphis Daily News.

Aldi Inc. Tennessee purchased the five acres at 4720 Summer in July for $1.53 million, public records show.

“We’re currently in the early phases of working with the Town of Memphis on plans for a future store slated to open in 2019,’’ Troy Marshall, Aldi Mount Juliet Division vice president, wrote in an email.

“… Since this store will replace the Memphis location at 4508 Summer Ave., we’re pleased to share that all of our employees will be transferring to nearby Aldi stores and there will be no job losses with this store closing,” he said.

The company is spending $1.9 billion to remodel and expand more than 1,300 Aldi stores in the U.S. by the end of 2020.

“We’re evolving to meet (shoppers’) changing tastes and needs, and in return they have made us one of the fastest-growing retailers in the U.S.,’’ Marshall said.

A typical Aldi is 12,000 square feet, which Aldi officials said is easier for shoppers than a big-box space. “Our layout is simple,’’ Marshall said. “We only have four or five aisles and every Aldi has a similar layout, so you’ll always feel like you’re shopping at your local Aldi store.’’

The new stores have open ceilings, natural light and additional storage for fresh produce, dairy and meat products.

– Special to The Daily News

Hollywood Feed Acquires Atlanta Pet Store Chain

Memphis-based Hollywood Feed expanded to more than 80 stores in 11 states with the recent purchase of Rucker Pet’s four Atlanta-area stores.

The transaction gives Hollywood Feed 16 stores in greater Atlanta in less than two years, with eight new stores under development.

It continues a growth curve fueled by new store openings and acquisitions of local brands including All About Pets, Hollywood Petstar, Premium Pets, Bark ‘n Purr and Pawtique.

“The recent trend of regional brands consolidating made the timing right for this latest acquisition,” said Shawn McGhee, Hollywood Feed president. “A key component to our growth is strategic acquisition of like-minded brands in pet-friendly markets – and Atlanta tops that list.”

All Rucker Pet employees will be offered jobs with Hollywood Feed.

Rucker drew Hollywood Feed’s attention because “they are the premier family-owned pet retailer in the region,” McGhee said. “Once we got to know them, we realized how much we are aligned in terms of philosophy, work ethic, support of local rescues, and a dedication to quality, holistic offerings.”

– Special to The Daily News

U of M Explores Medical School at Lambuth Campus

The University of Memphis is exploring the feasibility of adding a doctor of osteopathic medicine school to its Lambuth campus in Jackson. Students who earn a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree are fully licensed physicians who focus on primary care and wellness.

U of M president M. David Rudd said the school would be a natural fit for Jackson, where there is a significant need for rural health care.

At its Wednesday, Aug. 5, meeting, the U of M board of trustees approved a streamlined four-tier tuition structure and discussed potential investments in the University Opportunity Zone. Most of the U of M’s main campus lies within an Opportunity Zone, a federally designated area where private investors are eligible to receive certain tax benefits on funds reinvested in the community. The program is designed to encourage long-term investment in rural and low-to-moderate income urban communities.

The next board of trustees meeting will be Dec. 5 at the Lambuth campus.

– Special to The Daily News

Boots Riley to Keynote Indie Film Festival Forum

Oakland rapper and filmmaker Boots Riley will deliver a keynote address at a forum during this year’s Indie Memphis Film Festival.

The festival, which is in its 21st year, will be held Nov. 1-5.

Riley, the director of the 2018 surrealistic social satire, “Sorry to Bother You,” will keynote the Black Creators Forum to talk about his background as a musician, labor organizer and filmmaker. He will also present a classic film of his choice during the festival.

During the festival, filmmaker Zia Anger will present a special live film presentation titled “My First Film.” Anger will offer live commentary on previously unseen work, via split screen and text edit. She will recount the stories behind her lost work and her struggles in the industry.

After developing “My First Film” at the Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn, New York, Indie Memphis will be the festival debut of this traveling live cinema event.

The Black Creators Forum will conclude with a free public celebration, the Black Filmmakers Pitch Rally (with crowdfunding partner Seed&Spark) on Friday, Nov. 2, at Playhouse on the Square. It will feature a jury-selected $10,000 “bounty prize” provided by Epicenter Memphis for projects to garner support for production in Memphis. Production must begin in Memphis before Aug. 1, 2019, to claim the bounty cash.

Half of the pitching filmmakers have been selected from the list of finalists in the Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Residency for Screenwriting program. The remaining six slots are available for feature films, both narrative and documentary, proposing to shoot in Memphis.Applications to pitch are open through Sept. 16.

A limited number of Black Creators Forum passes are now on sale, which also include full access to all Indie Memphis Film Festival events. The cost for the Black Creators Forum is $149 for a pass, $299 for a VIP pass.

Twenty fellowships for free passes are also available.

The full Indie Memphis Film Festival schedule, featuring more than 200 films, will be announced Sept. 25.

– Special to The Daily News

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

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 rose about 3 percent between May 2016 and May 2017 to $33,870.

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.

– Special to The Daily News

Berry Brooks’ 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.

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

Five Below Appears Headed to Germantown

A discount store marketed to kids, teens and preteens will soon be under construction in Germantown.

On Aug. 31, the owners of Germantown Village Square shopping center applied for a $125,000 building permit for the interior buildout and partial demo of a space at 7720 Poplar Ave.

The tenant is listed as Five Below, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based chain of retail stores where all merchandise costs less than $5.

The Germantown store will be the Memphis area’s fourth. There are currently Five Below stores in Millington Farms, Olive Branch Commons and Memphis Commons Shopping Center.

– Special to The Daily News

UMRF Ventures Receives Economic Dev. Award

A University of Memphis Research Foundation Ventures Inc. program has received the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) 2018 Excellence and Innovation Award for Regional and Economic Development.

“Many students are financially challenged, which has impacted U of M’s graduation rates,” the AASCU in a statement. “To combat these challenges, U of M founded UMRF Ventures Inc. to provide third-party IT service and support to corporations by hiring full-time undergraduate and graduate students. These student employees earn $15 per hour, which helps them with tuition and living expenses. The U of M hopes the program will not only improve its graduation rate, but will also create a talent pool to address employment gaps within Memphis.”

The award recognizes institutions that demonstrate excellence and innovation in their approach to student success, regional and economic development, international education, teacher education and leadership in development and diversity.

UMRF Ventures is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Memphis Research Foundation. Its first and largest client is FedEx Corp. UMRF Ventures operates two FedEx call centers, one on the main campus and another at the U of M Lambuth campus in Jackson. UMRF Ventures also launched an IT Command Center on the Memphis campus in June, where 35 graduate students are working on data analytics and proactive problem-solving alongside FedEx IT professionals.

“In our first year, we have increased our student employee numbers from 23 to 120, have increased our student payroll to over $100,000 per month, met our customers’ performance expectations, and our graduates are getting full-time jobs,” Tom Kadien, CEO of UMRF Ventures, said in a release.

By the end of the second year, it is projected that more than 300 students will be employed by UMRF Ventures.

The AASCU award will be presented Oct. 28 at the association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

– Special to The Daily News

'Positively Creative' Series Launches with Summit

Memphis College of Art, Positively Creative Podcast and the Memphis chapter of the Riding Tide Society are launching Positively Creative, a series of workshops of local creatives.

The series begins with the Positively Creative Summit, to be held 8:30-11:30 a.m., on Saturday, Sept. 8, in the Callicott Auditorium in MCA’s Rust Hall. “Today” show correspondent Elizabeth Heiskell, founder of the Debutante Farmer, is the keynote speaker.

The summit will begin with “Community over Competition” talks by local creatives, including Kat Gordon, founder of Muddy’s Bake Shop; fashion designer and illustrator Kris Keys; and Carmeon Hamilton of Nubi Interiors. Participants will then attend roundtable discussions.

Breakfast snacks will be provided. Tickets are $20, including fees.

The summit will be followed by several fall workshops.

– Special to The Daily News

Lucy J's Bakery Opens in Crosstown Concourse

Lucy J’s Bakery opened on 901 Day, Saturday Sept. 1, in Crosstown Concourse.

The retail shop offers a daily assortment of croissants, danish, muffins, cakes, pies and breads. The staff also can create custom cakes for special events. The retail shop is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Many of the bakery’s staff are current or former residents of the Dorothy Day House, which provides transitional housing and support for homeless families. Bakery employees earn $15 an hour and receive a health plan through Church Health.

The nonprofit bakery’s board of directors include chair Scott Ready of Forever Ready Productions; Sister Maureen Griner of the Dorothy Day House; and Ed Cabigao of South of Beale, Zaka Bowl and Interim Restaurant & Bar.

The bakery will serve Ugly Mug coffee on a pay-what-you-can scale. Coffee proceeds are donated to Dorothy Day House.

-Special to the Daily News

Memphis in May Adds Four to Festival Board

Memphis in May International Festival is adding four members to its board of directors for the 2019 festival.

They are Dow McVean, principal of McVean Trading and Investments; Al Gossett, president and CEO of Gossett Motor Cars; Ron Cohen, territory account manager for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Pat Kerr Tigrett, chairwoman, president and CEO of Pat Kerr Inc. and a past Memphis in May board member.

Members serve three-year terms.

Board officers for 2019 are board chair Barry Yoakum, principal at archimania; chair-elect Charles Ewing, president and CEO of Ewing Moving and Storage; vice chair Leigh Shockey, CEO of Drexel Chemical; treasurer Stacy McCall, CEO and president of ServiceMaster by Stratos; and secretary Austin Baker, president of HRO Partners.

The other board members include local philanthropist Susan Arney; Shannon Brown, SVP and Chief HR & Diversity Officer of FedEx; Doug Browne, president of Peabody Hotels and Resorts; John Carroll, executive director of City Leadership; Jinliang Cai, VP of international business development at the Greater Memphis Chamber; Wei Chen, CEO of Sunshine Enterprises; Kim Denbow, representing the Shelby County Mayor’s office; Ken Moody, representing City of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland; Lenoir Owens, representing Memphis in May volunteer committees; Bathsheba Sams, VP of HR Operations at International Paper. John Farris of the Memphis River Parks Partnership and Kristen Wright, EVP and general counsel at AutoZone, are serving as ex-officio members. Councilman J. Ford Canale of the Memphis City Council and Prince Chambliss with the City of Memphis Attorney’s Office serve as board liaisons.

– Special to The Daily News

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 51 333 19,446
MORTGAGES 68 383 22,433
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 86 2,922
BUILDING PERMITS 138 688 40,004
BANKRUPTCIES 34 238 12,486
BUSINESS LICENSES 35 108 6,374
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 21 123 7,395
MARRIAGE LICENSES 20 92 4,453