Daily Digest

Tennessee Gets $19.6M For Charter Schools

The Tennessee Department of Education is getting a $19.6 million share of $245 million in federal funding to support public charter schools.

The grant from the the U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday, Sept. 29, will be used to start and expand charter schools selected by state education officials as well as replicate successful charter school models, said Sara Gast of the Tennessee Federal money Department of Education.

Gast said the grant will also be used to “decrease the number of academically poor-performing charter schools by strengthening charter school accountability and oversight of authorizers and support improvements in all schools with emphasis on closing achievement gaps for educationally disadvantaged students.”

– Bill Dries

Trampoline Park Coming To Trinity Commons

A new retail tenant in Trinity Commons shopping center in Cordova could have some Memphians jumping for joy.

Loeb Properties Inc. announced it has leased 30,000 square feet at the center, 700 N. Germantown Parkway, to national trampoline park chain Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park.

Construction on the facility should begin before November, with an opening date in spring 2017.

Urban Air provides a variety of activities, weekly events, and kids’ birthday parties that are safe and affordable. The Cordova location will include Urban Air’s award-winning wall-to-wall trampoline arenas, dodgeball courts, volleyball courts, drop zone, performance trampoline, slam dunk tracks, trampoline runway, and an area for ages 7 and under. The Cordova location will also have Urban Air’s latest adventure attractions the Urban Warrior Course, Warrior Battle Beam, TUBES Indoor Playground, Climbing Walls and Indoor Ropes Course.

“This will be a one-of-a-kind facility that will attract families from across Cordova, Germantown, Bartlett and Memphis,” Michael Browning, CEO of Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Parks, said in a statement.

Urban Air will employ 45 at its location in Cordova, and will begin accepting applications this winter.

– Daily News staff

Memphis Has High Density Of Health Care Jobs

Memphis has one of the highest densities of health care jobs in the nation, according to a new study.

Findings of the study by apartment listing service Abodo found that 63.1 of every 1,000 jobs in the Memphis metropolitan statistical area are in the health care practitioner and technician sectors, making Memphis No. 7 in density of health care jobs among the nation’s 25 largest cities.

Adobo’s study was released Wednesday, Sept. 28, and looked at jobs in the five fastest-growing occupation categories, calculated using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2012 to 2015.

Among the other categories, construction and extraction jobs garnered 29.9 of every 1,000 jobs in the Memphis MSA, while computers and mathematics accounted for 14.7 of 1,000. Community and social service jobs came it at 9.8 of every 1,000, while the arts, design, entertainment, sports and media sectors accounted for seven of 1,000.

Nashville also was listed among the cities with the highest densities of health care jobs. With a ratio of 63.9 out of 1,000 jobs, it came in at No. 6 on the list.

– Madeline Faber

Tri-State Reports Success Of Bank-a-Thon Campaign

Tri-State Bank of Memphis is reporting its inaugural Bank-a-Thon, a community outreach campaign last month to engage with and attract new customers, resulted in 294 new accounts totaling $1.1 million in new deposits.

The Bank-a-Thon included a series of events designed to increase awareness of its services, improve financial literacy among its target audiences, and empower consumers to recognize their individual and collective potential to drive economic growth in African-American communities, according to the bank.

Founded in 1946, Tri-State is the only black-owned bank in the city of Memphis. It is headquartered Downtown and has branches in Orange Mound and Whitehaven. The bank also serves customers in Northern Mississippi and Eastern Arkansas.

“Tri-State Bank has built financial relationships since 1946 and we remain committed to providing personalized service and financial solutions to meet the growing needs of an entire community,” CEO Thomas Felder said in a statement.

The bank reports that partnerships with other minority-led institutions, including the Southern Heritage Classic and the LeMoyne-Owen Community Development Corp., have shown success in building and maintaining relationships with its target consumers.

– Daily News staff

Agricenter Harvest Festival To Be Held Oct. 15

The annual Agricenter Harvest Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Farmer’s Market Big Red Barn on Agricenter property, 7777 Walnut Grove Road, and is free to the public. Among the activities: pumpkin-painting, arts and crafts, hayrides, food, and entertainment by local bluegrass band Tennessee Ripple.

Some 40 volunteers are needed to help with the Harvest Festival. Visit agricenter.org/harvestfestival to sign up.

– Don Wade

Ferguson Named AAC Offensive Player of Week

Junior University of Memphis quarterback Riley Ferguson was named the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week after tying a Memphis and league record with seven touchdowns, including one rushing, in a 77-3 victory over Bowling Green.

Ferguson now shares the TD mark with former Tiger quarterback Paxton Lynch, who twice accounted for seven touchdowns (Miami Beach Bowl, 2014; vs SMU, 2015).

Playing just the first half against Bowling Green, Ferguson was 20-for-27, finishing with 359 yards passing and adding his first career rushing touchdown. The 359 yards was the 11th-best mark in Memphis history. In all, Ferguson found six different receivers for touchdowns in the opening half of the game as the Tigers had 11 different players score in the non-conference victory.

Memphis closes its non-conference schedule Saturday, Oct. 1, at Ole Miss in a game that will kick at 6 p.m. The game will air on either ESPNU, ESPN2 or the SEC Network+.

– Don Wade

Memphis YMCA Gets $10,000 Comcast Donation

The YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South was one of five Ys chosen to receive $10,000 from Comcast as part of its Internet Essentials program.

The YMCA of the USA partnered with Comcast on a comprehensive $15.3 million plan that combines the Y’s commitment to strengthening communities and improving the lives of children and families, and Comcast’s Internet Essentials, a program to help prepare the next generation for the future.

The multiyear partnership will bring more visibility to the Y’s “For a better us” English and Spanish public service announcements, and Comcast will provide grants to further support digital literacy and academic achievement programs at Ys nationwide.

The $10,000 donations to Memphis and Ys in Philadelphia, Houston, Indianapolis and central Maryland mark the partnership’s launch.

– Daily News staff

Overton High Chosen For Advise TN Program

Overton High School has been one of 30 schools statewide chosen to participate in Advise TN, a new program to increase the number of students accessing higher education.

Schools taking part in the program will work with an Advise TN college adviser to provide college counseling services to 10,000 junior and senior students across the state this fall.

Advise TN services will include one-on-one counseling sessions for each junior and senior to map out college goals, participation in events such as College App Week and TN FAFSA Frenzy, and ensuring students are completing the applications and financial aid paperwork to enroll in college.

Advise TN counselors will also provide parent and family outreach.

In May, high schools with a college-going rate below the state average were invited to apply for the program. More than 100 schools applied and underwent an evaluation process by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and a team of proposal readers. Selected schools indicated a commitment to collaborative and innovative college access programming.

THEC is finalizing the hiring of the 30 college advisers and creating implementation plans for the partner schools.

Advise TN was included in Gov. Bil Haslam’s 2016-17 budget proposal and approved by the General Assembly with funding of $2.5 million.

Advise TN partner schools are expected to develop sustainability plans to continue the program beyond initial state funding.

– Daily News staff

UTHSC Adds New Department Chair

Dr. Boyd Gillespie has been named chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

He comes to UTHSC from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where he was a professor and vice chair of clinical outreach in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck in the College of Medicine, and director of the MUSC Salivary Clinic and the Karl Storz U.S. Reference Center for Salivary Endoscopy.

Throughout his career, Gillespie has focused on the treatment of head and neck cancer, thyroid tumors, voice and airway disorders, swallowing disorders and sleep apnea. He was one of the first four surgeons in the U.S. to perform endoscopic salivary surgery, and has educated many U.S. surgeons who perform the technique.

– Andy Meek

Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein Campaigns in Memphis

Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein will campaign in Memphis at a rally Monday, Oct. 3, at Amurica Studios, 410 N. Cleveland St.

The rally organized by the Green Party of Shelby County is the first appearance in the city by a presidential contender of the general election campaign season. It comes two weeks and two days before the early voting period opens in Tennessee in advance of the Nov. 8 Election Day.

Stein is scheduled to hold a similar event at 7 that evening in Oxford, Miss.

– Bill Dries

UTHSC Professor Awarded $3.4M in Grants

Dr. Subhash Chauhan, a professor in the Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pathology in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, has received two grants totaling $3.4 million to develop targeted nanomedicine for pancreatic cancer.

Chauhan and his research team are developing new and innovative nanotherapeutic options to combat the disease. His projects, titled “Targeted Nanotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer” and “Development of Targeted Nanotechnology Platform for Pancreatic Cancer,” are funded by the National Cancer Institute. Each $1.7 million grant will be distributed over five years.

– Andy Meek

August Unemployment Rate Dips in Shelby County

Shelby County’s preliminary unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in August, down from 6.7 percent in August 2015 but up slightly from July’s revised rate of 5.6 percent, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The rate within the city of Memphis was a little higher – 6.3 percent – but still lower than the 7.4 percent rate a year ago.

Statewide, August’s preliminary rate came in at 4.4 percent, down from 5.6 percent in August 2015. U.S. unemployment was 4.9 percent, a slight drop from 5.1 percent a year earlier.

Across Tennessee, the unemployment rate increased in 58 counties, decreased in 26 counties and stayed the same in 11 counties.

Williamson County reported the lowest rate (3.7 percent), while Hancock County reported the highest (8 percent).

– Daily News staff

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