Daily Briefs

By Published: April 12, 2019 9:28 PM CT
  • Memphis customs agent discovers animal skull
  • LeMoyne-Owen marker honors last class before merger
  • Pink Palace programs to commemorate Apollo 11 mission
  • Memphis Zoo announces name and gender of new baby giraffe 
  • Senior-living firm acquires 10 more developments
  • Le Bonheur mobile medical clinic to be supported by donation share 

Memphis customs agent discovers animal skull

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent discovered a shipment in Memphis this week that could have put livestock at risk, according to the agency.

CBP says the Memphis agricultural specialist found the salt-encrusted skull of a caprine – a hoofed animal found in mountainous regions of Asia, Africa, North America and Europe – while inspecting a package labeled as “gift salt” Wednesday night. Horns and tissue were visible inside the skull, which had been shipped from Djibouti, a country known to be affected with foot-and-mouth disease.

The disease, which can spread rapidly among animals, was eradicated in the U.S. in 1929.

“This particular disease is detrimental to U.S. agriculture,” Stanley Pirtle, CBP New Orleans agricultural operations manager, said in a release. “It could create an outbreak among U.S. livestock if it’s allowed to enter the country and is improperly handled.”

The Area Port of Memphis is one of three area ports under the New Orleans CBP Office of Field Operations, along with Area Port of Mobile and the Area Port of New Orleans.

The skull and horns were destroyed using steam sterilization to mitigate the risk of disease.

-Kate Crawford

LeMoyne-Owen marker honors last class before merger

A new marker at LeMoyne-Owen honors the LeMoyne College class of 1968, the last class to graduate before the school became LeMoyne-Owen College.

The marker notes that the class distinguished itself through leadership in civil rights advocacy. 

That year's class included 126 seniors, and they were the final graduates before LeMoyne merged with Owen Junior College to create the current institution.

The marker was dedicated during a ceremony April 12. 

-Ron Maxey

Pink Palace programs to commemorate Apollo 11 landing

Memphis Pink Palace Museum will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with its "Memphis to the Moon" campaign this summer.

Activities kick off with the movie "Apollo 11: First Steps Edition" beginning May 25 at the CTI Theater. A Launch Party will be held that day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring family-friendly, space-related activities.

Also this summer, the planetarium will show "Back to The Moon: For Good" about the Apollo 11 mission and six other moon missions.

For more information about the "Memphis to the Moon" events, go to

-Ron Maxey

Memphis Zoo announces name and gender of new baby giraffe 

Memphis Zoo announced Wednesday the gender of a new baby giraffe born at the zoo on Saturday, April 7.

The calf, whose mother is 8-year-old giraffe Wendy, is a boy and has been named Kiburi, which means "precocious" in Swahili. Kiburi is currently on exhibit with his mom.

Another calf, born to the zoo’s 12-year-old giraffe Angela Kate on April 9, does not yet have a name and the gender is to be determined.

Zoo staff are expected to perform a neonatal exam April 11 to assess the baby’s overall health, weight and determine its gender.

-Natalie Martin

Senior-living firm acquires 10 more developments

A Memphis-based company that owns and operates senior-living developments has received $29.5 million in financing from SunTrust Banks to acquire 10 more facilities.

Hickory Senior Living has acquired The Cottages, which operates 10, senior-living developments including eight in Alabama, one in Tennessee and one in Mississippi, SunTrust announced on Tuesday.

The Cottages developments include assisted living, memory care and independent living. “The simple, classic feel of The Cottages matches the homelike environment that we strive to provide for our residents,” Jay Curtis, president of Hickory Senior Living, said in a prepared statement.

Curtis and the company are based in Memphis. Hickory Senior Living now comprises more than 1,000 residents in more than 20 communities.

-Tom Bailey

Le Bonheur mobile medical clinic to be supported by donation share

New York-based Henry Schein Medical and Henry Schein Cares Foundation announced Tuesday it will provide a combination of cash and in-kind product donations valued at $525,000 over four years to Children's Health Fund (CHF) to help support the nonprofit’s mobile medical clinics and pediatric programs at 12 locations, including Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

The donation will include a wide range of medical and dental products to support the mobile medical clinics and pediatric programs, according to a release. 

Le Bonheur’s mobile medical clinic, Le Bonheur On the Move (LOM), travels to schools and community sites in Memphis and West Tennessee to provide comprehensive well-child examinations, acute care, sports physicals, developmental/behavioral assessments and medical/social service referrals, according to Le Bonheur’s website.

Through the partnership with CHF, LOM is able to care for more than 2,000 patients each year and provide transportation services to access needed health care.

More than 34,000 children were served by Le Bonheur last year through the LOM program.

-Natalie Martin


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