Daily Briefs

By Updated: March 06, 2019 1:00 PM CT | Published: February 06, 2019 4:13 PM CT
  • Target planning $1.1 million renovation of Germantown store
  • Bankruptcy judge approves $5.2B deal to keep Sears open; company won't have a Memphis presence
  • City gives final approval for wastewater disinfection system
  • Former Memphis police officer sentenced to 8 years in drug sting
  • PizzaRev closes Memphis locations
  • Leadership Memphis celebrating 40th anniversary by honoring 40 Memphis change makers
  • Memphis resident freed from prison lands book, movie deal

Target planning $1.1 million renovation of Germantown store

Target is preparing for a $1.1 million renovation of its store on Poplar Avenue in Germantown.

The retailer filed a building permit with construction code officials this week to remodel the interior space and front façade; update the décor; and add new finishes, paint and lighting.

The Germantown store, located at 9235 Poplar in the Shops of Forest Hill, opened in 1991 and is being remodeled as part of a modernization plan announced in 2017 to help the Minneapolis-based retailer better compete with Amazon.

Among other things, the $7 billion plan called for remodeling about half of Target’s 1,800 locations by 2020, expanding curbside pickup and delivering online orders faster.

Renovations have been underway at other local Targets in recent months, including the Colonial Road store in East Memphis and the one near Wolfchase Galleria in Bartlett.

Meanwhile, Target vacated its Cordova store at 475 N. Germantown Parkway in recent days. The retailer announced in October it planned to shutter the 174,000-square-foot Cordova location and five others nationwide, citing several years of declining profitability.

The closure, which took effect Feb. 2, affected around 170 employees.

-Kate Crawford

Bankruptcy judge approves $5.2B deal to keep Sears open; company won't have a Memphis presence

Sears was given another chance Thursday when a bankruptcy judge approved chairman Eddie Lampert's $5.2 billion bid to keep the business going.

Lampert, who also is the retailer’s largest shareholder, made a bid last month to acquire all the company’s assets through his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc., pending approval by a New York bankruptcy court. Judge Robert Drain blessed the transaction Thursday, saying he plans to enter the order Friday to make it official.

The deal is expected to preserve about 425 stores and 45,000 jobs. However, the company won't have a Memphis presence; Sears announced the closure of its last two local stores last year.

Illinois-based Sears Holdings Corp., the parent company for Sears and Kmart, filed for bankruptcy Oct. 15, following years of unprofitability and declining sales. The same day, the company announced it would shutter 142 unprofitable stores, including the Wolfchase Galleria location, near the end of the year.

With the Wolfchase closure, only one Sears store would remain in Memphis: the Southland Mall location. That store was cut from the company’s roster in November, when the chain announced a wave of 40 more closures by February.

Lampert hasn’t announced any specific plans for Sears Holdings, leaving the company’s long-term future in question.

-Kate Crawford

City gives final approval for wastewater disinfection system

PeroxyChem has received final approval from the city of Memphis to start operation of its peracetic acid (PAA) disinfection system at the Maynard C. Stiles Wastewater Treatment Facility north of Harbor Town.

After extensive research and testing, the city determined PAA is the most cost-effective disinfection method for its wastewater treatment facilities. PeroxyChem worked with the city and its consultant, CDM Smith, on the system’s design and functional requirements.

The system includes storage tanks, chemical feed pumps and a state-of-the-art control system that enables automatic PAA dose adjustments in response to influent water changes, according to a release.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based PeroxyChem manufactures hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid and persulfates globally.

“Our PAA technology enables wastewater plants to avoid the risks associated with chlorination or the expenses associated with UV. We are pleased to be able to bring our chemistry to Memphis and provide a full solution that meets their specific treatment challenges,” Alberto Garibi, PeroxyChem’s vice president of water treatment technologies, said in a release.

PeroxyChem is building a production plant adjacent to the Maynard C. Stiles facility that will deliver PAA to the disinfection system via pipeline, an investment of nearly $10 million by the company.

A portion of that investment, about $7 million, was eligible for a Jobs PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) and will create 15 permanent jobs paying an average annual salary of more than $56,000, excluding benefits.

“The City of Memphis selected PeroxyChem due to its innovative approach that not only helps us achieve our mission to treat wastewater with the best available technology, but also attract new investment to our City, support local businesses and create new jobs,” said Robert Knecht, director of Public Works.

Construction of the PAA production plant is underway and scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2019.

-Daily Memphian Staff

Second Memphis officer sentenced in drug sting

A former Memphis police officer convicted on drug and weapon charges in connection with an undercover sting operation was sentenced to 8 years in federal prison Thursday.

Terrion Bryson, 26, pleaded guilty last year for taking part in a scheme where he and another MPD officer, Kevin Coleman agreed to escort heroin to a Memphis storage facility.

Coleman was sentenced in November to 10 years in prison on drug conspiracy charges and two counts of extortion in the sting operation.

The undercover sting began last February when MPD was informed that Bryson and Coleman were robbing people during traffic stops of money and drugs.

Memphis police notified the FBI’s Tarnished Blue unit who set up the sting operation. In the operation, the officers stole money during a traffic stop from a man who was an undercover officer, posing as a drug courier.

Bryson then called the undercover officer and offered to protect an upcoming drug shipment the officer had mentioned.

The officers demanded $9,000 from the undercover officer to protect the drugs. They were paid half the money in advance and the other half when the 2.5 kilos of heroin was safely delivered to a storage facility.

The two were arrested on April 12 when they met the undercover officer to escort the drugs to a storage unit on Millbranch Road. Bryson was off-duty and Coleman was on duty, in uniform and in a marked police car, according to police records.

Both officers worked at Raines Station. Coleman joined the force in 2012 and Bryson was hired in 2015. Coleman is serving his sentence at a federal prison in Pensacola.  In addition to his 8-year sentence, Bryson will be on probation for five years.

-Yolanda Jones

PizzaRev closes Memphis locations

PizzaRev, a California-based build-your-own-pizza chain, has closed its three locations in Memphis.

The Memphis locations, located at 6540 Poplar Ave., 2825 Germantown Parkway and 765 N. Germantown Parkway, opened in 2017, and have closed due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to an e-mailed statement from PizzaRev.

“We’d like to thank our loyal guests and amazing team for their support and dedication to PizzaRev in Memphis,” the PizzaRev statement said. “We’re grateful for the Memphis community and our guests who embraced the PizzaREVolution. We will miss serving you.”

PizzaRev, a “craft your own” pizza restaurant, has 45 opened locations and more than 200 under development across the United States and Mexico, according to their website. The pizza restaurant specializes in allowing customers to build their own pizza from a selection of crusts, sauces, artisanal cheeses and various proteins and veggies. The pizza is then cooked using a gas-fired oven and is ready in three minutes.

-Natalie Martin

Leadership Memphis celebrating 40th anniversary by honoring 40 Memphis change makers

Non-profit community leadership development organization Leadership Memphis is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a tribute to 40 individuals who have made Memphis better.

The organization is asking the Memphis community to nominate 40 individuals who have made the city better in the past 40 years. The finalists will be recognized at Leadership Memphis’ 40th Anniversary luncheon celebration May 21, according to a release.

“Leadership Memphis is honored to celebrate its 40th anniversary by recognizing many of the incredible people who have helped shape our city over the past 40 years,” David Williams, Leadership Memphis President and CEO, said in a release. “We are excited to pay tribute to the 40 Change Maker finalists at our celebration later this year.”

Individuals nominated must fit the definition of a Change Maker, which includes “one who drives change by gathering knowledge, galvanizing resources and using their considerable influence to facilitate change” and “a person who inspires change that impacts a broad base of people either socially, educationally, economically, spiritually or politically.”

Change Maker finalists will be selected by a panel of judges from four categories, including business, healthcare, arts/education and nonprofit/community involvement.

The deadline to submit nominations is Feb.28. Nominations can be submitted online here.

For more information on Leadership Memphis click here. 

For more information on the celebration luncheon, contact Jared Bulluck, Senior Director of Community & Alumni Engagement, at (901) 278-0016.

- Natalie Martin

Alice Johnson lands book, movie deal after being freed from prison

Memphis resident Alice Marie Johnson, whose life prison sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump last year, has a book and film deal about her experience.

Harper, a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers, announced Wednesday it will publish “After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom.”

Kim Kardashian West, who advocated to Trump for Johnson’s release, will write the foreword for the book, which is slated to be released May 21.

“I feel humbled that the telling of my story gives hope and my years of pain were not in vain,” Johnson said in a news release from Harper Wednesday.

The book will chronicle Johnson being convicted for her involvement in a cocaine trafficking organization and receiving a life sentence in 1996.

Johnson, a first-time offender, served 21 years in prison before her sentence was commuted by Trump last year. The commutation came after Kardashian West met with the president and asked that he grant clemency for a woman Kardashian West had never met, but whose case she had followed on social media.

In addition to the book, Johnson’s life rights and film/television rights were sold to Endeavor Content and One Community, for a movie.

The deal was announced the day after Johnson attended Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

-Yolanda Jones

Shelby County Court Clerk to appear before State Supreme Court on expungement case

Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk Edward Stanton Jr. has been ordered to appear before the state Supreme Court Feb. 6 to explain why his office has not complied with a previous mandate from the court regarding the expungement case of a Memphis man.

Marcus Deangelo Lee filed a petition with the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2017 over a lawsuit he filed against the state regarding the expungement of his criminal record.

In the case, Lee contended he paid the outstanding court costs and wanted the Clerk’s office to provide proof of his expungement. The Clerk's office has not done so. 

The court is requiring Stanton and his principal clerk to be in Nashville Wednesday afternoon to answer questions about how the clerk's office handled the expungement filings in Lee’s case.

- Yolanda Jones


PizzaRev Leadership Memphis Alice Marie Johnson Edward Stanton Target Sears

Comment On This Story

Section Emails

Sign up to get the latest articles from the Metro section.