Daily Briefs

By Published: February 28, 2019 1:06 PM CT
  • LeMoyne-Owen cancels night classes because of power outage
  • Shelby County Juvenile Court Judge to hold state of court address
  • Memphis Blight Elimination Steering Team releases Top 10 code violators
  • NAI Saig moving to Poplar Towers
  • More ABRA body shops coming
  • Ballet Memphis announces inaugural New American Dance Residency participants

LeMoyne-Owen cancels Wednesday night classes

Night classes at LeMoyne-Owen College have been canceled Wednesday because of a power outage affecting the campus. 

The closure follows a cancellation of day classes earlier Wednesday as a result of the outage, which also affected South Memphis school campuses.

The school will alert students through the campus text system about when classes will resume.

-Daily Memphian Staff

Shelby County Juvenile Court judge to hold state of court address

Shelby County Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael will hold his third-annual state of the court address Friday.

The address will be at 8:30 a.m. in the main auditorium at the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission main auditorium, 600 Jefferson Avenue.

Judge Michael, who oversees juvenile court, has been at the center of ongoing discussions about juvenile justice reform since the U.S. Justice Department in 2012 launched an oversight investigation into due process procedures and detention practices at the facility.

Michael and other county officials, including former Mayor Mark Luttrell and former Sheriff Bill Oldham, called for the DOJ to end its supervision, which the agency abruptly did last October.

Since then, Sandra Simkins, one of the DOJ monitors hired as part of the federal oversight, has criticized in her report to county officials DOJ’s decision to end its six-year oversight.  Simkins wrote that the court has enabled a “culture of intimidation that undermines due process” and is “deeply flawed” toward African-American children at the facility.

Last month, county and juvenile court officials announced they have hired Melissa Sickmund, the head of the oldest juvenile justice research group in the country, to analyze data and offer feedback on issues related to minority children at the facility. 

In addition to the DOJ monitor reports and analyzing data, the Shelby County Commission recently approved allocating $1.3 million for the design and construction services for a new Youth Justice and Education Center. It would replace the current juvenile detention center.

-Yolanda Jones

Memphis Blight Elimination Steering Team releases Top 10 code violators

The top 10 property owners in Memphis with the most code violations in the fourth quarter of 2018 committed 228 violations, according to the latest quarterly report by the Memphis Blight Elimination Steering Team.

The list was first published in April 2018 for the first quarter of that year as an effort to raise awareness and support for systemic changes around abandoned property, absentee owners and neighborhood revitalization, according to the steering team.

The goal of the Blight Elimination Steering Team – made up of more than 30 nonprofit, government and private organizations committed to eliminating blighted properties in Memphis — is to start a conversation about what the city can do differently, as a community, to improve and preserve neighborhoods.

Many of the largest property owners in the city are out-of-state investment groups. The release notes that the No. 2 code violator in the last three months of 2018, an entity named CSMA Blt LLC, is an affiliate of Cerberus Capital, a New-York based private equity firm.

Austin Harrison, program manager with Neighborhood Preservation Inc., said Cerberus, one of the nation’s largest owners of rental homes, “almost always” nears the top of the Blight Elimination Steering Team’s lists, according to a release.  

The top 10 list for Q4 2018, with number of code violations:

Tn Harmony LLC and Wi Harmony LLC, 52; CSMA Blt LLC, 51; Your Home LLC, 23; Uph 127 LP, 19; P Fin I LLC, 18; ESS Investments LLC, 14; Eddie Brown, 13; Home Sfr Borrower LLC, 13; Equity Trust Co Cust FBO, 13; and JRC Investments LLC, 12. 

The Q4 Top 10 list was recently incorporated into an investigative piece by The Washington Post, and can be read here.

-Natalie Martin

NAI Saig moving to Poplar Towers

NAI Saig Company is moving one mile within East Memphis, from the Ridgeway Center office park to Poplar Towers.

The commercial and industrial real estate brokerage firm plans to move its office of seven employees on Feb. 28 to the bottom floor of Poplar Towers, 6263 Poplar.

NAI Saig will occupy roughly the same amount of space as it does now, just under 3,000 square feet, said Elliot Embry, vice president of the firm that is locally owned (Saig) but has a national reputation (NAI).

“We’re excited to be able to locate in one of our clients’ properties and have prime Poplar visibility and access,” Embry said. NAI Saig represents Faropoint Ventures, which purchased the 11-story Poplar Towers in fall 2017.

That 129,533-square-foot building has just undergone a renovation and experienced an increase in occupancy from 59 percent to 81 percent.

Among the sales of prominent buildings that NAI Saig has brokered include the Lipscomb and Pitts Building, 2670 Union Extended, and the Trustmark Building, 5350 Poplar.

-Tom Bailey

More ABRA body shops coming

Two more ABRA (Autobody Repair of America) shops appear to be coming to the Memphis area.

Applications this week for building permits reveal plans for body-repair shops at 5757 Airline Road in Arlington and 3566 Centennial in the Southwind area.

Each development is estimated to cost $2.5 million, the online document shows. The developer is Nashville-based Oldacre McDonald, a full-service commercial real estate firm.

The two new sites would be ABRA’s eight and ninth locations in the area stretching from Horn Lake to Bartlett. The Minnesota-based chain of more than 350 shops was founded in 1984.

-Tom Bailey

Ballet Memphis announces inaugural New American Dance Residency participants

Ballet Memphis’ new residency is geared towards dance-makers interested in fusing art and community. The participants will visit Memphis cultural institutions and speak with experts, learning about the city and its contributions. 

“Through this Memphis-centric dance residency, historically underrepresented dance artists with a strong curiosity for disrupting the status quo of traditional dance will explore the unique aspects of Memphis’ historical, political and global reach in conjunction with Ballet Memphis’ method of creating art that impacts communities,” said Amelia Thompson, Ballet Memphis’ director of development and strategic advancement.

The residency will run April 15-26, with a community presentation at Ballet Memphis during the final weekend.

The residents are Michael Medcalf of Memphis, Valerie D. Alpert of Chicago, Tommie-Waheed Evans of Philadelphia and Crystal Michelle Perkins of Dayton, Ohio.

Medcalf is an assistant professor of dance at the University of Memphis and has more than 30 years of arts-related leadership and performance experience. He was the founder/artistic director of Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre in Ohio and the Greene/Medcalf Movement Project, also in Cleveland, Ohio. Medcalf received an MFA in dance from the University of Iowa.

Alpert is the artistic director of VADCO/Valerie Alpert Dance Company and received a Ph.D in dance from Texas Women’s University and an MFA in choreography and technology from Ohio State University.

Evans is a visiting assistant professor in dance at The University of the Arts. Evans received an MFA in choreography from Jacksonville University.

Perkins serves as the associate artistic director of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in Dayton, Ohio, as well as an assistant professor of dance at Ohio State University, from which she received an MFA in dance.

-Elle Perry


Ballet Memphis Poplar Towers Memphis Blight Elimination Steering Team Shelby County Juvenile Court

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