Daily Briefs

By Updated: March 01, 2019 9:13 PM CT | Published: February 28, 2019 4:23 PM CT
  • Jerry Lee Lewis recovering from minor stroke
  • MAA seeks to raise $300 million in offering
  • Shelby schools to benefit from $1 million CMA grant program
  • Saint Francis Healthcare Market CEO named to Becker's 2019 List of 68 African American Leaders in Healthcare
  • Lee to give State of West Tennessee address in Memphis
  • Humane Society to hold first vaccine clinic of the year March 2
  • University Middle approved by SCS
  • Fogelman Properties buys Houston apartments
  • Sullivan Branding receives Best of Show award at 2019 AAF Memphis American Advertising Awards 
  • Stephen Bush retires as public defender

Jerry Lee Lewis recovering from minor stroke

Jerry Lee Lewis is recovering from a minor stroke Thursday evening, according to his Twitter account.

The tweet Friday afternoon said Lewis is expected to make a full recovery.

"He is with his family, recuperating in Memphis and the doctors expect a full recovery," the note said. "The Killer looks forward to getting back into the studio soon to record a Gospel record and on the road performing live for his fans.

"His family requests privacy at this time. Well wishes and prayers are greatly appreciated."

The rock-n-roll legend appeared frail during an appearance last fall at the Memphis Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Lewis, 83, performed "Great Balls of Fire" for the rockabilly tune's 60th anniversary. He appeared unsure whether he was supposed to perform as he was helped onstage.

He told the crowd he was "gonna give it my best shot" before the brief onstage appearance.

-Ron Maxey

MAA seeks to raise $300 million in offering

MAA, formerly Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc., recently announced that its operating partnership, Mid-America Apartments, L.P., (MAALP) priced a $300 million offering of MAALP's 3.950% senior unsecured notes due 2029.

The notes were priced at 99.720% of the principal amount, according to a release from Memphis-based MAA. The offering's closing is expected to occur on March 7, subject to customary closing conditions.

MAALP intends to use net proceeds from the offering to repay a portion of borrowings under its $1 billion revolving credit facility, and for general corporate purposes, according to the release. Those purposes are not limited and may include the repayment of other debt and the acquisition, development and redevelopment of apartment communities.

Wells Fargo Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Jefferies LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, U.S. Bancorp Investments Inc. and Mizuho Securities USA LLC were joint book-running managers for the offering.

A statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

-Daily Memphian Staff

Shelby schools to benefit from $1 million CMA grant program

Shelby County Schools will share in a grant from the Country Music Association designed to expand music and arts education. 

Eight districts statewide will share a $1 million investment from the CMA Foundation. SCS is the only local district.

"Time and again, research has shown that the impact of arts education goes beyond the four walls of that classroom and ultimately impacts the academic performance of students in all subject areas," Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said in a statement.

The "State of the Arts" music grant program will allow money to be used for professional development for music teachers; additional music supplies, materials and equipment, and expansion of music outreach programs.

-Daily Memphian staff

Saint Francis Healthcare Market CEO named to Becker's 2019 List of 68 African American Leaders in Healthcare

Saint Francis Healthcare Market CEO Dr. Audrey Gregory has been named to the Becker’s Hospital Review’s 2019 list of 68 African American Leaders in Healthcare.

The list highlights African Americans who have taken on healthcare leadership roles across the country and who influence how their organizations approach “healthcare delivery, develop healthcare policy and advocate for the next generation of leaders,” according to a release.

Gregory began her position as CEO in March 2016, and oversees all areas of operations of the 479-bed Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis and the 156-bed Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett. She is dedicated to “ensuring cultural diversity in healthcare, exemplified by her leadership in international recruiting efforts for Saint Francis Healthcare.”

In addition to being named to Becker’s 2019 list, she was also named in Becker’s 2018 list of 143 Women Leaders of Hospitals and Health Systems.

She has also been honored with the 2017 Tennessee Hospital Association Award, and was selected to the 2019 class for the Nashville Health Care Council Fellows. 

-Natalie Martin

Lee to give State of West Tennessee address in Memphis

In what he calls an effort to reach new audiences, Gov. Bill Lee will deliver regional addresses in Memphis and Knoxville next week following Monday night's State of the State address in Nashville.

Lee will hold a State of West Tennessee address beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the University Center Ballroom on the University of Memphis campus. It is open to the public, but tickets are available at

He will hold a similar State of East Tennessee Tuesday evening in Knoxville. 

The annual State of the State address before the General Assembly begins at 6 p.m. Monday and will be televised statewide.

"I look forward to delivering my first State of the State address on Monday during a joint session of the legislature in Nashville," Lee said in a statement. "However, I am excited to have these special events in Knoxville and Memphis. As we present our budget and outline priorities for the next  year, we want to engage with as many Tennesseans as we can."

-Daily Memphian staff

Humane Society to hold first vaccine clinic of the year March 2

The Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County will have four vaccine clinics in 2019, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. The low-cost vaccine clinics are for Shelby County residents who receive government assistance.

The first clinic will be held on Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Humane Society facility on 935 Farm Road near Shelby Farms Park. Local veterinarians, vet staff and volunteers will be present to administer the dog and cat vaccinations. Pet owners are asked to enter the event from the Shelby County Code Enforcement parking lot and proceed down the gravel road, according to a release.

Vaccinations are $5 per pet, which includes the rabies vaccine plus a 4-in-1 shot for dogs and cats. An option to purchase a rabies tag onsite will also be available for $6 for spayed/neutered dogs and $16 for intact dogs. Cats do not require a rabies tag or certification.  

“Vaccinations are probably the single most important preventative medicine we have for our pets.  They also help keep animals out of our city shelters and in their loving homes where they belong,” Matthew Womack, Community Outreach and Humane Education Manager at the Humane Society, said in a release. “We just want to do our part and help provide all pet owners, no matter their income level, with the opportunity to give their pet the safety and peace of mind that comes with vaccinations.”

Pet owners must bring proof of income qualification to the vaccine clinic and keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers.

Volunteers will be at the event to help with paperwork and collection of the $5 per pet donation. 

 -Natalie Martin

University Middle approved by SCS

The University of Memphis announced Friday its middle school, University Middle, has officially been approved by the Shelby County School Board and is now accepting applications. The school will be the third University-sponsored school.

The goals of University Middle, a public school offered in partnership with SCS, are to enroll 60 sixth-grade students to begin in fall 2019 with subsequent grades to follow with projected enrollment of 90 per class and to create a “cutting-edge educational program that both capitalizes on the rich resources of the University of Memphis and stands as a model of innovation for middle school education,” according to a release.

“The University of Memphis is excited about the approval of University Middle by the Shelby County School Board and our expanding partnership, one that capitalizes on the unique expertise of our faculty,” U of M President M. David Rudd, said in a release. “Our hope is to continue to serve as a model of educational innovation and effectiveness, providing empirically supported approaches that can be scaled out to the general Shelby County Schools system.” 

Applications are now open, and will remain open until March 13. To apply, click here.

For more information on University Middle and how to apply, contact committee chairs Kate Schaffzin and Remy Debes at

-Natalie Martin 

Fogelman Properties buys Houston apartments

Memphis-based Fogelman Properties, in a joint venture with DRA Advisors, has acquired a 660-unit apartment community in Houston.

Artesian on Westheimer is 92 percent occupied, according to a release from Fogelman Properties, a privately owned apartment investment and management company. 

 Since 2003, the Fogelman-DRA partnership has acquired 27 multifamily communities totaling more than 8,800 apartment homes, with an aggregate value of more than $870 million.

Fogelman operates 88 multifamily communities totaling 28,000 apartment homes spread across 10 states in the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest. DRA Advisors is an investment advisor specializing in real estate and management services for institutional and private investors.

-Daily Memphian staff

Sullivan Branding receives best of show award at 2019 AAF Memphis American Advertising Awards

American Advertising Federation (AAF) Memphis presented its 52nd annual American Advertising Awards for creative excellence on Saturday, Feb.  23 at the Tower Room in Clark Tower in East Memphis.

More than 300 professionals attended the event, from local advertising, marketing, graphic design, and media companies. The event honored 54 Gold ADDY winners, 55 Silver ADDY winners, and 7 recipients of “Best Of” awards.

Sullivan Branding was the recipient of the "Best of Show" award at the event and won the most gold awards (12) and most overall with 18 – 12 gold, 6 silver.

“I am always amazed at the talent and creativity we have in Memphis and this year did not disappoint,” AAF Memphis President Amy Hughes, director of sales at Entercom, said in a release. “The level of commitment our advertising community has to excellence is unmatched for our local chapter of the American Advertising Federation.”

The complete list of winners of the 2019 AAF Memphis American Advertising Awards winners include:

  • Archer Malmo: Best of Video, 7 Gold, 10 Silver
  • DCA: Best of Out of Home, 6 Gold, 12 Silver
  • Loaded for Bear: Judges’ Special Award for Apparel, 9 Gold, 4 Silver
  • Red Deluxe: Best of Copywriting, 4 Gold, 6 Silver
  • Inferno: 1 Silver
  • Running Pony Productions: 2 Silver
  • Harvest: Best of Art Direction, 3 Gold, 5 Silver
  • Hemline:  1 Gold
  • Paradigm Marketing & Creative: 2 Gold, 2 Silver
  • VMLY&R:  Best of Interactive, 6 Gold, 2 Silver
  • Perpetual Motion:  2 Gold
  • Churchill Studios:  1 Gold
  • Taropop:  1 Silver 
  • Baby Grand:  2 Silver
  • ALSAC/St. JUDE:  1 Silver
  • The OAM Network:  1 Silver
  • Sullivan Branding: Best of Show, 12 gold, 6 silver

Student entries resulted in recognition from the Memphis College of Art:

  • Justin Wells: 1 Gold, 1 Silver

Following the awards, local winners will compete in the AAF District 7 level of the American Advertising Awards, a three-tiered national competition. District winners will proceed to compete on the national level, which represents the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition for creative excellence, according to a release.

-Natalie Martin 

Stephen Bush retires as public defender

Shelby County Public Defender Stephen Bush retired Thursday, and Mayor Lee Harris will announce his successor as the new chief public defender before a March 20 Shelby County Commission committee meeting.

“Stephen Bush has over twenty-five years of distinguished service in the County Public Defender’s Office, and he has served our community well as Chief Public Defender since 2010,” Harris said in a news release. “I congratulate Mr. Bush on his well-deserved retirement.”

Bush announced his retirement last summer, but he stayed on at the public defender’s office until Harris conducted a search for his successor.

Bush’s deputy assistant public defender will serve as acting public defender until the successor is announced. The new public defender will be presented to county officials by Harris at the March 20 meeting. 

Bush has been at the helm of the public defender’s office for eight years. The office employs more than 140 defense attorneys and represents indigent defendants charged in criminal court cases.

He was appointed chief public defender in 2010 by former Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell. Bush began his career with the office as an assistant public defender, serving in that role for 19 years before he was chosen to head the agency.

-Yolanda Jones


Fogelman Properties Sullivan Branding AAF University Of Memphis University Middle Shelby County Schools Humane Society Of Memphis & Shelby County St. Francis Hospital-Memphis Saint Francis Healthcare Jerry Lee Lewis

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