Friday, December 9, 2016

UTHSC Awarded Grant to Study Tobacco Use in Military

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Professors at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center were awarded more than $400,000 in grant funding to study tobacco use in recruited members of the United States Air Force.

According to UTHSC, this study is important as a majority of Air Force enlistees that report tobacco use 
  • University of Tennessee Health Science Center
before basic training believe they will remain tobacco-free even after their time in basic and technical training where tobacco use is prohibited.

To address the issue of Air Force recruits returning to tobacco consumption after training, UTHSC professors Melissa Little and Wayne Talcott developed a Brief Tobacco Intervention currently in use during technical training.

The BIT addresses risks of five of the most commonly used tobacco products (cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookah, e-cigarettes and cigarillos) and addressed risk associated with use of one or multiple tobacco products.

The awarded grant will help Little and Talcott determine exactly how effective the developed BTI is, and how it stands to reduce tobacco use in the long run among military.

Here Comes the 'Ikea Effect'

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 3:50 PM


Our up-yours pride for Ikea choosing Memphis over Nashville has waned, perhaps, as the prestige of the promise gives way to the reality — flocks of ferocious fans gridlocking the suburbs. But make no mistake, Ikea will change Memphis.

The Swedish home goods retailer opened its doors Wednesday. Ikea invited customers to camp in line by its front doors as early as 9 a.m. Monday, a full 48 hours before the official grand opening. The hardest-core fans were to be rewarded; couches and other gifts were promised to the first customers each day of Ikea’s first week.

But for some, life ain’t all Billy bookshelves and meatballs.

“I can’t wait for (Ikea) to open so I can go to Midtown Kroger,” wrote Memphis-based @thespacebase on Twitter recently.

Social media, though, has plenty of smiley-face emoji (the one with hearts over the eyes) for Ikea’s opening. Many note how empty their bank accounts will soon be and, even two year after the announcement of the Memphis Ikea, some still crow about how Nashville can “suck it” (or something like that).

But very soon, those sleekly designed Ikea products will, most likely, be in many Memphis homes. Jason Jackson, an architect at Memphis-based brg3s, said that can change people.

“Design can determine how we feel, and how we look,” Jackson said. “It plays a role in everything we do, whether we realize it or not, from the food we eat, to how we dress, even in how we get to work.”

He pointed to how Apple’s iPhone, a “beautiful tool” that was well designed, was able to to transcend the traditional flip phone and changed how we communicate. Ikea’s commitment to design is similar, Jackson said, and the company’s products are affordable to most, which can change they way they feel.

“You can have a nice end table or nice bed and you can feel like you’re living a life that maybe you thought was out reach,” Jackson said. “That can happen because the products have been more thought out and the production has made them accessible to more people.”

Ikea flitted about Memphis with interest but netting the retail behemoth required a $1.2 million tax break for the company, which posted profits of nearly $4 billion last year. But the store will employ 225 here, with a starting wage of $10.77 per hour and an average wage of $41,000. Also, over the next 11 years, the store is expected to yield $15.5 million in local taxes.

The investment will also make Memphis a regional shopping destination, and send positive signals to executives about the city’s health and growth potential, and create another attractive amenity for those considering a move to Memphis.

“High-end and destination [like Ikea]retailers moving into a city signifies a region is growing and has a bright future,” reads a blog post from JAXUSA, the economic development agency for Northeast Florida. “As these retail establishments enter the market, it signals to the rest of the world…that the city is a good investment for long-term business growth.”

But couples take heed. Assembling that well-designed furniture can test your relationship. Amy Poehler once joked that “Ikea” was Swedish for “argument.”

However, once you’ve assembled that Molger or Skarsta, you’ll be in love with it, maybe more than you should. A paper from consumer psychologists from Harvard, Tulane, and Duke noted that when consumer assemble their own stuff, they cherish it, something they called the “Ikea effect.”

“Even constructing a standardized bureau, an arduous, solitary task, can lead people to overvalue their (often poorly constructed) creations,” the paper reads.

Ikea Preview
Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview

Ikea Preview

Media members got a preview of the new store on Germantown Parkway.

By Toby Sells

Click to View 54 slides

MadAir Event on Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 11:48 AM

Madison Harrison, who is 21 years old, says that when she was younger her wheels of choice were rollerblades, but a few years ago she and a group of friends got into longboarding.

"We go cruising around, looking for hills. It's all about the speed," she says.

And when she founded MadAir Decks, it wasn't so much the skateboards that drew her as it was her desire to start her own business.

Each of MadAir's pintails, drop throughs, drop downs, mini kicktail cruisers, and skateboards is a work of art — literally. Each deck bears artwork created by a local artist.


Harrison was working at Babalu alongside a bunch of Memphis College of Art students when the idea struck to combine the art world and the skating world.

Amber George was brought on board to shape MadAir's aesthetic. Jake Barrett and Alya Bandealy joined the team as well.

The boards come from a company in California (they hope to make their own boards one day). They are then given to the artist and once it's returned, the board is covered in a grit (for gripping) that's made of recycled glass, and then sealed.


Harrison says the artists are given carte blanche to create whatever they want. "You just have to be able to ride it," she say.

MadAir is holding an exhibition/sale on Saturday, December 10th, 4-10 p.m., at the Memphis Slim House. Stick 'em food truck will be there, and there will be live music from the Faux Killers, The Sideways, and more. Fluxus Skateboards and (901)derful tie-dye t-shirts will be onsite as well.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

State Funds St. Jude Expansion, Growing Pinch District and Children Hospital's Mission

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 3:19 PM

ALSAC CEO Richard Shadyac speaks on the St. Jude Expansion that will create 1,800 new jobs. - JOSHUA CANNON
  • Joshua Cannon
  • ALSAC CEO Richard Shadyac speaks on the St. Jude Expansion that will create 1,800 new jobs.
The state of Tennessee will invest $12 million to improve the public infrastructure surrounding St. Jude, growing the Children Hospital's mission and revitalizing the nearby Pinch District.

"We have a state full of people with their hearts in the right place," said Governor Bill Haslam during a news conference at the hospital's campus on Thursday. "The beauty of what St. Jude does is that people all over the world rush to help every day. I don't know anywhere else like St. Jude that has a constituency so broad based and committed to this mission."

An additional investment of $25 million in public infrastructure projects by the city of Memphis will expand the nearby Pinch District, developing it into a commercial area.

"All of the city, state and county money spent here is going to be spent on infrastructure in the Pinch District outside the gates of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," said ALSAC president and CEO Richard Shadyac. "Little if any of the money is going to be spent on the St. Jude Campus."

The expansion will create 1,800 new jobs.

"Our great Founder Danny Thomas knew after he visited Memphis if there was any community in the world that would ultimately make St. Jude a success, it was this great city," Shadyac said. "Today marks another commitment that we will not stop searching for cures at St. Jude until no child anywhere, not just in Memphis or in Tennessee, suffers from cancer or the side effects of pediatric cancer."

This story will be updated.

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Ikea Shows Its Stuff in Preview

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 9:20 AM

We don't have to tell you by now that Ikea Memphis opens Wednesday.

Hardcore fans are invited to bring tents, sleeping bags, and more to camp in front of the store on Monday. The first 43 adults in line will get a free couch. More giveaways and special offers will be handed out to shoppers during Ikea's first week open in Memphis.

Store officials have media members a look inside the new store Wednesday. Here's what we saw.

Ikea Preview
Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview Ikea preview

Ikea Preview

Media members got a preview of the new store on Germantown Parkway.

By Toby Sells

Click to View 54 slides


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Edge District is Getting a Little Greener

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 4:24 PM

Edge District
  • Edge District
The Edge District is getting a little triangle of green space to call their own, thanks to efforts made to enhance a city-owned public space that had previously stood neglected for years.

The small parcel of public land that sits snugly between Monroe Avenue, Madison Avenue, and South Orleans Street was once blighted by overgrowth and trash, and hosted some unsavory activities according to area residents.

Now, the space has been cleaned up and beautified with art installations, walking paths, and fresh landscaping. Even the gargantuan generator that sits in the space got a mural-makeover.

The restoration is a result of combined efforts between the UMDC, the Memphis Medical District Collaborative, and the Memphis College of Art. For Andy Kitsinger, interim director of the UMDC, it's a testament to what collaboration and community input can accomplish on a shoestring budget.

"The great thing about this project was the design phase that incorporated community input," said Kitsinger. "We had a small budget, so we had to get creative. Some of our installations are temporary, some are more permanent, but the great thing is we can upgrade any of them if the community likes them.

The Edge Triangle Celebration starts tomorrow at 4:00p.m. and lasts until 7:00p.m. and will feature live jazz music. Though temperatures are expected to be on the chilly side, Kitsinger and the team behind the effort will be combating the temperatures with hot chocolate and fire pits.

Annual Chamber Luncheon: Lausanne to Open School in China, Localized Career Search App Launched

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 2:29 PM


Lausanne's Headmaster Stuart McCathie couldn't attend the Memphis Chamber's Annual Chairman’s Luncheon Wednesday. He was at Xiamen #1 School in China, making official a partnership with the Collegiate School that will open a new campus next year.

"Since we're a process school, we're continually looking for ways to improve," said Noma Anderson, the president of Lausanne's board of trustees, on McCathie's behalf. "We're now one of only 19 schools in the nation to adopt an International Baccalaureate program from pre-K to 12th grade."

Located in the Fujian province of China, Xiamen #1 Lausanne International School will be the first school away from the main campus when it opens in August 2017. The school will educate 1,200 students from around the world.
"Part of our commitment is to bring global perspectives to Memphis," Anderson said. "And also taking perspectives from Memphis around the globe."

At home, The Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce has launched a new app to spur innovation and create job growth within the city. MemphisWorks will assist with career navigation, training, career counseling, case management, and hiring.

"It's the most comprehensive system of its kind on the market," said Willie Gregory, the director of Global Community Impact for Nike Inc. "From your first job to a thriving career, hundreds of people from our community have created videos to tell you what they do and why they love it. Their inspiration unlocks job opportunities and educational pathways."

The Delta Regional Authority also announced it would invest 370 thousand dollars into supporting manufacturing in the Greater Memphis area. The Authority will expand into the Metro Memphis Export Alliance, an organization focused on driving local exports and attracting manufacturing opportunities to the region, said Chris Masingill, the Authority's federal co-chairman.

"This strategic investment is going to help attract good jobs for our people, new companies to the region, and bring local businesses and entrepreneurs to the global marketplace," Masingill said.

This story will be updated with more information.

Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14)

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 1:57 PM

Each week, the Flyer will feature adoptable dogs and cats from Memphis Animal Services. All photos are credited to Memphis Pets Alive. More pictures can be found on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page.

Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14)
Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14) Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14) Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14) Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14) Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14) Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14) Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14) Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14)

Memphis Pets of the Week (Dec. 8-14)

Each week, the Flyer will feature adoptable dogs and cats from Memphis Animal Services. All photos are credited to Memphis Pets Alive. More pictures can be found on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page.

By Susan Ellis

Click to View 10 slides

New Restaurant Shoots for 'The Pocket'

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 11:13 AM

A new restaurant is planned for this building at 115 Union. - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • A new restaurant is planned for this building at 115 Union.

A new restaurant is headed Downtown, right on Union.

A building permit was pulled Tuesday for The Pocket, a restaurant and bar to be built in the first floor and basement of the building at 115 Union. Upgrades to the space will cost $716,524, according to the permit.

The Pocket will be one door down (to the east) from Belle A Southern Bistro and across the street from WDIA.

This story will be updated as details become available.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

'Luxury' Boutique Hotel Planned for Downtown

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 4:11 PM

Yet another boutique hotel is planned for Downtown Memphis.

A California company wants to transform two vacant properties into a 118-room luxury boutique hotel, according to an application to the Memphis and Shelby County Land Use Control Board (LUCB).

The building at 158 Madison, originally built as the Leader Savings Bank in 1962, would be renovated into 60 rooms with restaurants and a bar on the ground floor, meeting spaces, and a rooftop bar, according to the application.

The building next door at 164 Madison would be home to a restaurant, retail space on the ground floor and a 5,000-square-foot ballroom on its second floor. Behind that building would be built a new seven-story hotel tower with 58 rooms.

‘The hotel will be operated by a very well known international brand,” the application said.

Once opened, the hotel would employ 150.

The LUCB is slated to review the project during its next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 12.


Public Input Wanted for Greenline Expansion

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 4:07 PM

Memphis bike and running enthusiasts might have even more room to play in the near future.

The Shelby County Government is asking for public input to discuss a planned continuation of the existing Memphis and Shelby County Greenline.

Currently, the Greenline extends along Macon Rd. in Cordova stopping short of North Sanga Road. If approved, the extension will start at the Old Cordova Train Station and continue for 2.3 miles along the abandoned CSX Railroad Right-of-Way up to Lenow Road.

It's another building block for a city that has seen nationally-renowned investments in it's biking infrastructure in recent years.

The public meeting for area residents and business owners will be held this Thursday, December 8, from 6:00p.m. until 8:00p.m. at the Cordova Community Center, located at 1017 Sanga Rd in Cordova, TN. 

'Ice House' Entertainment Space Planned for Central

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 3:35 PM

The former Midtown Marshall Arts space on Central could soon become The Ice House, a restaurant and bar with “indoor recreation such as ping pong tables, pinball machines, foosball and live entertainment.”

Plans for the space emerged in an application to the Memphis and Shelby County Land Use Control Board (LUCB) on Tuesday.

The building next to The Ice House will apparently be home to The Ice House Diner in the former Gary’s Antiques space, according to the application. Building permits have been pulled different elements of The Ice House Diner but no new information on the restaurant were immediately available Tuesday.

The two entities will “bring new life to this side of Central Avenue,” reads the application. “Families and friends can walk and bike to The Ice House for games and entertainment.”

According to the application, The Ice House got its name as the building once housed an ice distributor in the 1980s.

Plans for The Ice House show a large bar inside a 60-seat dining area with four-top tables. Pinball machines line the wall of that space.

On the other side of sections of a low wall are an open game room with four foosball tables sandwiched between six ping pong tables. Another, 32-seat dining room sits just on the other side of the game room.

The applicant is asking the LUCB for a special use permit to allow indoor recreation in the commercial zone.

The LUCB will review the application during its next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Officials Promise Warning System Review

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 3:09 PM


Local officials are promising a review of the Memphis and Shelby County emergency warning plans, following realizations that many in Gatlinburg failed to get evacuation notices during last week's wild fires there.

A joint news release issued Tuesday from Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Mark Lutrell said “the Shelby County Office of Preparedness and the Memphis Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management are reviewing their early warning disaster plans should a crisis lead to evacuations of homes and businesses.”

Lutrell called crisis management preparation “vital” and Strickland promised to work with county officials for a “coordinated response.”

“Tragedies enable us to pause and review our emergency plans, particularly those that involve large-scale evacuations,” said Dale Lane, director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness. “Our notification procedures for (television) and cell phone messages are in place should people need to leave their homes and businesses because of fires, exposure to hazardous materials or other threats.”

Memphis Fire Services director Gina Sweat the Memphis Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management “will immediately forward messages to the emergency notification system to give people as much time as possible to find a safe place.”

Kresge Launches Memphis-Only Grant Program

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 3:05 PM


The Kresge Foundation launched a new grant program exclusively for Memphis organizations to help residents with low incomes.

The Kresge Foundation Funding Opportunity in Memphis will offer grants to organizations “working in arts and culture, community development, education, health or human services.”

Grants are only available to “nonprofit organizations and local government agencies supporting the expansion of opportunities for residents with low incomes in the city of Memphis.” Those organizations will compete for grants in the range of about $25,000 to $150,000, which can last for up to two years.

Kresge said those organizations should:

• Support the articulation of community priorities to inform decision-making
• Determine plans for action at the community level
• Enhance the capacity for transformative change at the community and/or city level
• Strengthen neighborhoods and systems of opportunity

“In keeping with our foundation’s core mission – to expand opportunity for people with low incomes in America’s cities – Kresge will invest in local partners working on strengthening the urban fabric and systems of Memphis,” said Chantel Rush, program officer with the Kresge-led American Cities Practice group. “We have valued our growing relationships in Memphis and the opportunity to learn more about community aspirations.”

A webinar on the program will be available Wednesday at 3 p.m. Successful organizations will go through a rigorous proposal process. Grants are slated to be awarded in June 2017.

The Detroit-based foundation has invested more than $2.5 million in Memphis since 2013 to help spur economic and community development.

For more information on the Funding Opportunity in Memphis, go to the program's website.

On the Scene at Stumbling Santa

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 10:17 AM

Hundreds and hundreds of Santas braved the wind and rain to collect toys for underprivileged kids in conjunction with Porter-Leath last Saturday night. The 12th Annual Stumbling Pub crawl began at the Flying Saucer, and from there proceeded down Beale Street to the Coyote Ugly, the Tin Roof, and to Jerry Lee’s.

Stumbling Santa 2016
Stumbling Santa 2016 Stumbling Santa 2016 Stumbling Santa 2016 Stumbling Santa 2016 Stumbling Santa 2016 Stumbling Santa 2016 Stumbling Santa 2016 Stumbling Santa 2016

Stumbling Santa 2016

Frank Chin captures the holiday madness.

By Frank Chin

Click to View 28 slides

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