An Airfare Primer

Going to Thursday’s airfare forum at Christian Brothers University? The panel discussion sponsored by the Greater Memphis Chamber starts at 10:30 am.

The issue of how much we pay for air service is just about the hottest issue out there right now.

Whether you are going or waiting on our coverage of the event, here is our primer on the issue as it stands now in the current edition of our weekly, The Memphis News.

Keep going after the story for a transcript of a question and answer session our editorial board did with airport officials.

It’s the first transcript we’ve done of one of these sessions and we should have more to come on many other topics.



Elvis is keeping the cash registers ringing

A variety of new products have recently come to market or about to soon that will all keep alive the legacy of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Those products include apparel, books, music, a film and more.

A new casino jackpot slot machine from International Game Technology that honors Elvis recently was unveiled at the Global Gaming Expo. It features a classic jukebox design, and players can sing along to Elvis’ hits while they play. The game was released this spring and is already on many U.S. casino floors.

“Graphic Elvis,” a book from licensee Liquid Comics, is in stores now. It combines quotes, writings, photos and memorabilia with original pieces of artwork by international graphic novel artists.

Other new retail products include an Elvis Kingman acoustic guitar from Fender Acoustics, an “Aloha from Hawaii” Mr. Potato Head from PPW Toys, and Elvis figurines, ornaments and waterballs from Precious Moments.

Tommy Hilfiger also will launch a limited-edition American Icon t-shirt collection this summer with both a men’s and women’s Elvis design.

Hewlett-Packard Exec Joins AutoZone

AutoZone Inc., the Memphis-based car parts retailer, has added a Hewlett-Packard executive to its leadership ranks.

Ron Griffin has joined the company as senior vice president and chief information officer. At HP, Griffin was a key member of the team that drove HP’s IT transformation. Griffin also spent 12 years at Home Depot, including eight as CIO.

Griffin will report to AutoZone chief financial officer Bill Giles.

ArtPlace Grant for Memphis’ Soulsville Revitalization

A $678,195 grant from a Chicago group called ArtPlace will give a plan to revitalize the Soulsville neighborhood in Memphis a major lift.

Community LIFT, an economic and community development organization, is driving the first phase of the revitalization in partnership with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, which plans to hold classical, pops and Opus One concerts in the neighborhood. The MSO also will establish a regular presence there.

The Soulsville project also includes transforming the former home of bluesman Memphis Slim and a nearby warehouse into a new arts center called “Memphis Slim’s Collaboratory.”

ArtPlace is a new national collaboration of 11 major national and regional foundations, six of the nation’s largest banks, and eight federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts.

Habitat-Homebuilders Blitz Wraps Up Five Homes in Five Days Early

The Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis/Memphis Area Home Builders Association Home Builders Blitz kicked off Monday, June 4 and continued through Friday, June 8.

Five homes in five days. Well, that was the intent.

“Everyone completed construction and received their certificates of occupancy by Thursday, so it only ended up taking four days to build the homes,” said Lauren Hannaford of Obsidian PR. “Then Friday, builders, volunteers and homeowners put the finishing touches on and completed landscaping. Some of these (photos) were taken Thursday and some Friday.”

Grant & Co. finished first out of the six builder teams Wednesday evening.

“It was fun to compete against our fellow builders that are trying to build houses in five days for a good cause,” said Keith Grant. “We didn’t want to be the last one finished, we wanted to make sure we were the first. Through good scheduling and some really good sub contractors that we’ve been working with over the last several years, we’ve been able to get (our house) done in 72 hours.”

Here are the finished products of all five houses. Remember, MAHBA president Jimmy Moore told The Daily News that these houses each cost $75,000 “in sticks and bricks.”

Grant & Co.

Vintage Homes LLC

Chamberlain & McCreery LLC

Reid Homes Inc.

Hallmark Builders Inc. and Klazmer-Sklar LLC