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VOL. 128 | NO. 243 | Friday, December 13, 2013

Daily Digest

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Watertite Files $6.7 Million Loan on Collierville Facility

Watertite Products Inc. has filed a $6.7 million loan on its 86,918-square-foot warehouse at 202 Industrial Park Lane in Collierville.

The company filed the deed of trust, assignment of leases and rents, security agreement and fixture filing Dec. 6 through General Electric Capital Corp. William D. Barton signed the trust deed as CFO of Watertite.

Watertite is a subsidiary of Compton, Calif.-based IPS Corp., which manufactures “adhesives, solvent cements, and numerous components and supplies for the plumbing, construction and plastic fabrication industries,” according to the company’s website.

One of the products made at the Collierville facility is Water-Tite, a product for washing machines.

Built in 1987, the Class A warehouse sits on 4.98 acres on the south side of Industrial Park Drive, southeast of the intersection of Progress Road and East Poplar Avenue.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $3.2 million.

The company filed a similar loan on the property, for the same amount, in October 2012.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Stephens Among Finalists for Bartlett Schools Post

Shelby County Schools deputy superintendent David Stephens is among the three finalists to lead the Bartlett Schools system.

Southern Educational Strategies, the consultant to the Bartlett Schools board, presented its group of finalists to the school board Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Stephens was selected by SCS superintendent Dorsey Hopson as the day-to-day leader of the consolidated school system as Hopson led the team that took the county’s two public school systems into the start of its first fiscal year, which began July 1, and its first school year, which began Aug. 5.

In addition to Stephens, the other finalists are David Hill and M. Wayne Honeycutt.

Hill is director of academic operations for Memphis Catholic Schools, which included the Catholic Diocese of Memphis’ Jubilee Schools in inner-city Memphis.

Hill also served as executive director of Teacher Effectiveness for Memphis City Schools and was heavily involved in writing the Teacher Effectiveness Initiative proposal that won funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Honeycutt is former director of the Loudon County, Tenn., school system and has been superintendent, director and assistant superintendent of several other school systems in Tennessee and Illinois.

– Bill Dries

County Retirement Fund Hits Another High

The value of the pension fund that pays benefits to Shelby County retirees has hit another six-year high – just as it has done every month since June.

The fund’s value, according to the latest figures, climbed to almost $1.08 billion in October, up from $1.05 billion in September. The last time the fund was higher than October’s total was in October 2007, when the fund topped $1.08 billion.

Stock market gains explain part of the highs. The domestic equity component of the county’s portfolio is up 28.3 percent year to date.

– Andy Meek

AutoZone Taps Wright as General Counsel

AutoZone Inc. has promoted Kristen Collier Wright to senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of customer satisfaction, effective Jan. 5.

Wright joined AutoZone in January 2012 as vice president, assistant general counsel and assistant secretary with oversight for a variety of company matters, such as litigation, and labor and employment law.

Before joining AutoZone, Wright was a partner with Bass, Berry & Sims PLC.

– Andy Meek

Metal Museum Hosts Holiday Show Sunday

The Metal Museum is hosting an open house holiday show and sale Sunday.

The event, which will run from noon to 5 p.m., gives visitors an opportunity to explore the Metal Museum’s store and view pieces on display in the Gasparrini Gallery. Holiday ornaments, housewares, jewelry and sculptures will be available for purchase.

Visitors will also be able to explore the Metal Museum’s new exhibition, “Ha! Metalsmiths at Play.” The exhibit features metal toys, games and quirky-looking characters.

Throughout the day, Kevin Burge and a team of volunteers will lead a class in which students will create their own enameled copper ornament. The cost is $40.

– Amos Maki

Average Mortgage Rate Eases to 4.42 Percent

Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages eased slightly this week, remaining near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan declined to 4.42 percent from 4.46 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan dipped to 3.43 percent from 3.47 percent.

Mortgage rates peaked at 4.6 percent in August and have stabilized since September, when the Federal Reserve surprised markets by taking no action on starting to reduce its bond purchases. The Fed meets next week and could slow the bond purchases if the economy shows further improvement.

The bond purchases are designed to keep long-term rates such as mortgage rates low.

A Commerce Department report issued Thursday signaled growing consumer confidence in the economy at the start of the holiday shopping season, as November retail sales rose at the fastest pace in five months.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.

– The Associated Press

US Retail Sales See Biggest Gain in 5 Months

U.S. consumers ramped up spending in November on cars, appliances and furniture and made more purchases online, signaling growing confidence in the economy at the start of the holiday shopping season.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales rose 0.7 percent, the biggest gain in five months. October’s figure was also revised higher to 0.6 percent.

Two straight months of healthy sales suggests steady hiring is encouraging Americans to spend more this holiday season, particularly on big-ticket items. That could give a critical boost to the economic growth.

Thursday’s report “suggests that the holiday shopping season began on a strong note,” Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.

The report also shows that consumers purchased more at home on their computers last month – and less at traditional stores. Those trends could explain why many retail chains estimated disappointing sales over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, one of the most critical for those businesses.

Online and catalog sales rose 2.2 percent last month, the most in nearly 18 months.

Sales were weak at some retail chains. Clothing and grocery stores reported lower sales last month. And gains at department stores, health care and sporting goods stores were all tepid. Nonetheless, Americans are spending more, which could give a much-needed boost to the economy in the final three months of the year.

– The Associated Press

Airlines Expect Profits to Jump to Record High

The global airline industry expects its profits to jump to a record high next year, helped by falling jet fuel prices, rising travel demand and cost-cutting.

The International Air Transport Association said Thursday it forecasts a profit of $19.7 billion – well above the $12.9 billion expected this year and the $7.4 billion made in 2012.

But the Geneva-based group, which represents 240 airlines, or 84 percent of total air traffic, noted margins are dropping. Next year’s profit would come from projected revenues of $743 billion. By contrast, 2010’s $19.2 billion profit was made on revenues of just $579 billion.

Tony Tyler, director-general and CEO of IATA, said that the profit would amount to a little less than $6 per passenger.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 72 238 10,116
MORTGAGES 103 297 13,172
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 60 2,598
BUILDING PERMITS 192 562 24,086
BANKRUPTCIES 75 227 9,760
BUSINESS LICENSES 20 71 3,674
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 126 390 14,353
MARRIAGE LICENSES 15 68 3,131

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