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Editorial Results (free)

1. Market Mystery -

Over the last several years, investors ranging from mom-and-pop shops to large hedge funds have been acquiring single-family homes in Memphis at a historic pace.

But determining the long-term impact that investor purchases have made on neighborhoods remains elusive.

2. Council OKs ‘Tax Dead’ Anti-Blight Program -

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 4, approved an anti-blight grant program for “tax dead” properties – properties with more in back taxes and associated fees than the property is appraised for or could ever be sold for.

3. Council OKs ‘Tax Dead’ Anti-Blight Program -

The Memphis City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 4, approved an anti-blight grant program for “tax dead” properties – properties with more in back taxes and associated fees than the property is appraised for or could ever be sold for.

4. Council Hears More on Police and Fire Budget Decisions -

Memphis City Council member got deeper Tuesday, Feb. 4, into the specifics of Memphis Police and Fire Department budget decisions.

But they didn’t get a clearer picture of what the direction forward will be as they and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. prepare to make some hard decisions about public safety in dealing with the city’s unfunded pension liability.

5. Council to Get Updates on City Expense Cuts -

Memphis City Council members get a closer look Tuesday, Jan. 21, at some ways the city can reallocate $80 million over the next five fiscal years to begin paying $100 million annually toward an unfunded pension liability the city estimates is at $709 million.

6. Council to Get Updates on City Expense Cuts -

Memphis City Council members get a closer look Tuesday, Jan. 21, at some ways the city can reallocate $80 million over the next five fiscal years to begin paying $100 million annually toward an unfunded pension liability the city estimates is at $709 million.

7. ‘Tax Dead’ Program Clears First Hurdle -

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy scrambled Monday, Jan. 13, to overcome some of the nagging questions about an anti-blight initiative aimed at “tax dead” properties and overcame most of them for now.

8. Billingsley Is Newest County Commissioner As "Tax Dead" Program Advances -

Former Germantown alderman Mark Billingsley is the newest Shelby County Commissioner.

On the second ballot Monday, Jan. 13, commissioners appointed Billingsley to fill the vacancy created by the resignation this month of Wyatt Bunker, who became mayor of Lakeland last year.

9. Ballpark Deal Back Before City Council -

Memphis City Council members are scheduled to pick up Tuesday, Jan. 7, where they left off last month in considering a proposal in which the city of Memphis would buy AutoZone Park and contribute toward improvements to the ballpark.

10. Commission Rejects School Board Pay Raises, Keeps Other Pay Levels Same -

In six hours, Shelby County Commissioners voted down the first of three readings on a proposed $20,000 pay raise for Shelby County Schools board members and kept the pay of the county Mayor, Sheriff, Trustee, Register, County Clerk and Assessor at the same level they are now.

11. Tax Dead Dilemma -

The brick church at 299 Chelsea Ave. in North Memphis shows up in records at the Shelby County Assessor’s office as “vacant land.”

12. Jack Daniel's in Legal Fight With Small Distiller -

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A white whiskey named for a famed Appalachian moonshiner started out being sold in Mason jars, to honor its roguish roots, but switched to square-shaped bottling.

13. Council Delays Funding For Southbrook Mall -

Memphis City Council members held up Tuesday, Oct. 15, on approving the portion of the minutes from their Oct. 1 meeting that would set in motion $1.5 million in city funding for a renovation of Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

14. Council Delays Funding for Southbrook Mall -

Memphis City Council members held up Tuesday, Oct. 15, on approving the portion of the minutes from their Oct. 1 meeting that would set in motion $1.5 million in city funding for a renovation of Southbrook Mall in Whitehaven.

15. Council Approves Beale Deal, Delays Highland McDonald's -

Memphis City Council members sent a plan Tuesday, Oct. 15, to settle the last barrier to direct day to day city control of the Beale Street entertainment district to a federal bankruptcy judge.

The council approved a resolution that would use $400,000 from a dormant city fund related to the abandoned Midtown interstate corridor and $100,000 in revenues it has collected from the Beale Street district to pay off a loan Beale Street developer John Elkington took out for improvements he made to Handy Park.

16. Loose Ends Remain in Nineteenth Century Club Case -

The still-tentative deal to prevent the demolition of the Nineteenth Century Club building in Midtown has a crucial deadline on Oct. 15 and lots of loose ends before then that involve money and timing.

17. Complaint Alleges Bank of America Discrimination -

Bank of America allegedly discriminated against minority neighborhoods and property owners in Memphis in the way it handled bank-owned properties, according to an amended complaint filed with the federal government.

18. Complaint: Bank of America Discriminated in Memphis -

Bank of America allegedly discriminated against minority neighborhoods and property owners in Memphis in the way it handled bank-owned properties, according to an amended complaint filed with the federal government.

19. Council OKs Statue Move, Demolition Moratorium -

Memphis City Council members approved a four-month moratorium Tuesday, Sept. 3, on any new demolition permits for city properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But the resolution was amended to not apply to any demolition permits already issued, including the one for the Nineteenth Century Club building in Midtown. The planned demolition of the property by its new owners to make way for a restaurant is on hold, pending a Chancery Court decision on whether the club’s sale of the property was legal.

20. Council OKs Statue Move, Demolition Moratorium -

Memphis City Council members approved a four-month moratorium Tuesday, Sept. 3, on any new demolition permits for city properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But the resolution was amended to not apply to any demolition permits already issued, including the one for the Nineteenth Century Club building in Midtown. The planned demolition of the property by its new owners to make way for a restaurant is on hold, pending a Chancery Court decision on whether the club’s sale of the property was legal.

21. Neighborhood Vitality -

The history at the Four-Way Restaurant is as rich and soulful as the food.

The walls of the South Memphis institution are decorated with photographs of politicians, athletes, entertainers, business leaders and civil rights icons – including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – who made the famous restaurant at Mississippi Boulevard and Walker Avenue a “home away from home.”

22. City Council to Consider Smart Meters -

The Memphis City Council’s long-running debate over the use of Smart Meters by Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division with time-of-use rates is expected to reach a critical phase at the council’s Tuesday, Aug. 20, session.

23. Eviction Notice -

Managers of apartment complexes and other rental properties in Shelby County used to have a good grapevine or network when it came to trouble tenants, especially drug dealers, who had been evicted.

24. Balancing Act -

It’s past time to rethink the old 60/40 notion of investing, say a wide range of Memphis financial professionals, as the ground continues to shift beneath the feet of investors in this low-yield world of investing dominated by unprecedented action from the Federal Reserve.

25. City Council Approves Amended Property Registry -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. won a partial victory in his emphasis on fighting blight with final Memphis City Council approval Tuesday, April 2, of a property registration ordinance.

But the council amended out a provision in the ordinance that would have required the registration of all property. What is left is a registry of vacant and abandoned property where property taxes are delinquent and code enforcement finds violations.

26. Hagan Named President of Memphis Heritage Board -

Joey Hagan, principal of Architecture Inc., has been named the 2013-2014 board president for Memphis Heritage Inc. after being nominated and elected by the previous board. Hagan’s primary responsibilities as one of two principals at Architecture Inc. include running the organization, marketing, design and project management. As MHI president, he will strive to continue to make preservation of important properties a priority for Memphians.

27. Hargett Warns of Real Estate Scam -

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett is warning home buyers and sellers about a scam involving real estate titles.

According to the office’s business services division, letters have been sent to at least eight real estate companies suggesting that there are claims against titles of more than two dozen residential properties.

28. Legislation Propels Parks Controversy to New Level -

As Shelby County suburban leaders were meeting in Nashville Tuesday, Feb. 5, with Tennessee legislators about possible moves toward some version of suburban school districts, the Memphis City Council was reacting to a pending bill in the state Legislature.

29. Loeb: City Should Increase Investment in Urban Core -

The relevance of Overton Square is that it’s one of many initiatives the city has in place to make Memphis a better place and a city of choice for the millennial generation.

Seventy-seven percent of those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s want to live in the urban core and to drive less.

30. Dyersburg Mall Sells for $4.4 Million -

The Dyersburg Mall has fetched $4.35 million after hitting the online auction block in November.

Yazoo, Miss.-based Action Properties LLC purchased the 191,038-square-foot regional shopping mall at 2700 Lake Road in Dyersburg, Tenn., under the entity Action Dyersburg LLC. The seller, Jackson, Miss.-based Mattiace Properties Inc., disposed of the asset under the entity Dyersburg Mall Co. LLC.

31. Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association Elects 2013 Officers -

The Metropolitan Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association recently elected its slate of officers to serve in 2013, and the group now ramps up for a busy year, including the 14th annual MMHLA Lodging Industry Update on Feb. 22 at the Hilton Memphis.

32. Battling Blight -

The kickoff date to the Downtown Memphis Commission’s anti-blight initiative on April 1, 2011, is embedded in president Paul Morris’ memory.

33. Reardon Speaks Out Against City’s Approach to Housing -

The University of Memphis professor leading the resistance to a still-forming plan to demolish the city’s last large public housing project says the city’s approach to transforming public housing since the late 1990s hasn’t worked.

34. Expert: Investors Confound Housing -

The role of investor-driven neighborhoods in Memphis is growing, and the impact on different kinds of neighborhoods is largely unstudied and unknown.

For instance, what does it mean that going into 2012, 54 percent of residential property sales were accounted for by investor purchases from the Real Estate Owned (REO) inventory of foreclosing lenders?

35. Rise of House Flipping Focus Of Seminar -

The impact of the foreclosure crisis on Shelby County home values is intricate and far-reaching.

Recent estimates by real estate information company Chandler Reports suggest that nearly a quarter of Memphis’ total housing stock are non-owner occupied.

36. Grassroots Effort -

Approaching the second anniversary of “New Face for an Old Broad” and the Historic Broad Avenue Business Association’s painting of its own bike lanes, the Binghampton district has seen activity increase exponentially on several fronts.

37. August Home Sales up 21 Percent -

Home sales in August were up 21 percent year over year, representing the eighth consecutive monthly increase from 2011.

Shelby County saw 1,487 home sales last month compared to the 1,228 homes sold in August 2011, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

38. District, US Attorneys Pooling Efforts -

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich and U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton are working together on cases that cross the state-federal boundary for prosecution.

39. Committee to Disband as Board Considers Next Step -

The countywide school board’s ad hoc committee to review the schools consolidation plan is about to disband without acting on the plan sent to the board by the schools consolidation planning commission.

40. Council Approves Overton Square Land Acquisition -

The Memphis City Council has approved the resolution key to the construction of an Overton Square parking garage and a new Hattiloo Theater on what is now an open parking lot for the Midtown entertainment district.

41. Council Tests Auto Inspection Rules -

Memphis City Council members have approved a financial hardship waiver that allows Memphis motorists who flunk the emissions part of their auto inspection to claim the repairs will cost them too much and get a one-year one-time-only waiver on the inspection.

42. Assessor Race Looks To Battle Lines -

In an election year with a lot of transitions, the race on the Aug. 2 ballot for Shelby County Assessor of Property crosses paths with those transitions more than any other race on the busy ballot.

43. Memphis-Based EdR Wins Four Innovator Awards -

EdR – a Memphis-based developer, owner and manager of collegiate housing – recently received four Innovator Awards at the 2012 Interface Conference sponsored by Student Housing Business magazine.

44. US Sales of Foreclosure Homes Rose in Q1 -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Homes in some stage of the foreclosure process saw their share of overall U.S. home sales grow in the first quarter even as sales of bank-owned homes fell.

The increase was driven by a spike in short sales, or homes that sell for less than what the owner owed on their mortgage, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

45. Foreclosures Dip in April -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – National foreclosure trends took a positive turn in April, as the number of homes seized by banks declined and fewer properties entered into the foreclosure process.

46. Market Value -

Investor Warren Buffett admitted in his annual letter to shareholders recently that he was “dead wrong” in his early 2011 prediction that the housing market would have begun recovery by now.

47. Foreclosures Comprised Smaller Slice of 2011 Sales -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Bank-owned homes and short sales last year accounted for the smallest slice of overall sales in three years but still made up nearly a quarter of all U.S. homes sold in 2011.

48. IP Rights Protect Business’s Assets -

Intellectual property rights fall into three categories: copyrights, trademarks and patents. Each is protected by federal statute while trademarks also are protected by state law.

Intellectual property rights are acquired by filing an application with the relevant federal or state agency and the issued certificate is normally received following regulatory examination for compliance.

49. Council to Weigh Pink Palace Funding -

A $20 million upgrade of the Memphis Pink Palace Museum tops the Tuesday, Feb. 21, Memphis City Council agenda that also includes two items key to Overton Square redevelopment and $510,000 in capital appropriations for the Memphis Area Transit Authority.

50. City, D.A. File More Suits, Legal Action to Fight Blight -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration is keeping the gloves off in the city’s fight against blight.

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the mayor and Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich jointly announced the filing of 86 lawsuits and 11 nuisance petitions against the owners of blighted property.

51. Loeb Tells Rotary About Overton Square Plans -

Among the first of Bob Loeb’s comments when he addressed the Memphis Rotary Club Tuesday, Jan. 10, was that when his firm finishes the redevelopment of Overton Square, the hope is to pass the Rotarian Four-Way Test.

52. Thomison Joins PGM/Trumbull -

Dr. John Thomison has joined Pathology Group of the Mid-South/Trumbull Labs LLC.

Hometown: Nashville

53. School Building Sale Still Unresolved -

The countywide school board member who thought about having a set of rules in place to specifically set the terms of selling or transferring school buildings to a separate suburban school district called off the move this week.

54. Jones Talks Court Challenge Depending on School Sale Terms -

A move by countywide school board member Martavius Jones to set ground rules for any transfer of school buildings to a suburban school district ended abruptly Tuesday, Dec. 13, as Jones pulled the resolution at a school board work session.

55. Gunn Admits to More Than $1M Embezzlement -

U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton said his office will pursue whoever else is involved in the embezzlement scandal in the Shelby County Chancery Court Clerk’s office.

Stanton made the vow Friday, Oct. 28, as former clerk’s office accountant Brandon Gunn pleaded guilty to three charges in a criminal information.

56. Obama Offers Mortgage Relief on Western Trip -

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Obama administration offered mortgage relief on Monday to hundreds of thousands of Americans in the latest attempt to ease the economic and political fallout of a housing crisis that has bedeviled President Barack Obama as he seeks a second term.

57. New Façades -

Local architecture firms have run the gamut with realignment strategies in combating the economic downturn, from reduction of footprints and overhead to reorganizing and rebranding.

In late 2009, Memphis-based Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Inc. filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. The news sent shockwaves throughout the industry, as one of the city’s most prominent firms – behind landmark projects like AutoZone Park and AutoZone corporate headquarters, Riverside Drive, FedExForum, Harbor Town and the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, to name a few – was being forced to reorganize.

58. Staying Afloat -

Compared to the overall U.S. construction landscape, Memphis’ position appears to be managing fairly well.

Within the last 10 months, the city has landed several heavy manufacturing projects – Electrolux, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. and Kruger Inc., to name a few – in a time when, nationally, the manufacturing sector is stagnant.

59. City Council Gives Final Nod to Schools Consolidation Settlement -

With no debate, Memphis City Council members Tuesday, Sept. 6, gave the final approval necessary for the schools consolidation settlement to become a consent decree.

The council voted 12-0 to approve the settlement worked out by all sides in the federal lawsuit over schools consolidation. The settlement emerged from mediation sessions in court last month.

60. Orion Hits ‘Home Run’ With REO Placement Program -

A Memphis woman is getting a second chance at owning her own home, thanks to a rare program that takes hard work into account over credit scores. For Blondell Phillips, it’s the American Dream, Take 2.

61. Renting Can Coexist With Ownership -

Memphis has for quite some time had an unusually high percentage of renters when compared with other cities.

And fears about changing the pattern of where those renters live has put the trend at odds with the long held goal of home ownership as a goal for every adult.

62. Housing Gap -

The push for home ownership has been a fundamental element of the American Dream since the 1960s.

And because a home is typically a person’s most valuable asset, research indicates home ownership stabilizes neighborhoods while also contributing positively to the overall economy. Leading this promotional effort is the National Association of Realtors, which regularly links a healthy housing market to job creation.

63. Raging River, Watchful City -

As the Mississippi River crested at a historic level last week, most Memphians went to their jobs as usual.

The Memphis Grizzlies continued their NBA playoff run at FedExForum with a sellout crowd the same night that the river approached its crest less than a mile away.

64. Memphians Come Together in Flood Response -

At first glance, the Great Flood of 2011 has been a tale of two cities. Hundreds evacuated their homes, and the rising water caused millions of dollars worth of damage to property and infrastructure throughout the city.

65. Shelby Forest Residents Wait, Watch -

As the region prepared for the Mississippi River to crest, it was pretty much business as usual Monday morning at Shelby Forest General Store, 7729 Benjestown Road, near Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, as regulars stopped in for breakfast and exchanged neighborhood news on the front porch.

66. Flood Scenario Become More Specific As River Crest Nears -

The rise of the Mississippi River at Memphis continued Sunday to within a few inches of a crest of 48 feet.

And emergency responders Sunday locked in on dealing with a 48 foot crest sometime early Tuesday morning.

67. Opinion: Foreclosure Bill Unjust To Homeowners, Community -

As an attorney that has spent a great deal of my time over the last decade assisting consumers with mortgage lending and foreclosure problems, I cannot think of a worse idea for the Tennessee General Assembly to consider than further streamlining the foreclosure process in Tennessee. This is precisely what is currently contemplated in the bills that will be considered by the Judiciary Committees in the coming week.

68. Opinion: Foreclosure Bill Unjust To Homeowners, Community -

As an attorney that has spent a great deal of my time over the last decade assisting consumers with mortgage lending and foreclosure problems, I cannot think of a worse idea for the Tennessee General Assembly to consider than further streamlining the foreclosure process in Tennessee. This is precisely what is currently contemplated in the bills that will be considered by the Judiciary Committees in the coming week.

69. Home Prices Falling in Most Major US Cities -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Home prices are falling in most major U.S. cities, and at least 10 major markets are at their lowest point since the housing bubble burst.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index shows price declines in 19 cities from January to February. The index fell for the seventh straight month. Prices fell at a faster rate in 11 markets in February compared with the previous month.

70. Foreclosure Activity Slows Sharply in February -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The number of U.S. homes receiving a foreclosure-related notice fell to a 36-month low last month, as lenders delayed taking action against homeowners amid heightened scrutiny over banks' handling of home repossessions.

71. Elvis’ Reach Wide in Realm of Law -

Elvis Presley’s manager Col. Tom Parker never let too many lawyers around the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Which is ironic, considering the way the music legend’s career is fueling a robust practice of intellectual property law among attorneys around the country and has done so since Presley’s death in 1977.

72. Ongoing Foreclosure Crisis Far From Over -

The foreclosure crisis will get worse before it gets better – with 1 million homes foreclosed in 2010 and even more projected for default in 2011.

That was the message a room full of real estate professionals received this week when real estate information company Chandler Reports hosted its quarterly seminar on Shelby County Market trends, “Master Your Market: Year-in-Review.”

73. Court Rules Against Banks in Pivotal Mortgage Case -

BOSTON (AP) — The highest court in Massachusetts ruled against U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co. Friday in a widely watched mortgage foreclosure case that could have serious implications for the nation's largest banks.

74. ‘Hundreds More’ Blight Suits on the Way -

A few hundred lawsuits targeting the owners of run-down properties are likely to be filed by the city of Memphis not long after 2011 rolls around, according to one estimate of the city’s timetable.

75. Number of Homes Taken Back by Lenders Tumbles -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The number of U.S. homes taken back by lenders dropped to the lowest level in 18 months in November, the result of foreclosure freezes enacted by several banks following allegations that evictions were handled improperly.

76. Foreclosure Class Actions Pile Up Against Banks -

NEW YORK (AP) – Foreclosure-fraud class action lawsuits are starting to pile up against major banks across the country, threatening a besieged industry with billions more in potential losses.

77. Opening Move -

The owners of 138 run-down properties sued by the city on the recommendation of code enforcement officials will soon be due in court for a series of hearings that start later this month.

The targets of those lawsuits own everything from a collection of townhouses east of Memphis International Airport to Southern Funeral Home at 440 Vance Ave. The trait they share is the public nuisance the city believes they present.

78. Wharton Files Blight Suits -

For months, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has been standing outside old homes and warning owners of the vacant decaying properties that the city is coming with attorneys and legal papers.

On Tuesday he launched the first wave of lawsuits under the state’s Neighborhood Preservation Act.

79. Despite Foreclosure Halt, Mortgage Crisis Not Over -

MIAMI (AP) – For most Americans at risk of losing their homes, the brutal business of foreclosure goes on.

Bank of America halted foreclosures across the country to address paperwork problems, but three other banks did so only in 23 states. Other banks holding millions of mortgages have not suspended any foreclosures.

80. Foreclosure Freeze Could Undermine Housing Market -

NEW YORK (AP) – Karl Case, the co-creator of a widely watched housing market index, was upbeat three weeks ago. Mulling the economy while at a meeting at a resort near the Berkshires, Case thought the makings of a recovery were finally falling into place.

81. Baltimore’s Wells Fargo Suit Could Affect Memphis -

Lawyers for the city of Baltimore are preparing to reload in their two-year court fight against Wells Fargo over its lending practices in the city.

Baltimore is planning to file a new complaint against the lender after a federal judge last week dismissed the city’s second amended complaint. The city was given until Oct. 22 to try again in its effort to prove Wells broadly discriminated against black borrowers in its mortgage lending.

82. Bestselling Author Returns Home for MIG Appearances -

You would think a guy who goes on to become a multimillionaire, speak all over the world and write best-selling books would have been voted “most likely to succeed” in school.

In the case of Robert Shemin, author of “How Come that Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not?,” a New York Times’ bestseller, not exactly.

83. Midtown CVS Approved By Council -

Memphis City Council member approved a CVS drug store at Union Ave and Cooper St. on a 10-2 vote that followed a two hour debate.

The council also approved an amendment calling on the developers of the store to get as close as they can in their plans to requirements of the advisory Midtown overlay. The two exceptions to that are restrictions on a drive through window for the pharmacy and how far from the street the building can be.

84. Close to Home -

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, met last week with representatives of Wells Fargo, the nationwide lender Memphis and Shelby County governments are suing over its local lending practices.

85. Foreclosure Woes Discussed at House Subcommittee Hearing in Memphis -

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, met last week with representatives of Wells Fargo, the nationwide lender Memphis and Shelby County governments are suing over its local lending practices.

86. Attorney Takes On Urban Blight -

Down a side road in the Medical Center neighborhood, past tire piles, trash-strewn lots and a makeshift sign announcing a church “coming soon to save souls,” there’s an empty, slightly overgrown field.

87. Midtown Target -

Two years ago this month, awed silence greeted real estate developer Tom Marsh as he clicked through slides and walked a neighborhood group through his team’s plan.

88. Glankler Brown's Humphreys Named Real Estate SuperLawyer -

Glankler Brown attorney and real estate chairman Hunter Humphreys has been named a Real Estate SuperLawyer by Corporate Counsel Magazine.

Humphreys’ designation means he’s honored as a Top 100 Lawyer in Tennessee and a Top 50 Lawyer in Memphis.

89. Changes to Federal Foreclosure Program Announced -

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The federal government announced Friday that it is relaxing some rules to make it easier for communities to spend funds on redeveloping abandoned and foreclosed properties.

90. Wooddale Condos’ Future Uncertain After Nuisance Action -

A 43-year old set of decaying condominiums in Fox Meadows got a new crop of plywood and fresh signs this week warning people to keep out.

The Wooddale Condominiums, 4876 Winchester Road, also got a court order from the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office declaring the complex a nuisance under state law.

91. UofM-Area Residents Work to Salvage 38111 -

For Tk Buchanan, community development specialist for the University of Memphis Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action (CBANA), the 587 foreclosures last year in the 38111 ZIP code are more than a statistic.

92. Builder Firm Zips Through Downturn -

The economy has brought new commercial construction to a standstill, but the current financial climate is no match for the natural disasters that force a different type of project to move ahead.

Whenever a tornado, flood or fire damages a structure, insurance companies are obligated to pay for renovating or rebuilding, which means general contractors that specialize in disaster recovery are staying busy despite the dearth of new construction.

93. Downtown Businesses Brace for Year Of Change -

2009 was a less-than-stellar year for Downtown Memphis based on several measures of business and financial activity.

During the past 12 months, the area saw a slump in business license and residential sales activity, rising bankruptcies and a spike in foreclosures.

94. State Revokes Appraiser’s License -

The Tennessee Real Estate Appraisers Commission has permanently revoked the license of Alvin R. Torrance for allegedly inflating property values at six Memphis area locations with “highly misleading or fraudulent” appraisals.

95. Madoff's Longtime Auditor Pleads Guilty to Fraud -

NEW YORK (AP) - Bernard Madoff's longtime auditor pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges Tuesday, saying he failed to do his job to verify the disgraced money manager's financial records but did not know Madoff was running history's biggest Ponzi scheme.

96. Commission to Appeal Second Juvenile Court Judgeship -

The battle over more than one Juvenile Court judge is on its way to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Shelby County Commissioners voted this week to appeal an earlier ruling by the Tennessee Appeals Court to the high court. The Supreme Court could choose to hear the case or deny the request for an appeal, which would leave the appeals court ruling in place.

97. Not So Fast For Buehler Proposal -

Shelby County Commissioners delayed action this week on the transfer of 140 parcels of tax delinquent property to developer Harold Buehler.

98. Metal, Military Parts Makers Could Add 250 Jobs -  

SFI of Tennessee and Steel Warehouse, sister companies operating from a manufacturing campus at 4768 Hungerford Road, are making plans to spend millions of dollars beefing up their facility and creating at least 250 jobs.

Steel Warehouse is a steel service company that provides raw material steel to companies like SFI, which manufactures, fabricates and processes steel and other metals. Both companies are subsidiaries of Indiana-based Lerman Enterprises.

The expansion the companies are considering for their South Memphis plant is significant for reasons including its impact on the local employment picture. As part of a tax break they’ve requested for the project, the companies would commit to creating at least 250 jobs with an average wage of $42,000 a year with benefits.

The 250 new jobs would produce almost $11 million in new payroll expenses for the companies, boosting their annual payrolls in Shelby County to between $41 million and $46 million.

Point of origin

Meanwhile, the companies also are involved in producing armor plating and other devices used to protect members of the U.S. military.

The Hungerford Road facility produces armor used to outfit the military’s Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, a class of armored vehicles designed to withstand attacks from improvised explosive devices. Among other things, the Memphis expansion would allow the companies to be involved in making parts for MRAP all-terrain vehicles (M-ATVs) designed for use in rugged places like Afghanistan.

Local officials were told in documents the companies provided to the city-county Industrial Development Board that SFI and Steel Warehouse have been heavily involved for the past few years in crafting armor plating for the military.

Most MRAPs have armor parts fabricated at the Memphis plant, and SFI would be a major supplier of armor for the new M-ATVs, according to the companies’ IDB application in support of the requested tax break.

“The project will consist of a general capital expansion project and major increases to applicant’s work force for general operational purposes and also to fulfill new contractual obligations,” reads the companies’ IDB application. “Applicant is proposing the project in order to continue to meet the demands of its current customer base and also to meet the demands of new, substantial orders and contracts.”

Wartime production

A specially called IDB meeting has been scheduled today to take action on the nine-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) freeze the companies are seeking on their real and personal properties.

The companies are flying below the radar locally but “are producing great results in our county with the assistance of local authorities including the IDB,” wrote Lodie Biggs, a shareholder at the Memphis office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, to the IDB.

He added they have gone to the mat for employees and made tough sacrifices for them since the beginning of the current recession.

“In very early 2009, applicant voluntarily made across-the-board wage and hours reductions (including management) in order to maintain as many of the current positions as possible,” Biggs wrote. “One of the major reasons behind this decision was to keep employees and their dependants under medical insurance coverage.”

Business is humming along at the Hungerford Road facility, where the companies plan to buy and install new equipment and where more and larger orders from customers are anticipated. Since 2002, revenue generated at the Memphis facility has grown from approximately $60 million to a projected $182 million for 2009.

Parts made at the SFI plant include 15-millimeter-thick v-shaped belly plates and 1-inch-thick armored doors. A video on the company’s Web site says it produces enough of that armor to outfit about 500 vehicles per month.

The Memphis City Council last year passed a resolution honoring SFI, noting its multimillion-dollar contract with the U.S. government to provide armor for bomb-proof vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan. The council’s resolution called SFI a “sterling example of integrity in industry, whose deeds have shown exemplary citizenship and loyalty to Memphis and to this country.”

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99. Developer Files For Chapter 7 Protection -

Robert G. “Bob” Williams Jr., the developer of numerous Downtown condominium and mixed-use projects, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection after amassing a host of business debts.

Williams, who lists an address of 429 N. Main St., filed his voluntary bankruptcy petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee in June, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

100. Lawsuit Filed to Clean Up Medical District Property -

A state public nuisance law is being used to force the owners of a dilapidated, two-story apartment complex at 267 Ayers St. in the Medical Center District to clean it up.