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VOL. 125 | NO. 252 | Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Daily Digest

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Lots in Oliver Grove Financed for $573K

Lakeland Lots GP has filed a $573,720 loan for four lots in Oliver Grove Subdivision in Lakeland. The construction loan was taken out through Magna Bank.

A plat for Oliver Grove Planned Development was filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds in November. It shows 31 lots on 16.85 acres, bordered by Brunswick Road to the west, Oliver Creek to the east and Old Brownsville Road to the south.

David L. Shores signed the mortgage as management partner of Lakeland Lots GP. Attempts to reach Shores were unsuccessful.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Apperson Crump Acquires Smith-Kimbrough & Assoc.

Apperson Crump PLC – the oldest continuously operating law firm in Memphis – has announced its acquisition of Smith-Kimbrough & Associates PC.

Cecil Smith, founder of Smith-Kimbrough & Associates, will become a partner at Apperson Crump, and in turn, Apperson Crump will inherit Smith-Kimbrough’s offices in Nashville and Oxford, Miss.

“Already, several of our existing attorneys are licensed in Mississippi, so the Oxford office gives the firm an existing base from which to extend our services throughout North Mississippi,” Richard Myers, Apperson Crump’s managing partner, said in a statement. “The value of a Nashville office is obvious.”

Earlier this year, Apperson Crump moved its offices to the first LEED-certified office building in Memphis, Highwood Properties Inc.’s Triad Centre III at 6070 Poplar Ave.

The deal is effective Jan. 1.

– Sarah Baker

IRIS Orchestra Releases Sixth CD

The IRIS Orchestra is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the release of its sixth CD, titled “Forgotten Chants and Refrains.”

Several pieces of the recording are IRIS commissions or co-commissions and received their world premieres at IRIS.

The CD highlights the works of American composer Jonathan Leshnoff. Pieces include “Double Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra,” “Symphony No. 1,” “Forgotten Chants and Refrains” and “Rush.”

The CD is part of the Naxos recording label’s American Classics Series. CDs are available at Amazon.com or Naxos.com.

The IRIS Orchestra was founded in Germantown in 2000 and is comprised of musicians from across the United States. Michael Stern is the orchestra’s founding artistic director and principal conductor.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Downtown Animal Hospital Gets AAHA Accreditation

The Downtown Animal Hospital of Memphis at 347 N. Third St. has once again received accreditation following an evaluation by the American Animal Hospital Association.

The hospital has been an accredited practice member of the association since 2008.

The evaluation includes a review of the hospital’s facility, medical equipment, practice methods and pet health care management. In order to maintain accreditation, the hospital must continue to be evaluated regularly by the association’s consultants.

– Andy Meek

'Bury Your Blues' on Beale New Year's Eve

In keeping with tradition, New Year’s Eve on Beale Street will be celebrated with an old-fashioned blues funeral parade, burial and blowout.

The parade will start at 6 p.m. Friday at the corner of Fourth and Beale and end in Handy Park, according to Performa Entertainment. The New Year will be welcomed with a giant guitar descending from the roof of the Hard Rock Café and fireworks at midnight.

At the stroke of midnight, participants are encouraged to toss their blues-inducing photos, notes and mementos from 2010 into an open coffin set up on Memphis’ most famous street.

The event will be broadcast live from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on WKNO-Memphis.

– Aisling Maki

Soledad O'Brien to Sign Books at NCRM

CNN correspondent and anchor Soledad O’Brien will be in Memphis for a free book signing Jan. 5 at the National Civil Rights Museum from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

O’Brien’s new book is “The Next Big Story: My Journey Through the Land of Possibilities.”

O’Brien’s book signing in the museum bookstore is a return visit to a city she has come to several times in recent years on reporting assignments. That has included a series of reports in 2008 on the state of black America 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as another series examining King’s assassination.

The museum celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2011.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Native Flowers Reads from New King Book

Writer and Memphis native Arthur Flowers will be at Burke’s Book Store, 936 S. Cooper St., from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 13 to read from and sign copies of his latest book.

“I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr.” is a graphic-style biography of the civil rights activist’s life, accompanied by colorful Eastern Indian Patua-style illustrations.

Flowers, a professor of creative writing at Syracuse University in New York, has authored the novels “Another Good Loving Blues” and “De Mojo Blues,” and the children’s book “Cleveland Lee’s Beale Street Band.” A performance poet who combines the African oral tradition with the Western written word, Flowers is also co-founder of The New Renaissance Writer’s Guild and Pan African Literary Forum.

– Aisling Maki

Consumer Confidence Slips in December

Consumer confidence slipped this month as more people worried that the job market is worsening.

The latest survey from Conference Board showed a decline even after people increased their holiday spending at the biggest rate in four years.

The private research group said Tuesday its Consumer Confidence Index fell to 52.5 in December, down from a revised 54.3 in November. Economists were expecting 55.8. The decline reverses two consecutive months of increases. It takes a reading of 90 to indicate a healthy economy, a level not approached since the recession began in 2007.

The declines come even as other economic indicators suggest layoffs are slowing, businesses are buying more goods, and consumers are spending more money. Economists have raised their growth forecasts for the final months of the year and 2011.

Still, home prices are dropping in the nation’s largest cities and are expected to fall through next year.

And the unemployment rate increased to 9.8 percent in November from 9.6 percent in October.

Economists watch confidence closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

The Consumer Confidence Index is based on a survey of 5,000 consumers with a cutoff date of Dec. 20.

– The Associated Press

Home Prices Falling Faster in Biggest US Cities

Home prices are dropping in the nation’s largest cities and are expected to keep falling next year, as fewer people purchase homes and millions of foreclosures come on to the market.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday fell 1.3 percent in October from September.

All cities recorded monthly price declines. The last time that happened was in Feb. 2009.

Atlanta recorded the largest decline. Prices there fell 2.9 percent from a month earlier. Home prices in Washington dropped 0.2 percent in October, the second monthly decline after five straight increases.

Home prices in Dallas, Portland, Ore., Charlotte, N.C., Tampa, Fla. and Denver have fallen for four straight months.

The 20-city index has risen 4.4 percent from their April 2009 bottom. But it remains 29.6 percent below its July 2006 peak.

This year is on pace to finish as the worst for home sales in more than a decade. High unemployment and tight credit have kept people from buying homes, despite some of the lowest mortgage rates in decades.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 78 260 13,157
MORTGAGES 103 370 17,128
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 36 3,336
BUILDING PERMITS 0 366 30,930
BANKRUPTCIES 74 209 12,552
BUSINESS LICENSES 22 65 4,554
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 88 416 19,309
MARRIAGE LICENSES 27 94 4,003

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