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VOL. 122 | NO. 133 | Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Daily Digest

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Calif. Company Pays $1.1M For Wendy's Site in Frayser

     A California-based limited liability company (LLC) has bought Wendy's property at 3275 Thomas St. in Frayser.
     Kingdom Development LLC, which has a mailing address in
     Yorba Linda, Calif., paid $1.1 million for the 2,700-square-foot fast-food restaurant site. The seller was CNL Net Lease Funding 2003 LLC.
     The restaurant sits on .84 acres on the west side of Thomas Street south of North Frayser Circle. The Shelby County Assessor's 2007 appraisal was $271,500.
     CNL Net Lease bought the property last year for $891,542.
     The Wendy's is one of 10 Valenti Mid-South Realty sold to CNL, an affiliate of Orlando, Fla.-based Trustreet Properties, in late 2006 as part of a sale-leaseback transaction. In a sale-leaseback, a company sells property then leases it back from the new owner.
     In conjunction with the sale to Kingdom Development, CNL assigned the new owners a lease agreement signed in September. The agreement leases the property to Valenti Mid-South Realty LLC through September 2021, with the option to renew for up to four terms of five years each.
     Kingdom Development representatives could not be reached by press time.

Baker Donelson Combines With Gambrell & Stolz

     Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC and the Atlanta law firm of Gambrell & Stolz LLP are combining. The combined firm will maintain the name of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.
     The 36 Gambrell & Stolz attorneys are joining Baker Donelson's 14 attorneys in Atlanta. Firm wide, the total number of attorneys and public policy advisers now exceeds 500. Current plans call for the combined firm to maintain Gambrell's existing offices in Atlanta/Buckhead and Macon, with Baker Donelson's Atlanta attorneys and staff relocating from their current offices by the end of 2007, according to a firm statement.

Suit Against FedEx Claims Religious, Ethnic Slurs

     Four Arab-American men claim in a lawsuit filed against FedEx Corp. that their supervisors subjected them to religious and ethnic slurs, called them terrorists and gave them less lucrative delivery routes.
     "They all came to this country because they wanted a better life for their families, and this is what they got," said Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer representing the men.
     FedEx spokesman Maury Lane, while refusing to comment on the specific allegations in the lawsuit filed last month, said the company does not tolerate discriminatory behavior.
     FedEx has argued that the plaintiffs, who worked for the company's ground package division in Wilmington, Mass., were independent contractors and ineligible for protection under state antidiscrimination laws.
     The suit seeks damages similar to a discrimination case filed last year by drivers of Lebanese descent in California. The jury in that case awarded $61 million to two FedEx employees who contended that a manager harassed them with racial slurs. A judge reduced the judgment to $12.5 million.
     The lawsuit filed in Middlesex Superior Court in Massachusetts claims Loay el-Dagany, originally from Kuwait, Montaser Foad Harara, who is of Palestinian descent, Oukhayi Ibrahim of Morocco, and Yasir Sati from Sudan, experienced a "pervasive hostile work environment and have been treated differently and less favorably than non-Arab, non-Muslim drivers in the terms and conditions of their employment."
     The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ruled in March that the employees' complaints were valid, clearing the way for the drivers to pursue their case.

Bartlett Recognized As Best Place to Live 2007

     Bartlett, a town of about 41,700 people, made Money Magazine's list of 100 Best Places to Live 2007.
     Bartlett ranked No. 95 on the list.
     In compiling the list, the editors at Money Magazine took into consideration such factors as schools, housing costs, number of nursing homes or elder care facilities and economic opportunities.
     The editors also looked for places that had diverse populations. Bartlett scored 59 on the racial diversity index; the national average is 100.
     To read more about what makes Bartlett one of the Best Places to Live, visit www.money.cnn.com.

MAAR Reports 21.3% Dip In Residential Home Sales

     Homes sales for June, as recorded by Memphis-area Realtors in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), totaled 1,516, down 21.3 percent from the record sales level of 1,929 homes sold in June 2006, according to the Memphis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR).
     The average sales price also dipped, from $184,800 to $183,000 for a decline of 1 percent. Monthly sales volume slumped 27.1 percent, falling from $356.3 million in June 2006 to $259.6 million in June 2007.
     Meanwhile, Memphis-area home values show continued appreciation with the median sales price in June increasing from $147,000 to $149,000, or 1.4 percent, from June 2006.
     "Considering all the media attention the national real estate market has garnered recently, it appears consumer confidence as well as a tightening of lending standards for some subprime borrowers are impacting the number of home sales locally," MAAR president Neil Hubbard said in a statement. "However, local fundamentals - including economic growth, job creation, consistent home value appreciation, and historically low interest rates - remain favorable, and when coupled with higher inventory levels, make now a great time for buyers."

Benefit Concert Held For Church Health Center

     Several Memphis bands will play a benefit concert next week to support The Church Health Center, a nonprofit health and wellness clinic that provides care to thousands of uninsured Memphians.
     The concert, "Rock for Love: a Benefit for The Church Health Center," will be held July 27 at The Gibson Beale Street Showcase, 145 George W. Lee Ave. Musicians set to perform include Snowglobe, Two Way Radio, the Subteens, Pezz, The Third Man, Holly Cole, Jump Back Jake and Joy Whitlock. The benefit has garnered a bevy of sponsorships, including Ardent Studio,
     TCB Concerts, the Memphis Music Commission and the Center City Commission, among others.
     Tickets, which cost $8 in advance and $10 at the door, can be purchased at the Gibson Retail Store, Goner Records and Shangri-La Records or by calling the Gibson Beale Street Showcase at 544-7998, Ext. 4070. Tickets also can be purchased online at www.gibsonshowcase.tickets.musictoday.com.

Medtronic Receives Approval For First Artificial Neck Disc

     The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved marketing the Prestige Cervical Disc, the first artificial neck disc commercially available in the U.S., Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc. has announced.
     The Prestige Cervical Disc is designed to replace a diseased disc that is removed from the patient's cervical spine, while maintaining motion and flexibility.
     As part of the approval conditions, Medtronic has agreed to perform a seven-year post-approval study to evaluate long-term safety and effectiveness. The company also will hold a five-year enhanced surveillance study.
     More than 200,000 cervical procedures are performed each year to relieve compression on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
     Medtronic's Spinal and Biologics Business is based in Memphis.

TennCare Gets Extension On Federal Waiver

     TennCare officials have been given another month to work on a federal waiver that would continue the state's expanded Medicaid program.
     TennCare - which provides health coverage to about 1.2 million mostly low-income pregnant women, children and disabled people - was created on a waiver from the federal Medicaid program in the 1990s so the state could expand eligibility to more income levels.
     Every few years, the state has to go back to the federal government to renew TennCare.
     However, this year the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is asking the state to agree to a new condition that would place additional caps on payments for hospitals that care for people with no health insurance.
     TennCare officials, who have been trying to come to agreeable terms with CMS, say other states with similar federal agreements are not subject to this additional ceiling.
     The current TennCare waiver was set to expire June 30, but CMS granted a two-week extension that ended Friday. Officials now have until Aug. 15 to reach some kind of agreement.
     "As proposed, this new issue could cost Tennessee $400 million over the next three years and would result in Tennessee being treated substantially less favorably than other states," said
     TennCare Director Darin Gordon. "While it's frustrating ... we are committed to seeing this negotiation through to a favorable outcome."
     If the waiver is approved, officials
     said the state will be able to open a category
     of TennCare to roughly 100,000 adults who
     make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but have high unpaid medical bills. The category is
     currently open to pregnant women and children.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 41 41 17,762
MORTGAGES 70 70 23,138
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 4,519
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 42,157
BANKRUPTCIES 49 49 16,740
BUSINESS LICENSES 14 14 5,795
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 113 113 25,287
MARRIAGE LICENSES 18 18 5,399

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