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VOL. 122 | NO. 138 | Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Daily Digest

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Private Investment Firm Buys U.S. 70 Retail Center

     A Kroger-anchored shopping center at 7601 and 7605 U.S. 70 has sold for $3.4 million to a Nashville-based private investment group working under the name Appling Crossing Shops LLC. The seller was Westco Development #8 LLC.
     The purchase includes everything except the Kroger, said a representative of the buyer who declined to be identified.
     The center sits on 3.32 acres at the northeast corner of Appling Road and U.S. 70. It includes an inline building and an outparcel, which together total about 22,000 square feet. The inline center has three tenants and 6,000 available square feet; the outparcel is completely untenanted and has 12,000 available square feet.
     The Nashville group behind Appling Crossing Shops LLC now owns 21 Kroger-anchored shopping centers. Of those, five are in the Tennessee-Mississippi region.
     Plans for this center are to secure tenants and hold the property long-term, the representative said.

Edmund Ford Files Suit Against His Landlord

     Former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford on Monday filed a lawsuit in Shelby County Chancery Court against the landlord of his mortuary business at 3390 Elvis Presley Blvd., according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.
     Named as the defendant is Lynley Churchwell, Dennis Churchwell's wife. Dennis Churchwell was indicted earlier this month for lying to a grand jury that was investigating whether Ford received a break on his $2,500-a-month rent in return for help in getting Churchwell special-use permits to store heavy equipment.
     Under a 2004 lease agreement, Ford had the option to purchase the property for $350,000, according to the lawsuit. But instead of selling Ford the property, Churchwell raised the sale price to $400,000. And despite Ford's efforts to buy the property, Churchwell has filed papers to have Ford evicted from the property, according to the suit.
     Chancellor Walter Evans has issued a temporary restraining order to halt the eviction and set the matter for a hearing Aug. 7.

Millington Airport Authority Extends Contract With FedEx

     FedEx Corp. has agreed to a 12-month extension of its contract with the Millington Airport Authority. The extension grants FedEx the right to conduct commercial flight operations at the Millington Regional Jetport.
     As part of the contract, the authority has agreed to continue to make available certain services and extended operating hours.
     Those extended hours are Mondays from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Tuesdays through Fridays from 5:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. During those hours, the authority will keep the air traffic control tower open, provide aircraft flight line support services and provide aircraft rescue and firefighting capabilities.
     The first 12-month contract was entered into June 1, 1998, for a monthly fee of $45,906, and has been amended annually with an average of 3 percent increases in monthly fees. An amendment that went into effect June 1 increased the monthly fee to $63,633, or by 24 percent over the same period last year.
     "The increase was justified in that the costs of providing these services have increased, as well as the need to repair and replace some of our aging facilities and equipment," said Tracy Williams, executive director of the Millington Airport Authority, in a statement. "The Millington Regional Jetport is an attractive alternate landing facility because of its amenities that many other airports in the national air transportation system do not have. This includes an 8,000-foot runway capable of accommodating any passenger or cargo aircraft currently operating in the U.S., a full instrument landing system and opportunities for aeronautical development and growth."

MLGW Holds Leaders Conference

     Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division (MLGW) will hold its Neighborhood Leaders Conference Aug. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The theme is "Protecting Yourself and Your Neighborhood."
     Issues such as predatory lending, questionable neighborhood businesses and combating crime will be addressed at the conference, which will be held at the MLGW Training Center at 4949 Raleigh-LaGrange Road.
     The conference will feature several local leaders who have been successful at solving issues within their communities. Residents in neighborhoods that suffer from abandoned and neglected properties can hear from community groups that have successfully teamed with local officials to use strategies, such as the nuisance abatement ordinance and Operation Blue C.R.U.S.H.
     Workshops also will be held throughout the day.
     The conference costs $5, which includes breakfast and lunch. To obtain a brochure or to register, call Anet Parkinson at 528-4322.

Tennesseans Give $1M To Presidential Hopefuls

     Tennesseans have given more than $1 million to announced presidential candidates, according to disclosure reports filed through July 15.
     The documents were reviewed by the Center for Responsive Politics and show that Republican Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, leads in disclosed contributions from Tennessee with $380,367.
     Tennessee contribution figures for other candidates listed in the report include Democrat Barack Obama, $163,658; Republican John McCain, $117,592; Democrat Bill Richardson $72,400; Republican Rudy Giuliani, $59,775; Republican Mike Huckabee, $35,318; Democrat Hillary Clinton, $28,365; Republican Ron Paul, $22,567; Democrat Christopher Dodd, $14,950; Republican Tom Tancredo, $9,190; and Democrat Joe Biden, $2,600.
     The Tennessee total was stated to be $1,095,812.
     However, some officials have said the figure is likely to more than double once unannounced candidate Fred Thompson files a campaign finance disclosure.
     Thompson has not yet been required to file, though he has been raising money. His campaign spokesman has refused to voluntarily give any figures, but some Republicans have said Thompson reportedly collected about $700,000 at one Nashville fundraiser earlier this month.
     "I personally don't know the numbers, but I do know Fred Thompson has support that is a mile wide and a mile deep in Tennessee," said Robin Smith, now vice chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and expected to be named chairman next month.
     Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Gray Sasser said he believes Thompson may have raised more than $1 million from Tennessee.
     "We'd like him to start reporting (contributions) and participating like every other candidate, Democratic and Republican. He should be answering questions and making disclosures," Sasser said.
     The leading Democratic fundraiser in Tennessee so far is John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator who once lived in Tennessee and was an unsuccessful candidate for president, and later nominee for vice president, in 2004.
     He has raised $183,804, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 75 255 11,693
MORTGAGES 72 295 15,274
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 3 71 2,982
BUILDING PERMITS 198 590 27,844
BANKRUPTCIES 62 280 11,242
BUSINESS LICENSES 35 98 4,136
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 94 516 17,000
MARRIAGE LICENSES 18 80 3,544

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