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VOL. 126 | NO. 243 | Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Smith & Nephew Lays Off 80 in Memphis

Smith & Nephew Inc. on Tuesday, Dec. 13, said the company had cut about 80 jobs at its Memphis-based orthopedics unit, where the London-based medical device manufacturer employs more than 2,000 workers.

Clearing a Path

Group explores Shelby Forest for river trail additions

The nonprofit group assembling a plan to restore parts of and add Shelby County connections to the Mississippi River Trail for bicycles and pedestrians talked about old unmarked roads and attractions at a Monday, Dec. 12, hearing in Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park.

Chamber Luncheon Highlights City’s ‘Medical Miracles’

Bruce Hopkins, First Tennessee Bank’s president of banking for West Tennessee, couldn’t attend last year’s Greater Memphis Chamber annual chairman’s luncheon.

Commissioners Fail to Approve Redistricting Plan

Shelby County Commissioners will try again Monday, Dec. 19, to give final approval to a new set of district lines for the 13-member body.

Cordova's Stonebridge Apartments Sells for $22M

A joint venture between Merion Realty Partners and an affiliate of AllianceBernstein U.S. Real Estate Partners LP has bought Stonebridge Apartments from CMS Stonebridge LLC for $21.9 million as part of a 20-property multifamily portfolio purchase the companies announced in October.

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.

Permit Increase Implies ‘False Hope’

Local homebuilders filed 75 percent more new home permits during November compared to the same month last year, but there are several underlying factors in those artificially high year-over-year totals.

Mortgages Up 15 Percent in November

As families across Shelby County last month made turkey dinners and took note of things they’re thankful for, the area’s mortgage bankers no doubt found reason to be grateful for some positive industry news.

Center Helps Grievers Cope With Holidays

An ornament given as a gift from a dear friend. A Christmas photo taken with a spouse. A fireplace stocking hand-knitted by mom.

Charlotte Leaders Address Student Achievement

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system was consolidated in 1960, years before the schools in the North Carolina system were racially integrated.

Weirich Addresses Complexity of Sex Abuse Laws

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich knew the questions were coming when Memphis Police Department brass said Monday, Dec. 12, they are investigating child sexual abuse allegations passed on to them by leaders of the Amateur Athletic Union Friday, Dec. 9.

MEMPHIS NEWSMAKERS

Jeter Joins Accounting Firm Cannon Wright Blount

Andrew Jeter has joined Cannon Wright Blount as director of assurance and accounting services.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

Differentiate to Reach Prospects

The Information Age is pushing many industries down the path of commoditization, where consumers see little difference between you and your competitors. Purchase decisions become price-centered – a dangerous game.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tenn. GOP Leaders Press for Hall, Estate Tax Cuts

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican leaders in the General Assembly plan to forge ahead with efforts to reduce the state's inheritance and Hall income taxes despite Gov. Bill Haslam's concerns that Tennessee's economic situation isn't healthy enough to make up for the lost revenues.

State Upgrading Radio System for Troopers

NASHVILLE (AP) – The state has announced an agreement with Motorola Solutions Inc. for a statewide radio system for state troopers.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Retail Sales are Helping Economy Grow Consistently

WASHINGTON (AP) – Economic growth is picking up in the final three months of the year, fueled by higher consumer spending, rising business stockpiles and modest increases in hiring.

Employers Slightly Reduce Job Postings in October

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers advertised slightly fewer jobs in October, a modest decline from a three-year high hit in the previous month.

Free Shipping Day Set for Friday

NEW YORK (AP) – Dread the thought of braving the holiday shopping crowds? Consider shopping online this Friday.

Businesses Increase Stockpiles 0.8 Pct. in October

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in October after slowing inventory growth in the previous month. The buildup in inventories should help the economy grow modestly in the final months of the year.

NATIONAL GOVERNMENT

Fed Says Economy is Healthier; Takes No New Steps

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve on Tuesday portrayed the U.S. economy as slightly healthier and held off on any new steps to boost the economy.

Obama Seeks to Leverage $1 Trillion Spending Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama's Democratic allies in the Senate are using a critical year-end spending bill as political leverage to try to force Republicans to negotiate bipartisan legislation to extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits due to expire at the end of the year.

Postal Service to Delay Cutbacks Until Mid-May

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday agreed to delay the closing of 252 mail processing centers and 3,700 local post offices until mid-May.

NTSB Recommends Banning Drivers’ Use of Elec. Devices

WASHINGTON (AP) – States should ban all driver use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices, except in emergencies, the National Transportation Board said Tuesday.

House and Senate Agree on Sweeping Defense Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress is pressing ahead with a massive $662 billion defense bill that requires military custody for terrorism suspects linked to al-Qaida, including those captured within the U.S., with lawmakers hoping their last-minute revisions will mollify President Barack Obama and eliminate a veto threat.

Republicans Plan House OK of Payroll Tax Cut Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House promised a veto Tuesday for a Republican bill renewing a payroll tax cut next year for 160 million workers, complaining that spending cuts that pay for the measure would whack the middle class and require no sacrifice from the rich.

REAL ESTATE

Morgan Stanley Settles With MBIA Over Mortgages

NEW YORK (AP)Morgan Stanley said Tuesday it has reached a settlement with insurance company MBIA Inc. over disputes involving mortgage-backed investments.

HEALTH CARE

Medtronic Settles Kickback Claims

MINNEAPOLIS (AP)Medtronic Inc., the world's largest maker of medical devices, has agreed to pay $23.5 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to doctors to implant its pacemakers and defibrillators, the U.S. Justice Department said Monday, Dec. 12.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 66 180 11,618
MORTGAGES 81 223 15,202
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 21 68 2,979
BUILDING PERMITS 0 392 27,646
BANKRUPTCIES 90 218 11,180
BUSINESS LICENSES 26 63 4,101
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 99 422 16,906
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 62 3,526

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