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VOL. 126 | NO. 235 | Friday, December 2, 2011

Expectations Higher for AutoZone

Analysts are forecasting a nearly 18 percent jump in earnings per share when AutoZone Inc., the leading auto parts retailer in the nation, reports quarterly earnings next week.

Shining Brightly

Starry Nights returns with more events, features

The staff at Shelby Farms Park Conservancy is hoping Memphians will choose to make multiple visits this holiday season to First Tennessee Starry Nights, the park’s annual light show featuring enormous holiday displays illuminated with more than a million environmentally friendly LED lights.

Stanton Picks Up For Gen Sessions Court Clerk

The interim General Sessions Court Clerk has pulled a qualifying petition to run for the office in the March Democratic primary.

Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Since March 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) – Small businesses and startups that were skittish about the economy this summer started hiring in bigger numbers this fall, helping drive the unemployment rate down to 8.6 percent in November, the lowest in two and a half years.

Railroads Avert Looming Strike

NEW YORK (AP) – Railroads have cleared a major hurdle as the industry averted a looming strike, paving the way for growth ahead, analysts said Friday.

Local Weather
Today
Memphis, TN
61°F
Partly Cloudy
Wind: 6 mph
Humidity: 64%

EVENTS

Rotary Club of Memphis Central will meet Friday, Dec. 2, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave. Mark Horrocks, founder of Habitat for Hope, will speak. Cost is $15 for nonmembers. To register, call Dick Wieland at 270-3778.

more events »

Pizza Eatery Expands Into Southaven

A husband and wife team from Hernando is expanding its pizzeria business into Southaven.

Cordova's Stella Marris Issued Dance Permit

The city of Memphis has issued a compensated dance permit for Stella Marris, the Cordova restaurant owned by topless-club businessman Steve Cooper.

Schools Planning Commission Hears From Huffman

The schools consolidation planning commission approved the idea Thursday, Dec. 1, of the Shelby County Education Foundation being the middle man for a contract with an education consultant group.

Trans Gulf Terminal in Dallas Opens

A year after becoming majority owner of Trans Gulf Transportation Inc., Dunavant Enterprises Inc. of Memphis has announced the opening of a Trans Gulf terminal in Dallas.

MULYP Awards Honor ‘Agents of Change’

Memphis Urban League Young Professionals celebrates its second annual Agents of Change Awards Saturday, Dec. 3, honoring individuals and organizations that have made contributions to the community.

4Memphis Mag Launches With New Ownership

4Memphis magazine, formerly VIP Memphis Magazine, is under new ownership.

MEMPHIS STANDOUT

For Westminster’s Baker, Teaching is an Art Form

Clint Baker, an upper school art teacher at Westminster Academy, hasn’t always been an educator.

SPORTS

Marathon Weekend Boon For Hospital, Economy

The number of people participating in the annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon continues to climb.

Tigers Must Fix Problems Before It’s Too Late

It’s still early. In the case of this Tigers basketball season and a Top 10 ranking that didn’t get off the Hawaiian Islands, those three little words are comforting.

Grizzlies Eager to Sign C Marc Gasol

MEMPHIS (AP) – Re-signing center Marc Gasol is the Memphis Grizzlies' top priority right now as the franchise attempts to maintain the momentum created during last season's playoff run, general manager Chris Wallace said Thursday.

With Lockout Nearing End, Basketball Back in Focus

NEW YORK (AP) – These are the kinds of negotiations NBA fans have been waiting for.

LOCAL COLUMNISTS

St. Louis Blues

HEY, ST. LOUIS, YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME? If you don’t think we’re in a fight, you probably don’t realize you’re bleeding.

Assess Organization With Honesty

Editor’s note: This is part one in a two-part series. As nonprofit leaders, it is time to go to a new level of honesty with ourselves and those we serve.

MEMPHIS AREA

UTHSC Seeking Minorities for Study

MEMPHIS – The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis is seeking 200 minority participants for a study of aspirin.

REGIONAL

Bankrupt Yarnell's Assets Sold at Searcy Auction

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) – Major assets of bankrupt Yarnell's Ice Cream Co. of Searcy have been sold for $1.3 million to a Chicago-based company that officials say plan to reopen the plant.

Key Revenue Measure at Dillard's Up 3 Percent

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The Little Rock-based department store chain Dillard's Inc. says a key revenue measure rose 3 percent in November, a period that included the start of the holiday shopping season.

NATIONAL BUSINESS

Unemployment Aid Applications Up 2nd Straight Week

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, a sign the hiring market is recovering at a slow and uneven pace.

Economy Improving But Job Growth Still Weak

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy is picking up. If only job growth would follow.

Retailers Report Strong Sales for November

NEW YORK (AP) – Oh what a difference a weekend can make.

US Auto Sales Look Strong in November

DETROIT (AP) – People are finally replacing the cars and trucks they held on to during the economic slump, giving a boost to U.S. auto sales in November.

Wells Fargo Slashes Student Loan Rates

NEW YORK (AP) Wells Fargo & Co. is lowering the interest rates on its student loans. But families should think twice before jumping at the offer.

Kroger 3Q Profit Dips But Tops Wall Street's View

Kroger Co. says its customers are feeling increasingly stressed as they face pressure from both the weak economy and higher food costs.

Target November Sales Miss Expectations

MINNEAPOLIS (AP)Target Inc. said Thursday that a key revenue figure rose 1.8 percent in November, falling short of Wall Street estimates, as the busy shopping weekend after Thanksgiving failed to lift revenue.

Barnes & Noble Q3 Net Loss Narrows

NEW YORK (AP) Barnes & Noble Inc. said Thursday it plans to invest more heavily in its Nook e-book reader and digital media, even as it reported a third-quarter loss as sales of physical books continued to decline.

GM Willing to Buy Back Volts

NEW YORK (AP) – General Motors will buy Chevrolet Volts back from any owner who is afraid the electric cars will catch fire, the company's CEO said Thursday.

TVs are Hot Sellers This Holiday Season

NEW YORK (AP) – In an unexpected twist, TVs are topping many Christmas shopping lists this year.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Small Business Latest Focus of House Republicans

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House neared a vote Thursday on legislation that would give more weight to the impact of federal regulations on small businesses, whose owners can be a powerful political force and are being courted by both parties.

AP Sources: House GOP Bill Renews Jobless Benefit

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans are drafting legislation to renew an expiring unemployment benefits program, officials said Thursday, and intend to add it to a planned extension of a Social Security payroll tax cut due to run out on Dec. 31.

Senate Panel Will Investigate MF Global Collapse

WASHINGTON (AP) – The top Democrat and Republican on a key Senate panel say Congress should look deeply into what led to the collapse of MF Global, a trading firm run by one of their former colleagues.

Democrats to Pursue Protections for Voting Rights

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats said Thursday they are planning a major effort to protect voting rights in the 2012 election after several states passed voter identification laws and restrictions on early voting and same day registration.

REAL ESTATE

Federal Task Force Targets Mortgage Relief Scams

NEW YORK (AP) – Federal agencies are taking aim at scams and con artists that promise to provide mortgage relief to struggling homeowners.

Construction Spending Rises for 3rd Straight Month

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. builders spent more in October on homes, offices and shopping centers, pushing construction spending up for a third straight month. Despite the gains, construction spending remained depressed.

Rate on 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Hovers at 4 Pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage hovered above its record low for a fifth straight week. Despite the great opportunity, few have the means or stomach to buy or refinance in the depressed housing market.

TECHNOLOGY

Military Agency Develops ‘NORAD Tracks Santa’ App

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Want to keep track of Santa this Christmas? There's an app for that.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 307 5,073
MORTGAGES 101 483 6,709
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 22 77 1,556
BUILDING PERMITS 0 720 11,979
BANKRUPTCIES 84 341 5,300
BUSINESS LICENSES 36 125 2,061
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 152 594 7,058
MARRIAGE LICENSES 36 117 1,458

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