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VOL. 123 | NO. 22 | Friday, February 01, 2008

Daily Digest

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BNSF to Build New Maintenance Bldg.

     BNSF Railway Co. has filed a $1.1 million building permit application with the city-county Department of Construction Code Enforcement for a new maintenance building to replace one demolished during the company's expansion of its Memphis facilities.
     At 5070 E. Shelby Drive, the 9,700-square-foot maintenance building will be used for repairing trucks, cranes and equipment used at the BNSF Intermodal Facility, said Scott Jenkins, manager-hub operations.
     The company expects to complete construction of the maintenance building around Sept. 1. Dan Rothschild is the architect for the project and TDL Contractors Inc. is the contractor, Jenkins said.
     The new building is about 500 yards from the previous maintenance building, which has been demolished as part of BNSF's $40 million Memphis expansion aimed at increasing the company's ability to handle freight traffic. Jenkins said a temporary maintenance building has been erected.
     For details on BNSF's larger Memphis plans, see The Daily News' April 18 edition at www.memphisdailynews.com.
     

Strip Clubs File Claim Against City, County

     It was a lawsuit all sides in the dispute over the best way to regulate strip clubs were expecting.
     Attorneys for seven clubs are taking the city of Memphis and Shelby County government to court over the sexually oriented businesses ordinance recently approved by the Shelby County Board of Commissioners, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.
     The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee recently, claims the stricter rules violate the constitutional rights of club owners and dancers to freedom of speech as well as 14th amendment rights to equal protection under the law.
     The ordinance forbids serving or having beer and other alcoholic beverages in the clubs. It also requires workers and owners to clear a criminal background check in getting a permit to own or work in the clubs. The ordinance is based on a state law and it applies not only to the county but the city of Memphis, where all of the county's strip clubs are.
     Because the Memphis City Council opted not to pass its own ordinance by the first of this year, the county ordinance applies to the city. The council is scheduled to vote on a proposed city ordinance in March that would permit the sale of beer and other alcoholic beverages in the clubs.
     Under a grace period in the law, the clubs have until April to begin abiding by the terms of the county ordinance. The grace period also allows county government to set up the structure for issuing permits and conducting the background checks.
     

Corker Speaks Out Against Stimulus Package

     U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., did something this week he doesn't often do in the Senate building: he delivered floor remarks.
     His topic Wednesday was something the former Tennessee commissioner of Finance and Administration knows a lot about. Corker gave a strongly worded defense of his planned vote against the $150 billion economic stimulus package proposed by President Bush and passed by the House of Representatives this week.
     One of Corker's main concerns was that the country can't afford the rebates and other incentives expected to become part of the finished package.
     "Understand what's really happening," he told reporters after his floor remarks, "is school children who are in classrooms in America today are really taking a withdrawal from their future bank accounts to make this happen."
     

Sleep Labs of Memphis Receives Reaccreditation

     Sleep Labs of Memphis in Cordova recently was reaccredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
     To receive the five-year accreditation, a sleep lab is required to meet or exceed all standards for professional health care as designated by the AASM. The accreditation process involves detailed inspection of the center's facility and staff.
     In addition, the sleep center's goals or mission statement has to be clearly stated, and include plans for improving the quality of medical care for the community the center services.
     

RemitDATA Receives $5 Million Investment

     RemitDATA Inc., a Memphis-based company that provides Internet-based tools to health care providers, has received a $5 million minority equity investment from two investment groups, Noro-Moseley Partners and SSM Partners.
     Founded in 2000, RemitDATA is a part of the EmergeMemphis business incubator in Downtown Memphis.
     The infusion of the new capital is expected to allow the company to enter new markets and bring additional value to existing clients, among other things. RemitDATA serves more than 7,000 health care providers throughout the U.S.
     

State Systems Named ANSUL Alliance Partner

     Memphis-based State Systems Inc. has been named an ANSUL Double Diamond Alliance Partner for the 2007 fiscal year. The Diamond Alliance recognizes ANSUL distributors for outstanding performance in the sale of special-hazards fire protection equipment.
     State Systems is a privately owned total protection company, offering fire protection equipment, prevention training and cleaning services.
     

Editor's Note

     The Memphis Flyer, in its Jan. 24 "Fly On The Wall" column, made fun of a few of our headlines.
     At least, it seemed like The Flyer was making fun of the headlines. However, the further we read into the article, the less funny it seemed. It even started to seem like maybe Chris Davis, who writes that column, was actually a little angry.
     Maybe more than a little angry.
     So angry, it seems, that Chris let a number of misjudgments and outright errors slip their way into his piece.
     But that's all right, Chris. Anger will do that to you.
     It's not that we question Chris' right to dislike our headline "Mercury Rising," which led a story about the increasing number of bankruptcies in the area. We ourselves give that headline a B at best.
     Our quibble is that Chris took the headline so very seriously. So seriously did he interpret this headline, in fact, that Chris was left entirely dumbstruck as to its possible meaning and entirely confused as to which story the headline was even referencing.
     His detailed account of his confusion relates the graphic and disturbing emotions Chris experienced when reading The Daily News that day. So alarming was Chris' experience that one can't help picturing him immobilized at his desk as he stared at our headline, spittle forming at the corners of his mouth as he stuttered, blinked and shook his head in an increasingly random and disconcerting manner.
     Think "Three Stooges," minus the pie fights.
     And, of course, minus two of the stooges.
     Another quibble we have is Chris' reference to our use of the subhead Out on a Limb, which, he says, we first used about a year ago. Chris is wrong on this front, as we've used Out on a Limb numerous times in the past three or four years. More relevant, however, is that Out on a Limb isn't really a headline at all. It is, instead, the chosen name of a local amputee support group.
     However, left dumbfounded by the appearance of yet another pun - albeit one created by an amputee support group unassociated with The Daily News (and who, incidentally, we give a resounding A+ on our internal pun-o-meter) - Chris was apparently unable to fact-check his reference. For that matter, it doesn't seem he was even able to read the very short paragraph about Out on a Limb. That inability notwithstanding, he did manage to deride our use of Out on a Limb in a previous "Fly On the Wall" column.
     But we forgive you, Chris. You're obviously having a hard go of it these days, what with all the puns that we - let alone various local support groups - are sending your way.
     Maybe, as we think about it, Chris has anger issues, deeply lurking demons, perhaps, that are triggered only when Chris is confronted with a pun. Kind of like the woman who went into seizures at the sound of Kathy Lee's voice.
     It's possible.
     And if so, one can only imagine Chris' state at seeing the cover of the very Flyer edition in which his column appeared. The headline? "Young and Restless," a pun likening the Memphis Grizzlies to a relatively famous soap opera.
     Stand back, Flyer staffers, Chris is starting to shake again.
     

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 74 312 15,378
MORTGAGES 125 389 20,168
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 23 109 3,995
BUILDING PERMITS 431 872 36,714
BANKRUPTCIES 54 232 14,575
BUSINESS LICENSES 9 64 5,193
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 71 312 22,129
MARRIAGE LICENSES 10 83 4,746

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