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VOL. 123 | NO. 28 | Monday, February 11, 2008

Daily Digest

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Ctr. for Reproductive Health Buys Poplar Avenue Offices

     The Memphis Center for Reproductive Health Inc. has bought two buildings on Poplar Avenue from two out-of-town individuals for $750,000. Former Memphis residents John Gardner and Gwendolyn Gardner sold the three-parcel site, which uses the addresses 1724, 1726 and 1734 Poplar Ave.
          MCRH filed a $575,000 loan through the Gardners, as trustees of the J&G Family Trust, a couple of days after the purchase.
          On the north side of Poplar Avenue west of North Auburndale Street, the property includes a nearly 3,600-square-foot, one-story commercial building and a nearly 3,200-square-foot, one-story medical office, both built in 1950.
          The Gardners bought the property in 1995 for $55,500. The buildings were renovated and a portion of one was demolished 11 or 12 years ago to accommodate a parking lot, a representative for the sellers said. The Shelby County Assessor's combined 2007 appraisal was $429,200.
          The Memphis Center for Reproductive Health is closed on Fridays and representatives were not able to be reached by press time.
          The private, nonprofit health care clinic offers women's health services, including abortions, pregnancy counseling, and Well-Woman, a weekly clinic for other health-related services, according to MCRH's Web site.
          MCRH currently is housed about half a mile away at 1462 Poplar Ave. That property is a 4,145-square-foot, two-story house built in 1916 that has been converted into a medical office.
               
     

Consolidated Police Proposal Back on Commission Agenda

     Two weeks after the Shelby County Board of Commissioners killed the idea of a panel to further study the idea of consolidating the Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff's Department, the proposal is back in an altered form at today's meeting.
          The Public Safety Commission proposal by Commissioner Mike Carpenter has been modified to include appointees designated by the Shelby County sheriff and the Memphis Police director as well as the unions representing officers in both departments.
          Last month, the formation of the panel fell one vote short of the seven needed at the commission. The five-member commission also would include appointees from the Memphis and Shelby County mayors.
          The idea of law enforcement consolidation has proven to be just as controversial as the idea of consolidating Memphis and Shelby County governments overall. Sheriff Mark Luttrell has said he opposes consolidation with Memphis police if it means the police department would control all functions. Police Director Larry Godwin has said he favors such consolidation.
          The commission meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Shelby County Administration Building at 160 N. Main St.
               
     

Class-Action Suit Filed Against Morgan Keegan

     A class-action lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee against Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. and its related companies. Attorneys from Falls & Veach and Schatz Nobel Izard PC filed the suit on behalf of investors who allegedly lost money in Regions Morgan Keegan bond funds. Falls & Veach has an office in Nashville.
          The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased shares of RMK Advantage Income Funds, RMK Strategic Income Funds and RMK High Income Funds during the period of Dec. 6, 2004, through Dec. 6, 2007.
          The complaint charges that "funds were investing heavily in complex new investment structures as to which data was very difficult to obtain, the risk and fair value of which were extremely difficult to assess, and which had never been tested in a down market cycle," among other things.
          Plaintiffs in the case are seeking to recover damages on behalf of all investors during the class period. Potential members of the class have no later than 60 days from Thursday to move to "serve as lead plaintiff" of the class.
               
     

First Horizon/Fifth Third Atlanta Sale Falls Through

     A sale that was supposed to take place between First Horizon National Corp. and Fifth Third Bank is not going to take place, Memphis-based First Horizon said Friday.
          Fifth Third Bank also said Friday it possibly would sue First Horizon for backing out of the deal to sell nine of its branches in the Atlanta area.
          First Horizon officials said the sale, which was scheduled to close Friday, would not be completed because "the parties had not reached agreement concerning a key term of the contract."
          Fifth Third promptly responded that it was ready to close the deal and convert the nine branches but that "First Horizon is now not satisfied with the terms of the purchase agreement and has chosen not to move forward with the branch sale."
          Neither party disclosed details of the agreement.
          Fifth Third officials said they consider this to be an unjustified breach of the agreement by First Horizon and would seek all available legal remedies.
               
     

Hendricks Named President Of Merry Maids

     Laura Hendricks has been named president of The ServiceMaster Co.'s Merry Maids division. She succeeds Joy Flora who left the company in December.
          Hendricks previously was vice president of supply chain management at Cintas Corp. in Cincinnati. She joined Cintas in 2000 as regional business director.
          Hendricks' career began more than 20 years ago as a courier for FedEx. She held several management positions at FedEx and was promoted to managing director of operations in Cincinnati where she oversaw locations throughout Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.
               
     

Neely's TV Show Sets Food Network Record

     A new Memphis-based TV show on the Food Network, "Down Home with the Neelys," made the highest-rated series debut in the five-year history of the network's "In the Kitchen" weekend block of programming.
          The new show features local restaurateurs Pat and Gina Neely and was watched by almost 2 million people during its Feb. 2 debut.
          The Neelys have two restaurants in Memphis, one in Nashville and concessions in FedExForum. The new show airs Saturdays at 10 a.m. on the Food Network.
               
     

U of M to Host Earthquake Awareness Week

     West Tennessee will observe Earthquake Awareness Week beginning today and running through Friday.
          The University of Memphis will kick off the week with a "Community Resilience and Earthquake Preparedness Summit" today from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the FedEx Institute of Technology, 365 Innovation Drive.
          Sponsors for the week's events are the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) at the University of Memphis and several other state and federal agencies, including the Mid-South Association of Contingency Planners and the West Tennessee Seismic Safety Commission.
          The goal of Earthquake Awareness Week is to help form a community that is more disaster-resistant. Events will include professional workshops to promote disaster preparedness, town hall meetings in two high-risk areas, and an earthquake preparedness poster contest for children.
               
     

Tennessee Republicans Candidate Search Continues

     Tennessee Republicans who backed former Sen. Fred Thompson's presidential bid have had a hard time of it this election season.
          Thompson had enlisted just about every big-name Republican in the state. When his unofficial campaign for the White House became a campaign, former Tennessee Gov. Winfield Dunn, seventh district U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and former state Rep. and business leader Brad Martin of
          Memphis already were hard at work. They remained so even when Thompson's campaign lagged and he eventually took himself out of the race.
          Many of those supporters surfaced the day before last week's Super Tuesday Tennessee primary in the camp of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Romney's campaign announced its Tennessee leadership team Feb. 4. It included a statewide steering committee chaired by Dunn, Blackburn and former Tennessee Sen. Bill Brock.
          Martin was on the Romney national committee along with veteran fundraisers Ted Lazenby and Ted Welch of Nashville.
          It didn't last long. Romney dropped out of the GOP race Thursday leaving the Tennesseans in search of a third candidate this year.
               
     

Baptist Health Care Honored Nationally

     Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. has been honored as one of the country's top integrated health care networks, according to a survey conducted by Verispan and published by Modern Healthcare.
     Baptist placed No. 59 nationally in the 2008 Verispan IHN 100, a nationwide study of nearly 600 health care networks.
     Yardley, Penn.-based Verispan is a health care data and consulting firm that determines the 100 best-integrated networks based on operations, quality, scope of services and efficiency.
     Verispan's announcement comes on the heels of another honor bestowed on the Baptist system. HealthGrades announced recently that Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis is the only West Tennessee hospital to rank among the top 5 percent of all hospitals in the nation.
     Baptist Memphis received HealthGrades' 2008 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence based on its clinic quality performance.
     

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 78 260 13,157
MORTGAGES 103 370 17,128
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 26 62 3,362
BUILDING PERMITS 0 366 30,930
BANKRUPTCIES 74 209 12,552
BUSINESS LICENSES 22 65 4,554
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 88 416 19,309
MARRIAGE LICENSES 27 94 4,003

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