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VOL. 123 | NO. 42 | Friday, February 29, 2008

Daily Digest

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Methodist Files $50M Permit For G'Town Hospital

     Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital has taken another step in an ongoing, $80 million expansion and renovation of its 7691 Poplar Ave. location.
     The hospital filed application for a $50.9 million building permit this week to build a 220,000-square-foot pavilion, which will house the women's services, including inpatient beds, operating rooms and support space.
     "We have a very high volume of OB/GYN services at that hospital, and we're going to move it over to that area," said Methodist spokeswoman Ruth Ann Hale.
     In addition to the new construction, the hospital's overall plans include renovation of 88,000 square feet in the existing facility.
     The expansion at Methodist's Germantown location does not call for any new net beds to the system, Hale said. Instead, it would transfer 100 beds from elsewhere within the system.
     Construction is expected to be completed in November 2010, with completion of the entire project finished in January 2011. The entire campus will be about 580,000 square feet once complete.
     The architect for the project is TRO Jung/Brannen Inc., and the contractor is Flintco Inc.
     This latest stage of the construction process comes on the heels of last summer's $9 million building permit to build a 260,000-square-foot parking deck.
     

Alexander Sees New Foreclosure Notice

     A first-run foreclosure notice on a property owned by Charles Alexander appears on Page 27 of today's Daily News. Alexander, along with his wife, Patricia, has seen more than 40 foreclosure notices filed for their properties in the past couple of weeks.
     The property facing foreclosure is 412 Lucy Ave., which was mortgaged in February 2004. Argent Mortgage Company LLC is the owner and holder of the debt.
     The property is scheduled for foreclosure sale March 28 at noon at the southwest Adams Avenue entrance to the Shelby County Courthouse.
     For more information on earlier foreclosure notices against Charles and Patricia Alexander, visit www.memphisdailynews.com.
     

Luminetx Launches Online Search Tool

     Luminetx Corp. has launched an online tool to help consumers find the company's signature product, VeinViewer, nearest them, which will help the company connect patients more quickly to VeinViewer clients.
     The announcement comes as Luminetx launched its "10 out of 10 people prefer less pain" campaign. The ability to reach new patients and link them with VeinViewer locations is a part of that.
     Named the VeinViewer Locator, the online tool allows consumers to visit www.luminetx.com and input their ZIP code to create a report of health care facilities owning a VeinViewer closest to their geographic position.
     Company officials said Luminetx invested in this functionality to more closely align the needs of the patient with client facilities that have adopted VeinViewer technology as a "better way" to venous access.
     

First Horizon Makes Executive Promotions

     First Horizon National Corp. has announced a round of executive promotions.
     Charles T. Tuggle Jr. has been named executive vice president and general counsel. He is replacing retiring executive vice president and general counsel Harry Johnson.
     Marion McDougall was named executive vice president of enterprise operations and technology, and Kim Cherry moved into the role of senior vice president of corporate communications.
     Cherry previously was media relations manager. As she moves into her new role, she is replaced by former University of Memphis assistant professor of journalism Anthony Hicks.
     Thomas C. Adams Jr. received expanded duties to include asset and liability responsibilities.
     

Dollar Dips To Record Low

     The dollar dipped to another record low Thursday as the Commerce Department reported that the economy braked to a near halt in the final quarter of 2007.
     Gross domestic product increased at a scant 0.6 percent pace in the October-to-December quarter, according to the report.
     The reading on gross domestic product underscored just how much momentum the economy lost in the final quarter, dragged down by a scarcity of credit and a plunging housing market.
     GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced in the United States.
     "With sentiment becoming increasingly pessimistic as to the outlook for the U.S. economy, it seems as if it will take a notable shift in sentiment if we're to see any real recovery," said Gary Thomson, head of sales trading at CMC Markets.
     On the heels of the Commerce Department report, the Labor Department reported Thursday that new applications for unemployment insurance benefits rose by 19,000 to 373,000 last week, more evidence that the general economic sluggishness is spilling over into the job market.
     

Cordova Leadership Council To Receive $20K Grants

     The Cordova Leadership Council will be presented two grants from state Sen. Paul Stanley, R-Memphis, and state Rep. Steve McManus, R-Cordova, today at Gameday Baseball, 7800 Fischer Steel Road.
     Cordova Leadership Council has been working on plans to improve the image of Germantown Parkway. The plans include gateways to Cordova as well as planting the medians along Germantown Parkway.
     With the support of Stanley and McManus, the state of Tennessee has awarded Cordova Leadership Council $20,000 for the plans and projects. The CLC also has been working with various agencies of the city of Memphis to get the plans approved so they can be implemented.
     

$1M in Assistance Loans Approved for Storm Weary

     More than $1 million in U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Loans have been approved for more than 36 residents and business owners in Tennessee who were affected by the severe storms in early February.
     Interest rates for the loans are as low as 2.75 percent for homebuyers and 4 percent for businesses, with loan terms up to 30 years.
     Economic Injury Disaster Loans also are available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses because of the disaster, with loan limits of up to $1.5 million.
     The SBA also offers mitigation funds to disaster survivors who have approved physical loans. The mitigation funds are designed to help borrowers fund protective measures to prevent damages of the same kind in the future. To help fund these protective measures, borrowers may request an additional 20 percent of their approved loan amount.
     

FAA Investigates FedEx Near-Miss

     The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a near-miss between two FedEx planes above Memphis last week.
     FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the planes came within 200 feet vertically and about three-fourths of a mile horizontally on Feb. 21. Planes in the Memphis area are required to keep a distance of at least 1,000 feet vertically, and three miles horizontally.
     Bergen said the two flights had similar numbers - 527 and 257 - that caused confusion shortly after both took off simultaneously in the same direction on separate runways.
     The FAA said the pilot of Flight 257 got on the radio frequency of the other flight by mistake. After the tower noticed the error, the
     air traffic controller tried to correct the mistake and made the problem worse by sending the planes on a near-collision course.
     Bergen said the controller has been decertified and will be retrained. The pilot's error is still under investigation.
     

First Tennessee Gives $70K to Teach For America

     First Tennessee has awarded $70,000 to Teach For America's Memphis region.
     Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors who commit two years to teach in low-income urban and rural communities and become lifelong leaders in expanding opportunities for children.
     The grant will support Teach For America's efforts in bringing teachers to Memphis City Schools.
     The initiative to expand the number of corps members teaching in Memphis is part of Teach For America's ongoing plan to grow by 2010.
     Nationally, the number of Teach For America corps members will grow from 5,000 to more than 7,500 and Teach For America's alumni force will more than double, exceeding 20,000.
     

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 41 41 17,762
MORTGAGES 70 70 23,138
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 4,519
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 42,157
BANKRUPTCIES 50 50 16,741
BUSINESS LICENSES 14 14 5,795
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 113 113 25,287
MARRIAGE LICENSES 18 18 5,399

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