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VOL. 126 | NO. 235 | Friday, December 02, 2011

Daily Digest

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Chattanooga Co. Buys Summer Ave. Property

Chattanooga-based FD Group Inc. has bought 1.1 acres at 3400 Summer Ave. from Robert L. Griffin for $480,000, filing a $1.3 million construction trust deed at the time of purchase. The lender is Whoriskey Inc.

The trust deed document labels the property as a Family Dollar store.

The site, which is at the northeast corner of Summer Avenue and National Street, houses a 44,163-square-foot retail building constructed in 1932, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property. The assessor’s 2011 appraisal is $640,400.

Donna Nalley, a Chattanooga Realtor, signed the trust deed as chief manager of FD Group LLC.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Uncertainty Still Surrounds Morgan Keegan’s Future

As soon as Stifel Financial Corp. CEO Ron Kruszewski finished his presentation Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods’ 2011 Securities Brokerage and Market Structure Conference and opened the floor to questions, the first one concerned Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc., the Memphis-based investment bank Stifel is rumored to be thinking about buying.

He dispatched the question quickly.

“I just have to say I’m not in a position to talk about market speculation, other than to say as always we evaluate any opportunities that could be there,” Kruszewski said. “But I’m really not in a position to talk about that.”

The rumor mill continues working overtime regarding the on-again, off-again potential suitors for Morgan Keegan, whose parent company, Regions Financial Corp., put up for sale five months ago.

Defections from Morgan Keegan in the wake of the uncertainty over the firm’s future aren’t a flood, but they are a steady trickle. One of the latest is James Dornan, a 25-year industry veteran Morgan Keegan hired this year to lead the firm’s expansion in Washington and Baltimore.

He left recently to be a regional manager at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC.

– Andy Meek

Hart Opens Campaign HQ for Congressional Run

Countywide school board member Tomeka Hart has opened her campaign for the 9th Congressional District seat now held by Democratic incumbent Steve Cohen.

Hart opened her campaign headquarters Thursday, Dec. 1, in North Memphis. She is challenging Cohen in the August congressional primaries.

Hart, who is also president and CEO of Memphis Urban League Inc., made her intentions known earlier this year and since then has been laying the groundwork for the bid with fundraising.

Her first national endorsement came from the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee.

– Bill Dries

NAACP Hosts Summit, Honors Maxine Smith

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People continues its Daisy Bates Education Organizing Summit through Saturday, Dec. 3.

Grassroots organizers from across the country have convened to discuss traditional and innovative education organizing techniques. State and local NAACP stakeholders and education advocates are participating in sessions centered on topics such as creating diverse schools, school equity funding and distributing great teachers.

The summit’s theme is “Finding Our Way Back to First,” and Saturday’s keynote speaker is NAACP president & CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.

On Friday, the summit will host a tribute to Dr. Maxine A. Smith, former national NAACP Education Committee chairwoman who also served 33 years as the executive secretary of the NAACP Memphis Branch, the national organization’s second-largest chapter.

A gala dinner will be held in honor of Smith Friday at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. The inaugural National NAACP Maxine A. Smith Scholarship Fund will be unveiled, and a tribute will be given by Roslyn Brock, chairman of the NAACP board.

The summit is not open to the public, but tickets to the gala dinner and tribute to Smith are $100 per person. They are available by calling 521-1343.

– Aisling Maki

Grizzlies Nominated for Regional Emmys

The Nashville/Midsouth Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced the Memphis Grizzlies have been nominated in two categories in the 26th Annual Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards.

The Grizzlies’ Pat Stage, who earned his first Midsouth Regional Emmy Award last year in the category of Sports Programs/Series, has been nominated this year for Editor/Short Form, marking his ninth nomination and the broadcast department’s 11th nomination overall.

SportSouth network’s Hammond Reynolds, Rohan Backfisch, Tom Huet and Grizzlies Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Randy Stephens were nominated in the category of Sports Event/Game-Live for their work on the April 8 broadcast of Memphis’ win over the Sacramento Kings, which clinched the Grizzlies’ postseason berth.

The 26th Annual Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards will be held March 17 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.

– Sarah Baker

Fred's Key Revenue Figure Up 1.5 Percent in November

Memphis-based discount store operator Fred’s Inc. said Thursday, Dec. 1, that revenue in stores open at least one year rose 1.5 percent in November because more people came into its stores.

But analysts expected a larger 1.9 percent rise, according to Thomson Reuters.

The measure is considered a key gauge of a retailer’s financial health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year.

Total sales for the four weeks that ended Nov. 26 rose 4 percent to $152.1 million.

The company said the departments with the strongest sales were pet merchandise, household supplies and pharmacy products. Fred’s opened five new express pharmacy locations during November.

Total revenue is up 2 percent to $1.53 billion so far in 2011.

Fred’s runs 688 discount general merchandise stores in the southeastern United States.

– The Associated Press

Tenn. Ed Commissioner Appoints Two Officials

Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman has appointed two state education officials, effective Jan. 1.

Dr. Kathleen Airhart, the director of schools in Putnam County, Tenn., has been named the new deputy commissioner of education for the state of Tennessee. Airhart’s role will be somewhat different than past state deputy commissioners. Her duties will include assembling a new academic division, which will consolidate three subdivisions.

Dr. Danielle Mezera has been appointed the assistant commissioner of career and technical education. She has been chief education adviser to Nashville Metro Mayor Karl Dean.

Meanwhile, Huffman was in Memphis Thursday, Dec. 1, to award East High School English teacher Meah King a $25,000 Milken Family Foundation Award. King was honored with the National Educator Award from the foundation.

– Bill Dries

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 86 182 13,079
MORTGAGES 135 267 17,025
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 15 36 3,336
BUILDING PERMITS 366 366 30,930
BANKRUPTCIES 69 135 12,478
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 43 4,532
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 182 328 19,221
MARRIAGE LICENSES 32 67 3,976

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