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VOL. 126 | NO. 23 | Thursday, February 03, 2011

Daily Digest

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$3.6M Financing Filed for Legends Park Lots

Legends Park East LP has financed four parcels through Enterprise Mortgage Investments Inc. for $3.6 million. The parcels are Lot 3 (Block I), Lot 5 (Block G), Lot 6 (Block E) and Lot 7 (Block C), all in phase one of Legends Park Planned Development.

Lot 3 is 2.23 acres on the west side of Decatur Street with East Pauline Circle intersecting it. Lot 5 is 2.5 acres at the southwest corner of Mosby Avenue and Decatur Street, also with East Pauline Circle intersecting it. Lot 6 is 2.6 acres bounded by Delmar Avenue to the north, Mosby Avenue to the south and Decatur Street to the east. Lot 7 is 1.2 acres on the northwest corner of Delmar Avenue and Decatur Street.

Legends Park East is part of a mixed-income, multifamily Hope VI revitalization effort that replaced the Dixie Homes public housing development.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Corker Supports Ruling on Health Care Law

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker thinks there’s a “very strong chance” the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the recent health care reform bill is unconstitutional.

Corker issued a statement on the controversial law following this week’s ruling from a Florida federal judge declaring the so-called individual mandate component of the law – and thus, because the mandate is such a strong piece of it, the entire law itself – unconstitutional.

Last November, Corker signed on to a legal brief filed in the case arguing the individual mandate, which says generally everyone must purchase health insurance under the new plan, is unconstitutional.

“It looks to me like there is a very strong chance the Supreme Court could rule this law unconstitutional, and my sense is we may be back at the drawing board doing something that is very much different as it relates to health care reform,” Corker said. “And I think that is a good thing.”

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson compared the health care law to “a finely crafted watch” that has “one essential piece (the individual mandate)” that is “defective and must be removed. It cannot function as originally designed.”

One of many reasons it is extraordinary and is attracting attention is for the way it does not follow the common judicial practice of throwing out a law’s offending provision and leaving the rest intact.

“This conclusion is reached with full appreciation for the ‘normal rule’ that reviewing courts should ordinarily refrain from invalidating more than the unconstitutional part of a statute, but non-severability is required based on the unique facts of this case and the particular aspects of the (health care) act,” it reads.

– Andy Meek

EDGE Board Terms Set With Council Approval

EDGE, the new city-county economic development agency, is on the books with Memphis City Council approval this week.

The council vote Tuesday ratified the Shelby County Commission’s earlier decision to add two non-voting members – one from the City Council and the other from the County Commission – to the board of the Economic Development Growth Engine.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell had said earlier they didn’t want elected officials on what was then a nine-member board. They had originally included themselves as non-voting members but dropped that idea.

The day after the council vote on the amended EDGE board this week, both mayors accepted the amendment and said they are ready to begin a national search to select a president and CEO for EDGE. The leader will report directly to both mayors on economic development efforts.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Goodwill Announces Highland Discount Store

Memphis Goodwill’s retail store at 574 Highland Ave. has become a half-price location. The new 50 percent discount concept is being implemented at the Highland store only.

The discount, which applies to everything in the store, is not a promotion but rather a change in the way the store does business.

“People know they can get a great deal at any Memphis Goodwill retail store location, thanks to donations provided by residents of the Memphis-area communities,” said Tony Martini, chief executive officer and president of Memphis Goodwill Inc. “Purchases made at our stores help us to continue our mission of providing jobs for people with disabilities.”

Founded in 1927, Memphis Goodwill Industries employs more than 500 individuals in Tennessee and Mississippi who face significant barriers to employment.

The principle behind the change is to give gently used donations another chance for a new home before they are taken to the nonprofit’s Bargain Barn on Stage Road.

Goodwill Memphis executive vice president Dave Leutwyler said the discount store is another way the organization can sustain its green efforts.

“This will help us keep even more merchandise out of the landfills and get it into the hands of consumers in Memphis,” he said. “The Highland store, which is located just around the corner from The University of Memphis, is a great place for this concept.”

The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Visit www.goodwillmemphis.org for more information.

– Aisling Maki

U of M Mock Trial Team Advances to Finals

The mock trial team from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law has advanced to the national finals of the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial tournament.

The U of M team defeated teams from the University of North Carolina, Samford University, the University of Miami and Faulkner University to reach the finals.

Team members are Joseph McKinney, Chandra Madison, Angela Harris and LaChina Algers. They are coached by Associate University Counsel Melanie Murry and aided by recent law graduate Bridgett Stigger.

The U of M team will compete in the national finals March 9-13 in Houston. The top three teams from each of the six regions sponsored by the National Black Law Students Association will vie for the national title.

The U of M team finished second in the NBLSA regional competition.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Memphis Redbirds Roll Out Deals

The Memphis Redbirds have formed a perk-filled Champions Club that full- and half-season ticket holders are now a part of.

Among the benefits of becoming part of the Champions Club, there’s a VIP lounge at AutoZone Park’s Club level and a VIP concession stand on the main concourse where personalized mugs can be refilled with soft drinks and beer for two dollars each time.

Participating in the Champions Club also entitles ticket holders to get a membership card to gain access to special events and private team autograph sessions, as well as exclusive sales at the Redbirds’ team store, the Baseball Backstop Emporium. For more information on becoming a full- or half-season Champions Club member visit memphisredbirds.com or call 722-0299.

In other Redbirds news, the club is offering a Valentine’s Day package that includes dugout ticket vouchers, a single rose, Redbirds bucks and a gift card to Pugh’s Flowers. For an extra fee, the team mascot will deliver the package to the buyer’s “sweetheart.”

For more information, contact Erin O’Donnell at 722-0295 or erin.odonnell@memphisredbirds.com.

– Andy Meek

Unemployment Rate Drops in Most Metro Areas

The unemployment rate fell or stayed the same in December in two-thirds of the nation’s largest metro areas, fresh evidence that employers are slowly adding jobs.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate dropped in 207 of the 372 largest metro areas, the most to report a decline since September. The unemployment rate rose in 122 areas and was the same in 43.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate dropped sharply in December to 9.4 percent from 9.8 percent. About half that decline was because more unemployed workers gave up on their job searches. The government doesn’t count people as unemployed when they stop looking for work.

Even with high unemployment nationwide, five metropolitan areas reported large job gains last year, including: Washington, D.C.; Dallas-Fort Worth; Boston; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 70 134 16,547
MORTGAGES 72 144 21,576
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 9 35 4,301
BUILDING PERMITS 209 209 39,587
BANKRUPTCIES 80 149 15,691
BUSINESS LICENSES 15 28 5,519
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 117 201 23,774
MARRIAGE LICENSES 14 51 5,086

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