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VOL. 127 | NO. 153 | Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Daily Digest

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West Virginia Company Buys Oakhaven Taco Bell

TMM LLC of West Virginia has paid $1 million for the new Taco Bell at 3569 Democrat Road in Oakhaven.

The company bought the property in a special warranty deed from RGT Foods Inc., a Memphis-based franchisee of Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s, KFC and Pizza Hut fast food restaurants in seven states.

Built this year, the 2,128-square-foot restaurant sits on 0.85 acres at the southwest corner of the intersection of Democrat and Lamar Avenue. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s appraisal is $246,000.

In conjunction with the purchase, TMM filed a $700,000 loan through Synovus Bank. Michael W. Mason signed the trust deed as sole member/managing member for TMM.

RGT had bought the property for $362,000 in 1998 and filed a $676,108 building permit in April to build the restaurant.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Gibson Guitar Acknowledges Exotic Wood Violation

Federal prosecutors say a deal has been reached to drop the criminal case against Gibson Guitar Corp. after the instrument maker acknowledged its exotic wood imports violated environmental laws.

Under the agreement announced Monday, Aug. 6, Nashville-based Gibson is to pay a $300,000 penalty. The company also agreed to forfeit claims to about $262,000 worth of wood seized by federal agents and contribute $50,000 to promote conservation of protected tree species.

The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gibson’s decision stands in contrast to a 2011 publicity campaign mounted after agents raided Gibson facilities in Memphis and Nashville.

Republicans and tea party members rallied behind CEO Henry Juszkiewicz when he denounced the raids as overzealous federal regulation that threatened American jobs.

– The Associated Press

EdR Announces Agreement For Penn State Community

EdR, a Memphis-based developer, owner and manager of collegiate housing, has announced a $3 million mezzanine investment and an option-to-purchase agreement with Landmark Properties for The Retreat at State College, a 587-bed, cottage-style community to be built 1.2 miles from the Penn State campus.

The Retreat at State College gives Landmark more than 4,000 beds currently under construction and represents Landmark’s second 2013 delivery with EdR. Landmark, in a joint venture with Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, will be providing all the equity for the project.

Scheduled for a summer 2013 opening, The Retreat at State College will offer 138 two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom cottages on 24 acres on the bus transit route for the Penn State campus.

EdR has market experience in the Penn State area. Since 2005, EdR has owned and managed The Pointe, a collegiate housing community approximately one mile north of the campus. It has been 100 percent occupied for the past six years and has achieved an average rate growth of 5.4 percent during the last two years.

EdR and Landmark also are developing a $37.6 million cottage community at the University of Mississippi, scheduled to open in fall 2013. The Retreat at Oxford comprises 668 beds and amenities similar to those of the Penn State project.

A real estate investment trust, EdR owns or manages 62 communities in 23 states with more than 34,900 beds within more than 11,400 units.

– Sarah Baker

Memphis-Based Terminix Acquires Schendel

Terminix, the Memphis-based pest control company that is part of The ServiceMaster Co., has bought Schendel Pest Services of Topeka, Kan.

Schendel, founded in 1947, operates in six states – Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma. It provides residential and commercial services and will keep the brand name.

ServiceMaster also announced with the acquisition that Schendel’s president, Brent Boles, will continue in that role and report directly to Larry Pruitt, the vice president of operations for Terminix.

– Bill Dries

Baker Donelson Earns Prominent Honors

The Memphis-based law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC has been ranked among the top five in the 2013 edition of Vault Inc.’s “Best Law Firms to Work For.”

The ranking is based on feedback from law firm associates across the country who were asked to rate their law firms on a 1-to-10 scale in several of quality-of-life categories.

Baker Donelson achieved a ranking of fourth in the overall Best Law Firms to Work For list. The Firm also achieved a second-place ranking in the categories of Transparency and Hours and rankings among the top 10 law firms nationally in six other categories: fourth in Firm Culture; fifth in Associate/Partner Relations and Formal Training; seventh in Satisfaction and Informal Training; and ninth in Pro Bono.

Baker Donelson also scored for diversity, earning ninth for Best Diversity Overall, fourth for Diversity for Women, and sixth for Diversity for Minorities.

– Andy Meek

Moore Tech Graduates 83 in Record Class

Moore Tech held its 72nd commencement exercises with the largest graduating class in the history of the college, according to college president, Don Smith.

Eighty-three students received graduate certificates or associate degrees in industrial electricity, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, property maintenance, machine shop and welding.

Moore Tech, founded in 1938 and located at 1200 Poplar Ave. is the only private, nonprofit vocational college in the Mid-South and one of America’s oldest.

– Sarah Baker

Bernanke: Many Struggle Despite US Recovery

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says data that show the U.S. economy in recovery doesn’t fully capture the tough times felt by many.

Bernanke says that while measures of consumer spending, income and wealth point to improvement, “many individuals and households continue to struggle with difficult economic and financial conditions.”

His comments were made during a pre-recorded speech on economic measurement to the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in Cambridge, Mass.

Bernanke says statistics can sometimes hide important information. He said there has been interesting developments in the study of “well-being” and cited the Kingdom of Bhutan, which abandoned tracking gross national product in 1972 in favor of a measure of happiness.

Bernanke made no comments about Fed policy or the July jobs report released last Friday.

– The Associated Press

Oil Rises Slightly; Pump Price Gains

The price of oil rose slightly Monday following its biggest gain in more than a month.

Oil gained almost 5 percent Friday after the U.S. government reported a surge in jobs growth last month, increasing optimism the economy is on the right track.

Oil has gained nearly 20 percent since hitting a low of $77.69 in late June. That’s meant higher pump prices for motorists during the summer driving season. The price of retail gas has increased about 29 cents since July 1, but it’s still below what it was a year ago.

Prices at the pump rose 5 cents over the weekend to a U.S. average of $3.619 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service. Much of the increase was due to a spike in gas prices in the Midwest, where pipeline and refinery problems helped jack up pump prices last week by about 40 cents or more in some parts of Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Friday’s surprisingly positive jobs report is still weighing heavily on investors’ minds on Monday. The pickup in hiring last month was far greater than analysts were expecting and marked the biggest increase since February. Still, the number of jobs added wasn’t enough that investors are ruling out some sort of economic stimulus measures by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 64 cents to $92.04 per barrel in New York. Brent crude rose 18 cents to $109.12 per barrel in London.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 52 136 5,209
MORTGAGES 79 182 6,891
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 1 38 1,594
BUILDING PERMITS 328 328 12,307
BANKRUPTCIES 70 175 5,475
BUSINESS LICENSES 30 58 2,119
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 85 182 7,240
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 43 1,501

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