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VOL. 127 | NO. 249 | Friday, December 21, 2012

Daily Digest

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Southern Avenue Apartment Complexes Sell for $1.2 Million

A pair of apartment complexes on Southern Avenue near the University of Memphis sold Dec. 14 for a combined $1.2 million.

An entity called RDC Fund VI Memphis LLC, which lists a Newport Beach, Calif., address, bought the multifamily properties at 3655 Southern Ave. and 3665 Southern Ave. from Lisa A. Dattel, Edward F. Dattel, Andrew R. Dattel, Brenda D. Meece and Arthur J. Wolff.

Both properties are on the south side of Southern Avenue, between Patterson and Houston streets across from the U of M campus.

The Class C complex at 3655 Southern was built in 1959 and has 22 units and 17,255 square feet on 0.63 acres. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal is $301,400.

Built in 1963, the Class C complex at 3665 Southern has 16 units and 11,880 square feet on 0.5 acres. Its 2012 appraisal is $219,200.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Sandy Hook Lives to Be Remembered

The 26 children and adults who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last week will be remembered locally Friday, Dec. 21, with several ceremonies.

One bell of Idlewild Presbyterian Church’s carillon in Midtown, 1750 Union Ave., will ring 26 times at 9:30 a.m. for each of the lives lost.

Shelby County government employees will observe a moment of silence Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.

And Forest Hill Funeral Home, 2440 Whitten Road, will hold a remembrance service Friday evening at 5:30. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell will attend.

In related news, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is asking places of worship in that state to ring their bells 26 times at 9:30 a.m. Friday. He has declared Friday a day of mourning in Arkansas for the 20 children and six adults killed at Sandy Hook.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has issued a proclamation calling for a statewide moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy has asked governors across the nation to make similar proclamations.

– Bill Dries

Brent Leatherwood Named Director of State GOP

Brent Leatherwood, the spokesman for the state House Republican Caucus, has been named executive director of the state GOP.

Leatherwood succeeds Adam Nickas, who left to run the Tennessee office of the Jackson, Miss.-based lobbying firm Capitol Resources.

Leatherwood, of Chattanooga, is a former congressional staffer and has worked on several U.S. House and Senate campaigns. He joined the state legislative staff after running Republican Scott DesJarlais’ successful campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis in 2010.

State GOP Chairman Chris Devaney said Leatherwood’s expertise in both congressional and state legislative issues will be key to the party’s efforts heading into the 2014 campaign cycle.

Leatherwood begins his new job at the party in January.

– The Associated Press

City Schools Chief of Staff Leaves for Chicago Job

John Barker, chief of staff for Memphis City Schools, is leaving the school system in January to become chief of accountability for Chicago Public Schools.

Barker was named chief of staff in 2011 by Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash. Before that, he was a research evaluator and director of the department of research, evaluation and student information. He began his work with the school system in 2003.

– Bill Dries

Amro Music Makes Food Bank Donation

Amro Music made a donation to the Mid-South Food Bank this month as part of a unique food collection.

Amro ran a food drive for the food bank whereby, in exchange for canned goods, people could bring in their orchestra instruments and get new strings put on them for free. New strings on an instrument can cost anywhere from $20 to $90, so bringing in the cans was a great deal for both sides.

On Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, Amro traded strings for cans, replacing strings on nearly 200 violins, violas and cellos in exchange for donations. For as few as three cans, musicians could get a brand new set of violin, viola, cello or bass strings put on while they waited. D’Addario Strings and Amro provided the strings and the specialists to change the strings.

After boxing up more than 1,000 items, Amro employees loaded two trucks to deliver 1,057 pounds of food – or 864 meals – to the Mid-South Food Bank.

– Andy Meek

Black Caucus Organization Names New President

Democratic Rep. Joe Armstrong of Knoxville has been selected to be the president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators for the next two years.

Other Tennessee lawmakers will also have leadership positions.

Democratic Reps. Brenda Gilmore of Nashville and Johnny Shaw of Bolivar will serve as executive committee members at-large.

Democratic Rep. Karen Camper of Memphis will continue to serve as Region IV chair for Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The NBCSL was founded in 1977 to develop and promote educational, research and training programs that help African-American lawmakers be more effective when introducing legislation.

– The Associated Press

US Home Sales Surge to Three-Year High

U.S. sales of previously occupied homes jumped to their highest level in three years last month, bolstered by steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates.

The report was the latest sign of a sustained recovery in the U.S. housing market.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales rose 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in November. That’s up from 4.76 million in October.

Previously occupied home sales are on track for their best year in five years. November’s sales were the highest since November 2009, when a federal tax credit that was soon to expire spurred sales. Excluding that month, last month’s sales were the highest since July 2007.

Sales are up 14.5 percent from a year ago, though they remain below the roughly 5.5 million that are consistent with a healthy market.

“The report is encouraging, and the positive momentum established in the housing market during 2012 appears likely to continue into 2013,” Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays Capital, said in an email.

Superstorm Sandy delayed some sales in the Northeast, the Realtors’ group said. Those delayed purchases will likely close in the coming months, though the increase will be modest, the group said.

Even so, sales rose 6.9 percent in the Northeast last month compared with October. Sales increased 7.2 percent in the Midwest, 7.9 percent in the South and 0.8 percent in the West.

Job growth and low home-loan rates have helped drive purchases. Prices are also rising, which encourages more potential buyers to come off the sidelines and purchase homes. And more people may put their homes on the market if they feel confident they can sell at a good price.

In addition, the excess supply of homes that built up during the housing bubble has finally thinned out. The number of previously occupied homes available for sale fell to nearly an 11-year low in November. The supply of new homes is also near its lowest level since 1963.

At the current sales pace, it would take 4.8 months to exhaust the supply of homes for sale. That’s the shortest such span since September 2005.

At the same time, more people are looking to buy or rent a home after living with relatives or friends during and immediately after the Great Recession.

As low supply and rising demand push up prices, builders will likely be encouraged to start work on more homes in coming months, economists said.

Builder confidence rose in December for a seventh straight month to the highest level in more than 6 1/2 years, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 78 215 4,981
MORTGAGES 96 322 6,548
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 13 38 1,517
BUILDING PERMITS 223 541 11,800
BANKRUPTCIES 84 203 5,162
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 65 2,001
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 124 351 6,815
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 65 1,406

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