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VOL. 127 | NO. 98 | Friday, May 18, 2012

Daily Digest

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Missouri Co. Buys Wolf River Blvd. Land

Springfield, Mo.-based Collierville Assisted Living LLC has bought 7 acres in the 1500 block of Wolf River Boulevard in Collierville from Halle Acquisition Fund for $1.1 million, filing an $8.5 million construction mortgage at the time of purchase.

The land is part of a 17.3-acre parcel, which is at the southwest corner of Wolf River Boulevard and Byhalia Road in Wolf River Ranch, is zoned for commercial or office use, according to subdivision plans filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds. Amended plans for the 352-acre development were most recently filed in February.

The open-end construction loan is through Guaranty Bank.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Airport Passenger Traffic Decreases 17 Percent

As the Memphis-Shelby Airport Authority board approved Thursday, May 17, an incentive plan for new air service (see Page 1), they also got the latest passenger counts for the month of April that showed a 17 percent drop from a year ago.

There were 182 scheduled flights at Memphis International in April, compared to 236 in April 2011, a 22.8 percent drop. There were 187 scheduled flights in March. The 616,354 passengers in April were 17 percent fewer than the 743,041 passengers the same month a year ago. There were 649,121 passengers in March.

For the calendar year, the passenger count is down 19.4 percent. For the fiscal year that ends June 30, the percentage drop is 18 percent compared the same point in the previous fiscal year.

Cargo numbers for April were 4 percent lower than April 2011 at 691 million pounds. The calendar year so far shows 2.9 billion pounds, which is one percent above the total at this point in 2011.

– Bill Dries

Thomas & Betts Merger with ABB Ltd. Official

The merger of Memphis-based Thomas & Betts Corp. with ABB Ltd. becomes official on the New York Stock Exchange at the opening of trading May 29.

The exchange notified the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, May 17, that it will remove Thomas & Betts from listing and registration effective that trading day. The acquisition of TNB by the power and automation technology group became final Wednesday.

It was approved May 11 by the European Commission, the last hurdle after approval earlier by anti-trust regulators in the U.S, Canada and Turkey as well as by Thomas & Betts shareholders.

– Bill Dries

Sheriff's Office Withdraws Request for Drone Helicopter

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has withdrawn its request to buy two miniature helicopter drones capable of real-time video surveillance.

Sheriff’s office chief administrative officer Chuck Fox told Shelby County Commissioners Wednesday, May 16, that Sheriff Bill Oldham was withdrawing the request to use part of $400,000 in federal Homeland Security funding for the unmanned devices.

The withdrawal comes a week after several commissioners questioned how the drones would be used and whether there should be guidelines on their use.

During committee sessions this week, several commissioners said they might still pursue setting some guidelines on the use of such surveillance through a memorandum of understanding with the sheriff’s office.

The Homeland Security grant with an amended list of expenditures is on the agenda for the commission’s Monday, May 28, meeting.

– Bill Dries

Five Guys Opens New Locale in Bartlett

Five Guys Burgers and Fries opened its second Memphis-area restaurant this week in Bartlett’s Stage Centre, 6600 Stage Road, suite 137.

Jubilee Restaurant Group LLC filed a business license for the location Friday, May 11, according to The Daily News online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Seth Hargett, president of Alabama-based Jubilee Restaurant Group and owner of Memphis franchise rights, told The Daily News in March that Five Guys was taking a 3,100-square-foot space in the subdivided end-cap of the 6,660-square-foot space formerly occupied by Blockbuster Video.

Five Guys opened its first Memphis location last summer at 1315 Ridgeway Road. The high-density traffic at the intersection of Stage and Kirby-Whitten roads is right in line with Five Guys’ real estate standards, Hargett said.

“We’re all about visibility and traffic counts,” Hargett said. “We generally like to stay in end-caps or freestanding. Also, we feel that Bartlett’s just a good town. It fits our demographics, it’s what we’re looking for, the people seem to be hard-working – it’s a Five Guys town, really.”

Hargett said Five Guys is also pursuing locations in Midtown and Germantown. Jubilee Restaurant Group has franchise rights from Madison County, Tenn., to Crittenden County, Ark., and plans to open nine stores between West Memphis and Jackson, Tenn.

– Sarah Baker

Dots Opens Two New Memphis Stores

National retailer Dots is bringing a pair of women’s fashions locations to two of the city’s booming shopping centers.

On Thursday, May 10, Dots opened at Ridgeway Trace Shopping Center, 5847 Poplar Ave. Dots’ presence in Memphis will grow again on Thursday, May 24, with a second grand opening at Centennial Commons, 7682 Polo Grounds Blvd.

The new stores will be some of the first to launch Dots’ new summer line, which features popular runway trends at affordable prices.

The two additional stores put Dots at a total of four locations in Memphis, not including a store in West Memphis and a store in Southaven. The stores represent the hiring of more than 25 employees.

Glenwillow, Ohio-based Dots has more than 400 stores in 28 states.

– Sarah Baker

Nonprofit Lifeblood in Need of Blood, Platelet Donors

Lifeblood, a nonprofit blood center for the Memphis area, is in critical need of both blood and platelet donors.

The warmer months are traditionally low donation times, and this year is no exception. The center has depleted its inventory of O positive units and is running low on all other blood types. The nonprofit is calling on volunteer donors to contact the center by visiting www.lifeblood.org.

In addition to being out of whole blood units, Lifeblood is also in need of platelet donors. Platelets are small, sticky cells in the blood that control bleeding and are vitally important when treating burn patients, chemotherapy patients, organ transplant recipients and victims of trauma. This particular need is so great because, while whole blood has a 42-day shelf life, platelets last only five days from the date of collection.

Lifeblood says it is the area’s leading provider of blood and blood components to area hospitals, supplying more than 100,000 units for local patient transfusions each year. Lifeblood is a member of America’s Blood Centers, an alliance of community-based, nonprofit blood centers.

All eligible blood and platelet donors are urged to donate as soon as possible at any one of the six area donation centers: Bartlett, East Memphis, Germantown, Midtown, and Tipton and DeSoto Counties.

– Aisling Maki

US Unemployment Aid Applications stay at 370K

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits was unchanged last week, suggesting modest but steady gains in the job market.

The Labor Department said Thursday, May 17, that weekly unemployment aid applications stayed at a seasonally adjusted 370,000, the same level as the previous week. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell from roughly 380,000 to 375,000.

Applications for benefits surged in April to a five-month high of 392,000. They have fallen back since then and are near the lowest levels in four years.

The decline suggests hiring could pick up in May after slumping in the previous two months. When applications drop below 375,000 a week, it generally suggests hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate. Separately, a measure of future U.S. economy activity fell in April after reaching a three and a half year high in March.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 66 180 11,618
MORTGAGES 81 223 15,202
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 47 2,958
BUILDING PERMITS 0 392 27,646
BANKRUPTCIES 90 218 11,180
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 37 4,075
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 99 422 16,906
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 62 3,526

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