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VOL. 127 | NO. 226 | Monday, November 19, 2012

Daily Digest

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East Memphis Assisted-Living Facility Sells for $11.7 Million

An affiliate of Long Beach, Calif.-based real estate investment trust HCP Inc. has paid $11.7 million for the Rose Terrace assisted living community at 6015 Primacy Parkway in East Memphis.

HCP SH ELP1 Properties bought the 37,226-square-foot facility Oct. 31 from BRE/SW Rose Terrace LLC, an affiliate of Seattle-based Emeritus Senior Living.

Built in 1997, the facility sits on 1.68 acres along the southwest curve of Primacy Parkway, which links Park Avenue and Ridgeway Road, south of Saint Francis-Hospital Memphis.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property, which lists the owner as Memphis Living LLC, shows a 2012 appraised value of $3.2 million.

Memphis Living bought the home in 2005 from Atria Primacy LLC for $1.9 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

FedEx, UPS Investigated for Online Drug Shipments

The nation’s two largest shipping companies said they are targets of a criminal probe related to their dealings with online pharmacies at the center of an international crackdown on prescription drug abuse.

Memphis-based FedEx Corp. and Atlanta-based UPS Inc. made the disclosures in regulatory filings over the last several weeks. FedEx spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald confirmed the probe in a prepared statement and a phone interview Thursday.

The federal investigation of the two shipping giants stems from a blitz against online pharmacies that was launched in 2005. Since then, dozens of arrests have been made, thousands of websites shuttered and tens of millions of dollars and pills seized worldwide as investigators continue to broaden the probe beyond the operators.

A federal jury on Thursday convicted three men of operating illegal pharmacies that used FedEx and UPS to deliver drugs without proper prescriptions. Seven others have been convicted in San Francisco this year. Fitzgerald said he didn’t know if the FedEx investigation was connected to the San Francisco cases, but U.S. Department of Justice investigators based in San Francisco are looking into issues “related to the transportation of packages for online pharmacies.” He called the probe “absurd” and said the company denied any wrongdoing

A spokesman with the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco declined to comment. A spokesman for UPS couldn’t be reached after business hours Thursday.

UPS disclosed the investigation Nov. 1 in a regulatory filing reporting its quarterly earnings.

UPS said it was cooperating with the investigation and is “exploring the possibility of resolving this matter.”

FedEx was more defiant. Fitzgerald said the company has no plans to plea bargain with federal officials.

“Settlement is not an option when there is no illegal activity,” Fitzgerald said.

Both companies said they were served with grand jury subpoenas between 2007 and 2009. Fitzgerald declined to discuss why FedEx was now disclosing the investigation, but he confirmed that the company is under investigation for allegedly aiding and abetting online pharmacies that illegally ship prescription drugs.

Fitzgerald said the Drug Enforcement Agency has refused FedEx’s request for a list of online pharmacies under investigation. Without such a list, Fitzgerald said it’s impossible to know which companies are operating illegally.

– The Associated Press

Civil Rights Museum Begins Renovation

The National Civil Rights Museum begins limiting access Monday, Nov. 15, to parts of the museum in phase one of its renovation.

And the 21-year-old institution will allow visitors access to the Lorraine Motel balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and fatally wounded in 1968.

The first regular visitors to the museum, built on the site of the Lorraine Motel, will be allowed to go onto the second-floor balcony Monday morning. VIP visitors including King’s daughter, Bernice, as well as the Dalai Lama, have been allowed access to the balcony over the years.

The museum is undergoing its first major renovation that will change the structure of the building as well as add new exhibits and modernize others. While the renovation is under way, the museum annex, on the west side of Mulberry Street, will remain open incorporating some exhibits from the parts of the museum under construction. The annex will continue to feature exhibits on the assassination and its aftermath.

– Bill Dries

American Freight Furniture to Open Near Wolfchase

American Freight Furniture and Mattress will open its first Memphis store Nov. 28 at 7859 U.S. 64. The 48,000-square-foot building is one mile west of Wolfchase Galleria and once housed Richwell Furniture Gallery.

American Freight Furniture and Mattress is a warehouse-style discount furniture store that sells name brand furniture at reduced prices. The company’s merchandise includes such brands as NordicRest, Serta, Simmons, Stewart & Hamilton, Therapedic and Worthington House.

The store will mark the Delaware, Ohio-based retailers’ fifth location in Tennessee and 75th store nationwide. It will create 10 new jobs.

– Sarah Baker

Bank of Bartlett Announces Promotions

Bank of Bartlett has made two promotions recently.

The community bank has promoted Joseline Acosta-Hoyt to business banking officer at Bank of Bartlett’s Raleigh branch at 3691 Austin Peay Highway. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis.

Thomas Schaub has been promoted to bank officer and branch manager at the bank’s Cordova branch at 678 N. Germantown Parkway.

Bank of Bartlett, which was founded in 1980, operates eight bank branches in Shelby County.

– Andy Meek

Haslam Making Use of Extra Time on Exchanges

Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s taking advantage of an extended deadline the federal government has given states regarding health insurance exchanges.

States had until Friday to inform the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if they plan to set up their own health insurance markets. But the deadline has been extended to Dec. 14.

Haslam has yet to reach a decision, but the Republican governor says he’s hopeful that in the coming weeks he will receive answers from Washington to questions he has about the exchanges, mainly the amount of flexibility Tennessee would have if it set up its own.

Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville told reporters earlier last week that he expects the governor to keep his options open on the state-run exchange.

– The Associated Press

Tennessee Valley Authority Increases Executive Pay in Fiscal 2012

The Tennessee Valley Authority paid many of its top executives substantially more in fiscal 2012 than in the year before.

TVA’s fiscal year ended Sept. 30 and year-end figures were released Friday by the government utility.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported TVA CEO Tom Kilgore’s salary was down a fraction from the year before, but performance bonuses and deferred retirement benefits pushed his 2012 total compensation to more than $4 million – up nearly 2 percent.

The largest pay jump fell to Kimberly S. Greene, who oversaw improvements in fossil fuel power generation in the last year. Her salary went up 50 percent to $3.57 million. Chief financial officer John Thomas earned 32 percent more for trimming utility expenses when power sales came in $800 million short.

– The Associated Press

Funds Available for Energy-Efficient Businesses

The mayors of Nashville, Memphis, Shelby County, Knoxville and Knox County are challenging their local business communities to become more energy efficient, sustainable and competitive.

Each city and county will provide with resources to help businesses plan an energy efficiency project.

Pathway Lending, a state program that helps provide loans for energy efficient investments, said in a news release it is providing $10 million for each of the three areas to finance these projects.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 72 368 16,413
MORTGAGES 66 422 21,432
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 15 76 4,266
BUILDING PERMITS 176 877 39,378
BANKRUPTCIES 60 294 15,542
BUSINESS LICENSES 20 98 5,491
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 69 423 23,573
MARRIAGE LICENSES 17 95 5,035

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