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VOL. 128 | NO. 64 | Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Daily Digest

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Flairwood Apartments Sell for $1.3 Million

The 120-unit Flairwood Apartments at 4361 E. Tchulahoma Road in Oakhaven have sold for $1.3 million.

DVM LLC bought the multifamily property, which is near Memphis International Airport, March 21 from Sultani Family Realty of Flairwood LLC.

Built in 1973, the Class C complex contains 143,557 square feet in a collection of buildings on 11.3 acres along the west side of East Tchulahoma Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $2.6 million.

In conjunction with the purchase, the buyer filed a pair of loans – one for $1 million and one for $100,000 – through the seller. Victor Torres signed both trust deeds as chief manager of DVM.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Southwest, AirTran Network Integration Complete

Nearly two years after Southwest Airlines Co.’s acquisition of AirTran Holdings Inc., the Dallas-based airline has fully integrated the two networks for flights beginning April 14.

Currently, customers can book AirTran flights in and out of Memphis, but they’ll still have to connect in other cities for Southwest flights. With the completion of the network merger, customers can purchase itineraries to more than 97 destinations in one transaction.

Southwest has said it plans to offer Southwest service at Memphis International Airport later this year.

“It’s a great interim solution, especially in Memphis, until we can introduce Southwest service later this year,” said Chris Mainz, a spokesman for the airline.

Southwest acquired AirTran in May 2011 in a $1 billion cash-and-stock deal.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Senate to Vote on Changes to Injured Workers Fund

Opponents of a proposal that seeks to change the way injured workers’ claims are considered in Tennessee say it would reduce benefits and remove impartiality from the judgment process.

The measure, which is part of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislative package, was scheduled for a full Senate vote on Monday evening. The companion bill is set for the House Finance Committee on Tuesday.

The hearings have been criticized by labor groups for being put on the fast track without input from the group representing people who stand to lose benefits. About 50 people gathered at the state Capitol last week to protest the legislation. There were chants of “We want justice” and signs bearing slogans like: “Don’t Gut Workers’ Comp.”

Despite the opposition, the measure seems to be moving through the Legislature – like a “freight train,” as one Republican lawmaker described.

The Nashville Scene reported last week that Rep. Jimmy Eldridge of Jackson didn’t realize the Legislature’s streaming video equipment was recording him when he made the comparison in the House Consumer and Human Resources Committee, which he chairs.

“I’m going to take care of that bill,” Eldridge said. “That freight train is going off.”

He later told The Jackson Sun that his comments were taken out of context.

“This workers’ compensation bill is moving through, and we feel strong that it’s a good deal that we got the votes to pass it. We want (bills) to move like a freight train, in a very careful way,” he said. “I want to get this bill to the House floor and debated by all the members.”

One criticism is that injured employee cases would no longer be heard in court, but by special judges selected by the person the governor picks to run the workers’ compensation division.

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh told protesters that such a move would add an unnecessary administrative branch to government. The Ripley Democrat called it “something we certainly don’t need to do.”

– The Associated Press

Planning, Zoning Conference to Feature Agyeman

The 23rd Mid-South Planning and Zoning Institute at the University of Memphis will feature a keynote address by Dr. Julian Agyeman, professor and chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Police and Planning at Tufts University in Boston.

The April 19 conference from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Fogelman Executive Conference Center is presented by the University of Memphis graduate program in City and Regional Planning.

Agyeman first wrote about the concept of “just sustainability” 10 years ago and since then has been involved in the discussion and movement that includes sustainable development in high poverty and neglected urban areas. The concept includes such issues as food deserts and how elected bodies approach planning differently in some parts of cities.

Agyeman’s keynote speech will be followed by a panel discussion on the Shelby County Mid South Greenprint Initiative.

– Bill Dries

Vox Awards Honors Best of Public Relations

The Memphis chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is holding its 2013 Vox Awards ceremony Thursday, April 4, at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn.

The event, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., honors the best Memphis PR campaigns and tactics. Naomi Bata, chief PR officer for archer-malmo, is the keynote speaker.

A new addition to this year’s program is the Best in Show award, which replaces the Grandis, an award that was given out to only one top entry. The Best in Show award will be given to the top campaign and the top tactic.

Tickets are $50 for members, $60 for nonmembers and table pricing is available at www.prsavox.com.

– Andy Meek

On Location Festival Set for Late April

The 14th annual On Location: Memphis International Film & Music Fest will be held at the end of the month.

After an opening night kick off at the Malco Paradiso on April 25, the film portion of the festival will shift to Malco’s Studio on the Square the next day. Films are scheduled through April 28, and this year is shaping up to be one of the most diverse festivals ever, with films screening from artists based in Memphis and around the United States, as well as nearly a dozen countries.

In addition to the films screening at Studio on the Square, a variety of musicians are scheduled to perform throughout the weekend in the theater lobby and at the neighboring Bayou Bar and Grill Restaurant.

The festival’s Music Showcase events will take place at Purple Haze near Beale Street on April 26 and April 27.

– Andy Meek

Tennessee Rejects More Gun Purchase Applications

Background checks on gun buyers in Tennessee have produced what statistics show is a high rate of rejection in comparison to other states.

According to The Tennessean, U.S. Department of Justice records show 4.26 percent of applications to purchase guns were turned down statewide in 2010, based on criminal background checks. The national average was 1.47 percent.

More than half of those rejected in Tennessee eventually were allowed to buy guns.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said the check system the agency uses is great for recording arrests, but sometimes doesn’t get updated with the outcome of those cases.

– The Associated Press

US Construction Up 1.2 Percent in February

Spending on U.S. construction projects rebounded in February, helped by a surge in home construction, which rose to the highest level in more than four years.

Construction spending rose 1.2 percent overall in February compared to January, when construction had dropped 2.1 percent, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

Spending rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $885.1 billion, which was 7.9 percent higher than a year ago.

The advance was led by a 2.2 percent rise in private residential construction, which climbed to an annual rate of $303.4 billion, the best showing since November 2008. Private nonresidential construction was up 0.4 percent while public construction rose 0.9 percent.

For all of 2012, construction spending increased 9.8 percent, marking the first annual gain after five straight years of declines. Construction spending is still well below healthy levels. But it is slowly coming back, led by a recovery in housing that looks to be strengthening this year.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 110 154 13,810
MORTGAGES 135 193 18,019
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 15 39 3,544
BUILDING PERMITS 430 430 32,733
BANKRUPTCIES 52 130 13,133
BUSINESS LICENSES 20 45 4,750
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 83 204 20,104
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 33 4,230

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