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VOL. 128 | NO. 168 | Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Daily Digest

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Influence1 Files $2.6 Million Loan for Former Bishop Byrne

The Influence1 Foundation, the Memphis-based organization that bought the former Bishop Byrne High School in June, has filed a $2.6 million loan on the property, at 1475 E. Shelby Drive in Whitehaven.

The foundation, best known for operating the City University charter schools, filed the deed of trust Aug. 23 through Regions Bank. The loan matures in August 2024.

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis closed Bishop Byrne at the end of the 2012-2013 school year and sold the property to Influence1 June 21 for $1.1 million.

Because Bishop Byrne was operated by the diocese and was exempt from property taxes, no building details are available. The 13.9-acre site is on the south side of East Shelby Drive between Elvis Presley Boulevard and Interstate 55.

Influence1 currently operates three charter schools at 1500 Dunn Ave., with the most recent, City University School Girls Preparatory, opening this year.

The foundation’s initial school, City University School of Liberal Arts, opened for the 2004-2005 school year. Since then, it has grown to more than 320 ninth- through 12th-graders, according to the school’s website.

City University School Boys Preparatory, a middle school for sixth- through eighth-graders, opened for the 2009-2010 school year and has grown to nearly 120 students.

City University School Girls Preparatory enrolled nearly 40 sixth-graders for its first year, according to the school’s site. A grade will be added each year, with the school eventually serving sixth through eighth grades.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Visible Music College Starts Student Work Program

Visible Music College is launching a student work-scholarship program this fall.

The new program will employ 70 students in positions transferrable to the professional, post-collegiate world. Students will work hours weekly in recruitment and advancement, media and marketing, building management, music publishing, hospitality, admissions and more.

The college is preparing to start its fall semester with a capacity enrollment of 129. Students moved in to campus housing in Memphis on Aug. 10.

– Andy Meek

Cavner Sentenced to Five Years Probation

Financial adviser Nadia Cavner was sentenced to five years of probation, including six months of house arrest, Monday, Aug. 27, after pleading guilty to federal interstate stalking.

Cavner, of Springfield, Mo., pleaded guilty in April to the charge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

She admitted that she and people she hired stalked and harassed two medical students in Memphis over a two-year period.

One of the two medical students was the former boyfriend of Cavner’s daughter. The other was his new girlfriend.

The harassment included anonymous notes, surveillance of the couple even when they went on trips and hiring people to disrupt the relationship.

Cavner is also required to attend counseling during her probation.

– Bill Dries

State Court Administrator to Retire by End of Year

The head of the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts is retiring by the end of the year.

Libby Sykes made the announcement this week. She has held the court position for seven years, and spent 27 years in state government.

Sykes joined the AOC in 1995 and was appointed deputy director in 1999. The Tennessee Supreme Court named her administrative director in 2006.

The AOC provides administrative and technical support as well as training to judges throughout the state of Tennessee. Sykes directs a staff of more than 75 people and oversees a budget of $130 million that funds courts and indigent defense.

Prior to joining the AOC, Sykes worked for the Tennessee Department of Corrections and was executive director of the sentencing commission.

– The Associated Press

US Home Prices Rise 12.1 Percent in June

U.S. home prices rose 12.1 percent in June from a year earlier, nearly matching a seven-year high. But month-over-month price gains slowed in most markets, a sign that higher mortgage rates may weigh on the housing recovery.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index slowed only marginally from May’s year-over-year gain of 12.2 percent, the fastest since March 2006. And all 20 cities posted gains from the previous month and compared with a year ago, according to the report released Tuesday.

Home prices in Las Vegas soared 24.9 percent from a year earlier to lead all cities. Purchases by investors have helped.

Other cities hit hard by the housing bust also posted stunning gains in the past year. Prices have jumped 24.5 percent in San Francisco and nearly 20 percent in both Los Angeles and Phoenix.

Still, 14 of the 20 cities posted smaller gains in June compared with May. That’s unusual considering June is the middle of the summer buying season.

And in cities less affected by the housing crisis, gains have been more modest. Prices in New York and Cleveland are about 3 percent higher than a year earlier. Prices rose 5.7 percent in Washington, D.C., and 6.7 percent in Boston.

Most economists expect the overall index to slow to single digits in the coming months, which they see as a more sustainable pace.

– The Associated Press

Underage Tobacco Sales at Near-Record Lows

New statistics show that the sale of tobacco to minors in the U.S. were held near all-time lows last year under a federal-state inspection program intended to curb underage usage.

The violation rate of tobacco sales to underage youth at retailers nationwide has fallen from about 40 percent in 1997 to 9.1 percent in the last fiscal year, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration report released Tuesday. The rate, which reached an all-time low of 8.5 percent in 2011, is based on the results of random, unannounced inspections conducted at stores to see whether they’d sell tobacco products to a customer under the age of 18.

A U.S. Surgeon General’s report issued last year found that more needs to be done to prevent young Americans from using tobacco, including stricter smoking bans and higher taxes on tobacco products. According to that report, almost one in five high school-aged children smokes. That’s down from earlier decades, but the rate of decline has slowed. It also said that more than 80 percent of smokers begin by age 18 and 99 percent of adult smokers in the U.S. start by age 26.

The inspection program, named for late U.S. Rep. Mike Synar of Oklahoma, is a federal mandate requiring each state to document that the rate of tobacco sales to minors is no more than 20 percent at the risk losing millions in federal funds for alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and treatment services.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 56 212 11,977
MORTGAGES 68 295 15,645
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 23 80 3,103
BUILDING PERMITS 0 606 28,832
BANKRUPTCIES 81 291 11,598
BUSINESS LICENSES 29 102 4,257
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 89 428 17,611
MARRIAGE LICENSES 20 81 3,645

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