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VOL. 128 | NO. 123 | Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Daily Digest

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U of M Files $1 Million Permit for Dorm Upgrades

The University of Memphis has filed a nearly $1 million permit for upgrades to the West Hall dormitory at 446 Patterson St.

The permit, filed this week with the with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement, calls for adding new HVAC units to the dormitory

The current 496-room West Hall, formally known as Living Learning Residence Complex, was built a few years for $20 million.

It replaced the original West Hall (also known as West Mynders Hall) on the west side of the Memphis campus.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Fitch Upholds a Rating on Memphis International Airport

Fitch Ratings upheld its A rating on Memphis International Airport bonds following Delta Air Lines’ announcement that it will end connecting activity at the airport Sept. 3.

Earlier this month, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the rating on the airport’s outstanding revenue bonds to A3, from A2, and revised its investor outlook to stable, from negative.

While Fitch Ratings held its A bond rating on the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority’s outstanding $394.8 million in revenue bonds, the New York-based research service revised the rating outlook to negative, from stable.

Analysts attributed the rating outlook downgrade to Delta’s recent move to end all remaining connecting activity at the airport and said annual enplanements may fall below 1.8 million, leaving the airport more reliant on non-airline and cargo revenue.

Fitch warned Memphis International’s rating likely will be downgraded unless the airport can maintain healthy debt service coverage through increasing origination and destination traffic, boosting airline rates and charges, and decreasing expenses.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Potter Resets Hearing for Nineteenth Century Club

Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter said Monday, June 24, that he hopes the new owners of the historic Nineteenth Century Club building on Union Avenue will preserve the decaying structure.

“It is my fervent hope what we will see is an effort to save the structure,” he said.

Potter was addressing John Lee, a partner in the business entity, The Union Group LLC, that purchased the building at auction in January for $550,000.

Lee said the controlling partner in the group, Shon Lin, did not appear in court because he did not speak English well. Potter reset the hearing for Monday, July 1, and said if Lin, who operates three restaurants in the Memphis area, did not appear in court he would assess a $150 fine for each day Lin does not appear.

“I’m unhappy with the fact Mr. Lin decides to ignore a court summons because he’s not confident in his English,” Potter said.

The owners of the historic property have been cited for owning or maintaining a dangerous or neglected building, including rotting wood, broken windows and a deteriorated roof. Power lines to the building have been severed and Potter warned Lee that the building should not be altered in any way until Lin appears in court.

“I do not want any significant steps, work or anything done without Mr. Lin being before this court,” Potter said.

The stately but decaying property ay 1433 Union Ave. was built in 1907 by Rowland Jones, a Memphis lumber king.

In 1926, the 15,813-square-foot house that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places was acquired by the Nineteenth Century Club, a philanthropic women’s organization.

The Union Group won a competitive bidding process in January, beating out a group that offered $350,000 and wanted to turn the property into a women’s business center.

The three-story, wood frame structure is commercially zoned and sits on 1.2 acres at Union between Kimbrough and Cleveland streets.

– Amos Maki

Central Defense Security Raises Money for Camps

Central Defense Security, a leading provider of business, retail and warehouse security, raised more than $10,500 to support the Memphis Parks and Neighborhoods’ Summer Day Camp program, which is hosted at community centers around the city.

The money will cover the cost for more than 100 campers to attend camp at several locations around the city, as well as allow the city to hire five summer employees. It’s the second straight year CDS has held a fundraising drive to raise money to offset camp fees for many Memphis families, including some of the security firm’s officers.

Last year, CDS collected more than $7,500, which enabled the firm to sponsor 50 campers at six sites around Memphis. The firm last year also adopted the Riverview Community Center’s camp, and CDS employees visited the campers to deliver gifts and play games on what was the company’s seventh anniversary. This year, the firm plans to visit campers around the city, as well as participate in several special events at the community centers.

– Andy Meek

‘Obamacare’ Countdown Gets Underway

With fewer than 100 days before uninsured Americans can sign up for health care, the Obama administration says it’s gearing up with new call centers, a revamped website — and a call to the NFL.

Officials said Monday they’re talking to professional sports leagues — including the NFL — about partnering to publicize the benefits of President Barack Obama’s health overhaul. No deals yet.

Starting Oct. 1, consumers will be able to go online to healthcare.gov and compare private insurance plans.

Those who don’t have job-based coverage can use the online marketplace to apply for tax credits to help pay their premiums.

It’s the biggest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare. And despite concerns about delays, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says it’s on schedule.

– The Associated Press

Tenet Healthcare Buying Vanguard Health for $1.8 Billion

Tenet Healthcare Corp. is buying Vanguard Health Systems Inc. for about $1.8 billion, helping to expand its service offerings and broaden its geographic reach, the company has announced.

Tenet, owner of Saint Francis Hospitals in Bartlett and Memphis, will pay $21 per share, a 70 percent premium to Vanguard Health’s Friday closing price of $12.37.

Shares of Vanguard Health soared $8.14, or 65.8 percent, to $20.51 in premarket trading Monday.

The companies said Monday that the transaction also includes $2.5 billion in debt and value the entire deal at $4.3 billion.

Following the acquisition, Tenet will own 79 hospitals and 157 outpatient facilities. It currently has 49 hospitals and 126 outpatient facilities.

Both boards unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close before year’s end.

Tenet expects annual savings of $100 million to $200 million and for the acquisition to add to earnings in the first year.

Nashville-based Vanguard Health said that its founder, Chairman and CEO Charlie Martin, will join Tenet’s board. Vanguard’s vice chairman, Keith Pitts, will continue in that position at Tenet.

Dallas-based Tenet has secured fully committed financing for the transaction from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

– The Associated Press

State Organized Labor Group Discards Party Labels

The Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council has changed its criteria for endorsing political candidates.

Council President Gary Moore told The Tennessean the group will support candidates whose voting records support labor, regardless of party affiliation.

The group represents about 300 labor unions with more than 60,000 members in Tennessee. It has traditionally heavily supported Democratic candidates for political office.

Moore said when the council checked the 2013 state legislative voting records of candidates it supported, there were some unwelcome surprises. Moore said not all Democrats turned out to be labor friendly.

The labor council changed the way it will endorse candidates at a meeting in March.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 67 67 10,289
MORTGAGES 107 107 13,434
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 24 24 2,668
BUILDING PERMITS 393 393 24,700
BANKRUPTCIES 60 60 9,952
BUSINESS LICENSES 16 16 3,752
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 149 149 14,706
MARRIAGE LICENSES 31 31 3,198

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