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VOL. 128 | NO. 218 | Thursday, November 07, 2013

Daily Digest

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AutoNation Files Permit for Honda Dealership

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based AutoNation Inc. has filed a $5.3 million building permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for a Dobbs Honda dealership at 4030 Hacks Cross Road in Southeast Shelby County.

AutoNation’s local affiliate, American Way Motors Inc., earlier this year paid $2.8 million for the property, a 28.8-acre parcel of land on Hacks Cross Road near its Tenn. 385 interchange.

The company bought the vacant parcel from The Gurley Cos. LP in a Feb. 21 special warranty deed.

The Dobbs Honda dealership will move from the location it has had at 2785 Mendenhall Road for 20 years. The new dealership is a $10.5 million project that is expected to produce 30 jobs once completed.

Shelby County Commissioners approved the plan in October 2012.

Cheryl Followell signed the warranty deed as chief manager of The Gurley Cos, which had acquired the property in a 2005 quitclaim deed from Followell, serving as trustee of a trust for Betty J. Gurley.

The land sits along the west side of Hacks Cross Road between Nonconnah Creek and Tenn. 385. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $2.6 million.

No general contractor or architect is listed on the permit.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Daily News staff

MLGW Conference Focuses on Future

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division will be hosting a training and networking event for faith and nonprofit leaders Friday, Nov. 8.

The MLGW Business of Service Conference will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the MLGW Training Center, 4949 Raleigh-LaGrange Road.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Preparing for the Future.”

Workshop topics include CPR for Family and Friends, Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer’s, Social Enterprising – A Fundraising Strategy, Promoting Healthier Youth, Help for the Homeless, Get Covered Tennessee and Partners for a Healthy Memphis. Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett will be offering health screenings.

Registration is $10 and includes breakfast, a buffet lunch, conference materials and choice of workshops.

Register online at www.mlgw.com/serviceleaders or by calling 528-4820. Individuals who register online or over the phone may pay the registration fee the day of the conference.

– Amos Maki

County Pension Fund Value Keeps Growing

The value of the pension fund that pays benefits to Shelby County retirees is as high as it’s been in six years, new figures show.

The fund’s value climbed to nearly $1.06 billion in September, up from $1.02 billion in August. The last time the fund was higher than September’s total was in October 2007, when the fund topped $1.08 billion.

Domestic equity gains, attributable to a robust stock market, are part of the reason why. The domestic equity component of the portfolio is up 23.3 percent year to date.

– Andy Meek

Council Approves Wastewater Fix Funding

The Memphis City Council approved $24.8 million in funding Tuesday, Nov. 5, to rehabilitate the city’s wastewater collection system to meet terms of a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The decree settles claims of pollution on the Mississippi River the federal agency filed against the city. The funding is financed through a state revolving loan fund and is to be paid back from the city’s sewer fund.

In planning and zoning items, the council approved the Overton Square North planned development at North Cooper Street and Court Avenue, with conditions that any retail business operating there will close by 9 p.m.

The council also approved a funeral home at Knight Arnold and Mendenhall roads. And it approved a daycare center at 1135 Winchester Road at Twinkletown Road but restricted it to no more than 30 children. A council vote was delayed for two weeks on a commercial retail development by Crosstown Arts LLC at 495 Watkins St. at Autumn Road.

– Bill Dries

Regions Celebrates ‘Share the Good Week’

Through Friday, Nov. 8, Regions Bank associates in Memphis are participating in the company’s Share the Good Week, a coordinated effort across the 16 states Regions serves, including about 350 events to give back to the communities and people who support Regions.

The effort includes charitable work toward organizations and individuals.

The effort in Memphis has included a community blood drive, food collection, volunteers sorting food and stocking shelves at the Mid-South Food Bank; and associates providing yard work, painting and facility-cleaning for Grace House of Memphis.

– Andy Meek

Barking Lot Statue to be Dedicated Saturday

Local artist Chris Little will be at The Barking Lot Saturday, Nov. 9, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to dedicate “Riley,” a 6-foot-tall concrete dog statue that stands at the entrance to the Downtown dog park.

Riley was designed to serve as a mascot to welcome visitors to the park, which is at the northeast intersection of Main Street and Jefferson Avenue.

The dedication ceremony will include light refreshments for humans and treats for dogs. The Barking Lot was opened in 2011 on the site where the original Jack’s Food Store was damaged by a fire.

– Amos Maki

Orion Recognized for Marketing Efforts

Memphis-based Orion Federal Credit Union has been recognized as among the best in credit union marketing worldwide by the Credit Union Executives Society.

The recognition was via the society’s annual Golden Mirror Awards competition.

Out of 426 entries, Orion was awarded the GMA Golden Shoestring, one of four top honors, for a successful marketing piece within the constraints of a shoestring budget.

– Andy Meek

Gauge of Economic Health Rises 0.7 Percent

A gauge of the U.S. economy’s future health rose solidly in September, suggesting the economy was making gains before the government shut down for 16 days.

The Conference Board said Wednesday its index of leading indicators rose 0.7 percent in September to a reading of 97.1. That follows a similar gain in August and marked the fifth increase in six months.

The index is designed to signal economic conditions over the next three to six months. It is composed of 10 indicators, most of which have already been released individually.

In September, the index rose largely because unemployment benefits fell, credit conditions improved, manufacturing orders rose and the gap between short- and long-term interest rates widened sharply.

Michael Englund, an economist at Action Economics, said that nothing in the leading index altered his view that overall economic growth is stuck at a modest annual rate of around 2 percent through the rest of this year.

Still, Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein said the September performance was an indication that the economy was expanding modestly and possibly gaining momentum before the shutdown.

– The Associated Press

Agency Warns Mississippi About Bond Rating

The Fitch credit rating agency has downgraded Mississippi’s bond rating outlook from stable to negative.

The state’s bond rating remains AA+, only one notch below the highest AAA level, but the agency warns the rating could be lowered unless officials take steps to shore up finances. A lower bond rating would make it more expensive for state government to borrow money.

The agency says the revised outlook reflects Mississippi’s slow recovery from the recession and continued use of one-time money to cover recurring government expenses. It says poverty and low education levels hurt Mississippi.

Fitch is one of the three leading U.S. credit rating agencies, along with Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 70 224 13,880
MORTGAGES 105 298 18,124
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 16 55 3,560
BUILDING PERMITS 0 430 32,733
BANKRUPTCIES 81 211 13,214
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 68 4,773
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 103 307 20,206
MARRIAGE LICENSES 39 72 4,269

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