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VOL. 129 | NO. 158 | Thursday, August 14, 2014

Daily Digest

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Developer Files Permit for Graceland-Area Hotel

SNP Investments has filed a $3.5 million building permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for a four-story, 85-room Holiday Inn Express at 3411 Elvis Presley Blvd. in Whitehaven.

The property is along the west side of Elvis Presley Boulevard between Hernando and Winchester roads, just a few blocks north of Graceland.

The Memphis Business Journal reported initial plans for the hotel date back to 2012.

For more on developments around Graceland, including plans for another hotel on Elvis Presley, see the story on Page 1 of today’s Daily News.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Kroger Expanding Germantown Store

Kroger Delta Division is temporarily closing its store at 7735 Farmington Road in Germantown next month to renovate and expand it.

Also, after the seven- to eight-month renovation of that store is finished and it has been expanded from 60,000 to 100,000 square feet, Kroger will close its nearby Exeter store sometime in 2015. The company, however, said no plans about the Exeter store will be made until after the Farmington renovations are complete.

During the remodel of the Farmington store, its 119 employees will be transferred to nearby Kroger locations. Results of that renovation will include a unique specialty cheese shop, 40 percent more square footage, an expansion of the pharmacy with the inclusion of a drive-thru and freshly made pizzas for sit-down or take-out delivery, among other things.

Kroger Delta Division is investing almost $50 million in renovations and expansions in the Memphis area this year and an additional $50 million over the next three to five years.

– Andy Meek

Habitat Honors Stemmler for Volunteer Work

Bill Stemmler, vice president and branch manager at Iberiabank, was recently named Leadership Volunteer of the Year at Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee’s 2014 State Impact Awards.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis nominated Stemmler, a former board president, in recognition of his six years of board service. He joined Memphis Habitat’s board in 2008 and became president in 2010, serving for three years in that role.

During Stemmler’s tenure as president, Memphis Habitat completed its first planned development, Trinity Park, relocated its headquarters and opened its successful ReStore. The organization also accessed its first federal funding through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and expanded its mission with the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which conducts home repairs in the Uptown neighborhood.

In addition to the award recognizing Stemmler, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis took home the 2014 Favorite ReStore Award during the ceremony held in Murfreesboro.

– Amos Maki

City Debuts Health Benefits Website

The city of Memphis debuted a new website this week that explains changes in health care insurance and coverage for city employees and retirees.

The debut of benefitsmemphis.com comes ahead of the Oct. 1 effective date for premium increases city employees will begin paying.

The Memphis City Council approved the changes proposed by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. earlier this year. The council is scheduled to vote on proposed changes to the city’s pension coverage in October.

– Bill Dries

LifeLinc Anesthesia Expands in Southeast

LifeLinc Anesthesia, a growing anesthesia management company based in Memphis, has announced partnerships with four new medical facilities in the Southeastern United States:

Delta Gastroenterology in Southaven; Digestive Health Center in Ocean Springs, Miss.; St. Anthony Healthcare in Englewood, Fla.; and Tri-State Gastroenterology in Crestview Hills, Ky. All will utilize various aspects of LifeLinc’s management model for their anesthesia services.

Since the company’s formation in 2003, LifeLinc has grown to provide services in nine states. In addition to now employing over 100 anesthesia providers, LifeLinc’s expanded administrative staff now includes an in-house legal counsel, a compliance officer and data analysts, joining the company’s billing, provider recruiting, credentialing and payor enrollment staff.

– Don Wade

UTHSC Researchers Named ‘Influential Minds’

Two University of Tennessee Health Science researchers have made the list of the “world’s most influential scientific minds” of the last decade as determined by the most frequently cited articles.

The list was compiled by Thomson Reuters, a world leader in providing news, financial information, tax and accounting data and research tools for scientists and attorneys.

The UTHSC researchers, Dr. Karen C. Johnson and David Nelson, made the list of more than 3,000 highly cited researchers. Their papers ranked among the top 1 percent of most cited for their subject field and year of publication.

Johnson is a professor in the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Medicine in the College of Medicine. Her research focuses on women’s health, obesity, smoking cessation and preventive medicine. Nelson is an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry in the College of Medicine at UTHSC.

His research focuses on the evolutionary genomics of the enzyme Cytochrome P450.

– Don Wade

US Retail Sales Flat in July

U.S. retail sales were essentially flat in July, providing evidence that consumers have yet to shed their doubts about the economy despite recent job gains.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that seasonally adjusted retail sales were unchanged in July compared with the prior month. Total sales rose a statistically insignificant $161 million from $439.6 billion in June.

Spending dipped at auto dealers and department stores last month. The losses were offset by gains at grocery stores, gasoline stations, restaurants, clothiers and building material stores.

The figures suggest that Americans are hesitant to spend, which could limit growth for the economy. Retail sales are closely watched because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

Retail sales have flat-lined even though employers have added more than 200,000 jobs a month for the past six months. Payrolls increased by 209,000 in July and 298,000 in June.

But those gains have yet to meaningfully boost wage growth above inflation, causing spending to be more restrained.

Retail sales have increased 3.7 percent over the past 12 months, but economists doubt that spending can grow much faster unless incomes increase.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 38 349 15,066
MORTGAGES 111 449 19,779
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 33 91 3,886
BUILDING PERMITS 0 512 35,842
BANKRUPTCIES 62 309 14,343
BUSINESS LICENSES 18 138 5,129
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 69 385 21,817
MARRIAGE LICENSES 13 106 4,663

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