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VOL. 129 | NO. 41 | Friday, February 28, 2014

Daily Digest

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Le Bonheur Files $9.4 Million Permit for Parking Garage

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has filed a $9.4 million permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for a parking garage at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, 848 Adams Ave.

The garage is another milestone in the long-running capital campaign to rejuvenate the Downtown children’s hospital, which was highlighted by the $340 million, 255-bed tower that opened in 2010.

Details about the garage – including contractor, architect and completion date – weren’t included on the permit, but initial plans called for 500 parking spaces in the facility.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

CloseTrak Expanding, Adding Attorneys

CloseTrak LLC, a provider of real estate title and closing services, is in expansion mode.

Attorneys Robin Hogue-Hughes, Kevin Hudson and Stephen Johnson recently joined CloseTrak. The additions come as the Bartlett-based closing and title company expands into East Memphis and Collierville.

CloseTrak is opening its newly renovated offices at Ridgeway Center, 5860 Ridgeway Center Parkway in East Memphis. CloseTrak also recently opened a satellite office in the Law Offices of Mitzi Johnson, at 185 N. Main St., suite 102, in Collierville.

To provide a wider range of services to CloseTrak’s clients, Hudson and Greg Ziskind have formed Hudson Ziskind PLLC, which will also be located in the Ridgeway Center. Hudson Ziskind PLLC will focus on commercial transactions, commercial litigation, construction litigation, landlord-tenant law, probate and estate planning and counseling lenders on structuring secured loan transactions.

– Amos Maki

Sissy’s Log Cabin to Open in Laurelwood

Arkansas-based retailer Sissy’s Log Cabin is coming to Laurelwood Shopping Center.

The store will move into newly created space between James Davis and Talbots Petites. It will offer custom jewelry design, onsite designer watch and jewelry repair, diamond jewelry, engagement and bridal rings, designer lines and a space designed exclusively for Rolex.

Since 1970, Sissy’s Log Cabin has been a family-owned and operated jewelry store in Arkansas.

Construction will start immediately and the new store should open by late summer.

– Andy Meek

Integrity Oncology Receives Recognition

Integrity Oncology Foundation, a part of Baptist Medical Group and a major player in the Baptist Cancer Center, has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The QOPI Certification Program provides a three-year certification for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet the highest standards for quality cancer care.

According to Dr. Stephen B. Edge, director of the Baptist Cancer Center, certification by the ASCO QOPI program is a key component in helping to assure high-quality cancer care. Edge added that this national program, first proposed by Dr. Joseph Simone, who later became Baptist's first Cancer Center director, sets high standards for demonstrating and maintaining quality.

– Don Wade

UTHSC’s Meibohm Published in Nature Medicine

Bernd Meibohm, associate dean for research and graduate programs and professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, had the findings of his latest research published in the February issue of biomedical sciences journal Nature Medicine.

The article, titled “Spectinamides: a new class of semisynthetic antituberculosis agents that overcome native drug efflux,” discussed significant breakthroughs in tuberculosis research.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that, if not treated properly, can be fatal. Globally, at least one person is infected with TB each second, and someone dies of TB disease every 20 seconds. Approximately one-third of the world’s population is infected with TB, and TB bacteria can become resistant to the medicines used to treat the disease.

The research is a collaborative effort of Meibohm’s research team and investigators Richard Lee of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Anne Lenaerts of Colorado State University and Dr. Erik Böttger of the University of Zurich.

– Don Wade

Tennessee Bill to Protect Outdoorsmen From Drones

A proposal that would prohibit the use of drones to conduct video surveillance of outdoorsmen in Tennessee without their permission has passed the Senate.

The measure, sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville, was unanimously approved 31-0 on Thursday.

Bell says his legislation would be added to the state's current law that protects hunters or fisherman from harassment. He said the law should be updated as technology changes.

The companion bill is scheduled to be heard next Tuesday in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Last year, the Tennessee General Assembly passed and the governor signed a measure to ban most warrantless surveillance by unmanned drones in Tennessee.

– The Associated Press

Tennessee Rep. Mike Turner Won’t Seek Re-Election

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner says he will not seek re-election.

Turner told members of the House of Representatives on Thursday that he will retire at the end of the year after serving 14 years in District 51, which covers the areas of Old Hickory, Madison, east Nashville, downtown Nashville and Germantown.

Turner has served as caucus chairman since 2009.

Last month, Democratic State Rep. Charles Curtiss stepped down after serving for 19 years. Curtiss announced in October that he wouldn't run again for his District 43 seat that includes Grundy, Warren and White counties.

– The Associated Press

30-Year Mortgage Rate Up to 4.37 Percent

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for a third straight week as new data showed a surprisingly strong pace of new-home sales last month. Rates still remain near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan increased to 4.37 percent from 4.33 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage rose to 3.39 percent from 3.35 percent.

A report Wednesday from the Commerce Department boosted expectations that the spring home buying season will be solid enough to lift the overall economy.

Sales of new homes rebounded in January to the fastest rate in more than five years. The strength in purchases followed a slowdown that had been linked to higher mortgage rates and severe winter weather.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows roughly a year ago. The increase was driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion-a-month bond purchases. Deeming the economy to be gaining strength, the Fed proceeded last month with planned reductions of its bond purchases, which have helped keep long-term interest rates low.

– The Associated Press

Applications for Jobless Benefits Rise to 348,000

The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 14,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, though the broader trend in applications remained stable.

But the four-week average was unchanged at 338,250, the Labor Department said Thursday. Applications are a rough proxy for layoffs. The average is not far above pre-recession levels, a sign companies are laying off few workers.

Economists said that winter storms two weeks ago may have caused some people to delay submitting their applications until last week, temporarily boosting the figures.

"Other evidence continues to point clearly to reasonably robust labor demand so we very much doubt the underlying trend in claims is picking up," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a note to clients.

Applications have been mostly steady in recent weeks, even though hiring faltered in January and February. That suggests employers may be reluctant to add many jobs, but they aren't worried enough about future growth to step up layoffs.

Nearly 3.5 million people received unemployment aid in the week ending Feb. 8, the latest data available. That's about 25,000 fewer than the previous week.

Harsh winter weather has chilled hiring in recent months. Employers added just 113,000 jobs in January. That followed a gain of only 75,000 in December. Those figures are about half the monthly pace of the past two years.

– 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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