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VOL. 129 | NO. 51 | Friday, March 14, 2014

Daily Digest

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Truse Parkway Outparcel Sells for $3.1 Million

An 8,650-square-foot retail outparcel at 780 Truse Parkway, at its intersection with Poplar Avenue, has sold for $3.1 million.

An entity called Sycamore Lakes bought the Class A two-bay retail facility in a March 7 special warranty deed from Nashville-based BSM Truse LLC, which bought the then-vacant property in 2003 for $840,000 from Home Depot USA Inc.

Built in 2004, the retail building sits on 1.2 acres at the southeast corner of Truse and Poplar. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $901,500.

The retail property, an outparcel of Home Depot, is home to a Vitamin Shoppe. The building’s 4,600-square-foot space that formerly housed a Men’s Wearhouse is now vacant, according to a LoopNet listing.

No financing was associated with the sale.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Central Animal Hospital Hosting Open House

Central Animal Hospital is inviting the public to tour its new and improved facility.

Central Animal Hospital is hosting its first annual community open house Sunday, March 23, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Located at 2192 Central Ave. in Midtown, Central Animal Hospital recently completed its $1.2 million, 4,600-square-foot veterinary medical facility. Designed by archimania and built by Metro Construction, the facility features a modern design and plenty of natural light.

The outside of the facility features an entry plaza that doubles as a waiting bench, and landscaped walkways on all sides of the building and parking lot.

Once the renovations are complete, Central Animal Hospital will launch Stay, a luxury boarding, daycare, training and grooming facility.

During the open house, Central Animal Hospital doctors and staff will be available to answer questions. There will be prize drawings and giveaways and free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for the first 300 visitors.

– Amos Maki

Memphis Bar to Hold Veterans Legal Clinic

The Memphis Bar Association’s will hold a pro bono legal clinic for veterans Tuesday, March 25, at the Veterans Administration Center, 1407 Union Ave., from noon to 2 p.m. The bar association effort to assist veterans averages about 30 veterans as clients a month.

More attorneys are needed for the effort. The clinic is on the 11th floor of the VA center. Volunteers are being coordinated by Jake Dickerson at jdickerson@bakerdonelson.com.

– Bill Dries

30-Year Mortgage Rate Up to 4.37 Percent

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose last week but remained close to historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan increased to 4.37 percent from 4.28 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage rose to 3.38 percent from 3.32 percent.

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, which have helped keep long-term interest rates low. Deeming the economy to be gaining strength, the Fed announced in December and January that it was reducing its monthly bond purchases.

Mortgage rates tend to follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The 10-year note traded at 2.73 percent Wednesday, up from 2.71 percent a week earlier.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

– The Associated Press

Bill Shields School Religious Displays

Legislation that would protect schools from lawsuits for allowing traditional winter celebrations and religious displays has been approved in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden was overwhelmingly approved 83-4 on Thursday. The Senate version was unanimously approved 30-0 last month.

The legislation says schools can display scenes or symbols associated with such celebrations on school property, if the display includes more than one religion, or one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol. Messages that encourage adherence to a particular religious belief are prohibited.

The proposal also allows students and school staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, such as "Merry Christmas," ''Happy Hanukkah" and "Happy holidays."

Sponsors say some groups have threatened to sue over such displays and greetings, and the legislation would protect schools.

– The Associated Press

Resolution Expresses Regret for Trail of Tears

A resolution that expresses regret for the Removal Act of 1830 and the Trail of Tears has been approved in the House.

The measure sponsored by House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin was unanimously approved 90-0 on Thursday.

Several Democratic lawmakers commended the sponsors for the resolution that acknowledges sincere regret to the tribes involved in the U.S. government's forced removal of more than 15,000 Native Americans from ancestral homes in the Southeast to what is now Oklahoma in 1838 and 1839. Thousands died.

However, they said they'd also like to see such a resolution for slavery.

Casada agreed and said he plans to propose one.

– The Associated Press

Devices to Track Truck Driver Hours Proposed

The government wants commercial trucks and buses that cross state lines to be equipped with electronic devices that record how many hours the vehicles are in operation.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new proposal is intended to prevent drivers from exceeding limits on the number of hours they can spend behind the wheel.

Accident investigators have pointed to crashes where drivers regularly were exceeding limits on work hours. In some cases, drivers or their employers altered logbooks or kept two sets of books. That made enforcement difficult.

The government says the electronic devices would make it harder for drivers to misrepresent their hours and would help reduce crashes by tired drivers.

The government estimates that having the devices would mean 20 fewer deaths and 434 injuries each year.

– The Associated Press

Business Inventories Rise, But Sales Plunge

U.S. businesses continued to restock their shelves and warehouses in January, but sales plunged during the snowstorm-plagued month.

Inventories rose 0.4 percent after a 0.5 percent increase in December, the Commerce Department said Thursday. But sales dropped 0.9 percent in January after a 0.1 percent decrease the previous month, putting sales back near September 2013 levels.

The report suggests that winter weather kept shoppers at home. But businesses anticipate a rebound because they expanded their inventories to meet expected demand in the months ahead.

Still, there is a possible danger to economic growth: When companies build their stockpiles as their sales fall, they may end up stuck with more goods than they need.

That potentially forces them to slash prices and sell at discounts in order to clear the extra inventory.

However, the February retail sales figures released separately on Thursday indicate that sales growth has picked up. Retail spending rose 0.3 percent in February. Retail sales had fallen 0.6 percent in January and 0.3 percent in December.

The increase suggests that consumer spending has started to recover after being tempered by snowstorms and freezing temperatures that blanketed much of the country.

Yet overall economic growth could be slower due to the recent decline in sales and inventory expansion that has slowed from its pace in the middle of 2013.

Slower restocking will likely lower growth to about a 2 percent annual pace in the first quarter of 2014, down from 4.1 percent in last year's July-September quarter and 2.4 percent in the October-December quarter.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 324 13,221
MORTGAGES 0 477 17,235
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 82 3,380
BUILDING PERMITS 0 366 30,930
BANKRUPTCIES 0 276 12,619
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 87 4,576
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 487 19,380
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 122 4,031

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