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VOL. 129 | NO. 42 | Monday, March 03, 2014

Daily Digest

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Hickory Hills Owner Files $3.3 Million Loan

The owner of the 96-unit Hickory Hills apartment complex at 3481 Graceland Drive and 3491 Graceland Drive in Whitehaven has filed a $3.3 million loan on the property.

Hickory Hills LLC filed the multifamily deed of trust, assignment of leases and rents, security agreement and fixture filing Feb. 26 through Walker & Dunlop LLC.

Paul D. Montgomery signed the deed as president of Salt Lake City-based Property Asset Management Inc., the managing entity of the borrower.

The Class C multifamily property sits on the southwest corner of Winchester Road and Graceland Drive.

Built in 1967, the 3481 Graceland Drive parcel has 52 units in multiple buildings containing 59,932 square feet. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $1.2 million.

Built in 1968, the 3491 Graceland Drive parcel has 44 units in multiple buildings containing 51,230 square feet. The assessor’s 2013 appraisal was $1.3 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Election Commission Urges School Board Ruling

The Shelby County Election Commission isn’t taking a stand on the Shelby County Commission’s plan to convert the Shelby County Schools board to a nine-member body.

But the commission will file a brief urging U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays to rule soon on the plan.

Candidates in the August nonpartisan Shelby County Schools board and judicial races have until April 3 at noon to file their qualifying petitions for the ballot.

Election Commission attorney John Ryder said the commission is filing a brief in federal court that will urge Mays to act quickly in his review of the new districts.

Mays has to rule on the redistricting plan under terms of the court consent decree governing the reformation of public education in Shelby County.

Election commissioners have said they need word from Mays on the plan at least a month from the filing deadline to be able to adjust the ballot. Candidates have been pulling petitions since January for a 13-district school board that covers all of Shelby County, including the six suburbs that are excluded from the nine-district school board plan. Mays has not indicated when he might rule.

– Bill Dries

Dunavant Adds Charlotte Terminal Manager

Dunavant Transportation Group continues to add to its ranks.

Patrick Ellrich recently joined Dunavant Transportation as the terminal manager of its Charlotte, N.C., location.

Ellrich will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the terminal’s operations, including supervision of intermodal dispatchers, driver management, recruitment and retention, customer service and increasing profitability through greater efficiency.

Ellrich joins Dunavant Transportation from the Atlanta offices of Comtrak, where he oversaw load planning, customer service, and dispatch for more than 150 trucks in the Atlanta and Charlotte markets.

Dunavant also recently hired a new terminal manager in Nashville and driver recruitment and relations manager for its Dunavant Sea Lane Express subsidiary.

– Amos Maki

Norris to Chair Council Of State Governments

Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris is among two southerners leading the Council of State Governments.

The Collierville Republican will serve as chair of the group based in Lexington, Ky. Former chair and West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will serve as president.

CSG executive director David Adkins says Tomblin was an effective advocate for the states during his legislative service when he served as chair of CSG’s Southern Legislative Conference and then as CSG’s national chair.

Adkins says Norris has gained a national reputation for his willingness to take on tough issues and find consensus.

Tomblin and Norris have selected workforce development as the CSG Leaders’ Initiative for 2014.

– The Associated Press

Consumer Confidence Ticks Up in February

A rising stock market and a more optimistic outlook among younger Americans pushed up a measure of U.S. consumer sentiment in February.

The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment rose to 81.6 from 81.2 in January.

The harsh winter weather had a modest impact. The survey found Americans are more upbeat about their prospects than at any time in the past six months. And those under age 35 were the most optimistic in six years about their future incomes.

At the same time, the cost of home heating caused some older Americans to take a dimmer view of their finances.

Survey director Richard Curtin says consumers’ resilience in the face of cold weather bodes well for future spending.

– The Associated Press

Weather Service: No Threat of Mississippi River Floods So Far

This winter’s record snowfalls haven’t been widespread enough to create anything more than typical high water farther south on the Mississippi River, National Weather Service hydrologist Jeff Graschel said.

The river was expected to be at or near flood stage Sunday in Cairo, Ohio, where the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers meet, but that’s likely to be brief, and effects farther south are unlikely so far, said Graschel, at the weather service office in Slidell, La.

Although rain in the next three to five days in parts of the Ohio River Valley might change the prediction, he said, “Right now we’re looking at about a day right at flood stage levels.”

That would cause minor flooding typical of the season in that area, affecting mostly farmland, he said.

Heavier snowfall in the Mississippi or Ohio valleys later this year could change things, but there aren’t any current climate signals that it’s likely, he said.

“We’ve had some big snows in areas like Chicago and Wisconsin and portions of Minnesota,” he said.

“But you need a very large extent of that record snow to give us impacts on the Mississippi.”

– The Associated Press

Contracts to Buy Homes Barely Budged in January

The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes was essentially flat in January, a possible sign of a softening real estate market.

The National Association of Realtors said Friday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index inched up 0.1 last month to 95.

The index has fallen 9 percent over the past 12 months as sales momentum has faded.

Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases: A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a signed contract and a completed sale.

Higher mortgage rates, rising prices and a tight supply of homes have restricted sales in recent months. Snowstorms across much of the country also delayed purchases.

The Realtors project that sales will total 5 million this year, down from 5.1 million in 2013.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Marcoeconomics, thinks home buying could slow further through March.

“The bad news is that existing-home sales need to fall a bit further to move fully into line with the pending-sales index,” he said in a client note.

The rising costs of buying a home have contributed to a slowdown in signed contracts over the past seven months. Sales of existing homes plummeted in January to the weakest pace in 18 months, the trade group said last week.

Some of the price pressures will be eased if more homes come onto the market in the months ahead. One way to increase the supply is through the construction of new homes, a sector not measured by the Realtors’ indicator on sales.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 50 299 14,717
MORTGAGES 59 436 19,330
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 14 91 3,796
BUILDING PERMITS 135 697 35,330
BANKRUPTCIES 58 306 14,034
BUSINESS LICENSES 22 87 5,013
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 121 483 21,433
MARRIAGE LICENSES 22 104 4,557

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