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VOL. 127 | NO. 122 | Friday, June 22, 2012

Daily Digest

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Country Oaks Apts. Sells for $6.7 Million

A New Jersey-based entity has purchased the 200-unit Country Oaks Apartments at 3865 Kirby Parkway for a little more than $6.7 million, or about $33,700 per unit. LCP Memphis LLC on Monday, June 21, closed on its deal for the 200-unit Hickory Hill complex from SATCA Ltd., the property’s owner since 2005.

In conjunction with the purchase, LCP Memphis filed a $5.6 million multifamily loan through Wells Fargo Bank.

Built in 1985, Country Oaks is a Class C property on 10.3 acres on the west side of Kirby south of Deer Forest Drive. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal for the complex, which uses the address 6555 Country Oaks Circle, is $6.1 million.

Atlanta-based SATCA paid $6.5 million for Country Oaks in 2005.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Scripps Names Cogswell Commercial Appeal Publisher

Scripps has named George H. Cogswell III publisher of The Commercial Appeal, the newspaper reported Thursday, June 21.

Cogswell has been president and publisher at the Scripps-owned Ventura County Star in California since 2007.

“George is a proven leader and has been a high-performing member of the Scripps newspaper team for 15 years,” said Tim Stautberg, Scripps senior vice president of newspapers, in a statement.

Last week the CA announced that Joe Pepe would leave as president and publisher. Also leaving was Karl Wurzbach, vice president of sales and marketing.

– Daily News staff

Chesapeake Names Memphian to Board of Directors

As Chesapeake Energy Corp. has named a new chairman to replace its controversial founder, the company has also appointed four directors, including Memphian R. Brad Martin.

Martin, who also serves on the boards of FedEx Corp., First Horizon National Corp. and Dillard’s Inc., was appointed with three others by Chesapeake’s biggest investors.

Chesapeake founder Aubrey McClendon, who remains company CEO and president, has been replaced as chairman. He was stripped of his chairmanship after a series of corporate governance issues angered investors. The issues included a report that McClendon took a personal loan from a company that was doing business with Chesapeake.

In McClendon’s place, Chesapeake appointed Archie Dunham, a former ConocoPhillips chairman, as an independent non-executive chairman. Dunham, 73, has no prior relationship with Chesapeake.

Dunham is a veteran industry executive and has served on major corporate boards for three decades. He was chairman, president and CEO at Conoco Inc. He oversaw Conoco’s separation from DuPont in 1998 and helped negotiate its merger with Phillips Petroleum Co. in 2002. He currently serves on boards of Union Pacific Corp. and Louisiana-Pacific Corp.

The other new directors along with Martin are Bob Alexander, founder and former chief executive of Alexander Energy Corp.; Vincent Intrieri, senior managing director at Icahn Capital LP; and Frederic Poses, CEO of Ascend Performance Materials.

The board must work to reassure investors who have seen Chesapeake’s share price drop 34 percent in the past year.

– The Associated Press

GASC Changes Name to Align With Steamboat

The Great American Steamboat Co. is changing its name effective July 1 to align its brand more readily with the world’s largest steamboat.

GASC announced this week the Memphis-based company is being renamed the American Queen Steamboat Co.

The boat that calls Beale Street Landing its homeport is the only one the company is operating in an overnight riverboat cruise industry that is recovering from two collapses in recent years. For two years until this year’s inaugural cruise from Memphis by the American Queen, there were no regularly scheduled overnight cruises on the Mississippi River.

The company also announced a 2013 schedule of 30 departures from Memphis and New Orleans and a new configuration on the steamboat to create single-passenger outside staterooms.

– Bill Dries

US Unemployment Aid Applications Little Changed

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dipped last week but not by enough to signal a better month of hiring in June.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid declined by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 387,000, the Labor Department said. That’s down from an upwardly revised 389,000.

A more telling sign of the trend in unemployment benefit applications is the four-week average, which smooths week-to-week fluctuations. That rose by 3,500 to 386,250, the highest level since December.

Applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. They have been edging up in recent weeks after falling steadily over the fall and winter. In the past six weeks, applications have increased nearly 5 percent. When applications fall below 375,000, it generally suggests hiring is strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate.

Hiring slowed sharply in April and May, raising concerns about the strength of the recovery. Employers have added an average of only 73,000 jobs per month in April and May. That’s much lower than the average of 226,000 added in the first three months of this year.

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits fell slightly. A total of 5.8 million people received benefits in the week ended June 2, the latest data available. That’s about 1,000 fewer than the previous week.

– The Associated Press

Bigfish Announces Two New Employees

Local creative company Bigfish has added two employees to its creative staff.

New hires include Jonathan Seal, brand and graphic designer, and Chandra Towler, client communications specialist.

Picayune, Miss., native Seal graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in art with an emphasis in digital design. He served as a graphic design editor for the “Daily Mississippian,” one of the largest, independent student newspapers in the country, worked for “Y’all” magazine, a southern lifestyle magazine based in Oxford, Miss., and was most recently employed as designer for Hope Church in Cordova.

Towler, a native Memphian, received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She’s worked at Scripps Networks, serving on promotion and digital media production projects, and she’s actively involved in the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals and National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications.

– Andy Meek

Local Ryan White Program Teams With Barbershop

The Memphis Ryan White Program, the local affiliate of a national HIV/AIDS program, has teamed up with a local barbershop called First Impressions Remix to provide free HIV and syphilis testing on Saturday, June 23.

The barbershop at 1470 Elvis Presley Blvd. will host the event, offering free HIV and syphilis testing to help raise HIV awareness in the Memphis community, which has been affected by a steep rise in new HIV and sexually transmitted disease cases.

Inside the barbershop, there will be educational information and giveaways that promote safe sex. There will be food and a live DJ outside the shop.

This is the barbershop’s fourth year hosting the event, where last year more than 300 people were tested for HIV.

This is the first year the Memphis Ryan White Program, which provides free services to those living with HIV/AIDS in the Memphis area, has partnered with the First Impressions Remix.

Funding for the program is provided by grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration and Shelby County government.

Additional sponsors for Saturday’s event include Friends for Life, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Planned Parenthood, Project Hope, Shelby County Health Department and the University of Memphis.

– Aisling Maki

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