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VOL. 122 | NO. 114 | Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Daily Digest

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PharMEDium Buys Land For Memphis Facility

     PharMEDium Healthcare Corp. is moving ahead with plans to create a Memphis compounding facility with the purchase of nine acres in Distriplex Farms industrial park. The company bought the land from Net Magan Land Owner One LP for a little less than $839,000. The deal closed Friday.
     PharMEDium provides pharmacy compounding services for hospitals nationwide.
     The project was approved last year for a seven-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) tax freeze . As part of the PILOT agreement, PharMEDium agreed to create 125 jobs in the next three years with an annual median wage of $34,750.
     The company currently has three compounding facilities, including one about 120 miles southwest of Memphis in Cleveland, Miss.
     The property, 9.39 acres of vacant land on the east side of Mineral Wells Road at Distriplex Farms Drive, is part of an industrial portfolio Net Magan bought from Farnsworth Investment Co. in August 2005. The portfolio included 28 buildings plus 169 acres of vacant land.
     As part of the deal, the two companies entered into a joint venture partnership to develop the remaining acreage.
     Tommy Farnsworth III, president of Farnsworth Investment Co., said PharMEDium's new facility will be an asset to the city.
     "I think it's going to be a great facility for Distriplex Farms as well as the community," said Farnsworth, who worked on the deal until a few months ago.
     And Mike Demster, vice president, bioscience & technology business development for the Memphis Regional Chamber, said PharMEDium's move capitalizes on Memphis' logistics capabilities.
     "It's a great project for Memphis. It fits in very well with our strategy in terms of life-science companies," Demster said. "It also fits into the logistics capabilities. They mix (intravenous solutions) for hospitals across the country.
     "More and more hospitals are outsourcing that function, so the turnaround time from the logistics standpoint is critical to that process, and of course, with FedEx and our overall logistics assets here, where better to put it than Memphis."
     PharMEDium representatives did not return phone calls by press time.

Smith Pleads Guilty To Possession of Child Porn

     Memphis attorney Drayton Beecher Smith II, 57, has pleaded guilty to possession and receipt of child pornography in interstate commerce by means of a computer.
     Smith previously pleaded not guilty, but Monday entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Court Judge Bernice B. Donald.
     Smith, who previously served as an attorney representing Elvis Presley's estate, was indicted in November on six felony counts related to the child pornography charges. Smith agreed to plead guilty to counts one and two, according to court documents. Counts three through six will be dismissed at the sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Sept. 18 before Donald.
     The maximum penalty for receipt is not less than five years and not more than 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. The maximum penalty for possession is not more than 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Smith currently is free on bond.
     The case against Smith was investigated by the Memphis Crimes Against Children Task Force - specifically the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and Memphis Police Department.
     This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.

Ogletree Deakins Opens Two Mid-South Law Offices

     Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Steward PC, the third-largest labor and employment law firm in the country, has announced plans to open new offices in Memphis and Jackson, Miss. The firm will be joined by Memphis-based labor and employment law firm Lewis Fisher Henderson and Claxton LLP.
     The expansion, effective July 1, will increase Ogletree Deakins' number of offices to 30.
     The Lewis Fisher group has experience defending employers facing discrimination litigation, wage and hour collective actions, workers' compensation retaliation claims, family and medical leave issues and sexual and racial harassment suits.
     Lewis Fisher attorneys Frederick J. Lewis, Thomas L. Henderson, Charles V. Holmes, O. John Norris III, Craig A. Cowart and Whitney King Fogerty will open the new Memphis office as shareholders of Ogletree Deakins. Donna K. Fisher, a founding partner of Lewis Fisher, will join the firm as counsel.
     Henderson will manage the 10-person attorney team, which also includes counsel attorney Conie L. Abernathy and associates Jeremy A. Ireland and Kristy L. Gunn.
     "When we began discussions with Lewis Fisher, we knew combining our firms would be a win-win situation for everyone," said Gray Geddie, Ogletree Deakins' managing shareholder, in a statement. "They have a talented group of lawyers who understand our firm's culture and believe in offering high-quality service to clients."

Moderate Hiring Expected In Memphis, Survey Says

     Memphis area employers are expecting to hire at a moderate pace during the third quarter, according to a Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.
     Fourteen percent of the companies interviewed for the
     survey said they plan to hire more employees from July to September, while only 4 percent said they expect to reduce their payrolls.
     Nationwide, 29 percent of U.S. employers said they foresee an increase in hiring activity while 7 percent said they expect a decline in staff levels during the third quarter.
     Forty-three percent of Memphis-area employers said they expect to maintain their current staff levels and 39 percent are not certain of their hiring plans.
     Nationwide, 58 percent of employers anticipate no change in staff levels, while 6 percent are undecided about their third -quarter hiring plans, according to the Employment Outlook Survey.
     Manpower spokesperson Jack Quinlan said area employers seem to have weaker hiring intentions for the third quarter than they did in the second quarter when 30 percent of the companies surveyed intended to hire additional employees and 10 percent planned to reduce staff levels.
     "Employers are also less confident about hiring than they were a year ago when 30 percent of companies surveyed planned to add staff and 13 percent anticipated a reduction in payrolls," Quinlan said.
     For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in the non-durable goods manufacturing industry, wholesale/retail trade and finance/insurance/real estate.

ILS Forms Partnership With Aviation Week

     Memphis-based Inventory Locator Service LLC (ILS) has partnered with Aviation Week, one of the largest multimedia information and services providers to the global aviation, aerospace and defense industries, to provide additional search engine capabilities for Aviation Week's Web site, www.aviationweek.com.
     ILS' search engine, Industry Eyes, will be integrated with the current Web site to provide users with easier access to more content.
     Industry Eyes is a search engine designed for the aviation industry and incorporates ILS' one-click technology. The search engine will provide AviationWeek.com users with an enhanced method of obtaining information to accomplish their business tasks efficiently and profitably. The search engine enables industry professionals to locate aviation-specific topics from a single location and view results within a matter of seconds.
     "Industry Eyes and Aviation Week are an excellent fit," said Bruce Langsen, president of ILS. "Industry Eyes will expand upon the already wide array of information available from the AviationWeek.com site. This relationship enables us to provide the aviation industry with an information resource unmatched by any other service currently available."

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