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VOL. 121 | NO. 234 | Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Daily Digest

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Luther Towers Sells For $3 Million

     Luther Towers, a 195-unit senior living facility at 274 S. Highland St., has been sold for $3 million. Luther Towers Investors LLC bought the property from Luther Towers LP, financing the purchase with a $3.2 million loan through JPMorgan Chase Bank NA.
          The 13-story, 134,500-square-foot building was built in 1971 and sits on two parcels totaling 1.8 acres at the southeast corner of South Highland Street and Cowden Avenue, near the University of Memphis. The Shelby County Assessor's 2006 appraisal for the two parcels totaled nearly $3.5 million.
          Luther Towers LP has owned the high-rise since December 1984, when it bought the property for $6.5 million.
          The buyers are affiliated with GH Capital LLC, a real estate investment company based in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The company has acquired and developed more than $250 million of affordable housing and market-rate properties throughout the United States, according to its Web site, www.ghcapital.com.
          No one from GH Capital was available for comment by press time.      

FedEx Ground To Increase Rates

     FedEx Corp. will increase the standard list rates for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery by an average of 4.9 percent beginning Jan. 1.
     It is the latest in a round of rate increases between FedEx and Atlanta, Ga.-based United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) that began when FedEx announced a 3.5 percent rate increase for air shipments early last month.
     UPS followed with a 4.9 percent rate increase for air and ground shipments announced Nov. 17.
     Last week, DHL Express Inc. announced a 3.9 percent increase in the average shipping rate for DHL Domestic Air Express and International Express effective Jan. 1. It also will increase ground rates 4.9 percent. The surcharges for residential delivery and delivery area service will be increased by 10 cents.
     Like FedEx and UPS, DHL will add a dimensional weight system for oversized ground shipments. Packages less than three cubic feet will be billed based on actual weight, while packages greater than three cubic feet will be priced based on dimensional weight.

MASE Plans to Upgrade CX Classroom Technology

     The Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering (MASE), which is sponsored by the Memphis BioWorks Foundation, has received a one-time $25,000 grant from the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation.
     School officials applied for the grant several months ago, MASE spokesperson Jeni Thompson said.
     The grant will be used to expand the school's existing technology program through the purchase of equipment such as SMART Board interactive whiteboards and projectors to display the SMART Board information, Thompson said.
     "This is like a digital technology thing for the classroom," she said.
     The touch-sensitive interactive whiteboard connects to a computer and digital projector to display computer images that can be shared with an entire class.
     "With the Thomas W. Briggs grant, MASE will be able to move forward with many technological programs," said Principal Tommie Henderson in a release. "Now our students will continue to demonstrate technological literacy by designing and conducting valid research, displaying a mastery of computer applications such as word processing and multimedia publishing tools and utilizing complex scientific concepts in their daily lives."
     Thompson said the digital upgrade - the ordering and installation of the equipment - should be completed during the first or second quarter of 2007.
     MASE opened its doors to 148 seventh graders in 2003. Currently, 550 students are enrolled in sixth through tenth grades.

Methodist Hospital Performs Record Number of Transplants

     Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute has performed a record number of transplants so far this year, the hospital has announced.
     The 177th transplant of the year, a liver transplant, was performed Nov. 29 by transplant surgeon James Eason, director of Methodist's Transplant Institute.
     The previous record number dates back to 1998, when 176 transplants were performed.
     The Methodist Transplant Institute was the sixth program in the country to perform a kidney transplant, and the third in the nation to begin a liver transplant program.
     The transplant program started in 1976 at UT Bowld Hospital. Methodist took over operation of UT Bowld at 951 Court Ave. in 2002 and moved the transplant program to Methodist University Hospital, at 1265 Union Ave.

Herff College of Engineering Receives $500,000 Grant

     The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Memphis' Herff College of Engineering a $500,000, four-year grant for a scholarship program to aid economically disadvantaged students who major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
     The scholarship program will provide about 25 scholarships, and the first scholarship will be awarded in the spring 2007 semester.
     The U of M will integrate its existing computer science, engineering and mathematics (CSEMS) program with the new program to include the newly eligible disciplines from biology, chemistry, geological sciences and physics.

Memphis College of Art Creates Funding Program

     The Memphis College of Art has started a program intended to ease the financial burden of students attending the school.
     The college is introducing the Annual Named Scholarship Program in which donors who contribute $5,000 or more in scholarship funding will be recognized with a one-year scholarship award named in their honor, or that of a loved one or company, and prominently acknowledged on the school's new donor wall.
     The new program was created because school officials noticed that only half of the students applying for the school were eligible for federal funding.
     "Federal and other funding leave a tuition gap that many prospective students find impossible to close," officials said in a release.
     For more information, call 272-5100 or visit www.mca.edu.
PROPERTY SALES 51 223 1,152
MORTGAGES 55 189 861
BUILDING PERMITS 149 541 2,593