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VOL. 122 | NO. 238 | Friday, December 14, 2007

Daily Digest

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KFC Franchisee To Build In Oakland, Hernando

     Laurel, Miss.-based West Quality Food Service Inc. plans to build new KFC-branded restaurants in Hernando and Oakland, the company has announced.
     The franchisee currently operates 67 fast-food restaurants under the KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's and Rally's/Checker's brands, said West Quality president Dick West.
     West said the company's Hernando KFC, which will be in front of the Wal-Mart at 2600 Mcingvale Road, is currently undergoing permit review from the city. Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter with the restaurant open by May, he said.
     West isn't yet releasing the exact location of the Oakland restaurant, slated to be a co-branded KFC/Taco Bell.
     "Until I get the contract signed, I'm really not at liberty to divulge the location," he said. "But we will be building in Oakland; hopefully by the first of May we should be open - hopefully - depending on the winter."
     West Quality Food Service does not own franchise rights for Memphis proper and West Memphis, but owns restaurants in the Memphis vicinity, including Collierville, Lakeland, Olive Branch and elsewhere.
     West's father, Vic West, opened the company in 1967 with its first franchised KFC in Laurel.
     "He still comes in on a regular basis - Dad's almost 84 - and I've been with him since the first day," West said.

E-mail Campaign Waged Against MPD's Godwin

     Some union police officers are waging an e-mail campaign in the Memphis Police Association's dispute with Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin. The e-mail campaign urges police officers and other citizens to write Mayor Willie Herenton and City Council members and ask for Godwin's resignation.
     A copy of one of the e-mails obtained by The Daily News accuses Godwin of humiliating the nine police officers suspended with pay last week for "hanging out" - in Godwin's words - at MPA headquarters when they were supposed to be either taking calls or on special detail. All nine returned to duty within two days and face administrative hearings.
     The e-mail also accuses Godwin of "assault" on the union, which recently elected new leadership.
     Lt. Gene Hulley was elected the incoming president of the MPA. But because he is a lieutenant and considered part of management, Godwin has said Hulley either has to be demoted to sergeant or give up the leadership of the union.
     The police director can allow a lieutenant to serve as leader of the union. Past directors have granted that permission twice. But Godwin told reporters he won't.
     Hulley, who takes office next month, could not be reached for comment.
     The e-mail lists the names of current council members who have one more meeting next week before their terms of office end. Nine of the 13 council members will leave the council after Tuesday's session.
     Herenton is expected to follow tradition and shuffle some of his division directors before or soon after taking the oath on New Year's Day for his fifth term of office. However, he repeatedly has praised Godwin's leadership of the police department and Godwin's use of the statistics-driven Blue Crush campaign against crime.

Air Traffic Control Tower To Rise at Airport

     The Federal Aviation Administration will break ground next month on a new air traffic control tower and facility at Memphis International Airport.
     Construction of the new tower is in response to the airport's air traffic growth over the past 30 years, along with an increase in traffic density at Memphis International. It will replace the current tower, commissioned in 1977.
     The new tower will stand 336 feet tall, approximately 150 feet taller than the current tower. The additional height
      will improve visibility of the airfield and increase coverage of the ground radar surveillance.
     The taller and more spacious tower will provide air traffic controllers with
     maximum visibility of airborne traffic patterns, a clear, unobstructed and direct view of the approaches to runway ends and a view of all airport surface areas utilized for movement of aircraft under their control.
     The cab at the top of the tower will increase in space from 200 square feet to 850 square feet. The new facility will include a 25,000-square-foot Terminal Approach Control Radar building with administrative offices, and a 3,000-square-foot Engine Generator Support building.
     The new tower will be located to the west of the existing tower where the old airport outbound roadway stood.
     The project is expected to take a little more than three years to complete and will be performed in three phases. Both the tower and base building have been wind-tunnel tested and designed to meet the latest security, seismic and force requirements.

New Insect Named In Honor of Sen. Alexander

     U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., received an honor this week perhaps unprecedented in the annals of Senate history.
     Partly to thank Alexander for helping steer funding toward the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, scientists have named a new insect discovered in the Great Smokies in honor of the state's senior senator. The bug's official name is Cosberalla lamaralexandrei, according to The Tennessean newspaper, and scientists discovered it in a survey of all the species living within the park.

Certification Received For VeinViewer

     Memphis-based Luminetx Corp. has received certifications for its VeinViewer system, which will allow the product to be shipped to European countries.
     The VeinViewer - a vascular imaging system - allows physicians, nurses and
      other health care professionals to clearly see accessible veins in real time. The device uses a combination of near-infrared light and patented technologies to image vascular structures and project their location directly on the surface of the skin.
     By projecting real-time images of a patient's vasculature directly onto the skin, clinicians have the ability to visualize the location of the target area regardless of a patient's age, body type or skin tone.
     Pilot product manufacturing of the VeinViewer began in spring 2006, with its Federal Drug Administration clearance as a
     Class I Exempt Medical Device granted and full U.S. commercial roll-out following in fall 2006.

Medtronic Inducted In CBU Hall of Fame

     The Center for Ethical Leadership at Christian Brothers University honored Medtronic on Monday as its first inductee into the CBU Ethical Leadership Hall of Fame.
     Medtronic, whose spinal and biologics business is based in Memphis, employs more than 1,500 in the area.
     CBU chose Medtronic as the recipient of this honor because as an employer, "Medtronic's mission and ethics is ingrained in their day-to-day business interactions," according to a company statement.
     Medtronic has its own business conduct standards. Medtronic also provides new employees with three hours of formal training on its conduct standards.

Memphis Bar Association Wins National Award

     The Memphis Bar Association has been named the recipient of a 2007 Luminary Award for Excellence in Regular Publications. The award is given by the National Association of Bar Executives.
     The award was presented in October at the NABE Communications Section gathering in Philadelphia.
     The Luminary Award recognizes the MBA's bimonthly magazine Memphis Lawyer as the best among small bar association publications in the country for 2006.
     MBA Communications Director Dottie McCallen manages the magazine, and MBA Publications Committee chair and attorney Liz Landrigan Keough of Martin Tate Morrow & Marston PC assisted McCallen during 2006.
     The MBA was among 11 bar associations and their communications professionals to receive Luminary Awards this year. The NABE Communications Section's Luminary Awards program honors excellence in marketing, public relations, regular publications, special publications and Web sites.

State Tax Collections Beat Expectations

     Tennessee's tax collections in November exceeded expectations by $9.5 million, one month after the state missed projections by $100 million.
     State tax collections are still $126 million below projections in the budget year that began July 1, mostly from corporate tax refunds last month.
     Franchise and excise taxes came in nearly $40 million more than the budgeted estimate of $42 million in November.
     "We're glad to see corporate taxes above projections for the first time since August," Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz said in a statement.
     Tobacco tax collections were $4.2 million below the budgeted estimate of $31 million, the closest to meeting expectations since the state hiked the tax on each pack of cigarettes from 20 cents to 62 cents in July.
     Sales tax collections were $15 million less than projected for November.
     The state's share of the July-through-June collection period is about $13.8 billion, a nearly 10 percent increase from the previous budget year. The remainder of the $27.9 billion budget is funded by the federal government and other sources.
PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270