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VOL. 122 | NO. 247 | Friday, December 28, 2007

Daily Digest

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Chick-Fil-A Slated To Come to Midtown

     Chick-Fil-A Inc. has filed a building permit application for a new restaurant at 61 S. Rembert St. in Midtown, according to The Daily News Online.
     The $1 million permit was filed with the city-county Department of Construction Code Enforcement last week. The South Rembert address is just north of Union Avenue east of South McLean Boulevard and west of East Parkway.
     The restaurant chain is scheduled to open a Chick-Fil-A on Union Avenue in August, according to a Chick-Fil-A representative. No street number was on file, she added.
     A Chick-Fil-A near Rembert and Union would add to several Memphis-area locations, including stand-alone restaurants on Germantown Parkway and Poplar Avenue, among others, as well as food court locations within Oak Court Mall and Wolfchase Galleria.

Two Foreclosures Filed Against Mark Matthews Dev.

     A substitute trustee on behalf of Bank of Bartlett has filed two first-run foreclosure notices against Mark Matthews Development LLC for allegedly defaulting on loans through the bank.
     The foreclosures are each for one lot in Concord Estates Subdivision, a development near East Shelby Drive and South Germantown Road. The addresses of the properties are 4719 Buttermilk Cove and 4719 Gertrude Drive.
     Mark Matthews Development took out two construction loans totaling $521,600 from the Bank of Bartlett for these lots in October 2006.
     Bank of Bartlett has appointed Richard J. Fehse as the successor trustee and plans to sell the lots Jan. 18 at noon at the southwest corner of the Adams Avenue entrance to the Shelby County Courthouse.
     Builder's Services Group Inc., Counter Solutions LLC and Thrifty Building Supply Inc. are listed as interested parties that may claim an interest in the Gertrude Drive property. Builder's Services Group and Mitchell Taylor doing business as Bartlett Landscape are listed as interested parties for the property on Buttermilk Cove.
     Companies owned by the Matthews brothers, including Mark Matthews Development and Matthews Brothers Homebuilders - once the largest homebuilder in Shelby County - began facing a flurry of foreclosures, liens and lawsuits earlier this year. The offices of Matthews Brothers Homebuilders, at 138 Timber Creek Drive in Cordova, sold at foreclosure Nov. 19.
     To read the full text of the two first-run notices in today's paper, see Page 34 in the foreclosures section or visit The Daily News Online at www.memphisdailynews.com.
     To read more about financial troubles at the Matthews' brothers companies, search for "Matthews brothers" in the news archives at The Daily News Online.

Airport Employee Martin Retires After Three Decades

     Bob Martin is retiring after 30 years of service at Memphis International Airport. Martin worked for the past 18 years as vice president of operations for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA).
     Martin began his aviation career in 1968 at age 22, when he became a station agent for Southern Airways in Johnson City, Tenn.
     Before moving to Memphis in 1978 as Southern Airways' regional manager, Martin worked various positions in various locales throughout the airline's system.
     When Southern Airways merged with Republic Airlines in 1979, Martin became station director and is credited with starting the Republic Airlines hub in Memphis in 1985. Republic's Memphis hub grew significantly and when it merged with Northwest Airlines in 1986, Martin became station director for Northwest's Memphis hub.
     As MSCAA vice president of operations, Martin oversaw the complete rebuilding of the airfield south of Winchester Road and is now leaving it with new pavement.
     He also helped the airport achieve a "no discrepancy Part 139" inspection from the Federal Aviation Administration, a nod to the facility's operations and safety compliance.

Former Tenn. Senator: 'No Woman Should Be President'

     Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., on Wednesday teased Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying "there is no woman on the horizon that ought to be president next year."
     The Republican presidential candidate was challenging potential caucus-goers to choose the best man to help fend off what he described as an assault by a Democratic Party that is "just salivating" to lead the country into a welfare state.
     "Who are we going to set on the road - what man are we going to set on the road - to lead us and to stand against this assault?" he asked, emphasizing the word "man."
     He couched his comments by saying, "I say the word 'man' advisedly. Now I've got a daughter that's going to be president some day, I know it, and I am all for a woman president, just not this year, not next year."
     Without saying Clinton's name, he added: "There is no woman on the horizon that ought to be president next year, let's all agree on that."
     Thompson continued to refer to the next president as a man who should represent conservative principles and values, and should be examined "by what he believes and by where he's been and what he's done."
     Thompson told the small crowd at a southwestern Iowa restaurant that his record shows he's ready to be that man. He said that if elected, he would implement a flat income tax, save Social Security from bankruptcy, rebuild the military and stop illegal immigration.
     When asked to expound on his views on abortion rights, Thompson used a football analogy to explain why instead of a push for a federal ban there is a fight to put the decision in the hands of the states.
     "We're on the 10-yard line, and it's like if we can't score a touchdown on our own 10-yard line ... we won't run a play that will take us to the other guy's 20-yard line," he said. "I'm talking about doing something that can get done."
     After that, Thompson said "we can collect our marbles and see where we are then."

Texas Math Professor Slams Tenn. Lottery

     The Tennessee Lottery is still selling some scratch-off tickets even though all of the top prizes those tickets could fetch already have been claimed, and Tennessee's state lottery also doesn't spell out on its Web site the full cash value of the Powerball jackpot, according to the findings of a recent study by lottery critic and Texas mathematics professor Gerald Busald.
     Using his math students to rank state lotteries based on factors including full disclosure, the study ranked Tennessee in last place on a list of the 43 government-run lotteries.
     A revamping of Tennessee's lottery scholarship program is expected to be a hot topic in the state legislative session that begins in early January.

Consumer Confidence Shows Modest Gain in December

     The nation's consumers grew slightly more confident in December despite underlying concerns about the health of the U.S. economy.
     The New York-based Conference Board said Thursday that its Consumer Confidence Index advanced to 88.6 in December from a revised 87.8 in November. It was the first increase since July.
     Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said the gain in the overall index "was due solely to an increase in the expectations index."
     This reading, which measures consumers' outlook over the next six months, rose to 75.5 in December from 69.1 the month before.
     "Consumers' short-term outlook regarding business conditions, employment, inflation and stock prices improved marginally," Franco said.
     Still, she added, "Persistent declines in the present situation index indicate the economy is still losing momentum."
     That index, which measures how consumers feel now about the economy, has been weakening since July and fell again in December to 108.3 from 115.7 the month before.
     This reflects growing pessimism about the job market - a key contributor to consumer confidence and consumer spending.
     A growing number of those surveyed say jobs are hard to get and fewer say jobs are plentiful, Franco said.
     Confidence levels are being watched closely because they can presage changes in spending patterns; consumer spending makes up about two-thirds of the U.S. economy.

Elvis Tribute Contest To Continue in '08

     Because of an overwhelming response to the first annual Official Elvis Tribute Artist, Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. will hold the contest again in 2008, the company said Thursday.
     As with 2007, contestants will be selected at existing Elvis tribute artist contests, along with fairs, festivals and other venues holding new contests.
      Licensed festivals from Australia to New York have confirmed plans to hold preliminary contests so far, with more sites expected to follow. The qualifying rounds and finals will be held in Memphis during Elvis Week in Memphis, Aug. 9-17.
     Judges will be looking for the "best representation of the Elvis legacy" in talent, appearance, performance, stage presence and each contestant's overall tribute to Elvis. The best overall performer will be named the "2008 Elvis Tribute Artist of the Year."
     The 2007 winner of the contest was 38-year-old Shawn Klush, who was selected in the "Viva Las Franklin" preliminary contest in Franklin, Tenn.
     For additional information on the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and Elvis Week, visit www.elvis.com or email ultimate@elvis.com.
PROPERTY SALES 27 150 2,415
MORTGAGES 57 228 2,835
BUILDING PERMITS 157 441 6,509
BANKRUPTCIES 61 133 1,920