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VOL. 122 | NO. 32 | Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Daily Digest

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Black History Awards Day Set for Feb. 28

     For a little more than 30 years, people have celebrated Black History Month in America by researching and writing about well-known African-Americans who have made positive contributions to society.
     In schools across the country, children write reports about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks and other notable black Americans.
     This rite of passage found its roots in Carter G. Woodson, who helped the fraternity Omega Psi Phi promote Negro History Week in the 1920s. Some 50 years later, the week evolved into a month and became Black History Month.

Poplar/Mendenhall Retail Center Sells for $1.6 Million

     A 10,000-square-foot retail center near the busy Poplar Avenue/Mendenhall Road intersection has been sold to a California investor for $1.6 million.
     Prairie Creek LLC bought the 5007 Black Road property from Gallery Management LLC, financing the purchase with a $1.1 million loan through Standard Insurance Co.
     Built in 1987, the two-story building sits on about half an acre on the south side of Black Road east of Mendenhall. Nearby businesses include Wild Oats grocery store, Malco Paradiso theater and Houston's restaurant. The center itself is home to tenants such as Cafe Toscana and Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop.
     The seller, Gallery Management LLC, bought it in February 2002 for $1.1 million; the Shelby County Assessor's 2006 appraisal was $1.2 million.
     Attempts to reach the Folsom, Calif.-based investor who manages Prairie Creek LLC were unsuccessful by press time.

Sirius, XM Seek Merger Despite Regulatory Hurdles

     XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. announced Monday they have reached a merger agreement. Rumors have flown for months about a possible merger between the two rival companies.
     The deal faces a major obstacle in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provision that specifically bans the two companies from combining. The FCC has the power to change that rule if it chooses, and any arrangement has to pass an antitrust review by the U.S. Department of Justice.
     FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said the burden is on XM and Sirius to prove consumers would benefit from the merger.
     "The companies would need to demonstrate that consumers would clearly be better off with both more choice and affordable prices," Martin said in an Associated Press interview.
     If the companies merge, the result will be the only U.S. satellite radio provider.
     But representatives from both companies plan to argue to the Justice Department that they not only compete with each other, but also with traditional radio stations and a growing market of audio choices, such as portable mp3 players.
     The National Association of Broadcasters, an organization that represents radio companies, released a statement Monday urging federal regulators to prevent the merger.

Regional Radio Show Takes Off in Memphis

     The Internet-based independent radio channel BreakThru Radio announced a new regional show earlier this month that will feature exclusively artists from the Memphis region and that will be hosted by prominent local blogger Rachel Hurley of "Rachel and the City" fame.
     The show, "10 Degrees of Memphis," will air every six weeks and join the list of BreakThru Radio's regional shows from across the country and around the world.
     Hurley, a Memphian who has contributed to spin.com, Imagine Magazine and previously written a local music column for The Commercial Appeal, is joining BTR to pick the best independent music in Memphis.
     BTR's daily audience includes listeners in more than a dozen countries and offers on-demand programming. It may be heard at www.breakthruradio.com.

Vesta Home Expo Begins This Weekend at Agricenter

     Home builders can feel like kids in a candy shop this weekend at the 2007 Vesta Home Expo, hosted by the Memphis Area Home Builders Association Feb. 23-25 at Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove Road.
     The expo features exhibitors displaying the newest products, materials and services offered by area home industry suppliers. About 10,000 construction professionals, prospective homebuyers and existing homeowners considering expansion or remodeling of their homes are expected to attend.
     The title sponsor for this year's show is Memphis-based Phoenix Unequaled Entertainment Corp., which specializes in the conceptual design, sales, installation and service of high-end custom home electronics systems.
     The builder night sponsor is General Shale Brick, a company that offers more than 250 types of brick in a full range of colors and textures as well as special shapes and details, a variety of landscaping materials, concrete masonry units and brick sculptures.
     The expo is open to the public. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $8, and tickets are available at Agricenter's West Pavilion and C-Wing entrances. Senior Day is Friday, Feb. 23, with a discounted ticket price of $7 for people ages 55 and older. Admission is free for all active military personnel, firefighters and police officers with proper identification.
     Call the Memphis Area Home Builders Association at 756-4500 or visit www.mahba.com for more information.

Methodist First To Use Luminetx Device

     Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare has implemented the VeinViewer by Luminetx in multiple sites. The hospital system plans to use nine of the units in seven of its Memphis locations.
     By using the VeinViewer devices at its facilities, Methodist LeBonheur becomes the first health care system in the world to use the technology in different locations.
     The VeinViewer is a device that uses an infra-red camera to highlight blood, and then projects the image onto the skin. The device enables physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to find veins easily and avoid sticking patients several times.
     "The VeinViewer is a revolutionary technology that will greatly enhance patient care, safety and comfort," said Gary S. Shorb, president and CEO, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, in a statement.
     To read a full story on the VeinViewer device, see our Nov. 27 Trends & Analysis Focus at www.memphisdailynews.com.

Tactical Magic Garners Statewide Honors

     The Memphis-based branding firm Tactical Magic received four awards at the recent juried exhibition of Tennessee's finest design at the Ten Show held in Chattanooga.
     Tactical Magic received a gold award, bronze award and two merit awards.
     The agency received the gold award in the brand and identity systems design category. The bronze was in the environmental design category and the merit awards were in the environmental design and brand and identity systems design categories.
     "We are grateful for this recognition," Tactical Magic design director Ben Johnson said. "Every day, we're trying to do the best possible work for our clients. To have our work recognized as among the best in the entire state is really exciting."
     Ten Show is a statewide, juried graphic design exhibit showcasing work from Tennessee's top designers. The show features pieces ranging from book design to corporate logos.
     The firm's founder Trace Hallowell opened Tactical Magic in September 2001 after working for 13 years with local advertising agency Thompson & Co.

PROPERTY SALES 51 223 1,152
MORTGAGES 55 189 861
BUILDING PERMITS 149 541 2,593