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VOL. 122 | NO. 123 | Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Daily Digest

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Mississippi Co. Builds Local 'Tunnel Washes'

     Car Wash USA has filed a construction loan for an express tunnel car wash at 3405 Austin Peay Highway, the latest of several Car Wash USA locations in the Memphis area. Working under the name Car Wash USA Express 3405 LLC, the company financed the project with a $1.5 million loan through Paragon National Bank.
     The limited liability company bought the property June 15 from JTP Ventures LLC and SLS Ventures LLC for $505,000.
     An express tunnel wash is one in which a queue of cars is pulled through on a conveyer machine, said Kerry Sewell, executive vice president of Car Wash Superstore. Byhalia, Miss.-based Car Wash Superstore is a car wash supply company owned by Ray Holley, the man also behind Car Wash USA.
     Sewell said the conveyer ride takes about three minutes.
     The company has a Car Wash USA location on Goodman Road in Olive Branch and is building one on U.S. 64, he added.
     "What you're seeing with tunnels is ... a demographic change in which more women use tunnels than they do self-service because (tunnels) have a controlled environment - at least that's what the marketing has shown on it," Sewell said.

Center City Commission Names New Officers

     The Center City Commission (CCC) board of directors, through unanimous vote, named the new officers who will serve through June.
     Newly installed officers are Paul Morris, chair; Jennifer Hagerman, vice chair; Edward Stanton III, secretary; and Edith Kelly Green, treasurer.
     The new officers will preside over the 20-member board, which includes 10 public-sector and 10 private-sector appointees. And, in accordance with Center City Development Corp. (CCDC) bylaws, the CCC chair, vice chair and secretary will serve on the CCDC board of directors during their tenure in office.

Chandler Ehrlich Names Rooker as President

     Memphis marketing agency Chandler Ehrlich has named long-time partner Lynne Rooker president of the agency. Former agency president Jerry Ehrlich will become chief executive officer. The new leadership roles are the continuation of a succession plan initiated in early 2001.
     Ehrlich assumes the responsibilities of CEO from Bob Chandler, who remains company chairman. Rooker was previously senior vice president and director of client services and has been an agency partner since 2002.
     The new leadership team is implementing an aggressive business growth plan, and will focus on further developing the agency's technology and public relations efforts to take advantage of digital and new media strategies.
     "As president, I am eager to build on the legacy of success at Chandler Ehrlich and lead our team of incredibly talented and energetic people into new territory," Rooker said. "This is an extremely exciting time to be in the marketing business. Our reach is bigger, and our tools and tactics are unlike anything we've experienced before. We are ahead of the curve in the marketing industry and I'm looking forward to keeping Chandler Ehrlich in the forefront of that movement."

Regional Law Enforcement Could See $2M in Govt. Funds

     The Memphis Regional Law Enforcement Project is in line to receive $2 million in funding thanks to the Fiscal Year 2008 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill, which was passed by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee last week.
     The Senate version of the bill now must be considered by the full U.S. Senate.
     "The Memphis community is vital to the economic future and stability of Tennessee," said U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., in a statement. "Making sure that it is a safe, prosperous place to live and work requires coordination between all levels of government."
     The Memphis Regional Law Enforcement Project is led by the University of Memphis and combines law enforcement from the City of Memphis, Shelby County, the State District Attorney General and the U.S. District Attorney to address the growing gang problem in the Memphis area.

Mandle Named Director Of FedEx Institute

     Shaye R. Mandle has been named the executive director of the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis. He will begin work July 31.
     He comes to the university from the Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), where he led the strategic business activities of SAIC's Reconnaissance and Surveillance Operation.
     "We are excited about having Shaye Mandle join the University of Memphis in this capacity to work with Institute Chairman Doug Hurley and our faculty," said U of M President Shirley Raines in a statement. "Shaye's past successes in Illinois and Chicago were with projects that connected university researchers and business opportunities, particularly in the technology fields."
     Mandle began his career as a district director for Dennis Hastert, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Later, he served as chief executive for two technology-focused public policy and economic development organizations, the East-West Corporate Corridor Association (EWCCA) and the Illinois Coalition. The EWCCA is the largest business advocacy organization in the Chicago area, and the Illinois Coalition is a public-private partnership advocacy group for science- and technology-based economic development.
     Mandle also has practiced law in Illinois and worked as a legislative liaison to the Illinois Department of Revenue for Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar.
     He has served as a regional judge for the White House Fellows program and has taught or been involved in higher education initiatives at a number of universities.

Businesses Slow to Accept Cover Tennessee Insurance

     Memphis businesses have been slower than other cities to sign up for the state's new Cover Tennessee health insurance program, state data show.
     As of late May, 24 people were enrolled in the program for small businesses in Shelby County compared to 108 in Davidson County, which includes Nashville. A total of 1,038 people were enrolled statewide. The statewide figure stood at 6,013 as of June 22.
     But Shelby County still lags the rest of the state, and Tennessee Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz came to Memphis recently to promote the program.
     Launched in March, CoverTN is limited to workers employed by participating small businesses. To be eligible, companies may employ no more than 25 workers, at least half of whom earn less than $41,000 per year.
     The plan calls for the state, workers and employers to each pay one-third of the average monthly premium of $150.
     CoverTN is one element of the Cover Tennessee plan that includes programs to cover children and people with pre-existing medical conditions. It also offers CoverRx, a prescription-drug plan for the uninsured or people who have insurance that doesn't cover drugs.
     Small-business owners have said the low acceptance in Memphis could reflect lack of awareness, the presence of alternative plans for the working poor and limited benefits under the CoverTN program.
     "Probably Nashville has greater enrollment than Memphis has had because they have had more programs to get the word out first," said Dennis Beatty, chairman of the board of the Small Business Chamber of Commerce, a Memphis group.
     He called CoverTN a "great program" for people without insurance, but said more expensive commercial programs are better.
PROPERTY SALES 61 61 6,453
MORTGAGES 46 46 4,081
BUILDING PERMITS 113 113 15,474
BANKRUPTCIES 19 19 3,289