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VOL. 122 | NO. 192 | Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Daily Digest

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FaxonGillis Buys 27 Lots In Arlington Community

     White Oak General Partnership sold 27 lots in The Villages at Whiteoak for $1.4 million to FaxonGillis Homes Inc. on Sept. 21. The lots comprise phase one of the project, which is slated for completion by early 2009.
     In conjunction with the sale, Independent Bank modified a 2005 FaxonGillis loan, the original amount of which was $4 million. The lots were added as collateral, and the loan amount was increased to $5 million.
     At the northeast corner of Milton Wilson and Harrell roads, The Villages at Whiteoak phase one was approved in August for 100 lots on 41.6 acres.
     Josh Holley, principal broker and sales manager at FaxonGillis, said The Villages at Whiteoak is "a community within a community."
     "It's very sidewalk, front-porch living, very community oriented," he said. "It's very different than just your normal, everyday subdivision."
     The community has been designed with different price levels in mind, ranging from about $170,000 to $1 million, Holley said.
     The Villages at Whiteoak will consist of both front- and rear-load properties. In the first phase, the rear-load homes will be smaller, starting at about 1,800 square feet to attract first-time homebuyers and younger couples. Signature Properties and J. Sweeney Homes LLC are building the rear-load properties.
     The larger, front-load homes in the first phase will go up to about 3,700 square feet. These properties will be built by FaxonGillis and Chamberlain & McCreery.
     "(For) the additional phases, there's no set limit as to how big or how small they're going to be," Holley said.
     The Whiteoak development will include amenities such as a dog park, T-ball fields, a clubhouse and two pools. It also will have a retail component of 40,000 square feet, which will provide space for a convenience store or medical offices within the neighborhood.
     "We just broke ground, and we're building our models now, we're pouring the slab this week," Holley said. "We're just getting started in there, and we're excited about it."
     

BBB Launches Accreditation Initiative

     The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has launched a new initiative aimed at "reinforcing its position as a trusted adviser to consumers and businesses."
     The BBB has adopted the term "BBB Accredited Business" to replace "BBB Member." The word "accreditation" more closely defines what a business has achieved, said Randy Hutchison, president of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.
     Other changes include a new logo, a redesigned Web site (www.bbb.org) and a series of BBB how-to books. The BBB also unveiled a new tagline that Hutchinson said sums up the goal of all the changes: "Start With Trust."
     

MATA 911 Ads To Promote Proper Use

     Shelby County 911 Emergency Services will unveil a full-size ad today as the second phase of an initiative that was launched earlier this year to educate citizens on proper times to call the emergency phone number.
     Today in the north parking lot of Chandler Ehrlich marketing agency inside the Lenox Business Park, 6750 Lenox Center Court, the new Memphis Area Transit Authority bus wrap will be unveiled. The ads will run on MATA buses and bus shelters throughout the city. The MATA bus wrap phase will run for the duration of the 2007-2008 campaign.
     New television and public service announcements as well as outdoor billboards also have been springing up this week.
     Chandler Ehrlich has been working with Shelby County Emergency Communications to raise awareness about the consequences of unnecessary calls to 911.
     

Google Engineer To Speak in Memphis

     Google Inc. site reliability engineer Warren Turkal will address members of the Memphis chapter of the Public Relations Society of America today at the local chapter's professional development seminar.
     The seminar begins at 11:45 a.m. on the third floor of the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave.
     Turkal will discuss "Advanced Technology for Communicators."
     At Google Inc., Turkal is responsible for managing infrastructure that keeps Google's services online. He attended Christian
     Brothers University from 1999 to 2003 and graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in computer science. He is past president of Group of Linux Users, Memphis and regularly speaks on technical topics to fellow industry associates.
     For more information, contact PRSA Memphis professional development program chair Brandi Meeks at 737-0853 or brandi@howellmcquain.com.
     

Commercial Flights Return to Jackson

     Jackson, Tenn.'s, McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport will have commercial flights again beginning Nov. 18.
     Commercial service at the airport was halted in March when the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the airport's previous carrier, Smyrna, Tenn.-based RegionsAir, for federal training violations.
     Billings, Mont.-based Big Sky Airlines was supposed to take over service in Jackson in May, but could not hire enough pilots because of increased hiring at larger carriers, airline president Fred deLeeuw has said.
     Big Sky will be operating a daily flight to Cincinnati as a connection carrier for Delta Airlines. In Cincinnati passengers can connect to 112 nonstop destinations.
     Service is expected to increase to two flights per day toward the end of the year, said Cindy Melton, executive assistant for the Jackson-Madison County Airport Authority.
     Big Sky also will operate a connection service to Cincinnati for Delta from Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Owensboro, Ky., beginning the same day.
     "Delta's flights to Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Owensboro will reconnect three fast-growing heartland communities to the world with convenient connections to an expansive network of domestic and international destinations via our convenient and efficient Cincinnati hub," said David Bishko, Delta's vice president of alliances.
     Flights now are available for purchase.
     

Winter Heating Costs Expected to Rise

     U.S. households that depend on heating oil will see costs jump sharply this winter, while those using natural gas will experience more moderate price increases, the government said Tuesday.
     The retail cost of heating oil, which is used by 7 percent of American households, mostly in the Northeast, will surge 16.1 percent from a year ago to an average of $2.88 a gallon, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said.
     Heating a home with natural gas, which is used by 58 percent of households, will be 6.3 percent more expensive than last year, the government said, costing $13.14 per 1,000 cubic feet.
     Electricity, which heats 30 percent of American homes, will cost 2 percent more at 10.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. Propane costs will grow by 12.9 percent to $2.28 a gallon, an EIA spokesperson said. About 5 percent of households are heated with propane.
     

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 96 173 11,698
MORTGAGES 95 174 13,601
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 19 19 1,877
BUILDING PERMITS 291 387 24,551
BANKRUPTCIES 65 118 7,591
BUSINESS LICENSES 29 60 3,972
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 35 84 4,765
MARRIAGE LICENSES 18 38 2,582

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