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VOL. 123 | NO. 73 | Monday, April 14, 2008

Daily Digest

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Cordova Automotive Shop Sells for $1.8 Million

     The Christian Brothers Automotive service center property at 2859 Houston Levee Road, just south of U.S. 64 in Cordova, has sold for $1.8 million. The deal closed March 31.
     The seller was Christian Brothers Houston Levee LP, the local affiliate of Houston-based Christian Brothers Automotive Corp., which operates four service centers in the Memphis metropolitan area, according to the company's Web site.
     The shop was bought by Kenneth Wayne Gosliner and Joan Rochelle Gosliner of San Rafael, Calif., acting as trustees for the Gosliner Family Revocable Inter Vivos Trust. The buyers also took out a $1.2 million loan through Standard Insurance Co.
     The 4,858-square-foot auto service garage was built in 2006 and sits on .78 acres on the west side of Houston Levee. The Shelby County Assessor's 2007 appraisal was $650,700.
     Calls to both the buyers and seller were not returned by press time.

Commission to Consider Charter Changes

     Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners will consider approving proposed County Charter changes today for the Aug. 7 countywide election ballot.
     Some of those changes include whether to limit the number of terms some elected county officials could serve.
     During last week's committee meetings, Commissioner Sidney Chism, who favors only voluntary term limits, said he would bring the topic up at today's meeting of the full commission.
     Commissioners also will attempt to settle the issue of changing the county's procedure for filing a vacancy in the mayor's office.
     Also on the agenda is the final vote to promote open government by requiring that all boards, commissions and authorities establish a system to make agendas, resolutions, minutes and other records of meetings available on the Internet.
     The meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Shelby County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

FTA Awards $1.4M Grant To MATA for Terminal

     The Federal Transit Administration has awarded the Memphis Area Transit Authority a grant of nearly $1.4 million.
     MATA will use the funds to supplement other grant programs for the construction of the South Intermodal Terminal near Memphis International Airport. The new facility will serve as a transfer center for MATA's buses and will be the local operations center for Greyhound Bus Line.

Frontier Airlines Files for Bankruptcy

     Frontier Airlines sought bankruptcy protection Friday, the fourth carrier to do so over the past several weeks as exorbitant fuel prices eat into earnings and a weak U.S. economy keeps more people grounded.
     Frontier, which added flights to and from Memphis last year, said it will continue operations as it reorganizes.
     Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc., the low-fare carrier's parent, said it was forced into bankruptcy after its principal credit card processor announced it would begin withholding a greater share of proceeds from ticket sales.
     Denver-based Frontier said it will continue to operate a full schedule of flights, and pay suppliers and employees as it reorganizes. The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York prevents the credit card processor from increasing its "holdback," Frontier CEO Sean Menke said.
     "By filing for Chapter 11, we will now have the time and legal protection necessary to obtain additional financing and enhance our liquidity," Menke said in a statement. "Fortunately, we believe that we currently have adequate cash on hand to meet our operating needs while we take steps to further strengthen our company."
     ATA Airlines, Skybus and Aloha Airgroup also have filed for bankruptcy in the past three weeks, but Menke said Frontier's reasons for doing so were different.
     "Unfortunately, our principal credit card processor very recently and unexpectedly informed us that, beginning on April 11, it intended to start withholding significant proceeds received from the sale of Frontier tickets," he said.
     "This change in established practices would have represented a material change to our cash forecasts and business plan. Unchecked, it would have put severe restraints on Frontier's liquidity and would have made it impossible for us to continue normal operations."
     The credit card processor, First Data Corp., did not immediately comment.
     John Stemmler, who heads the Frontier Airline Pilots Association, said First Data's decision was a shock to the airline.
     "Had it not been for First Data, we really had our act together," he said.
     Stemmler said he believes the airline's 700 pilots will continue to support management.
     The creditor listed in bankruptcy court documents as having by far the largest general unsecured claim against Frontier was Wells Fargo, with $93.5 million.

Dollar General Makes Management Changes

     Dollar General Corp. has announced some senior management changes as part of its refocused operating plan.
     The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based company announced earlier this year it has begun a series of initiatives intended to build on its proven strengths while also introducing greater operating discipline and a more strategic approach to growth.
     David L. Beré, who most recently served as president and chief operating officer, has been named president and chief strategy officer, a newly created role. In this new position, Beré will work closely with the senior management team to ensure effective execution of the 2008 business initiatives and will assist CEO Rick Dreiling in identifying and implementing strategic initiatives going forward.
     In addition, Beryl Buley, division president of merchandising, marketing and supply chain, and Wayne Gibson, senior vice president of Dollar General Market, have resigned effective Tuesday.
     Dollar General already has begun a search for a new head of merchandising. In the interim, Dollar General's merchandising group, which encompasses all merchandising, marketing and supply chain functions, will report directly to Dreiling. Operational functions of Dollar General Market stores will report to Kathleen Guion, division president of store operations and store development.

Legal Administrators Names New Board

     The Memphis chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators has announced its new board.
     Kathy Pleasants has been named president, Tona King has been named president-elect, Bonna Canale has been named vice president, Sandra Khouri has been named secretary and Greg Dickey has been named treasurer.
     The ALA's goal is to improve the quality of management in legal services organizations, and promote and enhance the competence and professionalism of legal administrators and all members of the management team. The Memphis chapter is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Tennessee First Lady Honored for Victim Service

     Tennessee first lady Andrea Conte was presented with the National Crime Victim Service Award from U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey at a ceremony Friday in the nation's capital. The national award honors "extraordinary efforts in direct service to crime victims."
     Conte, a former victim of violent crime, has become a leading victims' rights advocate in Tennessee and around the country.
     The award was the prelude to National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which began Sunday and runs through Friday, an annual observance sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime in the U.S. Department of Justice.
     In 1993, Conte founded You Have the Power, Know How to Use It, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about crime and justice issues. The group produces documentary videos and resource guidebooks on topics such as elder abuse, domestic violence and child sexual abuse. The videos are distributed nationwide to law enforcement agencies, schools, civic groups and therapists. In addition, You Have the Power conducts numerous public programs across Tennessee.
     Conte also helped establish "A Tennessee Season to Remember," an annual memorial event honoring Tennesseans who have lost their lives to violent crime. The ceremony allows families to seek healing and fellowship by coming together in remembrance of lost loved ones. Held each December, the governor and first lady greet family members as they hang ornaments on memorial wreaths displayed at the Capitol throughout the holiday season.
PROPERTY SALES 56 56 9,658
MORTGAGES 49 49 10,665
BUILDING PERMITS 212 212 21,170
BANKRUPTCIES 49 49 6,157