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VOL. 123 | NO. 75 | Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Daily Digest

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Baum Files Loans For Arlington's Windsor Place

     P. Baum & Co. has filed two construction loans totaling $1.7 million to build 13 homes in the new Windsor Place subdivision in Arlington. The loans, one for $1.1 million and one for $585,000, were filed Friday through Commercial Bank and Trust Co.
     Windsor Place is a new Arlington development south of Forrest Street just inside the Shelby-Fayette border. Phase I contains 50 lots on 37.3 acres.
     P. Baum is the first of four builders to begin construction in Phase I of the two-phase Windsor Place and is contracted to build on 25 lots. Baum bought the initial 13 lots from developer Forrest Road LLC for $850,000.
     The company's homes will be priced from $350,000 to $375,000 and sized from 3,300 to 3,700 square feet, said Lee Baum, who runs the company with his father, Phillip. They are pleased with the decision to buy in Windsor Place.
     "The location is perfect there," Lee Baum said. "We're counting on it being a big seller. I think Arlington's done pretty well even with times being slow like they are. I think it's sold pretty well."
     Forrest Road also recently sold 13 lots to Reid Homes Inc. for $845,000 and 12 lots to Hallmark Builders Inc. for $845,000.

CCC Market Research Cmte. To Meet Today

     The Center City Commission Market Research RFP Selection Committee will meet today at 2 p.m.
     The committee will review proposals for market research.
     The meeting will be held at CCC, 114 N. Main St.

Delta, Northwest Still Face Obstacles

     If Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. are going to complete their deal to create the world's largest airline, they'll first have unions to cajole, politicians to placate, and antitrust regulators to convince.
     Two of Northwest's largest unions immediately declared their opposition.
     Most importantly, the airlines will need antitrust approval from federal regulators. In 2001, an attempted merger of United Airlines and US Airways fell apart amid antitrust concerns. Executives at Delta and Northwest said they are aiming to close their deal by the end of this year, which would be before the end of the merger-friendly Bush administration.
     The takeover announced Monday calls for the combined airline to be named Delta, remain based in Atlanta, and be run by Delta CEO Richard Anderson.
     The Memphis Regional Chamber weighed in on the merger Tuesday morning, saying in a statement it strongly supports the agreement.
     "The new airline would better serve the consumer, provide job security and growth, make the aviation industry more stable and benefit the U.S. economy overall," the chamber said in the statement. "Most significantly, the greater Memphis region would experience broader reach and provide greater access to boost economic development."
     The statement went on to say the chamber will "vigorously support" the merger to the federal Transportation and Justice departments and will communicate with local leaders and organizations to gain support.
     The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority released a separate statement Tuesday, also announcing support for the merger.
     As for the unions, the airlines tried something novel: They tried to get their pilots to agree on a joint contract and seniority beforehand. They failed to get an accord on seniority, though.
     Delta made a deal with its pilots over the weekend, leaving the Northwest pilots to work out something later. On Monday, Northwest pilots declared their opposition to the combination "as it stands," perhaps leaving room for a deal later.
     The Delta pilot agreement, which still needs rank-and-file ratification, extends its existing collective bargaining agreement through 2012 and gives Delta pilots 3.5 percent of the new company.
     That was good for Delta. But Northwest pilots concluded it was an arrangement to "try to disadvantage the Northwest pilots economically and with respect to our seniority," Northwest pilot chairman Dave Stevens wrote in a memo late Monday.
     Delta said it will use its best efforts to reach a combined Delta-Northwest pilot agreement, including resolution of pilot seniority integration, before the merger closes.
     Northwest didn't consult with the union that represents its baggage handlers, ramp workers and ticket agents, said Joseph Tiberi, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
     The announcement Monday includes some details that should help build political support. The airlines said they would close none of their hubs, including Northwest's Memphis hub. And they said they would try to limit job cuts. The two airlines employ more than 80,000 people.

Latino Market Examined At Talk Shoppe

     Julia Barreda Willhite, owner of GoBilingual.com, will give business owners a glimpse of what it takes to do business in the Latino market.
     She is the guest speaker at today's Talk Shoppe event, which begins at 9 a.m. at the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, 3693 Tyndale St.
     She is expected to focus on the real estate market, but also will cover general business tactics.
     "She is very popular and we've had her before on a couple of different occasions and she's very professional, and she does cover a lot of basic tactics on just general business working with the Latino market," said First Tennessee Home Loans' Jo Garner, who sponsors the seminars.
     Garner said she regularly surveys attendees to see what types of things they want to learn about. After a recent survey, she realized there's an interest for wanting to do business in the Latino and Asian markets as those populations are growing in the Memphis area.
     She is looking for a speaker who can provide expertise on the Asian market.

District Attorney's Office Adds Four to Staff

     The Shelby County District Attorney General's Office has added four staff members, including a new criminal investigator and a human resources manager.
     Paul Boyd has been appointed human resources manager for the office. With more than 20 years of human resources management experience, he most recently served as the administrator of human resources for Shelby County Government.
     Tom Helldorfer is the new criminal investigator. He recently retired as a sergeant from the Memphis Police Department after serving there for almost 30 years.
     David F. Lytal has been appointed special agent in charge of the West Tennessee Violent Crime and Drug Task Force for the 30th Judicial District. Lytal recently served as the U.S. Program director for the International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok, Thailand.
     And Chris Ford has been appointed as an administrator overseeing the implementation of the office's new case management system and the management of support staff. He has 15 years of retail management, music and electronics experience.

City to Offer $2.5M in Utility Assistance

     The city of Memphis is offering a bit of help to anyone having trouble paying their utility bills. Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton has announced that the city has set aside $2.5 million in utility assistance for city residents who need help paying their bill from Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.
     The money will be distributed from the city rather than through the utility company. City residents can call 575-7200 to schedule an appointment to become eligible for the utility aid. Customers approved by the city of Memphis Energy/Utility Assistance
     program will then be told to contact MLGW's Customer Care Center to make payment arrangements.

Main Street Collierville Receives Nat'l Recognition

     Main Street Collierville has been accredited as a 2008 National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center.
     Main Street Collierville joins more than 700 other Main Street revitalization programs being recognized.
     The organization's performance was evaluated by the Department of Economic & Community Development of the state of Tennessee Main Street program, which is the coordinating organization for Main Street programs in Tennessee.
PROPERTY SALES 91 293 13,051
MORTGAGES 58 168 8,171
BUILDING PERMITS 99 744 30,678
BANKRUPTCIES 34 156 6,220