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VOL. 123 | NO. 162 | Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Daily Digest

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G’Town Medical Building Sells for $2.3 Million

Charlotte, N.C.-based Bayrock Investment Co. has bought the medical office building at 8040 Wolf River Blvd. in Germantown for $2.3 million from Greenbriar Holdings LLC. The deal closed in late July and was recorded last week by the Register’s office.

Before the sale took place, the property was quitclaimed, or transferred, from Landstone Greenbriar Partners to Greenbriar Holdings.

Bayrock financed the purchase with a $10.1 million loan that doubles as a construction loan and includes provisions for improvements to the property.

Calls to the Bayrock representative listed on the trust deed were not returned by press time.

The 40,592-square-foot building was constructed in 2007; it sits on 2.94 acres on the north side of Wolf River Boulevard where it meets Kimbrough Road west of Germantown Parkway.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2008 appraisal is $6 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

City Council to Discuss Police Residency

Memphis City Council members today will vote on an ordinance to amend the city charter to allow people employed with the Division of Police Services to live within 20 miles of the Shelby County line.

Each nonresident would be required to pay an annual fee that would be deducted from payroll on a monthly basis, as long as they live outside the city.

If approved by the council, the measure will go before voters in the Nov. 4 general election.

There also will be a public hearing regarding a planned development on the north side of East Shelby Drive near Riverdale Road.

ETI Corp. wants to build a community recreation center on 6.42 acres.

The meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 125 N. Main St.

See Page 10 for agenda.

Tunica Tourism Commission Adds Three Members

The Tunica County Tourism Commission has added three members.

They include Gold Strike Casino Resort vice president and general manager George Goldhoff, Sam’s Town Casino vice president and general manager George Stadler and lifelong Tunica resident Delois Hardiman.

The tourism commission’s operating arm is the Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau, which develops an annual coordinated effort to market Tunica as a premier entertainment, vacation and travel destination.

Brighton Man Pleads Guilty To Fraud in Cotton Scheme

Dennis O’Connor paid the bills for the construction of a new cotton plant in Millington after the Global Cotton Recovery plant in Covington was heavily damaged by fire in 2003.

But O’Connor also was a secret partner in another company that located cotton gin equipment for Global Cotton.

O’Connor of Brighton, Tenn., pleaded guilty late last week in Memphis federal court to one count of fraud conspiracy and one count of filing a false income tax return in what amounted to a $143,450 scam on Global Cotton’s insurer, Hartford Insurance Co.

The scheme ran from the fire in February 2003 to June 2007, according to the criminal information, which is the charging of a defendant and the defendant’s guilty plea to the charges in the same hearing, filed in the case.

As an employee of Calcot Limited, a cotton cooperative that operates Global Cotton Recovery’s plant in Covington, O’Connor submitted the paperwork for the construction of the new Millington facility. O’Connor admitted in court last week that he turned in fake invoices to Hartford for equipment that was never bought or which he was able to inflate the price on through Specialty Gin & Textile Equipment, the shell company he was a partner in.

O’Connor and his partner in the shell company, who is not named in the criminal information, would then split the profits.

O’Connor also has admitted filing a false federal income tax return in 2004 that left out more than $143,000 in gross income.

He will be sentenced Jan. 8 by U.S. District Court Judge Jon P. McCalla.

Two Elected To AutoZone Board

Robert R. Grusky and William C. Crowley have been elected to the AutoZone Inc. board of directors. Both men were elected to the board in accordance with an agreement by ESL Investments Inc., AutoZone’s largest shareholders.

The agreement called for adding three new directors to the board, two of whom were to be identified by ESL.

Grusky is the founder of investment firm Hope Capital Management LLC and co-founder of private equity firm New Mountain Capital LLC. Grusky also has served as president of RSL Investments Corp. and has served in a number of capacities in the Mergers and Acquisitions department and principal investment area of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He is currently a director of AutoNation Inc. and Strayer Education Inc.

Crowley has served as a director of Sears Holdings Corp. and has been executive vice president of Sears Holdings Corp. since March 2005 and as chief administrative officer since September 2005 and chairman of the board of Sears Canada Inc. since December 2006.

Crowley also has been president and chief operating officer of ESL Investments Inc. since 1999 and prior to that was a managing director at Goldman, Sachs & Co. He also serves as director of AutoNation Inc.

A third board member will be announced by December.

Airline Group Expects Labor Day Travel Decline

An airline trade group expects Labor Day travel to drop by 5.7 percent this year, as rising airfares and schedule cuts keep travelers home.

The Air Transport Association of America projected on Monday that 16 million paying passengers will fly globally on U.S. airlines between Aug. 27 and Sept. 3. That would be down 5.7 percent from the 17 million passengers during the same period last year.

The projection includes a 6.5 percent drop in domestic travel and a 1 percent increase in international travel.

The ATA reported that jet fuel prices averaged $160.47 per barrel from June 1 to Aug. 12 – up 79 percent from the same period last year.

In addition to higher airfares and tighter schedules, the ATA reported that travel is being discouraged by higher energy prices, which have left consumers with less money to spend.

“We expect airplanes to be less full and skies to be less crowded this Labor Day holiday,” said ATA President and CEO James C. May in a prepared statement. “Economic uncertainty and the heavy hit from sky-high energy prices mean that many vacation and business travelers are choosing to stay closer to home – if they go at all.”

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 98 238 15,862
MORTGAGES 122 284 18,332
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 21 2,426
BUILDING PERMITS 137 452 32,966
BANKRUPTCIES 62 178 10,191
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 73 5,251
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 28 92 6,240
MARRIAGE LICENSES 13 63 3,476

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