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VOL. 123 | NO. 152 | Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Daily Digest

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Big Creek Golf LLC Buys Millington Land

The new owners of Big Creek Golf Course in Millington have acquired 22 lots and some land in the Woodstock Hill Subdivision adjacent to the golf course at 6195 Woodstock-Cuba Road. Big Creek Golf LLC paid $1.2 million for the lots and land, buying it July 28 from Tapp Enterprises Inc.

Big Creek’s ownership group, which bought the 303-acre golf course last year for an undisclosed amount, includes entertainer Justin Timberlake.

A call to Big Creek Golf LLC’s design and engineering firm, Davis Patrikios Criswell Inc., which is speaking on behalf of the owners, was not immediately returned.

But design plans submitted earlier this year to the city-county Land Use Control Board call for removing the clubhouse, maintenance facility, swimming pool, tennis courts and parking lot from the property. The group would replace all those items with a clubhouse, cart cottage and maintenance facility built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Timberlake confirmed these “green” plans in a New York Times article Monday when asked about why he bought the golf course.

In the question-and-answer format, Timberlake said: “I found out that the course in Memphis, where my dad taught me to hit my first golf ball when I was 11, was going to be auctioned off and turned into a suburban development. So we scooped in and bought it. We are going to solar-power the clubhouse and use eco-friendly sod. I’m learning more about the environment from this project than I ever have.”

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Council Could Consider Police Residency

The Memphis City Council today could discuss residential requirements for police officers hired by the city of Memphis.

A proposed resolution calls for allowing persons employed by the city’s Division of Police Services, after the date the resolution is approved, to be exempted from the residency provisions of the Memphis City Charter and allowed to reside within 20 miles of the Shelby County line. Each nonresident will have to agree to pay an annual fee to be deducted by payroll on a monthly basis, for as long as the person resides outside of the city and for as long as the person is employed by the city.

The issue is expected to go before voters in the general election to be held Nov. 4.

Council members also are expected to discuss a resolution to transfer the hiring process of police officers to the Human Resources Division.

They also are expected to approve a hotel waiver for Hyatt Place at 7902 Giacosa Place.

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

Weyerhaeuser Completes $16 Million Sale

Timber and wood products producer Weyerhaeuser Co. reported Monday it completed the sale of its Containerboard Packaging and Recycling business to International Paper Co. for $6 billion in cash.

Weyerhaeuser officials said the company plans to use a substantial portion of the money to pay down debt.

International Paper said it would realize a $1.4 billion tax benefit.

International Paper also expects to improve profit by $400 million annually from the acquisition because of cost savings, optimizing product mix and increased efficiency.

The company expects to see at least 40 percent of the improvement within a year.

The transaction includes nine containerboard mills, 72 packaging locations, 10 specialty-packaging plants, four kraft bag and sack

locations and 19 recycling facilities.

About 14,000 employees will transfer from Weyerhaeuser to forest products maker International Paper Co.

Factory Orders Post Six-Month High Increase

Orders to U.S. factories shot up at the fastest pace in six months in June, reflecting big increases in petroleum prices and heavy demand for military equipment.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported Monday that orders rose by 1.7 percent in June, the best showing since a 1.9 percent rise in December.

The June increase was more than double the gain that economists had been expecting and was led by a 5.2 percent surge in orders for primary metals such as steel. Orders for defense capital goods soared by 16.9 percent, the second consecutive double-digit gain, reflecting heavy demand for military hardware to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Demand for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, rose by 0.8 percent in June while orders for nondurable goods were up by 2.5 percent. The rise in nondurable goods was driven by big increases for refined petroleum products, reflecting the big surge in energy prices.

Demand for transportation products fell by 2.7 percent in June reflecting a 25 percent plunge in demand for commercial aircraft, an extremely volatile category.

Orders for motor vehicles showed a 2.3 percent rise in June following declines in both April and May. Analysts do not expect the rise in auto demand to last, given the struggles U.S. auto companies are facing with the weak economy and soaring energy prices.

MLGW to Hold Neighborhood Conference

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division will host a conference for neighborhood leaders Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The conference is designed to help build stronger neighborhoods. It will address how communities can prepare for an aging population, create arts programs and enrichment centers for youth, collaborate and strengthen communities, finance energy-efficient home improvements and obtain reverse mortgages.

Some of the featured speakers include Memphis Office of Community Enhancement Director Earnest Dobbins and Deputy Director Janet Hooks; Kathryn Coulter, Aging Commission of the Mid-South; and James Williams from Hope Fellowship Baptist Church.

The conference will be held at the MLGW Training Center, 4949 Raleigh-LaGrange Road. Cost is $5 per participant and includes lunch.

The final day to register is Wednesday at www.mlgw.com.

Hope Community Opens Midtown Branch

Hope Community Credit Union, which opened a small office off Poplar Avenue in 2006, has opened a new branch in Midtown at 1451 Madison Ave.

The new branch makes the credit union’s products more accessible to a broader swath of Memphis area residents, who can take advantage of services that include improved access to savings accounts, IRAs and ATM machines.

The branch celebrated its grand opening over the weekend with a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday and a community fair Saturday.

Knox Walkup Presented Francis X. Bellotti Award

Former Tennessee Attorney General Knox Walkup was presented the Francis X. Bellotti Award during the National Association of Attorneys General 2008 summer meeting in Providence, R.I.

Walkup is only the seventh recipient of the award, which recognizes a former attorney general whose work has furthered the mission of the nationwide attorneys general organization.

The recipient is chosen by attorneys general currently in office.

Walkup’s career in public service has included state and federal government positions in Tennessee and Washington, and prior to his appointment as Tennessee’s attorney general, he served as solicitor general of Tennessee and as chief counsel and staff director of a United States Senate subcommittee.

Walkup currently is a partner in the law firm Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP.

Scripps Q2 Profit Down 47 Percent

The E.W. Scripps Co.’s second-quarter profit fell 47 percent compared to last year due to sharp newspaper revenue declines and the cost of spinning off its digital and cable network businesses, the media company reported recently.

This is the last quarter for which the Cincinnati-based company, which owns newspapers, TV stations, cable networks and Web sites, including The Commercial Appeal newspaper, will report consolidated results. On July 1, the start of its third quarter, the company formed Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. with its cable networks and online shopping sites.

Combined net income in the quarter fell to $51.2 million, or 94 cents per share, from $97.5 million, or $1.78 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue was 4 percent higher, at $664 million, on increased ad sales at its HGTV, Food Network and DIY channels.

Separating the business segments, newspaper revenue fell 13 percent to $144 million and profits there fell to $16.3 million. The television group saw a 22 percent decline in profits to $18.3 million on $80.5 million in revenue, which was 5 percent below second-quarter TV station revenue in 2007.

Looking ahead, E.W. Scripps reported that it expects newspaper revenue to fall 13 percent to 15 percent in the third quarter, but it expects broadcast TV revenue to rise 15 percent to 17 percent. Still, the boost from TV won’t be enough to offset softness in print. Scripps’ assets also include Scripps Howard News Service in Washington.

PROPERTY SALES 91 293 13,051
MORTGAGES 58 168 8,171
BUILDING PERMITS 99 744 30,678
BANKRUPTCIES 34 156 6,220