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VOL. 123 | NO. 247 | Thursday, December 18, 2008

Daily Digest

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Quantum Hotels Borrows $1M for Lot

Quantum Hotels LLC on Dec. 8 took out a $1 million loan through Landmark Community Bank for property at 9822 Huff n Puff Road in Lakeland. Pramudhbhai Patel and Pravien Patel, who listed themselves as managing members of the company, signed the trust deed.

The property is a 2.74-acre lot on the north side of Huff n Puff Road east of Canada Road and is zoned for highway commercial district. The Shelby County Assessor’s 2008 appraisal is $1.3 million.

Pravien Patel is also associated with P&P Management Inc, which lists a Germantown address on the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Web site. The number found for that address was a fax. Patel also was listed on the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s site as the manager of a Ramada Ltd. in Atlanta. Calls to that number were not answered.

Pramudhbhai Patel is owner of the Rainbow Inn in Memphis, according to court documents from the Court of Criminal Appeals at Jackson, Tenn. Patel appeared as a witness in State of Tennessee v. Frank Smith in November 2006.

The Secretary of State lists a Germantown address for the principal office of Quantum Hotels LLC, and lists Patel as the registered agent at the Huff n Puff address. He is also listed as the registered agent for P&P Management, which lists an address on East Brooks Road for its principal office.

Other Patels are in the local hospitality business. The Shelby County District Attorney General’s Web site shows a Bhagu and Bhagwati Patel associated with Casey’s Motel at 1585 Elvis Presley Blvd. and a Kaniyala Patel associated with a Traveler’s Inn at 1776 Kirby-Whitten Road.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports


MLGW to Discuss Amending Manuals

The Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division board of directors today will discuss amending the utility company’s 2008 Credit Policy Manual and the 2009 Customer Care Policy Manual.

It is in regards to the application of funding provided by the Memphis City Council through a utility assistance program it approved last month. The council approved $2.5 million in aid to utility customers struggling to pay their bills.

Among its other business today, the board will discuss a resolution approving the employment of Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens and Cannada PLLC to provide legal services to MLGW on an as-needed basis. The resolution requires council approval.

The MLGW board meeting will begin today at 1:30 p.m. at the MLGW Administration Building, 220 S. Main St.



International Paper Plans to Make Cuts

International Paper Co. in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has said it plans to reduce its global salaried workforce by 1,000 to 1,500 employees by the end of next year.

The job cutbacks are part of the company’s actions to reduce costs by $150 million to $200 million next year, the company reported.

The workforce reduction will occur through retirements, attrition and the elimination of salaried positions, the company said. Memphis is expected to take a hit from the cutbacks because the company’s headquarters is here.

In other IP news, the company’s mill in Pineville, La., will shut down a paper machine for 15 days, affecting 180 workers.

The company, in a news release Tuesday, said the downtime will begin Dec. 23. The mill employs 225 people.

The company said it would let those affected use personal holidays or unused vacation during the period to try to help offset the financial hit to them.

The mill produces about 390,000 tons of containerboard a year.



Hospital Identity Theft Isolated, Saint Francis Says

The theft of identity related to records kept at Saint Francis Hospital was an isolated incident, said Marilynn S. Robinson, senior vice president at Saint Francis Hospital.

The U.S. Postal Police said Tuesday that it was investigating a case of identity theft involving the hospital that may have affected “hundreds” of individuals.

Robinson said in a written statement that the hospital has been advised that the incident involved the relative of a former employee and that Saint Francis had provided information to about 20 individuals on what they could do to protect their identities.



Finance Commissioner Outlines Tenn. Budget Cuts

State Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz has sent a memo to state departments asking them to submit plans for 14.6 percent cuts by Dec. 30.

The departments also have been asked to find an additional 5 percent savings on top of that in case economic conditions continue to deteriorate.

But the memo notes that necessary cuts could be reduced to about 8.3 percent if Congress passes a relief package that provides $400 million for Tennessee.

Gov. Phil Bredesen is working to close a budget shortfall that is projected to range between $885 million and $1.02 billion by the time the fiscal year ends on June 30.

The Democratic governor has said all areas of state government will be affected by the cuts except for pre-kindergarten through high school education.



Rhodes Receives Grant To Assess Learning Programs

Rhodes College has received a $280,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation to join with Niagara University in New York and Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania to develop methods to assess community-based learning programs and use the assessment data to improve the programming.

Rhodes will intersect the influence of the civil rights era on today’s society with student experiences through the Crossroads to Freedom digital archive project, the Memphis World photo collection, excavation of the Ames Plantation and restoration of the Zion Cemetery, the city’s oldest African-American burial ground.

The college’s work with the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Mike Burg Institute also helps preserve the distinct musical traditions of the South and the impact of music on its culture, history and economy.



Feds: Suspicious Packages Sent From Tennessee

Suspicious packages have been sent to National Guard bureaus and reserve facilities in 36 states, federal authorities revealed Wednesday.

An internal report Tuesday from the Department of Homeland Security said the 51 packages included anti-war compact discs, and one package also had a suspicious powder. It said the powder, sent in a package to Utah’s National Guard headquarters in Draper, was tested and found not to be toxic.

All the packages were postmarked from Tennessee, according to Homeland Security, and they started arriving at the Guard facilities Friday.

The FBI is investigating these and similar incidents.

Fifteen U.S. embassies in Europe have also received letters containing a suspicious white substance, and tests have shown 14 of them to be harmless, State Department spokesman Robert A. Wood said Wednesday. Test results for the substance in one of the letters have not yet been received, he said.

More than 40 governors’ offices nationwide also have received the letters, which contain an unspecified note, FBI spokesman Rich Kolko said Tuesday.

The FBI said that all of those were postmarked from Texas; the letters began showing up last week. They all appear to be from the same source, and have tested negative for any dangerous toxin or other threat, authorities said.



Race and Education Panel To Hold Discussion

New Path and The Memphis Urban League will bring their 2008 “Race Relations & Memphis” panel series to a close today at 6 p.m. at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library at 3030 Poplar Ave.

Panelists Suzanne Jackson, Katie Stanton, Daniel Kiel, Tom Jones and Charles McKinney will discuss the impacts of race on school choice, desegregation and quality of education.



RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 62 288 2,619
MORTGAGES 52 197 1,783
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 16 53 275
BUILDING PERMITS 0 569 5,701
BANKRUPTCIES 0 87 993
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 110 491
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0