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VOL. 123 | NO. 12 | Thursday, January 17, 2008

Daily Digest

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Georgia LLC Buys Macon Road Gas Station

     A gas station and convenience store at the northeast corner of Macon and Wells Station roads in Berclair's 38112 ZIP code has sold for $1 million.
     Macon Wells LLC - a limited liability company which sale documents list with a Duluth, Ga., address - bought the property from ExxonMobil Oil Corp., financing the purchase with a $900,000 mortgage through Triumph Bank.
     At 4286 Macon, the .87-acre property includes eight pump stations and a 3,256-square-foot convenience store built in 1998. The property previously was an Exxon, but a number for the store had been disconnected at press time.
     ExxonMobil bought the property in March 2003 for $215,000. The Shelby County Assessor's 2007 appraisal was $451,900.
     Macon Wells in August filed articles of organization with the Tennessee Secretary of State's office as a limited liability company. Representatives could not be reached by press time.

Gov't Meetings To Be Held Today

     The Downtown Safety Task Force meets today at 10 a.m. at the Center City Commission office, 114 N. Main St.
     The Charter Commission of Memphis and Shelby County will meet today at 3 p.m. at City Hall, fifth floor conference room, 125 N. Main St.
     A Shelby County Charter Amendments public hearing takes place today at 6:30 p.m. at Ed Rice Community Center, 2907 N. Watkins St.
     The next public hearing will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave.

Thomas & Betts To Sell Product Lines

     Thomas & Betts Corp. on Tuesday said it decided to sell its portfolio of polyvinyl chloride and high-density polyethylene conduit, duct and pressure pipe products after a review of its recently acquired plastic pipe business.
     The Memphis-based electrical components maker acquired the business as part of its purchase of Lamson & Sessions Co., a Cleveland-based maker of electrical boxes and industrial polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipe.
     The products in question generated about $230 million in sales for the year ended Sept. 30 and are used in construction, industrial, municipal, utility and telecommunications markets, Thomas & Betts said.
     The company said it retained Morgan Joseph & Co. as its financial adviser to assist with the sale.

Simmons Sentenced to Prison On Tax Evasion Charge

     The president of an outdoor sign company is going to prison for a year and a half on a tax evasion charge.
     Lawrence M. Simmons was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald. As part of the sentence, he was ordered to pay $184,642 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
     Simmons, the former president of Simmons Industries Inc., was indicted in August 2005 on three counts of tax evasion for not reporting personal income on his 1998, 1999 and 2000 federal income tax returns. The $646,675 in income was diverted from the company to his personal use over the three years without ever showing up on his tax returns. The restitution reflects the amount of money the IRS would have been owed on the income.
     Simmons, who left his post at the company in 2000, pleaded guilty in October to one of the tax evasion counts. But he admitted the scheme went on for three tax years.

Northwest, Delta In Talks, Transportation Chairman Says

     Northwest Airlines has entered into formal merger discussions with Delta Air Lines and will look for another partner if Delta tries to merge with United Airlines instead, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said in a newspaper interview.
     U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar confirmed the talks in an interview with the (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.,) Star Tribune, saying he met with two Northwest executives Tuesday in his Washington office.
     The Minnesota Democrat said Ben Hirst, Northwest's senior vice president of corporate affairs and administration, and Andrea Fischer Newman, Northwest's senior vice president of government affairs, confirmed that Delta is considering both Northwest and United as options for a merger.
     "Northwest sees a benefit to them of a merger with Delta," Oberstar told the newspaper in an interview posted on its Web site Tuesday.
     During the meeting, Oberstar said the executives talked about how a merger would yield cost savings and that the two carriers' route networks are complementary, with Northwest strong in the Pacific and with Delta with a major presence in the Atlantic.
     Hirst and Newman said "there is little route overlap and not a significant effect on competition, which I disagree with," Oberstar said.
     Both Northwest spokeswoman Tammy Lee and Delta spokesman Anthony Black declined to comment on whether merger talks were in progress.
     Oberstar said the Northwest executives didn't reveal what deals Northwest might pursue if the Delta combination doesn't materialize.

2007's Top Realtors Honored by MAAR

     The Memphis Area Association of Realtors recently handed out awards at its annual gala, including one to John Linthicum of Crye-Leike Inc., who was named 2007 Realtor of the Year. Randy Jefferson of The Hobson Co. Realtors was named 2007 Realtor-Associate of the Year.
     The 2007 Affiliate of the Year honor went to Ray Rosas of Countrywide Home Loans, while the Outstanding Leadership Award was awarded to William Mitchell of Crye-Leike Inc., and the Outstanding Service Award was awarded to Ed Sharp of McWaters & Associates.
     Neil Hubbard, MAAR's outgoing president, presented Presidential Awards to Denise Martin of Prudential Collins-Maury and Ed Sharp of McWaters & Associates.
     In addition to the awards presentation, the gala also included installation of the 2008 officers and board of directors. This year's officers are John Snyder of CresaPartners LLC, president; Elsie Ward of Crye-Leike Inc., vice president; Glenn Moore of Glenn Moore Realty, secretary-treasurer; and Jon Albright of Investec Realty Services, president-elect.
     The directors for 2008 are Harold Blockman of Keller Williams Realty; Leon Dickson of BenchMark at Southwind; Kim Hairrell of Crye-Leike Inc.; Melissa Hayes of Re/Max at Mallard Creek; Gary Lubin of Makowsky
      Ringel Greenberg LLC; Bill Maury of The Hobson Co. Realtors; Joe Spake of Crye-Leike Inc.; Joe Steffner of Grubb & Ellis Memphis; and Lilly White of BrokerNetwork GMAC Real Estate.

Embassy Suites Launches European-Style Restaurants

     Embassy Suites Hotels is launching a new hotel restaurant concept, Flying Spoons. Flying Spoons juxtaposes the
     atmosphere of European-style cafés with those of American coffeehouses, falling into the recently created restaurant category of "hip casual."
     Embassy Suites, which is a Hilton Hotel Corp. brand based in Memphis, first introduced the new restaurant concept with "Marketplace" in 2006 as part of the hotel's "Design Option III" concept. The idea has evolved into Flying Spoons.
     The restaurants cater to people on the move, the company said.
     Flying Spoons restaurants will be in the hotel lobbies, where they will share space with the brand's continental breakfast areas and Manager's Reception areas.
     The first Flying Spoons will debut later this year at the Embassy Suites Jackson-North/Ridgeland, Miss.

Salvation Army Memphis Raises $300K Plus

     The Salvation Army Memphis raised more than $330,000 during the Christmas season with its Red Kettle Campaign. The amount the organization raised is a 13.8 percent increase over its goal of $290,000.
     The money raised will help fund The Salvation Army's year-round programs such as the homeless shelters, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, children's programs and the food pantry.
PROPERTY SALES 51 328 20,960
MORTGAGES 58 387 24,132
BUILDING PERMITS 170 842 43,435
BANKRUPTCIES 50 288 13,468