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VOL. 123 | NO. 142 | Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Daily Digest

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Kirby-Raines Self Storage Sells for $1.4 Million

Kirby-Raines Self Storage at 6504 E. Raines Road east of Kirby Parkway has sold for $1.4 million. Kirby Raines Self Storage LLC bought the property from Kirby Raines Partners, financing the purchase with a $1.2 million loan through First Bank. The deal closed July 15.

The property includes a 27,030-square-foot, one-story mini-warehouse built on 3.73 acres in 1995, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports. The Shelby County Assessor’s 2008 appraisal is $1.4 million.

The seller, Kirby Raines Partners, received the property via quitclaim deed in 2002.

The property is listed on the Web site of Absolute Storage Management Inc., and ASM management team member Michael Haugh signed the mortgage as manager of Kirby Raines Self Storage.

Representatives could not be reached by press time.

ASM was founded in 2002 and owns more than 2.8 million square feet of storage in six states, according to its Web site.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Main Street Mall To be Discussed

The Center City Commission today will host a public meeting to gather input on transportation options to stimulate retail on the Main Street Mall.

Officials are exploring the possibility of returning vehicular traffic to Main Street.

Attendees will be allowed to make comments that are limited to two minutes per person.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at the Memphis Cook Convention Center in the Riverbluff Room on the Mezzanine level.

For reservations, e-mail taylor@downtownmemphis.com.

Indicators Pushed Down On Unemployment, Stocks

Factories laying off workers, stocks tumbling and shoppers ditching their credit cards forced the economy to contract in June, a trend likely to continue in the second half of 2008, a private business group said Monday.

The New York-based Conference Board’s forecast of future economic activity fell 0.1 percent last month, in line with forecasts by Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson Financial/IFR.

The group on Monday also revised May’s number downward to a 0.2 percent decrease, from a 0.1 percent increase.

The financial crisis, high gas and food prices, and the weak dollar “are all combining to produce unrelenting downward pressure on economic activity,” said Ken Goldstein, labor economist with the Conference Board. “This is also why it wouldn’t take much to push the economy so it’s even weaker in the second half of 2008.”

The index has slipped 0.9 percent for the six months ending in June, but the rate of decline has improved since the first quarter. The index is designed to forecast where the economy is heading in the next three to six months based on 10 economic components, including stock prices, building permits and initial claims for unemployment benefits.

Downturns in the auto and housing industries have been devastating for the manufacturers that produce everything from spark plugs to vinyl siding. And more job cuts are almost certain: General Motors Corp. said Friday more factories likely will close as it slashes production of trucks and sport utility vehicles by 300,000 by the end of the year.

A change in New York City’s building code saved June’s index from a larger drop, said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, N.Y. Building permits for apartments and condos leapt in New York last month as builders rushed to file permits ahead of a new city construction code. The increase was so large that it boosted the leading index by 0.3 percent, Shepherdson said, a figure that will reverse in July.

PRSA Seeks Creative Efforts For VOX Awards Nominees

The Memphis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is asking public relations professionals from all business sectors and freelancers to enter their most creative and innovative efforts from the past 18 months in the 2008 VOX Awards.

Deadline for entry is Friday and work may be entered in a number of categories such as writing, campaigns, brochures, newsletters and audiovisual. Details for the awards program can be found at www.prsamemphis.org.

Winners will be announced during a PRSA luncheon meeting Sept. 10 at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.

The 2007 VOX awards competition garnered 152 entries from the Mid-South area.

UrbanArt Works To Bring Art to U of M Area

The UrbanArt Commission is working to bring new public artwork to the University District in the vicinity of the University of Memphis. One billboard already has been posted and one mural partially completed as part of the effort, for which the commission is collaborating with the U of M art department and the University Neighborhoods Development Corp.

A meeting will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 480 S. Highland St., to gather input from the community that will be used to plan future projects in the area.

Blackburn’s Son-In-Law Raises Nearly $1M as Lobbyist

A newspaper’s review of lobbying records found U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s son-in-law and his companies have been paid about $1 million to lobby the federal government since 2004.

The Tennessean reported Paul Ketchel III represents several companies that are inside the Brentwood Republican’s district and fall under the authority of the House committee she serves on.

Ketchel and Blackburn’s office reported they avoid any lobbying contacts between the two, but good government advocates say family members of lawmakers working as lobbyists create the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Blackburn’s Republican primary opponent, Tom Leatherwood of Arlington, said Ketchel’s vow to not contact his mother-in-law’s office is meaningless because she knows who he lobbies for.

Closing Arguments In MCS Case Set

Shelby County Chancery Court Chancellor Kenny Armstrong has set a date for closing arguments in the Memphis City Schools funding lawsuit.

Closing arguments will take place Aug. 11, which also happens to be the first day of classes for the city school district. Armstrong set that date Monday after it became clear all sides in the funding dispute still need time to review tapes and transcripts of legislative hearings from Nashville relative to various hearings and votes about bills that pertain to the matter.

All sides in the case will submit briefs no later than seven days after the tapes and transcripts arrive from Nashville.

PROPERTY SALES 61 262 16,169
MORTGAGES 28 132 10,054
BUILDING PERMITS 88 424 38,360
BANKRUPTCIES 36 92 7,564