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VOL. 123 | NO. 146 | Monday, July 28, 2008

Daily Digest

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Bed, Bath & Beyond Store To Open in Germantown

A $1.4 million permit has been filed for a new Bed, Bath & Beyond location in Germantown at 2005 Exeter Road at the corner of Farmington Boulevard in the Farmington Shopping Center. Finard Germantown LLC, which is affiliated with Finard Properties LLC, is owner of the property.

The project will cost about $1.65 million, said Finard’s property manager Rick Smith. The store is scheduled to open in late November.

Jack Reynolds with the Casco Co. is the architect for the project.

“The contractor has not been finally decided,” Smith said. “They are still reviewing bids.”

The store will be a 27,800-square-foot, one-story building, Smith said. Finard Properties bought 1991-2037 Exeter Road from Hyneman Germantown Plaza LLC in April 2006, according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

Apperson Crump, Gary K. Smith to Merge

Two Memphis law firms are planning to merge their practices effective Friday.

Apperson, Crump & Maxwell PLC and Gary K. Smith & Associates PLLC announced last week their plans to merge their practices and relocate the Smith firm from Peabody Place to Apperson Crump offices at 6000 Poplar Ave.

The new firm will operate as Apperson Crump.

The merger will expand Apperson Crump’s 10 practice areas to include plaintiff representation in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, insurance bad faith, product liability and medical malpractice, which are the Smith firm’s practice emphases.

The Apperson Crump firm employs 47 people including 27 attorneys. Gary K. Smith & Associates employs 10 people including four attorneys.

The new firm will expand existing space in the 6000 Poplar Avenue building when they merge Friday, but it will be the anchor tenant in a new building at 6070 Poplar Ave. in Triad Centre III, scheduled to open in the fall of 2009.

US Foreclosure Filings More Than Double in Q2

The number of households facing the foreclosure process more than doubled in the second quarter compared to a year ago, according to data released Friday.

Nationwide, 739,714 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice during the quarter, or one in every 171 U.S. households, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc. reported. That’s up 121 percent from the second quarter of 2007.

Soft housing sales, declining home values, tighter lending standards and a sluggish U.S. economy have left strapped homeowners with few options to avoid foreclosure. Many can’t find buyers or owe more than their home is worth and can’t refinance into an affordable loan.

Foreclosure filings increased year-over-year in all but two states, North Dakota and Alaska.

Nevada, California, Arizona and Florida continued to clock in the highest foreclosure rates. One in every 43 Nevada households received a filing during the quarter.

Cities in California and Florida accounted for 16 of the worst 20 metro foreclosure rates. Stockton, Calif., had the worst rate, with one in every 25 homes in the town receiving a foreclosure filing. That’s nearly seven times the national average.

RealtyTrac monitors default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. Banks took back more than 222,000 properties nationwide in the second quarter, the company reported. Bank repossessions accounted for 30 percent of total foreclosure activity, up from 24 percent in the previous quarter.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, projects that by the end of next year, nearly 2.8 million U.S. households will either face foreclosure, turn over their homes to their lender or sell the properties for less than their mortgage’s value.

FedEx Pledges $2M to STCC

FedEx Corp. has pledged to donate $2 million to Southwest Tennessee Community College to support the college’s expansion efforts, which include a new Nursing, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology building. The gift is the largest in Southwest’s history.

Southwest will receive the first installment of the five-year pledge this week with the presentation of a $100,000 check.

The new building is just one of the initiatives in the largest campaign in the college’s history. The campaign, “Southwest and You, Investing in the Future,” focuses on projects that will substantially expand opportunities for students in the college’s Nursing, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology programs and will help address critical workforce needs identified by the Memphis bioscience community.

State, MLGW Get Disaster Relief

The state of Tennessee and Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division have been approved for federal disaster relief because of tornadoes.

Gov. Phil Bredesen said Thursday MLGW will receive $2.4 million for repairs to the electrical distribution system caused by storms in February.

The state will receive a $3.3 million grant to reimburse costs to repair several buildings that were damaged by an April 2006 tornado that struck Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin. The grant covers 75 percent of the state’s costs to meet the $5 million deductible on property insured by the state.

The grants are part of the federal public assistance program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

100 Black Men of Memphis To Hold Candidate Mixer

The 100 Black Men of Memphis next weekend will provide an opportunity for citizens to meet and greet candidates in the coming election.

The mixer will take place Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. at the Balinese Ball Room, 330 N. Main St.

The group requests a $10 donation or $5 donation and school supplies for the event.

The contributions will support the organization’s mentoring program and back-to-school effort to provide supplies to students.

TBI Report Shows Drop in State Homicides

The number of homicides reported in Tennessee showed a decline from 2005 to 2007, according to a study by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

But, the study released Thursday also shows a drop in the number of homicide cases that were cleared with an arrest.

There were more than 1,200 homicides statewide between 2005 and 2007.

The report states that in 2005, 66.7 percent of 436 homicides were cleared by arrest. In 2006, police closed 67 percent of 421 cases by arrest. But in 2007, they cleared only 57.6 percent of 394 killings with an arrest.

Handguns were the most common weapon but were involved in only 48.2 percent of homicides, which is lower than the national average of 51.5 percent. The use of other weapons increased slightly.

PROPERTY SALES 51 223 1,152
MORTGAGES 55 189 861
BUILDING PERMITS 149 541 2,593