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VOL. 123 | NO. 124 | Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Daily Digest

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The Preserve at Lakeland Notches Another Sale

SAS Construction LLC has bought a lot in The Preserve at Lakeland for $155,000 from Anderson-Suber Development Co. LLC and also filed a construction loan on the property for $647,600 through the Bank of Fayette County.

The Preserve at Lakeland is a 37.21-acre, 36-lot development west of Seed Tick Road and north of Interstate 40 in Lakeland, near the Canada Road exit. The subdivision backs up to Garner Lake and includes a boat ramp, according to the 2007 plat.

Ronald K. Anderson signed the trust deed as chief manager for SAS Construction and the warranty deed as chief manager for Anderson-Suber Development. Attempts to reach the builder and developer were not successful.

Eight other lots in The Preserve at Lakeland have sold since the plat was filed last fall, with price tags ranging between $150,000 and $250,000, according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

District Attorney’s Office Makes New Assignments

Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons has made new assignments for his top assistants effective July 1.

Under the front office shuffle, prosecutor Paul Hagerman will become special assistant for Organized Crime Prosecution. Those duties will include filing nuisance actions in court, which has become a major thrust of local anti-crime strategies. The nuisance closings have included several strip clubs as well as suspected drug and prostitution havens.

Hagerman will work with the police Organized Crime Unit.

Prosecutor John Campbell will take the new job of helping draft anti-crime legislation for consideration by the Tennessee Legislature.

In recent years, Gibbons, along with Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin and Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell, has aggressively lobbied the legislature for laws that would mean longer jail sentences for violent crimes.

Assistant District Attorney Bobby Carter’s duties as chief prosecutor of child abuse now will include directing training programs for teachers and other professionals who deal with children.

Assistant District Attorney Theresa McCusker will become a division leader for cases being prosecuted in Criminal Court Division Six.

And Assistant District Attorney Steve Jones will become legal adviser to the West Tennessee Violent Crime & Drug Task Force. He also will remain as prosecutor for the white-collar crime unit.

S&P Upgrades Rating For Two MLGW Bonds

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has upgraded its credit rating for two Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division electric system bonds.

S&P raised its long-term rating on the utility company’s $16.9 million of senior-lien electric system revenue bonds from AA to AA+. S&P’s standard long-term and underlying rating on MLGW’s $1.1 billion of junior-lien electric system revenue bonds was raised from AA- to AA+.

S&P also assigned an AA+ standard long-term rating to MLGW’s $92.4 million subordinate lien electric system revenue and refunding bonds.

Ford’s Nashville Trial Delayed Until Monday

Former state Sen. John Ford’s federal corruption trial in Nashville has been delayed until Monday.

Ford, a Memphis Democrat, is accused of taking $800,000 in consultant payments from TennCare contractors to promote those private companies’ interests while he held elected office.

Jury selection had been scheduled to begin Tuesday, but Ford’s attorney filed two motions Monday night: one arguing misconduct by federal prosecutors, the other requesting the six-count indictment against Ford be dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell has delayed the trial until after the new motions are heard on Thursday and Friday.

Consumer Confidence Skids More Than Expected

U.S. consumer confidence fell unexpectedly sharply in June, sinking to its lowest level in more than 16 years, according to a private industry group.

The report Tuesday also said the group’s reading of consumers’ expectations hit an all-time low as home prices tumbled while gasoline and food prices rose.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 50.4 this month, the lowest since February 1992. The index dropped from 58.1 in May, a much steeper decline than economists expected. The consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR was 56.5 for June.

Inflation, political flux and job insecurity have created an “uncertainty more acute, perhaps, than any time since 9-11,” said William Hummer, chief economist at Wayne Hummer Investments.

“I don’t think this can be purged immediately by an election or anything else,” he said. “I think it’s endemic, deep-rooted and likely to persist.”

The reading, based on a survey of 5,000 representative U.S. households, suggests “the economy remains stuck in low gear,” said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board’s director of consumer research.

Embassy Suites Opens First Alaska Property

Memphis-based Embassy Suites Hotels has made its debut in Alaska with the recent opening of Embassy Suites Anchorage near the city’s Ted Stevens International Airport.

The hotel joins three other Hilton Family hotels already in Anchorage: The Hilton Garden Inn-Anchorage, Homewood Suites by Hilton-Anchorage and the Hampton Inn Anchorage.

Each of the 169 suites features a separate living area with a sofa bed and desk, two televisions, wired and wireless high-speed Internet access, refrigerator, microwave oven and coffeemaker. The Embassy Suites Anchorage has a bar and lounge, business center, meeting space with on-site catering, indoor pool, a whirlpool and Precor fitness center.

A touch of Alaskan culture also has been added. Guests will be greeted in the atrium by the hotel’s signature water feature, exhibiting three brushed-steel whale’s tails, as well as other unique Alaskan objects.

20 River Tower Units Sell at Auction

Nineteen condominiums plus a penthouse from Memphis’ River Tower at South Bluffs sold for $4.1 million at auction over the weekend.

The sale of the luxury high-rise condominiums was managed by Gadsden, Ala.-based J.P. King Auction Co. River Tower at South Bluffs is a redevelopment by McCord Development Inc.

The auction took place at The Peabody hotel with more than 200 people in attendance. It attracted 94 registered bidders from Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi, Georgia and South Dakota.

The renovated 14-story historic building offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units including one remaining penthouse suite ready for the owner’s custom design. The featured amenities include a grand two-story marble lobby with spiral staircase; private balconies or sunrooms overlooking the Mississippi River; large private dining room with catering kitchen; Wi-Fi Internet connection throughout the building; covered parking area; on-site residential storage; designated pet walk area and yoga studio. River Tower also includes a resort-style clubroom with a state-of-the-art fitness center and an Olympic-size pool overlooking the river.

PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270