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VOL. 123 | NO. 125 | Thursday, June 26, 2008

Daily Digest

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Hutton Files Loan For New Dealership

Henry Hutton LLC has taken out a $5.8 million construction loan to build a new Chuck Hutton Toyota dealership at 1733 Metro Plex Loop in Whitehaven’s Southbrook Office Park. The company also filed a $936,000 trust deed on the property; both loans were made through Toyota Motor Credit Corp.

Henry Hutton is president of Chuck Hutton Toyota, Chuck Hutton Chevrolet and Chuck Hutton Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep dealerships.

The site of the new Toyota dealership is bounded by Interstate 55 to the east, Millbranch Road to the west and Shelby Drive to the south. Riverbrook and Lakebrook drives run through the acreage, whose combined appraisal is $462,600, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

A 38,422-square-foot Toyota dealership will anchor a larger retail development on the property called the “I-55/Shelby Metroplex,” according to media reports last year. Calls to Hutton were not returned by press time.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

CCC to Discuss Pinch, Harbor Plans

The Center City Commission’s board of directors today will discuss a variety of items, including a development plan update for the Pinch District and Wolf River Harbor areas Downtown. The board also will get reports from a variety of CCC committees and departments.

Also on the agenda for today’s meeting is a discussion of staff recommendations to affiliate boards of the CCC and an item that will include a discussion of the renovation project at 115 Union Ave. that will turn the building there into a five-story, mixed-use residential and commercial space.

The meeting will begin at noon at the Center City Commission, 114 N. Main St.

TBA Honors Judge Person For Efforts to Aid Litigants

Shelby County Juvenile Court Judge Curtis Person will be recognized Saturday by the Tennessee Bar Association’s Juvenile and Children’s Law Section. The recognition is for his creation of a special position at the court that offers free legal advice about juvenile court-related matters to people unable to afford an attorney.

Person established the Court’s Advocate for Non-Custodial Parents Program to help litigants with various juvenile-related issues. Memphis attorney David Walker heads the program that advises people about their rights and responsibilities before going into Juvenile Court.

Since September 2006, more than 5,000 people, mostly non-custodial parents and other pro se litigants, have received aid from the program.

At the reception, which will be held at the Nashville School of Law, the TBA Juvenile and Children’s Law Section, along with other legal agencies such as the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth and the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, will hold a workshop titled “Closing the School to Prison Pipeline.”

Thomas & Betts Sells Stake in Leviton for $300M

Memphis-based Thomas & Betts Corp., which makes electrical components, said late Tuesday it sold its stake in Leviton Manufacturing Co. back to Leviton for roughly $300 million.

Thomas & Betts said it expects an after-tax gain from the sale of $200 million, or $1.70 per share, in the second quarter.

The company held a 29.1 percent stake in Leviton.

Separately, Leviton said the repurchase makes the Little Neck, N.Y., manufacturer of electrical components entirely family owned.

Bredesen Signs Annual Spending Plan

Gov. Phil Bredesen has signed Tennessee’s $27.8 billion annual spending plan into law, his office has announced.

The Democratic governor and lawmakers cut nearly a half-billion dollars from the spending plan toward the end of the legislative session because of worsening economic conditions.

Lawmakers’ only constitutional responsibility is to pass a balanced budget. The state’s July-through-June budget year begins Tuesday.

The cuts included reducing the number of state employees by 5 percent, eliminating a planned increase in K-12 education funding and not including new money to expand the state’s public pre-kindergarten program.

Only one state senator and four House members voted against the budget proposal when it came up for votes last month. All five are Republicans.

The state has made voluntary buyout offers to more than 12,000 state employees in hopes that about 2,300 will accept by August. The state currently employs about 47,000 people.

The plan aims to save the state about $64 million a year. If not enough people agree to the voluntary plan, Bredesen has warned that mandatory layoffs will follow.

The governor also has signed into law a measure to make it a crime for boaters to leave the scene of an accident without helping people who are injured or killed.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Steve Roller, D-McMinnville, who has used a prosthetic arm and leg since he was struck by a boat while swimming in a Blount County river in 1983.

Bredesen also signed into law an administration bill that will make it a felony for probation or parole officers to have sexual contact with prisoners or parolees.

Running Pony Earns Two Clarion Awards

Memphis-area media production firm Running Pony Productions is among the winners in the 2008 Clarion Awards competition.

Running Pony has earned its sixth and seventh awards in the 36-year-old communications contest for the firm’s production of “Smart Medicine” – a monthly health and medicine program that airs on WKNO-TV – and “The Real Rhodes College” recruitment DVD.

Winners in this year’s Clarion Awards contest will accept their awards at a ceremony Sept. 27.

TVA Expands Bonus Program To Cut Energy Use

The Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest public utility, has expanded its “demand response” conservation program this year to customers of distributors in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Huntsville, Ala.

The utility began testing the program last summer with smaller companies.

The advantage of demand response is that it delivers extra capacity immediately without having to build a new power plant or creating a new source of pollution. The initial goal is 50 megawatts of energy reserve, growing to 110 to 125 megawatts in three years – about the output of one combustion unit at a small peak-power plant.

TVA has hired Boston-based energy supplier EnerNOC Inc. to run the program for an undisclosed amount. EnerNOC manages similar programs for utilities from New England to Florida to California.

TVA executive Joe Hoagland said the program fits with the agency’s new energy-efficiency and conservation initiative aimed at saving 1,400 megawatts by 2012 – roughly one new nuclear reactor – while also reducing the $1 billion TVA is spending annually to buy extra power from outside suppliers to meet peak needs.

TVA’s program is seeking companies willing to accept outages of up to eight hours at a time on a 30-minute notice, with a total of 40 or 80 hours of outages during the June 1-Sept. 1 program period. Companies will be paid to be on-call and for actual energy savings during outages. A 1-megawatt commitment can earn the participating company $18,000 to $40,000 a year.

PROPERTY SALES 56 94 12,852
MORTGAGES 23 50 8,053
BUILDING PERMITS 285 422 30,356
BANKRUPTCIES 23 67 6,131