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VOL. 123 | NO. 89 | Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Daily Digest

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Kircher-Belz Sells Two Shady Park Lane Homes

     Kircher-Belz Builders LLC has sold two of its recently completed homes in the three-lot, one-acre Shady Park Lane Planned Development, off Shady Grove Road north of Briarcrest Avenue. The company sold 6091 Shady Park Lane for $1.3 million and 6083 Shady Park Lane for $900,000. Both sales recorded within the last week.
     Kircher-Belz Builders now has one home - at 6075 Shady Park Lane - remaining in the subdivision, which it had been developing and building on raw land in River Oaks for the past two years, said company principal Marc Belz.
     The last home has been completed and is listed at about $1.4 million, Belz said.
     "We've been showing it quite a bit, but we don't have anything on the table yet," he said.
     The homes are 4,500 to 5,000 square feet, and new product in River Oaks has been a good selling point for the company.
     "Location is everything," Belz said. "I would say it's been good for us."
     

City Council to Discuss Liberty Bowl Upgrades

     Memphis City Council members today will discuss appropriating $756,000 for locker room improvements at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
     The 65,000-seat stadium is set to undergo a major renovation that will bring it up to par with current Americans with Disabilities Act standards and also in conjunction with a planned redevelopment of the entire Mid-South Fairgrounds area.
     Council members also plan to discuss a resolution to allow people employed with the city of Memphis Division of Police Services to live within 20 miles of the Shelby County line.
     The Public Safety Committee last month voted against a resolution that would have temporarily expanded the residency limit to 20 miles outside Shelby County until the city reaches its hiring goal of 500 more police officers.
     Council members also are expected to discuss a resolution to apply for a grant in the amount of $678,000 from the Tennessee Department of Economic Development for the Fast Track Infrastructure Development Program on behalf of Riviana Foods Inc.
     Application for the FIDP funds are being made for the design and construction of railroad tracks to support Riviana's new manufacturing and distribution facility in the Memphis Renewal Community.
     Houston-based Riviana Foods is building a new facility on 31 acres at 615 E. Bodley St. The area, once held by the Nylon Net Plant, is one of the areas in the city marked as a renewal community in need of economic investment.
     The meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 125 N. Main St.
     

Buckeye Technologies Reports Q3 Profit

     Buckeye Technologies Inc., a Memphis-based specialty fibers maker, on Monday reported a rise in fiscal third-quarter profit, due to a tax benefit and a jump in sales.
     In the quarter ended March 31, profit soared 58.6 percent to $10.4 million, or 26 cents per share, from $6.6 million, or 17 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.
     Results in the most recent quarter includes tax credit of 2 cents per share, while the year-ago period included 2 cents in expenses for restructuring that included consolidation in the company's European sales office.
     Sales rose 5 percent to $201.9 million from $193 million.
     Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected profit of 25 cents per share and sales of $201.5 million.
     Buckeye Chief Executive John B. Crowe in a statement said maintenance outages at a Florida wood cellulose facility, delayed shipments and lower nonwovens sales dampened results during the most recent quarter.
     

First Horizon Completes Branch Sale to Fifth Third

     Fifth Third Bancorp has completed its purchase of nine branch offices in the Atlanta area from Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp.
     The Cincinnati-based bank reached an agreement in March to complete the stalled purchase, first announced in September. Under terms that were worked out, Fifth Third has assumed branch deposits, and First Horizon retained all loans.
     Fifth Third said the deal was finalized on Monday.
     

'Heartbreak Hotel' Items To be Auctioned Today

     An auction will be held today to sell property awarded to the state in verdicts from trials for four Memphis motels declared public nuisances. The properties were closed earlier this year as part of an undercover investigation called "Heartbreak Hotel."
     The motels remain closed, though it's possible they may open at a later date. All face various pending environmental code violations.
     At the close of each trial last month, Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter ordered the motel owners to relinquish their personal property inside the motels.
     The auctions will be at Garden Inn & Suites,
     3419 American Way, at 10 a.m.; Royal Inn & Suites, 3685 American Way, at 11 a.m.; The Bellevue Inn, 1250 S. Bellevue Blvd., at noon; and The Lamplighter Motor Inn, 667 S. Bellevue Blvd., at 1 p.m.
     Items to be sold at the auctions include furniture, beds, kitchen equipment, linens, uninstalled air-conditioner units, exercise equipment, TVs and computers.
     The sales will be directed by auctioneer Ken Roebuck. The motels will be open for inspection starting at 8:30.
     

Leadership Memphis To Honor Community Leaders

     At a celebration dinner tonight, the Leadership Memphis civic organization will honor community leaders in Memphis as well as pay tribute to the group itself, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
     As part of its yearly effort to recognize outstanding individuals in the business community, Leadership Memphis this year is recognizing My Harrison, special agent in charge of the FBI Memphis Field Office, RR Donnelley account representative Shelley Baur and the Junior League of Memphis.
     Harrison will receive the Leadership Memphis Kate Gooch Leader of the Year Award, which is given to an individual who has made extraordinary leadership contributions through major community-wide accomplishments.
     Baur will receive the Leadership Memphis Distinguished Alumnus of the Year recognition, given for service to Leadership Memphis as demonstrated by a graduate of the group's executive program. The Junior League of Memphis will receive the Leadership Memphis Community Champion Award, a recognition that was created to honor organizations that make an impact in the community.
     

Sales of VeinViewer Up 250 Percent in Q1

     Sales of Luminetx Corp.'s VeinViewer, the company's signature product, increased during the first quarter by almost 250 percent compared to Q1 2007, the company announced Monday.
     Recently, Luminetx shipped its first VeinViewer units overseas, officially marking the company's entrance into the international marketplace.
     The VeinViewer device helps medical personnel locate veins that need intravenous devices or shots. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the product as a Class I Exempt Medical Device in fall 2006; in December 2007, Luminetx received certifications allowing VeinViewer to be distributed overseas.
     

DOJ Approves IP's Acquisition of Weyerhauser

     The U.S. Department of Justice has signaled its approval, with the completion of its Hart-Scott-Rodino review, of the deal for Memphis-based International Paper Co. to complete its acquisition of Weyerhaeuser's containerboard packaging and recycling business.
     Regulatory reviews in several other countries are ongoing. Completion of the transaction is expected to occur in the third quarter.
     International Paper announced March 17 it had signed a definitive agreement with Weyerhaeuser to acquire its containerboard packaging and recycling business. Weyerhaeuser's containerboard packaging and recycling business includes nine linerboard mills, 72 box plants in the U.S. and four in Mexico, and more than 30 specialty packaging, kraft bag and recycling operations.
     

FedEx Truckload Brokerage Expands to Canada

     FedEx Truckload Brokerage Inc., a subsidiary of FedEx Custom Critical Inc., has expanded its coverage to Canada.
     When the company launched in January 2007, it focused solely on U.S. shipments. With the addition of Canadian coverage, customers now can receive truckload solutions for select provinces, including Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta.
     John Colonna, managing director of FedEx Truckload Brokerage, said that since the company opened last year customers have been asking if it could handle their shipments to and from Canada.
     FedEx Truckload Brokerage offers full-service truckload brokerage solutions. Options range from brokerage solutions for regular, dry-van freight to oversized pieces requiring flatbed trailers.
     
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 39 190
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0