Wright Medical Buys Arlington Warehouse

Wright Medical Technology has bought for $1.1 million an approximately 29,000-square-foot, one-story concrete block warehouse at 11450 Gulf Stream Drive in Arlington. The seller was Machining Technology Group LLC.

The building sits on a 2-acre lot on the north side of Gulf Stream Drive west of Jetway Drive and was built in 1974.

Kyle Joines, Wright Medical’s vice president of manufacturing, said the building was bought for any future needs the company might have for it.

“It was very convenient, so we chose to purchase it to offer us flexibility in the future,” Joines said.

There are some outbuildings behind it as well, but he said the use of the buildings has “not yet (been) defined.”

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Council Committees To Consider Appointments

The Memphis City Council today will discuss a variety of issues in committee sessions preceding its full meeting, which will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Some of those issues include appointments to the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee, issues surrounding city contractors and consultants, Memphis Police Department recruitment and hiring, and council procedures governing expenditures.

Committee meetings, which are held in the council’s conference room on the fifth floor of City Hall at 125 N. Main St., will begin at 8:30 a.m.

The council’s Personnel, Intergovernmental & Annexation Committee is scheduled to discuss an appointment to the city’s Animal Shelter Advisory Committee as well as issues regarding city contractors and consultants, among other items. In the council’s executive session, there will be a presentation by the MPD Recruitment and Hiring Support Task Force.

Federal Government Probes Credit-Default Swap Market

Federal prosecutors and New York’s attorney general said Monday they had taken the unusual step of joining forces to probe the multitrillion-dollar credit-default swap market, an unregulated area of finance blamed for helping to fuel the credit crisis.

The offices of U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo acknowledged the unique arrangement in separate statements.

“The attorney general believes that these unprecedented times call for unprecedented levels of effort and cooperation to ensure that our markets are stable, free of fraud and purged of corruption,” Cuomo spokesman Alex Detrick said.

He said the joint probe was “aimed at restoring and promoting confidence and stability in the market” and avoiding multiple competing investigations.

Yusill Scribner, a Garcia spokeswoman, said prosecutors wanted to determine if federal laws were violated.

The announcements came after The New York Times reported on the investigation in its Monday editions.

A credit-default swap is a contract that offers insurance for lenders worried about a borrower’s ability to repay loans. Banks have used credit-default swaps to cover the risk of default in mortgage and other debt securities. Many credit-default swaps collapsed in value along with the mortgage-backed securities they were meant to protect.

Fear of what would happen if the swaps fully unraveled prompted the government in September to lend $85 billion to insurer American International Group.

The probe will focus in part on finding out whether the credit-default market, which is estimated to be worth tens of trillions of dollars, was manipulated, an official said.

The investigation will focus on all of the large financial firms including banks and hedge funds that made use of the credit-default swaps.

FAA to Change Controller Assignments

The work assignments of air-traffic controllers at Memphis, Orlando, Fla., and potentially other cities are about to change.

The Federal Aviation Administration will limit assignments for the controllers in January so they work either in their airport towers or in companion radar centers. Currently, controllers can alternate between those jobs.

The FAA said the change will better focus training. But critics say the move will reduce the amount of training controllers must have to become fully certified and could affect airport safety.

The FAA is under pressure to hire more controllers nationwide as many of the agency’s most experienced controllers approach retirement. Most of the controllers were hired in the 1980s after former President Reagan fired strikers who walked off the job during a labor dispute.

Tenn. Candidates Receive Hefty PAC Contributions

Candidates for contested seats in the Tennessee General Assembly have received an average of $43,000 each from political action committees, a newspaper analysis found.

PACs have given more than $5 million to legislative candidates so far in the 2008 election cycle, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported for Monday’s editions. That total is likely to grow amid last-minute contributions before a blackout on PAC contributions takes effect on Thursday.

The Tennessee Association of Realtors committee has been the most active so far. The Realtors PAC gave nearly $240,000 to state legislative candidates by the end of the most recent campaign finance reporting period.

That works out to an average of $2,000 for every candidate running for the General Assembly this year.

J.A. Bucy, a former legislative staffer and current lobbyist for the association, said the contributions are a way for real estate agents to be “engaged in their communities.”

Bucy equated PAC activity with involvement by Realtors in schools, churches and civic groups at the local level. Members decide who gets money based on which candidate “understands how important the real estate market is to Tennessee,” Bucy said.

But he said nothing is directly expected in return.

The next most generous PAC has been the Independent Medicine Political Action Committee, with a total of $190,250, followed by a committee run by the Tennessee Association of Justice, formerly known as the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, with $167,000.

Other top contributions came from committees operated by FedEx, dentists, bankers, wine and spirits wholesalers, the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, nursing homes, car dealers and hospitals.

orthomemphis CEO To Speak at Conference

Ken E. Beasley, chief executive officer of orthomemphis PC, will speak this week at the Medical Group Management Association 2008 Annual Conference in San Diego.

His speech will cover practice management and the benefits, logistics and details of a paperless office. The association serves 21,500 members, who manage more than 13,500 organizations in which almost 270,000 physicians practice.

Beasley has headed orthomemphis for more than three years and served as a consultant to the company seven years prior to taking the helm.

A division of MSK Group PC, orthomemphis provides comprehensive orthopedic care in its office at 6286 Briarcrest Ave. and has 15 physicians on its staff.

U of M Receives Grant for Crime Program

The University of Memphis has received a grant of more than $1.7 million from the United States Department of Justice under the Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants Program.

The Byrne Discretionary Program helps local communities improve the capacity of local justice systems and provides for national support efforts.

The grant will allow the university to support the Operation Safe Community project, a crime abatement initiative developed by Shelby County government and law enforcement leaders in partnership with private sector and community leaders.

The university will use the funds to expand its databases to enhance crime analysis, expand the use of video surveillance in high crime areas, enhance information technology available to the Shelby County Drug Court staff, expand the number of nonviolent drug offenders admitted to the Shelby County Drug Court Treatment program and develop a countywide comprehensive gang reduction strategy.

This is the second Byrne Discretionary Grant awarded to the University of Memphis this year. The first was announced Aug. 20 in the amount of $536,609.