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VOL. 123 | NO. 214 | Friday, October 31, 2008

Daily Digest

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Alzheimer’s Facility Slated for Germantown

A $5.6 million Alzheimer’s facility called the Gardens of Germantown soon will rise at 3179 Professional Plaza, which runs between Poplar Avenue and Poplar Pike near the Germantown/Collierville border. Developer Alexander Enterprises has filed a permit application with the city-county Department of Construction Code Enforcement to build the 30,500-square-foot, single-story facility.

The Gardens of Germantown will be a 48-unit, 62-bed facility that sits on roughly half of a 4.36 acre-parcel backing up to the Village Shops of Forest Hill retail center. The facility will be managed by Beacon Communities Inc. of Cumming, Ga.

Construction on the building, set to begin in December, should take 10 months, said Michael Alexander of Alexander Enterprises, with an opening projected for October or November 2009. O.T. Marshall Architects is the architect and Patton and Taylor Enterprises is contractor.

The property has been subdivided into two lots, with the Gardens of Germantown slated for the northwest corner of the property. Alexander said he is working with a couple different groups on potential office building for the other lot, which faces Poplar Pike on the southeast portion of the property.

“I would like to have something related to the Alzheimer’s facility,” Alexander said. “We’ve got 130 seniors in the Germantown Plantation independent assisted facility, which is next door to this property. And we’ll have 62 here, so we’ll have almost 200 senior residents, so I’m looking for physicians in the senior world, in (geriatrics) or oncology, physical therapy or hospice. I’m just trying to complete the continuum of care aspect.”

Alexander touted the location for its proximity to two eastern Shelby County hospitals.

“It’s about a mile and a half west of Collierville Baptist and a mile and a half east of Germantown Methodist,” he said. “It’s a great spot.”

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports


Obama Assassination Planners Waive Detention Hearing

Two men charged with planning a murder spree and an assassination attempt on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama made a brief court appearance Thursday in Memphis federal court.

Attorneys for Daniel Cowart of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman of West Helena, Ark., waived a detention hearing and a probable cause hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gerald Cohn.

Cowart and Schlesselman will remain in federal custody pending trial on the firearms and threat charges. The U.S. Marshals Service provided extra security for the three-minute hearing Downtown. Cowart and Schlesselman remained chained at the waist, wrists and ankles the entire time.

Cohn set Nov. 6 for a probable cause hearing on the charges. The hearing could be cancelled if the two suspects are indicted by a federal grand jury before then.

Cowart and Schlesselman were arrested last week by the Crockett County, Tenn., sheriff’s department after they found guns in a car the two were in. The car had “numerous racially motivated words and symbols” scrawled on it, according to an affidavit filed with the federal charges announced this week.

Federal agents say each admitted having strong “white power” and “skinhead” beliefs. They also allegedly outlined a plot to arm themselves and finance a killing spree targeting African-Americans through a series of home invasion robberies and the robbery or burglary of a gun store in Jackson, Tenn.

An affidavit from Brian A. Weaks, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), said the two intended to end the spree by dressing in white tuxedos with top hats and driving a car toward Obama as they fired guns at him.

The alleged plot got as far as the two casing a house in Bells for a possible robbery, calling it off, buying supplies from a Wal-Mart in Brownsville, Tenn., and shooting out a church window in Brownsville.

Schlesselman smiled, waved at and tried to talk to a family member in court before the hearing began. Cowart talked intently with his attorney before the hearing and responded to several questions from Cohn.



Pfizer’s Memphis Center Receives STAR Award

Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley has announced that Pfizer Inc. – Memphis Logistics Center has received the Volunteer STAR award.

The Volunteer STAR (Safety Through Accountability and Recognition) award is the state’s highest honor for workplace safety and health and a nationally recognized program.

The award is patterned after the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program and recognizes the best in the area of safety and health programming and performance.

The Memphis Logistics Center is involved in the warehousing and distribution of pharmaceutical products. It employs 221 people and serves approximately 60 percent of Pfizer’s costumers in the United States.

The site’s three-year total case incident rate is 2.37 or 71 percent below the current Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average.



US Jobless Claims Remain Elevated

New claims for U.S. unemployment benefits were unchanged last week, remaining at the same elevated level due to the struggling economy, the government reported Thursday.

The Labor Department reported new claims for jobless benefits for the week ending Oct. 25 stood at a seasonally adjusted 479,000, the same as the previous week and above analysts’ estimates of 475,000.

The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations, was 475,500, down 5,000 from the previous week’s total.

The number of people continuing to claim unemployment benefits also improved, falling 12,000 to 3.72 million.

Separately, the Commerce Department reported Thursday that the nation’s economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the third quarter, an indication the country may already be in recession.

Many economists expect the economy to continue to shrink in the fourth quarter and first quarter of next year, meeting one definition of a recession as at least two consecutive quarters of decline.

Consumer spending plummeted by 3.1 percent in the July to September quarter, the Commerce Department reported, the sharpest drop in 28 years.

Jobless claims above 400,000 are considered a sign of a recessionary economy. A year ago, claims stood at 332,000, the department reported.

Four weeks ago, the impact of the economic slowdown as well as hurricanes Ike and Gustav sent jobless claims to a seven-year high of 499,000. The department attributed about 45,000 of the claims at that time to the impact of the hurricanes.

Companies cut 760,000 jobs in the first nine months of this year, sending the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent in September. Many economists expect the rate to increase to 8 percent or higher by next year.



Baker Launches Japan-U.S. Strategic Advisory

Howard H. Baker Jr., senior counsel to Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC and a former Republican U.S. senator from Tennessee and ambassador to Japan, is launching a new consulting service, The Japan-U.S. Strategic Advisory.

The Baker Advisory will serve leading Japanese companies that are investing or expanding their business activities in the United States as well as companies seeking a broader strategic outlook.

The Baker Advisory, for its clients, will monitor key developments, assess their importance and future impacts, develop scenarios for planning purposes and provide advice directly to senior business leaders.

The advisory will feature one-on-one dialogue and an exchange of views between Baker and business leaders in Japan.



WKNO’s Robertson Joins Public TV Assoc. Board

WKNO television program and operations manager Debi Robertson has been added to the Public Television Programmers Association board of directors.

Robertson, who has worked for WKNO for 27 years, is now part of the leadership of an organization whose goal includes maintaining communication and information sharing among public television programmers and groups.

The designation is one of several such honors for Robertson, who was named WKNO Employee of the Year in 1996 and who recently helped WKNO grow its primetime base of viewers 4 percent over the past year and 12 percent for the entire day, according to the local public programming group.



Medtronic to Launch Angioplasty Products

Medtronic Inc. reported Thursday that it plans to launch a portfolio of angioplasty products in the United States on the rapid exchange (RX) delivery system.

The products are the Endeavor drug-eluting stent, the Driver and MicroDriver bare-metal stents and the NC Sprinter balloon catheter systems.

The rapid exchange system is a short single-wire delivery system that can by used by one operator, the company reported. The company expects this system will increase usage of its angioplasty products in the U.S.



Saint Francis Hospital Receives Sleep Certification

The Sleep Center at Saint Francis Hospital recently received accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The accreditation process involves detailed inspection of a center’s facility and evaluation of its staff, testing procedures, patient contacts and physician training. The accreditation is good for five years.

The academy sets clinical standards, advocates the recognition and treatment of sleep disorders and educates professionals in the field. It accredits more than 1,500 sleep medicine centers and laboratories across the country.



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PROPERTY SALES 83 363 9,932
MORTGAGES 91 378 11,692
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 39 1,673
BUILDING PERMITS 213 788 21,098
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