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VOL. 123 | NO. 195 | Monday, October 6, 2008

Daily Digest

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Builder Reeves-Williams In Default for $5.3 Million

Southaven-based developer and builder Reeves-Williams LLC is in default on payment for debts and obligations related to $5.3 million worth of construction deeds of trust and assignments of rents and leases dating back to March 17, 2006. The three loans in default are related to lots and homes in the Franklin Farms Planned Development in Cordova.

The notices begin on Page 36 of today’s print edition of The Daily News and also at The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Franklin Farms PD is near Houston Levee Road and U.S. Highway 64 in Cordova. Reeves-Williams developed the lots after buying 46.55 acres in the subdivision in 2003 from trustee Cary R. Califf for $1.3 million.

The company is in default on three trust deeds related to the subdivision; all three loans are through AmSouth Bank with FMLS Inc. as trustee.

The first was a $4.5 million construction loan dated March 17, 2006, for 72 lots in Franklin Farms. The second was a $716,576 construction loan dated Aug. 9, 2006, for six lots and one home in Franklin Farms; the real property in default under this loan is 10230 Old Well Terrace in Cordova.

And the third was a $112,796 construction loan dated Dec. 6, 2007, for one lot and one home in Franklin Farms; the real property in default under this loan is 2554 Plum Creek Drive in Cordova.

All properties related to these defaults will be sold at a substitute trustee’s sale Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. on the southwest corner of the Adams Avenue entrance to the Shelby County Courthouse.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

County Commission To Vote on Appointments

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners is expected today to approve several appointments to boards and commissions.

Among the approvals that are expected are Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s nomination of Tracy R. Chism for appointment to the Shelby County Health, Education and Housing Facility Board. Also on the slate are Wharton’s nominations of Anthony Tate and Lee Askew III for appointment to the Shelby County Healthcare Corp. and Michael Adrian Davis and Marc E. Willis for appointment to the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission.

Kurt “KC” Clayton, Richard C. Cushing, John Michael Maccarthy, Patricia Mitchell Worley and Michael Steven Moore will be reappointed to their positions on the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission.

The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Shelby County Administration Building, 125 N. Main St.

Waverly Gardens Files Bankruptcy

Waverly Gardens of Memphis LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com. The address listed for the business is 6539 Knight Arnold Road, which is in East Memphis at the border of Germantown.

Grady Vaughn, executive director of the Waverly Gardens senior living community at that address, said the company filed Chapter 11 as a way to restructure business assets, but that the change would not affect residents living there.

“It will not affect (operations) in any way whatsoever,” Vaughn said. “You know how banks are scared these days and they’re wanting money. That’s all this amounts to. We’re going to fight, rather than have the banks take us down. So we filed Chapter 11 restructure and everything keeps going as is.”

The facility is not financially broke, he said. It’s simply restructuring, and employees and residents will not be affected.

“We’re in great shape, all employees, all residents, everything will keep running as is,” Vaughn said.

There are two facilities on the Knight Arnold Road property. A few years ago, Waverly Gardens purchased the property that was Kirby Oaks Guest Home at 6551 Knight Arnold Road and turned it into a facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease. That property, Waverly Glen Memory Care Assisted Living, has 40 studio, one- and two-bedroom assisted-living apartments.

The original space has 137 independent-living apartments.

Employers Slash Payrolls By 159K in September

Employers slashed payrolls by 159,000 in September, the most in more than five years, a worrisome sign that the economy is hurtling toward a deep recession.

The U.S. Labor Department’s fresh snapshot, released Friday, also showed the nation’s unemployment rate held steady at 6.1 percent

as hundreds of thousands of people streamed out of the work force for any number of reasons.

The reduction in payrolls was much sharper than the 100,000 cuts economists were forecasting. They expected the jobless rate to be unchanged.

It marked the ninth straight month the economy has lost jobs. The drop underscores fallout from a long slump in the housing market and a dangerous credit crunch that intensified last month throwing Wall Street – and the economy – into chaos.

So far this year, 760,000 jobs have disappeared.

Employers cut 73,000 jobs in August, slightly less than the 84,000 initially estimated, according to revised figures. However, the cuts in July turned out to be a bit deeper – 67,000 versus the 60,000 previously reported.

The 159,000 jobs lost in September were the most since March 2003, when the labor market was still struggling to get back on its feet after being knocked down by the 2001 recession.

Job losses were widespread last month.

Senators Pressure Medtronic To Disclose Consulting Info.

Senate lawmakers are pressuring Medtronic to disclose more about its consulting arrangements with physicians, citing prior allegations the company paid kickbacks to surgeons to boost sales of spinal implants.

In separate letters issued Tuesday, U.S. Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Herb Kohl, D-Wis., asked the company to provide details about physicians who receive company payments for consulting services.

The two lawmakers have repeatedly criticized the influence pharmaceutical and medical device companies hold over physicians. A bill written by the senators would require companies to disclose all payments to physicians that are more than $500, and Eli Lilly recently became the first drugmaker to volunteer to publish such information.

“I hope that Medtronic will consider making public its payments to physicians in the future and thereby show similar leadership in the device industry,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Medtronic Chief Executive Bill Hawkins.

The company said it is “very supportive of industrywide transparency” in a statement, and pointed out it has supported Grassley and Kohl’s bill.

In 2006 Medtronic reached a $40 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to settle charges that it paid physicians millions in kickbacks to use its spinal repair products. Medtronic denied any wrongdoing. As part of the arrangement, the government agreed to seek dismissal of the two cases brought by former employees in U.S. District Court in Memphis, where the company’s spinal and biologics division is headquartered.

But recent stories by The Wall Street Journal have attracted new scrutiny to the cases against the company, one of which remains sealed. Citing a copy of the sealed lawsuit, the Journal reported Medtronic allegedly entertained surgeons at a strip club, sent them on fully paid trips to Alaska and awarded some royalties on inventions they had no part in developing.

Medtronic representatives would not comment on specifics of the case because it is still sealed.

Signature Chefs Auction Names Lineup

The 18th Annual Signature Chefs Auction, benefiting the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, has named the chef lineup for the event set for Nov. 2 at The Peabody hotel.

The event is one of the biggest fundraisers for the March of Dimes.

The lineup will feature 25 regional chefs representing 27 restaurants, including chefs from The Peabody, Automatic Slim’s, Bhan Thai and Felicia Suzanne’s.

Tickets for the auction cost $250 per person and are available for purchase at the March of Dimes Memphis office.

PROPERTY SALES 101 603 9,602
MORTGAGES 92 538 10,616
BUILDING PERMITS 215 1,282 20,958
BANKRUPTCIES 51 408 6,108