Abner Building Buys 1.34 Acres in Collierville

A company called Abner Building Co. LLC on July 31 paid $554,648 for 1.34 acres in Collierville. The land is an outparcel of the 55-acre Ballard Property Planned Development at the northeast corner of Houston Levee Road and Crooked Creek Drive, near Poplar Avenue.

Abner Building Co. filed a $500,000 loan through Independent Bank in conjunction with the purchase. Laura Lendermon Rangi signed the trust deed as a member of Abner Building Co. A call to Lendermon Rangi for comment was not immediately returned.

Prior to the sale, on May 2, the land was quitclaimed, or transferred, from HBO Holdings LLC to Douglas R. Beaty, trustee of the Forest Hill Land Trust, dated Feb. 12, 2007. Beaty then acted as seller to Abner Building Co.

The Ballard Property PD is home to a senior facility being built by Memphis-based Retirement Cos. of America and a health club owned by Life Time Fitness Inc.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Fred’s Same-Store Sales Fall 4.6 Percent in July

Memphis-based discounter Fred’s Inc. reported Thursday its same-store sales fell 4.6 percent in July, as the recession put pressure on its customers.

CEO Bruce Efird called the results “disappointing,” saying the company expected flat same-store sales in July.

“The decline in sales marked an unexpected reversal from the positive sales trends we have seen this year,” he said. “Challenges in July included the continuing pressures on consumers from high unemployment and the absence of economic stimulus checks that boosted consumer spending last summer.”

Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, are a key measure of retailer performance because they measure growth at existing stores rather than from newly opened ones.

Total sales in July fell 4 percent to $124.4 million.

The company also reaffirmed its second-quarter profit outlook of 12 to 15 cents per share.

Dalai Lama to Receive International Freedom Award

The 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader and head of the government-in-exile of Tibet, will be awarded the National Civil Rights Museum’s International Freedom Award next month in Memphis.

The Tibetan spiritual leader is to receive the award, sponsored by the Hyde Family Foundations, Sept. 23 at The Peabody hotel.

The Dalai Lama is marking his 50th year in exile from his country. He fled Tibet in 1959 as the Chinese government quelled an uprising in the Himalayan country 10 years after it was invaded by China’s army. He’s lived in Dharamsala, India, near the Tibetan border, since his exile began.

NCRM board Chairman Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks described the Dalai Lama as “a living example of Dr. Martin Luther King and Gandhi’s non-violence in the face of political oppression and suffering.”

The award presentation will be separate from the annual NCRM Freedom Awards in October. The Oct. 27 banquet at the Memphis Cook Convention Center will honor Myrlie Evers Williams, the former chair of the NAACP and widow of civil rights martyr Medgar Evers, and Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving.

Merger Expands CRSA Service Area

Memphis-based Cooperative Retirement Services of America Inc. (CRSA) is acquiring Retirement Living Services of Hartford, Conn.

The Memphis company employs 55 people in corporate jobs and another 550 professionals across the country. It serves 36 senior living communities in 20 states.

Avery Rockefeller, the former chief executive officer of Retirement Living Services, will head CRSA’s Northeast Regional Office. CRSA also operates a regional office in Charlotte, N.C.

Speaker Asks Lawmakers To Curtail Workdays

Tennessee House leaders say Speaker Kent Williams’ request for lawmakers to minimize their workdays at the state Capitol this summer and fall is fiscally necessary and most of their colleagues agree.

In a July 17 letter signed by Williams’ chief of staff, the Elizabethton Republican asked lawmakers to “please plan your Nashville office work so it can be accomplished in as few days as possible.”

Lawmakers often return to the Capitol for study committees following the spring legislative session.

Democratic House Minority Leader Gary Odom of Nashville and Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin said Thursday they believe such action is appropriate considering the state’s budget crisis and their colleagues understand that.

The letter suggested lawmakers try to complete their summer business within two days.

16 Glankler Brown Attorneys Chosen for Best Lawyers

Sixteen attorneys from the Memphis law firm Glankler Brown PLLC recently were selected by their colleagues for inclusion in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

The attorneys selected were Louis F. Allen, Saul C. Belz, John David Blaylock, William L. Bomar, R. Grattan Brown Jr., Oscar C. Carr III, Lee J. Chase III, B. Douglas Earthman, Charles W. Hill, R. Hunter Humphreys, Robert L. Hutton, William T. Mays Jr., George T. Nassar Jr., J. William Pierce Jr., Douglas P. Quay and C. Barry Ward. All of these lawyers were selected within their specific areas of practice.

This is the 11th year Chase and Ward have received the honor. Blaylock and Carr have been selected for the 21st consecutive year, and Brown has been recognized for the 26th year in a row.

The law firm also ranked No. 1 in Memphis in the areas of tax law, non-white-collar criminal defense and white-collar criminal defense.

Education Department Recovers More Than $425,000

The Tennessee Department of Education has recovered more than $425,000 from a vendor that overbilled for services and then alerted the department to the problem.

A special investigation by the state comptroller found Edvantia Inc. overbilled for administering the Exemplary Educators program grant contracts. The program assigns teachers and administrators to schools in need.

The overbilling began in November 2000. The company voluntarily disclosed the overbilling in early 2004 and again in February 2005, when it requested a state audit.

Comptroller Justin Wilson expressed concern that the Education Department was not able to detect the overbilling on its own but had to be alerted to the problem by the vendor.

Tennessee Joins In Zero-Emission Vehicles Study

The state of Tennessee has joined four other states in an electric vehicle plan designed to study, develop and implement the use of technologies to support zero-emission vehicles, including electric vehicles.

The project, which includes Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington, will install electric vehicle charging infrastructure and deploy up to 5,000 Nissan battery electric vehicles. The initial investments in Tennessee will focus on Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville.

Approximately 2,500 charging stations will be installed to support as many as 1,000 cars that are expected to be purchased for use in commercial and government fleets and by individual consumers.

The project will be funded through a $99.8 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to Electric Transportation Engineering Corp. in partnership with Nissan, which has developed the Nissan Leaf, a zero-emission electric vehicle.

The first cars will be available in late 2010 and early 2011.

Gov. Phil Bredesen helped fund Tennessee’s share of the project by committing $5 million for electric vehicle infrastructure in the 2009-2010 budget approved by the General Assembly.