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VOL. 124 | NO. 121 | Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Daily Digest

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Shoemaker Financial Files $800,000 Refinance

Shoemaker Financial, a locally owned financial services firm, has filed an $800,000 loan through Merchants and Farms Bank. Operating in the transaction as Shoemaker Enterprises LLC, the company filed the loan on its 24,204-square-foot headquarters at 2176 West St. in Germantown.

Built in 1975, the building sits on 2.23 acres in the Germantown Commons subdivision, on the east side of West Street. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2009 appraisal of the property is just shy of $2 million.

Prior to the loan, company president James Shoemaker quitclaimed the property to the company.

Jeremy Jones, an associate at Shoemaker Financial, said the loan stemmed from some upgrades the company had already performed on its property, and that it was a refinancing to a better rate.

The original loan, in 2007, covered a host of interior and exterior upgrades at the property, including new paint, flooring, carpet and wood replacement.

“We did some improvements on the terms (of the old loan) and that type of thing,” Jones said.

Shoemaker employs 35 in its Germantown office and 65 companywide, which includes offices in Tennessee, Mississippi and Indiana. Jones said the financial services climate – at Shoemaker and elsewhere – is beginning to turn around.

“It’s been a long recovery for a lot of people,” he said. “We’re just trying to get back in the positive – as far as positive thinking and motivated and getting the confidence back. I think confidence is definitely getting back and things are starting to improve a little bit.”

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Delta: Swine Flu Will Result In $250M Revenue Hit

Delta Air Lines Inc. reported Monday that travel demand slowed by the H1N1 virus will result in a $250 million hit to the carrier’s revenue this year.

Chief Executive Richard Anderson told shareholders at the airline’s annual meeting in New York that because of the virus, also known as swine flu, Delta has significantly reduced capacity into Mexico and Latin America.

The carrier also cut capacity in Asia, where customers still remember the SARS outbreak in 2003.

Anderson added that Delta will replace some of the capacity to those areas later this year.

Earlier this month, the Atlanta-based carrier said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that a drop in travel demand would amount to an impact of $125 million to $150 million in the second quarter.

Anderson had described the revenue impact Monday while talking about the effect of the virus in the second quarter. A spokeswoman later clarified that the $250 million figure related to annual impact on revenue.

MGM Mirage Mulls Decision to Sell Gold Strike

MGM Mirage will decide “within the next month” whether to sell its casinos in Mississippi and Detroit, according to a statement that Chief Executive Officer Jim Murren made in an interview with Bloomberg news service last week.

The company is considering selling Gold Strike in Tunica, Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Miss., and the MGM Grand Detroit to cut debt. It has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to assist with the possible sale of the casinos.

In other casino-related news, Mississippi’s state-licensed casinos rebounded from a disappointing April by winning $19.2 million more in May, but the numbers were down from a year ago.

Mississippi State Tax Commission figures show casinos won $224.3 million in May.

But gamblers held their pocketbooks and wallets tighter than a year ago as the industry took in about $11.4 million less than in May 2008.

The agency said revenue for May 2008 was $235.7 million.

The casinos along the Mississippi River won $125.5 million in May compared with $128.2 million from the same period a year ago. The Gulf Coast casinos took in $98.8 million last month compared with $107.4 million in May 2008.

State Lawmakers Agree On Charter Schools, Pre-K

Tennessee Democrats and Republicans eventually got what they wanted this session on the issues of charter schools and the governor’s pre-kindergarten program.

A mostly Republican-backed proposal to open charter school eligibility to more students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches appeared dead when the House Education Committee adjourned for the year without taking up the measure.

But the committee eventually reopened and Democrats agreed to changes to the proposal.

As for pre-K, Senate Republicans had previously suggested drawing $22 million of pre-K funding from lottery reserves. Democrats criticized the move as a step toward scaling back or ultimately killing the program targeted at 4-year-olds from poor families.

Republicans eventually acquiesced.

State Accepts Applications For Governor’s Trade Award

The state of Tennessee is accepting applications for the 2009 Governor’s Award for Trade Excellence.

The awards recognize Tennessee companies that have shown strong export growth in three categories: large companies of 250 or more employees, medium-sized companies of 26 to 250 employees and small companies of 25 employees or fewer.

Businesses may nominate themselves or be nominated by a trade association, customer or person familiar with the company’s achievements.

The awards will be presented at the 56th Annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville Sept. 14-15.

Nominations may be submitted online at the Tennessee Economic and Community Development Web site, www.tnecd.gov, or applications may be downloaded and mailed to ECD. The deadline for applications is Aug. 21.  

Funds Disputed In Winkler Case

A woman convicted of killing her minister husband has filed motions against her former in-laws alleging they inappropriately used money collected to benefit her children.

Mary Winkler was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and is on probation for the 2006 killing of her husband Matthew Winkler in Selmer, Tenn.

After Winkler was arrested, her daughters’ paternal grandparents took temporary custody of Winkler’s three daughters. Their church established the Winkler Family Fund and collected more than $200,000.

Winkler, who has regained custody of the children, returned to court Monday in Huntingdon, Tenn., for a hearing to ask for restitution of the funds.

The grandparents’ attorney argues the funds belonged to the church.

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