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VOL. 124 | NO. 54 | Thursday, March 19, 2009

Daily Digest

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Dentist Buys Cordova Medical Office

Jason Collier, a dentist at the Southern Dental Implant Center, has bought the Cordova building that houses the practice. Collier paid $800,000 to buy the 7,112-square-foot medical office building from William and Jeanne Locante. William Locante is a partner at the Center’s Nashville practice.

The Class B office medical building was built in 1997 and sits on 0.64 acres in the Timber Creek Office Park Planned Development, not far from the intersection of Germantown Parkway and Walnut Run Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2009 appraisal is $727,700.

Collier financed the purchase with two loans: one for $633,200 through The Huntington National Bank and one for $160,000 through the sellers, William and Jeanne Locante. The transaction also included an assignment of leases and rents to The Huntington National Bank.

A call to Collier was not immediately returned.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

MLGW Board to Discuss Energy Efficiency Proposal

The Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division board of directors is scheduled to discuss at today’s meeting a resolution approving a policy to govern an initiative calling for energy efficiency in rental property.

The Memphis City Council in February passed an ordinance backing the initiative at the behest of MLGW. The measure is designed to improve the living conditions as well as the heating and cooling equipment at poorly maintained rental units and that cause high utility bills.

As a result, MLGW has to appoint employees who will enforce the ordinance and keep records of any actions taken.

The final version of the ordinance governing the program allows MLGW employees to inspect rental property and write citations to the owners.

Today’s resolution will be discussed during the MLGW board meeting that will be held in the MLGW Administration Building, 220 S. Main St., at 3 p.m.

Airport Authority To Meet Today

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA) will hold its March board of commissioners meeting today at 8 a.m. The meeting will be held in the Airport Authority boardroom, inside the terminal building at Memphis International Airport.

There are no resolutions for approval on the agenda, although division reports are slated for today’s meeting.

The next MSCAA board meeting is set for April 16.

Luminetx Names New Chief Executive

Richard Kindberg is the new chief executive officer of Memphis-based Luminetx.

The company announced his appointment Wednesday morning. Prior to joining Luminetx, Kindberg served as divisional president for Teleflex Medical, a billion-dollar medical device company based in Durham, N.C. He has also held senior management positions at C.R. Bard, Optical Biopsy Technologies, Richard-Allan Medical, Focal Interventional and Johnson & Johnson.

Luminetx markets the VeinViewer medical imaging device and the Snowflake biometric imaging device.

Al Gossett, the chairman of the Luminetx board, served as interim CEO prior to Kindberg’s appointment.

US Consumer Prices Rise in February

U.S. consumer prices rose in February by the largest amount in seven months as gasoline prices surged again and clothing costs jumped the most in nearly two decades.

But the increase appeared to ease many economists’ concerns about dangerous price movements in either direction. The recession is expected to dampen any inflationary pressures for at least the rest of this year, while the slight uptick in prices over the past two months also has made the possibility of deflation more remote.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Wednesday that consumer inflation rose 0.4 percent in February, the biggest one-month jump since a 0.7 percent rise in July. Two-thirds of last month’s increase, which was slightly more than analysts expected, reflected a big jump in gasoline pump prices.

Falling prices may sound good to consumers, but can actually make a recession even worse by dragging down Americans’ wages, and clobbering already-stricken home and stock prices. Dropping prices already are hurting businesses’ profits, forcing them to slice capital investments and lay off workers.

“Consumer inflation in the first two months of the year is starting to look more normal than the extremely depressed numbers that printed in the fourth quarter of last year,” Michael Feroli, economist at JPMorgan Economics, wrote in a research note. “The last two readings on core inflation have almost certainly given the Fed some comfort, easing fears that last quarter’s figures presaged a quick slide into deflation.”

Still, Jay Bryson, global economist for Wachovia Corp., said prices will remain under pressure for the next year or more as unemployment increases and consumer spending stay sluggish. That could prompt businesses to cut prices in an effort to spur sales.

“I don’t think we’re out of the deflationary woods at this point,” he said.

Gas prices surged 8.3 percent last month after a 6 percent rise in January. Both gains came after several months of huge declines in prices at the pump.

Total energy costs rose 3.3 percent in February, almost double the 1.7 percent January rise. But energy prices are still down 18.5 percent from a year ago. Home heating oil and natural gas prices both fell in February.

Clothing costs shot up 1.3 percent in February, the biggest one-month rise since a 1.5 percent increase in March 1990. The gain likely reflected a rebound from steep discounts offered in January as retailers were clearing store shelves after the worst holiday season in decades.

MGM Mirage Reports Big Loss

MGM Mirage, the parent company of Gold Strike Casino in Tunica and Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Miss., lost $1.15 billion in the fourth quarter.

Shares of the stock fell Wednesday morning following the release of the earnings report after the market’s close Tuesday. The quarterly loss compared to income of $1.5 billion for the same period a year ago.

The revenues at the company’s Mississippi properties amounted to $122.14 million for the fourth quarter compared to $124.58 million for the same period a year ago.

For the year, MGM Mirage reported a loss of $129.6 million compared to income of $2.8 billion during 2007.

The fourth quarter loss included a $1.18 billion “goodwill” charge for the declining value of properties acquired with MGM Mirage’s 2005 merger with Mandalay Resort Group. The properties were Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur and Gold Strike Tunica.

House Panel Votes to End Handgun Permits Access

Tennessee’s database of state-issued permits to carry loaded handguns would be closed from public inspection under a proposal headed for a full House vote.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 to advance the measure sponsored by Rep. Eddie Bass, a Prospect Democrat and a retired sheriff.

Bass argued that making the permit information public is a violation of personal privacy. He unsuccessfully tried to squash a provision to keep a current a state law in place that requires the Safety Department to deliver statistical reports about handgun permits to the Legislature.

“We all know what statistics do,” Bass said. “Someday they’re going to be turned around to use against our program.”

Frank Gibson, who runs the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, cited several cases where media investigations revealed that felons and other ineligible people held handgun permits. The Associated Press is a member of the group.

Gibson said another newspaper report showed that a woman was able to inform police that her stalker had obtained a handgun permit.

Bass appeared unimpressed.

“No one has shown me any valid reason for the world to know your address and your date of birth and everything else,” he said. “It’s just a gross violation of a person’s privacy.”

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 52 374 8,123
MORTGAGES 52 433 9,632
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 9 90 1,448
BUILDING PERMITS 218 906 17,513
BANKRUPTCIES 45 252 5,658
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 143 3,091
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 24 152 3,402
MARRIAGE LICENSES 38 158 1,846

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