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VOL. 124 | NO. 224 | Friday, November 13, 2009

Daily Digest

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Sonic Franchisee Buys Poplar Avenue Site

Solberg Properties, the local franchisee of Sonic, America’s Drive-In restaurants, has bought the property at 5336 Poplar Ave. in East Memphis for $1.8 million. The 1-acre site contains a 6,713-square-foot building that was built in 1980 and formerly housed Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern and most recently the River City Bar & Grill.

Solberg Properties, a family owned business that operates Sonic restaurants throughout the area, on Nov. 6 bought the parcel from a trustee who owned it on behalf of two trusts: William A. Frazee, CPA, Trustee of the Luella Phillips Wiygul Revocable Trust Dated April 30, 1993, and the James L. Wiygul Revocable Trust Dated April 30, 1993.

The parcel is part of the Poplar and West Suggs Planned Unit Development Phase I and has an appraised value of $1.7 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

It sits on the north side of Poplar Avenue between Estate and West Suggs drives. Solberg Properties applied for rezoning of the property to allow a restaurant where food can be eaten inside vehicles, but the Land Use Control Board last month rejected the application, citing traffic concerns for the neighborhood.

The transaction included a right of first refusal agreement to Solberg and an easement agreement pertaining to the north end, or rear, of the property.

Representatives with Solberg Properties weren’t available to discuss the status of resubmitting a rezoning request or other plans for the property.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Eric Smith

Tenn. Caps CoverTN, Cites Budget Constraints

Tennessee’s subsidized health care plan will stop accepting new enrollment at the end of next month because of budget constraints.

The CoverTN program targets the uninsured who aren’t eligible for Medicaid. Under the plan, the state kicks in one-third of the monthly premium, while employers have the option of paying for another third.

Each third averages about $60 per month.

Program Director Gerald Reed said CoverTN’s recent enrollment period resulted in more than 2,500 new members. But he said the state “must continue to manage the program within our budget capacity.”

As of last month, CoverTN had about 21,000 enrollees.

Last month, the state announced it was ending enrollment for CoverKids, Tennessee’s health insurance program for children, effective Nov. 30.

– The Associated Press

Corker to Stay Neutral Over Williams’ GOP Status

Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said he won’t get involved in whether state House Speaker Kent Williams should have his GOP credentials restored.

When asked about Williams’ status Wednesday at a town hall meeting in the speaker’s native Elizabethton, Corker called the matter “a local and state issue.” He added he has friends on both sides of the issue.

Williams was stripped of his Republican credentials earlier this year for banding together with the chamber’s 49 Democrats to be elected speaker over the Republican nominee by a single vote.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., attended a fundraiser for Williams’ new political action committee last week, and likened his situation to the biblical parable of the prodigal son.

– The Associated Press

Majestic Star Casino Co. Declared in Default

The company that owns Fitz Casino & Hotel in Tunica has been declared in default on nearly $80 million in debt by its lenders.

Majestic Star Casino LLC disclosed the default notice in a U.S.

Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Majestic Star Senior Vice President Jon Bennett said the Las Vegas-based company is “looking at all alternatives available.”

The company also owns two Majestic Star casinos and a hotel in Gary, Ind., and a casino in Black Hawk, Colo.

The casino company and its subsidiaries already were in default with bondholders after missing multiple interest payments in the past year.

Majestic Star officials said in August it anticipated skipping some debt payments and it might file for bankruptcy protection.

– The Associated Press

Salvation Army Opens Rehab Campus

The Salvation Army of Memphis celebrated Thursday the establishment of the first Adult Rehabilitation Services campus for the national nonprofit agency.

The Salvation Army is moving its drug and alcohol addiction program from its Downtown location to a 20-acre campus. The new location is at 2649 Kirby-Whitten Road.

With the new center, the Salvation Army is increasing the number of beds from 80 to 125. It will also have 12 apartments for long-term transitional housing for men who need additional assistance after completing the six-month program.

The campus offers outdoor spaces, classrooms, a library, common areas, a computer training lab and a chapel. It also has an outdoor pavilion, basketball courts, a softball field, a running track and a garden pond.

Tom Wilemon

Meridian Bioscience Reports Record Sales

Meridian Biosience, which has its Life Science operation in Memphis, reported Thursday it had record sales during its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

The company’s sales of $42.5 million, compared to $36.5 million for the same period a year ago, were fueled by purchases of its rapid influenza tests.

Although revenues within the Life Science unit were essentially flat, the division recorded an operating income increase of 21 percent due to improvements to its operating fundamentals and a more profitable product mix, the company said.

Meridian’s companywide income for the quarter was $13.1 million, an increase of 15 percent from the same period a year ago.

Tom Wilemon

Memphis Chamber Honors Luminetx, Buckman

Luminetx Corp. and Buckman Laboratories are the 2009 Global Business Award recipients from the Greater Memphis Chamber International Business Council.

The awards will be presented today at the organization’s annual fall meeting. They recognize Memphis-based companies that excel in international business.

Luminetx sells the VeinViewer, a device that allows medical professionals to see blood vessels beneath the skin. Buckman Laboratories is a specialty chemical manufacturer.

Tom Wilemon

Women’s Foundation Donates $15K to Agape

The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis has donated $15,000 to Agape Child & Family Services’ Families in Transition program.

Agape’s FIT program serves homeless people, pregnant women and their children by providing housing and job skills training while reconnecting them with their family and other important relationships.

While on the FIT campus, residents are required to save 30 percent of their income. For the past four years, the FIT program has achieved an 81 percent success rate for the previously homeless women leaving the program and having their own permanent home.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Trumbull Laboratories Receives CAP Accreditation

Trumbull Laboratories LLC has been awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists based on the results of a recent onsite inspection.

The CAP accreditation process includes an inspection of the laboratory’s records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. Inspectors also examine the staff’s qualifications, laboratory equipment, facilities, safety program and records and the overall management of the laboratory.

Trumbull Laboratories is one of nearly 7,000 CAP-accredited laboratories nationwide.

The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is recognized by the federal government as being equal to the government’s own inspection program.

– Taylor Shoptaw

PROPERTY SALES 38 38 12,796
MORTGAGES 27 27 8,030
BUILDING PERMITS 137 137 30,071
BANKRUPTCIES 44 44 6,108