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VOL. 124 | NO. 200 | Monday, October 12, 2009

Daily Digest

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$1.5M Construction Loan Filed for Enclave PD

Duntreath Investments LLC has filed a $1.5 million construction loan through Magna Bank to build homes on four lots of the Enclave Planned Development’s third phase in Germantown. The 15.95-acre, 50-lot phase is north of Wolf River Boulevard in Germantown, between Farmington Boulevard and Forest Hill-Irene Road.

In conjunction with the loan, Duntreath Investments also acquired the lots from Duntreath Partners – whose partners are listed as G. Benjamin “Ben” Clark and Nicholas G. “Nick” Clark – for $526,500.

Duntreath Partners, an affiliate of Clark & Clark, developed Enclave, as well as the subdivisions of Grove Park and Forest Brook in Germantown, and Heartstone, Wellington Farms and Wood Grove in Collierville.

The four lots are on the northwest corner of the subdivision and front Enclave Hollow Lane West.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Gibbons Unveils Economic Plan

Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons, a Republican candidate for governor in next year’s race, has unveiled a five-point plan to combat unemployment and rev up the state’s economic engine.

Speaking to a crowd of economic development officials in Kingsport, Tenn., Thursday, Gibbons said as governor he would focus on low taxes and spending cuts; investment in the state’s infrastructure; economic development and community-based planning; improving education; and reducing crime.

Gibbons, Shelby County’s district attorney general for the past 12 years, also was a special assistant to former Gov. Lamar Alexander and helped create the Memphis Jobs Conference, an economic development initiative in the 1980s.

State Dept. of Education Awarded $3.4M for Special Ed.

The Tennessee Department of Education has been awarded a $3.4 million grant to improve the lives of special education students.

The grant, awarded through the United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, will be distributed over the next four years.

Its goals are to increase literacy skills, improve school and instructional climate, improve math outcomes for all students, improve early childhood outcomes for children diagnosed with autism and identify and remedy existing inequities in the distribution of highly qualified teachers.

Through the grant, the Department of Education also will provide technical assistance and professional development for general and special education teachers to facilitate the use of evidence-based and scientifically validated teaching methods.

USDA: Cotton Production To Rise Slightly Over ’08

U.S. cotton production is forecast to reach 13 million bales, slightly more than a year ago, with farmers in parts of the South expecting record yields.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported the forecast Friday. The report shows many states are expecting higher production totals than in 2008 even though growers planted fewer cotton acres this year.

However, big declines are forecast in several states, including Mississippi, where recent soggy weather has taken a toll.

The forecasts are based on Oct. 1 conditions.

In related news, record harvests are being forecast for corn and soybean farmers despite earlier concerns over a cool growing season.

In a report released Friday, the National Agricultural Statistics Service forecasts record yields for corn and record production for soybeans.

Corn production is estimated at 13 billion bushels, up 8 percent from 2008. If true, it will be the second highest production since 2007, when 13.04 billion bushels were harvested.

Yields are forecast to average a record 164.2 bushels per acre, up more than 10 bushels from 2008.

A record 3.25 billion bushels is forecast for soybeans, up 10 percent from 2008. Yields are expected to average 42.4 bushels per acre, the third highest on record.

Valero to Eliminate Jobs At New Jersey Refinery

More bad news for the oil refining industry in southern New Jersey.

San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp., which has a refinery in Memphis, has reported it plans to eliminate 100 jobs of the 550 at its Paulsboro, N.J., plant by year’s end.

The company told employees Thursday it will seek voluntary retirements from union and salaried workers.

Spokesman Bill Day said the offers will be attractive to workers.

Valero said the struggling economy has reduced demand for fuel. Last month it said it would idle two units at its Delaware City, Del., plant, cutting about 150 jobs.

Earlier last week, Sunoco Inc. said it would indefinitely idle its nearby facility, Eagle Point in West Deptford. That facility has 400 full-time workers.

Tax Filing Deadline Fast Approaching

It may have seemed like you had all the time in the world to file your tax return after you got that six-month extension last April. But if you still haven’t sent it in, there’s no more stalling.

Thursday is the final deadline for filing 2008 returns.

“This is it, do or die,” said Bob Meighan, an accountant and vice president of Intuit Inc.’s TurboTax division. The only people who can skip the deadline are members of the military serving in combat zones and people affected by recent natural disasters.

The Internal Revenue Service reported nearly 11 million people filed for extensions in the 2008 tax season. If you’re one of those, and you don’t file by Oct. 15, you’ll start racking up penalties with the IRS right away.

If you owe less than $25,000 and have no outstanding issues with the IRS, you may be able to pay in an installment plan. If you owe more, you’ll have to work out an agreement. You’ll still pay some penalties and interest, but the penalties are lower than those for not filing.

“The bottom line is file, even if you can’t pay,” Ochsenschlager said.

The rules for filing are the same as they are in April. The same deductions and credits that were available to taxpayers then – including the earned-income tax credit and the first-time homebuyer credit – can be claimed on a late return.

You can mail in a paper return or you can file electronically. The IRS’s Free File program, which offers basic online tax preparation at no cost to people who earned $56,000 or less in 2008, is available until Thursday, and can be accessed through the agency’s Web site at www.irs.gov.

PROPERTY SALES 41 308 2,265
MORTGAGES 47 379 2,607
BUILDING PERMITS 128 1,018 6,068
BANKRUPTCIES 53 255 1,787