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VOL. 125 | NO. 250 | Monday, December 27, 2010

Daily Digest

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Street Ministries Files Permit for Graham Facility

Streets Ministries Inc. has applied for a $4.3 million building permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for a new facility in the Graham Heights neighborhood.

Richard Vining, business director for Street Ministries, said the property was bought from a church that is moving to Arlington and the project will be similar to Streets’ Vance Avenue facility, which services 1,500 kids and teenagers a week.

“We currently have a $4.2 million building at 430 Vance Ave. that we opened five years ago here in the 38126 ZIP code. What we’re basically doing is going to replicate what we do here over there.”

Vining said Streets plans to break ground before February. The architect on the project is Fleming/Associates/Architects PC and the contractor is Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC.

Vining said Streets will keep the church facility but will demolish a gym and family life center on the property.

The facility will target Kingsbury elementary, middle and high schools – which are all close to Streets’ project.

Streets Ministries is a Christian youth program for ages 8 to 20. It is open in the afternoon for recreational activities such as basketball, video games and ping pong.

“We also have an educational and mentor side of the facility,” Vining said. “So after you build a relationship with kids on campus and in your facility, then we hope that they get involved things like Bible study, our mentorship program, college prep program, things like that. We also take kids to camp, take them on college tours.”

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Saint Francis Entity Acquires Memphis Medical Specialists

Saint Francis Medical Partners announced last week the acquisition of Memphis Medical Specialists PC, an internal medicine practice.

Memphis Medical Specialists consists of six physicians: Eugene Spiotta Sr., Eugene Spiotta Jr., Robert Kerlan, Doug Karmel, Stephen Shiffman and Susan Locke.

“As we begin preparing for the challenges of healthcare reform, we need to embrace innovative strategies to allow physicians and hospitals to successfully care for our patients and improve access to care for our community,” Spiotta said.

Saint Francis Medical Partners currently has two locations: 8025 U.S. 64 in Bartlett; and 450 S. Perkins Road. Memphis Medical Specialists will continue to see patients in their current location at 6005 Park Ave.

The deal goes into effect Jan. 2.

– Sarah Baker

Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club Hits Airwaves With Radio Show

Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club will take to the airwaves with a new radio show on KWAM 990.

The program will include LPBC topics and events, as well as discussions about LPBC Director Jeremy Park’s regular column in The Daily News.

Each show will feature interviews with business leaders and a nonprofit focus.

The first show hits the airwaves at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8.

Founded in 2005, LPBC is a team of member businesses collaborating to enrich business leaders and impact the community.

LPBC hosts or facilitates about 100 events each year, including its signature breakfast, which brings together about 300 business leaders 8 times annually.

– Aisling Maki

Henry Appointed to State Cabinet Position

Jim Henry is a familiar face in Tennessee politics. Now he is returning to Nashville next year with a new job in a new cabinet position under a new governor.

Henry, the former mayor of Kingston, Tenn., was selected last week by Gov.-elect Bill Haslam as the new commissioner of Intellectual Disabilities.

The new cabinet position was created by the Tennessee legislature, which pulled the position out of the Finance and Administration department. Henry will be the first person to hold the cabinet position. He is the father of a child with developmental difficulties.

Henry served for 12 years as a state representative. He was Republican leader in the state House for six years in the 1980s. And Henry ran in the 2002 GOP primary for governor.

Out of the political spotlight, Henry has been president and CEO of Omni Visions Inc. The company covers four states including Tennessee and serves adults with developmental disabilities.

– Bill Dries

WKNO Honors Long-Time Supporter

The Julian Bondurant Distinguished Service Award has been given to long-time WKNO supporter Jim Springfield, WKNO Public Broadcasting has announced.

Springfield, who began his relationship with WKNO in 1983 as a volunteer with the Action Auction while working at Union Planters Bank, played a big role in the recent capital campaign that led to the station’s digital transition and the construction of its new digital media center.

The award was presented at WKNO’s December board meeting.

– Andy Meek

Eclectic Eye Donates Toys, Money to MIFA

The Eclectic Eye donated toys and $645 to the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association’s Holiday Hope Chest, which benefits children of families served by the Housing Opportunities and Emergency Services programs.

From Nov. 29 through Dec. 17, the eyewear boutique’s Midtown and Collierville locations collected donations of new unwrapped toys and donated $5 for each set of frames purchased towards the purchase of new toys.

This is the fourth consecutive year that The Eclectic Eye has supported MIFA’s Holiday Hope Chest. In that time, the store has collected hundreds of toys and donated more than $1,500 to the nonprofit.

– Taylor Shoptaw

New Home Sales Rise 5.5 Pct. in November

More people purchased new homes in November, though not enough to signal better times are ahead for the battered housing industry.

Sales of new homes rose 5.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 290,000 units, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That’s less than half the rate that economists consider healthy. And the increase follows a dismal October sales pace that nearly matched the lowest level in 47 years.

Economists believe it could take three years to get back to a more normal rate of 600,000 sales per year given a continued glut of unsold homes and falling prices.

The median price for a home sold in November fell to $213,000, 2.7 percent lower than a year ago.

Sluggish sales mean fewer jobs in the construction industry, which normally helps power economic recoveries. On average, each new home built creates the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

High unemployment, tighter bank lending standards and uncertainty about home prices have kept people from buying homes. Government tax credits propped up sales earlier this year but those credits expired in April.

The new-home sales report showed a downward revision to activity in October. That month was revised to a rate of 275,000. The all-time low of 274,000 units was hit in August.

– The Associated Press

Mortgage Rates Edge Down After 5 Weeks of Gains

Rates on fixed mortgages dipped after rising for five weeks in a row.

Still, they remain more than a half-point higher than last month and are at the highest level since late spring.

Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage slipped to 4.81 percent from 4.83 percent in the previous week. Last month, the rate reached a 40-year low of 4.17 percent, but has since been edging higher.

The average rate on the 15-year loan, a popular refinance option, also fell to 4.15 percent from 4.17 percent. It hit 3.57 percent in November, the lowest level on records starting in 1991.

The rates do not include add-on fees, known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount. The average fee for the 30-year, 15-year and 1-year loans in Freddie Mac’s survey was 0.7 point. The average fee for the five-year ARM was 0.6 point.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751