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VOL. 125 | NO. 1 | Monday, January 4, 2010

Daily Digest

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Crichton College Sold for $5.3 Million

Less than a year after entering into a definitive agreement to form a strategic alliance with SignificantPsychology LLC, the board of directors at Crichton College has formally sold the Christian liberal arts college at 255 N. Highland St. to the California company for $5.3 million.

The sale closed Dec. 1 and was recorded by the Shelby County Register of Deeds last week.

The new ownership saved Crichton, established in 1941, from closing its doors. In January 2009 the school was on the verge of shutting down because of the economy. That’s when SignificantPsychology founder and chairman Michael Clifford stepped forward to purchase the East Memphis college.

Clifford and Crichton announced in February they had entered into the definite agreement for the alliance. Clifford is an “education entrepreneur” who has acquired other Christian post-secondary institutions around the nation.

Clifford said in a release earlier last year that Crichton will “remain focused on serving adult students while developing urban professional leaders.” Clifford added that Crichton will continually strive to “challenge students to think critically, grow spiritually, and change their worlds.”

Crichton director of public affairs Christy McFarland said while the real estate transaction has closed, a few regulatory approvals through the state department of education need to be finalized.

The school’s accreditation agency, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), approved the purchase during the summer.

The college’s 6.7-acre campus sits on the west side of North Highland Street, between Sam Cooper Boulevard and Walnut Grove Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2009 appraisal is $1.6 million, but the school is exempt from property taxes.

SignificantPsychology, an entity related to Solana Beach, Calif.-based SignificantFederation, financed the purchase with a $4.3 million deed of trust, assignment of rents, security agreement and fixture filing through SunTrust Bank and a $1.1 million second lien deed of trust through Crichton.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Eric Smith

Mayor Ford to Hold Regular Coffee Conversations

Interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford will start the new year with a Coffee and Conversation Tour across Shelby County.

Ford will visit various breakfast spots in Memphis and Shelby County at 7:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Friday and occasional Saturdays.

The first stop will be Tuesday at West Street Diner, 207 West St., Germantown. Ford also will visit Collierville Coffee Club, 700 W. Poplar Ave. Friday and Old Timers, 7918 C St., Millington on Saturday.

For more information about the tour or to suggest future stops, call 545-4588.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Veterans’ Homes Board Lacks Contracts, Audit Finds

An audit of the Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes Board found it did not obtain the required approvals for service contracts and in some cases had no contracts with vendors for fiscal year 2008.

The problem has persisted through seven prior audits, according to an audit from the state comptroller’s office.

The most recent audit, released to the public Wednesday, found 34 percent of the vendors studied were operating without contracts.

Of those with contracts, 47 percent were not signed by the appropriate parties and another 42 percent had not been signed until after the contracts were already in effect.

Veterans’ homes board managers say they are following a correction plan and progress is being made, according to the audit. The board anticipates improvements in the audit for fiscal year 2009.

– The Associated Press

SurgiVision Inc. Plans Public Offering

Memphis-based SurgiVision Inc. has filed an application for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The medical device company is working on the development and commercialization of technologies that will allow physicians to see inside the brain and heart using MRI guidance while performing minimally invasive procedures.

The technologies still require regulatory approval, according to the prospectus summary the company submitted to the SEC. The company is partnering with Siemens and Boston Scientific in developing two of its products.

Boston Scientific paid SurgiVision $13 million in 2008 and has agreed to pay $21.6 million in future milestone-based payments and royalties for the SafeLead Development Program, which involves Boston Scientific incorporating the Memphis company’s MRI-safety technologies into Boston Scientific’s implantable cardiac and neuromodulation leads.

Another product, the ClearTrace Cardiac Intervention System, is being developed in conjunction with Siemens. This product will give doctors a new tool for treating atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that affects more than 3 million people in the United States.

Siemens is responsible for developing the software for the ClearTrace system, while SurgiVision is responsible for developing the catheters and other hardware. SurgiVision is obligated to pay Siemens up to $2.5 million in future milestone payments for the successful development of the software.

However, SurgiVision’s most advanced product candidate is being developed internally without a partner. The ClearPoint Neuro Intervention System will allow doctors to better target areas in the brain for minimally invasive neurological procedures.

SurgiVision has 35 patents and 101 patent applications in its portfolio.

Tom Wilemon

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 14 51 326
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 115 606
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0