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VOL. 125 | NO. 138 | Monday, July 19, 2010

Daily Digest

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Power Center CDC Buys Marina Cove

Weeks after the city of Memphis came to an agreement with Water Gardens LLC to buy the blighted Marina Cove apartment complex on Winchester Road, the property has been bought for $1.6 million.

The Daily News recently reported on Marina Cove at 5505 Winchester Road in Hickory Hill. For years, the owners have defied city attempts to force a demolition or cleanup of the site. However, Memphis leaders last month came to an agreement with Marina Cove’s owners. For details on that deal, see the June 25 edition of The Daily News.

As planned, The Power Center Community Development Corp. bought the property from Water Gardens LLC, a limited liability company in dissolution, as well as Optimal Partners LLC and National Community Development Association Inc., which contain the members of the original Water Gardens LLC.

The sale was financed with a $668,216 loan through the city’s Division of Housing and Community Development.

The city’s settlement with Water Gardens’ members involved $700,000 in city funds. The remainder of the sale price – $900,000 – was a taxable donation from Water Gardens LLC, according to Laschandra Spraggins, public relations director for The Power Center CDC.

As reported in late June, Power Center CDC is working with an unnamed “major developer” on commercial and retail uses in a master plan expected to be unveiled this fall. Spraggins said the name of the developer is still under wraps.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Early Voting Complications Could Come From Eviction

A move to evict Democratic nominee for County Register Coleman Thompson from his office could complicate early voting.

Thompson owns Pyramid Recovery Center in South Memphis, which is one of the early voting sites for the Aug. 5 election.

Thompson’s landlord began eviction proceedings and last week secured a notice to evict the recovery center later this month.

But Thompson is appealing, according to Shelby County Election Commission chairman Bill Giannini. Giannini told The Daily News he is concerned about the possible eviction, which without any kind of delay could come in the middle of the early voting period.

The Election Commission has been talking with the owner of the building about some back-up plan to allow early voting to continue there even if Thompson is evicted.

The center on South Third Street has been an early voting site for more than a decade.

The sites the Election Commission leases include provisions that bar any outside access to the voting machines, which are usually stored there several days before the early voting period begins.

A set out of voting machines along with anything else in the building would raise questions about the security of the voting machines and the results recorded by the voting machines.

– Bill Dries

Wharton Adjusts Budget to Add 55 Miles of Bike Lanes

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has directed city engineering staff to adjust their operating budget plans to facilitate the phased creation of about 55 miles of new bicycle lanes and facilities throughout the city.

Wharton’s announcement Thursday of that commitment to creating the bike lanes comes days after he acknowledged his disappointment the city’s Engineering Division didn’t include bicycle lanes in the city’s application for federal stimulus funding.

The mayor’s 2010-2011 Bicycle Facilities Program will use redirected funds from the city engineer’s budget to ensure bike lanes and facilities get included in upcoming repaving projects throughout the city. Work on the lanes will start immediately and wrap up within 18 to 24 months.

The first project will get started Monday, and it will involve striping bike lanes on Horn Lake Road.

Within weeks, the city also will have hired the region’s first bicycle/pedestrian coordinator to expand this initiative and focus on plans to connect more of the city with walking and biking paths.

Wharton’s plans call for new bike lanes and facilities throughout the city, and the first 55 miles especially target South Memphis, Midtown, Downtown and the University of Memphis area. However, it’s only the first step of a bigger investment that will ultimately include many more miles of bike lanes that connect even more of the city.

Andy Meek

Christie Medical Turns Reshuffle Into Fundraiser

Christie Medical Holdings Inc. found opportunity in a recent renovation to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis.

When the firm consolidated space at their Memphis offices, they staged a silent auction for employees and their friends to bid on excess furnishings and office equipment. The event raised $4,714 for the charity.

Chris Schnee said the consolidation of office space onto one floor allows the staff to work more closely as a team.

Christie Medical Holdings Inc. was formerly Luminetx Corp.

Tom Wilemon

ArtsMemphis Bravo Kicks Off on Thursday

ArtsMemphis will launch the 2010-2011 Bravo season with a free event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Center for Southern Folklore and Pembroke Square Arcade at 119 S. Main St.

Bravo is a way for Memphians aged 21 to 40 to experience the arts through unique monthly events. The event features live entertainment. Go to www.artsmemphis.org.

– Tom Wilemon

Memphis Medical Society Hosts Town Hall Meeting

The Memphis Medical Center will have a town hall meeting on the new health care reform legislation from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 29 at Longinotti Auditorium on the campus of Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis.

Dr. Jerome W. Thompson, president-elect of the Memphis Medical Society and chairman of the Tennessee Medical Association insurance committee, is one of the speakers.

The other speaker is Cyril Chang, a health care economist at the University of Memphis.

The event looks at the legislation from the perspective of physicians.

There is no cost to attend and reservations are not required.

– Tom Wilemon

NAMI Seeks Volunteers for 5K Awareness Run

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Memphis is seeking sponsors, runners and volunteers for its 5K run Sept. 11.

NAMI Memphis needs 80 volunteers for the run, which is designed to raise awareness for mental illness.

In addition to the 5K, the event will include food, games, a fun run for kids, booths and giveaways.

The run will be held at 9 a.m. at The Avenue Carriage Crossing in front of the Marriot Hotel.

To sign up to run, volunteer or sponsor, contact Sandra Armstrong at 725-0305 or Sandra110652@yahoo.com.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Consumer Prices Dip for Third Straight Month

Consumer prices fell for the third straight month, offering some bargains to American shoppers.

The Consumer Price Index, the government’s most closely watch inflation barometer, dipped 0.1 percent in June, the Labor Department reported Friday. Less expensive energy bills were a big factor behind the drop. Prices for some food items, airlines fares, computers, telephone service and personal care products also fell last month.

So-called “core” consumer prices, which strip out volatile energy and food, rose 0.2 percent in June. That means core prices rose only 0.9 percent over the past year. That’s below the Fed’s inflation target and has core prices holding at a 44-year low.

A more pessimistic mood among American shoppers was reinforced Friday with the release of a twice-monthly survey from the University of Michigan and Reuters.

An index of consumer sentiment compiled from the survey fell to 66.5 in early July from 76. That, along with disappointing earnings reports from two large banks, sent stocks tumbling.

“Confidence remains unusually weak and that the slowdown in the economic recovery that we always expected has begun,” said Paul Dales, U.S. economist for Capital Economics.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 89 339 12,708
MORTGAGES 42 227 7,982
BUILDING PERMITS 171 518 29,639
BANKRUPTCIES 32 129 6,029