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VOL. 125 | NO. 112 | Thursday, June 10, 2010

Daily Digest

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Mich.-Based Intermodal Company Buys Yard

UTSI Finance Inc., an entity related to Warren, Mich.-based transportation service provider Universal Truckload Services Inc., has paid $3.2 million for five parcels in Oakhaven where the company already has a presence.

UTSI is parent of Mason Dixon Intermodal, which operates a facility at 4014 Outland Road. The company bought five parcels totaling 35.58 acres along the east side of Outland, between Winchester and East Raines roads.

A call to the company for comment on the transaction wasn’t returned.

All five parcels are in the Raines Road Distribution Center subdivision. They have a combined appraised value of $1.8 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

UTSI bought the parcels from Christopher R. Folk, trustee, under Christopher R. Folk Revocable Living Trust, dated Nov. 16, 2004.

Folk and Lawrence Trine III founded Assure Intermodal in 2002. Mason Dixon Intermodal bought that company in 2006 as its foray into the Memphis market.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Eric Smith

Plush Club Closed as Attempt Made to Be Declared Nuisance

Plush Club at 380 Beale St. was closed by Memphis Police Tuesday as the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office filed court papers to have the nightspot declared a nuisance under state law.

The court filing seeking the closing cites numerous arrests in and around the club as the police department’s Organized Crime Unit conducted an undercover operation at the club.

Owners of the club are due later this month before Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter for a first hearing on the nuisance petition. The club is expected to remain closed at least until the hearing.

George Miller, the owner of the building, is already in Chancery Court seeking overdue rent from Kris Perkins, the owner of the club, as well as the closing of the nightspot.

The nuisance case follows two incidents at the club in May. In the first, four police officers were injured trying to quell a melee that began inside Plush and spilled into the street outside. Fire marshals also ordered the club temporarily closed on another night because of a large crowd inside.

– Bill Dries

City to Hold Arts Day Events June 22 at Civic Center Plaza

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and City Council Chairman Harold Collins will proclaim June 22 Arts Day in the city of Memphis at that day’s City Council meeting.

In conjunction with Arts Day, ArtsMemphis is presenting Memphians with two options to celebrate: a citywide jeans day and an arts fair and artist market to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 22 at Civic Center Plaza, 125 N. Main St.

Businesses participating in Arts Day will allow employees who make a $5 donation to ArtsMemphis to wear jeans to work June 22. Each participant will receive a sticker to show support.

Companies interested in participating should contact Elizabeth Rouse at erouse@artsmemphis.org or 578-2760.

The arts fair and artist market held in front of City Hall will include performances by local, nonprofit arts organizations and an art sale by Memphis-area artists.

Organizations and vendors interested in participating should contact Lauren Boyer at lboyer@artsmemphis.org or 578-2787.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Hooks Central Library Offers JobLINC Speaker Series

The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library at 3030 Poplar Ave. is offering a JobLINC Speaker Series on Wednesdays and Thursdays in June at 3 p.m.

JobLINC is the library’s mobile career center, and this month’s speaker series will cover topics including interviewing skills, Internet job searches and higher education. Outside local experts are working with the library to facilitate the speaker series sessions.

The series will culminate in a job and career fair featuring about 50 area employers and schools at the library June 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 415-2700.

Andy Meek

Cancer Patients Offered Beauty Tips at Saint Francis

The American Cancer Society and Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis is offering free makeup consultations and beauty tips to cancer patients on Monday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the hospital.

The event is open to any cancer patient, but advance reservations are required by calling Malinda McDaniel at 725-8620.

Tom Wilemon

Summer Debate Institute Announced for Students

The Memphis Urban Debate League is offering free of charge a summer institute for students of Memphis City Schools to improve their speaking skills.

The program will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 19-23 at the Theatre and Communications Building on the campus of the University of Memphis.

Students will prepare for the national high school policy debate topic for 2010-2011. The Urban Debate League will prepare instructional materials, but students are responsible for their own lunches and transportation.

Students not enrolled in the district may attend if they pay a fee of $300.

Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit www.memphisdebate.org.

– Tom Wilemon

Wholesale Inventories, Sales Both Up in April

Inventories held by wholesalers rose for a fourth straight month in April while sales rose for a 13th consecutive time. Both gains were encouraging signs for a sustained economic recovery.

Wholesale inventories increased 0.4 percent last month after a 0.7 percent gain in March, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Sales increased 0.7 percent in April, helped by higher demand for autos, lumber, computers and electrical equipment. The rise followed a 2.4 percent surge in March.

The hope is that a steady rise in demand will prompt businesses to step up orders and restock depleted shelves. That would give a boost to factories and prompt them to increase hiring.

Since sales rose at a faster clip than inventories were rebuilt, the ratio of inventories to sales fell to 1.13. That’s the lowest point on records that go back to 1992. At that rate, it would take only 1.13 months to clean out the remaining inventories at the April sales pace.

Before that liquidation began, inventories had jumped from around 1.15 months to a peak around 1.4 months in the space of about six months from the middle of 2008 to early 2009.

Over the past decade, a more normal level during recoveries has been between 1.15 months to 1.2 months.

Peter Newland, an economist at Barclays Capital, said the return to a lower ratio “suggests that firms are likely to continue to rebuild stock levels in coming months.”

Inventories at the wholesale level had fallen for 13 consecutive months through September. Businesses went through a massive liquidation of stocks in a struggle to contain costs during the recession.

The move away from slashing inventories to restocking has played an important role in supporting growth in the past two quarters. A rise in factory orders has made the manufacturing sector one of the strongest contributors to the economic recovery.

The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 5.6 percent in the final three months of last year, a surge powered by a swing in inventories. Growth slowed to 3 percent in the first three months of this year with continued strength from inventories.

– The Associated Press

Herenton Says Cohen Hasn't Achieved Anything in DC

Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton said his opponent in the Democratic congressional race hasn't achieved anything in Washington.

Herenton said at a news conference Wednesday that he will defeat incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the party primary election Aug. 5.

Herenton was the city's first elected black mayor and served 18 years in office before resigning last year.

Herenton said voters in the Ninth District know his accomplishments.

Cohen leads Herenton in one key category – fundraising. The Center for Responsive Politics' database shows Cohen currently has more than $706,000 on hand. Herenton has $8,400.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 85 205 21,165
MORTGAGES 76 206 24,338
BUILDING PERMITS 183 321 43,755
BANKRUPTCIES 48 92 13,560