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VOL. 125 | NO. 123 | Friday, June 25, 2010

Daily Digest

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American Snuff Files $4 Million Permit

American Snuff Co. LLC – formerly known as Conwood Co. LLC – has filed a $4 million permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement as part of ongoing improvements at the company’s newly acquired facility, 5106 Tradeport Ave. in Hickory Hill.

This most recent permit, filed within the past week, includes mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, natural gas and water installations.

American Snuff in May filed a $3.2 million permit for the multimillion-dollar renovation of the building.

The company, which changed its name Jan. 1, bought the 787,500-square-foot facility last fall for $19.3 million. American Snuff is expanding its manufacturing operation of the smokeless tobacco products Kodiak and Grizzly at the property.

The company currently operates a manufacturing facility at 46 Keel St. in North Memphis, a corporate office on Ridge Lake Boulevard and a warehouse on Warford Street.

American Snuff, which will consolidate its operations at the new location, has been on Keel Street since 1912. The company is a division of Winston Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American Inc.

American Snuff announced its intent to expand last year. The company said it would invest $133 million in the Memphis operation. The move to the new facility is expected to add 25 employees to American Snuff’s current work force of 294 people.

The city-county Industrial Development Board already had approved a nine-year tax abatement for American Snuff to expand and renovate the Tradeport building, saving the company $6.7 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Eric Smith

50 County Workers Eye Sept. 1 Retirement

At the moment, about 50 county employees appear certain to retire Sept. 1, according to Jim Martin, Shelby County’s deputy administrator of benefits.

That date is important, because it’s when hundreds of county employees will reach their first opportunity for full or early retirement.

And while 50 people might not sound like a lot, it’s still much more than the 8 to 10 retirements Shelby County usually gets each month.

The county also is bracing for many more retirements beyond the current 50 depending on the outcome of the August county mayoral election, after which political appointees could get the ax.

Andy Meek

Two Local Bars Survey Judicial Fields

The two local bar associations are moving toward a ranking of candidates in the five special judicial elections on the Aug. 5 ballot.

A committee of the Ben F. Jones chapter of the National Bar Association will interview the candidates Saturday Downtown and then interview candidates in the various races for court clerk positions Sunday.

The Memphis Bar Association sent an e-mail Thursday to all practicing attorneys in Shelby County with a valid e-mail address asking them to select the most qualified candidate in each of the five races.

The results and recommendations of both groups will be announced prior to the July 16 start of early voting.

The set of nonpartisan races has drawn a lot of interest in the legal community.

The race for General Sessions Criminal Court Judge Division 7 has a field of 20 candidates. The list of candidates at the withdrawal deadline had been 21, but attorney Alan Crickmore was ruled ineligible by the Election Commission.

In addition to the five local judicial races, the ballot also includes two state-wide retention races. Voters will choose to retain or replace Sharon Lee as a justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court and John W. McClarty as judge of the Tennessee Court of Appeals, eastern division.

– Bill Dries

UT Fundraising Campaign Exceeds $1 Billion

The University of Tennessee’s “Campaign for Tennessee” has surpassed its $1 billion goal 18 months ahead of schedule.

The fundraising campaign officially ends December 2011 but has already reached its target and placed the university among a group of 28 public universities that have successfully completed fundraising campaign of at least $1 billion, according to the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

The Campaign for Tennessee has received donations from more than 98,000 donors. More than 11,000 current and retired faculty and staff have donated $70.5 million as part of the family campaign led by UT President Emeritus Joe Johnson.

Ninety-eight percent of Campaign for Tennessee money is allocated for a specific scholarship, professorship, program or other object of the donor’s choosing.

Thirty-seven percent of the campaign total consists of deferred gifts that include bequest, charitable trusts and gift annuities. Another third of the total consists of pledges to be paid over a period of years. The remainder is made up of gifts already received.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Main Event Boutique Moves to South Main

The Main Event Boutique is holding the grand opening from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday for its new location, 350 S. Main St.

The grand opening coincides with the monthly Art Trolley Tour on the historic Downtown street.

The women’s clothing store has special sale prices during the grand opening event and a 10 percent discount through Saturday.

Owner Arshula Lynn opened the boutique last August on Madison Avenue in Midtown, but has since moved it to the South Main Arts District.

Tom Wilemon

June Trolley Tour Honors Sports Teams

This month’s Art Trolley Tour is celebrating Memphis sports teams Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. in the South Main Historic Arts District.

Fans of the Memphis Grizzlies, Mississippi RiverKings and Memphis Roller Derby are encouraged to attend.

The night’s events also include a free outdoor showing of the movie “Eli Parker is Getting Married?”

The featured charity for Trolley Night this month is the Streetdog Foundation, a local organization formed to help homeless dogs in need of medical attention and place them with loving families.

For more information, visit southmainmemphis.net.

– Tom Wilemon

Judge Refuses to Delay Ruling on Gulf Drilling Ban

A federal judge who overturned a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed after the Gulf oil spill refused Thursday to put his ruling on hold while the government appeals.

The Justice Department had asked U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman to delay his ruling until the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans can review it. Feldman rejected that request Thursday.

The moratorium was imposed after the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 workers.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 57 94 2,713
MORTGAGES 16 37 1,820
BUILDING PERMITS 303 621 6,322
BANKRUPTCIES 138 138 1,115