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VOL. 125 | NO. 40 | Monday, March 1, 2010

Daily Digest

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MCS Files $10.4M Permit for White Station

Memphis City Schools has filed a $10.4 million building permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to upgrade and renovate White Station High School at 514 S. Perkins Road in East Memphis.

Complete details on the project were not available by press time, but the school district in August had recommended Omega General Contractors Inc. to perform part of the project’s work.

Omega was the lowest bidder among the seven companies that applied.

The company will perform a $3.5 million classroom addition, according to MCS documents.

The plans call for the construction of a “new two-story, 20-classroom addition.”

Money for the project is coming from the “Capital Projects Fund – White Station High Renovation.”

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Eric Smith

BancorpSouth Works To Finalize Annual Report

Tupelo, Miss.-based BancorpSouth Inc. reported Friday it needs more time to finalize its annual report, Monday, for the year ended December 31.

In a regulatory filing, the bank, which operates a handful of branches in the Memphis area, said the reason for the delay is management has determined “certain asset quality indicators, including the allowance for credit losses, and their impact on BancorpSouth’s financial statements for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, should be further reviewed.”

The bank’s unaudited financials for the fourth quarter showed net income of $19.4 million and a credit loss provision of $34.7 million. Management expects to see a downward adjustment made to the net income.

But in a statement, chairman and CEO Aubrey Patterson said the bank is confident of its “continued strong performance as a company.”

Andy Meek

Gold Strike Parent Gets Relief on Debt

MGM Mirage, the parent company of Gold Strike Casino, has reached an agreement with its creditors that gives it a wider window for repaying $4.37 billion in debt.

Under terms of the agreement, the maturity on a portion of that debt has been extended from Oct. 3, 2011, to Feb. 21, 2014.

Jim Murren, the company’s chief executive officer, said the agreement gives MGM Mirage “additional long-term financial flexibility and reflects our continued commitment to strengthen our financial position.”

Last summer, the company briefly considered selling its Mississippi properties, which include Gold Strike in Tunica and Beau Rivage in Biloxi, to meet debt obligations.

Tom Wilemon

Baker Donelson Launches Homeless Pro Bono Clinic

The Memphis office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC is working in conjunction with Memphis Area Legal Services Inc. and the Community Legal Cernter to launch the Homeless Experience Legal Protection (HELP) program.

The project will offer a monthly legal clinic to give homeless people pro bono advice and offer them representation.

Baker Donelson will staff the clinic with volunteer attorneys during the its first month of operation. The firm also plans to help recruit additional volunteers to continue to meet staffing needs at the clinic in future months.

“Although we have other legal clinics in Memphis, we have found that the homeless do not often utilize these services,” said Lori Patterson, a Pro Bono coordinator for the firm’s Memphis office.

The HELP clinics are scheduled to begin in April.

They will be held Tuesday afternoons at the Hospitality Hubs, 146 Jefferson Ave.

Rebekah Hearn

Lawmaker Urges Work On Small Business Loans

A key House Democrat is urging the Obama administration to work with lawmakers on a measure that would send bailout money directly to small businesses rather than through banks.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Friday, “I would urge the administration to work closely” with the head of the Small Business Committee to agree on legislation.

The administration has proposed using $30 billion of leftover money from the $700 billion federal bailout program to help community banks increase lending to small businesses. But many lawmakers want the money to be dispensed directly by the federal Small Business Administration.

– The Associated Press

Memphis Ranks First For Auto Repairs

Memphis has ranked first in a study that analyzes how the 50 most populated U.S. cities compare when customers are provided quotes for auto repairs.

AutoMD.com’s “Advocacy Repair Shop Fairness Report” rated shops in the three categories of repair affordability, price disparity and shop integrity, and found Memphis to be the best overall city and Chicago the worst.

AutoMD.com conducted its report by visiting more than 600 shops in the various cities and requesting a quote on a front brake replacement job for a Ford Focus.

To measure pricing integrity, the shoppers called back two weeks later with an industry standard price estimate.

Memphis ranked fifth in repair affordability with an average quote of $141 and tenth in price disparity with quotes ranging from $90 to $200, representing a 122 percent variance.

Memphis ranked first in shop integrity, a measure of the percentage of shops that shifted their original quote by more than five percent when presented with an industry standard price estimate.

AutoMD.com is a free online automotive repair resource and a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts Network Inc.

– Taylor Shoptaw

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 61 331 19,904
MORTGAGES 80 391 23,305
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 83 8,387
BUILDING PERMITS 0 338 40,366
BANKRUPTCIES 35 231 13,335
BUSINESS LICENSES 28 76 6,213
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 125 13,120
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 94 4,936

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