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VOL. 125 | NO. 56 | Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Daily Digest

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AEL Buys Land At Century Center

American Esoteric Laboratories has formally bought the land where it will build a $14.3 million lab and headquarters for the company’s Mid-South division.

AEL, a regional provider of clinical laboratory services to physicians and hospitals, paid slightly less than $2 million for 10 acres of land at 1701 Century Center Parkway near the junction of Interstate 40 and Whitten Road.

The sale closed March 18.

Whitten Partnership Ltd., an entity related to Boyle Investment Co., was the seller. Memphis Pathology Laboratory, the company’s former name, was listed along with AEL as the buyer.

AEL two weeks ago filed a $9.2 million permit to build a one-story, 70,000-square-foot facility. The goal is to begin the six-month construction project soon and be in the building by Nov. 1, company president John Mazzei told The Daily News for a recent article.

AEL, a division of Sonic Healthcare USA, will consolidate its existing 33,000-square-foot building on Distribution Drive and 10,000-square-foot administrative office near Covington Pike, moving its entire Mid-South division into one space.

Mazzei said the Century Center locale is ideal for many reasons including proximity to the interstate. The company currently is 15 or 20 minutes off the highway, which increases delivery time.

Rusty Foster of Memphis-based Evans Taylor Foster Childress Architects is the architect of record for the project. Atlanta-based IDI, which has an office in Memphis, is the contractor.

Jeb Fields of Commercial Advisors represented AEL in its site selection.

For more about AEL’s plans, see the March 15 edition of The Daily News, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Local Gas Prices Rise More Than 3 Cents

The average retail price of gasoline in Memphis has risen 3.3 cents per gallon compared to last week, averaging $2.69 a gallon.

The national average increased 3.6 cents a gallon in the past week, averaging $2.82 a gallon, according to the gasoline price Web site MemphisGasPrices.com.

Prices Monday were 85.3 cents higher per gallon than the same day a year ago, and 18.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

The national average has increased 15.4 cents per gallon during the past month, and is 87.5 cents higher than a year ago.

MemphisGasPrices.com is operated by GasBuddy.com, which operates more than 200 live gasoline price-tracking Web sites.

Rebekah Hearn

Memphis Skipped Over In Grant Awards

The Memphis and Shelby County Health Department applied for a Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant to fight childhood obesity in the city, but it was not on the list of grant recipients.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week announced awards of more than $372 million to 44 communities. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funded the grants.

Nashville did receive a share of the federal stimulus money.

The Nashville/Davidson County Metro Public Health Department received a $7.5 million grant for obesity prevention.

Mississippi and Arkansas did not receive any grants.

Tom Wilemon

WSHS Claims Mock Trial Championship

White Station High School has won the 2010 Tennessee State Mock Trial Competition, held March 19-20 in Nashville.

WSHS faced St. Mary’s Episcopal School twice during the competition, once during the fourth round and again in the finals. St. Mary’s took second place in the state.

WSHS will move on to the National High School Mock Trial Championship being held in Philadelphia May 7-8.

Both teams received bids to two other national tournaments – the American Mock Trial Institute and the Empire City Invitational.

“Nothing is disclosed to us until after the fourth round,” said WSHS head coach Eugene Bernstein. “The whole thing is done by power matching, and they reseed the teams after every round, so all we can do is guess. So when we looked on the board … and we could tell we were arguing against successively better teams, we felt like we were probably winning.”

Two of WSHS’ students won individual awards.

Sonya Khattak won the most valuable player award and Jeannette Baker won one of two Best Advocate Award. Bernstein said this was Baker’s first year as an attorney.

Rebekah Hearn

MPACT Memphis Raises $37K at Annual Gala

MPACT Memphis raised approximately $37,000 at its annual fundraiser, The Soul of the City Gala, held March 12 at Central Station.

The money raised will be used to support MPACT Memphis’ action plan based on The Voice of MPACT, a three-phase nonpartisan project developed by the organization to understand where young professionals stand on a variety of topics that matter to Memphis. The funds raised went toward general operating expenses.

MPACT Memphis raised funds by soliciting sponsorships from local organizations and businesses and through in-kind and cash donations. Three hundred people attended the fundraiser.

MPACT Maker Awards also were handed out. Winners included Nicole Gates for Community Involvement, Mark’s Menus for Business Achievement, Chauneice Conner for Arts and Cultural Promotion, Van Davis Turner Jr. for Political Achievement, Dress for Success for Organization of the Year, Lemoyne Robinson for Educational Achievement, Sarah Wandrey for Newcomer of the Year, and Tom Schmitt for Role Model of the Year.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Downtown Farmers Market To Open April 17

The Memphis Farmers Market is set to open for the 2010 season at 7 a.m. on April 17.

The opening of the market at Central Station coincides with Earth Day. The seasonal market in Downtown Memphis will remain open through October on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit www.memphisfarmersmarket.org.

Tom Wilemon

US Bank Bill Set to Pass By Democrats on Panel

A bill rewriting regulations governing the U.S. financial industry is expected to be approved by a Senate committee’s Democrats now that Republicans have decided to withdraw their amendments.

The decision means Senate consideration could come as early as Monday.

The measure aims to avoid a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis that helped plunge the United States into the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. But the surprise development also raises significant questions about the Senate’s ability to ultimately pass a bill if it cannot muster any Republican support.

The Senate Banking Committee had faced at least a week of work after senators filed more than 400 amendments to a bill proposed by the panel’s chairman, Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Democrat.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 157 157 10,093
MORTGAGES 161 161 11,107
BUILDING PERMITS 229 229 22,402
BANKRUPTCIES 54 54 6,365