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VOL. 125 | NO. 174 | Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Daily Digest

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Greenbrook Apartments Financed for $29.5M

Greenbrook Apartments on the south side of Macon Road has been financed for $29.5 million. Mid-America Apartments LP financed the property through Prudential Multifamily Mortgage Inc. with a maturity date of Sept. 1, 2017.

Greenbook Apartments is a 1,037-unit apartment complex built in 1976, according to Teresa Clanton, an on-site representative of Greenbrook. The complex sits on 117 acres south of Macon Road, straddling Greenbrook Parkway. It is between Mullins Station Road to the west and Whitten Road to the east.

A representative of Mid-America Apartment Communities, the management company for Greenbrook Apartments, did not return a phone call by press time.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

TDOT Workers Make Bridge Earthquake Ready

Tennessee Department of Transportation workers are trying to make the Interstate 40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge earthquake resistant.

Starting Tuesday, the bridge over the Mississippi River near Memphis was reduced to one lane in each direction about two months.

Crews will be installing a new seismic expansion joint along bridge piers.

The bridge is located about 60 miles south of the New Madrid Fault.

– The Associated Press

Joe Ford Awarded $747 Monthly Pension

The Shelby County Retirement Board has awarded former interim mayor Joe Ford a monthly pension of a little more than $747.

The award is $450 less than the roughly $1,200 amount Ford believes he’s entitled to when his years as a Memphis City Council member are included with his service in county government.

Ford was paid a lump pension sum by the city when his council service ended in 1999. There was a two-year gap before he was appointed to the Shelby County Commission.

The County Commission several years ago passed a resolution allowing Ford to get pension credit for his city service along with his years in county government. But attorneys told pension board members that move should have originated with the pension board before the commission passed its resolution.

The former interim mayor still has a chance to increase his pension, however.

One pension board member, Henry Hooper, indicated he wants the pension board at its meeting next month to consider the resolution that should have started with the board in the first place – whether a change should be made allowing Ford to get county pension credit for his city service.

If the pension board votes that down, it can still go to the County Commission, where that body can vote on the matter as it sees fit, regardless of past practice on the matter.

Ford can pursue his stance he deserves the higher pension amount in court.

Andy Meek

County Commissioners Begin Work With Committees

Shelby County Commissioners elected and re-elected in the Aug. 5 elections get down to work Wednesday with the first committee sessions of their four-ear terms of office.

The first item in the first committee session, which begins at 8:30 a.m., is the selection of a new chairman for the next year. Democratic commissioner Sidney Chism, who served as chairman pro tempore this past year, is favored to be the new chairman. Commissioners traditionally make the chairman pro tempore the new chairman. The committee action is a recommendation to the full commission,which will vote Sept. 13 on the matter.

Also on the committee slate are preliminary votes on several appointments by new Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.

– Bill Dries

New Book Tells Story of Cooper-Young

A newly published book tells the colorful history of one of Memphis’ most unique neighborhoods, Cooper-Young, through photographs, essays and a history of how the neighborhood has evolved.

“Cooper-Young: A Community That Works,” tracks the history of the neighborhood from the late 1800s through 2010, and it includes more than 80 photos spanning 100 years of history. There are also plenty of then and now photos, as well as personal quotes and stories from former and current residents, business owners, artists and other people with ties to the community.

The book can be purchased at Burke’s Book Store, and it will also be sold at the Cooper-Young Community Association’s booth at the Cooper-Young Festival.

– Andy Meek

Lott Appointed Director of General Services Div.

Martha Lott is the latest county government appointed official to make the transition to Memphis City Hall.

Lott has been tapped by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to become director of the troubled General Services Division.

She comes to the job from being administrator for regional services of the Metropolitan Planning Organization since 2004.

Wharton said Lott “can expertly examine the broken pieces and put them back together again, to work even better than before.”

With confirmation from the City Council, Lott would begin work Oct. 1, 2010. She replaces interim director Becky Kissinger who became director in January after Wharton ousted General Services Director Estrice Boone, one of the first two Herenton division directors to go in the City Hall transition.

Since then, the administration has launched internal and independent audits of the department. A final report is due by the end of this month. Preliminary reports have already indicated few, if any, guidelines and safeguards in contracts were followed in the department.

Wharton’s own criticism of the department’s operating procedures has been scathing. The FBI is also investigating possible wrongdoing in the awarding of contracts in the Fleet Services division of General Services.

– Bill Dries

Petties Drug Case Begins Moving to Next Phase

After several years of report dates that take less than five minutes, the largest drug case ever prosecuted in Memphis federal court is beginning to move into questions about what comes next.

Sometime this month, U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays will meet with defense and prosecution attorneys for a status conference. It will be the first conference of its kind since the U.S. Justice Department decided not to seek the death penalty against four of the defendants: Demetrius Fields, Clinton Lewis, Martin Lewis and Clarence Broady.

Craig Petties, the alleged leader of the multi-state drug operation with direct ties to a Mexican drug cartel, was also part of the mediation process.

But the Justice Department has not made any announcement about its decision on seeking the death penalty.

Prosecutors explored seeking the death penalty because of allegations in the indictments that all five either killed or arranged the murders of six people.

Soon after the notices from Washington, prosecutors in Memphis filed motions seeking the dismissal of the capital case attorneys appointed by the court for the four defendants who won’t be facing the death penalty. There was no similar motion for Petties.

Attorneys for the Lewises, Fields and Broady oppose the move to dismiss the co-counsel. Two other co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

– Bill Dries

Habitat for Humanity Starts Work on Trinity Park Homes

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis will begin Wednesday construction on five new homes in Trinity Park, its first planned development.

Delta Air Lines employees will begin work at 8 a.m. on the first houses. The company has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build homes in Memphis as well as Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul and New York City.

Work on two homes with multiple sponsors will begin on Friday. ServiceMaster will begin its build Sept. 15, and FedEx will begin its work Sept. 21.

Trinity Park is located in the Oakhaven community near the Memphis International Airport and will eventually include 38 single-family residences all built to green standards, as certified through the local Memphis Light, Gas and Water EcoBuild program.

– Taylor Shoptaw

PROPERTY SALES 81 277 20,909
MORTGAGES 85 329 24,074
BUILDING PERMITS 219 672 43,265
BANKRUPTCIES 64 238 13,418