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VOL. 126 | NO. 241 | Monday, December 12, 2011

Daily Digest

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Belz Partnership Finances Shelby Oaks Warehouse

A general partnership affiliated with Belz Enterprises has financed a warehouse on Shelby Oaks Drive.

BICO Associates GP filed a $1.7 million trust deed through First Tennessee Bank NA for a multi-tenant flex warehouse at 1650 N. Shelby Oaks Drive as well as three easements totaling 1.3 acres.

The site at 1650 N. Shelby Oaks includes a 95,580-square-foot, Class B flex warehouse built in 1986.

The 7.6-acre property, which BICO bought in 1987 for $308,100, is on the south side of Shelby Oaks Cove South; the back of the parcel fronts the north side of U.S. 40. The assessor’s 2011 appraisal is $3.5 million.

The warehouse is part of Shelby Oaks Industrial multi-use park. The 1.2 million-square-foot park is a National Association of Industrial and Office Parks award winner, according to Belz Enterprises’ website.

Local startup H2O Marine Accessories Inc. recently signed a lease for 6,200 square feet in 1650 N. Shelby Oaks. The company develops and manufactures marine equipment. For more information on the deal, see the Inked commercial real estate column in the Friday, Dec. 9, edition of The Daily News.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Mitchell Worley Nominated for Billboard Mag List

Pat Mitchell Worley, Memphis Music Foundation director of development and communications, recently was nominated for Billboard’s Women in Music 2011, put together by Billboard magazine.

Atlantic Records Chairwoman and Chief Operating Officer Julie Greenwald was named the No. 1 Woman in Music.

Billboard’s Women in Music 2011, part of its Power Players series, is an annual list of female executives who “drive our business forward with vision, dedication and hard work.”

The Women in Music list “acknowledges women in the music business with a range of achievements – at labels or publishing companies, in touring or TV, in digital or branding, and elsewhere,” according to the magazine.

From the list of nominees 41 women executives were named honorees.

In addition to her current role at the Memphis Music Foundation, she regularly writes articles for regional and national publications as a freelance music journalist.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Rock 'n' Soul to Honor Singer Rufus Thomas

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is offering free admission to any resident of Shelby County or Cayce, Miss., Thursday, Dec. 15.

That’s the 10th anniversary of the death of legendary Memphis musician Rufus Thomas, who was born in Cayce.

All visitors have to do is show a valid driver’s license identifying them as a resident of Shelby County or Cayce. The museum, at 191 Beale St., will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The first 100 Shelby County or Cayce museum guests that day who dance “The Funky Chicken” in the lobby will get a free gift from the museum.

Thomas was an artist for Stax Records and is also credited with recording the first hit record for Sun Records.

Thomas was also a disc jockey on Memphis’ WDIA-AM radio, the first black-formatted radio station in the country.

– Andy Meek

Commission Tries Again Wed. On Redistricting

Shelby County commissioners will meet again in special session Wednesday, Dec. 14, to see if they can find nine votes for a redistricting plan by the end of the year.

A seven-district plan has passed on two of three readings. The third reading requires a two-thirds majority – or nine votes – and neither the seven-district plan nor any other options for the once-a-decade redrawing of district lines appeared to have nine votes on the 13-member body.

That became apparent when an alternate plan to simply tweak district lines for the existing five-district setup surfaced earlier this month.

It didn’t have enough votes to pass, but it garnered enough votes to prevent a nine-vote majority for the seven-district plan.

The commission is unanimous in its desire to give final approval to a plan before the Christmas holidays begin.

Beyond that, some commissioners were expressing renewed interest in a shelved alternate plan of 13 single-member districts advocated by commissioner Steve Mulroy since the beginning of the process.

The current commission consists of four districts, each represented by three commissioners and one single-member district.

At Wednesday’s meeting, county planners are expected to have a detailed proposal, including a map for the single-member district option, to go with the already detailed map for the seven-district proposal of six districts represented by two members each and a single-member district.

– Bill Dries

WKNO's 'Newsmakers' Series to Feature Sen. Mark Norris

WKNO-TV will premiere a new edition of “Newsmakers,” featuring a conversation with state Sen. Mark Norris, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 10.

It will repeat at 11 p.m. on WKNO2, available over the air on Channel 10.2 and on Comcast digital cable channel 910.

Eric Barnes, publisher of The Daily News and The Memphis News and host of WKNO’s weekly series “Behind the Headlines,” will host the half-hour interview with the West Tennessee senator.

Norris talks about the possibility of amendments to the Norris-Todd legislation, approved this year by the Tennessee Legislature, that sets the ground rules for the ongoing consolidation of Shelby County’s two public school systems.

There has been speculation that amendments to the law could address how school buildings might be transferred from the county school system in the event suburban municipalities form a separate school system from the merged school system to come in 2013.

Now in his third term, Norris represents District 32, which includes Dyer, Lauderdale, Tipton and Shelby counties.

He currently serves as chairman of the Senate Rules Committee and is a member of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee; Ethics Committee; and State and Local Government Committee.

– Sarah Baker

Trade Deficit Shrinks for Fourth Month

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October to its lowest point of the year after Americans bought fewer foreign cars and imported less oil.

The shrinking trade gap boosted growth over the summer and may do so again in the final three months of the year.

But economists worry the trend could reverse next year, especially if Europe’s debt crisis worsens.

The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday, Dec. 9, that the trade deficit shrank 1.6 percent to $43.5 billion.

It was the fourth straight monthly decline.

Overall imports fell 1 percent to $222.6 billion, which largely reflected a 5 percent decline in oil imports. The average price of imported oil fell for the fifth straight month to the lowest level since March. Oil prices rose last winter because of turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.

Exports slipped 0.8 percent to $179.2 billion, the first drop after three months of gains.

Shipments of industrial supplies, such as natural gas, copper and chemicals, fell. Exports of autos and agricultural goods also dropped.

A lower deficit is the latest sign that the economy has rebounded after nearly stalling in the spring.

It boosts economic growth because it typically means foreign nations are buying more American goods. That can lead to more jobs and higher consumer spending, which fuels 70 percent of economic activity.

Economists expect the deficit to widen in the coming months.

Oil prices are increasing and Europe is likely to import fewer U.S. goods as its economy weakens.

At the same time, U.S. businesses are stocking up on foreign goods as consumer demand improves.

Imports of consumer goods increased in October, as retailers stocked up for the holiday shopping season. The U.S. imported more televisions, toys and games, audio equipment and other household goods. Pharmaceutical imports also increased.

– The Associated Press

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